Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Archive for the ‘HALF-FICTION’ Category

Today’s Guest Blogger: Miss Yuki Kashiwagi on “How to avoid groin injuries”.

yuki article tumblr_o39jk0H7w21tqs33yo4_1280

I’ve been feeling the aging pains again today. Instead of a music video, I have asked AKB and NGT48 member Miss Yuki Kashiwagi to fill in. I have translated her article below:

yuki article tumblr_o39jk0H7w21tqs33yo3_1280

Next time she will tell us how to avoid wrist injuries.

Yuki begins:

“Having had strained muscles during my onstage, I can tell you that there is no injury that creates more problems in most aspects of sports or dancing. You sometimes have no clue just how much these muscles were used or abused until you are significantly injured. It can keep an Idol out for weeks while it heals.

I encourage flexibility in the groin area. Stretching is absolutely required, as well as some regular adductor strengthening. Warm up by stretching the groin muscles before exercising. Stretching can increase your range of motion and reduce stiffness and pain. It is also important during the cool-down phase of exercise when your muscles are warm. Increase the intensity and length of  your exercise program gradually.

AKB48 Yuki Kashiwagi Love Yukirin Stretching

As your fitness level improves, you will be able to do more intense dancing without injury.

Wear supportive, well-cushioned shoes for running, aerobics, and walking. A good warm-up is very important: I suggest some stationary cycling, groin stretching, sumo squats, side lunges, and some kneeling pelvic tilts

(Denny edit: Um … I had to look up “kneeling pelvic tilts”)

Strength-building exercise machines should be part of your regular routine. I like ball squeezes. I often use different-size balls, concentric adduction against gravity, cable/elastic standing adduction, or the seated adduction machine.

Use a slide board adductor used with the slide board forward, then the slide board with simultaneous adduction. I spread my legs and bring both together at the same time. Also one-legged lunges are part of my routine.

(Denny’s edit: Yukirin, … we are talking about PREVENTING injury, right?)

Even when not-working out, you can still take preventative measures in your everyday activities. Drink extra water, especially in hot or humid weather. This can help prevent muscle cramps or stiffness.

(Denny’s edit: I can’t tell you the problem I have with stiffness in the morning.)

Use a step stool when reaching for high objects you silly. Try not to stand on chairs or other objects. Never climb stairs with both hands full. Do not strain to lift or carry objects. Get help carrying heavy or awkward objects. I find it easy to get a helper guy to carry my stuff. They are always so enthusiastic!

I hope I have been helpful! Wouldn’t you rather put in some time preventing injury rather spending time backstage waiting for it to heal?”

yuki results

Love, Yukirin – x o xo : )

Thanks Yukirin! Hey, you know when I heard that you were going to be in NGT48, I thought it was a new type of SPORTSCAR!  

Ha. … Ha … wait .. Oh, don’t tell me I’m the only one who thought that …

Starlight:  I would work out “Everyday” if it was with Yuki : )

Could Denny go 24-Hours without being a sarcastic jerkwad?

I will bet that a lot of you have made “New Year’s Resolutions”. Here we are a couple of weeks into 2016,  and I would not be so surprised if many have not already given up their resolutions.

My challenge for this new year? I  will try not to speak so negatively about others. (Even if they are employed as managers and directors in the recording industry.) … um … er … Darn, I almost broke my vow already …

Look, I am not very religious…

Comedic director Mel Brooks once quipped “I’m not very religious, but I AM very Jewish.” I feel the same way as Mr. Brooks, except that I will add that I am not Jewish. The best I can do for you is offer up a little “deli wisdom” once in a while.

Today, I want to share this video narrated by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.  He makes some very good points about speaking fairly when talking about about other people. To paraphrase: He says that just because what you have to say about someone is TRUE does not make it morally right to say … especially if it might harm that someone.

Could I go 24-hours without bad-mouthing someone? … and what if someone brings up the topic of record industry weasels and their lawyers?

Well, better I should hold my tongue.

sandwich_tongue

Kosher beef tongue on rye.

Starlight: I wonder if they have tongue at my local deli?

Image

Iwasa Misaki prays that Denny will return to WordPress

wasamin pyays

I have to say that do I miss writing about her and fanboying all over her. The good news is that Wasamin will have a new solo record out this month. She will also have a full solo concert on January 6th. I cannot be there … but if there is a CD, I will buy it. If there is a DVD I will buy it.

