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Posts tagged ‘Watarirouka Hashiritai’

My tribute post to Morningberryz48


[Readers: Please play the YouTube music while you read my post. I chose it for the special emotions I am feeling today]

Today, I wanted to discuss my blog, blogging stats, other bloggers and such. I am getting close to 200,000 views on my blog. I guess that is good. I noticed that I get a big jump in views when a new Pokemon game comes out. Perhaps I should have monetized my site. Since I started blogging in 2014, I have always used the “free” WordPress site. I have over 400 “followers” but I think that most of them are “commercial” blogs. There are only a handful of WP bloggers who actually read and comment on my blog. (I’m winking at you Mabel and the  Otaku Judge.) I subscribed to several music, anime and Pokemon blogs. I have seen them come — and I have seen the bloggers go — on this site. Some of my followers who I used to read and interact with …   only stayed around for a few months, then they would disappear into the blogging ether.

Where am I going with this? (Denny sighs sadly, exhales) …I have to be honest –

I miss MorningBerryz48.

Some of my fellow bloggers know her. Her homepage is linked here.

“MB” as I will call her, was the greatest Japanese pop culture/Idol music/ AKB blogger I have known. She shares a lot of great articles and media on her blog. Also, she’s intelligent, witty, and maybe “a little naughty” at times. She was more than just a pile of random electrons to me. I miss her replies to all my goofy comments, and my weak attempts at comedy. If I ever made her smile, then that is a light upon the world. (That’s not hyperbole is it?)

Jesus, … er .. I mean Buddha … What a great lady she is. Look at her website. She likes music, but she also likes sports. The lady even likes stock-car racing. I know that I do not follow racing, but that fact that SHE likes it just adds more depth and dimension to her cultural multiverse. She lives in Hawaii, so that means that the place really is paradise.

She liked, and posted about Watarirouka Hashiritai. Do you people realize how long I have wanted to talk to another soul on this planet about the Watarirouka Hashiritai 7?  Glorious God in heaven … I am not ALONE … in this cold, cruel world. Another person who “gets” my appreciation for Idol songs. Up until now, my friend’s reactions to my AKB48 fandom has usually been the old “Get Away From Me Man”. I’m talking to you Bob, and Nate.

She introduced me to so many Japanese musical artists, who I would otherwise never know even existed. She is a great Idol historian. A true Idol scholar. She taught be about Coco, ribbon, ZARD, Qlair and many others.

When I discovered this genre of idol music from the late 80s, early 90s it was like memories were activated from my parallel life. I never knew about this stuff at the time. It was something which I always missed, but which I never knew even existed. Something was missing in my musical life in the early 1990s, but I never knew exactly what it was. MB has eased my pain. The hole in my heart was filled. Somewhere in the space-time continuum, it is 1992 and I am listening to ribbon.

Thus, she made a difference in my life — and I’m not making one of my smartass jokes here. Music is very important for me. Her blog’s influence is a big part of my current listening.

I loved reading her articles with morning coffee on the weekends, or wasting company time in the office, or checking in one a day to see if I missed anything. I learned a lot from her blog. When I first started blogging I thought I might become some type of expert on Idols/AKB. (Denny exhales.) I can’t even come close. Nothing has made me prouder however, than when she would comment on one of my posts.

(Denny sighs again — heavily):

MB has stopped writing her blog … at least for now. She said it was because of technical problems, but there may other reasons, and I respect that. For whatever reason(s) she has stopped posting. I have been going through the usual five stages of grief.

