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Pins ‘n’ peel: This banana art will blow your mind

We don’t know about you guys, but when we were kids our parents always told us not to play with our food. Judging by the number of “banana tattoo” photos doing the rounds on Twitter today however, it looks like there are plenty of people here in Japan prepared to ignore that particular piece of parental advice in the name of art.

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How awesome is the sight of 974 Marios running through the same level at once? (Answer: Very)

It might be nearly 30 years old, but the original Super Mario Bros. remains one of the most beloved and played old-school platformers in the world. There’s something about goomba stomping, block smashing and Bowser boiling that people just can’t seem to get enough of, and modders continue to tinker with the basic gameplay and build original levels to this day.

The following video, apparently taken at Gamescom last month, shows the efforts of 974 players as they sprint through a custom-made level against the clock. Combining their runs into a single video results in what can only be described as an 8-bit river of Marios, cascading over pipes and mushrooms, hell-bent on reaching the princess, and it makes fantastic viewing.

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Japanese blogger discovers the real reason people camped out for the iPhone 5S launch

Apple’s iPhone 5S went on sale in Japan on September 20, with electronics aficionados, including our own Mr. Sato, lining up days in advance in order to purchase one on launch day.

Obviously, you have to love your electronics to be willing to camp out on the sidewalk, especially with a typhoon hitting the Tokyo area right before the new model’s release. Blogger Junichi Suzaki wondered if there might be something other than the promise of shiny new tech convincing people to spend multiple days and nights in line, though, and found a surprising motivation for the people at the head of the line.

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Bacterium aspires to work in a toilet, dresses the part

You know that line careers guidance counsellors often use: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? Well it looks like one bacterium with its eye on a gig in the bowl of a toilet has perhaps taken that advice a bit too literally…

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Western games may have won the Tokyo Game Show this year

The old saying in Japanese gamer circles used to go “Bei game wa Kuso game” (“Western games are sh&%ty games”), but the tables may have turned in a big way if this year’s Tokyo Game Show turnout is any indication.

Western publishers were out in spades this year. In fact, the very first thing attendees saw when entering the gates of this year’s TGS were a bunch of armed soldiers and (tastefully) military-garbed booth girls promoting the newest entry in the Battlefield series of online multiplayer military shooter games.

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Futuristic but grimy Nagasaki Station toilet proves Japan is really just “Blade Runner”

A Nagaski area public toilet is proving that the future that Blade Runner envisioned is now, and it’s in Japan.

The public toilet in question is apparently about a 10-minute walk from the station proper, at an unassuming location near a pedestrian underpass. To even gain access to the toilet requires you to figure out a complex series of buttons and probably pass a retinal scan to ensure you aren’t a Replicant.

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The ultimate in lazy gaming: Ingenious tablet cushion demoed at Tokyo Game Show 2013

We’ve all been there: you’ve got your shiny new laptop, smartphone or tablet computer and you’re lounging around on the floor at home, watching videos on YouTube, tapping away at Plants Vs. Zombies… when suddenly your pampered, first-world body throws a hissy hit. “I’m tired! Why do I always have to hold all the expensive electronic devices!?” it moans as you start to lose the feeling in your arm or your left leg goes to sleep. You wriggle around and find a new position, but before long your body’s complaining again and you just can’t get comfy.

Oh, wouldn’t it be great if there were something – a piece of furniture perhaps – that would hold your tablet or computer for you while you did massively unimportant web browsing and lay on the floor!?

Enter the Goron tablet cushion, which not only supports your head and neck while you laze around, but comes complete with an adjustable holder for tablets, laptops and even small monitors! Yep, gamers just got that little bit lazier!

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Epic body slam action at US Sumo Open【Video】

One of Japan’s most ancient sports, sumo is both steeped in tradition and considered to be one of the most demanding in the world. Professional sumo wrestlers, or rikishi, must not only commit to a strict regime of physical training and the daily consumption of gargantuan meals in order to maintain their enormous mass, but also obey rules that cover everything from their hairstyles and the clothing they may wear in public to the use of vehicular transportation.

Although sumo’s popularity in Japan is on the wane, the sport is becoming increasingly popular in Western countries, particularly in the United States where groups such as USA Sumo are growing ever larger and receiving more and more media attention with each year that passes. And we’d be willing to bet that after seeing the following video taken at the US Sumo Open 2013 event, even the most sceptical of Western sports fans will start taking sumo a little more seriously.

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Hardcore Totoro: Western fan art reimagines Studio Ghibli classics with gritty realism

We’ve already seen what can happen when artists take the creations of Studio Ghibli and thrust them into the world of the macabre, but the following collection of fan-art posters has left us feeling quite on edge.

Reimagining all of your animated favourites with a shocking level of impact and realism, it’s fair to say that these posters are perhaps truer to their films’ roots than Ghibli would ever care to admit, but at the same time we’re quite sure that, had the films had debuted with these as their official posters there would be far fewer kids pestering their parents to go and see them.

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Keep your clothes clean with Sailor Moon bibs from high-end Tokyo department store

We were recently duped into thinking some high-quality pieces of Sailor Moon fan art were from the upcoming new installment in the anime franchise. In light of this, we’ve decided to be more skeptical about news concerning the lunar-themed heroine.

