Live-action Attack on Titan film casts lead role, sets filming location and start date

Despite being filled with man-eating giants and heartless bureaucrats, people around the world can’t get enough of smash hit anime and manga Attack on Titan. But while fans wait patiently for the rumored continuation of the animated TV series, production is moving ahead on the franchise’s live-action theatrical feature, which now has a filming location and an actor chosen to play Titan-hating protagonist Eren Yeager.

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Watch out! Pokémon Fusion gets a lot more real with some wicked fan art【Photos】

Back in June 2013, talented programmer Alex Onsager brought us Pokémon Fusion, showing us what would happen if two Pokémon were to…ahem…get it on and…um…put the head and color scheme of one Pokémon on the body of another. While the combinations turned out to be pretty cool and cute in sprite form, fan artists have taken these new Pokémon to a whole different level. If this Cuchan is any indication, you gotta “check-out-the-rest-and-try-out-your-own-combinations-to-see” ‘em all.

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Fear and haunted houses in Japan: An interview with ScareHouse sociologist Margee Kerr

It’s almost summer and that means a lot of stuff in Japan—Golden Week, brain melting humidity, Obon, and of course, horror movies and haunted houses. While many people in the west binge on horror flicks and spooky attractions as Halloween nears, Japanese people tend to get their fright on during the summer months.

We recently caught up with Margee Kerr, a sociologist who studies fear and helps the world famous ScareHouse terrify their patrons—in a good way of course! Margee was in Japan studying how fear works across different cultures and we were excited to learn about the similarities and differences in the reactions between Japan and America to horror. Check out our interview with a true master of fear at one of Tokyo’s scariest bars: Yurei Izakaya in Kichijoji!

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Get lost all the time? Can’t read maps? Study says you should play more Super Mario 64

I personally never really understood where the stereotype that women are bad at map-reading comes from. When most of the women in my life are more composed, logical, and organised than I or any of the guys I know, it seems odd that girls should be known as poor navigators.

If you do happen to be female and utterly hopeless with maps, though, a recent study suggests that you might benefit from playing video games more often, with findings suggesting that those who regularly pick up a controller have a better sense of direction and get lost less often.

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Pearl River Delta confirms recent risk ranking with severe hail storm

No sooner was it announced the third most at-risk area for natural disasters in the world than the Pearl River Delta in China was hit by extremely severe rain storms with giant hail and damaging winds. The region, which is composed of several major urban centers has experienced flooded subways stations, canceled flights, and destroyed shopping centers due to heavy downpours.

Some of these scenes have been recorded and shared online in video form.

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Denny’s Japan introduces PokéNOMNOMNOM

For those of you who worked up an appetite searching the world for pokémon on Google Maps, Denny’s has the perfect snack! As of April 1, the chain’s Japanese restaurants will be offering Pokémon-themed pancakes on their new menu. Pikachu comes with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, honey, whipped cream, and bite-sized pieces of orange, banana and raspberry.

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Here’s the military exercise that has North Korea freaking out

A joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea has freaked out North Korean leadership.

The annual drill, named Foal Eagle, runs from Feb. 24 to April 18 and features Marines from both countries.

North Korea views the drill as a possible threat and has responded by ratcheting up its own military rhetoric.

Further, The Hermit Kingdom has announced military drills of its own, and launched hundreds of missiles toward a disputed maritime border with South Korea. The country has also promised a new kind of nuclear test in response.

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Guy lifehacks his way to flawless “Seven Samurai” wall art

When I was a freshman in university, still meandering aimlessly around campus as a General Education (read: “Future Starbucks Lifer”) major, I spent a brief stint in the art college thinking I’d give drawing or maybe even painting a try. After several months of doodling poorly-drawn machine gun-wielding dinosaurs attacking stick figures while my classmates were effortlessly putting together impressive full canvases, I decided I wasn’t really cut out for fine arts.

If only, like this guy, I’d known I could use clever lifehacks to give me an edge in class. The unnamed do-it-yourselfer used simple tools including a few different sizes of paint brush, a paint roller and an old-school projector hooked up to a computer to transfer an iconic scene from Akira Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai onto a barren dining room wall with stellar results. To top it all off, he claims he has no formal training or innate art talent and that anyone with enough time and just the right amount of crazed dedication to pop culture can do it.

Here’s his step-by-step guide:

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Kuos Beer promises all the flavor of beer without any of the other fun stuff

If you’re not a fan of watery beer, then the new beer Kuos is definitely not for you. It’s about as watery as a beer could possibly get. In fact, although it’s a beer by name, Kuos is better described as a carbonated water with the pleasant bouquet of delicious ale.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to cut back on alcohol, carbs, and/or calories without loosing the beer drinking experience then Kuos may be perfect for you since it contains absolutely none of those things.

