Limited edition Kirby t-shirts on sale at this year’s Tokyo Game Show

Limited edition Kirby t-shirts on sale at this year’s Tokyo Game Show

Heading to Tokyo Game Show this year? We certainly are, and with just under a month to go, we’re itching to try out the newest games and watch the exclusive previews that exhibitors are no doubt already preparing. But there’s one other thing (yes, besides the booth babes) that we’re excited to get a look at: the video game merchandise!

And this year, there are a couple of items we already have our eye on: a pair of limited edition Kirby-themed t-shirts, which have just been revealed by makers San-ei Boeki.

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Godzilla…is…BATMAN!! (And Sailor Moon, and Luigi too, apparently) 【Photos】

Godzilla…is…BATMAN!! (And Sailor Moon, and Luigi too, apparently) 【Photos】

We have a hard time imagining that anyone but the dimmest Gotham City resident would be especially shocked to learn that mysterious millionaire and occasional shut-in Bruce Wayne was the man behind the Dark Knight’s mask all along, but we doubt anyone saw this coming.

This series of fantastic photos taken by a blogger known only as Gigabeetle features modded Godzilla figures in a variety of hilarious poses. As well as revealing the true identity of the Big G, the pictures show a side to the monster that we never knew existed, catching him dancing around wearing top hats, doing his best Sailor Moon impressions, and, um, indulging in a little bit of nose powder

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Monsters of Shamisen: New music for an old instrument 【J-Tunes】

Monsters of Shamisen: New music for an old instrument 【J-Tunes】

When it comes to Japanese music, one of the most iconic sounds is that of the tsugaru-jamisen. We’ve written about musicians playing the folk instrument before, but today we have a group with a traditional, but decidedly unique, approach: the three-man group Monsters of Shamisen.

From heavy metal to traditional Japanese music and throat singing, there’s sure to be something here for everyone!

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Anna and Elsa ready to visit homes in January with Frozen New Year’s osechi meals

Anna and Elsa ready to visit homes in January with Frozen New Year’s osechi meals

In Japan, it’s customary to celebrate the New Year with osechi, meals made of a large number of painstakingly prepared and beautifully presented small dishes. Traditionally, women would prepare all of the osechi for their families ahead of time, setting aside New Year’s Day itself for feasting leisurely.

Of course, the price for that relaxation on January 1 is a frantic bout of cooking at the end of December. Hoping to avoid that, more and more households have begun buying pre-made osechi, either to replace or supplement a smaller quantity of home-cooked food.

Mass-produced osechi doesn’t come cheap, though, so we imagine some people might scoff at the idea of buying Frozen osechi, until you realize that it’s Frozen with a capital F, as in Disney’s runaway computer-animated hit.

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Kichijoji’s Kotori Cafe serves up adorable bird-themed desserts, serenades you with birdsong

Kichijoji’s Kotori Cafe serves up adorable bird-themed desserts, serenades you with birdsong

Where once felines reigned supreme, themed cafes featuring a wide variety of animals are popping up all over Japan, from countryside hideaways to cafes in high-end shopping districts. So far we’ve seen cat, rabbit, and owl cafes and they are becoming increasingly common sights.

But what if you’re not a fan of those particular animals? Fear not! The latest addition to the cafe scene gives you yet another option – to enjoy your afternoon latte in the company of cute little birds!

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Our Japanese writer discovers a surprising escalator in the US, declares America Best Place Ever

Our Japanese writer discovers a surprising escalator in the US, declares America Best Place Ever

Target is America’s second-largest retailer, and its humongous stores have everything you could possibly need, from food to clothing to household goods. For a Japanese person visiting America for the first time these stores can be a tourist attraction in themselves as they gaze at the enormity of it all, and then leave without buying anything because it’s too overwhelming and they’re scared of doing something wrong.

However, our writer Japanese found something in a Target store that may even surprise Americans too.

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【Exploring Unfamiliar Japan】We stayed in a 120-year-old Japanese home, here’s how you can too

【Exploring Unfamiliar Japan】We stayed in a 120-year-old Japanese home, here’s how you can too

When European writer, Lafcadio Hearn, wrote about Shimane prefecture in 1894, he described a land steeped in tradition and nature. Since then, all of Japan seems to have ignored this sleepy area of the Chugoku region whose most recent claim to fame is having the country’s largest population of the elderly. But if Shimane prefecture is stuck in the olden days, the Oki Islands are lost in time. Lazily floating out at sea in what is technically Shimane, but is actually an entire world of its own, Oki is a forgotten gem tucked in a dusty corner of Japan. Rambling down the overgrown back roads, you’re sure to come across a wrinkled face and a hearty “konnichiwa,” a small experience that seems to have become a rarity in the always busy metropolises of this country.

