Joan Coello

Native to the sweltering lands of Singapore, Joan spent a substantial amount of her teenage years gnawing through translated versions of Japanese manga and dubbed anime. Picking up the language sparked off something in her to abandon years of education and experience in design to pursue a career in translation instead. After spending a couple of years localizing Japanese product packaging and mobile games for the English-speaking population, Joan gave in to her longing for the magical land of Japan and leapt into the arms of Tokyo (missing by a bit and landing in Kanagawa prefecture). In her free time, she continues to nibble on Japanese manga and anime, now savoring them in full authentic flavor.

All Stories by Joan Coello

“A snowman tolerates while freezing.” Mystery product’s label is questionable and hilarious!

First impressions are very important, not only for people but for products too. A product’s packaging and labels can make or break a deal depending on whether the design and text on it appeals to the consumer. And, as you know, some companies choose to scrimp and save on hiring a professional to handle their translation needs. In many of these cases, the joke’s on them because they end up with hilarious gibberish on their products.

A Japanese Twitter user recently shared a photo of a Chinese product that had Japanese written on its warning label, and the text was so bad we couldn’t even imagine what product that label was supposed to be on! Take a guess and join us after the break!

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Drive-through for cyclists made possible with McDonald’s brilliant new McBike box! 【Video】

When I was a kid, I loved it when my parents would take me to a McDonald’s drive-through because back then I found it incredibly fascinating and fun that you could order food from inside a car by talking to a box, and then drive around the corner and receive your food from a person in a small window. I even asked my mum if I would be able to order at a drive-through stand on my tricycle, or on foot. Obviously, the answer I got was no.

How times have changed! Now cyclists can pedal into a McDonald’s drive-through stand, and the best part is, their food comes in a neat packaging designed specially for transportation on bicycles!

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Oops! There’s something not quite right about Nana Mizuki’s live tour publicity image…

Nana Mizuki, one of the few voice actresses in Japan who also has a successful singing career, is about to embark on a live tour, dubbed Live Adventure 2015. With 10 albums under her belt, the multi-talented seiyuu has been having annual solo concerts since 2000, and it’s no surprise that fans are abuzz over her upcoming tour, which starts on July 4. But the excitement and anticipation has not blinded net users enough to overlook some careless photo-editing that was spotted on one of the event’s publicity visuals.

Have you spotted the spooky mistakes in the photo yet? Read on to find out where they are!

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Is it really still 2015? Some Japanese netizens must be living in the future because over the past 18 months, they’ve had their hearts throbbing for “once-in-a-thousand-years” and “once-in-two-thousand-years” idols in Japan, a “once-in-four-thousand-years” idol in China, and now a gravure model from Vietnam has been crowned to join the millennia babe ranks.

Rocketeers, meet Japan’s latest “thousand-year” sweetheart, Elly Tran Ha.

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Taiwan’s capital city begins registration of same-sex partnerships

Most Asian nations, when compared to Western countries, have a relatively conservative mindset towards same-sex unions, but 2015 seems to be a progressive year for the LGBT community in Asia so far.

Earlier this year, Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward became the first ward to recognize same-sex marriages in Japan. In May, Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City took the first step towards administrating same-sex partnerships, and now Taipei City follows in Kaohsiung’s footsteps to become the second city in Taiwan to offer same-sex partnership registrations.

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Shibuya’s Hachiko has a new feline pal, and they look absolutely adorable together!

As you’ve probably noticed by now, cats and dogs are very much adored in Japan. Every now and then, a new furry face rises to online stardom, much like how celebricats Maru and the dearly departed Tama captured the hearts of people across and outside of Japan.

When it comes to famous canines in Japan, there’s none who surpasses Hachiko, the legendary faithful dog who even got a movie made in its name.We knew Hachiko was popular among humans, we just didn’t know he was popular among the felines too! Check out Hachiko with his new kitty pal!

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In real life, Sailor Moon transforms with the help of cosmic colored ninjas 【Video】

How many people does it take to change a lightbulb? If you’re familiar with the lightbulb joke, you would probably know that there are many possible answers to that question, depending on the nationality or occupation of the people involved in said question.

