Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Archive for May, 2016

Pokémon Nicknames: Volbeat and Illumise

4977352.gross

Volbeat (in Japanese: バルビート  “Barubeat”) is the “Firefly Pokémon”. It is a BUG-type. It does not evolve, and so far there is no Mega-evolutionary form. All Volbeats are male.

volbeat plastic toy

You can breed it with a Ditto, to produce an egg that will either hatch as a Volbeat if it is male, or an Illumise if the hatchling is female.

Volbeat egg

Illumise (in Japanese: イルミーゼ  “Illumise”) is also a Bug-type, also is a “Firefly Pokémon” and also does not evolve from or into any form.

illumisecosplay1

I wonder if she knows TM 70?

All are female, and can be bred with either a Ditto or a Volbeat. Eggs would contain either Illumise or Volbeat.

illumise_and_volbeat_by_francescamisa-d4u35tl

I like to name Volbeat after members of the Beatles. I used to use combined names, like John-Paul or George-Ringo, but then I just gave them the individual names of the Beatles. “John”, “Paul”, etc.

I even used “Pete Best” as he was the original Beatles drummer. Did you know that there was another Beatles member — “Stu”? Stuart Sutcliff was one of the original Beatles, and was a big influence on John and Paul until his untimely death.

pauljohngeorgestuartpete

Paul, John, George, Stu and Pete.

I have also named Volbeat “Down Beat” or “Downbeat” after the Jazz musical style. I also like “Fahrvernugen” – after “Fahrvergnügen” the slogan for Volkswagen automobiles, but I would have to misspell it due to the 12 letter limit. Of course you can just name it “VW” or “V.W. Beetle”. There is also a Danish heavy-metal group called Volbeat, so if you are a Euro-metal fan, you could name Volbeat after one of their songs. “EnglishBeat” and “Bronski Beat” are 1980s new wave music examples.

Another possible name for this Beetle is “The Love Bug” or “Herbie” after the famous Disney movie. The name “Ocho” would be subtle play on Herbie’s racing number.

Herbies headlights

Herbie’s headlights as seen in the 2005 remake with Lindsay Lohan.

Illumise —  by contrast — is gorgeous. She has these most amazing eyes. This Firefly is a nocturnal beauty. I have used the name “NightLight“. You could name Illumise after any pretty girl with enchanting eyes. “Moon-in-June” or “Moon-Bug” may be OK. “Bedroom Eyes” anyone?

wasa eyes

Guess who!

It probably will not surprise you, but I named one “Iwasa Misaki” after the world’s most beautiful woman … er … I mean … um … er … second only to my wife … um … is what I meant to say. I named another one “Wasamin” and used the little heart symbols as part of the name. I leveled little, bright-eyed Wasamin up to Level 100 in a Luxury Ball, and also super-trained her.

wasa IMG_0167

What is the name for your favorite firefly? Please comment!

illumise.cosplay2

Use TM70 “Flash” ! … really, I won’t mind.

Maybe I should have named this night-lightning bug something like “Headlights” or “Highbeams” – after, well, you know.

References: Bulbapedia and Serebi.net. … and, although he hates you, you may find other example names on the Name-Rater’s website.

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Denny’s Classroom — Two centuries of British songwriting, Part 27: “Bodies” by the Sex Pistols

british song

Good morning class. Today in “Two Centuries of British Song and Poetry” we travel back to the late-twentieth century. We will study the origin and development of  “punk rock” theory. (Denny rustles lecture notes on the podium.) We will celebrate and explore the musical and lyrical genius of Mr. Johnny Rotten and Mr. Sid Vicious (now deceased). The song is “Bodies” from the “Never Mind The Bollocks” album by The Sex Pistols, released in October 1977.

Abortion is a serious and controversial topic. There are relatively few pop songs which cover the issue however. Who else to explore this debate than with these preeminent and prototypical late 1970s punk rock icons? (Ahem.) Perhaps it is best if we play the song first. Please hold your discussion points until AFTER the song plays. (Denny senses some distracted students.) The lyrics are here for you to follow along with.

She was a girl from Birmingham
She just had an abortion
She was a case of insanity
Her name was Pauline  (she lived in a tree)

She was a no one who killed her baby
She sent her letters from the country
She was an animal
She was a bloody disgrace!

