Interview with Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creator of Gundam

The Tokyo International Film Festival (from hereon, TIFF) started on Oct. 22 and is being held for 10 days. This year’s anime feature is none other than Gundam. The show’s creator, Yoshiyuki Tomino, appeared at the talk show hosted as part of this special project and also found time in his busy schedule to give a combined interview to overseas media.

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Smartphone smash Neko Atsume heads west, we talk to the localization team behind it【Interview】

As further proof that cats rule the Internet and humanity at large, the relaxed, mostly goal-less mobile app time waster, Neko Atsumewhich tasks players with simply collecting a bunch of cartoon cats and kind of just watching them do stuff—proved a massive success in Japan despite a distinctive lack of explosions, destruction and, er, constantly running from left to right that are the typical hallmark of successful mobile games.

In fact, the game is so popular among cat lovers (read: everyone) that the Japanese version of the game began trending abroad, even though the large majority of fans surely had to resort to Internet guides to make any sense of the Japanese kanji plastered all over the in-game menus and inventory.

Said fans were in for a great surprise, though, when last week, developer Hit-Point updated the game with full English support thanks to renowned localization agency 8-4. We had a chance to sit down with the 8-4 team and chat about the behind-the-scenes work that went into localizing the app for an English speaking audience.

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Dragon Ball Z English voice actors dish about their early days dubbing at Funimation【Video】

Love it or hate, there’s no doubt that many Dragon Ball Z fans growing up in the United States and other English-speaking countries got their start by watching Funimation’s English dub of the series. Once a staple of Cartoon Network’s weekday Toonami programming lineup back in the early 2000s, hearing the English voices of Goku and Vegeta, played by Sean Schemmel and Christopher Sabat respectively, is sure to induce a wave of nostalgia for many present-day “kids” now approaching their 30s.

In fact, the two veteran voice actors were recently featured in reddit’s Ask Me Anything series of video interviews. Join us after the jump to hear the duo’s candid thoughts about a variety of topics, including being asked to sign babies’ diapers, texting in Vegeta’s persona, playing pranks with kazoos, and female Super Saiyans!

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“Don’t thinking! Just swing!” Munenori Kawasaki is our favorite thing about baseball【Videos】

It’s turning out to be an interesting post-season in Major League Baseball. In the American league we have the Toronto Blue Jays coming off a stellar late regular season and into their first real World Series attempt since the 90s. Meanwhile, over in the National League the Cubs are inching closer to a possible first World Series win in over a century, made even more eerie by its prediction in Back to the Future II (minus the Miami Gators).

As an added bonus, more games for Toronto means more interviews with infielder Munenori Kawasaki. Charged up by their victory over Texas in the AL Division series, Munerin was in rare form.

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It’s a hard rock life: NINGEN ISU’s Shinji Wajima talks about songwriting, working with friends

After the awesome NINGEN ISU show we saw with Mr. Sato recently, we were exhausted but exhilarated. The band’s hard rock/heavy metal sound is great for getting the blood pumping and the performance felt like it ended as soon as it began—despite lasting well over an hour! It’s safe to say, these guys are the real deal.

So, when Mr. Sato asked if we wanted to come along for an interview with vocalist and guitarist Shinji Wajima, we didn’t hesitate in saying yes! Check out our fun (and fascinating) conversation with Wajima where we cover everything from camping and songwriting to being in a band with someone you’ve known nearly your entire life.

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How do people in Japan feel about eating whale? We asked five people for their opinions

If you hail from one of the many developed nations that comprehensively frowns on the practice of whaling, you may have the image that an appalling number of people in Japan eat whale meat. And while that may be true in relative terms compared to extremely low number of people who regularly eat whale meat in several parts of North America and Europe, whaling can be a divisive topic even within Japan. Some Japanese have no problem with dining on whale from time to time, treating it like just a meatier, gamier fish. Others think eating whale is a custom that’s long past its time and needs to be rethought.

To get a preliminary understanding of some of the many different opinions on the issue that exist in the country, we interviewed a number of Japanese people and asked them whether they were in favor of or opposed to whaling and eating whale meat.

