weird

Classic Ghibli anime impresses with its story, makes some viewers want to kill themselves

Sometimes, it’s only after the fact that you realize just how close you came to dying.

After eating dinner a few nights ago, my wife was flipping through the channels on TV. “Oh, that’s right, Whisper of the Heart is on. Do you want to watch it?” she asked.

Now ordinarily a cute girl asking me if I’d like to watch anime with her gets an automatic “Why yes, I would.” But at that point there were just 20 minutes left before the end, and I said I’d rather just rent it from the video store down the street some other time, so we could watch it from the beginning.

That decision may have saved our lives.

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Why settle for sand castles when you can make sand Aztec pyramids?

Sometimes, going to a neighborhood park as an adult allows you to enjoy it in a whole different way than you did as a kid. Grown-ups are much more likely to appreciate how certain flowers blossoming heralds the changing of the seasons, or to be soothed by the chirping of birds nesting in the trees overhead.

On the other hand, past a certain age other aspects are surprisingly depressing. The swings and slides that made you feel like a daredevil are a bit less thrilling once they only go as high as your shoulder, which can really hammer home the point that your childhood is a distant part of your past.

But an anonymous Japanese park visitor has shown us there’s one piece of playground equipment that can grow with you.

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The untimely demise of Hatsune Miku

It seems that a few careless words are all it took to do in Hatsune Miku, one of Japan’s most well-known characters. Following an off-hand (and bizarre) comment by a politician on a panel discussing revisions to the Japanese anti-child pornography law, Nico Nico Douga users have uploaded a few tongue-in-cheek “funeral videos” for the character.

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Boys love meat: A tasty take on a sexy genre

The Internet is a wild land, filled with many wondrous things to make you laugh or cry. There are cats, silly videos, and a wider variety of romantic entertainments than even a Roman emperor could shake a stick at.

One of the tamer “romantic entertainments” is boys love, a Japanese term for gay and/or female-oriented fiction that tends not to be very explicit. Instead, most BL, as it is commonly known, focuses more on the personal relationships of the characters.

And now a computer game is gaining attention on the Net with its meaty take on the genre.
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How many fish would you like on your pancakes? ‘Lots, please!’ says Kanagawa café

Just over an hour south of downtown Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture’s Enoshima Island and the nearby coastline are a prime summer destination. There’s a little something for everyone, whether you want to frolic in the water or on the sandy beach, visit a shrine hidden deep inside a cave and learn about the legend of the fearsome dragon who fell in love with a beautiful local girl, or just try out your pick-up lines at the numerous oceanfront bars.

This spring, the Aloha Beach Café opened up on Enoshima island. The restaurant specializes in the Hawaiian-style pancakes that are all the rage in Japan right now, but also offers one menu item you could only find on the Kanagawa coast.

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We learn the terrifying secret of Silent Hill ramen

Since 1999, Konami’s Silent Hill horror series has been spooking gamers with its mysterious, reality-bending setting and plotlines, not to mention its collection of grotesque, otherworldly creatures like the appropriately-named Pyramid Head, a giant with a large, triangular head who stalks the game’s protagonist while carrying an enormous blade.

Konami has recently formed a partnership with a number of ramen restaurants across Japan to serve Silent Hill ramen. But just what exactly happens when you use a horror story that’s dripping with gore as the inspiration for food? We headed to Hajime, a Tokyo restaurant that offers the terrifying noodles, to find out.

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Employee flushes 40 liters of soap, bubbly carnage ensues

Oh, dear heavens! What’s this?

Is Tokyo having freak, concentrated snowfall in the middle of summer? Have Mr. Freeze and Iceman been duking it out in Ginza? Is it a cotton candy terrorist attack??

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Tempura-fy your face with noodle chain’s photo app

It seems like everybody and their brother is releasing some kind of promotional app these days. Most of them never really take off, but a noodle chain called Marugame has an app called Marugame’s Photo Shop where they say you can “decorate your photos with tempura”, though why you would want to do so is a little unclear. However, true to Japanese form, it’s turning into quite a hit on Twitter because it is so very bizarre.

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‘Fruity’ Shibuya art show features hairy apple, disco pineapple and more 【Photos】

The Shibuya Diesel art gallery is currently featuring an exhibition by Berlin-based artist Sarah Illenberger in collaboration with creative director Miho Kinomura. The show, titled Reality & Fantasy, has some decidedly bizarre re-imaginations of everyday objects that nevertheless radiate a childlike charm.

