IKEA Malaysia’s lookalike contest has fans cosplaying as lamps, alarm clocks and more【Photos】

IKEA Malaysia’s lookalike contest has fans cosplaying as lamps, alarm clocks and more【Photos】

Swedish furniture giant IKEA has never been short of creative ideas, be they for furniture or campaigns to catch our attention. IKEA Singapore previously featured the element of cosplay in their advertising, demonstrating their ability to transform a cosplayer’s cluttered mess into an organized, stylish room with their storage systems.

This time, their Malaysian counterparts have incorporated elements of cosplay into one of their marketing stints, and on top of that, they have encouraged their shoppers to join in. They’ve brought low-budget cosplay to a new light – cosplaying as IKEA products!

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Pop idols’ management demands 8 million yen in damages after two members caught dating fans

Pop idols’ management demands 8 million yen in damages after two members caught dating fans

It’s a long-standing rule in the pop idol industry in Japan: performers should never become involved in romantic relationships. Doing so would, apparently, tarnish the reputations carefully designed to make these entertainers appear “accessible,” reducing them to the status of “regular people.” And that’s no life for an idol.

We’ve seen this rule lead to instances of head-shaving and weird YouTubers before in Japan. However, one idol management company is taking this rule to a new level and demanding compensation for damages as a result of performers fraternizing with fans–to the order of US$75,000.

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If Playboy made games consoles: Cute but cumbersome bunny ear covers for Nintendo 3DSLL

If Playboy made games consoles: Cute but cumbersome bunny ear covers for Nintendo 3DSLL

As much as I enjoy its larger screen, I’ve always found the overall design of Nintendo’s 3DSLL (XL in the West) a little off-putting. Compared to its sleeker, smaller brother, the LL somehow looks a little cheap and toy-like to my eyes, and I was disappointed to see that the newer model New 3DSLL would retain the same look as the existing model, albeit with differently coloured face buttons.

Thankfully, a new pair of protective cases has just arrived that will not only hide that chunky little portable’s somewhat awkward exterior, but give the console a giant dose of unnecessary cuteness. Presenting: the Bunny Cover from accessory makers CYBER Gadget.

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Giant floats, handmade structures & penis poking: The many ways to celebrate Hassaku Matsuri

Giant floats, handmade structures & penis poking: The many ways to celebrate Hassaku Matsuri

Hassaku Matsuri is a festival in Japan reserved for asking the gods for a bountiful harvest and happy life. It occurs every year during the first day of the eighth lunar month, usually falling during the beginning of September. Just as dialects and traditional foods vary depending on the region, Hassaku Matsuri is celebrated in vastly contrasting ways, especially in Kumamoto, Fukui, and Ibaraki prefectures. From intricate structures made of natural materials to an extremely inappropriate goblin, join us as we explore a few of the many Hassaku traditions in Japan.

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Pikachu-garbed man jumps White House fence, causes lockdown

Pikachu-garbed man jumps White House fence, causes lockdown

A man wearing what appears to be a Pikachu hat and carrying a Pikachu plush broke the security perimeter at the White House when he jumped over the North Fence on Thursday evening.

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Tiny Mikasa stars in the cutest Colossal Titan slaying video you’ll ever see

Tiny Mikasa stars in the cutest Colossal Titan slaying video you’ll ever see

Even the biggest anime sceptic has heard of Attack on Titan by now. One of the most popular manga and anime series this decade, you can’t move for news, promos and merch in Japan, and with two feature films on the way, it’s showing no sign of slowing down any time soon.

The series isn’t for everyone, though. What with its terrifying, human-devouring titans and tense, rooftop-hopping battles, Attack on Titan can be a bit much for some. Thankfully, this adorable cosplay video is more likely to leave viewers cooing with delight than squirming in their seats. This pint-sized Mikasa doesn’t look like she’d make much of a titan slayer, but as we’re about to see, her chubby little hands know how to swing a sword.

