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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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Dojinshi fans worry trade pact could be the end of Comiket, but is the fear founded in reality?

Whether you call it Comic Market, Comiket, or Comike, the twice-a-year event is the largest gathering of creators and fans of dojinshi, Japanese self-published comics. Each iteration of Comiket draws hundreds of thousands of otaku to its venue at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center.

Something else that’s known by more than one name is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A proposed trade agreement between a dozen nations, including Japan and the U.S., the legislation is more commonly referred to by the acronym TPP in the Japanese media.

As negotiations between the U.S. and Japan continue, some anime and manga fans are worrying that the Trans-Pacific Partnership/TPP could be disastrous for Comic Market/Comiket/Comike, but just how justified are these fears?

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Hollywood version of Death Note making progress, gets Adam Wingard as new director

Followers of Japanese manga and anime will no doubt be aware that Death Note has been a highly successful franchise. The story has been made into a series of movies that were big hits here in Japan as well as a musical that was performed at the Nissei Theater in Tokyo this month, and there’s also a TV drama scheduled for broadcast in July this year.

But that’s not all. We still have the Hollywood live action film of Death Note to look forward to, and the recent news is that the movie now has a new director!

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President Obama thanks Prime Minister Abe for all the cool anime during official visit 【Video】

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is currently making a diplomatic visit to the United States, where he was received by President Barack Obama. The two heads of state recently appeared before the press in a ceremony where the American President reiterated the importance of cooperation between the two countries, and also thanked Japan for all that cool anime.

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Chef and restaurant owner shows how to eat a bowl of ramen like a pro 【Video】

It seems to be a pretty well-known fact nowadays, but in case, you haven’t heard: slurping while eating is totally cool in Japan. One of the most commonly slurped foods is the delicious noodle dish ramen. Lately ramen has started taking off globally too, with restaurants popping up all over the place. So before things get too crazy, one ramen shop owner wants to teach you how to eat a bowl of ramen.

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Bacon-fried Oreos make a greasily delicious appearance in Japanese kitchens

Where Japan has taken Kit Kats (originally an English treat) to a whole ‘nother level with seasonal flavors, regional flavors, even “adult sweetness” varieties, America has taken a similar road with another chocolate goody: Oreo cookies.

Intrigued by America’s fascination with Oreos, one Japanese cook took her chances at making a fantastically American concoction: Bacon Fried Oreos. But how does the Japanese palate react? Find out after the jump.

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Hooray! Taco Bell opens in Japan and we’re there to get the commemorative T-shirt and free taco!

While you can certainly find countless restaurants offering a seemingly endless range of cuisines in Japan, if you’ve spent some time in the country, you may have noticed that options for Mexican food (or at least American-Mexican food) can be somewhat limited. So when news went around that American fast food chain Taco Bell was going to re-open in Japan, the response on the Japanese Internet was huge. And while we understand that not everyone is a fan of Taco Bell, there certainly seemed to be enough people overjoyed that the chain was finally returning to Japan after having opened shop here once for just a short time in the 1980s.

All of this meant that the opening of the new Taco Bell shop in Shibuya, Tokyo was bound to attract lots of attention as well as a good crowd, and not to miss out on the excitement and tacos, our very own Mr. Sato from the Japanese arm of RocketNews24 was there on opening day to bring you the following report!

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(Not so) cool beans! Watch these horrified US kids try natto for the first time!

Despite being slimy and smelly and stringy, fermented soybeans, or natto, are actually really good for you. We’ve spoken before about how even lots of Japanese people have to resort to special measures in order to stomach swallowing down a bowl of these stinky beans. So it’s no surprise that these US kids have such a hard time when they were presented with a bowl of natto for the first time.

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e.l.f. Cosmetics delights Frozen fans with an Elsa makeover in a book

I subscribe to a handful of beauty gurus on YouTube, and the moment Frozen turned out to be such a mega hit, I knew I had to brace myself for a rush of Elsa-inspired makeovers taking over my subscription list. True enough, the Elsa-themed tutorial videos came in like a wrecking ball and suddenly my YouTube feed was flooded with women sporting blonde braids and smokey purple eyelids.

The thing about these makeup tutorials is that many of these YouTube beauty gurus have a rather extensive collection of makeup palettes and tools, so they can easily create different looks, but the average person might not own products in all the colors required to replicate Elsa’s look. That, was until e.l.f. launched their Disney Elsa makeup series that provided the full package at affordable prices. Check out the lineup after the break!

