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Muscle idol’s amazing Chun-Li photos shows gym is as important as sewing table for cosplay【Pics】

Hardcore cosplayers make their own costumes, and for Reika Saiki, that includes building her body to get Chun-Li’s thighs.

With so many popular female characters from anime and video games being on the busty side, the cosplay community has come up with some clever solutions for simulating a larger chest, such as shapely cloth breastplates to be worn under the costume itself. However, no amount of bust-enhancing trickery can help you if you’re cosplaying as Street Fighter’s Chun-Li, a character whose defining physical characteristic is her extremely muscular thighs.

As these photos show, if you’re going to pull off an authentic Chun-Li cosplay, there are no shortcuts you can take by putting something inside your costume. Instead, you’ve got to put yourself in the gym, like Japan’s “muscle idol” Reika Saiki, and never, ever skip leg day.

Dressed in Chun-Li’s iconic blue fighting dress, Saiki shows off her powerful quads, following up on previous showcases of her well-muscled arms, back, and abs. Nitpickers might criticize her bracelets for not matching the spiked version the character sports in-game, but others will wisely choose to keep such complaints to themselves, since it looks like Saiki could kick any killjoys through a wall should they do anything to make her lose her smile.

What’s more, look closely and you’ll see that since she didn’t have any spiked bracelets handy for the photo shoot, Saiki instead has a one-kilogram (2.2-pound) weight strapped to each of her wrists, which means that even while she’s cosplaying she’s still working out.

Which, honestly, is totally appropriate for someone who’s cosplaying as a character who’s win quote is “I’m the strongest woman in the world.”

Source: Twitter/@saikireika via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Twitter/@saikireika


Japanese company develops matcha paste that retains more health benefits than a cup of green tea

The next new trend for gourmets is green tea pastes, in four differently coloured tea varieties.

In Japan, no idea is too out of the ordinary to work in the local market, with customers eager to purchase new products and try new experiences at any time of the year. And when it comes to Japanese green tea, which has been used in everything from drinks to sweets and even savoury items, one company is banking on this customer curiosity to help transform the way we consume the healthy ingredient.

Called “Nihoncha no Nama An” (Japanese Tea Fresh Bean Paste), the unusual new product has been developed by Shizuoka-based Cha2tei, a company that specialises in tea, known in Japan as “ocha”. As Japan’s largest producer of green tea, Shizuoka Prefecture is at the forefront of new ideas to help keep the ocha market stimulated, and Cha2tei’s “Delicious Nippon Tea Laboratory” has come up with the next new trend for gourmets: pure green tea paste.

The paste they’ve developed is unlike anything ever seen on the market before, as it’s made from nothing but whole green tea leaves, with the addition of nutritional yeast and vitamins to help enhance its health benefits. The special processing technology used to create the paste allows it to retain 100 percent of the nutritional components of the tea leaves, making it potentially more beneficial to consume the paste rather than the tea itself.

▼ Cha2tei says that only about 30 percent of the leave’s nutrients are consumed in a cup of tea. Most of the nutritional components remain in the tea leaves and are usually discarded.

When using the paste, you’re essentially consuming whole green tea leaves, which are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. It’s also incredibly versatile, as it’s been designed to retain its vivid colour even when heated, and being soluble means it’s easy to mix it in with a variety of dishes when baking or cooking.

Cha2tei says the paste is compatible with a wide number of recipes.

They highly recommend mixing it with water and adding it to rice for a healthy pot of green goodness.

The paste is available in a number of tea varieties: Sencha (fresh green tea), Matcha (powdered green tea), Hojicha (roasted green tea), and Japanese Kocha (western-style brown tea). Marketed respectively as “Balance“, due to its vitamin content, “Power“, due to its strength in holding up its depth of colour when baking, “Care“, thanks to its low caffeine content, and “Reset“, for its polyphenols and anti-ageing properties, all the pastes in the series are made with different blends of Shizuoka-grown tea.

They’re currently being sold in plain packaging for home use, or a fancier, patterned packaging for gift-giving.

There’s no end to the variety of possible uses for this new collection of natural tea pastes, and the company is helping customers out with ideas by publishing creative recipe ideas on their blog on a daily basis.

Recipe suggestions include: sencha genovese pasta sauce, hojicha bruschetta, and banana matcha shakes.

