Mobile purikura comes to your phone with new face-slimming lens

Beauty ideals can be strange things. In Japan, the concept of hattoushin, a perfect 1:8 head-to-body ratio and the idealisation of kogao, or small face, reign supreme.

This obsession with creating a slim face has brought about some weird and wacky contraptions. If you don’t have time to stick to a routine that includes face rollers, cheek-lifting masks and facial exercises, there’s now a quick fix at hand: a lens that slips over your phone camera to give you that kogao look.

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Tokyo Game Show 2015 cosplay photo roundup

After enjoying the relatively slow pace of Tokyo Game Show 2015 on the press days, we headed back at the weekend for the madness that is the public days. We had to fight our way through the crowds before we finally reached the outdoor cosplay area, where the weather was perfect for getting some great shots of the amazing outfits on show. While there were plenty of video game characters striking their poses, there were also familiar faces from anime and movies, so even if you’re not into gaming you might recognize some of them.

The level of detail in some of these home-made costumes is astounding, and there was a great mix of the sexy and the totally kick-ass. Join us after the jump for a selection of pics and video of our favourites.

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Splatoon’s Inklings get a retro makeover in Super Mario Maker【Video】

Super Mario Maker, which was released exclusively for Nintendo’s Wii U console on September 10, has been a hit, giving hours of creative fun to Nintendo fans all over the world. There are tons of secrets and extras to be unlocked, and we wanted to show off a really cool one that takes Nintendo’s newest IP back in time into the retro Mario world. Read on to see Mario transformed into an Inkling from Splatoon!

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The Snack Poster: Illustrations to spread the love for authentic Japanese foods

For those unaccustomed to Japanese food, even the most common edibles may seem quite odd and, well, unappetizing, at first glance. The first time you saw monjayaki, did you not think it looked a little…weird? Of course, not all Japanese cuisine is unappealing to the eyes, but even the delicious-looking food is still not widely known throughout the Western world.

A California-based Japanese food blogger is trying to change that. Gaining momentum from the success of her Ramen Poster, artist Fanny has come up with another hand-drawn infographic displaying some of her favorite Japanese street foods and snacks: The Snack Poster.

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China looks to be getting a live-action version of anime Doraemon, starring an actual cat 【Video】

There’s a unique problem that the producers of anime-to-live-action adaptations face. Even if the casting director can gather a group of actors that look just like the source material’s human characters, what do you do about the non-human characters?

Using practical effects and animatronics for all those loveable robot companions and magical creatures limits the variety of movements they can handle and the angles you can film from. On the other hand, using post-production CG effects leaves the actors in the difficult position of having to perform while imagining costars that aren’t really there, which often leads to less-than-convincing results.

Maybe that’s why an upcoming Chinese live-action version of Doraemon has decided to go with the obvious solution and just use a real cat for the titular feline robot.

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Meet the real Revolver Ocelot and check out his awesome Metal Gear cosplay/gunplay 【Videos】

Thanks to the extensive use of motion capture actors in the modern era, when a video game knight swings a sword to take down a fearsome dragon or a grizzled space marine aims a bazooka at an invading alien army, somewhere out there is a real person who performed the dramatic movements and cool poses. Of course, since the whole point of motion capture is to apply those movements to a totally different-looking frame, the actors themselves tend to live lives of relative obscurity.

At the recent Tokyo Game Show, though, fans got the chance to meet the real Revolver Ocelot, as the actor behind the pistol-loving Metal Gear Solid character showed up in costume and showed off his skills.

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FamilyMart’s alcohol-infused coffee drink so good, we can’t believe it’s only sold in Okinawa!

Okinawa, the tropical island at the southern end of Japan, is known for its unique culture and tasty foods like soki soba (Okinawa noodles) and rafuti (sweet stewed pork). Another local specialty Okinawa is famous for is the alcoholic drink awamori, a distilled drink made from long-grain rice.

While the beverage has its fans across Japan, it also has enough of a distinct flavor that some people consider it a bit of an acquired taste.  So you can imagine it came as somewhat of a surprise when we found out that they sell an alcoholic coffee drink in Okinawa that is infused with awamori, and at a convenience store chain, no less. We definitely had to try this!

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Maru the cat attempts to use a hammock, fails adorably 【Videos】

Summer is over. For many that means back to school, back to nighttime coming more quickly, and back to bundling up from the cold instead of basking in the sunlight.

But if you want to hold on to that last little bit of summer, then check out the latest video put out by the famous Japanese cat duo Maru and his adopted little sister Hana. The two of them hang out on their new hammock, catch some rays, listen to cicadas… and end up using the hammock not quite how it was intended.

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Japan now has Kit Kat croissants, in chocolate and matcha green tea flavors

The delicious delights of being in Japan aren’t limited to the amazing sushi and tea. Being in the country also surprisingly gives you access to the world’s greatest variety of Kit Kat flavors and variations.

We’ve already seen the tasty confectionaries show up in cheesecake flavor and atop pizzas, and now the crossover between the chocolate wafers and baked goods continues as one of Japan’s most popular coffeehouses is now selling Kit Kat croissants.

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Research from Japanese university claims kissing pets can cause stomach cancer

Who doesn’t love animals? They’re cute, funny, and sometimes you can even use their poop to keep your skin clean!

But now, thanks to a study by a Japanese university, we may want to re-think that last one a bit. According to their research, contact with pets’ bodily fluids, either by kitty kisses or scooping up puppy poops, can significantly increase your risk of stomach cancer.

