Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Idols’

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.

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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 ?

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How to write an anti-Japanese Idol article or blog post

In my continuing series of blogging posts of “How to write more gooder”, my topic today is a special one!

How to make an anti-Japanese Idol article or blog post, similar to the garbage in The Japan Times or RocketNews.*

Step #1 – Title your article something salacious such as “Japan’s Pervert Culture” or “Weird Japanese Music Fans and the Idols They Worship.”

Step #2 – Broach topics in the opening paragraphs, including elements about the Japanese pornography industry, prostitution, pedophilia, etc.

Step #3 – Important: Conflate these social ills with Japanese Idol singers. Make sure to mention AKB48 or other popular idol groups.

Step #4 – Be harshly critical of Idol music. Link an Idol music video, but not an artistic one. Chose one in which in your narrow mind, you think is the silliest. Then write:  “see how terrible it is…” Important: Make sure to not reveal your own vulgar musical tastes. This is especially true if you enjoy violent “thug” performances. If we heard what you actually like, no one would take you seriously.

Step #5 – Insert older photos of AKB48 throughout these steps– you may be able to confuse the readers. Include some of the members interacting with fans, and they will associate the group with pornography and prostitution.

Step #6 – Mention that Yashushi Akimoto is “literally Hitler”.  Otherwise dig up older scandals which have long since been debunked. If you repeat the lies enough, then you make them true.

Denny lisping just like a Social Justice Warrior: “Liturali Hitluur”.

Step #7 – Open the article to comments, but then make sure to delete all of Derek Vasconi’s well reasoned comments. If someone gives an alternative opinion– you might not be right!

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*RocketNews, now called SoraNews24 is the Gold Standard for ignorance about Idol culture. No one knows less about Idols than them, although there are some blogs on WordPress that come close.

Kimonos on Monday — My daughter Sakura is finally an ADULT!

Kimonos on Monday — Sakura-tan is an ADULT!

My lovely daughter* Sakura Miyawaki has had her “Coming of Age Day” on January 8, 2018. (Japan is 12 hours ahead of my time zone.) This means that the mega-talented and incredibly adorable twenty-year old is accepting the responsibilities of being an adult.

The Shinto ceremony was held at Kanda shrine in Tokyo.

According to the AKB Daily website (article linked here), a total of forty members of the AKB48 family participated in this year’s event. This is the largest number of participants in the group’s history.

This large number of participants is not surprising, as there has been a significant amount of expansion of the AKB Family in recent years.

Sakura with the other HKT48 members who have turned twenty this year.  Oh I can remember when this group was only knee high to a June bug.

I will try to post more COA day photos/links from the AKB groups as they become available. Also, you can see more of the lovely Miss Miyawaki on her Twitter page linked here.

Look at those sleeves — at first I thought Sakura’s kimono was a tie-dye.

My friends over at 48 Talk also mention the event in their podcast yesterday. I highly recommend their video blog for AKB fans!

*Starlight:  You probably figured out that Sakura-tan is NOT REALLY my daughter …

Kimonos on Monday: Photos of my Iwasa Misaki concert DVD covers and insert booklets.

“Forget blogging.” That is what I tell myself. I am in so much trouble at work for being such a deadwood employee, that I feel guilty even posting a few photos. I had been wanting to write a review of Iwasa Misaki’s first solo concert DVD last year, but never could. Then she released another solo concert earlier this year. Both are great concerts. There is this inner scream inside me that just wants to tell someone about them …

If I cannot write about them, perhaps some of my readers would be interested in coming over to my house, and we can watch them together. Then I can tell you all about them. I will have some cupcakes we can share, while I give my commentary … We can make an afternoon out of it!

Failing that, I can at least share some of the photo cards and insert pamphlet art which came with the DVDs. Of course, Misaki-san wears beautiful kimonos through most of it.

Next time, I would like to write about my Iwasa Misaki CDs. Each CD came with a unique photo card included … and … oh.

(Denny sighs).

Starlight: If only I could write “Akihabara Starlight” for a living …

Read any good books this summer? Special birthday wishes to Miss Yuki Kashiwagi of AKB/NGT48.

Of course I keep up with my summer reading! I am so happy that my favorite AKB48 member has made this useful reference manual to help me at my office. Even though I am very dedicated to work, and cannot blog very often these days, I am not too busy to wish my oshi a HAPPY 26TH BIRTHDAY! Please enjoy one of my favorite Yukirin moments from her solo tour last year.

