Bits & Pieces

Filed in Cult of Pop 1.0

I sent in one freelance assignment about an hour ago and I need to finish another assignment right fucking now – but I’ll need some sleep, clear my mental palette before jumping back to work.

Unfortunately, I’ve got enough caffeine in me to keep me awake for another hour or two, minimum.

So for the past hour I’ve been listening / watching my iPaq PVs and surfing the web.

Here’s some random observations, just for the hell of it. Until the caffeine dissipates or whatever.

SugarBank is a great new blog about the adult entertainment industry that is wonderfully frank, wittily written, and highly informative. He also features PSP pics of women in various states of undress, which are nice but not necessary.

Idolizing St. Anna is expanding its focus and doing more general pieces about Japanese pop idols, starting with a look at how the industry works commercially. I’m liking this direction and hope he continues.

Speaking of Santos Anna and her blog there’s a cute picture of her in a green dress – but all I could think is how pale she is behind the tan line. That said, I took the shot of her in concert with B3 and made it my new wallpaper for my main laptop. The shot is very washed out color-wise but I like it better than the group shot that’s also on the blog. Anyway, this wallpaper replaced an old favorite, the one of SweetS sitting on a bed for the “Coundtown” single.

So I’m reading the new issue of Supreme Power and it opens in a strip club with the lyrics of a song that’s very familiar… and I realize the song is Billy Joel’s “The Stranger”. And all I could think of as I read the rest of the comic is, Do strippers really perform to “The Stranger”?

Jarret at I’m bad at naming things continues to maintain that Konno is the prettiest member of Morning Musume. Good for him! Konno’s always struck me as horribly underrated. I’m glad Jarret’s making a point to look at different TV shows and comment on them – it gives his blog a solid, unique angle.

Over at, Alice Lee has some interesting observations on this year’s H!P Shuffle groups. The best line: “The theme this year seems to be jailbait vs barely legal vs retirement home aged groups.”

My most dedicated commentator, Chris H, asks,

Have you ‘seen’ the “50W Fifty Double You”-photobook?
I am thinking about buying it, though I ‘dislike’ looking at photobooks before buying them (what I mean is; I am much more excited if I buy something I haven’t seen before)…
So if you have seen it and can recommend it (or not), please do.
I doubt it’s bad – I mean it’s W in half a hundred costumes… but if you have any idea, please give me your input.
And by the way; do you have any favourite photobooks? And why are thoose your favourites/what do you like in photobooks?

Let’s see… I’ve seen 50W and think it’s very good. Actually, there are some very cool rocker poses of Kago that makes her look mature and quite sexy in an understated way. Some of the outfits are silly, but this is Tsujikago we’re talking about. They’re expected to look ridiculous at least half the time. (Though I find it odd how sexy I find those dinosaur outfits from last year… I think it’s the tails.)

Since moving to Hawaii, I’ve been picking up photobooks on the cheap, so my collection of actual, physical photobooks is pretty scattered. I’ve got a nice one of Uehara Takako looking very sexy, a couple great ones of Speed, Nakazawa Yuko’s Feather, some others… Ah, there’s a Petit Moni photobook that’s just about entirely of them in their “Baby! Koi ni Knock Out” costumes. Still has the trading cards and stickers and poster. Just a month ago I got the first Tsujikago photobook, which is a great find.

I have two photobooks which I love to bits, though.

The first and most precious is the second Morning Musume photobook (at least, I think it’s the second) a hardcover about the size of a vinyl record where they visit some Southeast Asian country. It takes place after Asuka left and before Gocchin joined, so that’s around “Manatsu no Kousen” and “Furusato”. I think the best thing about this photobook is Ishiguro Aya and Ichii Sayaka. I love Ayappe and Sayaka, I think they both left Morning Musume too early and any photos of them – especially Ayappe – brightens my day. It also has a pre-blonde Mari, before she discovered the sexy beam and became a force to be reckoned with.

The second photobook is Peaceful Dream with the original Dream. As time passes, I grow increasingly convinced that the original Dream was the perfect Jpop group. The prettiest and among the most talented. I like the current Dream now – love them to bits, actually – but it’s still about Yu and Kana, and I wish Mai’d come back. Anyway, this photobook is also vacation themed and while there’s nothing very original or artistic or striking about the photography, the presence of these three girls is enough to make it very special.

If I buy any relatively new photobooks, it’d be one of three: 50W because I do adore Tsujikago, Konno Asami’s photobook because she’s so damn striking in it (not just in a bikini, either – the photographer knows how to make her cute in a schoolgirl outfit, have nicely dramatic close-ups, look wistful in a summer dress), or Berryz Koubo’s first group photobook since I’m really developing a taste for their songs.

Oh, and I’m thinking of bribing people to post comments on this blog. The reasoning goes like this: I buy too much crap and if I can get rid of some of that crap, bring happiness to some random strangers, and generate traffic for this blog, wouldn’t that be a trifecta of cool?

Now, don’t start posting comments all of a sudden. If I do this (and that’s still a big if), it’ll be at the start of next month, maybe. I’ve got some hefty comic book hardcovers coming in and need to make space by then. But my bookshelves are filled to bursting and I’m thinking things like, Do I really need two copies of that Pinch Runner photobook? and Am I really going to re-read that She-Hulk trade paperback? and Just cuz I bought those Erica Sakurazawa romance manga for real cheap don’t mean I have to hold onto them forever.

I have a history of collecting and dumping. Whenever my comic book collection hits over a certain number, I just give them back to my local comic shop at a fraction of the price. Did it right before I left Florida for Hawaii. Once, years ago in California, I actually left two long boxes of comic books on the front door of a comic shop before it opened. I just didn’t want to deal with the people at the store and explain I didn’t want those funnybooks anymore.

Not everyone who comments’d get something, because the postage would kill me. So it’d have to be a contest of some sort… which may be more work than I care to do, just for more comments.

Ah, it’s the caffeine wearing off.