  1. Denial: “This can’t be happening” I thought. No more Idol video links? … this is NOT happening … Nope, definitely NOT happening. I had hysterical blindness when she posted that she was quitting. I was bumping into lamps, tripping over the couch.
  2. Anger: Damn that computer which crashed and caused her to lose so much work. It is a conspiracy I tell you! It is all SONY’s fault. (Denny shakes fist, imitating Homer Simpson): Your empire would lay in smoking ruins you bastards … if I didn’t need a new PS4 so much. You corporate screw-ups will pay for taking her away from me … you will ALL PAY!!!
  3. Bargaining: “Maybe she can just post once in a while”. Maybe she can stop after she finishes that big “Coco” post she was working on when her computer failed. Maybe she can just make a post when there is a new AKB48 record. Maybe just a top-ten list post at the end of the year. Maybe …
  4. Depression: “Why go on?” Why get out of bed in the morning if I can never enjoy learning about the Idol genres I love. There won’t be a post about the new HKT48 single, so nothing matters. In fact, I will stop blogging now. What’s the point if her light is not in this electronic world anymore?
  5. Acceptance: “It was good while it lasted” There are still a lot of old articles, and articles from her previous blog site. I just feel lucky to have known her. She is a great lady and has other interests. Perhaps it is time for a break. Time to concentrate on other life goals. Perhaps there may be some guy in her life who is on the receiving end of her efforts now. (The lucky bastard.)

I would be honored if I could call her “friend”. I know that some of my Internet friends, Derek, Matthew and others also miss her. You guys, if you get a chance, re-blog my article. Tweet, or Face-tube or whatever-the-devil you kids call it — to get my message in a Poke bean bottle out there.

If any of my current readers love MB’s blog even half as much as I did, please sign a tribute comment below.

Starlight: MB, if you are out there, I’m not really crazy. 


Surfing an INNOVATION WAVE with Watarirouka Hashiritai!

This guy is not me, but he might as well be.

This big guy is not me, but he might as well be.

“This is what Rock-and-Roll is all about.” was a phrase often utilized in Creem magazine in the 1970s.  If you ask this old geezer music historian, it perfectly applies to the short-lived AKB48 sub-unit the Watarirouka Hashiritai  (the hallway runners).  Yes, I am serious.  This outfit, with songs by Yasushi Akimoto, were one of my favorite all-time pop groups.

Unfortunately, the Watarirouka Hashiritai group disbanded, then gave their last performance in 2014. I wanted to make sure that I wrote about this piece of AKB History before the end of the year.

What is an “Innovation Wave” you ask? This is when a new idea or phenomenon diffuses across geographic space and throughout social hierarchies.  The analogy is when a trend or fad (like hula hoops) spreads from one area to another. In this case, a wave of popularity is flowing through this Japanese suburb, as the Watarirouka team performs.  The date is August 8, 2010.  AKB48 is growing in popularity in Japan, although their tickets were not yet as impossible to get as they are today. AKB48 subunits would sometimes  perform smaller shows for a specifically targeted audience.  In this case the Watarirouka Hashiritai subunit were performing for a student audience.  I believe these three videos capture the WH innovation wave. Please watch in the available HD!

The girls are singing to “canned” music of course.  That is OK, they do not have to play their own instruments in order to be a good power-pop/bubblegum outfit. The thing to evaluate here is not so much the performance, great as it is – but to see the reaction and interactions of the AUDIENCE. These guys are jumping out of their socks!

Watch this first video “Seishun no Flag”. In this, (Denny switches to his “baby talk” voice:) Mayu is just the “widdlest” soldier here. The crowd is very fired up. They have never seen anything like it. I can empathize with them — to be that close to the wonderful Mayu Watanabe when her star was just beginning to rise. Now this was before Mayuyu became one of the more popular members. I have to think that this was the greatest thing these guys have ever seen. I love how they are jumping around, cheering and calling out the names of the girls. It is almost like some type of nationalistic political rally — but I mean that in the positive way.

Be careful at time 0:35 seconds. Mayu’s skirt twirls up, and you see her bloomers (look away if you must). Notice I said “bloomers”, not “panties”.  She is wearing bloomers – like your Grandmother would wear.


Look for all the great shots of the audience, such as these:

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Did you see that big goofy-looking dude? I feel like that guy is me, or would be me if I was there. I feel a lot of love looking at this audience.  I wish I was one of them.  All the girls look great in their “grown-woman-in-school-girl-outfits”.   So cute.  Ayaka Kikuchi has a great curvy figure, and her blouse is always coming out at all the right times. The audience loves it.


