weird

Otaku armor! Yes, there really is a dude wearing this mountain of anime merchandise

As someone who used to own several anime T-shirts, I can see the appeal of clothing yourself in images of your favorite series. Some might argue it’s silly to turn yourself into a walking billboard for any product or organization, but if the art is part of what attracted you to the show, wanting to wear a piece of it doesn’t necessarily brand you as some sort of mindless slave to consumerism.

If nothing else, it’s a way to communicate your passion for your hobby to those around you, and can occasionally serve as an ice breaker for meeting like-minded individuals. In a sense, anime clothing is the uniform of an anime fan.

Although, in the case of this incredibly dedicated otaku, it’s more like his armor.

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Samsung claims rival LG exec purposely broke its washing machine display model in Germany

A trait of good business leaders is that however high they rise in the company, they never overlook the organization’s frontline operations. It’s important, even for presidents and CEOs, to understand how low-level employees go about their tasks and the manner in which products are purchased and used.

According to accusations from Korean electronics maker Samsung, though, a senior executive from rival LG Electronics got a little too zealous in his point-of-sale activities when he stopped by a retailer and broke one of Samsung’s display models.

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Chinese lingerie thief’s stash was so huge it broke the building he lived in

How many bras is too many to steal? Morally, the answer is obviously zero, since unlike a loaf of bread, lingerie doesn’t have the sort of nutritional content that you can feed your starving family with.

But what about structurally? The answer seems to be about 2,000, as demonstrated by a prolific pantie pilferer in China whose stash got so big, it actually began destroying the building he lives in.

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“Sushi Chic” is the new style trend we could really sink our teeth into

When your average Westerner thinks of Japan, what’s most likely to spring to the forefront of their minds? We’re betting that sushi, samurai, anime and geisha are up there in the top ten, with sushi being the best-known incarnation of Japanese food abroad. But it seems that stylish overseas consumers aren’t satisfied with simply eating their sushi – they want to wear it on their bodies, too, so everyone can see how cool and cutting-edge they really are. Join us as we take a look at some of the weird and wonderful sushi fashion items available for purchase right now.

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We love Daiso, but sometimes the weird products just amuse us

When it comes to Japanese 100 yen stores, there really isn’t anything you can’t find. Previously, we’ve looked into the most handy products, a consumer report of the must-haves and products to avoid, and we’ve even put together disaster preparedness kits using their wallet-friendly products.

The owner of Daiso, one of Japan’s largest 100 yen store chains, may not have the most confidence in his company, but for the most part it seems like people love Daiso. While most products are pretty awesome, some shoppers have been finding some really strange products and product displays. Join us after the jump for some weird amusement, 100 yen store-style.

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Toilet slides and turd hats: welcome to Tokyo’s crappiest exhibition

Imagine crowds of Japanese families donning poop-shaped plush hats and sliding into a huge toilet. No, this isn’t a scene from a dream brought on by a questionable bowl of ramen, this is just one of the many surreal exhibits from a Tokyo educational expo that organizers hoped would inspire visitors to “gain an increased appreciation of toilets.”

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Mayonnaise and takuan sandwich proves disgusting food combinations are big business in Japan

If you’ve lived in Japan a while or even just visited, you may recognize the word “takuan” – a type of Japanese pickle made from radishes and served as a side dish – and you’ll almost certainly recognize mayonnaise as that thing that is incongruously glopped on just about everything in Japan.

You’ll probably also recognize that these two items have absolutely no business together, especially if just stuffed unceremoniously into a loaf of bread, but, you see, this combination was almost inevitable because, as we’ve proven time and time again, gross food combinations are just the bee’s knees when it comes to prepackaged foods in Japan.

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Cotton Wife and Cotton Husband aren’t huggy pillows, they’re life partners for the lonely!

