If The Avengers could have one Japanese superhero, who would it be?

It was a veritable who’s who of Marvel superheroes: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor… but some fans from a country with its own rich history of superhero characters have been asking, couldn’t there have been a Captain Japan in The Avengers?

Join us as we delve into a parallel universe, asking, “If The Avengers had a Japanese superhero, which one would it be?”

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Wear black – The 20 most memorable anime deaths, as chosen by fans

While the gigantic robots and gratuitous nudity were certainly eye-catching, when I first started watching Japanese animation, one of the things that surprised me the most was the fact that anime characters could, well, die. Sure, American cartoons from Tom and Jerry to G.I. Joe were filled with explosions and gunplay, but while the violence was abundant, injuries were conspicuously absent.

Anime tales, though, have no qualms about knocking off their players. As a matter of fact, characters shake off this mortal coil so frequently that a recent poll ranked the 20 most memorable anime deaths.

Heads up! While animation sometimes allows for the miracle of resurrection, be aware that since this is a list of deaths, it contains spoilers for the following series: Clannad, Code Geass, Death Note, Dragon Ball, Fist of the North Star, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gintama, Hakuoki, Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure, Naruto, Neon Genesis Evangelion, One Piece, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, School Days, and Tengen Toppa Guren Lagan.

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Korean Air chairman admits he failed to raise his ‘nut-rage’ daughter properly

On Friday, Korean Air and Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho bowed apologetically and blamed himself for the outlandish behavior of his eldest daughter and former airline executive Heather Cho.

The younger Cho landed in hot water last week after she ordered a flight she was on to return to its gate at New York’s JFK International Airport. Why? To kick off the head flight attendant due to unhappiness over how she was served macadamia nuts.

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Head of Japan’s most successful 100-yen chain calls himself “hopeless,” might need a hug

An important part of business leadership is being able to walk that fine line between optimism and realism. It’s important to recognize the organization’s flaws, but if employees see the boss panicking, they’re likely to follow suit. A capable leader needs a certain amount of swagger, with the ability to convince those under him that there’s a way for the company to turn all of its crises into opportunities.

Or, there’s the tactic adopted by the head of one of Japan’s largest chain of 100-yen stores, which is to wear that uneasiness on your fear-sweat-drenched sleeve, telling everyone associated with your business that they should brace for disaster.

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This map shows the probability of a white Christmas for each of Japan’s prefectures

If the popularity of Bing Crosby’s famous holiday song is any indication, many people all over the world are dreaming of a white Christmas. But according to the past 30 years of snowfall data, several prefectures in Japan will almost surely be unable to hear sleigh bells in the snow.

Take a look at the following map created by Japanese weather site Tenki.jp to find out if the area of Japan you live in will have a white Christmas!

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Fan creates cosplay bag from favorite anime series by attaching severed heads of its characters

You can’t talk about the currently airing anime Terra Formars, and the manga it’s based on, without touching on the designs for its humanoid cockroach antagonists. Almost everyone finds them unsettling, but that discomfort isn’t just being caused by their intimidatingly muscled physiques and blank stares. A vocal group of international anime fans also contend that they don’t so much resemble the sturdy six-legged bugs the series’ creator cites as their inspiration as much as racist caricatures of people of African heritage.

Japanese society tends to not be so reflective on the implications, whether intentional or not, that its domestically produced fiction carries when it trickles out to a global audience, though. The debate over whether or not Terra Formars’ art is insensitive or not is largely non-existent in Japan, where the aliens are taken at face value as fictional characters in a fictional setting. As such, fans feel no qualms wearing their love of the show on their sleeve, or, in the case of one cosplay enthusiast, on his bag, which is decked out with what look to be the severed heads of the divisive characters.

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LDP deems gay rights legislation ‘unnecessary’ according to multi-party survey

A survey conducted by a Japanese LGBT rights organization has been extremely revealing about the main political parties’ attitudes towards sexual minorities, and is something to think about for voters heading to the polls this weekend.

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Avengers assemble! In a Chinese college student’s house【Photos】

Once you finally finish your years of study in high school and get into a good university, it’s party time! Or…do nothing time. Some people occupy their new-found free time with Netflix queues, watching the latest and greatest television shows and movies. Others take the opportunity to let their creative juices flow and make some really awesome things. One college senior in China decided that just watching super heroes on a screen was not enough, he figured he could become those heroes instead. How awesome would it be to punch the great evil known as homework when you look like Captain America?

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5 common misconceptions most westerners have about Japanese food

These days, Japanese food is pretty widely consumed in the west, even if sometimes the original taste gets slightly lost in translation. In general, though, even non-Japanophiles can be found enjoying a range of Japanese food, whether at home or out for dinner with friends. Sushi is no longer shocking, and  “comfort foods” such as okonomiyaki, ramen, and yakiniku can all be enjoyed overseas. But did you know that apparently we’re still making five major mistakes when it comes to Japanese cuisine? Read on to find out if you’re a major offender who doesn’t know their ikura from their elbow!

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Photos from 140 years ago show Tokyo’s skyline was amazing long before the Skytree was ever built

In 1853, the rulers of Japan ended the country’s more than two centuries of isolation from the rest of the world. But while foreigners could now get into Japan for trade and commerce, it would take more than 10 years until Japanese citizens could leave the country, meaning that outside cultural influences were still slow to find their way into the half-opened nation.

