sports

Rising star of Japanese horse racing is as ridiculously fast as he is comically scatterbrained

There are two different ways “handicap” usually gets used in horse racing. One is to refer to the process of calculating which horse is likely to win, and how to profit from that intuition (also known as “being good at betting on horses”). The other is a system in which horses that have proven to be faster than the rest of the field carry extra weight in a race.

Today, though, we’re using it to refer to a horse that recently raced in Tokyo, who’s ridiculously fast but seemed to do everything he could to let his opponents pass him for the win.

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Anime and real-world basketball collide with Nike’s Slam Dunk Air Jordans

While most popular sports anime are about baseball or soccer, creator Takehiko Inoue’s basketball story Slam Dunk is one of the most popular series of all time. Beginning as a manga in 1990 before making the leap to animation in 1993, Slam Dunk played a huge role in boosting basketball’s popularity in Japan.

Slam Dunk’s print and TV run also coincided with four of NBA legend Michael Jordan’s professional championships. Now, the two icons are teaming up with Nike to bring sneaker fans Slam Dunk Air Jordans.

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If you were ever an athlete growing up, this video is going to bring you a swelling of emotions

Athletes who compete in amateur sports have one of the most difficult tasks. To compete on the world level, these athletes have to train their butts off and since they aren’t paid to compete, have to hold down a job as well. What they are able to accomplish when facing severely stacked odds is pretty spectacular.

With the conclusion of the 2014 Asia Games, Japan has once again had the chance to cheer on their storied athletes. It’s important to see these sportsmen in high level competitions because they inspire an entire generation of young athletes to continue to do what they love. A commercial airing during the television broadcasts for the Asia Games is also showing the incredible hearts of these great athletes. Find out who is giving back and what their special message is after the jump.

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The awesome Soccer Samurai is back, and this time he’s fighting ninjas in Manchester 【Video】

Back at the start of summer, our jaws dropped to the floor as we watched what might be the coolest commercial for Nissin Cup Noodle instant ramen ever, in which a man dressed in samurai armor travelled to Brazil and wowed the people of the World Cup host country with his amazing freestyle football skills.

The Japanese national team turned in a less than impressive performance in the contest, though, failing to advance past group play. Would the disappointment over his countrymen’s early exit lead the soccer samurai to retire?

Not at all, as his second video finds the samurai with a new set of armor, new, European surroundings, and now a group of adversaries: ninjas!

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Japanese athletes brighten up our day with new sport of ‘extreme shaving’

Athletes devote their lives to fully unleashing the potential of their bodies and pushing the limits of how far they can go every single day. But what happens when top-performing athletes take something as mundane as shaving seriously? We’re not sure if this is something normal people even wonder about, but Japanese electronics maker Philips already has the answer for us.

To promote of its electric shavers, Philips came up with the “Extreme Shaving Tournament” featuring a number of top athletes from Japan. And guess what? The top shaver gets to shave in outer space!

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Japanese university student uses first place win to show off his otaku pride

While most people might assume that otaku aren’t a particularly sporty group of people, we should know by now that generalizations are about as accurate as a blind sniper. And if you don’t believe us, just ask the anime-loving wrestler!

So, we’re sure that there are a ton of sportsmen who love 2-D women, but not many of them care to share their passion with the world…at least as publicly and visibly as this Nihon University sprinter!

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Sun, sea, and sumo: Fans of Japan’s oldest sport can soon book their dream vacation

Rikishi, oyakata, tokoyama, and Yokozuna. If these Japanese words mean anything to you, then you are likely a super sumo fan. Like any popular sport, it’s expensive to see your favorite athletes compete – and actually meeting and chatting with them seems like a distant dream. This is not so different for Japan’s national sport of sumo, with 13,000 fans at each tournament cheering for their favorites, you are just one in the crowd.

But, of course everyone wants more – more chances to take pictures and more chances to meet your favorite stars. Well, if you have nothing else planned for December, right now is your last chance to sign up for the Grand Sumo Cruise! Just be ready to open up your wallet!

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GIF: Chinese SASUKE contestant’s unexpected fail immortalized in Web’s favorite file format

While a little belated, it seems like the world has fallen in love with the Japanese-created obstacle course action game show SASUKE (known as Ninja Warrior in other countries).

The show, for those that somehow haven’t seen or heard of it yet, gracefully combines three things that human beings all love the world over: Competition, people failing spectacularly, and ninja-like acrobatics. Although, in most SASUKE obstacle course runs, you only get either one or the other of those last two.

But, a recent contestant on the Chinese version of SASUKE pulled off an amazing hat trick of all three when he managed a nearly flawless run, only to fail spectacularly just before the finish line.

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High School Nanshiki Baseball championship sets record for longest game: 50 innings and four days

Nanshiki baseball is a variation of the sport unique to Japan where the game is played with a rubber ball rather than the typical hardball or softball. Although it’s not nearly as popular as the other sports, the competition can be fierce especially among the younger players. One example of this can be found in the 59th National High School Nanshiki Baseball Championships semifinals wherein one game turned into a 50-inning and four-day long test of endurance. And as if that wasn’t enough, the winner of that game had to proceed to the final round only a few hours after finishing.

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*UPDATE* Retailer encourages Slam Dunk fans to slap anime character’s fat, wobbly neck【Video】

For anime fans, there’s nothing quite like a visit to the local branch of Animate. The mega-retailer is a great place to pick up the latest Blu-ray releases or newest bits of anime merchandise.

Or, as of this month, to slap a fat dude in the neck.

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Talented high school baseball player steals 11 bases in one game, fans furious?

