“The original soundtrack of “Toki o Kakeru Shojo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)” an animated feature film released in 2006 by Kadokawa Pictures, is now available on analog record for the first time! The full version of the theme song “Garnet” sung by Hanako Oku will be included. 2 discs, 16 songs in total.”
So, today I want to send out “Happy Birthday” greetings out to Ms. Hanako Oku, born March 20, 1978.
Still searching for Oku Hanako in 2021!
Starlight: Will there be another record or performnce this year?
July 15th —>Happy Birthday Yukirin! (Japan is 12 hours ahead of my zone, so I wanted my favorite neice to receive my birthday wishes on time.)
There is an American expression for when someone turns 29 years old. Since 30 is considered the start of “being older” — at least to young people. Many Americans say that “they stopped celebrating birthdays” usually meaning the last one is at age 29.
Miss Kashiwagi created her own YouTube channel which can link to here:
There has not been a lot to celebrate this year (because of the bio-weapon plague sent to us from China), but I hope to see one more good music video from Yuki before her graduation. Of special note will be the upcoming celebration going out LIVESTREAM on Youtube on July 15:
I was very surprised to hear that you have retired from show business. Not just retiring from singing and idoling … but retired from acting, commercials and endorsements too? As of this writing I have only seen a few news reports:
They all say the same thing (in fact they all appear to be written/copied from the same person). There is little detail. It concerns me that you had to retire for “health” reasons. To me, you look at the pique of health for a 26-year old! You sure look good … er … and I mean that in a complimentary way. If your concern for your health is the reason you have to step away from the entertainment industry, I will respect that. I will not pay attention to rumors.
Mayuyu – if I may be so familiar to call you that – I wish you all the best in your retirement from show business. You definitely deserve a break from entertaining. Perhaps you will return creatively some other year.
You have always been one of my favorite AKB members … no, favorite entertainers … no, favorite people. You are one of the world’s most beautiful women. Much has been written in the fandom about your … um … assets, but I sincerely do not mean that it in a snarky way. You were and still are lovely.
We can be honest with each other here. I know, that you know, that I know that you know.
The early-era of AKB48 is one of the best things in all of popular culture – Japanese or otherwise. You were a big part of it. I don’t think that AKB would have been the same without you. For that matter … I would not be the same if not for you.
Original Kami 7
There was nothing like the original AKB team memberss. No one was ever better than you girls at your peak. I have worn many musical suits in my lifetime. Hard rocker, Heavy Metalist, Punk Rocker, New Wave, Nude Wave, No Wave, Nick & Dave. I have experienced them all. I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die … and yes … I see that I have digressed, my dear girl.
You were a good singer, actress, comedian, model, spokesperson, etc. I would say that you are still at the top of your game. Your solo work is a primer for anyone in the idol-anime culture. More than a decade later, your early material still holds up well! Your work with Watariroka Hashiritai was among the best in pop music history. It was Power Pop that just exploded off the record. It is what idol music is all about!
You girls were better than the Beatles! (I know the Beatles had a lot more records, but you girls at your best were better than the Beatles at their best).
Mayu, you added a lot of beauty and good humor to this world. Know that you will be missed. Have a good life. I hope you raise a big family of little idols someday!
Starlight: Mayu … I love you kid … I wish you all the happiness in this world and any of the multiverses.
Update 2021 — her graduation song MV is finally on Youtube! See it here:
Readers: This is the last single which Mayu centered. Notice that she is wearing my red sweater that I lent her!
Hanako Oku and What is the answer to Six times Seven?
I wanted to wish Hanako Oku a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today! It is the 20th … I think in Japan. It is still the 19th here in the USA. I guess I am a little time-trippy today, even more than usual. It might be all the fumes from my hand sanitizer.
You do the math! What is Six times Seven?
Starlight: Ms. Hanako Oku, born March 20, 1978.
Although it is a Happy Day we hope there is one sad note. The Fan Club linked on the Oku Hanako web page will cease operations on March 29. Also, her radio show also is ending.
From NGT48: Homma Hinata, Yamada Noe, and Mashimo Kaho.
From STU48: Imamura Mitsuki, Oki Yuka, Taniguchi Mahina, Nakamura Mai, Yano Honoka.
I am still a fan, but I have to admit, I really do not know most of the girls in the AKB Family anymore. I recognize some of the faces from the music videos, but it seems I would need to start over again, and learn who is who. It is a lot more difficult in 2020, than in 2012. Where are the AKB Trading Cards? AKBingo is now off the air. I can’t learn the girls personalities if I cannot watch the skits anymore. Also the AKB Cafe is closing. One graduation after another .. Huh. It makes me wonder if Mr. Akimoto-san is planning to disband the groups during some type of announcement at the 2020 Olympics. … er … but I digress …
Starlight: Hopefully some better photographs will be up on social media by now. Most of the girls have Instagram and Twitter accounts, so a lot of cute images should be posted there.
“Count what you have now, Don’t count what you don’t have …”
That’s right Mariya! Although my blogging pace has slowed down the past couple of years, I have noticed from my click counter that “Denny Sinnoh’s Akihabara Starlight” is now up to close to a HALF-MILLION reads!!! It should go over 500,000 this weekend. Look to my sidebar to the right under “blog stats”. See if YOUR CLICK is the one that pushes me over 500 K!
Thank you WordPress readers! Of course some bloggers have millions of reads, but I am happy whith what I have counted here, thus I want to share this song. At my “day job” of processing agricultural chemical request orders, I sometimes have to write up technical reports. These tech papers are only read by about maybe five people or so. I have to feel good that my writing has been seen by half-a-million humans and their bot minions. Special Thanks to YT user Artzie Music for sharing this song.
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).
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 actsSO 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.
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 ?
Likes: Pop Culture, Humor, Japanese Culture, Iwasa Misaki, Hanako Oku, AKB48 History, Kurosawa films, Kimonos, Anime, Lolita fashion, Buddhist philosophy, and finding the perfect nicknames for my Pokemon.
A fansite; for old and new fans of AKB48 and all their domestic and international sister groups: (SKE48, NMB48, HKT48, NGT48, STU48, JKT48, BNK48, MNL48, AKB48 Team SH, SGO48, AKB48 Team TP, and CGM48)
I HEAR YOU!