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Presidential Pokémon have our vote as today’s coolest fan art

Japanese animation and video games have a long-standing tradition of creating cute and/or super powered versions of prominent figures from the country’s history. In the U.S., we don’t really do this as often, and you might jump to the conclusion that the deck is stacked in Japan’s favor, seeing as how so many of their rulers were also katana-carrying samurai.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll find plenty of action protagonist potential among American presidents, from Abraham Lincoln’s wrestling skills to Andrew Jackson’s well-documented love of shooting dudes. And as for making them adorable? Leave that to Utah artist Brandon Dayton, who’s reimagined nine Pokémon as U.S. heads of state.

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【TBT】What if Totoro were real? US artist brings Studio Ghibli characters to life in shocking detail

From Totoro to Ponyo, Studio Ghibli’s characters are adored by millions of people the world over. But if those cute and cuddly creations were given a more realistic makeover would be still be quite so fond of them? If Totoro went from “Aaaaw” to “Arrrgh!” would quite so many kids insist on being tucked into a Ghibli bed-spread each night?

US artist and owner of one of the best names ever Andrew Michael Golden may be familiar to some readers for his “Videogame Characters in Real Life” series which went viral back in September this year. Well, since then he’s been hard at work bringing all of your Studio Ghibli favourites into our world.

And, goodness me, they’re eye-catching…

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Some fans love Pharrell’s “It Girl” video, others call him a pedophile【Video】

Last summer the international pop-star Pharrell Williams rocked Japan with his single, “Happy,” which launched countless fan-made remakes across the country. Joining in with the “happy” Japanese people, he has since collaborated with renowned artist Takashi Murakami to make a remix of virtual star Hatsune Miku’s video “Last Night, Good Night (Re:Dialed).” This time around, however, Pharrell is trying to bring fun Japanese culture to the rest of the world.

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I Won’t Let You Down: new music video from OK Go wows us with Honda drones and unicycles

OK Go, the alternative rock band who blew us away with their unique treadmill choreography in the music video for their 2006 hit Here It Goes Again, have come out with an even more impressive video, this time featuring dozens of Japanese girls, a drone and a motorised unicycle from Honda.

Filmed in Japan and inspired by the group’s trip to the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo, this latest music video was released on October 27 and has already reached close to two million views on YouTube. Check out the video after the break to see just how awesome these boys can be when they team up with a leading director and choreographer from Japan.

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Meet Menswear Dog, the world’s most stylish Shiba Inu【Photos】

Bodhi is a five-year-old Shiba who lives in New York City. He’s also a talented model and one of the best-dressed dogs on the planet, so it’s no wonder he’s already racked up 150,000 followers on Instagram.

Owners Yena Kim, a former designer at Ralph Lauren, and her boyfriend David Fung started dressing Bodhi up for fun last year, posting the pictures to Facebook as a joke. Now Menswear Dog is so doggone lucrative, they’ve both been able to quit their full-time jobs to work with him.

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The Simpsons Halloween episode pays tribute to popular anime

The Simpsons had some fun last night in their “Treehouse of Horror XXV” Halloween episode, imagining a world where multiple incarnations of the Simpsons family has been created by an evil marketing entity.

Amongst them was a tribute to some popular anime titles, including Attack on Titan, NarutoPokémon, Bleach, One Piece, and Spirited Away.

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China and the US have very different stereotypes for the same cars

The Chinese auto market is a young one, but it is already the world’s biggest, and a key region for the global auto industry.

But to sell cars there, it’s more than a question of translating manuals and opening a few dealerships.

Over the last 30 years, according to the New York Times, the Chinese public has also formed some very strong opinions as to who drives a particular make and model and why — and those views are often at odds with how brands are perceived in the U.S.

For non-Chinese automakers, understanding those perceptions is key to putting more cars on the road.

[An earlier version of this article was written by Alex Davies and Travis Okulski.]

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Somebody turned a Disney Channel cartoon into an anime and it’s pretty awesome

There are a lot of topsy-turvy world “What if…?” scenarios to ponder. Like, “What if I’d invested the money from my crappy summer job as a kid instead of blowing it all on Fruit by the Foot?,” “What if John Candy had lived to make Cool Runnings 2?,” or even, “What if cats ruled the world?” (oh wait, that one’s true…).

But if you were ever wondering what the world would be like if Disney were run entirely by Japanese people, it looks like a particularly talented animator with a love of anime has taken the time to give you a short glimpse of that scenario with this awesome anime tribute titled, “What if Gravity Falls was an anime?”

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Dragon Ball Z voice actors go crazy in the booth, show just how tough the job can be【Video】

Voice acting seems like it should be a pretty cushy job. You sit in a booth, slip into character, and just, well, talk. Nothing to it right?

Well, for quieter scenes, that may be true, but it’s hard to get a proper performance for a fight sequence without really throwing yourself into the role. So while it may not be as physical as live-action stunt work, when the vocal cast of the newest Dragon Ball Z movie showed up to do their lines, they worked every muscle in their throats and faces, plus a few more, as seen in this video of the recording session.

