Who was voted the world’s most influential person? The results may surprise you

Every year TIME magazine releases a list of 100 of the world’s most influential people. While 99 of those will be chosen by TIME editors, only one individual will make the list based on the results of an online poll. This year, a total of 158 influential figures were nominated, and the results are finally in! Who did the voters choose? First place ended up as a tie between two unlikely contestants.

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Japan Airlines attendants dance to Hatsune Miku

The flight attendants of Japan Airlines (JAL) put on their best idol costumes to dance to Hatsune Miku’s “39” (San-kyuu, or ‘Thank You’) song to promote the company’s participation at the Niconico Chokaigi 2015 event this month.

The video shows the dancers in various spots within the JAL Sky Museum in Tokyo. In the background you can see how the attendant’s uniforms have changed throughout time.

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Consoles, franchises, mascots and memories! The top 10 years in video gaming history

What are some of the most important years in your own, personal gaming career? For me, the most important was probably 1992, when I got a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) for Christmas and played my first-ever videogame (it was Sonic 2). Oh, but 1996 was a great year, too, because Resident Evil came out and I got my first, unforgettable taste of digitized fear and found out that I have a deep love of zombies.

While we all probably have certain years that are notable for the particular gaming memories they hold, it’s undeniable that video games in general have made certain leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades, and some years in particular have had slightly more leaps and a few extra bounds compared to others. Just check out this video of the Top 10 Years in Gaming History to see what we mean…

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Something in the DNA? Japanese cat loves rice cooker

Look at that face. Just look at it. OK, now for the story.

This cutie is Pakuchi (Cilantro), a kitten adopted from Tokyo Cat Guardian by a foreign resident who noticed her Japanese cat had a very Japanese fondness for rice.

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Website under investigation for selling fake diplomas

With the price of higher education skyrocketing in the west, student debt a growing problem for new graduates, and the increase of well-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, many people are finding that going to university just isn’t really worth it these days. But what if you could still get a degree without devoting all that time and effort, and without coming out of it with a lifetime’s worth of debt?

As it turns out, a website in China has been offering fake diplomas for a number of well-respected universities around the world, for only a fraction of the cost of four years of tuition!

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Yogurt-flavored water?!? We try Suntory’s new beverage straight, mix it with booze 【Taste test】

Recently, it seems like Japanese beverage makers are all about helping us with our multitasking. First there was the sakura beer that let you enjoy a cold one and contemplate the cherry blossoms at the same time, and earlier this week it was time for a taste test of alcoholic matcha green tea.

Now, it’s time for another double-dose of drinkables, with Suntory’s just-released bottled water with the flavor of…yogurt?!?

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Nurture your inner cat collector with “Neko Atsume” the kitty-catching game for Android and iOS!

You know what everyone in Japan loves these days? Smartphone games. They keep you busy on the daily commute without requiring too much in-depth concentration, and Japanese smartphone game makers are seriously smart – they know how to keep players hooked. By combining the human need for constant “reward” feedback with our penchant for adorable cartoon kitties, they’ve come up with a winner of an app that everyone who likes fun can’t stop playing – Neko Atsume!

Now available for both Android and iOS and with a whole slew of new features, there’s never been a better time to get into this incredibly addictive yet simple cat-collecting time-waster

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Cosplay paradise! Haco Stadium Tokyo complex has 33 themed rooms waiting for your photo shoot

Last week, we took a look at the amazingly accurate recreation of a room from popular anime Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. That’s was only one limited-time room at the awesome Haco Stadium cosplay complex, though.

Haco Stadium actually has 33 permanent cosplay rooms, meaning you can make the cosplaying rounds of a Japanese high school, samurai residence, fantasy castle, and science fiction backdrop, all without ever having to leave the building.

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Japanese craftsmen strike again: Make an old, beaten-up book look as good as new

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something special about the smell of an old book, and the older and mustier it is, the better. The thing about books though, they’re made of paper, so over the years, the more you use them, the more they tear and get worn down. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could reverse this deterioration?

Actually, you can! Just take your books to this Tokyo-based book repairman who can make even the most decrepit book look like you just pulled it off the shelf at the bookstore. 

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Smell like a cat with hand cream scented like your kitty’s paws

Online retailer Felissimo has a soft spot for cats, so much so that it’s got a whole Cat Division subsection with feline-inspired products. In the past, we’ve taken a look at the company’s pullovers and lingerie that let you dress like a kitty, but Felissimo’s new hand cream promises to make you smell like cat, too.

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The crazy Swiss otaku is back and he’s got the best Hestia costume to come out yet

It’s been almost a month since we witnessed the “Extreme Swiss Otaku” breaking the Internet. If you thought his last crazy “Poi! Poi! Poi!” antics of plastering a men’s restroom with posters of Yudachi Kai Ni from Kantai Collection was nuts, just wait until you see his latest tomfoolery.

