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 here. A 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.
Mizuki Hasegawa “Miichan” 02/13/1998
Natsuki Takeuchi “Natchan” 08/20/2000
Sakura Ando “Sakuchin” 03/23/2001
Aya Kikima “ChanAya” 11/19/2000
Ayu Konishi “Ayutan” 04/30/2001
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!”