Strange English signs in China and Japan really hate vegetables, sometimes threaten to kill you

We’ve talked before about some of the reasons why bizarre English signage pops up in Asia. One of the most common causes is a fundamental difference in the way sentences are structured between English and other languages. Automated translations programs, which aren’t nearly as well sorted out as many monolingual users believe, are also among the usual suspects.

That said, looking at a flawed translation is sort of like performing an autopsy, in that sometimes there’s a limit in what it can tell you. Just like the medical examiner might say, “Well, all the baby spiders hatching inside the subject’s eyeball definitely killed him, but I’ve got no idea how the eggs got in there,” there are times like these when we look at some garbled English, and, just like we can’t stifle our chuckles, we can’t imagine why the translation went flying off the rails, or if it was even on them to begin with.

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Just in time for 2015! Hoverboard becomes reality, proves Back to the Future was legit

Remember that scene in the classic 80’s movie Back to the Future Part II, where Marty McFly escapes a group of bullies using a floating skateboard known as a hoverboard? If you do, you probably spent your childhood longing for one of those bad boys and wondering when technology would catch up to the 2015 depicted in the film. Well, it looks like we’ve managed to make it a reality, and just before the cut-off date, too! Join us after the jump for video evidence!

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Pepsi reboots Japan’s Peach Boy with 3 action and monster-filled ads that’re 8 kinds of badass

The story of Momotaro is one of Japan’s oldest folktales, but a lot of its elements seem a little silly. For starters, the hero’s name translates as “Peach Boy.” His companions are a monkey, a dog, and a pheasant, who he wins over by giving them some sweet dumplings in exchange for their help against the story’s villains, who all have outie bellybuttons.

Goofy as these details may sound, though, the core of the tale is absolutely epic. A young hero who harnesses the power of wild beasts, then sails into the heart of demon territory to rumble with them on their island fortress? In a world where every literary and comic character is a candidate to become a darkly stylish action hero (heck, even Batman’s gritty reboot is getting its own gritty reboot), why hasn’t someone revamped Peach Boy into something closer to Peach Man?

Actually, someone already has, but you won’t find the new Momotaro in theatres, and while you might catch him flipping through the channels on TV, you can’t find his adventures scheduled in the program guide. That’s because this amazingly awesome version of Momortaro is actually a series of commercials from Pepsi.

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Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood

Look at the two Starbucks cups above. Can you tell which one is real and which one is a creation of colored pencils, pastels and ink? If not for a tiny bit hanging off the edge of the wood, we’d have been hard-pressed to choose.

This is the incredibly realistic work of Singaporean artist Ivan Hoo.

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Beautiful Taiwanese top model is as youthful-looking at 40 as she was at 20

Taiwan’s top model, Chi-ling Lin, has just turned 40 and yet she doesn’t look a day out of her twenties. How does she do it?! Read on for more of this beautiful lady who, we might add, is more than just a pretty face.

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Curry and melon bread! Together…at last? Anyway, Yamazaki’s new curry melon bread is here

We’ve talked before about melon bread, one of Japan’s most tempting baked goods that doesn’t really taste anything like the fruit it takes half its name from. But as delicious as the sugar-dusted outer layer is, the inside isn’t anything more than plain old bread, which is why some bakeries add fillings like custard or even ice cream.

One bakery, though, has decided to spice things up literally by filling its melon bread with curry.

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Japanese convenience store’s registers play Final Fantasy victory theme for special items 【Video】

Although video game developer Square Enix had dabbled in a few direct follow-ups here and there, whenever the counter for its Final Fantasy role-playing franchise rolls over to a new numbered sequel, the company completely ditches the old cast of heroes and villains, and even the previous game’s world.

But even if the narrative is starting from scratch each time, that doesn’t mean the games aren’t connected. For example, every Final Fantasy has scenes where the player rides on airships or horse-sized flightless birds called chocobos. The cursor is always a white glove with a pointing index finger, and major victories in battle are marked by the sounds of the series’ instantly recognizable “Victory Fanfare.”

Gamers have already heard the short but sweet melody played by the NES, Super NES, and PlayStations 1 through 3, and this month, they can look forward to hearing it someplace new: at the register of Lawson convenience stores when they purchase special items.

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Ago-kui is the new kabe-don, and it looks incredibly cute when done to pets!

Are you still caught up in the kabe-don craze? We’ve even seen some variations to the wall-pounding approach, but it’s time to change it up for the next manga inspired photo trend – ago-kui!

Japanese Twitter users have shifted their attention to another heart throbbing situation that often comes up in manga and anime, the act of gently tilting another person’s head upwards by their chin. Similar to when kabe-don was trending, Twitter users started posting images of themselves getting caught up in an ago-kui situation, but they soon realized, it looks way cuter when ago-kui is done to their pets! More cuteness ahead!

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Flash mob at Manila airport brings holiday cheer to surprised passengers

It’s December. It’s that time of the year again. Shop windows are decorated with Christmas trees and signs inviting you to spend more money; Candy canes and Santa Clauses and reindeer seem to be popping up everywhere you go. At the airport in Manila, Philippines, the sultry weather doesn’t seem to have the same holiday magic other wintry places do. However, a flash mob brought the Christmas spirit back to surprised passengers at the terminal and warmed our hearts, too.

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Japanese town axes milk from school lunches, debate likely to wage until cows come home

I’ve lost count of the number of Japanese people I’ve met who were disappointed to find out I don’t have what they consider quintessential American eating habits. The last time I had a steak was a year ago. I’m perfectly happy eating rice, and I love fish, since, you know, I grew up in California, which is a coastal state (same ocean as Japan has, too).

