English grammar app makes us laugh, helps us learn with blindfolds, bondage and aliens

For Japanese people, studying English is almost a given. Even folks who may have no interest in actually leaving their home country may feel compelled to study the language for business or simply because they’re supposed to. But it’s hard to enjoy learning a language that you don’t have any interest in–and having fun is one of the best ways to facilitate learning.

This has opened up something of a cottage industry for people trying to make the learning part fun. There are nonsensical textbooks and sexy teachers, but then there are the college textbooks that seem like their authors weren’t even trying.

Well, for any Japanese English-learners who are on the verge of giving up – and perhaps for those of you struggling with learning Japanese – there may be one ray of hope still shining: Majime na Eibunpou, a surprisingly funny English grammar smartphone app!

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Kung-fu youths film the best action video in Singaporean history【Video】

Asian films can’t hold a candle to Hollywood films in terms of worldwide popularity, but when it comes to movies with intense fighting action, Asian stars such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li shine above the rest with their impeccable kung-fu moves. But such agile movie stars are hard to come by, so film-makers often rely on filming techniques and computer graphics to boost the intensity of action scenes.

Four Singaporean youths brought things back to the basics with an amateur action video clip and showed us that you don’t need state of the art CG to show the audience a powerful kick. All you need is some powder. And of course, some sleek martial art skills.

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Tea cups and biting breasts: Japanese phrases that sound like weird English

The Japanese love to have fun with words. Kotoba asobi (wordplay) makes up a pretty large portion of Japanese humor on variety programs and comedy shows – possibly a side effect of so many kanji characters sounding phonetically identical despite wildly different meanings.

But YouTube’s The World Video Tour has taken it to a whole new level with a video series of Japanese words and phrases that sound a lot like totally unrelated English terms. Below, we’ll watch the series’ host have some fun with foreign tourists to see if they understand what he’s trying to say.

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Chinese Juliet is not impressed with her suitor’s attempt at serenading her【Video】

Ah, young love. The furtive glances; the sheer ecstasy of receiving that very first text message; the tears and emo music marathons when it all goes pear-shaped… We’re sure this young man is far from the first – or last, for that matter – to have his romantic advances cruelly spurned, but it makes tremendously amusing viewing nonetheless.

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Young woman saves time, does her best Friday the 13th impression on the subway 【Video】

In Japan, it is still considered “rude” to do things like talk on the phone or apply makeup on the train. Although the latter is becoming far more common as people come to realise that a girl touching up her war-paint in public is hardly the most scandalous act one can engage in, there are still many, mostly of the older generation, who believe that it should not be done in shared spaces and to be so openly “vain” is simply shameful.

We wonder, then, what the average older Japanese citizen would think if they saw a commuter like the young lady in the following video, who has thrown caution to the wind and slaps on a cleansing face mask during her travels.

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Chinese military truck tows giant rubber gun down the street, induces giggles 【Video】

Have you ever wondered how militaries transport their massive weapons and ordinances across countries or even continents? We always just pictured gigantic airplanes like in Operation Dumbo Drop, but apparently not. It turns that they just get trucks, latch the weapon on, and take off down the highway! Simple, if not just a little disappointing.

But for one Chinese army truck driver lugging an enormous gun, that operation turned out not to be quite so simple after all…

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“Damn it human, help me!” One cat’s epic battle with an empty plastic bag

Perhaps we were wrong about cats being secret geniuses plotting to overthrow the world. This video, which is receiving a lot of attention in Japan today, suggests that there is at least one member of the feline federation that is perhaps a few strands short of a cat’s cradle.

When two-year-old Chai here spots a plastic bag on the floor of her owner’s apartment, she is naturally keen to investigate. Little does she know, though, that once she climbs inside it, the bag will simply refuse to let go…

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Freshman facepalms: Japanese college students struggle to answer basic astronomy questions

While the Japanese education system is often highly praised by people in the West, many Japanese folks aren’t so keen on it these days. Yutori kyouiku, or “pressure-free education system,” a phrase used to describe what many see as an education system whose standards are too lax, has skyrocketed in use. Every time a young person does something stupid, it’s followed by sighs of “yutori kyouiku” by observers, who went through much harder schooling in their youth.

Although we often think people are really exaggerating when they say that the “kids of today” don’t know a thing, a recent study carried out by a professor at Tokai University has us wondering if today’s youth are lacking a little common sense…

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【Monday Kickstart】”Wow, what a huge double bed!”

It’s Monday again and you know what that means! Your Monday Kickstart video is here to get you going through another week. 

If there’s a wall, you’re going to want to lean on it. If there’s a sofa, you’re going to want to sit on it. And if there’s a gigantic double bed in your hotel room, by George, you’re going to want to belly flop into it. And sometimes, your friends capitalize on this very notion, with some hilarious results.

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Behold: the saddest Christmas tree in all of Japan

Lonely this Christmas? Shiga Prefecture’s Pieri Moriyama shopping mall most certainly is.

Although technically still operating, the once thriving shopping centre is now home to just 14 stores after the local economy took a nosedive and businesses started pulling out in their droves. In the spirit of Christmas, however, the mall’s operators evidently decided to pop a tree up for visitors to enjoy. But as this Twitter user’s photo shows, when surrounded by naught but vast expanses of nice shiny floor, this tiny tree is possibly the loneliest Christmas ornament we’ve ever seen.

