Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around

Kristina Pino

food skills photo
food skills

You wish you had these cucumber skills

Not a euphenism
Sep 16
// Kristina Pino
One of the foods that I never ate before moving to Japan that I now eat daily is cucumber. Japanese cucumbers are delicious, and I especially like working some insta-pickling on 'em and enjoying them on the side with a meal....
snack video photo
Seriously, what
I just had to try these when I saw them at the store. I've never seen (or noticed) there were flavors besides cheese for Ritz Bits Sandwiches, and lately I've had trouble finding mango juice in my area, so I figured maybe a mango-flavored snack would satisfy my craving. As I type this, I've got the bag open next to me and the smell is kind of making me queasy. It's that strong.

puns puns puns photo
puns puns puns

These are the Japanese pun stickers you've always wanted

I love puns
Jul 09
// Kristina Pino
I'm delighted that I can share these delightful stickers with a wider, appreciative audience. MIS0HAPPY has this Store Envy shop loaded with stickers depicting my preferred form of humor: puns. Just look at the pictures becau...
Ken Watanabe photo
Ken Watanabe

Ken Watanabe is headed to Broadway

As the King of Siam
Jul 03
// Kristina Pino
Today, in news that has me grinning ear to ear, I found out that Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Memoirs of a Geisha, Godzilla [2014]) is going to play the King in a production of Rodgers and Hammerstien's The King and I on ...

Perfume photo

Check out a short version of the Cling Cling MV by Perfume

I want to eat whatever they're having
Jul 02
// Kristina Pino
Following up on my previous post about Perfume's new single, here's a look at the "short version" of the Cling Cling music video! As expected, I love what I can hear and see of it in this clip. Those gals are such superstars...
Sailor Moon photo
Sailor Moon

Watch and talk about the new Sailor Moon transformation sequence here

I don't even know
Jul 02
// Kristina Pino
Alright, so if you haven't seen the thing already, check it out right above. The video has a nifty before and after thing going on followed by a side-by-side look at the transformation sequence we had before and the one we'r...
Arcade Arms photo
Arcade Arms

See a real life Hero's Bow in action

Nika Harper goes for the gold
Jun 26
// Kristina Pino
The awesome Nika Harper, host of Arcade Arms, recently set her sights on the Hero's Bow from the Legend of Zelda games. Similar to Man at Arms, which is all about making awesome weapons from all manner of popular properties,...

Let's run down Final Fantasy XIV: Defenders of Eorzea!

Jun 25 // Kristina Pino
  Face Ramuh (AAAAHH!) New Dungeon: Hullbreaker Isle (and a huge sea monster?) Hard Mode introduced for the Tam-Tara Deepcroft and The Stone Vigil (creepy flying face thing is creepy, yo) Chocobo Raising! (it's about dang time, I say) New synthesis recipes as well as the introduction of de-synthesis (variety is the spice of life. Also, recipes will yield accessories over item level 70.) Defenders of Eorzea main scenario quests (I'm actually super excited for this, because I just finished fighting Garuda in the first set of quests literally yesterday) New detective work side quests with Hildibrand (looks silly as hell) Delivery Moogle Quests (basically you deliver letters to NPCs) Hunts (omg yay) Private Chambers (finally, your very own space, not limited to a shared company house) Frontline (new PvP stuff for folks who are into that) Face new enemies in Syrcus Tower (Scylla, Amon, and Xande. Can we talk about how there's a friggen ~5-headed wolfman in there? Also, item level 100 rewards.) In patch 2.35 (I know, a little ahead here), Ixtali Beast Tribe quests will be added That seems to be the extent of it, for now. There's still some stuff we'll have to wait on, such as more info on Hunts, but overall things are looking great. I'm actually pretty excited about Ramuh - when I learned he wasn't going to be part of the main scenario quests because he wasn't considered an immediate threat despite his primal status, I hoped that maybe later on something would eventually make it so we'd have to interact with him. It may be that any battle against him won't be because he's after destruction, but perhaps testing/teaching. Or not. More on that later? Frontline is going to be accessible to all, including folks who are new to PvP, so don't fret if you want to skip the current options and just try out the new stuff. The possibilities are very exciting, as it's currently being stress tested for a battle of 24 vs 24 vs 24 (total of 72 players in one fight). Battle length is slated to be 30 minutes, and the only requirement is that you're level 50. There'll be an item level restriction as well, but a number hasn't been decided on at this time. Chocobo Raising is going to be possible for anyone with access to a Free Company estate (by adding the proper furnishing), but later on it'll be accessible to all via Chocobo Porters in the three main cities. When patch 2.35 is released, you'll be able to change your chocobo's feather color as well. This is probably the more immediately relevant point that was revealed about the Private Housing: You'll have to be part of a free company, the free company must have a house, and your Grand Company rank has to be second lieutenant or above. Once you've fulfilled these requirements you can create a private chamber by paying 300,000 gil, but this price is still undergoing final adjustments. I believe most players already have 300,000 gil, but if you don't it shouldn't be a hard amount to come by if you start saving right now. Another exciting point for those of us who love the Final Fantasy series as a whole and like seeing games reference each other: In the Hildibrand quest for patch 2.3 someone everyone is familiar with will make an appearance but it will be different than the Gilgamesh twist. We'd like to create stories with guest appearances that fit the FFXIV: ARR lore, and once they're ready I'll be sure to share more details. By the way, did you know that Hildibrand is on Twitter? I think that's about all of the highlights I've got for now. Defenders of Eorzea is slated for release on Tuesday, July 8th, which is basically right around the corner. Additional information beyond the list above was gleaned from this week's Letter From the Producer LIVE Q&A. You can also access the Defenders of Eorzea main website here.
FFXIV photo
Everything you need to know is here, I think
A long and impressive trailer was just released for the upcoming 2.3 patch for Final Fantasy XIV titled Defenders of Eorzea, which will bring a whole new set of main scenario quests, dungeons, skills, activities, and more to...

