- Master Blaster
Jul 8, 2014
On 29 June, Nagano police were inundated with demands for an investigation after live footage broadcast over Japan’s Niconico Video showed a caged cat being left to drown in a river.
Warning: some readers may find the content of this report upsetting.
- Master Blaster
May 3, 2014
Imagine if you had ten minutes to run amuck in a convenience store and could eat whatever you wanted and as much of it as you could. Now imagine it’s a Japanese convenience store where the unwritten rule is: If you can’t find something you want to eat, you aren’t hungry.
Our well-seasoned convenience store correspondent Mr. Sato had just gotten such an experience recently in the FamilyMart booth at Niconico Super Party III, but discovered that an all-you-can-eat convenience store experience isn’t without its difficulties.
Apr 29, 2014
Okay, we’ve already shown you in the past how utterly adorable otters can be. Now, Miyajima Public Aquarium in Hiroshima Prefecture is offering the public a chance to learn more about their oriental small-clawed otters by giving us a unique, 33-hour live feed look into the otter exhibit. That’s right, it’s a live internet otter-cam that will let you see how the critters spend their days and nights, and we’re sure it will be a total delight for otter fans!
- Philip Kendall
Sep 13, 2013
At first we weren’t entirely convinced that this was the same girl in both pictures. They’re just so… different. Look closely though, and beneath those layers (and layers) of makeup and the fake eyelashes, you’ll see that it really is the the selfsame young lady. Her little mole is there; her duck-face smile curls in the exact same way; the shape of her jaw and cheeks are the same. But, just, wow. Welcome to the world of “power makeup”.
- Rachel Tackett
Sep 10, 2013
For all you fellow gamers out there, both hardcore and casual, how many hours have you wasted away powering up the pixels on your computer screens and game consoles? How many paychecks have disappeared into the latest expansion packs? How many hours of sleep have been lost to an addiction to online multi-players? Society doesn’t always understand, but we know it’s worth the time and the money when we get the fierce gratification of overcoming an in-game challenge. If we could, I’m sure many of us would love to make a living off of the lives we lead in the virtual world.
For one Japanese man, referred to by his handle name, Moru-chan, that dream is a reality. Moru-chan spends approximately 12 hours a day doing nothing but gaming for a paycheck of one million yen (US$10,043)! He’s earning this money by basically living out three months of his life in the online world of fantasy role-playing game, ArcheAge. RocketNews24 has the scoop here in an exclusive interview with this very lucky man at the one-room apartment provided to him by his company.
For those who haven’t heard the news, Hayao Miyazaki, often referred to as “the Walt Disney of Japan,” is formally retiring from the feature film industry. To address the countless questions and concerns of disappointed fans, Miyazaki will be attending a press conference on Friday, September 6, to discuss the details of his retirement. This meeting will be streamed live on website, Niconico, for the whole world to watch.
- Philip Kendall
Mar 7, 2013
If you’re a Hello Kitty fan, here’s something that you won’t want to miss. In one of the coolest collaborations we’ve seen in a long time, Kitty-chan’s parent company Sanrio has joined paws (sorry) with quirky Japanese video site Niconico to produce a series of limited edition chocolate boxes.
Aside marking the beginning of the new year, January 1 was also the 5th anniversary of one of Japan’s most beloved and strangest viral videos: Temple of the Religion of Ronald (Donaldo-kyou Souhonzan), often referred to as “Ronald McDonald Insanity” in English.
Jan 10, 2013
Since 2002, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) has been running a educational program aimed at fostering creative thinking among children called “Pitagora Suicchi”, which translates to “PythagoraSwitch”.
While the focus of the 15-minute program is a puppet show directed toward kids aged six and below, it has become a hit with adults as well thanks to short intermission segments featuring complex contraptions called “Pythagora Devices”, which are essentially Rube Goldberg machines made from simple household items.
Last week, NHK aired a special one-hour spin-off of the show aimed at stimulating adult minds, complete with powered-up versions of the popular Pythagora Devices. The segments are absolutely mesmerizing to watch and, lucky for us, have been compiled in a single video, which you can find embedded below!
Well it looks like the end of the world theory based on the prophecy of civilization that couldn’t predict its own demise turned out to be bunk. What better way to celebrate than with adorable videos of a 7-year-old Japanese girl dancing in public?
Have you ever heard that stoner question: “What does like, yellow taste like man?”
Recently a group of guys in Tokyo developed a recipe for a color called #c0ffee. Those who don’t use computers heavily may assume it’s a brownish color but…
It’s actually a light turquoise, like this.
“#c0ffee” is a hexadecimal color code, which is basically a combination of letters from a to f and numbers that web pages interpret as a specific color. Hexadecimal color codes are denoted by a hash tag so the little magic elves running the internet know that it’s not a string of nonsense. For example: #FFFFFF indicates black, #FF0000 indicated red, and #c0ffee indicates that light turquoise color above.
So how did they create a beverage the same color as #c0ffee? Is there even any real coffee involved?
Not in the least! The recipe for #c0ffee consists of sardines, cabbage and milk. What’s surprising is that after crating the recipe and putting on Cook Pad, Japan’s most popular recipe-sharing website, a couple of people actually tried it and said it was “delicious.”
Finding it hard to believe a bluish-green drink made from fish could be delicious, I set out to whip up a batch and try it myself!
Tokyo University Makes Calculator Using Robot, What It Lacks in Usefulness It Makes Up for in Cuteness
- Master Blaster
Nov 18, 2012
Japan is well known for both its love and skill of robots. Free of the terminator-induced prejudices of western cultures, they have blazed the way for robotic tour guides, waitresses, fish, singers, hairdressers, waste baskets, cyclists, rock-paper-scissors players, cockroaches, butts…
With so many robots, it’s hard to come up with an original one. But they are still out there. Tokyo University’s Center for the Study of Robotics came up with Denta-kun, the calculator using robot. Just to make it clear, the robot does not calculate. It just uses a calculator.
A video released on NicoNico Video by a group going by the name of Shichoukaku iinkai “The Audiovisual committee” has wowed Japanese internet users this week by managing to create a pseudo 3-D effect on 2-D monitors.
The video has since gone viral and, as of this afternoon, has reached more than 100,000 views.
Of course, it probably helps that digital idol Hatsune Miku is the star of the video, which sees the character dancing around while surrounded by thousands of (3-D!) shards of glass.
With a little concentration, the video’s 3-D effect actually works, even if it does require the user to look faintly ridiculous to see it…
Bright Blue Curry and “Intense Disgusting Juice” on the Menu at Niconico Cafe (Not For the Faint of Stomach!)
- Karen Bremer Masuda
Nov 15, 2012
Would you believe us if we told you the image above is not a bowl full of blue paint, but actually a batch of curry prepared fresh at the second floor cafe of the Niconico Headquarters building in Shinjuku, Tokyo?
Known as the “Unappetizing Blue Curry”, this 700 yen (US $8.70) dish is true to its name in that it doesn’t make your mouth water, but your stomach churn with nausea!
But wait, that’s not that’s on the menu! There’s also a horrible liquid concoction roughly translated as “Intense Disgusting Juice: Extreme”, which costs a shocking 3000 yen, or about US$37.oo.
Why would they have such items on the menu? This is the question that piqued the curiosity of our own brave correspondent, Mr. Sato, who, no stranger to blue himself, was kind enough to sacrifice his stomach and give us a taste report. See what he has to say below.
- Philip Kendall
Nov 2, 2012
If you’re anything like me, you spent tens, if not hundreds of hours during the 1990s in front of a TV set playing Super Nintendo games like Super Mario World.
The game is often heralded as the greatest 2-D Mario game ever made, and is still played even 22 years (feel old yet!?) after its original launch.
You’d be wrong, though, if you thought that people were still playing just the levels that Nintendo crafted for its consumers decades ago; throughout the world there are entire groups of people with ROM files and hacked versions of the original game code who are regularly creating new levels, sometimes entire worlds, of their very own.
But why create nice, gentle levels filled with dancing flowers and 1-up mushrooms when you could create the most sadistic, mind-bending stages ever conceived of and force your friends to play through them?
In the early 1950s, American mathematician and engineer Claude Shannon built a device that looked like a simple wooden casket with a single switch on the side. When the switch was thrown, the lid would rise slowly and a mechanical hand would emerge from beneath. The hand would slowly reach over to the side of the box, flip the switch off and retreat back into the box, whereupon the lid would snap shut.
Shannon called the device the “Ultimate Machine,” and since its invention, it has been reconstructed and revised under a number of different names, such as the “Useless Box” or “Leave Me Alone Box.” While all of these iterations are entertaining in their own right, a recent video by a Japanese university student has the internet buzzing that, more than 50 years later, Shannon’s Ultimate Machine may have finally been perfected.
Japanese Video Sharing Site Niconico Wants YOU to Translate Their Videos, Launches New English Interface
Oct 18, 2012
While most of us use YouTube to upload homemade productions and watch funny cat videos, much of Japan still turns to their domestic video sharing site, Nico Nico Douga.
Yet whereas YouTube sees content from users across the world, Nico Nico Douga has remained primarily an exclusive club for Japanese speakers since it began in 2006. An English language beta website, Niconico.com, was launched in early 2011, but failed to generate interest even among foreign users of the Japanese site, due in part to the separation of Japanese and English videos between two domains.
Perhaps realizing that they’ll never be able to attract a sizable userbase from YouTube, Nico Nico Douga has shifted its strategy away from encouraging original English content to making its Japanese content more accessible to English speakers, replacing the English website with an English interface for the Japanese domain, nicovideo.jp.
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