Hello Kitty was a hot topic for a while last year when news suddenly broke that Kitty-chan wasn’t a cat! Of course that subject was cleared up by Sanrio representatives, but it got us wondering, what other sordid secrets does Hello Kitty hide behind that cute veneer? One of the writers for our Japanese-language sister site Pouch is a huge Hello Kitty fan and she’s compiled a list of factoids about the lovable Kitty-chan. You will definitely learn something new after reading this 33-item list!
The four different-coloured ghosts are immediately recognizable characters in “Pac-Man,” but Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde could have been all one shade if the president and cofounder of the video game company that created Pac-Man had his way.
No one really minds when the creators of movies and TV disregard the laws of the universe a little in the name of producing quality entertainment. Would the space battles in Star Wars have been anywhere near as fun if they had all taken place in complete silence due to the lack of air required to carry sound waves? Not a chance. Does anyone really mind that a lit cigarette doesn’t actually produce enough heat to ignite a puddle of gasoline if it results in those epic, “casually walks away from burning building” shots in action movies? Not in the slightest.
But sometimes such use of artistic licence can slip by entirely unnoticed, and it takes someone to point out a few key facts before the reality of the situation hits home. Case in point: Ash from hit anime series Pokémon seemingly possesses super-human strength, and is able to carry pokémon that weigh vastly more than he does without even breaking a sweat.
Nicknames can be confusing things, especially when they’re the only name by which you’ve ever known someone. I can clearly remember the moment when my friend’s Japanese wife looked at me with a mixture of surprise and betrayal, for example, when she found out that Phil (or “Firu” as it’s awkwardly pronounced in Japanese) is in fact short for Philip.
But after learning that the same green dinosaur that I’ve traversed hundreds of levels, raced go-karts and carried baby Mario back to his parents with since I was about 10 years old isn’t actually called Yoshi, I can kind of understand why she was so shocked.
Super Mario Bros. is arguably one of the greatest games in the history of pixels moving around on-screen–if nothing else, it has the kind of sales that would make anyone sit up and pay attention. And with fans from around the world, it’s hardly surprising that the game has been played nearly to perfection. At this point, Mario may be almost as famous as Mickey Mouse–but there are probably still a few things you don’t know about the plumber and the worlds he’s adventured through.
In any game, there are bound to be easter eggs hidden somewhere by bored programmers and wily designers, but Mario practically explodes with them. Here are some of our favorite Mario trivia facts; see how much you know!
Regular readers will no doubt already know that I consider myself kind of a big gamer. Since a very young age, I wasted spent countless hours with my various computers and consoles finding pretty much every secret in every game I owned, and to this day my favourite topic of conversation remains video games.
I’d be the first to admit that amount of random game-related trivia in my head borders on the obsessive, but even I blanked when one Japanese netizen casually asked what the object pictured above, from 16-bit classic Super Mario World, was officially called.
The vast scale of China’s landmass and its population means that China produces and consumes copious amounts of natural resources and food. It also means that China houses a large chunk of the world’s billionaires. We dug around to find some interesting statistics. Did you know that China’s railway lines could loop around earth twice? Here are some interesting facts about the world’s second-largest economy, which could soon eclipse the U.S. to become the world’s largest this year.
Approximately 25 years ago the world was blessed with the Game Boy and the ability to play Tetris practically anywhere. And while video game technology has far surpassed the loveable green-and-black display (though Twitter is still fair game), it’s hard not to hold a soft spot in your heart for the humble Game Boy. To celebrate this quarter century-old game system, the trivia masters at DYKGaming/Normal Boots put out a video recently highlighting some pretty interesting facts about the Game Boy. Click below to read 10 Game Boy facts and watch the video about the origins of the portable machine, its creator and how much a gold-plated Game Boy costs!
When I was in middle school, I used to watch Dragon Ball Z every single day. I’ve seen all 291 episodes of the series and without a doubt can say that my favorite story arc begins with the arrival of future Trunks until the end of the Cell Games. Why? Because the villains are awesome, of course (sorry, Frieza)! Everyone loves Cell and the attractive-but-deadly android siblings, known as Numbers 17 and 18.
Speaking of the androids, Akira Toriyama, the author of Dragon Ball, has recently released an interesting bit of trivia for the first time ever – Number 17 and 18’s true names! Even cooler is how their names combine to create something new. Do you have any guesses?
Most haulage vehicles have snug little sleeping compartments for their drivers to crawl into after many hours on the road, but if you take a look around an average Greyhound or overnight bus you’ll notice no such place to hunker down.
