figures

How to perfectly recreate the death of Dragon Ball’s Yamcha using baked goods

With the release of the new Dragon Ball movie now less than a month away, the popular manga/anime series has had quite bit of exposure on the Japanese Internet recently. One related product that’s getting a lot of attention is a figure of Yamcha, one of Goku’s rivals- turned-friends.

But this particular figure doesn’t have the look of your typical toy. As a matter of fact, it shows Yamcha in quite a pitiful state. Nonetheless, fans seems to be getting a huge kick out of it, and one fan has even tweeted an easy way to create a realistic diorama scene with the figure using quite an unexpected item — apple pie!

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DyDo’s coffee drink & Nintendo collab: We get nostalgic with limited edition 8-bit Mario figures

If, like me, you’re a tad obsessive when it comes to character goods and love the kitschy cross-promotions that often infiltrate Japanese convenience stores, here’s something that’ll perk you up: beverage company DyDo Drinco recently announced its “Super Mario Bros. Dot Figure Collection” campaign, to commemorate the anniversary of both its canned coffee drink and Nintendo’s worldwide phenomenon of a game.

Read up on the collaboration’s details after the jump and bear with me while I get a little sentimental. Also, thanks to excited YouTuber and goods enthusiast Satoshi Machida, you’ll get a close-up look at the pixelated (but not pixilated) cuties!

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After 23 years, Sailor Moon figures are more amazing than ever at Wonder Festival 【Photos】

We recently made the trip out to Chiba Prefecture for the winter 2015 iteration of Wonder Festival, where we could have spent all day admiring the awesome anime, video game, and movie cosplay going on. But as eye-catching as the outfits were, Wonder Festival is actually an event for showcasing new figures and models, and taking a look around the booths taught us something about the anime industry.

Trends may come and go, but Sailor Moon is here to stay. More than two decades after the phenomenally successful magical girl series made its anime debut, modelers are still making new figures based on its characters, and they’ve only gotten better in the twenty-plus years they’ve had to practice.

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Man attempts to create ancient moss-covered Gundam ruins: “It’ll only take a few years.”

Japan has an interesting relationship with moss. From the “Moss Covered Forest” that inspired Princess Mononoke, to the marimo “moss balls” found in Hokkaido, to MOS Burger that has tragically deterred foreigners for decades by its name alone.

But it’s one man’s quest to use moss in a new way that has recently piqued the interest of the internet. In the hopes of creating realistic figurines that look like they’ve been abandoned for centuries, he wants to get them covered in moss the old fashioned way: by waiting for years.

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Eyelashes run amok as folks in Japan have too much fun with their falsies【Photos】

Whether you love ‘em or hate ’em, false eyelashes have become a mainstay of the Japanese makeup arsenal and are readily available in a fluttery profusion of designs at every drugstore and hundred-yen shop. One survey from 2012 revealed that 58 percent of teenage girls and 74 percent of women in their twenties have used them, some relying on their magic daily rather than reserving them for special occasions.

They became the sole subject of a chart-topping single by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, have been turned into alluring decorations that anthropomorphize your car, and even became a way to have harmless fun with your pet! But what do you do when you have so many falsies that you run out of storage space or are just too darn lazy to put them away properly? Attach them to cute plushies and manly figurines, of course! So even if your Sasuke isn’t asking to channel Elvis and his fringes, this chuckle-inducing photo collection may give you some ideas for the next time you party too hard and can’t be bothered with those pesky plastic cases.

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Poseable North American Mega Man figure lets you admire the character’s belly in three dimensions

Back in the 1980s and ‘90s, it wasn’t unusual for Japanese video games to be released internationally with box art different from that which was used at home. Many overseas publishers worried that the original versions were too cutesy, concluding that the covers needed an extra dose of testosterone in order to appeal to machismo-seeking non-Japanese gamers.

The logic itself is sort of shaky, but what made things worse was how most of the new box art bore little resemblance to the in-game designs, plus rarely looked appealing even when judged solely on its own non-existent merits. While much of this lazily produced art has been fittingly forgotten, there are some things you just can’t unsee. Like discovering a dead pigeon inside your bag of fast food takeout, the North American cover of the very first Mega Man has been burned into the memories of older gamers, and the pudgy sci-fi hero has now made the jump into three-dimensional space with his own figure.

