cute

The awesome artwork hiding in the Japanese word processor: sakura, dragons, and sake

The awesome artwork hiding in the Japanese word processor: sakura, dragons, and sake

With over 1,800 commonly-used kanji characters, plus two different sets of 46 phonetic characters each, typing on a word processor in Japanese works a little differently than in English. Many words in Japanese have the same pronunciation but are written differently, so first you have to type the word phonetically, then select the proper rendering from a list that pops up.

The cool thing is that sometimes the selections aren’t just written characters, but drawings of the object in question. Poking around in a Japanese word processor is like a linguistic treasure hunt, and our searches turned up illustrations of mythical creatures, delicious food, and famous landmarks of Japan.

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Kirby’s angry American version re-imported to Japan for the first time

Kirby’s angry American version re-imported to Japan for the first time

Even as an American, it never occurred to me that the in-game cuteness of the iconic Kirby character doesn’t really carry over to the box art – where he’s typically portrayed as a Pokemon ripoff in need of anger management courses.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at this decade-old print ad for a new Kirby game in the U.S.:

Somewhere down the line, Nintendo America producers decided that Kirby should be portrayed as tough and menacing on American shores in order to appeal to U.S. audiences, who at the time were still in love with macho heroes from the ’80s action movie heydays. Even if the hero in question was a puffy pink ball of cute, Americans apparently craved sheer anger in their main characters – a far cry from the Japanese, who were raised on Kirby as an adorable, smiling murderer that ate his victims whole and gained their power like some fantasy world maniac.

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Helicopter dog would prefer his boy wore water wings

Helicopter dog would prefer his boy wore water wings

Pets are pretty great: they are cute, funny and occasionally do crazy things. It doesn’t hurt that they just love us so much (probably more than we deserve, most of the time). You’ve probably heard of helicopter parents, but what about helicopter pets? If you don’t believe me, check out this video. This dog is so sweetly over-protective that it’s bound to inject some happy into your day.

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Adorable tiny cosplayer puts one point in the “Sailor Moon is for kids” column

Adorable tiny cosplayer puts one point in the “Sailor Moon is for kids” column

There’s a long-running debate over whether or not Sailor Moon is actually for little girls. On the one hand, the series’ core cast of heroines are all 14-year-olds, and the magazine the comic was originally serialized in, Nakayoshi, has elementary and middle schoolers as it target demographic.

Still, the legions of adult Sailor Moon fans around the world would argue the story has plenty of witty self-referential humor and mature content, including romance and violence. Why, just look at Sailor Saturn, whose powers of death and destruction give her the capability to annihilate entire worlds.

Of course, the character doesn’t look nearly so intimidating when she’s being cosplayed as by an adorable toddler.

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This massive ball of fur is the cat-of-the-moment on Twitter in Japan!【Photos】

This massive ball of fur is the cat-of-the-moment on Twitter in Japan!【Photos】

It’s an indisputable fact that the Internet loves cats. But does the Internet love fat cats too? The answer is yes! Japanese netizens have been amazed and smitten by Kintoki, possibly the biggest house cat we’ve ever seen on Twitter. Check out this larger-than-life kitty!

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Fishermen in Hokkaido hope their shrimpy anime mascot will convince you to eat more ebi

Fishermen in Hokkaido hope their shrimpy anime mascot will convince you to eat more ebi

When you’re in charge of marketing for an organization with a name as bland as Kitarumoi Fishery Cooperative Association, we can see how you’d come to the conclusion that your employer could use a quick injection of stylishness and visual appeal in the public eye. This being Japan, there are two quick ways to do this.

The first is to hire a popular actress or idol singer, dress her up in a short skirt and/or revealing top, and get her to pose with whatever product you’re promoting, which in the case of the Kitarumoi Fishery Cooperative Association is currently amaebi, or sweet shrimp.

We’re not sure if this was cost prohibitive or if every spokesmodel on the company’s shortlist turned out to have a shellfish allergy, but the marketing team instead went with plan B: turn the shrimp they’re selling into a cute anime girl.

