crazy

We take on Thailand’s five-and-a-half-pound hamburger, and live to tell the tale

We take on Thailand’s five-and-a-half-pound hamburger, and live to tell the tale

Our Japanese-language correspondent Kuzo is currently making his way through Thailand, and while we’re happy he had such a good time at the country’s famous water festival, frankly we’re a little worried about the guy. We think all the excitement may have frazzled his brain, since he recently sent us a batch of pictures of himself eating what appears to be a hamburger-shaped novelty pillow.

Wait, that’s a real burger?!

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Student taken to hospital after submitting sample from pet dog in urine test

Student taken to hospital after submitting sample from pet dog in urine test

This week, the latest in a new mini-series here at RocketNews24 which we’ll tentatively call “People Doing Stupid Things They Really Should Have Guessed Would Backfire Badly”, we bring you a student who is claiming to have been quarantined after submitting a sample of his dog’s urine for a school medical.

The anonymous post on Japanese forum 2channel is titled “What happened when I put my dog’s pee in for the school urine test”. Let’s take a look at how the saga panned out!

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Foul-mouthed video shows Japan’s legendary politeness shattered by train’s last run

Foul-mouthed video shows Japan’s legendary politeness shattered by train’s last run

Among Japan’s numerous fanboy subcultures, train nuts are generally considered to be the most mild mannered of the bunch. They don’t have the lascivious motivations of certain obsessive idol singer fans, nor does their hobby have the graphically violent images often associated with video games and anime produced for the most hardcore fans of those media.

Train fans are mostly content to quietly stand at the end of station platforms or along rural stretches of railway, waiting for a chance to quietly and politely snap a photo of rare engines and carriages. In many ways, their passion is comparable to nature photography, and rail fandom is a pretty allow-key affair, nine times out of ten.

That one time, though, watch out.

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Tokyo restaurant says its lunch set has too much sashimi, as if such a thing were possible

Tokyo restaurant says its lunch set has too much sashimi, as if such a thing were possible

One of the biggest restaurant trends in Japan over the last two decades has been a steady erosion of the image that delicious food equals high prices, and vice-versa. These days, there are some real bargains to be found for those willing to do a little searching, particularly at lunch.

The afternoon dining market has gotten so competitive that often you can get an amazing meal plus change for the 1,000-yen bill you use to pay for it, which is exactly what you get with this gigantic tuna sashimi bowl.

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Tokyo café says the best ice cream topping is two more ice cream cones

Tokyo café says the best ice cream topping is two more ice cream cones

Today, let’s take a moment to ponder a serious question: what’s the best sundae topping? The old stand-by of a dash of sprinkles? A handful of chopped nuts for a little crunch and texture? Or do you find the idea of all that empty-calorie decadence troubling enough that it threatens to ruin the fun, so your vote goes to a few pieces of fruit?

We say the correct answer is none of the above. For our money, the best way to crown your parfait is with a whole ice cream cone. Of course, some of our more sarcastic readers may ask, “Yeah, smart guy? Well then what do you put on top of the ice cream cone?”

Another ice cream cone, obviously. Did you even have to ask?

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Ridiculously tiny apartment may be downtown Tokyo’s cheapest (with good reason)

Ridiculously tiny apartment may be downtown Tokyo’s cheapest (with good reason)

Before marriage compelled me to look for nicer living quarters, I lived in a an apartment that was….less than spacious. At first, I ate my meals off the top of my microwave, since it took several months of rearranging my belongings to create enough floor space for a low-lying table.

In the five years I lived in that bunker, I never did figure out a configuration which would allow me to cram a chair into it, but eventually I got used to having an extremely Spartan home. Even still, I don’t think I could manage living in the apartment of one Tokyoite, which measures just under five square meters (54 square feet).

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Anime fan’s level of obsession is a lot funnier than the reason he’s selling his collection

Anime fan’s level of obsession is a lot funnier than the reason he’s selling his collection

As media consumption patterns change in Japan, leading to less advertising revenue and lower DVD sales, merchandising is becoming an increasingly important way for anime producers to turn a profit. Not that the hardcore fans mind being given the opportunity to purchase a poster or coffee mug featuring their favorite character, mind you. And if the products happen to be limited editions, with the premium pricing such a designation entails, well that’s just a nice extra bit of otaku cachet.