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Let’s play a little word association game. What’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear Senran Kagura?

I’m guessing at least a couple of you just said “Gesundheit.” Those of you who keep up on anime or Japanese video game releases, though, probably answered “Boobs.” After all, the Senran Kagura anime and video game series is about ridiculously oversized mammaries first, and ninja schoolgirl fighting action distantly second.

However, the problem with any long-running franchise is the risk of things growing stale, which would be especially problematic for Senran Kagura, because it’s hard to imagine something more unappealing than stale breasts. So after a half-dozen games, an anime TV series, and five different manga adaptations, Senran Kagura is poised to enter a new area: butts.

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Samurai Darth Vader figure and his light-katana tempt us to the dark/awesome side of the force

It’s been said that the costume design for Darth Vader, one of the most recognizable outfits in the history of film, was heavily inspired by samurai armor. The similarities are pretty easy to spot, what with the face plate and helmet backing that continues lower down the back of the neck than what’s normal for western helms.

But what if you kept going until you came full-circle, and designed a set of samurai armor based off of Vader’s? You’d get something like this awesome figure that just went on sale in Japan.

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Just a dud batch? Original artist shocked by shoddy final version of Attack on Titan figure

Have you ever ordered a product online that turned out to be nothing like how it looked in the photo? You feel disappointed, annoyed, and slightly betrayed. It’s probably the same kind of feeling an artist gets when a product based on their designs doesn’t turn out quite like they expected.

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They’re not real?! Exploring the detailed, colorful world of Takuto Shibuya’s mushroom bonsai

Have you ever come across a beautifully colored, picture book-worthy mushroom while walking in the woods or the park? I still remember the flashy fungi I happened upon when I was in seventh grade; I was near a mountain biking course in Rhode Island and amid the grass was a cute yellow mushroom with red dots, much like a Mega Mushroom from New Super Mario Bros. I considered picking it but I was pretty sure my fingers would start to rot off upon contact, and it would have shriveled up soon enough anyway. Oh, I wondered, will the days of ornamental mushrooms never come?

Enter Takuto Shibuya, whose life-long love of toadstools compelled him to find a way to marvel at their variegated beauty at home. His book Kinoko (Mushroom) Bonsai, released back in June, includes photos of his work as well as instructions on how to make your own. But wait—this type of bonsai isn’t about replanting your find in a pot. Because mushrooms are difficult to take care of, Shibuya took a hint from the Japanese traditions of bonsai and figurines and decided to preserve their alluring forms by recreating them in clay. Read on to take a closer look at his creations as well as his process!

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Sailor Mercury joins the Pullip Doll lineup

Those hoping to give their Sailor Moon Pullip doll some friends will only have to wait a few more months. Premium Bandai is now accepting pre-orders for a Sailor Mercury Pullip doll.

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Moroccan recipe leads to awesome stop-motion animation with 1:48-scale figure and iPhone backdrop

Back in April, we ran an article on mind-bogglingly tiny kitchens in a bottle. Now, Japanese beverage giant Kirin has gone a step further in another animated short that promotes their soft-drink line, “Sekai no Kitchen Kara” (“From the World’s Kitchens”). Though the multi-brand company is best known for their beers, this yummy non-alcoholic collection emerged after test-kitchen staff visited numerous countries’ bustling kitchens, which are undoubtedly a treasure trove of family traditions and culinary wisdom.

So before you write this off as mere marketing, check out the company’s imaginative stop-motion creation, which amazingly combines 1:48-scale miniature figures with video footage playing on a smartphone screen! Along the way, learn a bit more about this line of libations and the Moroccan tradition that inspired Kirin’s latest drink, “Sparkling Water.”

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Sexy models of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger arrive to terrify, arouse, and confuse fans

Japan’s desire to look at attractive women is more or less insatiable. Despite having sizable swimsuit modeling, adult video, and animated pornography industries, the country still finds itself with not enough eye candy.

So now, model maker Kotobukiya has gone looking for female beauty in the most unlikely of places, by turning the iconic villains of slasher movies franchises Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street into sexy girls.

