Final Fantasy VII concert to be held in Tokyo this summer (yes, they’ll play One-Winged Angel)

Final Fantasy VII concert to be held in Tokyo this summer (yes, they’ll play One-Winged Angel)

When Final Fantasy VII was first released in 1997, gamers around the world emotionally connected with it in a way that had never been seen before. Years later, the game still occupies a special place in many people’s hearts, with many clamoring for developer Square Enix to release a version with graphics updated to today’s standards.

But even as so may ask for a new edition of the game that looks better, you won’t find anyone asking for one that sounds better, as the role-playing classic’s soundtrack is one of the most universally-loved musical collections to ever come out of the medium. As testament to its lasting appeal, a Final Fantasy VII symphony concert will be held in Tokyo this summer.

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12 gender-bent Disney and Ghibli characters that are utter perfection

12 gender-bent Disney and Ghibli characters that are utter perfection

Sakimichan is a digital artist who makes stunning paintings of Disney characters, drawn in a completely different way. These leading characters are redrawn with a new gender – and even more attractive than before!

Let’s take a look at 12 of Sakimichan’s gender-switched Disney heroes and heroines. On her website, she shares some insights into how these beautiful paintings are made. She even paints gender-bent Ghibli characters, too!

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【TBT】In Japan, even cute animals obey the law

【TBT】In Japan, even cute animals obey the law

We’ve all no doubt heard of the polite deer in the city of Nara that have learned to bow their heads to tourists in order to get food, but did you know that they also obey the law and know how to cross the road properly?

Check out these photos for one incredibly cute example of how to use a pedestrian crossing!

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Overseas reaction to Japanese My Little Pony dub is a little odd to Japanese people

Overseas reaction to Japanese My Little Pony dub is a little odd to Japanese people

The animated series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has quickly become something of a cultural phenomenon in North America, spawning legions of hardcore fans far removed from its intended demographic of young girls.

In Japan too the show has its share of followers, although they’re not quite as passionate. So when a Japanese dubbed version of the show’s song “This Day Aria” was posted on YouTube and reviews from other countries came in calling it “magnificent” and “incredible beyond words”, Japanese netizen reaction could perhaps be summed up as “Oh? We don’t get it, but thanks.”

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Cute and talented Taiwanese singer is actually a boy, Netizens no longer find this shocking

Cute and talented Taiwanese singer is actually a boy, Netizens no longer find this shocking

The most popular images on the ‘Net are probably cats and cute girls, and the latest lovely ‘lady’ to draw the appreciative gaze of netizens is Lao Wan, the lead vocalist of a Taiwanese band called Green! Eyes. But of course, nothing is ever quite as it seems. Prepare to leave your gender preconceptions at the door.

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Suntory’s awesome miniature ice versions of the Golden Pavilion, Statue of Liberty and more

Suntory’s awesome miniature ice versions of the Golden Pavilion, Statue of Liberty and more

Although I’m a man who can definitely appreciate the simple joys of knocking back a can of tasty beer in my living room, every now and again it’s nice to treat yourself to a drink at a classy bar. You know, the kind with soft lighting, a gleaming wooden bar top, and a vested bartender with an ice pick working a block into a classy orb to place in your glass of whiskey.

But as impressive as a nicely rounded sphere of ice may be, it can’t hope to match the visual impact of an ice version of Japan’s famous Golden Pavilion or the Statue of Liberty that you can drop in your glass.

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McDonald’s Japan’s new Avocado Beef, Chicken, and Shrimp burgers look surprisingly good

McDonald’s Japan’s new Avocado Beef, Chicken, and Shrimp burgers look surprisingly good

Regular readers will know that we at RocketNews24 are no strangers to fast food. When you’re based in one of the biggest, most convenient cities in the world and spend the majority of your day online with instant access to more information than your ancestors probably had in their entire lifetimes, you tend to lose the ability to concentrate long enough to prepare a real meal, and it’s easy to give in to the greasy and syrup-topped temptations that wink at you from the branches of McDonald’s and Starbucks located on every other street corner.

We’re not exactly proud of the amount of junk food we shovel into our faces under the pretences of journalism and science, and certainly don’t recommend that any of our dear readers attempt to replicate our own Mr. Sato’s adventures in Cholesterol Land, but we have to admit that McDonald’s Japan’s new Avocado Beef, Avocado Chicken, and Avocado Shrimp burgers actually look pretty good.

