Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Archive for July, 2014


Tomomi Itano: Just not my type …

tomomi itano photo

Has it been a whole year since Tomomi Itano graduated AKB48?  I certainly wish her well in her solo career.  She was one of my favorites in the original AKB48.  Tomochin is pretty, she has a great personality and was always a lot of fun in her roles. Having said that, I will have to say that Tomochin is really not “my type”.

I know what you’re thinking: “Denny, ANY girl is your type … you can’t be choosy”.

What I mean is– although I think that Tomochin is a beautiful, talented young lady, her style and musical tastes are not what I am usually interested in.  Tomochin is a real “bling-bling” type of girl , the kind who would wear a baseball cap sideways.  She often is photographed in American “hip-hop” style street clothes, with NY or LA emblems on them.  Without knowing too much about her personal life, I can tell that Tomomi likes the “bad boy” type.  I still respect Itano-san for her performances, even if her musical style does not match mine. Still, she was a lovable and indispensable part of AKB48.  It has been fun watching her grow up from a gawky teen to the graceful singer/actress/model she is today.

Yes, Ms. Itano, those new vitamins you have been taking appear to be working well for you, … very nice …  you look healthy … except I should probably let you know that I’m not the real doctor, I only empty the trashcans here.

… and oh yes, she is hotter than the surface of the sun!

Let me share a few interesting memories of  Tomochin.  My all-time favorite song from her is “Fuini”.  If you do not watch anything else, please enjoy Tomochin’s lovely eyes here.

There was the big JPop Music Summit in San Francisco recently, so there are several shaky, cell phone videos of this performance by Tomochin.  Here is one, but I expect it to be taken down by RECORD INDUSTRY WEASELS any minute now.  Itano-san has brought her “funky dancers” for this performance.  Tomochin is still learning English so, she speaks to the audience through an interpreter. ENJOYABLE!!! … oh wait a minute this stuff is “not my thing”.  I wish I had been there, however, … if I had stood that close to the amazing Tomomi Itano, I probably would have burst into flames.

Speaking of learning “Engrish” — many are familiar with this interview Tomochin did in English.  Ms. Itano is trying very hard, but she really struggles with her English here.  No, I’m NOT making fun … I love Tomochin.  I am glad that she was trying to make the effort to communicate with her fans in English.  The reporter asks some very stupid questions to the Idol however — e.g. “Are you dating anyone special?” — when everyone knows that AKB48 has a “no dating rule”.  A little bit of research by that reporter would have made it a better interview.  Enjoy, but cringe, at this piece of Itano-history.  If you laugh at Tomochin, I will PUNCH you.  Buddha-only knows, her English is better than my Japanese.

Also, another difficult-to-watch part of AKB history is this meeting of Itano-san and American singer Avril Levigne.  Clearly, Levigne does not like Tomochin’s “Dear J”  song.  What a train wreck.  Now I hate Avril Levigne.

To end on a better note, I will share this “home movie” that 15-year old Tomomi Itano made.  This was shot around the time that AKB48 first formed.  It has ENGLISH SUBS, and is very cute.  In this video, the young idol makes spaghetti at home.  She looks so different in those days (a mere gawky teenager), yet she is so adorable in this.  This is a lot of fun and another interesting piece of AKB history — from back when the group could not even sell out their shows.

Starlight:  It took me two years to find Fuini.

Oh Tomochin ... OF COURSE my refrigerator is running , it would not be working properly if it wasn't running --- you SILLY GIRL !

Oh Tomochin … OF COURSE “my refrigerator is running”, it would not be working properly if it wasn’t running — you SILLY GIRL !

See more funny Tomomi Itano captions on my Pinterest board.

“We’ll turn Manhattan into an isle of joy.”

Ella in Japan

The late, great Ella Fitzgerald sings the Rodgers and Hart song “Manhattan”.

Ella Fitzgerald was one of my favorite Americans.  What a voice.  I loved collecting all her old “Songbooks” records — Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter, The Gershwins, etc.  She was a great interpreter of  the American “Tin Pan Alley” songs.

This Rodgers & Hart song “Manhattan” is a lot of fun, and there are several great New York City references.  The original song also included more lyrics describing other NY places, e.g. Greenwhich Village, etc.  Ella sings the “short version” here.  I love Ms. Fitzgerald’s interpretation.  She transports me to New York City … that is … MY vision of New York City.  The song makes me daydream of the romantic place I think that New York SHOULD be … not the way it actually is.

I raise my glass, and remember you dear lady.


Summer journeys to Niag’ra /And to other places aggra-

vate all our (my) cares. / We’ll save our fares;


I’ve a cozy little flat in / What is known as old Manhattan,

We’ll settle down / Right here in town.


