events

Pikachu dance video teaches how to shake your tail in preparation for annual Pokémon outbreak

In just a little over a week, the city of Yokohama is going to be overrun with Pikachus for the second year in a row. And as awesomely adorable as it was seeing them parading about town last year, this iteration of the seemingly annual Pokémon event promises to be even more exciting, as the beloved Pocket Monsters are set to dance their way through Yokohama’s bayside Minato Mirai district.

With the festivities almost ready to get started, the Pokémon Company has released this handy instructional video to help fans get ready by teaching them how to do the Pikachu Dance (which may or may not include a moonwalk).

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Sakuragicho Station celebrates the coming of 1,000 dancing Pikachus with awesome new signs

If you love Pikachu, you’ll want to head down to the city of Yokohama this summer because that’s where you’ll get the chance to meet not one, not two, but a thousand Pikachus. And to add to the amazement, they’ll all be dancing up a Pokemon storm.

To celebrate the upcoming “outbreak”, as it’s being called, Sakuragicho is adorning their station platform signs with a number of adorable Pikachus. With signage this cute, we can hear the squeels of “kawaiiii” all the way up here in Tokyo!

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You can take this 33,000-pound robot for a virtual test drive, watch it dance to J-pop 【Video】

Now that we’re living in the age of giant fighting robots, it’s time to update the list of things a fully capable member of society needs to be able to do. And while many anime make piloting a huge mecha as simple as falling into the cockpit and learning as you go, it’d be irresponsible to assume things are so easy in the real world.

That’s why we sent one of our reporters to check out a 15,000-kilogram (33,000-pound) giant robot that’s on display in Tokyo right now. Not only is it awesome to look at, its creators will even let you take it for a virtual test drive.

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All-you-can-eat stinky fermented soybeans come to Ginza, if that’s your thing

Spend a while in Japan, and at some point you’ll no doubt encounter natto, sticky, stinky fermented soybeans that often get served over rice for breakfast. This polarizing food has its superfans and impassioned detractors among Japanese and foreigners alike, but if you happen to be in the former camp, you should know there is an all-you-can-eat premium natto pop-up bar in Tokyo’s Ginza this weekend.

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Full orchestra to perform music from Attack on Titan, Madoka Magica, Evangelion at Tokyo concert

The music plays a huge role in setting the mood of some of anime’s most memorable hits, but it can be kind of hard to notice behind all of the dialogue and sound effects. Grabbing the series’ soundtrack and popping in your earphones is a good way to appreciate the compositions, but an even better way is to hear them performed live by a full orchestra, which is just what fans of Evangelion, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Attack on Titan, Berserk, and more will be able to do at a special concert taking place in Tokyo this month.

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Want to shake hands with an adorable otter? You can right now at this Tokyo aquarium

Tokyo’s Ikebukuro is an archetypical part of the concrete jungle of Japan’s capital. The neighborhood is even home to Sunshine 60, one of the tallest buildings in a city that’s already packed with massive skyscrapers.

With so much space to work with, Sunshine 60 houses a shopping center, restaurants, planetarium, museum, and even a parlor for playing the Japanese board game go. But what convinced us to visit recently was the complex’s aquarium, which right now is offering a chance to shake hands with its adorable river otters!

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Amazing 3-D printing pen 3Doodler gets a cheaper, slimmer version and workshops in Tokyo 【Video】

About a year ago, we took a look at the 3Doodler, an amazing crafting tool developed by U.S.-based WobbleWorks. Described as a 3-D printing pen, the 3Doodler uses plastic filament to let you draw in mid-air, creating physical objects instead of flat images.

Now we know what you’re all thinking: Where are those 3-D printed Mr. Sato statues we talked about making in our previous article? Well, it turns out we don’t actually have the artistic skills to properly capture the likeness of the head of RocketNews24’s Vice-President of Craziness. Oh, and also we’re cheap.

Thankfully, it looks like there’s a way to solve both of those problems. The updated 3Doodler 2.0 is easier to handle and less expensive than the original model, and there’s even a series of  upcoming workshops in Tokyo that’ll teach you how to get started drawing three-dimensional works of art.

