One Otaku’s Treasure…

Filed in Cult of Pop 1.0

Freelance work has been getting in the way of regular blogging these past few days. While I’ve still got a good deal to do and a couple of very immediate deadlines to consider, I finished one assignment late last night and wanted to treat myself to something today. So Barb and I visited a Japanese bookstore we saw next to Daiei in the hopes that it’d have at least a different selection from Hakubundo, if not necessarily a better one.

Instead, we found a wonderful otaku paradise. The name of the store turned out to be Nippon Video. They had tons of manga on sale, Jpop CDs… and a whole wall devoted to gravure and pop idol photobooks! It was amazing just how many was on display, and at reasonable prices from roughly ten to twenty bucks. What was also interesting was how old some of them were. If you’re a fan of Onyanko Club, you can find plenty of their members on CDs and photobooks in this store.

See the blank space on the right hand side, next to the yellow photobook? That’s where I picked up something I thought I’d never see in a bookstore…

The first Tsujikago photobook! Done when they were still the kiddies of Morning Musume, still able to dress up in ridiculous outfits and act childishly hyperkinetic and… um… well, they still do act that way, don’t they? But this was a photobook I thought I’d have to pay premium for on eBay to ever own, and there it was, next to a couple copies of a Yasuda Kei photobook. (I’ll pick one of those up next time.)

While I’ve seen photos from the photobook, actually having the real thing is a lot niftier, of course. First, I didn’t realize it was a hardcover. Second, I was charmed by the actual cover photos underneath the dustcover. Third, I was surprised to find there was a popup diorama towards the end of the book.

I love Tsukikago, that’s all there is to it. And with their new single out and that Hello! Morning Team Hokkaido thing to get back to, I’ll explain why in more detail very soon.

I resisted picking up some AV idol stuff – there’s a whole backroom devoted to AV, appealing to all kinds of tastes (no cockroach eating fetish, unfortunately) – but getting something like that while buying the Tsujikago book seemed… wrong, somehow. Like it’d spoil the experience of purchasing this talismanic Hello! Project item.

That said, I decided to buy a ten-dollar gravure DVD on a shelf across from the cash register. Impulse buy. Buying AV with Tsujikago is one thing, buying gravure with Tsujikago is wholly natural.

The girl’s name is Ukita Hisae and it’s a pretty typical gravure video, best as I can tell – more innocent than sexy, but plenty of emphasis on the requisite body parts.

My wife bought several Japanese TV detective shows, again at a great price. It’s not subtitled of course, meaning I’ll stick with KIKU’s Mystery Theater and the wonderful comedy Women of the Onsen 3. Watching non-subtitled television only works for me if a cute Japanese girl is involved.

Anyway, Nippon Video will now become a regular haunt, I’m sure. If nothing else, I can check out the back room AV selection of magazines and books and feel both thrilled and horrified at the wide range of offerings… Okay, thrilled mostly.

At least it’ll take off the edge of missing the Alo-Hello store.