weird

Japanese candy maker announces new “hot cola gum” to meet demand that probably doesn’t exist

Anyone who has tried salty watermelon Pepsi, yogurt-flavored water or whitebait ice cream can tell you that the Japanese love weird flavors. If it’s new and outlandish, the Japanese market wants to get a taste.

I can only assume that’s what confectioner Lotte was banking on with their newest creation, because there surely couldn’t have been that many voices clamoring for hot cola chewing gum!

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Cosplay in your sleep with this giant anime-style “pigtails pillow”【Pics & Video】

The creative team at Bibi Lab have been at it again. The inventive brand dedicated to bringing weird and wonderful items out into the world have delighted us with life-sized human-shaped pillows, mosquito net jumpsuits and even sailor-style schoolgirl uniforms for men.

Now there’s another item we’ll be adding to our growing collection of Bibi Lab products: the giant anime-style pigtails pillow.

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“Yohjo Simulator” lets you wreak havoc as a little girl with a penchant for headbutting【Video】

Thanks to the runaway popularity of wacky physics games with the word “simulator” in the title (yes, I’m looking at you, Surgeon, Goat and Tabletop Simulators), it was only a matter of time before a Japanese developer decided to out-weird their Western counterparts with a distinctly Japanese “simulator” game.

That game is Yohjo Simulator, and of course it’s bizarre and unsettling.

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McDonald’s Japan to give new burgers away for free—provided you have the right name

There’s no denying McDonald’s Japan has had rough time these past few years, with incidents like the spoiled meat scandal contributing to declining sales. To complicate matters further, some of the fast food chain’s campaigns and initiatives, like the sudden removal of menus from its counters (which have since been reinstated), have been met with confusion if not outright anger from Japanese customers. Now, it seems McDonald’s has captured the Japanese Internet’s attention again with what could well be their strangest campaign ever.

McDonald’s Japan will be releasing a new line of “affordably priced” burgers on October 26. And while that’s all fine and well, it’s their special one-day promotion in which they’ll be giving away these new burgers for free that has been raising eyebrows due to its bizarre catch.

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Totoro made me do it! Man says he was inspired to shoplift by Studio Ghibli anime classic

As popular as Japanese animation is, some critics argue that it can have negative psychological effects on audiences. After watching anime martial artists solve their problems with their fists, will fans try to resolve their own conflicts in similarly violent ways? Isn’t is possible that witnessing lewd acts in animated form will cause impressionable viewers to become more sexually aggressive in real life?

We don’t know about those scenarios, but one recently arrested man was led down the path of crime by his love of anime, and the unlikely corrupter was Studio Ghibli’s Totoro.

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Dumpy dumpling dude gachapon toys make us hungry and grossed-out at the same time

Japanese gachapon machines aren’t just for kids, if the success of recent mega-popular plastic toys like Cup no Fuchiko and cup-clinging hamsters have recently proven. Perhaps there’s something about hanging a little character on your morning cup of joe that appeals to the kid inside us that is nevertheless forced to be an adult in a harsh and unforgiving world (which often requires caffeine.)

However, the most recent cup-clinging curio on the gachapon market has us feeling both hungry and creeped out in equal measure. Meet Dumpling Head Man!

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Weird new Japanese website lets you flick a cute girl’s forehead to your heart’s content

Well, this is probably the weirdest snippet of news from Japan that you’ll read about all week.

On Friday, a new Japanese website was unveiled which has the sole purpose of allowing net users to forcefully flick their fingers into the forehead of a cute girl (an admonishing action known as a dekopin in Japanese) and watch her exasperated reaction, all done virtually through the screen, of course. After all, hasn’t that always been on your bucket list?

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Why does Burger King’s black burger turn poo green in the U.S. and the U.K., but not Japan?

If you’ve gone on a few overseas trips, you may be familiar with the phenomenon of travel poo, wherein your stool takes on a different hue for a few days as you adjust to local ingredients. It’s far less common for the opposite to occur, but that’s what seems to be happening with Burger King’s black burgers, which have become a repeating success story in Japan.

Burger King is currently offering its darkly colored sandwich in the U.S. and the U.K., but many are reporting that while the company turned the burger’s bun black, the burger is turning their poo green. But what’s behind this transformation, and why didn’t it happen in Japan?

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Talk show features machine repeatedly slapping man in the nuts, because Japan

Despite media coverage, Japanese TV tends to lean towards the tame. You’ve got your History Channel-type stuff, your basic daytime dramas, your variety shows that are invariably focused on people eating food and the reactions of people watching said people eat food (spoiler: it’s delicious). You’ve got your movie re-runs and your weather forecasts.

But then, sometimes, you’ve got stuff like this: a man willingly, inexplicably letting a machine paddle him in the family jewels over and over again for what appears to be no reason at all.

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Japan’s latest awkward invention: the chair-umbrella 【Pics & Video】

Japanese inventions have a reputation for being incredibly awesome, incredibly bizarre, and, um, even more incredibly bizarre. And this latest creation is no exception: say hello to the chair-umbrella.

Ever needed a seat but all you had was a stupid, useless umbrella? Well never again! Just turn this amazing invention upside-down, open it up, sit on down, and prepare to be stared at and asked if you need to be taken to a hospital.

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New Japanese fragrance apparently smells like the bath towel of a woman straight out of the shower

Maybe you’ve heard about the legendary used panty vending machines of Japan. With all the “weird Japan” news floating around out there, it’s hard to miss the exaggerated stories of hidden vending machines selling used undergarments so that shy pervs can indulge in the, erm…unique fragrance without actually having to go out and interact with a real live woman.

Of course, the used pantie vending machines are kind of a myth; sure, one or two of them exist, but it’s not like they’re on every other block like breathless news coverage suggests.

