The Twilight Zone

October 7, 2010

After hearing about everything Atron and David experienced in Japan, it definitely sounds like a surreal experience.  I’ve always wondered what it would be like visiting Japan ever since I’ve grown to like their media, specifically when I witnessed Japan’s girl group AKB48 skyrocket in terms of popularity.

A place where AKB48 posters are regularly hung on the sides of buildings and singles can be bought in any music establishment?  A place that has an official store where I can buy goods directly without an expensive middle-man?  Where their magazines and photobooks are casually lain about in a 7-11?  It’s definitely not the world I live in.  Even throw-away fliers for various merchandise baring the sacred ‘AKB48’ logo feel like they have some sort of value simply because they don’t exist outside of Japan.

While I have to scour and look for whatever media my favorite idols appear in through the internet, all I would need to do in Japan is turn on the television.

Such thoughts were even more punctuated when I came across this Japanese commercial for the XBox 360’s ‘Kinect’.

It’s a pretty funny commercial, parodying old ads from the 70’s and 80’s, complete with antiqued audio, questionable dubbing and a grainy-bleached aesthetic; but the casual inclusion of SKE48’s Matsui Jurina and Matsui Rena had me doing a double-take.  Was that really them?  In a ‘Kinect’ ad?  I bet the general public didn’t think much of it, but that’s what’s so funny; how the ordinary becomes extraordinary just because I live across the ocean.


SKE48 impressions

June 18, 2010

i’ll admit it, i haven’t listened to a ske48 single all the way through.  i only heard bits and pieces of them when they would be advertised inbetween AKBINGO episodes, and i haven’t gone out of my way to look them up.

there are ske members that i’ve taken notice of though, and maybe they’ll act as my gateway to knowing more about the group(which was akimoto yasushi’s plan all along).

yagami kumi

she’s made many appearances in ‘AKBINGO’ but what really made me take a liking to her was in a akb special shot in australia.  this girl has so much energy it sometimes works against her; she’s like a bicycle with rockets strapped to it.  she’s literally bursting with energy and unable to harness it to make it work for her.  it’s endearing and hilarious.  her expressions are always crazy and has an infectious laugh.

matsui rena

she made herself known on ‘AKBINGO’ and ‘shukan’ as the girl who has the highest tolerance for spicy food, and for her great performance in the drama ‘majisuka gakuen’.  a dedicated vegetarian, she’s the thinnest and most frail looking girl i’ve seen.  despite looking like she has bones made of glass, she’s demonstrated that she’s a powerhouse when it comes to performing.  always modest and smiling, there’s nothing not to like.

Hiramatsu Kanako

with her high voice, cute mannerisms, and short stature,  i never would have thought she was a university student.  i learned of her existence when she was streaming live on Ustream, playing alan wake with fellow ske and akb members.  she seemed to have a pretty big following in the live chatroom, and it’s easy to see why.

it’s probably bad to put up impressions before i actually see their stages and performances, but like akb, it’s always the girls themselves that build my interest before i dive into the group.

kimi no koto ga suki dakara [because i love you]

April 17, 2010

i don’t know why i’m posting this fairly old video other than to say right now that it’s probably among my all time favorite PVs from akb.

something about the uncomplicated cute dance, how the motions fit with the music.  how they dance on a freshly cut grass field, with bright contrasting colors on a cold overcast day.  how they wear simple color-coordinated red and green uniforms, without unnecessary flair.  i guess that’s the word: simple.

click below for more thoughts.

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