Timpani drummer’s crazy finale is startling, funny, more metal than you’d expect from a symphony

There’s not a whole lot of crossover between the worlds of sports and classical music. Concert pianists generally don’t play the piano with one hand while dribbling a basketball with the other, and I can’t recall the last time I saw a proper squad of cheerleaders accompanying an orchestra.

Likewise, even though “Get your head in the game!” is one of the most commonly shouted phrases in sports, I don’t think you have concert-goers yelling “Get your head in the symphony!” Not that this drummer needed to be told that, though, as shown by the startling flourish he put on the end of his performance.

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Twitter artist reimagines 64 pokémon as “Substitute” plushies to adorable results

If you ever played Pokémon as a kid (or even as an adult!), you’re probably familiar with the Substitute move and the adorable plush “decoy” your pocket monster could use to sop up some damage. But as cute as that little substitute was, didn’t you always kind of wish that it looked a little bit more like a plush version of the pokémon you were using?

Maybe not, but that didn’t stop one Japanese Twitter artist from drawing 64 Pokémon as Substitutes!

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Turn desk time into battle time with this gloriously unnecessary replica Mega Man helmet!

Anyone who regularly reads my ramblings here on RocketNews24 will know that I’m steadily building up a sizeable list of geeky trinkets I intend to pester my loved ones for this Christmas. From chocolate video game controllers to bars of soap shaped like Game Boy cartridges, very few of my Christmas wish-list items would look out of place on a child’s letter to Santa.

But when the trinkets are as awesome as this replica, LED-laden Mega Man helmet, I really couldn’t give a Jimmy Riddle what anyone else thinks: they belong on the list.

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Cats, dogs, pandas & more! An irresistible collection of photos and videos of animals in the snow

It seems only a short while ago that we were complaining about how unbearably hot the summer is here in Japan. Well, time sure does pass by quickly, and we’re now headed into winter, with parts of northern Japan already seeing a bit of snow. And while you can always expect small kids to be thrilled with the idea of a winter wonderland, it seems they’re not the only ones that thoroughly enjoy playing with the snow.

We’ve found a collection of photos and videos on Japanese information compilation site Naver Matome which clearly show that animals too get a kick out of jumping and rolling in the fluffy white stuff, and we wanted to share the images with you because, well … they simply looked so “cool” (and not just because of all the snow involved). So, get ready to enjoy some adorable animal snow action!

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Hadoken! The LINE stickers we’ve all been waiting for: Street Fighter II

LINE is Japan’s most popular instant messaging platform and it came to its place on top via cute emoji “stickers.” But maybe you’ve had enough of the cutesy bears and sparkling hearts. Maybe you need to let out some emoji anger when your girlfriend is being a bit clingy with her texts. Fear not! The LINE stickers of your dreams have been released and they are just as tough, and occasionally gruesome, as you want them to be! Welcome into the ring, Street Fighter II!

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Guy asks Twitter to decode late uncle’s encrypted message, gets results in matter of hours

Call us jaded, but usually when we think of the Internet, we think of a cesspit of erotic fan fiction, toxic message boards and comments sections filled with ignorance, anger and bad grammar, punctuated by the very occasional glimmer of the web’s potential for greatness, usually in the form of reddit AMAs.

One of those glimmers came a few days ago when a Japanese Twitter user posted a plea for help from fellow net users in decoding a message left behind in his late uncle’s diary.

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Super-hot female member of real life superhero group captures Japanese hearts

Who said heroes don’t exist? In Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan they most certainly do!

Read on to meet the IBALIGER robot-superhero group and the female member who netizens have been describing as “too sexy”.

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Japan’s pet kitties are reportedly spellbound by recent NHK wildlife documentary 【Photos】

Netizens on Twitter recently reported that a rather strange phenomenon was affecting their pet cats during the broadcast of NHK’s “Mitsuaki Iwago’s World Catwalk”, a documentary by prominent wildlife photographer and documentary filmmaker Mitsuaki Iwago.

Apparently, the scenes of furry felines in their natural habitat completely captured the attention of household moggies watching at home, to the extent that their owners felt compelled to tweet photographic evidence of the event. Join us after the jump for images of cute kitties viewing images of other cute kitties!

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Japanese man crowned World’s Best Santa at 2014 Santa Winter Games

In the mining town of Gällivare, located in the Swedish section of Lapland, the contestants have gathered. These men and women gritted their teeth as they walked through the streets in their heavy boots on the morning of 22 November with the frosty wind biting at their quickly reddening cheeks.

Red cheeks would serve them well, however. As would eyes that twinkle and a round belly that shakes when they laugh like a bowlful of jelly, for these world warriors were here to determine who was the World’s Best Santa.

And so, when the blood was mopped up and visions of sugar plums danced through the heads of little ones, it was Japan’s very own Kohei Yamashita who emerged victorious bringing his nation its first ever World’s Best Santa title.

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We test the mayonnaise hair pack, plus give vegetable and olive oil a shot, and the winner is…

Recently, do-it-yourself mayonnaise hair packs have caught the attention of people who want to look their best, save a little cash, and maybe find a second use for that jumbo-sized jar of the condiment they picked up at Costco. And while we don’t know where she sources her mayo from, our Japanese-language correspondent Shimazu was one of those intrigued by this possible meeting of the beauty and culinary worlds.

