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Twitter artist reimagines 64 pokémon as “Substitute” plushies to adorable results

If you ever played Pokémon as a kid (or even as an adult!), you’re probably familiar with the Substitute move and the adorable plush “decoy” your pocket monster could use to sop up some damage. But as cute as that little substitute was, didn’t you always kind of wish that it looked a little bit more like a plush version of the pokémon you were using?

Maybe not, but that didn’t stop one Japanese Twitter artist from drawing 64 Pokémon as Substitutes!

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Guy asks Twitter to decode late uncle’s encrypted message, gets results in matter of hours

Call us jaded, but usually when we think of the Internet, we think of a cesspit of erotic fan fiction, toxic message boards and comments sections filled with ignorance, anger and bad grammar, punctuated by the very occasional glimmer of the web’s potential for greatness, usually in the form of reddit AMAs.

One of those glimmers came a few days ago when a Japanese Twitter user posted a plea for help from fellow net users in decoding a message left behind in his late uncle’s diary.

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NHK offices are too boring for broadcast after earthquake, “borrows” from tweets

This week’s large earthquake that struck Nagano, Japan was unfortunately quite damaging. The magnitude 6.7 quake brought down over 140 houses in the area, injuring at least 40 people. When an event like this occurs, everyone switches on their TVs to see how bad things were and where it struck. In Japan, people will often turn to NHK, their nationally funded broadcasting service. Normally a trusted news source, NHK decided to expose the conditions of an otaku’s room where his unique collection was scattered across the floor.

How did they get such an in-depth look at the damage done to a local resident? Was there a connection with someone within the TV station? Did they rush to his home to capture the footage first hand? Nope, they simply pulled the photos “From Twitter” without asking for permission. Can NHK actually do that?

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Budding Japanese student artists impress us with chalkboard works of art

Give any kid a piece of chalk, and they’re likely to draw some quick doodles on the board. Some stick figures; the logo of some group or team they’re especially fond of; perhaps even a wang or two if there are no adults around. But some kids will use that same piece of chalk to create veritable masterpieces that are so good, you’ll never want to erase them.

You won’t want to miss this collection of impressive chalk art after the jump! Here’s celebrating the talented work of artistic Japanese students.

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Animals, cars, and anime: Japanese salons give kids the VIP treatment

As an adult, I never really find myself attached to one particular hairstyle. Every time I get a cut, that’s a one or two-month commitment at best before I get to change it around all over again. But for kids, the barber can apparently be a pretty harrowing experience. After all, especially for younger kids, they’ve been rocking the same ‘do for almost their entire lives. Also, it probably takes some learning to overcome the instinctual aversion to sharp objects being brandished near your face.

Not that I have kids or anything, but I’ve heard taking them to the hair salon can be… let’s just say a bit of a handful.

That’s why many Japanese salons have decided to go the extra mile and give kids the VIP treatment:

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Spooky “radiation fog” turns Saitama cityscape into Silent Hill overnight

Halloween may be over for this year, but the weather gods in Saitama clearly hadn’t got the message on Wednesday morning this week, as the city was shrouded in a mysterious thick fog - with an even more mysterious name!

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What happens when you mistake the brake for the accelerator in Japan

Parking can be tricky sometimes, but when you’re trying to manoeuvre a large vehicle around tight spaces in a Japanese carpark, things can get a little scary.

Thankfully nobody was hurt in the accident pictured above, yet after the photo was posted on Twitter there was one thing everyone wanted to know: how come the rear wheels were hanging in mid-air?

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Why, hello there, crow! How may I be of service?

In many Western cultures, the owl is often regarded as a symbol of wisdom. But when you stop to think about it, wouldn’t a more fitting bird for that title be the crow?

If you’re not convinced now, we’re pretty sure you will be after seeing what clever strategy this particular crow uses to crack open an acorn! 

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“Stock we should never have ordered”: This Japanese store’s pricing posters are way too honest

Employees at the campus co-op store at Nihon Joshi Daigaku may work at Japan’s oldest private women’s university, but when it comes to making their special offer displays, their attitude is anything but old-fashioned. Their witty, super-honest pricing displays regularly have the Japanese Twitterverse in stitches.

Join us after the jump for six of the best!

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Slow News Day Special 2: Use obvious clues in this photo to find out what this “bird” really is

Sometimes, you’re surfing around on the Internet to find weird Japan news to write about and can’t seem to find anything except one of those old “I thought this thing was that thing, but it was another thing,” Twitter comparison pictures and you kind of just have to run with it. I know, oddly specific scenario, but we’ve all been there, right?

Like, check out this thing that looks like a bird. We already know it’s not a bird, but can you use some of the clues in the photo to figure out what it really is?

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It’s Pikachu! No, it’s Jibanyan! No… what IS that?

