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23 Feb 17:30

Just like the cherry blossoms, KFC potato chips return to Japan this spring!

by Casey Baseel

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Last year, something beautiful came to Japan. It was only here for a short while, but in that time, it left a deep impression on many people, including us here at RocketNews24. And while we were sad to see it go, it’s time to dry our tears, because this spring, it’s coming back again!

So, all excited for cherry blossom season? That’s great, but what we’re actually talking about right here are Kentucky Fried Chicken-flavor potato chips.

Once again, Japanese snack company Calbee is teaming up with the world’s most famous fast food fried chicken outfit. Whereas last year’s version was billed as “Colonel’s Crispy-flavor,” this new batch of fried chicken-inspired fried potato slices emulates the taste of KFC Japan’s honenashi Kentucky paripari umashio, or Boneless Kentucky Crunchy Delicious Salt flavor.

We’re a little puzzled by the “Boneless” part of the product name, since we don’t recall any bone-like flavors in the KFC chips we tried last year. In more specific terms, Calbee says the chips draw out the natural deliciousness of chicken with a simple mixture of salt and pepper, so you can be assured that they make use of at least those two of Colonel Sanders’ 11 herbs and spices.

In a rarity for Japanese snack foods, Calbee is leaving pricing up to individual retailers. The larger, 83-gram bags are available exclusively at Japanese convenience stores starting March 2. A smaller 58-gram bag will go on sale March 16, and both packages will include a coupon for a discount on an order of Boneless Kentucky Crunchy Delicious Salt chicken at KFC locations in Japan, in case munching on the chips has you craving the real deal.

In another similarity to the cherry blossoms, though, the new KFC chips will be gone come mid-April, so if you’re planning to pair them with some Kentucky bourbon, you might want to check now to make sure you have ice in the freezer.

▼ Unless you’re planning to drink straight from the bottle

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Source: Entabe via Peachy, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Calbee
Insert image: RocketNews24

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Origin: Just like the cherry blossoms, KFC potato chips return to Japan this spring!
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23 Feb 04:00

Sailor Moon meets high fashion! Gorgeous collaboration with Samantha Vega to come out from Isetan

by Kay

SM 0

As popular as the comic and anime series Sailor Moon is, it’s no surprise that the lovely lady warriors have been turned into myriad collaborative items over the years ranging from lingerie to mobile phones. But regardless of how many Sailor Moon items we’ve seen on the market, we’re pretty sure that it’s still very exciting for fans to see their favorite heroines featured in beautiful high-fashion products. Well, that’s what fans can actually look forward to next month, when Isetan Department Store comes out with their new range of limited edition Sailor Moon and fashion brand Samantha Vega collaborative products. Let’s take a look at the moon prism-powered fashion accessories that should delight Sailor Moon fans and fashionistas alike!

Samantha Vega, one of the brands belonging to the popular Japanese fashion franchise Samantha Thavasa, is known for their cute and pop bags and wallets, and here are the items they’ve created for Isetan in honor of the Sailor Soldiers.

First up, they have bags with Sailor Moon motifs — the Moonstick Leather bag apparently comes with a lovely gold moonstick charm and the Luna Fake Leather Bag, named after the black guardian cat Luna,  is playfully designed in the shape of a cat’s face decorated with the  trademark crescent moon that she has on her forehead.
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▼ There are also the Sailor Guardians Long Wallets in lovely pastel colors with a sailor suit-themed design.SM 2

▼And here’s the Sailor Guardians Mini Multicase, also in six pastel colors. They look convenient for carrying around small accessories or lipstick.

 SM 3

The items certainly are pleasing to the eye, but we guess that’s to be expected, coming from a popular brand like Samantha Vega. They haven’t announced a lot of details yet, including the prices, but the Samantha Vega/Sailor Moon goods will be available at a pop-up shop they’re calling “GIRLS SPARKLE LOVE ~ LET’S PRISM POWER MAKE UP ! ” that will be set up on the second floor of the Shinjuku Isetan store from March 25 to 31.

▼ They’ll also have Sailor Moon Baby G watches available during the same period …
SM BabyG

▼ … as well as bags, accessories, t-shirts and clear plastic folders made in collaboration with fashion brand Anna Sui. The Anna Sui products will apparently be sold in a separate area of the Shinjuku Isetan branch on the third floor, but during the same seven days in March. SM Anna Sui

They haven’t announced whether the Samantha Vega and Anna Sui items will be available on the Mitsukoshi Isetan Online Store, but we do know that the Baby G watch will be available for pre-order online for 16,000 yen (US$134).

So, it looks like Sailor Moon fans have much to get excited about next month. From what we can see in the pictures, the collaborative products look more than attractive enough to add a little moon-inspired magic to your life. It just goes to show that there really is no end to Sailor Moon merchandise for fans to seriously covet!

Source: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Project Official Site (Japanese) via Anime News Network 
Photos: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Project Official Site

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Origin: Sailor Moon meets high fashion! Gorgeous collaboration with Samantha Vega to come out from Isetan
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23 Feb 22:00

Marshmallow chocolate Brooklyn pizzas now available at Mister Donut!

by Oona McGee

MisterDonut26

Mister Donut stores across Japan have been transporting customers to Brooklyn since the beginning of the year, with a special line-up of hybrid sweets and beverages and even dedicated outlets featuring fittings inspired by the borough’s cool, hip eateries.

Now, a sweet slice of Brooklyn has just landed in stores, in the form of miniature, palm-sized pizzas topped with chocolate, marshmallows and even strawberry sauce. We stopped by for takeout and the results were more delicious than we could have imagined. Check out our photos for the cutest, tiniest slices of pizza you’ve ever seen!

In a nod to Brooklyn’s Italian community, the sweets are called Pizza Cioccolata and Pizza Strawberry, using katakana to highlight the authentic pronunciation of the word pizza,  ピッツァ (pi-tzah), as opposed to Japan’s more commonly applied usage of  ピザ (piza).

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▼ We picked up one of each of the 194-yen (US$1.63) flavours to take home.

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▼ The packaging takes its inspiration from the humble takeout pizza box.

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It’s a gorgeous looking sweet. The marshmallows are toasted to perfection, making the whole thing look piping hot, while the deep chocolate hues hide beneath a generous dusting of white icing sugar.

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Proving good things come in small packages, the pizza easily sits in the palm of your hand.

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To draw out our sweet experience, and to avoid devouring the whole thing in a few bites, we cut it into slices. This little baby was born to be a pizza after all.

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▼ Marshmallows and white chocolate pieces on a chewy chocolate base? Yes, yes, yessssss.

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The consistency is much like a regular pizza, with a thicker, dough-like exterior surrounding a centre that’s light and springy, due to the fresh chocolate ganache filling. The chocolate sauce topping oozes out of each slice.

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▼  If you’re craving a good hit of rich, fresh chocolate, this will make your toes curl!

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▼ Now to the strawberry-chocolate-marshmallow hybrid known as Pizza Strawberry.

