Top 10 Geinou Girlfriends

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

I found a nifty Jdorama blog called HamsapSukebe which explored in-depth that Top 10 Girlfriend survey previously mentioned by, the one where Abe Natsumi made #9. Akiramike did everyone – well, me, at least – a great favor by commenting on the complete Top 10 list, including pictures where he could.

He also noted that the survey had two parts: who you’d want for a girlfriend and who you’d want to have sex with. As he notes tartly, “Apparently Japanese guys don’t have sex with their gfs.” Which I’m sure is quite wrong and if you have any photos to disprove such a horrible generalization, please send them my way.

Anyway, using his own inspired three-point criteria, Akiramike went on to create his own Top 10 list, proving that the best thing about reading someone else’s list is making up one of your own.

So you know what comes next.

I couldn’t resist. Don DeLillo once said in an interview that list-making is a symptom of our cultural neurosis, or words to that effect. Considering how much I respect DeLillo’s work before the new millenium, it’s only fair that I use a list to vent my current favorite neurosis.

Keep in mind: I’m married and even if I weren’t, have no chance with any of the women listed below. This is just the usual postmodern, mediated daydreaming and opinion-voicing I’d written about in my Why Jpop? series from version 1.0. Just imagine we’re sitting in a bar or coffee shop arguing this kind of silly crap and I happened to have this list ready in my head.

The criteria I have isn’t as complex or well thought-out as Akiramike, though certainly a lot of it has to do with whoI think is pretty, the personae these women project in their line of work, and how much I’ve thought of each during random moments of blanking out or fantasizing. You know, you’re sitting on the bus and watching the streets roll by and think, “Man, Tomoka was so cute when she was crying at the end of the Egao Biyori PV shoot…” Or, “why can’t Kago wear her hair like that more often?”

Oh, and one last thing: I purposely kept the list in the sixteen-and-above category. (And as it turns out, only one is under eighteen. I’m just full of surprises sometimes.) If I really need to freak people out, I may think up a Top 10 Little Sisters of Girlfriends Who’d Accompany Us to the Movies and the Mall Because She’s So Cool In Her Own Underage Way list later…

But don’t hold your breath.

So without further ado, here’s my Top 10 Geinou Girlfriend list…

10. Kato Takaco
Because of my wife, local Japanese station KIKU is on TV a lot of the time. (Actually, so is the Lifetime Movie Channel, but we won’t get into that.) While I like a lot of the programming, the one I enjoyed most is Women of the Onsen and a small crush was nurtured over time with the lead actress, Kato Takaco. (That’s how she spells it on her website.) I didn’t realize how much I fell for her until Barb was watching the detective woman show on KIKU and, tapping away at my laptop (as always) I heard a voice on the TV and knew immediately who it was before I even looked up. She’s a great actress and very adorable, and actually close to my age.

9. Hoshino Aki
Gravure idol’s oldest star is still considerably younger than me. I like her smile a lot, and she’s willing to wear costumes to look sexy. I also like her attitude about her work, she just seems to really enjoy it and not be defensive about being the old lady of the industry. And she’s probably the only one on the list with a large (and mangificent) rack, which I won’t hold against her.

Unless she asks me to.

8. Ueto Aya
I’m not a Gundam fan but I love her commercials for the franchise’s tchotchkes. And I really like what I’d seen of Koukou Kyoushi 2003, I thought she was just amazing in it.

As for her singing career… well, did I mention I like her Gundam commercials?

Anyway, Ueto Aya has a dazzling smile and an exuberant personality, and it’s hard not to fall for such a sweetie.

7. Kago Ai
My very favorite in the current Hello! Project, and the hairstyle from this clip makes her look even more attractive and mature than usual. I’m on record as considering Kago Jpop’s la belle dame sans merci, and while her vicious streak doesn’t seem as evident since W was formed, I know she’s got that in her still and it’s just waiting for a chance to vent.

Why I find that attractive, I don’t know.

6. Maiko
When a Japanese friend came for a visit to Hawaii last month, we were discussing who I think is sexy and I pointed to my Zone calendar’s shot of Maiko. She was surprised that I found Maiko sexy, perhaps because Maiko isn’t what you’d traditionally consider a looker. But for me, being a Zone fan is all about being into Maiko: Miyu may be the head of the group, but Maiko is its smiling, happy-go-lucky heart. Really, Zone could have continued with whatever line-up was left – even letting go of Miyu, as far as I’m concerned – if Maiko was still around. She may not be the most prominent of the group, but there’s something goofy and fun and musically serious about her that is pure Zone…

And I’m still missing the group to the point of tears.

Oh, and I could be incredibly rude and point out the intimate advantages of dating someone who possesses both a professional sense of rhythm and a gorgeously strong overbite, but that’s crass and tasteless and belongs in Wahine Trouble more than here.

5. Tomoka
She was only with Zone for its last year and a half – oh, wait, she was also there when Zone began, but kicked her out before they debuted as a quartet – but Tomoka quickly became my favorite. The fact that she had so much potential and hadn’t had a chance to show it off counts for a lot, though I’m not sure why. And yeah, I think of her bawling after they filmed the “Egao Biyori” PV and I just melt.

All the Zone girls seem very girl-next-door accessible, which helps make them easy to imagine as girlfriends. That said, Maiko and Tomoka are distinctly low-maintenance types, with Mizuho and Miyu giving off two very distinct high-maintenance vibes despite themselves.

4. Tachibana Kana
One of the three original members of dream, as well as captain and goalie of geinou futsal’s Team Dream. I think she’s gorgeous in an almost voluptuous manner, there’s something to her stare which is challenging and seductive, quintessentially diva… and yet, she’s very much the team player, which is a nice paradox.

