Chinese artist transforms herself into 2-D masterpieces with only the use of makeup【Video】

See the Mona Lisa and another Renaissance-era classics come to life…in vivid 2-D! 

China seems to be producing a number of talented makeup artists in recent years. From my own Chinese students with impeccably fashionable Instagram accounts who dream of someday owning makeup companies in New York City to the internet-based makeup celebrity artist with a penchant for blurring ethnic boundaries by turning herself into Western celebrities, there’s now another artist on our radar who seemingly transcends spacial dimensions.

The 27-year-old artist in question is known as Yuya Mika online. She already had a sizable following on social media platforms such as China’s Sina Weibo, mostly due to her well-crafted celebrity impersonations. On a recent day, one such fan noticed Yuya bore a resemblance to Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece the Mona Lisa (1503-06) and jokingly challenged her to transform into the painting…a request which she then followed through with all too happily. See her incredible artistic process captured in the following video.

▼ Yuya apparently began working at 10 a.m. and finished around 4 p.m. for this recreation of the Mona Lisa.

It’s almost eerie how she managed to so faithfully recreate little details in the painting, including the shadows surrounding her eyes and the small tilt of her mouth. In fact, if we didn’t know that Yuya was a living, breathing human being, we’d be completely spooked to see her eyes glance to the side as they do at the end!

Once she uploaded this video to YouTube, the rest was history. The incredibly positive global reaction prompted her to then upload a second video in which she transforms herself into another earlier da Vinci classic, Lady with an Ermine (1489-90):

We’ve got to hand it to Yuya–Mr. Sato could stand to learn a lot from her in regards to some of his own 2-D character transformations

Sources: YouTube/YUYA MIKA, Sina Weibo/@YUYAMIKA, Weibo (Chinese)
Featured image: YouTube/YUYA MIKA

And now, a special message to Japan from that angry German kid who smashed his keyboard in 2006

The one and only “Keyboard Crusher” is back, and hopes Japan will buy his new gangsta rap album.

Anyone who owned a computer in the mid-aughts ought to remember that young German boy who smashed his own keyboard in a fit of rage while playing Unreal Tournament. But just in case a decade of Chocolate Rain, Leave Britney Alone, and PPAP has eroded your hippocampus, here’s a refresher.

While funny, there is also a sad element to the video. This kind of notoriety at such a young age had to be hard to deal with, and it would be awful if it caused his life to go awry. Hopefully he had the right guidance and discipline to keep his head up this whole time.

If you thought so too, you’ll be pleased to hear that it turns out the boy in video is doing okay and has grown into a rather gigantic looking 26-year-old man. What’s more, he recently posted a special message for the people of Japan on his YouTube channel under the name Hercules Beatz.

While still asserting his prowess as the “Keyboard Crusher” Hercules showed a surprisingly calm demeanor while politely inviting Japanese people to enjoy his self-produced rap album and other videos on YouTube.

Now, you might wonder why Hercules is promoting his German language rap album by giving an English language message to the people of Japan. To answer that, let’s flashback to the year of our Lord two-thousand and seven.

The world was suspiciously optimistic when a plucky CEO by the name of Steve Jobs unveiled a shiny new gadget called the “iPhone,” and the second Alien vs. Predator movie was released, but was so dimly lit no one actually saw it.

And while much of the world had moved on from the angry German kid by this time, the video had just begun to permeate Japanese culture online via the video site Niconico Douga. Here he was given the name “Keyboard Crusher” and his voice was chopped up, harvested, and converted into a makeshift vocaloid (artificial singing voice) so that people could make songs with it.

▼ Keyboard Crusher “vocaloid” singing the theme to the children’s show Anpanman

▼ Keyboard Crusher singing the popular Hatsune Miku song Senbonzakura

So, Keyboard Crusher, aka Hercules Beatz, was actually showing some marketing savvy by reaching out to Japanese fans in his video message as they were the ones who probably kept his fame alive for the longest and perhaps sensed his latent musical talents more keenly than anyone else.

His message seems to have worked as well, judging by some of the comments left by Japanese viewers.

“Your childhood is very popular in Japan but I wish you will also be popular as an artist.”
“We are cheering for you!”
“I’m surprised Keyboard Crusher can speak English. I never understood when he spoke German in his videos but now I am happy he made such a message to Japanese people that I can understand.”
“The guy from that video I saw in junior high became hot…”
“Cool! You were very famous in Japan and now you have the power to become famous again! Good Luck!”
“I thought you were a really cute kid and now you have grown into a wonderful adult. I will keep supporting you.”
“You break keyboards and rap too?!”
“Actually you are more famous in China where we call you ’German boy’. It’s because in that famous video, some German sentences sounds like Chinese.”