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The imperfect arrangement of filling and crust adds to the rustic, homemade feel of the pizza. This time, the whole thing is topped off with a drizzling of white chocolate.

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The cream and red colour combination, a clever take on tomato sauce and white mozzarella cheese, makes this look more like a real pizza topping once it’s sliced up.

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The ganache centre gives the sweet that great pizza-like texture, while the strawberry sauce is a perfect accompaniment. When served cold, the marshmallow and strawberry flavours really take centre stage.

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If you opt for takeout, as we did, just 10 seconds in the microwave will bring out a totally new flavour profile, where the ganache takes over and softens all that sweetness. When warm, both these sweets are mouth-wateringly delicious and make for a perfect winter dessert.

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While Mister Donut hasn’t officially announced an end date to their sweet pizza line-up, they’ll only be available for a limited time until their next promotional campaign hits stores. If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these marshmallow morsels, join the queue at the counter. You won’t be disappointed!

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Photos: © RocketNews24, Mister Donut

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Origin: Marshmallow chocolate Brooklyn pizzas now available at Mister Donut!
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19 Feb 12:17

Madoka Magica/Fate/Durarara Creators' RPG Project Inspire Chaos Dragon Anime

Story of warriors brought together during cold war between countries
19 Feb 21:26

Viz Announces Print Release for My Hero Academia

Series runs simultaneously with Japan in Viz's Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine
20 Feb 05:09

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime Manga Gets Summer TV Anime

Studio Bones to animate shojo series starring Saori Hayami, Ryota Ohsaka
20 Feb 07:58

Cartoon Network Plays It Safe with Their 2015-’16 Lineup

by Amid Amidi
"Powerpuff Girls" is being rebooted by "Adventure Time" art director Nick Jennings.
18 Feb 01:23

12 Most Expensive Puppets Sold At The Laika Auction

by Amid Amidi
An auction of artwork from "Coraline," "ParaNorman," and "The Boxtrolls" reached over $1 million in sales.
22 Feb 11:26

Proof That Oscar Voters Are Clueless About Animation

by Amid Amidi
What if the animation Oscars were chosen by people who knew nothing about animation?
05 Feb 14:10

Is New York Ready for an All-Breakfast-Sandwich Restaurant?

by Alan Sytsma

All the time.

If an all-broth takeout window can become a phenomenon, this should work, too. DNAinfo brings word of BEC, an upcoming shop that will specialize in breakfast sandwiches. (The initials look to stand for bacon, egg, and cheese.) This is welcome news since breakfast sandwiches are one of man's greatest achievements and all is right in the world whenever you're eating one, except for those times you're eating one to fight a hangover, which come to think of it might be most of the times. No matter — they're still great.

The shop will be located at 148 Eighth Avenue and the plan is for it to stay open late (proposed hours are 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.). Also important: The owner — who is pretty awesomely named Jessica Bologna — has applied for a license to serve alcohol. And, because it is the year 2015, BEC won't just turn out run-of-the-mill deli-style sandwiches. Instead its $7 namesake sandwich will reportedly arrive on custom-baked brioche; a "Farmhouse" option might include honey, pancetta, and fig jam; and the "Greeky Roman" pairs lamb sausage with feta cheese.

If they have pork roll, Grub Street will really be onboard.

[DNAinfo]

Read more posts by Alan Sytsma

Filed Under: coming soon, bec, breakfast sandwiches, chelsea, news

04 Feb 20:15

Introducing ‘Doughka’: Babka Made With Doughnut Dough

by Sierra Tishgart

Would it be weird to eat all three at once?

Fany Gerson, the proprietor of Dough and La Newyorkina, has started to roll out some brand-new sweets. At the Flatiron location of Dough, she's selling "Doughkas" — babka loaves with a doughnut-dough base, which get rolled, cut, braided, and baked.

There are three flavors: Mexican chocolate, filled with a bittersweet-chocolate spread, and dusted with Mexican cinnamon-sugar and Mexican chocolate; Lemon & Olive Oil, studded with candied lemon, rolled in lemon sugar, and brushed with olive oil and a touch of salt; and Sticky Banana, which is a sticky-bun-meets-babka situation stuffed with cinnamon, toasted pecans, and a sticky frosting.

 

The guts of the chocolate doughka. Photo: Melissa Hom

Gerson, who's both Mexican and Jewish, says that her heritage inspired her to create a mash-up dessert. These $10 loaves will only be available starting at noon on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in limited numbers, but they can be ordered in advance. Only the chocolate variety will be in stock this weekend, with all three flavors to follow starting on February 13.

And that's not all for Gerson: She's waiting on a piece of equipment so that she can introduce her much-anticipated cake doughnuts and churros. She's also going to roll out her doughnut dough to make savory and sweet pizzettas, using fresh fruits and vegetables from the Greenmarket. They'll soon be available at lunchtime on weekdays.

"I want to have a little fun!" Gerson says. "I really like baking with our doughnut dough because it's not super rich. This is an exciting testing phase. We want to try a lot of different things."

 

And here's Sticky Banana. Photo: Melissa Hom

Read more posts by Sierra Tishgart

Filed Under: mash-ups, babka, dessert, dough, doughka, doughnuts, fany gerson, new york, sweets

09 Feb 22:35

Sriracha-Flavored Heinz Ketchup Is Here for You to Slather All Over Everything

by Alan Sytsma

"About time," says America.

General opinion has long held that there are two indisputably perfect condiments, marvels of culinary engineering that no reasonable person can improve upon: Heinz ketchup and sriracha hot sauce. Yet not so long ago, if you took to Google to search for the phrase "Heinz sriracha," to see if by some chance the two had ever been combined, you would likely wind up on an import site, looking at some traditional Thai sriracha that Heinz apparently markets outside the U.S. That all changed today, though, when Heinz North America sent out a media blast informing the world that they now sell sriracha-spiked ketchup — officially dubbed "Heinz Tomato Ketchup Blended with Sriracha Flavor" — for the condiment-craving masses.

According to the press release, this will basically become the stuff you put on everything you eat from now until the end of time:

“We are thrilled to announce that Heinz Tomato Ketchup Blended with Sriracha Flavor will join the beloved Heinz Ketchup portfolio,” said Joseph Giallanella, Brand Manager of Heinz Tomato Ketchup. “Building off of our successful line of flavored ketchups, fans told us that they would love another bold take on their favorite condiment. The new offering adds a new kick to your favorite foods and recipes, pairing well with cheeseburgers, French fries and hot dogs, and is the perfect flavor boost for chicken and eggs.”

Why stop there? Got a grilled-cheese sandwich that needs to be bolder? Sriracha ketchup. Feeling like your pizza is missing a little ... something? Sriracha ketchup. Are you stranded in a cabin in the woods and your food supply has been depleted to the point where the only thing left to eat is a dead gopher and you're looking for something — anything — that will make the gopher seem at least marginally palatable?

Sriracha ketchup.

$2.69 per bottle, now available at your local Target or Walmart. Or, if you want to go all-in — and you do — pick up a ten-pound bag of the stuff.

God bless America.

