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Saudi Arabian Reporter Floored by Things Japanese Take for Granted

The Saudi Arabian television program Hawatel Kaizen (a combination of the Arabic word for “thoughts” and the Japanese for “improvement”) is a series of reports by Arabic reporters in which they share things they have been impressed by in Japan. A Japanese TV show in turn did a feature on Hawatel Kaizen, in which the panel of Japanese TV personalities were amused by the enthusiastic responses of Saudi reporter, Ahmad, to things Japanese citizens take for granted.

So in an effort to be as international as possible, RocketNews24 brings you an English recap of a Japanese TV program reacting to another program in which a Saudi Arabian reporter reacts to Japan. Read More

A Must-Have Item for any Ice Cream Lover

On May 9, Akao Aluminum announced the release of the “Ice Cream Shovel,” the latest in its ispoon series of implements specially created to enhance your frozen confectionary eating experience. Under the careful supervision of Convenience Store Ice Cream Mania über blogger and frozen treat critic, “Ice-man” Fukudome, this most recent addition to the lineup was specifically designed for use with the rock hard, wooden-spoon-snapping-and-thus-stress-inducing cups of ice cream sold at convenience stores. With a limited production run of only 100, and priced at just 2,520 yen (about US$25), the spoons are sure to sell out, ah,…sometime.
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How to Make Gundam Using Microsoft Excel 【Video】

How many of you actually know how to use Microsoft Excel? Unless you need to make spreadsheets on a regular basis, Excel acts as the forgotten stepsister of Word and PowerPoint. Even those who claim to be able use Excel, don’t actually know how to use it. So you can imagine our surprise when we found out that with a lot of creativity and even more time, you can make amazing works of art using the most boring of all the Microsoft Office programs.

The following video shows each painstakingly detailed step to creating Gundam using Microsoft Excel (in super high speed).

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Heavy Industry without the Heavy Equipment

Here at RocketNews24, we like to bring you the latest and greatest, whether it’s (potentially) killer mechs or adorable new fonts! But sometimes it’s nice to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of raw human ingenuity. Read More

Who Needs a Cherry on Top? Osaka Café Crowns its Parfaits with Cake

Tokyo’s restaurants may have more Michelin stars, but for many Japanese foodies, the real culinary action is in Osaka. Particularly if your tastes run more towards good honest grub than haute cuisine, Japan’s second largest city is the place to be.

The people of Osaka enjoy a good meal so much that they coined the phrase kuidaore, to eat until you collapse. But even with this image firmly entrenched in our minds, the city has found a new way to surprise us with its gastronomic decadence.

On a recent day out in Osaka, our reporter stopped by a café and ordered a truly hard-core parfait. It wasn’t that the parfait was so big, and no, it didn’t contain any shocking ingredients. What blew our minds about this parfait was its topping.

It was a slice of cake, and it was so big it wasn’t even trying to fit into the glass.

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99-Year-Old Tea Shop Offers Something New: Green Tea Beer

Being in Japan gives you plenty of opportunities to knock back a beer. The country is filled with pubs, and alcohol consumptions is so accepted that should you tell people, flat-out, “My hobby is drinking,” they’re more likely to ask you to recommend a good bar than to stage an intervention. At the same time, Japan has countless places to sip a relaxing cup of tea, whether it’s the strong, frothy variety used in tea ceremonies called matcha, or hojicha, for which the green tea leaves are roasted before steeping. But with two tempting beverage choices to relax with and only so many hours in the day, how can anyone be expected to choose between tea and beer? As it turns out, you don’t have to. Read More

Somehow ‘Makankosappo’ Now Has Two Different Meanings in Japanese

Wait, do ordinary Japanese schoolgirls really have superpowers? I guess 80 percent of all the anime ever produced wasn’t lying to us…

One day a high school student, known as Chanman on her Twitter account, was hanging out in one of her school’s classrooms with some friends. Just for kicks, one of them struck a fighting pose, while the others leapt into the air as if being tossed back by a blast of chi or psychic energy. One of the girls snapped a picture, which Chanman tweeted to her followers, starting the country’s newest Internet trend.