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Hatsune Miku performs “live” on David Letterman! We love it, not sure he does though…【Video】

Hatsune Miku made her American TV debut on Wednesday night, performing on none other than the Late Show with David Letterman. Miku, of course, is a vocaloid, a super-famous Japanese idol who just happens to be virtual. The turquoise-haired star surprised viewers by performing an English song, “Sharing the World”.

Mr. Letterman, meanwhile, looked a little nonplussed.

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Dressing up as Final Fantasy’s Squall for Halloween? You need this real-life gunblade 【Video】

Back at the start of the year, we all had the urge to go out and fight some monsters when we saw Hollywood blacksmith Tony Swatton recreate the massive sword wielded by Final Fantasy VII’s Sephiroth. Of course, Sephiroth is just one member of the gigantic collective cast of the long-running video game franchise. With so many more iconic weapons to choose from, it was only a matter of time until craftsmen went to work on armaments from the other games in the series, and next up is a real-life version of Squall’s gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII.

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An American steakhouse bid in a private Japanese wagyu beef auction for the first time

On Monday night about two dozen journalists, steak-enthusiasts and all-around hungry people gathered in a private room at Old Homestead Steakhouse in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District to enjoy an experience months in the making.

For the first time ever, Americans were about to dine on the highest quality Japanese Wagyu steak purchased at one of the country’s exclusive beef auctions. Greg Sherry, a co-owner of Old Homestead along with his brother Marc, traveled to Japan’s Gunma prefecture to bid on some beef and bring it back home.

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Time zone quirk lets expat in Japan share opposite side of the sunset with parents in U.S.

For expats in Japan, one thing that takes some serious getting used to is the time difference. With several time zones’ worth of ocean separating Japan and the U.S., for example, a quick calculation of the local time is always a necessity before calling home. Even then, there’s often a twinge of sadness that comes from that vague disconnect of knowing that it might be afternoon where you are, but the middle of the night where the rest of your family is.

But while the times on the clock might never match between Japan and Florida, an American in Japan discovered that there’s one time a day when things are close enough.

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US Department of State announces lucky winners of green card lottery

The US Department of State announced on its website the number of people from each region chosen for their 2013 visa lottery program, also known as the green card lottery. Those lucky enough to be chosen will then go through the application process to receive a visa granting them permanent residency in the good old US of A. Read on for more details about the lottery and to learn which parts of the world received the most visas.

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Make your own chocolate, cake or popsicle game controllers with these molds from ThinkGeek

If there’s one thing that makes video gaming even more fun than it already is, it’s appropriate snack food. And while we’d never normally suggest that chocolate and controllers could possibly be a good combination (seriously, greasy controllers are a big no-no), we can safely say that you won’t find a more appropriate gaming fuel accompaniment than a plate of tiny, edible classic controllers.

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Big in Japan, not so much in the U.S. – Fangirl furious over Arashi concert ticket price gap

For many of Japan’s most successful music acts, there’s a huge gap between their popularity at home and abroad. Five-man vocal unit Arashi has been at the top of Japan’s boy band heap for years, and while they’ve picked up a few ardent devotees in the U.S., their fan base there is miniscule compared to their legions of followers in Japan.

This became even clearer than usual last week, when Arashi had a concert in Hawaii. The effective cost of a ticket bought in Japan for the event calculates out to some 100,000 yen (US$925), but in Hawaii, you could pick up a ticket for less than a fifth of that price.

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If you love sushi so much, why don’t you marry it with these sushi rings and pendants?

I love sushi. I really can’t overstate that fact, and it’s to the point that I’d totally understand if you asked, “If you love sushi so much, why don’t you marry it?”

First, I’m already married, and there are several ways in which my lovely and human wife is a superior spouse compared to a slice of raw fish, no matter how delicious the latter may be. Second, even if I were single and ready to take my relationship with Japanese cuisine’s most famous discipline to the next level, what kind of ring would I use to propose?

Here with the answer is American designer Carolyn Tillie, who’s crafted a whole line of sushi-themed accessories.

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Ghibli’s new Princess Kaguya trailer previews English dub

Apple’s iTunes service released a trailer for the English dub of Studio Ghibli and Isao Takahata‘s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya on Monday.

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Anime con aboard aircraft carrier attracts moe warships of all kinds, from the cute to the manly

This month Kantai Con, ‘the anime convention on an aircraft carrier’, was held aboard the USS Yorktown in South Carolina, and attracted some fabulous cosplayers dressed up as the hottest warships in town.

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Family: Utah man was cosplaying Samurai Champloo when shot, killed by police

The lawyer for the family of Darrien Hunt, the 22-year-old man allegedly shot and killed by police officers in Saratoga Springs, Utah last week, said that the family believes Hunt was cosplaying an anime character when he was shot. In particular, the family’s attorney Randall Edwards said that they believe Hunt was dressed as the character Mugen from the anime Samurai Champloo, with a Japanese-style katana sword on his back.

On September 10, two officers confronted Hunt while he was carrying the sword near a credit union in Saratoga Springs. After one shot was fired near the credit union, Hunt was shot and killed about 200 yards away near a Panda Express restaurant.

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