Previously unseen CCTV footage of March 2011 tsunami is intense 【Video】

Earlier this year, we brought you videos shot by those who fled the wall of water that the March 11, 2011 earthquake brought to Northeastern Japan. As shocking as they were, most – thankfully – were taken from relatively far away by the towns’ residents once they had reached comparative safety. The following footage taken in Iwate Prefecture, however, was recorded right where the tsunami hit by security and roadside cameras.

The footage shows the awesome, raw power of the tsunami, and gets much more up close and personal than anyone would every hope to. We should warn you that some readers may find the following images disturbing.

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Ninja life skills: The most hardcore way to get infinite 1-Ups in Super Mario Bros. 【Video】

You can’t keep a good plumber down, and Super Mario Bros. is still going strong decades after it first launched. Veteran players will no doubt already know the locations of every hidden block, the route to every warp zone, and how to score easy extra lives by bouncing Koopa Trooper shells off staircases, but this last trick for unlimited 1-Ups isn’t so easy. Yup, it turns out that sometimes if you want infinite lives you actually have to work for them.

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Sony’s new PlayStation Vita Slim ad is awesome, features gaming penguins 【Video】

We fell in love with Sony’s new PlayStation Vita Slim the very first moment we got our sweaty little hands on a demo unit at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, but this new commercial, which features rocking gaming penguins of every colour the new device is available in, made us even more eager to buy one.

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Sony uses radio controlled helicopters to record epic footage of massive reservoir drainage 【Video】

In April, we tagged along with a team from Sony on a trip to Gunkanjima, mecca for urban explorers and movie villains alike. While there, Sony’s engineers used the company’s new Action Cam video camera, mounted on a radio controlled helicopter, to film the island’s ruined ghost town from the sky.

Sony is at it again, this time using this technology to get up close and personal as Hokkaido’s enormous Hoheikyo Dam discharges two tons of water per second. This really is quite the sight.

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Meanwhile, in Russia: Road warrior edition【Video】

You see some pretty strange things on the road, no matter what country you are driving in, but as usual Russia offers a strong contender for strangest thing ever seen on a highway. Full video after the jump.

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Schick Japan promotes new product with cheeky “Zero Gravity Dream Shaving” video

Some of our US-based readers may not be especially familiar with German shaving brand Schick, but here in Japan the company is top dog when it comes to safety razors, and its products can be found in just about any supermarket or pharmacy. Recently, in order to promote its relaxing “dream shave” experience and newest model of disposable razor, the Quattro 5 Titanium, Schick Japan has released the following promotional video, which sees one lucky young man take a zero-gravity flight with two bikini-clad models in order to try the razor out.

Hmmm… Pretty girls tumbling about in slow motion while squirting foam. You think anyone would watch that?

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From Sarah Brightman to Queen: Watch nine western artists sing in Japanese

If you’ve been in Japan long enough, you’ve probably seen western actors and celebrities visit the country, showing enthusiasm for the language by throwing out an “arigatou” here and a “konnichi wa” there, leaving fans and interviewers gasping in astonishment. But did you know that big-name western musicians have been showing their Japanese prowess through song for decades? We have the video proof, with all nine artists above singing phrases, and sometimes even entire songs, in Japanese. The performances are surprisingly impressive.

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How awesome is the sight of 974 Marios running through the same level at once? (Answer: Very)

It might be nearly 30 years old, but the original Super Mario Bros. remains one of the most beloved and played old-school platformers in the world. There’s something about goomba stomping, block smashing and Bowser boiling that people just can’t seem to get enough of, and modders continue to tinker with the basic gameplay and build original levels to this day.

The following video, apparently taken at Gamescom last month, shows the efforts of 974 players as they sprint through a custom-made level against the clock. Combining their runs into a single video results in what can only be described as an 8-bit river of Marios, cascading over pipes and mushrooms, hell-bent on reaching the princess, and it makes fantastic viewing.

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The little hedgehog that couldn’t (but it’s still fun to watch him try) 【Video】

They may not have the swoon-inducing power of 14 baby pandas in a row, but hedgehogs are nevertheless incredibly cute, and they make great little pets. They’re passive, clean, ideal for those who are out during the daytime, and, as this video proves, hugely entertaining to watch wrestle with the inside of a toilet roll.

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Sumo referee takes a foot to the face as wrestler is thrown down 【Video】

The September 24 bout between Jokoryu Takayuki and Yoshikaze Masatsugu began much like any other professional sumo match. After the starting rituals had been carried out, the referee, or gyouji as he’s known in Japanese, called the giant wrestlers forward, and after a brief pause the men were on each other in a flash, pushing and shoving with all their might as the referee circled, studying their every movement.

What no one expected to happen next, however, was for the enormous foot of 138kg (304lb) Yoshikaze to find its way into the referee’s face as he was thrown to the ground, taking the robed man down with him.

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Disney develops technology to speak to someone by touching their ear

Disney Research recently announced the development of Ishin-Den-Shin. As the name – which means “unspoken communication” in Japanese – implies, it’s a microphone that can capture your spoken words and let you pass it on to other people by simply touching them on the ear.

