Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Oku Hanako’

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!

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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.”

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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.

Snivy’s birthday wishes for Miss Hanako Oku!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANAKO OKU!

snivy IMG_0103

My friend Snivy is a huge Hanako Oku fan. Probably a bigger fan than I am — because he reminded me about The Little Great One’s upcoming Birthday on March 20.

(Snivy wanted to share a song by Ms. Oku-san … unfortunately, PonyCanyon Records has blocked all Hanako Oku music videos in the Unova Region.)

Starlight: Hanako Oku, born March 20th, 1978. 

 

Hanako Oku footage resurfaces …

hanako oku as mouse

Guest Mouse: Oku Hanako

I was happy that a YouTube user re-posted this interesting performance by a young Hanako Oku!

Hanako Oku makes a cameo appearance on this (unknown) Japanese Television show from several years ago. Although I do not understand much of what is said, it is still fun to watch. She plays some snippets of her commercial jingles and other songs, then laughs and jokes with the other two performers.

Notable:

  1. Well, Hanako Oku dressed as a mouse.
  2. Hanako Oku wearing a SKIRT. Note that because she is a LADY MOUSE she is wearing a mini-skirt. Only time I have ever seen her in one (… at least a skirt that short)!

I had seen this a long time ago, when I was first falling in like with HO songs. It was taken off — and I had to wonder why. What possible harm was there to the other performers, their companies or their lawyers?  I have to credit YouTube user サバイデサバイ for recently posting several PRICELESS videos of early Hanako Oku performances. There are several  rare live clips which show Hanako Oku early in her career. Thank you sir (or ‘mam) … I bow respectfully to you. You are making it very enjoyable to participate in Hanako Oku’s 10 year anniversary! (I hope I don’t get them in trouble by posting this.)

Just enjoy it for now, all Hanako Oku fans … all three of us in North America, I guess. If you are not a fan, you don’t know how much we enjoys clips like this. She endears herself to us. To us, it is instant joy to see The Little Great One. I feel like buying her records all over again.

Starlight: I do not have a date of origin … does anyone know?

Hanako Oku and the Record Industry Weasels

How long is this one going to last?

As I wrote in my previous post … I have a special talent I had no idea that I had! When I share a YouTube video on my Pinterest pages or on WordPress, etc. it gets taken down right away by “Record Industry Weasels” — sometimes in less than an hour.

I am a YouTube video sharing jinx!

Yes, I know what you will reply, “Denny, these things are always getting taken down due to copywrong violations”.  True they often do. However I have shared videos originally POSTED WAY BACK IN 2007 which as soon as I shared them — GET TAKEN DOWN.

This has been especially true of so many of the Hanako Oku videos I loved. My YouTube playlist for her is now all grey boxes.

For example … There was this one video where she was on a TV talk show early in her career (about 2008). She is wearing her famous Ford Mustang jacket on this show – I do not know what the name was – but the comedic host looked exactly like a Japanese Soupy Sales. She is talking to him, joking and laughing uncontrollably, covering her face the way Japanese women do when they laugh, and completely endearing herself to me. She then plays “Kaette Oide”, which the host also tries to sing along with. There are a lot of great, funny moments. The RIW took it down to their Copywrongs. NOW THIS WONDERFUL MOMENT IS GONE FOREVER!!!

WHO THE HELL WAS THIS VIDEO CLIP HURTING?  What, someone will not buy Kaette Oide  because they can just watch a little bit of it on the clip? The TV station was getting a good plug as well.  Did they just not want it shown because “Dammit we own it“. 

Record Industry Weasels want to protect their property of course, but they can go too far. If I could talk to those weasels in the legal department at PonyCanyon Records I might say this:

Look, I found out how much I like Hanako Oku by watching her various video performances on YouTube. I loved her music, so I sent for and bought all of her CDs from Japan! Had I not seen these videos – which have now been taken down – I probably would not have been inspired to purchase all of her CDs. (“…You idiots”, I might add if I were face-to-face with the weasels .)

Ok, if the studio song is removed, that is one thing I understand – but not the unique TV appearances and shopping mall concerts. So, by removing these unique videos – which are basically ads for your product anyway – you may be making LESS money. Weasels, please think again.  Maybe someone wants to compile a history of Hanako Oku. These hard to find videos are a unique way to appreciate the artists.

I have now lost so many adorable Hanako Oku videos where she is creating a unique performance, and is just being herself, and …. AAARRRGHHH … I’m an idiot.

I know, you readers are saying — I should have downloaded those videos as soon as they were posted. You are correct, I should have snagged them. My thinking was that since the videos had been there for years that they would be there next week when I have time to do it – then AAARRRGGHH.

Now look, I thought that rock stars (at least from my generation) expected music to be wild and free and to really stick it to big business and “the Man” who keeps us down.  Today’s rock stars and their Record Industry Weasels are way too hypocritical. Music companies sell music which glorify independence and revolution, yet get very territorial if the French revolutionaries actually show up at their Bastille.

