Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Jpop’

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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My favorite Mr. Children song — “HANABI” — covered by my favorite children!

Mr. Children or “Misu-Chiru” is one of the most popular rock groups in Japanese pop music history. Today I wanted to share with you my FAVORITE Misutā Chirudoren song called HANABI.

There are a number of good live performances of the song on YouTube. It was hard to choose just one to share,  but I settled on this one from late 2017. It does beg the question, how is it Thanksgiving, when the performance is in Japan?

The song was written by Kazutoshi Sakurai. It is from their great 2008 album called Supermarket Fantasy* .

* … and I thought I was the only one who had this grocery store fantasy!

Mr. Children’s web site is linked here if you want to learn more about the band, the albums, upcoming tours and so on. My WordPress Jpop mentor, Morningberryz48, had written a great article about the band — linked here.  Another of her articles is linked here. Lyrics and English translation are linked here.

After I viewed a few of their live performances, I came across some interesting covers of the song. Some of the covers were by professional singers. Others are karaoke-like. Let me share some of the pretty ones. Each cover adds a little bit more to an appreciation of the song. I’m sure you will be drawn in the same way I was. Which one do you like best?

This is a very sweet and beautiful cover, by the very sweet and beautiful Minami Sakuma, from her YouTube Channel.

This next cover by the YouTube duo  kobasolo This cover includes the lyrics in Romanji and an English translation. Make sure to have your CC on!

Nice job kids!

More? “mou ikkai … mou ikkai!” …There are so many good, heartfelt covers of this wonderful song out there, but I think this next one is my favorite cover:

This is by Hitomi Sano. See and hear more of her on her YouTube Channel. I love how she sings it while playing solo piano. She sings it with the perfect blend of LOVE and URGENCY. Her hair, her lovely face, give the appearance of windswept emotions. Like the “Hanabi” or “Fireworks” which are ephemeral. They are a joy, but they are bittersweet because although they are a climax, they cannot last. We wonder about our own imperfect perceptions. Are we wrong for feeling this way? We deal, and we make our way … but I see that I have digressed.

There are too many to share here, but I think that this next one will be popular with anime fans.

Mari Channel, another YouTube user, has presented this interesting, amusing and passionate music video as Kashiko Mari. The playback works best if you enable your CC , as you get the sing-along Japanese lyrics, plus the English translation. True, you are watching an animated sprite, but the little cartoon lady really BRINGS IT! Note her very emotional face, mouth and hand gestures.

Thank You Kashiko! Of course you can find other covers through the suggested links on YT. If you need just “one more time — one more time –“

Just for you, Bob: The guitar chords for the song are linked here

Thank you YouTube user Ryuzo.

Starlight: It took nine years for “Hanabi” to reach my world. It bounced around in my atmosphere for a while, until I could perceive it.

Denny watches a pretty girl pee.

Readers: This very cool and funky song is merely my suggested music track for you to listen to as you read this post. I mean no disrespect to Mariya. Click and enjoy. Which reminds me …

Whoa. I have not posted on WP for a long time. I am in SO MUCH trouble at work. I need to get caught up on all these agricultural fertilizer reports. Yup, I gave up blogging for a while. I have been  a good employee — keeping my nose to the Moonstone. Look, I am even bringing work home where I can do company work on my own PC!

The work is very boring. and I get distracted so easily by these pop ups. Wait — this looks interesting.  An ad for “KornHub”? Well it must be agricultural then, so I will just click over there and … OH MY GOD!!!

Wait — this is interesting. I don’t usually look at video sites like these (Denny coughs). Besides, there is probably something agricultural in here. Ok … typing “nitrogen” into the search box … and …  Hello.

It says if I click there, I can watch a sexy Asian lady urinate. Oh, no no. I could NOT do that. Really. Not my thing. Look I am not a prude, but I draw the line at bodily functions. I could never watch that. That would be perverted. True, I know that it is only “Number 1” … but still.  I am NOT a pervert. These videos are not for me. I don’t have any fetishes.

Besides, although men’s bodies are disgusting, ladies are perfect. Women’s bodies are beautiful, fragrant works of art.  (Denny momentarily loses touch with reality). Pretty girls don’t PEE! Their little hoo-hoos don’t really make that bad stuff  do they? (Denny in denial) How could this video even exist?

I’m NOT going to watch this!!!

Uh … maybe … unless … maybe YOU want to look, my dear Readers … er .… I mean … this one time would not hurt could it? If you say that it is OK … watching a pretty girl take a pee, I will do it. That does not make me a bad person, right? Right? 