So to see if it’s really as good for your hair as its fans say, Shimazu hopped in the shower, lathered up, and slapped on a coat of mayo. She didn’t stop there, though, as she also grabbed a couple of other bottles from her kitchen so she could compare the results versus treating her hair with vegetable and olive oil.

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There’s a Doraemon Christmas tree in Singapore

Shoppers at Singapore’s One Raffles Place can get into the holiday spirit with the help of Doraemon. Or rather, dozens upon dozens of Doraemon, which have been turned into a cute and wonderful Doraemon Christmas tree, complete with Santa hats.

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Foreigner cyclist pulls a Gandalf, stands up to driver using bike lane in Beijing

In some countries where bicycles are a major means of transportation, such as in China, cyclists enjoy the privilege of having their own lane on the road separate from cars and buses for better road safety. Understandably, cars are not supposed to be driven on these bicycle-only lanes, but there are always a couple of rebels who like to think that rules exist to be broken instead of abided by.

Well, bad luck for this rule-breaking driver spotted driving on a bicycle lane in Beijing, because he got stuck in a face-off with a gutsy foreigner who simply refused to let him have his way!

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Cute snowman-pan will bring a little sweet joy to your dreary winter

France may have delicious bread, but Japan has cute bread (even if it doesn’t always turn out as planned). I mean, they are the creators of Anpan-man, after all!

Adding yet another almost-too-cute-to-eat bread treat to the already long list, a bakery called “Cafe Blue Jean” located in the Hotel New Hankyu Osaka, brings us “Snowman-pan.” These seasonal treats are breads, shaped and decorated to look like darling, little snowmen.

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Japanese film pros ranked their top movies to show kids, with Ghibli titles sweeping the top 3

Kodomo Eiga Plus, an entertainment web portal that specializes in children’s films and children’s film events, asked 132 film industry pros which movies they’d recommend the most for children to watch before they turn 13. Unsurprisingly, Ghibli movies took the top three spots, as well as many positions on the Top 15.

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How to say “I love you” in Japanese – 47 different ways 【Videos】

Japan may not be that big on a world map, but there’s a surprising number of distinct regional cultures you’ll find as you make your way from one end of the country to another. Sometimes, taking the train just a few hours in one direction will put you in a spot where people eat different foods, celebrate holidays on different days, or even talk differently from where you just came from.

So, just to be prepared to communicate as effectively as possible with the locals, you might want to take a few minutes to review these videos of women saying “I love you” in the dialects of each of Japan’s 47 prefectures.

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Learn to love the taste of raw daikon with this simple recipe 【RocketKitchen】

Daikon is one of the cornerstones of Japanese cuisine. It has a firm yet yielding texture and ability to meld with any flavors it comes in contact with such as oden broth. However, most ways of eating daikon involve cooking which largely squanders the precious vitamin C that it contains.

You could eat it raw, but on its own daikon has a bitter and bland flavor suitable for no one. At least, it did until now thanks to a recipe posted on Cookpad, Japan’s premier recipe site, by a user with the handle of ayureo. This recipe is certifiably delicious, cheap, and so simple that anyone can do it — even us!

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Free to download Japanese marriage applications are cute, stylish, and legally binding

In Japan, the act of getting married isn’t really all that exciting. I don’t mean that weddings here aren’t memorable affairs, as they’re packed with all the joy and emotion you’d expect (and sometimes the video game references and crazy cakes you wouldn’t). The ceremonies held at churches, shrines, and wedding halls in Japan don’t constitute a legal union, though.

The only way to be officially hitched is to turn in a marriage application, called a konintodoke, to your local ward office or city hall, where you and your beloved will be pronounced husband and wife with all the stirring pageantry that goes along with a clerk stamping his authorization on the paperwork. When my wife and I submitted ours, the clerk offhandedly told us “Otsukaresama,” more or less “Thanks for stopping by,” instead of “Congratulations.”

Thankfully, there’s now a way to add a little color to the otherwise bland proceedings, with a new line of artistic marriage applications that’re not only approved for official use across Japan, but also free!

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Young man’s clever use of an umbrella saves injured kitten

We love a good rescue story, especially when it involves cute kitties! Find out who this rescuer is and why the kitten found himself stuck in a ditch after the jump!

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Tokyo’s Rikugien garden: Beautiful for 300 years, but especially in autumn after dark

They’re often overshadowed by the sakura, but Japan’s fall colors make the country a beautiful place to be at this time of year. Maples and gingkos even have a few advantages over cherry trees. They tend to hold their color a little longer, and the cooler weather is less conducive to large outdoor parties, meaning your appreciation of the beauty of nature is less likely to be disturbed by the carousing of drunks.

In contrast to Tokyo’s many cherry tree-lined parks and boulevards, though, getting a good view of crimson and yellow leaves often means having to head out of the city and up into the mountains. That’s not always the case, though. Historic Rikugien Garden has plenty of fall color, is located right in the middle of Tokyo, and right now is so beautiful it’s staying open after dark.

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More adorable photos from Japan’s fox village

Earlier this year we introduced our readers to Japan’s fox village, an open-range zoo home to dozens of adorable foxes so tame that they’ll walk right up to you to say hi. This year, too, Japanese sightseers have stopped by to see the foxes playing in the autumn leaves, and one Twitter user uploaded a pair of simply adorable photos that we just had to share with you.

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