Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls

Back when Japan was still at the mercy of the midsummer heat, a group of…creative anime fans tried to cool off with bowls of shaved ice. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be so weird, except that they set up their strawberry syrup dispenser to look like their treats were being flavored by an anime girl’s menstrual flow. (Yeah, gross.)

But hey, what’s the alternative to anime fans getting excited over 2-D characters having their periods? Anime fans getting excited about 2-D characters not having periods! Otaku around Japan have been sharing retouched pics of animation stars showing off pregnancy test results, and the trend isn’t limited to anime’s ladies.

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Five manga characters join Japan’s national baseball team for PR campaign

The Baseball Federation of Japan recently recruited five manga characters to the “Samurai Japan” national team roster—Takao Taniguchi from Captain, Tatsuya Uesugi from Touch, Gorō Shigeno from Major, Ren Mihashi from Big Windup!, and Eijun Sawamura from Ace of Diamond.

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Return to the golden age of arcade gaming at the Japan Game Museum

Located in the countryside of Japan’s Aichi Prefecture is a one-of-a-kind museum that houses an enormous collection of old-school video game cabinets and mechanical arcade games, not to mention what is purported to be the world’s leading pinball machine collection.

But the best thing about this museum is that you don’t have to just look at the arcade exhibits; you can also actually play them! And what’s more, the only price you’ll pay is the entry ticket, meaning you can enjoy all the machines to your heart’s content without having to carry a giant bag of change.

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Mermaids: The one time Japan passes on cute for straight-up terrifying

Some days, it seems like everything’s cuter in Japan. After all, this is the country where some construction crews feel if they have to shut down part of the street, the best barricades are the ones shaped like a procession of purple and pink kimono-wearing princesses.

There’s an exception to this rule, though, and it’s mermaids. In the West, they’re portrayed as enchanting beauties of the deep. In Japan, though, they were traditionally treated like yokai, ghostly monsters, as this collection of Japanese mermaid paintings has a few that would be better stars for horror movies than kid-friendly animated musicals.

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The 10 best anime of the fall season, according to Japanese otaku

Just like it does every year, autumn brings red leaves, cooler temperatures, and a new season of TV shows to Japan. This is especially good news if you’re an anime fan, as tons of new series have debuted in the last few weeks.

As a matter of fact, this might be too much of a good thing, as there’s so much new anime available that it’s hard to find time to sample all of it. So if you don’t know where to start, you might want to consult a list of the hottest currently airing shows, made by the people who love the medium best: Japanese otaku.

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Why does Engrish happen in Japan?

Over the years, Japan has earned a reputation for its awkward command of English, with results ranging from the perplexing to downright hilarious. The country’s translation screw-ups are so common that they’ve even earned their own collective name, “Engrish.”

But for all the sites that poke fun at Engrish, it’s almost impossible to find one that talks about why it happens. So today we’re offering a bit of explanation along with the laughs, as we look at a sign in Japan that informs English-reading passersby that “Today is under construction.”

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Cosplay as you cook with new Sailor Moon aprons!

If you’re a woman in her late twenties in Japan, chances are you grew up obsessed with Naoko Takeuchi’s “Magical Girl” manga series Sailor Moon and its accompanying anime. Given Japan’s love of natsukashii (nostalgic) cuteness, it’s really not that shocking that there’s now a thriving market out there for adult-appropriate Sailor Senshi outfits and accessories – we’ve even recently seen a trend for grown women wearing Sailor Moon undies. Not content with mere ribbon-bedecked panties? Well, now you can replace your dingy old curry-stained cooking apron with a stylish and colorful Sailor Moon version! In the name of the Moon… let’s get cooking!

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Me-ow! Cat-inspired lingerie for feline lovers

Starting on October 14, the online shop Felissimo’s Nekobu (cat club) began selling “flufeel” lingerie designed to let the wearer essentially cosplay under their clothes every day, with friends and coworkers none the wiser.

The “luxurious” set has a bra designed to look like a pair of cat ears, and panties which come with… a detachable tail!?

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Chinese politician says kung fu movies show why umbrella protesters must be stopped

A lawmaker in Hong Kong who supports the Chinese government reportedly cited Kung Fu movies as a justification for the violent crackdown on the protesters who have become known as the “Umbrella Revolution.”

According to the South China Morning Post, the politician, Leung Che-cheung, told his colleagues on the Hong Kong Legislative Council the umbrellas protesters have been using to block tear gas could be used as an “aggressive weapon” and necessitated a violent response by police officers. To prove his point, Leung cited martial arts movies.

“It is basic common sense that an umbrella can be an aggressive weapon, but many lawmakers are just completely ignorant about history,” Leung said.

Hong Kong police have been battling the anti-government protesters since last month with tear gas, pepper spray, and alleged beatings.

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Anime and real-world basketball collide with Nike’s Slam Dunk Air Jordans

While most popular sports anime are about baseball or soccer, creator Takehiko Inoue’s basketball story Slam Dunk is one of the most popular series of all time. Beginning as a manga in 1990 before making the leap to animation in 1993, Slam Dunk played a huge role in boosting basketball’s popularity in Japan.

