cute

“Bye-bye!” Chinese flying doll works a little too well, becomes one-use toy 【Video】

“Bye-bye!” Chinese flying doll works a little too well, becomes one-use toy 【Video】

Let’s play a little word association game. Ready? Chinese-made children’s toys.

I’m guessing “high quality” isn’t the first thing that popped into your head. You don’t have to go far to find stories of people buying knock-off dolls or action figures in China, then giving them to their kids or younger siblings, only to watch them heartbroken as they don’t work as implied by the packaging.

But that doesn’t mean all toys made in China are shoddy, because some do indeed work well. Sometimes even too well, as one Japanese father found out when he brought back a Chinese flying doll for his daughters.

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Creative mum brings amazing character bentos to the dinner table

Creative mum brings amazing character bentos to the dinner table

While some of us may recall our childhood lunches as a series of soggy sandwiches in boring brown paper bags, two lucky children in Singapore are bound to look back on all their meals as miniature worlds of cute and delicious fun.

It’s all thanks to their mother, who decided to expand her skills beyond the humble bento lunchbox, and bring the cute to any meal of the day. Check out her amazing collection of healthy meals after the jump. It’s the best collection we’ve seen yet!

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Photobook of cats in Japan goes beyond kawaii, beautifully captures many sides of feline life

Photobook of cats in Japan goes beyond kawaii, beautifully captures many sides of feline life

For those of you who need a little break from Japanese cute culture and pampered internet stars from the animal kingdom, French photographer Alexandre Bonnefoy’s photobook may be just the ticket. Neko Land: Une vie de chat au Japon (A cat’s life in Japan) reveals the many faces of street cats, communally owned cats, pets, and cat café residents found all over Japan, from Okinawa to Hokkaidō.

Read on to view a large sample of the elegant and expressive work that resulted from his two-year stay, which portrays cats from many walks of life in a frank, but no less loving, manner. As Bonnefoy gives equal importance to their unadorned surroundings, let these felines guide you and immerse yourself in the often overlooked nooks and crannies of the varied communities around Japan.

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Adorable miniature sewing tools inspire the craftmaker in all of us

Adorable miniature sewing tools inspire the craftmaker in all of us

I have never thought I’d be gushing over sewing tools, but here I am, 30 minutes into staring at pictures of this new set of gashapon toys titled “The Shugei Miniature Mascot” (The Handicraft Miniature Mascot) because they are simply too adorable. Who would’ve thought you could turn things typically associated with grandmothers into such desirable collectibles by shrinking them to palm-size? Click to see more of these super cute toys!

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Wow, literature is cute! Hiroshima library designs anime mascots for decimal classifications

Wow, literature is cute! Hiroshima library designs anime mascots for decimal classifications

Nowadays, whenever we want to access to the vast wealth of knowledge humanity has amassed, all we have to do check Google, Wikipedia, or the RocketNews24 search box. But long ago, you had to go to a place called a library.

With an Internet search engine you can just type in what you’re looking for, but simply scrawling, say, “history of feudal Japan” on the wall of the library will not only fail to provide you with the information you seek, it’ll probably get you thrown out of the building. Instead, you’ve got to utilize a system of numbers used to organize written works. While the U.S. has the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress Classifications, Japan has its own framework, called the Nippon Decimal Classification.

For modern youths, though, having to look up books by a numeric code feels extremely cumbersome and inefficient. So how do you get young readers excited about using the Nippon Decimal Classification? By anthropomorphizing it as a team of cute anime characters. , of course!

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It’s the simple things in life: Kitty chooses cardboard box over expensive cat furniture

It’s the simple things in life: Kitty chooses cardboard box over expensive cat furniture

This photo of a beautiful blue-eyed cat makes us realize that good things don’t always come in fancy packages…and sometimes the package is actually the best gift. But isn’t that always the case when it comes to cats? No matter how many fancy toys and luxury cat trees you buy them, they always seem to prefer the things they already have…including the sofa, curtains, and chairs.

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We just gotta have this 1/1 scale plush Pikachu!

We just gotta have this 1/1 scale plush Pikachu!

There is no one – we repeat, no one – who has called themselves a Pokemon fan and hasn’t wished they could have their own Pikachu; his cute quotient is just too high. Well, Pocket Monster devotees, you’re in luck, because this 1/1 scale Pikachu plush is the closest you’re ever going to come to actually catching the franchise’s most popular character. BEAMS, the creators of almost-real-life-Pikachu, have even made him true-to-weight. Coming in at a hefty 6 kg (13 lbs), this cuddly Pikachu weighs more than the average cat!

