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The newest Ghost in the Shell ukiyo-e print is available for pre-order and looking beautiful

In September, we introduced you to the new line of Ghost in the Shell ukiyo-e prints being prepared by OtakuWorks Inc. The first print was a relatively simple but beautiful take on the original movie poster, and while this second entry is equally limited and beautiful, its inspiration comes from a slightly different source: it’s based on the 24-hour Cherry Blossom Stakeout scene from the newest film!

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Tokyo’s massive Monster Burger is the combining robot of hamburgers

With Halloween just around the corner, people across Japan are getting ready to transform into all manner of awesome creatures. As a matter of fact, even some restaurants are getting into the spirit with special Halloween menu items, and we found one that’s a genuine monster: Tokyo’s massive Monster Burger, which is actually five burgers combined as one!

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Modern samurai demonstrates that he could make it in Major League Baseball【Video】

The master swordsman Isao Machii has been dicing up whatever has been thrown at him so far. Whether it’s shrimpfruit, or soybeans, this expert has left his cutting mark in a field of sliceable items.

One field he hasn’t turned his sword on yet is baseball, but considering how much Japan loves the game, it was only a matter of time before Machii would step up to the plate, and he’s done so in an impressive display of swordsmanship you won’t want to miss.

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Awesome animatronic dinosaur rampages through crowd at train station in Japan 【Videos】

Considering some of the cute critters we’ve seen recently, you might have come away with the impression that Japan is all generous birds and adorable yet spatially confused dogs. But you still shouldn’t let your guard down, because as this video shows, you never know when you’re going to run into a robot dinosaur that breaks away from its handlers and rampages through a crowd.

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Open stall indicators, fresh flowers, and the superb cleanliness of a Japanese highway restroom

On long car trips in the U.S., I didn’t really find the prospect of using a highway rest stop bathroom significantly more appealing than just holding it until I got to my destination, whether that meant waiting until the next city or the next state. Honestly, given how filthy a lot of the public toilets were, I was generally happier with a deserted stretch of road or a grove of trees I could pull over near.

In Japan, though, it’s a different story, as this video of a rest stop bathroom shows it to be cleaner and classier than the one in many people’s homes.

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Meet the real Revolver Ocelot and check out his awesome Metal Gear cosplay/gunplay 【Videos】

Thanks to the extensive use of motion capture actors in the modern era, when a video game knight swings a sword to take down a fearsome dragon or a grizzled space marine aims a bazooka at an invading alien army, somewhere out there is a real person who performed the dramatic movements and cool poses. Of course, since the whole point of motion capture is to apply those movements to a totally different-looking frame, the actors themselves tend to live lives of relative obscurity.

At the recent Tokyo Game Show, though, fans got the chance to meet the real Revolver Ocelot, as the actor behind the pistol-loving Metal Gear Solid character showed up in costume and showed off his skills.

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This is how a Japanese pro wrestler’s breakfast looks: Huge! 【Photos】

If you’ve grown up eating bacon and sausage for breakfast, a Japanese morning meal can be refreshingly light. Generally consisting of a slice of grilled fish, small bowl of white rice, miso soup, and some vegetables, Japan’s take on the most important meal of the day will give you enough energy and nutrients to kick-start your body while leaving out excess fat and calories that can have you ready to crawl back into bed for a nap.

But not everyone in Japan has such a modestly sized breakfast. In fact, pro wrestler Manabu Nakanishi’s breakfast looks more like dinner…for a family of four!

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Foreign worker in Japan fends off armed robber with single word, gets no respect from local media

At some point in life, someone is going to ask you a question that makes you feel uncomfortable. How much money do you make? How many people have you slept with? Just what did happen to all of your political rivals from the junior high student body president election?

Quite often, though, you can get out of answering by asking in return “Why do you want to know?” As a matter of fact, the question “Why?” is so disarming it can even prevent armed robbery, as one foreigner working in Tokyo just found out.

