Master Blaster

Writer / Translator

Master Blaster is the two-man translating team of Canada’s Steven Le Blanc and Japan’s Masami M, a pair who in addition to writing work are in English education and created the StudyNow app for Japanese students of English.

Together they have written somewhere around 1,500 articles for RocketNews24 covering such diverse topics as Chinese men selling sanitary napkins to each other and a Japanese guy dragging an ear of corn around the Tokyo train system. A few of these were actually good, but don’t take our word for it! Here’s what our beloved readers had to say:

“One isn't always in the mood for bold tastes. But when I'm in the mood for bold flavor I turn to you.”
“Stupid article. Who cares what the Japanese think it's cool. You don't call a monkey, "gorilla".”
“You know, this is about the most cogent explanation of how a turbocharger works that I have ever seen in the non-motorsports world.”
“Thanks for the article peter!”
“It's people like you who make exploitation possible.”
“It looks yummy and the story was great. Thank you for the smile.”

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All Stories by Master Blaster

A Naruto Fan and Non-Fan Give Their Impressions of the Naruto Live Action Movie on YouTube

One of the most popular anime and mangas around the world in recent times has got to be Naruto.  With such fame often comes fan fiction, and thanks to the development of easily available production equipment, fan movies are an ever improving art form.

The fledgling American production team Thousand Pounds Action Company has put together a YouTube movie with an original story based on the Naruto universe.  A follow-up to their celebrated Street Fighter X Tekken video, the Naruto movie has been getting an equally good reception and then some.

However, would Naruto fans be offending with their handling of the source material, and could this tiny movie company grab the attention of non-fans with their talents? We take a look at it from both sides to see.

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Japan’s 30 Best Selling Video Games of All Time

The following is a list of the 30 most sold video games in Japan in the history of video games across all platforms.  Western Gamers may be surprised that violent shooters take a rather large backseat to RPG’s, mushroom stomping, and Pikachus in the minds of Japanese game consumers.

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Japanese Monkeys Shed Light on a “Kindness Gene”

Tokyo University’s Wildlife Research Center has discovered that a group of monkeys living on Awaji Island are more laid-back than all other monkeys in Japan.  The cause of this, they claim, is a gene that dictates our gentleness.

Researchers put an ample supply of monkey bait within an 8 meter circle marked out on the group and then observed the monkeys.  Of the monkey population on Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture a whopping 180 monkeys came out to enjoy the treats inside the circle together with minimal conflict. Read More

[Breakthrough] A Cursive Lower Case Y Looks Just Like Lupin III

Hot on the heels of the latest Higgs boson development, leading graphologists are in a frenzy to confirm a new hypothesis set forth by one Twitterer: A cursive English letter y bears a striking resemblance to anime’s favorite criminal Lupin III when you add little eyes, a nose and an ear.

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This Kitschy Sexy Lady iPhone Case Has a Hidden Surprise for Everyone to Enjoy

All you fellas out there know the best way to pick up women is by using playboy mud flaps while driving their van airbrushed with a painting of a seminude Valkyrie and wearing their “beaver inspector” T-shirt.

Well now you have another weapon in your arsenal of manliness guaranteed to score with the ladies.  This sexy bath tub lady iPhone case is certainly impressive by itself, but beneath the bath water lies secret that will tempt everyone to buy it.

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Was KFC’s Great Chicken Give-Away a Success? Depends on How You Look at It

This past Fourth of July, while Kentucky Fried Chicken was celebrating Independence Day in the US, KFC Japan was busy commemorating the anniversary of the fried chicken chain’s entrance into the Japanese market.

On this day they held a one-day all-you-can-eat sale where customers could get 45 minutes of non-stop chicken for 1,200 yen.  A very generous deal but how much did KFC stand to lose on such an offer, or did they lose?  Let’s crunch the numbers and see.

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We Check Into the Cheapest Hotel in Japan, US$6 a Night

Located near the center of Osaka City is an area called Kamagasaki which was once known to be a gathering place for day laborers.  Now, it’s a rather charming place where street cars run that kind of takes you back half a century.  On the other hand, beneath the surface runs some violent energy as this area is often ground zero for riots and other acts of civil disobedience.

It’s here that I went in search of the cheapest hotel in Japan, The Kimiya, where it is said one could spend the night for a mere 500 yen (US$6).

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Tomato Juice Fad Dead at 6 months

We had a lot of fun here at RocketNews informing you of the tomato juice diet fad earlier this year, followed by the shocking announcement of tomato juice preventing drunkenness.

Despite my own personal hatred for this beverage that tastes like vomit chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes, it was good to see people get into this otherwise healthy drink.

Sadly, it looks as if this fad has run its course, based on the latest tomato juice based research sponsored by juice maker Kagome.  Coroners have estimated the time of death for the fad to be 9:20pm on July 2nd.

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There’s a Camel that Drinks Coca-Cola? RocketNews24 is There!

