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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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Ghibli makes 3rd brush painting-inspired TV ad for Nisshin

Studio Ghibli produced a third commercial inspired by sumi-e (traditional Japanese brush painting) for Nisshin Seifun Group, a Japanese food and manufacturing conglomerate, the company began airing the ad in Japan on Sunday. Like the first and second commercials that aired in 2010 and 2012, respectively, the new “Onaka Suita Ne no Uta” (I’m Hungry Song) ad stars Konyara, a cat that Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki himself drew. Two new kittens, Kuroneko and Buchi, join Konyara and Ko-Konyara in the third commercial.

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Baby innocently chomps and yanks on kitty’s tail, good kitty keeps his cool 【Video】

I have a theory about cat people and dog people. It’s basically the old “nature vs nature” debate – are you born a cat or dog lover, or do you learn to become one? In my opinion, people who grow up with cats grow into cat people, and people who grow up with dogs become dog people. The baby in this adorable video looks like he’s definitely going to grow up to be a cat person – especially because he already has a furry pal who takes his curious manhandling with good humour.

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Modern take on Japanese fan dance has naked men, international appeal

Ah, the Japanese fan dance. In popular culture, its staid connections to Noh and Kabuki theater are put aside in favor of something more risque. Usually it’s a coy geisha slowly using her fans to seductively cover and reveal her face and body. But just as more businesses are capitalizing on male sex appeal these days, the modern Japanese fan dance has a hot, sweaty man version too.

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Sony chooses today to announce “PlayStation Flow” goggles, body sensors and post-swim dryer

Hot on the heels of its Project Morpheus virtual reality headset, Sony has announced a series of brand new gaming accessories that are sure to make a splash. Say hello to PlayStation Flow, a set of swimming goggles, arm and leg sensors, and even a full-body dryer.

These things almost seem too bizarre to be true…

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Monjayaki, the popular Tokyo dish you’ve probably never heard of 【RocketKitchen】

When people think of Japanese food, most think of sushi, sashimi or even some of the more popular Japanese comfort foods like okonomiyaki or udon noodles. If you’re a tourist, however, you’ve likely never experienced one of Tokyo’s most popular dishes: monjayaki. But don’t feel bad; even some Japanese people who don’t live in the Tokyo metropolitan area (75 percent of the population) have never tasted it. This is one reason why Tsukishima Monjadori, a street with over 100 monjayaki restaurants, ranks in the top five sight-seeing spots in the capital for Japanese tourists (FYI, the other four are Harajuku, Tokyo Disneyland, Odaiba and Tusukiji Fish Market).

Monjayaki is simple but complicated: it has just a few easy ingredients and can be made in under three minutes yet it requires instructions to make, and even eat, properly. It helps to know, for example, that monja is not usually eaten with chopsticks, and that there’s a good reason why.

Read on to learn more about this unexpectedly delicious fare: watch a how-to video showing you how to make it, check out photos that show you how to eat it, and get tips from a master monjayaki chef.

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Must try harder: This crane game in Japan is laughably bad 【Video】

Crane games, AKA claw games or even “UFO catchers” if you’re in Japan, have always been a bit of a con. This much we know already. They’re designed so that the claws exert barely enough force to grip the trinkets we’re so lusting after, and the prizes are usually worth much less than it costs to actually win one of them to begin with. Even so, they’re great fun, and Japan’s arcades are chock-full of them, luring us in with their various exciting, and sometimes not-so-exciting prizes.

But this particular crane game, which asks arcade goers to attempt to pick up a what appear to be miniature moe-style figurines, is not so much tricky as plain lazy.

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Bizarre video series gives pervy weirdos a glimpse of girls’ panties in very specific situations

If you’re a long-time RocketNews24 reader, you probably don’t need anyone to tell you that Japan and underage girls in skirts have a… complicated relationship.

The sexualization of schoolgirl uniforms is far from a Japan-only thing, but no country is quite so infamous as Japan when it comes to sexualizing youth; as many readers may have learned when we told you about that crazy movie about a kid shaving a girl’s leg hair to prepare her for the swim team, or when we brought you tips from a famous Japanese photographer for taking pictures of schoolgirl be-skirted legs.

