weird

Snow sculpture of anime girls with soulless eyes is bone-chilling in two different ways

The key difference between being an idol singer and a pop diva is warmth. Even if you’ve got perfect pitch and unshakable rhythm, if you want to succeed as an idol, you still need a heart-melting smile. Really, as long as you’ve got the smile, idol fans will even cut you a lot of slack on not having the other two.

So it’s a little unusual to gaze upon this trio of anime idols and feel a chill run down your spine, and not just because they’re made of snow.

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Huge six-meter (19.7-foot) anime hug pillow will prove you’re a great big otaku 【Video】

When you look at them a certain way, huggy pillows with pictures of cute anime girls on them are kind of creepy. Well, actually, they’re creepy in several ways, but for right now, let’s limit our discussion to one way in particular.

Even if we accept that there’s nothing wrong with consensual love between a man and his pillow, their relative sizes make the situation kind of weird. After all, a person’s height is far greater than a pillow’s length, so wouldn’t Miss Anime Pillow feel a little awkward cuddling with her much larger otaku owner?

It’d probably be a little like squeezing a gigantic anime pillow that’s six meters (19.7 feet) long. Of course, if that sounds like your personal vision of bedtop bliss, there’s a company giving away just that.

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Eat for free at this restaurant in China…but only if you’re beautiful enough!

It is common for such establishments as restaurants and movie theatres to offer student discounts, senior discounts, and the like to its patrons, and one Tokyo bar even offers balding gentlemen money off their booze. But one restaurant in China has decided to offer a free meal only to those deemed beautiful enough.

Each person has their own tastes and preferences of what they find attractive, so if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, how does the restaurant go about judging who gets their dinner gratis?

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Enjoy delicious pork sandwiches served to you by the manager of this katsu joint…who is also a pig

We’ve already talked at length about the complex feelings we have whenever we see an anthropomorphic mascot for a food joint shucking his own kin as delicious, greasy human grub. We bet you can’t even count the number of times you’ve walked by a chicken joint whose crazily grinning avian mascot was holding up a bucket of deep-fried drumsticks, or a contented pig sitting down – fork, knife, bib and all – to a barbecue rib feast and never really thought much of it.

Well, if the usually slapdash, cartoonish mascot on the sign of your local wing joint wasn’t in-your-face enough to disturb you with implications of animal cannibalism and the idea that you might just be eating animal protein that was once a creature with enough intelligence to talk and use kitchen utensils, maybe this Kanazawa, Japan pork restaurant ostensibly managed by a live, miniature pig is just the thing to kickstart your conscience, you monster.

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Japanese convenience store FamilyMart inadvertently gives away pearl in pack of seafood snacks

In a lot of ways, convenience stores in Japan are more like miniature supermarkets. So while they still sell a lot of the candy and canned beverages their counterparts in other countries specialize in, you can also find plenty of edible, even gourmet-sounding food.

For example, the chain FamilyMart sells pouches of fried scallop meat, specifically the mantle, or part of the animal that attaches it to its shell. There’s a certain level of risk that comes with eating any mass-produced foodstuff, though, as one customer found out when he found what he felt was a foreign object in his pack of marine mollusks. And while generally the only thing you want to find in your food is, well, food, we suppose if we had to find something else mixed in there, we’d want what he discovered hiding in his snack: a pearl.

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Vietnamese police detain 16 pigeons on suspicion of being Chinese spies, discover true identities

With all of the advanced technology intelligence agencies can employ, plus the fact that so much information is now stored digitally, it’s easy to make the assumption that modern espionage is all hacking and drone surveillance. In fact, though, there’s still plenty of room in the spy game for carbon-based operatives working in the field.

As such, it’s the responsibility of militaries and police forces the world over to be on guard against organic espionage threats. So while you can admire the diligence and zeal shown by a group of citizens and police in Vietnam who captured and detained what they thought was a ring of 16 Chinese spies, the suspects turned out to be innocent.

They also happen to be pigeons.

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Awkward: University lecturer found naked on campus in Tokyo

Ever find yourself in a really awkward or compromising situation? The kind where you wish the earth would split open and swallow you up, or you could somehow be whisked away to some magic far-away land where you’d never have to show your face to the real world again? We’re pretty sure that’s what this 55-year-old university lecturer was feeling when he was found on campus, wearing nothing but his birthday suit. How he ended up that way is an even more interesting issue.

