6 days ago
In recent years, the idol singer industry in Japan has put a lot of power in the hands of fans. Multi-vocalist units like AKB48 and its numerous tri-letter, dual-digit sister groups often hold “elections,” in which votes are tallied to see which members will get the most prominent roles in upcoming music videos, live performances, and the like.
The idol world isn’t a perfect democracy, though, in that concepts like universal suffrage and “one person, one vote” don’t exist within it. Ballots are often packed inside CDs, DVDs, or other commercial goods, and the more you buy, the more you can vote, which is leading one dedicated fan to try to corner the market on manga anthologies.
Mar 18, 2015
There are “impressive” people in every fandom, but Japanese anime, manga and game fans certainly know how to take things over the top. There are more volumes to read, more episodes to watch, and more merchandise to buy than for just about any other fandom out there. You never knew you wanted a mint case cover adorned with your favorite character until you saw it there in the store.
If you have the money to spend, Japan will have made something for you to buy. A self-proclaimed Swiss otaku seems to have some extra cash, and he often uses it to take his fandom beyond anything you could possibly imagine. His recent set of tweets are causing a ruckus on the Internet and most people can only muster one simple question: Why???
Mar 14, 2015
Sometimes people can be a little shy about their hobbies and may not always be upfront with their friends, even if it’s something they really like. Things like cosplay or model building aren’t always seen as the epitome of cool (although, many would argue otherwise!).
When one girl was asked by a friend why she bought a fake katana (Japanese sword), she came up with a pretty terrible fake reason. However, that lie turned out to be a really good idea!
Mar 14, 2015
The tricky thing about social media is that announcing your passions to the world, by its nature, means you’re also announcing them to relatives and acquaintances you’d maybe rather keep in the dark regarding some of your more unusual pastimes. That’s why Twitter user Shitaraki Kongo set up his account and does his tweeting in a way that he hopes will obscure his true identity.
Nevertheless, his mom eventually managed to tie her son to the account, and his secret was revealed. That Kongo is an anime fan isn’t such a big deal, and given the current trends in the industry, the fact that he’s enjoying high school idol series Love Live! probably wasn’t a huge shock either.
Kongo is on the fringe of even otaku culture, though, as he’s also really into collecting posable dolls and dressing them up like the Love Live! cast. Odds are he was feeling pretty awkward when his mother discovered all this, but instead of disowning him out of embarrassment, dear old Mom instead grabbed a needle and made some new threads for her son’s anime crushes.
Mar 11, 2015
Have you heard of Cristina Scuccia? She’s a 26-year-old Italian nun with a gift for singing, famous for winning The Voice of Italy in 2014, then going on to release an album including a music video to her own rendition of “Like a Virgin.”
Recently, she came to Japan to give a performance, and we were lucky enough to visit for ourselves. We have pictures and the full video of not just the sister singing in her divine voice, but also her giving a “mini confessional” by listening to problems from the audience and giving life advice.
Feb 28, 2015
A proper anime character huggy pillow seems to have become a critical component of the full fetish and fantasy regalia of a well-rounded otaku, but there are certain things you just can’t do with such a 2-D crush. Sure, anime girl pillows will let you squeeze them and passionately insert your sweet nothings into their non-existent eardrums, but no matter how fervently romantic you become, you can’t expect any sort of pillow talk from your pillow.
Unless, that is, you’re curled up beneath the sheets with the Ita-Supo, the first talking huggy pillow that responds to your touch with verbal responses, including angry outbursts if you get too grabby.
As we recently reported, the bigwigs at the Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau got together a while back and had a little brainstorming session regarding how to convince more people to use the subway. So what did they come up with?
Super-kawaii moe anime girls plastered all over the place! All part of the “Let’s ride the subway” advertising campaign, which hopes to bring in an extra 50,000 passengers a day. So how are people reacting to the sudden plethora of brightly colored cuteness all over their train platforms and carriages?
Feb 25, 2015
With over 300,000 people piling into its trains each day, you’d think the Kyoto Municipal Subway would be sitting pretty financially. That’s actually not the case, though. The city’s status as the former capital of Japan is both a source of local pride and a huge draw for travelers, but being literally built atop the foundations of Japanese history means that any subterranean construction can only take place after extensive surveys ensure that no cultural artifacts would be damaged in the process.
