It’s unavoidable. From time to time, we have a turning point. How many turning points do we have? Okay let’s see…select school you enroll, job hunting, and spouse hunting…yes, whenever you do something like this, lots of trials or hardships come to you. That’s so stressful.
However, there is a pretty easy trial. Just keep eating, KEEP EATING! So you will get fatter and fatter. Nothing to think about. Go on eating. That is デブ活[debukatsu]. デブ[debu] is fat or fat-ass, and 活[katsu] stems from 活動[katsudou] or activity. Before I mention デブ活, I shall explain proper terms which we use 活[katsu].
就活[shu-katsu] or job hunting is the most common to use 活[katsu]. 就活 origins from 就職活動[shu-shoku katsudou] at right. 就職[shu-shoku] means to get a job or being employed. Other terms got coined from this.
婚活[konkatsu] or spouse hunting. I think I have already introduced this before. 友活[tomokatsu] means mate hunting. Makes me laugh a bit because it sounds like it so difficult to make friends. 友[tomo] stands for 友達[tomodachi] or friend. Normally, you get in a new class, and start to say hello to your next guy so you will be surrounded by some other classmates. Should be a piece of cake. But, not necessarily. Some people can do it easily, others can’t. Even that, unless you move, no friends come to you. That is why you need to do action named 友活[tomokatsu].
So what does デブ活 mean anyway? Pretty simple. That is an abbreviation of デブになる活動[debu ni naru katsudou] or action to get fatter. What’s the point? This is irony for oneself. For example, a friend of yours is trying to go on a diet. She always saying like, “Oh I need to lose weight for this summer!” But next day, she is uploading some pics of lots of sweets or beef on twitter. Yes, she is engaged in デブ活[debukatsu]. You point out like, “hey! You said you want to lose your weight, didn’t you?” She would even say like, “yes but I am engaged in デブ活[debukatsu].”^^ She is not willing to go on a diet in the first place.
But do not say debukatsu to your friends because this is irony. Only those who are actually engaged in debukatsu can say debukatsu. Or else, I might say like, “hey! Why don’t we do デブ活 tonight?” which means let’s get a pizza and beer or something like that.
Hi everyone. Oh no, I have left my blog for too long. I even forgot to write in English! Does anyone help me with my terrible English? My blog has been 終わコン[owacon], you know. So many nice comments from the viewers! What am I doing! I’ve got to do something!
Let’s get going, anyway. I swear myself that I could post one or two more topics to introduce a new word. Today I gotta introduce…let’s see…
What about てへぺろ[tehepero]? I know most of you guys are frowning because this term has been already in the mainstream. Well, let me explain even that. If you can type てへぺろ, please do that. Maybe you would see some emoticons like (๑≧౪≦) or (｡･ ω<)ゞ. てへぺろ itself has no point, but this is to express how shyly you are smiling at yourself. Especially this is mostly used when you goof up or make a tiny mistake. When you spill water, what would you do? When you accidentally put the papers through the shredder, how are you going to remove your blush? Let’s smile shyly and stick out your tongue.
てへっ[tehe] is to describe such a shy smile in order to cover your mistake. I think you can see this in shoujo manga or something like that. A pretty girl is smiling with てへっ. Also, please watch out. If she sticked out her tongue, you could see ぺろ[pero] written next to her. Both are onomatopoetic words. てへぺろ is a hybrid of these two words. So if you cover your mistake, let’s say (｡･ ω<)ゞてへぺろ♡. Don’t be shy.
So who started this term? Yes, her name is Youko Higasa[日笠 陽子], who voices Mio in K-ON! In the radio program she featured, she used to say てへぺろ. The other seiyus started to copy that, and then most K-ON fans followed that…eventually, てへぺろ got in to the mainstream. Today, even non-anime fans are using てへぺろ. In 2009, てへぺろ was at the top of the current words among anime fans, but this has been common among general people 2011 onwards.
What? Only young and cute girls can use it? Don’t say that. Once again, don’t be shy! If you softly knock your forahead with てへぺろ, that would be much better.
Hi everyone, it’s been a while again. Spring has come, and it is getting warmer here in Japan. It’s a good thing because it’s kind of easier for us cosplayers to cosplay. I have been cosplaying as usual, and having fun. I wish I could upload photos here blow-by-blow, but I have no time to do so. So that is why I always choose which cosplay to upload here. Of course there was a time I could do well, and the other way around. I would like to upload only things I could do my best.
