Storming — Ha. I bet you thought that I was another American “fake news” writer! No, I don’t allow such things here. Actually, I do want to share these photos from those SKE48 members in the “sturm generation”. (Yes, that is how they wrote it in this reference.)
The poor 20-year olds had to celebrate their Seijin no Hi (coming of age day) 2021 separately from the main AKB48 family due to the COVID Crisis. Masking up, distancing during the ceremony, etc. SKE was up first on January 8.
The SKE48 “now adult” members are Takeuchi Nanami, Ikeda Kaede, Tanabe Mizuki, Ota Ayaka, Aoumi Hinano, Kitagawa Yoshino, Nakano Airi and Nishii Mio. Enjoy, this slide show (click for larger).
Starlight: Do you remember that time that I fell off of the top of Kushida Shrine? (Remember Denny saying “Doh” as he fell and hit each one of the bridge and road turns.)
I will try to snag some more kimono photos when the other AKB sister groups have their ceremonies! You may want to visit www.akb48.at for more Idol information, they seem to be an honest source. Thanks to them for these photos!
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.
I am very proud of my young neice Lucy Sinnoh. The little lady has been busy leveling up her Galar Pokemon, trying to get all of her team up to level 100. Here is a quick peek at her recent team members. I did help her with some of the names and cultural references.
Lucy chose Scorbunny as her starter. She kept it in baby form. She also used a Gold Bottle Cap to hypertrain it. It may be still pre-evolved form, but the little bunny can hold its own with any Pokémon in the Tournaments.
Boltund was caught as Yamper. The incorrigible little yapper stayed with Lucy most of her adventure.
Lucy caught a girl Chewtle and named it “TheMunchies” due to her biting skills. This Drednaw was also employed as Lucy’s main “False Swiper” and Pokémon catcher.
KnightFlight (a Corvinight) was raised from a little Rookidee through Corvisquire. Unfortunately, its Corvinight form does not GigantaMax. This loyal knight was often used in battles where she had a type-disadvantage. It was Hypertrained for each stat as a reward for its loyalty.
Lucy needed a Grass-type, and caught a Gossifleur which soon evolved up to Eldegoss with the help of some Experience Candies. This grass type flower evolved. Lucy is like me, she likes her grass types to have a very strong Special Attack. I suggested that Lucy name him “Green Revolution” after the famous global food production miracle. Unfortunately, that is too many letters. Green-Revolt still sounds kinda revolutionary.
Lucy caught a lot of fish Hulbury trying to get an Arrowcuda with good stats. This one evolved into Barraskewda. At first Lucy tried naming the fish as they were caught. I suggested that she just put them all in a box and have the Galar Name Rater change them all later. You can change a name from your box now, it does not have to be in your party. Yet another of the privileges of the Galar Region. What do you name a Barracuda with a spinning-torpedo tail. In fact, its Hidden Ability is Propeller Tail. I like to name them after Caribbean island imagery. “Barbados” is a tough name. Names like “Bahama” “Bahama Yama” or “Bermuda” are cool. Lucy named it “Bermudashort” because she says I look ridiculous in them. To be short — as in a short temper — may be characteristic of these angry little fish. I named this cigar-shaped fish “Just-A-Cigar“. Touche Lucy.
Fortunately, the little RolyColy she caught had the “Flame Body” ability. I suggest naming females a name like “D.Motherload”, after the mining jargon. When “Motherload” evolved she became the main egg-hatcher while biking and battling through the wild area. So many ice-types succummed to this firery rock! She usually holds a Quick Claw, so ice never stands a chance. Many a Max Raid was carried out with her combo of Rock, Fire, Ground and Fighting moveset.
Lucy caught several of these fire-bug types. I think that they are one of the more interesting new Galar Pokémon. Sizzlipede and Centiskorch are a kind of Chinese Dragon, only it is a centipede. (I must say … good call GameFreak! You have NOT run out of ideas.) Lucy almost always named these after some type of Asian Stir-Fry. Later, she could a Gigantamax version who she named “DanDanNoodles“. Lucy would never let me cook up one of her fire centipedes. I bet that “tastes like chicken” would be appropriate. Speaking of that, I have noticed that whenever I search the “Asian” Tag here on WordPress, all I ever see are stir-fry recipes and porn advertisements … and yes, I digress once again.
This post is getting a little long, so I will just show you some more of Lucy’s team next week.
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.
Her time zone is twelve hours ahead of mine, so I wanted to send this out before her birthday cake is shared!
Yuki Kashiwagi (柏木由紀 Kashiwagi Yūki) was born July 15, 1991) in Kagoshima, Japan. Her home city is on the western tip of the island of Kyushu. It is the largest city in the Kagoshima Prefecture. Yukirin grew up in the shadow of the emblematic stratovolcano, Sakurajima. There are not a lot of songs about volcanoes, but Yuki is famous for singing one! (LINK HERE)for her first solo performance. Remember my old Sakurajima postcard?
Enough of the geography lesson. Today is your special day Yukirin. My you have grown more and more beautiful every year young lady.
You have made your Uncle Denny very proud!
Enjoy the day Yukirin. I have to wonder how long you will be an Idol, but that is your decision. Please keep us informed on your Instagram and Facebook! (Makes me wish I had not been banned from Facebook.) See the links below —
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 commercial? Haruka 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.
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!