Modern Hollywood movies get a 70's and 80's Japanese makeover with awesome retro film posters Talented fan takes John Wick, Pikachu, and Marvel heroes back to the golden era of Japanese poster graphic design. In our modern world, online trailers and video teasers are the way to drum up interest in a movie. But turn the calendar back to the 1970s or early ‘80s, before everyone had at least one Internet-capable device within arm’s reach at any given moment, and awesomely designed posters were the way to get people hyped. Making a good poster was a serious challenge. The designer had only a single piece of paper in which to establish the characters and atmosphere to get people interested enough to buy a ticket, and couldn’t rely on music or motion to help. And yet, the right artist could pull it off, like in this awesome looking poster for John Wick, showing Keanu Reeves standing tall in a display of old-school badassery. …except, wait a second. John Wick came out in 2014! Did some graphic designer from 1970s Japan travel four decades into the future, stick around just long enough to watch the movie, then go back to his own time and put this poster together? Nope, because you don’t need a time-traveling artist when the spirit of retro poster design lives on today in the heart of Japanese Twitter user Corned Beef Taro (@UMAI_ONIKU_TARO), whose hobby is making poster-style movie fan art.

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Japanese company invents a way to let us “drink” potato chips That’s the revolutionary new idea from Zyplus, a company headquartered in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture. Zyplus’ primary products are wellness items like wrist, knee, and ankle supporters, but the company also makes something called the Poterapper that lets you “drink” potato chips. At first glance, the Poterapper looks sort of like an adapter for hookng up your washing machine. It’s composed of three parts, top, middle, and bottom pieces, as shown above. Those three parts, though, plus a pair of scissors, are all you need to make the magic happen. First, cut off a corner of the bag and slide the bottom piece. Then place the middle piece over the bottom piece, with the bag’s material sandwiched between their contact patch, and screw the two pieces together. Finally, screw the top piece, which is a cap, onto the middle piece. And with that, you’ve now got a spout for your bag of chips! Now that you’ve got your equipment set up, the final step is to turn your chips into drinkable form by pressing and squeezing the bag to break them into smaller pieces that can easily flow through the spout. We suppose you could also toss the bag around the room or dropkick it, but you’ll want to be gentle enough that it doesn’t rip. By turning chips into a drink, Zyplus says you can avoid the unpleasant problems of potato chip grease, which is delicious to eat but unpleasant to look at, transferring from your fingers to your electronic devices and controls, or onto the fabric of your sofa or carpet (or your sheets; hey, we’re not here to judge you for eating chips in bed if that’s your thing). The company is quick to point out that as long as they come in a bag, Potrapper can also be used for non-potato-based snack foods, like popcorn, chocolate-covered rice puffs, or kakipi rice crackers. Cereal and granola are also often sold in bags in Japan, so in theory you could pour in some milk and drink your breakfast through the Poterapper. The Poterapper can be purchased through Amazon here for 858 yen (US$7.80).

86 views · Feb 28th, 2020

Vending Machine: Roasted Potatoes both hot and cold varieties Known as “yaki imo” in Japan, roasted potatoes are hearty treats that conjure up feelings of nostalgia and warmth for many. Much like an ice cream truck, the singsong call of the yaki imo trucks that slowly drive around neighbourhood streets are a familiar sound that many grew up with, and are sadly far fewer than they were back in the day. While they may not be as widely available on the back of vehicles now, the good news is they’re still conveniently sold at stores and festivals, and in the the cities of Hyuga and Nobeoka, in Miyazaki Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu, they’re available day and night at a number of specially marked vending machines. The display reveals a product lineup that consists of two varieties of sweet potato: the sticky beni haruka and the dense, moist annou imo. What was most surprising is the fact that there were temperature options for each, with the former available in hot or cold varieties, and the latter served up cold. 300 yen (US$2.69)

221 views · Feb 28th, 2020

Shibuya Station’s Limited-Time Unmanned Ramen Eatery This new technology comes into play on JR Shibuya Station’s very own outer circle Yamanote line platform (on the Ebisu end). Where the iconic instant cup noodle shop Donbareya once stood, a much more colorful booth is open (but only temporarily!). Ace Cook, Microsoft Japan, and iRobot Japan have teamed up to produce a slightly more futuristic instant cup noodle shop called Mocchicchi Station. This unmanned cup ramen shop is open from February 14-28, and our Japanese-language writer Mr. Sato was first in our team to size that opportunity. Basically: you pick; pay by VISA, Mastercard, or JCB; and then you make it! First, you buy a cup of ramen. Hidenori had a choice between wonton noodles or vegetable tanmen. When you touch the screen to select the type and number you want, the price will appear on the screen. Magic! Then, select a payment option. Score: in addition to credit cards, you can also pay using your IC train card! The total bill came to 212 yen (US$1.92) if you eat inside the cozy eatery. When the cup ramen comes out, you then pour in water using the hot water machine… The touch screen set at each booth features a timer that helps keep track of the noodles. If you looked at his booth arrangement clearly, you may have also noticed an image of a phone drawn into the counter. This is actually a contact phone charger; you can charge your smartphone just by setting it down on the indicated space on the counter (as long as it charges using Qi)! And then there was the mystery device lurking in an alcove under the touch screen…but we’ll get to that later. When done, the touch screen showed a new button: Start Cleaning. Its subtitle also reads “Please press this button before you leave the store.” Not ominous at all, right? When you push the button, a robot comes out! It turns out that it was actually iRobot Japan’s Braava jet m6, a quiet robot machine. It tidied up the counter without any effort. If you’re interested in going, then you’d better head over to Shibuya Station’s outer circle Yamanote platform (on the Ebisu side) before the end of February 28! It’s open everyday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