But perhaps nothing we’ve introduced before pushes the envelope of good taste quite as much as this video series of schoolgirls trying and failing to prevent their panties from showing in very specific situations.

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Baby elephants bathing are super cute, but not all elephants are quite so lucky

A video which appeared last week has left the Internet in a state of glee. We are, of course, talking about the adorable baby elephant taking a bath in Thailand! If you love elephants–and how could you not?–it’s sure to put a giant grin on your face.

And we certainly enjoyed the video too, but it also led us to some extremely unsettling articles about how some elephants are treated in the country. Don’t worry, though–it’s not all bad news!

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2015 Ghost in the Shell film’s promo previews new footage

The official website for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell film updated on Friday, and unveiled a new promotional video. The video looks back at past animated projects in the franchise, as well as new animation from the upcoming film.

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Think you could stay on key when this distractingly unique karaoke video actor pops up?

“Empty orchestra.” What a hauntingly beautiful pair of words, but most of us know it better as karaoke, the easiest form of entertainment on a night out with friends or co-workers.

Any seasoned karaoke veteran in Japan knows that the video that plays behind the words of the song are often the best part of the night. Sometimes the song you chose is accompanied by the band’s official music video or concert footage, but more often than not, you get the confusing, yet always entertaining, background karaoke video. These gems are always good for a laugh, however, in this case the video went from “entertaining” to “distracting” to “I can’t sing anymore I’m laughing so hard.” What is cracking up potential singers in Japan? Click on through to find out.

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Bottle-blowing meets the sounds of sushi in The Bottle Boys’ new ad for Kirin【Video】

The Bottle Boys are a five-piece band from Copenhagen, who shot to fame last year after performing ‘Billie Jean’ using nothing but (a large number of) beer bottles. And now they’ve been snapped up by Kirin Ichiban, in a slick production that sees them team up with Iron Chefs to record a track blending their musical bottle-playing with the sounds of sushi.

Join us after the jump to see how it sounds!

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Lucky Mari-chan: This fantasy-like proposal is so heartwarming it’s almost hard to watch 【Video】

Are there really any men out there who would arrange a surprise proposal like this? This video we discovered could well be the greatest proposal we’ve ever seen – it’s almost too cool to watch.

Check out how Mari-chan’s man popped the question – using everything from a dance routine to a holographic projection of his own head – after the jump.

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Light-up Hikaru Skirt makes its Idol music video debut

The “wearable special effects” skirt project, “Hikaru Skirt,” made its big debut in the idol group Mōsō Collaboration’s newest music video, “Mahou no Juice” (lit. Magic Juice) on Sunday. The project’s website claims the skirt turns the “zettai ryōiki” (i.e. the “absolute territory” between where a girl’s skirt ends and her stockings begin) into “komorebi ryōiki,”or “territory where sunshine filters through the trees.” The members utilize the skirts’ different color options for each of their outfits.

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Sushi restaurant brings all the feels with commercial about dementia 【Video】

You wouldn’t think that bringing up the struggle of caring for a parent with severe dementia would be an effective sales technique, but sushi chain Gin no Sara has decided to go that route with this touching spot about what Alzheimer’s patients do remember.

I’m not sure if it will increase sushi sales, but boxes of tissues will definitely be flying off the shelves.

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There’s a temple in Yamaguchi that keeps a dog as Chief Priest

Maru is an eight-year-old Kishu Inu from Wakayama Prefecture, and by all reports he’s a bit of a grumpy old chap. But Maru’s cantankerousness has a little more bite to it than most guard dogs, because he also happens to be the chief priest of Yamaguchi City’s Toshunji temple!

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Would kabe-don work outside of Japan?【Video】

Unless you’ve been living in a (wall-less?) cave for the past year, you are likely familiar with the infamous “kabe-don“. This anime and manga sensation, which involves a (usually male) character playfully “pinning” the object of his affection to a wall by placing his hands either side of her with a thump, or “don”, has been all the rage online in Japan. But it also caused many to wonder, “Does that really happen?” and more to the point, “Would that actually work without getting head-butted or jabbed in the ribs?

It’s a staple in Japanese entertainment, so kabe-don must have worked out for someone out there, but would this sort of thing work on foreign women? Well, wonder no more, as the following video sets out to find out just that.

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