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Japanese sushi chef samples the best cheap sushi the U.S. has to offer【Video】

In most Western countries, going out for sushi tends to make for a pretty pricey meal. In Japan, while there are certainly higher-end sushi restaurants that can put quite a dent in your wallet too, there are also plenty of places where you can eat your fill of great sushi for as little as 100 yen a plate (around US$1), or you can pick up a pack of sushi for lunch at the convenience for around 300 to 400 yen.

With sushi growing in popularity, many grocery store delis in the United States have started carrying variety packs of sushi for a more decent price, but how does the taste measure up? In this video, sushi from a number of grocery chains is pitted against the taste buds of long-time sushi chef.

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50 things our Japanese reporter learned while driving in the U.S.

Our Japanese-language reporter Go recently returned from a trip to the U.S. While there, he hunted for aliens and sampled the local cuisine, but mostly what he did was drive.

While Japan is filled with winding mountain passes that make for enjoyable drives, the wide-open American road has an appeal all its own. After days of barreling down the highways of the southwest, Go came back to Japan with these 50 experiences he had driving in the U.S.

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The bare essentials: Lingerie-and-wig-only Sailor Moon Cosplay

The first rule of cosplay is that there are no rules. If you don’t want to follow a certain character’s look to a T, then you don’t have to. In fact, there’s all sorts of ways to enjoy cosplay. “Casual cosplay” is one such option. And now, it turns out that lingerie cosplay is another!

Check out this Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus lingerie and wig only cosplay from Geek x Girls! Warning: some of these pic are a little NSFW!

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This ultimate Zelda piano medley will blow your mind, or at least get stuck in your head

Gamers, what is it for you that makes a game great? Is it the plot or storyline? The visuals? Characters? Great games undoubtedly need a bit of all of the above, but the music is especially important, since it will stick with you even when you switch off the console or finish the game entirely.

Some songs are beautifully moving, while others are unbeatably catchy, a good example of which would be the music from the Legend of Zelda games. So, of course, what could be better than a medley of all the best Zelda tunes? What about a mind-blowingly crazy one done on the piano?

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Hello cronuts! Tokyo welcomes arrival of Dominique Ansel Bakery in Japan

It so happens that this past Saturday was kind of a big day for sweets lovers in Japan (well, at least for this writer). That’s right, June 20 was the much-anticipated grand opening of the Dominique Ansel Bakery, home of the original cronuts, in Tokyo’s Omotesando district.

For those of you who may not be into sweets, the cronut is a hugely popular baked creation the bakery is known for which can be described as a hybrid between a croissant and donut. Not surprisingly, stories of people forming long lines every morning at the New York City-based bakery for the cronuts and other delightful baked treats have reached Japan, and many sweets fans were ecstatic when it was announced that the shop would be opening in Tokyo. Not to miss out on the sugar-filled excitement, we were there bright and early on opening day, all psyched up to try the cronuts we had heard so much about!

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In real life, Sailor Moon transforms with the help of cosmic colored ninjas 【Video】

How many people does it take to change a lightbulb? If you’re familiar with the lightbulb joke, you would probably know that there are many possible answers to that question, depending on the nationality or occupation of the people involved in said question.

And how many people does it take to complete Sailor Moon’s transformation sequence? Approximately eight. We’re not joking! See for yourselves!

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Our Japanese reporter asks for some authentic American food…but does he enjoy the experience?

The writers at our Japanese-language sister site are sometimes like kids after eating way too much candy: Adventurous and ambitious but rarely without any clear plans. And that’s why we love them! There’s nothing quite as fun as seeing something familiar through the eyes of someone whose never experienced it before.

As such, our globetrotting Go has proven to be an excellent guinea pig for testing classic Americana: He’s failed to impress at Area 51 and discovered that Denny’s in the US isn’t quite what it is in Japan. On the quest for “real American meat,” he decided to find a proper restaurant so he could ask for the chef’s choice. But would he enjoy what he found? Or would Nevada ultimately destroy our brave writer’s faith in American cuisine?

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Amazing 3-D printing pen 3Doodler gets a cheaper, slimmer version and workshops in Tokyo 【Video】

About a year ago, we took a look at the 3Doodler, an amazing crafting tool developed by U.S.-based WobbleWorks. Described as a 3-D printing pen, the 3Doodler uses plastic filament to let you draw in mid-air, creating physical objects instead of flat images.

Now we know what you’re all thinking: Where are those 3-D printed Mr. Sato statues we talked about making in our previous article? Well, it turns out we don’t actually have the artistic skills to properly capture the likeness of the head of RocketNews24’s Vice-President of Craziness. Oh, and also we’re cheap.

Thankfully, it looks like there’s a way to solve both of those problems. The updated 3Doodler 2.0 is easier to handle and less expensive than the original model, and there’s even a series of  upcoming workshops in Tokyo that’ll teach you how to get started drawing three-dimensional works of art.

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The secret reason why this Pikachu tattoo is one of the best you’ll ever see

Tatts, booze, and Pikachu. It’s not always a combination that goes down well but in this case, it’s given birth to something very special.

Netizens around the world are going crazy for the artwork above, praising the artist for the creative design and commending her for helping a customer out with an embarrassing problem. Can you guess what secret is hidden within the image?

