Giant robot fight is on! Suidobashi accepts Americans’ challenge, wants to “punch them to scrap”

Like a lot of people, up until a few days ago I’d never heard of MegaBots, despite the fact that the California-based company has apparently created a pretty amazing (and armed) giant robot. That all changed, though, when the designers of the MegaBot Mark II released a video challenging Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industry, the makers of the Kuratas robot, to a duel.

It definitely got MegaBots plenty of attention, and now it’s gone beyond just a cagey PR move. Suidobashi has accepted the challenge, and is spitting back some fighting words of its own.

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Star Wars and classic Japanese things aren’t done mashing yet! 【Photos】

Those who’ve tried Lotte’s Bikkuriman love it for two reasons: beacuase it’s a cheap but delicious waffle peanut and chocolate snack, and, more importantly, because of the sweet stickers that come with it. These collectible stickers featured devils, angels and protectors that kids could trade and swap to assemble the whole set. What made them unique at the time was that there were also rare stickers that had a sparkly holographic design which made them more valuable to collectors.

This new collaboration between Star Wars and Bikkuriman is definitely desirable, but is it something that is worth your money? Which characters show up and which ones are shiny? No need to worry because we bought the whole set and we are definitely impressed.

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Death Note drapes? Fans spot TV drama’s curtains in their home, keep them shut to block out Light

The Death Note franchise is proving to be ironically long-lived. Starting off as a manga in 2003, the saga of Light Yagami and his supernatural notebook that allows him to kill whoever he wants just be writing down his or her name has been adapted into an anime series and trilogy of live-action films, and there’s even a Death Note musical in the works.

This last Sunday saw the debut of a brand-new Death Note Japanese TV drama, and you can read our personal impressions of the show right here. In the meantime, it looks like the general viewing public was really excited by the premiere episode, but not because of its casting or changes to the original story, but because of a set-decorating coincidence.

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Aomori’s fabled Nebuta Festival 2015 to feature Star Wars floats

Aomori Prefecture’s legendary Nebuta Festival – which takes place in early August every year – has always been one of those big festivals on my Japan bucket list.

Even though the festival is one of the prestigious few festivals to receive the staggeringly long designation of Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan, we’re willing to bet the festival is largely overlooked by Western visitors. This is, probably, largely due to Aomori’s fairly remote location; it’s a real pain to get to from Tokyo, Osaka or any of the other major cities outside of Sapporo.

But then, what if that wasn’t the biggest reason foreigners aren’t totally aware of this great festival? What if the real reason was the festival’s lack of Star Wars characters?

Luckily, whether or not that’s the real case, that sore lack of Star Wars characters at the Aomori Nebuta Festival is going to change this year.

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Burger King Japan unleashes red burgers and Angry Sauce on my stomach 【Taste test】

When Burger King Japan first brought out its black burgers, more than a few people were shocked, and even a little intimidated, by their sinister appearance. After diners got over their fear and tried them, though, they discovered they were pretty tasty, and they’ve now become a welcomed, sporadically appearing item on the chain’s menu.

Seeing how well that gamble played out, Burger King has decided to spin the roulette wheel once again, but this time they’re betting on red with two new sandwiches with crimson buns and cheese. So how do they taste? We decided to grab the pair and try them for ourselves.

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Wait, just what exactly have they done with the new Death Note drama? 【Impressions】

We think Death Note is a pretty cool manga and anime series. The delicate artwork is beautiful to look at (you have to admit, the protagonist Light is one fine-looking character, even if he turns out to be, well … seriously psychotic), the Death Gods look creepy in an awesome way and the story expertly combines a fierce battle of the minds with elements of the supernatural to create an engaging and entertaining plot.

Judging from the hit the franchise has become, including two successful live action movies, we’re apparently not the only ones who feel this way, and it’s understandable that  fans were excited when it was announced back in April that Death Note was going to become a TV drama. However, just last week, newly released information about the drama caused concern among fans about what exactly the creators of the TV version were doing with the well-loved series. And so, when the drama’s very first episode aired this past Sunday, we checked it out to see for ourselves whether fans’ worries were unfounded or not.

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Need life advice? The Turtle Talk attraction at Tokyo DisneySea may be your best bet

At Tokyo DisneySea, there’s a special theater-style attraction called Turtle Talk where you can ask questions in real time to Crush, everybody’s favorite East Australian Current-surfing sea turtle from Finding Nemo. 

Sounds fun, if not a bit like a generically staged Q&A session, right? However, audience members during a recent talk were in for a bit of a surprise when Crush shared an unexpectedly profound piece of wisdom in response to a young woman’s question.

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Does the way you eat ice cream say something about you? Japanese Twitter users compare styles

In Japan, it’s common to try to pinpoint a person’s personality type based on a variety of factors, from the more traditional blood type theory and looking at first names to analyzing nail shape.

In a new trend, Japanese Twitter users have been comparing the way they eat ice cream with one another and musing what that says about them as people. Sadly, while no one has created an infographic yet depicting what the different types mean, it’s still fun to marvel at all the eating styles out there. Where do you fit in with them all?

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Shibuya Station 2019: one step closer to the Neo-Tokyo of our dreams

If you’ve been to Shibuya Station recently, you’ll have seen one area in particular that’s filled with crowds, noise and trucks; and it’s not the meeting place around the famous statue of Hachiko.

It’s the massive redevelopment project currently underway to revitalise the district and deliver a completely new-looking Shibuya by 2027. Latest pictures of the next high-rise in the pipeline reveal just how amazing life in Neo-Tokyo will be.