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Devastatingly cute otters strike again — this time they’re just little babies!【Pics and videos】

Devastatingly cute otters strike again — this time they’re just little babies!【Pics and videos】

All right, we admit that here at RocketNews24, we’re more than slightly fond of otters, simply for no other reason than that they’re, well … just so darn cute (and even more so when you can actually shake hands with them)! And, yes, we know we recently brought to you an otter-related story about the 33-hour live-feed internet otter-cam broadcast, but now, some pictures have come out of Taiwan that are so devastatingly adorable that we simply couldn’t bear not to share them with you. So, without further ado, here are the two baby otters who were brought to the Taipei Zoo in Taiwan about a month ago, whose pictures we suspect have been causing many squeals of delight around the world. Now, look at them and tell us they don’t completely melt your hearts!

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The humane (and adorable) way to make a flat hamster 【Video】

The humane (and adorable) way to make a flat hamster 【Video】

Like most kids, I went through a period where I incessantly bugged my parents to let me have a pet, and like most parents, once they said OK, they ended up doing most of the work taking care of it.

Perhaps they knew things would turn out this way, which is why when it came time to choose an animal companion, they steered me towards a hamster. They’re quiet, relatively easy to care for, and pretty happy to stay in their cages, which meant we wouldn’t have one running around the house and tearing up the carpet.

Another thing that makes hamsters great pets is that they don’t take up much space. But if you still think the cute little rodents are just too gargantuan, there’s a way to make them even more compact, at least while they’re sleeping.

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Apparently cats enjoy cherry blossoms as much as we do【Photos】

Apparently cats enjoy cherry blossoms as much as we do【Photos】

There’s something serene and elegant about cherry blossoms. Maybe it’s their soft color, or the way the delicate petals flutter in the breeze, but the sakura are at once aesthetically enticing and deeply soothing.

Unfortunately, the flowers are also incredibly fickle, suddenly blooming and gracing us with their presence for just a few short days, before coolly vanishing, often leaving their admirers wanting more. In a way, you could say they’re like a group of adorable but capricious cats.

In that case, why not combine the two?

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Big sisters in Japan dress their little brothers up as girls, with cute/hilarious results

Big sisters in Japan dress their little brothers up as girls, with cute/hilarious results

It would seem that dressing your little brother up as a girl is one of the most enjoyed pastimes of elder siblings all around the world. In Japan, too, many elder sisters and brothers are putting their younger male siblings through extreme makeovers to make them pretty little ladies!

It’s kind of surprising to learn that many younger brothers, some already in their teens, seem quite willing to let their big sisters dress them up in skirts and dresses, but what’s even more surprising is that many of these “victims” actually look rather cute as girls!

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What if Sailor Moon characters were lingerie models? They’d look stunning like this 【Photos】

What if Sailor Moon characters were lingerie models? They’d look stunning like this 【Photos】

Remember the Sailor Moon lingerie that lingerie brand Peach John released in Japan earlier this year? Thanks to them, we were able to feast our eyes on both lovely models and amateur Twitter users posing in the novelty lingerie.

But now the tables have turned! Chinese artist SoudWrong has created a series of illustrations featuring Sailor Moon characters as lingerie models instead. If you’ve ever wondered what the ladies from Sailor Moon would look like posing in their undies (for whatever reasons, we don’t wanna know), now’s your chance!

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Live otter-cam to be broadcast for 33 hours — will otters’ secret lives be revealed?

Live otter-cam to be broadcast for 33 hours — will otters’ secret lives be revealed?

Okay, we’ve already shown you in the past how utterly adorable otters can be. Now, Miyajima Public Aquarium in Hiroshima Prefecture is offering the public a chance to learn more about their oriental small-clawed otters by giving us a unique, 33-hour live feed look into the otter exhibit. That’s right, it’s a live internet otter-cam that will let you see how the critters spend their days and nights, and we’re sure  it will be a total delight for otter fans!

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Hello Kitty is now officially over the hill, but still adorable

Hello Kitty is now officially over the hill, but still adorable

Hello Kitty is turning 40, but her birthday is definitely not going by unnoticed. Fans in the Tokyo area are in for a treat with the Shibuya de Hello Kitty (“Hello Kitty in Shibuya”) event. In a collaboration with Shibuya department stores such as 109, Tokyu Hands and Hikarie, Hello Kitty fans will have a multitude of ways to help Hello Kitty ring in her 40th year. It’s enough to make Avril Lavigne explode.

