Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Yuko Oshima’

Kimonos on Monday: AKB48’s “Kimi wa Melody” CD single cover art.

kom birth of sakura

Yuko appears to be more up for this than Acchan.

I was very happy to see the cover art for the new AKB48 single “Kimi wa Melody” (君はメロディー). This will be the group’s 43rd single, and it will commemorate their 10th Anniversary. The single, will have eleven total versions (5 limited editions + 5 regular edition) + 1 Theater edition.

akb48-43rd-single-kimi-no-melody

You know me, I get whatever is cheapest on eBay about six months later.  Ha Ha. Just kidding. These covers look great!

This 10th Anniversary single also features the return of graduated members Atsuko Maeda, Yuko Oshima, Tomomi Itano, and Mariko Shinoda.

The single is deeply philosophical regarding the graduated members’ return. As seen above — Yuko kissing Acchan represents the leaving of the old guard, with Sakura-tan’s stardom on the rise in the background. The sisterly love is overwhelming. I will leave it to future AKB Historians to debate further hidden meanings.

See more kimono screen shots on the AKB48 Daily  blog. Thank you Paul — you are an AKB Scholar!!!

http://akb48-daily.blogspot.com/2016/02/akb48-43rd-single-kimi-wa-melody-mv.html#.Vr-d7vkrKUk

Better watch it quick.

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Starlight: Hey Acchan and Yuko — your kiss may not be as bad as the “lesbian” scene in “The Color Purple” … but I’m still not buying it! 

Deli Wisdom Item #27: Why the AKB48 “No Dating” rule is maybe not such a bad thing.

There is always a line isn’t there? That is OK, let me tell you about some of my thoughts on this while we wait for our sandwiches. Been thinking about this one for a long time …

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I am a fan of the Japanese Idol genre in general, and specifically I love AKB48 and their sister groups. My waiting-in-line rant today is NOT about “Why I like the Japanese Idol genre” … that will have to be the touchy subject of another lunch.

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No, I am trying to think “outside the box” here, Yukirin!

When I scan Internet blogs, including the WordPress tags under Jpop and the like, I have found that most of the time when AKB48 is referenced it is because the blogger has a negative opinion. Usually a poorly researched opinion to boot. (The “Big Butts” as I have said before.) One item almost always criticized is the “No Dating” rule common to many Japanese idol groups.

I am also NOT going to re-hash the various “SCANDALS” regarding those members who broke the rules. Those have already been discussed on other fan sites.

Many (American) foreigners do not understand or like the rule.  Furthermore, it is usually non-fans of the genre who most disagree with the rule. True, some dedicated AKB48 fans support the idea that girls should be free to pursue romantic relationships while under contract, but I want to make the case here that this rule – is not such a bad thing, and in fact may help the girls creatively.

The case can be made that Japanese Idol culture is a different culture from America. They should be allowed to have a different way of doing things in their own country. I will admit that you could never have an organization with such a rule in the USA.

I might take some of the spinach knish home.

I might take some of the spinach knish home.

The most common explanation of the policy is that it fuels male fans fantasies about the members. For example, if I were a Japanese high school or college student I might fantasize that I will someday meet and marry Yuki Kashiwagi (or Haruka Kodama, Sayaka Yamamoto, etc.) Ahem … you see …

… Denny going into a young man’s reverie: …  when I earn my degree, I will land that big job, get that big promotion, sell that new game design, make that critically acclaimed film, write that big hit song, etc.

It is important that Yuki does not date a series of goofy looking Japanese rock-star jerk guys while she is a member of AKB48. She’s a “good girl” anyway.

What if Yuki were a typical American actress/singer? By her mid-twenties she would be too skanky with the stink of a series of celebrity boyfriends. Hey you Jerkwads — hands off Yuki!!! … Yuki’s karma is pure. In fact, her name means “snow”!

She is so incredibly sweet, I love her face and her personality. Yuki will still be a virgin … we will meet …  and since she just graduated (I’m not sure what year this fantasy is) she will now be free to pursue romance – with me.  And the best thing? She has never had a boyfriend before.  

Still a virgin, at her age, with that BODY that is just built for lovin’ … Jesus H. Christ … er … I mean, Siddhartha B. Gautama! … I will be her one and only. Mine, all mine …

There is something special about that.

Me, the young, newly famous film actor/director will marry Yukirin and we will be happy ever after!

(reverie ends)

OF COURSE IT IS STUPID!!! What mashugana goyim thinks that way?

at the deli

So whats the harm with a little fantasy?