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Belly photos from underneath are the next big trend in hamster cuteness

Belly photos from underneath are the next big trend in hamster cuteness

It seems that hamster trends come and go on the ‘Net: earlier this year hamster butts were totally in, and before that flat hamsters were all the rage. Now the hot new thing is hamster bellies! And not just their fluffy bellies, but specifically their underside seen from below.

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Cat Sushi figures return to Japanese vending machines! Our collection (and lives) are complete

Cat Sushi figures return to Japanese vending machines! Our collection (and lives) are complete

We recently added to our collection of weird Japanese toys by buying a couple of Doggy Bread Figures. But while the canine fans in the RocketNews24 office were happy, our resident cat lovers couldn’t help but sigh in sad reminiscence of the good old days when they could decorate their shelves with cat sushi.

Well, the worlds of Japanese cuisine and cute kitties have once again collided, as there’s a new batch of really (and surreally) cute sushi cat figures on the market, and we’ve already compiled a complete set.

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Thirsty? How about some cider made with Japanese cat nip?

Thirsty? How about some cider made with Japanese cat nip?

Even though you can find Coca-Cola in every convenience store in Japan, for the most part the country isn’t all that into carbonated soft drinks. So if you’re selling a fizzy, non-alcoholic beverage, you need some kind of unique hook.

Pepsi has made a habit of periodically releasing unusual flavors such as chestnut or cucumber-flavored sodas, but we’ve also seen smaller, regional producers put out some creative concoctions such as cider that tastes like tomatoes, tea, or olives. Even still, beverage makers haven’t exhausted every possible taste, as right now in Yokohama and Osaka you can get your hands on cider made with silver vine, or Japanese catnip.

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Kyoto mascot bridges the gap between weirdly cute and just plain weird

Kyoto mascot bridges the gap between weirdly cute and just plain weird

As one of the most scenic sections of one of Japan’s most beautiful cities, Kyoto’s Arashiyama isn’t exactly hurting for tourists. Still, the neighborhood is looking to attract even more visitors, and in doing so has decided to employ Japan’s current favorite travel marketing technique by creating a yuru-kyara, or local mascot.

Designers actually had multiple ways they could have gone with this, such as playing up the area’s historic temples or beautiful bamboo groves. In the end, they drew their inspiration from the Togetsukyou Bridge, which was first constructed in the early 9th century.

But while that’s a fine choice, we can’t help but question the final design for the character, in which a portion of the bridge is dumped on the back of the vaguely humanoid creature called Wataru Tsukihashi.

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Sleepy kitty snuggling with a stuffed animal is the most adorable thing you’ll see all day

Sleepy kitty snuggling with a stuffed animal is the most adorable thing you’ll see all day

Meet μ [the Greek letter mu], a four-year-old Scottish Fold female cat who enjoys all the typical feline hobbies of catnapping, meowing for treats, coughing up hairballs, and sitting down on your laptop while you’re trying to work. But μ has another hobby which is a bit more, shall we say, atypical in nature. Like many human children (and adults!), μ likes nothing better than to cuddle up with her favorite pink stuffed animal when she falls asleep!

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Stylish new cat café in Asakusa would be nice even without the kitties, is awesome with them

Stylish new cat café in Asakusa would be nice even without the kitties, is awesome with them

Cat cafes have established a pretty solid foothold in the Japanese dining scene. That said, some of them deliver more on the “cat” than the “café” part, with pretty unimpressive interiors and menus.

That’s not a problem at Monta, though, a cat café which recently opened up in Tokyo’s Asakusa neighborhood. With stylish and colorful furnishings and delicious food, we’d be tempted to stop by even if it didn’t have a half-dozen cats running around inside.

Those cute kitties, though, sure helped seal the deal and get us through the door, though.

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Sailor Moon, Outer Senshi are ready to watch over your phone with earphone jack accessories

Sailor Moon, Outer Senshi are ready to watch over your phone with earphone jack accessories

While Sailor Moon’s first four companions, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus, get most of the attention, the lunar heroine also picked up a few more allies in her 200 anime episodes. The Sailor Moon B-team has been getting a lot of love from merchandiser Bandai recently, including their own sets of lingerie.