As such, there’s a brief, time capsule-like period in which Japan’s culture was still almost entirely of indigenous origins, but foreign visitors had the technology to visually document it, as shown in these beautiful photographs of 19th century Japan.

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3-D color printer used to bring Hokusai’s masterpiece to life for visually impaired

If you are a sighted person with an internet connection, chances are you have seen Katsushika Hokusai’s famous painting Mount Fuji Seen Below a Wave at Kanagawa at some point. Despite the clunky title, it is one of the most recognized pieces of Japanese art ever.

Now, thanks to 3-D printing, a company called K’s Design Lab, and Tsutaya’s bookstore-cum-lounge property T-Site, visually impaired art lovers too will soon be able to see this work by literally getting their hands on it.

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“Tax” declared the official kanji of 2014

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but in Japan every year people try to distill an entire year’s worth of words into a single picture…or logograph if you want to get technical about it.

Last year, after tens of thousands of votes were counted, 輪 pronounced rin or wa and meaning “ring” was selected to represent the nations various achievements of 2013 such as winning the bid for the Olympic games and having Mt. Fuji designated as a World Heritage Site.

And today, after the Buddhist monk approached the canvas of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, this kanji above is what he painted under a fittingly gloomy and cloud-filled sky.

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Can’t keep your “little buddy” in the right position? New men’s underwear TOOT is here to help!

Do you constantly have to “adjust” your package? Do you find your dangly bits constantly dangling in the wrong place? Or just plain uncomfortable? Do you ever wish your underwear would just give your little man a hug and never let go?

If so, then TOOT may be the underwear for you! And even if you don’t, this will still be the funniest thing you will see today.

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Tohoku University team discovers blue light is effective at killing insects

Earlier this year Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their development of an efficient blue light-emitting diode (blue LED).

It was a well-deserved victory for the Japanese scientists whose invention continues to impact our lives in ways we often don’t even notice. It could be in the display you’re looking at right now or it could be helping some of the millions of people in parts of the world without electrical infrastructure get affordable lights for their homes.

And now in a report published in Scientific Reports, a team of researchers from Tohoku University have found a new use for blue LED. When used in the right frequency it can be an effective, safe, clean, and cheap way to kill insects. For the first time, they showed that visible light around the blue part of the spectrum is lethal to insects such as mosquitoes and fruit flies.

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Naruto stage play releases first photo, announces cast, adds performances outside Japan

With the Naruto manga all wrapped up, we imagine a lot of fans are feeling sort of lonely. Sure, there’s an animated movie coming up, and you can still catch episodes of the weekly anime series, but with no more issues of the comic to look forward to, it must seem like the series’ cast of charismatic ninja have drifted just a little farther away.

Soon enough, though, Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura will be just a few rows of seats away from their adoring public, as the Naruto stage play is set to open this spring, and producers have just announced the cast and released the first shot in-costume photo of the star of the show.

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7 Japanese daily planners to suit every lifestyle, from hostess to otaku!

For the past six years, I’ve made a point of buying myself a little Rilakkuma daily planner each January and using it to keep track of my appointments, deadlines, to-do lists, etc. These kinds of daily planners are widely used in Japan, perhaps as a result of the Japanese love of punctuality and efficiency (or maybe they’re so punctual and efficient because everyone uses daily planners?) Sure, you could use the functions built into your smartphone or tablet, but there’s something about writing things down that just makes you feel like you’ve got it all together. Also, and this is kind of geeky, but it’s sorta fun to flip through your old schedule books and see what you were up to on x date 3 years ago. In fact, Japan loves schedule books so much that you can now choose from a huge range of styles which are tailor-made to cater to specific lifestyles. Whether you’re a hostess, train otaku or exam-cramming student, there’s a schedule book out there for you!

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One Piece New Year’s Eve Special apparently set to make series fans cry big, fat tears of pirate joy

Fans of the increasingly wacky and complex pirate world of One Piece will surely be either thrilled or horrified to know that there will be an all-new, super extra special New Year’s Eve broadcast of a One Piece animated film in Japan. As a fan, whether you fall into the thrilled or horrified category will probably depend on whether or not you currently reside in Japan, as the special is apparently set for just one single broadcast in the anime’s native country only.

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Japan’s cutest rodent commuters take the high-road【Video】

Apparently they really know how to treat their rodents and entertain their patrons down in Kyushu. The other day we mentioned Nagasaki Bio Park, spotlighting their hot spring for capybara. Now, a Vine video has surfaced, taking us to the guinea pig area at the same zoo. The little critters get to “commute” from one play area to the other in an adorable single file line.

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A restaurant in China is offering discounts to overweight men and thin women

In a ridiculous way to draw in more customers, a restaurant in China is offering discounted or free meals to customers of a certain weight, according to CRI English News.

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Alice in Moeland! Japanese netizens react to art style of new US book cover

What do you think of the artwork featured in the new omnibus edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass? When Japanese twitter user kasunoko tweeted a pic of the cover image, netizens in Japan were quick to claim that the artwork “doesn’t look very American”. In fact, several of them were of the opinion that the artwork seemed a bit on the, erm, Japanese side. Hmm, we’re not sure what they’re talking about, but check out the images after the jump and let us know your thoughts!

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