Read more posts by Alan Sytsma

Filed Under: sriratchup, condiments, heinz, ketchup

04 Feb 19:40

The World Gets Its First Glimpse of S’mores-Flavored Oreos

by Clint Rainey

Have s'more Oreo flavors.

Red Velvet Oreos have only just appeared and already Oreo is apparently prepping another flavor bombshell. It's impossible to say whether this was Mondelez-sanctioned or a rogue action, but an employee at the company named Michael DeSouza tweeted a photo of the bag to ESPN's Darren Rovell all the same.

@darrenrovell yet another addition to the ever growing line. Coming soon to a grocery store near you. pic.twitter.com/DzP1UEmwKN

— Michael C DeSouza (@michael_desouza) January 30, 2015

"Coming soon to a grocery store near you," he teased. When Rovell shot back with "legit?" DeSouza answered by flipping over the bag and tweeting the package's brand seal. The bag promises something resembling a deconstructed version of the gooey campfire treat: a graham-flavored wafer outside surrounding two creme layers — one chocolate-flavored and one marshmallow-flavored, with the 'mallow half on top, naturally.

@robbyballgame @darrenrovell look it up. pic.twitter.com/BRFFIrUf5e

— Michael C DeSouza (@michael_desouza) January 31, 2015

They're for real, maybe, but there are still plenty of lingering questions: When will they be available? Why did the announcement come in the form of a clandestine-looking Twitter exchange? And why on earth didn't Nabisco call these things S'moreos?

[@michael_desouza/Twitter via FWF]

Read more posts by Clint Rainey

Filed Under: cookies, news, oreo, s'mores oreos

05 Feb 15:00

Momofuku Milk Bar Gives Birthday-Cake Soft-Serve the Attention It Deserves

by Sierra Tishgart

This is our youth.

It's tough to say who's having a better start to 2015: Danny Meyer or Christina Tosi. As acknowledged earlier this week, the latter has a lot going on — a MasterChef judging gig, a new cookbook, and a Momofuku Milk Bar pop-up in Madison Square Park — and now she's gone and changed up the menus at each Milk Bar location.

Here's the lineup for February: Rosemary Salted Caramel (East Village), Maple Cream-Cheese (midtown), Orange Clove (Upper West Side), Peanut Butter Banana (Carroll Gardens), the grand return of Crack Pie (Williamsburg), and Birthday Cake (Soho).

To make the flavor, milk gets steeped with actual vanilla cake — the same that's used in Milk Bar's Birthday Cake truffles. And of course it's finished with a rainbow-sprinkle topping for full nostalgic effect.

Read more posts by Sierra Tishgart

Filed Under: we all scream, birthday cake, christina tosi, dessert, ice cream, milk bar, momofuku milk bar, new york, soho

12 Feb 16:15

Davey’s Unleashes Red Velvet Oreo Ice Cream

by Sierra Tishgart

It's all happening.

Back when Grub had serious pastry chefs sample the new Red Velvet Oreos, Davey's Ice Cream owner David Yoo said that he'd "definitely consider" using the cookies to make a new flavor. (His original cookies-and-cream ice cream includes actual Oreos, and it's his best seller.)

Fortunately, Yoo has followed through: Starting this Friday, he'll sell a limited-edition Red Velvet Oreo ice cream, which will be available through the end of Valentine's Day weekend at his East Village parlor. Considering the Oreo flavor tastes like "frosting with a side of cookies," it's an ideal present for your sweetie.

Read more posts by Sierra Tishgart

Filed Under: we all scream, davey's ice cream, david yoo, east village, new york, oreos, red velvet oreos, valentines day

07 Feb 19:05

Wonder Festival 2015 Winter: Nendoroid Mako joins the Fight Club

by Martin Siggers

Everybody agrees that magnificent klutz Mako Mankanshoku was the breakout star of Kill la Kill, but now she's getting a bunch of attitude and a whole lot more badass. Good Smile Company revealed that Mako will be returning for a second Nendoroid, this time of her Two-Star Fight Club uniform. This gives our favourite schoolgirl a sneer, a sweet coat and a bunch of weapons to hurl at her enemies and OH GOD IT'S TOO ADORABLE. More details as we get them.

[via Facebook ]

Wonder Festival 2015 Winter: Nendoroid Mako joins the Fight Club screenshot

Read more...
12 Feb 12:00

Kidrobot's Adventure Time line is coming this summer

by Vanessa Cubillo

Last June, Kidrobot announced that they got the license for Cartoon Network's Adventure Time, and would soon be collaborating on a line together. Well, it looks like a year later we're going to see this line. Today on their Facebook, Kidrobot has released a preview for their Adventure Time Figure series.

Since these figures are styled similar to Kidrobot's other licensed lines, I would imagine that this will also be a blind boxed series. So we'll be getting figures of Finn, Jake, BMO, Flame Princess, Fionna, Cake, Lumpy Space Princess, Princess Bubblegum, Ice King, Gunther, and Magic Man. I'm also impressed because they made a figure of the Finn in their original promo picture.

It's a figure of a sullen-looking Finn wearing a puffy Jake coat and listening to a BMO player. Since he looks bigger than the rest of the figures, I'm going to say this will be a special stand-alone figure. So we'll be able to see all of these figures soon because Kidrobot's Adventure Time line is expected to be released summer 2015. 

[via Kidrobot]

Kidrobot's Adventure Time line is coming this summer screenshot

Read more...
10 Feb 16:00

Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo

by Casey Baseel

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Even in a country that adores its pets, none have captured the hearts of Japanese animal-lovers like Hachiko. The Akita dog touched the hearts of people across the nation by devotedly waiting every day for more than nine years in front of Tokyo’s Shibuya Station for his master to return from work, not knowing that he had died from a cerebral hemorrhage and wouldn’t be coming back.

Today, a statue of Hachiko stands in Shibuya, showing the dog patiently waiting. But while the bittersweet quality of the story made Hachiko famous, it overlooks the fact that before his master’s passing, the two would happily reunite every evening and walk home together. Now, it’s that moment’s turn to be immortalized, with a new statue showing Hachiko as he’s rarely been depicted before, bursting with joy upon seeing his owner.

While Hachiko is arguably the more famous of the two, his owner, Hidesaburo Ueno, also contributed greatly to Japanese society. Ueno was a professor at the University of Tokyo (then called Tokyo Imperial University) for over 20 years, and a celebrated scholar in the field of agricultural engineering. As a matter of fact, it was during one of his lectures in 1925 that Ueno collapsed and passed away.

▼ A bust of Ueno at the University of Tokyo

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This year marks the 90th anniversary of Ueno’s death, and also the 80th of Hackiho’s passing. In memoriam, the University of Tokyo’s agriculture department has erected a bronze statue of man and dog on its campus, together at last.

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忠犬ハチ公死後80年となる3月8日、東大農学部キャンパス内に新ハチ公像が完成する。飼い主の故上野英三郎博士に飛び付く姿が銅像でよみがえる。日本に農業土木学を創設した博士の没後九十年にもあたる。よかったな、ハチ公。博士にやっと逢えて。 http://t.co/R8rd94OYMc


ひでらっくす@吟遊呑助 (@hide_luxe) February 08, 2015

The heartwarming scene has had a powerful effect on online commenters in Japan.