A while ago, I found a nice cosplay event around my place. That happened at the indoor studio where had an open-aired tennis court. Tennis court? Yes, the cosplay I did was Prince of Tennis. How many of you know this anime? Even though this manga is from the weekly magazine, Shounen Jump, I doubt this is not as popular as Naruto or Bleach. Can you find this manga in your language?
Anyway, I asked two friends of mine out for this event as they are big fangirls of Prince of Tennis. At first, I was planning to cosplay Tedsuka Kunimitsu and my friends was going to cosplay Yukimura Seiichi and Sanada Gen’ichirou. But one of the two asked me to cosplay someone else.
“Why don’t you cosplay someone else? I have seen your Tedsuka before. You can use my costumes,” she said. Yes, she cosplays a lot of players from this anime. So I decided to choose him from her costumes.
Yes, he is Atobe Keigo[跡部景吾] from Hyoutei Academy, which is a big enemy for Seigaku. Atobe is the manager of the team, and he is, as you may know, a really narcissist, but his play is so cool and great. He is always self-confident and calls himself 俺様[ore-sama]. 俺[ore] is the most casual form to mean the first person, and 様[sama] is the politest honorific. So do you see? Since Atobe uses 俺様 to call himself, he is very arrogant. But you know, I think it’s not a bad thing because it is said that most Japanese guys are 草食男子[soushoku danshi]. Maybe it is good that there is one or two guys like Atobe.
Don’t say ＊ただしイケメンに限る.
While I was changing in the room, I got so nervous because I didn’t think Atobe suited me. After I changed, we stepped into the tennis court. There were three groups of PoT cosplayers, and they were surprisingly looking at me. Because I was the only one guy who cosplayed PoT. Having said that, I must say I could really enjoy cosplaying Atobe because it was kind of easier for me to act him rather than Tedsuka. Atobe always has a self-confident look on his face. You can say it’s ドヤ顔[doyagao]. I think I fall for someone like Atobe. Maybe because I am totally different from him. I think I want to be like him. Note that this cosplay is based on the original comic, not the anime, which means the hair color is light-brown, not grey. Oh yes, I have to mention one more thing; look at the mole beneath my right eye. We say this 泣きボクロ[naki bokuro]. You might have seen this on your favorite character. And needless to say, if you feel fetish for this, you have 泣きボクロ萌え[nakibokuro-moe].
It’s December, and this year is going to end soon. Looking back, so many things have happened…good things and bad things. Of course, I mustn’t forget about the terrible earthquake. But luckily, I am alive and doing okay.
I have cosplayed so much, maybe too much. Of course I shouldn’t forget what I am supposed to do here in my blog, yes I’ve got to introduce a new term, haven’t I? Okay, let’s start. Because I am a cosplayer, we are aware of what series are the most popular. Tigar and Bunny, Ao no Exorcist, and Uta no Prince-sama(I want to cosplay Tokiya) were really popular. Also, there is an unforgettable series, isn’t it? Yes, that is 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ [Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika]. 魔法少女 [Mahou Shoujo] means a wizarding girl. Yes, there are a lot of anime which follow mahou shoujo, but Magika is absolutely particular. You’ll see what I mean if you watch it.
Put aside the outstanding storyline, let’s review the history of mahou shoujo anime series. Mahou shoujo is, needless to say, a genre of moe bishoujo anime, and always attracts a lot of fans. A cute girl who can conjure is charismatic for most girls and always grabs men’s hearts. Long time ago, in such an anime just the heroine is a mahou shoujo. If you think of mahou shoujo anime, would there be more than two or three mahou shoujo? But when I was a kid, only the heroine was a mahou shoujo, and she always helps people with her magical power. Speaking of such a heroine I might say Sally from 魔法使いサリー [Mahoutsukai Sally], or Mami from エスパー魔美 [Esper Mami](she is a psychic, though). They go to people who need help, and save them. For what purpose do they use magical power? That is to help people.
