Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Hanako Oku’

Ohio coffee playlist with Moritaka Chisato

When I met her in that Ohio coffee shop, I kept telling myself “Denny, don’t stare  … don’t stare at her legs… don’t stare at her legs you idiot …”

Ohio!  Ha … “Ohio” that is how you say “good morning” in Japanese!

Ha … please don’t correct me, I know that the phrase is really “Ohayō” お早う or “Ohayōgozaimasu”.  I have become a big fan of Japanese singer Moritaka Chisato these past few months. Every morning I look forward to the perfect combination of 1) my morning mug of coffee 2) my iPhone on which I can watch YourTube videos, and 3) my headphones. It is the best time of the day, sitting there, having a good morning coffee … of course my life is complete shit at work, but at least I am happy for those 25 fleeting minutes. Ahem, I am particularly happy when listening to music videos from this wonderful artist.  All Japanese culture comes to me by starlight, and Moritaka Chisato is a good example. I first learned about her from another blogger’s post (MorningBerryz48). The original post is linked here. Moritanka Chisato had her first hits in the late 1980s and was popular through the 1990s. I guess you could call her stuff “nineties music” — but she recorded a variety of great music in many different genres. She was a little different from many pop/idol singers of the time because she wrote her own music and was an accomplished instrumentalist. Ohio! Lets us get to the videos!

The first song is 気分爽快 translated as “Refreshing Feelings”.  There are several different versions and live performances of the song on YT (check out the “drums” version linked here), but this particular MV is very intriguing. I would have to ask my friend Bob to identify the guitars which the guitarist plays here. Oddly, at one point in the video, he is playing a different one than moments before! Now I have watched this MV like the Zapruder film, detailing each moment. There is a “Mystery Woman” dressed in a green sweater-top. She never turns to face the camera, even during the big wide-shot group dance part. We … never… see… her… face. I was thinking that perhaps she is the Moritaka from the future, or perhaps visiting from another dimension … but then again I’m a nut.

Moritanka Chisato portrays a teacher in this next video “Song of Study” or “Study Song” depending on which order you read it. There are a lot different versions of this MV too, but I think that this one is the most endearing. Musically, it sounds like the mid-eighties. Somewhere between Cindy Lauper and DEVO.

Ms. Chisato plays a teacher. I have taken some notes: The superiority of the Japanese educational system is clearly on display here. Ms. Chisato is clearly better than any boring teacher I ever had. Who wants to listen to some dork lecture about rocks? I prefer Ms. Chisato’s suit. Oh, man in that tight suit, nice hose and pretty shoes — she reminds me of a young Mrs. Sinnoh. I like how at one point she gives a boy the choice between a comic book and a study guide, and he chooses the manga, much to her disappointment. After she teaches for a while she gives him the choice between the workbook and a Nintendo Gameboy, and he chooses the schoolbook! (Notice how much larger Gameboys were in Japan. Those things were HUGE!) I noticed that she gives pretty big tests. They are easy (look close) but they are really BIG tests. You will also notice that the school day goes by very fast with her. The hands on the classroom clock fly around very quickly. I sure would like to be this teacher’s pet : )

“They say that the big band sound is coming back!” (Sorry about that stupid comment. I have had to put up with that one half-my life.)  Now, if you have not exited my post yet, you are in for a treat. The next song is “So Blue”. Despite the big band, dance hall atmosphere, this song rocks out pretty hard.  I might even call it “progressive” rock, as it is so interesting and complex. Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir? Forget that, you will find a much better guitar/drum/strings arrangement from Chisato-san here. (Denny sups coffee.)

This next song is “August Love”. My comic-book reading otaku friends like Matthew and The Otaku Judge should recognize the lovely Moritaka is singing inside one of Superman’s fortresses. Now, this is not his Arctic isolated fortress. Instead Superman keeps Mori-chan forever young in this PACIFIC fortress. (It has a slightly different coloration.) Can you imagine the fun Superman has in that place, listening to Ms. Chisato – trapped in time — kept forever young, singing about August Love – with that facethat hair … and that red lipstick. (Denny gulps.)

Gentemen, hold on to your hearts, because if you have not fallen in love with Moritaka Chisato yet, you will succumb during this next beautiful song — “Watarase Bridge”. She was going for a Beatles “Let It Be” sound and video. Well, screw the Beatles. At least Chisato-san did not have to lie about who was playing the instruments. SHE IS!  Clearly one of her best songs, even my other Jpop hero Hanako Oku loves it. Psst: Watch for the “mystery woman” to walk through right at the end.

