We bump into Kuratas, the 120 million-yen robot, at the Tokyo Toy Show

Many of you may recall the three-meter-tall (12.5 feet) ridable Japanese robot known as Kuratas which we have covered many times before. Earlier this year the real-life mecha made waves when it went up for sale on Amazon for the sum of 120 million yen (US$978,000).

For years now, Kuratas has been charming wannabe mech-pilots around the world until its most recent offering in January, but since then things have been quiet on the giant robot front. So you can imagine our Mr. Sato’s surprise when he stumbled upon one by chance during a trip to the 2015 Tokyo Toy Show.

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Nearly 40 percent of young, unmarried Japanese people say they don’t want a relationship

The rumors of Japan’s shrinking and aging population have not been exaggerated at all, it seems. Struggling to develop countermeasures, the Japanese cabinet commissioned a survey of men and women in their 20s and 30s, asking them various questions about marriage.

Unfortunately, it looks like the results of the survey probably weren’t what the government was hoping to find…

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16 of the best worst bento lunches ever

If you’ve been with us here at RocketNews24 for a while, or have any sort of interest in Japanese culture, then you are probably fairly familiar with Japanese obento, or boxed lunches. Bento are easily customizable and tend to include a variety of different ingredients, which makes them more fun, colorful, and healthy than the regular old packed lunch. Some mothers go all out, waking up at the crack of dawn to make elaborate and super-cute kyara-ben for their beloved school-going children (a lucky husband may get one too).

But not everyone has the patience, energy, or creativity to put into making the perfect lunch every day. Or sometimes, mom may feel under appreciated (or maybe dear child didn’t do what he/she was asked to do!), so she decides to take a break from those laborious lunches. Here are 16 hilarious examples of times Japanese mothers, for whatever reason, decided to skimp on the visual appeal, and sometimes even the meal itself!

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Newest live-action Attack on Titan trailer shows 3-D maneuver gear, spurting blood…and a kiss?

The second animated Attack on Titan movie opens this Saturday, but it’s not the only trip the Survey Corps and their people-eating, pants-shunning adversaries are making to theaters this summer. The first of two live-action Attack on Titan films debuts on August 1, and while it might not have the gusting winds and spraying water of the anime version’s special screening, the newest trailer shows that it will have action and destruction on a grand scale, plus a scene where leading lady Mikasa locks lips with one of her brothers in arms on the battlefield.

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First criminal “revenge porn” case involving messaging app Line emerges in Japan

Even as discourse over how best to eliminate revenge porn grows overseas, the first criminal case involving the messaging app Line has emerged in Japan. Police have arrested two men for sharing topless images of a woman in her 20s without her permission in April.

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Bamiyan Buddhas destroyed by Taliban reborn via Chinese couple, projection mapping

The giant stone Buddhas at Bamiyan were the tallest in the world at 55 and 38 meters (180 and 125 feet) in height. From their cliffside alcove, they watched a millennium and a half pass in Afghanistan, resisting the degenerative influence of time and the introduction of Islam, until religious fanaticism in the form of the Taliban and a great deal of explosives finally brought them down.

Their loss was a cultural and artistic tragedy, but this week the Buddhas were reborn through the magic of 3-D projection mapping and the efforts of a civilian Chinese couple.

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Thai university student and “otoko no ko” Jade Woe has all the brains AND beauty, too!

“Otoko no ko”, beautiful boys who can easily pass for girls when they try to, are a favourite of Japan’s netizens (and us!). Who doesn’t love marvelling at stunningly beautiful people, whatever the gender? Here at RocketNews24, we’ve brought you more than a handful of cute beauties, and here’s another one for you… Thai university student Jade Woe!

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Abandoned Chinese fishing village gets a natural facelift and it’s awesome 【Photos】

There’s something about abandoned buildings, such as Nagasaki’s famed “Battleship Island,” and the ghost skyscraper in Bangkok, that is so creepy and mysterious that we just can’t get enough of them. One Shanghai-based photographer recently journeyed out to the nearby Zhoushan Archipelago to document the remains of a once-prospering fishing village, now abandoned and being consumed by nature.

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Fan shows how to snap a picture of you and your 2-D crush sharing a passionate embrace

Last weekend the inaugural CharaExpo, a celebration of Japanese animation, comics, and video games, was held in Singapore. The event hosted artists, musicians, and voice actors, plus independent dojinshi producers and cosplayers, and also had an array of exhibit booths from a variety of game and anime companies.

At one booth, fans could take photos with some of the characters from Touken Ranbu, the computer game that’s been winning the heart of female otaku for the way it turns historical Japanese swords into handsome young samurai hotties. But while taking a picture with a flesh-and-blood celebrity crush means he might affectionately put an arm around you as you smile for the camera, you can’t ask a cardboard cutout to do the same. However, one attendee has shown that with a little creativity you can take a photo that makes it look like you’re in the passionate embrace of your inanimate anime crush.

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Transform your bottle of tea into Sailor Senshi with these cool Sailor Moon covers from Mini Stop

Heat and humidity are as much a part of a Japanese summer as festivals and fireworks. With the threat of dehydration always looming, it’s a smart idea to always carry a cool, rehydrating beverage with you, but if you’re sweating profusely, you can bet the plastic bottle your drink is in is doing likewise.