“I’m so happy for you, Hachiko.”
“I already cried when I saw the 1987 Hachiko movie. I didn’t think this would make me cry again, but it sure does…”
“So moving.”
“What’s the big idea, making me cry like this?”

We have to agree. After waiting almost 100 years, it’s hard not to get a little choked up at Ueno and Hachiko’s reunion.

Related: University of Tokyo Faculty of Agriculture website
Source: AOL Japan News
Top image: Maniado, Twitter (edited by RocketNews24)
Inset images: Exblog, Twitter

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Origin: Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo
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11 Feb 11:30

Disney Girls turned into beautiful bite-sized cakes with sweet collection from Cozy Corner!

by Kay

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Over the years, we’ve already seen some lovely creations by Japanese confection maker Ginza Cozy Corner with Disney themes, including sumptuous mini-cakes inspired by Disney villains and characters from the mega-hit film Frozen. This time, to celebrate the “Girl’s Day” festival called Hina Matsuri coming up in Japan next month on March 3, the folks at Cozy Corner have once again come up with some sweet magic, this time in the form of small cakes symbolizing some of Disney’s best known gals. It’s the “Petit Gateau Disney Girl’s Collection” featuring nine of  Disney’s female stars, from Minnie Mouse to Elsa, transformed into bite-sized treats that should be both sweet to taste and a delight to look at!

Yes, the mini-cakes sure make for a pretty, colorful sight! Can you guess which female Disney character each cake represents? Check out the answers below the picture!

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From left to right, we have in the top row: Ariel (vanilla mousse and raspberry gelée cake); Marie from The AristoCats (strawberry and cheese flavored tart); and Rapunzel (Mont Blanc cake made with purple sweet potato cream).

In the middle row, we have: Belle (smooth Mont Blanc cake with chestnut cream), Elsa (blueberry and cheese flavored cake), and Tinker Bell (pistachio-based cake with ganache cream).

And lastly, in the bottom row are: Daisy Duck (cheese tart with blueberry jam); Minnie Mouse (strawberry roll cake); and Cinderella (white peach and lychee mousse cake).

Just looking at that selection of cakes gets us in a bright and cheery mood. The only problem we have is that we wouldn’t know which adorable cake to eat first, but at least we know that we want to try all of them!

The set of nine cakes, priced at 2,160 yen (US$18.10), comes in a beautifully illustrated box that should delight Disney fans in particular.cozy 2_R

The first 60 customers at each Cozy Corner branch to purchase or pre-order the set also receive a sheet of magnets with the same lovely illustrations as the box.

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The Petit Gateau Disney Girl’s Collection is available at Cozy Corner shops across Japan until March 3.  The bonus magnets may run out quickly since there are just 60 per location, but with or without the magnets, these mini-cakes should be the perfect way to celebrate Girl’s Day, or even a simple girls’ night in, especially if you have some wine and a good movie to go with them!

Source and photos: Ginza Cozy Corner press release from PR TIMES (Japanese)

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Origin: Disney Girls turned into beautiful bite-sized cakes with sweet collection from Cozy Corner!
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12 Feb 19:00

Gorgeous Zelda and Pokémon ceramic plates will add a touch of class to any gamer’s dining room

by Casey Baseel

WP 6

Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve probably seen, and can recognize, what’s known as the Willow pattern. A mainstay of European ceramic tableware since the 1700s, the design takes cues from Chinese porcelain and features a characteristic blue and white color scheme.

Given its long history, even modern examples of Willow pattern dishware tend to feature quant depictions of trappings of life from a bygone era. Sailing ships and windmills are common subjects, but one artist felt the Willow pattern would also be an appropriate platform for showcasing the video game art of yesteryear, and created these plates featuring old-school artwork from Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon.

27-year-old Olly Moss, a graphic designer based in the U.K.’s Winchester, draws frequent inspiration from his love of film and video games, as referenced in his comical self-portrait.

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Despite the self-effacing nature of the drawing, though, it’s clear that Moss has a deep respect for the artistry that goes into creating video games. As a matter of fact, he’s even lending a bit of legitimacy to the art form himself. Although most of Moss’ publicly displayed work, as seen on his website here, is done in the style of movie posters, he recently decided to try his hand at illustrating two ceramic plates, and here are the impressive results.

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If you came into the series with Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess, it may take a moment to realize what you’re looking at, but that’s a Zelda scene done in the graphical style from before the franchise went polygonal. Specifically, it seems to be based on the pixel art from the 1993 Game Boy title Link’s Awakening, the visual style of which was in turn a derivative of that used in 1991’s A Link to the Past, the sole Zelda installment to be released for the Super NES.

Speaking of Nintendo properties that used to be on the monochrome Game Boy, here’s Moss’ Willow pattern rendition of Pokémon.

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Not only is the plate’s central area filled with lovingly recreated retro sprites, there’re extra nods to the series around the lip of the plate, which is decorated with Poké Balls and even more pocket monsters.

And to prove these aren’t just flat graphics manipulated to look like they’re on plates, here’re a few alternate angles of the dishes.

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Given their intricate designs, many Willow pattern dishware owners choose not to eat off of theirs, but to display them as decorative items. We think these two pieces would look splendid in any sophisticated gamer’s China cabinet, and if the dining room walls are looking a little bare, you can always hang up Moss’ eye-catching art deco-style Zelda poster that makes the Nintendo classic look like a noir thriller.

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Related: Olly Moss website
Sources: Inside Games, Tiny Cartridge
Top image: Olly Moss website (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: Olly Moss Website (1, 2, 3)

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Origin: Gorgeous Zelda and Pokémon ceramic plates will add a touch of class to any gamer’s dining room
Copyright© RocketNews24 / SOCIO CORPORATION. All rights reserved.

13 Feb 01:00

Wasabi and sashimi bagels on sale now in Japan! We buy some and invent the Japanese dip sandwich

by Casey Baseel

WB 21

I’ve never been much of a bagel fan. It’s got nothing to do with a dislike of carbs, as I’ll happily chow down on sandwiches, rice bowls, and noodles. Bagels, though, have always struck me as sort of bland.

Sure, I realize there are ways to make bagels more flavorful, but a lot of the most common additions, like berries or cream cheese, don’t really do much for me. But when I found out that one of Japan’s most popular bagel chains was adding a kick to their offerings with a wasabi bagel, my interest was piqued. Then, when I learned that they also offered a bagel sandwich with tuna sashimi, my next meal was planned.

These Japanese-style bagels come courtesy of Bagel & Bagel, the redundantly named chain that’s much more creative with their product lineup than their company’s moniker. Like their watermelon bagels we tried last summer, the wasabi and sashimi versions are part of a limited time lineup, this time collectively called the Japanese Fair menu and available until February 22.