Denny’s fantasy: I went to a downtown Chiba karaoke bar with Wasamin and we rented a private singing-room so that we could compete against each other.  Sing that funky music Chiba-Girl …

Wasamin got me very drunk on Sapporo, and she was pretty good at convincing me to start blogging again. Actually I did not need much convincing. I will blog/talk to anyone who will listen about the glorious Miss Iwasa. 

Also, Misaki-san can be a little intimidating after she has had a few:

wasamingetsserious

“Don’t make me have to get ROUGH with you, Mr. Sinnoh”

Starlight: Note to self — Never challenge Iwasa Misaki to a karaoke battle. 

 

Denny’s road trip:

070414-2015-bmw-k1600gtl-f

I would really love to go on this trip. I would like to ride a BMW touring motorcycle all around each of the Great Lakes, down the St. Lawrence and then back again.

I would like to visit the recreational boating areas, the mining towns, the industrial ghost towns, the small towns, the larger cities.

viewgreatlakessatmap

The trees, the rocks … the aromatic lake water all call to me.

Beech? Or are you Birch? Son-of-a-Beech, my allergy Doctor told me I’m allergic to Maple pollen. What? I grew up with the Maples!!! I loved maple candy.

some_maple_candy_small

I will be all hopped up on maple. My teeth would rattle if not for this gum.

I can’t wait to feel the vibration of the road.

Rain or shine — I am riding.

Just look at this place.

Would you like to be my co-rider? (I mean you have to have your own touring bike.)

Some days we will stop and visit art galleries. Other days we will wrestle with the wildlife in the woods. (Just FYI BTW: The bears do not fight fair.) “Remember the time you bought that ridiculous T-shirt?” I will say. Some nights we will stay in hotels and drink aged Scotch Whiskey at a bar. Other nights we will camp out and drink instant coffee out of Styrofoam cups.

I need to get lost in order to find myself. I know that it is not a new thought, but I’m open to ideas.

Image

My 12-Step Iwasa Misaki Recovery Program

Oh that voice, that face, those kimonos.

I will have to admit — I (HEART) Iwasa Misaki.

Of course — if I like something too much that must mean that there is something wrong with it. Makes sense… maybe. True, my Iwasa Misaki addiction got to be so bad that I had to have an “intervention”. I have enrolled myself into a 12 STEP PROGRAM in order to kick my Iwasa-habit. Yes, it is my big announcement …

DSC_0686

The following is my 12-Step program to sober up to harsh reality.

iwasa misaki tumblr_nlwkz35Xcl1s82ar1o4_500

Oh, I’m going to need two more, dear girl.

Step One: First one has to ADMIT that one HAS a problem. I accept the fact that I have long failed to recognize my Wasamin problem.

misaki diappointed in me

I am a fanboy, and Iwasa Misaki is my oshi. I will finally admit, I had a hard time confessing it to Wasamin. Look at that impatient face.

Step Two: I believe that I must turn to “A HIGHER POWER” and ask for help.

Akimoto Yasushi, blog, Iwasa Misaki

Ok, a higher power … um … Mr. Akimoto?

Step Three: I will turn to our fellow men and women, particularly those who have ALSO STRUGGLED with the same addiction. I would use any help.

yes friends with hands

Yes, our fellow men and women — with the extra hands.

Step Four: I have made a LIST of the situations when I am most likely to listen to Iwasa Misaki. At the computer, while driving, while working, while fantasizing.

someone should write this down

Someone should write these down. Write something Iwasa …

Step Five: I will try to AVOID those situations … or put on a Todd Rundgren record instead. Oh, yay … the 70s … ugh.

keeping my hands busy

Yes, I will try to keep my hands busy. NOT going over to YouTube …

Step Six: I am ready to ACCEPT HELP friends give me. I will not make fun of other’s musical tastes, unless it is rap crap. 

tumblr_nmj8bzo0YW1snbnvmo4_1280

Back to metal I guess. Party on Garth, Party on Wasamin.

Step Seven: Continue to HOPE. I earnestly hope that OTHER MUSIC will help. Oh my Buddha, just no country music recorded after 1974.

mexican dancing misaki

Buenos Tacos, Senorita Misaki — Try some Mexican jumping bean music!

