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Hanako Oku and my augmented reality.

I was very happy to see this Hanako Oku music video in my YouTube today!  I’m still trying to figure it all out. This is a song from her new album, her 10th album — “KASUMISOU”. Of course I have already pre-ordered it, silly. It is a very simple process: 1) Hanako Oku publishes a new record — 2) I buy … then wait a while.

I was watching the video this morning with my first coffee of the day. This is my favorite time of the day. The time of day, when I am at my most creative, and not beaten down quite yet by the ugliness I live in.

Yes, it is more Oku-magic! I don’t know what she is singing, I don’t know the language.  How does she DO it? The song draws me in, breaks my heart and gives me happiness … all at the same time.

Like almost all of her music videos — nothing really happens.

I’m not sure where this is, who these people are, and what the deal is with the diamond-like crystals. There are drawn anime people and objects inserted on top of actual photography. So, it is a  type of “augmented reality” that seems to be popular these days. (Note: I put the YouTube “auto-translate” setting on, and it seems to work well enough for a while.)

 

I like this reality better than my reality. I love the family of course. I like my coffee. I respect YOU my dear readers. I wish I didn’t live in a world of ugliness and ignorance. Driving to work, I will play this CD. Driving through the ugliness, on my way to encounter more ugliness, arrogance and ignorance. However, with Oku-san’s music overlaid above my field of vision, I will be able to augment the reality. I will have to park my car near ugliness … but at that point, I can switch to headphones.

I will need some time to figure out what those crystals are for though. I am not sure if they are really part of the song’s meaning, or if this is just part of the music video. Perhaps Miss Oku is overlaying some reality over her own life (or the life of the protagonist in the song). Wishing for something that is not there … or might have been there.

Hanako Oku holds her “Baby’s Breath”.

Hanako Oku’s music is very emotional. Complex emotions at that.  I may have to speculate a little about this photo, and the new album title. “Baby’s Breath” is a type of small flower that is often in a supporting arrangement of larger flowers. They are also used in bunches to decorate special occasions — often to decorate weddings. By holding this flower — is she saying subconsciously that she wishes that she has a child? Miss Oku-san is now forty years old. If she is going to have a children this is her last opportunity. I mean no disrespect in my speculation. She is a single, forty-year old woman who posts photos of her cat on social media. (“Just saying.”) A flower used to decorate weddings and is named after a life giving reality (a baby). If that is what she wants, I sincerely hope that she gets that. On the other hand, holding the flowers in this way is her perhaps thinking that she is accepting that it is not going to happen.

Yeah, like that. Thank you PONYCANYON record company for allowing this music video to be seen and enjoyed by fans. That’s ACTUAL reality!

Starlight: Less than one Earth rotation (not revolution).

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Pokémon Nicknames: Chatot

His cosplay is so accurate that he looks like the “Real Macaw”!

Chatot (in Japanese: ペラップ  “Perap”) is a NORMAL and FLYING dual-type, introduced in the Sinnoh Region (Gen 4: Diamond-Pearl-Platinum). It is the “Music Note” Pokémon.  Chatot does not evolve into any other Pokémon. (Source: Bulbapedia). There is not a “Mega-Evolution” form yet, however the bird can learn a Normal or Flying Z-move.

Chatot appears to us as a musical note combined with a chatty bird such as a parrot or parakeet. I tend to give this bird music or singer themed names.  My favorite name for (male) Chatot is “Gershwin” after the great American composer George Gershwin. Along those lines I also like to name them “Rhapsody” after Gershwin’s famous Rhapsody in Blue. I think that this name works well for female Chatot.

Chatot is probably NOT for trainers like me who mostly play by the attack-attack-attack method. The bird is not all that strong. Chatot appeals to players who like to use “tricky” moves. Also, in games where there are double or triple battles, Chatot may be part of a tricky team.

There must have been a lot of “chatter” on the island that day!

People who like Parrots, or have macaws or other exotic bird pets would identify with Chatot. Perhaps Jimmy Buffet fans a.k.a. “Parrot Heads” would enjoy this Pokémon. 

An entire PC BOX of “Polly Wanna Crackers!”