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Chinese company Ninebot buys out Segway

It’s hard to imagine life before 2002 when the Segway standing scooter thing hit the scene completely revolutionized the way we get about, just like everyone predicted it would.

Its staggering success has made it an American institution. Like many of you, I have fond memories of making out with that special someone in the back of my Segway at the Segway-in movies during those hot summer nights.

But now, the vehicle we have all welcomed into our lives is entering a new chapter having been bought out by Beijing-based Ninebot Inc. I guess we won’t be able to use the old cliché “it’s as American as a Segway” anymore.

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Divination will never be the same with these gorgeous fan-illustrated Sailor Moon Tarot cards!

Some believe that our fate is written in the stars. Do you believe in things such as astrology and divination? We have no idea in what way the celestial bodies influence our fate, but we do know of something related to stars and planets and moons… the Sailor Moon series!

All right, that eas sort of corny, but hey, check out these awesome fan-created tarot card designs inspired by Sailor Moon and company!

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Ninja rat spotted in New York City

There are few places on this planet as diverse and international as New York City. Whether it’s a fair estimation or not, the Big Apple also has a common image that is a little less appealing, however: one of being a little bit dirty and home to a veritable army of rodents.

Questions of their cleanliness aside, apparently the New York City rats are just as diverse and talented as their human cohabiters. Take for example this little guy who looks like he may be training for some kind of Ninja Warrior competition for rodents. 

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The most magical images we’ve ever seen on Instagram, created with only an iPhone!【Photos】

Do you use Instagram? If so, who, apart from your friends and family, do you follow? Celebrities, famous YouTube personalities, artists, or perhaps adorable cats and dogs? If you’re into the artsy stuff, or simply like looking at beautiful, whimsical pictures, here’s one Instagram account you shouldn’t miss.

Ali Jardine, a mom and an artist, creates some absolutely breath-taking pieces of digital art with just her iPhone and her very own brand of artistic flare. Check them out after the jump!

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YouTubers introduce five words you didn’t know were Japanese, we come up with five more!

I’m addicted to following the Instagram and YouTube accounts of foreigners in Japan. Not only can it be really cool to see a different perspective on the country, you can also learn some great stuff, too. Take this video by Rachel of “Rachel & Jun” fame, together with “Texan in Tokyo” (aka Grace) as they explain five words you didn’t know were Japanese!

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Haisu Tian paints gorgeous rolling hills and streams with rolling skates

Haisu Tian is a Chinese artist based in the USA where she studies for her master’s degree in fine art. Originally from a strict background in Chinese traditional painting, she has since begun to branch out into several other techniques. The most unique of these is a pair of inline skates fitted with some ink cans which she uses to craft large and elegant landscapes. It’s a technique that she calls “landskating,” and we find absolutely intoxicating.

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Pint-sized string quartet Joyous String does an awesome Smooth Criminal

Tiny, adorable, and blessed with bags of musical talent – meet Joyous String, a four-kid string quartet with musical aptitude way beyond their years. They’ve been playing together since they were just four years old, and have progressed to the point where they can produce a flawless rendition of the Michael Jackson classic “Smooth Criminal” without even breaking a sweat. These are some seriously talented kids!

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Ultimate Transformers pop-up book perfectly captures the magic of TV show 【Video & GIFs】

In 1984, a group of transforming metal robots from Japan took the world by storm and spawned a global franchise of comic books, TV shows and blockbuster Hollywood movies. Recently, they added another notch to their post by celebrating 30 years of cool, shape-shifting abilities in the form of a mesmerising 3-D pop-up book, created by Matthew Reinhart.

Japanese netizens are currently swooning over the book for a number of reasons, and the big drawcard is Optimus Prime, whose massive form appears at the pull of a tab, towering over the book in all his glory. See the big guy with his pals and foes in action after the jump.

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J-pop unit Perfume’s innovative projection mapping at US performance creates worldwide buzz

Perfume, the three-member electro-pop group from Hiroshima, Japan, took to the stage for a special performance at the 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. The annual event, held this year from March 13-22, always includes a unique lineup of musical artists, independent films, conference panels, and technological exhibitions, all carefully selected to showcase the highest levels of creativity in the current industry.

Even in that environment, Perfume’s musical and dance performance seems to have blown away the crowd with its ground-breaking use of projected visuals. Is their performance really happening in the physical world? Folks from around the world who’ve seen the video online say it’s enough to give them goosebumps!

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