Step Eight: I have made a list of persons I HAVE HARMED and to whom I hope to appologize. (I think my wife is getting very impatient waiting for me out in the car.)

wasamin is angry

I don’t think I’ve ever seen her angry before: “But you look so cute when you get mad … come here you.”

Step Nine: I promise to DO ALL I CAN  to make those amends. Maybe cut my Google image Misaki searches down to maybe a few hours every day.

Iwasa Misaki img_0

It took me less than two hours to use this … er … I mean … find this! 

Step Ten: I will continue to make lists and REVISE them as needed. Oh yeah.

yes make some lists

I’m making notes, and a list … Still trying to read the notes …

Step Eleven: I am in turn willing to HELP OTHERS who may come to me in their hour of need with their own particular idol addiction.

yada yada yada

Selfies? No need to go it alone, Iwasa.

Step Twelve: … er… um …SCREW THIS … What? … No Misaki-san? … NO WAY!  … Forget it!

Iwasa Misaki fa2775ec

Starlight: I am outta here … on another Iwasa bender …

Hanako Oku and the English Sessions

FAN FICTION! “Hanako Oku and the English Sessions”

Slide7

Ok, Miss Oku, once again don’t worry so much about the “Ps and Qs” think more about the “Ls and Rs”.

I was ecstatically happy to find out that my favorite Japanese singer-songwriter Hanako Oku is going to release a CD single with cover songs sung in ENGLISH. The mini-album is oddly titled “Rum Raisin”.

I am a huge –Oku-fan, but I do not always have English translations of her original songs sung in Japanese. I feel a little left out sometimes because I am not a Japanese-speaker. I love her songs, but find myself wishing that I could better understand the meaning. … and no one can communicate the intense emotions of unrequited love like Hanako Oku.

This must have been a tremendous amount of work for her.  She employed language experts, dialect coaches and a couple of hipster English majors from a famous American university.  I was able to link up some images from these sessions.  A few slides are presented here.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I think that she has made excellent choices for her first mini-album of English covers here.  Each song is similar in many ways to her emotional ballads, yet this selection also allows her to explore some different – but just as intense – emotions. The songs are all from the genre that would be classified as “classic rock” and may be unknown to her younger fans.

I can’t wait until this is released.  I listened to the preview, but these songs are not yet available on YourTube. (The “Record-Industry-Weasels” as per usual).

Until then, I will share with you the original versions by the original artists until such time as the Oku covers are sold. Just imagine The Little Great One breathing life into them. The songs are: 1) “A Dream Goes On Forever” originally written performed by Todd Rundgren, 2) “The Blue, Red and Grey” written and sung by Peter Townshend (The Who), and 3) “The Town Cryer” originally by Elvis Costello. I am also including links for the original lyrics.

“A Dream Goes on Forever”

Todd Rundgren’s song pulls on the heartstrings just the way an Oku-ballad does. A lost love.  Hanging on to a dream that can never happen. Otherworldly and interdimensional hopes that it will.  Oku-san shows the “cosmic” side of herself here. There are no cheap synthesizer tricks to space you out.  The lady’s raw emotional disappointment and longing are enough to take you to the dream world.

Slide13

… you’re so far away and so long ago …

(The reference to “old soldiers fade away” is odd, however. A Japanese singer making a Douglas MacArthur reference?) However, I fell like a heap on the floor as she sang “I guess I believe that I’ll see you someday” and “how much I loved you you’ll never know til you join me within my dream”. Lyrics are linked here.

“Blue, Red and Grey”

The next one is a little lighter, and a little bouncier, but just as poignant.  The song is from a 1975 album by The Who, but it is all Pete Townsend. There is a ukulele sound on Oku’s version, but her happy-bouncy piano is the main instrument, and Oku also plays part of the interlude on her melodica. It sounds quite whimsical, especially at the end.

I am in Oku-heaven when she says “I dig every second” – instead of “like” or “love”. The 1960s expression is given new life by Oku. Oh, you are so very groovy Hanako.  I wonder if she knows what “buzz” means in the song however.  I have to think that in her mind, happy Zen-bees are buzzing about.

Slide14

Funny moment when Oku breaks her own “banana rule”.

She perhaps takes a jab at the music industry with that line “I even shun the south of France”.  Oku is not your typical rock-star celebrity.  Other artists are much more “popular” and have greater sales right now, but the lady is a very down to Earth and lovable (see her website). She is not among the stuck-up celebrity elite.  Lyrics are linked here.

