Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Archive for February, 2016

Kimonos on Monday: Haruka Nakagawa and her JKT48 graduation announcement.

harugon haruka was february

February is a short month. It kind of creeps up on you, right?

haruka was february

Wallpaper size image for your desktop. Too bad the month is over.

At least I can celebrate Leap Year February 29th, with Miss Haruka Nakagawa of JKT48. The big news is that “Harugon” has just announced her graduation from JKT48 and the AKB organization. Other bloggers have also announced this on February 27th. (See announcement photos and video links there.)

http://akb48-daily.blogspot.com/2016/02/nakagawa-haruka-announce-graduation.html#.VtMFrfkrKUk

JKT48’s Haruka Nakagawa To Graduate

https://en48center.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/haruka-nakagawa-announced-her-graduation/

I wish her well, she was always one of my favorites, and always made my “Top 16” lists. I loved her in the Watariroka Hashiritai unit, and she was a big reason why they were my favorite AKB subgroup. Remember the time in the WH “Gyu” music video (see Jpopsuki link here time 2:40), when she actually KISSED that fat, unsightly blob? What a sweet moment … and …

… IT GAVE HOPE TO ALL OF US HIGH SCHOOL BLOBS!!!

The story is that Harugon will remain in Indonesia after she graduates. Ahem, for those of you that are not big, fat fanboys like me — Haruka was originally sent to Indonesia to be a team leader when JKT48 was first created. She was the only full-Japanese member of the group. She had her work cut out for her, as she had to learn to sing all those Yasushi Akimoto songs translated into the Indonesian dialect. She was great in JKT48, and made a great “double team” with Melody Nurramdhani Laksani. (See my JKT48 Pinterest page linked here.) Of course she nailed it, and became one of their most popular members.

The above photo was from her “coming of age” event in 2015. She has an absolutely beautiful face. Harugon radiates warmth, intelligence and pure fun. I’m inspired each time I look at her. (Was that too much?)

It was not announced WHY she is not returning to Japan, but Indonesia is lucky to have her. Well, any country would be lucky to have her. I feel good just knowing that I WALK THE SAME EARTH as she! (… too much?)

Haruka Nakagawa, you are one of the good ones.

See more of Miss Harugon wearing amazingly pretty dresses on my Pinterest board for her linked here.

Pokémon Nicknames: Solrock and Lunatone.

the whos keith moon on bearskin rug

Keith Moon shows off his full moon

Solrock ( in Japanese: ソルロック “Solrock”) is a dual-type Rock and Psychic Pokémon. It does not have a gender. Solrock also does not evolve from, or into any other Pokémon. There is not a mega-evolution as of yet, however there is speculation that there may be a mega-evolution in the new Pokémon Sun and Moon game recently announced.

Likewise, Lunatone (in Japanese: ルナトーン “Lunatone”) is also a Rock/Psychic dual type, is genderless, and has no known evolution.

lunatone__solrock_by_roastedstixOK

My favorite Lunatone name is “Keith” or  “Keith Moon” after the legendary drummer of The Who. Moon was arguably the greatest drummer in rock-and-roll history. He also had a very wild sense of humor, and was known for trashing hotel rooms. It is funny, when I was a teenager I thought that those antics were cool … but, thinking back … rock stars trashing hotel rooms is actually kind of sad. Pretty lame really.  Looking back, he was a troubled man. I loved the late Mr. Moon. He was genuinely funny and original. His alcoholism tended to go to extremes unfortunately.  I still admire his creativity though, and yes I digress.

You could name one “Moon Unit” after Frank Zappa’s daughter. She of the “Valley Girl” dialect. Gag-me-with-a-Moon?

I have also named them “Dark Side”or the cryptic all lower-case “dark-side-of” as a tribute to the famous Pink Floyd album “Dark Side of the Moon”. Perhaps “Floyd” is a possible nickname, as is other PF references such as “Ummagumma”. I will leave it to you to come up with Sailor Moon related names.

waxing or wanning

Was not sure if this Moon was waxing or waning.

Maybe name it “Moonraker” after the James Bond film. How about “GoodNight” as in the famous children’s book “Goodnight Moon”. “Mack2Night” would be a reference to the old McDonald’s ad about the singing moon-head guy who imitated Bobby Darin.