The Nihoncha no Nama An tea pastes can be purchased from the Delicious Nippon Tea Laboratory’s online store, where they’re being sold in 100-gram (3.5-ounce) packs for 1,000 yen (US$9.18). If you prefer a sweeter, less healthy tea-flavoured paste, though, Japan has that too, with the matcha green tea cream spread for your toast and sandwiches.

Source, images: PR Times


J-pop megastar Utada Hikaru announces first concert tour in 12 years

After a dozen years waiting, fans have a chance to see the Kingdom Hearts/Evangelion singer live, plus a way to boost their odds of getting tickets.

Following her major debut in 1998, Utada Hikaru quickly became one of the biggest stars in the world of Japanese pop music. But while many Japanese recording artists continue to churn out similar-sounding albums at a brisk clip until audiences tire of them, Utada took a different path.

Utilizing her multilingual capabilities, she recorded albums in English for international release, lived overseas, and took her time feeding the J-pop machine, waiting eight years between the release of Japanese-language albums Heart Station in 2008 and Fantôme in 2016. Now, the singer who’s perhaps best-known abroad for her theme song performances for the Kingdom Hearts and Evangelion anime and video game franchises has surprised fans by announcing that after a 12 year break, she’s going on tour again later this year.

▼ Utada’s “Play a Love Song”

Utada’s last tour, “Utada United 2006,” featured 22 performances in 11 Japanese cities. The current venue list for her upcoming, as-yet untitled tour is smaller, consists of:

● Kanagawa Prefecture: Yokohama Arena (November 6, 7)
● Fukuoka Prefecture: Fukuoka Marine Messe (November 14, 15)
● Aichi Prefecture: Nihon Gaishi Hall (November 22, 23)
● Osaka: Osaka Castle Hall (November 28)
● Saitama Prefecture: Saitama Super Arena (December 4, 5)
● Chiba Prefecture: Makuhari Messe (December 8, 9)

Ticket pricing and availability are yet to be disclosed, but given the 12-years of pent-up demand, odds are they’ll be snapped up immediately regardless of cost. If you’re looking for an inside track, though, Epic Records, Utada’s current label, has also announced that she’ll be releasing a new album on June 27, titled Hatsukoi. The album will contain not only a dozen songs but also an entry form to apply for ticket purchase rights ahead of their general on-sale date, which would also give you four months or so to practice singing along to the new songs for when you attend the concert.

Source: M-On! Press via Otakomu
Top image: YouTube/サントリー公式チャンネル (SUNTORY)




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Man pretending to be idol singer producer arrested on charge of kidnapping 14-year-old Tokyo girl

Told junior high student who wanted to run away he’d pick her up, and also “Bring your school uniform.”

On April 1, a junior high school student living in Tokyo posted on an Internet message board that she wanted to run away from home. She received a response from a 38-year-old man named Takahiro Akashi, who told her that he was a producer for idol singers.

“There are other girls who feel the same way you do,” Akashi told the 14-year-old girl. “If you don’t like you home, I’ll  come and get you,” he then told her, adding that she should make sure to bring her school uniform with her. He then met her at a local train station, where she got in his car and he drove her to a house in Niigata Prefecture.

When the girl’s parents noticed she was missing from their home, they filed a missing person report, and police investigators began scouring security camera footage, from which they were able to identify Akashi. On April 3, he drove the girl to the parking lot of a convenience store in Tokyo, where they parted ways. While at the house in Niigata, Akashi had the girl cook for him, but there are currently no allegations against him of physical or sexual assault.

Nevertheless, taking a 14-year-old away from family for a few days is still a criminal offense. On April 21, Akashi was spotted in the Tokyo neighborhood of Akihabara, this time in the company of a 19-year-old female (who, under Japanese law, is also a minor). He was placed under arrest on kidnapping charges, which he admitted to during questioning.

“I thought I’d support people who wanted to become idols,” Akashi told investigators, though it’s unclear how having the 14-year-old girl cook a couple of meals was supposed to set her on the path to stardom. There’s also the fact that his story about being an idol producer turned out to be a sham, as he has no set profession or even a fixed address, as the authorities are insinuating that he’s not the owner of the house he took the girl to in Niigata.

Getting scouted on the street by a talent agent has long been a daydream among Japanese youths who want to make it big in show business, and in the modern era being discovered online is a common variant aspiration. Still, this incident serves as a reminder that with so many legitimate talent agencies in Japan, you should take the claims of random individuals claiming to be scouts with a large grain of salt.

Sources: Yahoo! Japan News/Sankei Shimbun via Hachima Kiko. TBS News
Top image: Pakutaso