From whoopie pies to champagne to photo events to wrestling gear, everyone’s favorite mouthless cat is making her presence known in one of Tokyo’s most popular neighborhoods. The event runs from April 24 to May 6 (depending on participant), so many people will be able to use the Golden Week holidays to check it out.

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Sailor Moon team is ready to keep your legs warm, nose dry with tights and tissue holders

Sailor Moon team is ready to keep your legs warm, nose dry with tights and tissue holders

It’s hard to find a universally hated member of the central cast of hit anime Sailor Moon. Even the titular character herself, for all her whiny and lazy tendencies, is so loyal to her friends that it’s hard not to root for her.

But while having a universally appealing ensemble cast makes for a great TV show, it puts fans in a bit of a quandary when they’re buying Sailor Moon goodies. With five principal heroines, how do you choose which one’s merchandise to buy?

Easy: you don’t, and instead grab a pouch or pair of leggings that features all five of the main Sailor Scouts.

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Toilet paper featuring Miffy the bunny promises to be far cuter before you use it than after

Toilet paper featuring Miffy the bunny promises to be far cuter before you use it than after

Dutch children’s book author and artist Dick Bruna has created a number of characters, but his most popular of all is the good-natured rabbit named Miffy. Japan has embraced the character wholeheartedly, and at stores across the country you can find Miffy stuffed animals, stationary, and bento boxes.

And starting next month, you’ll be able to get your hands on Miffy toilet paper as well.

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It’s a cat! No, it’s an owl! No no no… it’s a “meowl”! 【Photos】

It’s a cat! No, it’s an owl! No no no… it’s a “meowl”! 【Photos】

In Chinese, owls are called “猫头鹰” (mao tou ying), which would mean “cat-headed eagle”, if translated literally. Now, imagine an eagle with a cat’s head… it would probably look rather silly, wouldn’t it? An owl with a cat’s head, however, looks surprisingly natural!

Check out these awesome “meowls”!

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Whack-a-Kitty: Now with real kittens【Video】

Whack-a-Kitty: Now with real kittens【Video】

Ah, whack-a-mole, that fun childhood arcade game where the only goal is to smash all the moles back down into their holes. No one ever felt sorry for the little plastic rodents, but what if they were actual kitties? Take a look at this video featuring kittens in their own version of the classic game. (Don’t worry, no kitties were whacked in the making of this video!)

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“Miniature Calendar” reveals a magical world where tiny people live among our things【Photos】

“Miniature Calendar” reveals a magical world where tiny people live among our things【Photos】

Have you ever been in a situation where you could have sworn you left an object in a certain place, yet couldn’t find it when you needed it, but it pops up at some unexpected place some time later? Have you ever thought that, perhaps there are tiny people hiding in your room, mischievously fiddling with your things?

That’s probably what fills the mind of Japanese designer and photographer, Tatsuya Tanaka, as he shows in his imaginative portfolio of miniature people having fun among everyday items around us!

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Those freaky Hello Kitty contact lenses are back, and this time she brought friends!

Those freaky Hello Kitty contact lenses are back, and this time she brought friends!

As cute as we thought they were, when we first heard about Hello Kitty contact lenses last summer, we weren’t entirely sure they’d catch on. Was there really a market for this kind of thing, particularly at the contacts’ price point of 5,800 yen (US$57) per set?

You should never underestimate Japan’s queen of licensed merchandise though, as Kitty-chan’s making a return trip to people’s irises, and this time, she’s even bringing a couple of her Sanrio pals with her. And it’s not just fashion that marches along, but technology and production techniques, too, as the new contacts cost less than half what the old ones did.

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Disney cakes are adorable, artistic, and only available for a limited time

Disney cakes are adorable, artistic, and only available for a limited time

With the string of holidays known as Golden Week coming up in early May, all of Japan is looking forward to a couple of days off to spend with friends and family. Whether you’re visiting a friend’s apartment or going back to your hometown for a couple of days, Japanese manners dictate that you should bring a gift, with food being the most popular choice.

If you’re stumped for what kind of food to bring, here’s an easy way to play the percentages. Almost everyone likes cake, and almost everyone in Japan likes Disney characters, so odds are this set of Disney cakes will make just about everyone happy.

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