Image of The Day: Sailor Moon Puppies!

Cosplay has been turning quite some heads lately. Just this week we showed you Japanese students who preferred intense cosplay outfits over graduation gowns. And don’t forget cosplay making it in mainstream media in Singapore with IKEA’s new online campaign.

As impressive as all that is, it doesn’t get the title of our all-time favorite cosplay. No, that title may actually go to these adorable puppies in hand-made cosplay outfits.

An instagram user named mayama_ya has an entire account dedicated to cute things that she makes. Lucky for us, her current interest has been these squeal-worthy cosplay outfits for her puppies.

The instagram account was only created early this month, but she has already gathered over 800 followers. So what’s so special about these outfits?

They are none other than Sailor Moon costumes.

Popular manga and animated series Sailor Moon is one of Japan’s most successful franchises. The English adaptations of both the manga and anime series became the first successful shōjo title in the United States. The franchise has not only stolen the hearts of Japan and the US, Sailor Moon has gained popularity worldwide.

It’s no wonder that these puppies are stealing hearts. Check them out below.

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The World’s Most Selfie-Obsessed City is in Asia

Philippines and Malaysia can pat themselves on the back. Both countries have earned two spots each on the list of top ten selfie-obsessed cities in the world.

We’re not 100% sure when the rise of selfies began. We’re positive some of the older social media sites like Friendster and MySpace have a thing or two to do about it. After all, the infamous “MySpace angles” began the obsession with utilizing angles and lighting to compliment one’s face.

But then selfies began to explode. With the rise in popularity of Facebook and Instagram, the selfie-trend started spreading. In fact, The Guardian recently tried to explain how selfies became a worldwide phenomenon. 

Many of you roll your eyes at selfies. I’m specifically pointing a finger at hipsters who say they’re too cool for selfies, the older generation who disagrees with anything millennials do and those who have become annoyed because “that one friend” has to post up a selfie every single day. Despite any negative emotions you may harbor about selfies, there is no denying that the world is still in love with them.

TIME magazine decided to find out just how much love we have for selfies and where this love was coming from. They investigated the geography of selfie-taking and created a list of top 100 selfiest cities in the world. As you may have expected, there are quite a few Asian cities on this list including the #1 selfie-crazed city.

1. Makati City and Pasig, Philippines
258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

2. Manhattan, N.Y.
202 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

3. Miami, Fla.
155 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

4. Anaheim and Santa Ana, Calif.
147 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

5. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
141 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

6. Tel Aviv, Israel
139 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

7. Manchester, England
114 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

8. Milan, Italy
108 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

9. Cebu City, Philippines
99 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

10. George Town, Malaysia
95 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

Check out the full list here. 

IKEA Takes Over A Cosplayer’s Bedroom

Just the other day, we showed you what happens when Japanese students have no dresscode for graduation: the best cosplay party ever.

Of course, Japan is not the only place where cosplay thrives. In Korea we’ve seen popular K-pop stars embrace their inner cosplayer and here in America, we’ve witnessed the intensity of cosplay branch out into weddings such as this World of Warcraft themed wedding.

As much as we enjoy this seeing people dressed up as our favorite characters, we simply can’t understand how much hard work it all takes unless we take up cosplay ourselves. For instance, who would’ve known that one of the biggest issues cosplayers have to deal with is space.

With all the intricate parts to some of these outfits, it’s no wonder that people end up without room to store everything. After all, many of these outfits are not just clothing. The outfits often come with a variety of accessories, weapons, pets, etc.

So IKEA decided to tackle this problem. IKEA Singapore’s latest online campaign brings cosplay into mainstream media by taking over a cosplayer’s room.

Only known by the name Frank, this cosplayer shows off his various outfits and points out how he has run out of room. IKEA comes to the rescue to prove how their furniture can be utilized. Check it out below in “IKEA bedroom Stories (Singapore) – Frank the Cosplayer.”

The Aswang: The Scariest of Filipino Folklore Featured in ‘Grimm’

Among the numerous monsters in Filipino folklore, the aswang is undoubtedly the most known and most feared of them all.

A ghoulish shape shifter that feeds on the unborn, the aswang is said to be a combination of vampires and werewolves. Although the creature is known to be a shape-shifter, they are often depicted as female with bloodshot eyes due to entire nights spent feeding on human bodies.