It is in this uncommon place that we had the privilege of staying in a home that has stood for over a century. Join us as we share our experience staying at the Japanese guesthouse called Tsukudaya.

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Meet Chiyomaru: the cutest gosh-darn sumo wrestler you’ll ever see

Meet Chiyomaru: the cutest gosh-darn sumo wrestler you’ll ever see

One proven way to go viral on the internet is to be unbearably cute. Although it’s a path often taken by pets, women, kids, and pastries, it’s pretty rare to come across a sumo wrestler who pulls in online comments such as “I feel soothed by his unmatched cuteness.”

However, that’s just what Kazuki Kinoshita who wrestles under the name Kazuki Chiyomaru has done in Japan. A candid shot of him napping has become an internet hit and led to other pictures which further consolidate his new title of the world’s cutest sumo wrestler.

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【TBT】Amazeballs! Real-Life One Piece Characters Discovered!

【TBT】Amazeballs! Real-Life One Piece Characters Discovered!

One Piece is the hugely successful comic book and animation series about a team of friends who go in search of the famous treasure of the same name. When the writer and illustrator, Eichiro Oda, recently revealed that many of the One Piece characters are based on real-life public figures and celebrities, he created a different type of treasure hunt for his legions of fans. Who was which character? Where did he draw inspiration from? After what must’ve been hours of research, one fan came up with this concise gallery.

But some of these pictures show way more than a passing resemblance. It’s almost as if he sketched every detail of the real-life figure into his One-Piece character, from their pose to their jewellery and accessories. The inspiration for Paulie is even wearing an identical shirt and jacket! Twitter users are now arguing over the fine line between homage and rip-off. What do you think? Check out the characters in more detail below…

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We try recreating Lady Gaga’s signature look using only stuff bought at a 100-yen store

We try recreating Lady Gaga’s signature look using only stuff bought at a 100-yen store

On August 12, Lady Gaga arrived in Tokyo to kick off the Japan leg of her worldwide artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball. The pop icon is no stranger to Japan, and has proclaimed her love for the country on multiple occasions in the past. Not to mention the fact that her quirky fashion style seems perfectly at home with some of the bizarre outfits you’d find in Tokyo’s Harajuku district.

One of the reporters from our Japanese sister site happens to be a dedicated ‘Little Monster’ himself. Although ‘Lady Jun’, as we’ll call him from now on, is fascinated by Lady Gaga’s eccentric fashion statements, one question has always bothered him–is it possible for a normal person to create an outfit in Lady Gaga’s signature style without breaking the bank?

Enlisting the help of his fellow reporter and amateur Sailor Venus cosplayer Yoshio, the two headed over to a Japanese 100-yen shop (the equivalent of a dollar store in the States) to find out for themselves. The end result of their mission? Well, let’s just say that their creation was a bit puzzling. 

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Chinese Photoshop Trolls Part 7: “We Guess We Made Another One” 【Photos】

Chinese Photoshop Trolls Part 7: “We Guess We Made Another One” 【Photos】

If Chinese Photoshop troll compilations were movies – a concept we sort of decided to run with – the 10th in the series would certainly be getting kind of ludicrous, with a ridiculous title and themes that no one actually wanted or asked for. While we’re thankfully not up to the 10th in the series (yet – that one will almost certainly need to involve Photoshop trolls in space) we’ve somehow arrived at the seventh compilation, where we find the Chinese Photoshop trolls are starting to get, well, a little bit cocky…

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Is Kojima’s Silent Hills actually about aliens? Hidden message refers to The War of the Worlds

Is Kojima’s Silent Hills actually about aliens? Hidden message refers to The War of the Worlds

Earlier this week, we brought you some footage of players’ terrified reactions to Japanese video game developer Hideo Kojima’s upcoming horror title, Silent Hills. We played the short preview for ourselves and it scared the bejeezus out of us, leaving us with high hopes that the finished game would mark a return to the original’s greatness and that we’d be sleeping with the lights on in the not-too-distant future.

But what if we told you that Silent Hills isn’t just about things that go bump in the night? Or, rather, that some of those ‘things’ are aliens? A radio broadcast which can be heard during a particular section of the playable teaser, it has been found, refers not only to what is believed to be Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds, but suggests that aliens are already here, watching…

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Pair of goldfish play Street Fighter II, instantly become world’s coolest pets

Pair of goldfish play Street Fighter II, instantly become world’s coolest pets

Whenever I’m asked if I’m a dog or a cat person, I can always respond quite easily: “Neither.” I’m absolutely convinced fish make the best pets, since they’re quiet, relaxing, and never pee or cough things up on the carpet.