I wish I was there to observe – I can feel the INNOVATION WAVE pass through due to the emotional reaction of the audience. I WISH I WAS ONE OF THOSE JAPANESE KIDS! … or at least knew the language! Such joy is written on their faces!  (See the photo at the top of this post.) My heart is exploding with happiness …

The videos capture a very exciting period – the time when AKB and WH were getting better and better with each release. The fan base was growing like an expanding wave — increasingly larger, and as seen in this audience – more and more dedicated. What a great point in AKB48 History! This next video is the girls at their most kawaii.   Oh that Aika Ota!  Love-tan – you are killing me!!!  DOKI DOKI!  

I love the AKB girls!  I love the WH! Mayuyu! Lovetan! Nacchan! Ayarin! Haruna! I love every one of those kids in the audience!!!  I wish I could have been there to feel the innovation wave. I would have liked nothing more than to be there — but if I were —  I would probably have to take a VIAGRA just to keep from pi@@ing myself!!!

PS: You can watch the entire performance at this YouTube site, but it is very low res.  It still sounds GREAT though.  It is a great BUBBLEGUM power-pop show.  The audience is very exuberant. I suggest just minimizing the YouTube, then listen to the concert with headphones in your cubical.

Unfortunately, this will likely be my last Watarirouka post.  Would anyone be interested in a WH photo retrospective collection?

I am not sad that Watarirouka Hashiritai is over.  Even good things come to a conclusion, and the individual members will be moving on to other things.


Pokémon Nicknames: Fletchling, Fletchinder, Talonflame

I nicknamed a Fletchling “_ Doki Doki_” and leveled it up to 100.

“Doki Doki”

I put the special symbol  music note on both ends of its name, so that the name looks like it is said sing-songy in a “squeaky” manner, as if it is said by an Idol singer or an Akihabara maid cafe server.  The phrase “Doki Doki” is Japanese alliteration for a beating heart.  Although there is no exact translation into English, it would be the equivalent of “my heart is beating pitter-patter” (English alliteration).

DOKI DOKI my heart goes pitter patter


If you have ever seen the Watarirouka Hashiritai sing their hit “Gyu” there is a “doki doki” refrain in it … and it KILLS ME that it is so cute! (Video linked here.) I love it when they make that little heart symbol with their hands! So adorable — I CAN’T STAND IT! Come to think of it “Gyu” (aka “hugs”) might be a good name for a little bird. So cute, just like a Fletchling!

Although Doki Doki, like all Fletchlings, is a NORMAL and FLYING type Pokémon, I did teach it “Hidden Power”, which, lucky me, turned out to be a FIRE move!  She knows, Fly, Steel Wing, Hidden Power (Special Fire move) and Aeriall Ace.  Although Fletchlings are relatively small and weak, my singing Doki Doki is a level 100, and can hold her own anywhere in Kalos.

The first Fletchling that I caught in Kalos I named “Yukirin”.  I know … I know that “Yuki” is the Japanese word for “snow”, but I wanted to name it after AKB48 member Yuki Kashiwagi.  I was on a big Yuki Kashiwagi kick at the time.

Sometimes a name is given to a pet that is the opposite of what it is, for example calling a black cat “Snowball”.

Sometimes a nickname is just because you like it, or the name is for someone you like … and I like Yukirin : )

I used Pokémon Amie a lot on this bird.  She became my lead Pokémon, even though I had chosen a lady Fennekin as my starter. (I do like my fire types!)

Pokemon fletchling singing like Yukirin

Both Yukirin and Fletchling are cute singers!

Sometimes when battling, I would get the game message “Yukirin looked back at Denny with affection” or “Yukirin and Denny are in total sync with each other”, etc.

Oh, yeah, I have a very active fantasy life, but I digress …

I knew you would be impressed, Miss Kashiwagi!

I knew you would be impressed, Miss Kashiwagi!

Fletchling (Japanese: ヤヤコマ  “Yayakoma”), evolves into the FIRE-FLYING type Fletchinder (in Japanese: ヒノヤコマ  “Hinoyakoma”)  starting at level 17, which evolves into the FIRE-FLYING type Talonflame (in Japanese:  ファイアロー  “Fiarrow “) at level 35.  I always  keep the same nickname through all three evolutions.

