Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Archive for the ‘Pop Music’ Category

Yukirin’s Last Birthday!

Yuki in 2007 when she first joined AKB48

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:

Kashiwagi Yuki announces Birthday Performance on YouTube

Yukirin said that she wanted to be an Idol until age thirty — so perhaps this is her last year, and perhaps an announcement will be made during a performance soon.

Of course, she is still doing her modeling. Check out this video. There is an “eclipse” at time 1:59 which will answer a number of Kashiwagi science questions.

So … HAPPY BIRTHDAY YUKIRIN! … you are still my favorite neice!

You can catch up on Yuki’s Twitter feed here:

She shares a lot of photos on her Instagram as well.

https://www.instagram.com/accounts/login/?next=/yukikashiwagi_official/

Starlight: Miss Yuki Kashiwagi (柏木 由紀, Kashiwagi Yūki)born July 15, 1991.

READERS: You may enjoy some of my older Yukirin posts (sorry if videos have ben removed by Record Industry Weasels).

https://dennysinnoh.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/%e7%81%ab-%e5%b1%b1-%e7%81%b0-there-are-not-a-lot-of-songs-about-volcanoes/

https://dennysinnoh.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/happy-birthday-yukirin/

https://dennysinnoh.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/kimonos-on-monday-final-jeopardy/

https://dennysinnoh.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/the-sad-face-of-kashiwagi-sama/

https://dennysinnoh.wordpress.com/2015/07/14/happy-birthday-miss-kashiwagi/

https://dennysinnoh.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/guest-blogger-yuki-kashiwagi-on-how-to-avoid-groin-injuries/

https://dennysinnoh.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/in-birthdays-today-miss-yuki-kashiwagi-the-real-superhero/

https://dennysinnoh.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/read-any-good-books-this-summer-special-birthday-wishes-to-miss-yuki-kashiwagi-of-akbngt48/

https://dennysinnoh.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/2019-birthday-wishes-for-my-favorite-niece-miss-yuki-kashiwagi/

 

Denny’s letter to Mayu Watanabe upon her retirement

Dear Miss Watanabe,

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:

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200601_22/

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/06/a2a1d687452c-former-akb48-star-watanabe-retires-from-showbiz-over-health-reasons.html

https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-06-01/mayu-watanabe-retires-from-entertainment-industry-for-health-reasons/.160121

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!

Respectfully,

Your fan,

Denny Sinnoh

Starlight: Mayu … I love you kid … I wish you all the happiness in this world and any of  the multiverses.

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?

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.

http://okuhanako.com/category/information/

This, plus all of the “Best Of” collections, it seems this artist is going to retire? If you have a news item, please forward it to me.

The girls keep getting younger every year: AKB48’s “Coming of Age Day” 2020

That is a lot of beauty.

AKB48 and their Japanese sister groups had their “Coming of Age Day” for 2020 on January 13th.

I know that the Record Insustry Weasels will not allow these videos to stay up on YT for very long, so I will snag some quick screen shots!

Those members who participated – and will be turning 20 this year are as follows:

From AKB48: Ichikawa Manami, Okada Rina, Otake Hitomi, Omori Maho, Tada Kyoka, Kamachi Yukina, Harumoto Yuki, and Yoshihashi Yuzuka.

From SKE48: Nakamura Izumi, Matsumoto Chikako, Ego Yuna, Kitano Ruka, Takeuchi Saki, Sugawara Maya, Nishi Marina, Hirata Shiina, Fukushi Nao, and Iriuchijima Sayaka.

From NMB48: Nishizawa Rurina, Akashi Natsuko, Kojima Karin, Sakamoto Nami, Sato Ami, Shoubu Marin, and Mizobuchi Maria.

From HKT48: Ueno Haruka, Tashima Meru, Toyonaga Aki, Fukagawa Maiko, Tsukiashi Amane, Matsuoka Hana, Murakawa Bibian, Yamauchi Yuna, and Nagano Miyabi.

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.

 

Merry Christmas 2019!

The girls and I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  Here is our special “Singing Christmas Card.”

Starlight: Merry Christmas 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 …

My first posts should just about now be reaching the recently discovered planet Barnard’s Star (planet) B. Merry Christmas to all beings on the distant “Super Earth”…

 

“Count what you have now, Don’t count what you don’t have”

“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.

“Shiawase no Monosashi” Music, lyrics and vocals by Mariya Takeuchi

LYRICS:

(One, two, three & four)

Count what you have now, don’t count what you don’t have

Count what you have now, don’t count what you don’t have

Find that you have so much

 

ganbari sugiru jibun ni tsukarete futo nakete kita mayonaka no basu ruumu de

mada te ni shita koto no nai shiawase ga dokoka ni aru ki ga shite aseru no wa toshi no sei?

hitori tanoshiku ikite kita no nani hitotsu kuyande nai kedo

kumotta kagami no you ni ashita ga mienai

 

Can’t you see? Can’t you see?

jiyuu to kodoku wa futatsu de setto kimama na hodo sabishisa mo tsuite kuru

(Don’t you know? Don’t you know?)

tonari no shibafu ga aoku mietara kono niwa ni hana o uereba ii

 

Count what you have now, don’t count what you don’t have

Find that you have so much

 

naimo no nedari shinagara minna mayotte ikiteru otona ni natte kara mo

ashimoto ni saita kirei na hana ni kizuku dake de hito wa ureshii kimochi ni nareru noni

itsuka mune no oku ni kakaeta jirenma no meiro nukereba

hontouni daiji na mono shiru hi ga kuru darou

 

Can’t you see? Can’t you see?

donna michi o eranda toshite mo nayami no kazu onaji dake tsuite kuru

(You can choose You can choose)

watashi ga kimeru watashi no puraioriti nani o totte nani o akirameru no

 

Can’t you see? Can’t you see?

shiawase no kijun hakaru monosashi jibun no kokoro no naka ni aru no sa

You can find You can find

tarinai mono kazoeru kurai nara tariteru mono kazoete goran yo!

Count what you have now, don’t count what you don’t have

 

Count what you have now

Don’t count what you don’t have

Find that you have so much

———————————————————————————————————

REFERENCE:

https://www.reddit.com/r/japanesemusic/comments/9kr88x/%E7%AB%B9%E5%86%85%E3%81%BE%E3%82%8A%E3%82%84_%E5%B9%B8%E3%81%9B%E3%81%AE%E3%82%82%E3%81%AE%E3%81%95%E3%81%97_mariya_takeuchi_shiawase_no/

Starlight: Mariya owns it – go buy your own copy!!!

Hanako Oku and her HAPPY BIRTHDAY memes.

Happy 41st Birthday to “The Little Great One” Hanako Oku, born March 20, 1978.

Japan is twelve hours ahead of my time zone, so I am sending this tonight!

Mr. Penguin, I hope you have a sense of humor! It was Snivy’s idea.

… and now for a little bit of Oku-HISTORY!

Thank you, YouTube user 曽我部幸太郎

Starlight: Been a Hanako Oku fan for eight point eight light years!

PS: Dear friends. I do not have Twitter or Facebook. If you like Hanako Oku, would you mind sharing my post on your social media?

 

 

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).

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

 

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