“We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map

Finland: land of the Moomins, Santa Claus Village, and exceedingly simple metro lines.  

A series of maps comparing the municipal subway layouts in major cities around the world has been tickling some net users who just can’t get enough of Helsinki’s metro design. Some are calling it proof that Finns like to keep things simple–and you’ve got to admit, when you see the image stacked up next to a map of Tokyo’s metro system, they may have a point!

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Parents of schoolboy ordered to pay 15 million yen after wayward soccer ball leads to man’s death

Earlier this week the Supreme Court of Japan set a ruling date of 9 April in the long-running case of a soccer mishap which resulted in a man’s death. The incident occurred when the deceased was riding a motor bike and fell trying to avoid a soccer ball that rolled out from a school yard.

In the decade since the incident occurred, the family of the man has been trying to hold the parents of the boy who kicked the ball financially responsible and so far has succeeded in two previous rulings. If the Supreme Court agrees with the previous two decisions then the boys’ mother and father will possibly have to pay 15 million yen (US$125,000) to the family.

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Kabe-don? That’s old news. Now it’s all about the sode-kuru!

Are you still using kabe-don to show your love, tough guy? If so, you’re clearly behind the times! Who even does kabe-don anymore? No one, that’s who!

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it looks like the Internet has found the next hot way for tough guys to show their love: Sode-kuru! What is sode-kuru and how can you use it to win the heart of your crush? Read on to find out!

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Anime vs. real life: “Video evidence” of Ghibli soot sprites is really thousands of spiders

Studio Ghibli fans all over the world love visiting places that remind them of their iconic anime films like Laputa: Castle in the Sky or Spirited Away. But Japanese netizens recently discovered a home in Mexico City that was not quite the ode to Hayao Miyazaki films as it seemed. At first glance, netizens thought they were looking at video evidence of the existence of soot sprites from My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, but soon realized the horrifying truth that the home was crawling with spiders.

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Baby elephants bathing are super cute, but not all elephants are quite so lucky

A video which appeared last week has left the Internet in a state of glee. We are, of course, talking about the adorable baby elephant taking a bath in Thailand! If you love elephants–and how could you not?–it’s sure to put a giant grin on your face.

And we certainly enjoyed the video too, but it also led us to some extremely unsettling articles about how some elephants are treated in the country. Don’t worry, though–it’s not all bad news!

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Sega has created a nail-art sticker printer and you can test it for free this weekend in Tokyo

What’s the only accessory you can wear 10 of but barely notice you’re donning them at all? Yup, nail art! Japan is all about colorful, creative decoration for the fingers and its nail art can get pretty fancy. But it can also get kind of pricey. As not everyone is gifted enough in the intricate craft of nail painting to do it themselves, DIY tricks have been cropping up, but they don’t always work as well as expected.

Renowned video game developer Sega has an answer to our nail woes. They have created a machine that prints specially shaped nail art stickers, so the average Jane (or Joe) can decorate their nails to their heart’s content. The machine is aptly named Nail Puri, short for nail purintaa (printer). What’s even better is that there will be a free demo of the machine in Ikebukuro this coming weekend!

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Sega to turn the addicting Puyo Puyo puzzle game into a live show in Tokyo for its 24th anniversary

If you live outside of Japan, you’d be forgiven if you said you’d never heard of a wildly popular tile-matching video game Puyo Puyo. The puzzle game may have been initially inspired by Tetris, but the combination of competitive gameplay, cute characters, and a fun storyline have gained a huge following in Japan since it was first launched there in 1991.

And to celebrate the 24 years since gamers first got addicted to arranging rows of colorful, little blobs, Sega is turning the game into a live show next month with a cast of Japanese idols, actresses and models.

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Stop-motion video made with action figures is the epic battle of our childhood【Video】

Everyone who ever had action figure toys as a kid will no doubt fondly recall the heroic battles that were fought using their imaginations in their bedrooms. It doesn’t matter which toys you had, they would amass together to fight the war to end all wars and save the universe! And who wouldn’t want to step back into their childhood and have one more epic battle? Whatever you can imagine is probably not as cool as this stop-motion movie using a couple of Dragon Ball Z figures and a heck of a lot of patience and creativity.

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Public reacts in horror as poster in Shinjuku Station threatens even more exits

“East exit, West exit, South exit, new South exit…The number of exits is the number of possibilities.”

They might seem like uplifting words at first glance, but panic erupted in Tokyo this week as the above poster was hung in the world’s busiest train station, Shinjuku, hinting at the imminent addition of yet more exits. Could it really be that the station residents of Japan’s capital city have playfully dubbed “the dungeon” may be about to get even more complicated?

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See, hear and taste at the L’art de Rosanjin exhibit, where projection mapping meets fine cuisine

If you have an interest in modern Japanese art, you may be familiar with the name Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883 – 1959). As it happens, the versatile Japanese artist is currently the subject of a an innovative and unique exhibit being held at the Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall in the Coredo Muromachi shopping, dining and entertainment complex.

Rosanjin, who was known not only as an artist, but as a very discerning food connoisseur and a man well ahead of his time, is considered to have had a huge influence on modern Japanese art and cuisine. He has even been the inspiration behind one of the central characters in the popular gourmet comic Oishinbo, so when we heard that the exhibit combined digital technology with elements of both his art and love of food, we knew we had to go and experience it ourselves. And from what we’d already heard,  this was going to be an exhibit that you not only see, but hear and taste as well!

