31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

We’ve all been there. You excitedly tear off the wrapper on the new snack you’ve been waiting to try, only to find that it’s half the size of the picture on the box, or doesn’t contain the mint leaf daintily arranged on the image on the packaging. That’s why packaging runs the line “serving suggestion”, anyway – to let the manufacturer show the food at its best without being accused of, erm, lying.

A project from the delightfully named German website PUNDO3000, werbung gegen realität (“Adverts versus reality”) attempts to stab back at food manufacturers with painfully real photos of food items. We’re always on the look out for the gap between jazzed-up photos and the real deal, so join us after the jump for 31 of the best!

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Determined Japanese artist recreates Attack on Titan opening sequence–using only pencils!

There is no doubting the popularity of Attack on Titan. Live-action movies and a video games aside, one of the best way to judge a property’s popularity is by the number and variety of fan-made projects. And in that category, we’d say that AoT is absolutely killing it! We’ve already seen two different short films created by inspired fans–one from Germany and another from Taiwan combining Attack on Titan and A Certain Scientific Railgun–as well as numerous craft projects like these “real” swords.

But this new fan-made, pencil-drawn reimagining of the Attack on Titan opening might be one of the best things we’ve ever seen! Even if you’ve never seen the show before, you won’t want to miss this incredible video–it’s equal parts beautiful and amazing.

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Japanese women reveal six pitfalls to watch out for on your ramen date

Up until a few years ago, ramen joints were more or less the bottom rung of the Japanese dining scenes. Sure, the food might have tasted great, but they tended to be so crowded and dirty that many women refused to set foot inside one.

Recently, though, ramen restaurants have been cleaning up their act, sprucing up their interiors, and attracting more and more female customers. With more and more women appreciating a steaming bowl of Japan’s favorite noodles, some couples are even heading out on ramen dates.

But just as ramen restaurants had to meet certain criteria before they could win over the fairer sex, so too are there missteps a ramen-loving boyfriend has to avoid to keep from spoiling the mood.

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This table tennis player shows that “nothing is impossible” 【Video】

Have you ever given up on something you wish you’d persisted with? We’ve all quit something at one point or another in our lives and there are many reasons for giving up. It sounds great to be able to play an instrument effortlessly, master a sport or become fluent in multiple languages, but once the reality of just how much work goes into a skill sinks in, it can often feel impossible.

Meet Ibrahim Hamada of Egypt, a table tennis enthusiast who says, “Nothing is impossible as long as you work hard.” That may sound like the kind of thing that can only be said by the exceptionally naive, but that is not the case here. He was involved in a train accident when he was 10 years old, and he lost most of his arms as a result. At 13, he was determined to find a way to play again.

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In the kitchen with Kiki – We whip up some Ghibli-inspired rice porridge

Recently, our Japanese-language reporter Hotaru has been a little down in the dumps. She’s not sure if she’s come down with a cold or is just feeling the doldrums of the dreaded Gogatsu-byou, but either way, she needed a boost.

Realizing that good health and a good mood starts with good food, she headed into the kitchen to whip up a batch of porridge. But not just any old porridge would do for helping Hotaru shake off her funk, she needed to recreate the porridge that picks up the heroine of classic anime Kiki’s Delivery Service.

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Husband gives wife a piece of his lung in a revolutionary transplant with the help of a 3-D printer

After having difficulty breathing, a Kansai area resident went to the hospital where she learned that she had an irreversible case of pulmonary fibrosis (firming of lung tissue). The doctors told her that if she didn’t receive a transplant for her left lung she would die. Luckily, her own husband was found to be a suitable donor. However, although his blood and tissue matched, there was a problem with the size of his lung. So a team of doctors at Kyoto University came up with a creative solution so unheard of, you’re more likely to find it in the pages of Black Jack rather than a medical journal.

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“Let it Grow?” Folically challenged dad pens his own inspirational lyrics to Frozen’s hit song

Following its rather late and unseasonal release in their home country, children everywhere across Japan can now be heard singing the catchy songs from Disney’s Frozen, or Ana and the Snow Queen as it was retitled, and the Japanese language version of the mega-hit “Let it Go” has even been covered by top singers on nationwide music variety shows (also, don’t miss this hilarious parody on a Korean variety show!).

While the official Japanese language version was performed by 36-year-old professional Takako Matsu, it seems that some new competition is popping up on the Twitterverse. A girl recently tweeted a photo of her father’s handwritten “Let it Go” parody which artfully tweaks the words of Ms. Matsu’s now-famous lyrics to give the song a very different theme.

Let’s just say things are about to get a little hairy around here… 

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New for obsessive pet owners: A wooden box to keep your cat’s whiskers and teeth in!

Cat owners concerned that they might suddenly forget the existence of their pet or who wish to gross out potential lovers may be pleased to hear of the arrival of two new products on Amazon Japan. The “Cat Whisker Case” and “Cat Milk Tooth Case“, which retail for 1,580 yen (US$16) each, are the perfect way to commemorate your pet’s growth into adulthood and treat them as a true member of the family.

That’s right, you too can have a small box full of cat teeth or whiskers on your dressing table or mantlepiece, just waiting for some hapless visitor to stumble upon before suddenly remembering that they’ve left the oven on at home and have to leave.

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Need another reason to drink green tea? How about preventing dementia?

There’s quite a lot to be said for green tea. It has no calorific content of its own to speak of, and doesn’t need sugar or cream to taste great. A steaming cup can warm you up in winter, or you can drop a couple of ice cubes in and cool off with a glass in midsummer.

Now, new research suggests that aside from keeping your body trim and your palate pleased, a daily cup of green tea can help keep your mind sharp by warding off the onset of dementia.

