No one will be flying Evangelion spear to the moon as crowdfunding project dies on the vine

We recently talked about how the opening theme of anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” is almost painfully ubiquitous in Japan. Overseas, though, the more famous tune is the series’ ending theme, the English-language jazz standard “Fly Me to the Moon.”

The song’s sweet sentimentalism takes on an ironic atmosphere coming after an episode of Evangelion’s painfully subversive depiction of the horrors that could unfold if 14-year-olds were actually tasked with fighting giant invading aliens. And now, “Fly Me to the Moon” will probably take on even more of a bittersweet tone for Eva fans, as the crowdfunding project to send the anime’s Spear of Longinus to the moon has fallen short of its goal.

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Crazy quotes from TV shows amuse Chinese Internet users

It’s fair to say that relations between China and Japan are strained. The two countries have butted heads for decades, and as much as we might wish for world peace, the fueding isn’t likely to stop any time soon. Of course, when two countries aren’t happy with each other, that tends to be reflected in their media, and both countries could be accused not portraying the other very accurately or fairly.

So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that certain Chinese TV shows have drawn comments of amusement from Chinese Internet users with some of their bizarre and dubious quotes, and we think you might get a kick out of them as well!

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Kung-fu rugby invades Hong Kong Sevens 2015

I have fond memories of going to the old Harlem Globetrotter games to watch all the sports-themed hijinks and hilarity of Curly, Twiggy, and the rest of the gang. Even though my father would later lose all of my college savings on ill-advised Baltimore Rocket bets, those games still hold a warm place in my heart.

And so, it’s great to see that this tradition of comedic sports entertainment lives on in 2015 as this brief video showing some highlights from a kung-fu rugby game during the Hong Kong Sevens tournament at the end of March.

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Cat scratch fever: Free-loving exhibitionist kitties become Twitter sensation

Nature is beautiful and vicious at the same time, isn’t it? From jaguars stalking prey in the shadows to the deft strikes of the praying mantis, there is a host of animals that are downright fascinating to watch.

And some of them are just hilarious, like the three cats who’ve sent Twitter into fits of laughter with their very public displays of…um…”affection.”

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Chinese illustrator sends Marvel’s Avengers to the Far East and across the sea

Many fans exercise their imagination and expand the possibilities of their fandoms with crossover fan art. We’ve seen some fantastic illustrations experimenting with art styles as well, re-imagining Game of Thrones characters in Disney animation style, and some of our favorite fairy tales revamped with a Korean twist.

Speaking of which, check out this East-meets-West mashup depicting the superheroes from the Marvel franchise as the Eight Immortals of Chinese mythology!

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Vegetarian ramen in Tokyo? Not only is it available, it’s apparently pretty great too!

Japan is filled with excellent food, but one of our absolute favorites is ramen. There’s just something (possibly everything) about it that’s absolutely delicious. That said, it does present a problem for vegetarians and vegans, since even the broth uses a fairly copious amount of animal products. Now, you may not care about that, but maybe you have a few friend who do. Or maybe you’re just looking for new takes on traditional food. If so, T’s Tantan, a vegetarian ramen restaurant, is just what you’ve been looking for.

We recently sent one of our Japanese writers to check it out, and now you can read his report below and then go try it out for yourself! Or at least tell all your vegetarian friends about it. We promise they’ll love you if you do!

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Make your own “wagashi” Japanese sweets at home with these creation kits

Pretty much anyone can pick up some brownie mix at the local grocer, crack an egg into a bowl, mix, and end up with a piping hot tray of delicious goodies. That’s child’s play (literally, if you’re using an Easy Bake).

It’s another thing altogether to create some truly Pinterest-worthy “wagashi” Japanese sweets. You know what we’re talking about: The wabi-sabi-riffic, colorful eye-and-mouth candy we’ve gushed over here on this very site time and again.

Wagashi are equally intimidating items to make for foreigners and Japanese alike, often calling for seemingly exotic ingredients, mysterious baking methods and coming in hard-to-replicate shapes and sizes. But, lucky for enthusiasts, there’s now a series of home kits available online to make the process a (relative) breeze!

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11-year-old Japanese freestyle skateboarder Isamu Yamamoto tears up the competition

Meet Isamu Yamamoto (山本勇), an 11-year-old Japanese boy from Shiga Prefecture who became a sixth grader at the start of this month. Like most 11-year-olds, Isamu enjoys dabbling in the arts, spending time on his burgeoning fashion sense, and tearing it up on the competitive freestyle skateboarding scene. 

Wait, what??

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Nowadays there’s a social networking system (SNS) for just about anything. In Japan, aside from the big ones like Facebook and Twitter, the LINE messaging service (and life-LINE service) and Niconico Douga are also extremely popular ways to talk with your friends – both on and offline – about stuff you love.