As such, maintenance and expansion costs for the Kyoto subway are more than double what they would be in a similarly sized, less historically significant city. So in order to help raise the revenue necessary to treat Kyoto’s past with the respect it deserves, the subway’s operators are turning to something with more modern appeal: cute anime girls.
Fujoshi, (literally: “rotten girls”) are fans of manga and novels which feature romantic relationships between men, a genre is often referred to as “Boys Love.” There are an increasingly large number of women around the world that identify themselves as fujoshi and in Japan they take the fandom far beyond just reading manga or watching anime.
In summer 2014, these “rotten girls” enjoyed turning themselves into their Boys Love counterparts but only now has that trend come to the attention of the rest of the Internet. Japanese forums and websites are bustling with comments about girls drawing themselves as men, but there is one negative thought that, if you’ve got time to remember one more Japanese phrase, is startlingly more prominent than any others: kimochi warui (“nasty”)!
Feb 12, 2015
If you’ve been reading RocketNews24 for a while – or are yourself a mega otaku – you probably already know that “Wotagei” (or sometimes “Otagei”) is a type of dance style performed almost exclusively by “Idol Otaku,” or otaku who are specifically really into girl idol bands.
It’s generally seen as a niche oddity by the Japanese public and even less-hardcore otaku, as evidenced by the fact that even I only understood about half of the above paragraph even as I typed it and I write about this stuff for a living.
But, take heart, all you idol otaku – your time in the limelight may have come, as a cool choreographed Wotagei performance is making the rounds and entrancing the Japanese Interwebs.
Feb 11, 2015
Anime changes lives, and we have the photographs to prove it. Who doesn’t love a good tale of transformation complete with shocking before and afters? One man showcases his change from chain-smoking drunk to dedicated otaku, but was it really a change for the better?
Feb 10, 2015
For most of their patrons, a visit to one of Japan’s maid cafes comes after a tough day at the office, or maybe as a special reward at the end of a busy week. But if enjoying the cafes’ light fare and frilly costumes can come as a pick-me-up after some hard work, can’t it also provide the energy boost to kick-start your workday?
That’s the theory behind a new, limited-time maid cafe that’s opening up in Tokyo, where customers can bolster their spirits with a maid-made breakfast before heading out to tackle the day’s challenges.
Jan 25, 2015
When you look at them a certain way, huggy pillows with pictures of cute anime girls on them are kind of creepy. Well, actually, they’re creepy in several ways, but for right now, let’s limit our discussion to one way in particular.
Even if we accept that there’s nothing wrong with consensual love between a man and his pillow, their relative sizes make the situation kind of weird. After all, a person’s height is far greater than a pillow’s length, so wouldn’t Miss Anime Pillow feel a little awkward cuddling with her much larger otaku owner?
It’d probably be a little like squeezing a gigantic anime pillow that’s six meters (19.7 feet) long. Of course, if that sounds like your personal vision of bedtop bliss, there’s a company giving away just that.
Lovers of Japan and Japanese pop culture the world over plan for their dream trip to the motherland of anime, delicious food, and all things cute, to experience first-hand all that this fantastic country has to offer. For those finally living the dream, social media makes it easy to share your adventures with friends, family, and others interested in Japanese culture too.
When Twitter user Swiss Ambassador Rayun (@yuzu_rayun) documented his most recent trip to the Land of the Rising Sun – posting pictures of his travels, delicious eats, and his haul of eroge (erotic game) goods – we doubt he expected the amount of fame he was about to receive, as his Twitter follower tally has grown by the thousands over the past few days.
Not too long ago, we took a look at an anime girl figurine with its butt lovingly crafted out of soft, pliable silicon. Clearly, this is a sign of the hyper-sexualized nature of certain Japanese animated series, and the depressingly horny psyche of many male otaku.
Except, the fact of the matter is that everyone loves butts. As proof, feast your eyes on these pervy mouse pads for female anime fans.
Jan 3, 2015
Comiket took place from at the very end of December last year, and if you’re lucky enough to have visited in person, or if you’ve just been enjoying the plethora of pictures on RocketNews24, then you probably had a great time.
