Rachel Tackett

Despite being born and raised in one of the more sparsely populated regions of the U.S, Rachel has found her true home in the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, where all of the narrow truths that she grew up with no longer apply, and she is free to experiment with a wealth of exciting new pastimes. Highly qualified as a “Dabbler in Many Things,” Rachel’s hobbies include reading, blogging, singing, cosplaying, attending theater productions, and drawing for her doujinshi circle, Amyused. She also does work translating and typesetting manga for a number of (legal, I swear) digital distribution sites and boosting their popularity through social networking management.

All Stories by Rachel Tackett

Earlier this month, the Katamachi branch of the Chinese food restaurant Gyoza no Osho (King of Gyoza) in Kanazawa City, Japan, shut down after a group of men decided to drop in on the royal dumpling restaurant dressed in nothing but their birthday suits.

Read More

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery: Is Chinese animation really a “rip-off”?

Over the past few years, China’s animation industry has greatly expanded and produced many all-new domestic works. However, these “original” animations have been placed under a lot of suspicion from sources both domestic and foreign for their blatant mimicry of Japanese and American animation sources. Many accuse China’s fledgling animation industry of relying on rip-offs to sell.

In response to these claims, an opinion piece titled “How Chinese Animation has Progressed Through ‘Imitation,’” was posted on one of China’s major cartoon and comics information sites. The column insists that China’s domestic animations should not be thought of as rip-offs but as inspired copies made for the sake of further developing their infant cartoon industry.

Read More

Man accidentally morphs into Dragon Ball’s Piccolo, seeks professional help

For those of you who are fans of Dragon Ball, what would you call Piccolo’s most defining feature: the turban, the heavy-set brow line, or perhaps the long, pointy ears? If you ask us, the first thing to register when staring at a screen shot of the awesome alien warrior is his undeniable Hulk-like greenness.

Late last month, a man from Western China managed to achieve this startling shade of green skin, though not of his own volition and not without consequence, either. And what was the cause of his seemingly alien ailment? Snails.

Read More

Language of the otaku has infiltrated our Internet forums

I’m sure that many of our readers are acquainted with the Japanese word otaku and its assimilation into English. For those that aren’t, it is a special label given to people who are especially obsessed with what might be considered nerdy hobbies, particularly those related to Japanese anime and manga. In Japanese, it can refer to any person with an obsession, whether it be half-naked figurines or interior design, but it almost always carries the negative connotation of being obsessed to the point of anti-social behavior. In the Western world, however, being an otaku is a badge of honor for many. People who like Japanese manga, anime, and games will often self-identify as otaku and join together with others of like interests over the Internet and other social outlets.

For better or worse, this circle of online anime fanatics has adapted a small vocabulary of Japanese words, creating a sub-set of Internet slang that bridges the language gap between these two similar cultures. Japanese pop culture enthusiasts worldwide cling to words like baka, moe, hentai, and more. But is this particular aspect of otaku culture a healthy thing to have spread? For example, there’s also the potentially disillusioned concept of “mai waifu.”

Read More

Rodin’s “The Thinker” goes thoughtless in Japan

This fall, Takara Tomy Arts is releasing a new line of funny figurines inspired by one of the world’s most well-known statues, “The Thinker.” Only in this case, the chiseled man appears much too preoccupied to be thinking much of anything, turning this thinker into The Thoughtless.

Read More

Hot new item for habitual nose pickers

The feeling of wanting to pick one’s nose is something that every boy and girl can relate to. Unfortunately, society frowns upon people who blatantly go on a booger hunt. In Japan, even blowing your nose in public can be considered bad manners! We’re not sure how sniffling up your snot for hours is better than dispelling it all in one go, but that’s beside the point.

Bandai has a brand new product to ease that natural urge. When your nose has an itch that you’re just twitching to pick, here’s a prosthetic nose that you can pick even in public!