Slam Dunk’s print and TV run also coincided with four of NBA legend Michael Jordan’s professional championships. Now, the two icons are teaming up with Nike to bring sneaker fans Slam Dunk Air Jordans.

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Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire demos are coming! Here’s how to get your hands on them!

One month before the commercial release of ‘Omega Ruby’ and ‘Alpha Sapphire’, The Pokémon Company has announced demo versions – available next week!

To get your hands on that demo, you’ll need a special code – and depending on where you live, your options for getting hold of one are a little different. Join us after the jump to find out more!

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Want your own Attack on Titan 3-D maneuver gear? You can order a life-size replica now!

Last January, fans got hit with a mix of awe and envy at an Attack on Titan event in Osaka where the heroes’ 3-D maneuver gear was on display. Looking over the intricate harness and paired swords, it was hard not to find yourself wanting a set of your very own.

Soon enough, that anime daydream can come true, as preorders have now started for life-size replicas of Attack on Titan’s iconic giant-killing battlefield technology.

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Late to the game, but Japan does Halloween right【Video】

Ask any Westerner what’s so special about October 31 and you will get the same answer: Halloween – a modern-day version of the ancient Celtic harvest festival Samhain. In Japan, however, October 31 was just any old day until fairly recently, with the haunted hijinks never really catching on until a few years ago.

But here’s the kicker: the Japanese might already be doing Halloween better than we do! 

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Mascot costume is so far removed from the original, we don’t know whether to laugh or cry

Say what you will about ‘yuru-kyara – the marketing idea that can be basically summed up as Japan’s “let’s have a cartoon mascot for EVERYTHING!” philosophy – but the vast majority of those funny characters adopted by prefecture and town tourism boards across the nation are nothing if not cute!

Take Princess Miyako, character mascot of Miyako-machi in Fukuoka Prefecture. Designed by illustrator Shiitake, Princess Miyako is the picture of youthful elegance: her fresh purple and green tones are even modelled after the town’s iris flowers.

It’s one thing to design a beautiful anime character in two dimensions. But when that mascot gets transformed into a three-dimensional character costume, bad things can happen. Bad, bad things…

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【TBT】Enjoy latte art at home with cute marshmallow cats!

From colourful anime designs to awesome 3-D creations, exciting things are going on in the drinkable art world of Japan. Now, there’s a new trend that’s melting our hearts: latte art in adorable take-home designs. Created by a marshmallow company in Nagano Prefecture, the range includes cute cats and fluffy cat paws that gradually dissolve into 2-D latte artworks. The only skill you’ll need for these is an ability to stand the cuteness!

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Late to bed, early to rise: Statistics suggest Japan seriously skimps on sleep

It’s a stereotype about Japan that most people are familiar with – the Japanese work hard, give their lives to the company, and stay at work until after the boss has gone home. It’s a country where karoushi, or death from overwork, is a commonly-used buzzword. While some people might argue that the Japanese don’t actually work any harder than those in the west, it certainly seems that they’re working longer hours than the rest of us.

But as a consequence, how much sleep are they getting?

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Yo-kai Watch mania has even reached the vegetable world! Here’s a Halloween pumpkin roundup!

There are still two weeks to go until Halloween, but pumpkin-carving in Japan is already in full swing! And it looks like it’s the new kid on the anime block, Yo-kai Watch, that’s getting all the jack-o-lantern attention this year.

When I used to teach kids in Japan, there were some elementary students who, upon being given a worksheet, would immediately turn any circle on the page into Doraemon’s face. Now, it seems, the face of choice to draw (or indeed carve) into any empty circular space is Jibanyan’s!

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Japanese women think visible man nips are gross…nipple pasties for men to the rescue!

For whatever reason, there seems to be an increasing demand for versions of men’s products that are traditionally meant for women, particularly in Japan. Perhaps some of you might be wondering, now that Japanese men have their very own lacy bras and panties, panty liners, and even sanitary panties, what else do they need? Here’s what’s up next: nipple pasties.

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Come for the toilets, stay for the food and fun at Bangkok’s airport-themed mall “Terminal 21″

Asia is full of wonderful travel destinations. With a mix of rich history and rapid development, it’s far from a boring place to visit. However, the burning question on any traveler’s mind has got to be “Where can I see the greatest toilets of Asia?”

Well, that’s a subjective title but we’d like to submit a shopping center in Thailand’s capital Bangkok as a contender. The huge complex is called Terminal 21 and boasts over six floors of shops and eateries. There’s a lot of fun to be had here but the main attraction has got to be the internationally themed restrooms.

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Futago koude: The hot new fashion trend of Japanese women dressing like twins

In always fashion-conscious Japan, each year brings a handful of would-be hot new trends. Some of these go on to be hits, like the way many women have been dying their hair brown for the last 15 years. Others, like the high-waist bikini many fashion magazines were pushing last spring, never really catch on.

Now, a new look seems to be gaining traction with young women, in which they head out for a day on the town with a friend wearing nearly identical outfits.

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