Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Archive for June, 2015

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: Squeezing out some sweetness with Mion Mukaichi

Time to cool down this blazing hot summer with some light colored floral kimonos, and some creamy sweetness of AKB48 member Mion Mukaichi.

I mean that ice cream thing young Miion is holding …

Mukaichi Mion 541a1ac5d7dfa6a39c3bbf515cb8782d

Papico is a brand of Japanese ice cream treats. Seen here is the “Chocolate Coffee” flavor, although Miion knows that my favorite is “Vanilla Shake” flavor. The company also makes several “seasonal” and “special” flavors each year.

This is an unusual way to package an ice cream treat! Each pack contains two plastic “bottles” that must be broken and twisted open.  When I first saw this photo, I did not know the package was ice cream. The top of the bottle looks to me like some type of ladies razor, good for trimming certain sensitive areas, well … you know.  My mind wanders when I get hungry.

Papico is popular with both kids and adults, despite the odd packaging. The reward is you can suck out the sweetness from the bottle – but don’t be greedy. You can share the other one. Warning: There are stories of  ice cream lovers who have damaged their gums on the plastic, trying to suck out the last, small amounts of sweetness.

Mukaichi Mion d09cd26e3d03821d411c0c735bedfcb2

Everyone should be as open to trying new things like this 17-year old Team K member.

Mukaichi Mion 4163ee21cb4999a0702bf9b78ca48dff

I chose Miion because of her sandals!

Miion is wearing a perfect summer kimono combo here. Her hair ornaments and sandals fit the outfit perfectly.

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Perfect for sharing with another member. “Everybody Suck” indeed (non-kimono song). Also enjoy how lovely the other members were this day!

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For more AKB48 members in colorful kimonos see this TV commercial linked here.

http://papico.glico.com/cm/15papico_cm2_30.html

Starlight: Mion Mukaichi 向井地 美音   (Mukaichi Mion) born January 29, 1998 in Saitama Prefecture.

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KIMONOS ON MONDAY: Kimono wardrobe used in the “Lady Snowblood” films staring Meiko Kaji.

ladysnowblood in kimono1

“Lady Snowblood” ( 修羅雪姫, “Shurayuki-hime”) is a 1973 Japanese film directed by Toshiya Fujita and starring Meiko Kaji. Supposedly the movie was based on a manga, but I have not been able to find any which predates the film, so I have not read it. The movie is a good old-fashioned slice-and-dice “revenge” story of a beautiful but deadly young woman named Yuki Kashima. “Yuki” meaning “snow” of course. 

The young swordslady seeks her vengeance upon four people who raped her mother and killed her mother’s husband and son. Um, she is actually born in prison, and er … it is complicated.  It raises some interesting plot, and biological sequences. However, it is a lot of fun, but it is not a happy movie and does not have a “Hollywood” ending. It holds up well and stands the test of time. In fact I would say that it is a lot “edgier” than the bulk of what comes from Hollywood. This is the original trailer:

Now I do not want to spoil the ending, because it is well worth watching. However, how there could be a sequel – and how the character could be continued — defies logic. Never let logic spoil the fun I guess. Here is the trailer for the sequel.

This is the great theme song “Shura No Hana”, sung by the Lady Snowblood actress herself. Great song, and great kimonos are seen here.

Sounds pretty “Enka” doesn’t it? In fact, this is on her great Zenkyoko Shu album. Go ahead and listen to it on YouTube for free, minimize it, and you will feel like you are in a Japanese cinematic classic. The song was used by Quetin Tarantino’s movie Kill Bill, Vol. 1.” Apparently Tarantino was a big fan of Lady Snowblood. If you have seen “Kill Bill” you might remember the sword fight in the snowy landscape between Uma Thurmon and Lucy Liu. Tarantino rips off … (cough) … I mean … pays homage to the original movie.  The American director also included LS sub-plots, character names, visual motifs directly into his “Kill Bill” series.

I watched the original film from a Neflix disc which was an Animeigo  repackaging. I love all the old samurai movies which were re-translated and re-issued on DVD.

animeigo lady snowblood

Animeigo adds in many cultural annotations, color-coded subtitles, and provide special features which are pure candy for fans like myself.

Starlight: I need to get a copy of the original pre-1973 manga.

See more of Meiko Kaji on my Pinterest board linked here.