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Google Street View now lets you tour the glowing samurai, dragons of the Nebuta Matsuri festival

Just about every community in Japan puts on a local festival in the summer, but few are as spectacular as Aomori City’s Nebuta Matsuri. For almost a solid week, gigantic floats topped by lanterns shaped like samurai and dragons are paraded through the streets, accompanied by dancers and musicians.

But while Aomori is one of the largest cities in the largely rural Tohoku region of Japan, its relatively remote location in the northeastern corner of the country’s main island of Honshu means not everyone can make it out to see the festivities in-person. As long as you’ve got an Internet connection, though, you can get a taste of the fun with Google’s awesome Nebuta Matsuri Street View that lets you see the amazing floats even closer-up than spectators standing on the sidewalks the towering works of art are carried by.

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MegaBots wants your help to ensure American victory in the first ever giant robot fight

Earlier this summer, RocketNews24 brought you the breaking news that the United States’ MegaBots had built a giant robot and had challenged Japan who, to no one’s surprise, already had a giant robot themselves. This challenge for robot supremacy was quickly accepted and the ante was upped to include melee combat.

MegaBots couldn’t back down from a challenge they issued first, so it was back to the drawing board in preparation for next year’s battle for national pride. They have some ideas, but are going to need your help to “kickstart” an American victory.

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This group of Japanese kids tear up the dance floor at the World of Dance competition 【Video】

There was an overflow of talent, skilled dancers, and amazing performances at the World of Dance competition held in Los Angeles last month, but this boy’s dance group from Japan made a particularly strong impression on the audience. Not only were their moves awe-inspiring and beautifully synchronized, but the fact that everyone in the group was of high school age or younger made their dance all the more incredible.

Watch the full video below and be blown away by the high-flying flips, spins, and awesome soundtrack!

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If you’ve got the cash, you can pre-order this stunning Ghost in the Shell ukiyo-e print

A critical darling, Ghost in the Shell may well be one of the most beloved anime in history. Its compelling story, engaging characters and beautiful art all combine to make one of the most exciting franchises we can name, so it’s little surprise that 25 years after its release, the film remains a fan favorite to this day.

In celebration of the first film and the entire franchise, a special product has been announced: a limited-edition series of ukiyo-e prints featuring images from Ghost in the Shell! But when we say limited-edition, we really do mean limited — only 300 copies will be made!

And they won’t come cheap either…

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These giant straw dinosaurs would probably rip any straw man to shreds

If you are a farmer in Japan, there’s a good chance you’re a rice farmer,  so after harvesting all your crop, you end up with a lot of straw. Most farmers will stack the straw together and either dry it out or roll it up to dispose of it. Sometimes you will see them burning it as well because that straw is good for nothing.

Nothing that is, unless you’ve got an art student handy. Enter Amy Goda, an aspiring artist currently studying art in Niigata Prefecture. She has taken the leftover straw after the harvest and has fashioned some pretty awesome straw sculptures that might make you think the land is alive.

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Cosplay of Howl’s actual castle moves us in mysterious ways【Photos】

The world of cosplay is a unique and creative place where people painstakingly create costumes that are as good as or sometimes better than the characters they are emulating. It’s a long and tiresome road to style hair, clothes, and makeup, but the complete costume is always something to be admired.

The inspiration behind a costume usually happens when someone sees a cool character or costume on a character that they want to recreate. However, that’s the thing, you usually see characters cosplayed, you don’t see too many buildings or inanimate objects running around at conventions. One famous castle is so lifelike though, it actually makes for a fantastic costume. Of course we’re talking about the “moving castle” from Howl’s Moving Castle and it looks just like it leaped right off the screen.

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They’re back! Pikachus overrun Yokohama for second straight year and dance up a storm! 【Videos】

Although I’ve never witnessed either in-person, I’m sure that the running of the bulls in Spain’s Pamplona and the return of the swallows each spring to their nesting grounds in Southern California are wonderful sights to see. And yet, I think I’m still happiest with what we get here in Yokohama: an annual visit from packs of Pikachus!

