My “Kawaii Kon” Goodies

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

I can’t attend a comics or anime convention without spending a large amount of money. It just doesn’t seem right, the dealers table are there for a reason! They’re supposed to cater to my geek bliss, and I’m supposed to hand them money for a bit of that bliss to take home!

Except Kawaii Kon was an anime convention and I wasn’t shopping for anime stuff. There was some interesting Jpop stuff, most notably the first Otsuka Ai album and a Gackt poster (used, based on how ragged the edges were)… but I passed them up. Instead, during a lull in the con schedule, my friend and I walked over to Shirokiya (the Ala Moana Hotel is linked by the parking structure to the actual mall) and I found some great stuff at the Book-Off.

So that’s my not-so-secret shame: my Kawaii Kon goodies weren’t purchased at Kawaii Kon. But still, they’re cool!

First is this great treasure: a first edition of Zone’s N album. At the top was the front of the cardboard case, here’s the back of the case…

And here’s the adorable inside of the case! Oh, Mizuho Tomoka Miyu Maiko… I still miss you all! Except Maiko, who I love now in Maria. But I’ve always loved how this album design has a quaint Village People-esque vibe to it.

Hereis the CD in the case. Big cookie! Big crumbly cookie. Or a rough-hewn donut?

And here’s the case when the CD is removed: cookie pieces!

And here’s the real reason that buying this CD delighted me: the selection of postcards included in the first edition. I had downloaded scans of the images when the album first came out, but to actually own it now…

Well, my Kawaii Kon companion could not believe how thrilled I was by a bunch of postcards. He’s an evolved enough fan that he doesn’t buy anime tchotchkes because he knows they’ll just collect dust, and yes this is going to wind up on my shelf the way the Zone Clips 03 filmstrip is in the DVD case and sitting on a shelf…

But I can take them out and look at them and sigh and swoon! Silly, yes, but no different from the anime memorabilia on sale at Kawaii Kon.

For those who haven’t seen these postcards, on the back are various text pieces: information on the album production on several of them, and each song has its lyrics on the back of a separate postcard.

The girls all look adorable, and this one of Miyu is just wonderful. I also like Tomoka’s solo postcard, in cosplay and with her guitar. Way sexy.

I miss Zone still, but not as much as before. My faith in Maria grows, and Tattsu may well replace Tomoka in my heart… I should revise the Top 10 Geinou Girlfriends list. I really should.

The album itself is great, by the way, very solid Zone with several favorite singles. If it included “Akashi” it’d be just about perfect to me.

Anyway, I’m pretty damn happy with this. I think I squealed like a little girl, the same way I did when I got that Marmalade Boy doll. I’m not sure, you’d have to ask the friend who was there.

My other purchase from Book-Off that day was the Tommy February6 “Everyday at the Bus Stop” CD-DVD single. Here’s the front of the jewel case.

Here’s the back of the jewel case. Considering what the PV is like, those pom-poms seem kind of ominous.

Here’s the CD in the case. I love this single, by the way, but that’s no surprise since Tommy February6 can’t do any wrong in my eyes. (Heavenly6 is a slightly different story.) There’s such an aggressive sweetness and light to the song, it wins me over by being such unapologetically retro pop.

Here’s the DVD in the case. It’s acually a very nice DVD for a CD single, featuring several different version of the PV including karaoke version, choreography version, pixelated cheerleader head explosion and non-pixelated cheerleader head explosion. They also had a making-of segment that was informative, though I really wanted to see how they made that cheerleader head explode. I mean, it’s kind of obvious it’s a dummy, but still it would’ve been fun to see.

Here’s the little booklet that was included…

Certainly, the PV is one of those instances where that whole complicity / postmodernism thing becomes a gratifying morass. On the one hand, you know there’s an arch kind of social criticism involved. On the other hand, that criticism is also cradled (truthfully, to my mind) with a genuine fondness for the material it criticizes.

The bouncy energetic Caucasian cheerleaders doing cheer stunts was actually creepy to me. (And the girl in the center of the CD cover looks like a student I once had.) Having lived in Iowa City for grad school, I’m used to the whole white-bread girl-next-door thing – and the girls in the video actually outdo that kind of vibe… The cheerleaders move and act like real cheerleaders, not the slinky sexy fantasy version of, say, Amuro Namie’s “Wo Wa”. That makes it both charming and more unsettling, for some reason.

But that was the whole point, right? Not just to tickle the nerves of Japanese viewers who think this kind of thing is sexy, but also to parody the wholesome Americana thing with the Sweet Valley High book and the cheerleader and the All-American sports?

And yet, there was a sense of appreciation, of having good-natured fun with the source material instead of excoriating it. At least until the head blows up. At that point, all bets were off in a weird, Cronenberg-esque manner.

And here are the lyrics to the songs, with cute little drawings. Kind of like for the recent Berryz DVD single, except you sorta-kinda know this juvenile scribbling is a put-on.

I should also mention that Tommy looked real sexy in the PV. Part of it was how she contrasted to the cheerleaders – geek girls are always inherently sexier than cheerleaders or glamour girls, to my way of thinking – and part of it is just Tommy being Tommy. She should be in my Top 10 Geinou Girlfriends list, too…

Anyway, this was convention money well-spent. I hope to do as well with Kawaii Kon 2007. Maybe even spend some money in the dealers room.

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2 Responses to “My “Kawaii Kon” Goodies”
  1. niji says:

    I want that postcard of Miyu you have posted up. My girlfriend looks so cute. Kawaii! XP

    As for Tommy february 6, she scares me. Her PVs are creepy to the weirdo degree.

  2. Tsuji_Eriku says:

    I love zone
    I love Tommy Feb. 6