I named another one Phoenix, as in the mythological bird that arose from firey ashes.  I have also named them “Hi no Tori” after the Japanese manga about the Phoenix bird.

You may like cutesy type names for Fletchling like “Chirppie” or “Mr. Chips“. You might like “Peeps” after the Easter candy. “Sweet Cheeps” would be a play on the old “sweet cheeks” compliment.

I used “Firefall” (to be the opposite of “waterfall”). I like to use the name “Hawkstown” as it still fits for the more hawk-like evolved forms. I named one “You’re FIRED” to send out on the Wondertrade. Watch out for that flame-body ability!

I like bird Pokémon.  I like fire-types, so I like all of the evolutions, however I usually only keep the ones that have flame body.


This fan has made a very attractive Fletchinder hoodie. Finally, someone who looks good in a hoodie.


What a great Fletchlinger hoodie!

Talonflame is probably my favorite Pokemon to use in the Kalos region … and “Flame Body is indeed a wonderful thing!


What did you name your Talonflame? Please comment.


Anthony Burgess reviews my new Watarirouka Hashiritai Farewell Concert DVD

“What’s it going to be then, eh?”

“This must be a real horrorshow film if you're so keen on my viddying it."

“This must be a real horrorshow film if you’re so keen on my viddying it.”

What are you spinning your warbles to these days droogies?  Johnny Zhivago? Heaven Seventeen? Well come with UNCLE! … Come and hear all PROPER!

My droog Denny lent me Watarirouka Hashiritai final concert DVD.  Oh, my brothers, it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh. I viddied that American thinking is for the gloopy ones and that the oomny ones use like inspiration and what Bog sends. For now it was lovely Watarirouka Hashiritai music that came to my aid.  Oh, it was wonder of wonders.

“It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you watch them on a screen.”

“It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you watch them on a screen.”

Haruka Nagagawa crunched redgold under my bed, and behind my gulliver the sounds of Ayaka Kikuchi, Aika Oota and Mika Komori trumpeed three-wise silverflamed, and there by the door Kazumi Urano rolling through my guts and out again crunched like candy thunder.

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Glazzies on Haruka only here: Viddy well brother … VIDDY WELL!

Mika Komori bored deep, like worms of like platinum, into the thick thick toffee gold and silver. I was in such bliss, my brothers.And then, a bird of like rarest spun heavenmetal, or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now, came the Mayu Wananabe solo above all the other watarirouka strings, and those strings were like a cage of silk round my bed.

Mayus lips were like red, red kroovy ...

The lips of Mayu were like red, red kroovy …

Then, brothers, it came. Oh, bliss, bliss and heaven.  Like a GREAT BIRD – the solo by  Iwasa Misaki.

Oh, Bog in heaven what pretty pictures I dreamed

O, Bog in heaven what pretty pictures I imagined

I lay all nagoy to the ceiling, my gulliver on my rookers on the pillow, glazzies closed, rot open in bliss, slooshying the sluice of lovely sounds. Oh, it made me dream such pretty pictures, my brothers.

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IT’S A SIN! The Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 to be disbanded? IT’S A SIN!!!!!!

But where I itty now, O my brothers, is all on my oddy knocky, where you cannot go. Tomorrow is all like sweet flowers and the turning vonny earth and the stars and the old Luna up there. … and all that cal.

Something organic that Bog tugs away free will?  Real horrorshow.

Cured?  I was cured alright.


I’m as happy as a schoolgirl (Part II)

I’m as happy as a schoolgirl again !

wh7best cover

I am all agog … like I’m on eggnog

… and also very happy with my Watarirouka Hashiritai  farewell concert DVDs I have been watching.  Then yesterday I finally received by double-CD “best of Watarirouka Hashiritai ” album from Japan!  It has all the hits, plus some of the solo singles the members made while in the group.  Of course most of those are by Mayu Watanabe.