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School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star

School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star

Gone are the days when schoolbooks were made up of pages and pages of text. Today’s textbooks are just as likely to be filled with glossy, colourful images to engage and entertain students. This Thai textbook publisher, however, has come under fire for apparently sourcing an image from the internet to use on a book’s front cover – which turned out to be a photo of a Japanese adult video star.

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New patent filed by Nintendo hints at wireless tech-toting Pokémon device

New patent filed by Nintendo hints at wireless tech-toting Pokémon device

A newly uncovered patent filed by The Pokémon Company, the branch of Nintendo responsible for the fantastically popular pocket monster franchise, hints that a new handheld device which brings Pokémon-style battles and contactless technology together may be in the works.

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Culture Clash: China’s “strongest” Shaolin fighter vs Japan’s cosplaying kickboxer!

Culture Clash: China’s “strongest” Shaolin fighter vs Japan’s cosplaying kickboxer!

On 9 September China’s popular fighting program Wulin Feng held a mixed martial arts special program. In this particular edition the main event was between Yi-long, a star of Shaolin kung fu in China and Yuichiro “Jienotsu” Nagashima, a Japanese K1 fighter with a penchant for dressing up like pretty girls and other anime characters.

Although the circumstances of this match are surrounded by controversies and a dark past, the aftermath has perhaps shown us the best in both Chinese and Japanese fighting cultures.

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Taiwan media predicts the end of schoolgirl uniform skirts in three years

Taiwan media predicts the end of schoolgirl uniform skirts in three years

Japan seems to have a worldwide reputation for cute skirted uniforms loved by all ages and genders. However, Taiwan seems to have embraced the style with an unbridled enthusiasm. One only needs to look towards Taiwan’s highly organized school uniform map and subsequent online vote for the cutest uniform in the country.

Now, Taiwanese media outlets are sounding the alarm that the days of uniforms with skirts are numbered. In some cases predictions are being made which say that all uniforms containing skirts may disappear from Taiwan within the next three years.

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Sanrio launches Hello Kitty Men, wants to break stereotypes

Sanrio launches Hello Kitty Men, wants to break stereotypes

Sanrio aims to break this stereotype with the introduction of the HELLO KITTY MEN Project, a new venture that will tell guys that it’s okay for them to like Hello Kitty, too. Their tag line? “Sorry to keep you waiting, boys.”

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Kamikiri, the amazing Japanese art of paper cutting mastered by Akira Nagaya【Photos】

Kamikiri, the amazing Japanese art of paper cutting mastered by Akira Nagaya【Photos】

Earlier this month, we talked about Japanese artist Akira Nagaya. An expert in kamikiri, the art of crafting intricate paper cutouts, Nagaya first caught our eye with his takes on classic anime icons such as Totoro, Son Goku, and Pikachu.

Japanese animation isn’t Nagaya’s only inspiration, as we can see in his other creations that capture the delicate beauty of nature and the changing of the seasons.

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A tiny coffee stand in Japan is selling some of the most lifelike gummy bugs we’ve ever seen

A tiny coffee stand in Japan is selling some of the most lifelike gummy bugs we’ve ever seen

The Japanese have long been known for their dexterousness. From origami to bonsai to precision engineering, Japan does small and detailed incredibly well. One thing we had no idea they were so good at, however, was gross.

What you see in the above photo, dear reader, is not in fact a trio of insect larvae but delicious, blueberry-filled gummy bugs. And they’re making one little coffee stand in northwest Japan very famous.

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Japanese university student uses first place win to show off his otaku pride

Japanese university student uses first place win to show off his otaku pride

While most people might assume that otaku aren’t a particularly sporty group of people, we should know by now that generalizations are about as accurate as a blind sniper. And if you don’t believe us, just ask the anime-loving wrestler!

So, we’re sure that there are a ton of sportsmen who love 2-D women, but not many of them care to share their passion with the world…at least as publicly and visibly as this Nihon University sprinter!

