2015

This compilation of Japan’s best 2015 commercials is most insanity per second we’ve seen 【Video】

Noodle-warrior-transforming old dudes, eye-laser-shooting bosses, dancing Frieza grape soda, and so much more await your eyes.

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Chinese website votes for the best “moe” male and female characters of 2015

Chinese website bilibili recently took a reader poll to find the most “moe” characters of 2015. Not only was the competition fierce, but the “cute dudes” top 8 was extremely surprising.

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Top 10 searched keywords from Japanese Google in 2015 include terrorism, rugby, and Splatoon

It’s been a busy year for Japan!

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Annual New Year’s Eve singing competition Kohaku will be invaded by Star Wars

Disney is getting its hands on all it can this year—you’ll even be able to catch a special performance by Star Wars characters and Arashi at annual singing contest Kohaku Uta Gassen this year.

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“Safety” voted Japan’s official kanji of 2015

After a year of taxes and a previous year of rings, “safety” is the word that resonates true in the hearts of Japanese in 2015.

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Japan’s top baby names for 2015: Will Naruto-influenced monikers still reign supreme?

Choosing a name for your newborn son or daughter can be tough. Not only are you responsible for bestowing a name upon another human being—a collection of vowels and consonants that that will stick with them for life and likely have a profound effect on how people initially perceive their owner—but if you live in a country like Japan, then you not only have to choose the baby’s name, but how it will be written in kanji characters as well. Talk about pressure.

But that’s the reason we have baby name lists! For the past two years we’ve been keeping track of the most popular names for baby boys and girls in Japan, and this year we’re keeping up the tradition. Take a peek at what trends are spreading through Japan by seeing which names are in this year and which are out.

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5 places in Japan to visit in 2015

Although we just told you about why Japan is an unpopular tourist destination, if you are planning on visiting in 2015and we really recommend you do!there are some landmark events going on that you might want to consider as you make your plans. Here’s our list of five places you’ll want to visit in Japan in 2015.

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Help our writer figure out how to wear the mysterious clothing item in her Muji Lucky Bag

Remember the Muji Fortune Can that we featured a few days ago from our favorite minimalist home goods store, Muji? Following that welcome discovery, our Japanese reporter also managed to get her hands on both a Muji Women’s Clothing Lucky Bag and a Muji Health & Beauty Lucky Bag.

Although she was content with most of the surprises, there was one clothing item in particular that stumped her–can anyone give her a few tips on how best to wear it? Don’t miss her mini fashion show after the jump!

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What wonders do a Super Potato Lucky Bag hold? Grab your retro gaming hat and let’s find out!

When you buy a fukubukuro (lucky bag) from a store in Japan, you can usually be sure that the value of their contents will surpass the amount you paid for the bag; it’s a guarantee, or else no one would ever buy them! But when you decide to buy a fukubukuro from a secondhand store, you certainly can’t feel 100% sure that you will get your money’s worth.

Are your secondhand items going to be in good condition? Are you going to be getting some good value? Or are you getting the games that even the secondhand store just wants to get rid of? Let Tokyo’s most famous used video game store Super Potato help you decide after the break.

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Yoshio discovers that lucky bag loot from a UFO catcher is spectacularly underwhelming

While our RocketNews24 Japanese team of writers has been having fun snatching up a variety of lucky bags during this first week of the new year, the contents of those bags have ranged from exciting to just plain meh. But the two lucky bags our Japanese correspondent Yoshio grabbed from UFO catchers (aka claw machines) have hit a new all-time low. We don’t think he’ll be going back for more next year…

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Mr. Sato divulges the contents of a 2015 Apple Store Lucky Bag–will he get a lame t-shirt again?

Following his tradition of the past few years, RocketNews24’s ace reporter and calendar model Mr. Sato dutifully lined up outside the Apple Store in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood to wait for the January 2 release of the its 2015 lucky bag (luckily, his experience waiting outside wasn’t nearly as traumatic as the poor folks’ up in Sapporo). Although he was hoping to score a MacBook Air for the second year running, this year our man had his eye on another item as well–the Apple Store lucky bag-exclusive t-shirt.

Will Mr. Sato find the coveted t-shirt in his bag again this year? See his haul after the jump!

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Happy Kentucky Fried New Year! And this year’s KFC New Year Lucky Bag contains…?

Every New Year’s, people across Japan flock to stores for special bargains, and in particular, the “Lucky Bags” known as fukubukuro. From electronics and chocolate shops to up-scale department stores, Japanese shops and businesses of all kinds come up with original Lucky Bags at the beginning of each year to tempt those of us out for some new year’s shopping. Now, these bags are supposed to offer good value, containing products worth more than the price you pay for the bag. Well, the bags may be a good value, but the catch is that you can’t choose what you get in your bag, and each year there ends up being much online discussion on whether the Lucky Bags from different shops are a particularly good or bad deal.

