“The original soundtrack of “Toki o Kakeru Shojo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)” an animated feature film released in 2006 by Kadokawa Pictures, is now available on analog record for the first time! The full version of the theme song “Garnet” sung by Hanako Oku will be included. 2 discs, 16 songs in total.”
So, today I want to send out “Happy Birthday” greetings out to Ms. Hanako Oku, born March 20, 1978.
Still searching for Oku Hanako in 2021!
Starlight: Will there be another record or performnce this year?
Hanako Oku and What is the answer to Six times Seven?
I wanted to wish Hanako Oku a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today! It is the 20th … I think in Japan. It is still the 19th here in the USA. I guess I am a little time-trippy today, even more than usual. It might be all the fumes from my hand sanitizer.
You do the math! What is Six times Seven?
Starlight: Ms. Hanako Oku, born March 20, 1978.
Although it is a Happy Day we hope there is one sad note. The Fan Club linked on the Oku Hanako web page will cease operations on March 29. Also, her radio show also is ending.
“Count what you have now, Don’t count what you don’t have …”
That’s right Mariya! Although my blogging pace has slowed down the past couple of years, I have noticed from my click counter that “Denny Sinnoh’s Akihabara Starlight” is now up to close to a HALF-MILLION reads!!! It should go over 500,000 this weekend. Look to my sidebar to the right under “blog stats”. See if YOUR CLICK is the one that pushes me over 500 K!
Thank you WordPress readers! Of course some bloggers have millions of reads, but I am happy whith what I have counted here, thus I want to share this song. At my “day job” of processing agricultural chemical request orders, I sometimes have to write up technical reports. These tech papers are only read by about maybe five people or so. I have to feel good that my writing has been seen by half-a-million humans and their bot minions. Special Thanks to YT user Artzie Music for sharing this song.
Merry Christmas! Hey everyone – I have not posted in weeks due to being sunk in a swampland. However, I want to pull myself up from the disgusting mire long enough to wish all my readers and WP friends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
“Ya got all your Christmas shopping done yet?” Ha Ha. Kindly old people who are trying to make conversation often say that to me. Ahem … but perhaps I can provide a little shopping inspiration today. Here is The Little Great One’s Christmas Video released last month:
I think it is a very nice music video. I sometimes joke that “nothing really happens” in most Hanako Oku music videos. That may be what I like about them. She usually just walks around, in most of her music videos. It makes the listener concentrate on the music perhaps.
Great also songs inspire great covers. Here is one just released by the lovely and talented Hitomi Sano.
This got me into the shopping spirit alright! I wanted to send her something nice. Oh! — Her new song is the background music in this new commercial for SNOW.
Uh. although I’m not really sure what the lovely young woman is selling. Ideas for smartphone apps? Maybe. I though maybe Ms. Oku-san might enjoy these pantaloon-type puffy pants.They might be something she could wear around the studio. She might find these useful for yoga, or for lounging at home and of course — songwriting. Of course, one could wear these, relax at home, eat yogurt, and watch one of the Star-Wars movies that features Yoda … but I digress.
I chose this “Royal Blue” color. Might you suggest a different color choice? I know that they are not Christmas colors – but I was thinking the hue might brighten up January. It would take a while to ship the pants to Chiba, so I thought that this color might brighten up a dreary day sometime next month for her. Much as the same way that her records cheer me up whenever I have to commute back and forth from the swamp.
Starlight: I figure it would take me less than a day to get to Cleveland. Then from there it is a 16 hour direct flight to Yokohama. Assuming I am not going to stop in Hokkaido. Of course you waste half a day on both ends of the flight due to airport waiting, etc. Then I would need some time to check into a hotel. Plus, Japan is “12 hours ahead” in the Japan time zone …Yep — I can be there by the 23rd!
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?
* … 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.
She is a great musician who stands alone in her field!
Birthday wishes going out today to “The Little Great One” — Hanako Oku born this day March 20th 1978.
This might be a tough one for her … She turns FORTY!
Ha. Age is just a number though, … at least I tell myself that.
Oh, of course there has to be a song. The song I would like to share for this special day is “Panorama no Kaze”. This was from a live performance in 2008. It is one of the Oku ballads that always takes me there. (gulp)
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 Canyonor onBlush 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 LadyLei“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.
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 songwas a hit for Japanese singer Tatsurō Yamashitain 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 wotafeel 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
Sakura Ando “Sakuchin” 03/23/2001
Ayu Konishi “Ayutan” 04/30/2001
Natsuki Takeuchi “Natchan” 08/20/2000
Aya Kikima “ChanAya” 11/19/2000
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!”
… Which is probably another way of being … not very certain?
Those words are a nice lyrical image from the song I would like to share today — “I Want to Vanish”by Elvis Costello. The version provided here by a YouTube user is a clip from his special concert called “The Case for Song”. Indeed it was a great VHS tape from the mid 1990s, however Netflix has the DVD if you are interested. Please let me know if you ever find it in a bargain bin.
