PPAP singer gets slapped on the butt by an idol in video for his newest song, “Vegetable”【Video】

Pikotaro teams up with idol unit Momoiro Clover Z as he releases the companion song to “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen.”

It’s hard to imagine Pikotaro, the singer of “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen,” as being a man of subtlety or restraint in his absurdist musical stylings. In his newest song, though, the just-released “Vegetable,” it takes about 45 seconds for the full weirdness, and catchyiness, to kick in.

For his latest endeavor, Pikotaro (also known as Daimaou Kosaka) has teamed up with four-member idol unit Momoiro Clover Z (themselves well-known for their lavishly offbeat aesthetics and performances), who’re credited under the name Momoclo-chan Z. Pikotaro is billing “Vegetable” as the companion song to “PPAP,” saying “After apple and pineapples, the only place to go is vegetables,” and that half-formed rationale is really about as logical as things ever get.

The video opens with Piktotaro flanked by the color-coded members of Momoclo: Ayaka Sasaki and Kanako Momota standing to the left (from the camera’s perspective) and Shiori Tamai and Reni Takagi to the right. The music opens with the sounds of a funk-inspired base guitar, which then fades away so that we can hear the five vocalists serenade us with lyrics of “Tomato, tomato, petite tomato,” and “Potato, potato.” This is accompanied by labelled on-screen arrows, none of which actually point to the vegetables in question.

▼ This seems like a good time to point out that the song’s composition, arrangement, and lyrics were all handled by Pikotaro, who, while being a comedian/musician, is not a comedian/musician/horticulturist.

But just when it seems like “Vegetable” is going to be content to take things slow and easy, the singers crank the weirdness up at the 45-second mark as everyone but Tamai turns their backsides to the camera so that she can walk down the line giving them each a slap on the butt as they all chant “Pumpkin!” Pikotaro even gets a double-handed special, but we’re sure it’s strictly for professional showmanship, since he’s already married to a beautiful woman.

▼ Pumpkin? More like rumpkin.

After a musical review of tomatoes, potatoes, and pumpkins, the group mixes things up by throwing in “parsley.” Some may say that parsley doesn’t really count as a vegetable, but the Piko/Momo team makes a convincing argument by dropping their voices and octave or two and doing their intimidating parsley dance.

And just when you’re thinking that the song is going to go for nothing but laughs all the way through, at 1:33 in the video Pikotaro launches into an auto-tuned-style series of soulful cries of “Vegetable-o-o-o-o-o” that sounds just like the sort of thing you’d hear at a club that charges nine bucks for a bottle of domestic beer.

As the song comes to a close, Momota excitedly yells “Pineapple!” before Pikotaro corrects her, telling her that this song is supposed to be about vegetables. Sasaki then asks about peaches (the “momo” in “Momoiro” being the Japanese word for “peach”), and the video ends with about 15 seconds of solid gibberish, which is really the only fitting conclusion imaginable.

Source: Comic Natalie via Otakomu
Images: YouTube/公式ピコ太郎歌唱ビデオチャンネル -PIKOTARO OFFICIAL CHANNEL-

Starbucks Korea’s Year of the Dog puppy cupcakes look adorable, get stabbed in the face【Videos】

Videos show lunar New Year treats require a forceful stabbing that breaks hearts while making mouths water.

Here at SoraNews24, we like to think of ourselves as having access to the best that Starbucks has to offer, what with all of their tasty Japan-exclusive items that we can stroll down the street and sample whenever we feel like it. But this week, we’re feeling a little jealous of everyone who lives on the other side of the Korea Strait.

The lunar New Year started on Friday, and to celebrate the Year of the Dog, Starbucks branches in Korea have begun selling adorable puppy-themed cupcakes in two different flavors.

Starting things off is the Lucky Choco Puppy, with bits of chocolate mixed into its moist sponge cake.

Alternatively, the Lucky White Puppy is aimed at more sophisticated palates, featuring strawberry and cream flavors.

In both cases, the cupcakes are topped with cookies decorated to look like a softly smiling pooch. The desserts have quickly become social media darlings, with diners sharing snapshots online.

