Oona McGee

All Stories by Oona McGee

Everything is awesome when you own an Akira bike built entirely from Lego

If you’re equal parts anime fan and Lego enthusiast, this amazing motorised model will be right up your alley. It’s Kaneda’s iconic motorcycle from the animated cult film Akira and it’s made entirely from 1,091 Lego pieces.

The bike is so unique it can only be made with a guidebook and several limited-edition parts that are no longer in production, making this one of the most sought-after items amongst Lego-building Akira fans. Sightings are understandably rare so when we found a detailed video on the internet, we had to take a closer look.

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Cute Korean girls share before and after photos with a simple beauty technique that takes seconds

Everyone loves a makeover. From Cinderella to Grease to the Devil Wears Prada, the story of the dowdy girl who gets a haircut, throws on a new outfit and becomes a different woman is one that never ceases to entertain.

Now we don’t have to sit through the suspense of an entire movie to get to the big reveal, because girls in South Korea are going from ugly duckling to jaw-droppingly cute in a matter of seconds. How do they do it? It’s called “gagdoui jung-yoseong“, and the difference it makes to these pretty ladies is absolutely astounding.

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Japanese diners are raving about “fish parfait” made with grilled bonito and ginger

People in Japan love parfait. From massive concoctions topped with an entire slice of cake to more inventive creations designed to represent Japanese bonsai, we’ve always been keen to share the best of our frozen dessert finds with our dear readers, and today is no exception.

Because today we bring you the fish parfait. To be specific, this is a lightly grilled sashimi bonito parfait, which combines the rich, succulent flavours of seared fish and garlic with the sweet taste of ice cream. So what is it that makes this such a successful combination?

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Me want Great Wave: Cookie Monster takes his cookies to 1830s Hokusai ukiyoe woodblock painting

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by legendary ukiyoe artist Hokusai is well-known around the world as one of Japan’s most iconic pieces of artwork. Featuring Mt Fuji in the distance, a smattering of ocean spray and a mammoth breaking wave, this is a scene that’s been admired by millions for well over a century.

And where there’s an audience, there’ll also be a star trying to steal the spotlight. Providing poof to the theory, we present you with Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster, who’s taken his favourite baked goods back in time, all the while singing, “Sea is for cookie, that’s good enough for me ♫ Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with sea”.

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Where’s Wally? Out of the picture now because Japanese Twitter users want to find Pikachu instead

One of the best things to come barrelling out of the 80s alongside Donkey King and the Garbage Pail Kids was a man with glasses and a fondness for red and white shirts. Known as Wally (or Waldo in the US and Canada), the star of a successful book series mesmerised people around the world by simply hiding out in massive scenes involving hundreds of tiny characters.

This challenge of finding a needle in a haystack is the gift that just keeps on giving because now clever artists in Japan have been creating artworks concealing the whereabouts of our beloved Pikachu. The best thing about these is that once you’ve found the star of the show, you can then keep going until you’ve found all your favourites from the Pokémon series! It’s time to test out your hunting skills after the jump.

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We check out world-first Pikachu cup clingers ahead of their release date

Have you ever wished you could stick to your long-lost New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, kick those bad habits and take better care of your mental and physical health? Well, June might be the time to turn things around because Pikachu is here to help kick you into shape!

Whether it’s getting your eight glasses of water a day or downing that bright green shot of spirulina, this special series of Pikachus will cling to the side of your cup and keep you company while you stay healthy and hydrated this summer.

With six different poses available, we’ve been lucky enough to catch ’em before their official release in Japan. Come with us as we take a very special sneak peek at the coveted little critters after the break.

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Denim ice cream, burgers and steamed buns now on sale from Japan’s jeans capital

About three hours from Tokyo on the bullet train is a beautifully preserved area in Okayama Prefecture’s Kurashiki known as the Kurashiki Bikan historical quarter. Set alongside a picturesque canal, the district has long been known for its traditional storehouses and shops, but now it’s looking to celebrate one of its most profitable exports – denim.

With more than 100 family-run indigo and dyeing factories operating throughout the prefecture, denim has long been an important part of area’s economy. And what better way to celebrate the locally made textile than with a selection of special foods? Come with us as we show you what burgers, ice cream and steamed buns look like when crafted in a denim blue hue.

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We mix banana and peach potato chips with toast, yoghurt and granola for a new Japanese breakfast

If you thought traditional Japanese breakfasts were unusual, with their servings of fish, pickles, rice and soup, you’ll be in for a surprise when you see the new offering that’s coming to the table to greet you in the morning.

It’s time to say hello to the morning potato chip. Especially designed for breakfast consumption, these bags of fruity – yes, fruity – goodness are said to combine the energy-giving health benefits of the humble potato with two popular fruit flavours: peach and banana.

So how could these chips possibly fare as breakfast meals? Come with us as we head out into unchartered territory, pairing potato crisps with yoghurt, toast, and a bowl of granola and milk. Will the results be delicious? Read on to find out!

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Celebrate May with a visit to Mei and Satsuki’s house from Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro

Our love of the Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro has truly blossomed during the month of May. Just when we thought things couldn’t get any better after we heard about Totoro’s Forest in Saitama Prefecture, complete with a house for black dust bunnies known as Kurosuke no Ie, it seems there’s even more reason to celebrate, with an exact replica of Mei and Satsuki’s house open to the public in Aichi Prefecture.

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Turn your old PlayStation console into a light-up clock 【How-to】

If you’ve been a PlayStation fan from the very beginning, chances are you still have an original console collecting dust somewhere in the house. Sure, it’s outdated now, but who wants to throw all those fond gaming memories away?

Now there’s a creative solution that will let you get some use out of your old grey console and give you an excuse to look at it regularly throughout the day. It’s time to feast your eyes on the PlayStation clock. Unavailable in stores, but easy to make in your very own home!