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Italians taste test Japanese canned coffee and tell us what they think【Video】

You can find canned coffee almost anywhere in Japan. First invented and introduced to the Japanese market in 1969, canned coffee sales really started taking off in the 1980s. Admittedly my first canned coffee experience left me wondering what all the hype was about, but now, perhaps as a result of better production methods or acquiring a taste for it after living here so long, I have to admit nothing beats the satisfaction you feel sipping on a warm can of coffee from the vending machine just as the weather starts getting chilly.

Of course, when it comes to coffee, many people think of Italy. Along with pasta and pizza, coffee is a huge part of Italian food culture. In fact, the country has over 160,000 small cafes serving coffee, drinks, and light eats from morning to evening. So how exactly would Japanese canned coffee fare with Italian locals with a refined taste for excellent coffee? RocketNews24 decided it was worth making the trip over to ask.

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Unique Japanese household items leave foreigners stumped【Video】

Japan has a plethora of products that are weird even by the standards of many Japanese, like these big booty mouse pads Sir Mix-a-Lot would approve of, cosplay outfits for pets, or photo books dedicated to male nipples. But perhaps some of the country’s most unique products to spend your cash on are just everyday items you can find in most Japanese homes.

Our Japanese site was curious to find out if foreigners could identify some of these “strange” household staples, so they sent a reporter to interview people from different countries on the streets of Tokyo to see what they had to say.

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Son of the richest man in China: Escaping the Chinese system ‘would be suicide’

Wang Sicong, the son of the richest man in China, did an incredibly frank interview with the BBC for its three-part documentary on Chinese youth.

We caught the interview via Shanghaiist.

He said that for people in his generation, escaping China’s strict political system “would be suicide.”

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Antinomy: Talking to Urbangarde about their vision, music, and lying to fans

Urbangarde first caught my attention last year with the release of their video for “Sakura Memento”, a song off the 2014 album Utsukushii Kuni. I’ve been rocking out to their music and pondering their quixotic videos in the many months since then, enjoying their mix of pop, rock, and electronic music. So when a chance meeting resulted in the opportunity to sit down and talk with the band’s vocalists Yoko Hamasaki and Temma Matsunaga, I nearly popped out of my skin with excitement!

If you’ve ever wondered how they come up with lyrics, why they’re so “negative,” and whether they enjoy touring or recording more, read on. Also, be sure to check out their latest video for the new single, “Coin Locker Babies”, after the jump!

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5 discriminatory interview questions employers in Japan are no longer allowed to ask

For many young people in Japan, August means summer vacation, festivals and free time. For fourth-year university students however, it means time to start interviewing for jobs. The job-hunting process in Japan is long, grueling and very systematic, culminating in interview after interview for the jobless, soon-to-graduate, young adults.

Interviews can be nerve-wracking for even the most experienced candidates, but Japanese companies don’t always ask the most predictable questions. In fact, some of their questions can be downright weird. Many of these oddball interview questions, however, may not actually be legal.

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Japanese reporter interviews college students to find out why anyone would study Japanese

Why do we love Japan so much? What drives us to obsess over its culture, language, food, and everything else? Why do we keep coming back day after day to read articles about a country that, for many of us, is on the other side of the planet? For some the answer is easy, but for others, not so much.

One group for whom foreigners’ love of Japan is especially difficult to comprehend is the Japanese people themselves. Many of them have no idea why so many of us would bother to take an interest in Japan, much less learn its intimidating language. In an effort to try to figure this out, one of our RocketNews24 Japanese writers who lives in England did some investigate journalism and interviewed three students studying Japanese at the University of Cambridge.

Do their reasons for loving Japan match yours? Read on to find out!

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Video asks young Japanese adults what they know about Canada. Do they know more than you?【Video】

Though referred to by some as “America’s hat,” Canada is actually one of the most highly regarded countries in the world. In fact, it was recently raanked the most admired by the Reputation Institute, with Sweden, Switzerland, and Australia following. Of course, this survey was apparently focused on respondents in G8 countries, so there was probably a bit of a bias, but it’s obvious that many think quite highly of the large country.

But what do young Japanese people think of Canada? Would they like to visit? And how much do they actually know about the country anyway? Watch the video blow to find out and see if you beat these (mostly) college students in some Canadian trivia!