OK then (Denny exhales), here goes. CLICK.

Huh …you know, these urinal-on-the-floor-toilets always seemed weird to me. Japan is otherwise so highly technological – so why is it that some basins look like a hole in the floor? … and OH! … There she is. 

I think she likes me, she looked right at me and smiled. So pretty. Whoa … the panties are down … uh … hoo-boy … well, that answers the “hairy or shaved” question. Mystery solved!.

Wow — she IS vert cute.  Hmmmm … so beautiful in there ... so interesting … she seems like she has good balance. I wonder what led her to film this?

OK, this event should start any minute. (Denny watching, waiting).

It is always entertaining to see up a nice lady’s hoo hoo. There are all these wonderful grooves and folds. Fluids reflecting and refracting.  So Interesting … so very interesting.

Alright … gunna happen soon … (Denny glances at watch).

You know, you can find a lot of meaning, and answers to the big questions in the universe looking in there … I know you will think it strange … but you know what? I think I just saw the answer to a quadratic equation problem that I never finished back in 7th grade math …

… Hmmmm  … still waiting here. It is a nice view and everything, but nothing is happening.

Ha. Penny for your thoughts, dear girl. She is smiling, but she should be thinking about running water. It’s gotta start any second now …

Uh … still waiting. (Denny’s mind wanders) Gee, I wonder how many miles I put on the Volkswagen last week. Darn it — I should go check … I think I am due for an oil change … and OH MY there it goes!!!

So …

Uh huh … OK … right … OK … so … so that is what it looks like. Ahem.

Starlight: I really do need to get back to work.

This is a photo of the famous Kegon Falls in Japan. What?

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!

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

Kimonos on Monday: Haruka Nakagawa and her JKT48 graduation announcement.

harugon haruka was february

February is a short month. It kind of creeps up on you, right?

haruka was february

Wallpaper size image for your desktop. Too bad the month is over.

At least I can celebrate Leap Year February 29th, with Miss Haruka Nakagawa of JKT48. The big news is that “Harugon” has just announced her graduation from JKT48 and the AKB organization. Other bloggers have also announced this on February 27th. (See announcement photos and video links there.)

http://akb48-daily.blogspot.com/2016/02/nakagawa-haruka-announce-graduation.html#.VtMFrfkrKUk

JKT48’s Haruka Nakagawa To Graduate

https://en48center.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/haruka-nakagawa-announced-her-graduation/

I wish her well, she was always one of my favorites, and always made my “Top 16” lists. I loved her in the Watariroka Hashiritai unit, and she was a big reason why they were my favorite AKB subgroup. Remember the time in the WH “Gyu” music video (see Jpopsuki link here time 2:40), when she actually KISSED that fat, unsightly blob? What a sweet moment … and …

… IT GAVE HOPE TO ALL OF US HIGH SCHOOL BLOBS!!!

The story is that Harugon will remain in Indonesia after she graduates. Ahem, for those of you that are not big, fat fanboys like me — Haruka was originally sent to Indonesia to be a team leader when JKT48 was first created. She was the only full-Japanese member of the group. She had her work cut out for her, as she had to learn to sing all those Yasushi Akimoto songs translated into the Indonesian dialect. She was great in JKT48, and made a great “double team” with Melody Nurramdhani Laksani. (See my JKT48 Pinterest page linked here.) Of course she nailed it, and became one of their most popular members.

The above photo was from her “coming of age” event in 2015. She has an absolutely beautiful face. Harugon radiates warmth, intelligence and pure fun. I’m inspired each time I look at her. (Was that too much?)

It was not announced WHY she is not returning to Japan, but Indonesia is lucky to have her. Well, any country would be lucky to have her. I feel good just knowing that I WALK THE SAME EARTH as she! (… too much?)

Haruka Nakagawa, you are one of the good ones.

See more of Miss Harugon wearing amazingly pretty dresses on my Pinterest board for her linked here.

Image

See the #fireworks I created by blogging on #WordPressDotCom. My 2015 annual report.

I have not seen Wasamin this excited -- since I found that coupon for a discount of 50 yen off wax paper!

I have not seen Wasamin this excited — since I found that coupon for the discount of 50 yen off wax paper!

See the fireworks Denny Sinnoh created by blogging on WordPress.com. Check out their 2015 annual report.

Source: See the #fireworks I created by blogging on #WordPressDotCom. My 2015 annual report.

A song? Of course we cannot end without a song. Remember this great moment from Halloween?

Starlight: (gulp)

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