Japan

“Why? Why?!?!” Competitive gamer’s premature celebration is equal parts disastrous and hilarious

Is competitive video gaming a sport? It’s a debatable issue. On the one hand, it doesn’t require much in the way of raw strength, but neither does table tennis, and that’s an Olympic event. Likewise, video gaming isn’t a serious test of physical endurance, but neither are golf or curling.

You could also argue that the mentality of competitive games is fundamentally the same as traditional sports. Both can produce the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Oh, and as this video from the world’s biggest fighting game tournament shows, the embarrassing hilarity of a premature victory.

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The Evangelion Shinkansen will let you ride the rails like a cool angel this fall

Over the past few years, we’ve seen Japan Railways, Japan’s largest rail operator, embark on a spurt of posh train building, with coaches that feature gold leaf accents, split-level suites, and relaxing foot baths. This fall, though, JR West will be launching a train that dials back the luxury while pumping up the awesomeness in the eyes of anime fans with the Evangelion Shinkansen.

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Hilariously awkward dancing models at car show prove all publicity is good publicity 【Video】

The responsibilities of promotional models fall almost entirely into the categories of “stand there” and “look pretty,” and while the first function seems pretty easy, maybe that’s for the best. After all, there’s actually a lot of effort, encompassing fitness, diet, and grooming regimens, that goes into meeting the “look pretty” requirement, and there’s not always much time left over to work on much else.

Case in point: Someone decided to try to add a bit of kinetic energy to this car show booth by having the team of models dance, but their comically awkward gyrations suggest “stand there” might have been the better option.

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Viral bear video evidence of a crazy Japanese game show? Maybe not…【Video】

Japanese TV shows have been the inspiration for plenty of crazy and wild programs that have appeared on U.S. television, such as American Ninja Warrior and Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. You can definitely see the influence Japanese TV has played upon Wipeout even if it’s only “10 percent”, according to the series creator.

With so many programs mimicking the classic “crazy” Japanese game show, creative minds have to keep evolving and innovating in order to stay ahead of the crowd. Just how crazy can a Japanese television show get? The show Riddles at the Ends of the Earth! might have crossed the line between crazy TV and seriously dangerous insanity.

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Japanese teens discover trick to look years younger, may cause back problems 【Video】

People have long sought any invention or procedure that could make them appear younger. From beauty products to invasive surgeries, many will pay mountains of money and undertake any risk for something that promises to shave a few years off their appearance.

A group of teens in Japan has come up with a simple trick that has them looking years younger in an instant, but might not exactly be the panacea you have in mind.

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How one man dealt with his cola-colored urine

“With my pants around my ankles, I stared at the toilet bowl for a while. Finally a dark cloud spread through the water. What is this bloody stuff in my urine?! I thought looking at its poisonous color, it was as if someone slowly poured a cola into the bowl. What the hell kind of pee is this, and what is going on inside me?!”

The following is a real experience of one of our writers when he found a worrisome discoloration in his pee. His name is Yuichiro Wasai, but after reading this you’ll know enough about him to be on a first-name basis. It’s a story worth reading, however. The cause of Yuichiro’s condition is rare but could happen to you or someone you know, and this knowledge may help.

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The surprising name for Universal Studios Japan theme park in Okinawa leaves netizens confused

We reported earlier this year that Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is floating the idea of opening a new theme park in Okinawa. We now know the proposed name for the new amusement park, and it has left many Japanese surprised and confused.

You see, the company plans to drop the “Universal” brand from its name, and instead the new theme park will, apparently, be called Nangoku Resort.

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Sakuragicho Station celebrates the coming of 1,000 dancing Pikachus with awesome new signs

If you love Pikachu, you’ll want to head down to the city of Yokohama this summer because that’s where you’ll get the chance to meet not one, not two, but a thousand Pikachus. And to add to the amazement, they’ll all be dancing up a Pokemon storm.

To celebrate the upcoming “outbreak”, as it’s being called, Sakuragicho is adorning their station platform signs with a number of adorable Pikachus. With signage this cute, we can hear the squeels of “kawaiiii” all the way up here in Tokyo!

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Are you satisfied with your sleep? If not, maybe you need an adorable Baymax bed

If you’ve seen Disney’s Big Hero 6, you know that the film’s most memorable character, marshmallowy medical helper/combat robot Baymax, spends about half of his screen time being awesome, and the other being adorable. In one of the best examples of the latter, he becomes a mattress for his exhausted friends, letting them lean into his soft, cushioned body during a brief respite during the bumpy transition to their new lives as superheroes.

If you’re feeling similarly worn out after a hard day, you’ll be happy to know that, just as the trailer for the film promised, Baymax has your back…or your front, or your side, depending on how you sleep, in the form of this amazingly heart-melting semi-posable Baymax bed.

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Worst vacation ever? DMM to offer a week of hikikomori life free to one lucky fan

While some may find the idea of locking themselves in their room for months or even years at a time horrifying, for some that’s just their daily life. And if you’re one of those people who much prefer their bed to the sun, this special competition sponsored by DMM may be just what you’re looking for. If you’re chosen, you’ll get free room-and-board for a week, along with all-you-can-play games — but you won’t be allowed to go outside even once.

If that sounds like a great summer vacation to you, read on to find out more.