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“How do you distinguish Americans?” video sheds light on stereotypes from around the world

Korean YouTuber SW Yoon asked a number of Japanese and international students at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Beppu, Japan, to share their views on what sets Americans apart from people of other nationalities.

With over 2 million views since it was uploaded last week, the video has elicited a number of responses in its comments section, ranging from the blatant “so racist” to the more optimistic “it’s interesting to see how other young people from around the world see us generally.

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Exclusive video! RocketNews24 interviews Tokyo’s elderly residents about their love lives! 【Video】

If you’re feeling a little jaded on romance in these days of impersonal dating apps, casual hookups and seeing who can pretend to be the most indifferent, then pull up a chair and watch this heart-warming video! RocketNews24’s intrepid team of reporters hit the streets of Sugamo, Tokyo to interview some of the shopping district’s oldest and wisest residents on matters of the heart, touching on topics such as money vs looks, where to find hot guys in Tokyo, and why you’re never too old to fall in love.

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What’s so special about Japanese swords? We interview master katana maker Norihiro Miyairi!

You could say that the traditional Japanese sword, or katana, symbolizes the strength and beauty of the Japanese spirit. We see these swords quite often in comics, anime and movies, but how well do we really know the spiritual and cultural elements they embody?

To find out, we went to a true expert to learn about the fascinating and mysterious world of Japanese swords. Join us for an in-depth interview with master katana maker Norihiro Miyairi!

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Meet the man behind the mask! We head to Chiba for an exclusive interview with Chibatman 【Video】

Chiba Prefecture‘s very own superhero, Chibatman, has been making headlines in Japan and abroad since he began his campaign to keep Chiba’s streets safe. Often spotted zooming around on his custom-built Chibatpod (aka Batcycle), he’s also been seen making speeches at official events, and he’s even received the Chiba Police Force’s official approval to continue his activities.

Today, we’re excited to bring you an exclusive interview with Chibatman himself! We visited him at his home in Chiba to get the lowdown on the man behind the mask!

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Why Korean and Japanese people can’t speak English, in their own words【Video】

Native English teachers who have worked in Korea or Japan have developed very strong opinions about the systematic approach each country takes when teaching English. Here at RocketNews24, we’ve previously talked about how all the focus is on test scores and how native English speakers are used as glorified tape-recorders. We’ve also mentioned that there are Japanese English teachers with limited ability to speak (let alone teach) the subject, textbooks that bore the students into a coma and students who are too afraid to try because they don’t want to make any mistakes.

We could go on and on about the issues plaguing the system, but in the end, it is just advice coming from outsiders. Perhaps the ones we need to hear more from are the students themselves. What better source of feedback is there than the people who have experienced the process first-hand and now live with the fruits of their studies, or lack thereof?

Do those people identify similar problems in the current system? Has the presence of foreign English teachers in class actually had an impact on their studies? Let’s find out, when Korean and Japanese who are living overseas are asked about their English education.

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If you could move Japan anywhere in the world, where would you move it? 【Video】

When you ask people where they would live if they could move anywhere in the world, a lot of times they’ll stick with their home countries. We don’t blame them! After all, their family is probably there, they are used to the culture and lifestyle, moving to a new country would, frankly, be tough.

But, what if you could move your whole country with you? Our RocketNews24 reporters braved the cold on the streets of Tokyo’s Shinjuku district to ask passersby, “Where would you move Japan, if you could?” 

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Tokyo taxi driver AMA: Our reporter gets the low-down

In a country that has such a robust public transportation infrastructure, it’s easy to forget the humble car. Looking at a map of train and subway lines in the Tokyo area, it’s clear to see how far-reaching the two modes of public transport are. However, there are still plenty of people who choose to drive. And just like any other major city, there are many who prefer to travel by car, but don’t want to do the driving themselves.

Enter the humble taxi. An iconic fixture of cities such as New York and London, how does the Tokyo taxi driver compare? Are Japanese drivers and passengers just as interesting? Or does their business-like mental focus keep them from acting out in the car? Join us after the jump as we interview the humble Tokyo taxi driver, asking such probing questions as “Do you give rides to yakuza?” and “Can you tell what kind of people your customers are before they get in?”

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