SoraNews24

SoraNews24 is a Tokyo-based news site. In 2008, our sister site, RocketNews24 published its first Japanese-language article, and two years later came the start of our English site, which originally existed exclusively to translate articles from our Japanese colleagues. Over time we’ve expanded the amount of English-language content we produce while maintaining a focus on fun, weird, and intriguing news from Asia, particularly Japan.

All Stories by SoraNews24

【TBT】The top 9 anime situations that seem likely to happen, but never do

How many times have you ever been running to school late in the morning, rushing to get to class before the bell rings, only to turn the corner and bump into someone of the opposite sex, who you consequently fall in love with?

If your answer is more than “none,” chances are you’re either an anime character or an extremely well-organized stalker. Let’s face it: while there are plenty of situations found in anime or manga that seem like they could play out in real life, most are unlikely to ever naturally occur unless by some bizarre fluke.

Niconico News recently asked 500 of their readers to brainstorm some of the most common examples of such situations. Check what they came up with below!

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Coming face-to-boot with the giant Patlabor statue【Photos】

If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m not a huge giant mech/giant robot fan. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a full episode of Patlabor or Gundam–though it’s not out of spite or anything! There are only so many hours in the day, and I rarely seem to have time to watch giant mechs beating the crap out of each other. Though that sentence is making me question some life choices now…

As such, I’ve always been perplexed by the idea that someone has actually gone out of their way to build enormous statues of the suits. The “why” has always left an itch in the back of my mind–it just doesn’t seem worth, does it? Well, that’s what I thought until I actually came face-to-face (face-to-boot?) with an enormous Patlabor statue. Here are some photos of the giant mech emblazoned with a Japanese police badge and why I actually hope they make more!

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【TBT】Enjoy latte art at home with cute marshmallow cats!

From colourful anime designs to awesome 3-D creations, exciting things are going on in the drinkable art world of Japan. Now, there’s a new trend that’s melting our hearts: latte art in adorable take-home designs. Created by a marshmallow company in Nagano Prefecture, the range includes cute cats and fluffy cat paws that gradually dissolve into 2-D latte artworks. The only skill you’ll need for these is an ability to stand the cuteness!

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Filipino actor transforms into celebrity women with a little help from his friends

We’ve demonstrated the power of makeup before, so it’s fair to say that we’re believers in its mystical ability to transform wearers. That said not every makeup experiment will work perfectly–or at all–but we do still enjoy seeing the attempts. While it can be used to help people change their appearance almost entirely, makeup can only stretch reality so far. But just what are the limits?

Well, if you’re Paolo Ballesteros, an actor and comedian popular in the Philippines, not many! Check out his numerous transformations into popular female celebrities using only makeup, wigs, and contact lenses below and see what can be done with some well-placed blush.

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【TBT】”Pet Bird” flavored ice cream available in parakeet, cockatiel, and sparrow

Do you like ice cream? Do you like putting birds in your mouth?

Of course we all do, but with only two hands it can be hard to do both at once. That’s why Torimi Cafe came out with a line of ice creams modeled after three breeds of small birds.

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Six habits of first class “business elites”, according to one cabin attendant

If you’re like us here at RocketNews24, you probably don’t spend a lot of time sitting in first class on airplanes. The cabin attendants always seem so grumpy when they have to come around with brooms and shoo us to the back of the plane where our seats are.

Aside from the legroom and complimentary champagne (or whatever first class fliers get), there is one other big difference between sitting at the front and in the back in economy: Your fellow passengers. Now, don’t get us wrong, everyone cramped in the back with us is great…but have you ever wondered what those fancy-shmancy passengers are like? Well, wonder no more! A Japanese cabin attendant has dished on the top six things she’s noticed about the wealthier passengers. And none of them are what you might be expecting.

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【TBT】The avant-garde art of book stacking in stores of Japan

With bookstores in Japan overflowing with manga, novels and non-fiction, it takes a lot to stand out and get noticed. However, with the advent of the three styles of book stacking we’re going to show, it’s impossible for passersby not to stop and take a gander at these literary works.

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Time to get wet: Underwater photos of girls in sailor suits and… plastic exoskeletons?

Underwater photography can produce some pretty spectacular images of everything from exotic fish to magnificent submerged landscapes. It can also give us a new spin on old ideas–like the images of girls in knee-high socks underwater that were so popular last year.

In anticipation of a new photo collection of more models underwater in knee-high socks, photographer Manabu Koga has posted more photos of an underwater model–this time wearing a school uniform.

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Woman on train groped by two men at once, suspects apparently unrelated

Japan is known for many great things from its delicious food and unique culture to its abundance of anime, manga, and video games. Unfortunately, it has also earned a reputation for being packed with skeevy perverts, which is actually an extremely unfair characterization–the average Japanese citizen is no more perverted than the citizens of any other country. But that doesn’t change the fact that many women still have to put up with both discrimination and sexual harassment, as a story that broke on Friday demonstrates.