It was a pretty strong outpouring of positivity all around, and a promising sign for the aspiring rap star. His album Killer Instinct will be released on 1 June through major online music services such as iTunes, Google, and Amazon. Here’s a track from it called “Daywalker.”

We wish Hercules Beatz much success in this endeavor, because it would be an amazing feat to behold for a German rapper to find success with a largely Asian following. But as Hercules has shown us, he’s not one to let anything – especially keyboards – stand in his way.

Source: YouTube/ Hercules Beatz, My Game News Flash

Top Image: YouTube/masato0120

Rain transforms Tokyo Disneyland into a kaleidoscope of breathtaking lights【Photos】

Don’t let the dreary weather dampen your day–your dreams will definitely still come true.

Everyone’s experienced the gut-wrenching disappointment of rain ruining their long-awaited vacation plans. While it might be easy to write off such a day as a failure, some recent photos snapped at Tokyo Disneyland prove that life always has a silver lining.

Twitter user @kah05disney, who happens to have an annual passport to the Tokyo Disney Resorts, visited Disneyland last week at night and happened to capture some of the most breathtaking scenery we’ve ever seen, all on her trusty Nikon D750.

▼ “Disneyland’s 35th anniversary celebration on a rainy day. The reflections in the puddles at my feet were exceedingly beautiful.”

The reflections of the buildings and lights on the wet ground make for a truly magical combination at the Magic Kingdom. In fact, dare we say that we hope it rains the next time we venture over?

It’s clear that @kah05disney has a penchant for both photography and Disney, as plenty of her photos illustrate:

▼ Both in the day…

▼ …and at night

▼ What a fun effect!

Incidentally, Tokyo Disneyland celebrated its 35th anniversary this year on April 15, which means visitors can enjoy a special anniversary celebration called “Happiest Celebration!” until March 25, 2019. Mark your calendars and don’t worry if the forecast predicts rain–you just might be in for a rare treat instead.

Source: Twitter/@kah05disney via ITmedia Inc.
Featured image: Twitter/@kah05disney

The one-year countdown officially begins for the end of the Heisei Era

Japan has just one year left with Emperor Akihito before his son ushers in a new era.

While a modern Japanese era typically ends with the death of the current emperor, it was announced late last year that 84-year-old Emperor Akihito would abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne on April 30, 2019 due to his advanced age and failing ability to perform ceremonial duties. His son, Crown Prince Naruhito, is slated to ascend to the throne the following day.

Heisei, which can be translated into English as “peace everywhere,” is the name for the current era which began in 1989 following the death of Akihito’s father Hirohito (posthumously known as Emperor Showa). The question of the upcoming era’s name has been on everyone’s minds since rumors of abdication began, and net users have even spawned some humorous propositions.

Japanese Twitter user @fhuohhjk recently created a handy Twitter countdown called “Heisei’s Time Limit” to count down the days left in the Heisei Era. He promises to submit a post each day with the remaining number of days, beginning faithfully on May 1:

Other Twitter users responded to the countdown with a variety of comments–some wistful, and some full of curiosity:

“What will the next era’s name become? To be honest I’m a little nervous.”

“Let’s use this last year to reflect upon the events of the Heisei Era.”

“My eldest son will participate in the last Coming of Age Ceremony of the Heisei Era…how sad.”

“I wonder if people from this era will soon be referred to as ‘Heisei people’ just like we do now with ‘Showa people.’”

“I was born in the last year of Showa/first year of Heisei [1989] and will now witness the start of a new era. I’m looking forward to seeing what it brings.”

You can follow @fhuohhjk on Twitter if you want to count down the remaining days of Heisei together.

Source: Jin
Top image: Wikipedia/Scanyaro

Japan goes crazy for “gaming eggs,” and here’s the super-easy recipe【SoraKitchen】

Here’re the simple secrets behind these mysterious eggs that video game fans and foodies alike have fallen in love with.

Ah, gaming eggs–those delectable, protein-packed ovals that everyone on Japanese Twitter has been buzzing about recently.

…Wait, come again? You say that the term “gaming egg” has your brains scrambled?

