Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Anime’

Happy Birthday to “The Pancake House Girl” Hanako Oku!

Japan is twelve hours ahead of me, so Snivy and I wanted to be the first in my time zone to wish “the Little Great One” Ms. Hanako Oku-san a HAPPY BIRTHDAY tomorrow (today) on March 20! She is lucky — her Birthday is always the Spring Equinox.

Ms. Oku has always been one of my favorites. Of course, Snivy is a huge fan. The adorable and talented Ms. Oku has written the opening theme song “Kimi No Hana” for the romance anime “Seiren” currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

The marketing geniuses at the Pony Canyon record company have blocked any and all Hanako Oku music videos in Unova, so it is difficult for us to share the song over YourTube, or Twatter, or Glueggle +, etc.  One of these links might work however.

https://en.musicplayon.com/Hanako-Oku-Kimi-No-Hana-635494.html

http://www.jpopasia.com/hanakooku/videos/62181/kimi-no-hana-%E3%82%AD%E3%83%9F%E3%81%AE%E8%8A%B1/

It is a pretty good anime theme. A good anime theme always gets you in the right frame of mind for the show. The song certainly does have its moments where Snivy and I are in our “Hanako Heaven”.

Something else is notable about the show. Hanako Oku also makes her voice acting debut in the series! She plays a pancake house server in the ninth episode. I freeze-framed her line in the photo below. The Little Great One’s only line was “Here’s your next plate” (in Japanese).

The next day, Snivy kept saying “Here’s your next plate … Here’s your next plate”. The cute little guy.

You only get to see the animated-Oku’s hand as she delivers another plate of pancakes to the main character at an all-you-can-eat pancake buffet. Perhaps this will mark the beginning of larger voice acting roles?

Starlight: HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANAKO OKU – BORN MARCH 20, 1978!

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Pokémon Nicknames: Petilil and Lilligant

The Cowsills: “I love the Flower Girl …”

hanako oku flowers yellow

Petilil (in Japanese: チュリネ  “Churine” ) is a Grass-type Pokémon. Petilil evolves into Lilligant (in Japanese: ドレディア  “Dredear”) when exposed to a Sun Stone. It thus remains a Grass type.

lilligant_and_petilil_by_excelhensggott-of-course

I sometimes name a Petlil Panteneafter the brand of shampoo. If I intend on evolving the little flower I name it accordingly for the next form.

Growing like a weed!

This young lady is pretty as a flower, but growing like a weed!

I name a Lilligant “Hanako” or “Hana” or “Hana-chan” after my favorite singing Flower Girl Hanako Oku!

“Hanako” is a common Japanese girl name! 華子 (華 is the kanji symbol which may mean – ‘splendor’, ‘flower’, ‘petal’, ‘shine’, ‘luster’, ‘ostentatious’, ‘showy’.  子 ‘ko’ is the second kanji, meaning ‘girl (child)’).

There 1960s pop group The Cowsills recorded a song most people refer to as “I Love the Flower Girl”, but which is actually titled “The Rain, the Park, and Other Things”. Please enjoy this nice YouTube post which complies multiple Cowsills performances. I’m singing it while I compose this post, as you can see by my notes in green. You can find the lyrics linked here.

It is a pretty good 1960s pop song. I must have heard it 1,000,000 times on AM radio, but I never really listened to the story until now. A guy is at a park. It has just stopped raining. Then there she is … The Flower Girl. The song says “the Sun broke through”.  (Coincidentally you need a SunStone in order to make the Petilil evolve into a Liligant!) He goes off with this girl, WHO HE HAS JUST MET BY THE WAY … they engage in some activity, which is not clear in the song, but what they do strews “FLOWERS EVERWHERE …”. All of a sudden – the Flower Girl is gone. Did he imagine the whole thing?

Hmmmm … well, here is a brief slideshow of some  “elegant flower girls” in Lilligant cosplay.

“I knew, I knew, I knew, I knew … she could make me happy …”

Some other names for Liligant?

I like “Lilith” which is a nice proper Anglo-sounding name. (Also the name of the wife of Dr. Frasier Crane.)

“PrettyFlower” will just fit in 12 letters. My idea for this name is “For Your Clothes Here’s a Pretty Flower” which is what Hare Krishna’s say when they pin a flower on you and ask for a donation. Which reminds me of the time I met this Hare Krishna chick at the mall. I was about 18 years old, and horny as hell, walking along, minding my own business. All of a sudden this great looking blond girl with flowers in a headband comes up to me and starts asking how I am doing. One thing did not lead to another, and … oh, crap … I wasn’t getting anything, she was just after a donation for her cult. There was probably some ape-shit ugly dude out in a van in the mall parking lot, putting her up to it … and er … huh huh … I digress once again.

