Pikachu ready for battle with his own set of samurai armor

Even though it’s been a week since we made the trip to downtown Yokohama to see the packs of roaming Pikachus, and we’ve still got a warm fuzzy feeling. Actually, warm and fuzzy is also an apt description of the lovable pocket monsters’ plush yellow coats, which brings up a concern.

Cuddly softness is all fine and good when Pikachu is handing out hugs, but what about when he goes back to his regular duties of fighting other Pokémon? Shouldn’t he be wrapped in something a bit more durable, like his own custom set of samurai armor?

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Osaka police sergeant arrested for putting smartphone between woman’s legs on train

A 41-year-old police sergeant from the Osaka Tondabayashi police station has been arrested after it was discovered that while riding in a train, he put his smartphone between a woman’s legs.

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Sharks go for the great taste of internet

When you hear terms like “the cloud” being bandied about, it’s hard not to conjure up images of internet infrastructure being some servers housed in slick network of Gattaca-style complexes, each connected by some glowing, neon-colored optical cables like something out of Tron all topped off by touches from other sci-fi films.

Although shown to be relatively reliable, the reality is far less sexy: just a massive fiber optic cable lying along the murky depths of the ocean floor. What’s worse is that our internet service is constantly under attack by none other than hungry sharks. These occasional nibbles cause companies such as Google to undergo costly repair and reinforcement projects at several locations of their own undersea cables to protect themselves from the ravenous fish.

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Ghibli’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya gets a North American release date and new trailer 【Video】

With Hayao Miyazaki being the most recognized face of Studio Ghibli, and producer Toshio Suzuki the most currently active, there’s usually not a lot of room left in the spotlight for director Isao Takahata. One of Ghibli’s founding members, Takahata served as producer for the company’s first official release, Castle in the Sky, and his written and directed five films for Japan’s most respected animation house including the critically acclaimed Grave of the Fireflies.

Fans of Takahata’s work have learned to be patient, though, as his most recent film, 2013’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, came 14 years after his previous feature, 1999’s largely forgotten My Neighbors the Yamadas. Foreign fans have had to wait even longer, but Princess Kaguya is almost ready to head overseas, as distributor GKids has announced a release date and put out a teaser trailer to whet North America’s appetite.

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19-year-old mixed-race “dokumo” has thousands of fangirls gushing over his pretty face【Photos】

If you’re into Japanese fashion, makeup or hair styling, you ought to be acquainted with the word “dokumo”. An abbreviation for dokusha moderu, which literally means “reader model”, dokumo is a term for amateur models who usually have full-time jobs aside from their occasional modelling stints. Many popular fashion icons, models and artists including Tsubasa Masuwaka and the sensational Kyary Pamyu Pamyu were dokumo before they made a name for themselves.

Japanese fashion magazines often feature dokumo from all walks of life, and some of the more popular dokumo even attain a celebrity-like status and have fans gushing over them online and in real life. One of the hottest dokumo of the moment representing the young, fashionable generation from Harajuku is this doe-eyed 19-year-old, Batusing Takaaki, who has over 14,000 followers on Twitter! Witness the reason for his popularity after the jump!

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【Follow-up】Now infamous panty shot scene at Comiket recreated in Lego form

On Monday, we brought you a rather disturbing photo of a group of photographers taking photos up a Shimakaze cosplayer’s skirt at this summer’s Comiket. Both Japanese and English online opinion about the scene seems to be pretty evenly divided between one group that says “What’s the big deal if she doesn’t have a problem with it…and she’s probably making a few bucks, too,” and the other “That is just wrong and shouldn’t be allowed” group.

Regardless of how you feel about it, the original photo has now become fairly famous after being retweeted thousands of times over Japanese forums. One person even took it upon himself to recreate the photo using nothing but Legos…and it’s actually quite impressive!

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Mandarake shoplifter finally turns himself in

The Mandarake shoplifting saga that has kept Japanese netizens on the hook since August 4 has finally drawn to a close. A man from Chiba Prefecture turned himself in on August 18, and is currently under arrest on suspicion of theft.

