Incest-themed TV anime sparks decency investigation. What were the odds?

Incest-themed TV anime sparks decency investigation. What were the odds?

It’s a tough time for anime studios. The boom days of direct-to-video productions, when consumers would happily plunk down 5,000 yen (US$48) or more for 30-minutes of animation, sight-unseen, are long gone. At the same time, TV ad revenue is hard to come by, and in some cases, non-existent for anime programs. So in order to produce a hit these days, you’ve got to put your product on television first, and then find a way to leverage its broadcast popularity into subsequent DVD and Blu-ray sales.

The real tricky part is striking a balance between showing enough for free to keep people watching and interested, yet offering the prospect of something they can’t see on TV in order to drive home-video purchases later. An easy choice for this is sexual content, and the closer a show treads to the censorship line, the more wondrous the delights awaiting viewers in the unrated DVDs are assumed to be.

Recently, one anime may have aimed a little too high in appealing to the lowest common denominator, and is now the subject of a broadcast decency investigation.

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Survey reveals that more than 70 percent of otaku would choose their hobby over love

Survey reveals that more than 70 percent of otaku would choose their hobby over love

Over the years, the term “otaku” has, as well as being accepted into the English language, come to mean not just computer or anime fanatics locked away in their bedrooms, but any person who shows above-average fondness for any given hobby or pastime. Crazy about pop idols? You’re an otaku. Can’t get enough cosplay in your life? Same for you. Have a collection of video games so large that your friends casually refer to your house as “the library”? You’d better believe you’re an otaku.

But is your passion for your hobby so great that you would willingly choose it over love and romance? A recent survey asked a group of otaku that very question, and found that 70.1 percent of them said they’d shun love in favour of their hobby if it came down to it.

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【Thursday Throwback】We Cook a Big Mac Value Meal in a Rice Cooker, Triumphant Results

【Thursday Throwback】We Cook a Big Mac Value Meal in a Rice Cooker, Triumphant Results

The rice cooker. Not only does this convenient little machine prepare a pot of rice with just the push of a button, but it can also be used to steam vegetables, bake cakes, and much more! Our researchers here at RocketNews24 have been working around the clock to uncover the true potential of the rice cooker by testing a number of bold, innovative recipes. Today, we’d like to share what is perhaps the most exciting find of our research thus far: a Big Mac, french fries and chicken nuggets taste amazing when cooked in a rice cooker.

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Tottori University researchers discover a simple way to possibly cure all forms of cancer

Tottori University researchers discover a simple way to possibly cure all forms of cancer

Alright, it doesn’t look so simple from the above image, but on 25 January, Tottori University announced that researchers have found a method to successfully transform a cancerous tumor into non-threatening tissue. Although the research that went into it is incredibly complicated, the result is a single molecule that may be able to universally reverse cancerous cells in a relatively brief amount of time.

The announcement doesn’t hold back its enthusiasm either, proclaiming that from this discovery “the dream of the eradication of cancer is at hand.”

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9 things we know about Nintendo’s plans for the near future following today’s conference

9 things we know about Nintendo’s plans for the near future following today’s conference

It’s been a tough couple of years for Nintendo. While the 3DS continues to sell well and gamers the world over salivate like Pavlov’s dog every time they are drip-fed another snippet of information about the forthcoming Smash Bros. games, Wii U sales are dismal, and even Super Mario 3D World, which critics judged to be one of the greatest Mario outings of all time, was met with comparatively little fanfare from consumers.

Today, Nintendo’s company president Satoru Iwata made a number of announcements, hinting at new hardware that would focus on “health and welfare”, tapping into mobile gaming, giving solid launch dates for upcoming titles, and announcing the decision to bring Nintendo DS games to the Wii U. Here’s what we know so far, in one handy list!

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The badass attitude of Chinese tennis champ Li Na summed up in one picture

The badass attitude of Chinese tennis champ Li Na summed up in one picture

You might not guess it by looking at her rather glum expression, but in the picture above, Chinese tennis star Li Na is receiving a check for 800,000 yuan — roughly $132,000.

Li’s long face is probably why this picture has now gone viral on Weibo, Josh Chin and Fanfan Wang of The Wall Street Journal note. Netizens just can’t seem to work out why Li, who had returned Tuesday to her hometown of Hubei following her second Grand Slam win, wouldn’t at least feign some type of excitement when being given a check for such a huge amount by Hubei Communist Party chief Li Hongzhong.