Fueling this fantasy is good for marketing however.  Male fans might care less, and thus spend less — if Idols were just regular singers. Those would be some foolish fantasies for a guy to have.

But ask yourself: Aren’t your unspoken, everyday fleeting fantasies also just a little bit foolish?

Ask around.

What, a fellow cannot dream?

I’m not a delusional putz, …What, a fellow can’t dream?

Still, this is NOT my argument in favor of the rule however. I will get to my reasons later.

I think that you can also read  the male fantasy factor as a male fan jealousy factor. A lot of guys would be disappointed if their favorite idol started dating the Japanese version of Justin Bieber. Also, since the girls cannot date, they only have each other to turn to. You know what I mean. This fuels the OTHER male fantasy. Look, I did not make the world, but it is just the way it is. Guys like the yuri idea.

A good number of the “No Dating” critics are American, often lady writers coming from the “sophomore political science major” school of thought. Nothing against them, I have known many in college, but they are not exactly the open-minded type.  I may have fallen asleep in my beer a few times. To them, the “No Dating” rule is another example of the “patriarchal society” that Japan has, and “the women are being exploited by this”, wanka, wanka, wanka, etc.

Alright already.

Actually, these writers should wake up to the fact that in this case it is the young Idols who are in the power position. The late American comic Richard Pryor used to tell a story of growing up in his old neighborhood where the girls had the attitude (Pryor using his sing-songy voice):  “I’ve got the pussy, and you can’t have any …”.  Similarly, the Idol has the upper hand in this fan hierarchy. The no-dating rule puts the Idol in control, not the fan. Odd that so many cannot see that.

My central argument however is that the “No Dating” rule helps the girls by making them focus on career development. Remember your Star Wars studies: Jedi Knights were not allowed to get married. Well, one did … and look what happened to him! As Yoda said, “A Jedi must have the deepest commitment.”  Idols to need commit completely for a few years.

It is not like they are taking a vow that will last forever. It is at best for a few years in the teen and early twenties at most. Keeping busy might not allow for a lot of time to pursue relationships. They will have fewer worries they can focus on developing their talents.

There are time constraints. The girls are kept pretty busy. Look at the large volume of media AKB produce. The girls are always performing, modeling, recording, acting, etc. They only get one day off a week anyway.  A guy trying to date one of them would always be in the position of “I never get to see you”.  There would also be a lot of jealous guys. “Listen you, take your hands from her hair!”

The AKB family is large and difficult enough to manage as it is. Now throw in boyfriends and their problems. If the girls had boyfriends there would be all this infighting and jealousies. The young women may end up stealing each other’s boyfriends, or changing boyfriends.  Likely, there would be competing for the same Japanese actor/rock star boyfriends.

One of the things that grinds-my-gears is that there all these Japanese actors/singers who STILL ask the AKB girls out on dates, even though they know damn well they can’t do it. Their egos must think that they will be the exceptions.

Boyfriends might wreck the group! Even AKB48 leader Minami Takahashi has stated that (quotes) “the world would stop spinning” if the rule were abandoned. The haters know that boyfriends could destroy the group. (I do believe that the rule will indeed be rescinded sometime, due to pressure from AKB fans who support the change. However, I think that it will mark “the beginning of the end”, and interest in Idol groups will slowly fade.  All trends have their peak, and I predict that is how the Idol genre will end.)

Very importantly, the girls AGREE to abstain when they sign on. No one drafted them into an Idol army. They volunteer knowing full well they will have to give up dating for a few years. The young women know what they are getting into. If they do not want commit themselves to be part of the organization, then they should not audition to become part of the system. The policy clearly violates Japanese labor laws, thus all active members must be in agreement in order for the rule to exist.

Let me give you another example how giving up dating for a few years might help creatively and force them to focus.  Did you ever see that episode of Seinfeld where the George character found out that his Girlfriend had infectious mono, and so he would not be able to be intimate with her for several days.

He found that when sex was taken off the table, a large part of his brain function that was formerly only obsessed about sex – actually began to be used. He got smarter and smarter everyday. By being celibate, he was able to think and concentrate, eventually developing his intellect in physics.

Well, the AKB girls can do that to. Don’t worry about it. Develop your skills instead.

(Denny is not making this up): Allow me to digress a little here regarding something in my own experience. When I was a single, mid-twenties aged graduate student I had an opportunity.  I was informed that I could do research at the American research station at the South Pole.  Yes, Antarctica. I did not apply for it, but it would have meant living for about a year at the South Pole. Now let me ask you this: Had I taken that isolated research position researching oxygen isotopes in Antarctica … would I have been able to date?

