Japan

George Clooney appears in Kirin beer ad, sounds a bit like Batman when he speaks Japanese

George Clooney appears in Kirin beer ad, sounds a bit like Batman when he speaks Japanese

As we’ve seen before, Hollywood stars who ordinarily wouldn’t be seen dead in a commercial in their homeland for fear of damaging their reputation as a serious actor aren’t quite so shy when it comes to commercials in Japan. With Japanese companies eager to push stacks of cash stars’ way in exchange for endorsing their products, occasionally a big-name actor will pop up on billboards over the famous Shibuya scramble intersection and on primetime TV.

This week, smirking silver fox George Clooney follows in Leonardo DiCaprio‘s footsteps by lending his face to a Japanese commercial, in this case one for Kirin Brewery Company’s Green Label brand of beer. Clooney is no stranger to ads even at home, but Kirin’s commercial – which sees the actor painting a house and communicating with a small bird – is kind of an odd one, partly because it doesn’t have an awful lot to do with beer, and partly because, to our ears at least, Clooney appears to be channeling Christian Bale’s Batman for his single word of Japanese dialogue.

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This is what three years of boogers dumped under your bed looks like

This is what three years of boogers dumped under your bed looks like

Cleaning sucks. There’s no gentle or polite way to say this–cleaning is boring and tiresome and we always have better stuff to do. Like rewatch every episode of Breaking Bad for the sixth time. But, as our mother’s told us, it is important to keep your home clean–a dirty room invites all sorts of creepy, crawly things. Ew!

Still, it can be hard motivating yourself to get cleaning, but if you wait too long, the results go far beyond gross and enter gruesome territory, as one Japanese netizen proved last week by uploading the most bizarre photos we’ve seen in a looong time.

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Sailor Moon’s Tuxedo Mask was caught fooling around… with multiple partners!【Photos】

Sailor Moon’s Tuxedo Mask was caught fooling around… with multiple partners!【Photos】

Fans of the Sailor Moon series would probably be more than familiar with the suave male protagonist in the series, Tuxedo Mask (or Tuxedo Kamen, in Japanese). We all know him as the heroic love interest of Sailor Moon, but since the launch of these mini figurines in Japan late last month, Japanese netizens have been cracking up over pictures of Tuxedo Mask frolicking with other characters (and himself!) in some of the most bizarre poses we’ve seen him in!

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Beautiful woman doing things: Unsettling art created by unexpected artist

Beautiful woman doing things: Unsettling art created by unexpected artist

Some of the best-yet-unsettling art in the world has often been created by male artists: be it Hemingway’s subtly disturbing short story, “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn,” the dark and surreal yarns of Cormac McCarthy (We hear reading Blood Meridian automatically qualifies you as suffering from PTSD), or the insidiously impossible physics of Dalí paintings, whenever we view somewhat disturbing artistic works, we tend to assume the author is a man.

So, you’d be forgiven for thinking the drawing below comes from a male artist with a particularly tormented past:

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16 Manga Mash-ups including Attack on Crayon and Pooh’s Bizarre Adventure

16 Manga Mash-ups including Attack on Crayon and Pooh’s Bizarre Adventure

Anime and manga tend to have an overall defining style that has evolved (or devolved depending how you look at it) over the ages. However, it’s really a far more diverse collection of artwork ranging from the cartoony fun of Sazae-san and Crayon Shin-chan to the stark yet attractive contrasts of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and eerie atmosphere that opened Attack on Titan.

So what if we took these different styles and smashed them together like so many mud pies at my 10-year high school reunion? Why, these 16 drawings found on Twitter of course.

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Travel through time from Shibuya

Travel through time from Shibuya

Most Japanese history buffs know that Kyoto is a must-see, but for those who prefer not to be one in a mob of tourists, it’s essential to find the hidden gems like the Kyū Asakura House. It is one of those rare places where you can experience what it may have felt like to live in another era—and this one is in the middle of Tokyo! Because it is relatively small and not too well known, visiting is a peaceful experience.