However, it turns out that those cookies are pretty crunchy. While that probably makes them satisfying to eat (and opens up the possibility of dunking them into your coffee), it also means that if you’re the kind of fancy person who wants to eat your cupcake with a fork, you’ll need to stab that puppy right in his smiling face, and pretty forcefully too, as these videos show.

Or, of course, you could just pick the cookie up and eat it separately by hand, although that means you won’t be getting cookie and cupcake in the same bite.

The Lucky Puppy Cupcakes are priced at 6,300 won (US$5.90). While Japan does like to decorate its New Year’s cards with Chinese Zodiac imagery, the country celebrates the solar New Year, not the lunar one, which means there are currently no plans to bring these treats to Starbucks’ Japanese branches, so we’ll just have to be thankful for the sakura donuts and cherry blossom chiffon cake the coffeehouse is giving us here.

Source, images: Starbucks press release
[ Read in Japanese ]

Japan’s newest virtual YouTuber boasts 17 years of idol experience, is only 12 years old【Videos】

Racks up more than 13,000 subscribers in three days after debut with her cheeky channel.

Popular Japanese virtual YouTuber, Kizuna Ai, may be the reigning virtual queen of quirky videos with her bubbly personality and existential A.I. crises, but her competitors are already working hard climbing the same gilded ladder to fame.

Enter Chiyu, a Japanese virtual idol who has been sporadically delivering news involving games, anime and manga since 2001. The website on which she provides amusing commentary lists her as 12 years old, and on Valentine’s Day this year, Chiyu has officially made the jump to the YouTuber profession.

▼ Her favorite hobby is playing mahjong, as evident from the large tile
hanging from her hair when she explains Weekly Shonen Jump‘s golden age.

Envious that Hatsune Miku and other virtual YouTubers have legions of devoted fans creating beautiful fan art and videos of the idols, Chiyu took matters into her own hands by becoming one of them instead.

Despite Chiyu having only seven videos in her channel at the time of this writing, the budding anime girl virtual YouTuber has already amassed more than 13,000 subscribers within three days after her debut.

For a seemingly innocent YouTuber, Chiyu’s channel debates startling topics like penile measurements, Showa-era pornographic books, or reviews of sex-filled B-grade movies, all narrated using speech synthesis software. So be forewarned, some of her videos are not things you’d want to be caught watching at work or in class.

▼ Although her other videos where she discusses topics like
big names in the anime industry are perfectly fine.

Hopefully she’ll trend away from the more racy topics and gain more fans and momentum as her website articles get turned into videos, a move Chiyu has been planning for some time now.

And as long as she avoids the disastrous pitfalls made by other anime girl virtual YouTubers, we’re pretty sure it’s only a matter of time before Chiyu joins the ranks of those she has admired for so long.

Source: Chiyu, YouTube/Virtual Net Idol Chiyu via IT media
Top image: YouTube/Virtual Net Idol Chiyu

Breasts into animals – Japanese sports bra video puts critters in bras strapped on men【Video】

Video about inertia and gravity garners baffled and mixed reactions.

As a country with a penchant for fashion and an unabashed love of breasts, Japan spends a lot of time thinking about cute and/or sexy lingerie. But while there’s definitely an aesthetic element to intimate apparel, the primary purpose of a bra is to support the wearer’s breasts, the importance of which is being driven home in a very unusual way in a new video.

The video opens with a women in a lab coat asking if we know the weight of a woman’s bust. She assumes we don’t, since the nature of videos means she can’t hear us, and thus begins a procession of otherwise topless mean wearing bras. But these are no ordinary bras, because their cups hold not breasts, but small animals.

According to the video, the breasts of a woman with an A-cup bust weigh as much as a pair of cockatoos. Other equivalents are Guinea pigs for B cups, hedgehogs for C cups, rabbits for D cups, and chickens for E cups.

With that explanation out of the way, the woman then asks us to consider what will happen to all that extra torso weight during vigorous exercise. So the men begin running, jumping rope, boxing, and playing tennis and volleyball. For each, slow-motion close-ups show the animals bouncing and swaying within the bra compartments as inertia wants them to stay in place as the men’s upper bodies twist and go through other sudden motions.

