Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘AKB48 Graduates’

Haruka Kodama and Denny’s broken heart.

It is with some sadness That I have to report the HKT48/AKB48 graduation of Miss Haruka Kodama. Haruppi (her nickname) was always one of my favorite members of the AKB family. She was a fan favorite, and had ranked as high as 9th in the last AKB election she participated in. Together with Sakura Miyawaki, they were HKT48’s power duo!

I am not usually sad about a members graduation, as I always wish them well in their new careers. However, in the case of Kodama-san, she had to graduate because of a medical illness. Her official graduation date is June 9, but there will be no HKT graduation performance or ceremony due to her illness. Haruka has not been performing with HKT48 for about a year now, and there has been a lot of fan speculation about what happened to her. “Was there a scandal?” “Is she pregnant and in hiding?” A lot of rumors were flying around until management announced that she would take a hiatus due to illness. Then more time gone from HKT. She never came back from the extended hiatus.

Some fans thought that Haruka was depressed because Sakura was assigned to go to Korea to be a K-Pop star — and not her too. There was some discussion that she had developed an eating disorder, bulimia and self-image problem. I found this troubling. This was the most common speculation. It may have been leaked by people in the know. My friend Derek and the others on the video-blog 48Talk had also discussed this possibility. But what do I know anyway?

If that is the case, then it really makes me very sad. Haruppi is (I don’t want to say “was”) one of the most beautiful members of the AKB Family – which is another way of saying — she was among the most beautiful women in the world. It tears me up a little to think that this lovely young woman could look in the mirror and see someone unattractive. How could she think that she was not good enough? How could the self-esteem of such a lovely woman fall so much, so fast? But what do I know?

She may have had a low self-image, but there was no reason to feel that way. It is true, she was not among the top singers in AKB, but there is much more to being an Idol than just the singing. She was fine within the larger group of singers of course, but I don’t think that she would have had a solo music career. What do I know — I’ve been out of the Idol loop.

Her main claim to fame was modeling and acting. There was no better fashion model than Haruka Kodama, as some of my past blog posts suggest.

Officially she is graduating to become an actress, and has already landed a major role in a Japanese stage play. She is scheduled to star in the stage play ‘Watashi ni Ai ni Kite‘, which will be performed in Tokyo this September. Read more on this link. That is encouraging.

Some fans speculated about her weight gain and “puffy” face. Everyone knew that something was going on in her most recent performances. I hope it was not bulimia, and my guess it was something else. She did not look like someone gaining weight slowly. She had the look of someone who was prescribed steroids for a medical condition – with the side effects of bloating. I have seen this situation before, where these medicines will deal a harsh blow to a young lady’s looks. Sometimes a medicine saves your life, but then you balloon up.

Haruppi was said to be crying at handshake events when fans asked what happened to her. Which makes ME want to cry.

It pains me to do so, but if you look at one of the last PVs that she did with the group “11 Gatsu no Anklet” (linked here see time 1:57) she looks a lot different. There is the weight, plus she does not seem to have that Happy Haruppi sparkle.

This was when we all started to worry. They kind of have her in the back row of the performance too.

Even with her prolonged illness and appearance change, she is still a beautiful lady. She is still prettier than > 99.9% of all women in this world. Unfortunately, her self-image problems and/or health has ended her career as an idol. I wonder if Sakura had not been reassigned to the K-Pop groups, if that might have made a difference.

If I could tell her … I sure would, but we live on opposite sides of the world, speak different languages, are of a different generation (and may even be different species). I would say …

“We love you Haruppi. You have given us a lot of happiness over the years. You will not be forgotten. You ARE beautiful – and always will be.”

There are more Haruka memories on my old Pinterest account here:

If anyone has an HKT48 playlist, or anything to share, please leave it in the comments below.

Let me choke back my tears and get back to the silly butt jokes I always make … (Denny slaps head, tries to make one of his lame jokes … ) here goes … 

Did you know that Haruka and I were once in a commercialHaruka is not on the thumbnail, but she features prominently in this clip. This was one of my favorite AKB songs, and you will not find it on YouTube. Haruppi plays this beautiful young lady who interacts with her friends on social media. The full video really shows the beauty and innocence of the younger members. Haruppi texts this story of how she met this handsome boy at a bus stop. She sits there at the bus stop shelter — and you can literally see her creaming over this surfer-dude. Thinking about this surfer, and stewing in her own juices — even though she barely moves and does not much to him. This MV was Haruka at her yummiest.