A young woman in her twenties was allegedly groped while riding the train. That on its own would be bad enough, but this woman was allegedly molested by two different men at the exact same time.

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【TBT】This blue beer looks like it came from alcoholic Willy Wonka’s factory

The Abashiri Brewery in Hokkaido which, judging by its website, really is some kind of beer-themed Willy Wonka side project, boasts what may be the world’s first naturally blue beer.

Always ready to get drunk for the sake of our readers, RocketNews24 took it upon ourselves to investigate this mystifying beer anomaly, appropriately named the Ryuhyou Draft (“Ice Floe Draft”), at a beachside pub.

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Pirates, pink hair and temporary tattoos: The girls of Tokyo Game Show 2014【Photos】

Booth babes, show attendants, scantily clad PR persons; call them what you will, these girls are a big part of Tokyo Game Show, and they’re not going anywhere. They man woman the booths handing out flyers, goodies and company-approved advice and info, always dressed in a way that catches the eye, and it’s hard to imagine the event without them.

Those of you who are unable to attend TGS in person, or who are new to the concept of “booth babes” may perhaps be wondering what all the fuss is about. So for you, and for those of you who pretend to disapprove of such saucy shenanigans but secretly want to look anyway, we’d like to present our collection of photos of the girls of Tokyo Game Show 2014. You’re welcome.

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【TBT】The Lowdown on Japan’s Cosplay Industry

These days, cosplay functions as a 40 billion yen (US$390 million) industry and has a large impact on Japan’s economy. Now, before moving on, please allow me to clarify that ‘cosplay’ to Japan does not only refer to people dressing up as anime and video game characters, but includes all manner of live action, Western, original characters, nurses, maids, and so on. Virtually any costume worn for fun is considered cosplay over here. So what kinds of special services are available to avid cosplayers in Japan? And how are cosplayers themselves making the most out of this bountiful, infinitely tolerant environment? Read More

Beautiful Toms: The manliest ladies in Thailand

Human sexuality can get pretty complicated–which is awesome if you ask us! We think it’s pretty great that more and more people have found the freedom to be themselves and express their (consensual) desires in a positive way.

And when it comes to complex sexuality, it seems that Thailand may be one of the most diverse places on the planet. While you may have any number of ideas about what sexuality is like in Thailand, we’re guessing you’re not familiar with Toms or Dees…

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The Boobie Squeezing Simulator: Oculus Rift at its creepiest

Virtual reality pornography is basically a reality at this point. Oculus Rift plus Tenga equals the end of humanity. Oculus Rift plus a pillow equals hugs as real as your virtual girlfriend. Oculus Rift plus a straw equals a surprisingly pleasant date with your anime girlfriend sitting on the other side of the uncanny valley. We’re now convinced that when aliens discover the remains of human civilization centuries from now, they’ll conclude that it was a magic device known as the “Oculus Rift” that brought civilization screeching to a halt.

And now, an Oculus Rift plus a novelty mouse pad with “breasts” is…actually really, really creepy. And while it probably won’t result in us all withering away to empty husks, this Boobie Squeezing Simulator is almost certainly the beginning of the end.

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【TBT】The five Japanese streets that people of Japan most want to visit

If you’ve ever longed to go back to an old Japan, where samurai stayed at old ramshackle inns and merchants filled the air with the scent of food, then some of these traditional streets will be right up your alley. We take you to five of Japan’s most-loved streets, from well-worn paths in secluded valleys to bustling pilgrimage routes in scenic villages, all with an amazing history and atmosphere. Let’s take a stroll together and see what they have to offer.

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Pic of the Week, Round 5: Winner!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s finally time to announce our Pic of the Week!

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Almost as soon as the ALS Ice Bucket challenge emerged as a massive, viral trend, the haters began to bemoan the waste of water and public showboating. While it’s easy to understand the position–whose Facebook feed hasn’t been filled with posts of friends taking a nice splash this summer?–one thing you can say for the challenge is that it’s raised quite a bit of money. This has left the conversation open to the counterattack “Nee-ner nee-ner nee-ner!” and the charge, “Why don’t you come up with something better?”

Well, look no further, haters, because this daring group of Chinese financial analysts has you covered…by getting uncovered themselves.

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It’s time to vote, vote, vote for your favourite photo!

It’s that time again, folks: the polls are now open for this week’s Pic of the Week!

Join us after the jump to see our 10 favourite photos and to choose the one that you think most deserves to win.

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Pic of the Week, Round 4: Winner!!

Ladies and gentlemen of das internets, we have a winner!

This week’s contest was the closest yet, with just one percent of the vote between the photos that claimed first and second place. Our Pic of the Week, plus two honourable mentions, await you after the jump.

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Move over Beats, there’s a new overpriced set of headphones on the market

So, you love to blast your music wherever you go, but you can’t find any headphones fashionable enough to match your wardrobe. While that’s not likely a problem many of us have, someone has found a solution! Chanel–yes, Chanel–will be releasing their newest fashion accessory–headphones–mid-September. And, don’t worry, fashionistas, they are exactly as expensive as you would think they are!

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