cute

Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute

Many of Japan’s tasty regional delicacies don’t exactly qualify as low-calorie dining options, such as Fukuoka’s pork stock ramen, Osaka’s deep-fried kushikatsu skewers, and Nagoya’s miso pork cutlets. However, Yamanashi Prefecture’s local specialty, hoto, is relatively healthy, as it’s primarily a vegetable stew with miso broth.

With that in mind, the fact that a zoo in Yamanashi is home to a raccoon who’s so plump he’s almost spherical is a little ironic…and also pretty adorable.

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Posing like a (video game) boss! Villainous and heroic cats look ready for a role-playing epic

Lighting is an important part of photography. Arrange some candles on a table one way before you press the shutter button, and you’ve got a snapshot of a romantic dinner. Position everything differently, and you’ve got a spooky séance.

The same goes for if you’re photographing your pet cat. Under certain conditions, he might look like a fluffy little fuzzball, but if the flash reflects off his eyes just right, suddenly he’ll transform into a sinister monster, like this guy here.

Actually, Internet users in Japan recently put together what looks like the core cast of a fantasy role-playing game, with villains and heroes alike represented.

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Deal of the day – Give this hamster’s Vine video six seconds, and he’ll give you a huge smile

It’s one of the sad facts of life that it generally takes longer to build up a good mood than to tear one down. A quick bit of bad luck can ruin your afternoon (just ask anyone who’s been pooped on by a pigeon), but blissful joy is often the result of building off a string of successes and blessings.

We say “often” because sometimes you stumble across a shortcut to a genuine smile or heartwarming laugh, which is definitely the case with the twist ending to this short video of a hamster having its ear stroked.

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Cozy kitty pullovers are the perfect outfit to snuggle up in for your next catnap

Between their furry coats and ability to stake out the warmest spots in the home, cats seem to be pretty skillful at warding off the cold. But while you can probably squeeze in next to your pets in front of the space heater, you can’t really borrow their coats, can you?

Of course, you won’t need to if you have a cute, cozy kitty pullover of your own.

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Transform your cat into DJ Scratchalot this holiday season

If the thought of a cat spinning tracks fills your heart with immense joy, then this will be the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.

With a rotating turntable and a deck covered in trash-talking stickers, even demure felines can try their paw at scratching tracks, thanks to this hilarious cat DJ deck. Now any cat can be the cool cat who makes all the humans smile and all the kittens bounce.

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Cats are ready to burst out of your smartphone with these cool suction-cup stands

If you’re a proud cat owner, odds are you’ve got pictures of your favorite feline on your smartphone. We also know that plenty of people like to keep up on the latest developments on cat-related cuteness by surfing the Internet with said devices.

But if that’s still not enough, now you can keep your electronics upright with an adorable cat coming out of your smartphone.

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Win an adorable Pikachu hooded blanket and more in upcoming Pokémon lottery campaign

Beginning on December 20, residents of Japan can participate in a special Pokémon-themed lottery campaign at participating stores throughout the country. Although the event is officially targeting young adult women, we don’t see how anyone could resist the cute goods that are just waiting to be snatched up!

What was that famous saying again? Oh yeah–”Gotta catch ‘em all!”

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Snoopy and Woodstock, ordinarily inseparable pals, getting separate themed restaurant in Tokyo

Japan is always up for a little entertainment with its meals. As a result, dotted around Tokyo you’ll find restaurants where you can dine on food inspired by cute and cool characters from animation, video games, and the like.

Usually, these fictional icons are Japanese in origin, but it turns out that Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang have enough of a following for not just one, but two new restaurants collaborations in Tokyo.

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Has this cat’s soul been stolen, or is this just another example of cats being weird? 【Video】

A few weeks ago, we saw a cat that could walk backwards on two legs like it was no big deal. At the time, we jokingly wrote it off as just another quirky cat thing that cats do, because cats.

But now that we’ve seen this video of another feline lying prone, belly-up, staring into the abyss as though it’s seen into the eyes of Cthulhu, we’re starting to wonder if maybe there’s some sort of strange otherworldly madness slowly destroying the minds of Japan’s cats:

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Lost dog appears to turn itself in to local police, recruit their help with finding its owner

Usually, it seems, the standard procedure for reuniting a lost pet with its owner is to put up posters on every streetlamp you can find, begging people to let you know if they’ve seen your wayward canine/feline family member.

It’s nice, then, that the owner of a large Alaskan malamute in Suzhou, China had an animal that was smart and proactive enough to basically do all the legwork for him, by essentially turning itself in to the police.