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Japan to get more dating sims for boys and girls with new Love Plus and Tokimeki Memorial games

Dating sims are a huge thing in Japan, but in the West they’re kind of seen as a bit of a joke. Perhaps it’s not “cool” to role-play as a character when the aim of the game is to win someone’s heart instead of fighting a war or defeating a dastardly nemesis?

But if you’ve ever played dating sims before, you’ll know that they can be a huge amount of fun. Two of Japan’s most popular dating sim series, Love Plus and Tokimeki Memorial are also set to get new games soon, so now might be the time to start dipping your toes into the dating sim world.

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Which do you like? Twitter asks if you prefer girls naughty on the inside or outside

We’ve seen a lot of comparisons between different types of women here at RocketNews24. First there was girls you want to look at vs. girls you want to date, then women who attract chikan vs. those who don’t, and fashion model vs. gravure idol.

The latest “girl comparison” to take Twitter by storm is the most bizarre yet: girls who look innocent but aren’t vs. girls who don’t look innocent but actually are. I’m not quite sure how we got here, but hey! There are cute anime girls to pick from so let’s get choosing!

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Fashion store LUMINE’s video for working women fails big time, results in boycott hashtag

First Ladies Michelle Obama and Akie Abe have finally met for the first time and have been enjoying each other’s company this past week. They are both powerful women who are continually working for women around the world to have larger, more active roles in both government and business, so it was fantastic to see them launching new programs in support of women. Each year we take steps to make the world a more equal place and 2015 doesn’t seem to show any signs of being any different.

Japanese department store chain LUMINE has claimed that they also wish to support working women and released two short videos to show that. But instead of empowering and encouraging women, people are finding the videos extremely offensive and are criticizing them harshly. How bad could they be?

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Five anime better than their manga and novel source material, according to fans

Only a small fraction of the huge quantity of anime that Japan produces starts off as animation, with the rest being adapted from preexisting works such as serialized comics or novels. But because making anime is so much more capital and labor-intensive than drawing a manga or writing a book, oftentimes fans prefer the original, lamenting that the creator’s genius is watered down when he has to relinquish control to the many disparate interests that make up an anime production committee.

But the jump to animation isn’t always seen as a step down in quality. A recent poll asked fans which anime they thought had surpassed their source material, and here are the top five responses.

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New Sizzler will first remove your beer cap…and then become the cap!

Here’s a situation that I’m sure all of our readers can relate to. You’ve just finished a hard day’s work and sit down for a nice cold bottle of beer. You pop off the cap to release its sweet aroma.

However, just then you realize it’s actually 5:00am and you’ve completely lost track of the time and day. This happened because you’re a part of an elite team of scientists investigating a UFO crash deep in Antarctica where the sun never sets.

With only 90 minutes until the alien autopsy there’s no way you can properly enjoy the beer, but you can’t close the metal cap properly anymore without the drink losing precious carbonation. What a waste!

I believe it’s exactly these kinds of mishaps that the makers of the New Sizzler had in mind when they developed a bottle opener that’s also a bottle closer.

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Teen whose Frozen chalkboard art went viral gets an art commission before a high school diploma

A while back, we took a look at an amazing piece of artwork by student and Twitter user Rena Rena. Almost finished with her last year of high school, Rena realized her opportunities to indulge in youthful abandon were about to become that much scarcer, so she grabbed a piece of chalk and drew an amazing scene of Frozen’s Elsa standing on a snowy mountaintop.

Two months later, it looks like Rena’s life has indeed become so busy that she has no time for such ambitious amateur chalkboard art projects. On the bright side, that’s because she’s now doing professional chalkboard art, having been commissioned to create the cover to the newest book from one of Japan’s most celebrated fantasy authors.

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2015 Ghost in the Shell film’s promo previews new footage

The official website for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell film updated on Friday, and unveiled a new promotional video. The video looks back at past animated projects in the franchise, as well as new animation from the upcoming film.

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Superfan buys treasure trove of idol-cover magazines, swims through it like Scrooge McOtakuduck

In recent years, the idol singer industry in Japan has put a lot of power in the hands of fans. Multi-vocalist units like AKB48 and its numerous tri-letter, dual-digit sister groups often hold “elections,” in which votes are tallied to see which members will get the most prominent roles in upcoming music videos, live performances, and the like.

The idol world isn’t a perfect democracy, though, in that concepts like universal suffrage and “one person, one vote” don’t exist within it. Ballots are often packed inside CDs, DVDs, or other commercial goods, and the more you buy, the more you can vote, which is leading one dedicated fan to try to corner the market on manga anthologies.

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Father and son turn car parts into profit by building amazing, enormous, Transformer models

What do you do with a background in fine arts, an empty factory, and used car parts? Make realistic models of Transformers, of course! At least, that’s what this father-son duo in Hunan Province, China decided to do, and they’re making a very lucrative living do so.

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Champagne sake is a bubbly glass of East meets West

As imports of Western drinks increase, interest in Japan’s native alcoholic beverages has been declining. There have been efforts to bring drinkers back to traditional drinks such as sake and shochu, but they face tough competition from the likes of wine and champagne, which evoke fashionable, sophisticated images in the minds of Japanese drinkers.

One way to revive interest could be to apply Western fermentation techniques to Eastern beverages such as sake, Japan’s “rice wine”, to create unique twists on traditional drinks. “Champagne sake” is an example of this done deliciously right.

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