For all the recent sob stories about the lack of sex and relationships in Japan, it’s good to know that the Land of the Rising Sun takes Valentine’s Day deathly serious. I mean, who wouldn’t want to melt into someone’s arms after being given one of the spectacular and very romantic gifts below?
All were found on the rather incredible Chocolate Stadium website, and incredibly enough, nearly all are now sold out!
10. The Chocolate Bat
Japanese people love to play ball, and finally, here is concrete proof that would hold up in court. Forget about “first base”, “second base”, etc. Anyone who brings tasteless “baseball” metaphors to the game of love will be beaten to death with this baseball bat full of chocolaty treats.
9. Tanoshingo Love Injection Bath
Who wouldn’t want to make milky pink bath water with a guy in a T-shirt with a banana, a peach, and some cherries on it? "Let's inject the power of love!” demands the product description and it is useless to resist. In fact, I'm writing these very words from inside a bathtub right now!
8. Maid Medicine Compress Chocolate
Disguising chocolate as first aid materials may not seem very sanitary, but hey, there’s a maid on the package and apparently, "It'll cure what ails you. Let's give chocolate with moe ingredients that will soak up all the pain in your heart." Just don’t put it on a deep puncture wound or you will probably bleed out and die.
7. Big Cup Nipple Chocolate
The glass container here is familiar to millions of Japanese winos as a parody of the Ozeki One Cup sake bottle. The HILARIOUS twist is that it has been appropriated for these "nipple chocolates that are just a bit hentai”. The ad copy posits these as, "A parody chocolate that will have you slipping back into infancy” which is always exactly where you want to be on Valentine’s Day, right?
6. Overweight DE Measure Chocolate
“For those of you who are starting to get worried about the size of your belly, carefully check your girth with this measuring tape!" In other words, you’re fat and here’s some more chocolate to stuff in your piehole.
5. Ikemen Chocolate Ramen
"An order of instant ramen chocolate for handsome 'meat eater' guys! Upping your handsome manliness by 50%" Handsome or not, we hope some genius tries to boil them in hot water. Note: a version for wimpy 'vegitarian guys' also exists.
This one is kind of conceptual, but bear with us. The package explains helpfully, "This generation is not just about girls! A unique chocolate that displays the spirit and latent energy of mature ladies" Sure. Whatever. Just don’t expect to see them on the Letterman show anytime soon.
3. 'What Are You Looking At' Chocolate
If this isn’t the single weirdest Valentine's chocolate gift ever, it certainly is on the short list. Still, what are you looking at? Chocolate???
2. Chocolate Squid with Soft-Shelled Turtle Extract
Ok, I’m going to try and keep my lunch down while writing this: here’s a traditional Japanese snack of dried squid made even nastier by chocolate coating and a dollop of turtle extract (the latter is nature’s own Viagra, or so they say…). If this doesn't make you a sex machine, maybe the following will...
1. Chocolate Poo
And they said romance was dead! Give the Valentine's Day gift that keeps on giving with this heartwarming plastic turd filled with mouth-watering chocolates. The description calls it a "good luck charm", so yeah, good luck! You'll probably need it!
Sunday seems a day as good as any to talk about BABYMETAL, so consider this: Originally formed in 2010, this 3-girl idol unit was conceived (possibly by demons) as a mix of innocent schoolgirl J-pop and devil-horns ready heavy metal. Or at least, that's what I think what's going on. The introductory video below raises more questions that it answers.
I can’t prove this in a court of law, but I am willing to bet that their name, BABYMETAL (ベビーメタル) is a play on the Japanese pronunciation of “heavy metal” (ヘヴィメタル). Also, they look really young, almost baby-ish, if you will, so there’s that…
With gimmicks like these, and a slogan to the tune of "welcome to the mosh pit of Chaos", it’s no wonder that the group has been steadily rising through the idol gauntlet in Japan, complete with stints at the Tokyo Idol Festival and on the hallowed grounds of Shinjuku Loft where many a hard metal act has rocked before.