Body! I’m not an animal
Body! I’m not an animal

Dragged on a table in factory
Illegitimate place to be
In a packet in a lavatory
Die little baby screaming!!!
Body! screaming fucking bloody mess
Not an animal
It’s an abortion 

Body! I’m not animal!
Mummy! I’m not an abortion!

[Spoken]
Throbbing squirm,
gurgling bloody mess
I’m not a discharge!
I’m not a loss in protein!
I’m not a throbbing squirm!

Fuck this and fuck that —
Fuck it all and fuck a fucking brat
She don’t wanna baby that looks like that
I don’t wanna baby that looks like that
Body, I’m not an animal
Body, an abortion

Body! I’m not an animal
Body! I’m not an animal
An animal
I’m not an animal…..
I’m an abortion…..

Mummy! UGH!

We should also enjoy this lovely live version from way back in 1978. This really really takes me back to my youth. I’m the guy with glasses in the third row. 

The lyrics – which are tame by today’s standards – were quite shocking in 1977, as were the Sex Pistols, as was British punk rock music in general. The protagonist of the song is an unborn fetus. It pleads to its insipid mother that “I am not an animal”. To no avail. It dies a “screaming bloody gurgling mess” during an illegal abortion. If you watch the live version, note that at one point Johnny Rotten twists his microphone cord around his neck to symbolize the abortion procedure against the unborn child. Sid Vicious was cutting himself on stage by that time, so the extra blood further illustrates the poetic complexity. The last lyric line is simply “Ugh” — the death of the would-be human baby.

rotten twisting abortion

What would the world have been like if the mother of John Lydon had an abortion?

The music is exemplary punk rock music. When I young musicians, and they sometimes tell me that “the Pistols” are one of their influences. I always say “Do you know what the Sex Pistols were really like?!?” It is true, their album is full of what would now be considered punk clichés. They invented the punk rock standard.  (I suggest that readers view the interesting mocumentary “The Great Rock-and-Roll Swindle” for a fuller story.)

The lyrics do open up a number of questions of course …

Now, I know what you are thinking: How right-wing reactionary they must have been …  writing an anti-abortion song. Of course, the Sex Pistols were anything but conservative – they were very much the opposite actually .. despite the Pro-Life message of this song.

20 week fetus

The 20 week fetus: I’M NOT AN ANIMAL!

I think the reason why they presented this horror show was to shake up the complacency of British society. Abortions by this time were legal, although restricted, in Britain. Middle and upper class British women having abortions would just be another thing for Mr. Rotten to be critical of. He would also be critical of “all the bloody starvation and oppression” in the world as well.  The ant-abortion statement here, I believe, is just another way for him to say “Fuck you England – you’re stupid”. Whatever is the norm, he would seek to tear down. Anything against the British majority — which would make him correct only 80% of the time! (Denny looks out at students to see if anyone is challenged by his last statement).

“God save the Queen – because this is a FASCIST regime … there is no future for you …. and England’s dreaming …”.

(cough). Oh, that one is actually another song for perhaps another lesson. It is thematic of the entire record however. (Denny desperately trying to get a student reaction.)

Now would that also be true for …

(Bell rings: Sound of students packing, getting up, leaving, talking.)  … As a reminder … (Denny speaking over the clamoring sounds of students packing)  … class … please post your comments to the course message board by Monday at 9:00 am. Oh, and I will NOT be in my office on Tuesday … but I will hold an extra hour after my regular office hours on Thursday.

Starlight: 1977 … Hmm … For right or for wrong … the Sex Pistols and punk rock were part of my transitioning to reject drugs, my neighborhood, my school, and my hometown.

“I somehow see what’s beautiful, in things that are ephemeral …”

I somehow see what's beautiful

I get a lot of (guff) sometimes for the music that I like. Yeah, I liked the Beatles, but then who in my generation didn’t? That might be our only common ground. I can’t say I have ever liked too much of the mainstream — and still don’t. Also, most kids today listen to rap, and as I’ve always said, I have never heard a rap song which I liked.

