USA

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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Miyazaki-inspired prints are gorgeous mashup of pop and traditional Japanese art

According to his online profile, when freelance illustrator Bill Mudron is not working on stuff that pays the bills, he “draws ridiculously nerdy stuff that he wants to hang on his walls but hasn’t been made yet by anyone else.” I don’t know about ridiculously nerdy, but he’s definitely not the only one who’s going to want to decorate with these Hayao Miyazaki-inspired illustrations in Japanese woodblock style.

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The Ramen Poster, a cute and unique way to show off your love of Japanese cuisine

Who doesn’t love ramen? Not only has this famous Japanese noodle dish won the hearts of many Asian cuisine aficionados, but its instant variety has long been the top pick by college students for satisfying the munchies during late night study binges.

If you, too, consider yourself a ramen lover or know someone who is, we urge you to check out The Ramen Poster by an American artist who has taken her love of hot noodles in broth to the next level.

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Our Japanese reporter gets a heaping helping of American Denny’s

Our Japanese writers are certainly no strangers to American cuisine or at least the lower echelons of it. Whenever in the USA they tend to try places unheard of in Japan or compare easy-to-order fast food fare like McDonald’s.

One place that’s often overlooked on these trips is Denny’s. Already a well-established “family restaurant” (low-priced restaurant with waiting staff) in Japan they just assumed it was more of the same in America too.

However, after his close encounter with an empty gate at Area 51, our reporter Go Hatori was cruising across the vastness of the US and began feeling a little fatigued. He suddenly spotted that familiar yellow sign of a Denny’s and thought it would be a good place to catch a quick little bite.

Little did he know what lay in store…

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Wally the bunny with “angel wings” is here to spread cuteness, joy, and lots of fluff!【Photos】

Whenever somebody asks me whether I’m a “cat person” or a “dog person”, I feel slightly sad because it feels as if cats and dogs are the only domestic pets anyone really cares about. And things get even sadder when I answer that I’m a “rabbit person”, and the person who asked the question simply goes “oh yeah, rabbits are really cute”, and the conversation dies.

Well, sorry if rabbits aren’t “mainstream” enough for you, but this fluffy bunny with ears like an angel’s wings is stealing the spotlight today! Cats and dogs, make way for Wally the English Angora!

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“Where are all the laser beams?” Our reporter heads to Nevada’s Area 51 on a top-secret mission

For conspiracy theorists, Area 51 is a location of high intrigue. Often called the most secret place on earth (well…the United States, anyway), this government base in Nevada is thought to be used for weapons testing and experimental aircraft – although very little is known about what really goes on there. Some of the more out-there theories include meetings with aliens, development of weather control, and even time travel.

Our Japanese reporter Go Hatori is a seasoned traveller and, when he’s not trolling would-be scammers online for his own amusement, loves nothing more than to take a solo trip somewhere mysterious. So Go headed into the Nevada desert – with a secret mission of his own!

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Washington Post writer catches heat for “dirty Korean beer” joke

There’s a reason I don’t write for the Washington Post. Actually, there are about a thousand reasons, almost all of which pertain to my own ineptness. Another one these reasons is that I occasionally write some embarrassing joke that gets completely misunderstood and blows up in my face.

So, I can relate on some level to the Washington Post’s writer and Tokyo bureau chief Anna Fifield. Her tweet, which jokingly translated a customer request sign as “Don’t bring your dirty Korean beer in here,” has led to some considerably harsh feedback from Japanese Twitter users.

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Japanese people reveal the six western foods they find most disgusting

Japanese cuisine is known for containing certain dishes that many westerners find hard to stomach, delicious as they may be. That includes sashimi (raw fish!) and natto (fermented soybeans!).

But what about the flip-side of the coin? Which western foods make Japanese people want to barf? The results may surprise you – or perhaps not. Here’s a list!

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Anime idols going abroad as Love Live! movie announced for release in U.S., 12 other territories

Not so long ago, being a Japanese idol singer was purely a domestic gig, with even the biggest stars of the genre remaining more or less unknown outside their home country. But thanks to the spread of Japanese pop culture around the world over the last decade and a half, that’s not really the case anymore. These days, it’s not uncommon for J-pop idols, especially those with an anime connection to boost their foreign exposure, to make appearances overseas.

Now, in a case of animated art imitating life, the high school idols of Love Love!, Japan’s biggest current idol anime hit, will be heading abroad as the upcoming Love Live! theatrical feature has been announced for international release.

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Last Week Tonight tackles Japan’s mascot craze and the results are glorious【Video】

Emerging from the cocoon that was The Daily Show, John Oliver has carved out a brilliant spot for himself with his own talk show Last Week Tonight. He has produced some amazing pieces on net neutrality, Edward Snowden, the Miss America Pageant and the NCAA. Viewers tune in each week to find out what subject close to their hearts is being roasted or promoted on HBO. Japan has gotten a couple of mentions on the show before, but this past week brought the insanity that is Japanese mascots to the attention of his viewers. Surely Japan’s mastery of the subject can teach the rest of the world something.

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Here’s what angry girlfriends yelling at you in six different languages sounds like!

Even the happiest of couples has the occasional argument, and some people even genuinely enjoy a good squabble with the other half in order to keep things exciting and blow away the cobwebs every now and then. But what does it sound like to have an irate ladyfriend berate you in different languages?

In this video from YouTuber The World of Dave, poor Dave himself endures the screams of seven ranting ladies as they give his ear a good bending in their native tongues. Which would you least like to be on the receiving end of?