Now, it’s your turn to be enchanted, bewitched, and possibly even sell your soul to BABYMETAL! Gaze upon their promotional video for their song Doki Doki☆Morning below, complete with conjuring circles and thrash guitar skeletons and wonder, "where is Japan going to go from here?"
Every now and then, a new VOCALOID video comes around that is destined to be the stuff of legend. The full CGI animated “Bacterial Contamination” clip goes one better by being the stuff of nightmares, too.
Featuring music by mathru@KanimisoP and creepy visuals by artist denio, the result is disturbing, mesmerizing, and frightfully marvelous.
Abandon all hope who enter here: The infamous KFC Double Down finally made its debut in Japan on Feb/2!
Atsushi Tamura as nature intended (left) and as history should remember him (right)
Comedian and TV personality Atsushi Tamura (best known for being one half of the London Boots duo) risked his life by becoming spokesperson for the product. Invoking the spirit of Colonel Sanders via cosplay was par for the course, as Atsushi donned the white suit, string tie, goatee and glasses familiar to billions of "finger lickin’ good" fried chicken lovers across the globe...
The question of our age: KFC or Pizza Hut?
At the media event for the Double Down, Atsushi was made “marketing manager” of KFC for two days (a role he has been fulfilling on Twitter) and, as part of the deal, got a big certificate from an important-looking guy in a suit.
Up next was a Col. Sanders cosplay costume open to the public. Contestants got a free Double Down just for showing up and then battled it out for the grand prize, perhaps the grandest prize of of all time...free chicken for a year!
Comedy group nibunnogo (above) next showed up in homemade Col. Sanders costumes. Admitting "Celebrities don't have any money, so…" the group showed off their pithy homemade costumes crafted from raincoats, tape, and T-shirts...
A Colonel shows off his homemade cane...among other things.
Some genius even filmed the entire KFC press event and uploaed it to YouTube (above) for future generations to marvel at. See if you can endure all one hour and forty seven minutes of it before you rush into the streets in a fright wig and white tights screaming for a Double Down to make everything all right again.
KIRIA personally wrote and composed the 11 tracks found on Noir Diadem. Describing her music is…difficult. Her songs contain touches of electro, classical, and goth, but none of these genres are occupied for very long. The only real constant is KIRIA’s voice, which scales to dizzying heights and delivers lyrics partially in Japanese and partially in a made-up language all her own. The result is an otherworldly atmosphere that KIRIA describes as "aesthetic, decadent, and fantastic."
You can view a video for her latest song, "A Queen's Dinner," below...
Ye shall also know: KIRIA is an anime fan as well, and what she sees and watches directly inspires her music.
Below, you’ll find KIRIA's Top Five favorite anime. In parentheses you’ll see the name of the song from her album, Noir Diadem, that were influenced by each work.
The protagonist Gintoki Sakata is habitually a mess and jokes around a lot. However, when it's crunch time, he'll make a snap decision that will move you to tears. The samurai spirit hidden within him is not spoken, but revealed through action—so cool. The very model of a samurai!
Ghost in the Shell (♪Perestroika)
The story and the world is it set in are both masterpieces. A saga of soul searching with the near future as the setting. Trembling on the edge of the gap between cyborg machine bodies and human emotion, it makes me question my own ghost. It can't be summed up in a word, but not seeing it would be a mistake.
Hell Girl (♪Mugen Houyou)
In a melancholic atmosphere, full of human fighting, resentment, and curses, every type of karma is reflected. The world of humans is…sad, and uncanny, painful. This anime depicts human reality.
I have a thing for Killua! This anime depicts several different human relationships, at times in a fun way, at times seriously. I've loved it for years. Even if I don't say anything about it, many people know this famous anime!
Black Butler (♪Shoubi Sousou Kyoku)
Beautifully, splendidly, and aesthetically, we are beckoned into a decadent world. A boy's past…A hatred that won't die…And then, a contract with a demon… It magnificently depicts the path of a boy who has sealed a beautifully dangerous contract.
