Bravely Default's Surprising Japanese Idol Influences

For several weeks after its release, every game store I went to was sold out of Square Enix's 3DS game, Bravely Default: Flying Fairy. The game has proved to be a hit in Japan, thanks in part, indirectly, according to producer Tomoya Asano, to Japan's biggest pop idol group, AKB48. » 4/11/13 4:00am 4/11/13 4:00am

These Japanese Commercials Will Delight and Amuse You

The Wii U is out in North America, but Japan will have to wait until December to get the new Nintendo console. To build hype, Nintendo is now running commercials for the hardware. But that's not the only game in town. There are entire channels filled to the brim with wonderful Japanese commercials. Some of them are… » 11/21/12 7:30am 11/21/12 7:30am

Okay, This Candy Commercial Is Freaky. You Should Be Freaked Out.

Earlier this year, AKB48 » 8/24/12 5:30am 8/24/12 5:30am—Japan's biggest girl group—released a candy commercial that pretty much the entire country. This year, AKB48 is back with a new ad that won't gross everyone out. It'll freak them out instead. Progress!

This Isn't Kawaii. It's Disturbing.

There's this notion that "kawaii" (可愛い) or "cute" rules Japan. That's not entirely true. Everything isn't simply cute—and kawaii isn't the only game in town. There's also gurokawaii (グロカワイイ). This is the world of the grotesque and sadistic filtered through » 8/23/12 4:00am 8/23/12 4:00am kawaii. This is the world of Momoka Kinoshita.

Thieving Nerds Stole To Hang Out with Maids and See Idols

They were called the "Five Guys". Fitting, because there were five of them. They weren't just buddies. They were apparently criminals, who went on a crime spree that resulted in burglary and arson. And they were nerds.


The Five Guys wanted money, but apparently, not for drugs or booze. They wanted money so they could… » 4/27/12 4:01am 4/27/12 4:01am

Controversial Idol Commercial Leads to Complaints about Homosexuality

Japan's biggest girl group, AKB48, starred in a new series of candy ads » 4/23/12 4:01am 4/23/12 4:01am that aren't only raising eyebrows, but also ire. In the ads, the girls passed pieces of soft candy to each other via their mouths, making it look like they are kissing. The commercial has been getting complaints from parents concerned about kids…