Now, for everyone who wants to show your love for the Outer Sailor Senshi without showing off their undies, Bandai is releasing a five-piece set of smartphone earphone jack accessories, including accessories used by Sailors Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

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Man vs. Beast! Competitive eater Kobayashi takes on hamster in hot dog-eating contest 【Video】

Man vs. Beast! Competitive eater Kobayashi takes on hamster in hot dog-eating contest 【Video】

I didn’t watch a lot of TV during college, and before you think I’m saying that to try and come off as some high-minded intellectual, I’ll quickly admit that I filled that spare time playing video games and watching anime DVDs. One program I do remember catching, though, was a Fox special in which humans went against animals in a series of contests.

In one event, Takeru Kobayashi, Japan’s champion competitive eater, was pitted against a bear to see who could eat more hot dogs. The bear won with ease, because, well, it’s a bear for God’s sake.

Now, though, Kobayashi’s back for a rematch with the animal kingdom, but this time with a smaller opponent: an adorable hamster.

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From plums to panties, the strange and beautiful bento of Keisuke Umeda【Photos】

From plums to panties, the strange and beautiful bento of Keisuke Umeda【Photos】

When you think about the media that artists can work in, ink, paint, stone, metal, wood, and glass all spring readily to mind. We could take an even broader view and include things such as film, sound, and even light. But even then, we’d still be overlooking the creations of Keisuke Umeda, who brings to life scenes of beautiful nature, disturbing juxtaposition, and offbeat humor through the medium of boxed bento lunches.

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The ultimate in kawaii cookware — Mickey and friends turn themselves into adorable pots!

The ultimate in kawaii cookware — Mickey and friends turn themselves into adorable pots!

Here in Japan, we love hot pots, or nabe, especially during the cold winter months. Nabe can be cooked using a wide range of ingredients, from delicate seafood like pufferfish (fugu) to succulent wagyu beef, and they’re often served with plenty of vegetables too, so the dishes are filling and relatively healthy as well.

Now, these hot pots are usually all about savoring the various ingredients, but a reporter from our sister site Pouch found some nabe pots that are so adorable that just looking at them is bound to put a smile on your face. Yes, our favorite friends from Disney have turned themselves into pots for our dining and viewing pleasure! Even if you’re not a die-hard Disney fan, these pots are guaranteed to add some extra fun to your meal.

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Cute cat bank collects coins, makes fiscal responsibility adorable 【Videos】

Cute cat bank collects coins, makes fiscal responsibility adorable 【Videos】

With money in Japan, the smallest denomination of bill is 1,000 yen (US $9.35), which means that you often end up having a ton of change in your pocket. With awesome vending machines on seemingly every corner, there’s an ever-present temptation to blow piles of coinage on canned drinks, especially now that some come with prizes.

Still, if you’ve got the willpower to make it home with a few coins left, you can treat yourself to a little reward if you also happen to have one of these awesomely cute motorized cat coin banks.

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Rurouni Kitty! Sanrio’s beloved cat cosplays as anime’s iconic swordsman in plushie form

Rurouni Kitty! Sanrio’s beloved cat cosplays as anime’s iconic swordsman in plushie form

Japanese movie-goers are currently enjoying the third live-action Rurouni Kenshin film. The franchise is now a certified two-decade hit, debuting as a manga in 1994 before its 1996 anime adaptation and recent film trilogy, and it owes much of its success to the popularity of main character Himura Kenshin.

What makes Kenshin so compelling is that despite his formidable swordsmanship, he’s portrayed as consistently kindhearted and good-natured. In certain scenes, he comes off as downright cute, but Kenshin has never been quite as adorable as this stuffed animal of Hello Kitty cosplaying as the scarred warrior.

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Sweet dreams, MasterCard: People in Japan are putting their wallets to bed in tiny futons

Sweet dreams, MasterCard: People in Japan are putting their wallets to bed in tiny futons

We all have our funny little habits and daily rituals. Some of us don’t feel settled at night unless we’ve put all the dishes away or spoken to our loved ones on the phone. Others can’t head to bed unless they’ve first checked that the front door is locked or whipped the shower curtain open to ensure there isn’t a monster, murderer, or acid-spitting xenomorph in there waiting climb out of the tub after they’ve fallen asleep.

But did you know that some people in Japan are now getting into the habit of putting their wallets to bed before themselves?

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