If the first thought that came to your mind was some type of item found within a video game (my first reaction was the eggs found in various Pokémon games), then guess again. Perhaps the following recipe by Twitter user @kagecchi79 will help to lessen some of your shell shock:

Gaming eggs

  1. Add eggs to boiling water. Gently roll them around in the water for 6 minutes so that the yolks gravitate towards the center. Cool them for 3 minutes in cold water. 
  2. Mix together and then bring to a boil…150 milliliters [5.1 ounces] of water, 100 milliliters of cooking sake, 4 tablespoons of hondashi [a granulated soup stock derived from bonito flakes], 2 tablespoons of granulated chicken soup base, 200 milliliters of soy sauce, 100 milliliters of mirin [sweet rice wine], 1 tablespoon of sugar, and one dollop of garlic paste. Peel the egg shells off and place the eggs in the marinade once it has cooled.   
  3. Play video games for 15 hours and then they’re finished.”

That’s right–gaming eggs weren’t inspired by any particular game. Rather, their key feature is that they are perfected while playing 15 straight hours of video games!

@Kagecchi79 went on to share some further gaming eggs cooking tips after his original post went viral (translations below):

“If it’s too much work or you don’t have the confidence, then just use men-tsuyu [Japanese sauce/broth for noodles]. I recommend the ‘Somi no Tsuyu’ brand. When marinating in the fridge, use an airtight container and place paper towels over the top.”

“If you don’t mind a light flavor, then eight hours is long enough. They’re really good on top of rice after waiting for 15 hours.”

“By the way, if you do marinate them for a long time, the outside of the eggs will become quite salty. In that case they’re better if you lightly boil them before eating, which is  good way to spend the minute between rank matching and the start of the actual match.”

Other Twitter users egg-citedly tried the recipe for themselves, and the finished product looks quite scrumptuous.

In fact, I was curious to see if gaming eggs lived up to the hype, so I decided to try making them myself with a few minor adjustments.

First, I assembled all of the ingredients together. Even if you don’t live in Japan, the soy sauce, cooking sake, mirin, and hondashi should be relatively easy to find at any Asian grocery store. Unbelievably, I realized I had run out of the easy-to-use granulated hondashi and only had actual bonito flakes on hand, so I improvised by making my own dashi stock from scratch (I’d like to think that my Japanese friends would do a facepalm yet be mildly impressed). I also didn’t have any garlic paste readily available so I minced some myself. By the way, I recommend using Ajinomoto’s “Maru Tori Gara Soup,” sold in a red packet, for the granulated chicken soup base if you can find it.

▼ Note: Ingredients are not measured to proportion. From left to right, clockwise: soy sauce, cooking sake, mirin, sugar, bonito flakes, granulated chicken soup base, garlic, and water

▼ For reference: What a box of hondashi typically looks like

Next, I combined all of the ingredients for the marinade together and then brought the mixture to a boil:

While that was cooling, I then boiled the eggs for six minutes while stirring constantly until they were soft-boiled.

▼ Subsequently cooling the eggs in cold water for 3 minutes

Then it was time to peel the shells off the eggs and let them begin soaking up the marinade in the fridge:

▼ Good night, eggs! Enjoy your bath and see you in 15 hours.

At this point, I have a confession to make: I didn’t follow the instructions egg-actly. Instead of hunkering down to game for 15 hours, I promptly jumped into bed and fell asleep because of an annoying thing called work in the morning. Oops…hopefully that didn’t affect their taste as gaming eggs…

After returning home the following day, I opened the container to find that the eggs had soaked up the marinade egg-traordinarily well and were ready for consumption.

▼ They were egg-cellent on their own or thrown into another dish. A bit salty, but packed with flavor.

Hopefully you aren’t completely egg-asperated by all of the egg puns at this point. If anyone has the resources to make a batch of gaming eggs while actually gaming for 15 hours straight, let us know how they turn out below!

Source: Twitter/@kagecchi79 (1, 2, 3, 4) via Jin
Hondashi box image: Amazon Japan/Ajinomoto
All other images ©SoraNews24

B’z guitar lost for 20 years found in 10 days using social media

They really should have thought of this sooner.

On 14 April, Japanese rock group B’z put out a call for anyone who might know the whereabouts of a pink Ernie Ball Music Man guitar with Skull crest which read “go no further” on it. This particular instrument had been used by guitarist Tak Matsumoto from 1995 to 1997 on tour and recordings.

However, while keeping it in a storage space, one day in ’97 it mysteriously vanished and all attempts to find it came up empty. Twenty years later, the band decided to give it one last shot using the power of social media to scour the globe in search of their long lost guitar.

