Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Archive for the ‘ANOTHER FANBOY POST’ Category

HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY — HANAKO OKU

She is a great musician who stands alone in her field!

Birthday wishes going out today to “The Little Great One” — Hanako Oku born this day March 20th 1978.

This might be a tough one for her … She turns FORTY!

Ha. Age is just a number though, … at least I tell myself that.

Oh, of course there has to be a song. The song I would like to share for this special day is “Panorama no Kaze”.  This was from a live performance in 2008. It is one of the Oku ballads that always takes me there. (gulp)

Of course, she is a great artist in any decade.

Starlight: Wanna see my collection?

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Kimonos on Monday — My daughter Sakura is finally an ADULT!

Kimonos on Monday — Sakura-tan is an ADULT!

My lovely daughter* Sakura Miyawaki has had her “Coming of Age Day” on January 8, 2018. (Japan is 12 hours ahead of my time zone.) This means that the mega-talented and incredibly adorable twenty-year old is accepting the responsibilities of being an adult.

The Shinto ceremony was held at Kanda shrine in Tokyo.

According to the AKB Daily website (article linked here), a total of forty members of the AKB48 family participated in this year’s event. This is the largest number of participants in the group’s history.

This large number of participants is not surprising, as there has been a significant amount of expansion of the AKB Family in recent years.

Sakura with the other HKT48 members who have turned twenty this year.  Oh I can remember when this group was only knee high to a June bug.

I will try to post more COA day photos/links from the AKB groups as they become available. Also, you can see more of the lovely Miss Miyawaki on her Twitter page linked here.

Look at those sleeves — at first I thought Sakura’s kimono was a tie-dye.

My friends over at 48 Talk also mention the event in their podcast yesterday. I highly recommend their video blog for AKB fans!

*Starlight:  You probably figured out that Sakura-tan is NOT REALLY my daughter …

Hanako Oku and Pokémon Ultra Sun

A l o l a   C o u s i n s !

I am currently playing Pokémon Ultra Sun as a character named “Hanako”. The name is based on one of my favorite recording artists Hanako Oku! Don’t worry — Denny from Sinnoh will appear in Pokémon Ultra Moon. When I buy a new game I usually like to differentiate the trainer character. This also helps in keeping track of Pokémon in the Pokémon Bank.

I thought it would be cute to play as “Hanako” to honor Ms. Oku-san.

I tried to style her in the way she looked when her music career was rising in the 2005-20011 period. She often wore boyish clothes — usually jeans and a t-shirt. Of curse, the delightful Ms. Oku is more sophisticated in her stage attire now, but I liked her early period. I used her short brownish bobbed haircut with bangs. I chose red frame glasses after Ms. Oku’s trademark red spectacles. I think that she would like the Pickachu t-shirt I gave her, and her boots are closest to what she wore in her early period. I also named her Festival Plaza “Oku University”.

I chose Rowlet as her starter Pokémon. It turned out to be a female Rowlet, so I named her “Olympia” after the forested mountain region in the Pacific Northwest.  A lot of owls live there. I have decided not to let Olympia evolve, at least not until the main story is finished. She is just too cute.

Hanako received the special event Pokémon Rockruff which is the only one which could be evolved into the special “Dusk form” Lycanroc. Little Olympia could sometimes be overwhelmed by higher-level Pokémon, so I gave her a strong wolf to defend her. I named the puppy/wolf “Roofies” after my previous post on Lycanroc linked here.

A little off-topic: I was very proud to see that my Lycanroc post gained 13,000 views! That one post gained nearly 7,000 reads on just November 17, 2017 — which was my most viewed day ever! It seems a lot of people were looking for nicknames for event Lycanroc on the Ultra Sun-Moon release date!

Other members of the team include a Yungoos I named “RikiTikiTavi” after the mongoose in the classic Rudyard Kipling story. Hanako had previously caught other Yungoos named “Youngblood” and “TRUMP2016“. I am also not letting little Riki evolve. It is just too cute, the little biter. He holds a Normal Z-Crystal for extra power.

Hanako’s Charjabug is named “EmergencyUse” except that the electric bug is often used. She never has to worry about her batteries running out. Her bug cannot evolve however, until it encounters the special magnetic field present in the Vast Poni Canyon or on Blush Mountain.  It is a slow bug, so it carries a Quick Claw.

