Korean criminals take a page from Metal Gear with cardboard box burglaries 【Video】

After a vague yet indiscreet falling out with video game publisher Konami, it seems likely that Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear franchise, won’t be working at the company for much longer. As one of the most famous and respected names in the industry, though, we’re sure Kojima will be able to find employment at one of Konami’s many rivals who are licking their lips in anticipation of landing such a prized free agent.

However, we’re not so sure about the future financial well-being of the characters Kojima has created. This video seems to suggest that Metal Gear protagonist Snake has resorted to a life of crime, as multiple burglaries have taken place in Korea with the culprit using Snake’s trademark infiltration technique of disguising himself with a cardboard box.

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Tiger & Bunny coming to Hollywood, fan matches each character with perfect actor

San Diego Comic Con is famous for getting all the big announcements and sneak peaks about new projects, but New York Comic Con is getting large enough that major news stories are being broken at the East Coast convention. Some of the biggest news over the weekend for anime fans was the announcement of a live-action Hollywood film adaptation of Tiger & Bunny. With such a mammoth announcement, it didn’t take much time for someone to come along and fan-cast the entire series. Judging by looks alone, we are pretty impressed with their choices and while we probably won’t see so many amazing actors come together for one movie, it’s always nice to dream.

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Japanese university to welcome adult film star as special guest at their student festival

School festivals are kind of a big deal in Japan, with students from kindergarten through to university participating in their own school’s festival each year, usually involving games, food cooked by the kids on-site, and the occasional jaw-dropping class project like this full-size teacup ride. University festivals will, in addition, have special performances, and may also feature local or well-known musicians, comedians, and more.

But one university in Gifu Prefecture is spicing up their upcoming festival this month by bringing in none other than Mana Sakuraa Japanese adult film star—for a special talk show, with opportunities for a photo shoot and even a “Kiss-Abstaining Championship”! With cooler weather setting in, there’s nothing like the star of naughty videos to heat things up at a school festival…right?

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University lecturer calls out his lazy Japanese students, praises his hard-working Chinese ones

Japan places a tremendous importance on education. Many would even argue that studiousness is part of Japan’s national character, and diligent students are seen as source of pride and an object of respect in Japanese society.

Nevertheless, a lecturer at one of Japan’s renowned universities is calling out the lazy Japanese youths he says he encounters in his classes, while praising his hard-working Chinese and Southeast Asian pupils.

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Amazing photos of Studio Ghibli cosplay bring all your favorite characters to life 【Pics】

Here at RocketNews24 we’re no stranger to covering Studio Ghibli fan-related news. From fan-made drawings to 8-bit mashups to officially-licensed replicas, we’ve seen a ton of love around the world for all things Ghibli.

And one essential part of the Studio Ghibli fandom is the fantastic cosplay. Studio Ghibli cosplayers from all over the globe love showing off the huge range of unforgettable Ghibli characters, and here we have a sampling of some of the best ones we’ve seen recently. Think you’re a real Ghibli fan? Then see if you can identify each one!

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Yo-Kai Watch debuts abroad: characters get name changes but songs retain their epic nature【Video】

Level-5, the game developer behind hits such as Ni no Kuni, Professor Layton and the mega-popular Yo-Kai Watch, are no strangers to success. They’ve even turned their mega-hit Yo-Kai Watch into an ongoing 90-episode anime series. Since then, the popularity of the show, the game and the characters has really risen, especially Jibanyan, who has surpassed Pikachu in popularity. It was only a matter of time before this huge hit would dip a toe into international waters, and on Disney XD it finally happened.

A TV show about spirits based on Japanese folklore would probably have needed a few adjustments when screened for a Western audience, so we were wondering, what did they decide to name their main character in the English version?

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The “beautiful boy” Mister Bishoujo Contest is over, but who was crowned the prettiest boy?【Pics】

Two weeks ago, online voting began for the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Mister Bishoujo Contest, where the “prettiest” boys were put up for the internet to decide. Now the results are in and a winner has been declared!

And that’s not all: the contestants have put up a lot more photos of themselves in the meantime, so you can take a look at just how impressive their girl game is. Prepare to be amazed, and perhaps slightly confused, after the jump!

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This high school girl is incredibly popular online, but can you guess what her secret is?【Photos】

We’ve seen a lot of Japanese high school girls who have become popular online for various reasons, from being funny to being silly to be pretty. But this girl has been getting a ton of attention online all because of a little secret that is now out of the bag. Can you guess what it is?

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20 of the best outfits seen at this year’s New York Comic Con 【Pics】

As the more worldly wise of you will no doubt already know, New York City is not in Japan. Nor is it in any other part of Asia. But as you’re probably also aware, we at RocketNews24 just can’t pass up a bit of quality cosplay when we see it, especially when much of it is based on characters from the island many of our team now call home.

Sadly, our bosses refused to pony up the cash for a plane ticket to the Big Apple so we could check out New York Comic Con 2015 for ourselves, but our friends over at Pixable (you do know we’re on Pixable now, right?) were there with cameras in hand, and they were good enough to share their photos with us.

Check out 20 of our favourite cosplayers at New York Comic Con 2015, after the jump.