In the late 70s and early 80s I liked punk rock/new wave long before it became popular. I got a lot of “Get Away From Me Man” or actually “Don’t Touch Me Man” — because I liked Devo and Elvis Costello. When I told Maury down at the Deli that I like the Japanese Idol genre, he replied “Yu dah WHAT …?” with his hands gesturing out like he usually does like that … well, you would have to know Maury.

Ahem … I will try to stay positive today as I will share one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite American groups: She & Him. “I Thought I Saw Your Face Today” is from their great 2008 debut album, titled simply: Volume 1. The song is written by Zooey Deschanel. She & Him are considered an “indie” pop rock group.

Of course, Zooey-chan is mainly known as a TV and movie actress, but I also think that she is a great, but very under-rated songwriter. (Before you say “Get Away From Me Man”, read what I wrote about this subject on another post, some time back, linked here.) The song reminds me a lot of John Lennon’s “Across the Universe”. In fact, I think that Zooey writes and performs well in a retro-1960s Beatles/Beach Boys- type-style. Let us take a listen, then we will discuss it. (Scroll down for lyrics.)

While listening to the song on YourTube, I came across a number of fan cover songs. Most of these were made back when Volume 1 came out. I especially like the 3rd one down. She did a great job of putting a real music video together.

All are lovely young women, with a lot of spirit. They each bring a unique something to the song. If you ever wonder if there is anything good, and positive in this world, look at these dear hearts. There is a glimpse of the best of humanity. Young ladies — singing a personal song they love.  (Denny choking up a bit.) These are all beautiful moments captured. Like an old photograph — or better yet — like a dragonfly trapped in amber during the early Cretaceous Period, the talent, beauty, and warmth of these life affirming young women are preserved by YourTube — and are still here for us to enjoy.

… Wait a minute, it has only been eight years — perhaps it is the nostalgic echo of the song which made me drop my cup-of-time … the ladies are still here. They probably all just graduated nursing school.

Music and lyrics  – by Zooey Deschanel

I thought
I saw your face today
But I just
Turned my head away
Your face
Against the trees
But I just see
The memories
As they come
As they come
And I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again

I saw it glitter
As I grew
And loved it
Boy, I never knew
I thought this place
Was heaven sent
But now
It’s just a monument
In my mind
In my mind
And I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again

The cars and freeways
That implore me to stay away
Out of this place
My mother said
Just keep your head
And play it as it lays

The cars and freeways
That implore me
To stay away
Out of this place
My mother said
Just keep your head
And play it as it lays

I somehow see
What’s beautiful in things
That are ephemeral
I’m my only friend, am I?
Love is just
A piece of time
In your world
In the world

And I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again
No I couldn’t help
But fall in love again

Discussion: I love the lyrics. They are simple, but straightforward and honest.  Maybe a little mystical and paradoxical. One mistake I made  — until I looked up the lyrics — was that I misheard the line “And loved it boy — I never knew”. I thought I heard: “I loved a boy I never knew” which to me — sounded all reverse-time moving/paradoxical involving. Sometimes when you fall in love with someone, you instantly “recognize” them as someone you have always known, or should have known, even if you never met them before…if that could make any sense. A good song may transcend reality. I hope you can find your own meaning in this song. Thanks, Z.D.

You can find the guitar chords out there on the InterWebs. A free example is linked here.

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/s/she_him/i_thought_i_saw_your_face_today_crd.htm

Starlight: She and Him “Volume 1” was released on March 18, 2008. What a great record.

This is a very shaky-poor-sounding-illegal recording from those eight years ago at a concert in New York City. Note that Zooey does her own whistling!  

Pokémon Nicknames: Swablu and Altaria

lisia_and_ali__the_altaria__pokemon_oras_cosplay_by_firecloak-d976ruh

Swablu (in Japanese: チルット  “Tyltto”) is a dual Normal-Flying type Pokémon. It is termed the “Cotton-Bird” Pokémon.