Tunisia as we recently discovered by their beautiful can designs, seems to be a loadstone of Coca-Cola related paranormal activity.  For now our intrepid reporter has found a camel renowned for its love of Coke.  It chugs the stuff down in one swig!

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Can’t see the picture? Give your head a shake

Seriously, try shaking your head and if you don’t easily get dizzy, you should be able to see John Lennon’s face emerge among the black and white lines. Even after you stop shaking the image should linger for a moment.

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Smarter, Better, Faster, Stronger: Roachbot 2.0

The hottest toy of 2012, Roachbot, was released earlier this year amid great fanfare with its eerie resemblance everyone’s favorite kitchen guest, the cockroach.  But as Japan enters the middle of cockroach season, we find ourselves casting aside our robotic roaches to play with the real ones.

Sensing this, Japan Trust Technologies have given it a severe amping up, including support for the iPhone and iPad.

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Your Favorite Nintendo Games As You’ve Never Seen Them Before, As Traditional Japanese Prints

Ukiyo-e Heroes are a group of artists who work in the medium of tradional Japanese woodblock printing (ukiyo-e), a style most strongly associated with Japanese culture.  This group has turned their facebook page into a virtual gallery displaying their favorite muse: video games.

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Take the “Public” Out of Public Bathing and Make a Natural Hot Spring in the Comfort of Your Own Home

One of Japan’s greatest features is its many natural hot springs called onsens. Thanks to its highly volcanic location, Japan’s countryside is dotted with resorts welcoming tourists all year round.

For some foreigners visiting or living in Japan, public bathing isn’t a very appealing recreation.  Reasons for this include tattoos which are considered verboten in many onsens, and the fact that foreigners tend to stick out like a sore thumb and might draw uncomfortable stares while bathing.

Now there’s another way to enjoy the relaxing and curative properties of a natural hot spring in the comfort of your own bathroom.  If you want to know how, then give our easy manual “How to Set Up an Onsen in Your Own Home” a quick read.

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Mankind Dealt Further Blow As Robot Which Never Loses at Rock-Paper-Scissors Is Developed

Rock-Paper-Scissors, the longstanding arbitrator of riding shotgun or eating the last slice of pizza has been celebrated for hundreds of years for its simple yet elegant balance of psychology and chance.

It’s such a part of the human experience that a robot could never out match the human mind in the RPS arena.  Until now that is, as Engineers from the University of Tokyo decided to stick their noses in and build a robot that never ever loses at Rock-Paper-Scissors – ever! So how does it do it?

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A Couple of Train Stations Create Their Own Cutie Gods in an Effort to Boost Tourism

Sadly with Japan’s many recent economic woes, visitation to the remote stations of Kofuku and Aikoku has been low.  So in an effort to drum up some visitors, the local communities did what anyone would do in this situation.  They made some gods.

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Omiya Station’s Platform 8 Becomes the Scene for a Rare Mass Influx of Train Enthusiasts, Things Get Ugly

23 June, 2012, marked the 30th anniversary of the Tohoku Shinkansen Line. Its original first stop, Omiya Station, acted as a lightning rod for Japanese railfans called toritetsu (lit. Photographers of Iron). A normally peaceful trainspotter, when packed into small spaces the toritetsu can become noisy and obnoxious to those around it.

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New Glasses Designed Exclusively for Hackers

Glasses maker JINS have announced that on 2 July they will sell a limited release of 1,500 pairs of their confusingly named JINS PC for Hackers, which are glasses tailored to meet the needs of hackers.

JINS makes it clear on their website that they are referring to hackers in the traditional sense of someone with a lot of experience and skill using computers and networks, rather than the criminal sense often used in the media.

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Tsukuba University Claims New Method for Artificial Rain Is a Success

Although we are currently going through our rainy season here in Japan, other parts of the world face sever threats from drought, and desertification.  Luckily, Tsukuba University research team has announced the on 23 June their attempt at making rain was successful.  All they had to do was use an ingredient found in a can of Coke.

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TOYOTA Shows Off the Ultimate Family Car, Even the Kids Can Drive it!

At a recent auto show Toyota had unveiled its latest concept car, the Camatte (pronounced like latte), which they boast as the first ever true family car.  Not only can mom and dad use it for their daily transportation needs, but little Susie can get a kick out of playing dress-up with it and little Johnny can practice driving it himself in the back yard.

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Restaurant Found In Tokyo Serving Dog Meat, We Investigate

It’s certainly become a widespread belief that dog is eaten in some Asian countries, most notably China and Korea.  However, it never caught on in Japan, which is why we were blown away to learn that there’s a restaurant in Ikebukuro, Tokyo that offers a selection of dog meat dishes.

The name of the restaurant is Fun Fun Shop and despite the signboard that reads “Chinese Cooking” they actually offer a range of dishes into Korean and Japanese as well.  Having none of us ever eaten dog before, we sent our most iron-gutted reporters to see if the taste could possibly justify the unpleasant act of eating man’s best friend.  And we answered your three most likely questions, before you ask them!

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