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Japan’s new, cuter boob shirt turns your breasts into literal sweater kittens

Just about a month ago, the Japanese Internet got all aflutter over something that’s been coined the “low-cut turtleneck.” If those two terms sound contradictory to you, perhaps you’ll find the term we used, “boob shirt,” to be more descriptive.

But fashion trends don’t last forever, and it seems some designers are already moving on from the original design. While the initial boob shirt provided a window for the top of the bust to peek out of, the newest version spruces up a woman’s breasts by combining it with the other thing the Internet can’t seem to get enough of: cute kitty cats.

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Japan weirded out by new range of Disney shower heads

Late last year shower specialists Oxygenics released sets of shower heads featuring the faces of Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse. They were warmly received by moms in America, who immediately saw them as a way to get kids motivated for bath-time and praised their easy water-pressure controls.

People in Japan saw the character shower heads quite differently, however, with some even going as far to call them “demeaning” and saying that “I don’t know if this is appropriate for children.”

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Chinese iPhone smuggler fails to deliver illicit goods, does deliver laughs with his crazy outfit

With his stylishly coifed hair, affected pose, and outlandish outfit, you could at first mistake the man in the above photo for a model. And given how ridiculous his getup is, you might find it only natural that his face is concealed, because honestly, even if you were getting paid for it, it’d still be kind of embarrassing to be seen dressed like this.

Except, that’s no fashion shoot, but a photograph taken by Chinese customs authorities who caught the would-be smuggler trying to sneak a huge quantity of smartphones into mainland China in one of the clumsiest ways possible.

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A little sweet with your spicy? Tokyo restaurant serves curry with strawberries and ice cream

One of the great things about curry is how versatile it is. The standard way to eat the spicy dish in Japan is with carrots, potatoes, onions, and pork, but you can also toss in chicken, shrimp, beef, or tuna. Things are wide open when it comes to vegetables, too, with some people opting for eggplant, spinach, or tomatoes.

But why limit yourself to just meats and veggies? One curry restaurant in Tokyo feels its menu should be inclusive of the entire food pyramid, and will fix you a plate of curry rice that represents the fruit and dairy groups in the forms of curry with strawberries and even ice cream.

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New smartphone game allows you to date the man, monkey, or dessert of your dreams

A common element in Japanese dating simulator video games is that they all feature an extensive cast of potential romantic partners. Still, there are only so many characters the designers can cram into a single game, and some gamers find that the available roster of would-be boyfriends just doesn’t measure up to their preexisting celebrity or anime crush.

Seeking to solve this problem is mobile game developer GimmickPlus, with a new smartphone title that lets you drop pictures of your favorite actor or girls’ manga character straight into the game. But as we’ve seen before, when you give users a template to create romantic tension with you also give them the means to craft bizarre humor, and Fantasy Condominium-You Can Fall in Love with Your Ideal Boyfriend is no exception.

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Supaida-Man is here to save the day with sub-machine guns and giant robots!

Spider-Man is one of the most recognizable comic book characters of all time. However, unless you grew up in Japan in the 1970s, you probably aren’t familiar with this version of your friendly neighborhood wallcrawler. Here’s your chance to witness some historical web-slinging action as Marvel has re-released the live-action Japanese Spider-Man on their website. Grab some popcorn, you will want to watch this.

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Japanese man invites neighbor in for a few beers immediately after being shanked by him

A story out of Saitama Prefecture almost sounds like the script to a heartwarming movie. In an apartment house in Kawaguchi City, until a few days ago, two senior citizens were living next door to each other. The men shared a love of beer, and since they were both living alone, would even sometimes pass off their excess food to one another if they happened to buy too much at the grocery store.

Sure, 64-year-old Shingo Tsutsui didn’t like the noise his 70-year-old neighbor made walking around the hardwood floors of his thin-walled apartment, but that little bit of cantankerousness just adds to the Odd Couple-like appeal of the story, doesn’t it? Or at least it would, if Tsutsui had responded by contorting his face into comically frustrated expressions instead of what he actually did, which was to attack his neighbor with a kitchen knife.