▼ The Yokohama Lumine branch of Bagel & Bagel

WB 1

Joining the non-sandwich wasabi bagel in the Japanese Fair are varieties made with mochi rice cake, edamame soybeans and hijiki (a type of seaweed), nori (yet another type of seaweed), shitake mushroom with sesame, and kinako (a cinnamon-like flavoring) with white chocolate.

▼ Mochi (left) and hijiki edamame (right)

WB 3

▼ Nori (left) and wasabi (right)

WB 4

Intriguing as they all sound, there’re only so many bagels you can plow through in one sitting, and for this taste-test, the two that made the cut were the 200-yen (US $1.70) wasabi bagel and 490-yen (US $4.15) tuna marinated with soy sauce and wasabi mayonnaise (which sounds slightly more eloquent in Japanese as tzuke maguro to wasabi mayonezu).

▼ The wrapper says “New York style bagels,” but I don’t recall seeing any with sashimi when I visited the Big Apple.

WB 5

I decided to start with the simpler of the two, the wasabi bagel.

WB 6

Initially, I was a little disappointed, since I’d expected opening the package to produce a blast of sinus-clearing wasabi aroma. No such luck, as it smelled pretty much like any other bagel. Still, I wasn’t giving up hope yet. Even with no wasabi experience for the olfactory senses, the ring-shaped piece of bread’s green color promised one for the taste buds, as did the ingredient list that mentioned both wasabi paste and powder.

WB 7

I took a bite, and found that the bagel is pleasantly chewy. Initially, there’s not a whole lot of flavor going on, but as you continue to chew, the spiciness starts to kick in. While it’s not nearly as spicy as the dollop of wasabi you’ll find served along with your meal in a sushi restaurant, it’s still tasty. This would actually go pretty well with a glass of beer, producing an effect that’s sort of a combination between a soft pretzel and spicy kakipi soy crackers.

WB 8

Now it was time for the main event, the tuna sashimi bagel, which uses the same dough as the plain wasabi bagel. This one comes wrapped in butcher paper, just like Japanese restaurants serve their hamburgers.

WB 9

WB 10

Although it isn’t mentioned in the already too-long-for-its-own-good official name of the tuna marinated with soy sauce and wasabi mayonnaise bagel, the first thing that greets your eyes is the heaping helping of mizuna. While mizuna translates as potherb mustard, it doesn’t taste anything like the yellow condiment or the seeds its made from. Instead, mizuna is a crisp leaf vegetable that’s commonly found in salads and hot pots in Japan, with a flavor that’s just a touch on the sharp and bitter side but far milder than, say, arugula.

WB 11

▼ Some of the wasabi-infused mayo

WB 14

Remove the wrapper entirely, and you’ll see the tuna sashimi peeking out at you through the middle of the bagel. You’ll also notice another ingredient that’s left off the marque in the form of small strips of nori seaweed. Nori is commonly added to rice bowls topped with marinated tuna sashimi, though, so some Japanese diners might assume it’ll be included in the sandwich even without being told about its presence.

WB 12

WB 13

As for the tuna itself, it’s concentrated towards the center of the sandwich and coarsely diced. It’s not as soft as the tuna in negi toro sushi, though. If you’ve ever had the variety of sashimi called naka ochi, you’ll know what to expect here, as the texture is still substantial enough to make this feel like a proper sandwich filling, and not just a bagel with a paste spread on it.

WB 15

WB 16

So how does it taste? Pretty good, actually. All of the mizuna gives you the impression that you’re eating something incredibly healthy, and with a calorie count of just 286 for the entire sandwich, you really are. However, there’s so much mizuna that in your first bite, you’re likely to not even notice the tuna. The wasabi mayonnaise is there to add some variety though, with a creamy yet spicy flavor that makes the first mouthful resemble a handheld salad.

WB 17

Things start to get sashimi-style soon, though. Having most of the tuna packed towards the center means a decidedly different flavor profile between the first and second bites. It’s not just the taste that changes, either, as the sashimi provides a lot more moisture than the mizuna, even with the wasabi mayonnaise helping out the veggies.

WB 18

On the plus side, the shift in flavor and moistness makes eating the sashimi bagel almost feel like a multi-course meal. Still, since there’s only a modest amount of wasabi mayonnaise mixed in with the mizuna, as you move from one end to the center and then on through to the other side, it means you’re going from dry to moist to back to dry again.

If that ending doesn’t sound like your preferred way to finish a meal, you might find yourself hoping for a little extra moisture at the tail end. I suppose you could go to the fridge, grab a jar of mayo, and add a little to supplement what’s already there, but that seems like it would just dilute the wasabi flavor and run contrary to the bagel’s Japanese influences.

Hmm…what to do…

▼ Ah ha!

WB 19

Having grown up in Los Angeles, where the restaurant Philippe’s has been serving up delicious French dip sandwiches for over a hundred years, I’m no stranger to the benefits of dunking an already assembled sandwich in a bit of extra sauce. Instead of au jus, though, a mixture of wasabi and soy sauce seemed more appropriate.

WB 20

So in the end, while the tuna sashimi bagel is just fine on its own, it’s even better if you turn it into a Japanese dip.

Related: Bagel & Bagel location finder
Photos: RocketNews24

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Origin: Wasabi and sashimi bagels on sale now in Japan! We buy some and invent the Japanese dip sandwich
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14 Feb 03:00

Still no hoverboards, but 2015 has now given us this cool Back to the Future Delorean iPhone case

by Casey Baseel

BF 6

Now that 2015 is upon us, futurists and move fans alike are up in arms about all the cool things Back to the Future II promised we’d have by now, but still don’t. Where are our self-lacing shoes, they ask? When can we except to be devoured by holographic advertisements, huh? And what in God’s name is the holdup with the hoverboards?

What all these complaints fail to recognize, though, is all of the other amazing stuff that’s become part of our daily lives. For example, not only do we have the Internet and all the wondrous knowledge it provides, but we can access it from our mobile phones! That’s something even Back to the Future II couldn’t imagine, which is why it’s taken until the real 2015 for someone to make these sweet iPhone cases modeled after the film’s iconic Delorean time machine.

While Bandai is most famous for its anime tie-ins, the Japanese toymaker occasionally dabbles in Hollywood movie-related merchandise as well.

BF 1

BF X3

As part of its Crazy Case lineup, Bandai has just started taking preorders for this iPhone 6 case that’s shaped like Marty and Doc’s flying sports car, perhaps the only ride cooler than the monster truck the Hill Valley teen scored at the end of his first adventure.

BF X2

While form definitely takes precedence over function with this case, it’s still designed in a way that preserves the iPhone’s standard usability. Flip-out panels allow you to snap photos, manipulate the volume control, and hit the power switch.

BF 5

BF 4

Speaking of hitting the power, the glowing lights in the above shots aren’t digitally added effects. When you swith the phone on, it lights up with a futuristic blue glow, and incoming calls are signaled with a flashing of the headlights, as demonstrated in the video below.