Swablu evolves into Altaria (in Japanese: チルタリス  “Tyltalis”) at level 35, where it becomes a Dragon-Flying dual type, and is dubbed the “Humming Pokémon”. (Humming? … What?)

swablu_n_altaria

Altaria can Mega Evolve into Mega Altaria using the Altarianite.

mega_altaria_by_kamashei-d7un2gh

Although Swablu is a “cotton” Pokémon, its wings resemble clouds. Fair weather cumulus clouds are often described as having a cotton-ball appearance. This flying-type would appear to be able to mingle amongst the puffy convective clouds. I often give Swablu and/or Altaria  a cloud type name … but more on that later. Enjoy this Swablu cosplay for now …

The “blu” in Sawblu coordinates with its “sky-blue” color. This sky-blu color is sometimes called “Tar Heel blue” as this shade of light blue is the official color of The University of North Carolina. Thus I have named them “Tar Heel” and “Go Blu”.

tarheel swablu

I sometimes have my head in the clouds.

Female Swablu could be aptly named “Carolina”. Perhaps even “NC” after the famous UNC logo.

tar heel blu

Perhaps “Kitty Hawk” would be a good name for a flying type, as it was the North Carolina beach (seen above) where the Wright Brothers first flew!

In general I like to name Swablu and Altaria after cloud types, such as “Cumulus”, “Cirrus”, “Stratus”, “Nimbus”, “Nimbostratus”, etc.

The mega-evolved Altaria looks like an imposing Cumulonimbus (which just makes it in at twelve letters.) Perhaps you could think of other sky/storm related names – “Hailbringer” for example.

altaria images

Wouldn’t it be cool if Altaria could change its nickname when it mega-evolves? It would be cool if its name could change from cumulus to cumulonimbus as it grew into an intimidating thunderstorm! … what? … oh … you’re not a “weather-geek” you say? Perhaps you will enjoy this Altaria cosplay:

The Japanese-game name Tyltalis is appropriate for a dragon-type. It comes from the old name “Tyl”. This was the traditional name for Epsilon Draconis, a star in the constellation of Draco the Dragon. Thus, you could use the nickname “Epsilon” if you are an “astronomy-geek”!

If you are more of a “computer-geek”, then you might prefer the name “Altair 8800”, which was  released in 1975 as (ahem … cough) … the “first personal computer”.

the_Altair_8800

Yes, it was a personal computer. Even though it did not have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, operating system, or software.  … what good was it for then? Humming?

Maybe try the name “I-Cloud” if you like Apple products.

Names I liked from users on the Name Rater site are Azure, Cloud 9, Cloud Nine, Nubes Arem for Altaria and Q-Tip for Swablu. I also noticed that several cloud names were also submitted … to be insulted …  you know how the name rater is!

tar heels rear

What is the name of your Tar-Heel blue-color Pokémon? Please comment!

References:

http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.serebii.net/

Pokémon Nicknames: Grimer and Muk

wave of muk

THE GREAT WAVE OF CRAP-A-GAWA: A shitstorm? More like a shit tsunami!!!

Grimer (in Japanese: ベトベター  “Betbeter”) is a Poison-type Pokémon. Grimer evolves into Muk (in Japanese: ベトベトン  “Betbeton”) at level 38, where it remains a Poison-type. There is currently no way to Mega-evolve Muk.

Both Grimer and Muk are termed the “Sludge Pokémon”. Basically, Grimer is just a pile of crap. Muk is an even bigger, festering pile of excrement.

muk cosplay at con

Q: “What are you going to the Con dressed as?”   A: I think I will show up as a huge, putrid pile of human sewage!

My favorite Grimer/Muk nickname is “The-95-Feces” – which is a play on words about the famous Ninety-Five Theses. History tells us that the Protestant reformer Martin Luther nailed his “ninety-five theses” of to the door of the Catholic Church in protest. (Readers: Please know I am NOT making fun of religion here, just having my fun with wordplay.) 

nailing-luther theses

Could you image a trainer nailing 95 Grimers to the door of Team Rocket HQ?

If you are not big on historical references, then you could name them after any type of excrement or pollution. Anything that you think is a “pile of crap”, you can name a Grimer/Muk after it. I named a Muk “Obamacare” , then sent it out on the Wonder-Trade. The user on the other end would have gotten a message “Denny sent over Obamacare … take good care of Obamacare”. Lots of laughs. Really, use a name fer anything you consider to be synonymous with SHIT …

Wondertrade is also a good way to send over “Massive Dump” or “A Huge Load“, perhaps even “My-Epic-Deuce” if you are playful. 