“The Town Cryer”

All of that was great, but then there is the big finale. I was unprepared and shocked at how great it was.

Slide12

“They say they’ll die for love — then they leave it out”

She must have spent countless hours rehearsing not only the English words, but the vocal inflection needed to convey the emotions of the song.  I was not prepared to hear an angry Hanako Oku.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kudos to her English voice coach.  Somehow — she nails it.

The song she has produced is like the world’s greatest waterfall.  There is great, towering piano and orchestration. That little bit of anger that is in her voice …  may be her attempts to convey Costello’s trademark snarl. It does live fans wondering what will be coming next.  Anger – even heartfelt anger – has not been part of the usual Oku repertoire to this point.  Is she stepping out of herself to show this emotion?  What is she angry about, and why does she choose to express this subtle rage in English? Is English Oku’s “minstrel” language? The one that she uses when she needs to step out of her calm Japanese “Hanako Oku” demeanor … in order to say the things she would not otherwise say?   Lyrics are linked here.

She does flip the “boys” to “girls” to be the protagonist of the song. The accusatory tone in her voice against the man actually works BETTER when sung by a woman. I think that this flip of the male/female roles improves on Costello’s original. Who knew – until Oku! Her voice starts gentle and affraid, yet hits the crescendo in bitterness.

Slide9

Oku, “in the zone” getting herself psyched for the aggressive ballad.

That part about “teddy bear tender” may be lost on her Japanese fans without the Elvis Presley reference. You can really feel that she is letting loose on a man she is disappointed with.  Go get him Hanachan, the weak bastard deserves it. Listeners may not know that the phrase “tragically hip” was coined by Elvis Costello in this song.  It is interesting to hear it in Oku’s Japanese accent, with the additional sarcastic inflection.  Amazing, amazing, amazing.

Slide15

The song is heavy on strings at the end, which is also unusual for a Hanako Oku song.  The use of “movie soundtrack” type strings at the end are like a trail … leading us to perhaps a new musical direction for The Little Great One?

Like the ice cream flavor, this “Rum Raisin” is a surprising, unique taste of intensity. 

090310_1722~0001

Image

My Pop Music History: What ever happened to CHAM ?

CHAM_by_MirrorQueen

Most anime fans are familiar with the late Satoshi Kon’s directorial debut  “Perfect Blue” (trailer linked here).  The all-girl Jpop Idol group “CHAM” were an important part of this compelling, and mind-bending drama. Despite the initial  popularity of CHAM, the group has now been relegated to the “Where are they now?” files of Pop Music History.

I LOVED their big hit single: “Ai no Tenshi”.  The video below captures Mima, Rei and Yukiko at the time just  before they would rocket to stardom. It is a fantastic peak inside the recording studio.  The girls are not wearing their stage outfits here —  but who cares – they look (and sound) AMAZING.

One of the greatest anime film songs ever IMHO.

Here is a brief snippet of how they appeared in the German (translation) version of the film. Sorry for the obscure video reference — original CHAM footage is very hard to find, and valuable these days.

They were an exciting Jpop trio to watch live.  CHAM paved the way for other Idol groups.  Without CHAM’s trailblazing, Jpop girl groups today would probably not be the same!

cham on stage

Classic CHAM moves. They did it first. They did it better!

The ladies also recorded an English language version of “Ai no Tenshi (Angel of Love)”.  The song has been covered and performed in stage concerts by American singers Madonna and Tiffany. (No, Denny is NOT making that up!)

The lyrics translated into English, although seemingly cute and innocent, recap the very creepy story that is “Perfect Blue”

“Angel of Love” translation:

And now you come and see it all just for yourself
See the angel’s wings, but something else is there
And all those magic hearts are all for you again

And then you come and listen to the sweet little voice
Singing there for you and only just for you
She is protecting you right now…

And if sometimes you feel for your love
Send a little heart for her
And she’ll be there with you with her love
Waiting only for you!