It reminds me why they were always my favorite sub-unit of AKB48 (see link). The songs are so sweet, fun and cute.  I loved listening to it in the car today. It makes my daily commute through all the bad neighborhoods* I have to drive through so much more enjoyable!

One thing though: I probably have never purchased a record that is this high-pitched and squeaky — at least not since I had The Chipmunks” back when I was in second grade.

This example is pretty squeaky — PRETTY and SQUEAKY!

Got me thinking, you know, the WH7 DO do sound a little bit like “The Chipettes”.

Perhaps in the studio, it went something like this:

Akimoto-san: “Sounds great girls, but Mayu – you were a little flat

Mayu: (not paying attention)

Akimoto-san: “Mayu …”

Mayu: (looking off into distance)

Akimoto-san: (irritated) Mayu!

Mayu: (still not listening)

Akimoto-san:  MAYU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mayu: Hai !

 Ha Ha. … No.

I love them.

* Get out of the way you alcoholics — I have Mayuyu : )


I’m as happy as a schoolgirl running down the corridor …

WH 7 DVD cover

My all-time favorite AKB48 sub-unit was the Watarirouka Hashiritai 7.

I had previously blogged about them on my post: “I already miss the WH7” linked here.

The name 渡り廊下走り隊 translates as the “Corridor Running Team” — and that is just what kind of trouble these girls are!!!

Some blah-blah: The original members were Mayu Watanabe, Haruka Nakagawa, Ayaka Kikuchi and Aika Ota.Natsumi Hirajima joined, but later left the group.  Mika Komori and Iwasa Misaki joined.  (Iwasa Misaki aka “Wasamin” is my favorite). There was also a temporary member Kazumi Urano.  In total there were eight ladies who were members.  Although four members have already graduated the AKB system,

If only I had my own light-stick!

If only I had my own light-stick!

All appear in this special DVD double- disc farewell concert.

They play all their great power-pop and dance hits!  There is even a little bit of “oompa” music! There is a LOT of prettiness to take in all at once.  I swoon as I write this!!!


I bought this on eBay because it was region-free. I don’t have to do those “computer thingies” on my PC to be able to watch it.  I have been ecstatically happy watching it on my PS3.

Click for larger!

Click for larger!

Disc 1 – is the farewell concert.  Disc 2 is all special features – and they are indeed special “behind the scenes” footage I enjoy as much as the concert.  Mayu literally lets her hair down, and it is fun seeing the girls just being themselves.  There are also special “Oshi-cam” moments when one idol is focused on during the show.

I will make a full review later, and share some of the images from this final concert at a later time.  Right now I am in Corridor Running heaven : )

I am a little sad that the WH7 is no more (there is a tearful goodbye at the end), but I am glad that the girls are moving on with their own lives, and otherwise moving on to bigger and better things in their showbiz careers.

“Doki Doki!” – my heart is going “pitter-patter”

                                   … or would, if I could spell “alliteration.”

I already miss the Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 !

Watarirouka Hashiritai (渡り廊下走り隊) aka the “Corridor Running Team”. 

Watarirouka Hashiritai 7

Watarirouka Hashiritai 7

I already miss the AKB48 sub-group the Watarirouka Hashiritai 7!  They were my favorite of all the AKB sub-units.  Unfortunately, they announced their disbanding on Christmas 2013, then gave their last performance in spring 2014.  The Watarirouka Hashiritai group was fronted by Mayu Watanabe, and she was the focus of most of their music videos.  The other members were Haruka Nakagawa (also of JKT48), Ayaka Kikuchi, and Aika Oota (of HKT48).  The original quartet was joined by Mika Komori, Kazumi Urano and Iwasa Misaki in 2011-12.  At that point they became the “Watarirouka Hashiritai 7”.  (I plan a future blog dedicated to member Iwasa Misaki aka “Wasamin”, who has had solo success as an Enka-singer.)

The musical style is “bubblegum”, but I would describe it as a power-pop adult bubblegum sound.  Music historians will appreciate the 1960s pop and 1980s new wave elements in the music.  Many of the WH and WH7 are available on YouTube, and I will showcase a few of the cute dance-music ones here.  Video and audio quality are variable.  Some videos have been edited in length.

