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This is what happens when you give a Ghibli character a typical anime haircut

This is what happens when you give a Ghibli character a typical anime haircut

With all the recent rumors about Studio Ghibli possibly shutting down or being bought out by another media company – which, thankfully, turned out to be a hoax – we’ve  been taking a lot of time out to take stock of what it is that makes Studio Ghibli and studio founder Hayao Miyazaki so special.

Certainly, Miyazaki’s films are at least a cut or two above other critically acclaimed anime films and are far and away higher in both visual and narrative quality than most of the anime you’ll see on TV.

But one Japanese Twitter user with a copy of Photoshop thought most anime does at least one thing better than Ghibli: anime hair.

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Beat the kabe-don trend: Japanese Twitter users moving on to mata-don

Beat the kabe-don trend: Japanese Twitter users moving on to mata-don

Now that you’ve been acquainted with kabe-don, the most talked about romantic situation in Japan at the moment, and the ways to fend off unwanted kabe-don, here’s the latest variation to the wall-pounding approach – mata-don.

“Mata” refers to the crotch, and similar to kabe-don, mata-don involves one person sandwiching another between themselves and a wall, but this time with an additional move of putting their knee or foot between the other’s thighs. We can already imagine some guys cringing at this nerve-wracking pose. If your heart is still feeling fine, read on to get a glimpse of what mata-don commonly looks like!

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This cat on a cat on a mat is adorable!

This cat on a cat on a mat is adorable!

Aww, look at that cute little kitty!

No, we’re not talking about the white one comfortably sleeping on its pink polka dot blankie. We’ve got our eyes on the all-black one that shares its tail.

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Internet wishes Attack on Titan’s Reiner a happy birthday, things get just a little weird

Internet wishes Attack on Titan’s Reiner a happy birthday, things get just a little weird

While some may dread their birthdays, we like to think everyone deserves the chance to have their existence celebrated. Heck, even if you’re not a real person, you still deserve to have a happy birthday, right? Especially if you’re a shape-shifting titan!

That’s right, in case you missed it, August 1 was none other than Reiner Braun’s birthday! And considering how popular Attack on Titan is, it’s no surprise that adoring fans pulled out all the stop to celebrate. Though we have to admit, we think they probably could have left a few stops in place…

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“Terrible, amazing things my teacher said”: Tweets from the Japanese classroom

“Terrible, amazing things my teacher said”: Tweets from the Japanese classroom

Did you used to think that your teachers all lived in the school on the weekends? Lots of kids are shocked to discover one day that their teachers have private lives, families, and even friends outside of school. This collection of tweets are all from Japanese students – whose sometimes-cynical, sometimes-exhausted, pretty-much-always-awesome professors probably just wanted to remind them that teachers are people too.

That’s right – it’s time for a snappy little segment which we’ll be entitling, in honour of its Japanese hashtag equivalent, “This devastatingly amazing thing my teacher just told me!”

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Fending off unwanted Kabe-don: A guide

Fending off unwanted Kabe-don: A guide

As we’ve talked about before, kabe-don is the trendy new way for Japanese bad boys to soft sexually assault their crush. It consists of a guy approaching a girl he (presumably) has a thing for, who is ideally leaning against a wall, then suddenly smacking the wall with their palm and getting in reaaaaalllly close so the girl can smell his garlic breath.

Oddly enough, a lot of Japanese girls go absolutely wild for the idea of the kabe-don, in the same way guys love the idea of owning a Weird Science-esque sexbot; It’s sexy and cool on paper, frightening and creepy in real life.

Luckily for any girls who find themselves the unwilling recipient of an ill-advised kabe-don, someone has created an illustrated self-defense guide:

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Jerome Le Banner walks old lady across the street even though it would’ve been easier to toss her

Jerome Le Banner walks old lady across the street even though it would’ve been easier to toss her

Jerome Le Banner is one of K-1’s most prominent fighters. The 190cm (6’3″) and 120kg (265lbs) mountain of muscle is intimidating looking to say the least. With nicknames such as Hyper Battle Cyborg, you might expect him to pump ice water through his veins as he knocks out opponents in pursuit of numerous kickboxing titles.

However, while training in Japan the fighter recently won the hearts of Japanese people everywhere when he showed great compassion by tenderly holding the hand of an elderly woman as he helped her cross the road.

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Rare emoticon sun spotted in the sky, brightens our day

Rare emoticon sun spotted in the sky, brightens our day

Earlier this week, one lucky Twitter user sure was in the right place at the right time to get this gorgeous shot of the setting sun…pretending to be an emoticon?! Wait a second, what’s going on here?!

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Japanese farmer uses terrifying scarecrow, traumatizes children

Japanese farmer uses terrifying scarecrow, traumatizes children

Twitter user @amatou320 posted a photo online of a rather, ah, innovative scarecrow on a Japanese farm. If you ask us, it’s far more terrifying than your standard straw-stuffed shirt and it probably elicits some tears from passing children too, but we’re not sure if it will really work on crows…

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Mysterious fire materializes inside Saitama train station on Tuesday

Mysterious fire materializes inside Saitama train station on Tuesday

On Tuesday evening, commuters at Urawa Station in Saitama Prefecture were in for a bit of a shock when an abandoned piece of corrugated cardboard suddenly burst into flames. The fire was soon extinguished by station attendants, but the question remains: what caused the mysterious incident?

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Some flights are more cramped than others – 29 sumo wrestlers pack into one tiny plane

Some flights are more cramped than others – 29 sumo wrestlers pack into one tiny plane

Flying, as magical as it is, is not without its inconveniences. Standing in line at security, listening to someone’s baby cry for ten hours, and fighting to get the airline to give you back your luggage are some of the less rewarding aspects of getting flung through the air at over 500 miles per hour. But perhaps the worst part about flying is being crammed together with a bunch of strangers while crappy movies play on a tiny screen at just the wrong angle.