Her Wishiwashi is named “Smells Fishy“. It is good to be skeptical on an adventure. Sometimes things do not appear as they seem. I can suggest many more Wishiwashi names from my old fish post linked here. It carries a Waterium-Z.

I wanted Hanako to have Alola-only Pokémon, and as it turns out, many are small-less powerful ones which still need to evolve. Her Comfey does not evolve. She caught one female Comfey named “Princess Lei” after the Star Wars character, but named another one “Lei Lady Lei after the Bob Dylan song linked here.

Regarding songs, which Hanako Oku song might be playful enough for a Pokémon adventure? Most Hanako Oku songs are emotional piano ballads dealing with unrequited love — or “break up songs” as is sometimes described on American radio. I thought that her song “Takoyaki” sounded playful enough. I could see the young trainer prancing through the tall grass singing this one.

“Takoyaki” is the name of a Japanese snack made like a wheat dumpling, but containing OCTOPUS!  If little Hanako catches an Octillary, guess what she will name it?

Hanako’s Rotom Dex is well meaning, but often questions his existence and always wants to be reassured. Likewise, I think that my Pokémon journey is coming to an end. I first started playing Pokémon with my son when he was in second grade. We always bought every new game on release day. He would get one version (Diamond) and  I would take the other (Pear). We did this all the way through Pokémon Sun and Moon.

I noticed that he had less enthusiasm for Pokémon these days. He is very much more into Fire Emblem these days. He still wants the new Pokémon, but mainly just rushes through the story to beat the champion. I on the other hand was always diligent about filling the Pokédex.(“Denny” finally filled the National ‘Dex in Pokémon Y, including all the event Pokémon.) My son is not at all thrilled about Ultra Moon, even though this is probably THE BEST GAME IN THE SERIES.

So … without a kid interested, should I continue to play Pokemon games? … at my age? … with my responsibilities? I still enjoy writing “Pokémon Nicknames” as the series is less so about naming Pokémon, and more about being a jumping off point to discuss unrelated aspects of Popular Culture.

I am hoping that she will finish her adventure. Are you interested in what she will name her Alolan Pokémon? Please comment!

Starlight: Looking back through the telescope at 2010. 

Kimonos on Monday: Photos of my Iwasa Misaki concert DVD covers and insert booklets.

“Forget blogging.” That is what I tell myself. I am in so much trouble at work for being such a deadwood employee, that I feel guilty even posting a few photos. I had been wanting to write a review of Iwasa Misaki’s first solo concert DVD last year, but never could. Then she released another solo concert earlier this year. Both are great concerts. There is this inner scream inside me that just wants to tell someone about them …

If I cannot write about them, perhaps some of my readers would be interested in coming over to my house, and we can watch them together. Then I can tell you all about them. I will have some cupcakes we can share, while I give my commentary … We can make an afternoon out of it!

Failing that, I can at least share some of the photo cards and insert pamphlet art which came with the DVDs. Of course, Misaki-san wears beautiful kimonos through most of it.

Next time, I would like to write about my Iwasa Misaki CDs. Each CD came with a unique photo card included … and … oh.

(Denny sighs).

Starlight: If only I could write “Akihabara Starlight” for a living …

Read any good books this summer? Special birthday wishes to Miss Yuki Kashiwagi of AKB/NGT48.

Of course I keep up with my summer reading! I am so happy that my favorite AKB48 member has made this useful reference manual to help me at my office. Even though I am very dedicated to work, and cannot blog very often these days, I am not too busy to wish my oshi a HAPPY 26TH BIRTHDAY! Please enjoy one of my favorite Yukirin moments from her solo tour last year.

(Denny sighs, swoons) … she’s my favorite niece … but I am pretty sure that she will announce her graduation from AKB this year. Alas, it is probably time for the dear young lady to move on. Yukirin may be near the end of her AKB48 career, but I am sure she will continue as a solo singer, actress and media personality.

I want to pay tribute to Yukirin History here. This is an old AKB sketch where Yuki played an old kendo master –as a man!  Note the Kashiwagi beard and mustache. There is a funny moment at about time 3:00 where her “assistant” is supposed to strike her on the head. Their timing was actually off, because Yuki really does get hit hard on the head. Ha. Watch her reaction.

Oh, Yuki, you are a real trouper!

