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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Cute guy alert! Shirtless Taiwanese night market seller is making us hungry!

A few weeks ago, in an attempt to add a little more beef to our site – which until recently had been dominated by beautiful ladies and Mr Sato – we introduced you guys to a gorgeous Filipino KFC manager. You seemed to like it, so here’s another hottie with a body: this Taiwanese night market seller who is clearly just too handsome to wear clothes.

Want to know more about him and see some more pics? Of course you do!

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Chinese man dresses up as woman to spy in bathrooms, has no idea what women look like

It’s getting harder and harder to be a Peeping Tom. With anti-chikan policies and people becoming more vigilant at younger ages, they have to get creative if they’re going to get their illegal jollies.

But sometimes it’s possible to get a little too creative. One man in China dressed up as a woman so he could sneak peeks in women’s restrooms. But based on the costume he chose, it’s not entirely clear if he’s ever actually seen a woman before in his life.

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A feast for all sushi lovers — the amazing 1,000-yen lunch at Sushi Takehan Wakatsuki!

Sushi, of course, is one of the most popular Japanese foods around, and many visitors to Japan are bound to try it. There’s nothing quite like the rich flavor of fatty tuna melting in your mouth, or the sensation of biting into a sweet, thick piece of fresh scallop, right? Alas, like many of the nice things in life, good sushi tends to be pricey … but is that always necessarily the case?

What if we told you that there’s a restaurant in Tokyo where you can have an authentic sushi lunch for 1,000 yen (US$8.24)? That’s right, an amazing sushi meal for under $10 — of course we had to check it out ourselves!

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Get a look at the Avengers with a floral Chinese twist!

Avengers: Age of Ultron has been a huge hit all over the world, and with ticket sales recently passing US$1 billion, it seems that everyone has been flocking to cinemas to find out how old Ultron really is. Not in Japan though, with the movie – typically late – set to be released on July 4, Avengers fans are desperately trying to avoid spoilers, but also would love to join the rest of the world in seeing the movie.

But fear not, Japanese Avengers fans; this post contains no spoilers so you can click on through and get a look at what the Avengers would look like if they were participating in a Beijing fashion show.

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A new look at Chinese cuisine through the eyes of… chopsticks? 【Video】

Undoubtedly one of the many great things about traveling abroad is experiencing a new country’s culture through its food. As the world has become more and more connected, it’s easier to get a taste of foreign cuisine in our own home countries, but often times, due to regulations on or the price of imported ingredients, and because of local tastes, what we think we know of one country’s food may not exactly be like the real thing.

But, thanks to a little camera strapped to a pair of chopsticks, we get to take a peek at some authentic Chinese cuisine in this unique video, as we follow a group of exchange students on a food-filled adventure through Beijing.

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Famed art director Nizo Yamamoto exhibition open in Tokyo – but you’ll need to be quick

If six exhibitions weren’t enough for your Studio Ghibli pilgrimage around Japan, RocketNews24 has another one to add to the list. If you’re a fan of Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke and The Girl Who Leapt through Time then you better pack your bags and head to Tokyo quick, because this exhibition is only open for 10 days.

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Live-action Bakuman trailer released, first glimpse of stars playing against type

On 20 May a trailer for the live-action Bakuman movie was posted online. Before you go groaning at another potentially lame manga/anime adaptation, this one appears to have the goods. Luckily, since the story is mostly grounded in reality it shouldn’t suffer from cheesy effects. Actually, even despite the slice-of-life storyline it does appear to have some decent CGI work.

But more impressive are the films two main characters Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi played by Takeru Sato and Ryunosuke Kamiki respectively. Can Sato pull off the meek charm of Mashiro while Takagi casts aside his more bookish image for Takagi?

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The secret, sudden sport Japanese cat owners play with their pets

Considering how much easier it is to get a dogs to play Fetch than cats, you might assume that a pet pooch gives you more ample opportunities to play together than a kitty companion. However, as one Japanese Twitter user has reminded us, there’s one game, or maybe we should call it a competitive sport, that any cat would be thrilled to play with its owner.

Similar to Fetch, it requires a stick to play. Well, actually two sticks, plus just one other item.

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McDonald’s Japan to return “free smiles” to menu

In my more formative years I worked the counter at McDonald’s. It was an okay job for someone with no prior work experience and helped to support my SNES habit. However, the one thing I hated was when a customer approached the counter and would ask for a “free smile” because it was written on the menu.

It had gotten to the point that I could tell the look on a customer’s face before they even opened their mouth to ask for my worthless grin. And so, I’d give them that “oh you” smile as if I hadn’t heard the joke a thousand times before and a little bit of myself would die inside.

Now a whole new generation of Japanese youngsters will get to have that same experience as McDonald’s Japan announced the return of zero-yen smiles to their menus at all stores all day long.

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The top 20 anime series fans want to be watching at the moment they die

Some hardcore anime fans try to spend as much of their lives as possible watching Japanese animation. But what if it’s not enough to eat, sleep, and breathe anime? What if you were going to die anime, too?

That’s the question Japanese website Charapedia posed when it asked “What anime do you want to be watching during the final moment of the last day of your life?” The results are in, and here are the 20 shows respondents consider the truly ultimate anime.

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