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“The best ryokan I’ve ever visited” – A photo tour of Akita Prefecture’s Miyakowasure inn

“The best ryokan I’ve ever visited” – A photo tour of Akita Prefecture’s Miyakowasure inn

The ryokan [traditional Japanese-style inn] in Akita Prefecture called Miyakowasure (都わすれ; “forget the city”), also known as Natsuse Onsen, is unquestionably the best in all of Japan–at least according to our Japanese correspondent Yoshio. Out of all of the ryokan that he has ever visited, he can confidently say that this is his number-one pick.

Yoshio has stayed at literally hundreds of hotels and ryokan across the country for both business and pleasure, but he recently experienced an unparalleled level of hospitality and overall quality during his stay at this particular inn. He even thinks that hotel managers from across Japan and the world should spend a night there to learn a thing or two! That’s how enthusiastically he praises his most recent visit.

Join Yoshio for an in-depth look at this spectacular ryokan in northern Japan after the jump!

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These goofy Japanese pro dancers sure know how to ‘Let it go’!【Video】

These goofy Japanese pro dancers sure know how to ‘Let it go’!【Video】

Just when we thought Japan might possibly have had enough of Disney’s Frozen, what with the balloon art and the convenience store snacks and the limited edition PlayStation 4 and darn it, it might as well be winter seeing as how EVERYTHING IS FROZEN ALREADY –  along comes an adorable, androgynous cosplaying dancer to breathe new life into our movie-spinoff-weary existence.

This is IG, and he’s the frontman of our new favourite thing: a kooky rendition of Ari no mama de (the Japanese version of ‘Let it go’) choreographed by CRE8BOY. Join us for a video delight that’ll melt even the most cynical icy heart.

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The Boobie Squeezing Simulator: Oculus Rift at its creepiest

The Boobie Squeezing Simulator: Oculus Rift at its creepiest

Virtual reality pornography is basically a reality at this point. Oculus Rift plus Tenga equals the end of humanity. Oculus Rift plus a pillow equals hugs as real as your virtual girlfriend. Oculus Rift plus a straw equals a surprisingly pleasant date with your anime girlfriend sitting on the other side of the uncanny valley. We’re now convince that when aliens discover the remains of human civilization centuries from now, they’ll conclude that it was a magic device known as the “Oculus Rift” that brought civilization screeching to a halt.

And now, an Oculus Rift plus a novelty mouse pad with “breasts” is…actually really, really creepy. And while it probably won’t result in us all withering away to empty husks, this Boobie Squeezing Simulator is almost certainly the beginning of the end.

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These Photoshop jobs are so bad they’re great【Pictures】

These Photoshop jobs are so bad they’re great【Pictures】

Remember when they used to say “the camera never lies”? No, me neither, but apparently people used to say that and actually kind of believe it. Of course, those people were wrong, because as long as there’s been photography, there have been people faking it – whether frolicking around with cardboard cut-outs of fairies, or releasing bizarre digitally edited pics for political reasons.

Today, we are delighted to bring you a selection of the most outrageously terrible Photoshop jobs we’ve ever seen. Some of these photo-editing geniuses have their tongues firmly planted in one cheek. Others have no idea how awful they are – and that makes them all the more awesome.

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Invasion of the moon rabbits: the delicious tradition of otsukimi 【Photos】

Invasion of the moon rabbits: the delicious tradition of otsukimi 【Photos】

If you happened to be in Japan this week, you may have noticed rather a lot of rabbit-themed goods, particularly sweets. Not to worry, the Japanese haven’t gotten their dates for Easter spectacularly wrong, these lapine lovelies are part of otsukimi, a tradition celebrating the harvest moon.

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【TBT】The five Japanese streets that people of Japan most want to visit

【TBT】The five Japanese streets that people of Japan most want to visit

If you’ve ever longed to go back to an old Japan, where samurai stayed at old ramshackle inns and merchants filled the air with the scent of food, then some of these traditional streets will be right up your alley. We take you to five of Japan’s most-loved streets, from well-worn paths in secluded valleys to bustling pilgrimage routes in scenic villages, all with an amazing history and atmosphere. Let’s take a stroll together and see what they have to offer.

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