Sailor Moon photo
Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon hits IT'S DEMO in July

In the name of the moon, I'll hold on to your makeup brushes!
Jun 23
// Kristina Pino
A recent announcement reveals that fashion and accessory boutique IT'S DEMO is going to be collaborating with Sailor Moon. It all starts in July, when they'll be selling little pouches, tote bags, mirrors, pass cases, and mor...
Perfume photo

Check out a teaser for Perfume's upcoming single Cling Cling

Late to the party
Jun 23
// Kristina Pino
We're a little late in catching this, but a couple weeks ago Perfume released a little teaser and some images to go with their upcoming single, Cling Cling. As usual, the girls look absolutely fabulous, and I'm probably going to love this release just like I love pretty much all of their songs. Cling Cling will be released July 16th in two editions.
World Cup photo
Eat your way through the games
The World Cup fever is in full swing, so I figured it was about time I highlighted some of the stuff Japan has been producing to celebrate. Sure, you can head on to the mall and grab a hat, jersey, or stuffed Pikachu to show...

Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Colossal Titan now terrorizing various landmarks around Japan

The chibiest of Colossal Titans
Jun 18
// Kristina Pino
Most tourist attractions and gift shops in Japan aren't complete without a huge selection of various cute phone straps and keychains you can buy as a memento. You can find them with Hello Kitty, Stitch, One Piece characters, ...
Princess Water photo
Princess Water

Drink a tall glass of your favorite Disney princess

Bourbon water nails it
Jun 17
// Kristina Pino
Entabe reports that Bourbon brand drinking water is now going to come in bottles with Disney Princess designs on its labels. The designs themselves are rather pretty: fashion designer-looking artwork with pastel watercolor wa...
Mister Donut photo
Japan's version of a cronut emerges
With my return to Japanator comes the return of videos in which you get to watch me eat stuff from Japan with more regularity. My first entry in this new era of food videos features an inspired dish, the Mr Croissant Donut, ...

Junjou Romantica photo
Junjou Romantica

Junjou Romantica getting a DVD Litebox re-release

Love lives!
Jun 12
// Kristina Pino
Shungiku Nakamura's Junjou Romantica remains a relevant title for overseas fans these days, it seems, because Nozomi Entertainment announced they'll be re-releasing the entire first season this September in one 3-disc package...
Perfect Square manga photo
Perfect Square manga

Perfect Square launches limited time digital manga sale

Cheap manga is the best manga
Feb 20
// Kristina Pino
Take advantage of a sale on digital manga being offered by VIZ Media's all-ages imprint Perfect Square, running now until February 28th. Titles such as Hello Kitty: Delicious! (reviewed), Uglydoll: Eat Dat!, and all of their ...
McD's Japan photo
McD's Japan

Mcdonald's Japan is getting funky

Eat that funky burger!
Feb 18
// Kristina Pino
Continuing the American Vintage campaign, McDonald's Japan have revealed the next wave of sandwiches, which are released this week and represent the era of funk (the '80s). Behold: the American Funky BBQ beef and chicken burg...
Hinamatsuri photo