OK, you made your little joke, now answer seriously. I would know that I would not be able to date for about a year. I would have to forget about it (you know) completely, bear down, and focus on research. The idea being I would be enriched from the scientific experience.  I would also have burned an estimated 8,000 calories a day — which is actually a pretty good selling point for a tour of duty at the South Pole.

There are many people worldwide who — because of circumstance — are not able to date for a time. Idols should not have to worry so much. True, when you are young, five years seems like a long time.

Some Deli Wisdom: Ladies, take it from me … and your father too … focus on your career, the right one will come along when you graduate. Also, your father and I have agreed that if there is a guy that wants you to break your vows, he is not the one for you. If he really likes you, he will wait : )

Better those girls should not be schlepping around until they are married.

Better those girls should not be schlepping around until they are married.

I do believe that the rule will indeed be rescinded sometime, due to pressure from AKB fans who do not care or support the change.

That some fans would be in favor of lifting the rule is also not hard to understand. Take Haruna Kojima for example. She is one of the world’s sexiest women. She is now in her late twenties. Just look at her. It almost seems A SHAME that the best years of her life are going by without a boyfriend. Yes, you could say “what a waste of fertile volcanic soil.”  The only lover she has had has been Yuko Oshima (gulp). Now, I am NOT spreading rumors here. It is all fairly well documented on YouTube and elsewhere that Yuko-chan was all over KojiHaru.

thosearenotmarshmallowsyuko

At least there was no chance of a pregnancy scandal.

Yes, we all know that Yuko Oshima will indeed marry a man someday. (Rich dude or actor).  It is just that when she had to follow the AKB rules, she maintained this loving relationship with Kojima-san. Um, not sure if I arguing in favor or against the rule right now … I forget.

Likely, enough fans will eventually not care about the rule, and it will be dropped. However, I think that juncture will also mark “the beginning of the end”. Interest in Idol groups will slowly fade, and the public will not be able to put a finger on why exactly. All trends have their peak, and eventually end.  It will not happen all of a sudden. When enough of the fantasy disappears, the intensity of the interest will slowly but surely drop off. I predict that is how the Idol genre will end.

Starlight: Look, it is another culture.  I’m just having a corned beef sandwich. You?

imhavingthecornedbeef

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KIMONOS ON MONDAY (Week #38): Oh, that Yuko …

yuko tw6

I can never get enough of the lovely and multi-talented Yuko Oshima!

Please enjoy this mini gallery of recent scans from Tokyo Walker magazine.  Click for full-size! Yuko is no “wallflower” but she makes a great wallpaper!

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Which is more beautiful? Yuko or her kimono … wait, let me re-phrase that …

The video shows that Yuko even looks good in “Sepia” !

sepia yuko

Oh, that Yuko …

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KIMONOS ON MONDAY: “Funashi” and friends!

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Funashi and friends: Yuko, Acchan and Sashi!

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Funashi gets to interact with the ex-#1 members Yuko Oshima, Atsuko Maeda and Rino Sashihara.

Funashi and friends!

KIMONOS ON MONDAY (Week #35): Oshima-U-Co Style Book 2015

Oshimayuco stylebook 2015

I Heart Yuko at least 120% !!!

It brings joy to my heart to find these images from the 2015 “Style Book” recently published by the OshimaUCo company.  She is an actress, singer, dancer, and circus unicyclist.  In addition to being a Superwoman, the former AKB48 front-woman Yuko Oshima is also known for her popular kimono designs.  Oshima-san designs wedding kimonos — despite being single herself!

oshima stylebook parasol

The funny little elf can make herself look seriously beautiful when she wants to. Tell me I’m not the only one under her spell …

Please enjoy this slideshow of scans from the book!

Oshima U Co?  … Oshima Yuko!

Yuko Oshima lovely in kimono

Oh, how do you solve a problem like YUKO ?

I wonder if they have Yuko’s style book at Barnes & Noble?

My blogging year in review Part II: Posts I had fun with!

No, no one could ever forget your pretty face, Yuko!

No, no one could ever forget your pretty face, Yuko!

I will continue to toot-my-own-horn here and offer up another “Top Ten” list today!  I have made more than 150 posts this year. I will share a selection of my favorites. If you are a recent follower, then you get a chance to see some of my earlier posts!

1. One of my first posts on WP was “Koi Suru Conspiracy Theory” linked here. Looking back, I realized that I made a lot of technical mistakes.  Good thing I only had five followers at the time, and three of those were merchants.