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PlayStation 3 gets a price cut in Japan, still costs more than it probably ought to

Sony Japan has announced that its ultra-slim, “charcoal black” PlayStation 3 console will become that little bit cheaper at the end of this month, following the arrival of a new SKU.

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Hello Kitty will deliver your messages as part of a special campaign…from space!

Sanrio’s beloved character has embarked on a special mission this year–all the way to space!  

The “Let’s Send a Message from Space! Campaign” (「宇宙からメッセージを送ろう!」キャンペーン) is part of the festivities to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary in 2014. Our favorite feline friend was even launched into space back in June, and her makers are now taking applications from anyone in the world to display messages on the digital display board inside her satellite. Wouldn’t it be cool to see your very own message delivered from space?

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Godzilla fights around the world in these rare vintage European posters

Ever since he attacked his first village in Japan in 1954, Godzilla has been broadening his horizons. Seeking out mightier foes and playing to bigger audiences, the giant monster has done what other beasts could only dream of – garnered a following as huge as himself, with fans still spreading across decades and continents around the globe. An impressive feat for a beast.

One continent certainly went above and beyond when welcoming the giant to their corner of the world, as these vintage posters show. From Poland to France, we take a look at some of the most amazing Godzilla artwork from Europe. We’ve never seen Godzilla look so different!

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Japanese mother creates beautiful, educational bentos that resemble Japan’s prefectures

Making eye-catching bento lunch boxes is a big deal in Japan. Walk into any bookstore and you’re bound to find a least a dozen books teaching you how to make adorable characters out of rice and seaweed. Amble by any off-campus elementary school event where the kids are required to bring a lunch from home, and you’ll hear squeals of “KAWAIII!!!” as someone’s mom most definitely made Pikachu out of cheese. But while most bento feature cute vocaloids or giant titans, this mother’s lunches have an educational twist. Let’s take a tour of Japan’s prefectures made out of food by talented mother and Twitter user, Sasariri.

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The clever way Japanese drivers thank each other without saying a word【Video】

Japanese culture places a lot of importance on taking care of yourself and not inconveniencing others. Sooner or later we all end up needing a little help, though, which is why the Japanese language has a half-dozen regularly used phrases that all mean “thank you.”

But while having that arsenal of expressions with which to show your gratitude comes in handy, it won’t do you much good if you want to thank someone who’s not in earshot, such as a fellow motorist who let you into their lane on the expressway. That’s why Japanese drivers follow a bit of automotive protocol that lets them deliver a message of thanks with the push of a button.

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Japanese viewers spot “real ghost” in TV broadcast, get all freaked out

As well as barbecues, rooftop beer gardens, and delicious ice-cream, summer in Japan is time for horror. No, not the fear of opening your August electricity bill after all those nights sleeping with the air-con on, but scary stories. Whether you get your scare fix by going to the movies, visiting a pop-up haunted house, or do it old-school by telling ghost stories around a campfire, in Japan, summer is the season to cool off by giving yourself the chills.

I’ve never quite seen the appeal of actual horror films, personally, and tend to find them mildly distressing, although not in an exciting way like other people do. “Well, that’s kind of gross”, is about the strongest reaction I can muster. I do love Japanese TV though, and there’s no shortage of scary programming here in summer. Honto ni atta kowai hanashi (“scary stories that totally actually happened”) – or Honkowa for short – celebrated 15 years onscreen this year with a summer special that went out on the night of August 16th. During the broadcast, something unexpected happened – and viewers took to Twitter to ask the eternal question into the internet ether: “Did anyone else see that, or was it just me!?”

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High school gymnastics team brings much needed humor, Attack on Titan to competitions

If you’ve ever had to attend one of your sibling’s high school gymnastics team performances and been bored out of your mind at all the jumping around and the bizarre Whose Lines is it Anyway/Clueless Gamer-style grading system, and thought to yourself, “Man, I’d be much more entertained if this was set to the Attack on Titan theme song. And would it kill these guys to throw a fart joke in there?,” you’re in luck; because this genius Kagoshima Prefecture high school men’s gymnastics team delivers on all of that in spades.

