Grand Theory of Moe: the Past, Present and Future of Maid Cafes

When it comes to Japan, Akihabara is one place you’ll find on almost every tourist’s map. The name alone immediately brings to mind everything from games, manga, anime, figurines and AKB48 to Gundam, computers and electronics. Still one thing stands out as being particularly iconic: maid cafes.

Most visitors to Tokyo have stopped by one of these cafes at least once, and even if you haven’t, you’re probably familiar with the concept: cute, young women in fluffy “maid” skirts serving drinks and food while giggling with customers and, often, putting on shows. But have you wondered where these cafes came from? Read More

Gyu-Kaku Philippines Now Open, Serving Up Excellent Seafood

Mariah Carey’s done it. Lindsay Lohan did it too. Megan Fox even does it with her husband. And in Japan, practically everyone’s doing it. It’s yakiniku, barbecuing meat on a charcoal flame, and the hottest place to do it is at the popular Japanese restaurant chain Gyu-Kaku.

Now people in the Philippines are getting a taste of the celebrity-endorsed outlet, with the April 5 opening of their first branch in metropolitan Manila. Already, it’s proving to be very popular with the locals. But when we heard that the star of this Gyu-Kaku (“Bull’s Horn”) wasn’t the meat but the seafood, we had to pay them a visit to see what was going on.

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Swimsuit Scene Deemed Too Raunchy for American Audience

America is known for being particularly prudent when it comes to sex and nudity, and the censors have been at it again in the US release of new Fire Emblem Awakening content. Someone somewhere has judged an image in the game to be far too naughty for sensitive American eyes, incurring the wrath and bemusement of fans around the globe. Read More

Which is More Loved in Japan: Cats or Dogs?

It’s the eternal struggle of pet preferences. There’s no question that the top two choices for pets are cats and dogs and the human race is ultimately divided between so-called “cat-people” and “dog-people.” Since there can only be one animal to take the number one spot as “favorite pet,” large scale surveying website Research Planet asked nearly 30,000 Japanese people straight up, “Which do you like better, dogs or cats?”

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No Kisses For You! Cute Shiba Inu Refuses Owner’s Persistent Advances【Video】

Meet Mari, the cute Shiba Inu who likes to play hard-to-get. If Mari looks familiar, it may be because she’s a bit of a movie star on the Internet. She’s appeared in dozens of short films with her owner, playing the roles of train passenger, religious sect founder and even tambourine player in her master’s two-piece band. She’s also spent time as a strict homework supervisor.  Now Mari seems to be showing her true colours, refusing her owner’s requests to pucker up for a smooch, with all the scorn and indignation of a displeased cat. This clip is one of their cutest and most hilarious pet-owner collaborations to date! Check out their video after the jump.

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Impossible Stairway to Nowhere Defies Belief 【Video】

Here we have the impossible staircase, which violates the laws of physics and makes a mockery of basic common sense by looping back on itself, so that when you climb its steps, you endlessly ascend. These are the stairs that never end, they just go on and on, my friend. Think of the possibilities- like a mouse in a wheel, you can StairMaster up or down forever and never get anywhere.

First envisaged by Lionel and Roger Penrose in 1959 as a “continuous staircase”, and popularized by Escher’s famous lithograph, ‘Ascending and Descending,’ the incredible illusion of these endless stairs has been created in three-dimensional space by architect Rafael Nelson Aboganda at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Is this for real? Watch the clip below, laugh at people’s confusion, and decide for yourself!

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Increase in Male Rape Victims Concern Zimbabwe Police

Police in Zimbabwe’s eastern province of Manicaland are asking men to stay alert following an increase in rapes perpetrated by one or more groups of women. The announcement was made following a four-day sexual assault of a young male soldier by a gang of four women.

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Fantasy Art: Amano Yoshitaka Art Gallery

Should you happen to be in Tokyo this Golden Week, you have until Tuesday (May 7) to check out a free (!!!) art gallery displaying some beautiful works by Amano Yoshitaka. If the name doesn’t ring any bells, some of the projects he’s worked on surely will: Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D, Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, and the incomparable Sandman: the Dream Hunters.

And if you happen to have a few extra yen laying about, you can also pick up some original pieces! The least expensive one we found was only about 40,000 yen (US$402), and the most expensive we spied was about 3.8 million yen (US$38,381). Even if you can’t pick up the original art, you can still get postcards, posters, notebooks, and calendars with Amano’s brilliant art. And! You’ll get a poster just for coming by!

Photo and event information below! (Some of the photos are not safe for work!!!) Read More

Looking for Love? Break the Ice Over Red Meat at this Barbecue Joint Famous for Turning Patrons into Couples

Typically a heaping plate of raw meat isn’t exactly the type of food you’d picture putting people in an amorous mood, but this tiny watering hole-slash-barbecue joint in Kanda (one station over from Tokyo) is famous for bringing patrons together through the magic of a hot grill, cold drinks, and very, very close quarters.

The interior of the restaurant, Rokkakai, is only 6.6 square meters, meaning complete strangers are pretty much forced to crowd around and share a single, rectangular table. We can see where this might result in the odd coupling, but that’s apparently not the only secret behind the location’s uncanny ability to bring people together.