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“How do you distinguish Americans?” video sheds light on stereotypes from around the world

Korean YouTuber SW Yoon asked a number of Japanese and international students at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Beppu, Japan, to share their views on what sets Americans apart from people of other nationalities.

With over 2 million views since it was uploaded last week, the video has elicited a number of responses in its comments section, ranging from the blatant “so racist” to the more optimistic “it’s interesting to see how other young people from around the world see us generally.

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U.S. baseball player joins Tokyo’s Yomiuri Giants, but it’s his wife that’s getting the attention

People really love sports, don’t they? If, like me, you grew up lacking the gene that makes watching a bunch of strangers whack balls around somehow fascinating, then it sometimes seems like a whole alien world. Still, I can appreciate that televised sports bring a lot of excitement to people’s lives. What I can’t understand, however, is when people get all excited about sports players’ wives and girlfriends.

Miles Mikolas, a baseballer from the U.S., joined the Yomiuri Giants for the 2015 baseball season and it seems that a lot of people in Japan are much more interested in his beautiful, blonde wife than in him. And this is a guy who apparently ate a lizard whole during a game.

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Did you spot the Studio Ghibli cameo in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron?

With Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel and Disney have once again struck gold by putting all of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in front of the camera at the same time. And really, is it any surprise that’s what moviegoers want to see? After all, who can resist the combination of snarky Iron Man, stalwart Captain America, anachronistic Thor, and hulking Hulk?

Oh, and also the brief cameo by an iconic figure from one of Studio Ghibli’s most popular movies ever.

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Great Scott! Back to the Future’s Christopher Lloyd coming to Japan!

Now well into 2015, we are inching ever closer to the world of the future as depicted in Back to the Future II. And with the advent of hoverboards, Nike MAGs, and crudely rendered CGI sharks, I think they made pretty good predictions so far.

However, this year is also the 30th anniversary of the original Back to the Future’s theatrical release, paving the way for more commemorative events. One such event just about made me spit out my Pepsi ordered from a Max Headroom stylized Ayatollah Khomeini: Christopher Lloyd will be coming to Japan for the second time in 22 years! Do you know what this means, Marty?

Precisely!

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Hello Kitty secures deal with Universal Orlando Resort, to open shop in Florida theme park!

Hello Kitty may be as cute as a button, and there’s no denying she’s one of the most popular and successful character franchises ever created. And while our beloved Ms. Kitty may have almost single-handedly repaid her parent company Sanrio’s debts, it seems she’s still keeping herself as busy as ever, as it was announced recently that she’ll be opening her very first shop in the Universal Orlando Resort later this year. Yes, while the international feline celebrity may have turned 40 last November, she’s showing no signs of slowing down —  but then again, somehow we didn’t think Ms.Kitty would be the type to enjoy early retirement!

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American artist combines ukiyo-e and graffiti art in the coolest way possible

Street art is just cool. Ukiyo-e woodblock prints are also just cool. Put them both together and you get the uber-cool identity-exploring works of Los Angeles artist Gajin Fujita, who fuses Japanese iconography with the U.S. urban vocabulary of graffiti.

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Amazon best seller ranking comparison between US and Japan turns up interesting results

They say you can tell a lot about different countries and their people by comparing consumer trends between them. However, a recent comparison between the best selling books on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.jp has both Japanese netizens amused and horrified at the results. Which country is more well-read? We’ll let you be the judge!

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The Guardian: Sony to present The Last Guardian at E3

U.K. newspaper The Guardian published an article on Tuesday where it stated that it “[has] it on good authority” that Sony will display The Last Guardian game at this year’s E3 trade fair.

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Monday Kickstart: Watch robots fall down! Laugh while you can until the Terminator shows up

DARPA, or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is an American agency responsible for some of the weirdest (and coolest) technology headlines you’ll likely ever see. From cloaking devices to wearable jetpacks to thought-reading devices, DARPA is who the US Department of Defense turns to when they want sci-fi weapons.

The agency is also the host of one of the most famous robotics challenges in the world: The DARPA Robotics Challenge. With millions of dollars in prize money available to teams from around the world, you would expect that Japan and South Korea would have some entrants — and you’d be right!

What you might not expect to see what is arguably the funniest “robots falling down” video on the Internet… Click below to laugh at those silly robots. It may be your last chance before SkyNet awakens!

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Maryland governor seeks federal funding after riding Japan’s maglev train

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan took a trip to Yamanashi to try out Japan’s record-breaking Maglev (Magnetic Levitation) bullet train. Travelling with him were executives from the Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail LLC (BWRR), who, after enjoying a 27-mile-long ride, headed back to Baltimore with the intention of bringing the technology stateside.

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American marketing turns anime’s Doraemon into an ACTION! ACTION! ACTION! ACTION! star

Even if a movie or TV series has elements that give it a broad international appeal, different countries might take very different approaches in marketing it. For example, Disney’s Big Hero 6 had a pretty even mix of exciting and heart-warming scenes, but as we looked at before, U.S. ads emphasized the former, while in Japan Disney relied on the latter to fill theater seats.

Now, we’re seeing that phenomenon running in the other direction. Classic anime Doraemon just got picked up for a second season in the U.S., set to start on June 15. But while in Japan the titular blue robot cat is seen by many as a symbol of relaxed family programming, some American commercials are portraying him as an action star.

Oh, sorry, we meant to say they’re portraying him as an ACTION! ACTION! ACTION! ACTION! star.

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