Sunday Blog Roundup: Short Skirts, Megukami’s Absence, and Dating Tips From The Happily Married

Filed in American Wota 1.0

My favorite blog post this past week is from our man in Tokyo, Santos of Idolizing St. Anna, who looks at short skirts and the ways idols try to protect their… ah… Iwo Jima from prying eyes. As always, Santos has a gift for choosing the strangest angles to look at such matters, and uses copious examples to make his point. Along the same line, Barely 18 Movies passes along a report that Shiga Prefecture has the skimpiest schoolgirl skirts in Japan. Call your travel agent now! Another favorite this week is from Julia of Satsumaimo, who writes poignantly about the latest group shot of C-ute and the obvious absence of Megukami from the unit. I’m happy to know I’m not the only one still suffering from her disappearance. While it’s clear the other girls will be troopers and keep fighting the good idol fight, Megukami did offer so much to the group and it’ll take time for fans to adjust. Well, me and Julia, at least…

Elsewhere on the Hello! Project front, the big news this week are the two Morning Musume releases – the tenth anniversary single with the special odd-gen line-up (will there be an even-gen line-up later in the year?) and the first single with Aika (the thirty-second official release for Momusu), “Egao Yes Nude”. Kd of Iroiro Aru Sa! has re-affirmed her faith in Morning Musume with the new single “Egao Yes Nude”. Among her various Jpop related ruminations, imolestjyanniz notes “Morning Musume.’s new single “Egao YES Nude” featuring their new 8th generation member is their first decent song in years”. Which still means it has a short shelf life with her, but what the heck.

Meanwhile, the tenth anniversary of Momusu gives Kd of Iriro Aru Sa! pause, considering not just the special single but the future of Hello! Project. MorningBerryz takes the single’s release to reminisce on how he first noticed Morning Musume – when they released “Morning Coffee” at the very beginning! Frox of Japtard gives the low-down on the single CD and Single V, and writes of the PV, “They must’ve saved up some money, because it’s looking pretty cool/flashy.” Tom of Hello!Blog talks of his own purchase of the single, and shares some very nice scans of the packaging and the limited edition cards.

The tenth anniversary concert also marked the graduation of Country Musume members Asami and Miuna, as well as some other surprises. At a blog I just encountered, Ryouko writes of the Country Musume graduation concert and has a photo of Konno appearing onstage! Ikimasshoi notes also that Ishiguro Aya – my favorite Musume – was backstage at the event. Also at the concert, as reported by Ikimasshoi’s Mitsui, Ayaya expressed an interest on a GAM tour while Miki backed the idea of a full GAM album to make such a tour worthy. Craig of Your Opinion Doesn’t Count pays tribute to the latest H!P graduates with the video for “Senpai Love Again”.

Speaking of the future, Craig also shares some new Berryz shots which reminds him of another pop artist, while Jinryuichi takes a look at Niigaki Risa’s rise to the forefront of Morning Musume. It’s a compelling argument, though I can’t help but think the rapid attrition of older members can’t help but contribute to this as well. Tom of Hello!Blog shares clips from two highly anticipated H!P DVDs, Ayaya’s latest concert release and Reina’s Alo-Hello. Of course, CJ Marsicano of Stuck in a Pagoda with Motoko Aoyama noticed the latter and can’t wait for its release.

Looking to the past, Kue Chans Journey of Discovery examines fourth gen – or as he likes to call them, the Super Gen – starting with Ishikawa Rika and moving on to Yoshizawa Hitomi. Meanwhile, Kd of Iroiro Aru Sa! also talks about her secret desire to have auditioned for Minimoni, a very nice peek into her particular fandom. And MorningBerryz tells of a time when ABC Stores – the Waiki equivalent of 7 Elevens – sold Morning Musume goods, sharing what he found here and here.

