Japanese UFO catchers give the best prizes – if you’re talented or lucky enough to grab them. (Personally, I think it’s all about luck because after many hours and probably hundreds of yen down the drain, I’m still not any better at winning.) But the euphoria of a win is usually quickly forgotten, and you’re left with one more piece of tat to cram into your room. So what about if UFO catchers actually dished out useful goodies? Wouldn’t that be a real win-win situation?!
Kids find all kinds of ways to playfully bully each other that adults might shake their heads at. In the West, this might manifest as little mean-spirited pranks like nipple twisters, convincing a kid to eat a whole tube of toothpaste, or to run up and touch the creepy cat lady’s house in the middle of the night.
But Japanese kids tend to take a more sexually charged approach. We’ve already talked about the intricacies of the infamous kancho – that mighty, two-handed violation of someone’s hind quarters that happens to every westerner at least once and lingers in their psyche for decades, yet the Japanese shrug it off as just another schoolhouse (or workplace) prank.
But one you may not have heard about is the long-standing tradition of the “Denki Anma.”
- Joan Coello
Mar 17, 2014
I grew up watching the characters on Sesame Street count numbers, spell words, and sing songs about goldfish and birds. Even after I had outgrown the long-running children’s series, I had to sit through it again while babysitting my little cousins. And my guess is that many of you out there went through a similar experience since the show has been on TV since 1969 and is broadcast in over 140 countries worldwide.
How many of you then subsequently got hooked on to the arcade game Street Fighter II in your school days? I definitely did, and this guy called gavacho13 on Deviantart probably did too, as he has been creating some awesome illustrations of the Sesame Street Fighters!
- Casey Baseel
Feb 11, 2014
As its popularity continues to grow, Attack on Titan seems to be seeping into the real world more and more, whether with figurines (in both hyper-realistic and, well, potato versions) or replicas of the heroes’ 3-D maneuver gear. Soon, though, fans will have a chance to reverse the trend and experience the world of the hit anime first-hand at a series of Attack on Titan-themed escape games.
When spending time at the arcade, no one wants to put a pause on the virtual fun. But sometimes nature calls, and the arcade consoles must be temporarily abandoned before someone suffers a busted bladder or soiled shorts. Thankfully for visitors to one game center in Japan, there’s no need to leave behind all gameplay at the bathroom doors. The establishment has posted a set of guidelines which make every trip to the squatty potty into its own sort of mini-game.
As the next-generation console wars is commencing Sony and Microsoft are currently firing off their opening salvos. Nintendo’s Wii U sales have been lagging, but Nintendo has a secret weapon coming out this Christmas season that may just trump the competition in home gaming – a mahjong set!
I said “may.”
- Preston Phro
Nov 7, 2013
Perhaps one of the saddest things ever written is Hemingway’s famous six-word story: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Though short in the extreme, it’s amazing how much emotion and information can be packed into six small words. Of course, Hemingway isn’t the only writer known for brevity, and the last 1,300 years of Japanese poetry have been full of brief but beautiful and poignant verses. But when it comes to terse (some might say inelegant) narrative, Hemingway was certainly a master.
However, we may have found someone who’s outdone the old drunkard! Too bad this one seems inspired by utterly real events…
- Rachel Tackett
Oct 18, 2013
This fall has people across the globe down with a case of Pokémon fever, ever since the release of Nintendo’s first 3-D Pokémon game set, X and Y. Thanks to one of the game’s brand-new features, Pokémon Amie, it’s possible to build greater bonds with our battling monsters than ever before, by petting, feeding, and playing games with them. Still, not even that comes close to the adorable magic of having an actual creature to cuddle.
Niconico Douga user, Tatsuno’otoshigo (meaning seahorse), filled that hole in her heart by crafting her own Pokémon plushies with needle felting! Her ever-expanding pokédex of wooly little monsters is the envy of many collectors. But it’s hard to say if she’d be willing to trade. Her videos reveal exactly how much love she puts into each and every pokémon.
The new Nintendo 2DS is out and we got our greedy little paws on the first one we could! Mmm…we love the smell of new game systems in the morning!
It’s not foldable and it doesn’t have a 3-D screen. On the other hand, it’ll play 3DS games with no problem and it’s significantly cheaper.
But is it worth your cold, hard cash? Find out below!
It’s been almost a year since the Windows 8 operating system was released to the general public. Its aim was to combine the convenience of downloadable apps with the familiarity of a PC desktop in a touch-focused environment, giving us what could have been the best of both worlds. Instead, the Win8 app store struggles against its primary competitors, iTunes and the Android app store. It’s doesn’t help that developers focus the majority of their programming prowess on developing apps for the older and more trusted operating systems, iOS and Android.
However, there is one branch of the computer app market where Win8 has a distinct advantage, and that’s its library of highly recognizable rip-offs. Just look at this list of free game apps which make nefarious use of Nintendo’s most popular video game characters!
Although some kids’ games will always be more popular in certain parts of the world than others – rock, paper, scissors is probably played more times in a single day in Japan than in the U.S. each year, for example – there are a handful of classics that kids all across the globe enjoy equally, one of them being hide-and-seek.
According to chatter between Japanese Twitter users, however, the classic game of hide-and-seek is evolving in the digital age, and where once the game was all about speed, stealth and cleverly planted decoys, mobile technology now has a role.
- Preston Phro
Jul 15, 2013
The other day, I was trawling through YouTube looking for shamisen music videos when I came across an utterly unique video called “Tokyo Kendama Project vol.2 Utakata.”