From now on, we’re not believing anything until we’re holding the real deal in our own two hands! Which is just what we did with a set of adult-size Sailor Moon bibs.

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Happy birthday Hatsune Miku! Fan celebrates with amazingly detailed Vocaloid cake

Given the massive popularity of virtual idol Hatsune Miku, it’s easy to forget that she really hasn’t been around that long. The singing computer construct only recently celebrated her sixth birthday, which inspired one fan to whip up a Miku-themed cake.

This is far from the first time we’ve come across food that’s supposed to resemble the aqua-tressed songstress, and we’ve previously reported on Miku meat buns and even Miku bento. This just might be the most detailed recreation we’ve seen of the Vocaloid in edible form yet, though.

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Amazing! This 3-D itasha looks like a portal into the anime world

A true symbol of status for a whole lot of folks is the kind of car they drive. So what does it say about a person when a larger-than-life magical girl is bursting out the back of their van?! Someone is either absolutely amazing or amazingly disturbed to have so much love for an animated character. Either way, this has got to be one of the most awesome things we’ve ever seen rolling down the Japanese highway!

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The amazing disaster relief equipment of Japan’s Self Defense Force

Although Japan hasn’t had a full-fledged military since the end of World War II, the nation does maintain a strong self-defense force. Part of the organization’s duties is providing relief to disaster victims, whether that means meals for the hungry or simply a place for refugees to bathe. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) recently gave the public a peek at some of the clever gear it uses to accomplish this mission. And it is awesome.

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We’re not in Kentucky anymore – KFC Japan offering chicken-flavored rice balls

Recently, the American expat staff here at RocketNews24 felt a twinge of shame when we heard that KFC’s Japanese division had leapfrogged its US counterpart by developing fried corn soup. The embarrassment we felt at being beaten in fried food innovation, something we’d always assumed America did better than anywhere else, was quickly replaced by simple joy when we tried some for ourselves and found out just how good it is.

Now, KFC Japan is showing they can do Japanese standards too, with their new chicken-flavored rice balls.

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Chow time, bachelors! Nissin now offering microwavable curry rice in a cup

My first time apartment hunting in Japan didn’t go so well. I ended up in a bunker so cramped that the only fridge I could fit inside could hold a carton of milk, a carton of orange juice, a tube of wasabi, and honestly not a whole lot more. By necessity, I subsisted on a cornucopia of non-perishables, often microwavable rice, topped with the contents of a pouch of instant curry from the convenience store down the street. It wasn’t gourmet, but it was a hot meal I could prepare in about the time it took to take off my suit and hang it up nicely.

But as simple as that was to make, Nissin Foods now has something even easier: instant curry and rice all in the same container.

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Brighten your day at the Magical Art Museum in Ueno 【Photos】

From now until October 6 at the Ueno Royal Museum, a very special art exhibit is on display called Trick of the Light『Magical Art Museum』~Art in Wonderland. This unique collection of modern art encourages participation from visitors, rather than mere observation, creating an individualized artistic experience for every person taking part.

The magical exhibit houses 19 installation art pieces put together by 11 very talented artists. Felix Sayaka, talented reporter for our Japanese sister site, Pouch, visited the museum to give us all an illuminated introduction to four of the exhibition’s stellar works.

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Japan waits with baited breath for local distributor of spreadable beer

These past few days, the Internet has exploded with word of Italy’s new beer spread. For a land like Japan, where beer is more than just a popular choice of beverage and is more-or-less central to their lifestyle, the invention of spreadable beer is cause for great excitement. Soon, rather than have a handful of snacks with their mugs full of beer, they’ll be spreading blobs of beer over their favorite snacks!

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Best job ever? Japanese man makes 1 million yen for three months of gaming

For all you fellow gamers out there, both hardcore and casual, how many hours have you wasted away powering up the pixels on your computer screens and game consoles? How many paychecks have disappeared into the latest expansion packs? How many hours of sleep have been lost to an addiction to online multi-players? Society doesn’t always understand, but we know it’s worth the time and the money when we get the fierce gratification of overcoming an in-game challenge. If we could, I’m sure many of us would love to make a living off of the lives we lead in the virtual world.

For one Japanese man, referred to by his handle name, Moru-chan, that dream is a reality. Moru-chan spends approximately 12 hours a day doing nothing but gaming for a paycheck of one million yen (US$10,043)! He’s earning this money by basically living out three months of his life in the online world of fantasy role-playing game, ArcheAge. RocketNews24 has the scoop here in an exclusive interview with this very lucky man at the one-room apartment provided to him by his company.

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Mario, Luigi, Link to appear in Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4

Sadly, there are very few ways to make money spontaneously appear in your pockets. We hear animal sacrifices work, but there’s all kinds of ethical complications, plus you need a rock solid alibi when your neighbor comes asking if you know where her poodle went.

But game manufacturer Capcom has found a simpler way that won’t get them arrested: adding Nintendo mascots into their games.

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Tokyo Olympic stadium looks like aliens landed downtown

As we’re sure you’ve heard, Tokyo was selected by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

Of course, no host city would be complete without a ludicrously over-designed Olympic stadium that looks like a race of aliens that watched Blade Runner on VHS one too many times took a wrong turn somewhere and landed their space ship downtown. Welcome to New National Stadium!

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