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BuzzFeed’s video of “anime expressions” delivers more laughs than useful language pointers

Last spring, BuzzFeed released a pair of videos, one dealing with what people around the world eat when they get up in the morning, and the other about what they eat after they get liquored up in a bar. Those are both interesting concepts, since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the post-drinking, pre-hangover snack is the happiest, but we couldn’t help but scratch our heads at their selections for Japan, neither of which were things we remembered eating in our time living in the country.

Now, BuzzFeed has moved on from the foods Japan puts in its mouth to the words coming out of it, with a new video titled 11 Anime Expressions To Show How You Really Feel. Let’s see how they handled the switch from gastronomy to linguistics.

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Service with a tear? MOS Burger branch says hello with tales of loneliness, sleepless nights

Among Japanese fast food chains, MOS Burger tries to position itself as being just a little more upscale than its rivals. Sure, the prices are a little higher, but the ingredients taste a little fresher, their customer service a little better, and if your order isn’t to go, they’ll serve your drink in a glass instead of a paper cup.

A lot of MOS branches even add a personal touch by putting a blackboard in front of their entrance with a new message written on it each day. The one in my neighborhood, for example, usually has some sort of seasonal or daily greeting like, “There’s a fireworks festival tonight. We hope everyone who’s going has a great time!”

But things aren’t so chipper in Kawasaki, where the staff of one MOS Burger have decided to use their board to let everyone passing by know about their physical and romantic ailments.

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Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills might just be the horror game we’ve been waiting for【Videos】

Those who owned an original grey PlayStation back in the day will no doubt be familiar with Silent Hill, the survival horror series that went on to spawn a host of sequels as well as a questionable feature film of the same name. The series has had its ups and downs over the years, and many feel that it has lost much of what made it so great to begin with, but it looks like the newest instalment is set to bring back what gamers loved about the originals: the kind of tense, tortuous, genuinely horrible horror that makes you consider keeping the lights on at bedtime.

Don’t believe us? Check out these reaction videos from makers Konami.

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The Amazing Eggman – This net user’s long-lost picture book will brighten your day

If your closet is as jammed-packed with stuff as mine is, you’re bound to come across some old school papers or pieces of artwork sooner or later. And when you do, those papers can be your ticket to a hilarious trip down memory lane as you reminisce about the good old days and wonder, “Just what was I thinking at that age?”

Take this Japanese guy, for example. Recently he unearthed a handmade picture book from his elementary school days about a superhero he created called Eggman (sounds like the stuff of legends, right?). He then uploaded the story onto an online forum, where it was quite rightly met with overwhelming praise and no end of ‘kawaii~!’ comments.

If you’re in need of something to put a smile on your face or are just in the mood for an adorable kids’ story, join us after the jump for the heroic adventures of Eggman as he attempts to put an end to the evil plans of Frying Pan Kingdom!

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Attack on Titan editor: Manga to end in 3-4 years

The University of Tokyo Newspaper posted an interview with Shintarō Kawakubo, the editor of the Attack on Titan manga, on Wednesday. In the interview, he discusses the popularity of the series, “The serialization is slated to end in three to four years, but Attack on Titan is a work that will be passed down from generation to generation for a decade — no, five decades.”

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Make a clay Yoda figure to turn from the dark side of summer: boredom

While there is plenty to do during summer in Japan, the warmer months of the year can start to get on your nerves when poisonous creatures keep sun-loving crowds away from the beach, or those sweaty days in the office when you see a little more than you bargained for. And as owners of the beloved (providing the prequels are totally forgotten) Star Wars franchise, Disney has a solution for those summertime blues: a fun craft project to make a clay Yoga figurine.

Requiring little more than a printer and some modeling clay, this Yoda is sure to make any young padawan into a Jedi-level sculptor.

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