(I have not tried it, but would the name-censor allow the name “S.H.I.T.E.“?) 

Another name I have used is “Blockage” after all that undigested red meat you have in your intestines. Speaking of colon blockages – McDonald’s restaurants at one time had a costumed character called “Grimace”. Coincidence? The Pokémon Grimer looks a lot like the McDonald’s character.

mcdonalds grimace blockage

Wouldn’t he actually want people to eat A LOT of McDonald’s food?

Grimace was at first a bad guy like the “Hamburgler”. Grimace would steal your milkshake.  Maybe that is not so bad … McDonalds food (like all fast-food) is full of sugar, fat and empty calories. If you eat too much greasy fast food, you may get a Muk stuck in your bowels.

Perhaps female Grimer could be named “Polly Polyps” after what you do not want found in your colonoscopy.  Speaking of —  do you want to see a scan from my recent colon exam?

you should have it so good

How do I do it? … Clean living!

I sometimes give Grimer a “cute” nickname like “Stinky-Poo” or something equally playful and charming, like “Rubberturd“. You know what side-splitting funny? Fake poop.

fake turd joke

Someone in China has the job of making “fake poop”. Does the worker ever wonder “Why Americans buy this crap?”

A name like “Prunes” might be good. Prunes are good for maintaining regularity. Also, as noted by almost every middle-schooler in history – prunes already look like a turd!

Perhaps a name like “Ca-Ca Monster” after the muppet — Cookie Monster.

Named for a sound effect: perhaps a name like “Plop Plop” would work for a little Grimer. Perhaps “Floater” might be good for your little Grimer. Names having to do with sludge or sewers could wor. Perhaps “Sewardt” as a deviation of “Stuart”. Perhaps you would laugh when my trainer throws out a Muk named “Fudge-Pack“.

On the Name Rater webpage (linked there) I did not see a lot of Grimer names that i liked. “Grimetime” and “Poo Poo” were OK, I guess. Muk names “Lahar” “Schmuk” or “Mr. Turd” might be the basis of thinking something else. Maybe we should leave with a more positive image.

May I  present: “The Goddess of Regularity.”

not-a-muk-purple_lady

What is the name of your piece-of-crap? Please comment!

12/20/2016

ALOLA UPDATE: There are now special Alola forms of Grimer and Muk!

grimers-img_0315

Thus, You may want to experiment with more colorful names. “I-Ate-Corn” for example.

Mean-Tweet” would be one colorful example of shit. We have all seen or received unappealing messages on Twitter and elsewhere. I almost never use Twitter because it is mostly crap. When I read these hate-filled profane messages from petulant celebrities (Katy Perry, etc.), I feel like I stepped in a Muk.

alola-muk-img_0309

References:

http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.serebii.net/

Can you guess which Iwasa Misaki Twitter photo gave Denny a heart attack this morning?

Guess which photo from Iwasa Misaki’s official Twitter account made me spill my coffee and landed me on the floor this morning:

WasaPicture1

Wasa Photo A

WasaPicture4

Wasa Photo B

WasaPicture3

Wasa Photo C

WasaPicture2

Wasa Photo D

Come on … It is MULTIPLE CHOICE … please take my Wasa-poll:

If you want to see more Wasamin selfies, her lunch, her friends and puppy videos, see Iwasa Misaki’s official Twitter linked here.

https://twitter.com/wasaminnn

Starlight: I only look at the Sun at Night.

My memories of Isao Tomita

isao tomita

It is with sadness …  I will return from my blogging exile today … in order to tell you about the recent death of Japanese musician Isao Tomita.

He was known simply as “Tomita” — and during the 1970s I was a big fan of his synthesizer-meets-classical music. I just now found out about his passing. (Cough) It was a few days ago.

His obituary in the New York Times is linked here.  I would not be able to do justice to what is in the article, or even to this discography from Wikipedia linked here. Instead, I will share some of my memories of his work. I can’t say that I was a big follower of his recent work, but his early albums are a big influence on who I am as a music listener today.

I owned his great 1976 album “The Planets” — Tomita’s version of Gustav Holst’s famous symphony. I LOVED IT! Some of it was hokey, but most of it was AMAZING!

