USA

This Metal Gear REX outfit is so huge it needs a team of helpers to be put on 【Video】

On display at last month’s Otakon anime convention, this incredible feat of cosplay blurs the line between outfit and scale model, with the wearer requiring a small team to help them put it on.

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Our Japanese correspondent tries sushi in San Diego and falls in love with the authentic flavor

During our Japanese correspondent Yoshios recent trip to San Diego’s Comic-Con, he was struck by an insatiable craving to eat some quality sushi. From what he’d previously heard, while most American sushi restaurants offer western-inspired uramaki ‘inside-out’ rolls such as the California roll, it would be harder to find nigirizushi (the kind with a topping over a block of rice) on the menu. So what’s a hungry guy far from home to do?

After asking several Japanese people living in the area, Yoshio headed over to the highly recommended Sushi Ota. He went in with some reservations about the authenticity of the sushi, being outside of Japan and all, but left after a mind-blowing experience–in fact, he now considers Sushi Ota to be in the top three sushi restaurants he’s ever been to!

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Hayao Miyazaki to receive honorary lifetime achievement Oscar

It’s been over a year since the Japanese release of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki’s last film, The Wind Rises. A highly personal film which serves as a powerful closing statement to his storied career, many had hoped it would win Miyazaki his second Oscar, only for the nod in the Best Animated Feature category go to Disney’s juggernaut (and endorser of traditional Japanese cuisine) Frozen.

That doesn’t mean the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has no love for Miyazaki, though, as it’ll soon be bestowing an honorary lifetime achievement award upon him.

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Fox’s Animation Domination HD pays tribute to Ghibli with new video

While Fox’s Animation Domination High-Def has a long history of skewering anime properties and tropes, like this battle between Naruto and Sasuke, the ultimate anime hero, and super-powered schoolgirls, it’s all out of love. And now, in response to Studio Ghibli‘s announcement that it may dismantle its production department, ADHD has posted a tribute video called “Goodbye, Ghibli.”

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“Again with the ninjas…” Japan reacts to the American Yoshinoya commercial online

One of the great joys of RocketNews24 editors and writers is getting to see how fast food chains operate in different countries. The sometimes slight and sometime huge changes to the menu can really give us more insight into the local cultures than you might expect. However, for the most part these multinational restaurants originate from the USA, so it’s really a special treat to see how the huge gyudon (beef bowl) chain Yoshinoya looks when localized for American customers’ tastes.

Recently a commercial for the salaryman’s favorite restaurant was posted on YouTube and drew some curious opinions from those back in its home country. The response was largely positive, especially regarding the American take on Yoshinoya food, but some wished the US would stop with the whole Japan = ninjas thing already.

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Pizza Hut in Japan is now run by four bossy felines in new adorable campaign

In Japan, there’s the phrase “neko no te mo karitai” (literally “want to borrow even a cat’s hand”), meaning that you’re so busy, you even want the cat to help. Well, Pizza Hut took this idiom to heart in its new campaign, hiring four rough-and-tumble cats to manage a franchise called Pizza Cat! As you’ll see in the dramatic “movie trailer,” these cats are fired up and can’t wait to rescue people who’re too busy to prepare dinner.

Read on to learn more about the comical and kawaii campaign, and to watch a few of the 15-second promotional videos that reveal what would happen if cats really lent a paw. Plus, if you live in Japan you may even have a chance to win a Pizza Hut hat for cats. So are felines one opposable thumb away from world domination, or are we slowly approaching a utopia in which pets will fetch us pizza? And hey, didn’t Samurai Pizza Cats already get started on both?

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Toronto Film Festival to host North American premiere of Princess Kaguya, Ghibli documentary

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will host the North American premiere Isao Takahata‘s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and director Mami Sunada’s The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness documentary about Studio Ghibli next month. Princess Kaguya will premiere with English subtitles on September 5 with Takahata present for the screening. The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness will premiere on Monday, September 8.

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Monsters of Shamisen: New music for an old instrument 【J-Tunes】

When it comes to Japanese music, one of the most iconic sounds is that of the tsugaru-jamisen. We’ve written about musicians playing the folk instrument before, but today we have a group with a traditional, but decidedly unique, approach: the three-man group Monsters of Shamisen.

From heavy metal to traditional Japanese music and throat singing, there’s sure to be something here for everyone!

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Our Japanese writer discovers a surprising escalator in the US, declares America Best Place Ever

Target is America’s second-largest retailer, and its humongous stores have everything you could possibly need, from food to clothing to household goods. For a Japanese person visiting America for the first time these stores can be a tourist attraction in themselves as they gaze at the enormity of it all, and then leave without buying anything because it’s too overwhelming and they’re scared of doing something wrong.

However, our writer Japanese found something in a Target store that may even surprise Americans too.

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What’s better than sushi? Ramen sushi!

If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll see that inside this sushi roll there’s no rice. Instead, it’s filled with the goodness of instant noodles!

The lifeblood of students, singles and people who just don’t have time to cook, the humble noodle has been used in many ways over the years and now it’s seeing a new dawn, wrapped in a roll and plated up as sushi. And did I mention this baby is wrapped in bacon?

We’ll give you the easy, step-by-step recipe after the jump, but purists be warned: the following images may disturb. Everybody else: come on in and take a seat!

