Japanese ‘Day One Edition’ Xbox One adopters are actually getting a pretty good deal

Japanese ‘Day One Edition’ Xbox One adopters are actually getting a pretty good deal

While there are no doubt plenty of Xbox One owners who are still glad they scrambled to preorder a “Day One Edition” of the console at launch last year, there are probably a few who now feel that it perhaps wasn’t worth breaking a sweat for. Shipping in slightly sleeker packaging than usual, Day One versions came bundled with a controller embossed with the words “Day One 2013″ and a card to activate an achievement on their owner’s online profile; plenty of bragging rights for the hardest of hardcore Xbox fans, certainly, but that’s about it.

According to the Japanese Xbox One site, though, day-one adopters in the Land of the Rising Sun will be getting a markedly better deal.

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Anime fans pick which Ghibli heroine they’d like to have as a girlfriend

Anime fans pick which Ghibli heroine they’d like to have as a girlfriend

Totoro may be the most instantly recognizable Studio Ghibl character, but the exalted animation house has produced a far larger number of memorable heroines than cute critters. From warrior princesses to ordinary schoolgirls who defy anime conventions by actually being ordinary, almost every Ghibli film has had a woman as either its central or most important figure.

Each has her own claim to fame. Spirited Away’s Chihiro remains the studio’s highest-grossing leading lady, Arrietty its shortest, and Princess Mononoke’s San the most violent. Now, a recent poll has bestowed yet another title by asking fans which Ghibli character they’d like to have as a girlfriend.

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Can these Japanese kitties accurately predict the advancing teams of the World Cup?

Can these Japanese kitties accurately predict the advancing teams of the World Cup?

You may remember that octopus named Paul whose accurate series of “predictions” during the 2010 World Cup about Germany’s matches and Spain’s victory shot him to worldwide fame.

Well move over, Paul, because you’ve got two new furry rivals! Stepping up to the challenge in 2014 are Munchkin kitties Kikunosuke and Rikimaru. Their owner had them “predict” which two teams from each of the initial groups A through H would proceed to the rest of the tournament. Japanese fans would be well-advised to listen to the cats, since Japan was picked to advance from group C.

Keep reading to find out which sixteen teams will advance, at least according to the cats!

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30 common characteristics of people who fall in love with Japan

30 common characteristics of people who fall in love with Japan

Chances are since you’re visiting our site, you probably already have an interest in Japan or other Asian countries. But have you ever had a friend who knows next to nothing about Japan, but you just have a feeling that they would come to love the island country given the right incentive?

If so, you may recognize some characteristic qualities of that friend in the following list written by Japanese blogger and all-around-life expert Madame Riri. This time, she’s come up with some common traits of foreigners who grow to love Japan based on her own observations from time spent abroad. 

Do you find yourself conforming to any of the following patterns?

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Ultra-enthusiastic Japanese Family Mart employee is the height of customer service

Ultra-enthusiastic Japanese Family Mart employee is the height of customer service

Growing up in the U.S., I had always been pretty jaded with customer service. At best, I’d get a cashier thanking me for my patronage (in response to which I would sometimes awkwardly say, “You too!”), and at worst I’d have to remind the cashier s/he was on the clock just to get them to lazily punch in some numbers and ring up my diet coke.

Things are different in Japan. People in retail and customer service jobs practically fall all over themselves to help the customer – when they aren’t busy taking Twitter photos of themselves in ice boxes, anyway. But this Family Mart employee may put them all to shame; he’s got the whole ringing someone up routine down to superhuman levels, snatching cash out of customer’s hands and tossing it into the register with ease and confidence like he’s some kind of teetotalling flair bartender:

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Japanese fans are waving around blue plastic garbage bags at today’s World Cup match…

Japanese fans are waving around blue plastic garbage bags at today’s World Cup match…

Every country has their fair share of crazy fans dressed in garb ranging from carrot headdresses to scarves with the power of 1000% elephants, but the Japanese supporters are by far our all-around favorite. During their first match against Côte d’Ivoire last Saturday, they showed up with plenty of white paint on their faces and bowling pins on their heads. With Japan’s second match currently underway, we couldn’t help but notice a strange new addition to the cheer gear of Samurai Blue supporters; an item we’ve all seen before being used for its intended purpose.