And just in case that wasn’t enough to sell you, consider one more thing fish can now do: play a game of Street Fighter II.

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*UPDATE* Retailer encourages Slam Dunk fans to slap anime character’s fat, wobbly neck【Video】

*UPDATE* Retailer encourages Slam Dunk fans to slap anime character’s fat, wobbly neck【Video】

For anime fans, there’s nothing quite like a visit to the local branch of Animate. The mega-retailer is a great place to pick up the latest Blu-ray releases or newest bits of anime merchandise.

Or, as of this month, to slap a fat dude in the neck.

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Irate Chinese League of Legends player slashes friend over gameplay

Irate Chinese League of Legends player slashes friend over gameplay

It’s said that playing online games together fosters teamwork and friendship. That’s often true, and playing games socially is infinitely more fun than playing alone, but one friendship turned sour in China recently when a game of League of Legends went severely awry, ending with one youth taking up a knife and slashing his friend for questioning his competency at the game. Click below for more details on this tragic urban tale.

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For kids only — Mister Donut and Miffy collaboration gives you cute doughnuts on wheels!

For kids only — Mister Donut and Miffy collaboration gives you cute doughnuts on wheels!

Now, we’re sure that kids (and adults too for that matter) are perfectly happy to have tasty doughnuts even without the promise of a bonus toy. But this summer, Mister Donut Japan has made sure that kids have an extra incentive to visit the doughnut chain —  in the form of original toys featuring the internationally popular rabbit character Miffy! Yes, starting this week while supplies last, Mister Donut is offering two types of adorable Miffy donut toys as a bonus item that comes with a Kid’s Set. The only catch is, well, it’s a Kid’s Set, so you have to be a kid to order one …

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Truly horrific bar in Tokyo serves up cocktails and ghost tales【Video】

Truly horrific bar in Tokyo serves up cocktails and ghost tales【Video】

With summer winding down, people across Japan are scrambling to squeeze the last bits of entertainment from the season. We may be into the second half of August, but there’s still time for a last trip to the beach, one more barbecue, or a final icy cold beer.

As a matter of fact, you can combine the last of those pleasures with another Japanese summertime tradition – ghost stories - at a bar in Tokyo that provides stiff drinks, spooky tales, and truly terrifying interior decorations.

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Japan just held a first-of-its-kind live fire exercise on Mount Fuji【Photos】

Japan just held a first-of-its-kind live fire exercise on Mount Fuji【Photos】

In the shadow of rising tensions in the East China Sea, Japan is holding live fire exercise in the foothills of Mount Fuji until Sunday. Japan has held annual military exercises aimed at protecting its northern territories along its maritime frontier with Russia, although present realities have led to Japan shifting its priorities to island defense.

The exercises, called Fire Power, are aimed at defending outlying Japanese islands from a hypothetical invasion. Fire Power is a first-of-its-kind exercise and follows new national defense guidelines.

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“Subway Superwoman” spotted in China dragging her phone addict boyfriend on to the subway

“Subway Superwoman” spotted in China dragging her phone addict boyfriend on to the subway

People who can’t start a meal until they’ve snapped the perfect picture and shared it on Facebook or Instagram, with hashtags, of course. People who walk slower than your grandma in a crowded mall or train station because they’re engaged in some mobile game or have their eyes glued on to some soap opera on their tiny screens. And then there are those who feel the incessant need to check if anyone “liked” their recent status update, or consistently have twenty group chats to reply to. There are so many of such cases these days, I’m sure you know what I’m driving at.

I’m talking about people who are addicted to their smartphones. Apparently some of them get so engrossed in their phones that they can’t walk or board the subway with their own legs.

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Talented high school baseball player steals 11 bases in one game, fans furious?

Talented high school baseball player steals 11 bases in one game, fans furious?

If you are a brain surgeon trying to get a side job flipping burgers at a fast food joint, you’re more than likely to be called “overqualified” and sent packing; yes, even if you really have a passion for perfecting the ultimate burger flip. Your services are clearly required elsewhere, despite your dreams of being Employee of the Month. But being overqualified for sports isn’t something most athletes generally have to worry about blowing back on them.

Unless, apparently, your sport is Japanese high school baseball, as one especially talented and furiously base-stealing Gunma Prefecture player learned recently.

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