What gives?

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Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki says the anime industry’s problem is that it’s full of anime fans

Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki says the anime industry’s problem is that it’s full of anime fans

It’s hard to imagine legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki needing to be any more lauded than he already is. Over 95 percent of Japan’s population has watched one of his movies, people see uploading his films to the Internet as being the fast track to popularity, and he’s even got a celestial body named after him. Really, though, after seeing the quality of his work, it’s hard to argue with the respect he receives. The man is clearly a genius.

However, Miyazaki is also a 73-year-old man, and like many individuals who have reached such an age, occasionally can’t resist the stubborn urge to grumble about how the people who came up after him are screwing up his industry.

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Unusual flat-pack daruma voted Japan’s most fascinating souvenir

Unusual flat-pack daruma voted Japan’s most fascinating souvenir

If you’re looking for a unique Japanese gift that’s light in your luggage but heavy in tradition, then this is the item for you. It’s called the KD Daruma (Knock-Down Daruma) and it’s modelled on the centuries-old, round, good-luck talisman which symbolises Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. This modern take on the daruma features a flat-pack design and clever assembly so unusual it’s just been awarded first prize as Japan’s most fascinating souvenir in a competition held by the Japan Tourism Agency. We take a closer look at the details to see what makes this little novelty so charming.

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This might be the skinniest house in Tokyo…and it’s on sale now!

This might be the skinniest house in Tokyo…and it’s on sale now!

Housing in Tokyo is notoriously cramped, but this is ridiculous! With a total of 7.2 ㎡ (77.8 square feet) per floor (that’s smaller than the inside of Japan’s famously crowded train carriages), this towering five-story house packs a lot of rooms into a petite frame. So if you’ve ever fancied living in a tiny triangle, now’s your chance because this baby is on sale now!

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Live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service film’s 2nd trailer previews Jiji

Live-action Kiki’s Delivery Service film’s 2nd trailer previews Jiji

Mainichi Shimbun’s Mantan Web began streaming the second full trailer on Monday for the live-action film of Eiko Kadono‘s fantasy novel series Kiki’s Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyūbin). The trailer previews Mai Kuraki‘s theme song “Wake Me Up,” and also shows the first footage of Kiki’s black cat Jiji (played by K-ON!‘s Minako Kotobuki).

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Super-explicit Evangelion fan translation leaves Japanese fan scratching his head

Super-explicit Evangelion fan translation leaves Japanese fan scratching his head

Part of what makes the anime Evangelion such an enduring hit is the series’ subtleness. The classic is riddled with lines of dialogue that have multiple meanings and possible interpretations. Sometimes the speaker’s true intent becomes clearer after revelations that occur in subsequent installments of the franchise, whereas other times repeat viewings only serve to muddy the waters even further.

But while this ambiguousness delights fans who have taken pleasure in discussing and dissecting Eva for close to 20 years now, the same lack of concrete answers can be unfathomably frustrating to some viewers. Can’t the characters just say what they mean, in a way that anyone can understand?

They can in at least one amateur translation, in which major character Misato makes no bones about her desire to bone.

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Japanese pro wrestlers become anime girls for new trading card game

Japanese pro wrestlers become anime girls for new trading card game

Well here’s something we never thought we’d see or even imagine or think about or have any interest in.

For some reason popular Ring Dream: Girl’s Pro Wrestling Battle online trading card game, which lets players pit their anime girl wrestlers against each other for in-game prizes and bragging rights, is teaming with Japanese pro wrestling association DDT to turn some of DDT’s most popular male wrestlers into in-game characters. In-game female characters.

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Five complaints Ukrainian women have about dating Japanese men

Five complaints Ukrainian women have about dating Japanese men

Nataliya News is a column brought to you by our Ukrainian correspondent Nataliya, who currently lives there and writes her reports for our sister site RocketNews24 Japan in her charming Japanese. This week, she airs the feelings of her fellow Ukrainian women about dating or being married to Japanese guys, which of course we’ve translated into English for you! Check it out after the jump.

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Guangdong would rank as the world’s 12th most populous nation, and other fun with China’s census

Guangdong would rank as the world’s 12th most populous nation, and other fun with China’s census

It can be said that the power of China lies in its massive population. This country holds around 1.3 billion people and nearly 20 percent of the world’s people. As such you might expect living there to be a tight squeeze.

