cute

Japan’s other famous cat gets her own photobook and stationery

Mako, also known as “the cat with the strange face,” may not be as globally recognized as Maru, but we have a feeling she’s going to start gaining a few fans after the release of her very own book of pictures and set of stationary. Mako is the star of a Japanese photoblog, but the site also includes her three brothers and sisters, all of whom are also featured on a few of these adorable products. Let’s take a closer look!

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Vroom-vroom, meow-meow! Driver mods his taillights into awesome “Toro” cat patterns

In Japan, all cars have to undergo a vehicle inspection called shaken every two years. The ostensible reason is to make sure each part of the car is in safe, working condition, but some motorists suspect the real reasons are to bilk additional streams of revenue from owners, as well as encourage them to trade in their current cars for new models, which can go three years before their first shaken.

The system does have one upside for enthusiasts. Since cars get officially inspected every other year, traffic cops in Japan aren’t nearly as zealous as their U.S. counterparts about issuing fix-up tickets for questionable modifications they spot on the street. This means that during the two-year period between shaken checks, you have a decent chance of getting away with illegal engine mods, non-compliant body kits, or awesome grey-area cat tail lights.

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Disney fans in Japan show love for their favorite characters in an eye-popping way

We’re sure there are more than a few Disney fans amongst our readership, but we’re not certain any of you have ever shown your love of Mickey and his friends in quite this way. Spotted at Tokyo Disneyland in (you guessed it!) Tokyo (just kidding, the park is technically in Chiba. Nice try.), this pair of plushy pals seem to have an extreme appreciation for their favorite characters and they want everyone to know it!

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Anime all-stars combine in fan-crafted Mobile Suit Yo-Kai Watch 【Photos】

In recent months, there’s been no video game or anime franchise more popular among Japanese kids than Yo-Kai Watch. The story of kids teaming up with traditional youkai spirits (some of whom look like adorable kitty-cats), seems to have landed right in the sweet spot between adventurous, cute, and traditional, making it a huge hit for creator Level-5 (and promotional partner McDonald’s).

As a matter of fact, Yo-Kai Watch has even been gaining traction against Pokémon, the reigning champion of kids’ entertainment in Japan for the last decade-plus. Now, one fan seems to be turning Yo-Kai Watch’s towards another anime institution, by combining its characters with the giant robots of Gundam.

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Japanese artist creates manga inspired by her cats, gets bothered by them daily【Photos】

I’ve never had a pet cat, but my friends who do are always posting pictures of their cats getting in the way of their studies and work, asking for attention at the most untimely moments and making themselves comfortable in the oddest places.

It’s not hard to imagine why a manga artist would be inspired to create a manga about cats, especially if they had not just one, or two, but four cats sprawled all over their work space all the time. Check out the four playful felines that are always inspiring and getting in the way of Japanese manga artist Keito Yoshikawa’s work!

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Watch Hello Kitty shape-shift before your very eyes with this insanely cute Rubik’s Cube

Now that she’s hit the big 4-0, Hello Kitty has been getting up to all sorts of mischief. She’s posed for the god of manga, been caught in hotel rooms and even joined the mile-high club.

However, Ms Kitty once had more cerebral pursuits in mind, having conquered the Rubik’s Cube by becoming one with it…literally. We take a look at the unique Hello Kitty puzzle – an awesomely cute mind-bender that offers a great sense of accomplishment to those who want to reconstruct the deconstructed cat.

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Doraemon wants to play games, and he’s even bringing his own board!

The classical Japanese board game Go is deeply strategic. A single match can last hours, and in the case of top-ranking professionals, days, or even months. But while this complexity makes the game all the more intriguing for adult players, it can also make it intimidating and inaccessible for kids, who often start off playing simplified versions such as Gomoku Narabe or Reversi.

Similarly, Go’s aesthetics of stark black and white stones on a plain wooden board are often seen as pleasingly elegant by adults, but don’t really do much to excite children. So in order to provide a little more visual stimulation, there’s now a Gomoku Narabe set featuring anime’s most famous robot cat, Doraemon.

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Japanese celebricat Maru gets a pushcart, gets to work pushing 【Video】

Okay, confession time. I am a little bitsigh, A LOTobsessed with internet cats. From Lil Bub to Little P and with a lot of Princess Monster Truck in between, I follow them all. But perhaps the cutest and most consistently entertaining is chubby, lazy Maru, who happens to live in Japan with his owner known by YouTube handle mugumogu.

Maru is so famous he has his own book and has appeared in both print and TV ads for major brands like Uniqlo. Mostly he likes hanging out at home trying to fit into various boxes, but if the latest video is any indication, he may have a new hobby: pushing a pushcart around the house.

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It’s all about the isopod – Company pushes gifts and fashion featuring weird, sexy marine bugs

In Japan, where the market for character-based merchandise is intensely competitive, it’s not always easy to predict what’ll take off. Sure, it was easy to see Hello Kitty and Pikachu coming, since either one could serve as the accompanying illustration for the definition of “adorable” in the dictionary, but who’s going to be the next big star?

There’s a new dark horse entry to the character goods arena, with one company hoping Japanese consumers’ ravenous hunger for all things kawaii will lead them to embrace something so ugly it just might be cute, in the form of T-shirts, notebooks, and purses all featuring the humongous marine bug called the giant isopod.