I also like “June Spoon” after all the Tin-Pan-Alley era songwriters who composed so many of those Moon-in-June—I-Croon-We-Spoon rhyme schemes. (Why Ira Gershwin or Cole Porter never wrote songs about “Baboons” or “Walloons” I will never know.)

My favorite Solrock name is “Solaris” after the sci-fi novel by Polish author Stanislaw Lem.

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The novel was made into three movies, the most recent of which, was the 2002 film starring — ugh — George Clooney. I hate that elitist hypocrite, and the movie was panned, and lost a lot of money, but I will defend it. I thought it was unique, and had great storytelling. (trailer here) … not like most of Clooney’s crappy star vehicles. I remember walking out of the theater STUNNED by the end. My fellow movie goers talked to those lined up for the next show, and said “Well, it is DIFFERENT alright.”

Yes, I digress once again …

My other favorite Solrock name is “Solstice” as in the first official day of summer, and the longest day of the year. I have also used “June 21st” in this vein. If you have both Solrock and Lunatone in your team, you could call them “Solstice” and “Equinox” respectively. Alternatively you could name them “SunnDay” and “MoonDay” or something cute like that.

As always my basic references: are Bulbapedia and my hazy Who concert memories.

solrocklunatonegoodjobkids

Nice cosplay kids!

PS: Thank you to all my readers who pushed me over 100,000 views on my blog as of this weekend! Thank you. Yes, I know that there were only 128 views of my posts that did not have a photo of Haruna Kojima, but still … thanks!

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: Keeping up with technology and kimonos with Mayu Watanabe.

mayu hp printer commercial

It is hard to keep up with printer technology. Good thing that shark puppets and Mayu Watanabe can educate me on how photo-like my printouts could be with the new series of EPSON color printers.

It has been some time since I presented a Mayu slideshow, so today’s Kimono post will feature of Mayu’s kimonos I had been meaning to post.

mayu watanabe d66325f0c69a807e0533872dc6323a45

Test your printer with this one! Or any of these …

Oh, you can be sure that I will be printing your kimono photos with official EPSON printers and paper, Mayu!

Starlight: I am already two years behind … and don’t you have a birthday coming up next month Mayu?

Pokémon Nicknames: Carvanha and Sharpedo.

You will look very stylish in this Carvanha purse!

You will look very stylish in Rio with this Carvanha purse!

Carvanha (in Japanese: キバニア “Kibanha”) is a combo Water/Dark type. Carvanha’s name is based on the words carnivore and piranha. Carvanha evolves into Sharpedo (In Japanese: サメハダー “Samehader”) at level 30, where it remains a dual Water and Dark type.

CarvanhaSharpedo

The name Sharpedo is a combination of the words shark and torpedo of course. Sharpedo can Mega Evolve into Mega Sharpedo using the Sharpedonite‎.

mega sharpedo

Trainers know that these Pokémon are fast, but their defense is weak. You had better defeat your opponent in as few moves as possible, as neither Carvanha or Sharpedo can take many hits. They can be trained to have good Attack stats, and I always like to teach it the “Bite” moves as well as the “Fang” moves (Ice Fang, etc.)

I like to name Carvanha Cuba” or “Havana” after the Cuban capital, and “Carvanha” resonates the same as “Havana”. (Please, Baby … I’m not from Havana.) My favorite Carvanha name however is “Copacabana” after the famous Cuban nightclub, and the famous beach in Brazil. It is also the name of the 1978 Barry Manilow story-song “Copacabana”. Thank you, YouTube user Marina Camacho — but why did you make it a game with the boxes?

Ahem … far be it for a former punk-rocker like me to like Barry Manilow, but I think that this is a fun, and witty song. This song is also now part of my karaoke ensemble (I put it in my “greater than five rum-and-cokes level”). Please view this YouTube video! The user did a super job with the comic drawings to tell the story, and it is even sub-titled in SPANISH for even greater color and flavor.