Read More

Japan questions imagery in risque portraits by New Zealand Prime Minister’s daughter

The current prime minister of New Zealand, John Philip Key, has been big in the news lately owing to his 20-year-old daughter, Stephie Key. Stephie is currently studying in France at the highly acclaimed art school, Paris College of Art, and is causing quite a stir with her newest string of risqué self portraits. Controversial as the work might be, it’s also quite cutting-edge, as one of her pieces was chosen to promote Paris Design Week on the second week of September.

But, it’s neither the nudity nor the artistry that caught the attention of Japanese news outlets. You see, many of the pictures contain words and themes that are obviously intended to be Japanese, but leave actual Japanese people scratching their heads.

Caution: some pictures contained in this article are not safe for work.

Read More

Relationships 101: Survey shows the dating experience of average Japanese school kids

Ah, young love. It’s that thing that happens when our hormones run rampant across our hearts. So many people fall victim to it in their formative years, though that’s certainly not a bad thing: after all, getting some experience with schoolyard romance can help build a foundation for future relationships. And boy is it fun!

Recently, Trend News revealed the results of an online survey asking Japanese people to think back to their school days and respond with a comment about how many people they dated. 300 men and women in their 20s and 30s were asked over the course of two days, and results show an average of 2.8 relationships for each of the former students. Here’s how the results break down.

Read More

Nintendo’s favorite plumbers doing parkour gets big praise in Japan 【Video】

For those who don’t know, parkour is a non-competitive sport where people propel themselves through their environment by running, climbing, and flipping their way across city structures like a giant jungle gym. A couple of days ago, Nintendo of America released a documentary-style video called “Finding Luigi: Legend of Parkour,” likening the amazing jumps and flips that the character can perform to the real-world practice of parkour.

Around the same time, fans of Nintendo put together their own parkour video, “Mario Bros Parkour,” wherein two sporty guys play the parts of the famous plumbing brothers as they flip their way through a 3-D enhanced world.  Read on for a peek at both of these awesome videos!

Read More

Japanese vs. Western-style toilets: Squatty Potty stool gives us the best of both!

There are many highly touted health benefits associated with Japanese-style toilets. But who would want to get down to business with a glorified hole in the ground when they have the option of a wonderful Washlet, complete with heated seats and a butt-cleaning water spray?!

Thanks to a new American company that cares a lot about colons, there’s no need to choose the health benefits of one over the comfort and familiarity of the other. This very special team has created a stool to ease the release of your stool and give you perfect poo from atop your porcelain throne. They call their product the Squatty Potty.

Read More

Ginza’s Evangelion exhibit is amazing! We are (not) surprised

From August 7 through to the 26th, the Matsuya Department Store in Ginza held a large exhibit on their 8th floor, celebrating the creation and overwhelming success of the new Evangelion movie series. Over the span of 21 days more than 100,000 people went to see the exhibit featuring a large amount of original artwork used in the planning and production of the movies.

The exhibit was broken up into five sections: The history of Evangelion, the groundwork, the creation, a selection of drawings straight from the movies, and finally a store full of merchandise. Keep reading to learn more about this awesome display!

Read More

Dating in Odaiba without breaking the bank

Odaiba, a manmade island atop Tokyo Bay, is famous for its sightseeing attractions, amusement parks, and entertainment venues. Places such as Joypolis, Pallet Town, Diver City, and the Miraikan science museum are all touted as terrific date spots but can prove quite costly in the long run.

Luckily, we’ve got some good news for all you penny-pinchers. Unbeknownst to many, the Rainbow Bridge, gateway to Odaiba, is an awesome date spot all its own! And, it’s absolutely free!

Read More

JoJo’s All-Star Battle Train to promote Jojo’s bizarre new fighting game

On August 29, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle will become available on PlayStation 3. It’s a fighting game that features all of the major players from the immensely popular manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. How popular, you ask? This beat-‘em-up video game is currently the top-ranked game on Amazon, thanks to the huge numbers of pre-orders, it’s so highly anticipated. One might think that a game such as this doesn’t need any more hype, but those who know JoJo know that this particular franchise will stand for nothing less than extremes!