2. I enjoyed writing about my favorite musical performer Hanako Oku in “What Happens in Hanako Oku’s Music Video for “Fuyuhanabi” linked here. I wasn’t trying to be funny here. Oddly, it is the only one of my Hanako Oku posts that was not “tweeted” by anyone!

3. I had the most fun writing “My Mouse Is Very Happy Now” linked here. Unfortunately after I posted it, it was like tumbleweeds.  I think that this is because the music videos for it are only on Jpopsuki, instead of YouTube.  Jpopsuki has very long loading times so I think some readers gave up. Some things I want to share are just not on YouTube.

4. I loved writing about Watarirouka Hasiritai, even though even my friends can’t understand why I adore the squeaky ones so much. I knew that few would take my “straight” review of their DVD seriously, so I tried to make a “mash up” of sorts.  What if the late British author Anthony Burgess wrote the review for me? Hence, my post “Anthony Burgess Reviews My Watarirouka Hashiritai Farewell Concert DVD” linked here.  I was trying to be like an English major and become all “literate” … using the voice of one of his characters — but my readers probably just thought: Denny you are one weird dude : (

5. I do like a good mash-up. However I am not sure if my younger readers know who Dean Martin was however, and what his celebrity roasts were. Perhaps I am of the wrong generation to make “Roasting Yuko Oshima’s Butt” linked here.  This is an example of how I would probably have to explain the jokes to you. I have the cultural references of an aging baby-boomer.

6. My blogs on Pokémon have been fun! For example “Fujin and Raijin and Pokemon” linked here.  I know that many readers are not Pokemon players, however I try to make my Pokémon posts interesting enough that you do not have to play Pokémon video games to enjoy the humor.  I often digress far off topic on the “Pokemon Nickname” posts.

7. Sometimes I write what I think was a pretty good sardonic article about a music video, then RECORD INDUSTRY WEASELS remove the video! A good example is “My Grandfatherly Advice for the Young Miss Mako Kojima” linked here.  My attempt at humor would not make sense if you cannot see what happens in the video.  Dang it! I hated to lose that clip. DANG IT! DANG IT!! DANG IT!!!

8. The reason I started this blog was because I wanted to write about the AKB48 song: “Sakura no ki ni narou – I will become a cherry tree (a graduation song)”  linked here. I had to start a blog, because whenever I tried to talk about it with my friends, they would always say — GET AWAY FROM ME MAN! Unfortunately, all but the lowest quality video clip was removed (by you-know-who).  I encourage you to still watch the low-res version.  It seems funny now, but I was choking up when I wrote that article, as I thought the song was so beautiful.

9. My first ever post! I didn’t know what I was doing! … and another one that had the YouTube clip removed by RIWs was “The Little Great One” linked here.  I loved that video of the end-credits of “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”.  I put related links at the end of the post however. I do not know Hanako Oku from last Tuesday, but there is no one that touches my (musical) heart like her. I could write a Top-Ten just about her videos. She is my raison d’etre.

10. You would not believe how many views my post “Kodoku na Hoshizora” by AKB48: Is it “art” … or do I just have a dirty mind?” has gotten. Again, the music video is on Jpopsuki, not YouTube.  You should see the disgusting Google “search terms” I see on my Stats page for this post — linked here.  It is a great kimono video, well worth the load time.  It has always been one of my favorite AKB48 music videos. Why do perverts want to see this so much?

I guess that is TEN … but you are correct.  I did not include a KIMONO post! I have been encouraged by all the “Likes” that my “Kimonos on Monday” series of posts have received this year. Thank you readers! I hope to keep the kimonos coming in 2015.  So to leave off, here is the lovely Yuko Oshima in one of her own kimono designs.  Sorry about the “derp” face photo above … but you know that I love you Yuko : )

yuko oshima selfie in kimono

All better?

KIMONOS ON MONDAY (Week #21) Oshima U Co.

Yuko 3c70ffafb7130bbd863f44b7919f7e10

Here I am at week #21 of Kimono Mondays!  I wonder if I can complete the entire 52 week kimono marathon?

My very first post linked here featured the kimonos of Yuko Oshima.  As you all know, Yuko is a graduate of AKB48.  She is a singer, dancer, actress, model, comedian, unicycle rider, etc., but she also designs kimonos.

What was I thinking?  Looking back, I did not share very many images of Oshima U Co. kimonos, so I will correct that now.  Please enjoy the EXPANDED number of kimonos designed and worn by Yuko Oshima.

I look forward to more kimonos from you Yuko!

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See more OshimaUCo kimonos on the Hakamaka Girls website linked here.

See my “Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roast of Yuko Oshima” linked here.

I (HEART) Yuko Oshima starlight.

 

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