Not to miss out on the action, the team at the Japanese RocketNews24 site has also joined the Lucky Bag rush, and as we’ve already started reporting, we’ve taken a look at the contents of quite a few of the bags being sold this year. And one of them happens to be a bag from none other than … Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan. Let’s see what “finger-lickin’ good” items were included in their Lucky Bag for 2015!

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Contents of Starbucks Coffee’s 2015 lucky bag REVEALED!

Happy New Year! At the start of the new year in Japan many stores release fukubukuro, or lucky bags, where you can get a selection of goodies for less than they usually retail for, as well as limited edition items. People rush around the stores picking up fukubukuro from all their favourite brands, but often the items inside are a secret. We’re here to reveal some of them so you can make an informed decision on which to go for.

Here we have Starbucks Coffee’s offering, which sells for 3,500 yen (US$29). Read on to find out what’s inside!

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Happy New Year and thank you from RocketNews24!

Well, folks, we’ve done it again. We’ve somehow survived yet another year without being wiped off the face of the planet or the interwebs, and I’m happy to report that our humble shrine to news, entertainment and general weirdness from Japan and Asia is now bigger, busier, and – dare I say it – slightly better looking than ever before.

Last year went by in a flash for us. Our team grew from 15 to 22, and we put out roughly twice the amount of content that we did in 2013. In return, we saw our readership positively explode, and now almost 190,000 of you kind souls allow our quirky news nuggets to appear alongside your friends’ tedious selfies and photos of their hideous children in your Facebook feed. It may sound like a bit of a cliché, but we really wouldn’t be here without you, and it’s only thanks to our readers that we’re able to keep on growing and can keep Mr Sato stocked with the Cuban cigars and exotic silk underwear he so voraciously consumes each day.

Despite our recent growth spurt, RocketNews24 is still staffed by a very close-knit team. Unlike some faceless media machine operated by corporate giants, we still get fuzzies when you like us and feel genuinely disappointed when you don’t. We read every single one of your comments (yes, even the long, ranting ones that make us want to double-check that the front door’s locked before heading to bed) and we take what you say to heart. We aim to make RocketNews24 a place that people like to come to for everything from commentary on recent news events and Japanese internet chatter to cooking tips and the latest from our Asian feline overlords, and it’s through your feedback that we know where and how we need to improve. So thank you. Your clicks and comments mean a lot.

Lest you worry that, what with all this back-patting and uncharacteristic seasonal cheer, we’re about to start slacking off, let me assure you that we have big plans for 2015. I won’t spoil any surprises, but I can say that we’ve already started work on a couple of projects that we think you’ll really like, and which – should the Internet gods be so kind as to shine their rays of benevolent fibre optic light on us – will soon become a regular part of RocketNews24. We’ll also be aiming to increase our output even further and will be striving to bring you not just better quality news and original content but to deliver it faster than ever before.

Once again, a genuine thank you from everyone here at RocketNews24 for all your support throughout 2014. No matter what your friends and colleagues may say behind your back, to us you are a vision of loveliness, and we don’t think you smell like turnips or wet suede shoes in the slightest.

Happy 2015! Here’s to a great Year of the Sheep!

Prepare yourself for the fundoshi-clad men of the upcoming 2015 RocketNews24 calendar!

Boy, have we ever got a treat coming up for all of you loyal Rocketeers!

To help ring in the new year, our staff is busy putting the finishing touches on a 2015 calendar featuring the classy men of our sister site, the Japanese language edition of RocketNews24. Not wanting to be outdone by all the other “eye candy calendars” out there, our team of Japanese writers have truly gone all out to show their appreciation for all the love and support they’ve received from our readers over the past year.

Get ready to feast your eyes on a sneak preview of what’s about to become the sexiest 2015 calendar ever to grace the internet!

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Pet owner celebrates the Year of the Sheep by inserting their cat into ridiculous costume

2015 is the Year of the Sheep! If you live in Japan or in the vicinity, that means your life is going to get flooded with sheep-themed merchandise for the next 12 months. We’ve already gotten Disney sheep stuffed animals, sheep ice cream, sheep stamps, and there’s plenty more to come.

But there’s one item that rarely gets the Chinese zodiac-themed touch each year: cat costumes. Thankfully Japanese Twitter user @hizashi414 put an end to that by creating a sheep outfit for their cat and taking plenty of pictures to prove it.

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Special 2015 New Year’s stamp shows adorable sheep completing a 12-year project

With November half over, it’s time to start worrying about the big holiday this season: New Year’s! While Christmas might be the big winter holiday in many countries, for those in Japan, the changing of the calendar is a far bigger event and everyone from school kids overworked salarymen gets a row of days off.

In addition to lazing about and eating way too much food, January first also means nearly mandatory New Year’s postcards in Japan. Next year is the year of the sheep (or goat, depending on who you ask), and the Japanese postal service has revealed their special postcard stamps featuring an adorable four-legged wool giver just for the occasion. However, eagle-eyed patrons with a good memory have noticed something special about the stamps…

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