As shocking as that is, though, it’s not nearly as unexpected as the victim’s reaction: inviting his attacker in to have a couple of beers together.

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Poseable North American Mega Man figure lets you admire the character’s belly in three dimensions

Back in the 1980s and ‘90s, it wasn’t unusual for Japanese video games to be released internationally with box art different from that which was used at home. Many overseas publishers worried that the original versions were too cutesy, concluding that the covers needed an extra dose of testosterone in order to appeal to machismo-seeking non-Japanese gamers.

The logic itself is sort of shaky, but what made things worse was how most of the new box art bore little resemblance to the in-game designs, plus rarely looked appealing even when judged solely on its own non-existent merits. While much of this lazily produced art has been fittingly forgotten, there are some things you just can’t unsee. Like discovering a dead pigeon inside your bag of fast food takeout, the North American cover of the very first Mega Man has been burned into the memories of older gamers, and the pudgy sci-fi hero has now made the jump into three-dimensional space with his own figure.

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Pervy anime character mouse pads…butt for ladies! 【Photos】

Not too long ago, we took a look at an anime girl figurine with its butt lovingly crafted out of soft, pliable silicon. Clearly, this is a sign of the hyper-sexualized nature of certain Japanese animated series, and the depressingly horny psyche of many male otaku.

Except, the fact of the matter is that everyone loves butts. As proof, feast your eyes on these pervy mouse pads for female anime fans.

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Sandwiched Between Twintails Pillow: For if you don’t know to hug your pillow or let it hug you

We’ve talked before about Japan’s love affair with gigantic hug pillows. Even if they’re not covered with pictures of your anime or celebrity crush, dakimakura, as they’re called in Japanese, have a number of physiological advantages, as well as the psychological benefits some people reap from having something to hold as they sleep.

Of course, some people also feel more secure and relaxed being held as they sleep, which is why Japan has a new, double-pronged huggy pillow that can hug you back.

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Cheese & Pizza chocolate!? We force-feed our coworkers the weirdest Japanese snack ever

Tirol chocolate has been around in Japan for as long as any of us can remember. Super tasty, available in dozens of flavours, and cheap enough even for elementary school kids to buy with their pocket-money, you’ll find these tiny squares of goodness in pretty much any convenience store or supermarket up and down the country. Occasionally, Tirol (or chiroru as it’s pronounced in Japanese) will release a handful of limited-edition flavours, fusing sweets like custard pudding and tiramisu together with their tasty choco to create unusual, moreish combinations.

But every now and then, they’ll try something really, really strange. Like Cheese & Pizza chocolate.

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Two guys, one hotpot: We bring back the traditional Japanese cuisine that is no-pants shabu shabu

“No pants hot-pot” enjoyed a brief spell of notoriety in the mid-90s when it emerged that Japanese Finance Ministry officials had demanded that bankers take them to a no-pan shabu shabu restaurant – where waitresses wear short skirts and no underwear – as a form of bribe.

After that scandal, no-pan shabu shabu disappeared, to be replaced by new trends in oddball sexy café entertainment. But the team in our Tokyo office felt it was about time this important element of Japanese culture was revived – no, improved! So we turned our office into a shabu shabu parlour for one night only, as two of our reporters enjoyed a night of bromance, bonding, and beef.

Warning: While there’s nothing full-frontal coming up, things are about to get NSFW.

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Want more fish in your sushi roll? Japanese restaurant will give you a Whole Sardine Roll

Even if you don’t speak Japanese, if you’re a sushi lover, you’ve probably heard some of the language’s fish-based vocabulary. Maguro is pretty readily understood as “tuna” among foodies with a palate for Japanese cuisine, and many people who can’t put together a complete sentence in Japanese still know that uni is sea urchin, for example.

Not as many non-Japanese speaking diners are as familiar with the word iwashi, or sardine, though. Although sardine sushi isn’t unheard of, it definitely trails in popularity behind less fishy-tasting fare, and its relatively low price and humble image mean it doesn’t have the same level of pizazz as a seaweed-wrapped pile of ikura (salmon roe) or a glistening cut of otoro (extra fatty tuna belly).

Visual impact isn’t a problem, though, for one Japanese restaurant chain’s latest creation: the Whole Sardine Sushi Roll.

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