If you love Jpop, make sure that you add some Moritaka Chisato to your collection! Her official web links are here:

Official Website: http://www.moritaka-chisato.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chisatomoritaka
Twitter: http://twitter.com/moritakastaff
Google+: http://plus.google.com/u/0/108720770772129735479/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/moritakachannel

She has a great volume of music and video to explore. She is older now, and not publishing as much as during her hey day in the 1990s. She is married to a nice guy and has two lovely children.

I have also started a Pinterest board for Moritaka Chisato linked hereThanks MB, for introducing me to another great artist, I might otherwise never would have known about.

Starlight: I discovered Moritaka Chisato on November 16, 2016 through MorningBerryz48’s blog. I can’t do justice to MB’s post. She has all this great album cover art, photos, live performances, songs lyrics, etc.

Wha … Why are you still here? go have  a look!

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!

Denny’s vow of celibacy

haruka kodama less thinking t

You got that right Haruppi! Too much thinking can cause yourself a lot of stress!

Something has been bothering me lately. I feel that I should not write any more blog posts, because I need to dedicate more time to writing and publication in my professional life. My job “processing agricultural chemical orders” has not been going very well. I have not been making the kind of accomplishments that I really need to make. I didn’t keep up with technology. I get poor reviews. I am not in line for raises.

a big F from kodama

Yes, that is how I felt, Miss Kodama … like a big “F” -ing hat.

A couple of months ago, I told myself that I would not spend any more time on social media until I made a major accomplishment at work. Either complete a major project …  publish an industry article …  or actually help one of my colleagues. Well, I stopped posting (only two posts in two months), but I STILL did not get anything done at work. All I accomplished was that I was just making myself very unhappy because I could not write about topics I like … animes I have seen, Pokémon nicknames, kimono styles, or JPop music I love.

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Well, I’m just happy that you are happy Haruka.

I really hated not writing on WP because when the Pokémon Go mobile game launched, my Pokémon Nicknames posts started getting hundreds of views every day! I would really like to create more posts. (Note: My “Pokémon Nicknames” is often not really about Pokemon nicknames. It is often just a jumping off point for some other rant on popular culture or my old man stories. The Sunflora example linked here.)

It is frustrating because I have the OPPOSITE problem of writers block. I have many ideas for blog posts, but I feel guilty if I use my time to write them. I feel that I should not waste time on pop culture and entertainment social media … when I know I should be developing myself professionally.

ideas in the library with kodama

Ideas for writing about pop culture keep popping up, just like you Haruka!

It does not help, that I genuinely despise my work. I try to look on the humorous side when possible. I don’t like the field, and I can’t understand why any young person would ever want to go into it. Why stay?  Oh yeah, it is easy — and I have pretty good job security.  (On a bad day, I can just close my office door, put on a Hanako Oku concert DVD, listen to headphones and be instantly transported.)  I know I could not find another job that pays as well for someone my age.  … but it is like living a lie. If I could write my blogs for a living … I sure would.

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Oh… you were so sweet. Your suggestions for “tropical fertilization” were a nice gesture, Kodama-san.

You kids should have seen me in my younger days though. All full of piss and vinegar  — writing articles in the industry …  traveling to conferences … educating the young interns. (Cut to scene of young Denny in business suit – jingling his pocket change: “I’ve got you’re your fertilizer right here”. I was cashing in, moving up, blazing new trails … and … and all … “put it on my tab.” Now I’m deadwood.

haruka with some old wood

Yes, I appreciate your ability to “handle old wood” Haruppi, but I need to do this for my own good.

I need to rededicate myself to professional life – and that means no blogging. I need to redeem myself.

Allways contemplating in lonely solitude. I know the feeling Haruppi.

Allways contemplating in lonely solitude. I know the feeling Haruppi.

I will still check in with some of my blogging friends once in a while. It is also frustrating not being able to read all of YOUR posts. Just today, I was scrolling down through all of these WP articles I would like to read and comment on, but I feel like I would be letting my family down if I use up time when I should be chasing a raise.

no time for that haruka

Sorry Haruka, I can’t see the entire message … but I would still not be able to ANYTHING you out — until I get some real work done!

I am going to take a solemn vow. I am not going to post anything on WordPress until I actually make an accomplishment in my professional life.

I will still check in on your posts and make comments, but I will post no new articles. I can’t live without MorningBerryz48 idols blog, and I depend on The Otaku Judge to advise me on which anime to choose. I should be a better role model for young Matthew. All of you who routinely read and “like” my posts …. I will see you down there at the “likes” area … and I will be checking in. The next time you see Pokemon nicknames, Kimonos on Monday, or a list of risqué jokes about Japanese idols, that means that I have turned it around.

haruka kodama in kimono misc

It does inspire me that you will wait for me Miss Kodama.