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“Racist” Air France geisha poster prompts satirical home-made fixes

“Racist” Air France geisha poster prompts satirical home-made fixes

Air France has come under fire this week after its latest promotional ad campaign, which consists of a series of 18 photos featuring mostly caucasian women dressed and made up to represent countries the airline serves, depicts Japan as the land of giant-haired geisha.

It’s hardly the most offensive ad ever – and it’s certainly better than ANA’s big-nosed white men commercial from earlier this year – but critics are calling for it to be pulled, with many suggesting that it is “stereotypically racist” and in poor taste. Fortunately, net users were on hand to “fix” Air France’s photos, and make them that little bit more Japanese…

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We resist the urge to climb Denny’s Japan’s Tower Pancake so we can eat it instead

We resist the urge to climb Denny’s Japan’s Tower Pancake so we can eat it instead

Japan’s mountainous topography means that real estate is always at a premium. The towering skyscrapers of major cities like Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka are a natural response to this, as often there’s no direction left to build but up.

We couldn’t help but wonder if the chefs at Denny’s in Japan were inspired by the country’s urban architecture when they created the newest indulgence on their menu, the Tower Pancake, which, especially for a country not exactly known for its gargantuan servings, is quite the gastro challenge.

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Revisiting Songkran: the best water festival EVER!!!

Revisiting Songkran: the best water festival EVER!!!

From the ball drop in America, to the first shrine visit in Japan, each culture rings in the New Year in their own special way. Thailand’s Songkran, or commonly known as the water throwing festival, may be the most carefree and fun tradition though. RocketNews24 has brought you the story from last year’s festival, but we couldn’t resist sending a crew back this year. Click on through to see if they were able to avoid getting wet this year, and the plight of their electronic equipment!

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Ghibli casts its 1st film with 2 female leads & all-English theme song

Ghibli casts its 1st film with 2 female leads & all-English theme song

16-year-old actress Sara Takatsuki (Black President, OtomenGTODaily Lives of High School BoysHaganai) and 21-year-old actress Kasumi Arimura (Amachan, Hagane no Onna, Clover, Judge) will star in Studio Ghibli‘s next film, this summer’s anime adaptation of Joan G. Robinson‘s English children’s novel classic When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie). Oricon describes the film as Ghibli’s first one with dual lead heroines, and it is also the first animated title and first Ghibli title for both actresses.

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Boot camps and desertion in the mountains among the ways Japanese companies train new recruits

Boot camps and desertion in the mountains among the ways Japanese companies train new recruits

There appears to be a generational shift in the workforce of Japan recently. New additions to companies labelled as “monster recruits” in the media, along with a reported 30% of new employees quitting in three years, are leading organizations to look into new ways to protect their human resource investments. Many of the following training methods have been carried out for decades but have been steadily growing in popularity among Japanese companies.

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70% of South Koreans will donate to fund for unity with North, want US and China to cough up too

70% of South Koreans will donate to fund for unity with North, want US and China to cough up too

Over 70 percent of South Koreans plan to donate to a government fund set up to pay for potential unification between North and South Korea, a recent survey suggests. If the two countries were successfully reconciled, the Finance Ministry estimates that unification would cost South Korea 7 percent of its GDP for 10 years.

North and South Korea have made various joint declarations of intent since the 1970s, but there has never been any successful implementation. However, the South has set up the fund to raise $50 million for a hypothetical unification, and almost almost three quarters of South Koreans surveyed think that other countries, such as China and the United States, should also contribute towards the financial cost of unification.

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Sailors assemble! Artist reimagines the cast of Sailor Moon as Marvel’s Avengers

Sailors assemble! Artist reimagines the cast of Sailor Moon as Marvel’s Avengers

No one was really that shocked when Sailor Moon became a hit with its target market of little girls shortly after the anime started airing in 1992. Nor was anyone’s mind completely blown when the show started attracting older female viewers too, since its script had plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor mixed with some honestly compelling drama.

The big surprise, though, was just how many guys the show pulled in, as Sailor Moon built a male fan base of unprecedented size for what was ostensibly an anime for girls. While the central cast of five leggy ladies in sailor skirts obviously didn’t hurt, another key point in breaking down the barrier of entry for male viewers was the high quantity of action scenes in which Sailor Moon and her partners battled villains using their command of fire, thunder, and other awesome powers.

