weird

Subway car decorated with anime idols literally brings fans to their knees in Shanghai

Subway car decorated with anime idols literally brings fans to their knees in Shanghai

In a lot of ways, hit anime Love Live seems to be been created with laser precision to strike right at the weak points of Japanese otaku. It’s got a cast filled with high school girls in frilly idol singer outfits who all have their own unique hairstyles and quirks, but are without exception earnest, pure, and devoted to their fans above all else.

So it’s no big surprise that we’ve no seen not only Love Live smartphone cases and shoes go on sale in Japan, but also big-ticket items like sports cars inspired by the franchise. The series isn’t just popular in Japan, though, as the bevy of idols are seeing their popularity rise in China as well, as a Shanghai subway decorated with the show’s characters recently brought fans to their knees in reverence.

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Beautiful when she’s angry? TV series features model yelling at the camera, and nothing else

Beautiful when she’s angry? TV series features model yelling at the camera, and nothing else

Japanese media seems to be run on the principal that adding attractive women to anything makes it better. Commercial for beer? Cast a high-profile actress. Serious news program? Let’s make a former bikini model the co-host. Posters encouraging people to fill out their census forms? We think they’ll be more effective if we use 75 percent of the space for a picture of a girl with a cute smile.

A new TV program seems set to carry this strategy to its illogical conclusion. Instead of enhancing the appeal of something men generally like or feel indifferent towards, broadcaster TV Tokyo’s idea is to create a miniseries that’s nothing but a good-looking girl chewing out the camera.

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Promotion offers perfect one-week living space for otaku: An apartment pre-stocked with manga

Promotion offers perfect one-week living space for otaku: An apartment pre-stocked with manga

The first time I went apartment hunting in Japan, I was shocked by how bare-bones some of them are. The lack of centralized air conditioning means often you have to go to the appliance store and buy your own AC unit, and oftentimes lighting and even a cooking range aren’t included either.

As a result, it’s always a relief to find an apartment that has any sort of amenities already included. And while a mini fridge or ceiling lamp is a nice freebie, neither one is anywhere near as cool as an apartment that comes pre-stocked with a library of manga.

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Fermented soybean shaved ice pushes the envelope of summertime sweets

Fermented soybean shaved ice pushes the envelope of summertime sweets

One of Japan’s favorite summertime treats is a bowl of shaved ice, or kakigori, as it’s called over here. While the most popular and common flavors are things like strawberry, melon and lemon, every now and again someplace will get really creative, like the restaurant in Kyoto that’s offering shaved ice covered with whiskey.

So now that we have nightcap-style kakigori covered, how about the opposite: a bowl of shaved ice covered with the Japanese breakfast staple natto, also known as fermented soybeans?

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Japanese farmer uses terrifying scarecrow, traumatizes children

Japanese farmer uses terrifying scarecrow, traumatizes children

Twitter user @amatou320 posted a photo online of a rather, ah, innovative scarecrow on a Japanese farm. If you ask us, it’s far more terrifying than your standard straw-stuffed shirt and it probably elicits some tears from passing children too, but we’re not sure if it will really work on crows…

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Unagi pastries contain no eel, tons of cuteness

Unagi pastries contain no eel, tons of cuteness

Even though I was an extremely finicky eater growing up, my palate has broadened quite a bit since moving to Japan. In the years I’ve spent living in Tokyo and Yokohama, I’ve become convinced that cooking a cut of tuna is the quickest way to ruin its flavor, spicy cod roe makes an excellent pasta sauce, and that chicken cartilage isn’t just something you can eat, but should.

Still, I’m not entirely sold on unagi, or freshwater eel. Honestly, the flavor is surprisingly mild and not unpleasant, but I still have a hard time getting past the mental image of the snake-like appearance for something that, in my opinion, tastes just OK and is a little on the expensive side.

On the other hand, unagi-shaped chocolate pastries make a much more compelling argument.

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Japanese deodorant sheets for ladies smell so nice some guys don’t need the actual girl

Japanese deodorant sheets for ladies smell so nice some guys don’t need the actual girl

For the most part, Japan takes personal hygiene pretty seriously. Combing your hair, putting on makeup, and getting dressed in the proper attire are all seen as essential parts of getting ready to go out in public, and dress codes are a much bigger deal than in some countries.

The standard grooming routine runs into one pretty big problem in the summer, though. Since most people in Japan take a bath at night before going to bed, by the time they arrive at work or school the next day, several hours have passed, during which sweat, oil, and odors can build up on the body. To combat this, there’s a wide variety of fragrances and deodorants available in drug stores, with one brand in particular that’s being described as “the ideal scent for women.”

