When American actor-director Misha Collins, who you might know from roles in Supernatural and 24 or appearances in CSI and ER, visited Japan recently, his tweets sparked excitement online. Mr Collins tweeted several snaps of his time in Japan, including his encounter with a very eccentric Santa Claus!
Earlier this week, a Japanese driver noticed something strange on the highway: A truck carrying a giant Pikachu. However, the poor Pikachu couldn’t see where he was going due to his eyes being covered by a cloth. This image has led many netizens to think the worst about where that truck was heading…
A while back, we took a look at some Japanese wedding receptions that took cues from Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda and Konami’s Beatmania rhythm game. Japan isn’t the only place where fictional fandom and romantic nuptials cross paths, though.
This month, an American couple that seems to love Sailor Moon almost as much as they love each other took their vows, and not only are the outfits they wore for their ceremony the classiest cosplay we’ve seen in a long time, they’re just the beginning of the wedding’s many elegantly beautiful anime-inspired touches.
It’s been said that the costume design for Darth Vader, one of the most recognizable outfits in the history of film, was heavily inspired by samurai armor. The similarities are pretty easy to spot, what with the face plate and helmet backing that continues lower down the back of the neck than what’s normal for western helms.
But what if you kept going until you came full-circle, and designed a set of samurai armor based off of Vader’s? You’d get something like this awesome figure that just went on sale in Japan.
Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed film Spirited Away is beloved around the world for its touching story and beautiful animation, and the whimsical setting has a real-life counterpart. Jiufen, a mountainous area of New Taipei City in Taiwan is said to be where creator Hayao Miyazaki drew a lot of his inspiration for the film, and many tourists visit the area to feel like they’re stepping into the magical world of Spirited Away. But it turns out there’s also somewhere similar in China! Check out these photos and videos of the incredible place.
Say what you will about the evils and pitfalls of social media, but if nothing else, it’s at least made it easier than ever for people to enjoy a small taste of fame. Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Vine democratize what becomes popular and what doesn’t, what people want to see and what they don’t.
In this case, the viewers of Vine have spoken: They want to see people playing with action figures in front of their moms.
While trains in Japan are revered for their reliability and punctuality, sometimes the inevitable happens, and services become delayed. If you are one of the hundreds of thousands in Japan who depend on the trains to get you to and from work each day, it can really put a damper on things to arrive at the station and find your platform crowded with other commuters, expecting a long wait.
If you had known about the delay beforehand, you could’ve planned a different route, or if that’s not an option, you could have stopped somewhere for some coffee to kill the time. It would be great if there was an app for that, you think.
Well, lucky for you there is!
Earlier this week, we took a look at the year’s 20 most popular karaoke songs for teens, and found that the list was made up entirely of anime themes, vocaloid songs, and the Japanese version of “Let It Go” (proving there’s literally nowhere you can go where you won’t run into the Frozen hit). And while we’re sure the 2-D sweep put a smile on the face of otaku and technophiles, we can imagine some traditionalists grumbling about a lack of music with a connection to anything real.
Well, is a human-sized pear real enough for you?
After a long and arduous production, terrorist threats from North Korea, a snap decision to pull the film and then, finally, a half-baked release both online and at independent theaters not fearful of sudden SCUD missile attacks, the much-talked about film The Interview is finally upon us and reviews are lukewarm at best. “Acceptable!,” “Moderately Chuckle-Worthy!,” and “More Dick Jokes Than You Can Shake a Sausage Link At!” seem destined to adorn the box art of the eventual Blu-ray release.
But there appears to be one very unexpected mega fan of the film, if one surreal photo is to be believed…
When I was in junior high school, for a couple of weeks it seemed like whenever the teacher’s back was turned, all the kids in the classroom were engaged in pencil fighting. One combatant would hold his pencil lengthwise, his opponent would try to shatter it with his own, and then they’d switch, taking turns until only one pencil was left intact.
When you stop and think about it, it’s kind of a dumb game. Sure, destruction being a critical component gives it an undeniable appeal. No matter how talented you are though, in the end, you’re just swinging around a writing instrument, and not an awesome foe-cleaving weapon.
Unless, of course, you have one of these cool Legendary Weapon pencil caps.
As someone who used to own several anime T-shirts, I can see the appeal of clothing yourself in images of your favorite series. Some might argue it’s silly to turn yourself into a walking billboard for any product or organization, but if the art is part of what attracted you to the show, wanting to wear a piece of it doesn’t necessarily brand you as some sort of mindless slave to consumerism.