The case can be ordered through the Premium Bandai online store here for 5,940 yen (US $50). Delivery is scheduled for June, meaning that if you order today, you’ve got about four months of waiting…unless, of course, you’ve got an actual time machine and can skip ahead to summer right now.

Source: Premium Bandai
Images: Premium Bandai (edited by RocketNews24)

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Origin: Still no hoverboards, but 2015 has now given us this cool Back to the Future Delorean iPhone case
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31 Jan 03:00

Could this teen’s simple but genius idea help put an end to cyber bullying?

by Meg Murphy

top

Bullying is not a new phenomenon. Even if you haven’t personally experienced it, you likely know some who has been bullied, or have seen it happen to someone else. So have our parents, and most likely their parents too. Adults can be bullies too, but children and adolescents are much more likely to act without thinking, making it much more of a problem for the younger generation.

What is a relatively new phenomenon, however, is cyber bullying. After hearing about a young girl who was bullied to the point that she decided to commit suicide, 14-year-old Trisha Prabhu knew something had to be done, and set to work making a system that could drastically reduce the incidences of cyber bullying.

With technology and social media now a part of our everyday lives, it’s not much of a surprise that the taunting and teasing of classmates and peers has taken on a new form. Now, not only is it just mean words and occasional fistfights in the school yard, it is hateful and embarrassing words, photos, and videos permanently and publicly displayed for anyone to see. The anonymity that the internet often provides only exacerbates the situation.

When Trisha heard the news of the young girl who took her own life because of the relentless online teasing she endured, the young teen was heartbroken, and decided then to do what she could to prevent something like that from happening again.

It was after learning of a particular fact about adolescent brains that she was able to come up with her brilliant idea. The fact is, as our brains develop, they develop from from back to front, the front part of the brain not being fully developed until around age 25. That front part of our brains is what helps us with decision-making. This is why kids are more likely to act on impulses without considering the consequences. When it’s so easy, second nature even for the youth of today, to type up a text message or comment and hit ‘send’, they may not always think about the effect of their words or their actions.

i thirst for brainssss to drain

“What if I gave them a chance to think about what they were doing?” Trisha wondered, as she set out on her mission and created the product Rethink, which creates an alert before a potentially offensive message is posted, asking the poster if they really want to write something that could hurt someone else, giving them the chance to stop and think about what they are doing.

you are styooopid you are styoooopid

In her trial studies, Trisha found that over 93% of the time, when adolescents received that message, they changed their willingness to post the offensive material.

eddy eagle says

While still in development, Rethink has already gotten Trisha many awards and praise, and she hopes to soon have it available as a Chrome browser extension and mobile add-on, to help stop cyber bullying worldwide.

Trisha’s idea has even reached across to Japan, where bullying is a particularly big problem, cyber-bullying included (something which is known as ネットいじめ netto ijime, netto being the shortened word for internet, and ijime meaning bully or bullying).

警告1つの単純な事だけど、大事な事だったんだろうなー、この発見は凄い! でもDQN親とかが蔓延る日本では大人にも必要かもね… 夢はネットいじめの撲滅。14歳の少女が未成年の9割から侮辱的な投稿を無くした方法とは? spotlight-media.jp/article/107425…


楓 あおい*骨沼に潜水中。 (@kaede_d_andmori) January 27, 2015

▲”It’s just one simple warning, but it’s so important. This is an amazing discovery! But with all the thick-headed parents and stuff around in Japan, adults probably need this too…”

勢いで行く前に一回手を止めて考える。それだけのことなのに、こうやって形にして効果をあげることがすごい / 夢はネットいじめの撲滅。14歳の少女が未成年の9割から侮辱的な投稿を無くした方法とは? spotlight-media.jp/article/107425… @misterspotlightさんから


ヲ_(:3」∠ )_ (@swk650r) January 28, 2015

▲”Stop and think before you recklessly act. Such a simple thing, it’s amazing that it’s had this kind of result.”

「SNSのいじめを無くしたい」14歳の少女が開発した新システムに世界が注目 whats.be/106644 @whats_jpさんから これはいい。日本のネットやアプリ界もこういう取り組みしないかな。 今は未熟な層がネット社会に足を踏み込み過ぎなんだよ。


吉田ヨシヲ@療養中 (@Yoshiwo_Yoshida) January 28, 2015

▲”This is great. I wonder if Japan will use this for the internet and apps too. We’ve rushed too fast into this net-based society.”

At the Zenkoku Ijime Mondai Kodomo Samitto (directly translated as Nationwide Bullying Problem Children’s Summit) held in Tokyo last Saturday, January 24, Japanese youth were also discussing ways to address and prevent the bullying problem that is so prominent in their country.

Is bullying a problem in your country as well? Do you think Trisha’s Rethink system will be successful? Let us know what you think!

Source: YouTube, NAVER Matome
Images: YouTube

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31 Jan 17:30

Around Japan in 47 rice balls: Mr. Sato buys each prefecture’s musubi all from one Tokyo shop

by Master Blaster

Although Japan lacks ethnic diversity, it seems to more than make up for it in diversity of cuisine. Although the overarching recipes of Japanese foods can be found everywhere, you’d be surprised and how diverse the differences can be from region to region. Having your New Year’s soup in Okayama Prefecture may be quite different from Akita Prefecture’s offering. Even purchasing oden from a chain like 7-Eleven will produce different results if it’s from Osaka or Tokyo.

This is also true of another of Japan’s standard foods: rice balls also known as onigiri or musubi. To taste all the unique variations Japan has to offer, one must be a seasoned traveler, or they could just go to Momochi, a shop which offers a taste of all 47 prefectures straight from the counter. Our own Mr. Sato, eager to taste of these deliciously distinct snacks, visited Momochi to sample one of each.

The following are Momochi’s 47 Prefecture rice balls with a very brief description. Note that the word “pickle” is often used but the various methods of pickling and vegetables used in different parts of Japan is extremely vast so consider each one unique. We also have photos of Mr. Sato posing with each rice ball presented in slide shows for each of Japan’s major regions. If you’d like to get a better idea of what they’re like or if you can get enough of Mr. Sato’s face, please check them out.

▼ Hokkaido & Tohoku area prefectures

Click to view slideshow.

NOT PICTURED

Fukushima – Tara Kanroni
Cod stewed in soy sauce and sugar

▼ Kanto area prefectures

Click to view slideshow.

NOT PICTURED

Gunma – Shimonita Negi Miso
Green onions and miso (fermented soy paste)

▼ Chubu area prefectures

Click to view slideshow.

NOT PICTURED

Yamanashi – Ninjin Meshi
Carrots

▼ Kansai area prefectures

Click to view slideshow.

 

▼ Chugoku area prefectures

Click to view slideshow.

NOT PICTURED

Okayama – Sawara
Japanese Spanish mackerel

▼ Shikoku area prefectures

Click to view slideshow.

 

▼ Kyushu & Okinawa

Click to view slideshow.

