Preston Phro

Preston Phro (or simply Phro as most know him) is a Coloradoan attempting to fit in in Tokyo. (Surely, he would succeed if not for his unruly hair.) He puts his master's in classical Japanese literature to good use by writing silly stories and articles for the Internet. Having lived in Nara, Osaka, and Yamaguchi before moving to the Kanto area, he's quite happy to finally have a place to call home! When not writing, he enjoys annoying his wife by plucking at his shamisen (a three-stringed Japanese instrument not entirely unlike a banjo) and pestering her with questions about Japanese history. He also occasionally attempts to remember all the stuff he's forgotten since university.

Posted by Preston Phro

We Got a Pill for That! Somewhere…

As a developing country, there’s a lot about India that people from other countries might find surprising (and, we can only assume, visa versa). But here’s one that is particularly surprising.

Whatever images you may have of the South Asian country, when you think of pharmacies, you would probably expect the type you’re familiar with. If you’re from the United States, it might be of neatly organized bottles, tacky Hallmark cards, and lots of white everything. If you’re from Japan, you might be imagining neatly organized bottles hidden away behind windows, uniformed employees, and way more herbal remedies. Well, here’s one Indian pharmacy that takes your neatly organized bottles and plays Jenga with them.

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Capcom Fills Pool with Blood to Mark Release of Newest Resident Evil

In conjunction with the release of Resident Evil Revelations in the UK, Campcom is pulling out all the stops (and arteries, ha-ha) for their newest PR campaign. Last year, they had a butcher shop serving up fresh “people meat.” (We’re starting to wonder if there wasn’t some miscommunication about exactly what kind of game this is.) So, how about this year?

Well, on May 25 and 26, Capcom’s jumping in the deep end with a pool literally filled with blood. And, if you find you’ve forgotten how to swim, zombie lifeguards are standing by to…rescue you? (Wait, aren’t zombies kind of aquaphobic?) Read More

Heavy Industry without the Heavy Equipment

Here at RocketNews24, we like to bring you the latest and greatest, whether it’s (potentially) killer mechs or adorable new fonts! But sometimes it’s nice to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of raw human ingenuity. Read More

Baby’s First Warmachine: the Perfect Mech for Your Tiny Supervillians!

As with most weeks in Japan, robots seem to be dominating the news, but this one’s much cuter and waaaay more alarming.

Sakakibara Kikai (or Sakakibara Machines), a well established manufacturing company in Gunma Prefecture, has released a video of their KID’S WALKER CYCLOPS out for a test drive. (No buildings were destroyed by errant missiles in the filming of this video.) Read More

Tokyo Robot Can Think, Learn, and Apply Knowledge: Nothing to Fear Here!

It seems every time a news story about robots appears, someone inevitably freaks out, screaming about Skynet or the Matrix. Well, this time, they might be right!

While it lacks the dexterity and sweetness of other robots, this one can not only assess and comprehend its surroundings but also learn through the Internet! (Oh, please keep it away from Wikipedia. It’ll conquer the world in a month.) Read More

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

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

Checking Out the Myanmar Amusement Park “Happy World”: An All-star Lineup from Mickey Mouse to Doraemon to…BATMAN?!

When traveling overseas, we like to check out the nearby shopping malls and amusement parks, too, whenever we can. But we don’t waste our time with the famous amusement parks that everyone and their mother has been to. For us, it’s the local, never-before-heard-of amusement parks that we love. Why? Because that’s where you can really see the way the local people live… and some of the clever stuff they’ve come up.

So, this time around, we headed to “Happy World” in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma), located right in front of the world-famous Shwedagon Pagoda.

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