When I was in high school, my teachers would always yell at girls who would not stop talking in class. They often used the name “Chatty Cathy“. The term also refers to the famous talking doll that were popular long ago with girls my age.  TheRealMacaw is a take on the American expression “The Real McCoy“:

I also like these musical note related names. The St. Louis Blues NHL team has a great looking jersey with a blue note on them. “The Blue Note” is also the name of a famous New York jazz club. You might use CB Radio type names like “Breaker-One” or “Good Buddy

A great name for female Chatot is “Soprano” after the lady singers with the high vocal ranges. “Caruso” is after Enrico Caruso the famous opera singer. Some regard him as the greatest singer of all time. Speaking of singers, consider “Alvy Singer” after the character Woody Allen played in his best movie — Annie Hall.

Twelve letters will allow you to use the name “SingSingSing” after the Louis Prima song made most famous by Benny Goodman. There was a noted New York State Prison named “Sing-Sing“. You would be singing the blues there.

You kids are way too young to remember 900 Numbers. Way back in the 1980s when there was no Internet, late night TV commercials and seedy magazines used to advertise these various “chat lines” that lonely men could call. Basically, you could call up one of these numbers and a woman would talk dirty to you while you masturbate. Thank you Alexander Graham Bell. Get this – these phone calls would charge your credit card or phone provider $4.99 per MINUTE! I know, it is hard for you kids to believe, because there is so much free porn here in the future.

I know what you are thinking: “Denny you must have spent a fortune on 900 numbers when you were in your 20s.”  Ha. NO. I never ever would call one of those rip off chat lines. It might seem like a good idea at 3:00 in the morning after having a productive evening drinking beer … but NO. No way. I would rather have my money thank you.

The way I looked at it, there was absolutely nothing that one of these telephone Chat-thots could ever tell me that would be worth 5 bucks per minute. What … Stock tips? Lottery numbers?  Plenty of suckers must have wasted their money, because these chat number were big business all the way into the 1990s. Think about that … 5 bucks per minute. Now how many minutes would they need? … but I digress once more …

Here is some cute Chatot cosplay from cosplayer Lilacwire TWEET TWEET!

https://www.acparadise.com/acp/display.php?c=19199#costumeinfo

Here is more cute Chatot costume by Kiki @OrganizedChaos TWEET TWEET!

https://cosplay.com/album/32d8re0

That’s all for this week. When in the Sinnoh Region, please chat me up. Perhaps one could “chat up” a Thot at a bar?

Opera or Jazz? What is the name for your Sinnoh-Region Singer? Please comment!

MY SWEETIE IS NOW OFFICIALLY AN ADULT!

Wait … that did NOT come out right …

Yuka Ogino Seijin Shiki 2019

Ahem … what I mean to say is that my new AKB48 Family oshi has had her “Japan Coming of Age Day”. OgiYuka will turn twenty (cough, don’t look at me that way), this year!

Look it up! Japan’s “Coming of Age Day” – Seijin no Hi 成人の日 is the Japanese traditional holiday held in order to congratulate and encourage young adults who have reached, or will reach the “age of majority” between April 2 of last year, and April 1 of this year. Yuka’s 20th birthday will be on February 16.

I am going to try and snag some more AKB Family kimono photos as more are available on the Interwebs. Hopefully, I will be able to post more by next week.

Tell it like it is sweetie …

Starlight: Seijin Shiki 2019.  

The moment might be a little tained however. I know that there are some bad rumors around now. What with the assault on Maho Yamaguchi and the NGT management firings. I hope that Yuka-chan, was not involved in any way. Yuka and Maho have had a little tiff. I don’t know what is going on. I hope the truth comes out in the next few days.

http://neotokyo2099.com/2019/01/14/ngt48s-ogino-yuka-tweets-apology-to-fans/

 

Meet my new sweetie!

NGT48 Yuka Ogino Last Flower on WPB Magazine 004

Click if you want to zoom in to the mole*

Meet my new sweetie!  Almost all of my favorite members of AKB48 have graduated. Pretty much the whole team from the “golden era” are long gone. I still like the group, but it is hard for a casual fan to keep up with all the new faces.  AKS Management makes it hard to be an overseas fan at all, but that is another story for another day. I have a new favorite now! Her name is Yuka.

