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Little Maria! One of the finalists for the AKB48 draft this year is just 11 years old

Japan’s 140-member supergroup AKB48 is holding its second annual draft next month, in which sub-teams will choose new members from a draft of 48 young hopefuls. And among the finalists is one of the youngest potential members the group has ever seen.

Unlike the rest of AKB48’s members, who are in their teens and early twenties, 11-year-old candidate Maria Imamura is still in elementary school. But that hasn’t held her back in reaching the finals of the draft, a huge event which will be televised on May 10th.

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Shawn Wasabi’s digital mash-up samples Pikachu, Final Fantasy, Perfume

Shawn Wasabi mashed up a list of his favorite songs and sound effects to create the original track “Marble Soda.” Wasabi uses a Midi Fighter by DJ Techtools to assign 153 different sounds used during the song. Among them are “Fushizen Na Girl” by Perfume, “PONPONPON” by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, “Prelude” from Final Fantasy VII, and Pikachu’s iconic “Pika!”

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Tochiotome 25 invite you to a unique onsen experience in the music video for “Yu”! 【Video】

Tochigi local idol group Tochiotome 25 have once again released a music video showcasing the charms of their rural home town with “Yu” (release date: April 22). This one’s… a little different.

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Actress’ incredible swing in new Toyota commercial has people talking 【Video】

In Toyota’s newest commercial, the downtown area of a small city is turned into a massive baseball arena, where manholes are bases, the simple push of a button brings anyone into play, and pretty much anything goes. It’s a really fun watch, to say the least, and has already been viewed over six million times on YouTube.

Being a commercial, obviously most of what you see is fabricated by the film crew and enhanced with “movie magic”, but there is still a lot of raw talent to be seen, most notably from the actress in the final scene, whose killer swing has gotten her a lot of attention.

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What happens when this adorable Shiba’s travel box gets smaller and smaller? 【Video】

Koharu is a sweet Shiba Inu from Japan who loves going for car rides. She even has a special bed in the back seat of the car where she cozies up for the ride. But what happens when her bed gets smaller and smaller each time she hops in the car, ready to go? We’re sure Koharu will squeeze her way into your heart as she tries to squeeze her way into these bitty boxes!

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Make the ocean your office with new TRUE WETSUITS from Quicksilver 【Video】

Even if you’ve never even attempted to hop on a surfboard, you’ve probably still heard of Quicksilver. Their clothing and bags have achieved a near ubiquitous status in many parts of the world, particularly as backpacks for students. But the Australian company’s heart is surfwear, as you probably know, so they obviously also make wetsuits. But as a new commercial for the company shows, they also make TRUE WETSUITS.

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This bananas Japanese commercial series is concentrated visual madness

If you were to listen only to the ramblings of Internet users, you might think that Japanese TV is a nonstop procession of bonkers commercials, ridiculous pornographic game shows and people in little windows reacting to other people reacting to delicious food.

Of course, that’s not entirely true. There are actually a fair few TV shows that cover serious subject matter, there are perfectly normal commercials that don’t induce madness and/or seizures, and sometimes there are actually shows not related at all to food (actually, that last bit may be a lie).

So where does Japan’s reputation for crazy television entertainment come from? Why, from the rare but totally bananas stuff that somehow actually finds its way on air from time to time, like this ludicrous television commercial series that makes absolutely no sense at all.

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Timeless beauty: Color video of 1930s Kyoto shows how women of the day got their hair done

There’s something almost magical about old videos. They’re like looking through a magic mirror with bad reception into the past. It kind of makes you wonder what people in a few hundred years will have to say about our Vine videos.

But even better than old videos, are old color videos! They’re probably as close to time travel as we’ll ever come. Take this lovely video of Kyoto from 1934 for example. Though it’s not the oldest color video in existence, this video still manages to captivate us with its depiction of mageyui, the process of putting one’s hair up into one of the traditional mage hair styles.

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Just how fast is Japan’s new maglev train? See for yourself【Video】

It may not be due to begin ferrying passengers between Tokyo and Osaka for another 10+ years yet, but Japan’s magnetic levitation (maglev) train is already zipping up and down a special section of test track in Yamanashi Prefecture, and it’s nothing short of spectacular.

Check out our video of this thing in motion – oh, and try not to blink because you really might miss it.

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【Monday Kickstart】Maru is the epitome of feline grace【Video】

What better way to start the week than with a dose of everyone’s favourite rotund cat, Maru? Check out the video below to kickstart your Monday with a show of incredible feline poise and grace.

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McDonald’s Korea gets customers doing crazy things to show their love for the Big Mac【Videos】

Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun!