(Denny sighs, swoons) … she’s my favorite niece … but I am pretty sure that she will announce her graduation from AKB this year. Alas, it is probably time for the dear young lady to move on. Yukirin may be near the end of her AKB48 career, but I am sure she will continue as a solo singer, actress and media personality.

I want to pay tribute to Yukirin History here. This is an old AKB sketch where Yuki played an old kendo master –as a man!  Note the Kashiwagi beard and mustache. There is a funny moment at about time 3:00 where her “assistant” is supposed to strike her on the head. Their timing was actually off, because Yuki really does get hit hard on the head. Ha. Watch her reaction.

Oh, Yuki, you are a real trouper!

Starlight: Yuki Kashiwagi – born July 15, 1991

See more of Miss Yuki Kashiwagi on my Pinterest board linked here.

Growing up with Tsuri Bit: A thousand days of happiness.

Thanks for the photo, girls. Please make it out to “Uncle Denny” and write: “Thank you for all your kind advice and aged wisdom!”

A teenage girl can do a lot of growing up in 1000 days. They can make the journey from awkward teen to sophisticated young woman. About three years ago (a thousand days ago?), I discovered the Japanese Idol group Tsuri Bit. The name loosely translates as “fishing lure”. No, not “bait” mind you! (Denny looks at reader sternly.) The first music video of theirs I watched was “Odoroyo Fish” (踊ろよ、フィッシュ “Odoroyo Fisshu” or “Let’s Dance Fish” ) This fun song was a hit for Japanese singer Tatsurō Yamashita in 1987. The Tsuri Bit girls update it – and “idol” it up. They capture the spirit of the song.  They retain the original’s warmth, charm and FUN! They make it their own. Lyrics are linked here. Please SING with me!

I always wanted to be an Ichthyologist!

This might be one of the the cutest Idol videos I have ever seen — certainly the girls could not be any cuter. I used to play this one on my iphone in the grocery store. You should have seen me there in Produce, through the Dairy and Seafood isles — headphones on — movin’ and grovin’.. Imagine me spinning my cart around almost like I was dancing with it! I was trying to just  hum quietly to myself, but I probably let out a few audible sounds  … Odoroyo FISH! … O-do-ro-yo BAY-BEE … Ha. The other shoppers would think I was crazy if anyone would notice. The song starts about 59 seconds into this YT linked video from 2014. Enjoy in 1080 HD.

From there you can find links to many of their videos. KISSPOINT Records has recovered from that “Ban in America” thing. Here is an idol group you can enjoy. Tsuri Bit’s shtick is that they are the “Fishing Idols”. They have made several songs and videos about going fishing. In fact, Tsuri Bit has meet-and-greet events with fans that are FISHING TRIPS! If AKB48 are “the idols you can meet” then Tsuri Bit are “the idols you can go fishing with“!

“Scales of Clouds and Orion”

I can relate a lot to this next music video, even though I was not liking the actual song all that much at first. Sometimes with music videos I like the song but not the video, or vice versa. The Tsuri Bit girls must have been thinking about me in this next video from 2015. This early 2015 MV is about a sad “Salaryman” who is stuck in a dead-end job that he hates — just like me! He is berated by bosses — just like me!  He is not respected by coworkers or clients — just like me!.  He is behind on the technology and frustrated, he’s slow and fat and … just … like … uh … heh … heh ….. oh. (Denny slumps) Dang, this guy even LOOKS like me.

He might have to work for A-holes, but Tsuri Bit believe in him.

The good news that the Tsuri Bit girls are there wearing cute cheerleader outfits.  (I wonder though if they are there only in his imagination.) The girls remind him of all things that are good in this world. The things worth fighting for!  They cheer him up, he gets motivated, goes back to his job, applies that fat ass to work … and he succeeds! All it took was the cuteness and encouragement of his favorite idols. Tsuri Bit are so wholesome and good, it is like they have magical girl powers. The song itself?  Well, it had to grow on me — but look how much the girls have grown.

This next one is my FAVORITE Tsuri Bit music video. I LOVE this power-pop song.  Here they are in late 2015, perfecting their idol moves on the beach.

Several months later, the girls are on a beach vacation again. This next MV reminds me of the Beatles’ movie “Help” where the fab four all live together in the same house. There is an amusing part near the start of this video where the girls are sorting through their beachwear. They are trying to gauge which swimsuit top belongs to whom.  Since the last video, it looks like Mizuki (the 19 year old) grew some BOOBIES! Somebody needs a bigger suit. The sweet little fish-scientists have a lot of fun singing, dancing and just idol-ing on the beach.

I know what you are thinking: “Denny, you are a dirty old man.”