I will not criticize Miss Oku. I am sure that she does not want her music stolen. However, I have to believe that she would come to understand that these “promotional videos” of her appearances  on TV shows and the like, are actually good for driving up sales, because they increase interest in the artist. Even grainy out-of-focus fan cams increase my interest, but these do not replace my CD buying choices.

I do not create illegal videos. Actually that is mostly because I’m a tech idiot. I actually own Hanako Oku DVDs, but I would be too stupid to figure out how to convert a Japan-only disc to a file that would work on my computer, much less uploaded to YouTube.

Full disclosure: I did not coin the term “Record Industry Weasels”. The concept was named by TV talk show host David Letterman. I can remember that one time Dave wanted to get The Go-Gos on his show, but due to music publication legalities, he could only have two of the five members on stage. Letterman also told stories that he talked to a “weasely guy” from the record company about booking musicians on the show.

Starlight: 33 years since Mr. Letterman introduced the concept.

See more Hanako Oku on my Pinterest page linked here.

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I know someone who is going to be slurping up the noodles tonight!

Happy Birthday  奥 華子  !

Oku Hanako, born March 20, 1978.

nice sweater noodles

I just wanted to be the first in my time zone to wish The Little Great One* a very Happy Birthday tomorrow!  I bet Ms. Oku-san will be celebrating with some good food.  We know that she is fond of Ramen noodles.

The date will also be the Equinox, so you can STAND EGGS UP as well!

The gentle flowers will sense the days are getting longer …

noodles

(For more Oku noodle bowl photos, see my post “The Lady Loves Her Nooodles” linked here.)

Oh, where to begin … She is a great artist, but she is little known outside of Japan … or my own mind.

how oku makes me feel

How Hanako Oku songs make me feel

Although she sings in Japanese — a language I do not understand — she still touches my soul with her songs. You know the story …

Hanako Oku is also a very gentle, kind hearted person. I think that anyone who views her webpage linked here would see that she is not your typical rock star. I’m not sure that even “pop star” is a very good descriptor for what she is.  I like to view her blog, even if I can’t understand any of it without Google Translate.  I like all the photos she shares with her fans on social media. Warm.

Oh, what I would give to be there tonight … er…tomorrow … Japan is 12 hours ahead of me … is it already then there … now I’m not sure …

I would buy the whole band a round of  Sapporos if I were there!

I bow respectfully to you Oku-san!

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* I know, I’m the only one who ever uses that title! 

PS: You can preview her NEW SINGLE on the music163  webpage linked here:

“Kaette Oide”

Do not worry about me, O Little Great One.

The Little Great One.

My Dear Friends: I will have to take a break from WordPress for a few weeks in order to pay more attention to work related activities.  You see I process requests for agricultural chemicals. The work is very dull … very dreary. I would often break up the mundane workday by listening to my favorite Jpop singers, many of whom have been recommended by my fellow writers here on WP. Unfortunately, my “in” box at the office and at home is so over-stuffed I will have to stop posting new material for a while.

EDIT: My comments deleted here …

Double unfortunately I will also not be able to read your posts as much as I would like, dear hearts.  I may check my messages from time to time, and maybe go in and delete my Spam (… holy Magi-carp … I just now looked … I had no idea how much spam was in there. I hate it … how it is now harder to access your spam folder … what with all the changes to the interface WP has made … Sorry, that I digress… )

I will not be able to make very my usual witty, Oscar Wilde-like comments on your posts. When I can return, I will make sure to review all of my favorite bloggers. My comments on topical issues may be delayed, but never will they be permanently waylaid.

Please enjoy one of my favorite Hanako Oku songs “Kaette Oide” which translates as “Return Home” or “Come Home”. I’m not sure which is the better translation, but I know The Little Great One’s song was used as a commercial jingle for frozen vegetables. No, I’m not making that up, the commercial used to be on YouTube (Record Industry Weasels took it down, but don’t get me blogging about that right now.) During the commercial, a nice lady comes home from work all tired, and she then has to worry about feeding her family. Good thing that she has a pack of (Whatever-Brand) easy-to-prepare food. Vegetable, meat (I think) and sauce all in the same easy-to-heat package.  Kaette Oide.

It is sweet, emotional song. Oh, Ms. Oku is my Raison d’être.  The reason for this blog in the first place.

If I only had a brain … a heart … and some courage …

I will return in mid-March … I have NOT YET said everything I want to say about Japanese Pop Culture. I will still give your posts a read when I am able. Although I will be able to compose little, I do want your latest Jpop, art and fashion news, the Pokemon events, and exactly what happens on that anime about the Lesbian Bears everyone has been talking about.

Denny Sinnoh

Password: NCC-1710  

As if the computer nerd hackers would ever figure that out.

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