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Lifelike lion and tiger backpacks from Japan will make everyone who sees you say, “Oh my!”

There are two important things to bear in mind regarding Japanese fashion. First is that, since so many people use public transportation, they almost always need some kind of a bag or backpack to carry their stuff in when they go out. Second, after spending all week wearing a mandated uniform or bland business suit, come the weekend, some people are overcome with the urge to express their individuality to the fullest with their clothing and accessory choices.

With that in mind, just about the fastest route away from your button-down Monday to Friday look is to slip on a backpack that’s the exact shape and size of a tiger’s head.

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This new Totoro plush is super pricey, rarer than an encounter with the big guy himself

As fictional (sorry, I mean completely real and definitely not made up) creatures come, furry forest spirits like Studio Ghibli’s Totoro are pretty rare to begin with. Heck, even the theme song to My Neighbor Totoro tells us that we can only see them when we’re “very young”, so it’s not like we’re tripping over the things in the street.

But if you’re the kind of person who simply must have every piece of high quality Ghibli merch, the rarer the better, then this limited edition plush is definitely one you’ll want to look out for.

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Japan Post to give stamps cute animal makeovers including chipmunks, foxes, and an old man

Earlier this year as the Japanese government enacted a sales tax hike, the cost of mailing a letter also increased. As a result a new 2 yen stamp had to be issued to fill the price hike, and in an effort to quell public anger, Japan Post put a picture of a cute fluffy bunny on it. Surely that’d do the trick, right?

Of course it did! In Japan, cuteness is a rock-solid commodity and the bunny stamp was a huge success. It was so popular that people came out to buy some even though they had no mail to send. And so, Japan Post set a mandate to make all of their stamps pretty before fiscal 2015.

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Cute cat warms harbles, achieves Nirvana in front of heater

We posted earlier this week about how Japanese cats survive the cold winter months by bogarting the sweet, sweet warmth of the space heater, but this cold little fellow is lucky enough not to have to share his oasis of warmth with any other felines or even a pesky human. How happy does that make him? Photos of kitty bliss after the jump.

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This male model is better at looking like a lady than most ladies

Here at RocketNews24, we’re no strangers to stories that involve guys who look like girls. Heck, we just ran that story about a whole school full of boys who annually dress as girls for a genuinely impressive beauty contest. In other words, we spend a lot of our waking hours looking at pictures of dudes who could pass for attractive girls.

So, we believe our radar for picking out the difference between a very beautiful boy and an actual girl has gotten pretty sensitive over the years. But now, there’s finally one gorgeous young model who totally managed to fool us (at least in certain photos, anyway).

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First Hello Kitty cafe to open in California!

North American fans of the mouth-less Sanrio feline can now rejoice as the first ever Hello Kitty Cafe will finally land on their continent!

Announced in the form of a bright pink food truck at the Hello Kitty Convention held in Los Angeles, fans were elated to learn that Hello Kitty will finally get her own cafe in California! Judging by the extreme cuteness of the pictures released so far, it seems like this cafe will take kawaii to a whole new level!

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Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】

One of the great things about IKEA is the broad appeal of its furnishings. With understated styling, reasonable prices, and adequate quality, the Swedish-based megastore is the perfect place to find sofas for recent college graduates, dishes for newlyweds, and work desks for telecommuters.

And also, as clever Japanese pet owners have learned, adorable beds for cats.

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Tiny ninjas, lazy shellfish, and neglected children: It’s time to choose Toho Cinema’s new mascot

If you live in Japan and love movies, there’s a good chance that you’ve been to a Toho Cinema at some point. One of the largest cinema chains in Japan, they show all the domestic and international blockbuster films you could possibly want. They also allow you to reserve a seat when you buy your ticket, so you can be sure to have a perfect view of Captain America’s pert derrière when the next Avengers movie comes out.

In addition to picking your seat, you now also have the opportunity to help choose the theater chain’s new mascot. With lazy shellfish, neglected children, and the absolute cutest ninja you’ll ever see, it may take you a while to choose–so it’s a good thing you can vote online!

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Cat spotted seemingly being sucked face-first into car

This picture brings up a lot of questions, the biggest one being: “Where is your face, cat?!” Followed closely by: “What the heck is going on?!” Even one of his ears is folded the wrong way! Maybe he actually is being sucked into the car…?

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Just a bunch of adorable cats riding on trains in Japan

Sometimes, after a long day of napping and begging for treats, a cat’s just gotta get out of the house. And what better way to get around than by Japan’s famously on-time and impeccably clean railway? If you’re still walking or taking taxis to your desired destination, take a lesson from these street-smart felines and hop on a train!

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