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Basement Jaxx’s bizarre Japan-based music video freaks us out, makes us want to dance

Basement Jaxx’s bizarre Japan-based music video freaks us out, makes us want to dance

Sometimes it seems like whenever a Western creator wants to get away with something really over the top and crazy, they just set it in Japan to take advantage of that “those Japanese are sooooo weird” stereotype while simultaneously distancing themselves from criticism.

The latest creators to do this are British electronic dance band Basement Jaxx, who have come up with something really, uh… special.

Before we let you watch, we’ll give you a heads-up that it’s somewhat NSFW-ish, mainly on account of it involving robotic butts twerking. We told you it was bizarre.

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Unlike Japan’s other expensive melons, you can use this cast-iron one to brew tea

Unlike Japan’s other expensive melons, you can use this cast-iron one to brew tea

You may have heard horror stories about melons in Japan costing 10,000 yen (US $99), but they’re really more the exception than the rule. For their personal use, most people usually choose much cheaper varieties, and the premium stuff only gets purchased as a gift to be given on special occasions.

The price those 10,000-yen melons command has as much to do with their airbrushed centerfold-like unblemished looks as it does their flavor. Sometimes, it feels like a waste to cut them open to get to the edible parts inside, almost as though you’re destroying a piece of art that just happens to look like fruit.

Maybe that’s why someone made just that, with this melon-shaped tea pot.

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Run for your rice! Nagano marathons require runners to lug a sack of grain

Run for your rice! Nagano marathons require runners to lug a sack of grain

Food always seems to taste better right after getting in some exercise. Unfortunately, sometimes a long workout leaves you feeling starving and exhausted, which is a problem when you then have to go foraging for food after you leave the gym.

While I still haven’t found a gym that’ll reward you with a protein-packed steak for breaking your bench press max, or a pool that’ll hook you up with some sashimi after 1,000 meters of backstroke, there actually is a town in Japan that’ll give you a sack of rice for completing a 5K run. The only catch is, you’ve got to carry it with you during the race.

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Crazy new port-o-potty design is the most random thing we’ve seen in a long time

Crazy new port-o-potty design is the most random thing we’ve seen in a long time

There are all sorts of unwritten etiquette rules around men’s room urinal use. Don’t talk too much, don’t use a urinal next to someone when there are isolated urinals available, don’t compare size, and never, ever, ever make eye contact.

But this insane new port-o-potty design totally ignores all of that, making your odds of peeing next to someone about a 50/50 chance and all but forcing you to gaze into the eyes of another man while you both urinate simultaneously – a situation so specific, unlikely and repulsive that we’re pretty sure there’s not even niche porn for it. And there is niche porn for frikkin’ everything, people.

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“Tanima Diver” necklaces celebrate cleavage by plunging right into it

“Tanima Diver” necklaces celebrate cleavage by plunging right into it

Remember ekoD Works, the creators of the booby T-shirt that allowed owners of even the most modest breasts to show off a pair of tremendous D-cups in public? Well they’re back, and once again they’re celebrating boobies with a brand new project that requires the financial backing of fellow cleavage enthusiasts.

This time around, the creative team is launching a series of necklaces dubbed “Tanima Diver”, which feature an array of tiny figures, from skydiving businessmen to men in full scuba gear, about to descend into the dark valley, or “tanima“, between a woman’s breasts.

Join us after the jump for more on this peculiar product and to take a look at the wacky promotional video its makers are hoping will convince you to part with your money.

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Bandai Japan unveils bizarre new turtle launcher capsule toys, curiously epic promo video

Bandai Japan unveils bizarre new turtle launcher capsule toys, curiously epic promo video

Capsule toy-dispensing machines like those dotted all over Japan were something of a rarity back when I was growing up in the UK. Instead, we had to make do with Kinder Surprise, the tiny chocolate eggs that came with a small plastic toy inside (which, weirdly, were banned in the US). Some of the trinkets that came in those little eggs were actually quite cool, and the build-it-yourself element was genuinely appealing to our curious young minds.

But none of those toys came even close to being as exciting – or incredibly random – as the latest release from Bandai Japan: swimsuit-wearing turtles that can be fired out of their shells.

Join us after the jump to meet the whole shell-less turtle gang and watch their needlessly dramatic promotional video.

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Man questioned by police after building “girl” out of plastic bottles, taking her out on a date

Man questioned by police after building “girl” out of plastic bottles, taking her out on a date

Inventor and performance artist Showta Mori has been getting a taste of internet fame recently for his videos featuring his quick-draw, arm-mounted iPhone sleeve gun, but that’s far from his only creation or even his weirdest creation. That honor goes, in my opinion, to Lisako, his so-called “PET bottle lover,” his date on a series of adventures that would have David Lynch scratching his head and saying, “Now, that’s just weird.”