To keep the rest of the contents of your bag from getting damp, you could wrap the bottle in a hand towel. A more effective alternative, though, is to slip a specially designed cover over it, and if you’re going that route, why not use one of these cool Sailor Moon costume covers that you can get for free with a bottle of Japanese tea at Mini Stop convenience stores?

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Is this studly tofu maker really all he seems?

Making tofu, believe it or not, actually requires enough physical labor that, even if you’re just making enough for yourself, you’re liable to at least break a sweat (although, honestly, why on earth would you make just a single serving of tofu?). There’s a lot of pressing and carrying heavy things around and grunting involved in tofu creation, is what we’re saying.

But is it hard enough that making a lot of it over time can turn your average tofu maker into a rippled, muscular Adonis? The short answer is, uh…maybe. Your results may vary (and you probably ought to hit the gym, anyway) but Taiwanese media claims to have found at least one particularly fit local tofu maker.

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“Gotta catch ’em all, son!” Japanese dad gets game-addicted kid to quit – by making it a chore

You can learn all kinds of things on the internet. How to fix your leaky tap, how to get your baby to go to sleep in five seconds, and now, how to get your kid to step away from the console.

On the Japanese Twitterverse this week we read of one father’s unusual method of getting his son to stop playing video games – by making Pokémon compulsory.

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If guys don’t pay on dates, should girls still have to look pretty? Japan’s netizens discuss

The issue of who should pay on a date can be a tricky one. Do you split it evenly down the middle? Should the one who initiated the date be the one to pay? Should the guy man always pay, no matter what?

Here’s what Japan’s net users had to say on the matter of splitting – or not splitting – the bill on dates. Hopefully this information will be useful to anyone who’s hoping to find love in Japan!

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Feeling hungry? Dip into this delicious Princess Mononoke-inspired cheese ball recipe

With summer come picnics, potlucks and barbeques, but for those of us who aren’t so handy in the kitchen, it can be a real conundrum trying to come up with a dish that’s simple to make yet tastes great.

If you’re stumped for summertime snack ideas, why not try your hand at this easy-to-make cheeseball recipeShaped like the Forest Spirit from Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, it not only looks delicious, but is sure to impress any Miyazaki or anime buffs in your circle of friends.

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Disney Japan’s Father’s Day shout-out on Twitter didn’t go quite as planned

Walt Disney’s animations have made a huge impact since the beginning, and the Disney mania is still going strong even today. You may be one of those fans who knows nearly every single bit of Disney trivia there is to know, or you may just be one of those who enjoy watching a classic every so often and seeing the new films as they come out, but aren’t exactly the know-it-all. And that’s okay.

While the average fan may not know everything about every Disney movie there is, you would at least expect someone representing the official Disney name to know the basics, which is why the Father’s Day tweet posted by the official Disney Japan Twitter account brought about a bit of confusion and a lot of laughter for their rather obvious blunder!

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New model PlayStation 4 is lighter and more energy efficient, hits stores this month

Sony had a pretty impressive E3 this year, with the company basking in the adoring gaze of gamers around the world who imagined themselves playing the remade Final Fantasy VII, back-from-the-dead Last Guardian, and long-awaited Shenmue 3 on the PlayStation 4. As a matter of fact, Sony’s strong showing no doubt has plenty of holdouts thinking that now is the time to finally upgrade to the great-grandson of the original PlayStation.

And as if those upcoming titles weren’t incentive enough to pick up a PlayStation 4, Sony is sweetening the deal with a new version of the console that’s lighter on both the scale and power consumption.

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Upcoming photo book captures the postwar journey of recovery for Nagoya

A new photo book titled Nagoya in the Showa Era: Showa Years 20-40 (昭和の名古屋 昭和20~40年代) captures all of the struggles and efforts to rebuild the city, which is the capital of Aichi Prefecture, between 1945-1965. If you or someone you know has a connection to Nagoya, this book may provide an interesting and relevant glimpse into the past.

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Announcing the winners of our Anime Encyclopedia 3rd Revised Edition giveaway!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s finally time to announce the winners of our Anime Encyclopedia 3rd Revised Edition giveaway!

Click the link below to find out if you’re one of the four lucky people who won a copy of this gargantuan guide to all things anime!

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Samurai fashion guide – Should you wear your sword blade-up or blade-down?

In any situation, it’s important to dress appropriately. It can be tough to get all the little details just right, though, especially when dealing with articles of clothing you don’t have occasion to use very often. If you’re still a student, for example, you might have trouble tying a nice, crisp knot in your necktie, and even if you’re an adult working in a suit-and-tie business environment, you might not know all the finer points for more formal accessorizing, such as where to position a tie bar or the proper way to fold a pocket square.

Or, if you’re going to meet up with your fellow samurai, should your sword point upwards or downwards?

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Attack on illicit substances! Colossal Titan stars in Tokyo Government anti-drug campaign 【Video】

Anti-drug posters and commercials usually have a way of getting us down. Dark images of despair, death and homelessness rely on realism to get the message across, leaving us with tiny mental scars as a warning to stay away from the dark side and walk on the right side of life.

Here in Japan, though, anti-drug tactics are very different. Instead of scaring citizens, animated images are used to inform and empower people. And when the Tokyo Metropolitan Government enlists the help of the Survey Corps and Colossal Titan to fight the war on drugs, you’ve got a campaign that catches everyone’s interest.

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