Jinryuichi of Hello Non-Pro Hour also asks two key questions this past week: where is Mako-chan studying English? The answer is apparently New Zealand, and the picture of Mako-chan is very very cute! And where the heck is Takitty? (My guess is an acting gig.) He also notes how much Aika has already blossomed and shares her first official UFA photos. (Way pedolicious – emphasis on the licious as much as the pedo.) Angela of Sakuranbo! gives tribute to her “Jesus in jpopland”, Mikitty, proclaiming, “She adjusts herself, curses, squeals, screams, yankees without doing it insanely obviously on purpose, smokes, drinks, gropes, GOD knows what else….” Yup, that’s the Mikitty we know and love. Give her that GAM album and tour! Langdon Alger of YODC shares Melon Kinebi’s “Onegai Miwaku no Target” Live performance from the Pucchi Best DVD as this week’s J-Music Clip of the Week, even as he is struck by an especially cute photo of Neko Reina.

On the Avex Trax front, Is she that good – or is she just that marketable? aedeon of Ikimasshoi breaks the news of a third Best album from Koda Kumi. On a related note, Swifty of The Great Swifty Speaketh excerpts a particularly ripe bit of blog commentary regarding how spicy Koda Kumi is – versus a Spicy Chicken Combo from Wendy’s, that is. Heaven has a track-by-track review of BoA’s Made in Twenty And shades of Folder! Thea of Made in Paradise notes a waaay pedolicious (emphasis on pedo, not licious) group with FONK – and hey, aren’t those girls the same dancers in the TRF video, “We Are All Bloomin'”? I thought those girls were adorable.

Elsewhere in the pop world, Santos of Idolizing St. Anna is optimistic about the new rock single from Bon Bon Blanco, among other releases to start off this year, and provides yet another stunning you-are-there show reviews of B3, this time at Shibuya O-EAST. Gail of the impressive Himitsu looks at “the album that almost everyone is waiting for”, Yuna Ito’s Heart, while Thea of Made in Paradise has found a new eyecandy-licious Chinese boy band. Speaking of boy bands, Kimitsu of let it beat! isn’t too pleased with w-inds’ new PV, noting “It’s a bit hard to take the boys and the song seriously when you’re presented with some silly imagery.”

pengie of unchained calls Anna Tsuchiya’s latest Nana inspired PV, “Lucy”, “the best PV that Anna has put out so far”. usagi of the usagi incidents is disappointed in the lack of Hikki-ness in the “Boku wa Kuma” PV, writing, “If you just want to watch a bear being cute to awesomely cute music, this video is for you”. Hey, what’s there not to like about that? And at MySpace, Samipiggy is ecstatic that NewS is really back, and notes the tragic suicide of Korean artist U;nee.

On the rock front, Aural Candy notes the drastic measures Avex takes to make one of their rock musicians a little more punctual and has a very positive review of alice nine’s new live DVD, paying special attention to how they’ve grown since their start. Shay of SparkPluggedoffers his latest podcast, this one showcasing bands he saw at the Countdown Japan special. Shay also looks at the girl rock trio the Sherrys and is pleased to find Special Others on iTunes. Meanwhile, Go of jrocknyc is less than thrilled by the preview samples of dir en grey’s upcoming album and enjoys the new Gazette PV, if not considering the actual song very original.

On the rap front, Gail of Himitsu is excited by a new m-flo album coming out in March, considering the latest “loves” line-up better than Beat Space Nine. Speaking of which, Kimitsu of let it beat! reviews the new KM-MARKIT PV featuring m-flo’s Verbal, finding it enjoyable for fans of either rapper but not much appeal beyond that.

In the weird but amusing department, Japan Probe has a fun clip of the Maid Vigilante Corps – and all I can think is, “Do they do windows, then?” Santos of Idolizing St. Anna breaks the news – in his usual, amusingly conspiratorial manner – that Youtube is feeling the pressure again and may be be dropping much of its Japanese content soon. Oh, well. On the anime front, usagi of the usagi incidents covers Shakugan no Shana Special: Koi to Onsen no Kougai Gakushuu! and Mai-Otome Zwei, among others. On the drama front, Akiramike of the mighty HamsapSukebe doesn’t find much to like about Enka no Joou but does make this interesting cultural observation:

Only in Japan can a show have a married man go to a love hotel with a joshi kousei and not get arrested for statutary rape. Or have right wing groups boycotting the show for promoting enjokousai. Wait…. that’s not a bad thing… is it?

Ahh, not a bad thing at all. Meanwhile, Rina of Channel-Ai provides a very helpful overview of the drama Hana Yori Dango.