If you are a brain surgeon trying to get a side job flipping burgers at a fast food joint, you’re more than likely to be called “overqualified” and sent packing; yes, even if you really have a passion for perfecting the ultimate burger flip. Your services are clearly required elsewhere, despite your dreams of being Employee of the Month. But being overqualified for sports isn’t something most athletes generally have to worry about blowing back on them.

Unless, apparently, your sport is Japanese high school baseball, as one especially talented and furiously base-stealing Gunma Prefecture player learned recently.

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High school gymnastics team brings much needed humor, Attack on Titan to competitions

If you’ve ever had to attend one of your sibling’s high school gymnastics team performances and been bored out of your mind at all the jumping around and the bizarre Whose Lines is it Anyway/Clueless Gamer-style grading system, and thought to yourself, “Man, I’d be much more entertained if this was set to the Attack on Titan theme song. And would it kill these guys to throw a fart joke in there?,” you’re in luck; because this genius Kagoshima Prefecture high school men’s gymnastics team delivers on all of that in spades.

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A six-year-old smashed the previous limbo skating record, in case you wanted to know

Who would have thought the world of limbo skating would be so competitive? Also, who would have thought limbo skating was a thing that exists?

Limbo skating is the sport of using old-school roller skates – we presume there’s some kind of rule about them having to be in pastel colors – to project yourself across the ground while staying as low as possible. Sometimes, limbo skaters can squish their bodies down to about the same height as a Coke bottle while bending their ankles at seemingly impossible angles to keep the roller skate’s wheels on the pavement.

So, since we went ahead and told you that limbo skating is a thing, we might as well also tell you that a 6-year-old just broke the previous limbo skating world record by limbo skating under 39 cars like it was nothing.

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Crazy new port-o-potty design is the most random thing we’ve seen in a long time

There are all sorts of unwritten etiquette rules around men’s room urinal use. Don’t talk too much, don’t use a urinal next to someone when there are isolated urinals available, don’t compare size, and never, ever, ever make eye contact.

But this insane new port-o-potty design totally ignores all of that, making your odds of peeing next to someone about a 50/50 chance and all but forcing you to gaze into the eyes of another man while you both urinate simultaneously – a situation so specific, unlikely and repulsive that we’re pretty sure there’s not even niche porn for it. And there is niche porn for frikkin’ everything, people.

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This awful woman stealing a little kid’s foul ball will ruin your day

If Hell were a real place, there would probably be a special extra Hellish corner there for people like this.

While exact details are sparse as far as our Internet research has turned up, there’s a gif making the rounds on the Japanese Interwebs depicting a woman mercilessly wresting a foul ball from the hands of a small boy who will likely never know happiness again because of the woman’s selfish actions.

Join us after the jump to feel that little bit worse about humanity.

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Internet reacts to Taiwanese yoga instructor’s wildly unnecessary opening pitch striptease

When it comes to on-field spectacle and non-game antics in Western sports, baseball is without a doubt the most restrained. It eschews the cheerleaders of basketball, the super high-budget halftime shows of football and the fights of hockey for, at best, a bored guy in a cheap mascot costume doing something silly in the dugout two or three times a game.

But, in Taiwan, apparently, baseball is just all kinds of bonkers.

For your consideration, here is an absolutely crazy opening pitch from a week or so ago that saw a woman dressed in cheetah-pattern doing a ridiculous and totally unnecessary strip-tease before tossing the ball over the plate, then rubbing her half-naked body all over the catcher. Also, for a while, the catcher is blindfolded because, at this point, why not?

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Pork skewers, spicy fish cakes, and beer backpacks – We look for baseball grub at Nagoya Dome

Even though she grew up in Nagasaki, when it comes to baseball our Japanese-language correspondent Aya cheers for Nagoya’s Chunichi Dragons. Sure, the Softbank Hawks, who play out of Fukuoka, would be closer to her home town, but ever since Aya’s Dragon-loving friend took her to her first baseball game at Nagoya Dome, she’s been pulling for the serpentine team.

The Dragons have given their fans plenty of memories over the years, with the sweetest being the club’s Japan Series championship in 2007. But do they also provide a tasty meal at their home stadium?

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German team hero Mario Gotze wins World Cup, later loses dignity thanks to gross pic

As they say, it’s all fun and games in soccer until someone resurfaces an old picture of a soccer star’s gross public boner.

Mario Gotze, the newly-crowned hero of the German soccer team who shot the World Cup-winning score against Argentina will now, thanks to the magic of the Internet, forever be known as “that guy who got a boner in public while wearing a Speedo,” because FIFA – with its draconian control over all soccer content shared on YouTube – has ensured that Twitter-shared boner pics will circulate forever and ever and ever, but actual video of the game-winning goal will be nearly impossible to find.

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Shopping for sadness: Soccer-themed merch going cheap following Japan’s early World Cup loss

Just a few weeks ago, as the World Cup got underway, expectations were running high for Japan’s national soccer team, which played impressively on its way to making the Group of 16 four years ago in South Africa. Seemingly the whole country was pumped up, with both long-time soccer nuts and people who ordinarily have little interest in sports getting behind the men in blue.

Sadly, though, Japan’s shot in Brazil came to a close after just three games, with its best outing being a 0-0 draw with Greece. It’s safe to say fans are disappointed, and there’s another group of people that acutely shares their pain: retailers stuck with boxes of unsold Japanese soccer team merchandise.

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This Japanese schoolgirl loves anime, lollipops, and competitive pistol shooting【Video】

In a lot of ways, 14-year-old Akari Aruga is like a lot of girls her age. She likes watching anime, enjoys the theme song from Attack on Titan, and says lollipops are her favorite food.

But you know what’s not par for the course for an adolescent girl in Japan? Being a crack shot with a pistol in target shooting.

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