awesome

Teen whose Frozen chalkboard art went viral gets an art commission before a high school diploma

A while back, we took a look at an amazing piece of artwork by student and Twitter user Rena Rena. Almost finished with her last year of high school, Rena realized her opportunities to indulge in youthful abandon were about to become that much scarcer, so she grabbed a piece of chalk and drew an amazing scene of Frozen’s Elsa standing on a snowy mountaintop.

Two months later, it looks like Rena’s life has indeed become so busy that she has no time for such ambitious amateur chalkboard art projects. On the bright side, that’s because she’s now doing professional chalkboard art, having been commissioned to create the cover to the newest book from one of Japan’s most celebrated fantasy authors.

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Super Hero Soccer: A match of epic proportions 【Video】

Ever wonder what would happen if all your favorite superheroes got together to battle it out in a game of soccer/football? While we regret not thinking it up first, the folks over at Ronnie Street Stunts ran with their brilliant idea, bringing together heroes from comics, video games, and novels alike and pitting them together in the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny. Good guys, bad guys, and explosions all included!

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Fukui Station, the upcoming Shinkansen station, is also home to roaring dinosaurs!

The steady expansion of Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train lines is a project welcomed by everyone from train fans to average citizens who just wants to get around the country as easily as possible. Last Friday saw the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, the line connecting Tokyo with the Hokuriku region. The newest train stations are located in Toyama and Ishikawa Prefectures, but all the attention on-line is actually focused on Fukui Station!

Though the Shinkansen line won’t actually make it to Fukui Prefecture until 2025, people still love the station, which currently serves a variety of JR and Echizen lines, thanks to its Jurassic Park-like scenery. That’s right, Fukui Station is overrun by dinosaurs!

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Come for fans’ awesome live-action Zelda teaser, stay for the powerful Akira music video 【Videos】

You’d think that after the debacle of the Super Mario Bros. movie even the most diehard Nintendo loyalists would have given up hope of anything cool ever being produced by combining the company’s games with live-action. And yet, it seems hope springs eternal for fans of the Kyoto video game publisher’s other flagship series, The Legend of Zelda.

Adventuring hero Link has shown up in a handful of live-action fan projects over the year, and not only is this newest short film one of the most visually and aurally impressive yet, its creators are also promising there’s more to come. More into anime than video games? Don’t worry, they’ve also got an amazing live-action Akira music video.

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Dragon Ball figure’s holographic energy blast looks so real you’ll want to take cover 【Video】

In recent years, it’s become common for anime figures to come with what’re called “effect pieces.” These little add-ons attach to the character’s fists, arms, or other body parts, adding the motion blurs, flames, or ki energy auras that make their fighting moves look so cool on-screen.

Sure, sometimes it can be a little depressing to look at Ryu’s hadoken or Goku’s kamehameha energy blast and realize it’s just a piece a piece of plastic. But hey, what choice do you have, other than effect pieces?

How about an awesome hologram projection to make you Dragon Ball Z figure’s attack look as real as possible?

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Skills of the fastest mochi-pounding pros in all of Japan leave us dumbfounded 【Video】

The making of mochi, traditional Japanese rice cakes, is a traditional activity for many Japanese families around the time of the New Year’s holiday. The term for this important ritual in Japanese is mochitsuki (餅つき), which quite simply means “mochi pounding.”

While there are dozens of mochi specialty shops scattered throughout Japan, one particular shop specializing in yomogimochi (mochi mixed with mugwort, giving it a distinctive green color) in Nara Prefecture boasts much more than delicious sweets–its second claim to fame is that it employs the fastest mochitsuki champions in all of the country!

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Godzilla appears in the Tokyo skyline atop new Shinjuku skyscraper! 【Photos】

Each neighborhood of Tokyo has its own unique feel, but it’s hard to top Shinjuku. Located in the heart of downtown, Shinjuku has just about everything you could ask for in a modern metropolis, boasting such attractions as a beautiful garden, extensive shopping options, an uncountable array of restaurants and bars, and the RocketNews24 offices.