The Netherlands grow and sell a lot of flower bulbs, so Holland-inspired names are appropriate: “Bulbs” or “Holland” or “Hollandyke” — for example.  “Tiptoes” if you remember the “Tip Toe Through The Tulips” song.

“Lillium” is the genus name for the flower Lilly. It is the Latin word used for the genus, and is also the name of the FANTASTIC operatic opening song sung in Latin for the landmark anime Elfen Lied. Perhaps pretty flowers would grow in an “Elf Field“. Listen to the music linked here in another window. … Gulp … It was one of the most profound anime’s ever … how can you say you are an anime fan if you have never been on this? I get lost remembering the haunting theme …

Another suggestion is “McGill” as in the line from The Beatles song “Rocky Raccoon” — “Her name was McGill, but she called herself ‘Lil, but everyone knew her as Nancy.”

Starlight: I’m old enough to remember when my sister bought the Cowsills album in 1966. 

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Pokémon Nicknames: Audino

audino_gijinka_17_by_ayaluthien-d8kzul7 great

Audino (in Japanese: タブンネ  “Tabunne”) is a Normal-type Pokémon.

audino plush on ama

Audino is the “hearing” Pokémon. Audino does not evolve from or into any other Pokémon, except that it can Mega-evolve into Mega Audino using the Audinite stone.

mega audino

I thought that the Mega-evolved Audino looked like it was wearing a lab coat, so I named a female Audino “Dr.Goodhead” after the character Dr. Holly Goodhead in the James Bond movie “MoonRaker”.

Bond ... Goodhead, Goodhead ... Bond.

Bond … Goodhead, Goodhead … Bond.

The “doctor” angle may be appropriate because Audino has been Nurse Joy’s assistant nurse.

Other names I have used: “Dino”, and “Dean-O”  – after the nickname for Dean Martin and other Italian singers. “Tin Ear” – after the early “funnel shaped” hearing aids. Later that term was used for those who are hard of hearing. “Tiffany” – as in the famous jewelry store and the singer. (I would like a Tiffany ear better than a “tin” ear.) It may be obvious to use “Audrey” – because this name sounds like Audino. I use the names for females, however at one time “Audrey” was used as a man’s name.

If you have a male Audino, I suggest the name “Tommy” – after the character in the rock opera by The Who. “Tommy Can You Hear Me?”

The Bulbagarden website has this description for Audino: Its auditory sense is astounding. It has a radar-like ability to understand its surrounding through slight sounds. It touches others with the feelers on its ears, using the sound of their heartbeats to tell how they are feeling.”  This reminds me of the Who’s deaf-dumb-and-blind “Pinball Wizard” and messianic  leader! (A fun scene from the movie Tommy is linked here.)

Another possibility is “Chi” or “Chobits”. Audino’s ears remind me of the female robot character  “Chi” from one of my favorite all-time anime series “Chobits”. Chi’s ears are a lot like Audinos. I wonder if Gamefreak meant Audino to be an homage to Chi.

cosplay_Chobits_Chii-11

Remember how Hideki found out where her “ON” button was located?

Perhaps “Chi Audino” , or “Persocom” or some variation of the Chobits/Persocom theme may be fun, especially if you loved that series as much as I did!

I know that it is a little dated now, but when it came out it was way ahead of its time, and the series holds up very well today!

Here is some Pokémon cosplay for lady Audinos.

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It is always good to train up in the wild against an Audino. You get a lot of training points for defeating Audino.

audino_by_humanoid_magpie-d3eifrr funny

If you want to train up your Fighting-type, it is super-effective against Audino’s Normal-type.

What do you call your hearing Pokémon?

Starlight: It has been fours years, since my son first taught me to play Pokémon with Pokémon Black and White.

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Spooky Boogie we hardly knew ye …

PSYCHO-PASS-04-720p.mkv_snapshot_11.31_2012.11.01_22.45.11

I was a big fan of Spooky Boogie.  Count me as one of her millions of her followers on the CommuField.

In general, I am not in favor of anarchy, however our government has become so intrusive into our lives, with these cymatic scans that I am beginning to take Spooky Boogie’s message to heart. I never knew what to expect from her. She was always entertaining. Always kept them guessing … and I loved it how she would stick it to our corrupt government with her sarcastic humor.

SB pyschopassepisode410

So why I am talking about her in the past tense when her popular Internet show is still being broadcast you ask?

I hate to be the one to tell you, but that is NOT the REAL Spooky Boogie! The real Spooky Boogie was created by a lady know as Shoko Sugawara, who mysteriously disappeared a couple of years ago. Have you noticed how everything that Spooky Boogie has been saying the past couple of years has been greatly toned down?  What you have been watching is not the original Spooky Boogie!!!