It featured the traditional Okinawan sansen three-stringed instrument played by the mysterious Gosamaru and composed by Tomoaki Ogre, the beautiful dancing of Kumi Arikawa, and a pair of strangely hypnotic gentlemen spinning some… things through the air. I’d heard of kendama before, as I imagine most people with even a fleeting knowledge of Japan have, but I’d never seen the toy wielded with such incredible finesse.
Fascinated, I had to know more!
This Tuesday, Nintendo announced via Japan’s economics newspaper, Nikkei, that they will soon begin releasing e-books geared toward children on their 3DS platform. Over the years, Nintendo has had notable success with the grade school demographic within Japan, and so, in order to take advantage of this popularity, they have amassed a collection of approximately 300 Japanese children’s books and will begin releasing them this fall.
As I’m sure the vast majority of our gamer crowd is aware, it’s almost time to wrap up this year’s annual industry-oriented trade fair, E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo). RocketNews24 has already covered the big announcements for Sony and Microsoft’s upcoming consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it’s time now to take a trip through the exhibition booths, where game producers showcase their upcoming titles. Most provide game demos and release brand new trailers to introduce curious attendees to the game’s plot and basic game play. Capcom, however, took a different approach for their booth promoting the all new Dead Rising 3. It’s different in that the booth could barely be approached at all!
Warning: this article contains graphic images that some may find disturbing.
The Game of Life, one of the oldest board games still around today enjoys continued success around the world. Japan in particular has embraced the line of wheel spinning games, where it’s known by the direct translation Jinsei Gemu.
As 2013 marks the 45th anniversary of the Game of Life in Japan, one island has decided to celebrate by turning the entire place into one big Game of Life board complete with spinners and play money.
What is this so-called nampa? Nampa is the ancient Japanese art of pick-up. The seductive skill of girl-hunting. The discreet loitering around the train station, the thrill of the chase, the crushing rejection or ecstatic exchange of phone numbers. A much-maligned art which is becoming more and more illegal.
Awww, I remember my first nampa experience. I’d been in Japan less than a year and I was walking down a main street not far from Nagoya Station when a tall, skinny Japanese boy with a bleached anime-style shock of hair, a dapper suit and startlingly protuberant teeth smilingly approached me and struck up a conversation out of the blue. In Japanese! Living in conservative Nagoya and starved for human affection and contact, I and my fledgling language skills almost fell into his arms. I was so happy he was treating me just as if I was Japanese, making no distinction between me and the girls walking past in super short skirts (or maybe those were belts…).
- Andrew Miller
Jan 27, 2013
For many of us out there, the recent festivities of the New Year will be leaving our pockets empty and our stomachs a little bloated, but if a certain recent job advertisement is anything to go by there’s a way to make some quick cash on a large scale. No this is not some dodgy backstreet deal but a fully fledged chance for a six month contract with Sega.
The position offers a 2 million yen (US$22.5k) compensation, and while it’s ongoing for a six month period, the actual hours of work sum up to no more than one week!
- Karen Bremer Masuda
Dec 21, 2012
If you think “Closed Restaurant: Jewels of the Lady” sounds more like a mystery novel than an eating establishment, you’d actually be half right.
Early next year, the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo will be offering patrons the chance to participate in a unique dining experience that mixes good food with a riddle-solving treasure hunt. The event is aimed at young women and requires participants to apply in teams of two, with one of the members a female.
- Philip Kendall
Dec 7, 2012
Six years ago, a man inviting a group of girls to come and play with his Wii would probably have resulted in face slapping and a visit from the police, but here in 2012 everyone and their dog knows what a Wii is. And now, with the launch of the new Wii U, the next generation of remote-wielding gaming featuring a touchscreen-equipped controller, nerdy men the world over have a new toy to lure girls into their homes with.
The console supports up to four Wii remotes, plus the new touchscreen contoller, meaning that it’s one of the most group-oriented games consoles ever made, and just begs to be played by whole families or groups of friends.
But since RocketNews24 Japan‘s closest Wii U-owning pal (who we shall refer only as WiiMan to protect his nerdy identity) is a self-confessed part-time hemit and only ever gets to see the single-player modes of his games, he called his friend Kaori and invited her over for some multiplayer fun.
“A Wii U!?” Kaori said excitedly, “Definitely! I’ll bring my band friends with me! Don’t worry, they’re all cute.”
From home alone to a night of videogames with five cute girls in 90 seconds. WiiMan couldn’t believe his luck!
Take a quick look around your home. See anything gathering dust? Any old books sitting on the shelf unloved? That AKB48 CD you bought last year but are too embarrassed to listen to? How about those Playstation2 games that you never got around to playing before your console died?
Well now’s your chance to have a good old clear-out. Grab a cardboard box and turn that stuff into an education for a less fortunate child.
Japanese recycling giant Book Off is working in conjunction with Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) to provide books and learning materials for children who have found themselves homeless as a result of war or natural disasters. As well as donating the in-store buy-back value of any books, CDs, DVDs and videogames donated by regular folk like you and me, Book Off is pledging an extra 10% of that value to the charity.
In short, some less fortunate kids get an education; you make some space in your home and get to feel warm and fuzzy. Read More
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- Chinese Photoshop Trolls and the Half-Blood Prisoner of the Deathly Phoenix Goblet (Part 6)9
- Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki says the anime industry’s problem is that it’s full of anime fans10
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- Stunning 22-year-old HD footage brings Tokyo of the ‘90s back to life
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