After examining a multi-dimensional representation of the cups’ movement and remarking on how extensive the jostling is, the researcher peels off her lab coat, revealing that she’s wearing an extra-supportive sports bra from Japanese lingerie-maker Wacoal.

The video definitely makes a dramatic point about the discomfort that women can experience from insufficient bra support. Some online commenters, though, are also concerned about how the animals in the ad felt. While the close-ups could mean there’s some sort of camera trickery going on here, if those are indeed real, live animals being bounced around like that, odds are they’re not too happy about it.

However, even if actual animals were used in the manner implied, Wacoal might be off the hook. The video doesn’t appear on the company’s website or official YouTube channel, and only attracted attention in Japan after a Twitter user shared screen captures and a link to the video on LiveLeak. There’s also the fact that while the woman in the video is speaking Japanese, and the large-font text that names the animals and sports is Japanese as well, the video’s hard subtitles are in Chinese.

As such, even though the video is touting the benefits of Wacoal’s sports bras, there’s a chance that it’s not actually a Wacoal advertisement, and is instead one of those outlandish concept videos that marketing firms sometimes create to show off their talents without actually being commissioned or endorsed by the company whose products are featured. If that’s the case, then as strange as the video is, Wacoal’s oddest marketing maneuver would still be the time they encouraged us all to buy panties for our moms, and the weirdest official breast weights the ones from this anime.

Sources: Twitter/@Kan_TORI, LiveLeak via Hachima Kiko
Top image: LiveLeak

Dragon Ball fans get first preview of Bulma’s new voice following voice actress’ death【Video】

Bulma’s back, but is her new voice here to stay?

Last month, we recently received the startling news that Dragon Ball Super, the newest anime installment of the massively popular Dragon Ball franchise, will be coming to a close in March. With so little time remaining, fans are clinging to every bit of new animated Dragon Ball content, and a recently released 30-second clip has their full attention.

However, the short sequence doesn’t give any clues as to how the current Universe Survival arc will conclude. As a matter of fact, it’s not even part of Dragon Ball Super, technically, but it still has fans picking up their ears, since it contains the first spoken words from character Bulma following the sudden death of her voice actress, Hiromi Tsuru, in November from aortic dissection while driving on the Tokyo expressway.

The video opens with Bulna’s extraterrestrial martial artist husband, Vegeta, marveling at his own power and stoically stating “I no longer have any adversaries who’re a match for me.” Bulma is quick to correct him with “Maybe outside the house, but we have an enemy called grime in the bathroom, so lend a hand!”

“What a filthy bath area,” Vegeta remarks after cutting to an interior shot. “What is this pink sludge, and this black stuff?” he asks, before shouting “I’ll blow it all away. FINAL FLASH!” and releasing a blinding blast of ki energy.

“Seriously?” Bulma chastises her hubby, less than pleased at the hole he’s put in their bathroom wall with his superpowered shenanigans. “For dirt and grime, use these!” she commands while exasperatedly handing him a pair of bottles containing real-life manufacturer Kao’s Magiclean bathroom cleaning products, with Dragon Ball artwork gracing the containers as part of a promotional tie-up between Kao and the anime franchise.

No credit is given for Bulma’s new voice actress, who keeps her performance similar to the standard Tsuru established voicing the character for almost three decades.

While it’s unclear if this is going to be Bulma’s permanent voice going forward, anime franchise’s generally strive for consistency in character portrayals, with the same actors and actresses handling a character’s voice across animation, video games, and other forms of media. It’s also worth noting that none of the Dragon Ball Magiclean packages feature illustrations of Bulma, so it’s not like the ad’s creators were forced to make a temporary voice casting decision because they had to include Bulma in the animated endorsement.

So it’s likely that this is how the character will sound from here on, and even though Dragon Ball Super is going off the air soon, the continued popularity of the franchise means that this definitely isn’t the last we’ve heard of Bulma’s new voice.

Source: Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@DB_super2015

New light-up keyboard makes it feel like you’re traversing space and time with every letter

It’s a mesmerizing light show with every tap of the keys!

