Angry Gaijin

Cameron Ohara

I thought Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was a new McDonald’s hamburger

I’ll be totally honest – this was going to be a post about how Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is to music what SPAM is to food – cheaply produced and processed product to be consumed en masse.

While I still think this is true, I discovered that there is a little bit more to Kyary than I first thought!

This was my beef (100% REAL BEEF, nyuk nyuk nyuk -[ronald mcdonald please dont kill me])…  *AHEM*

So this was my beef: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu cannot sing – OK, so she can hold a tune and sing in-key as far as I can tell, so I suppose technically she can sing.  But her voice is very normal and nothing spectacular to listen to.  Surprising when she is one of the most popular singers in Japan.  And, more or less, this is my beef with a lot of pop music in Japan – the singers can’t sing.  I’ve asked my friends here, “Why can’t idols in Japan sing??” and the response is, “They’re idols – they don’t need to be able to sing.”  Further evidence for this comes from fellow blogger, London Senpai, “Kyary is not supposed to be musically talented. She is more about image featuring her creative fashion sense as one of the main subjects of her career…

So the music is just a means of delivering fashion ideas to the world – like trucks are a means of delivering Happy Meals and Big Macs.  All right, whatever.  A younger me would have become enraged at this idea but I’m almost 30 – I don’t have the energy any longer.  But then again, I could look at it the other way – music has often been used to sell or promote something other than the music itself – it’s been used to tell stories, or even spread social messages (donotcompareKyarytoBobDylandonotcompareKyarytoBobDylandonotcompareKyarytoBobDylan…).  So whatever.  All the singers with real talent can do is roll their eyes and get back to filing papers and work reports.  *sigh*

The mixing of her music is nothing to marvel at either.  And again *DISCLAIMER* it’s not that anything is mixed poorly, it’s just more that everything sounds like it was produced for children.  Dare I saw the production value for the music in Lazy Town is better than Kyary’s.  (PLEASE CLICK THAT LINK – that song is so awesome! lol).  But then when I stop to think about who some of her biggest fans are – I realize they are  CHILDREN!

But adults listen to!  Heck, everyone listens!  And why?  My guess is that someone with a lot of money payed TV and radio stations to air Kyary’s music non-stop – that’s how you hook people on music: you make something half decent and then you play it incessantly.  The human brain loves that familiarity!

But whether or not this hunch of mine is correct, there is some spirit in Kyary – and this is what changed this post from a criticism to an enlightenment.

See, the thing that I’ve come to like about Kyary is that she had to fight to be herself.  According to her Wikipedia page, Kyary grew up a single child under two very strict parents who often quarreled with her over her fashion sense (this is something I can relate to, having dyed my hair fuchsia in high school).  Arguments and early curfews lead Kyary to leave the house dressed ‘normally’ (with a bag containing her ‘real’ clothes for the day) and change someplace else (ala Spider-Man!).

And she started small – blogging, no less, (MAYBE I’LL BE THE NEXT KYARY PAMYU PAMYU!) about fashion and working her way up.  This is where I begin to respect her.  Reading her Wikipedia page, some of her success appears happenstance – like she was just in the right place at the right time.  But through it all, DARE I SAY, she’s just been trying to be herself.  And that’s something that I can admire.

It’s also something I cannot say about fast food chains – where is the heart there?  Oh right – it’s on the operating table undergoing a triple bypass.  Kyary Pamyu Pamyu may not be a musical genius or revolutionary, and she may be super over-hyped, but at the center of all the production is heart – the music is fun, innocent and it makes people happy.  That’s enough that I can enjoy her music every now and again (and still sleep at night).

PLUS she says her full name is “Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.”

(O 3 O)  pfffffffffffft!!!!  XD

Under the Table – Japanese Alcohol Review: Suntory Wazen (日本語)

Star Wars in Japanese

Are you ready to learn some totally useless Japanese! Let’s quote Star Wars!

"It's a trap!"

“It’s a trap!”

Yes, cultural memes such as “It’s a trap!” hold little meaning in the midst of those in my generation (in Japan).  Simply image search for the Japanese translation “罠だ!” on Google.co.jp and you’ll find a very different set of pictures in place of good old Admiral Ackbar.