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Crotchless Hello Kitty panties coming soon…for smartphones?!?

As technology continues to advance and influence the way we communicate, it’s important for rules of etiquette to evolve along with the devices we use to keep in touch with each other. For example, by now most of us know not to type our emails in all caps and to turn off our cell phones inside movie theaters.

So why is it that we’ve learned to mind our manners in those situations, yet continue to commit the social faux pas of not making our iPhones wear proper underwear? That seems to be the question Bandai asked, and now we have the answer in the form of Hello Kitty panties for smartphones.

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The world’s smallest remote-controlled helicopter is impossibly cute, yours to buy in December

At just 46mm (1.8 inches) long, the Pico-Falcon claims to be the world’s smallest remote-controlled helicopter. Produced by Japanese toy maker Bandai’s subsidiary CCP, this adorable little thing will go on sale on December 5. Just look at how it sits on the fingers!

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We chow down on the un-pearably cute food at the brand-new Funasshi café!

There just doesn’t seem to be any stopping Funasshi, the anthropomorphic pear who serves as unofficial mascot for the city of Funabashi in Chiba Prefecture. Funasshi’s mix of cute looks and hyperactive gyrations have won over fans both in Japan and abroad, and now Japan’s hottest piece of fruit is ready to capitalize on its popularity with a new café in Tokyo’s fashionable Shibuya district.

We decided to pay a visit to the Funa Café on opening day, and couldn’t think of a better RocketNews24 delegate than our very own Mr. Sato, who it turn couldn’t think of a more appropriate outfit than his very own freaky Funasshi cosplay getup.

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Baskin Robbins’ Halloween ice cream treats are chillingly adorable

On every month that has 31 days, if you go into a Baskin Robbins in Japan (where the chain is more commonly known simply as “Thirty-One”), you can get a 31-percent discount on double and triple scoop orders of ice cream. Sadly, with only 30 days in September, your next chance to indulge your sweet tooth on the cheap won’t come until October 31.

As long as you’re willing to pay regular price, though, you won’t have to wait nearly so long to try out their cool Halloween treats, which go on sale this month.

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Awesome Halloween Krispy Kreme donuts will make you a treat-giving hero

For years, the conventional wisdom was that Japan was only interested in dainty, mild desserts with Japanese roots. That myth was shattered, though, when companies like Krispy Kreme came into the market and found instant success selling sweets that are unabashedly, well, sweet.

There’s more to Krispy Kreme’s popularity in Japan than the universal appeal of a flavorful donut, though. The North Carolina-based donut company has adapted to the local practice of special seasonal treats, and is getting ready for Halloween early with the release this month of its Krispy Skremes lineup.

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Totally metal newborn shows off hardcore cuteness for approving musician dad

From looking at his Twitter profile, you might conclude that Hazuki, singer for the Osaka-based Grollschwert, is a pretty metal dude. He describes the unit as a “melodic deathrash metal band,” and his own vocal style as guttural, growling, and screeching.

Still, even the most dedicated musicians can’t be hardcore all the time, and the vocalist has recently been sharing pictures of his adorable newborn baby daughter with his Twitter followers. It looks like metal is in the family genes, though, as the baby has already executed a perfect double devil horn salute.

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Blue-eyed cat has the best reaction after spotting something strange in the backyard

Sometimes a single glance says it all, and in this particular case, the startled face of this cute cat screams, “Hurry, mom!!! Something’s not right!” But what exactly has this little kitty all in a tizzy?

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50 items you can buy in Japan to spruce up your bento lunchbox

Bento is a big deal in Japan and competitive mothers are always trying to out-do each other, striving to create the cutest lunchbox. Lucky for them, Japanese companies have come up with a plethora of tools to add smiley faces, shapes, or words of encouragement to any food. Let’s take a look at just a few of the many items you can buy to spruce up your bento!

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Doggy Bread figures are back, still so cute we could eat them up (if they weren’t plastic)

Last year, on one of our many Tokyo foraging expeditions for weird and cute toys, we picked up a selection of Doggy Bread straps. At least, we think we did. Honestly, the idea of little figures of cute dogs wrapped in baked goods is so simultaneously appealing and weird that we’re not sure it wasn’t some bizarre dream caused by falling asleep while fighting off a hot dog craving.

Not only is Doggy Bread real, though, it’s back! We recently stumbled across the newest series of these adorably strange toys and came away with two new plastic pets: a sweet bean bread pug and a Pomeranian cutlet sandwich.

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Adorable sumo egg cups are here to turn your breakfast table into a wrestling ring

Maybe it’s a result of having lived in one too many apartments with a cramped kitchen, or just a desire to reduce the number of dishes I need to wash, but I’ve never really understood the point of tabletop egg cups. I can’t imagine eating hard-boiled eggs frequently enough, or giving them such prominent billing in my diet, that I’d need to go out and buy specialized kitchenware for them.

I find myself warming to the idea, though, now that someone’s designed egg cups in a way that lets tiny edible sumo wrestlers grace your table.

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This little bear just popped up from your toast to say good morning!

Breakfast has never looked this cute! With the help of a clever little cutter and mold from Japan, you can make your toast smile every morning. Details on exactly how and where you can buy this meal-enhancing device after the break!

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