It’s kind of sad to think that with the Sapporo Snow Festival over, the event’s awesome Star Wars snow sculpture is demolished and melted. Thankfully, if you’re still feeling the icy allure of epic science fiction and low temperatures, there’s another way to combine the two, and this time in the home, with your very own R2-D2 fridge droid!
Feb 21, 2015
Whoa, hold on a second! We know Amazon Japan now sells giant robots, but we didn’t know someone else had made something this big! This mecha looks like it’s at least twice as tall (and three times as awesome) as the one offered by the online retailer. Don’t you need a permit to build something that huge?
Actually, the only legal paperwork involved in this photo was for model-making supplies, as that’s not a real giant robot, but a scale replica. What’s more, the way it appears to be standing with its head almost in the rafters of the structure housing it isn’t thanks to a mere trick camera angle, but rather the considerable skills of the modeller who also crafted a miniature hanger for his compact mobile suit.
At first glance, they seem like Transformers, or perhaps unusually flashy Gundam. Then you notice the color scheme, followed by a number of cylindrical trimmings and its unusual shape. “I feel like I’ve seen that somewhere before…” you wonder to yourself. Then it clicks. “Oh.”
While Tenga toys may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks “Valentine’s Day,” some highly imaginative artists capitalized on the romantic holiday to recast the popular adult products as robots. Don’t think of them as mere joke drawings, however; these creations are the real deal. We take a look at some of the spectacular art below.
Feb 5, 2015
A farmer and self-proclaimed invention-addict from China decided to create a more economical replacement for the common horse - one that doesn’t require any food or daily care. While this mechanical horse won’t be winning races any time soon, it does get some points for creativity! See it in action after the jump.
Feb 4, 2015
It’s been three years since the most recent installment of the Rebuild of Evangelion, the maybe-sequel, maybe-reboot of creator Hideaki Anno’s massively influential 1995 science fiction anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Forever committed to his artistic vision and standards, Anno remains coy as to when the fourth, and supposedly final, Rebuild film will hit theaters, even as fans the world over clamor for its release.
That’s not to say Anno and the team at his Studio Khara, the animation house responsible for the newest Evangelion theatrical features, don’t have anything to show us. Less than two months ago they shared a melancholy vision of protagonist Shinji in a brand-new six-minute animated video. This week, Studio Khara is back again with another short to be released online that promises an Evangelion mecha unit fans have never seen before, with the help of two true industry veterans, one who’s lending his talents to the Evangelion franchise for the first time.
Jan 30, 2015
Once you’ve tired yourself out playing with your rideable 4-metre tall robot from Amazon Japan and experienced the neon assault to the senses that is Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant show, you’ll also be able to visit a hotel in Japan with robot staff once the new Hen-na Hotel opens this summer.
As well as robot receptionists, porters, cleaners and waitresses, the aptly-named Hen-na Hotel (literally meaning “strange hotel”) in the Huis Ten Bosch theme park, Nagasaki, will also feature a whole host of futuristic technology aimed at reducing energy consumption and human staffing levels, therefore keeping room prices down.
Those who are familiar with Chinese history should be familiar with Romance of the Three Kingdoms, an epic that is now considered one of the greatest literary classics in China. Detailing legendary tales from the warring era of the Three Kingdoms, the book itself is full of stories of love, friendship and loyalty.
Fast forward to modern times, where we find three ardent robot fans in China with the spirit of the Three Kingdoms coursing through their veins who came together to create an amazing gigantic Gundam-like statue based on one of the best known characters in the epic – Guan Yu.
Jan 15, 2015
Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant is the stuff of legend the world over. An epic music and light show with a dash of burlesque flair featuring enormous robots, exotically dressed dancers and more neon than the original and 2010 sequel to Tron put together, it’s a must-see for anyone visiting Tokyo and looking for a dose of quintessential “WTF Japan?” weirdness (no, seriously, just check out its website).
But what if you’re not a trust-fund Toby or a highly successful business magnate with the cash to splash on weekend trips to Japan? Those plane tickets don’t come cheap, and Tokyo is known for being on the pricey side, so short of a wealthy aunt popping her clogs or your idea for edible cutlery coming to fruition, you may never have the chance to see this baffling spectacle of awesomeness. If you happen to live in or near Sydney, though, your feet won’t even need to leave terra firma for you to experience it, thanks to a unique event coming up in February.
