10 Favorite Geinou Moments of 2005

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

I don’t watch all that much Japanese television, but some moments of celebrity stargazing can’t help but make an impression on me. Here’s some favorites from this year, though I’m sure I’ve forgotten at least a couple that’d also make their way on this list…

10. T.M. Revolution Imitates Ogura Yuko’s Singing Style. Yeah, it was kinda wrong, but it was also dead-on and thus very funny. And here’s hoping that Ogura can get over that performance defect whenever she releases her next single. (I’ll admit it now: I liked "Vitamin Love". It was catchy. So there.)

9. Ishiguro Aya as Mother Musume. It was nice to see my all-time favorite Musume gain her own bit of the spotlight by talking about the joys of motherhood. But that’s mostly because I still think she’s the hottest woman to emerge from Morning Musume, kids or no kids. And I’ll say it again: Shinya’s a very lucky man.

8. Nakai’s Feelings Hurt by Yaguchi. I was going to include Yagu in this list for being Friday’d, but that was bad news more than anything else. She did get to shine soon after, though, when she read a statement on Utaban and managed to politely offend Nakai. The best part was how Nakai became all pouty afterwards, even as Ishibashi acted as if nothing wrong happened.

7. Amuro Namie Meets Mariah Carey. I thought Carey was downright horrible in this episode of Utaban, but that may be because I don’t like her in general. At any rate, it was interesting to see Amuro’s behavior around Carey – often deferential and in awe, but also more open to the absurdities Carey was being so prickly about – if only because it reminded me of why I now like Japanese geinou a whole lot more than American celebrities.

6. Kago Ai Talks About Her Parents on Sanma no Mama. W were all over the place throughout 2005, it seemed – just one appearance on some random show after another. This one stands out for me mostly because of Kago casually discussing how young her parents were when she was born, and the audience’s reaction to this revelation. It was nice how Kago took it for granted and didn’t see it as shameful or negative. Even better, she does a hilarious Ayaya impression on this episode. Speaking of which…

5. Matsuura Aya Promotes CMs with a Dummy. Commercials promoting commercials is one thing. But Ayaya with a dummy copy of herself? That managed to be both creepy and enticing. One wonders if the Ayaya dummy will ever creep out of its box and murder people at random, like in the movies and Twilight Zone.

4. Wada Akiko Emerges From a Disco Ball. I’ve tried to limit this list to non-musical moments but this had to be included – and besides, this wasn’t so much about the music than as the overpowering impression she made. This was far and away the best image from Kouhaku – not Yume Morning Musume, not the explosion of cheerleaders, and not even SMAP looking like they just wandered in from the street. In the same way Matsudaira Ken’s Kouhaku performance the previous year alerted me to the presence of greatness, Wada Akiko emerging from the disco ball for her number with m-flo was just… breathtakingly badass.

It had the right touch of absurdity and majesty, and Wada exuded the casual authority of a master Bond villain – you could almost expect to see her stroking a cat and saying, "No, Verbal, I expect you to die!" And it got better from there, as the performance itself rocked. As I wrote before, this was the only Kouhaku performance this year where Barb and I both started clapping spontaneously afterwards – it just sucked us in and blew our minds.

3. Ishibashi Takaaki Nails Yasuda Kei With a Dodgeball. On the episode of Utaban to promote this year’s H!P Shuffles, Ishibashi manages to nail Kei hard enough with a dodgeball to knock her to the ground… and then he runs around like a soccer star, kissing the sky and thanking God.

Holy fucking shit. I haven’t been this appalled – and laughing so hard – in a long while. But that’s part of Ishibashi’s genius:every once in a while, he delivers a moment of unadulterated viciousness that still somehow becomes funny. How he gets away with it, I don’t know – but the longstanding Ishibashi-Yasuda relationship took on an unexpected turn here. I hope Kei can get back at him next time, but I’m not sure if she has the marbles.

2. Eric Kamezou Dominates Hello! Morning. For some people, Eric was the best thing on Hello! Morning for most of 2005. Considering all the magicians that polluted the show this year, count me as one of those people. And I guess it’s a good thing the character was retired before the joke grew tiresome – but the important part may be that Eric gave a chance for Eri to find her own idol persona.

If I had to name any particular Eric moment I most enjoyed, it was when W were part of the segment and Eric brought W memorabilia… which turned out to be for Waseda University, not the TsujiKago unit. Special mention should also go to Eric’s best partners in crime, Nakazawa Yuko and Michishige Sayumi.

1. Hard Gay Works For a Better Japan. I love Hard Gay. If I recall correctly, there was a whole week of this blog devoted to Hard Gay. And now he’s covering a Village People song, which kind of brings it all full circle.

If I had to pick one moment in particular that I most enjoyed about HG, it’d be a toss-up. There was the time he was playing with some children at a slide and they began sliding into his crotch – for a change, the extreme discomfort was at his expense, not somebody else’s. And then there was the time he received a magazine award with some prominent government minister seated next to him. The surreality of that just amused me to no end. Whhoooooooo!!!!

Feedback

Comments (Comments are closed)

7 Responses to “10 Favorite Geinou Moments of 2005”
  1. Akiramike says:

    I love vitamin love as well and it has nothing do with with Ogura Yuko cosplaying in the PV. maybe.

    I would have loved to have seen the dodgeball thing. Reminds me of the old days when they were constantly picking on poor Kei, lol.

  2. Freya says:

    #8 : I’m still not sure if maybe Yaguchi was just teasing Nakai. After all, it would be totally her to do something like that *g*

    #5 : You really scared me back there! *shudder* Murdering Ayaya dummy!

    #3 : That’s probably the clip I’ve been searching like mad lately and not been able to find it. Poor Kei-chan! Even though I admit, the screencaps looked hilarious ^_^

  3. Wapiko says:

    You know what’s awesome? Hard Gay in a suit. I don’t think I’d ever seen the man wear so many clothes before.

    Nice list!

  4. Thea says:

    hardgay is kakkoii fo~ lol. i love him as well 8D

    hmm i feel like downloading a bunch of the stuff in here…

  5. Akiramike and Freya:

    Right click and save to download the Utaban H!P Shuffles clip, complete with dodgeball and the winning performance. It’s about 133 MB. Enjoy!

    Wapiko:

    When was HG in a suit?

  6. Freya says:

    Wow, thank you so much ^_^

    That was fun! But I somehow feel bad for Elegies and Sexy Otonajan, because the clip was so PPP-centric! Not that I’m complaining 😉

  7. Wapiko says:

    It was on the Dec 23 episode of Bakuten when he did Hana Yori Danshi (his version of Hana Yori Dango). It’s great stuff, he gets Matsumoto Jun to drip candle wax on his ass.