Starlight: Yuki Kashiwagi – born July 15, 1991

See more of Miss Yuki Kashiwagi on my Pinterest board linked here.

Growing up with Tsuri Bit: A thousand days of happiness.

Thanks for the photo, girls. Please make it out to “Uncle Denny” and write: “Thank you for all your kind advice and aged wisdom!”

A teenage girl can do a lot of growing up in 1000 days. They can make the journey from awkward teen to sophisticated young woman. About three years ago (a thousand days ago?), I discovered the Japanese Idol group Tsuri Bit. The name loosely translates as “fishing lure”. No, not “bait” mind you! (Denny looks at reader sternly.) The first music video of theirs I watched was “Odoroyo Fish” (踊ろよ、フィッシュ “Odoroyo Fisshu” or “Let’s Dance Fish” ) This fun song was a hit for Japanese singer Tatsurō Yamashita in 1987. The Tsuri Bit girls update it – and “idol” it up. They capture the spirit of the song.  They retain the original’s warmth, charm and FUN! They make it their own. Lyrics are linked here. Please SING with me!

I always wanted to be an Ichthyologist!

This might be one of the the cutest Idol videos I have ever seen — certainly the girls could not be any cuter. I used to play this one on my iphone in the grocery store. You should have seen me there in Produce, through the Dairy and Seafood isles — headphones on — movin’ and grovin’.. Imagine me spinning my cart around almost like I was dancing with it! I was trying to just  hum quietly to myself, but I probably let out a few audible sounds  … Odoroyo FISH! … O-do-ro-yo BAY-BEE … Ha. The other shoppers would think I was crazy if anyone would notice. The song starts about 59 seconds into this YT linked video from 2014. Enjoy in 1080 HD.

From there you can find links to many of their videos. KISSPOINT Records has recovered from that “Ban in America” thing. Here is an idol group you can enjoy. Tsuri Bit’s shtick is that they are the “Fishing Idols”. They have made several songs and videos about going fishing. In fact, Tsuri Bit has meet-and-greet events with fans that are FISHING TRIPS! If AKB48 are “the idols you can meet” then Tsuri Bit are “the idols you can go fishing with“!

“Scales of Clouds and Orion”

I can relate a lot to this next music video, even though I was not liking the actual song all that much at first. Sometimes with music videos I like the song but not the video, or vice versa. The Tsuri Bit girls must have been thinking about me in this next video from 2015. This early 2015 MV is about a sad “Salaryman” who is stuck in a dead-end job that he hates — just like me! He is berated by bosses — just like me!  He is not respected by coworkers or clients — just like me!.  He is behind on the technology and frustrated, he’s slow and fat and … just … like … uh … heh … heh ….. oh. (Denny slumps) Dang, this guy even LOOKS like me.

He might have to work for A-holes, but Tsuri Bit believe in him.

The good news that the Tsuri Bit girls are there wearing cute cheerleader outfits.  (I wonder though if they are there only in his imagination.) The girls remind him of all things that are good in this world. The things worth fighting for!  They cheer him up, he gets motivated, goes back to his job, applies that fat ass to work … and he succeeds! All it took was the cuteness and encouragement of his favorite idols. Tsuri Bit are so wholesome and good, it is like they have magical girl powers. The song itself?  Well, it had to grow on me — but look how much the girls have grown.

This next one is my FAVORITE Tsuri Bit music video. I LOVE this power-pop song.  Here they are in late 2015, perfecting their idol moves on the beach.

Several months later, the girls are on a beach vacation again. This next MV reminds me of the Beatles’ movie “Help” where the fab four all live together in the same house. There is an amusing part near the start of this video where the girls are sorting through their beachwear. They are trying to gauge which swimsuit top belongs to whom.  Since the last video, it looks like Mizuki (the 19 year old) grew some BOOBIES! Somebody needs a bigger suit. The sweet little fish-scientists have a lot of fun singing, dancing and just idol-ing on the beach.

I know what you are thinking: “Denny, you are a dirty old man.”

To that I say “OH YEAH … well is that YOUR NOSE, or are you eating a TOMATO?” Then I would start throwing punches.  Uh .. Ok … er ..  maybe I should take the high road and try to explain. The Japanese Idol culture/subculture is a very difficult concept for outsiders to grock.