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Japanese PM Abe accidentally thanks the inventor of the retweet while trying to reach Indian PM

Some of you may have noticed during the royal rumble that ensued in the Japanese Parliament late last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe quietly slipped out while members of his party continued to fight back a horde of angry legislators so that they could usher in changes to the way the constitution is understood. At first, I wondered why he would duck out at such a moment, but then I remembered: it’s his biiirthdaaay♪

Yes, on 21 September, Japan’s fearless leader turned 61. Unfortunately his age is really starting to show in his lack computer savvy. We already know the PM has his own Twitter account after Abe revealed that he pays his Twitter fees just like the rest of us. But apparently he still hasn’t grasped how to use the “@” symbol properly when a message of thanks to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi accidentally went to the wrong guy, who also just happened to help develop Twitter.

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Awesome lunch boxes full of Disney’s Tsum Tsum characters are almost too cute to eat!【Photos】

As we expect you already know, character lunch boxes or “chara-ben,” short for “character bento,” are all the rage in Japan. And their creators are rarely shy about sharing their awesome work, so you can find hundreds of examples of how to make lunch time more adorable on social media networks like Instagram and Twitter.

One of the biggest themes for chara-ben right now is Disney’s Tsum Tsum, a line of stuffed toys that has been adapted into a smartphone game by Line. There were so many great photos, we had to compile our favorite Tsum Tsum chara-ben shots from Instagram for you to check out. But don’t forget to grab a snack, because you’re definitely going to get hungry!

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Is this the oldest cat in the world? Japanese kitty Ai-chan turns 27 【Pics】

Many of the world’s oldest living people are Japanese. Whether it’s down to a healthy diet, good healthcare, or simply the support of friends and family, we can’t say for sure, but all those things certainly help. And now it turns out that even Japan’s kitties are living long lives—Japan’s oldest cat, Ai-chan, has recently celebrated her 27th birthday, and she did it in style!

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Gundam portable shrine appears at local Japanese festival【Photos】

Another festival season and summer is coming to an end. The dragonflies are out and the days are getting shorter, which means fall will soon be upon us.

But before the fireworks fizzle away and the festival food stalls have packed up for good this year, one area in Japan decided to go out with a bang and surprise festival-goers with superb portable shrine, or mikoshi, recreations of some of Japan’s most popular characters, including one famous red mobile suit from the anime classic Gundam.

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Chewbacca and Darth Vader show up in the mountains of Japan thanks to cosplaying outdoorsman

There are certain things you expect to find when hiking through the mountains of Japan, like towering waterfalls, serene temples, and little stands selling soba noodles and dumplings. If you’re lucky, you might even run into some of those awesome hot-spring bathing monkeys.

And if you’re really lucky, you’ll bump into Chewbacca and Darth Vader if you happen to be on the same trail as this cosplayer and his awesome outfits.

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Nagoya-based Japanese-sweets maker wows the Internet and customers with cute animal-themed manju

Namikoshiken is a Nagoya-based sweets store that’s been in business since 1927. They produce some of the most adorable animal-themed manju, buns with various filling like sweet bean jam, we’ve ever seen! With all that experience and a product this cute, it’s hardly a surprise they’re blowing up the Internet with photos of their manju spreading like wildfire online.

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Fourth-generation ikebana artist displays mastery of the Force with amazing new lightsaber rings

The world of custom jewellery has been impressing us lately, with Evangelion couples’ rings and designs based on Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda and even Sailor Moon.

Now it’s time to turn our attention to a galaxy far, far away, where lovers can carry the force on their fingers with matching Star Wars rings featuring gorgeous lightsaber details.

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We’re pretty sure this woman won Tokyo Game Show cosplay with amazing Raiden headgear

Sadly, Tokyo Game Show 2015 is now over, but the buzz created by the event is still tingling in our bellies and in our hearts! Kind of like indigestion, but awesome. We saw and tried a lot of cool stuff, but we couldn’t catch it all, unfortunately. Thankfully, the Internet somehow managed to do just that, including one of the most amazing cosplays we’ve ever seen, hands down.

We’re not sure if anyone can really “win” cosplaying, since everyone wins when you’re having fun, but if there is a champion among all of TGS 2015’s cosplayers, we think it might be this woman’s take on Metal Gear Solid’s Raiden.

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Get a little sass with your glass: Osaka oba-chan cup clingers are here

It is a well-known stereotype in Japan that Osaka oba-chans, or Osaka ladies of a certain mature age, are strong-willed, sassy, love loud clothing, and aren’t afraid to speak their mind. And with cup clingers being all the rage recently, who better to sit on your cup and chastise you then a set of the legendary Osaka oba-chans?

Will you get a mouthy, big-haired cougar-type? Or perhaps you prefer the UV-hating full-body track suit oba-chan? Read on to see all the oba-chans that await you!

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Catbus from Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro found in Finland!

Out of all the things we wish would spring to life from Studio Ghibli’s animated films, the catbus from My Neighbor Totoro would have to be at the top of the list. Who wouldn’t want to ride an enormous, fluffy, bright orange cat over hills and through forests on their daily commute?

As with all great things, if it can’t exist in real life, it can at least exist in the imagination. And there’s one imaginative lad who’s found a way to bring the catbus to life in the cutest way possible. All it takes is two ingredients: a fluffy, compliant cat and some Finnish beer.

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