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Ghibli’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya gets a North American release date and new trailer 【Video】

With Hayao Miyazaki being the most recognized face of Studio Ghibli, and producer Toshio Suzuki the most currently active, there’s usually not a lot of room left in the spotlight for director Isao Takahata. One of Ghibli’s founding members, Takahata served as producer for the company’s first official release, Castle in the Sky, and his written and directed five films for Japan’s most respected animation house including the critically acclaimed Grave of the Fireflies.

Fans of Takahata’s work have learned to be patient, though, as his most recent film, 2013’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, came 14 years after his previous feature, 1999’s largely forgotten My Neighbors the Yamadas. Foreign fans have had to wait even longer, but Princess Kaguya is almost ready to head overseas, as distributor GKids has announced a release date and put out a teaser trailer to whet North America’s appetite.

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Being punched in the face by Ichiro is the best moment of this girl’s life【Video】

On August 6 baseball magazine Baseball America chose Ichiro Suzuki as their number one on a list of the ‘Top 10 Most Prodigious Best Tools Winners Of The Millennium’, beating out greats such as Pujols and Verlander.

Of course he’s a legend in his home country of Japan, but during his many years in the major league he’s also gained plenty of American fans. To celebrate his win, we want to share this video of a ‘super happy Ichiro fan’, with ‘super happy’ being somewhat of an understatement.

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Gangnam Style tops Billboard chart again in 2014, continues to toy with PSY’s emotions

It was back in the summer of 2012 when “Gangnam Style” was released. Thanks in part to YouTube, the single transformed South Korean rapper PSY into a worldwide pop phenomenon. But nothing lasts forever, and although it had a remarkably good run on the charts, general interest in the mega-hit gradually waned.

Since then, PSY has been hard at work coming up with other singles such as “Gentleman” and “Hangover”, but neither have captivated the public’s interest to the same degree. It’s a hard degree to surpass, however, as in just the past week, “Gangnam Style” reached number one again on the Billboard charts. This surely comes as bittersweet news to PSY who by now has got to be completely burnt out on performing that song over and over… and over again.

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Ghost in the Shell Arise #1-2’s English dub cast announced

Funimation announced the English dub cast for Ghost in the Shell Arise episodes one and two at its Otakon panel on Saturday.

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Nine things the US does better than Japan (according to our cosplaying Japanese reporter)

After a long week of Comic-Con and coming down off the high of crossdress cosplaying as Sailor Venus, our intrepid Japanese reporter, Yoshio, settled back into life in his home country and has taken some time to reflect on his trip. Yoshio has been to the US nearly a dozen times, but there are always several things that impress him. The following is a translation of his impressions and the nine things he thinks the US does better than Japan.

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Sailor Moon tribute art show now on in California — come join the masquerade this weekend!

With the Sailor Moon series currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, we’ve heard plenty of news about special events and products commemorating the occasion here in Japan. But what about fans who are outside of Japan? Well, if you’re a fan of the lovely sailor uniform clad ladies and you’re going to be in California during this month, you may want to check out the exhibit Moon Crisis: A Sailor Moon Tribute Art Show now going on at the Rothick Art Haus in Anaheim, California — because what can be more fun than an art show bringing together fans and artwork of your favorite manga/anime, right? And what’s even better, this Saturday on August 9, they’ll even be having a masquerade at the exhibit where participants will be treated to some delicious Pocky chocolate snacks! Dressing up in honor of your favorite warrior princess and getting a taste of some chocolate treats at the same time — now that sounds like our idea of fun!

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BABYMETAL plays first ever US show, bootleg videos leave us wowed

Continuing their meteoric rise to international stardom, BABYMETAL has checked off another box on their world conquest to-do list: Playing a headline show in the US!

The show this weekend has even made waves in Japan thanks to a fan video uploaded to YouTube shortly after the group’s LA tour. Check it out below!

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Boston theatre puts on play about Astro Boy and Tezuka

Osamu Tezuka‘s Astro Boy, in addition to being a historically important piece of entertainment, is also widely beloved around the world. And now, some sixty-plus years after its first inception as a manga, it’s been granted additional life on the stage, thanks to the efforts of playwright and director Natsu Onoda Power, and the folks at the Company One theater company.

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Hello Kitty IT gadgets now capturing hearts of Japanese netizens, and we can definitely see why!

Now, we know that not all technology may be good, and there are plenty of stories out there, be they movies or novels, of technology run amok. But you have to admit there are times when you just have to love technology, like when it comes in a cute, pop form that allows you to carry around large amounts of data in style. Yes, readers,we present to you these adorable Mimobot and Sanrio collaborative flash drives from Mimoco — they’re currently generating a bit of a buzz on online here in Japan, and we dare anyone out there to say that the results of the collaboration aren’t über cute!

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Our reporter goes looking for fans at Comic-Con…in his Sailor Venus cosplay outfit

Our Japanese correspondent Yoshio recently made the trip for Tokyo to San Diego to attend Comic-Con for the first time. After seeing all the fans in costume showing their enthusiasm for their favorite series, Yoshio got bitten by the cosplay bug and decided to dress up too.

But which character to cosplay as? He knew he wanted someone Japanese, to represent his home country. Someone strong and just, with a kind heart. And while he was at it, why not add long, flowing hair and miniskirt to the checklist?

In other words, Yoshio spent a day at Comic-Con rocking a Sailor Venus outfit.

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