We’ll have Manhattan, / The Bronx and Staten

Island too. / It’s lovely going through the Zoo.


It’s very fancy / On old Delancey

Street you know. / The subway charms us so,

When balmy breezes blow / To and fro.


And tell me what street / Compares with Mott Street

In July? / Sweet pushcarts gently gliding by.


The great big city’s a wondrous toy / Just made for a girl and boy —

We’ll turn Manhattan / Into an isle of joy.


We’ll go to Yonkers, / Where true love conquers

In the wilds / And starve together, dear, in Childs'(oh yea).


We’ll go to Coney / And eat bologny

On a roll, / In Central Park we’ll stroll

Where our first kiss we stole, / Soul to soul.


And “My Fair Lady” / Is a terrific

Show (film) they say, / We both may see it close some day.


The city’s clamor(glamour)can never spoil / The dreams of a boy and “goil” —

 We’ll turn Manhattan / Into an isle of joy!


Also see my Ella board on Pinterest!


Pokémon Nicknames: Drowzee and Hypno

Barbara Drowzee

Babs doing one of her “Psychic” moves.

I nicknamed a female Drowzee “Barbara” (and another one “Streisand”) after the famous American singer Barbara Streisand.  Drowzee has a nose like a tapir. It is a Psychic-type that may put its opponent to sleep with its Hypnosis move, then can then devour the victim’s dreams using the “Dream Eater”move.  Oddly, Drowzee cannot learn the Normal move “Sing” which also puts the target to sleep.  Too bad, because that move would have been perfect for my Barbara!


I might suggest naming male Drowzees “Durante” after the famous vaudevillian actor.  Although Jimmy Durante had a schnoz like Drowzee, the great Mr. D never put me to sleep.


Best song “And You Goils Thought My Nose Was Big”

I think that “Geddy” would be a good name for a male. Named after Geddy Lee, singer and bassist for the Canadian rock band RUSH. “Props to the nose!”

Drowsee also looks like its pants were dipped in chocolate … like a chocolate covered banana.

drowse IMG_0229

Drowzee may be based on ancient East Asian legends about dream eaters. Drowzee resembles a Baku (spirit) that appears in Japanese mythology and art.

“Baku” by Katsushika Hokusai

The following is from the Pokémon FireRed description of Drowzee: “A descendant of the legendary animal Baku, which is said to eat dreams. It is skilled at hypnotism.”  “Baku” might be a fun nickname for males or females!

Unfortunately, if I would allow Barbara to level up at 26, it would become a  Hypno, and the name-resemblance to Barbara Streisand would no longer fit.  Hypno does not look female in any way, so allowing a female Drowzee to evolve does not fit if you gave it a female name.


If your male Drowzee evolves into Hypno, name it “Sigmund” or “Freud” after the founding father of psychoanalysis with the Oedipus complex. Actually, “Oedipus” might be a good nickname. Maybe “Anna” after the good Doctor’s young daughter who often dreamed about cigars and bananas.


You are getting sleepy … sleepy …

Oh, it was just my writing.




Hey kids! Let’s put on a show!

This post will be a little different.  Instead of a music video from The Little Great One herself, I want to share some of my “Liked” videos from YouTube.  Each of these is a cover of a Hanako Oku song.  All are enjoyable – for one reason or another.

Reiko Umehara sings a nice version of “Hatsukoi” here.

Here is a nice acoustic guitar version of “Kawaranai Mono”.  Good job Syu214, I was getting a little choked up …

This version of “Kawaranai Mono” is sung by Tab Harell. And she includes lyrics on her video.  What a nice Birthday Card!

Here the Canadian singer Irulannesque sings “Garnet” as a test of her voice strength. She had been very sick, and struggles a little at some points.  However, I think it is great!  Getting over a cold actually made it sound more emotional!  Super!

Sweet! This is an interesting “ocarina” instrumental version of “Koi Tsubomi”.  Thank you Enjiro !!!


KIMONOS ON MONDAY (Week #11) Neko! 猫

This week I will put the “CAT” in “YUKATA” and present a special topic on “Cats Wearing Kimonos”!

neko rising sun kittens

View the slideshow!

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Those lucky cats! 


Pokémon Nicknames: Mareep

Mareep — an “electric sheep”.


I have always thought that the best name for a female “Mareep” would be “Rachael” — a character played by actress Sean Young in the movie “Blade Runner”.


Blade Runner is of course based on the Phillip K. Dick novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”.  Obviously, GameFreak created Mareep based on the title of this novel.  Please name a Mareep “Rachael” in honor of this legendary sci-fi novel.  If you have a male, you can name it “Deckard” after the Harrison Ford character, Detective Rick Deckard.  I have also named male Mareeps “P.K. Dick” in honor of the author.  However, I think that these names fit the males better if they are in Mareep’s final evolved form: Ampharos.