136 views · Feb 24th, 2020

More from Universe Japan

Japanese company invents a way to let us “drink” potato chips That’s the revolutionary new idea from Zyplus, a company headquartered in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture. Zyplus’ primary products are wellness items like wrist, knee, and ankle supporters, but the company also makes something called the Poterapper that lets you “drink” potato chips. At first glance, the Poterapper looks sort of like an adapter for hookng up your washing machine. It’s composed of three parts, top, middle, and bottom pieces, as shown above. Those three parts, though, plus a pair of scissors, are all you need to make the magic happen. First, cut off a corner of the bag and slide the bottom piece. Then place the middle piece over the bottom piece, with the bag’s material sandwiched between their contact patch, and screw the two pieces together. Finally, screw the top piece, which is a cap, onto the middle piece. And with that, you’ve now got a spout for your bag of chips! Now that you’ve got your equipment set up, the final step is to turn your chips into drinkable form by pressing and squeezing the bag to break them into smaller pieces that can easily flow through the spout. We suppose you could also toss the bag around the room or dropkick it, but you’ll want to be gentle enough that it doesn’t rip. By turning chips into a drink, Zyplus says you can avoid the unpleasant problems of potato chip grease, which is delicious to eat but unpleasant to look at, transferring from your fingers to your electronic devices and controls, or onto the fabric of your sofa or carpet (or your sheets; hey, we’re not here to judge you for eating chips in bed if that’s your thing). The company is quick to point out that as long as they come in a bag, Potrapper can also be used for non-potato-based snack foods, like popcorn, chocolate-covered rice puffs, or kakipi rice crackers. Cereal and granola are also often sold in bags in Japan, so in theory you could pour in some milk and drink your breakfast through the Poterapper. The Poterapper can be purchased through Amazon here for 858 yen (US$7.80).

86 views · Feb 28th, 2020

Vending Machine: Roasted Potatoes both hot and cold varieties Known as “yaki imo” in Japan, roasted potatoes are hearty treats that conjure up feelings of nostalgia and warmth for many. Much like an ice cream truck, the singsong call of the yaki imo trucks that slowly drive around neighbourhood streets are a familiar sound that many grew up with, and are sadly far fewer than they were back in the day. While they may not be as widely available on the back of vehicles now, the good news is they’re still conveniently sold at stores and festivals, and in the the cities of Hyuga and Nobeoka, in Miyazaki Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu, they’re available day and night at a number of specially marked vending machines. The display reveals a product lineup that consists of two varieties of sweet potato: the sticky beni haruka and the dense, moist annou imo. What was most surprising is the fact that there were temperature options for each, with the former available in hot or cold varieties, and the latter served up cold. 300 yen (US$2.69)

221 views · Feb 28th, 2020

Shibuya Station’s Limited-Time Unmanned Ramen Eatery This new technology comes into play on JR Shibuya Station’s very own outer circle Yamanote line platform (on the Ebisu end). Where the iconic instant cup noodle shop Donbareya once stood, a much more colorful booth is open (but only temporarily!). Ace Cook, Microsoft Japan, and iRobot Japan have teamed up to produce a slightly more futuristic instant cup noodle shop called Mocchicchi Station. This unmanned cup ramen shop is open from February 14-28, and our Japanese-language writer Mr. Sato was first in our team to size that opportunity. Basically: you pick; pay by VISA, Mastercard, or JCB; and then you make it! First, you buy a cup of ramen. Hidenori had a choice between wonton noodles or vegetable tanmen. When you touch the screen to select the type and number you want, the price will appear on the screen. Magic! Then, select a payment option. Score: in addition to credit cards, you can also pay using your IC train card! The total bill came to 212 yen (US$1.92) if you eat inside the cozy eatery. When the cup ramen comes out, you then pour in water using the hot water machine… The touch screen set at each booth features a timer that helps keep track of the noodles. If you looked at his booth arrangement clearly, you may have also noticed an image of a phone drawn into the counter. This is actually a contact phone charger; you can charge your smartphone just by setting it down on the indicated space on the counter (as long as it charges using Qi)! And then there was the mystery device lurking in an alcove under the touch screen…but we’ll get to that later. When done, the touch screen showed a new button: Start Cleaning. Its subtitle also reads “Please press this button before you leave the store.” Not ominous at all, right? When you push the button, a robot comes out! It turns out that it was actually iRobot Japan’s Braava jet m6, a quiet robot machine. It tidied up the counter without any effort. If you’re interested in going, then you’d better head over to Shibuya Station’s outer circle Yamanote platform (on the Ebisu side) before the end of February 28! It’s open everyday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

136 views · Feb 24th, 2020