Ah, Valentine’s Day, when a young man’s fancy turns to finding a creepy inhuman female android to swear love and devotion to… Or at least, that’s the basic idea behind a new promotion now taking place at the Takashimaya department store in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.
I'd hit it...but only with a baseball that would dunk it into a water tank.
Behold, sitting in a see-through prison with the words, "Android falls in love? She is waiting for you" written on it, Geminoid F: a mechanical marvel created by assorted Osaka University robot boffins.
Modeled after an actual flesh and blood woman in her early 20s, Geminoid F is equipped with a purse, a cell phone, and Terminator-caliber data sensors that gives her the ability to react to people around her with smiles and/or disinterested yawns...just like real women do when you bang on their glass cages with candy and flowers!
Anyway, here's a video of Geminoid F doing what she does best and melting the hearts of all before her.
Japan-watchers have long known that the Land of the Rising Sun has been having a bit of trouble in the bedroom. But now, the Huffington Post and the BBC have prepared new reports that quote some downright shocking figures: a third of Japanese youth have no interest in sex and relationships.
Wow. That's A LOT of disinterest!
Even worse, the Huffington Post quotes a new survey conducted by the Japan Family Planning Association which found that “36% of males aged 16 to 19 said that they had 'no interest' in or even 'despised' sex. That's almost a 19% increase since the survey was last conducted in 2008.”
“If that's not bad enough, The Wall Street Journal reports that a whopping 59% of female respondents aged 16 to 19 said they were uninterested in or averse to sex, a near 12% increase since 2008.”
Japanese girls: "uninterested in or averse to sex". Um, okay...
Numbers like that spell disaster for the future of Japan and it's rapidly-aging population. The big question: Who is going to take care of all the old people if a new generation of young people aren’t around to support and mop up after them?
The answer is: no one! Associated Press claims that the entire population of Japan will have been reduced by one-third by the year 2060, by which point 40 percent of everyone you meet there will be old, elderly, ancient.
Well, at least we have color now. Image via Japan Probe.
Now, let's play the blame game. The Huffington Post and other sources point the finger at weak men, AKA soushoku danshi("herbivore men"), who supposedly lack the rugged manly attributes of their hot blooded macho forefathers...but often have really nice hairdos and know great cafes. LOVE ISN'T EAASY, and many guys are now avoiding it because they don't want to play the game, it's troublesome, etc.
That guy who married his Love Plus virtual girlfriend. Virtual offspring not available for comment.
And...there’s no small amount of blame being placed on Japanese youth who spend “too much time engaged with technology, living in virtual worlds or settling fo virtual girlfriends rather than real ones." The media in Japan periodically loves to blame otaku for some such other offense, so why not people not getting it on?
Either way, here's a recent BBC video report based on the same findings. Watch it and weep for the future of Japan or just cuddle up to someone close to you and thank your lucky stars.
Behold, below, a very sad looking school lunch from Tokushima City, Japan. It looks like something you’d be given to eat as punishment after doing something very naughty, doesn’t it? We’re willing to bet that corn soup is lukewarm at best and the milk is room temperature. The final curb stomp is the is tiny junk food wiener placed next to an oversized bun as if to say, “Wouldn’t you like a big juicy hot dawg right about now?”
Now get a gander at a meal that a hardened Japanese criminal gets to savor like a king in his castle: five tasty items including grilled fish and barley rice with the emphasis on freshness and health. Hardly seems fair to innocent kids guilty of nothing except going to public school in Japan.
How can such mind-shattering unfairness be allowed exist in our fair world? According to Japan Probe, "It’s supposedly due to mismanagement of funds. The bread in the (school lunch) photo is made from rice flour, making it significantly more expensive than typical bread. It’s basically a subsidy for rice farmers. The leftover money is spent on very simple foods."
Try telling that to a grimy faced kid who will have to go to jail if he wants some decent chow.