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Finish your bowl and your wildest dreams come true: We visit Yume wo Katare ramen shop in Boston

I’m going to be honest: I’m not a huge fan of going out to eat. It’s expensive, loud, usually not very healthy, and the stress of tip calculation gives me nightmares. In order for me to want to eat out, the place has to be special. It has to offer an experience that I would be unable to get anywhere else.

Yume wo Katare in Boston does just that. It’s an authentic Japanese-style ramen restaurant with a unique twist: you’re supposed to eat your massive bowl of ramen with a dream in your heart, then when you finish, you stand up and announce your dream to everyone inside. The waiters then judge your bowl based on how much you finished, and if you ate a lot then your dream just might come true.

Hearing that, we had to give it a try. So come along with us on our visit to Yume wo Katare!

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Hayao Miyazaki joins politicians and CEOs donating millions to protest U.S. military in Okinawa

As you may know, Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most outspoken proponents of anti-war policy in Japan. As you may also know, Okinawa is home to a plethora of American military bases, and has been a hotbed of controversy for decades.

However, what you may not know is that Miyazaki and Okinawa have finally officially teamed up to protest the American military presence. The director announced on May 7 that he will officially join the “Henoko Fund,” a group of politicians and CEOs who are putting their money where their mouths are and donating hundreds of millions of yen to prevent the relocation of the Futenma Air Base.

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Nintendo reveals plans to partner with Universal to make first Nintendo attractions a reality

Disney lovers have Disneyland, Harry Potter fans got The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and even those who like Hello Kitty and her friends have the Sanrio Puroland.

And now Mario fans have reason to celebrate, as Nintendo has announced its partnership with Universal to bring you the first Nintend0-themed park attractions!

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We try deliciously meaty US-style “Inside-Out” ramen burgers at Ramen Burger Tokyo

It seems that when Japanese food makes its way over to America, something gets lost in translation and the food winds up inside-out. Just look at California rolls, for example.

And now, here’s another example of Japanese food being flipped: “Ramen burgers” which usually consist of a bun filled with ramen noodles, have been reborn in the US as, um, “ramen burgers”, but with a twist – the meat patty is sandwiched between two “buns” made of tightly packed noodles!

We sent our resident office culinary “expert” Mr Sato down to the first “US-style ramen burger” joint in Japan for a taste test!

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Listen to Idina Menzel, the original voice of Elsa in Frozen, sing “Let It Go” in Japanese!

Disney’s Frozen is, of course, mega-popular in Japan, as it is in many other countries around the world. But over here it’s known as Anna and the Snow Queen, and the movie’s famous song “Let It Go” is known as “Ari no Mama de” (“the truth/as I am”).

Obviously, we’ll always have a soft spot for the original version no matter how many times we hear it, but of all the many versions of the song in different languages, the Japanese version is especially beautiful. Sung by hugely popular veteran actress and singer Takako Matsu, “Ari no Mama de” is a slightly sweeter, softer around the edges version with some perfectly translated lyrics, which, as in the original, are all about self-acceptance.

But what would it sound like if “Ari no Mama de” was sung by the original English-language version’s voice of Elsa, Broadway actress Idina Menzel?

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Japan gets heartfelt message of thanks from the main bad guy in Commando

Thirty years ago a landmark event in cinema took place when the movie Commando first hit the silver screen. It taught an entire generation to believe that a guy could have “Matrix” as a last name and that you should always kill the guys you like last…unless they get in your way.

The film also showcased the acting chops of several greats such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alyssa Milano, Dan Hedaya, and Rae Dawn Chong. But often overlooked is Australian actor Vernon Wells who played the role of Bennett, the Edmund to John Matrix’s Edgar.

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Check out cool artwork of monsters that could have been in the Godzilla 2014 movie!

Godzilla, the gargantuan dinosaur-like creature that has starred in roughly 30 movies to date, has to be one of the most famous characters to ever come out of Japan. Since its first appearance on the screen in 1954, Godzilla has captured the fascination of fans around the world and has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Japan. Yes, there just seems to be something about Godzilla that we can’t get enough of, and even if you’re not a hard-core kaiju fan, we’re guessing that many of you saw the Hollywood movie that was released last year.

Now, the monster action in that movie was certainly spectacular to look at, but don’t you think it would be interesting to see some ideas for monsters that didn’t appear in the film? Well, that’s exactly what we’re sharing with you here today!

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Our Japanese reporter’s US trip goes horribly wrong when his luggage somehow ends up in Ecuador

Today, we’d like to share with you the experience of one of our reporters on a domestic flight in the United States. Hailing from Japan, home of the airport that hasn’t lost a piece of luggage in 20 years, our reporter Yoshio wasn’t expecting the unthinkable to happen on his brief 45-minute flight – but somehow, his bag went missing. And ended up in Ecuador!

Join us after the jump to hear his story, featuring insurance claims, flight changes, and at least one trip to buy new underwear.

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“Nintendo 64!!!!” meme kid grew up to be super excited about everything, even Taco Bell

Remember Nintendo 64 Kid? That tiny ball of energy that got so worked up about his Nintendo 64 Christmas present that his ecstatic reaction, so over-the-top that people actually thought he was possessed, became an Internet meme even though the footage was captured before Internet memes were really even a thing?

Well, Nintendo 64 Kid is all grown up and it looks like his meme fame has turned him into an overall cool dude who just gets excited about everything, even the disgusting “meat” of questionable provenance purveyed by Taco Bell.

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