So I was asked to do this foot cream commercial, one thing led to another, then I ended up in an AKB video. I’m the big fat guy in case you can’t tell.

See the video time 2:14 to 2:20 minutes. There is this scene where Haruka is sitting on the couch. Off camera, to the right, there is a shadow which is me saying my lines. It went like this:

WHAT? — DANG IT — THEY CUT MY PART OUT OF THE FULL VIDEO!

Well, all the better because Haruka and the other girls get more time then. As you can see, the movie “BirdMan” stole their final scene from our video. But what do I know?

Starlight: Haruka Kodama (兒玉 遥 Kodama Haruka, born 19 September 1996), joined HKT48 in 2011.

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Kimono on Monday: Iwasa Misaki at the Japan Expo in Paris.

Kimonos on Monday: Iwasa Misaki at the Japan Expo in Paris.

Iwasa Misaki CmwL_tOWgAACZQk

I sure wish I could have been at the Japan Expo in Paris this past week. Iwasa Misaki was there to sing some of her Enka (style) songs. I think that she dazzles in this red with floral pattern kimono. Also, check out this great yukata in dark purple with pink flowers:

You can see more of her kimono, and her accessories on her official Instagram page linked here.

https://www.instagram.com/wasaminnn/

Wanna play some Wasa-games?

Ha! All those people walking right past her. I wonder if anyone knew who she was?

I sure would not bother her though. Plus, she was available for autographs and photos later. Dang it. This may be the only time that I wish that I were in France.

Starlight: “Oh, Muarice … you make me so mad.”

          — Could you give me something like that kid?

Kimonos on Monday: Wasa-hair on Instagram!

iwasa misaki dark kimono5

Look it up in an encyclopedia under “What a man most wants to nuzzle.”

Kimonos on Monday: Wasa-hair! I was very pleased to find Iwasa Misaki’s Instagram post. She has shared some nice photos of her kimono. Her site also features a good number of kimono accessories such as shoes and hairpin ornaments. Of course I also love all those pictures of her with her tied hair up in various ways. Click any to begin the slideshow. Any of these would make great computer wallpapers.

I love it when a pretty lady ties her hair up, so that the nape of her neck is exposed. Do women always know how incredibly beautiful they make themselves? Ladies make themselves extremely desirable in subtle ways. The exposed neck is one such example. The neck is not like looking at breasts or other (ahem) zones – but darn it – the neck nape has serious appeal in a unique way. I like how the wisps of  lady hair grow from out of the neck. The hair is like a beautiful flower, growing from a place which is source of all goodness, and then it diverges and matures into to a life-tree of extreme happiness. It looks so soft and EXTREMELY FEMININE. The visual is one phenom, but then there is the added dimensions of texture, aroma and taste of the nape.

I ramble of course …  you girls have no idea how wonderful your bodies truly are — or maybe you do. Perhaps the neck nape is yet another example of female superiority. What? No one told you? I was hoping you wouldn’t find out because I didn’t want you to start acting stuck-up.

Ladies, find a way tonight —  or make some type of excuse — to show the back of your neck to your fellow tonight (say “zip me up”, or “is my necklace crooked”, etc.). Act like you are not even trying to impress … then see what happens.  … and yes, I see that I have digressed from the topic of kimono fashions.

Ahem … indeed Wasamin looks striking in this dark kimono with floral pattern. I will share just a few now, but you will find many more on her Instagram. There are also some stand-alone photos of hair ornament (“Kanzashi”) types as well. Kimono sandals – or “Zori” are also shown. Her site is a treasure trove of beautiful kimonos, accessories and hairstyles!

The Iwasa Misaki Instagram page is linked here. It will be interesting to see what kimono fashion she will add in the coming weeks.

In other Misaki-Kimono news, Wasamin will be bringing her enka-singing show to the Japan Expo in Paris, France on July 7-10, 2016.  I hope she tweets, bookfaces and instagrams a lot of her photos from this event.  She will also be participating in signings at the Expo, thus — one can meet Iwasa Misaki if you are in Paris this week.

Mon dieu — e pas être sorti de l’auberge … I really don’t think I can make it to Gay Paree next month however as I will be stuck down on the hog farm all summer.

Starlight:  … Sorry my mind wandered again.

I've lost count of how many posts I have made about you Misaki-san!

Yes, you might want to start keeping score, Miss Misaki. I have lost count of how many posts I have made about you.

https://www.instagram.com/wasaminnn/

Kimonos on Monday: My Iwasa Misaki concert blu-ray shipped this morning!