And how many people does it take to complete Sailor Moon’s transformation sequence? Approximately eight. We’re not joking! See for yourselves!

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As the weather gets hotter, the girls’ skirts get shorter. Although, to be fair, there are plenty of girls in Japan who strut around in tiny skirts even in the freezing depths of winter. But be it in winter or summer, one thing that comes with mini skirts is the risk of panty shots.

There are shorts designed to be worn under skirts to prevent such situations, but some girls don’t want to wear them, instead running the risk of giving the random guy an eyeful of their undies when they’re climbing up the stairs, running after a bus, or just standing in the way of the wind.

Apparently, such accidental upskirt situations are so common that it provides enough inspiration and case studies for an illustrator to start drawing a series of sketches on Twitter.

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The UFO catcher that will make you laugh and cry – the Onion Crane Game!

UFO catchers, or crane games, are a common sight at game arcades not just in Japan, but in various parts of the world as well. We’re sure you’ve come across the typical kind of machine loaded with soft toys, anime figurines or snacks, or even the occasional rare prize of live pufferfish.

It goes without saying that the more valuable the prize is, the more difficult it would be to get a drop. Sometimes it takes so many tries to get even close to winning something, and when you just miss by that tiny bit, it really makes you want to cry. There is one special machine, however, that will really make you cry, especially if you manage to catch one of the prizes! Check out this one of a kind Tamanegi UFO Catcher!

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Neko rail! Wakayama’s Tama Train is covered in cats both inside and out

Japan has many celebricats, and Wakayama Prefecture’s fuzzy train station master Tama is one of them. Tama serves as a station master together with her apprentice Nitama at Kishi Station along Wakayama Dentetsu’s Kishigawa Line.

Not only does Ultra Station Master Tama have an idol-like presence in Wakayama, she also has her own themed cafe, and a train created in her name, the Tama-densha (Tama Train). More pictures of the cat train after the jump!

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Steal this umbrella and be cursed for life! Japanese Twitter users’ creative anti-theft measures

Japan is known for having one of the lowest crime rates in the world, making it a safe and comfortable place not only for its citizens, but for foreign tourists as well.

But there are still minor cases of theft that bug the local residents, especially when the rainy season comes showering by. Instead of expensive items such as wallets and cars, what’s getting taken are things such as umbrellas, which are inexpensive but highly valuable when it is raining cats and dogs. To fight such petty crime, the citizens of Japan have come up with their own unique ways of fending off such petty thieves. Check them out after the break!

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Fifty Shades of Grey parody makes stretch mark cream look sexier than ever 【Video】

What comes to a guy’s mind at the thought of summer? The sun, the beach, bikini-clad babes lying in the sun tanning on the beach…just to name a few. And what comes to a girl’s mind when she thinks of wearing bikinis to a beach in summer? Body hair, flabby arms and thighs, love handles, uneven tan lines…and don’t even get us started on stretch marks, those are the hardest to get rid of.

Some women may feel completely comfortable with their body and love every little scar and wrinkle on it, but a good many of them probably feel otherwise. Want to know an easy, sexy, and romantic way to say goodbye to those undesirable stretch marks? Check out this commercial that made stretch mark cream look sexy in a parody of Fifty Shades of Grey!

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Kyoto’s newest anime mascot has a stinky name, is worried about garbage, and is a fairy

The Japanese are rather enthusiastic when it comes to recycling. In most Japanese cities, domestic waste has to be separated into a minimum of three categories: combustable “raw” garbage, recyclable plastic and recyclable paper. Some areas have their residents splitting their trash into as many as 10 categories.

Even with that said, there’s probably no place in Japan more outreach than Kyoto when it comes to recycling plastic, as they’ve had a little magical help from a handsome new mascotGomi no Yousei (Fairy of the Garbage). Check out the bizarre recycling enthusiast after the break!

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Mother Duck and her 14 ducklings stroll the streets of Kyoto to get home 【Videos】

Why did the chicken cross the road? We don’t know, we don’t speak Chicken. But we do know why the ducks in Kyoto cross the road. To get to the Kamo River!