What are we talking about? McDonald’s Big Mac, of course! We’re assuming you’re familiar with McDonald’s – after all, they are the biggest fast food franchise in the world, but do you know the Big Mac Song? These Korean fans know it at the back of their hands and are jazzing things up with some eye-popping renditions as they take part in McDonald’s Korea’s third season of their ever-popular Big Mac Song Competition.

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Beautiful Japanese singer is still hot at 46: It must be all the Pocari Sweat!

We know how much you love reading about super-hot women in their forties who look like they’re in their twenties despite being busy mothers, or in some cases even grandmothers. So we thought you’d be interested in hearing about Japanese singer Chisato Moritaka, who is just as beautiful today at the age of 46 as she was way back in 1986 when she became the poster girl for the Pocari Sweat electrolyte drink.

But what’s her secret?

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Japan Airlines attendants dance to Hatsune Miku

The flight attendants of Japan Airlines (JAL) put on their best idol costumes to dance to Hatsune Miku’s “39” (San-kyuu, or ‘Thank You’) song to promote the company’s participation at the Niconico Chokaigi 2015 event this month.

The video shows the dancers in various spots within the JAL Sky Museum in Tokyo. In the background you can see how the attendant’s uniforms have changed throughout time.

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Meet the man behind the mask! We head to Chiba for an exclusive interview with Chibatman 【Video】

Chiba Prefecture‘s very own superhero, Chibatman, has been making headlines in Japan and abroad since he began his campaign to keep Chiba’s streets safe. Often spotted zooming around on his custom-built Chibatpod (aka Batcycle), he’s also been seen making speeches at official events, and he’s even received the Chiba Police Force’s official approval to continue his activities.

Today, we’re excited to bring you an exclusive interview with Chibatman himself! We visited him at his home in Chiba to get the lowdown on the man behind the mask!

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New Gintama season mocks bawling Japanese politician

The first episode of Gintama‘s fourth incarnation as a TV series aired on April 8 by satirizing Ryūtarou Nonomura, an assemblyman from Hyōgo Prefecture who infamously erupted in tears and howls while apologizing for misuse of public funds on hot springs trips.

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Man runs across race track in a desperate attempt to try an F1 car for himself 【Video】

I’m sure we’ve all been caught in the moment at some point in our lives and acted without considering the possible consequences. Still, I’d like to think that even the most impulsive of us – as we find ourselves clambering over a 10-foot fence and checking to see how close the cars travelling at upwards of 150 miles per hour are – wouldn’t risk running across a stretch of race track during a Formula One practice race like this man in China did earlier today.

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Japanese celebricat Maru becomes fashion icon with fetching Starbucks frock【Video】

His Royal Roundness, Maru, is one of the most famous cats in Japan, a country with no shortage of beloved feline stars, in part because of his extensive oeuvre. We’ve seen his majestic jumping, his moving efforts to squeeze his girth into tiny boxes, his awe-inspiring agility, and even his benevolent patience with lesser beings. Now Maru has taken the fashion world by storm with an upcycled frock and some serious attitude.

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NEET “recruitment” video pokes fun at Japan’s laziest

It’s April, and in Japan that means a whole new crop of young, fresh-faced workers politely inching their way onto packed trains and nervously trotting into office buildings while wearing suspiciously clean and pressed office attire.

But what of the lazier portion of the population? The folks who are no longer in education, have yet to secure gainful employment or are undergoing training to become something worthwhile? These NEETs, as they’re known in Japan, have a busy schedule ahead of them as they settle into a daily routine of doing “sweet FA“, as my mother might say. But being a true slacker involves a surprising amount of work, as this great little parody video tells us.

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Pint-sized string quartet Joyous String does an awesome Smooth Criminal

Tiny, adorable, and blessed with bags of musical talent – meet Joyous String, a four-kid string quartet with musical aptitude way beyond their years. They’ve been playing together since they were just four years old, and have progressed to the point where they can produce a flawless rendition of the Michael Jackson classic “Smooth Criminal” without even breaking a sweat. These are some seriously talented kids!

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New McDonald’s commercial grosses out Japan 【Video】

McDonald’s Japan recently launched a limited time menu option called the teriyaki chicken and egg with Seto lemon sauce. The Seto Inland Sea is famous in Japan for its warm climate and top-notch citrus, so you would think a Seto lemon sauce would put the already popular teriyaki chicken and egg into stratospheric levels of demand.

That doesn’t seem to be the case, though, and the culprit may be McDonald’s own commercial, which viewers are calling “dirty” and “gross”.

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