The most known tale associated with the aswang is the story of the creature hiding on a rooftop or near a window of a pregnant woman as she sleeps. The creature then releases its long proboscis (or tongue) to suck the unborn child out of the mother’s womb.

Disturbing? You bet.

This may be why Jim Kouf, executive producer of the American TV drama series Grimm, says that the aswang is the scariest creature that the show has ever featured.

True to his word, when the aswang made its appearance on an episode last week, audiences were surprised to see a monster even darker than Filipino folklore imagined– a bald, pale creature with sharp claws and skull-shaped face.

Despite the new and horrifying mental image, Filipinos are rejoicing. It is not too often that Filipino folklore is featured in mainstream media. This is all thanks to Filipino actor Reggie Valdez who plays the role of Sergeant Wu on Grimm.

“The creators are so wonderfully collaborative. They actually came to me and said, ‘Do you know any of – do you know any Filipino folklore?’” Lee said in an interview with Broadway World.com.

“And as you know, we believe these things in the Philippines,” he said. “I’m so grateful that the creators of Grimm decided to use my actual heritage to introduce my character to the ‘creature world.’ I mean, how often do we have a Filipino story line on mainstream television? It was probably one of the most fulfilling times I’ve had within my career both because of the connection to the Philippines and the tremendous amount of emotion involved. I am grateful!”

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Wong Fu Shines Light on “Accidental Racism”

Last year in May, a video called “What kind of Asian are you?” made its way into viral fame. With over 6 million views, this video portrayed something that many of us have had to experience.

In the video, an Asian woman is approached by a White male who comments on her perfect English and asks where she’s from. After telling him that she’s from San Diego, he responds, “Oh no. Where are you from?”

Truth be told, we’ve all probably gone through this. Admittedly, many of us aren’t actually bothered when someone inquires about our culture, but there’s definitely reason to be peeved with statements about English being “so good” even if English is a person’s first language. Let’s not even get into some of the obviously insulting statements that many of us have received such as “It’s great that you’re not like other Asians. You’re so American.” Right. Because that doesn’t sound like an insult at all.

 

While it’s easy for us to roll our eyes at some of the insensitive statements thrown at Asians, we have to remember that Asians and other people of color are certainly capable of making ignorant statements as well.

Wong Fu Productions has decided to highlight this with their new short “Accidental Racism.” The short is able to remind us of two things: everyone can work on being more culturally aware and sometimes, though they may need to work on the way they phrase their statements, some people are just genuinely curious about a culture.

 

Asians in Fashion: Liu Shishi for Harper’s Bazaar Hong Kong

Liu Shishi, also known by her English name Cecilia Liu, is a popular Chinese actress and ballerina. Before the 27-year-old began her acting career, Shishi’s heart was taken by dance. She was trained in ballet at the Beijing Dance Academy. It wasn’t until 2005 that Shishi made her acting debut on the television drama series called The Moon and the Wind. 

After multiple roles described as the “gentle, kind, and understanding maiden,” Shishi took a different route with her acting career by taking on more mature roles.

In 2011, she starred in two successful dramas The Vigilantes In Masks and  Scarlet Heart which earned her the “Magnolia Award” for the most popular actress. She recently filmed a sequel to Scarlet Heart which is expected to air sometime this year.

Going along with her transition to more mature roles, Liu Shishi dazzles us with her sophisticated fashion shoot for Harper’s Bazaar Hong Kong. Clearly comfortable with her mature and sexy demeanor, Shishi commands attention with her photos.

Check them out below.

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You Won’t Believe This Youthful Woman is a Grandmother

There is a saying about Asian women that I’m sure we’ve all heard before: Asian women look so young.  Many of us walk into an R-rated movie in our mid-20′s and are prepared to get our IDs checked and we can’t even think about going to a bar without the bartender giving an us an “are you sure you’re old enough?” look. There was even a hilarious comic created to show the average Asian aging process.

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Despite all this, there are still some Asian woman who can impress us with their unbelievable youth. One example is this Japanese woman shown with her two daughters AND grandchildren. The 42-year-old grandmother is circled in the following picture because many people are unable to identify which woman is the oldest.

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Kazuko Inoue, who was crowned winner of the Kansai Bimajo beauty pageant last year, was married at 19 and had her first daughter the same year. Additionally, both of her daughters also married young which accounted for Inoue’s young age. Despite this, there is no denying that Inoue has maintained her youth magnificently.