To that I say “OH YEAH … well is that YOUR NOSE, or are you eating a TOMATO?” Then I would start throwing punches.  Uh .. Ok … er ..  maybe I should take the high road and try to explain. The Japanese Idol culture/subculture is a very difficult concept for outsiders to grock.

Idol culture offends many (stupid, American) women because Japanese Idols start out so young — and that their audience includes many middle-aged businessmen. Despite what the hags think, the middle aged fans are NOT perverts. Look, an idol show is pure entertainment. Just like that Salaryman in the video above —  Japanese men have to work many long hours for relatively pay. Being a fan, and/or going to an idol show is pure escapism. It is fun to support and cheer for your favorite idols.

That is how wota feel about their Idols. When idoling is done correctly, it becomes pure happiness. Happiness which transcends age, ethnicity and gender.  They remind us that there really can be something pure in this harsh universe … like at my work.

Older male fans are cheering the girls on, not lusting after them — Jesus.  Look, if all someone wanted to do was “look at young girls” then there would be a lot of other ways to do that.  Dirty old men, are not buying singing-and-dancing DVDs. Wota LOVE our idols because they bring HAPPINESS with their presence. There may be some perverts among the fans, but they are not the norm. Just like the pundits on the CHH news channel who are always saying that “not ALL Syrian refugees are psychotic terrorists and rapists.” Well … and … OK, maybe that’s not a very good example.

I once had an Internet feud with an anti-AKB hag. She said on her blog that wota are bad people. What was surprising was that she followed various homoerotic Korean boy-bands! So it is OK for a bitter, dried-up, middle-aged hag to follow boy idols, but a middle-aged man cannot follow idol groups? Talk about your hag privilege.

Next video — here the girls are in Shibuya — growing up, and heading out on their own. They look very sophisticated and mature in the outfits they wear here.  The music is upbeat, jazzy and sophisticated. Their concerns are that of an adult, but they can still go for a good ice cream sundae.

(Denny’s reverie:) So … it looks like my girls grew up and turned out all right. Soon they will be off to college and living on their own.  I will worry about them, but I really shouldn’t worry about them. They are fine young women now. Pure of heart and of high moral character. If aliens visited Earth and asked me to show them the best part of humanity, I would lead then to that karaoke party with Tsuri Bit. Pretty idols and ice cream.

If you want to learn more about this idol group, the official Tsuri Bit website (in Japanese) is linked hereA great fan site IN ENGLISH is linked here. The site has a lot of useful statistical information about the girls — including which species of fish they would most want to catch. 

Starlight: A thousand days of happy.  Traveling at the speed of light, Tsuri Bit’s earliest broadcasts should now be nearing the Centauri system.

Imagine the alien boys living on a planetoid which orbits Beta Centauri. They are monitoring signals from space … and then receive this devastating cuteness:

Here is how I imagine the conversation.

Alien Boy 1: “Beezit — wabba wabba zoop beena beena!”

Alien Boy 2 “Shazzbat!!! wabba wabba zoop beena beena — hoo HOO!”

DENNY RE-BLOGS: [AKB48 Sousenkyo]Bunshun exposes Sutou Ririka’s relationship with a man and she digs her way out by announcing marriage

Well, I can’t say I ever obsessed over her. She was good, and I loved her in that “Durian” song.

She really should have announced her GRADUATION first, then some time later the engagement. At least then, fans like me could still live a life of denial.

I wish her all the best, but I feel a little betrayed.
In … total … agreement … with … Yuko’s … hat!

One positive note, at least she upstaged the Irishwoman winning the election for the xxth time in a row.

I sure hope that she announced this because there is a “little idol” on the way. That would be great … otherwise …

So devastated we all are that Mayu Watanabe announced she is leaving show bisness and will be opening her own Udon noodles shop.
(Ha. That last line I just made up, or I saw it on CNN, I forget).

AllThingsJpop

Timeline

1 day before Sousenkyo: Bunshun teases on a major scoop involving NMB48 member.

Sousenkyo: While thanking her fans for putting her in 20th position, NMB48 Sutou Ririka said “I started to like someone for the first time. I, NMB48 Sutou Ririka,will marry. It sounds nonsensical, but i am serious. I have always received your support and realised many dreams. In the midst of it, i have found a person i really love. I have never lied as an idol, and like everyone as myself. My feelings to marry is real. Thank you.”

Whilst everyone thought she was joking, the MC pressed her for confirmations and asked about her partner. That was when things started to get serious. “You guys thought me about love. I really want to live seriously.”

Late night: Bunshun releases article detailing Sutou Ririka’s sleepover at a man’s house on the night of 8th May 2017…

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