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We learn about the deep-sea armored isopod, then eat one 【Video】

Last month, we brought you word about a special event at an aquarium in Yokohama where guests were going to be able to eat deep sea armored isopods, which are known in Japanese with the somewhat more descriptive name of ogusokumushi, or “giant armored bugs.”

We all had a good laugh at the zany idea for a publicity stunt, and our chuckling continued right up until the moment our boss said, “OK, one of us has to go try them.”

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Cat locks owner out of the house, confirms plans for world domination

We’ve all had days where things just go inexplicably wrong. Forgetting your homework, tripping over the cat, or worst of all, getting locked out of the house–all of these are horrible ways to start or end any day of the week. But have you ever wondered why it seems that when one thing goes bad, everything goes bad? Well, this video might provide an answer to the mystery: It’s all the cat!!

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Stray animals, trash cans and national dress: 10 things you probably never realised about Japan

Last summer, I was riding the subway with some friends from home who were visiting me here in Nagoya, Japan. Suddenly, my friend pointed at a sticker on the window behind us. “What’s that?” he asked, staring wide-eyed at the image of a smiling cartoon golden dragon wearing a train conductor’s uniform. “That’s the mascot of the Nagoya Transportation Bureau,” I replied, happy to be imparting local knowledge. “Oh,” he said. “And why does the Transportation Bureau need a mascot?” 

You see, it’s the little things that can be most surprising about a culture that’s not your own. Today, we bring you a list of 10 quirky things that you probably didn’t know – or may not have realised – about everyday life in Japan.

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Mr. Sato sacrifices his hands on the altar of all-you-can-eat shrimp

We all have foods that we love perhaps a little more than we should, but for Mr. Sato, a man whose love of food in general has taken him on many a colorful, abdomen-abusing adventure risking his health and even his sanity, the gustatory passion that tops all others is shellfish. So when he headed off to report on an all-you-can-eat shrimp restaurant for us, we feared for his life.

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Rapping Vegeta is over 9,000 levels of awesomeness

Dragon Ball fans are truly hardcore. Some fans express their love for the series by creating homemade animation videos complete with animated family members. Others perform elaborate raps while cosplaying as their favorite characters, as in the YouTube video “Battleful Days.” Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see Vegeta, Frieza, Piccolo, and Yamcha rap? Now’s your chance! For your ease of comprehension, we have compiled a full translation of the lyrics to the rap featured in this video. Enjoy!

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Video proves 19th century samurai and Japanese ladies have elegance all wrapped up

Have you ever looked at the current crop of Johnny’s and female idol groups streaming out of Japan and thought that their high energy hair styles and in-your-face costumes were a little genki for your tastes? Have you ever wondered, “what would they look like as samurai or geisha?” Look no further than this video showcasing the style and class of the 19th century!

Take a look at the video after the jump and see what the rest of the world thinks of Japan’s stoic idols.

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Sanrio’s Gudetama 1st anime short streamed

Sanrio began streaming the first animated short for its new character Gudetama on Monday. The anime aired with an accompanying game segment as part of the weekday family news program Asa Chan (Morning Chance), which debuted on TBS at 6:54 a.m.

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Osaka man stabbed after argument over boiling crabs leads to bizarre attempted murder

On 29 March a basement level restaurant in the bustling Dotombori area of Osaka became the scene of a grisly stabbing, when a part-time cook stabbed his co-worker over an altercation while boiling crabs.

The suspect’s remark of “I don’t get why I’m under arrest” to police as his fellow cook was rushed to hospital for a lacerated abdomen has led readers to call for immigration reforms. Others worried that this and events like this are contributing to more ultra-right-wing sentiment in the land.

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Infant cosplay: It’s-a me, Mario-bambino! 【Photos】

For any parent that’s ever thought, “My child is super cute, but I wish he looked a bit more like an Italian-American plumber,” do we have news for you.

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Japan ratifies child abduction treaty, but some parents may still be left behind

This week, Japan became the 91st signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which provides protection for children under 16 from being taken from their country of residence by one parent against the wishes of the other. However, the convention does not work retroactively, so parents whose children have already been taken are urging the Japanese government to stand by provisions of the treaty in their cases as well.

A group of left-behind parents organized a march in Washington, D.C., on Monday to hand-deliver 28 applications for assistance reuniting with their children to the U.S. Department of State and to submit a petition for the return of abducted children to the Japanese embassy.

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