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Toy maker offers new toy storage and safekeeping service so you can buy more toys

Bandai is giving otaku (especially of the fourth category) all over Japan yet another reason to be grateful. The mother of all toy, video game and anime distributors is introducing their new figure storage service. That’s right, if your living space looks like an anime convention storage locker, Bandai’s got your back.

For a small monthly fee, you can now store your goodies by the box, which means you no longer have to sleep with your beloved figures in your bed—that is, unless, you choose to.

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M6.3 earthquake hits Japan, anime fans rush to tweet photos of damage to figure collections

Japan was hit by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in the early hours of Friday morning which injured 14 people and caused a brief power outage in some areas. The quake, which struck off the coast of the southern island of Kyushu at 2:07am local time, caused only minor damage, but the third anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake this week served as an important reminder of the devastation that can be caused by major earthquakes and tsunami.

Japan is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, and as such its people tend to be extremely well-versed in what to do in the event of a natural disaster. Take cover, turn off the gas, open the door to secure an escape route. These collectors of anime figures, however, had a different idea about what to do in the moments after this morning’s quake – check up on their action figures, and immediately catalogue the damage on Twitter.

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Mini folding chairs, the newest gachapon figures to take Japan by storm

Gachapon machines–the toy-dispensing vending machines seen in great lines in Japanese electronics stores, department stores, and convenience stores–are always filled with the most amusing toys and figures you can imagine. From dogs wrapped in bread to constipated cats, it seems as if there’s no end to the creativity of gachapon producers.

Which makes the recent appearance of folding chairs–yes, plain, simple, tiny folding chairs!–in gachapon machines all the more bizarre. Equally puzzling is the fact that the folding chair gachas are incredibly popular! To understand why, check out the miniscule folding chairs and the ways people have combined them with other gacha figures below.

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Fan-made figure of Attack on Titan’s Sasha is full of potato awesomeness

Though still a relative new property in the world of anime and manga, Attack on Titan has no shortage of fans, and the dystopic tale seems to be growing faster and faster every day. As it rises in popularity, its fans are also getting more creative, going on dates in costume and making insane live-action adaptions.

Today’s fan-made figure is much smaller in scale than some of the stuff we’ve seen, but it’s no less awesome. And best of all it stars our beloved spud-loving badass: Sasha!

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Ultra-cute “chibi” Final Fantasy VII figures now available for pre-order

It may be hard to believe, but it has been almost 17 years since Final Fantasy VII, arguably the most revered entry in Square Enix’s iconic RPG series, was first unleashed on the world. And in honour of the game’s impeding birthday, its creators have commissioned a series of ridiculously cute “chibi” figures for hardcore gamers and fans of all things cute alike to enjoy, with pre-orders already being taken months ahead of their release.

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Otaku Internet services: For all your online Japanese geekery needs

When it comes to language learning, one of the biggest problems is staying motivated. Memorizing 100 kanji for a test next Friday might get you through the work, but memorizing 100 kanji so you can read your favorite comics or talk online with fellow comic-fans will really light a fire under your keister. And we all tend to learn better when we’re having fun! We think someone proved that with science and stuff. It might have been Mr. Sato…he’s been playing with the chemistry set again.

Anyway, we know a lot of our readers are both Japanese-language learners and manga/anime fans. If you fit that description and you’re always looking for something to help keep you motivated to study, why not add these sites to your daily reading list? It might be difficult to get through everything at first, but if you keep with it, you’ll be reading like a champ in no time! Just don’t ignore your real homework! We don’t want any angry Japanese teachers knocking on our doors…

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Doggy bread, the newest, cutest gachapon to win our hearts!

It’s fairly common knowledge that Japan is overrun with vending machines. If they ever gained sentience and decided to go on the offensive, the country would be pretty much screwed as far as we can tell. Fortunately, maniacal wizards don’t seem to be real, so we can keep them around to serve us drinks and snacks without having to worry about being attacked by vicious Coke machines.

Of course, there are tons of different vending machines in Japan, but the most popular must be the gachapon ones. The toy dispensing machines are fun for everyone with an addiction to collecting, from children to adults. The recent trend for gachapon machines seems to be dogs, but today we found an utterly bizarre–and adorable–take on the theme: “Inupan” or “Doggy Bread!”

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