The initial tweet and Facebook post got tens of thousands of likes and comments, and fans also submitted tips to the B’z official website directly. At the end of it all, on 24 April, just 10 days after the initial call for help, a photo emerged of Tak once again holding his beloved pink Ernie Ball guitar.

Of course, the million-dollar question is: What happened to the guitar? Well, first close your eyes and imagine the most logical answer to such a mystery…

That’s right! It turned up in the storage space of an instrument manufacturer! Even Matsumoto himself at some point probably envisioned the guitar being passed around from pawn shop to pawn shop by troubled genius musicians, or being rushed through the catacombs of Paris by smugglers along with other valuable works of art. But no…it was just sitting in storage under the watchful eyes of professionals this whole time.

The details to both how it was lost and found are somewhat vague, so we can’t rule out the possibility that it was where the B’z had originally put it all along. I’m guessing is was a Home Alone scenario where in the midst all the traveling and assorted equipment and Fuller wetting the bed, it just got lost in the shuffle.

Fans were relieved to hear the good news and sent their congratulations online.

“Good job!”
“About time it came back. Great to hear, congratulations!”
“It’s as if an unseen power returned it.”
“It’s a miracle! As a fan, I’m happy to hear it.”

It is certainly great news that the guitar was safely returned. Otherwise, Matsumoto would have had to make due with his dozens of other guitars, loads of money, and legions of adoring fans.

Yeah, he didn’t really need it, but you have to admit, it was great publicity for the B’z special 30th anniversary exhibit being held now in Yurakucho, Tokyo.

It also once again showed us what the massive connectivity of the internet is capable of.

So, I’m just going to put it out there that I lost a Wayne Gretzky 2nd year card back in ’91 which was last seen in my bedroom. The only lead I have is that my older sister told me, as she was counting a stack of tens, that she saw a man with a black cape say “robble robble” just before he jumped out a window.

Source: Facebook/B’z, IT Media, My Game News Flash
Featured image: Facebook/B’z

Fashion model Yutaro trolls online shoppers in funny April Fools’ Day cosmetics prank

If you guessed the prank is that the model in this picture is actually a man, he makes no secret about that, and the real trick is something else.

Meet 19-year-old Yutaro, affectionately dubbed the “Genderless Male.” Originally an employee for the Osaka-based second-hand clothing shop Santoni Bunnoichi, the androgynous model has drawn a lot of attention through social media and television appearances over the past couple of years. In fact, any Instragram post of his is sure to be met with a stream of women in the comments section bemoaning their complete and utter defeat to his charismatic looks.

▼ Japanese media have referred to him as “more female than any female.”

Instagram Photo

Therefore, it’s probably no surprise that Yutaro enjoys dabbling in women’s clothing from time to time, which he can of course pull off effortlessly. Compare his more traditionally masculine appearance with some of his feminine charm below.

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Finally onvinced of his ability to blur gender lines? Now get ready for his April Fools’ Day prank.

Earlier this month, Yutaro appeared in an online ad for a new line of Primavista foundation, from cosmetics company Sofina, in which he donned a cute bob-cut hairstyle and flawless skin. Anyone who didn’t immediately recognize him probably assumed he was a woman at first glance. However, the point of the prank was not to trick viewers about his gender. See if you can detect something fishy in his own Instagram post on the subject:

▼ “Everyone, listen up! I can’t believe it, but this time I, Yutaro, have been selected to be the main model for Kao Sofina’s Primavista brand! It’s for a new foundation nicknamed ‘Black Prima’ exclusively for crossdressing men. Search ‘Primavista’ for more details. More info will be out in a few days!”

Instagram Photo

…Did anything about that description cause you to do a double take? After having his fun, Yutaro posted a follow-up message with a small confession:

“Hi again! The label ‘exclusively for crossdressing men’ is actually an April Fools’ Day joke. However, this ‘Black Prisma’ foundation really is going to go on sale! I got to try it myself and its coverage is not that shiny so even men can use it comfortably. Today Primavista will start taking web pre-orders. It’s really not sticky and stays smooth all day long.”

Instagram Photo

Primavista also got in on the fun by apologizing for their little prank. They reiterated that the product really is set to go on sale on May 15 and that both men and women are sure to love its non-oily feel:

Instagram Photo

You heard it, men–Black Prisma is an inclusive foundation! Keep that in mind next time you need to cover up some blemishes.

If you’re a fan of Yutaro’s gender-bending looks, be sure to visit his official website and follow him on Instagram for his latest work.

Source: IT Media
Featured image: Instagram/@aaaoe_