Nappa the sleepy greedy hamster has the biggest and cutest yawn we’ve ever seen!

Time for your daily dose of cute! Continuing with our current trend of sleepy animals (first, we had Cocon the lazy Shiba inu, followed by Nike the sleepy pooping cat), here’s Nappa the yawning hamster! We’ve got all the cutest pictures and videos of Nappa’s adorable antics straight from his official Twitter account!

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Final Fantasy creator reveals the real reason behind the “Final” part of the hit series’ title

To those unfamiliar with the history of video game developer Square (now merged with former rival Enix and renamed Square Enix), the title of the prolific Final Fantasy series must seem pretty ironic. After all, the franchise’s Roman numeral-numbered sequels now go all the way up to XV, and by the time you add in the sequel’s sequels, like the recently rereleased Final Fantasy X-2, and spinoffs like Final Fantasy Tactics (which of course has a sequel of its own, too), there doesn’t seem to be anything “final” about the series at all.

Some gamers will be quick to point out, though, that had the original Final Fantasy not been a hit, Square wouldn’t have had the financial resources to keep going and would have had to shut its doors, and the title is a nod to that desperation. Others will correct them, saying that in fact the “Final” portion of the title was chosen because Hironobu Sakaguchi, the driving force behind the creation of the series and its most popular installments, was going to quit the gaming industry if the first Final Fantasy wasn’t a success.

But as Sakaguchi himself recently revealed, neither of those was really the reason Square decided to call what would go on to be its defining game series Final Fantasy.

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Step aside, Goku! Vegeta protects Earth from giant vegetables in new Dragon Ball ramen ad 【Video】

Even though spikey-haired Goku is undeniably the protagonist of classic (and soon to be new) anime Dragon Ball, we’re not sure it’s entirely accurate to call fellow Saiyajin Vegeta a “supporting character.” That’s because the widow’s peak-sporting martial artist would tell you that he’s actually the strongest fighter in the Dragon Ball universe, and his prideful insistence on doing things his way means that “supporting” others isn’t something he’s particularly amicable to doing.

Maybe that’s the reason that while Goku and the villainous Frieza are hawking cola, Vegeta is instead endorsing Cup Noodle’s new vegetable-packed variety of instant ramen, and starring in an action-packed, cabbage-crushing commercial while he’s at it.

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“Where are all the laser beams?” Our reporter heads to Nevada’s Area 51 on a top-secret mission

For conspiracy theorists, Area 51 is a location of high intrigue. Often called the most secret place on earth (well…the United States, anyway), this government base in Nevada is thought to be used for weapons testing and experimental aircraft – although very little is known about what really goes on there. Some of the more out-there theories include meetings with aliens, development of weather control, and even time travel.

Our Japanese reporter Go Hatori is a seasoned traveller and, when he’s not trolling would-be scammers online for his own amusement, loves nothing more than to take a solo trip somewhere mysterious. So Go headed into the Nevada desert – with a secret mission of his own!

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Washington Post writer catches heat for “dirty Korean beer” joke

There’s a reason I don’t write for the Washington Post. Actually, there are about a thousand reasons, almost all of which pertain to my own ineptness. Another one these reasons is that I occasionally write some embarrassing joke that gets completely misunderstood and blows up in my face.

So, I can relate on some level to the Washington Post’s writer and Tokyo bureau chief Anna Fifield. Her tweet, which jokingly translated a customer request sign as “Don’t bring your dirty Korean beer in here,” has led to some considerably harsh feedback from Japanese Twitter users.

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Dedicated fan recreates video play-through of Super Mario Bros… in Minecraft

Minecraft is certainly one of the most talked-about games on the scene today, and one of the most played. Even if you haven’t tried it or have no idea why there seem to be so many sheep in the game, you have probably seen some of the amazing things built inside it.

Today, we bring you an incredibly accurate recreation of a video play-through of the first level of the Nintendo classic Super Mario Bros. made in Minecraft. With sheep, apparently.

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Limited-edition Hello Kitty pastries make a trip to Yurakucho totally worth your while

Hello Kitty may have a few too many jobs for any other gijinka cat to handle at once, but we have to say that the pastry chef hat is probably the one that looks best on her adorable head. Kitty no Sanpomichi (“Kitty’s Promenade”) is certainly proof of that!

If you’re sad about missing out on Kitty’s delightful pastries in the Kansai area last year, you’re in luck, if you happen to be Tokyo this week. The temporary pastry-selling stand is open for business in Yurakucho Marui right now. But you better hurry, because they close this Wednesday!

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Net users recoil as McDonald’s Japan’s new “Mogumogu” chicken veggie burger hits kids’ menu

McDonald’s Japan has been kind of hit and miss with its strategies in the last couple of years. And just when they start doing a few things REALLY right (complimentary socks and free smiles!) they come up with another concoction that’s got netizens dry-heaving.

This time, the offending item is the “healthy” chicken veggie patty burger, aka the “Mogumogu Mac” (mogumogu is an onomatopoeia that means chewing), which is designed specifically for kids.

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Strange lights appear in the skies of Japan, but thanks to fish, not aliens

Way at the western tip of Honshu, the main island of Japan, you’ll find the town of Shimonoseki. Shimonoseki is especially famous for its always delicious, naturally poisonous, and occasionally canned blowfish, but fishermen catch all manner of tasty seafood there in the waters off the edge of Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Wherever you have boats and coastlines, you’ll also want to put a lighthouse too. But on a recent night the beacon of Shimonoseki’s Tsunoshima lighthouse wasn’t the only thing shining in the darkness, as observers also roughly a dozen mysterious-looking lights in the night sky.