Google Search: "罠だ"

Google Search: “罠だ” These aren’t the pictures I’m looking for…

Better yet!  Measure the silence of a black hole in the depths of void space after you’ve quoted Star Wars to your Japanese friends.  Go on!  Oh?  You’re not scared?  You will be.  You will be…

“But I’ve seen images of super weird-looking weird Star Wars manga!  In Japan, Manga is HUGE!  Surely Star Wars is popular!” I hear you cry.

Manga like that does exist!  So what’s the deal??  Could it be?  In Japan, is Star Wars the film that influenced a generation…..  and then the next generation was never told what the crap it was?

Or maybe – like sane, rational human beings – everyone got over themselves and continued on to the next fad after the hype around Return of the Jedi died down?

Do or do not.  There is no try.

BOIL them???

Fortunately, we don’t have to wait another 30 years for the answers to these questions!  Do you have any Star Wars-related experiences in Japan?  If so, leave a comment below!

ー亀

the new World Order is robotic

world-order-

World Order (link)

These dudes are so ALPHANUMERIC!

Although their English Wikipedia page has little to offer, I am nuts (and bolts) for Japanese band World Order!

The group consists of 7 clean ‘bots, most notably Sudo Genki – TV personality, actor, writer and former mixed-martial arts fighter.  In 2009 Sudo formed the group, and their debut song WORLD ORDER becoming available on iTunes December 16th of the same year.  The tight, suit-clad, clean-cut, stereotyped salaryman appearance (backed by the steel-cool robot dance) they portray in their videos gained great popularity outside of Japan, and warranted them air time on some of Japan’s most popular TV shows (Waratte Ii Tomo, etc).  In addition to the above video Welcome to Tokyo, the group has also travelled to Kyoto, New York, and Mexico to film videos (check em oot on YooToob!).

On March 15th, 2012 World Order performed their robot dance with 647 other dancers, attaining the Guinness World Record for Most People Dancing the Robot.*  According to their English Wiki page, the group has also written music in response to the 3-11 disaster in Tohoku, Japan.

*This article is loosely translated from World Order’s Japanese Wikipedia page (link)

Zelda: Ocarina of Time Speedrun in 18:10 by Cosmo Speedruns

If you were ever a fan of the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, this video is the hypest shit!  It really is science, what these folks do!

I don’t usually post stuff like this here, but I was BLOWN!

MILES!

 

AWAY!

Gyoza Zamurai goes to a Shrine

Kitamura Kazuki – the Sun-Baked Bad Boy

Kitamura Kazuki

Heeeeeere’s Kazu! (source)

Meet Kitamura Kazuki - This dude is a pirate.

Born in 1969 in Osaka as Kitamura Yasushi, Kazuki was intrigued by movies at a young age.  Inspired by nautical films, he decided that he wanted to become a pirate and eventually enrolled in the Yuge National College of Maritime Technology to achieve this goal.  However, upon realizing that this dream would not come true, he dropped out in his third year to pursue his other dream of becoming an actor.  Kazuki said, “Being an actor means you can become any kind of person – even a pirate.”

When Kazuki was 19 he left home for Tokyo, and represented himself as his own manager through a wealth of roles as an extra.  However, after his efforts yielded only uninspired results, he became disappointed with his lack of success and spent 4 years living a vagabond’s life, travelling through Australia, South America and Southeast Asia.  It was during this time he realized that running away wouldn’t solve his problems and so he set out to return home.  This would prove to be a turning point in his career – since his return to Japan he has starred in a plethora of movies such as Terumae Romae, and television dramas including 14 Year old Mother and the most recent 3PM Weekday Lover.

Kitamura Kazuki kiss

Smooch! (source)

*(This article was [poorly!] translated from Kitamura Kazuki’s Japanese wiki [link])

Kitamura Kazuma copy

Gyoza Zamurai Climbs a Mountain in 1 Minute

Had some extra time yesterday, so I thought I’d climb a rural mountain wee out in the boonies.

Star Trek TNG – Animated!

Working on some new projects over at New Grounds.  Engage! :)

We are the Borg scrnsht

Star Trek TNG – Animated!

Princess Super Peach – Re-Gendering Video Games

Princess Super Peach

Princess Super Peach

Also available at Deviant Art and NewGrounds

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