On the eyecandy front, Cute Cosplay Angels has more shots from Goto Maki’s Foxy Fungo as well as that clip of Gocchin watching The Ring. Meanwhile, its sister site Cute Japanese and Asian Cosplay Idols has more nude Aida Yua goodness, for those of you so interested. Johnny has Misa Campo on The Mind, while Barely 18 Movies has the relevant stats on her. Barely 18 Movies also has news of another Sukeban Deka porn parody – though it’s the third I know of, not the second.

And while I often avoid the more personal aspects of the blogs I cover here, the drama at Your Opinion Doesn’t Count is worth noting if only because of Hikaru’s article on how to hook up with Japanese women and the fallout that followed from it. While the intra-YODC conflict is – well, none of my business, really, some of the points made in Hikaru’s article amused me. While the advice given is helpful, it doesn’t apply at all to my own experiences. Hide my otaku-ness? Pretend I don’t like jailbait? Act like I’m a nicer, more virtuous person than I really am? I wouldn’t know how to do any of that! I always found it more productive to be as open about my deviance – and my geekiness (pursuing a PhD in comic books is about as geeky as you can get) – as possible, back when I was still single. A strong taste for porn, some light S&M play, a fondness for underage girls – I was never shy about any of this, and the women I dated were always aware of what they were getting into when dating me. Which didn’t mean there wasn’t any problems once in a while – a particular incident at a restaurant still comes to mind, where apparently I ogled a teenage girl a bit too obviously for my then-fiancee’s taste – but it’s not like my companions weren’t warned or couldn’t expect this of me. And it opens up other possibilities as well: there’s a deep and abiding pleasure in convincing a woman that she does, indeed, enjoy having her toes sucked vigorously, despite earlier protests otherwise.

Anyway, my wife – who’s half-Japanese and half-German, and who lived in Tokyo before we met – was introduced to me while I was working for an American manga publisher, so my otaku-ness was pretty much a given then. She didn’t like that kind of stuff, but didn’t find it repellent in me. Both of us had our freaky sides when we first met, so she wasn’t judgmental about that either. She even had no problem with my trying to link her family to a Nuremberg war criminal. (Because, you know, I thought it’d be funny to marry into the Third Reich, just like it was funny back when I was having sex with the daughter of a former Klansman.) We’ve been married for several years now, and it’s not like I’ve reformed or changed my ways – if anything, I’ve perhaps gotten worse with the introduction of Japanese idols in my life. This Valentine’s Day she’s getting me some more U15 photobooks from Amazon Japan, for instance, and of course regular readers know we have Berryz and SweetS on our walls. And best of all, she’s a wonderful mother to our baby, which makes me feel like the luckiest man in the world every time The Empress smiles at me or spits up on my shirt.

So my advice? Be yourself. Which is a lot more difficult than people think, because that often involves admitting to things which may be misinterpreted or condemned or which exposes an aspect of yourself that isn’t at all flattering. (This is true for just about anyone who’s worth knowing, actually – anybody who presents himself or herself as all sweetness and light and virtue is, to my mind, boring and not worth much of my attention.) But if you present yourself as you truly are, you not only will (eventually) find someone who’ll accept you for your loli-loving, wota-centric, pornhound ways, but you’ll also have more fun doing so. After all, Shokotan is doing her part to bring out the otaku in Japanese women, why not encourage that as well? I could be wrong, of course. And it’s a lot easier to talk like this when you’re married and you’re already training your daughter to make friends who will be pretty enough to become your eventual second wife. (In another twelve, thirteen years, of course.) But all such advice should be ignored anyway, because there’s always exceptions to prove any damn rule you can make up. Which was my point to start with: the ways of the human heart are much too capricious and unfathomable to be pegged down to a formula, whether it’s a wota’s love for an idol, a young man’s search for true love, or a family man enjoying the family he’s started.

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One Response to “Sunday Blog Roundup: Short Skirts, Megukami’s Absence, and Dating Tips From The Happily Married”
  1. Julia says:

    I feel downright bitter about her absence, most of the time. Glad to see I’m not the only one, at least. Ahh, Megukami.