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We mix banana and peach potato chips with toast, yoghurt and granola for a new Japanese breakfast

If you thought traditional Japanese breakfasts were unusual, with their servings of fish, pickles, rice and soup, you’ll be in for a surprise when you see the new offering that’s coming to the table to greet you in the morning.

It’s time to say hello to the morning potato chip. Especially designed for breakfast consumption, these bags of fruity – yes, fruity – goodness are said to combine the energy-giving health benefits of the humble potato with two popular fruit flavours: peach and banana.

So how could these chips possibly fare as breakfast meals? Come with us as we head out into unchartered territory, pairing potato crisps with yoghurt, toast, and a bowl of granola and milk. Will the results be delicious? Read on to find out!

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Studious Nintendo-loving kid asks for a dictionary for his birthday, gets a very special surprise

Imagine you’ve got a nine-year-old kid with a birthday coming up, and you ask him what he wants as a present. At first he says he wants a video game, but then, after giving it some more careful thought, he comes to the conclusion that he’s old enough to be getting serious about his studies, so he asks for a dictionary instead.

How should you react? Proud of his sense of responsibility, do you buy him the dictionary, and hurry him one step closer to the end of his carefree childhood? Or do you get him the game, despite the fact that he specifically asked for something else?

It’s a tricky problem, but one dad in Japan came up with a clever, heartwarming, and above all awesome idea.

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Fan unhappy with new Digimon tri. art starts petition for redesign before release of first movie

By giving people a voice that can reach anyone else in the world, the Internet can be a powerful tool for change. Online petitions can draw attention to, and offer solutions for, issues that negatively impact us all, such as unjust laws and inappropriate use of public funds.

And also, as one displeased Digimon fan is doing, call for changes to anime character designs we don’t like the look of.

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Short animation “Snowstorm Traveller” whips up a figurative storm of applause

A short animation titled Snowstorm Traveller has, fittingly, taken the global internet by storm. Recent Canadian university graduate Gerri Jin created the video as part of her graduation requirements, and though it clocks in at a mere 3:46, video still delivers an engaging plot with an unexpected twist ending, so sit back and enjoy watching the result of all of her hard work!

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Mimi-kaki: We let a total stranger stick things inside us at an ear-cleaning salon【Video】

Akihabara is considered by many to be a holy land of otaku culture, and with good reason. From anime to electronics to maid cafes, there’s not much you can’t find here. You can even pay someone to clean your ears! Which, to this writer, sounds absolutely horrifying. The idea of a total stranger getting inside my ear canal and scraping out all the gunk is both gross and horrifying, mainly because I can’t stop imagining the ear cleaner slipping and driving the ear-pick deep into my brain.

And that’s probably exactly why the RocketNews24 editors chose me to try it out! If you’ve ever wanted to have a young woman lay your head in her lap and then scrape the wax out of your ears, here’s your chance to see what it’s like.

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There’s something hiding beneath this mountain of ramen toppings, but it’s not ramen

Ramen is pretty well-known around the world as a hearty soup of plentiful ingredients. Sure there are variations from country to country, but at the end of the day, it’s all just noodles and broth with the necessary toppings to add character.

At least that’s how it used to be, before one ramen restaurant felt bold enough to reinvent the wheel and take the “men” (as noodles are called in Japanese) out of ramen. But what did they put in place of the lovely noodles that traditionally define ramen?

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36 more humorous glimpses of Asia 【Pics】

Need a little laugh to help ease yourself into the week?

In the past, we’ve featured some photo fun from Asia35 signs you might be in Asia, as well as 39 looks at the lighter side of Asia. This time, we’re bringing you 36 more bizarre, comical, and downright nonsensical scenes from around Asia!

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Recently discovered Japanese pufferfish included in list of top ten new species

The ocean is full of a massive array of undiscovered species, so scientists are always finding new types of creatures lurking offshore. The circle-making pufferfish discovered in 2013 are one great example of a species mankind only recently encountered for the first time.

But you don’t have to take our word for it — the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE) even included it in their 2015 Top Ten New Species list!

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We brave fastballs from the world’s fastest (and most terrifying) pitching machine

If there were ever going to be some kind of cheesy, baseball-themed horror movie, we’re almost certain the mechanical antagonist would be this Shizuoka Prefecture pitching machine – the world’s fastest at a pitching speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) – which would probably be depicted firing a fastball directly through the torso of some cocky coed.

Record-setting and somewhat terrifying? You bet we had to go and take a shot at hitting one of those blazingly fast pitches. Well, like, not us. We’re too young and handsome to die. We sent one of our Japanese-language writers, instead.

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Never miss an important call again at the office with our bra lifehack!

For those of us working in high-tech societies, connection and communication can be as valuable as any resource. A single missed call can turn into a missed business chance, so making sure you can be reached no matter how furiously you’re typing is important. But at the office, no one wants to be that jerk that just leaves their ringer on. And it’s pretty easy to miss a call with just vibration mode.

However, the writers for the Japanese-language side of RocketNews24 may have come up with a solution for you. All you need to do is keep your phone in range of view while you’re using the computer. There are, obviously, a number of ways to do this, but our writer P.K. thinks he’s found the best way: With a bra!

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Maybe it’s all the influence from the image of butchers in cartoons and movies, but when I think of wet markets and butchers, the first image that comes to mind is usually that of a middle-aged man with a fairly impressive stature wearing an apron and wielding a huge butcher’s knife.

Being a butcher is rather physically demanding, and as such, there are fewer females working as butchers than there are males, and certainly way fewer young pretty girls butchering meat for a living. So when somebody discovered a beautiful young lady butcher at a market in Taipei and uploaded a photo of her online, it caused a huge buzz and she became an Internet sensation overnight. The beautiful butcher certainly didn’t pick up the butchering as a hobby. In fact, she gave up going to college to become a butcher. Find out more after the break!

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