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Hello Kitty teams up with Playboy for a new kind of cute sexy

Hello Kitty teams up with Playboy for a new kind of cute sexy

Hello Kitty is turning 40, while Playboy is hitting 60, but neither show any signs of slowing down. In fact, the two look better than ever… together.

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Sorry Japan, this Yoshi-themed 3DS XL is just for North America and Europe

Sorry Japan, this Yoshi-themed 3DS XL is just for North America and Europe

Gamers outside of Japan were not doubt disappointed to learn that past limited editions of Nintendo’s popular 3DS portable console were not for sale outside of the company’s homeland, and are likely still sad that they missed out on the Mint White and Pikachu Yellow models that Japanese gamers snapped up in the blink of an eye. But we’re happy to report that for once it’s Japanese gamers who will be turning as green with envy as this Yoshi-emblazoned 3DS XL, as it is heading to North America and Europe only this month alongside the colourful new platformer Yoshi’s New Island.

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US Ambassador Kennedy’s comment about pork irritates Japanese netizens

US Ambassador Kennedy’s comment about pork irritates Japanese netizens

What’s wrong with a little bacon, you say? Pork is one of the most widely consumed meats around the world. But not all pork is the same, as was brought to light recently in Japan.

On a trip to southern Japan a few days ago for a US-Japan joint satellite launch, United States Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy commented that she would like to try a local pork delicacy famous to Kagoshima Prefecture. However, her comment became a hot issue, prompting many Japanese netizens to take their confused and even angry comments online. Keep reading to find out why this seemingly simple comment became such a big deal in light of recent events.

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“Awesome cooks who love money”: 10 things Americans (probably don’t) believe about Chinese people

“Awesome cooks who love money”: 10 things Americans (probably don’t) believe about Chinese people

A snappy little list is currently doing the rounds in Chinese and Japanese media, claiming to detail 10 things Americans think about Chinese people. Did you know that all Chinese people are good at cooking? That China’s men love money more than they love their wives? Or that they all want to wear the same clothes? Neither did we… But in amongst the humdrum negative stereotyping, though, there are some compliments being paid too!

Join us after the jump for 10 things that some Chinese people think Americans think about them!

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The top five manga that should be published in America

The top five manga that should be published in America

Japanese manga fans in the US are probably lamenting the relative stagnancy of the market nowadays compared to its heyday about a decade ago. While American bookstores still stock a large selection of manga and The New York Times publishes a manga section on its bestseller list, it’s about time for a new series to take the US by storm again. The staff of niconico news recently asked one Mr. C, an American veteran of both the Japanese manga industry and DC comics who currently resides in New York City, to share his thoughts about some series that could become big hits if English-language versions were released. Read on to find out his top five manga picks that have the potential to become breakthrough hits in the USA. Who knows, maybe one of these works will usher in a new manga boom in the near future!

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Ghibli’s The Wind Rises earns US$306,000 on opening weekend

Ghibli’s The Wind Rises earns US$306,000 on opening weekend

The Box Office Mojo website reports that Hayao Miyazaki‘s final film, The Wind Rises opened in limited release this weekend in 21 theaters with an estimated US$306,000. Those box office receipts gave the film a per-screen average of US$14,571, the second highest among all films in the United States this weekend (after Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me‘s US$15,000 average on two screens).

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“We came all the way to see THAT?!” The top disappointing sightseeing spots in North America

“We came all the way to see THAT?!” The top disappointing sightseeing spots in North America

Ah, the joys of international travel. You shell out the majority of your paycheck for a ticket and spend sleepless nights counting down the days to your adventure of a lifetime. Then the day of departure finally comes and you board the plane, arriving hours later at your destination and trembling with anticipation. Camera in hand, you journey to the first famous place on your list that you’ve been dreaming about for weeks on end. Finally there, you take a quick look around, eyes widening in surprise, and blurt out, “…that’s it?!” 

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3-D printing in the palm of your hand! The 3Doodler comes to Japan

3-D printing in the palm of your hand! The 3Doodler comes to Japan

Of all the new technologies currently emerging, 3-D printing seems to be the one with the most potential. Though you still can’t download and print a car, the applications for a well-designed and properly calibrated three dimensional printer are seemingly endless!