Starlight: Eight years of this Ronin life.

 

“… I’m certain as a lost dog … pondering a sign post…”

… Which is probably another way of being … not very certain?

Those words are a nice lyrical image from the song I would like to share today —  “I Want to Vanish” by Elvis Costello. The version provided here by a YouTube user is a clip from his special concert called “The Case for Song”.  Indeed it was a great VHS tape from the mid 1990s, however Netflix has the DVD if you are interested. Please let me know if you ever find it in a bargain bin.

The song is from his 1996 album “All This Useless Beauty” — one of my favorite records by him – (cough) — although this particular tune was NOT one of the ones which I liked on the album (The full album is linked here). I usually would skip this particular song. There were others — Distorted Angel, You Bowed Down and the title track which I liked a lot more.

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The other day however, I caught the song, thought about it and … well … I finally got it. (Denny slaps head.) My friends know that I can be that oblivious, insensitive lout.

Notable here is how Costello’s (or McManus’) voice breaks at various points during the song. One of the enjoyable attributes about Elvis’ (i.e. Declan’s) many emotional songs is that “his voice always breaks at just the right time.”  Unfortunately, in the year’s following the this album, especially in the late 2000’s his voice started to become ALL BREAK. His recent records all sound terrible. His singing has gotten pretty bad, and the songwriting is just not there anymore*. I used to have a lot of respect for this washed-up, overly opinionated, fat bastard, but he has made it rather difficult in recent years.

… oh … Ahem … Yes, I can be an insensitive lout … but from where, and from who — did I learn that? Another coincidence — I actually owned the same polka-dot pattern shirt he wears here. Some amazing toss of the cosmic dice. Wait … I wonder if there is such a thing as a “cosmic” tossed salad? No matter … and yes, I have digressed, as per usual.

The studio version (linked here) is a little clearer, but I prefer the more emotive live performance above, mistakes and all.

If you like puzzling song lyrics, please enjoy “I Want to Vanish”

I want to vanish
This is my fondest wish
To go where I cannot be captured
Laid on a decorated dish
Even in splendor this curious fate
Is more than I care to surrender
Now it’s too late

Whether in wonder or indecent haste
You arrange the mirrors and the spools
To snare the rare and precious jewels
That were only made of paste

If you should stumble upon my last remark
I’m crying in the wilderness
I’m trying my best to make it dark
How can I tell you I’m rarer than most
I’m certain as a lost dog
Pondering a sign post

[Chorus]

I want to vanish
This is my last request
I’ve given you the awful truth
Now give me my rest

To leave on a positive note, here is a non-Costello version of his song sung live by what looks to be a high school band in this 2015 YT video.  This is a rather obscure song choice for cute teenage girls to sing.

Really odd.  I can verify that in the 1970s and 80s, being an Elvis Costello fan was a very effective girl repelent . Admittedly, not as foul of a girl repellent as being a Star Trek fan however. The girls participating here could not be any more endearing. I have to wonder how they were put up to it. Perhaps their music teacher was a Costello aficionado … or maybe they just lost a bet. At any rate … good work kids! Better you should bring the lyric sheet next time though.

————————————————————————————————–

* or perhaps I have just moved on to Hanako Oku to take care of me emotionally. She looks better in the glasses anyway.

ho glasses dark de7f00abf46a102b8f44db3c07e8f963

Starlight: Giving you “the awful truth” for a thousand days now. 

Denny Re-Blogs: Genki de Itene — Oku Hanako – Chinese to English

utakata CD cover

“Genki de Itene” is a track on this album. Image belongs to the artist and record company.

Dear Readers:

Please visit fellow WP Blogger Edward on his site:

https://okuhanakochinesetoenglish.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/genki-de-itene/comment-page-1/#comment-93

He always does a great job translating Hanako Oku lyrics.

Those who follow my blog know that I am a big fan of Oku Hanako, who I term “The Little Great One”.

Oh, what the little lady has done for me … Please enjoy Edward’s post — and follow him if you are a fan of Japanese music!

I added a few video links on the comments section of his blog. Better watch them quick.

Denny 

元気でいてね (Genki de Itene) · 要好好的过喔 · Stay Well In: [Album] Oku Hanako BEST -My Letters- – CD 2 track 14 [Album] Utakata – track 13 [Album] Kimi no Egao -Smile Selection- – track 7 English This is wrong! Who decided this? A round object might look rectangular from another point of view It […]

via Genki de Itene — Oku Hanako – Chinese to English

More images of Hanako Oku can be found on my Pinterest site for her linked here.