There’s also something kinda funky about Kana sometimes – I can’t place it, but it’s like she’s trying to update the kind of glitz and glamour LaBelle specialized in during the seventies. Watching her dance in “Soyokaze no Shirabe” is a lot of fun, and she’s got the best smile in either dream line-up.

I’m really not sure where the LaBelle reference came from. It just occurred to me.

3. Amuro Namie
The Queen of Hip Pop is just… you know, it’s hard to convey shivering with imagined pleasure, but the very thought of her instills awe and lust at once. Part of it is definitely her music, which continues to dominate the soundtrack of my life. She’s the “if you knock on my door I’ll abandon my current life for you” winner, hands down.

She can do sexy and urban fabulous perfectly, but there’s also a vulnerability that wins you over. Namie is also such a strong person: she’s perhaps the most tragic of the women listed here, but you couldn’t tell it from the way she carries herself.

2. Matsumoro Mai
The lost member of the original dream has been an obsession of mine for some time. I could quantify why I think she’s the prettiest of any member of dream, though I think it’s quite relative. The original dream is the prettiest Jpop girl group of all time, after all, and Hasebe Yu would be somewhere in the Top 10 if I didn’t watch KIKU so much… But Mai was the “talented one” in dream, at least the one who wrote lyrics for the group and really wanted to stretch her abilities. And she’s so hot, in a skinny girl with a soulful look way.

1. Ishiguro Aya
One of the original Morning Musume, the first victim of the “Love Machine” curse, and the first to face a shotgun wedding (though not the last), Ishiguro Aya was my number one choice from the start.

To me, the amazing thing about Ishiguro is she seemed to instinctively get the spirit of Morning Musume when they shifted gears with “Love Machine” – and yet stuck around for that single alone, leaving to ostensibly pursue a career in fashion. Then, she gets pregnant and marries and wrote of her experiences as a mother. (Which means the top two choices are both writers, which I just realized now. I guess kind has a fondness for kind.)

There’s a great Asayan clip where Ishiguro Aya is shown during the filming of “Love Machine” and she is so into the ridiculous, exuberant sexiness of the song. She does the “atashi honto nice body” shake, apparently fondling herself (but not really), and she leaps into a dance that looks like a marionette jerking around to para para spasms. And she keeps mugging for the camera, pretending to look hurt and then seductive and then nonchalant and then flashes a smile that’s so happy shiny scary you can’t help but laugh.

And of course, Ishiguro does sexy better than any other Momusu. (Hundreds times more or several hundred percent more? I can’t decide.) She doesn’t always push it as strongly as in Tanpopo’s “Motto” video, but there was always a compelling combination of ice queen, party girl, and fashionista in how she presented herself. The cool stare she’s mastered could be dismissive or inviting, depending on the mood underneath.

So okay, she just celebrated her fifth wedding anniversary and has three kids and is happily married and all that. I don’t know much about Luna Sea but I love Shinya for keeping her happy over the years, he’s my hero. Barring any homewrecking consequences on my part, she’s the geinou I’d most want for a girlfriend. Or wife. Or mother of my children. She’s just the all-around package, as far as I’m concerned.

Even if she does smoke.

Honorable Mentions: Hasebe Yu of dream, Hiro and Hitoe of Speed (that’s right, Hitoe!), Ohtani Masae of Melon Kinenbi, Miyoshi Erika of Viyuden, Yuka, and Kumada Yoko.

Don’t like this list? Think it skews too old or too young or too married or too dream? Then make your own damn list and post it, you opinionated bastards!

And don’t forget the pictures. It works a lot better with the pictures.


Comments (Comments are closed)

8 Responses to “Top 10 Geinou Girlfriends”
  1. santos26 says:

    Oh, my, I’d like to make my list later.
    *Maybe we have to bet Kana of dream and fight then*
    And I’d like to send my secret photos to wipe off a disgrace of Japanese males, but unfortunately, I’m not a TOMMY-LEE-type, lol.

  2. Wapiko says:

    Ueto Aya is a lesbian’s delight.

    This sounds like a fun list, though. Mind if I make one?

  3. Jarret says:

    Hehe, nice list! I’m glad I could anticipate Aibon and Aya’s appearance.

    I’d like to see your ‘Top 10 Little Sisters of Girlfriends Who’d Accompany Us to the Movies and the Mall Because She’s So Cool In Her Own Underage Way’ – don’t change the title though!

    My current knowledge of Jpop and its idols is limited to facial features alone in most cases, so my list will have to wait until I’m knee deep in ‘kawaii’. But Nakazawa Yuuko will probably be in it.

  4. Akiramike says:

    OMG, you put Kagi-chan in! I think she’s not 18 yet. She would be on my list if she were older, lol. As for Aya Euto, her performance in Kinpachi sensei season 6 really spoiled it for me. She played a girl with gender identity problem so convincingly that she really looked like a guy.

    I miss Zone too. Mizuho was my fav. 🙂

  5. niji says:

    While I was reading your list, I kept thinking “His wife must not read what he posts here.” LOL XP

  6. Ray Mescallado says:

    Santos, Wapiko: The more lists, the better!

    Jarret: I’m thinking about that other list…

    Akiramike: Actually, a gender-confused Ueto Aya sounds kinda sexy to me.

    niji: My wife’s vaguely aware of what I post… just not the specifics.

  7. The Angel says:

    Wow! I like this list. I think I am an otaku. Come see my favorites at my site I like Mihiro, Ayumi, Jun and more!!!!

  8. Samurai wezX says:

    its cool site ha…aya euto is no.1 for me she play azumi very awesome.she plays a pretty assasin there,that was great i dont know 4 others as 4 me..azumi rocks!