But at least you’re not squished between a couple dozen sumo wrestlers!

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Sumida River Fireworks Festival aftermath: Not everyone in Japan has perfect manners after all

Sumida River Fireworks Festival aftermath: Not everyone in Japan has perfect manners after all

Japanese soccer fans attracted plenty of praise at the World Cup last month when, having watched their team lose to Ivory Coast, they diligently cleaned up their trash from the stadium. Whether you think these supporters’ actions show how important it is to Japanese people to be considerate of others, or just good old-fashioned common sense that applies wherever you are in the world, everyone (well, almost everyone) agreed that taking your rubbish home with you is A Good Thing.

This week, however, Japanese Twitter users have breathed a collective disappointed sigh as photos of the trash left in the streets after the world-famous Sumida River Fireworks Festival show some people in Japan aren’t as super-considerate as we’d like to think. Is Tokyo an exception to the rules? Or is Japan’s reputation as a super-clean nation undeserved?

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This watermelon might be the most disappointing thing you see today

This watermelon might be the most disappointing thing you see today

Summer means watermelons–particularly in Japan, where beating watermelons with a stick is not only common, but actively encouraged. See, you knew there was a reason you loved Japan!

Of course, even if you’re not into beating up poor defenseless fruit, you might still enjoy the succulent taste of some chilly watermelon. If so, hopefully your melon won’t be a massive disappointment like this one!

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5 ways to nap at the office, according to a Japanese wage slave

5 ways to nap at the office, according to a Japanese wage slave

We’ve all been there. Maybe it was an ill-advised night out the day before or a colicky newborn that wouldn’t sleep or just the shitty weather, we’ve all had days at the office when we wanted nothing more than to curl up and take a nap. In fact, it’s more of a need than a want as you sit there, staring blankly at your computer screen, unable to put a coherent thought together. But sadly, napping at your desk can be seriously uncomfortable, not to mention grounds for termination.

If you absolutely must grab a few winks and are willing to take the risk, though, Twitter user @sui_gin has helpfully illustrated some possible sleeping positions in manga style.

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Japanese Twitter users report an increase in ninja cat sightings as summer settles in【Photos】

Japanese Twitter users report an increase in ninja cat sightings as summer settles in【Photos】

It’s summer in Japan! How do you like to spend the season? Many Japanese enjoy going to the beach or having fun at the public pools and water parks to take a cool dip in the scorching weather. Natsu-matsuri (summer festivals) and fireworks displays held at various locations are also events that many Japanese look forward to in the summer.

Climbing on screen doors, however, seems to be the favorite summer pastime of these Japanese house cats!

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Twitter trend of the week – posting cosplay pictures side by side with originals

Twitter trend of the week – posting cosplay pictures side by side with originals

In the past few days, Japanese cosplayers have flooded Twitter with their own cosplay photos situated next to original pictures of the character(s) they’re portraying. This approach is convenient because viewers can see at a glance both the source material and how well the rendition turned out.

So far, we’ve seen anime characters, Disney characters, video game characters, celebrities, robots, mythical river demons, and more! Keep reading to pick out your favorites.

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Now trending in Japan: Duct-taped hug pillows

Now trending in Japan: Duct-taped hug pillows

Back in my teaching days, some of my more hormonally afflicted students would take great pleasure in asking me whatever inappropriate or perverted questions popped into their heads, often wrongly assuming that I wouldn’t understand what they were saying. Sometimes they’d even break out some crude English with questions like (pointing to my crotch) “Sensei, are you long boy?”, “Do you play sex?”, or “How about Japanese adult video?”

One question that came up curiously often, though, was whether I was “esu” or “emu“, or in English: “Are you a sadist or a masochist?”

I’ve never really thought of myself as either, but chats with a few of my Japanese coworkers soon led me to believe that a surprising number of people here consider themselves to be one or the other. Can you guess which group the owners of these gagged dakimakura belong to?

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

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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Trapped bunny is utterly adorable and now Twitter-famous!

Trapped bunny is utterly adorable and now Twitter-famous!

The top three pets are probably cats, dogs, and hamsters. They all have their pros and cons, but when it comes to keeping little furry creatures in your home, those three are probably the most common–and certainly some of the cutest. The number four spot is a bit harder to pin down, but if we had to guess, we’d say it belongs to the noble bunnies. After all, while they might take a bite out of your finger if you’re not careful, there’s not much in this world that is as docile as a bunny, is there?

But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep an eye on the long-eared critters. If you’re not careful, you never know what kind of mischief your pet rabbit and its twitchy nose will get into! One Japanese Twitter user learned this the hard (and cute) way…

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Perfect rainbow appears over Tokyo like an interdimensional portal, no spirits spotted (yet)

Perfect rainbow appears over Tokyo like an interdimensional portal, no spirits spotted (yet)

While we rarely think about it, the way our atmosphere works is pretty amazing–filtering out all that cosmic radiation and keeping us alive. It also has tons of moisture in it, which, in addition to giving some nifty lightning shows, is also what gives us really cool stuff like sun dogs and rainbows. While it’s nothing special to see a piece of a rainbow or even half of one in the sky after a rainshower, it’s quite another thing to see a full rainbow shimmering in the sky.

But that’s exactly what appeared over Tokyo on Friday, setting Twitter ablaze with photos of the beautiful phenomenon. And because we’re ready for some uplifting fun this weekend, here’s all the photos we could find! Guaranteed to make your day 200% more magical or your leprechaun back.

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