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Elephant nose ice cream: The treat with a trunk

If you’re looking for a fun way to eat your dessert, look no further than Zou-No-Hana Cafe in Yokohama, Japan. The house specialty, the zou no hana (elephant nose) ice cream has been enticing regular visitors and tourists alike with its cute, albeit strange, face and oversized waffle cone ears.

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We get our hands on some “Booby Ice Cream” from Kochi Prefecture

Aside from tasting great, ice cream conjures up all sorts of happy mental images. While it’s pleasing your taste buds, the frozen treat can bring back reminiscences of childhood family outings or innocent high school dates in the park.

Or, in the case of one brand of ice cream from Shikoku, sucking on some boobs.

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The 2,900 km/h train: China could soon have maglev faster than commercial jet

Scientists at Southwest Jiaotong University in China have built a prototype testing platform for a near-vacuum high-speed maglev train that is theoretically capable of reaching speeds up to 2900 km/h or about 1,800 mph. Currently, the fastest commercially operated maglev reaches just 431 km/h and even the world record is just 581 km/hr.

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“But we’re speaking Japanese!”: Humorous video confronts lingering stereotypes in Japan

One of the most frustrating parts about living in Japan was when I would go out to dinner with my husband. No, it wasn’t because I wasn’t able to read the menu or because I don’t like Japanese food – it was because more often than not, the server wouldn’t speak to me.

Since my Vietnamese-American husband cannot speak or read Japanese, I would always do the ordering. What the servers saw was a woman with a caucasian face speaking Japanese and what appeared to be a Japanese man not ordering for himself. After placing my order in Japanese, the server would turn to my husband (who couldn’t understand anything she was saying) and ask follow up questions about our drink order or any add ons. I would in turn, translate for my husband in English, and then answer our server in Japanese, but any remaining questions would be directed once again to my husband. This language triangle would continue until all the ordering was completed.

Of course, this didn’t happen every time, but enough for both my husband and I to take notice. When relating the story to my friends, many would confirm that they have encountered a similar situation. Some would posit that the server thought my husband was letting me practice my Japanese and was looking to him to confirm that’s actually what I wanted. But no matter the reason, I was always left a little frustrated.

A recent video on YouTube titled, “But we’re speaking Japanese!” confronts this exact situation, bringing light to a lingering stereotype in Japan.

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Terrible advice for making college friends involves cold shoulders, weird stockpiles

Academically speaking, most Japanese students don’t have that much trouble with the transition from high school to college. University entrance exams are notoriously difficult, and compared to the diligent studying they had to do to get into college in the first place, most find their educational workload, especially as freshemen, to be pretty easy to handle.

Making friends, though, can be tough. Rural Japan isn’t peppered with college towns in the same way some other countries are, and many students have no choice but to move far away from home to one of the nation’s big cities to pursue higher education. And while many students abroad can look forward to meeting new people in their dorm, very few Japanese universities provide any kind of student housing. Even in the rare case that they do, having a roommate is unheard of.

So it’s no surprise that many students are keen to pick up pointers on how to make interpersonal connections in their new surroundings. Unfortunately, not all advice is good advice, as one Japanese freshman recently found out.

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Hong Kong saw this video of westerners gaming their women and went berserk 【TomoNews Video】

Meet David Campbell and Ditlef Alexander Aasom Diseth, Asia’s latest internet sensation. A video showing one of them apparently stealing a girl from a Chinese guy in Hong Kong went viral.

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Slow News Day Special: We cook pasta with Tokyo Bay seawater

Given that there were no murders, Abe gaffs, North Korean human rights violations or major Attack on Titan events today, we decided we’d do something a little fluffier and… saltier with our reporting today. After hearing that professional chefs claim pasta should be boiled in a combination of water and salt that closely resembles seawater, we wondered: Why not just use, you know, actual seawater?

Since it’s essentially an unlimited and free resource, it seems like a waste to go out and buy pure water and sea salt and combine the two when you can just head on over to Odaiba on Tokyo Bay and fill up an empty bottle with real seawater.

One of our Japanese reporters did just this, with… somewhat mixed results.

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Panda and tiger face packs protect endangered species while they beautify your skin

It’s kind of ironic that face packs, which are designed to make your skin healthier and more beautiful, actually look pretty ghoulish when they’re in use. Often, the price of eventual beauty can be spending a half-hour or so looking like either The Phantom of the Opera or Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface.

Stepping up with an alternative is a Japanese company that’s selling face masks that promise to temporarily transform their wearer into a cute panda or tiger.

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Customer reviews on Amazon Japan are more priceless than the expensive items they’re about

Usually people search on Amazon to find the best deals, and not to spend a ton of money. But apparently there are people out there with a little too much cash to blow, as you’ll see after reading these hilarious Amazon Japan customer reviews for two ridiculously expensive products. We’re a bit worried for their sanity, but they sure can write some funny reviews!

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Let’s talk about cleavage: A mini Japanese lesson for the weekend【Photos】

Have you been neglecting your Japanese studies recently? Maybe you’ve been struck down with a case of the May blues? We have just the ticket to get you right back on track!

We’ve scoured the dark depths of the Japanese internet to bring you this brand new mini-lesson: how to talk about boobs in Japanese on internet forums. Don’t worry, reader – just like last time, there are pictures too. Just to double-check your understanding, of course.

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Darth Vader makes Japanese pro baseball debut with killer home run 【Video】

Darth Vader is a multi-talented guy. From choking subordinates with an invisible force to performing impromptu amputations on members of his family, he can perform all kinds of amazing feats. But did you know he’s also a major league slugger?

It’s true! As part of a collaboration between Lucasfilm and Japan pro-baseball’s Pacific League, Vader stepped up to the plate to show how the game should be played: with light-saber bats!

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