weird

Apparently short on cash, Gundam takes a part-time job at 7-Eleven

Apparently short on cash, Gundam takes a part-time job at 7-Eleven

With 35 years as Japan’s favorite mecha anime, the Gundam franchise has grown to include dozens of TV and direct-to-video animated series, manga comics, and video game adaptations. With such a long history, some of them are, of course, less successful than others. Certain fans shook their heads at V Gundam’s cast of middle schoolers. Others were baffled by G Gundam’s schoolgirl uniform-inspired robot designs. Even the TV series that started it all, 1979’s Mobile Suit Gundam, has more than its fair share of goofy villains of the week who come and go like so many Scooby Doo criminals.

But despite the franchise’s occasional detours into outright silliness, the 1988 theatrical release Char’s Counterattack enjoys almost universal acclaim, both for the gravitas of its story and the commensurate visuals. Which makes it all the more disheartening to see the robot piloted by the film’s hero apparently reduced to having to take a job at convenience store 7-Eleven.

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From spicy curry to delicious charcoal – 7 bizarre toothpastes on sale in Japan

From spicy curry to delicious charcoal – 7 bizarre toothpastes on sale in Japan

You’re probably well aware that the Japanese are fond of creating food and beverages in unusual flavors and splicing things together, but guess what? That trait can be found in their toothpaste as well. Here are seven odd-tasting toothpastes available in Japan that you might, or perhaps might not, want to brush your teeth with!

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Year-end bonuses in China: Coffins, vegetables, sheep and more!

Year-end bonuses in China: Coffins, vegetables, sheep and more!

Many Chinese companies like to end the year with a bang, rewarding their employees with bonuses before they enter a long break to celebrate the Lunar New Year. It is common for these bonuses to come in the form of cash, but there are also companies that reward their staff with gifts instead. Among them, some companies got a little too “creative” with their gifting, which triggered off the recent trending topic of “unusual bonuses” on Chinese websites.

How unusual are these bonuses? You be the judge.

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Sailor Moon fan art: Often baffling, sometimes terrifying, and occasionally both

Sailor Moon fan art: Often baffling, sometimes terrifying, and occasionally both

Like many people, we’re happy about the recent announcement that the new Sailor Moon series will finally debut this July, and are keeping our fingers crossed that the third time is indeed the charm for the release date of the twice-delayed project. All the same, we’re getting a little impatient, not the least because the upcoming anime’s producers have yet to release so much as a single promotional sketch for it.

It’s gotten to the point that in order to sate our desire for Sailor Moon imagery, we’ve had to turn our attention to non-official creations. But while a few months ago we stumbled across some amateur drawings that looked so professional we mistook them for the real deal, we found out that the quality of Sailor Moon fan-art isn’t always as high as the enthusiasm of the fans behind it.

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Sanrio’s newest cutsy character, an anthropomorphic salmon fillet, set for major debut, grisly death

Sanrio’s newest cutsy character, an anthropomorphic salmon fillet, set for major debut, grisly death

Japan never fails to amaze when it comes to transforming the quotidian into cute. I mean, this is the country that turns cucumber-stealing, human-throttling swamp monsters into adorable toys for kids. The country’s latest go at cute-ification comes from Hello Kitty producing toy company Sanrio: Kirimi-chan, a walking, talking salmon fillet, who is set to debut next month with a line of kawaii craziness.

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Like all things Evangelion, whether this hoodie is creepy or cool depends on the viewer’s interpretation

Like all things Evangelion, whether this hoodie is creepy or cool depends on the viewer’s interpretation

Over the past several months, we’ve seen wave after wave of wearable Sailor Moon merchandise, from accessories to lingerie to even bibs. But what about the other colossal ‘90s anime hit featuring combat-ready adolescents, Evangleion? Is there no new way to dress yourself in a way that shows your love for the franchise that ping pongs back and forth between scenes of its 14-year-old protagonists battling horrific aliens and coming to grips with the sexual confusion and frustration of puberty?

Why yes there is, and you can keep yourself warm at the same time with this crazy zip-up Evangelion hoodie.