Jan 9, 2015
Last summer, we took a look at a series of ads from Okinawa’s Bank of the Ryukyus, known locally as Ryugin, that featured magical girl idol singers and giant robots. Those are certainly more visually appealing images than a staid banker or graphs explaining interest fees, but if we’re being totally honest, the sort of CG animation shown in the commercials really isn’t Japan’s forte.
Where the country’s artists really shine is in a more traditional discipline that mimics the style of hand-drawn artwork, regardless of whether or not it’s done with pencil and paper or all on a computer. Thankfully, that’s just what we get in the bank’s newest ad, which comes from one of anime’s top veteran action directors, plus one of its most accomplished voice actors.
This year, my sister-in-law and nieces gave me an Amazon card for Christmas. The bookstore near my apartment in Yokohama doesn’t stock English-language books, so it’s an extremely thoughtful gift, but I haven’t actually visited Amazon’s site to pick out my new reading material, since I’m still in the middle of a lengthy novel I started during my recent flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles.
With a couple of hundred pages left to go, it might be a while before I actually use the card, and while I’m leaning towards a National Geographic subscription, I still haven’t ruled out the alternative of putting the card towards purchasing a giant robot, since Amazon Japan now sells those, too.
Nov 14, 2014
For many newcomers to anime and manga, it can be hard to tell characters drawn by the same artist apart. In general, Japanese designs use fewer lines, especially in the faces, than those of Western comic books, and even some artists themselves, such as Touch creator Mitsuru Adachi, have been known to get their own cast members mixed up.
That’s not a problem with Atom, though. Also known as Astro Boy, Osamu Tezuka’s beloved mighty robot is instantly recognizable, whether in the pages of the manga where he debuted, onscreen in one of his many anime adaptations, or, in his most recent appearance, a pedestrian walk signal in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Nov 10, 2014
While a cranky Roomba can make a terrible mess, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should never allow robots into our homes–only that we probably ought to be careful about how much we trust them. For example, letting them vacuum your floor seems reasonable, but relying on a vacuum bot to wake you up might not be such a great idea. And giving your vacuum bot a cute anime voice and something resembling a personality? That’s how humans end up extinct!
But apparently Sharp needs to watch more Terminator films, because that is exactly the kind of vacuuming robot they’ve created!
Aug 8, 2014
Watch the video below and tell us that robots aren’t going to change everything.
The Hanwha Eagles, a South Korean professional baseball team, recently filled three rows of its stadium with robots designed to cheer in the stead of real fans watching the game at home, reports CTV News.
If Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering gets its way, employees will be carrying out their duties while decked out in strength-enhancing robotic exoskeletons, according to New Scientist.
As one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, the company is investigating ways to make its workflow more productive. But after researching the use of such robo-suits on the job and finding them to be helpful, the company is now working on improving its prototype model so that the suits might soon see regular use on the job.
Jul 10, 2014
I love Tokyo’s awesome, full-scale statue of Gundam as much as anybody. I try to at least stop by and say hello to Japan’s most famous giant robot whenever I’m in Odaiba, and when time permits, I’m happy to sip a beer or munch on a pretzel from the adjacent shopping center as I stare up at the 18-meter (59-foot) tall mecha.
As I mentioned before, though, it has always seemed a little ironic that the monument is stationary. After all, the series is called Mobile Suit Gundam. Shouldn’t he be moving?
Actually, in a few years, he just might.
Jul 9, 2014
With all of the cool, capable characters in anime, it’s not too hard to see the appeal of cosplay. For many fans, literally spending a few minutes in the shoes of their favorite hero or heroine lets them feel every bit as strong, smart, or beautiful as the costume’s usual 2-D inhabitant.
Confidence boost aside, though, slipping on a costume sadly still leaves you with all of the shortcomings you have when you’re wearing an ordinary T-shirt and jeans. Dressing up as Attack on Titan’s Mikasa won’t really transform you into a highly skilled acrobatic swordswoman. Wearing the same nondescript school uniform of the newest harem series’ blank slate male protagonist make you irresistible to women.
Likewise, all the fictional computer power behind Gundam still won’t prevent you from getting lost in the real world.
Jun 17, 2014
Gamers know that gaming is serious business. Whether you are fragging your enemies in Halo or Call of Duty, working on your pro-rated 150 APM in Starcraft II, or slaying internet beasts in World of Warcraft, gamers know that their hands will be occupied. Ultimate pwnage requires a gamer’s full attention but a simple truth of life is, everyone needs to eat and drink!