Novelty goods manufacturer Bibi Lab would like to get one thing straight. Despite appearances, its life-sized, humanoid-shaped stuffed Wata Yome and Wata Danna are not hug pillows. And while the English text in the product logo may refer to them as “body pillows,” really, the company would prefer you to think of them as “partners for lonely people.”

Let’s look at what constitutes the freaky difference.

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Lonely Japanese life hack: Make your empty apartment look like a party (at least in the entryway)

The holidays can be a lonely time if you live alone. Sure, having a little time for yourself is nice and all, but there are only so many nights in a row you can spend silently sipping bourbon and staring out at the falling snow before it starts to become legitimately depressing/arguably alcoholism.

That vacuum of isolation when you step inside, shut the door behind you, and realize you’re totally alone can be a serious downer. So today, we’re sharing an extremely easy life hack to, even if just for a second, make you feel like instead of coming home to an empty apartment, you’ve got a group of friends waiting for you.

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From the internet to your conbini! Ritz debuts new Peach and Mozzarella snacks

Back in August, we brought you the news that Japanese online foodies were going crazy over a new and unusual flavor combination. Apparently, eating mozzarella cheese along with sliced peaches and a touch of pepper makes for a delicious taste sensation. At the time, we thought this was just one of those weird internet foodie fads that you might try once just to see what the fuss is all about, before discarding in favor of more tried-and-tested snack options. So imagine our surprise to find that food company Nabisco has decided to roll with the mozzarella/peach hybrid taste and make it the new flavor for their Ritz Bits Sandwich range of munchy snacks!

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Smartphone game turns mushrooms into cute anime girls, still gives foreigners wacky accents

There aren’t many foods I hate more than mushrooms. I’ve got issues with both their taste and texture, and, to my eyes, they just look kind of gross, no matter which variety we’re talking about.

But while I don’t think I’ll ever completely come around on the idea of eating fungi, it’s nice to at least have a different visual image for them, thanks to a new smartphone game that’s turned a half-dozen types of mushrooms into cute anime girls.

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Giant disembodied head of middle-aged man spotted floating over Tochigi Prefecture

Residents of Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture were baffled last weekend by the appearance of an Unidentified Floating Object drifting serenely across the blue skies of their fair city. Initial reports spoke of a “gigantic head” with “the face of a middle-aged man.” So, what’s the story here? Is this a case of mass hysteria? Did a really ugly UFO really appear over Tochigi prefecture? Or is there a rational explanation for this baffling apparition? Join us after the jump for close-up pictures of the floating monstrosity, as well as the real reason why it took to the skies to frighten residents on a sunny Saturday afternoon!

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Festive cockroach crackers are on their way to help get the party started in Japan

Japan works hard for most of the year, but right now, it’s party time across the nation. With the holiday’s secular, stylish image, many people get together with friends for Christmas parties, not to mention end-of-the-year and beginning-of-the-year parties with both coworkers and private acquaintances.

And what more festive way to get the party going than with a party cracker? You know, one of those shiny paper cones that, when you pull its cord, emits a shower of confetti…or, in the case of one new design, a colony of cockroaches.

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Head of Japan’s most successful 100-yen chain calls himself “hopeless,” might need a hug

An important part of business leadership is being able to walk that fine line between optimism and realism. It’s important to recognize the organization’s flaws, but if employees see the boss panicking, they’re likely to follow suit. A capable leader needs a certain amount of swagger, with the ability to convince those under him that there’s a way for the company to turn all of its crises into opportunities.

Or, there’s the tactic adopted by the head of one of Japan’s largest chain of 100-yen stores, which is to wear that uneasiness on your fear-sweat-drenched sleeve, telling everyone associated with your business that they should brace for disaster.

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Fan creates cosplay bag from favorite anime series by attaching severed heads of its characters

You can’t talk about the currently airing anime Terra Formars, and the manga it’s based on, without touching on the designs for its humanoid cockroach antagonists. Almost everyone finds them unsettling, but that discomfort isn’t just being caused by their intimidatingly muscled physiques and blank stares. A vocal group of international anime fans also contend that they don’t so much resemble the sturdy six-legged bugs the series’ creator cites as their inspiration as much as racist caricatures of people of African heritage.