However, lonely weirdos shouldn’t give up hope just yet, because it turns out we’ve reached a technological point in time in which Japanese companies are able to recreate the fragrance of a woman’s bath towel fresh from the shower, which is maybe, we guess, the next best thing to used panties.

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“Do you prefer busts or bottoms?” Prison School drama looks to be as lewd as the anime 【Videos】

Last month, we got our first in-costume look at the cast of the upcoming live-action TV adaptation of manga and anime Prison School. But while the production’s casting directors, stylists, and costumers have done a commendable job making the real-life performers look like their 2-D inspirations, fans have been wondering if the live-action Prison School will still feel like its source material.

After all, it’s not uncommon for there to be a major shift in tone when anime goes live-action, and a lot of the outlandishly pervy stuff that goes on in the animated Prison School ostensibly gets a pass from censors because it’s not being done by real people. Still, it doesn’t look like the live-action Prison School is looking to change the formula that worked for both the anime and the manga, as its two preview videos show it’s still perfectly happy to bask in its ludicrous lewdness, as well as repeatedly ask the question “Do you prefer butts or breasts?”

Heads-up! Depending on how accepting your workplace environment is of ludicrous lewdness, you might want to save these videos for after you get home.

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“Come on Hammy, time for walkies!” Old man attempts to walk hamster on leash in Tokyo 【Video】

Sometimes, it’s nice to be able to take your pet out into the fresh air and commune with nature together. It’s an obvious perk of dog-ownership, but even some cats enjoy a little time on the leash. And who could forget the spectacle of the giant tortoise taking a stroll around Tokyo with its owner?

But a recent pet-walkies fiasco captured on Twitter has us scratching our heads. Why on earth would anyone try to walk a hamster?!

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Smashing cakes and eating hair: City in Gifu Prefecture releases bizarre PR video【Video】

Following in the footsteps of Kobayashi City in Miyazaki Prefecture, Gifu Prefecture’s Seki City has recently released its own quirky PR video. This ad, however, focuses on the city’s contribution to daily life with an important product that the city is famous for rather than emphasizing any local accent. Judging by the bizarre scene in the photo above, can you guess what Seki City is famous for producing? Here’s a hint: This video is shear madness!

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We try civet poop coffee【Taste Test】

Human beings are endlessly inventive when it comes to food. From curried cicadas to snake soup to lemon and mint Pepsi, we never stop inventing new ways to follow the evolutionary imperative to stuff our faces with calories. And while I’m generally a cultural relativist when it comes to “weird” foods, sometimes there is a concept so out-there, you can’t help but say it’s bizarre.

Like kopi luwak, coffee made from beans that have been through the poop shoot of a tree cat. We’ve all heard of it, and it sounds revolting, but have any of us ever actually tried it? Why, yes, actually…

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“Attention, all you pigs!” Japan’s anime-style motivational diet CD minces no words or pork

Being overweight can negatively impact your life in a number of ways, but many of them don’t become apparent until after years of a hyper-calorific lifestyle. As such, vague warnings about lowered energy levels and increased medical costs at some indeterminable point in the future, or even a potentially early death, don’t always have enough of a feeling of immediacy to be compelling arguments to eat healthy and exercise.

On the other hand, a better chance at winning the approval of women is almost always a compelling argument, which is why a new motivational CD is being released in Japan with a number of anime and video game voice actresses alternatively offering encouragement to dieters and spitting contempt at the “pigs.”

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Sweet omelette-flavored gummies? Famous Japanese YouTuber tries it so you don’t have to!

Tamagoyaki– best described as a fluffy, sweetened rolled omelette that’s often served chilled is a staple in typical Japanese bento lunches. A gummy candy flavor it is not…until now! Adding to an ever-growing list of odd flavors coming from Japan, tamagoyaki-flavored gummies are now a thing, and well-known Japanese YouTuber Hikakin has gotten his hands on these rare odd gems and given them a taste. The verdict? Watch and see for yourself!

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Want a great-tasting meal when eating alone? Put a mirror on the table, Japanese researcher says

There’s a restaurant in my neighborhood that I ate dinner at shortly after I moved to Yokohama. Since in those days I worked night shift, I walked through the door around 9:30 p.m., asked for a table for one, and ordered my food.

It turned out to be one of the blandest, least satisfying meals I’ve ever had, but that restaurant is still in business, more than a decade later, so the food can’t be that bad. In hindsight, I think the fact that it was about the 20th meal in a row I’d eaten alone was affecting my sense of taste. Spending too much time by yourself can mess with your head, and the social aspect of eating with a friend can really add a lot to your enjoyment of the meal, which is why a researcher in Japan says that if you’re going to be eating by yourself, you should put a mirror on the table.

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That moment when Google Maps tells you there’s a crab claw somewhere…and there actually is!

Japan is full of places with unusual names, like Kinugawa (“Angry Demon River”), which caused all the flooding earlier this month. So, it’s understandable that when someone sees a place marked Crab Claw (“カニの爪” pronounced “kani no tsume”) on Google Maps, they might think it’s the name of a hill or some quirky little fishing village.

But one Japanese Twitter user decided to investigate and went to get a look at what this “Crab Claw” actually was. It turns out Google Maps wasn’t being coy or silly — it was being 100 percent literal!

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These Edo-period sketches of human skeletons are oddly adorable despite being totally creepy

The Edo Period was a time of great change for Japan, in just about every way possible. Perhaps one of the areas of biggest change, though, was science and medicine, thanks to the numerous scholars who spent years learning not only from Western sources but also from their own work.

One of the pioneers of medicine in the Edo Period was Toshuku Neguro, an ophthalmologist who sketched the first Japanese diagram of the human skeleton. While it was likely a fairly gruesome job, Neguro’s sketches are somehow almost…cute?!

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