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Pokémon Nicknames: Vullaby and Mandibuzz

mandibuzz humanoid

Vultures and buzzards are not loveable birds. However, Vullaby and Mandibuzz were interesting additions to Pokémon Black’s lineup of new Pokémon in 2011. You know how it is with the two different versions: If you played Pokémon White you could catch Rufflet (and then evolve it to Baviary), but if you had Pokémon Black you had to catch Vullaby (and then raise it to Mandibuzz). If you wanted both you would have to trade between Black and White. Some Black players were disappointed that instead of getting an inspiring eagle (Rufflet/Bravairy) they got these ugly buzzards.

Vullaby and Mandibuzz are fun enough, especially if you give them a fun nickname (hence you are here now dear reader).

Mandibuzz (in Japanese: バルジーナ  “Vulgina”) is a Dark and Flying dual type Pokémon. Mandibuzz evolves from Vullaby (in Japanese: バルチャイ “Valchai”) starting (all the way up) at level 54, where it remains a Dark/Flying type. Both Pokémon are female only.

vullaby and mandibuzz

Pokémon Black/White was the first game that my son and I played together (He taught ME about the series BTW). He played PB version, but could not stand that Vullaby was in a diaper. He kept leveling it up, but it still would not evolve – not until 54!

Vullaby diapered

They must not be well liked by Pokémon fans, as I have noticed that there is very little Pokémon cosplay for these vultures.

vullaby and mandibuzz charms

Here are some of my nicknames for Vullaby and Mandibuzz.

I named a Vullaby “Broadway” as in the “Lullaby of Broadway” song originally from the stage musical “42nd Street”.

I have used “Sortie” or “Sorties” after the name for an aircraft mission (thus good for a flying type).

The Mandibuzz for my team was named “Curtains” as in – It is curtains for you! … if you fight this dark-death Pokémon. Curtains gave me the idea to name one “Drapes” … as in the phrase “Does the carpet match the drapes?” To “drape” can mean to cover something darkly.

Does+the+carpet+match+the+drapes

Of course Mandibuzz could ne just nicknamed “Mandy” as in Barry Manilow’s famous song.

 

Ha Ha. Don’t tell me you are not a fan. (Actually, “Manilow” might be a good nickname.)

I have used “Vulgaria” after the fictional country in the Woody Allen movie “Don’t Drink the Water”.

A pretty cool name for Mandibuzz would be to just use its Japanese name Vulgina”. I’m not making that up (see above).

pokemon_mandibuzz_wallpaper

Good wallpaper ad for “The Vulgina Monologues”

What is the name of your lady Buzzard?

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Is a bear Catholic? OF COURSE I like Sashihara-san.

img_Rino_Sashihara1

Do I really have to say that? Congratulations to Rino Sashihara on winning the AKB48 election. I will admit, I have not supported her very much in the past, but I certainly do not dislike her either. I like the lady.

Who couldn't love your face ... er ... voice Sashi?

Who couldn’t love your face … er … voice, Sashi?

AHEM … Scandals aside … AHEM … COUGH … (Denny’s coughs getting progressively louder and more annoying), she has been an invaluable member of AKB48 since the beginning. I was also a big fan of the Not Yet sub-unit of which she was one-quarter. Three more quarters and I would have had a dollar.

if not now when

I think that she is a doll. Hey, she is the #1 in AKB48 … so of course I like Sashi.

sashi in the woods

“…ARE YOU KIDDING … IS A BEAR CATHOLIC?”

She is also the leader/manager of HKT48, and I LOVE the HawksTown 48. They have become my favorite sister group (sorry Sayanee  and Milky). Sashihara-san has taken the rising HKT star Sakura under her wing. Sashi-Sakuratan-Harrupi are the “big three” in HKT48.

hkt48 image the big three

Nice mentoring Sashi!

Of course I like her. The HKT group would be different without her.

Also, but it may be a non-musical comment, Sashi has amazinglyfantastic legs. She is great dancing in HKT48. Yes?  “Oh the gams on this dame” Thank you, Mr. Bogart.

HKT48 Rino SashiharaGreat Legs Campione on Young Jump Magazine 001

Plus, she is a Irishwoman. I am an Irishman myself (partly) .  Of course I support a fellow Irish and want to see them all do well. She IS an O-hara, right? One of the wee-people, right?

