SE Asia

Doraemon replaces live cat for Thai rain ritual

In the village of Wang Luang in northern Thailand’s Phrae Province, there is a traditional ritual held to end a drought that involves putting a live cat in a cage, parading it around town and splashing it with water. The cat’s cries were said to call down rain.

As the area is currently in the grips of a severe drought, the villagers held the ritual again this week, but with one key change: robot cat Doraemon stepped in as the caged feline.

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Our Japanese reporter offers up some safety advice for anyone traveling to Southeast Asia

‘The other day, I felt a tap on my back while at a Japanese-style shopping mall in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I turned around and there was a beautiful, wide-eyed woman smiling at me. She asked me a favor in broken English: “I don’t have any friends in this city, and I’d like to hear more about Japan. Won’t you get dinner with me?”

I was surprised at myself by my cold reaction–“Ah, not another one.” Despite my efforts to ignore her, she continued pestering me, this time asking how long I was planning to stay in Cambodia. When I responded, “I’ve lived here for over 15 years, she promptly disappeared with a creepy cackling noise.’

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Is it really still 2015? Some Japanese netizens must be living in the future because over the past 18 months, they’ve had their hearts throbbing for “once-in-a-thousand-years” and “once-in-two-thousand-years” idols in Japan, a “once-in-four-thousand-years” idol in China, and now a gravure model from Vietnam has been crowned to join the millennia babe ranks.

Rocketeers, meet Japan’s latest “thousand-year” sweetheart, Elly Tran Ha.

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Businessman ‘wins’ 4-year battle with Singapore Airlines after being downgraded to economy class

Anyone who is a frequent traveler has probably had their share of ups and downs when flying. But just how far would you go to make an airline pay for a minor inconvenience?

One Mr. GRK Reddy, an Indian businessmen, felt that he was so damaged by Singapore Airlines’ sudden decision to downgrade him from business to economy class back in 2011 that he decided to take legal action against the airline, demanding compensation of approximately US$83,000.

Four years later, Mr Reddy has finally been awarded his compensation, but it’s slightly less than the amount he originally requested…

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Thai university student and “otoko no ko” Jade Woe has all the brains AND beauty, too!

“Otoko no ko”, beautiful boys who can easily pass for girls when they try to, are a favourite of Japan’s netizens (and us!). Who doesn’t love marvelling at stunningly beautiful people, whatever the gender? Here at RocketNews24, we’ve brought you more than a handful of cute beauties, and here’s another one for you… Thai university student Jade Woe!

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Fan shows how to snap a picture of you and your 2-D crush sharing a passionate embrace

Last weekend the inaugural CharaExpo, a celebration of Japanese animation, comics, and video games, was held in Singapore. The event hosted artists, musicians, and voice actors, plus independent dojinshi producers and cosplayers, and also had an array of exhibit booths from a variety of game and anime companies.

At one booth, fans could take photos with some of the characters from Touken Ranbu, the computer game that’s been winning the heart of female otaku for the way it turns historical Japanese swords into handsome young samurai hotties. But while taking a picture with a flesh-and-blood celebrity crush means he might affectionately put an arm around you as you smile for the camera, you can’t ask a cardboard cutout to do the same. However, one attendee has shown that with a little creativity you can take a photo that makes it look like you’re in the passionate embrace of your inanimate anime crush.

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Indian apparel company’s ad is making waves for being the first ever to feature a lesbian couple

In many countries around the world. LGBT rights are an obvious facet of equality, but in many other countries the struggle for progress is very slow going. Take India for example, which still forbids homosexuality by law, and anyone convicted can face up to 10 year of imprisonment with hard labor.

That’s why this short-movie advertisement by apparel company Anouk is grabbing so much attention for its bold decision to include a lesbian couple.

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Thai animators produce a touching tribute to Studio Ghibli【Video】

Proving once again that Studio Ghibli is one of the most treasured and influential movie makers in the world, a group of Thai animators has released a fun and endearing tribute to every Ghibli movie. Captured in their video are all 20 movies that span the storied studio’s filmography. Can you catch all the references within?

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Culturally confusing Vietnamese Burger King found selling Japanese food

Recently our Southeast Asia correspondent Kowloon Kurosawa took a trip from his current residence in Cambodia to the neighboring country of Vietnam. Following standard RocketNews24 foreign travel protocol he soon made his way to a Burger King in Ho Chi Minh City.

However, what he found surprised even our cholestorol-hardened reporter. This Burger King has a special combo menu called Rice King. Not only that but it contained a teriyaki tonkatsu combo!

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Hilarious diving fail or solidarity between teammates?【Video】

As an amateur athlete there is nothing more worthwhile and thrilling than representing your country at a major competition. However, there is also nothing more heart-wrenching than failing on such a big stage. For this pair of Filipino divers, they might have scored 0.0 on their dives, but they scored a perfect 10 in Internet comedy. Their performance has unfortunately brought up the question of whether or not these horrendous attempts were intentional.

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Crazy Filipino DJ literally turns up the heat with his stove “turntable”【Video】

With the increased popularity of house and dance music, the DJs behind the booths have been becoming celebrities with massive followings and fan bases.

While not necessarily a big name before, this Filipino DJ has found his niche not by standing behind the electronic mixing turntables you might expect, but by “DJing” one of the most useful appliances in his kitchen: the gas stove.

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Artist reimagines alternate universe of Captain America: Civil Wok

In an alternate universe envisioned by Singaporean artist Tan Kwang Yang, it looks like the Avengers have ditched the whole “saving-the-world-act” and decided to pursue other lines of business.

Check out Tan’s neatly drawn little glimpse at such a world after the jump!

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Just six Shiba Inu chillin’ out at a pizza party【Photos】

Here at RocketNews24 we advocate responsible pet ownership. So don’t rush out and buy a Shiba Inu just because they’re totally, incredibly, frickin’ adorable. Stay at home instead! And look at these amazing photos of a family in Hong Kong that has six Shiba.

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36 more humorous glimpses of Asia 【Pics】

Need a little laugh to help ease yourself into the week?

In the past, we’ve featured some photo fun from Asia35 signs you might be in Asia, as well as 39 looks at the lighter side of Asia. This time, we’re bringing you 36 more bizarre, comical, and downright nonsensical scenes from around Asia!

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Anime idols going abroad as Love Live! movie announced for release in U.S., 12 other territories

Not so long ago, being a Japanese idol singer was purely a domestic gig, with even the biggest stars of the genre remaining more or less unknown outside their home country. But thanks to the spread of Japanese pop culture around the world over the last decade and a half, that’s not really the case anymore. These days, it’s not uncommon for J-pop idols, especially those with an anime connection to boost their foreign exposure, to make appearances overseas.

Now, in a case of animated art imitating life, the high school idols of Love Love!, Japan’s biggest current idol anime hit, will be heading abroad as the upcoming Love Live! theatrical feature has been announced for international release.

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Japanese restaurant in Thailand hangs lanterns announcing “I love boobies” and other philosophes

Even after living in Japan for more than a decade, I still get excited when I see a restaurant with paper lanterns hanging out in front of it. The mix of vibrant colors and bold calligraphy is just so uniquely Japanese that it instantly fills me with a sense of excitement.

Of course, just a bit of the eroticism has faded over time, especially now that I can read the calligraphy and tell that it usually doesn’t say anything more dramatic than “draft beer” or “grilled chicken skewers.” But while those lanterns are usually giving the menu highlights in Japan, at this Japanese restaurant in Thailand, they’re instead plastered with non sequiturs, gags, and the occasional philosophical declaration and/or love letter to women’s breasts.

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Young Singaporean celebrates World No Tobacco Day by attacking random smokers in public

World No Tobacco Day is coming up again this 31 May. This is a day when smokers all around the world are encouraged to abstain from smoking, and it’s a day when smokers everywhere ignore said encouragement.

Personally, I plan to celebrate it by not taking up smoking on that day. It’ll be a challenge but I think I can pull it off. Others, however, are taking a more proactive approach to this event such as Sebes from Merlion TV in Singapore.

In honor of the holiday he has gone out and pulled “pranks” on unsuspecting smokers around the city-state. I would assume all of these pranks legally classify as assault, but then again I’m no Singaporean law expert… Let’s watch!

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Boxers in the Philippines fight blindfolded, show us why they shouldn’t 【Video】

One of the best scenes in any martial arts movie is when a skilled fighter shows off just how powerful he is by fighting blindfolded. After all, a true master of hand-to-hand combat should be able to utilize his other senses to defeat his opponent.

But if one blindfolded pugilist is cool, two blindfolded combatants going against each other must be even more awesome, right? Not always, but it does make for plenty of physical comedy, as this video of blindfolded boxing shows.

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Are you too chicken to eat a chicken comb?

Chicken legs, drumsticks, wings, breasts, feet, and now the comb? What will they think of next?

Letting no part go to waste, the latest food trend that people are crowing about is the chicken’s comb (cockscomb) or crest (the red mohawk-like fleshy part of a chicken’s forehead). But are you too chicken to try it?

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Anime lingerie set is clearly inspired by Cardcaptor Sakura, copyright status somewhat murkier

While Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon remains the most famous and marketable member of the pantheon, she’s not the only anime magical girl with a devoted and passionate following. Four-member manga creative team Clamp has dipped its collective 40 toes in the genre from time to time, most successfully with Cardcaptor Sakura, which debuted in 1996.

In the run-up to the series’ 20th anniversary, we’ve been seeing more and more Sakura items being pitched to fans who grew up loving the franchise. Now it seems like someone has designed the most adult merchandise yet: Cardcaptor Sakura lingerie.

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