weird

Why are these Chinese police officers torching dozens of arcade cabinets?

Why are these Chinese police officers torching dozens of arcade cabinets?

I think the last truly terrible video game I bought was Gundam v. 2.0 for the PlayStation One. This was back before all you had to do was wait a few hours for reviews from gamers to start pouring in online, and I got suckered in by some touched-up stills from the game in a magazine that made it look awesome. Instead, the one and only redeemable element to the title was it had a cool sound effect for the beam rifle, but that hardly made it worth the $75 it had cost me.

I’ve played subpar games since then, but Gundam v. 2.0 retains a special place of hatred in my gaming soul. It’s the sort of game that drives one to violent fantasies of revenge. Like an evil witch being punished for her sins, or a stubbornly regenerating troll that won’t stay dead, the only just way for Gundam 2.0 to pay for its crimes is by being set on fire.

Somewhere in a box, I still have my copy of the game. Maybe if I dig it out, these police officers in China will let me toss it onto their video game bonfire.

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Ridiculously tiny apartment may be downtown Tokyo’s cheapest (with good reason)

Ridiculously tiny apartment may be downtown Tokyo’s cheapest (with good reason)

Before marriage compelled me to look for nicer living quarters, I lived in a an apartment that was….less than spacious. At first, I ate my meals off the top of my microwave, since it took several months of rearranging my belongings to create enough floor space for a low-lying table.

In the five years I lived in that bunker, I never did figure out a configuration which would allow me to cram a chair into it, but eventually I got used to having an extremely Spartan home. Even still, I don’t think I could manage living in the apartment of one Tokyoite, which measures just under five square meters (54 square feet).

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Cute, flowery dress or detailed, disturbing anatomy model? You make the call!

Cute, flowery dress or detailed, disturbing anatomy model? You make the call!

With March here, winter is finally on its way out. Warmer weather, and with it the opportunity to go outside without having to layer up in sweaters and coats, is just around the corner.

For the fashionable young lady, this sleeveless pink number seems like the perfect starting point for a girlish spring ensemble, what with its bold line of frills. Don’t you think they look like flowers in full bloom?

Hold on to that pretty mental picture, because the alternative interpretations from some Japanese internet users is decidedly more grisly.

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Bizarre deep-sea shrimp or delicious sushi? Japanese netizens weigh in

Bizarre deep-sea shrimp or delicious sushi? Japanese netizens weigh in

Strange, almost otherwordly creatures have been discovered in the depths of the world’s oceans. But none have ever made someone immediately scream, “I wanna eat it!” That is until now.

Currently the topic of discussion on forums across Japan, this deep-sea shrimp-like crustacean seems to remind many netizens of nigiri sushi.

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Is cola-flavored soy milk the answer to our prayers? We find out

Is cola-flavored soy milk the answer to our prayers? We find out

A while back, food conglomerate Kibun and soy giant Kikkoman announced a couple new flavors for their popular Tonyu Inryo line of soy milk. In and of itself, this wasn’t too surprising, as new varieties are regularly swapped in and out of the Tonyu Inryo lineup.

One of the new flavors caught the eye of our junk food loving team, though: healthy cola. Ordinarily, the words “healthy” and “cola” are in such direct opposition that we expected the package to be contain a paradox-induced black hole, or to at least be completely empty inside. To our surprise, though, Kibun was indeed able to develop its healthy cola soy milk, and we wasted no time in trying it.

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Costume of Sanrio’s newest character lets you look like a fish without smelling like one

Costume of Sanrio’s newest character lets you look like a fish without smelling like one

In its never-ending quest for new, cute things, Japan sometimes latches onto things that the rest of the world might not apply the adjective to. It’s understandable when someone sees Hello Kitty or Totoro and squeals “Kawaii!, but by some twisted criteria, The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Jack Skellington and the rabbit Usavich, with his creepy drugged-looking eyes, are als considered “cute”.

So perhaps it’s not too surprising that you can now get a costume that turns you into the latest character from adorable mascot king Sanrio, despite that character being a filet of salmon.

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Horror bar Sacrifice has spirits of both the haunting and drinkable kinds

Horror bar Sacrifice has spirits of both the haunting and drinkable kinds

I’ve never fully understood the appeal of horror movies. After all, what’s the point in paying good money for something that’s going to make you want to pee your pants? On the other hand, purchasing beer always seems like a wise financial decision, despite its similar bladder-assaulting properties. Now, there’s a place where both fright fiends and fans of fermented barley can get their fix, the horror bar Sacrifice.