Looked at from that perspective, Sailor Moon isn’t so different from an American comic superhero team like The Avengers, something hammered home by this impressive crossover fan art.

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Sailor Moon in the City of Angels at LA art exhibit going on right now 【Photos】

Sailor Moon in the City of Angels at LA art exhibit going on right now 【Photos】

Back when I was growing up in Los Angeles, as anime was just establishing a foothold overseas, my high school animation teacher gave us a class project of reproducing an existing animated character of our choosing. As I applied the finishing touches of green and pink paint to mine, I got some quizzical looks from my classmate, and more than a few comments of, “Dude, do you have a thing for girls in pleated skirts?”

As accurate as their insights were, my choice of subject had nothing to do with my preferences in women’s fashion, and everything to do with being a huge fan of the anime Sailor Moon. Confused as my classmates had been, the series’ phase of international obscurity was short-lived, and now not only is Sailor Moon loved around the world, it’s got its own art exhibit going on in Los Angeles right now.

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Lady Gaga goes gaga for Hatsune Miku, makes virtual idol her opening act

Lady Gaga goes gaga for Hatsune Miku, makes virtual idol her opening act

With Lady Gaga’s rehabilitation from hip surgery apparently having progressed enough that the pop star is ready to contend with a grueling performance schedule, she’s about to kick off a world tour celebrating her third album. But with millions of eyes on Gaga, she needs an opening act with a fan base large enough to do justice to the scale and importance of the six-month event, dubbed ArtRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball.

Fittingly for a singer who’s made a name for herself with her provocative stances on image, perception, and reality, before Gaga takes the stage, concert goers will be entertained by a vocalist who doesn’t even exist in three-dimensional space: virtual idol Hatsune Miku.

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Brutal four-panel comic explains why Japanese salaryman are trapped in their jobs

Brutal four-panel comic explains why Japanese salaryman are trapped in their jobs

“Salaryman” is the Japanese term that refers to an office worker in Japan. No matter the company, the term is all-encompassing because every salaryman’s situation is the same. While maybe not known to the rest of the world, they are characterized as employees who work overtime, are highly obedient and can often be found binge drinking with colleagues and clients, whether they genuinely want to be there or not.

Leave it to the Japanese netizens, though, to so succinctly air the problems of life as a salaryman in comic form, taking us into the realms of “it’s funny because, sadly, it’s true.”

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A Maasai tribesman in Ginza: How Tokyo fashion empowers women a world away in Africa 【Photos】

A Maasai tribesman in Ginza: How Tokyo fashion empowers women a world away in Africa 【Photos】

Glitzy Ginza is a high-end shopping district in Tokyo that attracts luxury brand flagship stores, ladies who lunch, and businesspeople with cash to burn. But if you happen to be there this week, you might spot something very incongruous in this moneyed mecca: a Maasai tribesman selling shoes.

William hails from Kenya, where he is the head of a Maasai tribe, and the shoes he is here to promote are a Spanish brand called Pikolinos. So how did an African tribesman end up in the Japanese capital selling European shoes?

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Doraemon meets Dragon Ball in the weirdest mash up we’ve seen today

Doraemon meets Dragon Ball in the weirdest mash up we’ve seen today

Writing for RocketNews24, we get to see some unusual stuff nearly every day. The Internet, in all its infinite wisdom and fluffy kittens, can get pretty weird sometimes, as you are all probably very well aware. And that’s fine! When you’re tapping into the collective consciousness of the whole globe, you should expect to find the unexpected. But sometimes you really hit the wacky gold. Like this cartoon of Doraemon mashed together with Dragon Ball, complete with strained voice acting, over-the-top sound effects, and the most painful battles we’ve ever seen. It’s…look, you should just go ahead and click to read more now.

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Four women born without vaginas receive functional lab-grown transplants

Four women born without vaginas receive functional lab-grown transplants

It sounds like the plot of an improbable B-movie. But sometimes the truth is stranger than science fiction. Four women in the US have successfully received implanted vaginas that were grown in a lab from their own cells.

The women, who were all born with a rare condition which means the vagina does not develop properly, underwent the pioneering treatment at Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina. The engineered vaginas, the first to be grown from the patients’ own living tissue and successfully implanted, have made it possible for the women to have sex for the first time.

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