Japanese society tends to not be so reflective on the implications, whether intentional or not, that its domestically produced fiction carries when it trickles out to a global audience, though. The debate over whether or not Terra Formars’ art is insensitive or not is largely non-existent in Japan, where the aliens are taken at face value as fictional characters in a fictional setting. As such, fans feel no qualms wearing their love of the show on their sleeve, or, in the case of one cosplay enthusiast, on his bag, which is decked out with what look to be the severed heads of the divisive characters.

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Oppai Taisou Hand, the pink plastic hand that will exercise your boobs to new heights

Following trends can be a tricky affair, especially when it comes to fashion trends. The latest clothes and styles may look absolutely fabulous in magazines and photos online, but many a time, they are not the most suitable for everyone, because not everyone has a model-like body or attitude to carry off these trends.

Take the latest boob shirt craze for example. Many girls are probably itching to let out their inner-fashionistas by getting into one of those sexy sweaters, but the boob shirt is one good example of a trend that requires certain assets to pull off. Fret not, ladies, the Oppai Taisou Hand (which literally means “Boob Exercise Hand”) is here to help you shape up for your fashion endeavors!

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We desperately want to hire these adorable Indian freelance “idols”

We’ve already seen a lot of “boyfriend for hire” stuff around Asia, which seems to be really into the idea of paying for romantic encounters, but until now we’ve never seen someone offering their boyish good looks and charming company for free.

Meet Dev and San, two kindhearted Indian models working as freelance “idols” – a popular term in Asia for models you can hire for a variety of situations – for the low, low price of absolutely nothing.

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We search for the fabled bed and breakfast inside Narita’s runway that’s just 10 bucks a night

While it’s often referred to in travel literature as Tokyo Narita Airport, Japan’s busiest international air hub is actually located in Chiba Prefecture, making it about a one-hour train ride away from downtown Tokyo (and you can tack an extra 30 minutes or so onto that if you’re not willing to shell out the extra cash for the express train). This makes Narita sort of inconvenient if you’ve got an early departure, or if you arrive late and don’t feel like spending two hours in transit before you can collapse in your hotel bed.

So our interest was piqued when we found out about a bed and breakfast built so close to the airport it’s actually inside the runway area, and once we heard the rumors that it costs just 1,000 yen (US $8.50) a night, we decided to go searching for the mysterious hotel ourselves.

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Professional grade mind games: Japanese company dispatches hot dudes to make your man jealous

Poke deep enough into the corners of the Japanese service sector, and you’ll come across the class of businesses known as benri-ya. Literally meaning “convenience providers,” they exist to fill all the little needs that generally aren’t common or lucrative enough to have their own dedicated businesses. For example, female-run Support One offers personal shopping, dog walking, PC setup, and even substitute grave visitors.

Support One is also willing to help customers with white lies that make their daily life easier, such as providing companions who’ll pretend to be your friends or family members at social functions. Now, the company is expanding its catalogue of social trickery with its newest service, dispatching a hot guy to make your boyfriend jealous.

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Korean Air vice president throws fit over getting nuts in a bag, orders plane back to gate

While I don’t think of myself as the world’s most patient person, I generally don’t get too riled up about air travel. Part of that is thanks to my strategy of getting to the airport early enough to enjoy enough beer that I’m sleepy and relaxed, yet not so much that I’m surly and combative. Mainly, though, it’s because living in Japan and having family in the U.S. means I’ve been on plenty of long flights, and after a while you learn to roll with the punches of a few inconveniences along the way.

So you’d think someone with even more experience flying, like, say, the vice president of Korean Air, who is also the daughter of its owner, would be even more serene when taking a plane from point A to point B. Maybe she ordinarily is, but that certainly wasn’t the case last week, when Cho Hyun-ah went nuts over a bag of nuts.

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