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First video ad for 2015 Pikachu outbreak event reminds us how adorable last year’s was

Roughly half an hour south of Tokyo by train, the city of Yokohama is a great place to hang out in the summer. The city boasts great dining and beautiful parks, plus most of its attractions are located near the harbor, which is regularly caressed by cooling breezes.

Of course, it’s not just people who enjoy heading down to the bayside capital of Kanagawa Prefecture, but Pokémon as well. Just like they did last year, packs of Pikachus will be spending their summer vacation in Yokohama, and the first ad for their upcoming visit gives us a taste of what’s in store.

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No plans for the weekend? Free CG animation festival is going on in Tokyo 【Videos】

If you were just looking at the clock and smiling because you’ve reached the end of your workweek, but have since switched to frowning and looking at the Tokyo weather report (clouds or rain all week long), cheer up, because it just so happens there’s a great indoor event going on.

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2015 kicked off earlier this week, and until June 14 will be showcasing the works of talented short film makers from around the globe at venues in Tokyo and Yokohama. Best of all, admission is free, and today we’re taking a peek at some of the festival’s amazing computer animated shorts that are screening this weekend.

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Art Aquarium returns to Tokyo with goldfish, beautiful lighting, soothing sounds, delicious sake

As the weather starts to get warmer in Japan, many people will cope by cranking up the air conditioner. But there’re also traditional options for beating the summer heat, such as whipping out a folding fan, and also psychological cooling tricks such as listening to the soothing sounds of a wind chime or taking a few moments to gaze at a tank of water filled with gracefully swimming goldfish.

If that last idea sounds like your kind of thing, you’re in luck, as the Art Aquarium exhibit is returning to Tokyo this July with its unique combination of artistic displays, DJ performances, fine sake to sip, and late-night viewings of aquatic life.

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Check out the dirtiest festival in all of South Korea by heading down to Boryeong

Here at RocketNews24, you will often read about crazy Japanese festivals, but the rest of Asia also has some pretty fantastic festivals as well. Last year we sent some of our writers to the giant water festival in Thailand where they had a wet and wild time and came back thoroughly rinsed off.

Don’t expect to stay as squeaky clean at this festival in South Korea, though. The Boryeong Mud Festival is coming up next month and it puts any mud wrestling event you have ever seen to shame.

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Women, gamers, and foreigners all show up to be samurai for a day at Sengoku battle reenactment

Some people in Japan have no more than a passing interest in the country’s long and fascinating history, which is at least partly the fault of how the subject is taught in schools. Many history classes place a heavy emphasis on memorization of the exact dates and years of important events, leaving less time for studying the people and motivations behind them.

There’s been a recent surge in history buffs, though, especially in regards to the Sengoku, or Warring States, period which lasted from the mid 15th century until the very start of the 17th century. But it’s not crusty old historians leading this charge, as a recent samurai battle reenactment had women making up some 40 percent of the volunteers, whose ranks were also bolstered by video gamers and foreign residents of Japan.

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Yamathon: See Tokyo on your own two feet for a good cause!

Without a doubt, Tokyo is a big city, and it’s hard for any one person to see all of it. Even long-time residents probably aren’t familiar with every nook and cranny of the metropolis. So if you sometimes find yourself wishing you could get a closer look at its various neighborhoods, Yamathon, an event that takes you to all the way around the Yamanote Line, might be a great way to spend a Saturday!

Not only will you get an up-close-and-personal look at the Yamanote Line’s 29 stations, but by participating in Yamathon, you’ll also be contributing to a great cause!

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The running of the otaku! Event staffer learns not to get in fans’ way as gates open【Video】

With some jobs, the risks are obvious. Want to be an F1 racer? Driving cars at unsafe speeds is pretty much the extent of your work responsibilities. Firefighter? Be prepared to get up-close and personal with dangerous flames, because after all, the position isn’t called “fire-mediation-and-peacekeeping-liaison.”