Chanman and her friends aren’t a group of photography auteurs. This was something they did for fun, so she felt the picture needed a silly, nonsensical battle cry to go with it. Of course, coming up with a funny sounding word from scratch isn’t quite as easy as it seems. Quiquiriqui? That’s now already accepted as the Spanish version of “cockle-doodle-doo.” Cucamonga? A city in suburban Southern California. Heck, I’m still surprised “jackassery” is listed in Webster’s Dictionary, although it is the single most succinct and accurate term to describe most of my life decisions.

In the end, Chanman settled on “makankosappo.”

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Unique Wall Lamp Opens a Portal to Another Dimension in Your Room

Let’s face it, lamps are boring. There is the occasional exception, like those hip swinging hula girl lamps you can buy in Hawaii or the pantyhose-clad leg lamp from A Christmas Story, but most lighting fixtures aren’t going to start any conversations.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to present you with a lamp to join the ranks of exceptional lighting sources. Created by YOY, a team of two Japanese designers, this light will make it look as if the wall has been peeled back to reveal a portal to another dimension.

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Today’s Reason to Come to Japan: Free Curry Refills

Big eaters in Japan have a saying: “Curry and rice isn’t something you eat. It’s something you drink.” And as with any beverage, nothing’s better than free refills.

We’ve talked about it before, but it’s worth repeating. The Japanese curry chain CoCo Ichibanya (also known as just CoCo Ichi), provides a free refill of curry sauce to any customer one who asks for it. Read More

Star Wars Takes Over Tokyo Disneyland to Celebrate Reopening of Star Tours

Three days after every other person on the internet was posting “May the fourth be with you,” Tokyo Disneyland was flooded with Star Wars fans celebrating the grand reopening of Star Tours: the Adventures Continues. The ride offers a 3-D Star Wars experience with over 50 possible randomly selected story combinations. There’s no greater thrill than feeling as if you are rocketing through space, interacting with familiar Star Wars characters in the third dimension.

But what impressed our reporter, Tashiro-kun, the most was the fanfare that day. With around 200 Disney cast members dressed in Star Wars costume and more Disney-Star Wars merchandise than you can shake a light saber at, Tokyo Disneyland on May 7 was the place to be for Star Wars fans.

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Anime Backgrounds: True Works of Art Hiding Behind All Those Digital Boobs

Surprisingly, the majority of time and effort Japanese animators put into a typical anime may not be on the enormous, physics defying breasts of female protagonists, but on the one thing in any movie or TV show that we pay the least attention to – the backgrounds.

One Tumblr user set out to bring those underappreciated backgrounds to the forefront by displaying photos of anime backgrounds with the main characters digitally removed, and boy is it eye-opening. From real world Tokyo locations recreated in painstaking detail, to futuristic cityscapes that tower up and sprawl out as far as the eye can see, to almost photo-realistic close-ups of everyday items, this Tumblr blog showcases the unsung beauty of the best anime backgrounds.

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Kyaaah! The Anime Power Moves Everyone Tried (And Failed) To Master

Desperate to master the power moves we’d seen so many times in our favourite anime (Japanese animated cartoon), we practiced them day and night. Nothing impresses friends and destroys enemies like a well-timed “Turtle Destruction Wave”. Sure of our eventual success and rise to glory, we eagerly followed in the footsteps of heroes, mimicking their warrior cries and poses. Our best efforts were doomed to fail, but we kept on trying. You did too, right? Probably. Hadouken!

MyNavi News asked 286 men and women in Japan which moves they practiced as children. Here are the most common (and surprising) responses.

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Students in Japan Create a Robot That Can Balance on a Ball

Oh Japan, you never disappoint in the robot department. This one in particular may look a little plain compared to the femme bots in Shinjuku or a $1.25 million giant robot, but it’s still really cool. Created by two students at Tohoku Gakuin University in Japan, this little guy is able to perfectly balance on a ball while carrying a load and moving.