This first video “Hetappi Wink” showcases Mayu Watanabe.  The girls are shooting a mascara commercial.  They are supposed to make a “wink” at the camera.  The running joke is that Mayu cannot wink just one eye, much to the consternation of the corporate production team.  I love the interaction between the director, the producer, and the company man.  They cannot finish the commercial because of Mayuyu.  You will see that the more she FAILS, the CUTER it gets.  No Japanese language skills are required!  Everything is perfectly understood through body language and context.  I love the WH7’s “Fiesta outfits” they wear here. Did the story turn out the way you thought?  I always laugh every time I see the end.  (Sorry only 360 available.) Note: The “real” mascara ad is tagged on at the end of the story.

“Senpai?”  The quintet-sized WH quintet perform this next one “Gyu”, which gives hope to all of us who were rotund, amorphous, blobs in high school.  At time 2:52, a blob is even KISSED!  Maybe there is hope for all blobs. The “school-girl” idol outfits are great, and they kill me with that “Doki, Doki” refrain.  These girls are TROUBLE!!!  “Watarirouka Hashiritai” translates as  “those who run in the corridors”.   Can you imagine that type of undisciplined behavior happening in American public schools?  Never!  America’s schools would never allow for such lax behavior as seen here.  Running in the hallways … indeed.   My favorite part comes at time 3:07: “Remember that time over at Johnny’s Place?  This chick got up and she slapped Johnny’s face …”  Enjoy (the then) seventeen-year old Mayu and the others in this joyous nostalgia.

The next video has the entire group of seven.  Mayu is center, but I always wait to see even a fleeting glimpse of the great Iwasa Misaki.  The song title translates as “Hope Mountain” (Sorry only 360 available).  They made this one a historical documentary (mock-u-mentary?) that makes it look like Japan in the 1960s.   Here the ladies make a tribute to the great 60s “girl groups”.  Love those mini-skirts, and those boots were made for walkin’.  The video shows that Japan was in transition at this time in history.  Hope-and-Change actually worked in Japan.  Many of the younger generation wanted to rapidly modernize, and make fundamental changes to a peaceful, Japanese society — others wanted to keep traditional ways.  (ex. Time 2:28 Dad can’t understand his kids. )

Of particular interest: We see what looks like the late American actor Patrick Swayze’s Japanese love child sitting at the bar at time 1:10.  Or IS THAT Patrick Swayze?   This video takes place in the same time period as his “Dirty Dancing” movie.  Pop Culture addicts will also wonder why the “Green Hornet’s” limo driver is there.   “Hope Mountain”?  … even the older generation gets it.

The last one I will share (today) begs the question — What if Mayu were the “alien” in Steven Spielberg’s “ET: The Extraterrestrial”?  The title is “Boy to Lie” (direct translation).  Mayu portrays an “alien” who accidentally lands on Earth.  A middle-school boy finds her, and takes her back to his room to nurse her back to health. They make a promise together not to tell anyone.  Of course!  What boy going through puberty would not want to secretly keep an AKB48 member in his bedroom?  (This moment reminded me of the “Thank you God” moment in National Lampoon’s “Animal House” movie.)  He is a “brainy nerd” boy, who is bullied in school.  Of course he can’t prove to anyone that he knows an alien, and must keep it a secret forever.   The alien Mayu  returns to the WH7 mothership.  (Spoiler: The boy grows up to be a famous astro-physicist and astronaut, but meets a tragic end.  Unfortunately, I could not find an English translation of what exactly happens.  I thought it was a let-down, but I could not tell what was being said.  Guess for yourself. )  Still, this is another unique music video.  Mayu is good, as always, but I loved those fleeting seconds when I could see Iwasa Misaki-san in that silver spacesuit.  Nice.

Well, it is too bad that this sub-group is no more.  They were fun.  You may still review the group’s history on their webpage:


Later I will share some live video of the group!  Oh, you wanted to see a bikini photo! …  well I have those too!

Watarirouka Hashiritai 7: Oh, Wasamin!  (far right).

Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 Ski and Swim Team

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