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Making a “fart cannon” is simple and cheap, says Japanese comedy site

Making a “fart cannon” is simple and cheap, says Japanese comedy site

So, farts are still the pinnacle of physical comedy. I mean, they cover all the comedy bases: They’re smelly, they make a funny noise, and they make people around you feel very uncomfortable. Farts are pure genius. Proof that God loves and hates us equally.

But sometimes you want to fart on someone but they’re just a little too far away to reach with your offensive bodily odors, no matter how hard you try to project your poo gas. That’s where the – obviously – Japanese invention of the Fart Cannon comes in. With this simple device, you can launch your fart gas at unsuspecting targets several meters away.

All you need is a box, some tubing, and a willingness to insert said tubing into your anus.

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Aliens scheduled to land in Fukuoka at the end of July!

Aliens scheduled to land in Fukuoka at the end of July!

Aliens. We’ve always speculated on their existence. Do they already live among us or are they waiting in space to make their appearance suddenly and violently known to us? We recently believed that they might be real with their sudden attendance at a baseball game earlier this year, but those aliens were ejected from the stadium and locked away before we could get their story.

Perhaps, we will now ascertain the truth! Five cousins of the aliens from Independence Day have crashed their brown, corrugated spaceship in Japan and finally we have the proof we’ve always longed for. More about why they’re here, how long they’ll be staying, and how we can learn more about them after the jump.

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Now trending in Japan: Duct-taped hug pillows

Now trending in Japan: Duct-taped hug pillows

Back in my teaching days, some of my more hormonally afflicted students would take great pleasure in asking me whatever inappropriate or perverted questions popped into their heads, often wrongly assuming that I wouldn’t understand what they were saying. Sometimes they’d even break out some crude English with questions like (pointing to my crotch) “Sensei, are you long boy?”, “Do you play sex?”, or “How about Japanese adult video?”

One question that came up curiously often, though, was whether I was “esu” or “emu“, or in English: “Are you a sadist or a masochist?”

I’ve never really thought of myself as either, but chats with a few of my Japanese coworkers soon led me to believe that a surprising number of people here consider themselves to be one or the other. Can you guess which group the owners of these gagged dakimakura belong to?

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Internet reacts to Taiwanese yoga instructor’s wildly unnecessary opening pitch striptease

Internet reacts to Taiwanese yoga instructor’s wildly unnecessary opening pitch striptease

When it comes to on-field spectacle and non-game antics in Western sports, baseball is without a doubt the most restrained. It eschews the cheerleaders of basketball, the super high-budget halftime shows of football and the fights of hockey for, at best, a bored guy in a cheap mascot costume doing something silly in the dugout two or three times a game.

But, in Taiwan, apparently, baseball is just all kinds of bonkers.

For your consideration, here is an absolutely crazy opening pitch from a week or so ago that saw a woman dressed in cheetah-pattern doing a ridiculous and totally unnecessary strip-tease before tossing the ball over the plate, then rubbing her half-naked body all over the catcher. Also, for a while, the catcher is blindfolded because, at this point, why not?

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Watermelon bagels arrive in Japan, then in our bellies【Taste test】

Watermelon bagels arrive in Japan, then in our bellies【Taste test】

There’s a lot that I love about summer. The additional hours of daylight, awesome fireworks festivals, and the chance to wear a summer kimono are all big plusses in my book.

Still, even I have to admit Japan can get uncomfortably hot at this time of year. A cold beer or cup of sake are both refreshing ways of beating the heat, but there are times when chilled alcohol isn’t an option, such as when I have non-drinking related work to do and/or am already hung-over.

So in order to stay both sober and cool, I eat as much watermelon as I can every summer. And while I don’t think Japanese chain Bagel & Bagel designed their new watermelon bagel just for me, I figured I’m still in the target demographic, and decided to try it out.

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Is boob-shaped controller a clever gag ad, pie in the sky dream, or the future of gaming? 【Video】

Is boob-shaped controller a clever gag ad, pie in the sky dream, or the future of gaming? 【Video】

While plenty of video games use busty female characters to try to spice up their gameplay and drum up sales, few are as unabashed and exuberant in their mammary motivations as Senran Kagura. The bosomy brainchild of producer Kenichiro Takaki, Senran Kagura is an action title centered on a group of young female ninja that lets players fight hordes of enemies while staring at oversized, under-supported breasts.

Recently, though, a new round of inspiration smacked Takaki in the face, as he realized that cramming his series full of prodigious chests is only half of the equation of letting people play games with big breasts.

So he set out to design a game controller shaped like a pair of boobs.

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