I LOVED her in the Kois Suru Fortune Cookie music video (see my opinion linked here.) I can’t wait to hear the new single where she will center! Some fans have mixed feelings about her becoming the number one again (see link). I think if you can sell a Pepsi to everyone in China, then you can make a billion dollars. You know what? New Zealand has 75 million sheep.

sashi as sheep

Denny singing: “… and I am over that … I forgot our little spat …”

Starlight: How many days until the next election?

See more of Rino-chan on my Pinterest board linked here.

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: I am still drawn to Yui Yokoyama!

akb48__yokoyama_yui___new_pioneer_by_sumo0172-d6xk639

… and who wouldn’t be? Actually this is a DRAWING of the lovely Yuihan wearing a kimono. The original drawing is by Rodolfo Cortez. You can view more of his drawings — AKB and otherwise — on his web page linked here. Yokoyama-san has very intense eyes. Do you think that he did a good job of capturing their intensity? I also like that little “48” clasp he drew on the kimono.

There are also some great paintings of Yui Yokoyama in kimono in her first photo book released earlier this year. The artist is Japanese painter  Yasunari Ikenaga. The photo books are mostly photographs, but there is this nice little part of about her making this kimono painting.

YUI YOKOYAMA tumblr_nklaf3teBn1tk0ttpo8_1280

Here is Yui lying down on the kimono pattern, to see how it looks with her.

YUI YOKOYAMA tumblr_nkl9zrJNbI1tk0ttpo8_1280

This is her kimono (yukata actually) that the painting is based on. Note the floral pattern and the obi-sash pattern below was used in the painting.

Guess what my favorite part of this photo is!

compare yui kimono to drawing1

Here is the basic drawing before color painting.

yui drawing tumblr_no7hgxFwLr1upgonmo2_400

I would have to say that the picture turned out well.

YUI YOKOYAMA tumblr_nkla3gnT621tk0ttpo7_1280

I sure would have to have this Yui panel in my tea room! It looks like Ms. Yokoyama also approves of the art …

yui tumblr_no7hgxFwLr1upgonmo1_400

I am probably even easier to please than Yuihan.

YUI YOKOYAMA tumblr_nklabqSlkf1tk0ttpo4_1280

Even her painting is INTENSE!

The photobook is available from CD Japan linked here.

It only costs $12 … Gulp … so why can’t I have one?. (There is also a DVD-Blu-Ray photobook if you have a Japanese player.)

yui book cover NEOBK-1745808

Starlight: The photobook was released February 2015.

DENNY RE-BLOGS: “My highs and lows from the 41st single senbatsu sousenkyo.”

I’m still trying to adjust.

You know what’s good for a hangover? Taco Bell tacos. Order a dozen, with a lot of the extra “Inferno” sauces. Let them work their taco magic. They make you drink a lot of water — which helps. Plus they have cheese, which is very binding, and that great taco seasoning — which is “loosening” — if you catch my drift. Nothing will equalize you like tacos …

Yet, I digress … I am all AGOG about this REBLOG:

CHZ48

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Here are some of my thoughts on yesterday’s election. I’ve put it behind spoiler protection in case you have somehow been able to look at any AKB-related sites today without finding out the results.

View original post 535 more words

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SASHI WINS!

sashi wins tumblr_npiy30ksRc1srchplo1_540

My Funny Caption: “The homeless people living in this Tokyo parking garage have their own AKB election every year. Oddly, they have correctly predicted the #1 for the real election six out of the last seven years!”  

Ha Ha. I know what you are thinking … Denny you should write for The Onion.

Rino Sashihara (指原 莉乃 Sashihara Rino) has won this year’s AKB48 7th Sousenkyo Election 2015. Sashi re-claims the throne she had won in 2013.

Here is a list of those who ranked, the group/sister group team, and how many votes each received. Note that this year there were many non-AKB members dominating the list. Best wishes to all — they are all winners to me.

I (HEART) all of you.

