entertainment

How to do Japanese karaoke the right way: Six tips for newbies, mic hogs and nervous singers

Karaoke in Japan tends to be a little different from in the west, and it comes with its own set of rules and etiquette that it’s a good idea to learn if you want to keep being included in karaoke parties.

Whether it’s your first time ever singing in (semi-)public or you’re a seasoned karaoke veteran back home, these six tips for not being a total karaoke bore will help make your singing sessions super special (and not at all humiliating…).

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Taiwanese student self-immolates after argument with father over video games

A Taiwanese college student tragically chose to set himself on fire recently after an apparently pretty harsh argument with his father over video games.

Xue Zhenjun, a student of Taiwan’s Chienkuo University of Technology, reportedly chose to end his own life in one of the more horrific ways imaginable because his father told him to get some sleep instead of staying up all night playing an online game.

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Here’s a newly-revealed character list for the 2015 Dragon Ball Z movie to geek out over

Much to the delight of series fans, Dragon Ball Z is still going strong in the form of feature-length animated films released sporadically over the years since the original series ended its run way back when people still wore Hammer pants and JNCOs.

Fans were surely pants-wettingly ecstatic, then, to learn recently that the 19th feature-length film in the series will hit theaters in 2015 and will apparently be only one of the two films personally supervised by series creator and lover of food-themed character names, Akira Toriyama.

Now more details are being released about the film, Dragon Ball Z: Fukkatsu no F, in the form of a detailed character cast sheet.

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Puzzling, ludicrously hard Touei Animation employment test proves animators deserve a raise

If you’ve been following behind-the-scenes entertainment news for a while, you’ve probably heard the reputation that animators have as low-paid peons that, despite providing a valuable and necessary service for both the obvious animated films as well as any movie that relies heavily on computer animation, often get paid meager wages and work hellishly long hours.

Some, then, might reverse that logic to assume this is all because animators are basically the burger-flippers of the entertainment world; cranking out a desirable product through simple, mindless repetition. Hence the low pay, right?

Well, if this Touei Animation employment exam “question” – among myriad other evidence – shows us anything, it’s that animation is hard work that requires creativity, sure, but also a fair bit of mental agility in addition to all those long hours.

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Heads up Aussies, Shinjuku’s insane Robot Restaurant is paying you a visit next month!

Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant is the stuff of legend the world over. An epic music and light show with a dash of burlesque flair featuring enormous robots, exotically dressed dancers and more neon than the original and 2010 sequel to Tron put together, it’s a must-see for anyone visiting Tokyo and looking for a dose of quintessential “WTF Japan?” weirdness (no, seriously, just check out its website).

But what if you’re not a trust-fund Toby or a highly successful business magnate with the cash to splash on weekend trips to Japan? Those plane tickets don’t come cheap, and Tokyo is known for being on the pricey side, so short of a wealthy aunt popping her clogs or your idea for edible cutlery coming to fruition, you may never have the chance to see this baffling spectacle of awesomeness. If you happen to live in or near Sydney, though, your feet won’t even need to leave terra firma for you to experience it, thanks to a unique event coming up in February.

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Mock game box imagines what a Japan-produced, moe “Call of Duty” might look like

Back in the day, Japanese console games were king. What late-20s gamer doesn’t fondly remember the classics like Final Fantasy VII, Tactics Ogre, Street Fighter, Metal Gear, the original Super Smash Bros, and the spate of Japan-produced side-scrollers owing their lineage to Mario?

Unfortunately, while great Japanese games do exist and are still being made, general consensus on English-language gamer forums is that the vast majority of modern Japanese games have devolved into 25-hour, barely interactive CG films and creepy boob-ogling simulators.

And, with this widening rift between Japanese game fans and Western gamers, the darker, dirtier corners of the Internet can get a bit cheeky with their memes.

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Street Fighter II creator Yoshiki Okamoto talks games and his new project, Monster Strike 【Interview】

When Street Fighter II creator and retro gaming legend Yoshiki Okamoto announced two years ago that he was leaving console games forever to pursue mobile gaming projects, many probably thought he was joking. A lifelong arcade and console game creator abandoning ship to work in the much loathed and parodied mobile platform? This must be some kind of pre-retirement prank, surely?