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Japanese idol unit plans concert for men only, draws complaints from women’s organization

The city of Dazaifu, located in Fukuoka Prefecture, has a couple of nice cultural sites, such as the Tenmangu Shinto shrine and Komyozenji Buddhist temple. It’s pretty short on modern, youth-oriented attractions, though, so many of the city’s younger residents were probably thrilled when they heard that Momoiro Clover Z, one of Japan’s most popular idol units, would be holding a concert in their relatively sleepy town.

Many of them were less thrilled, though, when it was announced that the concert would be held only for male fans, a decision that’s drawn complaints from a local women’s group.

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We ordered a box of koi-shaped sushi to see if they taste as good as they look 【Taste Test】

Last week we saw the amazing koi-shaped (carp-shaped) sushi created by one sushi shop in Japan. While they were certainly beautiful and life-like, one question was on our mind: How do they taste?

To find out, we ordered a box of the koi-shaped sushi and gave it a try. Does the fish-shaped sushi’s taste live up to its appearance? Read on to find out!

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The Holy Grail is full-sized, features lights, music and the voice of Sailor Moon【Video】

Fans of the Sailor Moon anime franchise have been enjoying some extra special items this year; we’ve seen tiny, miniature replicas of the girls’ everyday items, lip balm transformation rods and even Moon Stick pens, and now it’s time to add a life-sized addition to our collections.

The Rainbow Moon Chalice, the magical object that transforms the heroine of the popular anime franchise into Super Sailor Moon, is available now as a 1:1 scale replica from the Proplica series of life-sized props. Featuring lights and music from the series and also the voice of Kotono Mitsuishi, who voices Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon and Chibi Chibi/Sailor Chibi Chibi in the anime, this is one item that can let you play out your fantasies of transforming into a super you!

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Artist Mio Hashimoto shares her stunning wooden animal sculptures and methods in new how-to book

The visual arts are, for a writer like me, akin to magic. I see the finished product and the raw material and I basically have no idea how the artist got from point A to point B — even if I actually watched them work through the entire process! And when it comes to sculptures, all bets are off. You could tell me a wizard conjured the work whole with a wave of a wand, and I’d be hard-pressed to prove you wrong.

Fortunately, the incredibly talented Mio Hashimoto, woodcarver and artist, has written a how-to book explaining some of her methods and showing the detail of some of her adorable animal sculptures. Now, at least, I’ll know exactly how she achieved her results, even if I’ll never have a chance of replicating them myself. And for all you artists out there, aspiring or otherwise, this book will teach you how to make all the pets you’ll ever want!

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This autumn’s “Sunset Panda” endangered by cloud cover, still pulls in the crowds 【Video】

Two days each year, once in the autumn and again in spring, the setting sun passes behind an NTT antenna tower in the Taruyamachi area of Akashi City, Hyogo. Due to the arrangement of dishes and other receivers, as the sun moves behind them, for the briefest of moments the face of a giant cartoon panda appears, like some benevolent forest god looking down on the town below.

This autumn, on 12 October at 5:28pm, people all over Akashi City gathered to witness the biannual moment of celestial cuteness—an event which has come to be known as the Sunset Panda. However, with cloudy skies and light drizzle it became unclear whether the roly-poly sun bear would come out to play this time…

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Charitable bird feeds hungry fish in Miyazaki Prefecture【Video】

Everyone should indulge in a bit of cross-cultural exchange every now and then to expand their worldly horizons–and as the following smartphone video illustrates, cross-species exchange can be just as, if not more, rewarding. Just take it from this black swan who’s made it his personal mission to feed some floundering fish friends!

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Japan Self-Defense Force’s official magazine causes a stir for featuring gravure idols

For the past couple of years, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces have been put under the spotlight as politicians debate approving a re-interpretation of the country’s constitution, allowing the JSDF more freedom to take action should the need arise. The motion eventually passed last month, followed by a spectacle of chaos and outrage that became worldwide news.

But lately people have started talking about something else surprising: an official Self-Defense Force magazine catering to military enthusiasts and featuring gravure model spreads.
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Edible owls and cats make sweet appearance at Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro Store!

If you love cats and owls — and judging from the popularity of cat and owl cafes in Japan, we’re guessing there are a good number of people who do — then the Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro Store in Tokyo may be a place you want to check out this month. Their ongoing special event features various cat and owl-themed products including irresistibly cute sweets, and we just had to share with you the images of these expertly crafted cat and owl cakes!

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Weird new Japanese website lets you flick a cute girl’s forehead to your heart’s content

Well, this is probably the weirdest snippet of news from Japan that you’ll read about all week.

On Friday, a new Japanese website was unveiled which has the sole purpose of allowing net users to forcefully flick their fingers into the forehead of a cute girl (an admonishing action known as a dekopin in Japanese) and watch her exasperated reaction, all done virtually through the screen, of course. After all, hasn’t that always been on your bucket list?

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Wall dogs: Pups poking their heads through holes wanting to join you on your walkies 【Pics】

When we recently came across an adorable Shiba Inu peering out of a wall of shrubbery and an Akita dog poking his nose out of a hole in the wall, we figured these were one-off, rare sightings, much like the sight of a hedgehog riding on the back of a rubber duck or a cat dressed in an elegant kimono.

But it turns out we were just scratching the surface of a well-known pastime in the canine world, which involves dogs of all shapes and sizes squeezing themselves into holes in walls to catch a whiff of what’s going on outside. And no dog is immune to the trend, with bulldogs, collies and beagles getting in on the cute act too!

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