SENBATSU

2015 election tumblr_npimtpZSw41s82ar1o5_r1_540

  1. Sashihara Rino [Team H] 194,042
    02. Kahiwagi Yuki [Team B/NGT48] 167,183
    03. Watanabe Mayu [Team B] 165,789
    04. Takahashi Minami [Team A] 137,252
    05. Matsui Jurina [Team S/Team K] 105,289
    06. Yamamoto Sayaka [Team N/Team K] 97,866
    07. Miyawaki Sakura [Team KIV/Team A] 81,422
    08. Miyazawa Sae [Team S/Team SII] 75,495
    09. Shimazaki Haruka [Team A] 73,803
    10. Yokoyama Yui [Team A] 63,414
    11. Kitahara Rie [NGT48] 61,566
    12. Watanabe Miyuki [Team BII/Team B] 55,715
    13. Matsumura Kaori [Team KII] 53,667
    14. Takayanagi Akane [Team KII] 52,609
    15. Shibata Aya [Team E] 49,199
    16. Muto Tomu [Team K] 44,637

UNDERGIRLS

2015 undergirls

  1. Kodama Haruka [Team H/Team K] 43,985
    18. Suda Akari [Team E] 43,665
    19. Minegishi Minami [Team K] 35,506
    20. Oya Masana [Team S] 30,021
    21. Tomonaga Mio [Team KIV/Team 4] 28,197
    22. Kizaki Yuria [Team B] 26,994
    23. Tani Marika [Team E] 26,051
    24. Furuhata Nao [Team KII] 25,650
    25. Takahashi Juri [Team 4] 25,421
    26. Kojima Mako [Team 4] 25,117
    27. Oba Mina [Team KII] 24,708
    28. Kato Rena [Team B] 24,569
    29. Okada Nana [Team 4] 23,237
    30. Takajo Aki [Team K] 22,502
    31. Fuchigami Mai [Team KIV] 22,487
    32. Tashima Meru [Team H] 22,191

NEXT GIRLS

2015 next girls

  1. Anai Chihiro [Team H] 22,146
    34. Shiroma Miru [Team M/Team A] 21,577
    35. Fujie Reina [Team M] 21,388
    36. Jonishi Kei [Team N] 21,135
    37. Sakaguchi Riko [Team H] 20,936
    38. Futamura Haruka [Team S] 20,590
    39. Uchiyama Natsuki [Team B] 20,437
    40. Yagura Fuuko [Team M] 20,354
    41. Ota Aika [Team KIV] 19,921
    42. Okada Kanna [Team KIV] 19,739
    43. Moriyasu Madoka [Team KIV] 19,401
    44. Mukaichi Mion [Team K] 18,392
    45. Miyamae Ami [Team S] 18,245
    46. Kojina Yui [Team H] 18,085
    47. Tano Yuka [Team K] 18,048
    48. Kimoto Kanon [Team E] 18,021

FUTURE GIRLS

future girls 2015

  1. Sato Sumire [Team E] 17,579
    50. Sasaki Yukari [Team A] 17,466
    51. Matsuoka Natsumi [Team H] 17,387
    52. Goto Risako [Team S] 17,330
    53. Isohara Kyoka [Team E] 17,278
    54. Kotani Riho [Team N] 17,132
    55. Souda Sarina [Team KII] 17,071
    56. Umeda Ayaka [Team BII] 17,019
    57. Mogi Shinobu [Team K] 16,867
    58. Shibuya Nagisa [Team BII/Team 4] 16,386
    59. Kato Yuka [Team N] 15,729
    60. Yabushita Shu [Team BII] 15,666
    61. Azuma Rion [Team S] 15,539
    62. Kato Rumi [Team E] 15,474
    63. Yamauchi Suzuran [Team S] 15, 157
    64. Yoshida Akari [Team N] 14,933

UPCOMING GIRLS

upcoming girls 2015

  1. Saito Makiko [Team E] 14,916
    66. Kitagawa Ryoha [Team S/Team 4] 14,674
    67. Omori Miyu [Team 4] 14,669
    68. Umemoto Madoka [Team E] 14,605
    69. Nagao Mariya [Team K] 14,585
    70. Kamata Natsuki [Team E] 14,545
    71. Ishida Haruka [Team K] 14,319
    72. Ueki Nao [Team KIV] 13,961
    73. Kumazaki Haruka [Team E] 13,777
    74. Tanigawa Airi [Team M] 13,744
    75. Owada Nana [Team A] 13,685
    76. Takeuchi Mai [Team S] 13,569
    77. Ishida Anna [Team KII] 13,289
    78. Shinozaki Ayana [Team K] 13,170
    79. Ichikawa Miori [Team BII] 13,165
    80. Motomura Aoi [Team KIV] 13,116

For more discussion about the election, please see the great  “All Things Jpop” blog by WordPress friend Yuna linked here.

I will try to have a full tribute to Sasihara-san later next week. Now go get some sleep.

Stalight: Not sure what time zone I am in now : (

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