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

Japanese netizens rewrite fairy tales in modern corporate situations so real they make us weep

In this modern age and day, most of us spend our days running the rat race and getting worn down by work and school, which is probably why some of us fantasize about the happy endings of fairy tales to get away from real life for a while. But then reality slaps us in the face and reminds us that the birds and mice aren’t going to help you with your chores even if you can sing like Celine Dion, Prince Charming is not coming to whisk you away from your office desk, and your bills aren’t going to vanish even if you fall into a deep, deep sleep.

If the heroes and heroines in fairy tales existed in modern-day and had to work like the rest of us, would their stories still be filled with all that magical glitz and romance? Perhaps not. Japanese Twitter users have been re-interpreting some fairy tales from a corporate perspective, which was supposed to be a creative and entertaining activity, but the new tales were so close to home they couldn’t even laugh over them.

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Two wildly different characters, same voice actor. Twitter users share their shocking anime finds

Are you an anime fan? Do you watch Japanese anime in their original Japanese dialogue? If your answer is “yes” for both questions, then you’ve probably had the experience of picking up on a familiar-sounding voice in a certain anime, Googling to uncover the seiyuu (voice actor in Japanese) behind the character, and then realizing that you’ve actually seen quite a few titles he or she has starred in.

Twitter users in Japan have been digging through the Internet for some drastically different performances from the same voice actor/actress, and sharing their surprising finds on Twitter. Check them out after the break!

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Angry is the new grumpy! Bow to Pompous Albert the cat, or suffer his perpetual wrath!【Photos】

Remember Grumpy Cat, the grumpy yet adorable feline with a perpetual look of disdain on her face? She’s still rocking her charming frown, but she might be deepening her frown when she realizes that there’s a new cat on the block climbing the ranks of the Internet feline hall of fame.

Prepare to get judged by the piercing eyes of Albert, the very fuzzy cat with a very severe gaze!

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What if Elsa was from some other country? 24 Hetalia variations of the Frozen queen

The Frozen craze might have died down a little over the past couple of months as Baymax stood under the spotlight for a while, but then came the live-action Cinderella movie, and packed along with it was Frozen Fever, a short animation feature that brought Elsa and Anna back into the spotlight again.

As Frozen fans tremble in excitement over the mini sequel of the animation blockbuster, which was a little less snowy than the first, we couldn’t help but wonder, what would Elsa have looked like if her story was set somewhere else?

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When it comes to competition swimwear, most of us immediately think of is the kind of gear we see worn by professional swimmers. Trends have shifted over the years as technology improved and demands have changed; swimsuits with racerbacks and varying leg lengths to cater to different needs, preferences and races are most commonly seen on female professional swimmers today.

Last week, Japanese “fetish swimsuit” maker REALISE released a new “competition swimsuit” that changed everyone’s perspective on racing swimwear. Instead of having an open back like many Speedo or TYR suits do, REALISE’s revolutionary design has an open front, allowing its wearers to show off their bosoms, just because. As always, the trend-sensitive Twitter users of Japan were quick to respond to the new fashion statement and… well, just see for yourselves after the break! (Needless to say, some of these illustrations are NSFW.)

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Village in Taiwan has dozens of anime and children’s characters painted on its houses!【Photos】

Don’t you agree that our surroundings influence our mood? Being in a bright, vibrant environment usually makes one feel more positive and happy, and the positive energy in us in turn has the power to influence the mood of others around us.

A small village in Tainan City of Taiwan has been attracting attention online and attracting visitors because of the cheerful vibes that emanate from its brightly colored walls. With walls covered in colorful paintings of SpongeBob, Totoro, Doraemon and other characters and motifs, there’s no doubt this village must be a happy place!

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Of umbrellas and back scratchers… DIY selfie sticks that don’t cost a penny!

All right hands up, how many of you own selfie sticks? And how many of you ever entertained the idea of getting one of those sticks-of-the-moment, but eventually decided that you would rather spend ten dollars on a meal than a stick that enables you to take self-portraits from a distance greater than the length of your own arm?

If you fall into the latter group, here are some fantastic examples of budget DIY selfie sticks that would set you back just two dollars or less!

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Attack on Titan fan entertains Twitter users with too-tiny-to-use Jean note tags

Characters from the hit anime and manga series Attack on Titan are here to stick around! In a recent collaboration with one of Japan’s major stationery makers, Pilot, nine popular characters made an appearance on adhesive note tags that come along with the purchase of the brand’s Neox Graphite mechanical pencil lead.

Fans of the franchise are no doubt happy to get their hands on Attack on Titan freebies, but there was one thing that bothered them slightly… the creators put so much attention on the characters that they left barely enough space on the adhesive notes to write a decent message. However, one creative fan found some entertaining ways to make use of the not-so-useful sticky notes!

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Forget cat cafes, there’s a cafe in South Korea where you can hang out with sheep!

Japan is home to hundreds of animal cafes where guests are able to hang out with catsrabbits, and even owls as they sip lattes and cups of herbal tea. These establishments give their patrons, often people who live in rented accommodation in urban areas, a chance to interact with animals that they would not be able to keep at home due to a lack of space or strict “no pets” clauses in tenancy agreements.

In Korea, however, one particular cafe has upscaled the experience with something much bigger and fluffier than the common bunny, cat or pup. Check out this unique cafe which houses a pair of beautiful, friendly sheep!

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When K-pop clashes with Sci-fi, singing about PMS suddenly becomes a trendy thing【Video】

PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) is something many women and men are familiar with. Women bear the brunt of it on a monthly basis, while some men are indirect victims due to the mood swings of the “PMS-ing” females around them.