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Japanese “minimal house” is both irresistibly cute and surprisingly cheap

With a population of over 100 million in a land area smaller than California, space is not cheap in Japan. Because of that, many people live in apartments stacked on top of each other, and the idea of living in a house is, for many, just a very expensive dream.

But not anymore! The modern-home companies Yadokari and Azumaya have teamed up to release “Inspiration,” a “minimal house” which they advertize as only costing about the same price as a new car. It’s cute, efficient, built to last, and we want one really badly!

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Smiles optional-New talent agency accepting applications for idols suffering emotional distress

It’s pretty widely accepted that in the Japanese pop idol world, legitimate musical talent takes a back seat to the ability to project an image. So while you might not need perfect pitch or flawless rhythm, if you want to be an idol, you will need to radiate a constantly upbeat aura, right?

Well, maybe not. A new idol talent agency has just opened its doors, and the company is specifically looking for performers with a gloomy outlook, and is now accepting applications, with no experience required.

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Fly a Nimbus and launch a Kamehameha at the “Dragon Ball in Science” exhibition coming to Tokyo!

Last summer the Dragon Ball in Science exhibition hit Nagoya amid much fanfare and celebration. Participants were encouraged to immerse themselves in the world of Dragon Ball as reproduced by modern science and technology such as piloting a Flying Nimbus with their minds or communicating telepathically with Goku on King Kai’s planet.

It was a big success, but many complained that they couldn’t attend with it being held out in Nagoya. So now, Dragon Ball in Science is coming to the people of Tokyo during Fuji TV’s Spring Fest 2015 LIFE !S LIVE.

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Vegetarian Yoshinoya? We taste test the chain’s new veggie rice bowl

Yoshinoya, Japan’s most ubiquitous domestic fast food chain, is known first and foremost for its beef bowls. So strong is the mental connection between the restaurant and gyudon, as beef bowls are called in Japanese, that Yoshinoya’s nickname among fans is Yoshigyu.

So we were surprised to hear that Yoshinoya’s newest menu item is not only beef-free, but doesn’t contain any meat at all! A vegetarian option at the king of beef bowl restaurants? Not only does it exist, but we’ve tried it.

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15-year-old Chinese “plastic” girl gets bashed on Weibo, lashes back with attitude and selfies

You know how people always say things like “looks are not important”, or “money isn’t everything”? It’s something we’d like to agree with, but isn’t it ironic how some people gain overnight fame and roll in riches just because of their appearances?

Case in point, a 15-year-old girl in China recently hit the headlines on various Asian news websites because of the looks she acquired through plastic surgery. She doesn’t brand herself as a “living Barbie”, but by the looks of it, she has probably earned herself membership into the Real Barbie Army.

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Studio Ghibli involved in six great art exhibitions that you just have to see this summer

Waiting for the next Studio Ghibli film is like waiting for the next Game of Thrones book, it never comes soon enough! And with no new projects announced since the completion of When Marnie Was There in 2014, Ghibli fans may have a longer wait than those waiting for The Winds of Winter.

Luckily, movies aren’t the only way to lose yourself in a Studio Ghibli world. For those who can’t wait, there are six different exhibits in Japan that are connected with the fantastical Ghibli places that have become so familiar thanks to the movies and better yet, they are all being held right now.

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Giant, realistic cat head made from felt is impressive but kind of terrifying

Students in the art of needle felting in Japan have created this wearable cat head that’s so realistic it looks like it’s been Photoshopped into these pictures. It’s incredibly impressive, but there’s just something about the realism combined with its huge size that makes it undeniably disconcerting.

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The not-so-fleeting beauty of the cherry blossoms: An alternate perspective

I used to work nights and weekends at my old job, and one particularly unlucky year I was missing all the cherry blossom parties friends were having while I was stuck in the office. I managed to catch a break, though, because right at the tail end of sakura season a girl I knew had a day off that matched up with one of mine, so we decided to go check out the flowers together.

We met at the station, walked down to the river, and the scenery was drop-dead gorgeous, like something out of a travel guide or some trendy Japanese TV drama or anime. After walking down a lantern-lit path lined with cherry trees in full bloom, we bought some snacks from a food stall in a park, sat down, and spent an hour or so soaking up the atmosphere.

It’s weird to think that in just a few days, all those achingly captivating pink petals would fall from their branches and be blown away by the wind. But hey, that’s what makes the sakura so special, right? Their beauty is that much greater because it’s so fleeting, right?

Yeah…I’m not sure I buy that.

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Meet the man behind the mask! We head to Chiba for an exclusive interview with Chibatman 【Video】

Chiba Prefecture‘s very own superhero, Chibatman, has been making headlines in Japan and abroad since he began his campaign to keep Chiba’s streets safe. Often spotted zooming around on his custom-built Chibatpod (aka Batcycle), he’s also been seen making speeches at official events, and he’s even received the Chiba Police Force’s official approval to continue his activities.

Today, we’re excited to bring you an exclusive interview with Chibatman himself! We visited him at his home in Chiba to get the lowdown on the man behind the mask!

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