weird

Akihabara’s first rental nerd looking to cash in on his jobless status

Akihabara’s first rental nerd looking to cash in on his jobless status

In a lot of ways, the NEET social phenomena is something that could only happen in Japan. The term stands for “not in education, employment, or training,” and refers to those individuals who are neither earning a living nor officially doing anything to approach that basic goal in life.

In many other countries, most people would conclude that a dose of tough love, or a few swift kicks to the backside, is in order. And while that’s the strategy Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino would recommend, in Japan, a large number of parents are willing to support their adult children’s NEET lifestyles for years on end.

Now, though, one man is putting a twist on the “not in education, employment, or training” label by renting out his services as a professional NEET.

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Chinese woman takes a nap at a public plaza in her birthday suit! 【NSFW】

Chinese woman takes a nap at a public plaza in her birthday suit! 【NSFW】

We guess the weather must have been really hot in China as of late. Just last week we reported news of a woman strutting about in lingerie at a marketplace, but someone else managed to outdo her bold stunt.

A woman was found taking a nap stark naked at an open plaza in Dongguan, Guangdong Province. Some concerned citizens nearby tried to cover her up, but got shooed away instead!

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Is this tequila ramen with pitch-black broth and action movie tie-in macho enough for you?

Is this tequila ramen with pitch-black broth and action movie tie-in macho enough for you?

In recent years, ramen has been making a name for itself as a respectable, in some cases almost gourmet meal. Japan’s favorite noodle dish has even reached the point where some women feel it’s an acceptable choice for a dinner date (provided you follow certain rules).

That doesn’t mean ramen has been entirely gentrified, though. There’s one noodle joint in Tokyo that’s currently offering a throwback to the machismo that used to define the dish, with a bowl of ramen that has an action movie tie-in and is seasoned with tequila.

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Pizza Hut Japan’s caramel marshmallow pizza tastes great, but does it need hot sauce? We find out

Pizza Hut Japan’s caramel marshmallow pizza tastes great, but does it need hot sauce? We find out

Japanese candy maker Morinaga’s Milk Caramel line has been around for 100 years, which is essentially an eternity in the fiercely competitive, constantly evolving Japanese snack food arena. To celebrate the milestone, Morinaga is partnering with a number of restaurants to bring caramel to bold, baffling new worlds.

We recently talked about the caramel banana and caramel mayonnaise corn sushi that started the ball rolling, and now Morinaga has teamed up with Pizza Hut to create a caramel pizza. Not unique enough? Don’t worry, it also has marshmallows. Still not weird enough for you? You’ll be happy to know it also comes with chili sauce.

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“I tape them to my monitor” – Weird things people in Japan do with their cat’s fallen whiskers

“I tape them to my monitor” – Weird things people in Japan do with their cat’s fallen whiskers

As a cat owner, I’m used to having cat hair on absolutely everything. But every so often in amongst the clouds of fur I find a dropped whisker lying alone on the floor, and for some reason it feels wrong to just throw it away. Turns out I’m not alone, and some people go a few steps further when it comes to storing these precious mementos of their feline friends.

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Parasyte manga’s Migi stuffed toy is an affront to nature and our eyeballs

Parasyte manga’s Migi stuffed toy is an affront to nature and our eyeballs

As visual media, it’s in the best interest of most anime and manga to be aesthetically pleasing. After all, the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from looking at something cute or pretty has kept fans coming back to Pokémon and the works of Studio Ghibli for decades. It’s also great for driving merchandise sales. After all, what anime fan wouldn’t sleep tight with a stuffed Pikachu or Totoro to cuddle as they doze off?

On the other hand though, if you’re trying to fight off drowsiness, we recommend decorating your room with a plush toy from the manga series Parasyte, which is so shockingly terrifying you may never close your eyes again.

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Love sushi? Now you can date it, with this romance simulator available in English!

Love sushi? Now you can date it, with this romance simulator available in English!

Since most sushi is served raw, the flavor can vary wildly depending on the freshness of the fish and even the season in which you eat it. Granted, most of what’s available in Japan is reasonably tasty, but when all the factors line up just right, the mix of surprise, joy, and satisfaction that come from popping a really good piece of sushi into your mouth can be a borderline emotional experience, almost like falling in love.

If you’re a sushi-loving lady looking to take your relationship with the dish to an even deeper level, there’s now a dating simulator that lets you romance handsome anthropomorphized pieces of sushi.