DADOES cover

You could probably milk the novel/movie for more Mareep-Flaaffy-Ampharos names as needed. I have given my Mareep an Everstone, as I prefer to keep her as an electric sheep.  Can’t wait until she turns 100.

Another suggested name for Mareep is “Daisy” the ewe used in Woody Allen’s film “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex …”

Daisy from Woody Allen everything-about-sex

Also, the name “Lamb Chop” may be appropriate.  Shari Lewis and her sheep sock puppet  “Lamb Chop” were big on 1960s variety shows.

shari lewis lamb chop

Takes you back, doesn’t it  Baby-Boomers?

Not Baaaaad?  Please comment.


“Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie … and Death Metal”

MLB 09 — “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie … and Death Metal”

baseball and punk

My choice for “Best Ever Video Game Soundtrack” is an easy choice. The songs chosen for SONY PlayStation’s “MLB 2009 – The Show” baseball simulation game are, on aggregate  my top choice for a video game soundtrack.  Although this collection of songs do not represent my favorite type of music, this set made the transitional breaks in MLB The Show so enjoyable.  I liked that the game developers chose several little-known and “indie” groups for the playlist.    I also think that “The Show” series of baseball games are the greatest sports game series ever (Sorry, Madden) …  if not the greatest VIDEO GAME SERIES ever (Sorry, fellow Nerds).  What sets MLB 09 apart from the others in the series is that the ’09 soundtrack had very little of the “Rap-and-Crap” music that is so popular with the American audience. MLB 09 is full of Punk, Funk, New Wave, Speed Metal and Death Rock!  What goes better with hot dogs and baseball than Punk Rock anthems?

Unfortunately, so much of the other years of MLB The Show are filled with typical “Rap-and-Crap” soundtracks.  MLB 2014 is so full of “Rap-and-Crap” that I have to mute the TV during gameplay transitions. True, you can delete songs from the audio soundtrack list, but if you took all the “Rap-and-Crap” out of MLB The Show ’14, there would be almost nothing left.  The bad song choices kind of makes me not want to play this year’s game.  It is true you can import your own MP3s now, I strongly suggest doing that.

Trying to stay positive — I have created a YouTube list here of the songs from MLB 09 The Show.  Find yourself something that goes with a well-turned-double-play!

Kaiser Chiefs “Never Miss a Beat”

Eagles of Death Metal “Wannabe in L.A.”

Rise Against “Collapse (Post-Amerika)”

Darker My Love “Two Ways Out”

The Blue Van “Man Up”

The Parlor Mob “Everything You’re Breathing For”

Valencia “Safe to Say”

The Stills “Rooibos”

Hockey “Work”

Spoon “Don’t You Evah”

The Budos Band “Budos Rising”

Night Horse “Shine on Me” (Live)

TV on the Radio “Golden Age”


Unfortunately, I could not find YouTube videos for Zodiac Death Valley’s “Methadone Mambo” or Ming’s “El Barrio Boricua”.

I struck out there  : (

“My fried egg makes me sick first thing in the morning.”

Enjoy this song of teen alienation: “Cut My Hair” written by Peter Townshend and performed by The Who.  The song appears on their 1973 album Quadrophenia.

This song is full of teen anxiety, emotional pain and anguish. The Quadrophenia story is set in the early 1960s — when The Who were soaring in popularity with the “Mod” generation of British youth.  The four members of the Who represent the four conflicting personalities of the young schizophrenic protagonist “Jimmy”.  “Schizophrenic?… I’m Bloody Quadrophrenic!”

Surprisingly, almost no one in “my generation” can recall that there was a heated cultural “war” at the time between the “Mods” who embraced the new 1960s pop music and fashion, and the “Rockers” who still clung to the rock-and-roll biker culture of the 1950s.

Funny how such a heated conflict not only does not matter anymore, it did not make any long-term difference.  The era has long been forgotten, even by music historians.  (Although, arguably — most music historians do have a lot of dead brain cells. “Crispy Critters” that lot is.)

Funny how many things that were once of life-and-death significance, are no longer important today.

The song “Cut My Hair” sets the tone for the record.  Sixteen-year olds can certainly relate to the strong emotions and conflicting feelings described within.  I have included a slide show below, derived from the photo booklet which accompanies Quadrophenia.

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There are 1960s pop-culture references.  Scooters were important for Mods to have.  The lyric “Zoot suit, white jacket with side vents five inches long” refers to a Mod fashion trend that was gone in a blink of the eye.  “Leapers” refer to amphetamine pills, the drugs used by the young mods to get high.  (BUT PLEASE KIDS, DO NOT TAKE DRUGS!)