The song is from his 1996 album “All This Useless Beauty” — one of my favorite records by him – (cough) — although this particular tune was NOT one of the ones which I liked on the album (The full album is linked here). I usually would skip this particular song. There were others — Distorted Angel, You Bowed Down and the title track which I liked a lot more.
The other day however, I caught the song, thought about it and … well … I finally got it. (Denny slaps head.) My friends know that I can be that oblivious, insensitive lout.
Notable here is how Costello’s (or McManus’) voice breaks at various points during the song. One of the enjoyable attributes about Elvis’ (i.e. Declan’s) many emotional songs is that “his voice always breaks at just the right time.” Unfortunately, in the year’s following the this album, especially in the late 2000’s his voice started to become ALL BREAK. His recent records all sound terrible. His singing has gotten pretty bad, and the songwriting is just not there anymore*. I used to have a lot of respect for this washed-up, overly opinionated, fat bastard, but he has made it rather difficult in recent years.
… oh … Ahem … Yes, I can be an insensitive lout … but from where, and from who — did I learn that? Another coincidence — I actually owned the same polka-dot pattern shirt he wears here. Some amazing toss of the cosmic dice. Wait … I wonder if there is such a thing as a “cosmic” tossed salad? No matter … and yes, I have digressed, as per usual.
The studio version (linked here) is a little clearer, but I prefer the more emotive live performance above, mistakes and all.
If you like puzzling song lyrics, please enjoy “I Want to Vanish”
I want to vanish This is my fondest wish To go where I cannot be captured Laid on a decorated dish Even in splendor this curious fate Is more than I care to surrender Now it’s too late
Whether in wonder or indecent haste You arrange the mirrors and the spools To snare the rare and precious jewels That were only made of paste
If you should stumble upon my last remark I’m crying in the wilderness I’m trying my best to make it dark How can I tell you I’m rarer than most I’m certain as a lost dog Pondering a sign post
I want to vanish This is my last request I’ve given you the awful truth Now give me my rest
To leave on a positive note, here is a non-Costello version of his song sung live by what looks to be a high school band in this 2015 YT video. This is a rather obscure song choice for cute teenage girls to sing.
Really odd. I can verify that in the 1970s and 80s, being an Elvis Costello fan was a very effective girl repelent . Admittedly, not as foul of a girl repellent as being a Star Trek fan however. The girls participating here could not be any more endearing. I have to wonder how they were put up to it. Perhaps their music teacher was a Costello aficionado … or maybe they just lost a bet. At any rate … good work kids! Better you should bring the lyric sheet next time though.
* or perhaps I have just moved on to Hanako Oku to take care of me emotionally. She looks better in the glasses anyway.
Starlight: Giving you “the awful truth” for a thousand days now.
Well I am feeling no pain. Last month I had to replace a body part which was no longer functioning as it should. Oh? … well, just a knee. So yes, I am part robot now. I am happy to report that my surgery was successful and my rehab is way-ahead of schedule. I will finally be able to start that Major League baseball career! I will be able to — not just chase after Sakura Miyawaki — I will be able to catch her as well.
I might need a few more weeks rehab before I can catch Harrupi however!
I owe it all to a certain lady. Am I rambling? It may be because of the medication. I was prescribed Oxicontin for my pain. I told my doctor “Pain pills — no way – I can work through pain.” I never liked taking pain pills. In general I am anti-drug use, and I always thought these things were over-prescribed. Plus, I thought I would be able to work through the pain. Turns out I needed them.
… and Oh, it has been wonderful. One tablet relieves my pain. Two tablets are a party. Lady Oxi as I will call her, provides the relief I need as I am doing my rehab exercises, but there is one other unexpected benefit she provides. She makes me happy. I mean, er… the pills adjust my mood.
She makes me happy — and I was not expecting that. How are you doing today? Have I told you how great you look these day? I think that you are a really cool person. I feel great just being around a friend like you.
I want to share a great song with you today. The song is “There She Goes” by The La’s. The song is about a girl I guess, but it could just as well be about how I feel about Lady Oxi. When she touches me, there is a noticeable difference in sensation … there she is now …welcome back … it has been hours and I have been missing her terribly … no one does it for me like her …
Please enjoy the music video below for this addicting little song. Lyrics are linked here.
There was also a good cover version by the band Sixpence None The Richer. They also do a great version of the song (linked here), but the music video is terrible, and kills my mood.
Would you like to learn how to play it on guitar? Please enjoy this guitar tutorial video Bob (and everyone).
I must feel good, because I don’t mind this exercising. It has been great talking with you. You are a super, super person! You know I love you. Give me a hug before you go.
Likes: Pop Culture, Humor, Japanese Culture, Iwasa Misaki, Hanako Oku, AKB48 History, Kurosawa films, Kimonos, Anime, Lolita fashion, Buddhist philosophy, and finding the perfect nicknames for my Pokemon.
A fansite; for old and new fans of AKB48 and all their domestic and international sister groups: (SKE48, NMB48, HKT48, NGT48, STU48, JKT48, BNK48, MNL48, AKB48 Team SH, SGO48, AKB48 Team TP, and CGM48)
I HEAR YOU!