Don’t be mistaken, we don’t speak Duck either, but that’s what the ducks have been doing for the past decade or so, and this year they’ve completed the procession again with a record number of baby ducks in tow!

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Sing, my angel of Big Mac! McDonald’s Hong Kong scores epic win with 90s parody ballad【Video】

Some weeks ago, we saw how the McDonald’s fans in Korea professed their love for the Big Mac with their humorous and refreshing performances of the Big Mac Song. But sometimes the best way to express your ardent feelings is by serenading your object of affection with a heartfelt love song.

The creative masterminds behind McDonald’s Hong Kong’s recent advertising stint came up with a ballad that serenaded the franchise’s iconic burger and won the hearts of Cantopop fans at the same time! Hear it after the jump!

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FamilyMart’s iconic door jingle doesn’t belong to FamilyMart?! You can use it in your homes too!

We absolutely love Japan’s convenience stores, and even amongst the tough competition, the various brands have managed to create their own identity and each have their own strengths and specialities.

In most convenience stores, a short chime goes off when a customer enters or exits the store, and if you’ve ever set foot into a FamilyMart location, you might have noticed that they have a unique door jingle in contrast to the more common “ding-dong” sounding ones. The iconic chime has become so familiar, it’s almost synonymous with the FamilyMart brand, but did you know that the jingle is not exclusive to FamilyMart? You can have it in your own home!

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From 0 to Lv 9999 badass in an instant! Online shop specializes in Japanese gangster fashion

One of the many interesting sights in Japan is the myriad fashion styles that exist. Although trends come and go, there are certain characteristics in each fashion faction that distinguish them from the others. For example, gyaru are often associated with heavy fake eyelashes, colored contacts and dramatic hairstyles, lolitas are usually decked out in doll-like dresses with poofy skirts accentuated with lace and frills, and obasan (middle-aged women) from Osaka are known for their fondness of leopard prints.

As one would expect, since there are people who dress in a specific style, there have to be retailers who sell clothes and accessories that cater to their unique fashion needs. In the case of Japanese gangster fashion, we came across this incredible online retailer that claims to transform common people into gangsters in a matter of seconds with their fashion pieces. Check out this fashion badass after the break!

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Taipei introduces taxi tours and 24-hour toll-free interpretation services for foreign tourists

Hello, Rocketeers! Have our recent posts on cute Taiwanese girls, guys and pets gotten you wanderlusting for the fascinating lands of Taiwan? Well, if the language barrier is a concern, we have some exciting information!

Taipei’s city government has been working with the leading local taxi companies to roll out some city tour packages and 24-hour interpretation services to make travelling around Taipei easier for foreign tourists. All the details after the break!

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Wally the bunny with “angel wings” is here to spread cuteness, joy, and lots of fluff!【Photos】

Whenever somebody asks me whether I’m a “cat person” or a “dog person”, I feel slightly sad because it feels as if cats and dogs are the only domestic pets anyone really cares about. And things get even sadder when I answer that I’m a “rabbit person”, and the person who asked the question simply goes “oh yeah, rabbits are really cute”, and the conversation dies.

Well, sorry if rabbits aren’t “mainstream” enough for you, but this fluffy bunny with ears like an angel’s wings is stealing the spotlight today! Cats and dogs, make way for Wally the English Angora!

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Maybe it’s all the influence from the image of butchers in cartoons and movies, but when I think of wet markets and butchers, the first image that comes to mind is usually that of a middle-aged man with a fairly impressive stature wearing an apron and wielding a huge butcher’s knife.

Being a butcher is rather physically demanding, and as such, there are fewer females working as butchers than there are males, and certainly way fewer young pretty girls butchering meat for a living. So when somebody discovered a beautiful young lady butcher at a market in Taipei and uploaded a photo of her online, it caused a huge buzz and she became an Internet sensation overnight. The beautiful butcher certainly didn’t pick up the butchering as a hobby. In fact, she gave up going to college to become a butcher. Find out more after the break!

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