As it happens, Okamoto was dead serious, and – far from having retired – has made good on his promise to focus on mobile games, working with a protege to crank out one of the most successful mobile games of all time: Monster Strike.

Monster Strike has reached over 16 million players in Japan and Taiwan, exceeding all expectations and becoming a cultural institution in the game’s native Japan. Sensing it was time to strike out into other territories, Okamoto, game producer Koki Kimura and his team are now working to expand the game into the west and beyond. We caught up with Okamoto and Kimura in San Francisco at Monster Strike’s North American launch party to talk about the game and the industry in general:

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Asada sisters nail it with “Let it Go” figure skating routine

It can’t be overstated just how in love with Disney’s Frozen Japan is. The return to classic “princess tale” Disney form was received especially well by the Japanese – notorious consumers of all things cute that they are.

Of course, this means that you can’t go five minutes in Japan without hearing either the English or popular Japanese version of the film’s hit single, “Let it Go.” It’s long since become grating to hear and we really wish they’d just, er… stop.

But if there’s one way to send the song out with a bang before everyone mercifully, um… gives it up, it’s this awesome figure skating routine by Japan’s Asada sisters.

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Police crack down on bar, adult establishment touts during year-end

Police in Tokyo have stepped up patrols in popular nightlife areas such as Shibuya, Shinjuku and Roppongi in an effort to reduce the presence of touts who stand outside shops or on corners and attempt to lure customers to their establishments with promises of cute waitresses, cheap drinks and other attractions.

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Popular TV show’s awe-inspiring Mario dance number is geektastically cool

Quick, what is the geekiest thing you can imagine ever possibly happening? Is it four grown adults dressed like Mario characters dancing a Mario-themed, choreographed dance to classic Mario music, on a stage replete with several thousand-dollar Mario-themed props, in front of a crowd that is only passively aware of the Mario franchise at best, plus those guys from Duck Dynasty and some shirtless guy?

Well, if you were thinking of that oddly specific scenario, you are way off base, because one couple on Dancing with the Stars just made Mario-themed dancing about the coolest, most mainstream thing around with a beautifully choreographed routine that is proving a major YouTube hit.

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Kobe video arcade gets gamers in the fighting spirit with taunting subway posters

Every gamer knows that one of the best ways to get another gamer frustrated and seeking sweet, bloody in-game revenge is a well-placed “your mom” joke or other taunt or insult involving one’s relatives, girl/boyfriend, dog, cat or the size of certain parts of the target’s anatomy.

Which might mean that this Kobe video game arcade – which, remember, are still quite popular in Japan – may have struck marketing gold with this new ad campaign featuring insulting posters plastered all over the subway.

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Chubby Love Live fans strut their stuff in rainbow tutus 【Video】

Every time we make a post about guys crossdressing as girls, there are bound to be the people who take things in a positive light and appreciate their crossdressing efforts, the seasoned net surfers who lament that they’ve seen enough of guys looking like girls, and those who are inclined to delve deeper and think that we’re either encouraging such crossdressing behavior or discriminating these crossdressers.

Well, the Internet is an open platform for people to freely express themselves after all, be it in the form of comments, photographs, or even videos. You know you can always count on us to bring you the oddest stuff from the weird corners of the Internet. So get your pinch of salt and get ready to shoot us your wildest comments, because apparently there are guys out there who enjoy dancing in colorful tutus to their favorite anime idols’ songs!

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Now you too can imprison a wizard with real-life “Frozen” handcuffs

Frozen is really big in Japan – perhaps even more so than in the West. It’s big enough that not only are there multiple Japanese versions of the film’s biggest hit song number, “Let it Go” – to cover a variety of different regional dialects – but at least one obsessive Japanese fan went to huge lengths and poured a ton of money into recreating the special wizard handcuffs that film lead Elsa is briefly entrapped in during the movie.