Misaki sings Oku: Hatsukoi

misakisingsokufirstlovethankyoumilochiu

西浦秀樹のめざせ紅白! 初恋 / 岩佐美咲

Dear WordPress, Tumblr, Google, and Email friends,

I apologize from my break from blogging for a couple of weeks. However, as Douglas Adams wrote in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” I had to “take a year off as dead for tax purposes”.

I wanted to share this nice little YT video before it is removed by (you know who), or I jump out of my pants.

Iwasa Misaki is my favorite … No, Hanako Oku is my favorite … Wasamin! … no, Oku-san — I am having trouble deciding which is my favorite. Why would I have to decide any-who? They are both other-wordly talented and adorable women.

Miss Iwasa Misaki-san is singing karaoke here at one of those record industry promotions. Those lucky dudes. Here is the whole thing.

Wasamin sings one of my favorite songs by Hanako Oku “Hatsukoi” (First Love).

One of my fantasies is that Misaki-san and Oku-san would someday team up. Since Wasamin graduated AKB48, I think they would be great together … and .. no .. not in THAT way … you. I mean like Simon and Garfunkel. Oku-san could be Paul Simon, the writer, and Misaki-san would be Art Garfunkel, the strong vocalist. Hanako Oku writes much better songs, and Wasamin’s hair is not crazy however.

Starlight: Apple Poly Luges, I will try to catch up with my WordPress subscriptions (i.e. your posts, dear hearts) next week.

Hey —  write, don’t call: Denny.Sinnoh@gmail.com

Unboxing Hanako Oku’s 10th Anniversary Special Concert 2015 Blu-Ray set with Snivy, Tepig and Oshawatt.

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Unboxing Hanako Oku’s 10th Anniversary Special Concert 2015 Blu-Ray set with Snivy, Tepig and Oshawatt.

Snivy’s order from CD-Japan has arrived! It is hard to get these three Unova Region starter Pokémon to agree on anything – but they all wanted to watch this blu-ray set of Hanako Oku’s big concert. This is the FIRST TIME that a Hanako Oku concert has been available on blu-ray! The great thing about blu-ray is that is that the discs will play on a Region-A BD player! No more hassles with DVD Region 2 being incompatible with Unova DVD players! OK guys, get unboxing!

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Go Snivy! Use VINE WHIP!

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I know how he feels: The little guy was so eager — he dived right into the box!

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Oh Tepig — you can play with that bubble-wrap later!

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Yes, Oshawatt — it is a Blu-Ray, and you are a WATER TYPE — so what’s the connection again?

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They were all so excited about the contents!

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No, Oshawatt … you spin the disc in the Playstation 3, not on your TAIL!

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Snivy was so proud. He said that holding the discs made him feel like he was hugging the real Hanako Oku!

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Maybe set a little farther away from the TV, Snivy! It is amazing to see close-ups of Miss Oku on our 46-inch TV. The picture is great, and it sounds very good considering they are just the stock TV speakers.

Snivy commented further that Hanako Oku and her band are “Fun to watch and just listen to while playing.” Tepig said “She looks beautiful.” Oshawatt says “She is super-cute in those pantaloons!”

I agree with Snivy, I think The Little Great One looks very pretty and exquisitely feminine throughout these performances. “What a nice lady …” Tepig added, “I respect her a lot.”

box875IMG_0115

Oshawatt likes the cover. (He is just pretending he knows how to read music.) We all enjoyed watching both discs. The marketing geniuses at PonyCanyon Records have banned Hanako Oku music videos in the Unova Region, so I guess we will have to rely more on Blu-Ray concert videos from now on.

The guys had a lot of fun unboxing, playing, listening, and swooning over Hanako Oku. We even watched her rehearsals that were in the BD Special Features.

During the encore, she sings “Happy Day” and walks out into the audience and high-fives everyone. I will say that she talks to the audience a lot … and explains the songs before playing them. Oh, I wish I had a better understanding …

The whole band is pretty cool, and they all get thanks and introductions. I especially enjoyed the live string section.

There is also a Hanako Oku narrated track! You can listen to the concert, but on track 2, Miss Oku describes the concert.

My Pokémon hope Hanako Oku will release more material on Blu-Ray!

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Hey, wait … what happened to Tepig? Did anyone see where he went?

Starlight: Only six days from Japan at the speed of $13.95!

Hanako Oku’s official web site (in Japanese) linked here.

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