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One-of-a-kind Ultraman violin to be sold this November

Coming to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Theater Concert Hall on 2 November is the Ultraman Symphony Concert 2015. At this event music from the high-culture tokusatsu masterpieces of Ultraman and related shows will be performed by a full orchestra.

It’s sure to be a luminous evening of sci-fi splendor, but to mark the occasion a single Ultra Violin, the only official Ultraman violin in existence, will be sold to one lucky buyer.

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This “natural planetarium” island could have Japan’s most beautiful view of the stars

Next week, people across Japan will be celebrating Tanabata, the age-old festival dedicated to the folk-tale of two lovers separated by the Milky Way, being reunited only once a year, on July 7th.

While in this romance story the Milky Way is nothing but an obstacle for the lovers, for the people of Aogashima, an island south of Tokyo, the Milky Way is an important part of their life and happiness. The uniquely shaped island has been gaining popularity lately, being dubbed a “natural planetarium.” Needless to say, the view of the night sky from Aogashima is outstanding.

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Even more interesting facts to complete your Hello Kitty knowledge!

Hello Kitty was a hot topic for a while last year when news suddenly broke that Kitty-chan wasn’t a cat! Of course that subject was cleared up by Sanrio representatives, but it got us wondering, what other sordid secrets does Hello Kitty hide behind that cute veneer? One of the writers for our Japanese-language sister site Pouch is a huge Hello Kitty fan and she’s compiled a list of factoids about the lovable Kitty-chan. You will definitely learn something new after reading this 33-item list!

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Adorable cat delivers daily dose of cute, appears to be enjoying a hot bath 【Monday Kickstart】

Cats love small spaces, so it may come as no surprise to see this cute feline looking content as it takes a catnap in this bucket.

Of course, if you’re a an avid cat blogger, it’s an opportunity that can’t be missed to add a towel to make it look like your kitty is relaxing in its very own personal bath.

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Book by Tokyo patissier uses Japanese sweets to represent all of the country’s 72 seasons

One of the many delights about living in Japan is, as many Japanese people will be willing to tell you, the country’s four distinct seasons. Imagine our surprise then when we learnt that there are actually 72 seasons in Japan! An ambitious new project by a Japanese patissier aims to showcase all 72 seasons with traditional Japanese sweets, one sweet per season. The results are stunning and will be sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth or an eye for the visually aesthetic.

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Hello, Underwater Kitty!? This limited edition Kitty-chan diving suit is all kinds of cute

Hello Kitty is one of Japan’s greatest cultural exports and one of the world’s most famous cats despite being both a) fictional and b) not quite a cat. But now, the pinnacle of Kitty-chan merchandise has been reached. We don’t need to buy any more cute pens or candy or even any toy money.

What is the Hello Kitty merchandise to end all Hello Kitty merchandise? Nothing less than a Hello Kitty diving suit.

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New uber-soft gel dog beds mimic the feeling of lying between owner’s legs for pet pooches

Despite our fondness of cats here at RocketNews24, we do still have a soft spot for pooches. So here’s something to appease the dog-loving readers of our site–a new line of gel dog beds sold by Japanese pet interior brand UNIHABITAT, which are designed to recreate the feeling of lying between a human’s legs.

Get ready, pampered pooches of the world, because you’re in for a treat–if your jealous humans don’t buy them all up for themselves first, that is!

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Mr. Sato travels the distance to try 100-yen takoyaki

When one of our Japanese writers grew frustrated with Mr. Sato spending so much money on his lunch while at the office, they decided to show him that it’s possible to get great food at a fraction of the cost. And not just any food, but takoyaki!

Cheap takoyaki? This place must be in Osaka, right? Wrong! Mr. Sato soon found himself on an altogether different flight from Haneda airport, bound for octopus balls and adventure.

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1 golden retriever + 8 birds + 1 hamster = 1 big happy animal family!

Like humans, dogs have different personalities and temperaments. Some dogs are playful, some are shy. Some bark or growl at every stranger they see, yet others are extremely caring and can even be trusted to watch over little humans.

Biologically, dogs are predators and they are equipped with strong teeth, muscles and instinct to go after smaller animals, but some domesticated dogs have such warm personalities they get along just fine with cats, rabbits, or even tinier creatures such as hamsters and birds. Bob the golden retriever is one of those gentle giants, and he’s been winning the hearts of Instagrammers with adorable pictures of him snuggling up to his little pals. Check them out!

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We’re not sure if these Japan-inspired fashion designs are brilliant or ridiculous

You never know what you’re going to get with a fashion show. You might get some genuinely interesting designs or even a radical new garment altogether that, with a little polishing, could actually end up on hangers in stores a few years later. Or, you might get a head-to-toe body suit made entirely out of rubber baby bottle teats, or a fully nude man wearing a propeller beanie, or something that you would actually expect Lady Gaga to be wearing at that very moment.

What we’re saying is, the fashion world can be pretty hit and miss, and it can be tough to draw the line between design genius and flamboyant designers just trolling the audience for laughs. Which is why we’re so conflicted about these awesome… no, stupid… wait, no, brilliant… Japan-inspired designs from New York-based designer, Thom Browne.

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Gintama themed cafe coming to Ikebukuro! Get ready for some wacky Edo hijinks

Gintama fans are in for a special treat as a cafe in Ikebukuro is re-working its image and re-opening as Yorozuya, the “we do everything” office from the Gintama manga.

While this cafe won’t be able to help you with all your life problems, they will be able to satisfy your need to eat, dine and be merry surrounded by Gintama characters and decor. This special theme cafe will finally make a Yorozuya store a reality and you only have to wait until this August.

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