Yuka Ogino (Ogina Yuka 荻野由佳  ). She is sometimes called “Ogiyuka” as a fan nickname, or even “Ogi” by those who love her. Yuka-chan is a rising star in the AKB48 Family. She is the favorite of about a million fans, ranking at or near the top of most lists of favorite Idols.  Technically, she is in NGT48, but is also an AKB48 family member.

Let me share a few photos from the past couple of years, and tell you a little about her story.  It was not always so easy for her. Miss Ogino Yuka had a rocky road as an aspiring Idol. She had auditioned for several Idol groups for years, including AKB, but never passed any of them. After failing two recent AKB48 auditions, she was chosen as a “Baito” or temporary member in 2014, and was eventually drafted for NGT48 in 2015. How did she rank in the Senbatsu election you ask? During the 2016 AKB48 General Election, Ogino ranked 95th . In 2017, she rocketed to 5th!  She ranked 4th in 2018!!! Many fans believe that she might be elected to #1 in next year’s election.

I know what you are thinking. She does not have that typical “fashion model” look. She is unique looking – I think that is why she is so popular. The young lady is everything an Idol should be.

(Denny mutters under his breath): Maybe everything a girl should be …

OgiYuka is PURE IDOL MAGIC — and she is riding a rocket right now.

There is a very interesting Music/Story video from NGT48 where Yuka plays a young girl who aspires to be an Idol. It is a nice story video, although the song itself is only about average-to-OK. I mainly like it for the acting. Fortunately, it has ENGLISH SUBTITLES. There is great scene with AKB48 members Yuki Kashiwagi and Rie Kitahara. Yuka meets the two older, experienced  idols, who warn the young lady that she would have to give up her youth to become an idol.

Ogiyuka acts SO CUTE in this … Oh … Oh … give me a minute will you … oh … I am so happy for her that she has become so popular. There is another YouTube story video from NGT48, which tells the story of a young Russian woman who aspires to become an idol. I like the song a lot more in this one, but the dialog is in Russian, and there are no English subtitles.

* I was a fan for a while when I noticed that Yuka-chan has a mole. I’m just glad that it is not Russian. Ha. There is a little bit of Slavic-Nippon hugging in the video though.

You know that you are in love with an Idol when you look for her in group performances. A good example is here in The AKB48 single “11gatsu no Anklet” (linked here) which is a Mayu Watanabe centered song, and one of the best recent AKB48 singles. (sighs) I have eyes mainly for Yuka’s dance though. Mayu who?

There she is … Oh … (Denny waves his light-sticks) … my sweetie … my sweetie pie … There she is … Oh … Oh … give me another minute OK?

What will 2019 have in store for the this rising star?  I hope AKB/NGT uses her in a variety of singing roles. There are going to be a lot more magazine covers and articles in the next few years. I hope she can handle it. I’m sure she can.

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Readers: Would you like to see more galleries of Yuka-chan in 2019?

Bye for now — wish all the nice people a “Merry Christmas” sweetie!

Starlight: Wait, do the math … will January 14, 2019 be Yuka-chan’s Seijin no Hi ?

Hanako Oku and how it is so difficult to shop for some people.

Merry Christmas! Hey everyone – I have not posted in weeks due to being sunk in a swampland.  However, I want to pull myself up from the disgusting mire long enough to wish all my readers and WP friends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

“Ya got all your Christmas shopping done yet?” Ha Ha. Kindly old people who are trying to make conversation often say that to me. Ahem … but perhaps I can provide a little shopping inspiration today. Here is The Little Great One’s Christmas Video released last month:

I think it is a very nice music video. I sometimes joke that “nothing really happens” in most Hanako Oku music videos. That may be what I like about them. She usually just walks around, in most of her music videos. It makes the listener concentrate on the music perhaps.

Great also songs inspire great covers. Here is one just released by the lovely and talented Hitomi Sano.

This got me into the shopping spirit alright! I wanted to send her something nice. Oh! — Her new song is the background music in this new commercial for SNOW.

Uh. although I’m not really sure what the lovely young woman is selling. Ideas for smartphone apps? Maybe. I though maybe Ms. Oku-san might enjoy these pantaloon-type puffy pants. They might be something she could wear around the studio.  She might find these useful for yoga, or for lounging at home and  of course — songwriting. Of course, one could wear these, relax at home, eat yogurt, and watch one of the Star-Wars movies that features Yoda … but I digress.