But there’s another side to the Comiket story: the hotels and other venues that serve the guests who come from all over to attend the convention. Recently on the Japanese blog Livedoor, an anonymous poster who works at a hotel nearby the convention recanted the top three craziest Comiket guests he’s had.
Thousands of otaku stagger home yenless and struggling under the weight of the doujinshi, illustration books, games and other goods they’ve snapped up in a frenzied three days of pushing, shoving, and waiting in endless lines. Yep, Comiket 87 is over for now, until the whole ordeal begins again next summer.
Most people agree that the event is more arduous than fun, and the volunteer staff are in the unenviable position of keeping things under control, trying to keep the hordes moving, and looking anyone who collapses from the excitement of it all.
Below we have a collection of inspiring quotes from these heroic men and women. Some of them are simply priceless.
Dec 29, 2014
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.
- Six anime songs people are sick of hearing at karaoke, according to new poll1
- We love wagyu! We spend an evening learning about (and eating) Japanese beef2
- J-pop unit Perfume’s innovative projection mapping at US performance creates worldwide buzz3
- Fan-made TIE Fighter short film: For people who love Star Wars, anime, or just plain awesomeness4
- Japanese girl finds “school love,” but with a surprising “partner”5
- How washing your itasha makes it look more dirty than clean6
- Five simple ways to take your curry rice to the next level7
- Japan government hard at work trying to prevent Shibuya Ward approving same-sex marriages8
- Japanese women list the top 10 lies they can spot the second a guy says them9
- Ever tried to catch pudding in your mouth after it’s dropped from a fourth-floor balcony? 【Video】10
- Cats sitting politely outside Japanese convenience stores restore our faith in felines1
- Looking for a new favourite animal? Take your pick from these six adorable Hokkaido natives2
- Which do you like? Twitter asks if you prefer girls naughty on the inside or outside3
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map4
- Inspirations for April Fools’ pranks (you can thank us later)【Photos】5
- Teen whose Frozen chalkboard art went viral gets an art commission before a high school diploma6
- Thai celebrity posts video ranting about Chinese tourists turning orderly line into free-for-all7
- Buyer’s remorse? Not if you’ve got confidence like this girl8
- Japanese women list the top 10 lies they can spot the second a guy says them9
- Public reacts in horror as poster in Shinjuku Station threatens even more exits10
- Marine park offers chance to shake hands with a loveable otter1
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby2
- Cats sitting politely outside Japanese convenience stores restore our faith in felines3
- What’s your type? Photo of two Japanese models spurs netizens to talk body type 【Poll】4
- Forget the dress, how many shades of blue do you see here?5
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens6
- Half-Japanese beauty chosen to represent Japan at Miss Universe 20157
- Looking for a new favourite animal? Take your pick from these six adorable Hokkaido natives8
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin9
- Get a haircut, a manicure and an eyeful at this saucy salon in Vietnam10
- Marine park offers chance to shake hands with a loveable otter1
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo2
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby3
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】4
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”5
- Cats sitting politely outside Japanese convenience stores restore our faith in felines6
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing7
- What’s your type? Photo of two Japanese models spurs netizens to talk body type 【Poll】8
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】9
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones10
- How washing your itasha makes it look more dirty than clean
- Five simple ways to take your curry rice to the next level
- Japan government hard at work trying to prevent Shibuya Ward approving same-sex marriages
- Japanese women list the top 10 lies they can spot the second a guy says them
- Ever tried to catch pudding in your mouth after it’s dropped from a fourth-floor balcony? 【Video】
- Awesome new electric motorcycle looks like something out of “Akira”‘s Neo Tokyo
- A new yuru-kyara from Kyoto you have to see to believe
- We bought 21 packs of roasted shellfish to try to find a pearl – but did we get lucky?
- Tokyo chain puts french fries on soba noodles, proves dreams really can come true
- How do deep-fried frog burgers taste? We find out at Yokohama cafe 【Taste test】
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map
- Looking for a new favourite animal? Take your pick from these six adorable Hokkaido natives
- Clipping your nails at night may cause death, according to a Japanese superstition