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Love Money? Cuddle Your Cash with this Chinese Money Pillow!

Oh, money, you make me smile like it’s Christmas Day and the cat’s just coughed up a shard of rainbow. As a man who spent most of his university years trying to work out ways to make potato chips and sliced bread viable alternatives to meat and vegetables, during the brief moments that I have a bit of cash in my bank account these days I become a noticeably nicer person to be around. I won’t even try to gouge your eyes if you greet me in the street.

This pillow is for people like me. People who want that warm money glow 24/7, so that even when our bank accounts are empty, our hearts are filled by the shallow but immediately believable promise of happiness that only cold, hard cash can bring.

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Thai Fans Remake Entire Iron Man 3 Pre-Release Trailer by Hand, Blow Our Minds 【Video】

If you’re a superhero fan living in North America, today very likely means only one thing: the launch of Iron Man 3. Perhaps waiting for a more suitable date to release the title, Marvel and Walt Disney Studios hung on until May 3 to unleash Tony Stark’s newest — and, according to some, best — supersuit-powered adventure, and millions of fans are champing at the bit to see it.

Despite having opened in Japan surprisingly early (Japanese releases are notoriously late, with movie fans forced to wait until this March for both Django Unchained and Wreck it Ralph alone), tongues are wagging all across the country today about Iron Man 3, but for an entirely different reason.

Put together by a clearly passionate and creative team of fans in Thailand, the following video recreates the official Iron Man 3 pre-release trailer shot by shot using little more than hand-crafted props, questionable make-up and models dangling from strings. Even so, it is nothing short of wonderful.

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Beef Up Your iPhone With This Iron Man Mark VII Armor Case

Crank up the Black Sabbath to 11 and bust out your iPhone, this one’s for all you Iron Man fans out there.

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Japanese Government Planning to Build Robot Care Assistants, Offer Cheap Monthly Rentals

The future is finally here. Hollywood told us that by the time the year 20XX arrived we’d all be living in sky bubbles, getting our meals in pill form and having our bodily waste carry itself out of us in the form of perfumed butterflies that then explode into dollar bills (or was that just a dream I had?), and as the years ticked by we were becoming increasingly tetchy that none of this was becoming a reality. But now, the Japanese government has announced plans to roll out special “nursing robots” that will assist care givers and help prepare the country for the inevitable time when almost 40 percent of the population will be aged 65 or older.

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Canned Ice Blasts Let You Literally Stop Cockroaches Cold

Japan is a great place to be in the summer. For the culturally minded, there are festivals at centuries-old shrines, dazzling fireworks displays, and neighborhood folk dances with everyone wearing summer kimonos or yukata. If your thought process is a little baser, the all-you-can-drink beer gardens on the rooftops of department stores, along with much higher socially-accepted hem lines than in many other parts of the world, aren’t half-bad either.

But there’s one thing no one likes about summer here: the hordes of cockroaches.

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Japan’s Top Manga Artists Celebrate 10 Years of Naruto with Original Fanart

Of all the manga and animé series that have found homes in the West, Naruto is arguably one of the most well known after the legendary Dragon Ball. Years after it first appeared, the story of the young ninja on a quest to achieve recognition as the strongest of his kind continues to enthrall readers and TV audiences across the world with its dramatic action sequences and a twisting plot that plays on the themes of loyalty, friendship and endurance in the face of adversity.

To celebrate 10 years of the infinitely popular series, some of Japan’s biggest manga-ka comic artists have produced a series of one-off tribute drawings, some faithful to Masashi Kishimoto’s original illustrations, some a clever blend of Naruto and their own preferred style. All, however, are incredibly cool.

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How to Make a Hatsune Miku Bento

Hatsune Miku is now coming to a bento near you (that is if you have to time and patience to make her). The folks over at Japanese culture website, Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi, have just created a step-by-step video explaining how to make an edible version of everyone’s favorite vocaloid.

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