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China’s mysterious “fashion fairy” is back with even more bizarre trash outfits

China’s mysterious “fashion fairy” is back with even more bizarre trash outfits

A couple of months ago, an ingenious cosplayer intrigued the internet with photos of his impressive low-cost looks created using nothing but kitchen utensils, toilet rolls and large helping of imagination, enabling him to look remarkably like Disney princesses, Harry Potter and more.

Just last month we discovered the creative genius pictured above, this time in China. Though her forte is not in replicating the looks of famous characters, this fashion designer-wannabe has shown extraordinary imagination and creativity in the items she creates out of plastic bags, cardboard, vegetables, and even seafood. Now, the fashion fairy is back, and she has even more funky photos to show off!

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Marketing…? Japanese clothing label calls would-be wearers “fat”

Marketing…? Japanese clothing label calls would-be wearers “fat”

One day back in college, I was shopping for some clothes in Yamaguchi. I found a shirt that fit just right, but when I took it off and looked at the tag, I was surprised to see the size listed as “LA.” Curious, I asked the salesperson what it meant, and was told it was an abbreviation for “large athletic,” meaning it was cut for a person with large shoulders and a slim waist.

I’m not sure how much of that was really reflected in the design, but the unexpected written compliment put me in such a good mood I bought the shirt right away, and still have it to this day.

Of course, this sort of psychology can cut both ways, and I’m not sure how one Japanese clothing manufacturer expects to drum up sales by calling out its larger customers in the least delicate way.

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Video series recreates the highs and lows of walking past a cute girl and not saying hello

Video series recreates the highs and lows of walking past a cute girl and not saying hello

For the most part, guys hitting on girls isn’t really a part of Japanese culture. Thankfully, there are a number of social institutions that take its place, such as frequent student mixers, company drinking parties, and singles’ dinners organized by groups of friends with an exactly equal number of unattached men and women present.

All of this largely circumvents the need for a guy to go up to a girl that catches his eye in a book store or coffee shop with nothing more than a smile and a hello. It also means that if a man is out and about and spots an attractive woman, if there’s no one to give him a formal introduction, a glance at her pretty face, and maybe a moment where her eyes meet his, is about all that he can ever hope to take away from the encounter.

For some guys, though, that’s enough, and for them, there’s a new website featuring nothing but short videos of cute girls walking past you.

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Frozen fan gets hot under collar when husband asks what the big deal is, asks for divorce

Frozen fan gets hot under collar when husband asks what the big deal is, asks for divorce

I’m fortunate in that my wife and I have fairly similar tastes in movies and TV shows. We both agree that Modern Family is funny, seeing the Hulk beat up Loki in The Avengers is deeply satisfying, and that the anime Escaflowne is an extremely compelling take on the standard plotline of “boy meets girl, girl falls in love with other boy, and by the way both boys pilot giant robots.”

At the same time, we’re also mature enough to respect each other’s opinions when they do diverge. Unfortunately, not all spouses can agree to disagree when it comes to entertainment, as is the case with the woman in Japan who’s looking for a divorce because her husband isn’t a fan of Disney’s Frozen.

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“Brazilian” coffee cola released in Japan

“Brazilian” coffee cola released in Japan

From the country that brought you carbonated espresso comes a coffee and cola drink claiming to be Brazilian that’s described as a “delicious Carnival.” Wait, what?

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Korean woman gets plastic surgery to look like model Miranda Kerr, gets pretty close!

Korean woman gets plastic surgery to look like model Miranda Kerr, gets pretty close!

I have a little game I sometimes like to play where I compare Japanese people I see on the street with American celebrities and friends. I once had a Japanese acquaintance who was a dead ringer for Nathan Lane, for example, and a popular Japanese comedian reminds me a whole lot of a childhood friend.

Of course, it’s not like these guys were going out of their way to look like Westerners; they just happened to have similar features. But there’s a whole other class of Japanese, Koreans and other East Asians that spend an exorbitant amount of time and money trying to get that Hollywood look – from wardrobe changes to hair dying, even skin bleaching and plastic surgery.

Results are typically mixed, but one South Korean woman apparently hit the jackpot in her quest to look like Australian model Miranda Kerr – because, after numerous plastic surgeries, she’s pretty well on her way to looking like Kerr’s long-lost twin.