Working the gate at a fan event for a video-sharing website seems like it should be relatively safe, though. That’s not always the case, though, as one man found out when he became a human speed bump standing against a crowd of stampeding fans at the recent Niconico Chokaigi.

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Tokyo exhibition on cultural impact of anime and video games adds list of series to be examined

On any given day in a Tokyo summer, you can expect the weather to be hot, rainy, or a sticky mixture of the two. As such, it’s usually a good idea to have a couple of indoor activates in mind in case you need a break from the sweltering heat.

Thankfully, Japan’s capital is filled with museums, and one will be holding a special exhibition on the cultural impact of anime, manga, and video games. We’ve been looking forward to this event for a while, and now there’s even a partial list of titles that are scheduled to be highlighted.

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All-you-can-drink sake in the park as 23 brewers come to Tokyo for the Shibuya Sake Festival

Late spring is one of the few universally pleasant times to spend outdoors in Japan. The cold of winter and the heavy pollen counts of early spring are gone, and the heat and humidity of summer are yet to make their appearance.

Of course, some would say that no matter how nice the weather is outdoors, it’s even more comfortable to have a drink in hand. Next month, you’ll be able to scratch both those itches at once with the Shibuya Sake Festival in Tokyo’s Miyashita Park, where you can spend a day drinking as much as you’d like of more than 100 different kinds of sake.

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Get in the Gundam robot! Event lets fans sit in giant Zeta Gundam replica cockpit

While the 1:1-scale Gundam statue in Tokyo is, with good reason, a mecca for mecha lovers, it’s not the only extra-large recreation of combat hardware from anime’s most prolific robot franchise. Clear on the other side of Japan’s island of Honshu, Okayama Prefecture has its own statue, modeled after the MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam.

On one hand, Okayama’s mobile suit isn’t life-size, but it still stands an impressive seven meters (23 feet) tall. Even better, this weekend fans will get to climb into its cockpit.

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Pikachu outbreak to happen again in Yokohama this summer, this time with dance fever!

Half-way through April, all of the cherry blossoms are gone from the Tokyo area, and while it’s good to know that they’ll be back in 12 months’ time, it’s always kind of a bummer to see them go.

Thankfully, though, there’s plenty to look forward to as the weather starts to heat up. For example, traditional festivals and amazing fireworks displays take place all across Japan during July and August. Plus, it looks like there’s a new annual summer event now, as the city of Yokohama is going to once again be overrun by Pikachus this year, and this time it sounds like all 1,000-plus of the unbearably cute Pocket Monsters have come down with dance fever!

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Urinal privacy curtains at rock festival make us think organizers don’t get how peeing works

It’s probably safe to say that no one buys tickets to a punk rock music festival because of all the posh creature comforts such events usually provide. So when attendees showed up for the final day of the Punk Spring 2015 tour at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe, we’re guessing that most of the guys who had to take a leak didn’t mind being directed to a row of outdoor urinals.

Being the kind of classy place that also regularly hosts non-punk related trade shows and technology expos, though, the Makuhari Messe staff even set up sightline-blocking curtains on the urinal booths, providing just a bit of extra privacy for their occupants. Except, looking at the curtains they chose, we’re not sure they quite understand how peeing works.

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New Sailor Moon cafe in Tokyo has live public anime viewing and themed food and drinks

Last year, we brought to you all the excitement surrounding the broadcast of the Sailor Moon Crystal anime, coming some 22 years after the original series it rebooted was released. The new anime has so far been streaming on Japanese video sharing site Niconico, but starting April 6, Sailor Moon Crystal will finally air on Japanese TV.

To commemorate the TV broadcast of the new anime, a Sailor Moon themed cafe will appear for a limited time at the Anion Station, a unique cafe and bar located in Shinjuku that caters to fans of anime songs. For one month, the Sailor Moon cafe will be offering special treats and drinks inspired by the anime, as well as  live public viewing of the TV broadcast. Now, that’s bound to attract some ardent Sailor Moon devotees!

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