Rumored to be the new wave to take over the long-running multimedia kid’s series Pokémon, Youkai Watch and its various colorful characters can be seen all over the streets in Japan. Just as how Pokémon posters and merchandise used to be visible almost everywhere, the streets and shelves are now occupied by Jibanyan and his fellow youkai counterparts from the hit series Youkai Watch.

Pokémon has yet to back out from the race though, as loyal fans who loved the series since they were kids continue to shower their love (and money) on Pikachu and his hundreds of mystical friends. What are fans to do? Cling on to the old, or embrace the new? Check out the ingenious solution Twitter user @umeko_kj8 came up with after the break!

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Twitter user comes up with great tea bag business idea for for everyone with “mai waifu”

For a dedicated entrepreneur, potential business ideas are everywhere. You just have to keep your eyes open–after all someone had to come with idea for zippers first. The problem, though, is telling the difference between a crazy-but-great business idea and a simply crazy idea. And sometimes it’s much easier to tell them apart, like this bizarre suggestion.

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Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink.

Japan continues to show its love for all things “cute“. So, what has about 24,000 retweets and 31,000 favorites on Twitter right now? We’ll give you a hint, it begins with a ‘C’ and end with an ‘AT’. You get three guesses and the first two don’t count.

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Anger online as tweeting tech guru Takeshi Natsuno slams Sendai for rejecting IC card

You may have heard the name Takeshi Natsuno before. A Keio University professor, former Senior Vice President at NTT Docomo, Sega Sammy big-wig, and creator of i-mode, he is by all accounts an intelligent, not to mention extremely tech-savvy, dude. So you can imagine the surprise the good residents of the city of Sendai felt when he took to his Twitter account earlier this week to publicly disparage their home town as being “too lame for words”.

Just what prompted this sudden outpouring of ire? Well, it seems Mr Natsuno felt rather short-changed when he attempted to use his prepaid Suica IC Card to ride the Sendai subway. Suica is a Tokyo-based IC card system. Sendai is not in Tokyo. You can probably see where this is going.

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Superheroes, furry creatures, and Hello Kitty’s friend all get in on the kabe-don action

Where will it end? It seems like the Japanese internet still can’t get enough of the kabe-don phenomenon.

Over the past year, we’ve seen the trend evolve from the romantic aspirations of high school girls everywhere to incredibly intense displays of affection. This time, we’re proud to bring you 12 more glorious tweets of the kabe-don in action–and don’t think that humans are the only ones ‘walling’ it up!

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The ultimate in smartphone accessories has hopped into the market

Get ready. Here comes a brand new way to enjoy your smartphone. This revolutionary new case not only supports all types of smartphones with a custom fit, but it comes with an incredible range of features never seen before in other cases.

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Robot rebellion begins with a cranky Roomba, Internet users too busy laughing to fight back

2015 is only a few months away, and while we’re still nowhere near getting the hoverboards from Back to the Future Part II, we do, at the very least, have robots to do our house chores for us! It’s such an exciting new frontier for housework that someone even made a robot vacuum simulator! While you might still have to make your own dinner, at least you can always drop your onion skins on the floor without worry, knowing your little automated vacuum buddy will clean up after you.

It’s like we really are living in the future! Unfortunately, while our robot vacuums may be automated, it turns out that they’re not much smarter than a pile of rocks, as one shocked Japanese Twitter user recently discovered.

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Trending on Twitter, girls draw themselves as dashing high school boys【Photos】

There is something thrilling about finding people who like the same things as you do. You finally get the chance to gush about your passion with people who can match your enthusiasm. And when like-minded people get together, they come up with some weird ways to show their love for their particular fandom.

Take this recent Twitter hashtag. The trend is for girls to post an honest drawing of yourself as a male high school student with some personal information. While a lot of girls are posting some pretty ridiculous drawings re-imagining themselves as high school boys, girls who identify themselves as “fujoshi” have posted some pretty over-the-top renditions.

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Late to bed, early to rise: Statistics suggest Japan seriously skimps on sleep

It’s a stereotype about Japan that most people are familiar with – the Japanese work hard, give their lives to the company, and stay at work until after the boss has gone home. It’s a country where karoushi, or death from overwork, is a commonly-used buzzword. While some people might argue that the Japanese don’t actually work any harder than those in the west, it certainly seems that they’re working longer hours than the rest of us.

But as a consequence, how much sleep are they getting?

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【Post-holiday Kickstart】Cats surround grilled fish in ambush attack

Hi everyone! Did you enjoy Sports Day in Japan?

In case you’re having a hard time getting back into the swing of things after a three-day weekend, we thought we’d share this amusing photo of one manga artist’s four cats stalking a helpless victim–a freshly grilled fish. Note to self: never grill fish when there are hungry cats around!

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