If nothing else, it’s a way to communicate your passion for your hobby to those around you, and can occasionally serve as an ice breaker for meeting like-minded individuals. In a sense, anime clothing is the uniform of an anime fan.
Although, in the case of this incredibly dedicated otaku, it’s more like his armor.
This coming spring will mark four years since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. While that’s not nearly long enough for the those who experienced the tragedy first-hand to forget about the destruction, sadness, and fear, some politicians are concerned that in time memories will fade, which is why a bill is being introduced in the Japanese Diet to establish March 11 as an official day of remembrance of the disaster.
In ancient China, it was believed that whenever unusual climate or weather phenomena occurred, it foretold the future. If a dragon appeared in the sky, it meant that a new emperor would reign. Why would dragons appear in the sky, you ask? We don’t know, but on the 23rd of December, a fire phoenix flew across the Beijing sky, creating stunningly beautiful views in an otherwise heavily polluted sky.
Have you ever wondered why Pikachu says, “Pika-pika”? It’s just a random noise that sounds like his name, right? Wrong! Pika-pika is actually an onomatopoeia for something sparkling, like lightning– how fitting for a Pokemon whose ability is static electricity! But wait a minute, flashing light doesn’t make a sound! How can it be an onomatopoeia?
Japanese can be, more times than not, a tricky language. Onomatopoeia not only have three distinct categories that far surpass the narrow range of those in English, but can also be used mid-sentence and as various parts of speech. Even seasoned veterans of Japanese can’t always figure out the meanings.
Hands up everyone who loves Japanese food. Now, hands up everyone who loves Tex-Mex. Okay, you can put both of your hands down now. If you’ve never had the pleasure of chowing down on a bowl of delicious “Taco Rice”, then you’re seriously missing out! This Okinawan dish is a staple of the islands, being both tasty and filling while at the same time satisfying many a US military serviceperson’s hankering for a taste of home. We recently picked up a “Taco Rice bento box” from one of the best Taco Rice establishments on Okinawa. Read on for our thoughts!
For some reason, Japan has a deep fascination with giant isopods, the deep-sea creatures that look like, well … giant roaches. Perhaps it’s because of their “unique” appearance, or because one of these critters at the Toba Aquarium in Mie Prefecture became famous for going over five years without eating at all (although that individual is sadly no longer with us), but whatever the cause, these marine creatures seem to make regular appearances on the Japanese Internet in one form or another. In fact, their popularity is such that making cocktail sausages shaped like one of these sea bugs became a hugely popular topic on the Japanese twitterverse earlier this year.
Now, it seems one toy manufacturer has taken Japan’s fondness for isopods one step further and come out with a product modeled after not the actual sea bug itself, but its sausage incarnation — and as a gachapon toy you can buy from a vending machine, no less!
With all of the secular Christmas decoration displays at shopping centers, and Japan’s focus on finding a date at this time of year, it’s all too easy to forget the real reason for the holiday on December 25. Really, the central figure in our minds shouldn’t be Santa, nor the cute girl or hot guy you just went on a Christmas Eve date with.
Christmas is a day when we should all stop for a moment to remember that the holiday is an observation of the birth of an amazing individual. Someone who, at times when our souls are tested, has always been there to show us the way, through his combination of wisdom, courage, and ability to effortlessly slice a 30-meter giant to death.
In other words, happy birthday, Attack on Titan’s Levi!
We’re taking a little break today to spend some quality time with our two favorite men: Santa and Mr. Sato. But while we’re stuffing our faces with Christmas cake and taking selfies with Colonel Sanders, we’ll be sure to pause, raise a glass of whatever questionable liquor Mr. Sato brought along, and toast you, our dedicated reader. Thank you for making 2014 our most successful year yet! And even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, we hope your day is filled with glad tidings and all the fried chicken you can stomach.
There are some aspects of the modern western Christmas that Japan has adopted unadulterated, however, and one of those is the shopping. And while we’re sure there are plenty of awesome presents exchanged at this time of year, a recent report from Japanese magazine Peachy showed that almost fifty percent of Japanese people surveyed have received a disappointing present from Santa-san.
So what kind of rubbish presents have Japanese parents been putting in their kids’ stockings? Join us after the jump to find out!