 

■ Couldn’t catch’em all!
Although Mr. Sato set out for nationwide domination of rice balls, his visit to the Momochi had a few setbacks. The store was completely out of Yamanashi’s Ninjin Meshi flavor, and the racks for Gunma’s Shimonita Negi Miso and Fukushima’s Tara Kanroni were both empty at the time of his visit. He could just barely get Fukui’s Sauce Katsu and Okayama’s Sawara. This left his final tally at 44 of the 47 prefectural rice balls. Not a bad haul, but sadly not all of them.

■ Best in show: Salad Pan Omusubi
After happily tasting all of the rice balls, Mr. Sato struggled to determine the best three. In the end he declared Shiga Prefecture’s Salad Pan flavor to be the best. It’s based on a brand of snack bread with mayonnaise and thinly chopped pickled daikon. Although the bread was substituted with rice it still had an excellent blending of tastes and was a neat concept overall. In second place was Aomori’s Tsugarudzuke followed by the Sawara rice ball from Okayama Prefecture. Really though, everyone’s a winner. Well, everyone except…

■ You doing okay over in Ishikawa?
For those who actually read through the entire list, you might have noticed the rice ball of Ishikawa being a little odd. Named Dakidashi Omusubi (or “Soup Kitchen Rice Ball” in English), it is an equally depressing recipe of simply rice and salt. Despite being a bit of a downer, Mr. Sato still thought it was tasty. So, if you want to broaden your culinary horizons in a fast and easy way, Momochi is well worth checking out.

Shop Information
Momochi
Odakyu Hyakkaten Shinjuku B2F, 1-1-3 Nishi, Shijuku, Tokyo
Weekdays: 10:00am to 8:30pm
Sundays/Holidays: 10:00am to 8:00pm

Original report by Mr. Sato
Photos: RocketNews24

The full list

Hokkaido – Potato Butter

Aomori – Tsugarudzuke
Local brand of herring roe pickled in soy sauce

Iwate – Sabagohan
Mackerel and vegetables

Miyagi – Aburafu
Fried wheat gluten

Akita – Iburigakko
Smoked vegetables such as daikon or carrots

Yamagata – Dashi
Minced and seasoned vegetables (not to be confused with the widely used Japanese soup “dashi”)

Fukushima – Tara Kanroni
Cod stewed in soy sauce and sugar

Ibaraki – Natto Takuan
Fermented soy beans and pickles

Tochigi – Age Gyoza
Fried gyoza

Gunma – Shimonita Negi Miso
Green onions and miso (fermented soy paste)

Saitama – Katemeshi
Grains, vegetables, and seaweed

Chiba – Mezashi
Small fish dried and baked

Tokyo – Asari Tsukudani
Clams boiled in soy sauce

Kanagawa – Shirasu Gohan
Really small and young fish (aka whitebait)

Niigata – Kenkiyaki
Miso grilled with yuzu peels and green onion

Yamanashi – Ninjin Meshi
Carrots

Nagano – Shinshu Nozawa Nadzuke
Pickles from Nozawa, Nagano

Toyama – Tororo Konbu
Grated yam and kelp

Ishikawa – Dakidashi Omusubi
“Soup Kitchen Musubi” (rice and salt only)

Fukui – Sauce Katsu
Breaded meat cutlet and sauce

Gifu – Akakabudzuke
Pickled red turnip

Shizuoka – Sakuraebi Kakiage
Fried sakura shrimp

Aichi – Ebiten Musu
Shrimp tempura

Mie – Shiso Hijiki

Shiga – Salad Pan
Mayo and finely chopped pickled daikon

KyotoShibadzuke
Pickled eggplant and shiso

Osaka – Aji Nori Konbu Iri
“Filled with seaweed and kelp taste!”

Hyogo – Ikanago no Kugini
Small fish boiled in soy sauce and sugar until they look like nails

Nara – Naradzuke
Nara style pickles

Wakayama – Kishu Nanko Ume
A regional type of plum

Tottori – Rakkyo
A type of green onion

Shimane – Wakame
Seaweed

Okayama – Sawara
Japanese Spanish mackerel

Hiroshima – Hiroshimana
A leafy green vegetable

Yamaguchi – Kinako
Roasted and powdered soy beans

Tokushima – Fish Katsu Ten
Fish fillet tempura

Kagawa – Iwanori Wasabi
Seaweed and wasabi

Ehime – Jakoten
Fried fish paste

Kochi – Kastuo Shoyudzuke
Dried bonito picked in soy sauce

Fukuoka – Mentaiko
Seasoned cod roe

Saga – Renkon
Lotus root

Nagasaki – Kakuni
Simmered pork

Kumamoto – Takana Itame
Fried mustard leaves

Oita – Tori Karaage
Fried chicken

Miyazaki – Toukibi
Corn

Kagoshima – Niwatori Gobo
Chicken and burdock root

Okinawa – Andansu
Miso fried in pork fat

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Origin: Around Japan in 47 rice balls: Mr. Sato buys each prefecture’s musubi all from one Tokyo shop
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26 Jan 18:30

Viz's Shonen Jump Adds My Hero Academia

Series will run simultaneously with Japanese release
28 Jan 20:24

Aniplex USA to Release Aldnoah.Zero Soundtrack

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24 Jan 01:00

Attack on sobriety! Attack on Titan teams up with plum wine maker for new anime alcohol

by Casey Baseel

TU 1

Along with its naked giants and high-flying fight scenes, anime and manga mega hit Attack on Titan is defined by its oppressively bleak atmosphere. Its world is one in which not only do rampaging monsters want to eat you, the ruling aristocracy is ready to kick you out of the walled city if you’re too big a drain on its resources.

Compelling as its story may be, after spending enough time in that setting, even fans of the series could find themselves needing a stiff drink. If so, they might want to reach for a glass of the soon-to-be-released Attack on Titan plum wine.

He may be a household name now, but it wasn’t too long ago that manga artist Hajime Isayama was largely unknown. The Attack on Titan creator is just 28, which means he’s only a decade or so removed from being just another kid growing up in rural Oita Prefecture.

But while the sudden skyrocketing success of Attack on Titan has brought Isayama fame, wealth, and an enviable amount of creative freedom, that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten his roots back in his hometown of Oyama, now merged with a number of other former municipalities into Hita City. The town is equally proud of their manga star, and previously Oyama has issued stamps and held exhibitions and other events related to Attack on Titan.

TU 3

Oyama’s tiny population doesn’t really lend itself to the creation of large economic entities, but one local industry is plum wine, called umeshu in Japanese. Not only are plums grown in Oyama, but the beverage itself is produced, bottled, and sold in the town by the company Hibiki no Sato.

Isayama and Hibiko no Sato have teamed up once before to make Attack on Titan plum wine. Due to the first batch’s popularity, they’ve decided to go ahead with a second.

The set includes two 500-mililiter (16.9-ounce) bottles, each with a different type of plum wine and label specially drawn by Isayama for the project.

TU 1

The first variety is the Bande Side S, with Attack on Titan’s Levi appearing on the label (the “S” stands for “short,” because while Levi may be tough and cool, he’s definitely not tall). Made with Oyama-grown oshuku plums and aged for over three years, the Bande Side S plum wine has an alcohol content of 20 percent. Hibiki no Sato describes its flavor as strong yet crisp, and recommends drinking it on the rocks or cut with soda water.