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Hong Kong sushi parlor’s creations so wrong they might be brilliant

Hong Kong sushi parlor’s creations so wrong they might be brilliant

At serious sushi chains in Japan, you can usually order sushi pieces one by one off of a menu at your seat, or put your fate in the hands of the chef by asking for the omakase course. Sushi purists know that omakase basically translates as “leave it to you” and that’s exactly what you’re doing when you order omakase; you’re giving the chef free license to make whatever creations he’d like.

It appears there’s one sushi shop in Hong Kong, though, where omakase might not be such a good idea: Akimasa Sushi features a variety of sushi options so bizarre, strange and downright disturbing that ordering omakase is like looking into the eyes of the cosmic entity Cthulhu him/her/itself.

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Chocolate covered shrimp chips are back in Japan!

Chocolate covered shrimp chips are back in Japan!

We’ve seen our fair share of interesting and often downright weird snacks in Japan, from Mountain Dew poofs that actually fizz in your mouth to chocolatey dried squid. Now we’ve got one more for you: Chocolate covered shrimp chips. If you wrinkled your nose at the thought of crunchy shrimp snacks, you’ll double over at the sight of these sweet and savory snacks that smell of the sea.

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Why settle for a radio-controlled car when you can have an RC toilet instead? 【Video】

Why settle for a radio-controlled car when you can have an RC toilet instead? 【Video】

Before moving to Japan, I got to dip my toes in the overseas lifestyle by spending several summers at a U.S. military installation in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The base was a long walk from the nearest train station, making bicycles an attractive way of getting around town. Even if you didn’t want to shell out the money to buy one, you could always get one for the day at the local bike rental shop.

Unfortunately, the rental bikes tended to be old, heavy, and not always in the best state of repair. The locals referred to them as “banjo bombers,” since benjo is a Japanese slang word for “bathroom,” and the rental bikes were pieces of…feces.

Little did I know there was another vehicle even more deserving of the benjo bomber title, a radio-controlled toilet.

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Anthropomorphized characters amaze, frighten us, leave us wanting more

Anthropomorphized characters amaze, frighten us, leave us wanting more

Anthropomorphized characters are both incredibly popular and prevalent in Japan, as you’re probably already very aware. From battleships to Japanese companies and municipalities, there’s seemingly nothing that can’t be made human–and probably cute as well! And, perhaps as a challenge to what we assume must be Rule 38 of the Internet–anything can be anthropomorphized and if it hasn’t been anthropomorphized yet, someone will do it–one Japanese Internet user took to 2Chan to request, simply enough, “Images of anthropomorphization, please.”

And the Internet gave him exactly what he wanted, with everything from Lipton Ice tea and Doraemon in sexy/creepy human form to an anthropomorphized version of Monday itself. Click below to see what was on display! (Note: Not all of these images are entirely safe for work.)

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Determined “willy artist” draws penises for his wife every day for a year…This must be true love

Determined “willy artist” draws penises for his wife every day for a year…This must be true love

What should you do with a new whiteboard? Well, draw penises on it, of course! That’s what a creative husband did to his wife’s whiteboard. When he told her that he was going to draw a penis on her new whiteboard, she challenged him to do so for a year, and the determined mister managed to complete the challenge with a great variety of penis drawings!

That’s more penises you’ll see in a day than you’ll probably see in a year. Unless you’re a nurse or doctor, or… okay, we don’t wanna know. Anyway, here’s 365 days worth of weenie drawings in three minutes!

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New dating simulator’s heroine is a doll….literally!

New dating simulator’s heroine is a doll….literally!

Dating simulator video games are only now starting to build a fan base internationally, but digital romance is such an established genre in Japan that it’s already evolved into several even more segmented sub-niches. Unsurprisingly, most early titles revolved around a high school boy with a harem of willing lasses circling around him. As time went on, dating simulators for girls caught on, resulting in the otome (“maiden”) game where gallant suitors compete for the leading lady’s affections.

Regardless of the protagonist’s gender, though, there have been so many dating simulators released in Japan that you have to do something pretty unusual to stand out from the pack now. We’ve seen titles where the love interest is an alpaca or pigeon, but now comes a romantic video game starring a girl who’s been transformed into a traditional Japanese kokeshi doll.