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Is One Piece’s end in sight? Editor reveals final arc is mapped out, speculates on timetable

18 years after it first appeared in comic form, creator Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is more popular than ever. But while fans might be happy to see the Straw Hat Pirates keep sailing forever, the manga’s current editor says that not only has Oda mapped out how the story will end, but also that he thinks he knows about how many more volumes the manga has to go before its finale.

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Want a souvenir from the ocean? Take part of it home with a realistic resin replica!

We’ve seen some amazing things Japanese artists have created out of resin before, but the one problem with them is just that: they’re too amazing. They’re all miniature masterpieces that you’d be too scared to touch, much less carry around with you.

But now artist and Twitter user @tokibo has come up with a solution: creating beautiful, realistic resin replicas of the ocean that you can put in your pocket to feel like you’re at the beach anytime you want. Skeptical? Take a look at some of the pictures; if they don’t make you feel like you’re in an underwater paradise, then your (unspent) money back!

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Become an official supporter of the Evangelion smartphone, going on sale this year!

Evangelion fans, rejoice! If you were wondering what more you could possibly add to you collection of EVA goods, you won’t have to wait much longer for the next must-have item – the Evangelion smartphone, which is scheduled to go on sale around the end of this year.

As if that weren’t exciting enough, you can also become an official “supporter” which will get you the latest, up-to-date information, plus a special gift.

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Man-nipples become tools of “sexual harassment” during summer, complain Japanese women

There’s been a lot of hoo-haa recently over nip-nips, hasn’t there? On the western internets, ladies are in a huff that their female nubbins are being covered up by the online censors, but in Japan it’s male nurples that are getting on everyone’s nerves.

Turns out that Japanese ladies can’t stand the sight of male chesty-buds, and in this hot weather, lots of businessmen are going out and about without undershirts on. The result? A barrage of constant eye-trauma for the ladies who say that the men who are flaunting their areolas at them are committing sexual harassment! Oh my!

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No humans allowed at Japan’s first cafe exclusively for stuffed animals

There’s a new cafe that just opened up in Tokyo. Like many such establishments in Japan, it prides itself on its sumptuous sweets and delicious drinks.

Its main selling point, though, is the warm hospitality the staff provides. Really, you’d probably be tempted to say Yawarakan’s Cafe truly understands the human aspect of the restaurant business, if it wasn’t for the fact that all of the cafe’s customers are stuffed animals.

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Japanese Netizens go crazy (again) for this gorgeous Taiwanese woman

Japan has long had a saying that Taiwan has a disproportionate ratio of incredibly beautiful women.

While there may or may not be truth to that (science is surprisingly light on “hot girl ratio” studies), one Taiwanese teen came to be known as the poster girl who proved the saying right among Japanese Netizens back in the mid-2000s.

And now, thanks to social media, Taiwanese beauty Chen Xiaoyu is back in the Japanese spotlight – all grown up now and making the rounds again now that hungry Japanese Netizens have found her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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Slow news day special: Pigeons who think they’re people spotted in Japanese McDondald’s

Another slow news day, another bird-themed Japanese Twitter picture making the rounds.

To put it lightly, Japan’s major cities have a bit of a pigeon problem. According to Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies, the pigeon (or, holy crap, technically the “feral rock dove”), is an invasive species to the Japanese mainland that now inhabits essentially every speck of land, including, even, some distant islands belonging to Japan.

As with invasive pigeons in other cities throughout the world, Japanese pigeons have largely adapted to an urban environment, losing their instinctive fear of humans, nesting in and among buildings and, apparently, even frequenting McDonald’s.

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New Tokyo hotel lets you sleep in a bookstore

Bookstores are really relaxing places, particularly since many Japanese ones have responded to the rise of digital publishing by merging with cafes and creating inviting places to hang out and peruse the goods. With the quiet babble of background noise and a squishy chair to sink into, you may find your eyelids drooping over the new Murakami. However, a comfy chair is not a bed and the stores are generally not open 24 hours, so if you give in to sleep, you’ll probably find yourself turfed out at closing time with a crick in your neck.

If this has been a problem for you in the past, you’ll want to reserve a spot at Book and Bed, a new hotel in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighborhood that invites bibliophiles to sleep in the stacks.

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In any industry, it’s important to keep innovating to stay one step ahead of your competitors. That’s true even for comic artist Okayado, whose stock-in-trade is sexy 2-D characters.

Okayado has been tapping a new market with his manga Monster Musume, also known as Everyday Life with Monster Girls, and its currently airing anime adaptation. As a true professional, though, Okayado knows that merchandising is the lifeblood of a successful franchise, and so he’s designed an anime girl pillowcase featuring Monster Musume’s female lead.

So far that’s par for the course for a hit among otaku, but what makes this pillowcase special is that it’s a shocking seven meters (23 feet) long!

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Short clip shows us what it’s like to ride the train or subway in Japan in a wheelchair 【Video】

As our winner of the Japan Wish contest is currently living her dream in Japan, we continue to believe that everyone should visit at least once. It’s such an interesting and unique country that people who want to experience Japan, even those with disabilities, should definitely take the time to get here. Wheelchair access, though, isn’t always guaranteed everywhere you want to go, which can make planning a trip difficult.

A well-traveled electric wheelchair user has compiled a huge bank of information regarding accessibility in Japan. One of his videos clearly lays out the experience someone in a wheelchair will have when riding the train or the subway here. To quickly summarize, “All aboard!”

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