weird

Revealed! Japanese companies are putting hidden messages in their packaging!

You may have noticed that Japanese product packaging tends to be completely covered with text in a variety of fonts and styles. If you’ve ever taken the time to read any of it, you’ve probably realised that quite a bit of it seems to be particularly chatty, going beyond the usual product description in order to occasionally impart some philosophical wisdom or advice.

Some companies even go as far as to include hidden messages to communicate directly with the consumer. Check out this gallery of some of the best.

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10 of the craziest complaints Japanese people have heard from customers

Anyone who’s worked in a store, restaurant, or pretty much anywhere in the service industry knows the joy of interacting with customers. And it’s not just your country that has crazy customers, it’s a fact of humanity that transcends culture and language, Japan included.

So with that we bring you the top 10 tweets made with a hashtag that’s recently been getting very popular with Japanese twitter users: #ActualCustomerComplaints. We’re not 100-percent sure how true the “actual” part is, but they’re all so hilarious and painfully familiar that you’ll be too busy laughing and commiserating to mind.

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New recipe for BBQ Bacon Sushi may taste like happiness, but is it really sushi?

As you may have already guessed, the RocketNews24 office is pretty well stocked with adventurous eaters. Over the years, our staff have chowed down on deep-fried axolotl, chicken ramen ice cream, chocolate noodles, and more, but we’re always up for a new challenge to tantalize our (now mostly deadened) taste buds.

We’re also big sushi fans of course, so when we heard that there’s a new recipe out there for BBQ Bacon Sushi, we immediately started drooling over our keyboards like a bunch of Pavlovian puppies.

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This bananas Japanese commercial series is concentrated visual madness

If you were to listen only to the ramblings of Internet users, you might think that Japanese TV is a nonstop procession of bonkers commercials, ridiculous pornographic game shows and people in little windows reacting to other people reacting to delicious food.

Of course, that’s not entirely true. There are actually a fair few TV shows that cover serious subject matter, there are perfectly normal commercials that don’t induce madness and/or seizures, and sometimes there are actually shows not related at all to food (actually, that last bit may be a lie).

So where does Japan’s reputation for crazy television entertainment come from? Why, from the rare but totally bananas stuff that somehow actually finds its way on air from time to time, like this ludicrous television commercial series that makes absolutely no sense at all.

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Red skies and mud rain in China as apocalypse begins earlier than expected

Listen guys. I have some bad news. You might want to sit down for this.

The apocalypse is clearly happening right now, and if you’re in China, Mongolia or that general region, you may want to go ahead and kiss your loved ones goodbye, because Cthulhu himself, or some other terrible dark deity, is already sending warning of the end times in the form of blood-red skies and freaking black stuff raining from the heavens. Sorry, guys, but we’re clearly all doomed.

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Apple would rather you not blow up teen couples on your iPhone, asks developer to edit video game

In a lot of ways, digital distribution of video games is a great thing, as it allows developers to easily add new content to a title after its release. It’s a double-edged sword, though, and that same streamlined pathway from programmer to player can also be used to quickly make changes that take things away.

A few weeks ago, we took a look at a smartphone game whose lonely, jaded protagonist and his mystical, jaded companion use their powers to make affectionate couples meet with a host of calamities, including straight blowing them up. Apple, however, is not cool with this sort of vengeful fantasy, and so the iOS version of the game is being toned down and given a new name since the original title, Explode, Real Types! no longer describes the game’s contents.

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(Not so) cool beans! Watch these horrified US kids try natto for the first time!

Despite being slimy and smelly and stringy, fermented soybeans, or natto, are actually really good for you. We’ve spoken before about how even lots of Japanese people have to resort to special measures in order to stomach swallowing down a bowl of these stinky beans. So it’s no surprise that these US kids have such a hard time when they were presented with a bowl of natto for the first time.

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Lonely kids at all-boys school in Kyoto create giant bra out of curtains for invisible breasts

The logic behind single-gender schools is keep the pupils focused on their studies, and not the growing allure the opposite sex holds for them. Of course, it’s not so easy to make the adolescent male mind forget about the female form. As we’ve seen before, in the absence of real girls, sometimes boys will start making their own, maybe even out of thin air.

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TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO (Asakusa) will hold their second free gallery event, “Ambiguous☆Bishoujo Art Exhibit,” for artists from April 29 until May 10. If you’re in Tokyo and into cool, sexy, and unusual art, you won’t want to miss it.

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“Sexy” Taiwanese cheerleading routines don’t seem to have much to do with sports 【Videos】

Not that Western cheerleading really has all that much to do with football or anything, and – last I checked – baseball in the US didn’t even have cheerleaders at all, but the logic goes that cheerleaders are there to get the crowd pumped up and into the competitive spirit. At least on paper, anyway.

In Taiwan, on the other hand, the cheerleaders at baseball games just kind of dance around in skimpy outfits like booth babes that got lost on their way to the auto show or something. It almost looks like they’re doing the exact opposite of what cheerleading is (ostensibly) all about, actually diverting spectators’ attention away from the game and pretty much guaranteeing that the men in the audience will need to remain seated (that’s a boner joke, you guys).