Here is the thing kids: The emotional pain in these lyrics resonate with 16-year olds, but they may also may be transferred and understood by angst ridden 29-year olds, and believe-it-or-not still have meaning to reflective 55-year olds.  And … and …

PUT DOWN THAT CELL PHONE!!!      … Jesus, nobody listens.


Why should I care
If I have to cut my hair?
I got to move with the fashion or be outcast
I know I should fight
But my old man, he’s really alright
And I’m still living at home, even though it won’t last

Zoot suit, white jacket with side vents five inches long
I’m out on the street again, and I’m leaping along
Dressed right
For a beach fight
But I just can’t explain
Why that uncertain feeling is still here in my brain

The kids at school have parents that seem so cool
And though I don’t want to hurt em’, mine want me their way

I clean my room and my shoes
But my mama found a box of blues
And there doesn’t seem much hope they’ll let me stay

Zoot suit, white jacket with side vents five inches long
I’m out on the street again, and I’m leaping along
Dressed right
For a beach fight
But I just can’t explain
Why that uncertain feeling is still here in my brain

Why do I have to be different to them
Just to earn the respect of a dance hall friend?
We have the same old row again and again

Why do I have to move with a crowd
Of kids that hardly notice I’m around?
I work myself to death, just to fit in

I’m comin’ down
Got home on the very first train from town
My dad just left for work, he wasn’t talking
It’s all a game
And inside, I’m just the same
My fried egg makes me sick first thing in the morning


Starlight: I was inside the core of the star when the hydrogen first fused. 

For more info about this era, view this short documentary about fashion, Mods vs Rockers.

My oshimen … it is Iwasa Misaki. So there.

Who is my favorite AKB48 member?

Wasamin with Mr Microphone

Who is my favorite AKB48 member?  That would be a hard choice.  I like all the members, including all the sub-groups, and sister groups.  I even like the members I have not even learned the names of yet.  Usually, my favorite member is just which-ever member I happen to see singing on stage at the moment.  When I see Mayuyu perform, I think that SHE is my favorite … but when I watch Yukirin — I think “now SHE is my favorite”.  Then I thought for a long time that Yuko would be my first choice … and Sayaka Yamamoto? …. DAM.

Having said all that, if I had to choose one member as my favorite, it would have to be the great Iwasa Misaki.

Often Misaki-san is in the “back row” during AKB dance performances, and sometimes I can only catch a fleeting glimpse of her. Iwasa-chan was also a member of the great Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 (my favorite AKB48 sub-group until the break-up earlier this year.)  She is a trouper – and a team player.  I believe that Misaki-san is one of the better singers in AKB48.  She has a great voice, and she always destroys all her competitors in AKBINGO karaoke battles.  True, Wasamin only came in 49th in the 2014 election, but that is OK, because she is still the center of the “Future Girls” unit.  Miss Misaki  has found a lot of success as a solo “Enka” style singer.  I loved her great album “Request Covers” released earlier this year.   Her solo work is the opposite of her AKB48 work … but I wish AKB would use her more in a (regular?) idol role.

My previous post considered Iwasa Misaki as an Enka-ballad singer.  I also want to also share a slide collection of AKB48 trading cards, which feature Wasamin in her role as a Japanese Idol.


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Starlight: It took 19 years for the stellar nebulae to give birth to this amazing idol.

Kimonos on Wednesday? An Iwasa Misaki Special

Iwasa Misaki singing

I enjoy the kimonos and Enka-ballads of Iwasa Misaki so much that I will extend my “Kimonos on Monday” all the way to Wednesday!

The Enka-ballads that Wasamin sings when solo are very much different from the J-Pop of AKB48.  Please enjoy a live performance of Iwasa Misaki singing “Mujin Eki”.  720 HD is available.

In this next music video, the lovely 19-year old Enka-singer is tutored in the studio by her 67-year old mentor Junko Akiomoto.  Wasamin is in her regular clothes, but several scenes show her in a lovely red kimono.  Sorry only 480 p resolution is available, but Wasamin’s kimono looks beautiful!

This is the music video for “Tomonoura Boujou” shot in Yokohama Harbor. 720 HD available.

Here is the young idol singing her song “Pride” on an Enka TV show. 1080 HD available.

I love this last one (after the big guy’s 50 second announcement).  Iwasa Misaki sings the AKB48 hit song “Koi Suru Fortune Cookie” — only in the ENKA-STYLE!  It is very sweet. The ladies of this town also look great in Kimono.  I would love to do a little browsing on this street.  Enjoy in 1080 HD.

 Starlight: oh my oshi … my oshimen … Wasamin …

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