I am not on Twitter, but If I had an account, I would tweet that I am excited about receiving my Iwasa Misaki concert Blu-ray.

mujin-eki-kara-aratanaru-shuppatsu-no-toki-iwasa-misaki

I would probably Tweet something dumb like “Wasamin is Earth’s bestest human”.

Iwasa Misaki held her first solo live concert in Asakusa Public Hall, Tokyo on January 30, 2016. The event is now released as a concert film: Mujin Eki kara Aratanaru shuppatsu no Toki (無人駅から 新たなる出発の刻). That day was also her 21st birthday, and then at the end of the show she announces her graduation from AKB48. I pre-ordered this way back in  May, and it has shipped from CD Japan today!

Of course she wears a great kimono for her performance. I must write a longer essay when I receive the disc, but I could not contain myself and just had to tell someone. I don’t have a lot to say (in length) but I have a lot to say (in excitement).

Perhaps a short post like this would have been better as a Tweet than a blog entry. Trouble is — I don’t Tweet. I have resisted creating a Twitter account, as the system is really not my style. The 140 character limit means that just when the ideas are flowing I would have to stop. So many things I see on Twitter are flaccid, and not very interesting. I know a lot of people that post Twitter and Facebook photos of their breakfast — or post they just bought a cup a coffee. I could do that, but it just would not be compelling — for me, let alone any of my readers. Furthermore, I don’t like all this political crap that goes out on Twitter, especially from all these brain-dead celebrities.

If I were on Twitter, I would probably end up making goofy, ill-informed political statements. For example: “Eisenhower – YOU GET OUT OF MY WOMB” . Then I would probably regret it later.  Also, I fear that Twitter would give me serious writers block. Kinda the same way as if someone says to me “Say something funny” … then I can’t under the  pressure. (This also sometimes happens at public urinals.)

If I do create a Twitter account, would you follow me? If not me — would you like to follow Misaki-san’s official  Twitter?

Starlight: The Blu-ray should arrive on Friday!

Can you guess which Iwasa Misaki Twitter photo gave Denny a heart attack this morning?

Guess which photo from Iwasa Misaki’s official Twitter account made me spill my coffee and landed me on the floor this morning:

WasaPicture1

Wasa Photo A

WasaPicture4

Wasa Photo B

WasaPicture3

Wasa Photo C

WasaPicture2

Wasa Photo D

Come on … It is MULTIPLE CHOICE … please take my Wasa-poll:

If you want to see more Wasamin selfies, her lunch, her friends and puppy videos, see Iwasa Misaki’s official Twitter linked here.

https://twitter.com/wasaminnn

Starlight: I only look at the Sun at Night.

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Um, Tomochin, could you have thought of another name for your new single?

Yes, Tomochin, they sometimes use a cup at an American "Come Party"!

Yes, Tomochin, they sometimes use a cup at an American “Come Party”!

“Come Party” with Tomomi Itano!

I love the dear girl. She is really “not my type” however, as I have blogged previously (linked here).  Tomon-chin  was always one of my favorite AKB48 members, and I am happy to see her have a successful solo career in music, commercials, modeling, TV and movies.  Tomochin is a lot of fun, and she is a sweet young lady.

Itano-san has also been writing some of her own songs for her new records! Her solo music is really not my thing however. I do not really care for that funky, hip-hoppy dance music. Tomochin’s music is probably more in line with what you younger readers and bloggers like. Me? I’m from a different generation. You darn kids!!! Here, this is REAL MUSIC (link) … but I digress.

If I would have had the chance, I would have told Ms. Itano  not  to title her new music video  “Come Party”.

I know, she thinks that “Come Party” means get up and dance and have a great time! OK … but here in the USA, a “Come Party” might mean something else entirely, and it is NOT udon noodles, unfortunately.   This dear young lady is too classy to be involved in anything like that.

So … my young readers, enjoy some funky dance music with Tomochin and COME PARTY!!!

Also, please enjoy these photos of Tomochin at her LIVE in LAZONA Kawasaki Plaza (ラゾーナ川崎プラザ) show!  She looks great – in fact she is a grand old flag … or maybe young flag.

Tomochin — let your “Free Flag” fly!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been proud of my country!”

Shut up Michelle.  Everyone else, please enjoy this Tomo Itano playlist.

Starlight: The light from Tomochin’s “Come Party” began  the journey to my world on December 9, 2014.

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