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Adorable zombie children take over Arakawa Amusement park, our hearts melt

Since its inception in Canada in 2003, Zombie Walk for Kids has spread to England, Australia, Mexico, and, at last, Japan. And, like a proper infection, it’s really catching!

Though still focused mostly on major cities like Sapporo, Osaka, and Tokyo, the events are growing and gaining lots of shuffling, moaning followers. Just a few days ago, one was held at the Arakawa Amusement Park in Tokyo–and we have the horrifyingly adorable photos of zombie kids to prove it!

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Gundam creator has harsh words for manga and anime hit “Attack on Titan”

Say what you will about Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, he’s nothing if not outspoken. Previously, we covered Tomino’s somewhat incendiary remarks about kids addicted to video games, and he’s well known in Japan for being less than enthusiastic about rival mecha manga and anime.

Now he’s crossed genres to take aim at Japan’s most recent pop culture export, Attack on Titan – which we suppose defies genres as an alternate universe story about weird giant people attacking towns.

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Shiro the Cat: The cutest cure for insomnia 【Video】

Japan has a number of sleeping arrangements that can be jarring if you didn’t grow up here. Sleeping in a futon on the floor, often in a space that doubles as your living room and/or kitchen, can take some getting used to. A surprisingly large number of pillows sometimes come filled with, by Western standards, unusual things such as buckwheat husks.

But you know what? Maybe we’re being too picky. As Shiro the Cat shows us, all you really need for a good night’s sleep is a cooking pot, and, if you’re looking to get really luxurious, a sweet potato.

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Winter is here! Get your sweaters ready!

With winter comes a new season of fashion. Great for the ladies and gentlemen out there with the cash and time to prepare a fancy wardrobe. From beautiful gloves to sexy-but-warm coats, there’s something for anyone who looks.

But there’s one item of clothing that, despite how warm and comfy it is, no one should ever be seen wearing in public: the novelty sweater.

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Woman with alone time on an elevator does something incredibly unexpected

Once you leave the house in the morning, your alone time is usually done for the day. Aside from a nice long bathroom break, you probably won’t be able to hide away from the prying eyes of your co-workers or classmates until you get back home.

Unless you’re lucky enough to get an elevator all to yourself! But if you do, just remember one thing: The security cameras are probably watching your every move, so don’t do anything too peculiar.

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Samsung’s naughty ad: When autocorrect strikes back

Typographers and moral crusader beware! A risqué Samsung billboard promoting their Galaxy 3 notepad has been, ahem, erected in four countries, leaving the South Korean company with a potentially embarrassing public relations mess. The offending ad must have been designed by someone who forgot to turn off the autocorrect feature before editing, making for an unintentionally hilarious billboard. Click below to find out what the racy sign says!

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Girl builds herself a boyfriend out of soap bubbles

“I’m taking a bath with my boyfriend,” tweeted one Japanese netizen going by the name of Machiko, uploading a photo with her message. Despite the suggestion of sauciness, however, rather than being something that moderators would quickly remove or fellow users would tag as inappropriate, the image was retweeted and favourited thousands of times in just a few short minutes.

After all, it’s not every day you see a life-sized boyfriend made entirely out of soap bubbles…

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Real-life Winnie the Pooh caught stealing honey, on run from the law

When wildlife researchers in Kochi Prefecture set up an unmanned camera in a local forest to find the cheeky wilderness creature stealing honey from an animal trap they’d set up, they probably expected to find a clever squirrel or some other creature too small or quick to set off the trap door.

Instead, what they found in video footage was what can only be described as real-life Winnie the Pooh turned to petty crime to fund his hopeless honey addiction.

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Butterfly visits penguin enclosure at Japanese zoo, whimsical chase ensues 【Video】

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like penguins. Between their flightless wings and pudgy physique, there’s something inherently funny about them, which is juxtaposed and amplified by the way they look like they’re constantly dressed in formal tuxedos.

But perhaps the most comical thing of all about the monochrome birds is the stubborn dignity they show by standing at silent attention, even when surrounded by onlookers at a zoo.

Unless, that is, there’s a butterfly to chase.

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South Park’s anime-style “Princess Kenny” video arrives in Japan, chuckles and confusion abound

A recent storyline in the often controversial, always hilarious animated series South Park focuses on the run-up to the Black Friday sales, and sees the fictional town’s inhabitants turning into murderous, bargain-hunting zombies prepared to gouge one another’s eyes out if it means getting a new TV for a fraction of the normal retail price.

At the same time, a war rages between the town’s kids over which console – Xbox One or PlayStation 4 – they should band together to nab in the sales, and results in Microsoft’s Bill Gates handing out weapons to young Xbox One fans (one per child, in the name of safety) to aid them in their struggle. Not wanting to be outdone, Sony strikes back by granting the leader of the competing faction – none other than parker-wearing mumbler Kenny – the power to become a real Japanese princess, transforming him into an doe-eyed anime beauty, complete with his own Japanese theme song.

Of course, it didn’t take long for clips from the show to make their way to Japan…

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