Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Archive for August, 2018

My favorite Mr. Children song — “HANABI” — covered by my favorite children!

Mr. Children or “Misu-Chiru” is one of the most popular rock groups in Japanese pop music history. Today I wanted to share with you my FAVORITE Misutā Chirudoren song called HANABI.

There are a number of good live performances of the song on YouTube. It was hard to choose just one to share,  but I settled on this one from late 2017. It does beg the question, how is it Thanksgiving, when the performance is in Japan?

The song was written by Kazutoshi Sakurai. It is from their great 2008 album called Supermarket Fantasy* .

* … and I thought I was the only one who had this grocery store fantasy!

Mr. Children’s web site is linked here if you want to learn more about the band, the albums, upcoming tours and so on. My WordPress Jpop mentor, Morningberryz48, had written a great article about the band — linked here.  Another of her articles is linked here. Lyrics and English translation are linked here.

After I viewed a few of their live performances, I came across some interesting covers of the song. Some of the covers were by professional singers. Others are karaoke-like. Let me share some of the pretty ones. Each cover adds a little bit more to an appreciation of the song. I’m sure you will be drawn in the same way I was. Which one do you like best?

This is a very sweet and beautiful cover, by the very sweet and beautiful Minami Sakuma, from her YouTube Channel.

This next cover by the YouTube duo  kobasolo This cover includes the lyrics in Romanji and an English translation. Make sure to have your CC on!

Nice job kids!

More? “mou ikkai … mou ikkai!” …There are so many good, heartfelt covers of this wonderful song out there, but I think this next one is my favorite cover:

This is by Hitomi Sano. See and hear more of her on her YouTube Channel. I love how she sings it while playing solo piano. She sings it with the perfect blend of LOVE and URGENCY. Her hair, her lovely face, give the appearance of windswept emotions. Like the “Hanabi” or “Fireworks” which are ephemeral. They are a joy, but they are bittersweet because although they are a climax, they cannot last. We wonder about our own imperfect perceptions. Are we wrong for feeling this way? We deal, and we make our way … but I see that I have digressed.

There are too many to share here, but I think that this next one will be popular with anime fans.

Mari Channel, another YouTube user, has presented this interesting, amusing and passionate music video as Kashiko Mari. The playback works best if you enable your CC , as you get the sing-along Japanese lyrics, plus the English translation. True, you are watching an animated sprite, but the little cartoon lady really BRINGS IT! Note her very emotional face, mouth and hand gestures.

Thank You Kashiko! Of course you can find other covers through the suggested links on YT. If you need just “one more time — one more time –“

Just for you, Bob: The guitar chords for the song are linked here

Thank you YouTube user Ryuzo.

Starlight: It took nine years for “Hanabi” to reach my world. It bounced around in my atmosphere for a while, until I could perceive it.

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Pokémon Nicknames: Stunky and Skuntank

 

Stunky (in Japanese: スカンプー  “Skunpuu”) is a POISON and DARK dual-type introduced in Generation IV (Sinnoh Region). Stunky evolves into Skuntank (in Japanese: スカタンク “Skutank”) at level 34, where it is still a dual Poison and Dark type. Stunky and Stuntank are in the “Skunk Pokémon” category. (Reference: Bulbapedia.)

Skunk nicknames?… You have to think for a moment about “what kind of things stink?” then go from there.

Pew-Research” is after the Pew Research Center. A well documented source of information.

If you want to name a skunk, then a good name is “Pepé” or “Le Pew” as in “Pepé Le Pew” the famous French skunk from the old Looney Tunes cartoons. I remember watching a number of these shorts when I was eight years old. The storyline was always the same. Pepé would arrive in a town, and at the same time a female black cat would encounter some type of accident involving white paint. The paint would drip or get rubbed down her back, so that the cat would look like a skunk. Then Pepé would see the lady “skunk” … rush over to her and start hugging and kissing her. The cat would resist the unwanted kisses, and then she would get a wiff of Pepé’s skunk-stink cloud. Then she would really, really struggle to get away. Pepé would continue kissing her, and telling her that he wanted to “take her away to the Casbah” with his French accent.  That’s how my generation learned our stereotypes — from Mel Blanc in Warner Bros. cartoons.  When I was eight years old, we didn’t see Pepé as a predator. We just thought it was funny that the cat smelled stinky-stink and wanted to get away. I don’t think they could make these cartoons today, as sexual harassment is not funny. The poor kitty. Hashtag Me Too.

Why the hell did he always want to take her away to the Casbah? I don’t think it would smell any better there.

I used “PooPooPeDoop” as a variant of the old “Betty Boop” phrase. Great in black and white. She sings a song with the “Boop Oop A Doop” line. This has been switched up and covered by many campy singers.

My eight-year old cartoon-watching friends and I always thought that she was signing about poop. That’s the thing about kids. Unlike sophisticated adults, little kids think that fart and poop jokes are hilariously funny. “PooPooPeeDo” is also the name of a kitty litter disposal system. “PullMyFinger” may result in a funny name. I have heard the term “Stinkfinger” — but I had to look what it meant. In The Urban Dictionary, “Stinkfinger” is defined as “The (usually) surreptitious action of savoring the pheromone laden evidence of digital exploration of the magical female orifice.” Ahem … well that led me to think of “Badfinger” — an early 1970s rock group.

What else might stink? I’m not laughing at “Vagisil“. It is an important product, and it is used in the world’s greatest real estate. The cream has inspired a number of funny memes however.

Some ladies like a black and white stripped hair color scheme. Not sure why it is popular — doesn’t it look like a skunk stripe? So maybe a name like “Stripes” or “Lucky Stripe” would fit? A good name for a female Stunky might be “Alexandra”. If you are a fan of “Archie” comics, you may know that Josie (of Josie and The PussyCats”) had a rival named Alexandra Cabot – who had one of those black and white skunk-striped hairdos. She was always stinking up the place for Josie.

My favorite nickname for Stunky is “Lil’Stinker”. If it evolves into Skuntank, then it could be “A-Big-Stink” as in the phrase: they made a big stink about it, meaning excessive complaining over something trivial. Unexpectedly smelling something stinky is not trivial however. “P.U.” … as in “StinkyCheese“. “Limburger” might be a good stink name.

When I was eight years old, my classmates and rarely used the word “fart”. It was always “stinker”. We would say “someone let a stinker” when someone passed gas. I never really thought about it too deeply, but a stinker had to be LET … as in it was allowed. The self and the stinker are perhaps one. The stinker has to be contained, and one chooses to “let” it loose. One has to have some understanding of the stinker coexisting, and building inside oneself. Eventually, the stinker surpasses the self, you come to accept the stinker – you let the stinker. Kind of Zen-Like when I think about it that way.

Skuntank could be re-worded to “Stun-Tank” because the little critter will certainly stun anything that gets shot by its stream of smelly spray. On that note I thought “FunkySpunk” would be a good name for Skuntank, after the Sex-and-the-City episode.

Yeah, I would think this was funny when I was eight. This Sinnoh Region skunk can learn “Flamethrower, so it should also be able to light the fart, then burn up the gas. Maybe it could use lighted farts as a special attack? One question: Why would the other Poison-types faint though? Back then you could not poison a poison type.

What do you call your little stinker? Please comment.

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