Mmmmmm … color and flavor, just like a Carvanha at Carnival in Rio must taste.  (Denny rubs chin, sits back … goes into reverie …)

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“music and fashion, were always the passion … at the Copa”

“Carnival” or “Rio”, or related names like “Samba”“Janeiro”, etc  might be good names for Carvanha, but they might not work after it evolves into Sharpedo. Oh, right … I should probably work in some actual Pokémon cosplay at this point:

Names for Sharpedo? I know … you were thinking of names like “Jaws”, etc.

Blue-Shark-and-Princess-3D-Print

My favorite Sharpedo nickname is “Shyster” as in a shyster lawyer. Shyster-Lawyer … um, … would not that term actually be redundant? Sometimes lawyers are referred to as “Sharks”. There was even that James Woods TV series called “Shark” where he played a lawyer.

james_woods_shark_by_maxhierro

You may just have fun naming Sharpedo after famous lawyers – such as “F.Lee.Bailey”, or any of the O.J. Simpson legal team. Remember “Ally McBeal”? Female shysters might be given names like “Miranda” after the lesbian-lawyer on the old “Sex-and-the-City” TV show. “Miranda” however, brings to mind the late Carmen Miranda who starred in the Marx Brothers comedy Copacabana!

carmen-miranda_stamp

You were as colorful as Carvanha!

So, use Miranda for a Carvanha or evolved Sharpedo.

“JumpTheShark” has 12 letters, so it just makes the name size limit. Alternatively, you could use “Jump D.Shark”. I am old enough to remember the episode of “Happy Days” where Fonzie “jumped the shark” (clip linked here) and the phrase became part of American popular culture.

Oh no … has my Pokémon Nicknames series jumped the shark?

References: 1) My hazy memories, clouded with junior high hormones.

2) Bulbapedia  http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Main_Page

3) Serebii dot net   http://www.serebii.net/

“En la Copa… no te enamores … No te enamores”

Kimonos on Monday: AKB48’s “Kimi wa Melody” CD single cover art.

kom birth of sakura

Yuko appears to be more up for this than Acchan.

I was very happy to see the cover art for the new AKB48 single “Kimi wa Melody” (君はメロディー). This will be the group’s 43rd single, and it will commemorate their 10th Anniversary. The single, will have eleven total versions (5 limited editions + 5 regular edition) + 1 Theater edition.

akb48-43rd-single-kimi-no-melody

You know me, I get whatever is cheapest on eBay about six months later.  Ha Ha. Just kidding. These covers look great!

This 10th Anniversary single also features the return of graduated members Atsuko Maeda, Yuko Oshima, Tomomi Itano, and Mariko Shinoda.

The single is deeply philosophical regarding the graduated members’ return. As seen above — Yuko kissing Acchan represents the leaving of the old guard, with Sakura-tan’s stardom on the rise in the background. The sisterly love is overwhelming. I will leave it to future AKB Historians to debate further hidden meanings.

See more kimono screen shots on the AKB48 Daily  blog. Thank you Paul — you are an AKB Scholar!!!

http://akb48-daily.blogspot.com/2016/02/akb48-43rd-single-kimi-wa-melody-mv.html#.Vr-d7vkrKUk

Better watch it quick.

akb48-43rd-single-kimi-no-melody-mv-screenshot-01

Starlight: Hey Acchan and Yuko — your kiss may not be as bad as the “lesbian” scene in “The Color Purple” … but I’m still not buying it! 

Gratuitous Valentine’s Day Post #27: “Love Without Anger” by DEVO.

 

lwa by devo

Nothing says love … like a chocolates box filled with earthworms?  Well, how about a holiday created by a candy corporation?

Today’s music history lesson takes us all the way back to 1981 for a track from Devo’s innovative “New Traditionalists” album.  Way back then DEVO were video poets. They were creative, they were funny. I loved their retro-cool pop cultural references — and their takes on the old sci-fi movies, health films, 1950s politics, etc.  They were despised by the mainstream American culture of course.  Want to get beaten up? Say that you liked Devo. I have fond memories of these Kent-State-University-art-students-turned-new-wave-pop-stars. This song —  “Love Without Anger” featured a mixture of costumes, stop-motion animation, quirky retro references, subliminal messaging and a couple broken eggs. (Lyrics here.)