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“Awesome cooks who love money”: 10 things Americans (probably don’t) believe about Chinese people

“Awesome cooks who love money”: 10 things Americans (probably don’t) believe about Chinese people

A snappy little list is currently doing the rounds in Chinese and Japanese media, claiming to detail 10 things Americans think about Chinese people. Did you know that all Chinese people are good at cooking? That China’s men love money more than they love their wives? Or that they all want to wear the same clothes? Neither did we… But in amongst the humdrum negative stereotyping, though, there are some compliments being paid too!

Join us after the jump for 10 things that some Chinese people think Americans think about them!

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Quiz of the Week: Round 9 (It’s like a comb-over for your soul)

Quiz of the Week: Round 9 (It’s like a comb-over for your soul)

You’re back! Lovely to see you. Now shut up and face the corner.

Yes, that’s right boys and girls, it’s time for another multiple choice quiz where we throw random bizarre questions at you and see how much you learned this week about news from Japan and Asia. Don’t dilly-dally now; Hitler, Donald Trump’s hair, and a manga about love eggs are all waiting for you after the jump!

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Before and after of our reporter’s garish but gal-ish makeover 【Video】

Before and after of our reporter’s garish but gal-ish makeover 【Video】

Japanese youth trends can change in a flash. There’s a never ending boom and bust cycle for clothes, music, and even slang that’s claimed pop idol group Da Pump, platform boots, and the phrase cho beri guddo. By the way, if you can clearly remember any of those, please accept our apologies for forgetting to mail your 30th birthday card to you.

For a while, it looked like the Japanese “gal” makeup trend, with its over-the-top cosmetics and crazy coiffure, would be joining those relics of yesteryear. Apparently enough time has passed, though, that young female fashionistas are warming up to the idea of giving the distinctive look another chance and they shared their beauty tips during a gal makeover for our reporter, Kon.

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iPhone gets stolen in Spain, Japanese owner gets hit with massive bill for $9,800

iPhone gets stolen in Spain, Japanese owner gets hit with massive bill for $9,800

Recently, we brought you the tale of a man whose iPhone was stolen while he was traveling in Thailand, only to have some of the sting taken out of the unfortunate development when he saw the pictures of the cute girl who was using the pilfered phone.

Now comes the story of another Japanese iPhone user who fell victim to overseas thieves, then received a surprise upon returning home. Unfortunately, his surprise wasn’t photos of a fine-looking female, but instead a massive bill from his cell phone carrier for nearly one million yen (US$9,800).

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The best restaurant in Japan serves…French food and dirt soup?

The best restaurant in Japan serves…French food and dirt soup?

Hospitality Magazine recently announced its annually updated list of the 50 best restaurants in Asia. While the top prize went to Bangkok’s Nahm, Japan did snag the second and fifth place sports on the list.

But while Japan has a rich and complex cultural legacy all its own, its most highly ranked dining establishment isn’t a Japanese restaurant, but a French one.

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【TBT】Japan: Home to Nine Little-Known Guinness World Records

【TBT】Japan: Home to Nine Little-Known Guinness World Records

OK, so maybe Japan isn’t home to the world’s tallest man, nor does it hold the record for most simultaneous boob squeezes, but the land of the rising sun is still home to some pretty quirky records.

From “station with the shortest name in the world” to “world’s largest flower clock” (seriously), Japan has plenty to offer.

So come with us now as we take a sightseeing tour across the country to discover some of the coolest, most mundane and downright odd world records that few of us even knew existed. Plenty of photos and videos after the jump!

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Romance! Chinese man rents girlfriend, parents give her money, “couple” brawls in the street

Romance! Chinese man rents girlfriend, parents give her money, “couple” brawls in the street

A man and woman pretending to be boyfriend and girlfriend in order to please their traditionally-minded, grandchild-expecting parents is one of the oldest clichés in romantic fiction. It’s right up there with the moody jerk with a heart of gold and the rich, dreamy architect who would love to spend more time with the heroine if only he wasn’t juggling so many projects.

In real life, though, often times once you peel back the layers of jerk a guy has wrapped himself in, all you’ll find he was hiding deep down inside was a smaller, more concentrated jerk. Architecture has one of the highest unemployment rates of any professional field. And talking someone you’re not dating into pretending to be your girlfriend? It’s not nearly as cute as movies and TV make it out to be, as proven by the ugly aftermath of a man in China’s unsuspecting parents giving a sizeable cash gift to his fake girlfriend.

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