And when you love her, love her she will be
A little angel, angel in your heart
You’ve got to push it, push it for her love
And then forever, ever she will be
A sweet angel of your heart to be there together

And now you need a little faith in me and yourself
When you make your way to change the destiny
If you could only see what I could do for you

And even when you feel you have a difficult time
Listen to my heart who sings to make you shine
When you start to fall in love …

Another amazing moment was captured on this YouTube video. After years out of the limelight, CHAM makes a sudden guest appearance at an Anime convention. Here, the cameraman only captures part of their show.  I do not blame him however.  My jaw would have dropped in shock: OMG — IT’S CHAM!!! … grab the camera!!!  Pardon the quality, but can you imagine, being at an Anime Conference in Russia, when CHAM makes a surprise appearance after being gone for so long?

The group had its ups and downs over the years. Mima graduated from the group to purse an acting career.  Although she was critically acclaimed, she never reached the commercial success and popularity of CHAM.

For a few years group member Mima tried to go solo as a singer, and made a number of convention appearances. Yet these never came close to matching the appeal of the three-member unit.  The video is very low quality … still any CHAM footage is valuable. Please forward to time 1:35 to see Mima’s solo.

The group would often appear at conventions, but mainly to sign autographs as they were without a record contract for over a decade.  The ladies appeared in various commercial ads, sometimes as solo models, and sometimes in pairs (Documented in this slideshow below.)

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Many years later the group surfaced at this Lisbon, Portugal fundraiser in support of Pancreatic Cancer research. This performance may actually be a little difficult for dedicated fans to watch.  The ladies are older, out of shape, and have a hard time performing their moves. Still, it is an interesting, and final note of CHAM history.

Although CHAM may have now faded into pop music history, they will be remembered as one of the most inspiring pioneers in the Idol genre.

perfectblue06 cham poster

CHAM is gone, however fans keep a Facebook page linked here.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/CHAM/278278312204229

 Enjoy the memories. It took 12 years for the light of “Perfect Blue” and CHAM to reach my world.

Tag Cloud

Writing Under The Shades of Blue

I write not just to express but to explain.

Brian Camp's Film and Anime Blog

Flash Gordon meets Cowboy Bebop at Shaolin Temple

YuriReviews and More

YuriReviews is a blog about everything yuri~

ANIME ANIMÁCIÓK

ANIMÁCIÓS GYŰJTEMÉNY KÉPEKBEN

SilentReaders

Just Readers

Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

愛の演歌: Love of Enka

A blog about my passion for Enka music~

Gastradamus

Gastradamus is my name, and Gassy Topics are my game!

Rationalising The Universe

one post at a time

The Reviewer's Corner

The Sometimes Serious Corner of the Internet for Anime, Manga, and Comics

Pinky's Palace

All Things Anime

Tokyo Five

A family of five in Tokyo, Japan...

Life Confusions

"I Will Find Words, Smith them Down. For Love Is Infinite And So Are They."

Fantage Chatter

Lost in Words

Manga Toritsukareru Koto

"We are not obsessed. We just need anime and manga in our life."

Inner Thoughts of an Extrovert

Thoughts and ramblings from an extroverted anime fan.

2+2=4

AKB48 Shipper? welcome

百合 Goggles

百合 Is Life

Kawaii Kakkoii Sugoi

Japanese Culture Magazine for the perpetually Cute and Cool

Rhino

My Journey through Video Games & Geek Culture

The Punch Bowl

raw feelings and thoughts

Dyversions: Blog of 1,001 Games

The [mis]adventures of a gamer and shopaholic

~AUTHORSINXCESS~

Shubham's blog... Write to inspire!

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

Michael Philip Atkins Travels

Journeys of a World Traveler

Mage in a Barrel

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

Land of the Rising Sound

Alex Shenmue's blog on Japanese Music

s e n t i m e n t i a

population: me

OtakuGamerGirlT

All Anime, Manga, Games, All the Time

CheesyBits' Paradise

Heya! Welcome to my paradise! Feel free to explore my blog! (^o^)/

Coal talents

coalition of arts and entertainment

the limitless imagination

a place to let record what exists in my head, at this point in time.

Sakura Publishing Official Blog

Interview with independent and mainstream authors, and the latest scoop on the best new indie books in the world

Rated A For Anime

The Best Place to Get Anime Bookmarks, Calendars, More

STAR ♥ DUST

by Rosie Darling

honyasbookshelf

sharing a passion for story

An Anarchist's Cookbook

Cooking up a world without coercion

48 Family Center

Everything about 48 Family, is here!

A Visual Delirium

Personal deliria on my ongoing research on Japanese Visual Culture, Aesthetics and Art.

%d bloggers like this: