SE Asia

Samurai cats look awesome, teach us about Japanese history and culture at the same time

Over the years here at RocketNews24, we’ve brought you news of cats in kimonos, kittens in coffees and sushi cats that fly through the air. So as soon as we stumbled upon a collection of mighty samurai cats being awesome, we knew it was our duty to bring them to everyone’s attention.

These warrior felines wrestle with giant fish and ride on tigers but they also teach us a thing or two about history and pop culture in Japan. Can you guess what famous Japanese movie inspired the group of cats in the image above?

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Thai celebrities join in as “Don’t Judge Challenge” takes a turn in the opposite direction

Oh, the Internet and its hours of mindless entertainment and controversy. The latest trend, hitting all the main photo and video sharing networks, has been the “Don’t Judge Challenge.” While it all started with a positive, self-esteem raising message, it’s turned into something that is quite the contrary. Some Thai celebrities have started joining in on the “challenge”, but not everyone is happy about it.

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Charcoal, a 45-pound cat, loves playing with boxes — and gnawing on them too!【Video】

We love cats. And cats loves boxes. But where most cats like to play with cardboard boxes, hide in them and sleep in them, Charcol finds far more satisfaction in chewing them up instead!

Check out a video of the giant feline demolishing a box below!

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Who needs bread when you have fried chicken? Try all of your comfort foods revamped by KFC

Does anyone out there still adhere to the low-carb diet? You know, the one where you have to give up all sorts of bread-y goodness under the presumption that carbohydrates make you fat, and that upping the protein in your diet would somehow help you to lose weight? Well, if you’re in to that sort of torture, fast food chain KFC may have something for you, as stores worldwide have put out various twists on old favorites by replacing burger and hot dog buns with chicken, and now KFCs in the Philippines are upping the game with their new, extremely limited crustless chicken pizza.

And sorry, low-carbers, we lied. As breaded, deep-fried chicken isn’t exactly a proper alternative, you may want to turn away now to avoid temptation. Everyone else, you may proceed to the wonder that is the “Chizza“.

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Filipino Superman injects self with controversial ab-fillers, just wants to make kids smile

Just how far are you willing to go to transform into your favorite childhood superhero?

Meet Herbert Chavez, who has, in fact, undergone 23 surgeries to effectively become a living version of the Man of Steel himself–or as he puts it, the “Man of Plastic.” But despite the celebrity status that comes along with being the alter-ego of a real-life Clark Kent, do the benefits really outweigh the risks?

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Uniqlo introduces special range of “modest clothing” for Muslims in Singapore and Malaysia

We’ve spoken a little before about how Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo has (arguably) kind of a dorky image in Japan. But you can’t fault the brand’s dedication to functional fashion, as well as their market savvy. By bringing out a range of Muslim-appropriate clothing for its stores in Singapore and Malaysia, Uniqlo has demonstrated once again why they should be everyone’s go-to place for stocking up on wardrobe essentials.

Let’s check out the new range!

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Hanoi man lets dog drive motorbike, police say “Bad boy!”【Video】

The SPCA has taught me that dogs can technically drive. But that doesn’t mean we should be handing them the keys and making them designated driver for Katy’s hen do. I mean, besides the fact they don’t even have thumbs, lovably distractable dogs are likely to veer off the road in pursuit of squirrels, other dogs’ butts, a weird shadow and pretty much anything they can put in their mouths. They’re clearly a hazard to other drivers.

And that’s why the police in Hanoi are looking for a man filmed speeding down the road at night letting his dog steer the bike.

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Thailand’s biggest Batman fan opens a museum with his own 50,000-piece collection

There are some people out there who aren’t afraid to take their fandom to a whole new level. Take Somchai Nitimongkolchai from Thailand, for example, who opened up a museum dedicated to his most favorite superhero of all time – the one and only Batman.

The unique thing about this exhibit, though, is that everything in the museum is part of Somchai’s very own private collection of over 50,000 pieces, including one-of-a-kind figures, posters, a LEGO-replica of Gotham City, and yes, of course, even the Batmobile.

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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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