Softbank

We attend the official release ceremony for the new iPhone 11 in Japan

And take 20+ photos of Japanese actress and model Suzu Hirose.

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Mr. Sato returns to the line, waits three nights for an iPhone 11

You can take Mr. Sato out of the line-up, but you can’t take the line-up out of Mr. Sato.

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Original SoftBank dog Kai-kun passes away at 16

Let’s take a moment to celebrate the life and times of a very good boy.

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Mr. Sato comes out of retirement to wait for the iPhone X three days in advance

Our grizzled line-waiting reporter dusts off his portable chargers for one last score.

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Mr. Sato retires from being the first person in Japan to buy iPhones, watches this guy instead

Meet Butch, an old friend of Mr. Sato’s who is carrying the torch in the noble pursuit of iPhone launch notoriety.

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SoftBank finally unveils new ads featuring Justin Bieber speaking Japanese【Video】

The singer rubs shoulders with some of SoftBank’s finest stars while dressed as a student in Japanese school uniform.

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Justin Bieber teams up with Piko Taro for new Japanese Softbank commercial【Video】

The bromance is strong between these two singing sensations.

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Domestic robot Pepper can’t stop flipping people off in Japan 【Photos】

Pepper, I think we need to talk about your attitude problem.

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Clever costume changes in SoftBank’s new Disney-themed, CG-free ad【Video】

Ninety seconds is all you need to reach the “happily ever after” ending of this super-cute video.
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Fans criticize Softbank’s anime character live-action phone ads as ‘disrespectful’

Last month, SoftBank‘s series of commercials depicting several classic anime characters all grown up premiered. The ads star Kyoko Koizumi (Tokyo Sonata, Hanging Garden) as Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon), the proprietess at Moon Ribar an atmospheric rooftop bar. She’s assisted by Maruko-chan (Chibi Maruko-chan, played by Suzu Hirose) and welcomes guests like Fist of the North Star‘s Kenshiro (famous Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizō XI), Obocchama-kun (played by Shinnosuke Mitsushima), Duke “Golgo 13” Tōgō (played by Fumiyo Kohinata), Joe Yabuki (Ashita no Joe, played by comedian Naoki Matayoshi) and Astro Boy himself, played by Masato Sakai (Honey and Clover).

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Robot Pepper rocks out with Asian Kung-Fu Generation

Two members of the Japanese rock band Asian Kung-Fu Generation (Bleach, Fullmetal AlchemistNaruto) recorded a practice session recently with an unusual musical guest: Pepper, a robot who can detect and interpret human emotions. It can also provide beats, and did so for Gotch (who plays guitar and prefers a rock tempo) and Tamaki Roy (who raps and prefers a hip-hop beat).

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Pepper the robot is coming to America with an upgrade in snark!

SoftBank’s emotional robot Pepper could be considered a hit in Japan ,with the first wave of 1,000 bots selling out in a minute and another 1,000 ready to move at the end of this month. But is Pepper’s popularity peculiar to purely people in one part of the Pacific? Perhaps.

We may soon find out according to a report in MIT Technology Review. One of their writers visited Aldebaran Robotics, the company which made Pepper along with SoftBank, and learned that an American Pepper is already well into development and has been given a significant attitude adjustment of the smart-ass kind to better fit in there.

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SoftBank prohibits intercourse with its robot Pepper

With 1,000 units set to go on sale later this month, Japanese telecom giant SoftBank has high hopes for its domestic robot, Pepper. If the company wants to achieve its dream of a Pepper in every home, however, numerous ethical issues must be considered and overcome, one of which being the thorny matter of owners who attempt to treat their little robot like an altogether different kind of helping hand.

It seems that SoftBank is already trying to keep ahead of the curve, however, by clearly stating in its documentation for Pepper that sexual acts with the cheery robot are strictly prohibited.

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Expert Swordsman Isao Machii is back and fighting fried shrimp at 130km/h for SoftBank!

They don’t come much more badass than Isao Machii. Dubbed the “Heisei Samurai” or “Modern Samurai” he’s a five-time Guiness World Record holder for feats such as slicing a BB pellet in half mid-flight with a sword. He is also the creator of the Shushin-ryu style of Iaijutsu which is a martial art centered on sudden sword strikes.

Needless to say, this guy has the skills to pay the bills. And pay bills he does by occasionally appearing in commercials. Last year, we saw him promote Toaster Strudel by playing a live version of Fruit Ninja. Now, he’s back to take on more food with his mighty sword, this time at speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour (93 mph).

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SoftBank users in Japan able to roam all the way to the USA and pay the same rates

Japanese telecom giant SoftBank has announced a new promotional campaign for its users starting soon called America Hodai (America Unlimited) where users traveling to the United States can enjoy the same rates on voice calls and internet usage as they do in Japan for no additional charge.

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We talk to Pepper, SoftBank’s new emotional robot, kind of wish it would shut up for a second

On 5 June, Japanese telecom giant SoftBank announced that it will be selling a robot capable reading emotions and being a friendly companion to humans. The robot’s name is Pepper, and in addition to a chest-mounted tablet computer it comes loaded with an array of mics, cameras, and other sensors for sophisticated movement and interaction with people.

Frequently abandoned by his fellow humans, our beloved reporter Mr. Sato decided to go down to the SoftBank shop in Omotesando, Tokyo where a Pepper unit was on display. Although excited about his first chat with a robot, Mr. Sato would soon find that Pepper was actually kind of a jerk who totally dominated the conversation.

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Kanna Hashimoto’s rise to fame continues with major commercial appearance

About a half a year ago, the charming face of a local idol from Fukuoka was plastered all over the internet. Kanna Hashimoto’s genuine charm and cuteness had won over the country literally overnight. Shortly afterwards, we were able to meet the up and coming star and buy a pair of glasses. There we found Hashimoto’s charm wasn’t just a fluke of the original photo that shot her into the spotlight.

Now we’re happy to see that her rise to fame hasn’t slowed down one bit with a recent appearance in the hugely popular SoftBank commercial series featuring the Shirato family. Not only that, she has also thrown the ceremonial first pitch at Opening Day of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 2014 season.

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Sprint takes a cue from popular Japanese ad campaign in bizarre “Framily” commercial

Sprint’s new commercial featuring a “framily” that includes a father who is a talking hamster and daughter who only speaks French is definitely weird. If you live in the US, you may have caught the 30 second clip during prime time Monday evening and were left with an upturned eyebrow and slight frown. But this strange commercial isn’t quite an original creation. The Sprint framily was actually inspired by a long-running marketing campaign over in, you guessed it, Japan.

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SoftBank’s mascot dog behaving badly at bizarre press conference

Japan’s SoftBank Corporation recently put together a typically bizarre commercial to advertise their new student discount service, and held a press conference to announce it. In attendance was the famous SoftBank dog, and a couple of large pears, who all got a little over-excited. When dealing with huge talents like these, things don’t always go to plan…

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SoftBank buying Facebook ‘likes’, hints at possible new job opportunities!

Do you have an active Facebook account with more than 10 friends, a filled-in profile with both profile and cover photos? If so, have we got an opportunity for you!

In a story currently making the rounds among Japanese Twitter users, it seems that SoftBank (the cellphone carrier that recently made a bid to buy Sprint in the U.S.) was seeking “Likes” on Facebook, and didn’t mind paying for them.
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