I was working in a Chinese restaurant at the time. I was a long-haired 16-year old stoner teenager. I remember a time, when one of the cute waitresses borrowed my LP … as she was a big classical music buff. We talked. She was a nice lady. I wonder what ever happened to her?

Um … through Tomita, I learned a little more appreciation for classical music. I also loved his “Pictures at an Exhibition” from the Mussorgsky symphony. I think I might have to go out and buy another copy tomorrow.

tomita-pictures_at_an_exhibition_cover

My burn-out friends hated Tomita of course. When I would try to play it for my stoner friends they would give me the old: “Get Away From Me Man!!!” routine.

Shit … KISS and Aerosmith are OK, but sometimes a young, developing mind needs to hear something else. Also, I was having dreams and visions about the information contained in libraries. I was starting to think that maybe I should not be another stoner-loser in an industrial hick town. You see, “pictures at an exhibition”. Open up those “Great Gates of Kiev” through Tomita-visions!

Every once in a while, I would catch some Tomita music which was being used in a commercial or TV show. I would sputter … IT’S TOMITA!!! You know, like when you go to one of those Marvel “Avengers” movies, and Stan Lee makes a cameo … and you nudge your friend and then whisper – THAT”S Stan Lee!!! 

Another time in college, I heard the Tomita version of “Mars: the Bringer of War” from the Planets in an educational film about atmospheric storms. Weird.  I’m sitting there in class thinking: THAT’S TOMITA! Of course, I could not say anything. Also you can’t look at your classmates sexy legs in those tight hot pants for too long either.  Think of looking at girl’s legs is just like you are looking at the Sun. Look briefly, then away … and yes, I am digressing again. Still, no one to talk to about Tomita with — all through college.

Oh, my other Tomita story? One time in about 1976,  I made an 8-track “mix tape” of rock music and I snuck a little bit of Tomita in. When I was 16 and 17, my friends and I would get 12 packs of beer and ride around Oldsmobile 442s and drink and smoke marijuana joints. (Dear Readers: This was me long before I became anti-drugs. Thinking back, it was a pretty crazy thing to do. Drive around with drunken friends and smoke out of a bong.) Oh, back to Tomita … Um, in among the tracks by Kansas, The Who, Rolling Stones, that I taped,  I snuck in the Tomita electronic-synthesizer version of “Ballet of the Chicks in their Shells” from Pictures at an Exhibition.

We had just smoked this killer joint, and we were on the verge of tripping … it was so potent.  Anyway, they start cracking up at how ridiculous it sounded. Laughing and coughing all that marijuana smoke. You know how ANYTHING can be funny when one is really, really high? Well, that was the only time I ever got my druggie friends to like something by Tomita. Don’t worry — I changed. I’m now drug free.

Kids: Learn from your Uncle Denny’s mistakes — Don’t do drugs.

Of course my  grown-up friends still say “Get Away From Me Man” — when I talk about the music I like these days (cough .. Japanese Idols).

Tomita went on to record a lot of great electronic music in his later years. Some of it was goofy. Most of it was mystical and magical. He scored a number of  Japanese films, TV dramas and animes. I liked what he composed for “Twilight Samurai” – one of my favorite Japanese films. Really, you should watch it.

I think I am going to catch up on some Tomita now, and listen to his work from the 1990s and beyond.

Starlight: Isao Tomita 冨田 勲 (Tomita Isao),  April 22, 1932 – May 5, 2016.

“I will listen for you … out in the dark matter, Tomita-san”

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I'm not an author. I write only to render a bit of joy...and happily be a part of sad and coy! Your life is my canvas and your smile is the enhancement of my creation!

Falconhaxx

This and that, sometimes and occasionally.

Anime Reviews and Lots of Other Stuff!

Where We Can Watch Our Anime in Peace

Pokécology

Ecologically overthinking representations of space/place and nonhumans in pokéverse! Updated Fridays

JapanTrekker

Explore Japan!

Mage in a Barrel

An Anime Blog for Those Who Want to Find Magic in Unexpected Places

Land of the Rising Sound

Rise to the Sound of Japan!

meta t h e r e s a

process. write. repeat

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