Sometimes I miss the Eighties...

My latest Amazon order included the Duran Duran Greatest Hits DVD, which includes uncensored versions of several of their classic videos, including the not-safe-for-work Girls On Film. The menu system is a mess, which makes it all the more satisfying to rip the individual titles with Handbrake.

As one of the four different copies of Girls On Film ends, the camera pans up from the topless mud-wrestling scene to reveal this:


Buttons are jealous, kittens are terrified...

…dogs are howling in pain from the sound of her voice.

Kusumi Koharu

Kusumi Koharu can’t sing. Here’s proof. There’s plenty more where that came from, but it should be watched with the sound off, because while she’s a really, really cute teenage girl who can bounce around cheerfully with the other girls in Morning Musume, she’s painful to listen to.

It’s not that all of the other girls in the Hello!Project empire were chosen for their vocal talent; the majority will never “graduate” to a solo career, and you’ll only hear them solo individual lines in a group performance (sorry, Tsuji, but with Kago‘s permanent departure from the organization, your career is screwed). It’s just that Koharu stands out for pushing the cute/voiceless trend to a new extreme.

Although from the audition video, at least one of the two Chinese girls who were just added to the group might actually be a worse singer…

[oh, and the ED from her anime is sung by another H!P group, °C-ute, some of whose members will eventually become teenagers…]


Tonight’s amusing Japanese phrase is “66% no yuuwaku”, brought to my attention rather indirectly by my friend Dave’s recent wedding in Las Vegas. Translated literally, it comes out as “two-thirds of temptation”, which isn’t quite what the original songwriter had in mind.

One of the things Dave was working on before the wedding was assembling a collection of music for the reception, and my extensive Eighties collection filled in some gaps. I also had a few items from earlier decades that fit in as well. Along the way, though, I discovered that at least thirty CDs that I’ve owned for many years weren’t in my MP3 collection at all. This song comes from one of them, although it’s not the song that we actually used in the mix.

Once I had the album safely ripped, I found myself nostalgic for my college days, when I’d spend my nights delivering pizza with a well-worn cassette tape of it playing continuously. There have always been a few lines in one song (not this one) that I couldn’t make out clearly, so I went a-googling for lyrics. And after a little while, I found this:


Study materials...

With Winter quarter coming to a close, and only one Japanese class scheduled for Spring (well, two, but one will almost certainly be cancelled), I suddenly felt the need to acquire some fresh study materials to improve my spoken and written comprehension. Off to…

I admire their review system

Pete linked to this Aya Matsuura fansite in my comments. It’s nicely laid out, and seems to cover her career quite comprehensively. My favorite part is the DVD review section, which includes a 評価グラフ that rates each release by:

  • あやや度 - how much Aya?
  • ウキウキ度 - how cheerful is it?
  • ニヤニヤ度 - are there lots of smiles?
  • 泣ける度 - how sad is it?
  • 芸術度 - how artistic is it?

Being a purely subjective scale, many of them go beyond 100%. This one’s Ayaya-do is off the charts. I can’t imagine why…


iTunes in Japanese, you say?

But Brian, isn’t it always?

iTunes in Japanese

Oh, you meant the online store. Apparently it’s sending people all over the world today, and not just those who took the 7.0.2 update. I’d guess that their region-guessing heuristic goes by netblocks, and the database got corrupted somehow.

[I was tempted to title this entry 「また会う日まで」, in response to Brian’s Mr. Roboto quote, but it doesn’t really work, even though it’s the refrain in one of the songs pictured]

Reasons to learn Japanese #12: 後藤真希

Remember when Britney Spears was a really cute teenage girl? And then a few weeks later she was the sex kitten, a position from which she ruled the world until she was old enough to make her own career decisions and revealed that she’s about as bright and sophisticated as Tom Cruise is sane? I actually saw this magazine cover three times at stores without recognizing her.

It makes me (mostly) appreciate the Japanese idol system, where both the industry and the fans will cheerfully ostracize a star for even slightly tarnishing her image.

This is a long-winded way of saying that I expect Maki’s sex-kitten phase to last much longer than Britney’s, with no trailer-trash serial weddings to disrupt the fun.

Here’s her latest video. J like.

Maki Goto's

Must... Stop... Can't... Stop...

Lots of people upload videos to Youtube. Lots of people upload music videos to Youtube. Lots of people upload music videos from the 80s to Youtube. This guy cataloged a whole bunch of them. And for every one he’s got listed, there’s a half-dozen more linked to them. Days could pass before I escape this trap.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”