If this is the first time you’ve ever heard of Ishin-Den-Shin, that may sound a bit weird, but once we break down how it works you’ll see why the device’s creators received an honorable mention at the Prix Ars Electronica 2013.

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Epic body slam action at US Sumo Open【Video】

One of Japan’s most ancient sports, sumo is both steeped in tradition and considered to be one of the most demanding in the world. Professional sumo wrestlers, or rikishi, must not only commit to a strict regime of physical training and the daily consumption of gargantuan meals in order to maintain their enormous mass, but also obey rules that cover everything from their hairstyles and the clothing they may wear in public to the use of vehicular transportation.

Although sumo’s popularity in Japan is on the wane, the sport is becoming increasingly popular in Western countries, particularly in the United States where groups such as USA Sumo are growing ever larger and receiving more and more media attention with each year that passes. And we’d be willing to bet that after seeing the following video taken at the US Sumo Open 2013 event, even the most sceptical of Western sports fans will start taking sumo a little more seriously.

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Anpanman attacks unsuspecting crowd with Gundam lasers during live show

The costumed superhero world was shocked recently when once beloved hero with a head of bread, Anpanman, appeared to have suffered a mental breakdown and began firing lasers at the unsuspecting crowd. The carnage was captured on video and is currently being studied by psychiatric experts and federal investigators.

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South Koreans really hate it when you ask for directions, video proves

An American tourist apparently learned the hard way recently to never ask Koreans – Korean smokers, actually – for directions, if the following video is to be believed.

After eating live octopus for your viewing pleasure – and it really is quite the spectacle – the host of this YouTube video inexplicably decides to keep rolling, telling viewers that Koreans are a laid back and wonderful people, before immediately asking two young men taking a smoke break for directions to a nearby landmark. They respond by physically attacking him and stealing his camera.

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Japanese Twitter user displays the awesome power of her makeup kit, men gasp in horror

At first we weren’t entirely convinced that this was the same girl in both pictures. They’re just so… different. Look closely though, and beneath those layers (and layers) of makeup and the fake eyelashes, you’ll see that it really is the the selfsame young lady. Her little mole is there; her duck-face smile curls in the exact same way; the shape of her jaw and cheeks are the same. But, just, wow. Welcome to the world of “power makeup”.

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Saga Prefecture broadcasts its appeal by dancing to AKB48 【Video】

Saga Prefecture lies in the northwest corner of Japan’s island of Kyushu. This past week, in an unusual attempt at self-promotion, the Saga Prefectural Office uploaded a video of hundreds of workers from its various divisions happily dancing to the new AKB48 single, Koi Suru Fortune Cookie (Love Fortune Cookie). With more than 480,000 views on YouTube so far, the up-beat video certainly beats a boring old poster campaign!

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BMX rider Takahiro Ikeda proves he’s more than just a pretty face, goes for “megaspin” world record

Takahiro Ikeda is a 23-year-old pro BMX rider who defeated many opponents and overcame numerous challenges to win a world championship in 2010. If that weren’t enough his good looks have also earned him several TV appearances.

However, last July he had to face off not with other skilled opponents, nor with the lights and cameras of the media, but with himself as he attempted to set a Guinness World Record in the “megaspin” – a move in which the rider spins around on their back wheel without touching the ground with their body or other wheel.

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Fan-made intro to 8-bit Pacific Rim game leaves us itching to press start

The movie Pacific Rim has been getting a lot of love around the actual Asian Pacific Rim recently, with China especially talking about it, though perhaps not for the best reasons. Japan too, being a lover of giant monster movies, has taken to Guillermo del Toro’s work, with praise from game makers Fumito Ueda (Ico, Shadow of the Colossus) and Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear, Zone of Enders) and manga artists Go Nagai (Marzinger Z) and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Neon Genesis Evangelion).

Also, in honor of the film a video was posted to YouTube titled “Pacific Rim Main Theme 8bit Arrange” which along with NES-tech rendition of the movie’s main theme gives us a nostalgic intro scene to what could have been a great video game adaptation of Pacific Rim. There are even some cute sprite versions of the Jaegers!

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Footage of rare tornado touchdown in urban Japan appears online

At around 2 p.m. on Monday, September 2, a rare sight filled the skies of Tokyo’s neighbour to the north, Saitama Prefecture. From a layer of thick, dark cloud, a twisting grey finger reached down and made contact with the city itself and the word tatsumaki could be heard all around: there was a tornado in the city.

The twister tore through some 14 kilometres of the prefecture within just a few minutes, taking out power lines, ripping the roofs from a number of houses and leaving as many as 33,000 residences across the Kanto region without power. Soon after, dozens of videos appeared online showing the tornado rumbling across the land.

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Eight-year-old girl astounds world with guitar technique

Guthrie Govan stands among the best guitar players in the world. He is able to play in a variety of styles gracefully like few others can. His song “Fives” in particular showcases how well he can use the entire fret board effortlessly to make a deeply complex, sophisticated yet catchy guitar jam.

With that, here’s eight-year-old Risa-X to perform this extremely intricate piece written by the 1993 Guitarist of the Year on her guitar!

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