One fan, though, is selling off his entire collection in one all-inclusive package. Quite often this sort of thing is the result of finding a flesh and blood girlfriend who doesn’t approve of decorating your walls with pictures of scantily-clad anime babes, but the reason for this collector’s fire sale isn’t anything nearly so happy.

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20 crazy facts about North Korea

20 crazy facts about North Korea

There are many fascinating countries around the world–in fact, we’d wager that there aren’t any truly boring places. But one of the most bizarrely “can’t look away from the train wreck” places in the world is North Korea. Now, there’s a lot of information (and misinformation) out there about the country, and sometimes it can be hard to separate the fact from fiction. Still, we like to try, right?

So, you can imagine how excited we were when we found a series of twenty photos and facts about North Korea have been making the Internet rounds! But we wanted to know more! Click below to see the 20 facts and some of the background information we dug up.

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Car surfing reportedly being banned by Saudi Arabian killjoys

Car surfing reportedly being banned by Saudi Arabian killjoys

Sometimes, I feel sorry for kids in today’s safety zealous world. More and more, it seems like the things I grew up with are being banned, whether it’s the thrilling bloodsport of dodgeball or the razor’s edge of a cafeteria in which some people are allowed to eat peanut butter.

Now comes the latest step in the inevitable march towards a global nanny state, as Saudi Arabia is apparently moving to ban the undeniably safe pastime of car surfing.

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Perhaps Japan’s most painfully nerdy itasha car yet

Perhaps Japan’s most painfully nerdy <em>itasha</em> car yet

Japanese has plenty of phrases based on the word sha/automobile. Some of these are pretty straightforward, like Nihonsha and gaisha, which literally mean Japanese and foreign car, respectively. Things get just slightly more complicated with the truncated Amesha or American car.

Today, though, we bring you a fine specimen of itasha. Stemming from the word itai (“ouch”), itasha are cars plastered with anime decals that are so palpably hardcore in their devotion to illustrated fiction that they outright hurt to look at. But what we’re about to show you is awkward even by itasha standards.

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Overload on overloading! 66 photos of vehicles and people carrying way too much

Overload on overloading! 66 photos of vehicles and people carrying way too much

As someone who’s never owned a car with a back seat, I’ve had to get creative when packing for a weekend trip or doing an especially extensive round of Christmas shopping. Between some Tetris-like loading of packages into the trunk (and occasionally having my passenger hold something on his or her lap), I’ve been able to haul some impressive loads. But I’ve got nothing on the crazy carrying capacity of these vehicles.

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Suzuki CEO tells reporters that only poor people buy his company’s cars

Suzuki CEO tells reporters that only poor people buy his company’s cars

The last couple of years haven’t been particularly kind to Suzuki Motor Corporation. The company’s US division filed for bankruptcy in 2012, and the automaker announced that it would be halting sales of passenger cars in both America and Canada.

Suzuki still sells cars in its home market, but recent moves by Japanese politicians looking to scale back tax breaks for the compact cars the Shizuoka-based manufacturer specializes in have put it in a precarious position. As the man in the hot seat, Suzuki CEO Osamu Suzuki has come up with a bold and unorthodox plan: openly insult his customers.

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23 wacky inventions from Japan and abroad – most useless, all ridiculous

23 wacky inventions from Japan and abroad – most useless, all ridiculous

Sometimes it seems like all the ideas for good inventions have already been taken. The wheel. The light bulb. The Internet, and with it access to some of the greatest sources of knowledge known to man.

Nevertheless, we salute those individuals still pushing the innovation envelope, even when reality pushes back with the harsh truth that no one would ever use their creations.

