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New virtual currency Otaku Coin easy to earn, changes the way fans influence anime

Posted: 10 Feb 2018 03:30 PM PST

Empowers fans of anime to further support and preserve the industry.

Virtual currency has gained foothold in Japan, and even virtual currency idols are starting to cash in on the trend of digital transactions.

Tokyo Otaku Mode is a company dealing in anime, manga, games and fashion, delivering Japan's subculture to the rest of the world via its online store. In an effort to connect fans to creators of Japanese content, they've designed a digital currency using blockchain technology that benefits both sides of the industry: Otaku Coin.

▼ Here's the promotional video of Otaku Coin.

As the situation stands, there is little fans can do to support their favorite anime outside of buying merchandise and purchasing DVDs. Otaku Coin aims to directly connect consumers to the talented teams who help shape the wonderful world of anime today.

By letting people back upcoming projects and even content creators themselves, Otaku Coin becomes more than just digits on a monitor; it skips the middleman and provides a personal approach to showing appreciation, interacting with producers, and supporting the livelihood of budding animators trying to survive in a harsh industry.

Helping these individuals also assists in the creation of anime-related goods by extension, such as games, music, manga and merchandise.

▼ It's kind of like Patreon, except that it's tailored
toward improving the anime community.

Earning Otaku Coin is easy, the activities required of which are already what fans regularly do: simply watching anime, sharing content, or writing reviews. The benefits it brings to the community as a whole, however, are tremendous.

▼ Fans can rest easy knowing just where their cryptocurrency is going to.

In return, fans can visit Japan and conduct purchases or participate in events using the digital currency without worrying about fluctuating exchange rates. The platform on which Otaku Coin runs will also provide quality content that may have flown under the radar due to all the attention on trending anime.

Otaku Coin will be launched in summer 2018, and thanks to its bold aim of preserving the anime world, it has already received the backing of several prominent figures in the industry including Palmer Luckey (Founder of Oculus Rift), Christopher Macdonald (CEO of Anime News Network), and even famous virtual YouTuber, Kizuna Ai.

With this new virtual currency, consumers of anime have even more reason to enjoy doing what they love, knowing that their regular activities can be funneled towards projects they want developed. Salaries are depressingly low in the anime industry, so helping to improve that might make a difference.

Source: Otaku Coin
Top image: Otaku Coin
Insert images: Pakutaso, Otaku Coin

Japanese high school teachers forcibly cut off hair that was “too long” from 44 students

Posted: 10 Feb 2018 05:00 AM PST

Because nothing promotes a healthy learning environment like traumatizing students with scissors in front of their peers.

We’ve seen before that some Japanese schools have gone overboard when it comes to making sure kids follow dress code, even going to far as to make one student dye her naturally-brown hair black to look like everyone else.

And now it seems that the hair-obsession is continuing. It has recently come to light that six teachers at Mizuhashi High School in Toyama Prefecture used scissors to cut the hair of 44 students that was deemed too long and against the school dress code.

▼ It probably looked something like this, except with more tears,
angry admonishings from the teacher, and silence from horrified classmates.

According to the school, the “hair cuts” began in April last year and continued up to last month. The school held a monthly “uniform check,” during which time students’ hair length was examined. Students with hair deemed longer than acceptable were warned, but if they did not get it cut outside of school, the teachers would become judge, jury and executioner and cut it themselves whenever they decided.

It’s unclear whether any of the teachers had haircut training, but we’re going to go on a limb and assume that giving the students a nice cut was not at the top of their priority list, simply slicing it to the mandated length was.

The school claims that they received permission from the students before cutting their hair, but something about that still feels wrong. What are you going to say to your teacher, someone who has authority over you, when they start coming at you with scissors?

▼ When your two choices are basically “let them have their way
with your hair” or “drop out,” it’s not much of a choice.

Principal Yasuhiro Nakada has made a statement, saying: “This is not something that should happen. From now on we will have management staff present during the uniform checks to ensure that it does not happen again.”

That makes it sound like he was unaware it was happening. But seeing as this has been going on for almost a year and involved 44 students, that’s hard to imagine.

Here’s how Japanese netizens reacted:

“Really? We’re still enforcing these old, pointless school rules?”
“Those six teachers are idiots. They should have their licenses revoked.”
“I mean, is that really the way to handle a kid who refuses to cut their hair?”
“I heard about this. Apparently the 44 students were both boys and girls. So horrible.”

While some Japanese schools have made great strides by allowing students to wear whichever gender uniform they’d like, others are still stuck in the past by forcing them to do after-school activities they have no interest in.

What will the future of Japanese schools hold? Hopefully more acceptance and less forced haircuts and forced hair-dyeing.

Source: Yahoo! News Japan via My Game News Flash
Top image: GAHAG
Insert images: GAHAG, PAKUTASO

Meg tries the new convenience store-exclusive Matcha Green Tea Steamed Bun【SoraNews24 taste test】

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 09:00 PM PST

One of Kyoto's best confectioners delivers a whole new way to enjoy green tea sweets.

Along with onigiri rice balls and bottles of green tea, steamed buns are one of the most popular items at Japanese convenience stores. During the colder half of the year, every branch of every chain has a steamer case set up next to the register, with meat buns and sweet bean buns waiting for anyone who wants a quick, hot snack.

But while you can get steamed buns at any chain, right now we'd recommend going to a Lawson branch, because that's where you'll find the brand-new matcha green tea bun.

In crafting this tempting treat, Lawson teamed up with Tsujiri, the confectioner from the Kyoto town of Uji, which produces the most highly prized matcha in all of Japan. Tsujiri has been consistently making us cry tears of joy with its delicious sweets, and this time the highly coveted taste-test duties went to SoraNews24's Japanese-language correspondent Meg, who'd just finished digesting Subway Japan's ridiculously large Giant Sub.

First up, though, was the smell test, and the Uji Matcha Bun gets full marks for its fragrant aroma of green tea and doughy outer layer. But Meg wasn't about to leave it sitting on her desk like an edible air freshener, and so after taking in a deep breath of its fragrance, she took a bite…and it was pretty much everything she could have hoped for.

Inside the bun is a core of anko, Japanese sweet bean paste, flavored with matcha. There's an elegant bitterness followed by a pleasantly strong sweetness, and the two contrasting flavors go together extremely well, with a clean finish free of any cloying sensation that had her immediately ready for another bite.

This is a fantastic hand-held matcha dessert, and entirely keeping with the high standards we've come to expect from Tusjiri. Even better, it doesn't come with the high cost we've come to expect, as unlike Tsujiri's ordinarily premium-priced offerings, the Uji Matcha Bun is just 140 yen (US$1.30), and in addition to being easy on the budget, it's easy on the waist, at just 181 calories. Wash it down with a cup of green tea-infused Kyoto coffee, and you've got yourself a fantastic after-dinner indulgence.

Photos ©SoraNews24