A Jpop Kalikimaka

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

Oddly enough, buying some random Jpop goodies for myself didn’t feel like Christmas. It felt more like a typical week of self-indulgence, if / when time and budget allowed. (The flip side: perhaps… just perhaps… every week can be a Jpop Christmas for me, if I spend enough!)

I guess the trick would’ve been if somebody else had bought me these Christmas gifts, but but let’s face it: I wouldn’t leave something as important as Jpop to the random whims of strangers anyway, nor to people I love and / or tolerate. I mean, sure, get me appliances and gift certificates and all that other crap – but you know my feelings will be hurt if you get me the wrong Hello! Project CD! I still remind my wife about the time I asked my mother-in-law to get me a Petit Moni CD and instead got Mini Moni. Which turned out for the best, but still….

Also, it was one of those Christmases where we just decided to buy things together and never mind the surprise factor. Or, now that I think of it, the wrap-and-place-under-tree part. It also didn’t help that my wife and I were in a non-Christmas-y, lackadaisical, “Well, this is nice but I want to wait a while longer and see if I really want it” kind of mood for most of our shopping spree. I thought I wanted Gun for the Xbox, but holding a copy of it in my hand seemed to sap the desire enough to wait some more. Same with that coffee / espresso / whatever machine at Macy’s. And, perhaps oddest of all, the Petit Best 6 CD…

Anyway, on to the relevant goodies. (I assume you don’t want to hear about minor appliances and such.)

First up is an old two-book set of Morning Musume (around the time Gen 5 joined, apparently) with mostly Japanese writing but also some very cute photos, including these of Kago-chan. A couple of copies of this set had been sitting on the shelves of Hakubundo since I first started visiting the place, and they just priced it so low I couldn’t resist anymore.

Over at Nippon Video, I found this nifty Wink CD, complete with slipcase and photo album booklet! The photos are very cute in that soft-lit, elegant European way that Wink seemed fond of. There are a few good songs on this, including the first track and a Japanese cover of the Beach Boys’ “Fun Fun Fun”.

And anytime I see Wink pictures, I’m just so into Suzuki Sachiko. I’m not sure why, I just am.

This CD, by the way, was released before any of the Berryz were born. It predates Saki by a few months.

But this was the big deal giftie of the season – Berryz’s second album, also fromHakubundo. It was a first edition, so the CD came in a slipcase with some card pictures of the Berryz.

I’ve actually been listening to the CD, too! I find the closing dialogue mildly unnerving, it’s as if the Berryz are right next to you and about to go to sleep, and we know that’d be a very bad thing in my case. But it’s great to have a year’s worth of singles and some decent new songs, though none of the new ones have caught my full attention just yet. Maybe if they did “Surf City” a la Jesus & Mary Chain…?

Here’s one side of the four cards: Chinami, Momoko (o Momoko), Risako, Yurina. My four favorites, if you start at the top right and go counter-clockwise. If and when I decide to set up a Berryz shrine, these’d be a part of the altar or something.

And here’s the other side of the cards: Maasa, Saki, group shot, Miyabi.

I think I’ve been too deep into Berryz now, since I’m finding it difficult to find fault with any of the girls. Even Miyabi. I mean, she looked real hot in Aa!, and now she looks practically winsome in these shots. Not to be cruel, but the rest of her face caught up with her chin again. As for Maasa, I keep thinking, “Wow, what nice shoulders!” in the later PVs. I mean, she has really nice shoulders, no fooling. And she’s growing out of the awkward stage, as is Miyabi, now that I think of it.

That said, I’m still wondering who pulled that prank on her for the “Piriri to Yukou” PV. I mean, Maasa looked like somebody blowdried her hair all wrong and smeared lipstick all over her face in that video.

One last note: in the picture on the backof the CD, Chinami has twig-like legs that are as skinny as Haruna’s. It’s strange, she looks like a normal girl on the top half, and the bottom has these teeny legs dangling from below the too-high skirt. It doesn’t help, I think, that Chinami’s jacket is a bit too big for her, further accentuating the stick-ness of her gams.

Still, she’s a favorite and getting this CD will further my current Berryz mania at least a couple more weeks. And I may pick up the mini-album later this week, to perpetuate the Christmas mood or whatever…

Post Script: I just realized, this is the one hundredth published post for Cult of Pop Version 2.0! I love you guys! Not as much as Sachiko or Momoko or Maimi, but I love you guys! And not the same way as Sachiko or Momoko or Maimi, so don’t panic or anything…

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3 Responses to “A Jpop Kalikimaka”
  1. niji says:

    I thought no one outside Japan — aside from those who spent time in Japan during the 90’s — actually buys Wink items. I mean, the Internet wasn’t quite as popular back then, and file-sharing was practically nonexistent.

  2. mizer_unmei says:

    You’re certianly not alone on the Sachiko Suzuki bit. Especially in their “Eien no Ladydoll” PV.

  3. bishopwells says:

    The pictures of “Chinami, Momoko (o Momoko), Risako, Yurina” are beautiful. I don’t know why but the Yurina stands out more to me.