The other bottle contains the Bande Side T, referring to the “tall” Erwin and Hange on its label. Also aged for over three years, but made from nanko plums and only 14 percent alcohol, the Bande Side T’s flavor has stronger fruit notes. Best served on the rocks, business travelers may find the taste familiar, as the same blend is also poured by airline ANA in its business class.

TU 2

Lining the two labels up next to each other produces a composite illustration of the three Survey Corps standouts relaxing together. Likewise, placing their boxes side by side also creates one large image, in keeping with the name Bande, which is German for “band” or “group.”

If you’re too thirsty to make the trip all the way down to Oita, the 3,780-yen (US$31.50) Attack on Titan plum wine set can also be purchased through convenience store Lawson. Preorders start February 24, with shipment on April 4, meaning you’ll have your bottles in plenty of time for that second season of the anime we keep hearing about.

Source: Hibiki no Sato
Top image: Hibiki no Sato
Insert images: Hibiki no Sato (1, 2)

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Origin: Attack on sobriety! Attack on Titan teams up with plum wine maker for new anime alcohol
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24 Jan 11:30

Yokohama’s adorable hedgehog dumplings are packed with spikey cuteness and creamy custard

by Casey Baseel

HM 8

Located about a half hour south of downtown Tokyo, the city of Yokohama has a couple of big tourist draws, like its gigantic Ferris wheel and bayside parks with panoramic views. If you’re hungry, though, you’ll want to head to Yokohama’s Chinatown, which is one of the biggest in Japan and is made up almost entirely of places to eat.

As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to grab a seat in a restaurant to fill your stomach, since the streets are lined with stalls selling all manner of munchies. Some of these you might see elsewhere in Japan, like the steamed pork buns that are also convenience store mainstays. But there’s at least one treat you can’t find anywhere but Yokohama’s Chinatown, and that’s these adorable sweet dumplings shaped like tiny hedgehogs.

The spiky little treats are available at Yoseigo, a dim sum takeout joint that’s been in business since 1946. If you’re after orthodox fare, Yoseigo has steamed shrimp dumplings, egg rolls, and the like. On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for something sweet, and also a little playful, you can’t go wrong with their hedgehog dumplings.

hm-11

ハリネズミまん #noweating http://t.co/PyeYIJXbnk


やざわん (@j_aventador) December 24, 2014

The palm-sized snacks appear to be steamed first, and then later deep-fried to help give them a more defined shape. This brings us to what might be the only negative point about the hedgehog dumplings. Though they have a pleasantly crisp texture, the “quills” on their spiky backs are indeed a little sharp, so you’ll want to chew carefully to keep from poking yourself.

▼ Hard to believe he’d do anything to hurt you with a face that cute.

hm 3

A little extra caution as you chew does get you a very enjoyable reward though, since the hedgehog dumplings are filled with delicious custard cream.

HM 4

Yoseigo ordinarily sells them for 100 yen (US$0.83) each. At times, though, you can get a discount by buying in bulk, as shown by this sign offering six for 500 yen.

HM 2

Of course, the discount isn’t the only reason to buy multiple hedgehog dumplings at once. There’s also the fact that when you put a group of them together, their cuteness grows exponentially.

HM 5

ソニフリ銘菓、ハリネズミまんだよ〜 http://t.co/8y66lj4twM


コージャ月村@4/29セゲいち (@mugon001) September 23, 2013

HM 6

横浜中華街いってハリネズミまんでも食べてきなよ http://t.co/UsZSaC4UIY


はりねずみ@bknb (@bknb_0319) August 12, 2014

But as happy as the above trio looks, sometimes it really is true that two’s company, but three’s a crowd. For the sweetest mood, nothing tops a hedgehog dumpling couple sharing a smooch.

HM 7

Ahhhh. You know, it’d just be too cruel to eat one of them and break up the happy couple. Really, in the name of love, the only proper thing to do is eat them both.

Restaurant information
Yoseigo / 耀盛號
Address: Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi, Naka-ku, Yamashitacho 143
神奈川県横浜市中区山下町143
Open 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Website (Tabelog)

Source: Naver Matome
Top image: Tabelog
Insert images: Tabelog (1, 2), FC2, Twitter

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23 Jan 23:15

HELP My Sister's Family Doesn't Adhere To My Definition Of What A Family Is

by thingsthatareawful

Dear Prudence, 17 March 2014:

Q. My Sister Is Polyamorous and Pregnant: My sister Julia recently told our family that she and her husband Jake are in a polyamorous triad with their best friend Tony. The three of them have been together for as long as Julia has been with Jake (seven years) and all of their friends know that, essentially, Tony is Julia’s other husband. They decided not to tell our more traditional family (with the exception of our brother) until Julia became pregnant, as she is now. She does not know whether the child is Jake’s or Tony’s, but both men plan to raise the child equally. Our brother claims they’re an amazing set and that Julia has never been this happy. My parents, my husband, and I are more realistic and feel queasy about the arrangement. I cannot imagine how their child will feel, growing up with half siblings (Julia plans to have children by both men) and with their mom sleeping with two men. I don’t know how they will provide the children of this “marriage” with stability. My husband doesn’t want Tony around our children, even though Julia has asked that we now treat him as her husband in addition to Jake. I love Julia but am nauseated by her lifestyle choice. I think eventually it will end disastrously. How can I support this?

Dear My Sister is Polyamorous and Pregnant,

How can anyone know what results child-rearing will yield? I mean, except for you, a person who 100% without a doubt can say that your sister is setting her family up for abject failure?

There’s so much uncertainty these days, except when it comes to your knowledge of how your sister’s familial decisions will negatively impact the children she and her family, and not you, a person nauseated by the slutty sluttitude of your sister, is about to raise. Who knows what might happen in the future? Besides you, of course, the person who knows everything about how people who you aren’t should raise their children.

First, there’s the issue of the fact that your sister is the sole person who has made the “lifestyle choice” of polyamory in this situation, which the two men she is partnered with clearly have not made, as your sister is clearly the strumpetest strumpet of all time, with your opinion not at all being informed by a patriarchal culture of misogyny. Your totally reasonable, well-thought-out ire is rightly directed at her, the Jezebel that puts all other Jezebels to shame, what with her decision to raise a family with a bunch of people who love and appreciate her.

Literally all decent humans have been raised by two monogamous heterosexual parents. No person on earth who has ever achieved success or happiness has been raised otherwise, as is clearly documented by the fact that you are nauseated by your sister’s decision to live her own fucking life the way she chooses.

How can you support this, you ask, as a person who is 100000000000000000000000 percent solely invested in supporting, rather than judging, her gross sister and her heinous awful appalling decisions? Well, you could just treat your sister like an autonomous person who has engaged in building a family with other autonomous humans, but where would that get you? Then you’d probably end up broadening your fucking horizons, and then the world would crumble into tiny, vomitous bits of nobody cares what you think.

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