Oh, it really takes me back to when I was just a spud. Kids, back when Devo started their careers, there was no MTV, and rock music videos were seldom seem. I know, that “Barbie and Ken” animation bit looks like something directly out of “Robot Chicken“. It is crude in comparison, but that is part of its retro-charm. I also believe that this MV inspired Seth Green to create his series.

If you find this MV to be quirky and amusing, please check out the Devo playlists on YerTube. Tell ’em “Boogie Boy” sent yas.

Starlight: 1981 — my period of surfboards and plastic hair. 

I know, Iwasa Misaki just announced her graduation …

iwasa misaki tumblr_m5b44vZjoJ1qcjwj8o1_1280

Darn the luck – my computer monitor went out last week. I had no way to check or compose or read any social media posts all weekend. I needed to obtain information about the Iwasa Misaki solo concert on January 30th.  What could I do? I was so bored I even watched American TV. My friend Bob will verify that there was very little Wasamin coverage in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. … and they totally missed this great poster:

iwasa misaki concert poster

The cool art poster for the concert.

Turns out … drum roll … Wasamin announced her GRADUATION during this concert!

Well, you would think I would be a big pile of sobbing jelly hearing this news. (Scoffs) I am NOT. I cannot say that I am happy about it, but it was not unexpected. Miss Iwasa has been with AKB48 for a long time, so it does not surprise me that she would make the announcement at her first solo concert. It was her 21st Birthday too.

iwasa-misaki-akb48-21

Misaki-san + Cake = Denny’s Happiness

I thought that she might graduate after that last AKB election. Ahem … Wasamin did not even RANK in the 2015 election. I could not believe that she was shut out of the top 80 members in the 48Family. (cough) … especially when lesser singers (cough cough) were so highly ranked. What an injustice that night was. I must have kicked over every trash can in Akihabara that night (or would have.)

According to various news reports*, Misaki-san will leave to pursue an Enka-singing career. I know she will be great, and it is mainly though her that I have been turned on to the genre.

I think that she would be good in any genre. She can handle any Jpop or rock song out there.  I hope that she finds the right team of songwriters and producers. I wonder if she will continue with Yasushi Akimoto’s songs. Maybe she will dabble in some songwriting herself. Whatever she decides, I will support her.

I am also hoping that there will be a DVD of her solo concert, and that there will be a DVD available for the AKB48 concert in which she graduates. So many in the family have announced graduation, they could all be funneled into one big show. Will Mr. Akimoto compose a special graduation song just for Wasamin? (Maybe.) Will Miss Iwasa finally get to center an AKB48 single? (Ha … NOT likely.)

At this writing, I am still hoping to find more photos and information from the concert Saturday night, and will post them accordingly. Really, any memorabilia would be great. I am willing to dumpster-dive through Tokyo’s recycling if need be.

wasmin concert stub

Fellow bloggers had posted these:

iwasa-misaki-graduation-01

Yes, my feelings on the last election too . Oh, OK … not that one.

iwasa-misaki-graduation-03

I may be feeling a tear myself, Wasamin.

I wish Wasamin the best. (Denny sighs) She can move on to other things now … she will probably be dating soon.

(Ahem) … I hope she finds a nice guy who will support her, and treat her well (… choke….sniffle ). I think that she deserves to have a good man … (choke) … and she will probably get married in a couple of years … (Denny beginning to sob)…

iwasa misaki tumblr_ny11tlifF11s82ar1o7_540

I also think she will make a good mother someday  … (Denny’s tears flowing uncontrollably now) … she will raise a happy home … full of music and laughter … and she will teach her kids to sing songs … there will be a lot of love (um … gulp.) … and happiness in the household … her husband will love her and cherish her … good for you Wasamin (Denny starts to lose it) … I will be happy for you ….

Waaa …. (Denny starts crying like Lucy Ricardo)

Starlight: Can one of you help me up off the floor?

* http://akbzine.com/2016/01/30/iwasa-misaki-announces-graduation/

http://akb48-daily.blogspot.com/2016/01/iwasa-misaki-announces-graduation.html

http://www.jpop-idols.com/en/iwasa-misaki-graduation-akb48/

http://www.nikkansports.com/entertainment/akb48/news/1598742.html

http://www.tokyohive.com/article/2016/01/akb48s-iwasa-misaki-announces-graduation

The Cleveland Plain Dealer? Nothing.

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