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The funniest high school girl in Japan is back! Reika Oozeki does Frozen

The funniest high school girl in Japan is back! Reika Oozeki does Frozen

When we introduced the teenage comedian Reika Oozeki last year, we knew she was funny, but we had no idea how far she’d end up going. With 287,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 220,000 more followers on Vine, her influence has certainly grown quickly! She’s even crossed national borders, with people the world over laughing at her manic videos. And, at last, she’s back!

Of course, to be fair, she never really went anywhere–those of you following her on Twitter know that’s she’s as active as ever. But some of her recent Vine videos have left us laughing so hard, we had to share! So click below and get ready for your day to get a whole lot better.

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Women in China say the World Cup makes them sad, protest by removing their “World Cups” in public

Women in China say the World Cup makes them sad, protest by removing their “World Cups” in public

Men of the world, have you been prioritizing World Cup matches over your wives and girlfriends recently?

Earlier this month in China, a group of women got together and took off their “soccer balls” in order to cheer up their fellow female counterparts who have been neglected by their husbands and boyfriends. We have no idea if that makes any sense, but here’s how it looks!

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Chinese students recreate movie magic with mortarboards and Photoshop【Photos】

Chinese students recreate movie magic with mortarboards and Photoshop【Photos】

A while back the Internet went crazy for one Korean high school’s ‘anything goes’ yearbook photos, but it looks like they’ve got some competition on the scene now from these Chinese university students who decided to do something a little different for graduation.

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Always wanted to share a soda with your anime crush? Now you can

Always wanted to share a soda with your anime crush? Now you can

Poke around the murkier corners of anime stores, and you can find no shortage of lascivious merchandise such as huggable pillow cases, bed sheets, and waterproof “bath posters” plastered with images of the medium’s more popular characters. But what about the otaku who’s looking for a more chaste way to connect with his or her 2-D crush?

If your PG-rated date idea consists of playing miniature golf or going to the homecoming dance, you’re still out of luck. However, thanks to one creative fan you and your favorite anime character can now share a soda with two straws like a pair of 1950s lovebirds.

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Step aside, Air Bud! Purin the Super Beagle is here to score some bea-goals!【Video】

Step aside, Air Bud! Purin the Super Beagle is here to score some bea-goals!【Video】

There are two great things to look forward to in February in the US. The first is the Super Bowl; the second is definitely the “Puppy Bowl,” an American football game “played” exclusively by puppies. Who doesn’t like watching a bunch of extremely cute canines trying to move toys to their opponents’ end zone?

With over 13.5 million viewers in 2014, it only makes sense that the FIFA World Cup should have its own dog-based representation of the game. They could even call it the “Canine Cup”. If that ever does happen, countries will be scrambling to find their own representatives to put their country at number one! Lucky for Japan, they already have their own soccer-playing dog superstar who is ready to take the field!

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How do you hide a 760-tonne ship? Paint it so bright it dazzles

How do you hide a 760-tonne ship? Paint it so bright it dazzles

A retired pilot ship sits in a Liverpool dock, painted in vivid red, yellow and green stripes. This is a “Dazzle Ship”, decorated with a unique and eccentric British camouflage method originally developed during World War One.

The British navy had tried different methods of disguising ships, but none had proved effective. Realising that it must be impossible to successfully conceal a boat, marine artist Norman Wilkinson suggested a radical, opposite approach: a design that would instead confuse and disorientate the enemy, making it difficult for a U-boat commander to estimate the boat’s speed or direction. The Dazzle Ship was born.

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Kanji fail – Japanese World Cup fans notice Greek player’s strange tattoo

Kanji fail – Japanese World Cup fans notice Greek player’s strange tattoo

It must be tough playing in the World Cup. Not only are you representing your entire country, but every mistake you make is seen by millions of people all over the world. Poor Igor Akinfeev, the Russian goalkeeper who let a straightforward shot from Korea’s Lee Keun-ho roll up and over his head and into the goal. It was enough to make anyone want to curl up into a ball and die, and Igor’s mortified face was painful to watch, inspiring thousands of Tweets proclaiming, “Yikes!”