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Lotteria’s crazy burger with literally everything on it is perfect for indecisive diners

Lotteria’s crazy burger with literally everything on it is perfect for indecisive diners

As sure as the sun rises in the east, you can count on Japanese burger chain Lotteria to do something wacky every couple of months. Seemingly resigned to the fact that it can never quite capture either the flavor or value crown in the fast food market, Lotteria has apparently settled on cornering the market on crazy, whether that means nine-patty Evangelion burgers or milkshakes inspired by horror movie The Ring.

Lotteria’s latest outburst is a burger literally topped with everything.

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Who’s up for 2.4 kilograms of free noodles?

Who’s up for 2.4 kilograms of free noodles?

Despite its well-earned reputation as a society where meals are generally sensibly-sized and low calorie, Japan isn’t above the occasional burst of gastronomic decadence, and we’ve mentioned the jumbo-sized portions known as dekamori before.

Of course, it’s not easy to finance such a big appetite. Thankfully, if you’re craving a dekamori of the stir-fried noodle dish known as yakisoba, there’s a place where you won’t have to pay a single yen, as long as you can polish off 2.4 kilograms (5.3 pounds) of it ,that is…

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The unfortunate implications of Seoul’s tsunami-shaped City Hall

The unfortunate implications of Seoul’s tsunami-shaped City Hall

Located right in the middle of Seoul’s central Jung District, the grassy lawns of Seoul Plaza provide residents and visitors alike with a respite from the hustle and bustle of the Korean capital.

Of course, the tranquility of your surroundings is heavily influenced by which way you’re facing, so if you’re really looking to relax, you might want to take a seat on the grass with your back to the building that looks like a colossal, deadly tidal wave about to crash down on you.

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Popular Japanese travel guide for East Africa is filled with thrilling tales of danger

Popular Japanese travel guide for East Africa is filled with thrilling tales of danger

Japan is, by almost any criteria, an extremely safe country. You can wander most back alleys of Tokyo in the dead of night without any sense of danger, and calmly carry huge amounts of cash secure in the knowledge that you’re about as likely to come across a mugger in downtown as a man riding a horse.

While this bubble of safety is definitely a plus when you’re inside it, the flipside is that Japanese travelers, unaccustomed to street crime, violent or otherwise, tend to be extremely risk averse when going abroad. Driving this point home is the East Africa edition of a popular series of Japanese guidebooks, which is filled with warnings of danger that seem more like something out of a pulp action novel than a travel reference.

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Chocolate-covered squid, wasabi Kit Kat, and other anomalies of the Japanese snack food scene

Chocolate-covered squid, wasabi Kit Kat, and other anomalies of the Japanese snack food scene

Japan is a crowded country, and that goes for just about everything. Even store shelves are crowded. Most people do their shopping on foot, which means supermarkets and convenience stores tend to be on the small size, and shelf space is always at a premium.

As such, companies have to do something to make their products stand out. This is why so many Japanese beverages and snack foods have seasonal flavors that are only available for a limited time. Of course, taste engineers in Japan can only come up with so many normal flavors, and when they run out, the only thing to do is go on to the abnormal flavors.

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These one-eyed manga comic heroines are totally safe for work, slightly less so for your sanity

These one-eyed manga comic heroines are totally safe for work, slightly less so for your sanity

One of the most distinctive aspects of Japanese comics and animation is the size of the characters’ eyes. From a design standpoint, larger eyes make are easier to emote with, and some of anime and manga’s most expressive, and thus memorable, characters have had some of the biggest eyes. As the eyes became bigger, anime artists were left with less and less space to draw the nose and mouth, both of which are often tiny compared to those of Western cartoon characters.

But there’s only so much room on the face, and now we’re seeing the twistedly logical conclusion to the big-eyed trend in the growing popularity of otherwise cute female manga characters with only one eye.

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Images depicting the life of Jesus in Korea rile Chinese Internet users

Images depicting the life of Jesus in Korea rile Chinese Internet users

There seems to be a long-running debate over whether Jesus was white or African (as opposed, to, you know, Arabic, as most people born in the Middle East tend to be).

Apparently concerned that the squabble doesn’t have enough sides, a participant in a Chinese Internet forum has come forward with images suggesting yet another theory: Jesus was Korean.

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