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Photos of Japanese People Accidently Used on Korean Textbook Covers

State-sponsored textbooks issued to 870,000 first and second grade elementary school students in Korea this year have mistakenly used photos featuring Japanese people on their covers. The mishap was confirmed after much speculation about the nationality of the subjects in the photos. They were said to have different features to Koreans, namely more defined double-creased eyelids and less-defined cheekbones.

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Battle of the Rice: Korean Rice Trumps Japanese as Koshihikari Loses Out on Top Spot

Say ‘sushi’ and you automatically think ‘Japan’. But a recent taste test by the experts suggests that the perfect sushi may not be 100 percent Japanese. Read More

Double the Fries in One Container! Is the Mega Potato Coming Back to McDonald’s Japan?

According to rumors on a 2ch thread and “confirmed” by a current “McDonald’s employee,” the Mega Potato is coming back to Japan and it’s just as awesome as the name implies. Consisting of the equivalent of two large orders of fries, the Mega Potato is said to arrive in a specially made doublewide vessel on May 17.

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Local Group’s Plan for “I Conquered Nation of Japan” Certificates Dashed by Protest

A group of local residents around the Nation of Japan had established a plan to issue “I Conquered Nation of Japan” certificates to people for 500 yen (US$5) a copy.  The plan was a small way to help promote tourism to the area. However, when the news broke, people from all over the country wrote in, protesting the scheme and calling it “inappropriate.”

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Finally! Spaghetti and Hotdog Are Now As One!

The science world has been reeling as a photo surfaced demonstrating what might be a successful fusion of hotdog and spaghetti. However, many pasta experts remain skeptical claiming, “Man, ain’t no way you can put a piece of dry spaghetti through a wiener! It’d break!” This photo documentation says otherwise, however, and the end result looks really good too!

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Cute Kyoto! We Taste Hidden Delights From a Traditional Sweet House in Pontocho

Pontocho is one of Kyoto’s most beautiful geisha districts. With traditional tea houses, restaurants and bars all crowded together along atmospheric, stone-paved narrow lanes, this area breathes the air of an old, timeless Kyoto. Within its maze of weaving, intersecting alleyways, there are plenty of secrets to discover and hidden areas to explore. Walking through Pontocho, you might notice one of its many mysteries: the area is dotted with Japanese paper lanterns, all bearing the mark of the chidori, the plover bird. They’re incredibly beautiful, but why would a cute chidori design come to be on such traditional products?

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Woman Feels Cheated After Meeting Her Online Boyfriend For the First Time, Calls Police

According to news correspondence from Wuhan City in China, a Chinese-Korean woman used the internet to befriend a man from China only to discover that on meeting face to face, he fell short of her expectations. The woman then contacted local authorities claiming that she had been “cheated.”

The woman, Ms. Chan (35), who is of Chinese descent but possesses Korean nationality and resides in the city of Suwon, Korea, first made contact with the Chinese man (37) from Wuhan, China, via the Chinese instant messenger software QQ. The man is believed to be employed part-time. After several chat sessions, the couple are said to have hit it off and as a natural course of events, the woman suggested flying over to China to meet in person. However, for one reason or another, the man would always claim to be busy and say that it was difficult for him to take time off from work.

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Across the globe there seems to be this stereotype that Japanese men are feminine and weak-willed. You can see it in the slang term for this new generation of young Japanese men, “herbivores,” implying that they have absolutely no craving for womanly flesh. A Chinese journalist even went so far as to say that the sex drive of a Japanese male is as underdeveloped as a third world country. Harsh words from a writer in a country full of virgins.

But is there any truth to this claim? And more importantly, does this mean that Japanese men are bad in bed?! Japanese media decided to get a better perspective on the matter by asking foreign women to dish about their Japanese boyfriends’ bedroom performance. Their responses spoke only of satisfaction and should serve to stroke a lot of Japanese male egos. Read More

Students in Japan Create a Robot That Can Balance on a Ball

Oh Japan, you never disappoint in the robot department. This one in particular may look a little plain compared to the femme bots in Shinjuku or a $1.25 million giant robot, but it’s still really cool. Created by two students at Tohoku Gakuin University in Japan, this little guy is able to perfectly balance on a ball while carrying a load and moving.

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We Try a “One-Piece Chicken McDo With McSpaghetti” at McDonald’s in the Philippines

In our continuing endeavor to visit McDonald’s restaurants around the world we sample the unique regional offerings the international chain creates to appease the locals and delight tourists.

This time RocketNews24 sent a reporter to a McDonald’s in the Philippines to sample one of their localized combos centered by a heap of McSpaghetti. The following is their report.

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Virtual Reality: Taste the Sound Effects From Your Favourite Comic Book Moments

Your drink’s icy cold but the manga ice cubes in your glass are h-h-hot! Now taste the palpitating sound effects from your favourite comic books thanks to these new Manga Kōri, Comic Ice silicone molds from Runa Corporation.

Coming in three designs, ゴゴゴ (go-go-go, the sound effect for rumbling), ドドド (do-do-do, the sound of running, galloping and whirring machinery), and あ゛あ゛あ゛ (a-a-a, best translated as “Arrgh”), all appear in your glass in the same font that’s often scrawled over tense moments in a manga character’s storyline.

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