U.K. gamebook’s redone cover tells you everything you need to know about Japanese fantasy RPG art

A fundamental difference in the way Japan and the west approach fantasy role-playing games is how much more optimism Japanese creators tend to apply to the genre. Consider the most common opening scenarios for the two regions. How many western RPGs start with a group of grizzled and profiteering adventurers, brought together in a shady tavern by tales of riches waiting to be claimed? About as many as there are Japanese ones that begin with some plucky, clean-cut childhood friends leaving their bucolic village on a quest to see the wonders of the world and help strangers along the way.

The gap even extends to visual designs, with much western fantasy art looking like it’s covered with a thin film of dust, blood, or mead. Japan, on the other hand, likes to believe that everything can look sleek, freshly scrubbed, and even sexy in a medieval setting.

One of the founding fathers of fantasy gaming, though, isn’t right pleased about that aesthetic.

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Brain teaser that is no problem for a six-year-old stumps the rest of us

The humble brain teaser manages to make us feel frustrated and really dumb all at the same time, but often you will find that these questions are used to test the intellectual aptitude of prospective students. One question on an entrance exam for a Hong Kong elementary school has gone viral and it’s leaving adults a little stumped. On the other hand, the six-year-olds the question is aimed at are having no problem solving this brain teaser. Can you answer the question that an elementary school student can get in about twenty seconds, or are you stumped like the rest of the adults?

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Teacher rejects student’s declarations of love through comments on class worksheets

I’m sure we all harboured a secret crush on a school teacher at least once during our formative years. The operative word here being ‘secret’, mind you.

Spare a thought for this poor Japanese teacher who was faced with open declarations of love, and even a marriage proposal, from one of her students, but who responded to them all with real aplomb.

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RocketNews24 Japan writer gets haircut in Cuba, gets more than he bargained for

What do you like to do when you travel? Eat local cuisine? Visit famous landmarks?

Sure, those are all fine. But for me, one thing I always look forward to doing whenever I travel somewhere new is getting a haircut there. I know it sounds crazy, but each place really does have its own distinct style, different atmosphere, and unique way of getting your hair from head to floor.

Wasai, one of our Japanese writers, is a man after my own heart. He recently went on a trip to Cuba, and while he was there, one of the top items on his to-do list was to get a haircut. Did it end up as a failure or fabulous? Read on to find out!

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Super Mega Important Debate: Do you shower before work or before bed? 【Poll closed】

In Japan, the majority of people bathe at night before going to bed. Even if they don’t stick to the traditional routine of rinsing off before soaking in a hot bath, most Japanese find the idea of climbing into bed without having at least hopped in the shower first supremely icky – almost as icky as walking around your home while wearing your outdoor shoes.

In the west, however, many of us prefer to shower before leaving the house in the morning. No matter how well you slept the night before, the thought of not washing prior to putting on work clothes and heading out for the day seems pretty gross to most of us.

So for this week’s Super Mega Important Debate, we’re asking you to answer this one simple question: Do you bathe before bed or before work each morning?

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Get your own angry mob of medieval Japanese peasant farmers with these collectable sets!

Fictional depictions of Japanese medieval warfare tend inevitably to focus on samurai, the military nobility. Whether the medium is cult movies or collectible models, Japan’s common foot-soldiers barely get a look-in compared to their samurai masters.

Ukrainian company Redbox, however, aims to buck this trend by producing plastic figurine sets of the Japanese peasant infantry.

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Our Japanese reporter asks for some authentic American food…but does he enjoy the experience?

The writers at our Japanese-language sister site are sometimes like kids after eating way too much candy: Adventurous and ambitious but rarely without any clear plans. And that’s why we love them! There’s nothing quite as fun as seeing something familiar through the eyes of someone whose never experienced it before.

As such, our globetrotting Go has proven to be an excellent guinea pig for testing classic Americana: He’s failed to impress at Area 51 and discovered that Denny’s in the US isn’t quite what it is in Japan. On the quest for “real American meat,” he decided to find a proper restaurant so he could ask for the chef’s choice. But would he enjoy what he found? Or would Nevada ultimately destroy our brave writer’s faith in American cuisine?

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Wagakki Band announces second album, due to be released this September

We have great news for all our Wagakki Band fans: The group has officially announced their second album! To be released this September, the record will be titled Yasouemaki and will feature 14 tracks, including some new original songs by the band. Hardcore fans will want to be sure to get a first printing too, as it will included an extra limited-edition song. Read on for more information!

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Humanity comes one step closer to real-life Transformers with this transformable, drivable robot

Listen up, people–in just a couple of years, we’ll seeing the closest thing possible to a realization of Transformers in real life.

Japanese firms Brave Robotics and Asratec, along with the support of toy manufacturer Takara Tomy, have teamed up with the joint goal of creating a 3.5-meter-tall (11.5 feet) humanoid robot that is capable of transforming itself into a drivable car. While the project, which is titled J-deite Ride, won’t come to fruition until sometime in 2017, the collaborative team has already produced a similar transformable robot on a smaller scale–and the video of its transformation sequence is pretty awesome.

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As the weather gets hotter, the girls’ skirts get shorter. Although, to be fair, there are plenty of girls in Japan who strut around in tiny skirts even in the freezing depths of winter. But be it in winter or summer, one thing that comes with mini skirts is the risk of panty shots.

There are shorts designed to be worn under skirts to prevent such situations, but some girls don’t want to wear them, instead running the risk of giving the random guy an eyeful of their undies when they’re climbing up the stairs, running after a bus, or just standing in the way of the wind.