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Japanese Twitter user attempts British cuisine, ends up with monstrous fish dish from hell

As a British person living overseas, you get to hear a lot of negative stereotypes about your country’s cuisine. Generally, people think that we eat nothing but fish and chips, washed down by copious amounts of tea, and that the rest of our food is bland, unappetizing and poorly presented. But this couldn’t be further from the truth – British people are actually crazy about food and cooking, we’re obsessed with celebrity chefs and cooking shows, and Britain has plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants to be proud of.

Still, there’s certain aspects of British cuisine that are hard to defend, like the disgusting fish dish known as Stargazy Pie, which one Japanese Twitter user recently attempted, to horrifying results and plenty of ridicule…

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Ultra-Sushi-Go-Round is a thrilling, mouth-watering VR tour of the Tokyo skyline

As the development of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset continues, software developers are experimenting with ways to utilize the new piece of video gaming hardware. Given Japan’s well-known accepting attitude towards dating simulators and other, more adult forms of electronic entertainment, it wasn’t such a huge shock that the country is already hard at work on Oculus Rift games that allow you to date, peep at, at straight-up paw anime-style virtual girlfriends.

But how about a VR application that feels incredibly Japanese without simultaneously being incredibly pervy? In that case, perhaps this simulated roller coaster ride on a revolving sushi conveyor belt through the Tokyo skyline is more your style.

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World’s most patient pet owner strolls Tokyo with his huge tortoise

Turtles have a lot of upsides as pets, such as being quiet and low-maintenance. Of course, they’re not perfect animal companions. For example, just think of how much fun dog-owners have taking their pooches for a walk. You can’t do that with a turtle, can you?

Sure you can, as long as you’re not in a hurry, like this resident of Tokyo out for a stroll with his gigantic pet turtle.

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Yogurt-flavored water?!? We try Suntory’s new beverage straight, mix it with booze 【Taste test】

Recently, it seems like Japanese beverage makers are all about helping us with our multitasking. First there was the sakura beer that let you enjoy a cold one and contemplate the cherry blossoms at the same time, and earlier this week it was time for a taste test of alcoholic matcha green tea.

Now, it’s time for another double-dose of drinkables, with Suntory’s just-released bottled water with the flavor of…yogurt?!?

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Smell like a cat with hand cream scented like your kitty’s paws

Online retailer Felissimo has a soft spot for cats, so much so that it’s got a whole Cat Division subsection with feline-inspired products. In the past, we’ve taken a look at the company’s pullovers and lingerie that let you dress like a kitty, but Felissimo’s new hand cream promises to make you smell like cat, too.

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Smiles optional-New talent agency accepting applications for idols suffering emotional distress

It’s pretty widely accepted that in the Japanese pop idol world, legitimate musical talent takes a back seat to the ability to project an image. So while you might not need perfect pitch or flawless rhythm, if you want to be an idol, you will need to radiate a constantly upbeat aura, right?

Well, maybe not. A new idol talent agency has just opened its doors, and the company is specifically looking for performers with a gloomy outlook, and is now accepting applications, with no experience required.

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Fire in the hole! Dangerous crater, possible portal to Hell found at Chinese construction site

Remember when you were a child and you tried to dig a hole to China? Although our chances of popping out anywhere close to China were not even remotely possible, a surprising discovery at a construction site will give you a pretty good reason to not try.

A crater suddenly opened up that is slowly but surely growing in size, and we aren’t talking about a simple sinkhole either. The lingering smell of sulfur that hangs in the air is an immediate warning sign that something deeper is going on.

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25-year-old NEET running for Chiba city council seat, partly on platform of fiscal responsibility

Japan uses the term NEET to describe adult members of the population who are neither working nor going to school (not, in actuality, a special forces-style combat brigade). Broken down into its components, the acronym stands for “not in education, employment, or training.”

Of course, nothing in the label says anything about not being in government, which is why one ambitious Japanese NEET is running for city council.

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Nurse cosplay: Would-be Hiroshima City Councilwoman’s innovative campaign tactic

With over a million people living in Hiroshima, we imagine at least a few residents are still undecided about who to support in the upcoming city council elections. But with less than a month until they cast their votes, it’s time for them to start narrowing down their selection.

The multitude of political parties in Japan means that sometimes candidates can start to blur together in voters’ minds, though. Standing out from the crowd isn’t a problem for Naomi Kikuura, however. After all, when was the last time you saw a would-be city councilwoman appear in her political ads doing nurse cosplay?

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Glassware for dining at the V? Panty-clad cups selling fast 【Photos】

Sometimes a story comes across your desk that is so wacko, you just sit and stare at it for ages trying to wrap your brain around it. That happened to me this morning when I saw that an unusual item at the built-to-order site Dwango.jp was selling fast. That item? Hand-blown panty-wearing drinking glasses at a whopping 8,640 yen (US$72.12) a pop.

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