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Japanese fishermen catch live giant squid near Niigata Prefecture

Japanese fishermen catch live giant squid near Niigata Prefecture

Imagine you’re a Japanese fisherman. It might be hard to visualize if you’re a woman in landlocked Slovakia, but just try, will ya? Okay, so you have your little fisherman hat on with your rubber fisherman boots and you’re just going about your morning, hauling in your nets when you spot a giant red object swimming amongst your usual catch. It’s over twice the size of an adult human being and uglier than most. What do you do? If you ask us, you obviously ride the beast to shore, but last week’s close encounter with a live giant squid near Niigata Prefecture ended a little differently.

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Moby Drink: Iceland creates a beer made with endangered whale bones, can’t sell it

Moby Drink: Iceland creates a beer made with endangered whale bones, can’t sell it

Japan gets a lot of press for its continued whaling operations, but it’s not the only country that still hunts whales. Iceland also fishes a couple hundred whales a year and is one of the last remaining commercial markets for whale meat.

In fact, during the upcoming winter festival of Þorrablót, the traditional nosh is pickled whale fat along with such delicacies as burned sheep heads and pickled sheep testicles. Now what’s a real Viking to wash all that down with? Why, whale beer of course!

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We eat tasty, steaming Korean poo cakes

We eat tasty, steaming Korean poo cakes

It’s been a little more than a year since we reported on ttongsul, or Korean feces wine. And while many of our readers enjoyed sampling the beverage vicariously through the five victims brave young ladies we recruited for the taste test, others took us to task for not having our regular staff knock back a glass of dookie-liqueur.

In an attempt at penance, we traveled to Korea to snack on poo-shaped cakes.

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Something for soy milk skeptics: cola and pear flavors

Something for soy milk skeptics: cola and pear flavors

Living in Japan has done a lot to broaden my palate. For example, over the last 10 years my take on tofu has gone from “jello’s boring cousin” to “actually pretty good, especially with a little bit of sesame or spicy sauce.”

That said, I’m still not sold on soy milk. While the idea of popping open a soybean pod and finding delicious morsels of beef sounds like some sort of wonderful dreamland, the potential magic of bovine/bean cross-over doesn’t do much for me in reverse, and in general I’ll happily pass on drinkable soy.

Hoping to change my mind are two upcoming additions to soy giant Kikkoman’s line of flavored soy beverages: pear and cola.

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Justice served with a side of mayo as police arrest man for series of condiment attacks

Justice served with a side of mayo as police arrest man for series of condiment attacks

In a strange story out of Hyogo Prefecture, a man has been arrested for squirting an unwanted, creamy white liquid onto an unsuspecting high school girl. And while the substance in question isn’t as disgusting as it could have been, it’s still pretty gross.

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Japanese idol fan prepares to meet his favorite singer by filling out a marriage application

Japanese idol fan prepares to meet his favorite singer by filling out a marriage application

While the 48-member, Tokyo-based AKB 48 still holds the spot as Japan’s top idol singer unit, its sister troupes around the country are no slouches either. NMB 48, which operates out of Osaka’s Namba neighborhood, joined the sorority of tri-letter mega-groups produced by the prolific Yasushi Akimoto in 2011.

NMB 48 has followed its predecessor’s lead in providing fans with a high level of personal access to its members. Aside from regularly holding concerts in their proprietary theatre, the performers of NMB 48 occasionally hold events where they greet and shake hands with their adoring supporters.

It’s an exciting opportunity for any fan to press palms with their idol, and it’s understandable that some hope to make an impression on their favorite, either with a heartfelt smile, a kind word of encouragement, or a legally binding marriage proposal.

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Japan’s rarest cars, from exotic sports coupes to Toyota’s answer to the Hummer

Japan’s rarest cars, from exotic sports coupes to Toyota’s answer to the Hummer

For decades, the automobile industry has been one of the driving forces behind the Japanese economy. But for every Camry, Civic, or Miata that went on to international success, Japan’s carmakers have produced a model that came and went so quickly that you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s even seen one on the street, let alone actually driven one.

Today, we present a field guide to Japan’s rarest, most frequently forgotten rides.