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A man’s wrist – Japan’s male version of a strip of exposed thigh?

A man’s wrist – Japan’s male version of a strip of exposed thigh?

In general, men have a very simple formula they use when determining how much female skin they like to see on display: the more, the better. This of course leads to the corollary, even more skin = even better.

One notable exception to this, however, is Japan’s love of knee-high socks, which leave a small patch of skin on display them and the hem of the skirt. Known as zettai ryouiki, or “absolute territory,” it’s become such a cultural phenomenon that it’s led to the creation of a smartphone game and not one, but two special days celebrating the look.

Now, one Twitter user in Japan claims to have discovered the male version of zettai ryouiki.

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Kiss Day in Japan inspires awkward smooch illustration battle

Kiss Day in Japan inspires awkward smooch illustration battle

We love all of the unofficial holidays in Japan. From Fundoshi (also known as Japanese loincloth) Day to Cat Day, people all over the country have special events (and discounts) to look forward to all year round.

But May 23 marked Kiss Day in Japan and netizens all over the country celebrated the seemingly romantic occasion with some decidedly strange drawings in a bizarre illustration battle on Twitter.

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Sexy models of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger arrive to terrify, arouse, and confuse fans

Sexy models of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger arrive to terrify, arouse, and confuse fans

Japan’s desire to look at attractive women is more or less insatiable. Despite having sizable swimsuit modeling, adult video, and animated pornography industries, the country still finds itself with not enough eye candy.

So now, model maker Kotobukiya has gone looking for female beauty in the most unlikely of places, by turning the iconic villains of slasher movies franchises Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street into sexy girls.

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20 signs you might be in India, according to the Internet

20 signs you might be in India, according to the Internet

An Indian friend once told me that India is a country where “third world” and “first world” meet. You’ve got places that can generally be described by Westerners as “everyday,” and places that are a little more, er… interesting.

In many rural and poor areas – just like in parts of the U.S. – India sees a lot more jury rigging, improvisation, and otherwise unorthodox sights that are reminiscent of one of those “In Russia, hamburger eat you,” memes.

So, in no particular order, here are twenty photos we picked up on the Interwebs that supposedly describe India in a nutshell. Certainly, there’s a lot of cherry picking going on here, so take these pics with a grain of salt. Not all of India is like this. But, to be fair, “20 photos of regular Indian people enjoying brunch” would probably make for a much less interesting compilation.

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Everyday Japanese names that make English speakers chuckle

Everyday Japanese names that make English speakers chuckle

Funny things, names. In Japan, I am lucky enough to share mine with a delicious kind of stick-chocolate treat, which not only means that I can introduce myself as such: “Fran – you know, like Pocky, but not as cheap”, but also means that I often get given chocolates with my name on the packet, which I can confirm is something of a win-win situation.

My family name, however, is a terrifying mix of Rs, Ls, Ys and Ws that tends to provoke confusion and mild panic here in Japan. I have a good stock line for accurately communicating its spelling and pronunciation in the UK (“Wrigley, like the chewing gum”), and another one for Americans and/or baseball fans (“like Wrigley Field”). I’ve never come up with a good line to use on Japanese people, though, except to awkwardly mutter “um… yeah, sorry, it’s kind of a difficult name. Don’t worry, people in England can’t pronounce it either.”

But what if your name means something embarrassing or just downright odd in another language? Today, we bring you five kinds of Japanese names that make English speakers do a double-take, or a little snort into their coffee.

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Dip your feet into some Fondue Slippers

Dip your feet into some Fondue Slippers

If you’re tired of lace-up sneakers and boring fluffy house slippers, there’s a new type of footwear that’s sure to shake up the shoe industry. Inspired by 1960s house party cuisine, Fondue Slippers are a thin replica of your foot that combines the satisfaction of not wearing shoes with all the fun of melted cheese. They’re kind of like those barefoot running shoes, just without all the false health benefit claims and they’re coming to you straight from (of course) Japan.

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Elementary school’s morning greeting is so intense it almost makes us miss long division

Elementary school’s morning greeting is so intense it almost makes us miss long division

In Japanese schools, it’s customary for the students to start the day with a formal greeting. The teacher walks in, the students stand, bow, and say good-morning. It’s a fairly somber ritual, in keeping with the general attitude in the country that education is serious business.

One elementary school, though, does things a little differently, with a morning greeting that’s packed with more energy than most people show all day.

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