And now, there’s one more reason to come to Shinjuku. A big one in fact, as the King of the Monsters, Godzilla himself, is literally watching over the district in the form of a life-size replica of the creature’s head peering down from one of its skyscrapers.

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Awesome Akihabara restaurant sandwiched by busy train lines offers more thrills than a maid cafe

For a time, shopping for electronics was just about the only thing to do in Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood. In recent years though, the area has gone through a renaissance, and it’s now packed with restaurants and cafes, too.

Of course, just because your feet are tired and your throat is parched doesn’t mean you’re ready for the excitement to stop. So if you’d like to mix some thrills in with your cafe time, how about stopping in for a drink or snack at a restaurant that’s sandwiched between the tracks of one of the busiest train lines in Japan?

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Time to quit your job – Company in Japan now hiring for the position of Ninja Master

Do you ever get a little down in the dumps immediately following a major holiday? The day after Christmas, for example, many people miss the goodwill and excitement they felt just 24 hours before.

That’s how we’re feeling right now, since we’ve got almost a full 12 months to wait until the next Ninja Day. Really, wouldn’t it be great if we could keep the spirit of Ninja Day in our hearts all year long?

Actually, there’s a way to do just that, as one company in Japan has put out an honest-to-goodness help-wanted ad for a ninja master.

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Want your mecha models to look amazingly realistic? Don’t stop at the robot – Make the buildings!

Whoa, hold on a second! We know Amazon Japan now sells giant robots, but we didn’t know someone else had made something this big! This mecha looks like it’s at least twice as tall (and three times as awesome) as the one offered by the online retailer. Don’t you need a permit to build something that huge?

Actually, the only legal paperwork involved in this photo was for model-making supplies, as that’s not a real giant robot, but a scale replica. What’s more, the way it appears to be standing with its head almost in the rafters of the structure housing it isn’t thanks to a mere trick camera angle, but rather the considerable skills of the modeller who also crafted a miniature hanger for his compact mobile suit.

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Kyoto’s amazing mechanized underground bike parking system is even more awesome in motion 【Video】

Compared to Tokyo, Japan’s former capital, Kyoto, is fairly compact. Most of the commercial development is clustered around Kyoto Station, with a ring of temples, gardens, and other historical sites surrounding the more modern parts of the city.

Kyoto is also relatively flat, and the grid pattern its major streets are laid out on makes it an easy town to get around by bicycle. Of course, Kyoto doesn’t want an unsightly mass of parked bikes marring the scenery and cluttering pedestrian walkways, which is why at one of the city’s major transportation hubs there’s a subterranean, automated bicycle parking lot, and if that sounds awesomely high-tech, wait until you see it in action.

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February 22 is Ninja Day, as these cosplaying civil servants at Koka City Hall just reminded us

Are you feeling bummed out that February’s two most high-profile holidays, namely Twin Tail Day and Valentine’s Day, are both already over and done with? Cheer up! While it may not necessarily tug at the heartstrings like February 2 and 14, what’s arguably the coolest holiday of the month is coming up this weekend.

That’s because February 22 is officially Ninja Day, and one town in Japan is helping people get into the spirit with a bit of shinobi-style cosplay at its city hall.

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Dual-wielding free thrower masters the game of arcade basketball 【Video】

There are all sorts of masters lurking in arcades around the world. We’ve seen quite a few in Japan, where taiko drum experts and claw game champions reign supreme. But if this video of a basketball free-thrower is anything to go by, Chinese game centers seem to have their own breed of skilled gamers. However, what makes the skills of the guy on the left, we’ll call him “Khaki Shorts,” all the more amazing is the fact that he’s making one-handed free throws with both his left and right hand four times faster than the other players.

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Hello Kitty goes to space in awesome junior high science experiment 【Video】

Fans’ love for Hello Kitty has taken her all over the word. Aside from her many enterprises in her native Japan, Sanrio’s most famous mascot has been at the center of ventures in the U.S., Taiwan, and China. You could even say the character’s popularity has reached astronomical proportions, just like Kitty-chan herself did when she made a trip into space as part of an awesome junior high school science experiment.