I chose this “Royal Blue” color. Might you suggest a different color choice?  I know that they are not Christmas colors – but I was thinking the hue might brighten up January. It would take a while to ship the pants to Chiba, so I thought that this color might brighten up a dreary day sometime next month for her. Much as the same way that her records cheer me up whenever I have to commute back and forth from the swamp.

https://www.amazon.com/HOEREV-Super-Modal-Spandex-Pilates/dp/B00J6WDFSW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1545238940&sr=8-1&keywords=women%27s%2Bpuffy%2Bpants&th=1

I am also hoping that she will release a new album soon.

Ms. Oku-san will have one final singing engagement this year! There will be a free concert held on Sunday, December 23 at  4:00 in the afternoon at Yokohama Landmark Plaza 1st floor Sakata no Garden Square. Maybe a fan will film a little bit.

There will be CDs on sale of course, and there will even be a handshake opportunity!

(Denny choking up … yes, free open concert … to be able to shake those little hands … )

You can find more information more info on TLGO’s Twitter or her website

Starlight: I figure it would take me less than a day to get to Cleveland. Then from there it is a 16 hour direct flight to Yokohama. Assuming I am not going to stop in Hokkaido. Of course you waste half a day on both ends of the flight due to airport waiting, etc. Then I would need some time to check into a hotel.  Plus, Japan is “12 hours ahead” in the Japan time zone …Yep — I can be there by the 23rd!

Oh, wait — now I see what the app does.

 

Pokémon Nicknames: Mareanie and Toxapex

“Alola cousins! Do you have time for one more walk down to the fishing hole? Just watch where you step.”

Mareanie (in Japanese: ヒドイデ “Hidoide”) is a Poison and Water dual-type Pokémon introduced in the Alola Region (Generation VII). Mareanie was one of the hardest Pokémon to catch in Sun and Moon. You had to fish for Corsola, then wait for the coral Pokémon to call for help.

Mareanie evolves into Toxapex (in Japanese: ドヒドイデ  “Dohidoide” ) starting at level 38, where it remains a Poison and Water dual-type. (Reference: Bulbapedia.)

Mareanie and Toxapex are modeled after poisonous sea urchins or spiny starfish. These echinoderms* are sea animals common in rocky inter-tidal pools.

My favorite name for Mareanie is “Poison Pen” after the phrase “poison pen letter”. Once upon a time (before the Internet) people would write and send letters to each other through the mail. A poison pen letter is a type of malicious hate mail sent to a recipient for the specific purpose of upsetting them. These letters were always sent anonymously. Sometimes a letter would be sent to a third party detailing how terrible another person is. No one writes anonymous poison pen letters anymore — as trolls have the anonymity of the Internet to malicious harass another. On that note, “Malicious” might be a good name for this poison-type.

Some Sea Urchins have venom, and many have sharp, prickly spines. Thus, “Spiny Norman” (after the Monty Python reference) may be a good name for a male.

Other, “prickly” names could be used, such as “Pin Cushion”. “AccuPuncher” after the Chinese “acupuncture” medical technique (which is actually supposed to rid you of toxins).

Blue-Meanie” after the characters in the Yellow Submarine movie.

Mean Gene” after the sports name given to anyone named Eugene.

After evolution, then … um … Toxapex?  (Denny scoffs) It sounds like a feminine hygiene product!

(insert cricket noises here)

Aw, come on … Don’t you get it – the name sounds like “Tampax” or “Kotex” … only toxic.

Nice.

You could probably just name it “Kotex” or perhaps “Toxic Shock” after the medical condition linked to super absorbent tampons.

If you want to make a snarky comment on the ongoing “Battle of the Sexes” you could name your male Toxapex “Masculinity” after that toxic masculinity phrase that sophomore sociology majors use to blame their own failures on. Conversely, you could name a female Toxapex “Feminism” after the toxic feminism encountered so often by frustrated STEM majors.

 

What is the name of your toxic little sticker? Please comment!

*See my post about the other echinoderm Pokemon Pyukumuku is linked here.

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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