We’ve previously told you about a Japanese company that will turn your child’s doodles into 3-D works of art, but there’s a new product on the market that lets you skip the initial doodling and go straight to literally drawing in the air. Cleverly named the 3Doodler, the “3D Printing Pen,” as described by its Kickstarter page, completed funding in March of last year and is coming soon to the shores of Japan!

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Our Japanese reporters actually like the Eggstractor, deem it an important step in egg technology

Our Japanese reporters actually like the Eggstractor, deem it an important step in egg technology

Like many people in Japan, the editing department at RocketNews24 recall an episode of the family-themed anime Sazae-san where Sazae’s father brings home an automatic egg cracking machine. It was a wonderful fantasy and kind of depressing that in this age of smartphones and reusable candles we can’t have an automatic egg cracker.

Then word came of such a device from the distant shores of America which could easily shuck the shells from hard-boiled eggs. Although lambasted as a “stupid cheap flimsy product” online, the temptation was too great for them to resist. They quickly placed an order and started boiling some water.

However, in hindsight they probably should have waited a week or so for it to arrive before boiling.

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10 surprising things about America (according to this crazy Japanese travel pamphlet)

10 surprising things about America (according to this crazy Japanese travel pamphlet)

Visitors to Japan are often perplexed or amused by some of its weird and wonderful customs: endless bowing and kneeling, slapping a face mask on at the first sign of a sniffle, the seemingly never-ending cycle of obligation-based gift giving. Then there are the differences between Japanese homes and those in other countries (I for one am sitting on the floor as I write this, eating potato chips with chopsticks to keep my keyboard clean). But how do Japanese tourists feel about the customs and habits of countries they visit?

A Japanese pamphlet offering advice to people travelling to America has surfaced on the internet, and it’s now been translated into English for you. Let’s take a look at some of the things Japanese people thought were weird about America, starting with … some crazy thing called “dinner plates”!

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Hayao Miyazaki, Rumiko Takahashi nominated for Eisner Hall of Fame

Hayao Miyazaki, Rumiko Takahashi nominated for Eisner Hall of Fame

Comic-Con International announced on Wednesday that the Eisner Awards judges have selected three individuals for the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame this year, as well as 14 nominees for four more inductees.

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Insult or homage? Lady (Taking a) Liberty toys have us scratching our heads

Insult or homage? Lady (Taking a) Liberty toys have us scratching our heads

We’ve covered the strange world of gachapon toys on this site before. They are those vending machines that spit out an item in a plastic egg, and any bank of gachapon machines in Japan is sure to have a few bizarre offerings. Twitter user @dradon3 recently spotted this mystifying toy depicting the Statue of Liberty feeling free enough to let it all hang out. Says the ad copy, “Be free from all restraints that bind you.”

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The Wind Rises U.S. TV spots streamed

The Wind Rises U.S. TV spots streamed

The official channel for Hayao Miyazaki‘s final feature film, The Wind Rises began streaming two English television commercials on Monday.

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What will Ma-kun mean for New York?

What will Ma-kun mean for New York?

New York Yankees’ pitchers and catchers report to spring training on February 14, and among the new faces will be Masahiro Tanaka, a 25-year-old phenom from Japan who signed a seven-year, US$155 million deal in late January.

Ma-kun, as Tanaka is affectionately known (“kun” is an informal Japanese suffix generally used to address young boys or subordinates), is coming off an unbelievable season, going 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA. He also had eight complete games, more than any MLB team in 2013. Now it’s time to test his arm against MLB lineups.

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Historic Los Angeles donut shop makes our trip across the sea completely worthwhile

Historic Los Angeles donut shop makes our trip across the sea completely worthwhile

In many ways, Japan is a wonderland of desserts, a place with cherry blossom lattes, roasted tea parfaits, and even suicide-themed bean cakes. Still, the country is rather lacking when it comes to donuts. The indigenous Mr. Donut chain has branches all over, but while their products are indeed tasty, they’re usually a little on the bland side.

If you want the full-fledged flavor of an authentic donut, you’ve got to visit one of the American outfits in Japan, such as Krispy Kreme or Donut Plant. Unfortunately, Donut Plant locations are few and far between, and the lines at Japan’s Krispy Kremes are ridiculously long, so there’s no way for us to get our hands on the real deal without a bit of time and travel.