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We try “snow viewing” ramen

There have been plenty of largely portioned bowls of ramen with so much stuff piled on top that you can’t see the noodles beneath. But this one is probably the weirdest mountain-like ramen we’ve ever seen. It appears to be topped with white foam and is closer to looking like a snowy mountain peak than a steaming hot bowl of soup.

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Police in Tokyo search for a man who called out to a child in a park, netizens scratch their heads

Tokyo police released a statement earlier this week asking the public for any information they may have regarding an incident that occurred on June 15 at approximately 9:20 a.m. wherein a man called out to a child playing in a local park.

As it transpires, though, all the man is believed to have said to the boy was, “You’ll never play for your country doing it like that!” leaving netizens wondering exactly why there should be any cause for concern.

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Nothing quenches a thirst like delicious, foamy toilet water

Have you ever had one of those days in the middle of summer where just the 100-yard walk to the nearest convenience store and back has you panting and so parched you’d drink right out of the toilet bowl if it was closer than the sink? Well, we haven’t, cause that’s just gross and you should probably seek help if you’re drinking toilet water. Unless, that is, you’re drinking it out of this cute candy toilet!

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Sad angel looking for career change sells Kias at motor show

The event planner representing Korean automaker, Kia, must have spent his entire budget for this unnamed auto show on hotel parties, as it’s clear from this photo that he woke up on the morning of the event in a hungover panic and put together this slapdash “angel” costume using some thrift store clothes and white spray paint.

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Japan Rail searching for couple to get married on Yamanote Line train

Many couples strive to plan a perfectly unique wedding. From nonconventional backyard ceremonies to destination weddings in far off places, there is no limit to the delightfully strange and creative ways people tie the knot. However, JR East is giving one lucky couple the chance at a wedding most people have probably never dreamed of.

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Eyeball licking: actually not better than a poke in the eye

Puberty is a rough age. With your hormones insisting that you’re ready to start making some babies right now, yet your mind, parents, and teachers saying you’re really not, courtship can be difficult. In particular, figuring out an appropriate way to clearly show affection, while still respecting proper boundaries, can be a real quandary. Learning to find the proper middle ground, though, is an important part of growing up.

Or you could just do the like the kids at one Japanese elementary school who said the heck with it and went to town licking each other’s eyeballs.

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Powered by Honda: the world’s fastest lawnmower

Mention Honda to most people, and they’ll think of a successful car company, if still a few rungs below giants Toyota, GM, and Volkswagen in sheer size. But Honda just happens to be the biggest engine manufacturer in the world, providing power for not just for passenger cars, but also motorcycles, scooters, boats, jet aircraft, and even lawnmowers.

Honda’s most die-hard fans point to the company’s racing pedigree and ease with which its engines can be tuned to make more power, both of which factor into its current project of building the world’s fastest riding mower.

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Osaka Obachan are here to rock your world, make sure you don’t go hungry

Typified by the saccharine songs of AKB48, the Japanese idol world is largely the province of the young. One rarely expects to see a singer over the age of 25 among the mini-skirt-clad ranks of the ultra-kawaii groups.

Usually.

A group from Osaka—called Obachaaan—are ready to change that up.

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Moulting spider crab is horrifying and mouth watering at the same time

The spider crab is the largest living crab on the planet and, as its name suggests, looks like the terrifying offspring of the unholy mating of a coconut crab and a Goliath tarantula. So it’s no wonder that watching one of these monstrosities shed its entire exoskeleton is nightmare-inducing, as this video shows.

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Very punny: president of Domino’s Pizza Japan offering one cheesy joke a day

There are plenty of difficulties in learning Japanese, from the thousands of kanji characters you have to memorize to the fact that the language doesn’t have a future tense. Pronunciation, though, isn’t that big of a hurdle. Japanese contains only 47 syllables to master, which may sound like a lot, but is in actuality pretty paltry compared to most other languages.

One of the biggest effects this limited pronunciation repertoire has is that Japanese is filled with homonyms. For example, kyoushi could mean either “a teacher” or “death by way of insanity.” Where there are words that sound alike, there are puns, and now where there are puns, there’s the president of Domino’s Pizza Japan.

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To live and dine in L.A.: we find marshmallow ramen in the City of Angels

Among the extensive pantheon of ramen varieties is tsukemen, in which the noodles are served on a dish with a bowl of dipping sauce on the side. My first experience with the dish was in college, when a buddy took me to a tsukemen place that had opened up near our campus in Tokyo that was famous for their sauce made with fish stock. At the time it seemed like a wildly exotic concoction, but little did I know that years later my hometown of Los Angeles would produce an even more outlandish version of the dish: marshmallow ramen.

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