And that’s just scratching the surface. There’s plenty more, based around every imaginable interest. In fact, pretty much the only kind of SNS that doesn’t exist is one based around posting and sharing erotic anime-style drawings of men loving on each other.

…until now. Meet Horne.

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Miyazaki-curated Ghibli Museum exhibit of “Ghost Tower” to open at end of May

Hayao Miyazaki has kept busy since his supposed retirement, but his newest project is as historical as it is new. On May 30, the Mitaka no Mori Ghibli Museum will open a new exhibit featuring artwork by Miyazaki inspired by Ghost Tower, a 1939 mystery novel by Edogawa Ranpo.

Ghibli is expecting massive crowds, so you may have to bribe a few guards if you want to get in!

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Ever wanted to dress up as a sexy anime lady but not had the courage or skills? Now you can do it in the simplest of ways, and what’s more you can hide it underneath your regular clothes!

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We try some chicken ramen-flavored ice cream at Chikira-House in Osaka

Alongside Kit Kat bars, carbonated beverages, and potato chips, ice cream is one food Japanese flavor engineers love to monkey with. In the past we’ve seen frozen desserts flavored with great tastes such as scallops, vegetables, and pork.

This time we caught word of a little shop in Shin-Osaka Station offering travelers the cold and creamy taste of chicken ramen-flavored ice cream. So we hopped a train over to check it out and grab a self-heating chiki-bento while we were at it.

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Website lets you eat ramen with handsome actor – Great for fans, sort of awkward if you’re not

Pretty much ever since it was invented, men have been the target market for instant ramen. That’s slowly starting to change, though, as companies are finding out that plenty of women, too, are interested in a hot, tasty meal that only takes three minutes to prepare.

Those three minutes, though, can seem awfully long when you’re sitting by yourself with nothing to do while you wait for your noodles to cook. So, Nissin, to celebrate the start of its new line of healthier, more cosmopolitan instant ramen aimed at women, has set up a special website where a handsome Japanese actor will keep you company while you cook and eat your instant ramen.

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Does this goat have better hair than you?

Kamanoko is a goat from a in a zoo in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and he’s sure to be a hit with the lady goats thanks to his hip hairdo that sets him apart from the herd.

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Japanese netizens traumatized by creepy Pooh calendar

Who doesn’t love a cute desk calendar? An adorable picture of a kitten or your favorite cartoon character can really brighten up the place. Plus, lots of companies in Japan give them away as free gifts to customers, so you don’t even need to buy one most of the time.

Of course, if you get it for free, you can’t really complain about the quality, as one net user discovered when he flipped to April earlier this week. Notice anything strange about the illustration of Pooh above?

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Baby innocently chomps and yanks on kitty’s tail, good kitty keeps his cool 【Video】

I have a theory about cat people and dog people. It’s basically the old “nature vs nature” debate – are you born a cat or dog lover, or do you learn to become one? In my opinion, people who grow up with cats grow into cat people, and people who grow up with dogs become dog people. The baby in this adorable video looks like he’s definitely going to grow up to be a cat person – especially because he already has a furry pal who takes his curious manhandling with good humour.

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Sulfuric acid thrown at two women in Gunma

Police in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, are looking for a man who threw sulfuric acid at two women in separate attacks on Thursday night.

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Modern take on Japanese fan dance has naked men, international appeal

Ah, the Japanese fan dance. In popular culture, its staid connections to Noh and Kabuki theater are put aside in favor of something more risque. Usually it’s a coy geisha slowly using her fans to seductively cover and reveal her face and body. But just as more businesses are capitalizing on male sex appeal these days, the modern Japanese fan dance has a hot, sweaty man version too.

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Robotic dancing troupe World Order kicks off the new baseball season with seven-man pitch 【Video】

Springtime means one thing for sports fans: baseball! While Major League Baseball is still toiling away in spring training and pre-season games, the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league has already kicked off their season with the first games occurring at the end of March.

Since spring signals the time for new beginnings, what is more precious than the beginning of the first home game of the year? And with it brings the first opening pitch of the season. For the 2013 Japan Series winners, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, they asked Genki Sudo and his group World Order to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

But how do you ask seven people to throw out one ball?

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New Sailor Moon merch goes old school as the magical girls turn into eight-bit pixel art

Seeing as how 17 years passed between the final TV episode of Sailor Moon and its reboot, Sailor Moon Crystal, it’s no surprise that the latter makes far more use of digital animation production. But while the newer anime’s designs have sharper line work, some traditionalists still prefer the old school look of the original series.

However, if you’d rather have your Sailor Senshi not just rough around the edges, but downright rectangular, merchandiser Bandai is ready to fill that need with this line of Sailor Moon merchandise done in the style of eight-bit pixel art.

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