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Car surfing reportedly being banned by Saudi Arabian killjoys

Car surfing reportedly being banned by Saudi Arabian killjoys

Sometimes, I feel sorry for kids in today’s safety zealous world. More and more, it seems like the things I grew up with are being banned, whether it’s the thrilling bloodsport of dodgeball or the razor’s edge of a cafeteria in which some people are allowed to eat peanut butter.

Now comes the latest step in the inevitable march towards a global nanny state, as Saudi Arabia is apparently moving to ban the undeniably safe pastime of car surfing.

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No wrong answer: Given the choice, what kind of panties would you have your girlfriend wear?

No wrong answer: Given the choice, what kind of panties would you have your girlfriend wear?

Pop quiz, guys: Your girlfriend approaches you and says she’ll wear whatever panties you tell her to, and she won’t even get mad if you choose the ones that reveal too much or make her look fat. What do you do? Go for the safe, hip-level sailor stripes? How about the slightly creepy but non-offensive teddy bear print? Go for broke and tell her to go commando?

This is the kind of question men of the Internet apparently pore over, because this image with the above question popped up on a Japanese Internet forum recently.

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Weirdest collaboration ever? Convenience store + menstruation website = pink bread

Weirdest collaboration ever? Convenience store + menstruation website = pink bread

Japanese marketers love a good crossover product. We recently covered the very strange Mountain Dew-corn chip mashup, a Pizza Hut-Evangelion pairing, and any number of Hello Kitty crosses. But even weirdness-loving Japanese may be put off by news of the latest crossover collaboration between Circle K-Sunkus convenience stores and menstruation-tracking website Luna Luna: a pink steamed bun.

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A look at New York’s first maid cafe

A look at New York’s first maid cafe

For better or worse, Japanese culture has made its way to the US and now sushi, cosplay, anime, and a number of other bizarre hybrids (sake bombs, anyone?) are fully integrated into American life. Now it seems maid cafes, those sickeningly sweet pink restaurants where waitresses act as servants, have made their way across the Pacific.

Located in New York City’s Chinatown, Maid Cafe NY brings a little bit of one of Japan’s strange subcultures to the United States. But will American patrons feel comfortable being greeted by cute maids in frilly outfits saying, “Welcome home my master and my princess”? Let’s take a closer look at Maid Cafe NY and find out.

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Guy takes a dump in the middle of the road, refuses to move even for fire truck 【Video】

Guy takes a dump in the middle of the road, refuses to move even for fire truck 【Video】

OK, we’ve all been there. Maybe it was the venti coffee this morning or maybe you’ve caught a bug, but one thing is certain: you need a bathroom right now or a change of pants is going to be in order. Most of us manage by hook or crook to find a toilet or at least a concealing clump of trees in this situation, but one guy decided that the middle of the road seemed like a nice place to drop a deuce and he wasn’t going to let anything – even an emergency vehicle – disturb him.

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Renowned Japanese cosmetic surgeon comes out with … totally funky stationery!

Renowned Japanese cosmetic surgeon comes out with … totally funky stationery!

The subject of plastic surgery has come up in a number of our past articles, but did you know there’s a certain cosmetic surgeon here in Japan who is practically a national celebrity? If you’ve spent some time in Japan, you may have heard of Dr. Katsuya Takasu, known for his chain of clinics for cosmetic procedures, the Takasu Clinic.  Although he’s strictly a cosmetic surgeon by profession and not a media personality or entertainer, his face and name are recognizable to virtually everyone in Japan, thanks in large part to a series of unique ads that have aired on TV over the years.

Well, it now seems the good doctor will be coming out with some goods that have nothing to do with plastic surgery, but still boldly feature pictures of himself, and the sheer visual impact of these goods have definitely caught the attention of Japanese netizens. But don’t take our word for it, see the pictures yourself!

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Want bigger boobs? Here’s a painless trick that guarantees instant results!

Want bigger boobs? Here’s a painless trick that guarantees instant results!

Let’s talk about boobs! It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that a large percentage of the world’s population is obsessed with boobs. And that applies to both men and women. Bosoms of all sizes are wonderful and deserve to be loved regardless of shape and size, but at the same time, we can’t deny that the entertainment and advertising industry often gives us the image that bigger is sexier. Ladies, if you’ve ever secretly wished that you had fuller assets, here’s an astonishing item that will instantly fulfill your deepest desires!

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