Japanese netizens have taken notice of another footballer faux paus, this time in the form of an unfortunate tattoo. We’ve seen it before – misinformed fans of body modification adding “Chicken Noodle Soup or “casket maker” in exotic scrawl, and Team Greece representative, Theofanis “Fanis” Gekas, has added to the list of tattoos that have piqued the interest of Japanese netizens.

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Men & women vote on which anime character they’d want as a little sister

Men & women vote on which anime character they’d want as a little sister

Japanese website Charapedia asked its visitors which anime character they would most like to have as a little sister. More surprising than the results is the huge voter turnout of 10,000 people. Men and women voted in the poll from March 6-12. About 65% of voters were male, 35% were female and 82% were between 13-29. About 18% were 30 years old or older.

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Osaka airport’s new mascot is adorable, laid-back, possibly drunk

Osaka airport’s new mascot is adorable, laid-back, possibly drunk

Osaka International Airport has a deceptively confusing name. First, although its mailing address is indeed in Osaka, a large portion of the facility actually spills over the border into neighboring Hyogo Prefecture, specifically the city of Itami.

Second, it only has domestic flights, as during the 1990s the overseas traffic was moved to Kansai International Airport, an international airport that’s entirely in Osaka (yet completely separate from Osaka International Airport).

But even if it’s hard to find a shred of logic to the naming of Osaka International Airport, the domestic hub can now fall back on the good looks of its new mascot, the undeniably cute, possibly worrying Sora-yan.

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Japanese soccer fans celebrate the World Cup with Samurai Blue curry

Japanese soccer fans celebrate the World Cup with Samurai Blue curry

Now that the World Cup is well and truly underway, fans in Japan have found themselves in the full-blown throes of soccer fever. While some would remedy the malady with a set of earplugs and a good lie-down, others look to the food world, with World Cup menus popping up all over the country offering all sorts of surprises. One place in Osaka has put together a creative curry and cocktail set that represents the Japanese soccer team, Samurai Blue, and the host country of Brazil. Can you see the two countries in the image above?

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Denny’s Japan to launch microwaveable version of its 40th anniversary jambalaya dish

Denny’s Japan to launch microwaveable version of its 40th anniversary jambalaya dish

You know how you sometimes sit at home watching TV and find yourself thinking, “Man, I wish I could eat a Denny’s meal right now. But, like, from a cup…”? Neither have we, but apparently that product is a real thing and is coming to stores in Japan very soon.

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Heads up, Aussie anime fans: Terror in Resonance to premiere at Oz Comic-Con

Heads up, Aussie anime fans: Terror in Resonance to premiere at Oz Comic-Con

Hardcore anime fans will no doubt already be itching to get a look at forthcoming TV anime thriller, Terror in Resonance, which is being directed by none other than Shinichirō Watanabe, the man behind smash hits such as Samurai Champloo, Cowboy Bebop and Space Dandy.

You may have heard that the anime will be screened for the first time outside Japan at LA’s Anime Expo in early July, but our readers down-under will be excited to learn that just a few hours later, Terror in Resonance will premiere at Oz Comic-Con in Melbourne.

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Attack on Titan movie looking for two extras to play the titular giants

Attack on Titan movie looking for two extras to play the titular giants

Last month, anime, movie and travel enthusiasts all got excited over the Japanese tour company offering a package that included being an extra in the upcoming Attack on Titan live-action movie. Sadly, only 50 lucky people were chosen, and everyone else who had dreamed of stepping into the world of the most popular anime in decades is out of luck.

Or are they? Just like how Attack on Titan keeps viewers on their toes with plot twist after plot twist, there’s been an exciting development regarding the live-action adaptation, which is now looking for a new pair of extras to play two of the Titans themselves.

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Fan makes awesome Final Fantasy art with just a screen door, ink, and a toothpick

Fan makes awesome Final Fantasy art with just a screen door, ink, and a toothpick

Back in the heyday of Nintendo’s NES, video game hardware wasn’t advanced enough to handle the kind of polygon-based visuals that are the industry standard today. Instead, artists had to bitmap their characters.

Bitmapping involves laying down squares of color, called pixels, to form an image. It’s essentially a digital mosaic, and with enough time and dedication, you could perfectly recreate the cast of your favorite 8-bit classic using a sheet of graph paper.

Or, as one retro fan in Japan recently did, a screen door.

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