Apparently, such accidental upskirt situations are so common that it provides enough inspiration and case studies for an illustrator to start drawing a series of sketches on Twitter.

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Natto Boys want to take their smelly beans to Africa, but they need your help

Natto Boys (Natto Danshi) are a group whose sole purpose is to share the ancient and traditional Japanese food natto with the world. However, with its acrid smell and texture of an alien autopsy subject, those are some high hopes.

Already in about half a year, the Natto Boys have established a website featuring over 100 serving suggestions for the fermented soy beans to help promote the food at home. Now, they want to take the next step into the world’s second largest continent, Africa, and to do this they have turned to us for help via crowdfunding.

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Clever bathroom graffiti explains why smoking in the boys’ room is grossly inconsiderate

At my old job, my coworkers and I shared bathrooms with a half-dozen or so other companies that had offices in our building. For the most part, the men’s room stayed relatively clean, but about once a week, I’d walk into one of the stalls and find a pile of cigarette ashes on the floor.

Frankly, it was disgusting and exasperating, especially since the building had a smoking lounge. But hey, I guess the perpetrator who couldn’t resist the self-pleasing siren song of simultaneously taking a puff and a dump didn’t see what the big deal was. Here with a handy explanation, though, is some surprisingly wise Japanese bathroom graffiti.

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Sailor Moon facial powder gets a sequel with this beautiful Crystal Star Compact replica

A while back, we took a look at a replica of Sailor Moon’s Transformation Brooch which held cosmetic powder formulated to give you the look of anime-like perfectly unblemished skin. Die-hard fans, however, know that the brooch breaks shortly after the end of the anime’s first major story arc.

Early in Sailor Moon R the brooch is upgraded to the Crystal Star Compact, and if you’re looking to keep pace with Sailor Moon herself, now you can order a faithful recreation of her second transformation item that’s also filled with facial powder.

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If anyone understands your short people problems, it’s this bunny

I always hear of these so-called “short people problems“. Things like never being able to reach the top shelf; having to jog to keep up when walking with people who are taller; people using your head as an arm rest…

While I can’t personally sympathize, maybe this rabbit can, as he tries so hard to get a good view out the window, but just can’t quite reach.

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Sweet kitty siblings napping on their backs provide your daily dose of cute!

Dog lovers to the left! It’s time for another cute Twitter kitty post! This time, we’ve got a pair of fuzzy kitty siblings to share with you. They’ve got some adorable tricks up their furry sleeves with which they entertain their loyal followers, mostly involving sleeping in tandem on their backs!

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New snack sensation: super sour and certainly salty lemon flavour potato chips

Yep, it’s “weird potato chip flavour” time again! Hot on the heels of steak sandwich flavour, tangerine flavour, and banana and peach “breakfast chips”, we bring you… super sour lemon!

No doubt these crunchy potato slivers will be burning huge holes in our tongues when they go on sale and we immediately rush to satisfy our curiosity by guzzling several bags at once.

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New Attack on Titan movie will hit audiences with lights, wind, and water, also has moving seats

The second Attack on Titan theatrical feature has been a long time coming, but the film, subtitled The Wings of Freedom, is finally opening in Japan this month. Since the movie is a condensed version of the second half of the anime TV series, there probably won’t be too much in the way of new plot developments. What audiences can look forward to, though, is a movie experience augmented by moving seats, gusts of wind, and other awesome effects.

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Amazing 3-D printing pen 3Doodler gets a cheaper, slimmer version and workshops in Tokyo 【Video】

About a year ago, we took a look at the 3Doodler, an amazing crafting tool developed by U.S.-based WobbleWorks. Described as a 3-D printing pen, the 3Doodler uses plastic filament to let you draw in mid-air, creating physical objects instead of flat images.

Now we know what you’re all thinking: Where are those 3-D printed Mr. Sato statues we talked about making in our previous article? Well, it turns out we don’t actually have the artistic skills to properly capture the likeness of the head of RocketNews24’s Vice-President of Craziness. Oh, and also we’re cheap.

Thankfully, it looks like there’s a way to solve both of those problems. The updated 3Doodler 2.0 is easier to handle and less expensive than the original model, and there’s even a series of  upcoming workshops in Tokyo that’ll teach you how to get started drawing three-dimensional works of art.

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The UFO catcher that will make you laugh and cry – the Onion Crane Game!

UFO catchers, or crane games, are a common sight at game arcades not just in Japan, but in various parts of the world as well. We’re sure you’ve come across the typical kind of machine loaded with soft toys, anime figurines or snacks, or even the occasional rare prize of live pufferfish.

It goes without saying that the more valuable the prize is, the more difficult it would be to get a drop. Sometimes it takes so many tries to get even close to winning something, and when you just miss by that tiny bit, it really makes you want to cry. There is one special machine, however, that will really make you cry, especially if you manage to catch one of the prizes! Check out this one of a kind Tamanegi UFO Catcher!

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Final Fantasy fans want more remakes, so will Square Enix listen?

With the recent “surprise” announcement that Final Fantasy VII is being remade, fans are wondering if Square Enix will start taking more requests. The pleas from gamers for a FF VII remake began way back in 2005 when the opening sequence for the game was recreated using the graphics capability of the PS3. So if the famous video game company is willing to finally give the fans what they have been asking for, why not ask for more?

A petition has been started that is asking Square Enix to remake another classic from their catalog of “final” role-playing games. Will the gaming company listen to their fans, or will it be another long wait for Final Fantasy enthusiasts?

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