I doubt anyone would disagree that PMS is in no way enjoyable, but for once, the monstrosity that messes up our lives on a regular basis is starting to look interesting as Korean pop idol Lizzy teams up with comedian Park Myeong-Su to sing about it. Check out the music video after the break!

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Cosplaying guinea pigs are the cutest thing you’ll see this week! 【Photos】

By now it’s no secret that we are vulnerable to cute attacks from cosplaying pets. If you have the same weakness for costume-donning fuzzy pals, you might have previously seen these cosplaying cats, dogs and hamsters, and silently thought, “Come on RocketNews24, there have got to be some cosplaying guinea pigs out there, find them!”

Well, ladies and gentlemen, here they are! More photos of some amazingly photogenic cosplaying guinea pigs after the jump!

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Cute girl or cool chap? We like both! Besides, they’re the same person anyway!【Photos】

There’s this urban legend about pictures of cute girls online which claims that “if she’s too cute, she must be a guy”. Well, after seeing so many mesmerizing cross-dressers, we can’t help but feel the same way at times. If that’s the case, then, it should be only fair to say that “if he’s too suave, he must be a girl”. Because, you know, all that stuff about equality… but mostly, these Chinese and Korean girls who look stunning dressed as guys.

Joining the list is Japanese Twitter user, RiM, who looks idol-material both as a guy or as a girl!

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“Let me hold that for you!” Unadvertised but surprisingly useful ways to use wooden mannequins

Even if you’ve never owned a wooden drawing mannequin, we’re pretty sure you’ve seen one before. These figures with movable limbs are generally used as refrence tools for drawing the human form and poses, but they can be surprisingly useful when it comes to decluttering and organizing your desk too! Check out what these Twitter users have been using their drawing mannequins for!

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Man goes berserk over a bottle of free Coke because it’s so heavy it’ll break his arms【Video】

What’s your take on freebies? It’s not unusual for retailers to run promotional campaigns that involve giving away free products in one way or another, such as the commonly seen “buy-one-get-one-free” offers. Most of the time such promotions are more than welcomed by consumers since it means more value for their money, but some customers are simply too difficult to please.

We never thought we’d see this day coming, but here’s a man who totally flipped out because he was entitled to a free bottle of cola.

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Korean students live out their wildest manga fantasies with amateur “Trick Eye” illustrations

We often say “seeing is believing”, but ironically, our brain and eyes are rather susceptible to visual trickery. Optical illusion art galleries that feature cleverly distorted artworks that manipulate the eyes’ perception of distance and depth have been gaining massive popularity in various parts of Asia in recent months. The original art pieces exhibited at these galleries allow visitors to physically be part of the “3-D” illustration, creating a unique and interactive experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

But why pay to pose with paintings that might not tickle your fancy, when you can live out your fantasies with your favorite manga characters? A bunch of students from South Korea created their very own “interactive” art gallery in their classroom featuring characters from Kuroko no Basuke (Kuroko’s Basketball). Check them out!

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Moe, more moe! Taiwan is in the running to be the next moe-land with these cute anime mascots!

Last year, Taiwanese netizens went gaga when one of the local subway systems, the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit (KMRT), introduced two moe mascots to liven up their stations. The two anime girls, Xiao Qiong and Emilia, stirred up such a huge sensation, it seemed as if they were the only example of their kind in the country, but Taiwan has more moe than that!

If moe culture is your cup of tea, you’ll probably like this because we’ve got more Taiwanese anime mascots after the jump!

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Look, I’m Yuzuru Hanyu! Twitter trolls get creative with celebrity portrait plastic files

Brand endorsement is a big thing in Japan, and many companies and organizations appoint celebrities and famous personalities to promote their products, services and campaigns. More often than not, these famous faces appear not only on billboards and commercials, but also on limited-edition campaign goods such as collectible postcards and plastic folders that consumers can receive by participating in the campaigns.

Fans would rush to get their hands on these limited freebies featuring their favorite stars, but as always, if there’s a face on it, there’d be trolling. Some Japanese youths have found some ingenious ways to “use” these Yuzuru Hanyu and Miliyah Kato plastic folders, check them out after the break!

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What’s this pink fluff in my beer?! Top 10 exotic beers you can find in South Korea

Leave it to the Koreans to come up with innovative and sometimes bizarre food and beverage combinations. Have you tried the whipped cream and beer combination that we introduced previously? If that hit the spot for you, there’s more where that came from, so read on and find your next drinking experiment!

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Gotta buy ’em all! Whimsicott Substitute Plush Toys have taken over Pokémon Centers in Japan!

Whenever someone mentions Pokémon, the first thing that pops up in my head is Pikachu. And then there’s Charmander and Squirtle and Bulbasaur…and Jigglypuff and Snorlax… and that’s about all the Pokémon I can name among the 700 over monsters in the multimedia series.

With more than 700 characters, one would think that fans would be spoilt for choice shopping for character goods at the Pokémon Center, but as it turns out, the Pokémon Centers in Japan have been taken over by the Whimsicott Substitute Plush Toy (Elfuun no Migawari Nuigurumi) and fans are rushing in to grab them by the basket!

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French literature classic ‘The Little Prince’ coming soon to cinemas as an animated film!

Calling all movie-goers, animation fans and literature enthusiasts! It’s not often that we get the chance to pique the interest of individuals from these three groups all at the same time, but the animated version of The Little Prince, one of the most famed pieces of French literature of our time, is set to hit the big screens in the later half of this year! If you haven’t already seen the trailer, read on and get ready to be mesmerized!

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