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“Realistic” Kuroko’s Basketball characters look just as cool, if not cooler【Pictures】

“Realistic” Kuroko’s Basketball characters look just as cool, if not cooler【Pictures】

As an avid anime fan, I sometimes wish my favorite characters were real humans, but the logical fangirl in me warns that if anime characters existed in real life, they probably wouldn’t be as awesome as they were in the original works. Just take Kuroko’s Basketball as an example, it would be impossible for Kuroko’s unbelievable skill, “Misdirection Overflow”, to happen in real life.

In such situations, I’m glad there are talented artists who create realistic looking fan art of anime characters, such as these amazing portraits!

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Is this new coffeehouse in Tottori Prefecture out to screw Starbucks?

Is this new coffeehouse in Tottori Prefecture out to screw Starbucks?

Out of the 47 total prefectures in Japan, Tottori is the only one left without a Starbucks. Total Starbucks domination may seem imminent with plans in the works to open the first shop by spring 2015. However, a new coffee chain opened in Tottori on April 4, and word on the street is that it seeks to rival the international coffee giant. Even its name is a linguistic play on the word “Starbucks.” Do you think this new local business can put a damper on Starbucks’ eventual expansion?

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Hidden gem in Tokyo: Black water hot spring hotel

Hidden gem in Tokyo: Black water hot spring hotel

Tokyo may be the largest city in the world, but Tokyoites still long for the comforts of rural Japan. While the less populous cities don’t have all the luxuries of a major metropolitan city, what they have in spades are hot springs. Hot springs remain one of the most popular getaway destinations for the busy Japanese worker. Day trips, short weekend trips, everyone longs for the chance to relax in the soothing waters of a hot spring.

But where do you find a nice, relaxing hot spring within the 23 wards of Tokyo? Is it really possible to find one that is reasonably priced? Can you find one where people respect the rules? Where guests won’t immediately enter the bath before washing themselves which makes the water dirty and suspicious? Where you won’t have to wonder what that thing floating in the water is? The answer is a resounding yes and it’s closer than you think!

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Tre bottoni shirt collars: for the stylish businesscat on the go

Tre bottoni shirt collars: for the stylish businesscat on the go

Even if your kitty is currently an unemployed layabout, you can be fairly sure he dreams of world domination, and since they always say you should dress for the job you want, you might was to consider getting him some of these super-stylish designer shirt collars to put him on the path to overlordship.

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Experience the ultimate moe flight with Asian Air x Mirai Airlines

Experience the ultimate moe flight with Asian Air x Mirai Airlines

Danny Choo, founder of Culture Japan and inexhaustible ambassador for all things moe, announced the collaboration between his mascot Mirai Suenaga and the Thai airline Asian Air on his website this week. Read on to find out just how far their plans for anime-themed air domination go.

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Food, hard liquor, and guns all on the menu at Tokyo’s airsoft bar

Food, hard liquor, and guns all on the menu at Tokyo’s airsoft bar

When you want to blow off steam, there’s nothing like blowing something away, which partly explains why Japan’s interest in airsoft guns, which fire BB-like ammunition, continues to grow. But even though work is a major source of stress, most people don’t have the time to drive out to one of Japan’s rural airsoft fields (or catch a plane to the awesome urban set-up in Korea) after their shift ends.

Thankfully, though, there’s a way for Japanese professionals who’ve had a rough day at the office to fire off a couple rounds without putting a hole in their living room wall, as we found out at a Tokyo restaurant with its own airsoft shooting range.

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His name is Balse and he looks like Colonel Muska: Japanese netizens go wild for new French PM

His name is Balse and he looks like Colonel Muska: Japanese netizens go wild for new French PM

Japanese netizens are bursting with excitement about Manuel Valls, who was appointed as France’s new Prime Minister this week. But what are these Twitter users so astounded about? Well, the newly appointed Prime Minister supposedly bears a striking resemblance to evil genius Colonel Muska, from Hayao Miyazaki’s 1986 movie Castle in the Sky.

And what’s more, in Japanese his name sounds just like barusu or “balse”, the incantation from Castle in the Sky. So this new guy not only looks like a character from the classic animated movie, his name also happens to be the movie’s most important word – which, incidentally, is a record-breaking Twitter meme in its own right.