Since we’d already tossed subtlety out the window as far as flavor is concerned, we decided to do the same for the scale of our search for donut satisfaction. We hopped on a plane, leaving the Land of the Rising Sun and heading for the Land of the Ring-Shaped Cake, America.

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Seven Japanese drugstore beauty products loved by women abroad

Seven Japanese drugstore beauty products loved by women abroad

When it comes to product quality and innovation, Japanese makers are the cream of the crop, with exceptional achievements in the automobile and electronics sector. Apart from high-tech machinery, the Japanese also create beauty products of excellent quality and value, something that they’re rarely recognized for outside of Asia.

Beauty and fashion website, The Cut by New York magazine spills that makeup artists backstage at Fashion Week often use beauty tools and cosmetics from Japan. The Cut, together with Japanese makeup artist Maki Ryoke, shares seven Japanese drugstore beauty buys that even women in the West are in love with!

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Artist depicts beloved video game Katamari Damacy in traditional Japanese ukiyo-e style

Artist depicts beloved video game Katamari Damacy in traditional Japanese ukiyo-e style

Regular readers will no doubt know that we at RocketNews24 love video games. And as anyone with a pair of eyes in their head can tell from a quick glance at our site, we live and breathe Japan and Asia as a whole. So when we stumbled upon these works of art, which combine traditional Japanese woodblock printing and one of our favourite games ever, Katamari Damacy, we simply had to share them with you.

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Japanese designer creates collection of gorgeous perfume bottles based on Disney villains

Japanese designer creates collection of gorgeous perfume bottles based on Disney villains

While Disney princesses have seen their stock steadily rising for the past several years, it seems the villains from the renowned animation house are finally getting their due, such as with the upcoming Angelina Jolie film Maleficent. Perhaps this is connected to the recent crop of dark fairy tale reimaginings such as TV series Once Upon a Time and Grimm, and the opportunities for greater complexity presented by antagonists make them more compelling characters for adults to watch. Or, maybe after enough viewings, the characters we love to hate slowly metamorphose into the characters we simply love.

For the woman who is mature enough to appreciate the dark sophistication of these characters over the bubbly effervescence of their tales’ respective heroes and heroines, as well as enjoy a spritz of an enchanting scent, there’s no better way to store her fragrances than with a set of perfume bottles shaped like Disney villains.

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How the meaning of “quality” differs between the U.S., Japan, Korea, and China

How the meaning of “quality” differs between the U.S., Japan, Korea, and China

Quick, what color means “go” at a traffic signal? If you speak English, odds are you just said “green” (and if you don’t speak English, why are you here? The articles with pictures of cute girls and cool robots are in a different part of the site).

On the other hand, in Japanese that same light is considered ao, which translates as “blue.” Crazy as it may seem, the Japanese concept of the color extends all the way down to the hues of traffic signals and mountain forests. It’s just one example of how the same word can have different meanings in different cultures.

OK, so that may be true for artsy fartsy things like colors, but surely this kind of linguistic flatulence isn’t present in the world of business, right? Wrong. Even seemingly simple things like the term “quality” can have vastly different meanings depending on the nation, as one expert demonstrates by explaining the differing definitions consumers in the U.S., Japan, Korea, and China have for it.

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Hollywood blacksmith forges Sephiroth’s massive sword from Final Fantasy VII【Video】

Hollywood blacksmith forges Sephiroth’s massive sword from Final Fantasy VII【Video】

When Final Fantasy VII hit PlayStations around the globe in 1997, featuring some of the most gorgeous graphics and CG cut-scenes gamers had ever seen, it single-handedly opened up the Western market to Japanese console RPGs. In years since, though, there’s been some contention over just how deserving developer Square’s biggest hit ever is of its exalted place in video game lore. Does it have a gripping story, or does the narrative become a confused mess after its midgame plot twist? Do the title’s numerous mini games flesh out its world, or is spending hours breeding giant flightless birds to race for sport both silly and boring?

But no matter which side of the debate you fall on, there’s one thing gamers everywhere can agree on: Final Fantasy VII’s antagonist, Sephiroth, is a stone-cold badass. Now, Hollywood blacksmith Tony Swatton has brought the villain’s iconic weapon, the gigantic blade named Masamune, to life.

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