Plenty of companies already know this. A ton of products are aimed directly at that lucrative gamer demographic, including gamer snacks and gamer energy drinks. The point that everyone seems to miss is that eating and drinking requires your hands, which is a precious commodity for the serious gamer! Beer hats and straws already work wonders for drinks, but what about hands-free food? Some industrious gamers have been working on a solution, and they have a hilarious prototype they want to show off!
Flight has long captivated humanity–we’ve built flying contraptions for centuries for a reason. While ornithopters–flying devices that use flapping bird-like wings–certainly seem like a good idea, they rarely seem to work out as well as fixed wing aircraft. However, that hasn’t stopped us from trying to get closer and closer to the flight of birds, inspiring numerous individuals and companies alike.
In fact, robots that mimic bird flight are already commercially available, but one Japanese man decided to take it upon himself to try building his own at home. Basing it off of Festo’s SmartBird, the remote-controlled robot flaps, glides, and banks almost like a real bird. The robot bird even proved life-like enough to actually attract the attention of four actual black kites midair! Check out the birds–robotic and organic–dancing through the sky below!
Jun 15, 2014
You could argue that the Shinkansen is the greatest engineering marvel Japan has ever put together. Amazingly fast, the bullet train is also bulletproof in its reliability and punctuality, with almost no delays and not a single accident since the high speed rail service was opened in 1964.
To find a much cooler piece of Japanese technology, you have to go into the world of science fiction and anime robots. Now, some clever designers have put two and two together and created a transforming mecha character based on Japan’s fastest train.
With technology moving faster than ever, it’s hard to imagine what careers will look like 20 years from now. But The Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan (CST), a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to helping Canadian families save for their children’s post-secondary education, wanted to find out.
With help from foresight strategists, CST took a look into the future to find the jobs that may be commonplace by the year 2030.
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map1
- 10 weird and wonderful things you can find in a Japanese drugstore2
- How to make epic pancakes with your Japanese rice cooker3
- Cat selfies are taking over the internet and they’re too funny to ignore!【Photos】4
- Japanese girl finds “school love,” but with a surprising “partner”5
- Have you foresaken sleep and completed Bloodborne already? Now you can move on to PvP mode!6
- Even adult men are snapping up girls’ comic magazine’s new issue, and for an unexpected reason7
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea8
- “It all came out?” Debate ensues over whether schoolgirl ad is just talking about mayonnaise9
- Sadly (thankfully?), this jiggle-inducing piece of video game kit isn’t real…yet10
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map1
- 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
- Inspirations for April Fools’ pranks (you can thank us later)【Photos】4
- Cats sitting politely outside Japanese convenience stores restore our faith in felines5
- Buyer’s remorse? Not if you’ve got confidence like this girl6
- Japanese women list the top 10 lies they can spot the second a guy says them7
- Japanese girl finds “school love,” but with a surprising “partner”8
- Public reacts in horror as poster in Shinjuku Station threatens even more exits9
- Bizarre video series gives pervy weirdos a glimpse of girls’ panties in very specific situations10
- 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
- Half-Japanese beauty chosen to represent Japan at Miss Universe 20156
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens7
- “We Finns just like it simple”: Net users can’t get enough of Helsinki Metro map8
- Looking for a new favourite animal? Take your pick from these six adorable Hokkaido natives9
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin10
- 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
- Have you foresaken sleep and completed Bloodborne already? Now you can move on to PvP mode!
- Even adult men are snapping up girls’ comic magazine’s new issue, and for an unexpected reason
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea
- “It all came out?” Debate ensues over whether schoolgirl ad is just talking about mayonnaise
- Sadly (thankfully?), this jiggle-inducing piece of video game kit isn’t real…yet
- Five simple ways to take your curry rice to the next level
- J-pop unit Perfume’s innovative projection mapping at US performance creates worldwide buzz
- How washing your itasha makes it look more dirty than clean
- Dating pool may be no-smoking zone as vast majority of women in survey say no to guys who smoke
- Six anime songs people are sick of hearing at karaoke, according to new poll
- Looking for a new favourite animal? Take your pick from these six adorable Hokkaido natives
- Must try harder: This crane game in Japan is laughably bad 【Video】