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Viral Video Alert: How Languages Sound to Foreigners

When we don’t understand a language, our minds naturally focus on things outside of comprehension. We focus on how the dialect sounds. We notice the accents, the tongue rolling, the dips and the particular pronunciations. You may only speak a few languages, but you’d be surprised to discover how many you recognize based on sound.

Similarly, I’m sure we’ve all wondered how our own dialect sounds like to a foreign ear. Is it pretty? Do our words sound beautifully slurred together or do they rise and dip in an intriguing manner?

Well this Finnish woman has certainly thought about it and seems determined to master the art of various accents.. without actually learning different languages.

19-year-old Finnish YouTube user Sara is seen in this video spending nearly two minutes speaking absolute gibberish. She may not know many languages, but she certainly sounds like she does.

Throughout the video, Sara mimics what various languages sound like to her. While she may throw in a few correct words here and there, she clearly does not know how to actually speak the languages. She reminds us that correct speech is not the purpose of her video anyway. She simply wants to demonstrate how different languages sound like to the foreign ear.

During her demonstration of an American accent, she says “Yeah, I mean, uh. Trevor-mis-underpairing-like-monin-fair. Follow me, like a pending friend-tricket. Balone-a-value precise-y. Hello?”

Clearly, she only knows a few words in English, but her ability to capture the accent is undeniable.

She also does a version of Japanese. Unfortunately, many viewers have said this is her weakest accent. Additionally, she ends the video with an “East Asian” demonstration that sounds closer to South Asia’s Vietnamese accent.

Of course, we understand that what we hear is simply a demonstration of how languages sounds like to her. This doesn’t seem to stop people from putting in their two cents. While the majority of viewers are impressed by her skills, there have been some people who are insulted that their language was not perfected and is shown in this manner.

Whatever the opinions may be, there is no denying this video is going viral. Less than a week since its release, the video has already gained nearly 4 million views on YouTube.

 

What Happens When Japanese Students Have No Dresscode For Graduation?

Graduation in the U.S. is quite different from culminating ceremonies in Japan. While we generally imagine shiny graduation gowns and square-shaped caps, Japan doesn’t typically require such an outfit. Instead, junior and highschool students wear matching uniforms while college graduates wear formal clothing. This usually means men in suits and women in kimonos.

But the Kanazawa College of Art is not like other colleges. Graduates are apparently allowed to wear absolutely whatever they would like. So what happens when Japanese students have no dresscode for graduation?

Some of the best cosplay ever.

Of course, all the efforts put into their graduation costume has gained quite some popularity for the school and has gotten media attention.

Check out some of the creative graduation costumes below.

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Tearjerker Alert: Parents Receive Letter From Their Daughter Three Years After Her Death

The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, otherwise known as the Great East Japan Earthquake, left Japan shattered in 2011. With a magnitude of 9.0, this earthquake is the most powerful recorded earthquake to ever have hit Japan.

According to the National Police Agency, there were 15,884 deaths, 6,147 people injured, 2,636 people missing, 127,290 buildings totally collapsed, 272,788 buildings ‘half collapsed’ and 747,989 buildings partially damaged.

Among those who died in this tragic earthquake was the daughter of a 59 year-old father and a 51 year-old mother.

Although the identity of this family remains hidden, Kotaku reports, “The daughter graduated high school in 2003 and got a job as a bus guide in Kyoto. After that, she returned to her hometown of Otsuchi and got part-time work. It was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami. The daughter was in Otsuchi town hall, which was swallowed by the tsunami. She was never found.”

The parents were left grief-stricken and the father reportedly stopped caring whether or not he lived or died.

Suddenly, three years after the death of their daughter, the parents received a letter from her.

“Mom and Dad, by the time you get this letter, perhaps you’ll have a grandchild?” the daughter wrote. “I think I’ll be married with a child, but what if I’m all alone?”

The parents quickly wondered if their daughter was still alive. After all, her body had never been found. Instead, they discovered that she wrote the letter ten years ago on January 10, 2004. She had used a service called “Heartful Letter” which will hold your letter and deliver it ten years later.

“Dad and Mom, you have taken so, so much care of me,” she wrote, “From now on, I will take care of the both of you.”

The touching letter was enough to pull the couple out of their grief. They have decided to live of happiness that would make their daughter proud.