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Got a great recipe that requires soy sauce? Enter this competition to win 100,000 yen!

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a soy sauce connoisseur or if you enjoy dabbling in Japanese fusion cooking, we’ve found a perfect way for you to earn some easy prize money.

The Japan Soy Sauce Association is currently accepting entries for two special contest categories: Washoku, for Japanese-style recipes and Your Country’s Cuisine, for food that incorporates the use of soy sauce into traditional dishes from your homeland.

With the top prize being 100,000 yen (US$834.87), if you’re a foreigner living in Japan, now’s the time to get that apron on and get cooking!

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Tokaido ukiyoe series by Hiroshige now free to share, we celebrate with five favourites

Lovers of Japanese art and history will be familiar with the world-famous set of ukiyo-e woodblock prints known as “The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.” Created in the 1800s by famed artist Utagawa Hiroshige, the collection is a series of landscape paintings from each of the post stations on the ancient coastal walking route from Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto and is frequently praised for the way it captures the spirit and essence of old Japan.

While the masterful works have garnered fans around the world, when it comes to sharing the images online, things haven’t been so easy. Now, limitations have been lifted and the beautiful series is free to share without copyright restrictions. What better way to celebrate the good news than to share some of the best with you, our dear readers?

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Eren and Levi drive Colossal Titan heads in Attack on Titan Takara Tomy cars

If you thought you’d seen all the weird and wonderful Attack on Titan collaborations on the market, you may want to think again because now Takara Tomy have jumped on the wagon with two special versions of their very popular and highly collectible Choro-Q toy cars.

These pullback-spring racer cars are known for their manga-inspired designs and cutely inaccurate proportions. However, this is the first time they’ve featured the likes of Levi and Eren. And just to add to the weird cuteness, they’re seated in the driver’s seat of an angry, disembodied Colossal Titan.

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Enjoy the taste of 1-UP and invincibility stars with new Lotte Super Mario gum

Joining in the 30th anniversary celebrations for the Super Mario Bros. video game series is popular Japanese gum brand Fit’s. Thanks to this unique collaboration, we’ll now be able to chew our way into the game with the awesome-sounding tastes of “Mario’s Invincibility Star flavour” and “Luigi’s Infinite UP flavour“.

So what does invincibility and an unlimited 1-UP taste like? And what type of gorgeous inside packaging do we have to look forward to? We check out the details ahead of this much-anticipated release.

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Hayao Miyazaki slips hints into film to let fans know May is the month to watch Totoro

When it comes to Ghibli movies, My Neighbour Totoro is arguably one of the animation studio’s best-known and most loved releases. The storyline, the atmosphere and the colours in the film all help to create a magical world that we yearn to visit again and again.

While fans might enjoy the film at any time throughout the year, real fans know that May is the month to watch Totoro. Like a favourite fruit coming into season, this Ghibli film has ripened and is at its peak watching period now, all due to some clever tricks that director Hayao Miyazaki worked into the story.

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Skiing samurai shreds the slopes with katana ski pole

Every ski season in Japan brings with it an army of skiers and snowboarders keen to make tracks in fresh, world-class powder snow. But how can you make your mark when you’re surrounded by hundreds of people decked out in ordinary ski jackets and snow goggles?

One keen warrior-loving skier found a solution to this problem by donning some heavy samurai armour on the slopes. And just to make sure he had everyone’s attention, he decided to forgo the ski poles for a long, single-edged sword known as a katana.

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Latest unbelievable chip flavour in Japan captures the runny egg flavour of onsen tamago

If you’ve been to an onsen resort in Japan, you’ve probably tried onsen tamago, eggs slow-cooked to runny perfection in the nutrient-rich waters of local hot springs. While the unusual texture and reported health and beauty benefits make these immensely popular with visitors, nobody has thought to capture and reproduce the flavour of hot spring eggs. Until now.

Curious for a taste, we went hunting and picked up a bag of the limited-release chips. Would they have a pungent, sulphur-like aroma? Or could this be as refreshing as a dip in onsen waters? Come with us as we find out!

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Spring walking event provides guided tour around Totoro forest loved by Hayao Miyazaki

Just north-west of Tokyo, in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, there’s a beautiful stretch of greenery known as Totoro’s Forest. Containing fields, hills and rice paddies, this is hallowed ground for any Ghibli fan. Not only is this the actual inspiration for the animated film My Neighbour Totoro, the land itself is so beloved by Studio Ghibli legend Hayao Miyazaki that he’s made a generous donation to protect the area from housing developments, participates in regular volunteer events and is said to take daily walks through the woods.

Now, for two days this spring, you too can take a stroll through Totoro’s magical forest, with a walking event organised by the Totoro no Furusato Foundation. Stopping at a number of scenic locations and covering a distance of 15 km each day, you never know who you might meet during this special event!

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Dog shows off his Dragon Ballz, channels Master Roshi with badass Kame Sennin stance

If you like to keep up with the latest pet antics online, you may have caught sight of this cheeky little pup recently. Aptly titled “An angry dog standing upright”, Reddit users have been having a field day with this image, photoshopping the disgruntled mutt into movie scenes and everyday situations with hilarious results.

Once the photo made it to Japan, however, Japanese netizens were shocked for another reason altogether. The dark eyes, fluffy beard and wily body of angry dog actually makes him a perfect doppelgänger for Master Roshi from the Dragon Ball animated TV series. Can you see the likeness?

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Get inspired by this cat’s early morning workout!

Thanks to the Internet, we’ve seen pets on treadmills, animals interfering with their owners’ workout routines, and curious pups and kittens joining adult yoga sessions with adorable poses of their own. In amongst all the action, though, there’s been one thing missing: this cat doing stomach crunches.

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