Just like they did last year, the loveable Pokémon once again overran the Minato Mirai harbor district for a week this August, But just like Nintendo’s Pocket Monsters routinely acquire enhanced abilities with each new video game or anime installment, in the time since their last appearance in Yokohama our adorable visitors had learned some new moves…dance moves!

Read on for all of our videos and photos of Pikachus grooving and swaying to hip-hop, hula, and more, with costumes to match!

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Italian fruit sculptor amazes with unbelievable art on a unique canvas

The beautiful thing about art is that is has no boundaries, no baseline and no rules. You might disagree with someone on the interpretation of how a piece speaks to you, but it is still art.

Everyone remembers their grade school art classes where one of the first assignments was to paint or draw a bowl of fruit, right? It’s a perfect starting point since fruits come in different shapes, sizes and colors, so it’s a great way to figure out how to convert real-life into still-life on the page.

However, there is an amazing artist that is turning that notion on its head, instead of creating a piece of art by looking at the fruit, how about creating art from the fruit itself? This Italian artist is going to blow your mind with his amazing sculptures carved out of a piece of fruit.

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Boys’ rhythmic gymnastics performances to Attack on Titan, Yokai Watch themes impress, entertain

Men’s rhythmic gymnastics may still be considered a minor sport, but the boys at Kagoshima Business High School in Japan are leaving a huge impression with their amazingly synchronized moves, high-flying flips, and hilarious little acts, which is helping to draw more interest to the sport.

Their performance to music from Attack on Titan last year was a huge hit, and this year’s, set to a number from popular children’s anime Yokai Watch was no less loved. Watch the full performances below, laugh, and be amazed!

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This is what ramen with 100 slices of chashu roast pork looks like

Earlier this month, we decided to find out just how many hard-boiled eggs you can fit into a bowl of ramen/human stomach, and found out that 10 was a doable and delicious number. But while an egg is a nice accent to a bowl of Japan’s favorite kind of noodles, the king of ramen toppings is chashu, the slice of roast pork that adds some heft and protein to the meal.

Most ramen in Japan comes with a solitary slice of chashu, but some places allow you to pile on more pork. Since we’d already gone with ten times the normal amount of toppings with eggs, we decided to raise the scale to the second power and chow down on a bowl of ramen with 100 slices of chashu.

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Here’s what every PlayStation game released in Japan looks like, and how much the bundle sold for

Many people tend to forget just how huge the volume of games released for the original PlayStation was. Sony’s first dedicated console conquered the gaming world in a way that hasn’t been seen since, and with a massive user base all clustered around the same hardware and the lower production costs of the CD format attracting large and small developers alike to the market, the PlayStation’s vast library meant that many titles slipped by even the most die-hard gamers of the day.

Some twenty years later, collectors now scour used shops and online auctions for the elusive treasures they missed out on buying new. Of course, such quests take a lot of time and energy, especially when you add in the legwork of making the rounds to brick-and-mortar stores, but for gamers with classic tastes, it’s all worth it when they finally unearth that forgotten gem.

Or, you can do what one Japanese collector did, and just buy a massive bundle of every game ever released for the PlayStation in Japan.

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Real-life Ghibli clouds appear as awesome thunderhead forms in the Tokyo skies 【Videos】

If you’ve ever spent the summer in Japan, you know that it’s not the heat, but the humidity that makes many people want to take refuge indoors with the air conditioning blasting. But the silver lining to this cloud is the clouds themselves, as all that moisture in the air can turn Japan’s summer skies into a stunning puffy white landscape.

On the evening of August 5, skywatchers in the Tokyo/Yokohama area that turned their eyes to the west saw a towering, lightning-spitting thundercloud so powerfully majestic it immediately drew comparisons to one of Studio Ghibli’s most beloved anime.

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