Idol culture offends many (stupid, American) women because Japanese Idols start out so young — and that their audience includes many middle-aged businessmen. Despite what the hags think, the middle aged fans are NOT perverts. Look, an idol show is pure entertainment. Just like that Salaryman in the video above —  Japanese men have to work many long hours for relatively pay. Being a fan, and/or going to an idol show is pure escapism. It is fun to support and cheer for your favorite idols.

That is how wota feel about their Idols. When idoling is done correctly, it becomes pure happiness. Happiness which transcends age, ethnicity and gender.  They remind us that there really can be something pure in this harsh universe … like at my work.

Older male fans are cheering the girls on, not lusting after them — Jesus.  Look, if all someone wanted to do was “look at young girls” then there would be a lot of other ways to do that.  Dirty old men, are not buying singing-and-dancing DVDs. Wota LOVE our idols because they bring HAPPINESS with their presence. There may be some perverts among the fans, but they are not the norm. Just like the pundits on the CHH news channel who are always saying that “not ALL Syrian refugees are psychotic terrorists and rapists.” Well … and … OK, maybe that’s not a very good example.

I once had an Internet feud with an anti-AKB hag. She said on her blog that wota are bad people. What was surprising was that she followed various homoerotic Korean boy-bands! So it is OK for a bitter, dried-up, middle-aged hag to follow boy idols, but a middle-aged man cannot follow idol groups? Talk about your hag privilege.

Next video — here the girls are in Shibuya — growing up, and heading out on their own. They look very sophisticated and mature in the outfits they wear here.  The music is upbeat, jazzy and sophisticated. Their concerns are that of an adult, but they can still go for a good ice cream sundae.

(Denny’s reverie:) So … it looks like my girls grew up and turned out all right. Soon they will be off to college and living on their own.  I will worry about them, but I really shouldn’t worry about them. They are fine young women now. Pure of heart and of high moral character. If aliens visited Earth and asked me to show them the best part of humanity, I would lead then to that karaoke party with Tsuri Bit. Pretty idols and ice cream.

If you want to learn more about this idol group, the official Tsuri Bit website (in Japanese) is linked hereA great fan site IN ENGLISH is linked here. The site has a lot of useful statistical information about the girls — including which species of fish they would most want to catch. 

Starlight: A thousand days of happy.  Traveling at the speed of light, Tsuri Bit’s earliest broadcasts should now be nearing the Centauri system.

Imagine the alien boys living on a planetoid which orbits Beta Centauri. They are monitoring signals from space … and then receive this devastating cuteness:

Here is how I imagine the conversation.

Alien Boy 1: “Beezit — wabba wabba zoop beena beena!”

Alien Boy 2 “Shazzbat!!! wabba wabba zoop beena beena — hoo HOO!”

Kimonos on Monday: Iwasa Misaki at Shin-Kabukiza Theater

It seems light years since I made a post to my “Kimonos on Monday” series. It has also been a long time since I posted anything about the lovely and talented Miss Iwasa Misaki. It’s been a long time since I rock-and-rolled. Ahem. Excuse me …

Unlike me, the ex-AKB48 Idol turned Enka-singer has kept busy performing concerts, releasing new singles, albums and concert Blu-Rays. Yes I own both concert disks!

Wasamin posts a lot of her glamorous kimono photos on her Instagram page (linked here) and her Twitter site (linked here). I thought that this photo was particularly interesting. Is it a kimono or a costume? Ms. Misaki contributed to a show at the Shin-Kabukiza Theater in Osaka last month. Even though Misaki-san usually wears a stunning kimono for her Enka-music concerts, I would have to classify this kimono as a “costume” for the show.

Wasamin is wearing a WIG in case you could not tell. I wonder if she would ever style her real hair in that traditional way for a special concert.

Wasamin next to a promotion for her latest record release.

“Say Hello to my little friend!”

(Denny’s Readers groan …)

I love both the traditional and popular culture of Japan. Despite that, I could never really get too interested in Kabuki. I’ve seen some Kabuki Theater on YT videos, but I have to admit, I can’t watch for very long. The art and costumes are great of course … but I can’t really understand it. I would certainly enjoy a show if it featured Wasamin though!

The official website for the Osaka’s Shin-Kabukiza Theater is linked here: https://www.osakastation.com/osaka-shin-kabukiza-theater/

Although I do not have video of Wasamin at the SK Theater, here are some recent TV performances: How long will YT leave then up?

Starlight: What, where did they go?

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