An overview of Hinamatsuri and some speed snacking

Oooh, informative!
Feb 17
// Kristina Pino
As Japan gears up for Spring, there are plenty of new snacks to enjoy. But this time, I'm changing things up a little bit. Instead of just taunting you with the awesome treats available to me all the time (including a Misdo ...
Misdo Spring photo
Misdo Spring

Misdo is meeting Spring with strawberries

More doughnuts? Yes
Feb 16
// Kristina Pino
I'm pretty much over Winter at this point. I mean, I've been over it. But nowadays, with all this stupid snow, I'm feeling the desire to see Springtime more than ever. And in an effort to get people like me even more in the m...
Gundam neckties photo
Gundam neckties

Subtle-yet-spiffy otaku wear: Gundam-themed neckties

Ongoing news theme?
Feb 15
// Kristina Pino
Gundam fans who also occasionally (or often) wear neckties, rejoice! There's a new set of awesome accessories for you, and they're available at the Odaiba Gundam store as well as the Neopasa store in a Shin-Toumei highway res...
Freshness Burger photo
Freshness Burger

'Chicken Cordon Blue' at Freshness Burger looks amazing

French food, done Japanese style
Feb 15
// Kristina Pino
I can't explain the meaning of changing around two letters of the name of this sandwich, but I will absolutely accept it on the grounds that it looks absolutely delicious. Freshness Burger, one of the various burger chains th...
Nerd jewelry photo
Nerd jewelry

Subtle nerdy jewelry: Legend of Zelda key necklaces

Don't go dungeon crawling without a key
Feb 14
// Kristina Pino
It isn't uncommon to see folks wearing keys as jewelry, and for those nerds who like their geekdom to show, but subtly, a Small Key (or alternatively, Boss Key), might be just what you need. No heroic quests or magical abilit...
Art contest photo
Show the world what Lightning should really look like!
Square Enix and DeviantArt have teamed up for a fantastic contest in which artists are invited to create a custom look for Lightning. Anything about her appearance, from her body to accessories you'd want to see on her, are f...

Starbucks Japan photo
Starbucks Japan

Starbucks Japan is ready for cherry blossom season

Pink everywhere
Feb 14
// Kristina Pino
Starting tomorrow, February 15, Starbucks will be stocking all kinds of cherry blossom-themed goods in their stores. The attractive themed drinks of this campaign are a sakura (white) chocolate latte and frappuccino, which wi...
Hello Kitty photo
Hello Kitty

The cutest Kendo players should wear Hello Kitty armor

The bogu of my dreams
Feb 08
// Kristina Pino
A Twitter pic snapped by Ayatan at a recent Hello Kitty expo caught the cutest kendo bogu I've ever seen. I wonder whether it's fully functional? The most customizing I ever see on these pieces are in the stitching or occasio...
film photo

Some upcoming film releases in Japan for 2014

At a glance
Feb 08
// Kristina Pino
For those of us who enjoy going to the movies now and again and live in Japan, it can be frustrating to have to wait ages for some international films, but not so long for others. Keeping track of their releases can get confu...
Misdo Valentine's photo
Misdo Valentine's

Misdo serving up churros after my own heart

A video in the making?
Feb 07
// Kristina Pino
So it looks like today, Mister Donut Japan released some heart-shaped churros in their continued Valentine's Day-themed treat-making. There are three different kinds, with chocolate, strawberry, and "white" flavors, and they ...
Jtor Eats photo
Perfect for that V-day date
Josh Totman brought you a preview of the two new flavors Haagen-Dazs is rolling out for their 30th anniversary, and I'm here to eat them on camera. Though some stores appeared to be stocking these since yesterday, today (Feb...

Travel Osaka photo
Travel Osaka

Osaka leads the way to free WiFi in Japan

Yay, technology!
Feb 03
// Kristina Pino
It's been a long, and I mean long, time coming, but one city in lovely Japan has finally, finally gotten with the program and decided to offer free WiFi. And surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, depending on how you look at it), ...
FUNimation @ events photo
FUNimation @ events

FUNimation posts up their 2014 convention schedule

Stalking that isn't illegal
Feb 01
// Kristina Pino
In case you're making your convention plans for this year already, save some room for FUNimation in your schedules. They're attending a lot of the big ones, of course, like San Diego Comic Con, Otakon in Baltimore, SXSW Gamin...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...