Starting on August 26, one of the trains on Tokyo’s looping central railway, the Yamanote Line, will be plastered both in and out with characters from JoJo’s new fighting game!

Read More

Marionette Miku brought to life on Niconico Douga 【Video】

In a video recently uploaded to Japan’s Niconico Douga, Hatsune Miku appears as a marionette from the Edo period. The video is a period-style tribute to videos created with MikuMikuDance, a free 3-D animation program often used in the creation of Vocaloid music videos and other fan videos. This particular clip doesn’t actually feature any synthesizers or computer animations but brings Miku to life with true Edo flair.

Read More

New wave of “creative” Japanese names read more like riddles

As much as politicians try to prevent them and doctors disapprove of them, kirakira Japanese names, the kinds that hold double meanings or are just plain hard to read, are apparently still on the rise. A recent survey of kids in their teens and early twenties showed that now more than 40 percent of students know someone at their school with an obscure reading for their name.

Reading name kanji is already a difficult task. A single symbol can have up to a dozen different readings, and while some are more common than others, there’s always a bit of guesswork that goes into deciphering the pronunciation of someone’s name. It’s bad enough when two people have names with the same symbols and entirely different readings. Imagine the frustration that teachers must face when a new student’s name is pronounced in a way that doesn’t even sound Japanese!

There’s a difference between naming your kid something “international” and making your kid’s name a nuisance. See if you can understand the reason behind the reading of some of these kirakira names.

Read More

This cat looks amazingly like Dragon Ball’s Korin!

This is not your average cat meme. So soon after our exploration of Master Roshi’s secluded island, we’ve stumbled upon a picture that we’re convinced is the immortal cat from Dragon Ball, Korin (aka Karin, for those of you more acquainted with the original Japanese or manga).

Now, I know what you might be thinking. There are a lot of smiling white cats in the world. What makes this one so special? Honestly, it’s hard to say. It could be the overall accuracy and the appropriately mysterious air of the picture. Or, it could be the cat’s steady approval from Japanese Netizens! Take a look and decide for yourself!

Read More

Sign me up! These modern-age retirement homes in Japan resemble five-star hotels!

One of Japan’s many senior citizens’ homes was recently featured in a TV special for having the atmosphere and amenities of a top-notch hotel. We’re talking a concierge service, on-site restaurant with an extended menu, and an exclusive beauty parlor, in addition to all of the nursing and medical services that one would expect from any reliable retirement home. Traditionally, people in Japan would rely on their children and grandchildren to care for them when they get old, but for those that have the ability to afford it, living out their last few years in luxury probably sounds like a suitable substitute.

Read More

Japan’s defensive military sees surge of popularity thanks to… anime tanks?

On August 25, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) will be running its big annual firing practice called the Fuji Sougou Kaiyoku Enshuu. Literally, the name means “Fuji Comprehensive Steam-Powered Exercise,” and it is the country’s largest military test using live ammunition. Anyone who wishes to come and observe the strategic simulation must apply for the opportunity, but after receiving a record number of applicants, it’s estimated that only about five percent of the people who applied will be allowed to enter!

So what caused this explosion of interest in military maneuvers? Many people are crediting the anime Girls und Panzer as one of the main contributors. This lighthearted anime focuses on a group of high school girls studying “the way of the tank” as though it is a traditional martial art. The anime’s popularity has encouraged thousands of civilians to pursue knowledge of Japan’s current military capabilities and to see the tanks in action!

Read More

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler gets friendly with fans around Osaka

Last week Steven Tyler, vocalist for the big-name American rock group Aerosmith, was spotted wandering around Osaka without escort. The band is currently in the midst of a world concert tour with stops in a few of Japan’s major cities. Apparently, the big-mouthed “bad boy of rock” decided to spend some time out on the town between shows in Osaka. Not only did the rock star allow fans to approach him as he explored the city, he even joined a band of jazz musicians performing on the streets for an impromptu jam session! Frankly, I’m not sure whether to be inspired by or intolerably jealous over the experiences of those who encountered the rock legend in person.

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11