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Yes, the show is still good, but it is a pale shadow of its former self. The character is still “off-the-wall-spooky-crazy” , but she is much less critical of the “big brains” (Denny using sarcasm) we elected.

I’m afraid that someone has gotten to Ms. Sugawara …

So, SPOOKY BOOGIE, I salute you. You were too Spooky and too Boogie for this world : (

Even us old guys can tell that something has happened.

do you think that the net has any effect

 

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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.)

 

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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.

“Take the plunge, do not waiver”

“Take the plunge, do not waiver”  Inspirational lyrics (translated) from the militaristic opening theme song for Knights of Sidonia !  I needed inspiration as I binge-watched this anime series on July 5th.  It is a “Made for NETFLIX” series, and it is wonderful. I am happy that I found an anime series that I liked … and it is NOT several years old.  I’m re-watching again as I type this.  I will share the trailer here.

Note to my friends: When I drafted this post I originally included the theme songs. These have been removed from YouTube by RECORD INDUSTRY WEASELS.  Sorry.  I will re-post in the comments if they ever become available again. 

Marathon-watching a series is a good way to watch an anime.  It is fun to stay up all night — not intentionally — but when the series is good, you always want to watch just one more episode.  By then, you are close to finishing.  You cannot leave until the climactic final episode is seen!  You could view “NOS” as a six-hour movie, just skip the opening and closing credits/theme songs.  The themes are part of the fun however.  When an opening theme is good, it fires you up for another episode!

The story is set over a thousand years in the future.  Humans have abandoned Earth, after it was destroyed by gigantic aliens known as “Gauna”.  These monsters look like giant fleas the size of a city.  Oddly, they also mimic the form of other things, such as a spaceship or a human.  This series is based on a well-respected manga of the same name, however in the anime, not a lot is explained about who/what the Guana are. Actually a lot of things were not explained, but it is still fun! 

Humanity has left Earth in massive spaceships created from the remains of our planet.  This anime follows the spaceship “Sidonia” which apparently was the lifeboat which preserves Japan’s culture.  There is a lot of Japanese cultural references made here.   (One negative reviewer on Netflix complained that there were not any black people aboard Sidonia. Weird.)

Other aspects of the future:  Human cloning and asexual reproduction are possible.  You know how many characters all look the same in anime?  Well, here you have clones, so following the characters may be very difficult at first.  There are also some that are “bi-gender”–  not male or female … until they choose a mate.  I actually found a way to tell the bi-genders from the female characters:  If they had big boobs that bobbled around delightfully – they were female.

Also, human bioengineering was utilized to produce human photosynthesis.  These future humans do not have to eat, but they often have to take off their clothes and sunbathe.  Fortunately they only show the women doing this.  Also, they are all light-skinned Japanese.  (Another negative Netflix reviewer complained that the series was in Japanese only, and that they “did not read” so they could not watch it.  WRONG! You can watch the English dub option, and there is also a Spanish dub available if you habla.)

you were up

Anyway, these giant “Guana” are always trying to destroy Sidonia.  The main spaceship is protected by anthro-morphic spaceship jetfighters called the ”Gardes”.  Young people in the surviving human population are screened and drafted as Garde pilots at a young age — if they are capable of piloting them.  The story follows the exploits of Nagate Tanikaze, a gifted Garde pilot.  Nagate was actually raised in an “underground” layer of Sidonia.   Growing up with his grandfather, he encountered few other humans in these hidden labyrinths. He trains himself in an old Guardian pilot simulator every day, eventually mastering it. After his grandfather’s death he is found by the people above and is eventually selected as a Guardian pilot. The Sidonia’s Captain hopes he will defend Sidonia from Gauna attacks using all the combat expertise he learned.  Nagate is bullied by some of the other pilots, because he is not bio-engineered — and cannot photosynthesize.  Is there a “harem” for our lovable-loser-anime-male-main-character?  Yes, a great looking female pilot (Hoshijiro-san)  falls in love with him, and another bi-gender girl (Izana-chan) also loves him secretly, and another trainee (Yuhata-chan) adores him on a professional level.  Does he do anything about it?  Well how do all of these anime hero-protagonists behave?  It is the battles that are the main drama in this series.  Someone always gets killed.

Characters

Characters: Click to view larger.

Oh, and there is a talking bear.  Unbelievably, ANOTHER negative Netflix reviewer complained that “the talking bear did not make any sense.”

Do not let these negative reviews sway you.  I will let you see the rest for yourself .  NOS is the only “NETFLIX original series” that I have ever enjoyed fully.  I have seen some of the other “made for Netflix” series.  Meh. While I finished some of them, I felt like I wasted my time with ___.  (You can fill in the names of those other made-for-Netflix shows.)

Starlight?  No this was Sunlight.

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