However, according to 2010 census figures of the populations of each Chinese Province, Autonomous Region, and Direct Controlled Municipality, the nation with the most people still has quite a bit of space in parts.

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Learn Japanese with us and this website of nothing but swimsuit model selfies

Learn Japanese with us and this website of nothing but swimsuit model selfies

So today, we’d like to talk about a website called Jigadoribu. We won’t beat around the bush, it’s a site full of pictures of swimsuit models. And to all those of you who haven’t immediately skipped to the photos after reading that last sentence, thank you. Your display of self-restraint is an inspiration to us all, especially if you’re in the office, as this isn’t the sort of thing you want to be reading at work.

Sadly, our bosses won’t pay us for features that consist entirely of the phrase “And check this girl out!” repeated a dozen times. Likewise, we imagine you’d have some explaining to do should someone peek over your shoulder and see you perusing this article. So, as we did before, we’re going to mix appreciation of the female form with a little Japanese language lesson.

Let’s start with vocabulary word number one: jigadori, or selfie.

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Playing with middle-aged men: What’s with the new rash of “oji-san” smartphone apps?

Playing with middle-aged men: What’s with the new rash of “oji-san” smartphone apps?

You might think that middle-aged is synonymous with uncool, but middle-aged men in Japan, or oji-san, are currently something of a hot item.

Young Japanese women find a certain type of dorky oji-san to be “totes adorbs, yo” and are driving a boom in oji-san-related goods, including quite a number of apps featuring cutely crotchety oji-sans. Here are a few we’ve recently discovered.

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Believe it or not, this Japanese swimsuit model is not in her 20s (or 30s)

Believe it or not, this Japanese swimsuit model is not in her 20s (or 30s)

There’s a common phenomenon where people born and raised in Japan appear younger than their actual age to people who grew up in the West. On a trip to Los Angeles, for example, my wife and I wanted to shoot pool at a local bar, but were turned away at the entrance. She had forgotten to take her passport with her when we went out, and the doorman wouldn’t let us in without proof she wasn’t a minor, despite the fact that we were both in our 30s at the time.

The effect is amplified when the person in question looks young even by domestic Japanese perceptions, such as with actress and TV personality Maiko Ito, whose age we’d never have guessed by looking at her.

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Burger King has apple burgers (and cocktails) in Japan, and we’ve got them in our bellies

Burger King has apple burgers (and cocktails) in Japan, and we’ve got them in our bellies

Even as someone who can always appreciate a tasty hamburger, there’s a quandary I face whenever I go out to satisfy my beef-based sandwich needs. Your standard burger gives you plenty of protein from the meat, some nice carbs from the bread, and even a scattering of veggies between the buns, but it’s hard to get your fruit fix at a burger emporium.

Or, more accurately, it was, until Burger King Japan started offering two hamburgers with slices of grilled apple. We traveled to one of Burger King’s branches in Yokohama to try both on the day of their release, but they weren’t the only discoveries waiting for us. So come along with us as we present the ABCs (apples, booze, and couches) that make Burger King different in Japan.

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Scathing list of 14 differences between Japanese and Chinese women sparks debate online

Scathing list of 14 differences between Japanese and Chinese women sparks debate online

Japan and China are well known for their almost constant bickering. Whether it’s a debate about some past wrongdoing or squabbling over rocks located hundreds of miles out to sea, the pair are seemingly always having a spat about something or other.

This week, a list of 14 purported differences between Chinese and Japanese women – allegedly written by a Chinese national – appeared online. While outlining everything from sex and extramarital affairs to respect for their partners’ parents and money matters, the list casts Chinese women in such a poor light that, as one Weibo user also suggested, we almost wonder whether it was created entirely to put the cat among the pigeons and have Chinese and Japanese net users at each other’s throats.

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How do you define romance? Wonderfully poetic Japanese dictionary takes 91 words

How do you define romance? Wonderfully poetic Japanese dictionary takes 91 words

What exactly is romance? It’s a seemingly simple term, and one undeniably connected to a set of strong feelings, but does one have to act on them, or can romance exist entirely in the heart of an individual, without any sort of necessary manifestation in words or deeds? Is the word applicable only exclusively to happy relationships, or does that sort of stability preclude the sudden rush of emotion needed for something to be called romantic?

People have been struggling with these questions for years, and today we take a look at three less than poetic attempts at defining the word romance in publisher Sanseido’s Japanese dictionary.

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