So if a driver needs a little shut-eye between trips, where do they get it? Motels? Some kind of depot? Sitting up in their seat with a neck pillow? According to the following video, night bus drivers in Japan actually have another alternative, and it’s a lot closer than we thought.
Russia has been all over the headlines recently. Earlier this year, it was for the Sochi Winter Olympics. More recently, it’s because president Vladimir Putin has been flexing his muscles again, this time in Crimea.
As the world’s eighth largest economy Russia can’t be ignored. The sheer scale of its pipelines, for instance, its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, or its population decline are mind-boggling.
We put together some key facts about Russia.
You’re back! Lovely to see you. Now shut up and face the corner.
Yes, that’s right boys and girls, it’s time for another multiple choice quiz where we throw random bizarre questions at you and see how much you learned this week about news from Japan and Asia. Don’t dilly-dally now; Hitler, Donald Trump’s hair, and a manga about love eggs are all waiting for you after the jump!
Happy Friday, everyone! We trust you’ve all had a fun week and, if you happen to be one of the poor souls stuck in the snow in Kanto and Northeastern Japan this past seven days, that you’re gradually thawing yourselves out.
We have 10 more Asian news-based multiple-choice questions for you this week, touching on everything from nipple chafing to popular TV drama. So let’s not waste any time; let’s get right into it!
Japan is known across the world mostly for its varied and fascinating culture–from literature to music to amusing illustrations, there’s plenty to love about the country. But when it comes to physical symbols, there’s one thing that towers, literally, above all else: Mount Fuji.
Though the mountain was only recently added to the World Heritage List, it has been a symbol of Japan for centuries, a social and cultural landmark. So if you were asked who owned the mountain, you’d probably assume it was a national park or some other piece of government land.
But you’d be wrong!
Welcome to another edition of Quiz of the Week: where the best news stories from the last seven days come to die. By now you should know the drill: we throw 10 multiple-choice questions at you to see whether you’re keeping your wits about you and to introduce you to some of the best stories in town, whispering unsavoury things about your mother for every question you get wrong.
So stop drooling all over yourself and let’s test those grey cells of yours!
So, you think you know your quirky Asia news, huh? Visit our site every single day, do ya? (Thank you!) Well let’s see how closely you’ve been paying attention! Starting this week, we’ll be running a multiple choice quiz each weekend, based on 10 of our writers’ favourite articles from the week, asking you one question about each of them.
Do you know your Japanese cultural traditions? Have you been paying close attention to the adventures of our beloved Mr. Sato? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if he had the required paperwork for the job? Take our quiz and find out!
Japan is practically overflowing with hot, bubbling water it seems and nearly every city and town has a local spring or public bath for people to get a nice soak. Called “onsen” in Japanese, hot spring spas or baths are one of the most enduring symbols of Japanese culture.
Today, we bring you a fact-filled list of Japanese onsen trivia! Impress your friends with your knowledge and find somewhere to go soothe your aching heart when they get mad at you for being so smart.
Japanese children have been growing up with the resourceful robo-cat Doraemon since his creation in 1969. And while the original manga may have ended more than 15 years ago, the anime series and movie installments continue to provide fresh conflict for the funny feline and his human friends.
But with so much material to keep up with, there are bound to be a few contradictions along the way. Recently, the widely understood reason behind Doraemon’s blue coloring was flat-out replaced by an even sadder version of the tale. So, why is it that a robotic cat from the near-distant future is earless and blue?
At Tokyo Disneyland and every other embodiment of Disney’s Magic Kingdom, the staff are all referred to as “cast members.” It may seem strange at first to refer to the people sweeping the sidewalks and answering phones the same way you would an actor in a play, but the fact is that all the theme park is a stage and the staff are but players, doing all they can to make the magic of Disney come alive. It’s their primary job to bring a sense of joy and wonder to every last visitor to the park, and yet the magic can manifest itself in some truly surprising ways! Here are a few of the first-person accounts given by people impressed by the Tokyo Disneyland cast.
Known the world over for their heartwarming stories and breathtaking animation, Studio Ghibli’s animated feature films have been capturing the hearts and minds of movie lovers young and old for years. With Kaze Tachinu currently soaring high above our heads and Kaguya Hime no Monogatari scheduled to arrive in just a few short months, the studio is showing no signs of slowing down, with both productions sure to attract whole new legions of fans.
But did you know that Studio Ghibli’s movies are literally crawling with easter eggs, secrets and sly winks, and that many of Ghibli productions have links to popular culture the world over? Test your Ghibli knowledge and maybe even learn a thing or two with this list of 15 little-known facts about our favourite animated movies.