The future of computer keyboard technology rests in the hands of Japan. This has been made obvious by recent products like the floating letter keyboard that looks like the letters are being set free as you type and the futuristic projection keyboard that somehow works with just lights on a flat surface. Now, a new keyboard, set to be released by Japanese electronics company HKW on April 5, has cool new light-up features that are guaranteed to either increase your productivity (because you want to see the pretty light show) or decrease your productivity (because you want to see the pretty light show).

Japanese Twitter user @SAMEX_1u2y posted a video of the keyboard in use, and we can’t stop watching it. Every time they push a key, lights shoot outward to the left and the right, making it feel like you’re flying through hyperspace on the Millennium Falcon.

▼ “Look at this useless feature!! So distracting!! But so fun!!!!!”

Okay, perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but at the very least it feels like a video game on your keyboard, which is pretty neat. Just watch as the lines of light shoot across the gadget! Imagine how cool (and distracting) it will look when you’re seriously typing something with both hands?

It’s not only entertaining, but functionally appealing too. It’s a mechanical keyboard, which means it’s likely quicker and more accurate to type with, and will probably last longer than your standard membrane keyboard. Plus, it’s got a typewriter like design, which feels satisfying to use, and makes a nice clicking noise!

Japanese netizens were also big fans:

“Where can I get it??”
“That’s damn cool!”
“I want this! hahaha But I can’t use it for work. My eyes will start hurting…”
“I want my school to install these keyboards hahaha”
“Oooooooooooooooooh….I want it!”
“This is too cool.”

This keyboard is not yet available for purchase, but you can pre-order it on Amazon Japan for 10,000 yen (US$93). Its LED light displays are customizable, allowing you to choose between nine different options, and to adjust the brightness and flashing speed of the illuminations. It boasts not only pretty lights and a satisfying typing click, but also a stylish facade, adjustable stand, and fade-resistant lettering.

The flashing lights are indeed mesmerizing and pretty, but we recommend not using this keyboard in the dark, lest we have another seizure epidemic like that one unfortunate Pokémon episode. Naturally, though, there are those who say the lights will hurt their eyes even in a well-lit room, and we can’t really fault them for that; for those readers, who might prefer a more down-to-earth feel to their office, we recommend the luxurious lawn-feel keyboard, instead.

Source, images: Twitter/@SAMEX_1u2y

Male idol dance group finds hidden stalker gadget inside stuffed animal present from fan

Discovery prompts immediate change to unit’s policy regarding fan gifts.

In Japan, there’s a bit of a stigma that surrounds male fans of female idol singers, which stems in no small part from a number of high-profile cases of guys becoming intensely possessive of or attracted to their favorite female performer. But female fans of male idols can be just as startling obsessive in their desire to create a connection of any kind, which brings us to Anatashia.

Since the members of Anatashia don’t sing, they’re technically not idol singers, but the six young men who make up the dance troupe are marketed in much the same way as vocalist idol units, with their choreographed routines, trendy fashions, and smooth-faced, non-threateningly handsome good looks being their major selling points.

▼ Anatashia

As with many popular musical entertainers in Japan, Anatashia’s fans sometimes send them gifts, including stuffed animals. But one plushie they received was more than just a vessel to convey the fan’s ardent affections, because it also contained a GPS tracker.

The group’s official Twitter account released a statement, saying:

Thank you all for the gifts you send us.

However, we’re sad to inform you that inside a stuffed animal we received the other day, there was what we believe to be a GPS signal emitting device.

As this is both malicious and dangerous, from now on we will be prohibiting fans from giving us stuffed animals. Thank you for your understanding.

The intent seems to have been that the stuffed animal would end up either at the group’s practice studio or in one of the member’s homes, giving the fan a way of determining the location in order to stalk or surprise Anatashia’s members. In reaction to the news, several more scrupulous fans said that whoever gave the GPS-hiding stuffed animal should be blacklisted from all future performances and fan events, but its unclear whether the gift was mailed to the group (in which case the mailing address could be determined, and perhaps from it the sender’s identity) or if it was simply dropped into the present collection boxes that are often set up at live appearances by idols and idol-like performers.

As scary as the incident is, though, this still isn’t the grossest tale we’ve heard of of idols receiving an unsolicited stuffed animal, so at least Anatashia can be grateful for that.

Source: Twitter/@antsa_official via Jin
Featured image: YouTube/アナタシア