But there’s one stereotype I do conform with, and that’s how much I love milk, despite being a full-grown adult. Many Japanese people, on the other hand, associate the drink with their childhood, since it’s been served in elementary schools for decades.

One city in Niigata Prefecture, though, has decided it has no more tolerance for drinkable lactose, and starting this month, is removing milk from its school lunches.

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Pet owners, beware! Cat gets “toasted” by a space heater

Winter has been homing in hard and fast this year, hasn’t it? Two weeks ago a massive snowstorm invaded America, and a cold wave has been sinking into Japan this week, already causing unexpected snowfall two months early in certain parts of the country. It feels almost as if Elsa is throwing a fit because Baymax has been getting more attention lately.

In such unpredictable freezing temperatures, it’s best to stay at home with the heater on so you’ll be warm and dry. All the better if you have a huggable, furry pet at home who wouldn’t mind cuddling up with you. Keep an eye on your pets when you’re using a heater though, or else they might end up like this unfortunate feline who got a pair of charred “wings” on its back!

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Policewoman’s posterior produces poetic justice as she arrests man she says groped her on train

Police in Hyogo Prefecture are reporting the arrest of a man suspected of being a chikan, Japan’s embarrassing subclass of perverts that grope unsuspecting women on crowded trains. The suspect’s capture wasn’t the result of a sophisticated sting or surveillance operation, though. As a matter of fact, the arresting officer didn’t even have to chase the man down, as the police claim he was caught red, and butt, handed when he grabbed the behind of a fellow passenger who’s also a policewoman.

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Artist whittles perfect animal replicas out of wood, makes own pets suspicious

Making replicas of your pets using a variety of mediums including their own fur seems to be a fad that’s captured the hearts of some of the more natty crafters out there. Now, we’d like to introduce you to woodworking artist and sculptor Mio Hashimoto, whose carvings are almost perfect replicas of various animals including her own pet kitty and doggy (although we think they’re starting to become a tad suspicious…)

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Group of cats in China gathers for séance, summoning, or maybe just some sinister cake 【Video】

Some people say cats possess strong spiritual powers, but I’m not so sure. Yeah, they’ve been popular familiars for literary witches since as far back as anyone can remember, but I’m not really convinced that they can sense spirits where the rest of us can’t just because they have a tendency to be startled by, and throw jabs at, empty patches of air. Really, that’s only about as profound a connection to the supernatural plane as I have after half a bottle of bourbon.

But maybe cats do have access to dark magical powers. It would certainly explain the eerie calm they display in this video showing a group of them huddled around a table as part of what looks like a cultish ritual.

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Congratulations Nippon! Japan takes on the title of “Top Country Brand”

Every year a brand consultant agency called FutureBrand comes out with a report of the Country Brand Index (CBI). The “country brand” (think “Made in Japan”), is measured similarly to consumer or corporate brands (Nike, Toshiba, etc).

The index is a measure of the global perception of each country’s “brand,” not just for the quality and popularity of their export products and big name businesses, but also taking into account social aspects of the country. Having spent the last few years cozily in the top ten, Japan took the number one position in the 2014-2015 CBI report.

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Hajime Isayama drew the Attack on Titan voice cast as their characters

After a stage event, voice actress Marina Inoue snapped the ultimate selfie, one that included herself, fellow Attack on Titan actors Yui Ishikawa (Mikasa Ackerman) and Yuuki Kaji (Eren Jaeger), and series director Tetsuro Araki. While the picture itself is already pretty cool, Attack on Titan mangaka Hajime Isayama took it one step further, drawing the cast as their respective characters, along with a manga-fied version of Araki.

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Japan introduces a new kind of needleless injection, you won’t believe how it works!

Needle phobia all boils down to “Needles? No thank you!” This seemingly innocuous fear makes many things in life quite difficult. Drawing blood, injections…sewing…are just some of the things that become very problematic. Needle(ss) to say, science fiction has been ripe with alternative injection systems, the most famous is probably the hypospray from Star Trek. While needle-free injections have existed for a while now, a Japanese research team is ready to release their invention into the world, a new kind of needle-free injection that works on the magic of bubbles and is pain FREE!

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New video for Hikaru Utada’s ‘Beautiful World’ is a slice of Evangelion awesomeness【Video】

Hikaru Utada’s anniversary cover album is out next week, and to celebrate, Evangelion co-director Kazuya Tsurumaki has made this music video for the Japanese American artist’s song ‘Beautiful World’.

The resulting video is made of beautifully spliced-together Evangelion clips, and it fits Utada’s track perfectly.

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High-level yakuza member arrested for possession of 17kg of salt

On 1 December Yokohama customs and police departments announced the arrest of an allegedly high ranking 49-year-old member of the Sumiyoshikai yakuza group along with six other men in a case of smuggling. They found in his possession 17kg of rock salt, which was actually planted on him by Yokohama customs agents prior to his arrest. All involved are considering it a flawless example of proper law-enforcement.

If you’re confused by this then you might not be familiar with the police tactic known as “oyogasesosa” (swim investigation) or “controlled delivery” as it’s called in English speaking countries.

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Just a dud batch? Original artist shocked by shoddy final version of Attack on Titan figure

Have you ever ordered a product online that turned out to be nothing like how it looked in the photo? You feel disappointed, annoyed, and slightly betrayed. It’s probably the same kind of feeling an artist gets when a product based on their designs doesn’t turn out quite like they expected.

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