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Kanna Hashimoto’s rise to fame continues with major commercial appearance

Kanna Hashimoto’s rise to fame continues with major commercial appearance

About a half a year ago, the charming face of a local idol from Fukuoka was plastered all over the internet. Kanna Hashimoto’s genuine charm and cuteness had won over the country literally overnight. Shortly afterwards, we were able to meet the up and coming star and buy a pair of glasses. There we found Hashimoto’s charm wasn’t just a fluke of the original photo that shot her into the spotlight.

Now we’re happy to see that her rise to fame hasn’t slowed down one bit with a recent appearance in the hugely popular SoftBank commercial series featuring the Shirato family. Not only that, she has also thrown the ceremonial first pitch at Opening Day of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 2014 season.

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The 11 Cat Islands of Japan 【Photos】

The 11 Cat Islands of Japan 【Photos】

In the never-ending debate as to whether cats or dogs are the superior animal, it’s pretty safe to say felines have the edge as far as tranquility is concerned. For example, an island full of stray dogs is likely to be visited by animal control, whereas an island covered in cats instead gets visited by tons of tourists.

This ability to live in general harmony with the human population means that Japan is filled with places that have earned the nickname “Nekojima,” or “Cat Island.” Today, we take a whirlwind photo tour of 11 of them.

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Hamster butts go mainstream in Japan, get their very own Facebook fan page

Hamster butts go mainstream in Japan, get their very own Facebook fan page

See? Didn’t we tell you Japan had a thing for rodent derrière?

It turns out that it’s not just a few fanatics spending hours in front of their hamster cage with a digital camera trying to get photos of their furry pet from behind — there are apparently thousands of like-minded netizens in Japan, and now an entire Facebook group exists just for people who like to talk about and upload photos of their pet hamsters’ bottoms.

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$100 chocolate toothpaste? Gucci eraser? 7 ridiculously expensive items from around the world

$100 chocolate toothpaste? Gucci eraser? 7 ridiculously expensive items from around the world

 

Here at RocketNews24 we love finding “The Most Expensive (Thing) Ever” and have even been known to see it as something of a challenge. Our eyes light up whenever we see an advert or – more likely, press release – for “World’s Most Expensive (household item that’s usually quite cheap)”.

But brands also love to come up with their own insanely high-end products in the hope of gaining a superlative world title. Whether it’s encrusting something entirely with diamonds, or coating it in gold dust, we can’t help but feel they’re doing it on purpose, just to get our attention (and column inches). Today we bring you seven products from Japan and around the world that you didn’t even know you wanted … until now!

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Asahi puts a new twist(er) on draft beer

Asahi puts a new twist(er) on draft beer

Japan’s most popular alcoholic drink is beer—and now it’s easier than ever to serve perfectly! True to form for a country known for automation, Japanese brewer Asahi has released the Tornado: a machine that automatically fills cups with beer. Rather than pouring, the spigot connects to the bottom of the specially-formed cup, filling it from the bottom up. As it fills, the foam swirls, resembling a—you guessed it—tornado!

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Everyone’s favourite giant penises will be popping out again at this year’s festival of phalluses

Everyone’s favourite giant penises will be popping out again at this year’s festival of phalluses

It’s that time of year again! Spring is in the air, the cherry blossoms are blooming, and everyone’s feeling a little bit randy. What better way to celebrate life than with the Kanamara Matsuri, better known as the Penis Festival, to be held on April 6th from 11am to 6pm.

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Sad news: 1,266 famous Tokyo plum trees get the axe to prevent spread of “plum pox”

Sad news: 1,266 famous Tokyo plum trees get the axe to prevent spread of “plum pox”

It’s cherry blossom time in Tokyo, which means that the plum blossom season is just coming to a close, and one of Tokyo’s most popular spots to see plum blossom, Umeno Park in Ome, has finished the season with a sad announcement: it is chopping down all 1,266 of its famous plum trees to prevent the spread of a disease called plum pox.

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