Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Japanese’

Hanako Oku and Pokémon Ultra Sun

A l o l a   C o u s i n s !

I am currently playing Pokémon Ultra Sun as a character named “Hanako”. The name is based on one of my favorite recording artists Hanako Oku! Don’t worry — Denny from Sinnoh will appear in Pokémon Ultra Moon. When I buy a new game I usually like to differentiate the trainer character. This also helps in keeping track of Pokémon in the Pokémon Bank.

I thought it would be cute to play as “Hanako” to honor Ms. Oku-san.

I tried to style her in the way she looked when her music career was rising in the 2005-20011 period. She often wore boyish clothes — usually jeans and a t-shirt. Of curse, the delightful Ms. Oku is more sophisticated in her stage attire now, but I liked her early period. I used her short brownish bobbed haircut with bangs. I chose red frame glasses after Ms. Oku’s trademark red spectacles. I think that she would like the Pickachu t-shirt I gave her, and her boots are closest to what she wore in her early period. I also named her Festival Plaza “Oku University”.

I chose Rowlet as her starter Pokémon. It turned out to be a female Rowlet, so I named her “Olympia” after the forested mountain region in the Pacific Northwest.  A lot of owls live there. I have decided not to let Olympia evolve, at least not until the main story is finished. She is just too cute.

Hanako received the special event Pokémon Rockruff which is the only one which could be evolved into the special “Dusk form” Lycanroc. Little Olympia could sometimes be overwhelmed by higher-level Pokémon, so I gave her a strong wolf to defend her. I named the puppy/wolf “Roofies” after my previous post on Lycanroc linked here.

A little off-topic: I was very proud to see that my Lycanroc post gained 13,000 views! That one post gained nearly 7,000 reads on just November 17, 2017 — which was my most viewed day ever! It seems a lot of people were looking for nicknames for event Lycanroc on the Ultra Sun-Moon release date!

Other members of the team include a Yungoos I named “RikiTikiTavi” after the mongoose in the classic Rudyard Kipling story. Hanako had previously caught other Yungoos named “Youngblood” and “TRUMP2016“. I am also not letting little Riki evolve. It is just too cute, the little biter. He holds a Normal Z-Crystal for extra power.

Hanako’s Charjabug is named “EmergencyUse” except that the electric bug is often used. She never has to worry about her batteries running out. Her bug cannot evolve however, until it encounters the special magnetic field present in the Vast Poni Canyon or on Blush Mountain.  It is a slow bug, so it carries a Quick Claw.

Her Wishiwashi is named “Smells Fishy“. It is good to be skeptical on an adventure. Sometimes things do not appear as they seem. I can suggest many more Wishiwashi names from my old fish post linked here. It carries a Waterium-Z.

I wanted Hanako to have Alola-only Pokémon, and as it turns out, many are small-less powerful ones which still need to evolve. Her Comfey does not evolve. She caught one female Comfey named “Princess Lei” after the Star Wars character, but named another one “Lei Lady Lei after the Bob Dylan song linked here.

Regarding songs, which Hanako Oku song might be playful enough for a Pokémon adventure? Most Hanako Oku songs are emotional piano ballads dealing with unrequited love — or “break up songs” as is sometimes described on American radio. I thought that her song “Takoyaki” sounded playful enough. I could see the young trainer prancing through the tall grass singing this one.

“Takoyaki” is the name of a Japanese snack made like a wheat dumpling, but containing OCTOPUS!  If little Hanako catches an Octillary, guess what she will name it?

Hanako’s Rotom Dex is well meaning, but often questions his existence and always wants to be reassured. Likewise, I think that my Pokémon journey is coming to an end. I first started playing Pokémon with my son when he was in second grade. We always bought every new game on release day. He would get one version (Diamond) and  I would take the other (Pear). We did this all the way through Pokémon Sun and Moon.

I noticed that he had less enthusiasm for Pokémon these days. He is very much more into Fire Emblem these days. He still wants the new Pokémon, but mainly just rushes through the story to beat the champion. I on the other hand was always diligent about filling the Pokédex.(“Denny” finally filled the National ‘Dex in Pokémon Y, including all the event Pokémon.) My son is not at all thrilled about Ultra Moon, even though this is probably THE BEST GAME IN THE SERIES.

So … without a kid interested, should I continue to play Pokemon games? … at my age? … with my responsibilities? I still enjoy writing “Pokémon Nicknames” as the series is less so about naming Pokémon, and more about being a jumping off point to discuss unrelated aspects of Popular Culture.

I am hoping that she will finish her adventure. Are you interested in what she will name her Alolan Pokémon? Please comment!

Starlight: Looking back through the telescope at 2010. 

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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!”

“What I got for Christmas” Part XXVII: LEGO Ninjago figures!

What I got for Christmas, Part 27: Ninjago figures!

ninja IMG_0072

Kai … the Red Ninja. These new BLACK uniforms are a little more “ninja” like. Otherwise, why would a sneaky ninja wear a bright red outfit? These are the black and color “Possession” uniforms from the last Ninjago cartoon story-arc and LEGO play sets.  Don’t fall for cheap Chinese knock-offs.

ninja IMG_0077

Cheap Chinese knock-offs might be OK for handbags, but don’t try pawning fake LEGO-figures off on Master Wu! Oh, wait … isn’t the Ninjago leader Chinese?

Now “Ninjas” are Japanese, but their master — Sensei  Wu is Chinese?… or maybe even Vietnamese? … Shoot, he might even be Thai, I’m not really sure. Does he practice Confucianism or Zen Buddhism?  Is he both Chinese/Japanese … is there really any difference? I am not enough of an expert on flute music to be able to tell the difference.

It does not matter if you are Scottish-American or Irish-American, because it is “all the same thing.” Aye, laddie — eat your Lucky Charms.

Ya see … it is not so easy, is it? Now just enjoy playing with your LEGOs.

It is fun to document your play battles on film. Now if only I had the patience to create a “stop animation” video.

Sometimes I buy the whole playset just to get the one figure.

Starlight: Only 352 shopping days until next Christmas!

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: “Sakura is the new Orange … or something” — Sakura Miyawaki in orange yukata

sakura in orange kimono

I know what you are thinking: Finally, someone looks good in an orange outfit!

Sakura Miyawaki (宮脇 咲良 Miyawaki Sakurais a rising star in the AKB48 Family. The lovable young idol is a member of HKT48, and is a fan favorite. She ranked SEVENTH in the last AKB Senbatsu Election, surpassing many of AKB’s longtime stars. This former child actress is a natural showman (girl).  Of course she is super cute in all of her idol outfits, but I especially love this photo card set of her wearing my favorite color!

Fans often comment on her “big ears” — although unfortunately, only one can be seen in this series. She lists her “special skills” as drawing, and being able to sleep anywhere. That is good because I see this teen idol working a lot more for the group. She will be in-demand for more and bigger roles.  See Stage48 website linked here for more Sakura-tan trivia!

Sakura may also be the hope for all humanity, but that is getting a little off topic …

sakura tan in kimon set

Sakura-tan, Could you please “orange” another great kimono shoot?

big fan of sakura

I am a BIG FAN … get it?

For more Sakura photo cards see my Sakura Miyawaki board on Pinterest linked here.

Starlight: We can now see the light from Star GJ 3379  on the month Sakura was born in Kagoshima Prefecture. GJ 3379 is a red dwarf star in the Orion constellation.  GJ 3379 is the closest star to Earth of all those stars located within Orion. It is a “flare star” which is appropriate for this young idol!

Image

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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