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See the dark side of the force in pure white with Snow Festival’s gigantic Star Wars sculpture

Last week, we took a sneak peek at the upcoming Sapporo Snow Festival by checking out an icy rendering of an idol trio from hit anime Love Live! Freaked out as we were by their unfinished yet crazed expressions, it turns out Umi, Honoka, and Kotori aren’t the most intimidating characters showing up at this year’s event.

That title goes to the massive snow sculpture of fallen Jedi Darth Vader, who rolled into the largest city in Hokkaido with the sort of backup that’d you’d expect from the Supreme Commander of the Empire’s space fleet.

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Flaptter flying machine from Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky brought to life!

If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli’s films, you’ve probably noticed that director Hayao Miyazaki has a love for planes and all other manner of flying machines, which make numerous appearances in many of his movies. We’ve seen a Miyazaki creation come to life before with the construction of the glider called Möwe, as seen in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, but here’s one now for you Laputa: Castle in the Sky lovers – a real working Flaptter!

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Web series’ anime arsenal expands with real-life version of Kill la Kill’s Scissor Blade【Video】

You really have to respect the skills of the team behind Man at Arms and its successor Man at Arms Reforged. It was impressive enough when the web series’ blacksmiths were taking on projects as iconic or massive as The Legend of Zelda’s Master Sword or Final Fantasy VII’s Masamune. The craftsmen have since moved on to even more complicated designs, such as the gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII and Fierce Deity Sword from Majora’s Mask.

Now, Man at Arms Reforged is back with what might be its most unique creation yet, the Scissor Blade from cult hit anime Kill la Kill, made from materials as unusual as the school supply inspiration of the weapon itself.

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Burger Decision 2015! Which crazy Lotteria sandwich will you vote for to make a comeback?

Hamburger chain Lotteria has to walk a difficult tightrope. On the one hand, it’s got its reputation as the mad scientist of the Japanese fast food industry to uphold, meaning it needs a sizeable roster of unusual, outlandish, or just plain massive sandwiches on offer. On the other hand, in order to ensure each item has plenty of impact and novelty factor, the chain doesn’t want them hanging around on the menu so long that customers start to get bored with them or take them for granted.

As a result, most of Lotteria’s most interesting items are only available for a limited time, sometimes as short as a single day. But just in case you missed your chance to try one, Lotteria is bringing back just one of its special sandwiches from last year, and its letting fans decide which by tallying the number of Yahoo! searches for each of the candidates.

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KFC’s Double Down evolves into a fried chicken-wrapped hot dog in the Philippines

KFC launched its Double Down menu item in 2010, and after it sunk in that the fast food chain was serious about making a bacon and cheese sandwich with two pieces of fried chicken substituting for the bread, reactions were split between horrified and hungry. All agreed though that the decadent offering was in no way to be mistaken for a healthy dining option, and many commentators declared it the sort of thing that could only have been birthed in response to the extra-gluttonous fast food culture of the U.S.

Except it turns out that Americans aren’t the only ones who occasionally like to go crazy and stuff themselves with as much KFC-cooked meat as their mouths and stomachs can hold. The Double Down was also a sales success in Korea, and this week, KFC launched an evolved version in the Philippines called the Double Down Dog.

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Burn baby burn! The Shinto inferno of Japan’s Dondo Yaki ceremony

When entering the grounds of a Shinto shrine in Japan, it’s customary to first stop by the water basin near the gate and rinse your hands, and sometimes your mouth, in order to cleanse them. Water isn’t the only classical element held to have purifying properties in Shintoism, though, since the same can be said about fire.

Obviously, worshippers aren’t called upon to put fire on their palms or inside their mouths. Instead, Shinto priests light pyres of charms and decorations during the Dondo Yaki ceremony, with the towering blazes regularly reaching 15 meters (49.2 feet) into the air.

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