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If you’re a person who uses the Internet, there’s a good chance that at some point you’ve come across that other thing (i.e. not cats) that accounts for so much web traffic. You know, pictures and videos of naked people. Trust us, we were as shocked as you must have been when you first stumbled upon these people and their antics, but it’s out there in its droves.

We were also surprised to learn that those videos are apparently not only very popular but noticeably different depending on whether they’re made in places like the US and Europe or in Japan. Or at least they are according to this Japanese guy, who works in the industry and spends a lot of time critiquing the videos…

This article probably isn’t entirely safe for work. Which really shouldn’t be a surprise, but just in case, you might want to read this one on your phone in the bathroom instead of at your desk.

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We’re going to Comic-Con! What do you want to see?

Comic-Con International will finally be opening its doors on July 24 for four days of comic and entertainment madness. Thousands of people are already getting ready to flock to the San Diego convention site, with this year’s event set to attract more visitors than ever.

And this time, RocketNews24 is lucky enough to be in attendance! We can’t wait to get in there and bring you news, photos and video of all the coolest stuff on show as it happens! We know there’s nothing worse than news sites reporting on everything but the stuff you personally wanted to see, though, so if there’s something that you really, really want us to check out on your behalf at Comic-Con this year, leave us a note in the comments below.

You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter. We’ll be tweeting and Facebooking like crazy right the way through Comic-Con, so if you haven’t already be sure to follow us!

“Ugly” South Korean woman goes from “Old Lady Face” to “Dream Girl” with help of cosmetic surgery

Le sigh… Sorry guys, it’s time for yet another South Korean tale of cosmetic surgery woes. I know I write way too much about South Korea’s penchant for cosmetic surgery and how things can turn towards the uncanny valley a little too quickly. I know you guys wish I’d just get off the topic because it’s depressing.

Wait… What? WAIT WHAT?! There’s a person who got serious cosmetic surgery and it actually worked out really well?!

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Cute Western girl without makeup baffles, fascinates Asian Internet

You know you might be running out of things to be outraged about when a girl without makeup makes you lose your mind.

Recently, a ballet dancer from Denmark made waves in China when she appeared on a talent show to perform an interpretation of the classic fairy tale, The Ugly Duckling. So captivating was the girl’s beauty that apparently the cameramen filming the performance just couldn’t help but focus on her from start to finish.

The already-rapt Chinese Interweb users apparently couldn’t get enough of the girl’s beauty, which led to frantic, borderline-stalker web searches for more of her pictures. Eventually, users then stumbled across photos of her sans-makeup on her personal Instagram page and the Chinese Internet promptly exploded.

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【TBT】A day in the life of a Japanese anime director

If you thought being an anime director was all cosplay groupies and cool action figures, think again. Turns out it’s long, long hours in front of a computer, less-than-fancy convenience store dinners and tons of office all-nighters.

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Can these swimsuit clad cosplay waitresses interest you in some “Shaved Leg Hair Pasta”?

It’s not really a secret that Japan can sometimes get a little carried away with its youth obsession. Look no further than the abundance of pre-pubescent, yet disturbingly sexualized, anime characters and girl idol bands with shockingly young “retirement” ages – around 21 in many cases – for proof.

It’s one thing to have a creepy countdown to when Hermione Granger turns 18, but it’s kind of way creepier to just lose all interest in celebrities altogether when they reach official adulthood.

Anyway, a new Japanese film called Sweet Pool Side and a limited run promotional cafe for the film may have just set a new precedent in youth-obsession creepiness. The film, according to the trailer, is lightly related to the trials and tribulations of being on the high school swim team but also focuses on a young boy’s decision of whether or not to shave the pubic hair of one of the girl’s swim team members (at her request). He then at one point appears to eat some of the girl’s body hair.

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How many have you seen? – The top 75 animated films of all time according to Total Film

We’re going to go ahead and assume that a lot of you are fans of anime and almost all of your are animated film fans. So are we.

That’s why we took notice when film enthusiast website Total Film put together a list of the 75 greatest animated films of all time.

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