But in the next generation, mahou shoujo evolved out of what they used to be. There are more than two mahou shoujo in the series. They would quest the world and use magical power to fight against the evil. Yes, I would definitely think of Magic Knight Rayearth in which three wizarding girls quest. Before, what a mahou shoujo has in her hand is mostly a broomstick or a wand, but they might have a weapon like a sword or a bow and an arrow. Mahou shoujo not only help people but fight for justice. Speaking of which, Mahou shoujo Lyrical Nanoha has more than two wizarding girls although just Nanoha is in the title. Meanwhile, there is a type of genre called 戦闘美少女[sentoubishoujo] or a fighting girl. In this genre, there are always girls who battle with evil. Maybe they can use magical power. Like I mentioned Magic Knight Rayearth, they could be either Mahou shoujo or Sentou bishoujo. I shall leave it to you. Sailor Moon or Precure could be both. Anyway, why are there more than two wizarding girls after 1990’s? I assume that most girls wish they could fight like boys and adore a strong friendship such as One Piece. So this genre is something most girls want to follow. If the series have several unique girls, it might last very long like Precure or Oja Majo Doremi. Even my niece really loves Precure series.
Having said that, here is a definitely different type of Mahou shoujo, yes, that is 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ [Mahou shoujo Madoka Magika]. I don’t want to give away any spoilers in case you haven’t watched this anime, but there are two terms to introduce. Both coming from the episodes, so please mind spoilers. The heroine, Kaname Madoka is a normal school girl who has a gentle dad, mom, and a younger brother. One day, a new girl named Akemi Homura transfers to her class and for some reason she warns Madoka not to be a mahou shoujo. Soon after, Madoka encounters a cute creature named Kyuubee, and it says 僕と契約して魔法少女になってよ！[boku to keiyaku shite mahou shoujo ni natteyo!] or why don’t you have a contract with me and become a mahou shoujo? This contract is too fateful, but if you have a contract with Kyuubee, you can grant one wish of yours. But you have to be a mahou shoujo. Once you become a mahou shoujo, your daily life would end. Kyuubee doesn’t explain what will happen to a mahou shoujo. Yes, he is so cruel though he doesn’t even care. In this way, lots of mahou shoujo have sacrifised their own lives. That is why Kyuubee’ line got so popular out of the series. You can replace mahou shoujo by anything else.
Meanwhile, there is one more thing which made this anime so popular. That is what happens in episode 3, meaning Mami’s death. Yes, she dies in the middle of the battle. It happens in one moment; the monster bites off Mami’s head when she gets careless. Here comes another term, マミる[mami-ru] meaning this kind of situation. Don’t let your guard down, otherwise you would die in a moment.
So far we have seen encouragement, friendship, and justice in mahou shoujo anime, however, everything is not necessarily good. Fighting against evil is very dangerous. Magical power is not only to save people but to use for your own. You can make your wish come true, but you have to give up so many things once you become a mahou shoujo. Little girls would say like I want to be like Cure White when I’m grown-up, but mahou shoujo is a steep and horrible world. If you want to keep your daily life, don’t get yourself into such an extraordinary world. In many ways, this anime is absolutely a new type of mahou shoujo anime. So what type of mahou shoujo would come next?
Lastly, since I am a cosplayer, I have to say this; 僕と契約してコスプレイヤーになってよ！[Why don’t you have a contract with me and become a cosplayer?] No, don’t get a contract!
Omg, OH MY GOD! It’s my 4th anniversary for this blog! I don’t believe it…no words to describe this feeling now. All I can say right now is, thank you very much for following my blog. If you happen to be a lurker, I would like to say hello and thank you as well. I still remember when I started this blog like yesterday. The regular visitors those days, alas, are all gone. Well I don’t know. I wish they were still interested in my blog. Anyway, although it is still July, so many things have happened this year. Maybe it is too much. So I nearly forgot my anniversary. Just like the 3rd anniversary, I got an interview hours ago.
–Hello, bangin. Nice to meet you. Shall we start?
Yes, nice to meet you too. Sure we can.
–First, happy 4th anniversary.
Thank you very much. I am quite happy that I could keep this blog so far…I can’t realize even now.
–I must say I am terribly sorry about what happened in Japan. That earthquake, I mean.
Well…yes, I shall accept your words. Of course I feel so sorry for those people who are living in that area.
–So, what I would like to ask you this time is, about your cosplay stuff. I am sure you have been a cosplayer for almost 4 years because I know your first cosplay happened just after you started this blog. I noticed you have been cosplaying a lot lately. Have you had a change or something in your mindset as you have cosplayed so far?
When I started to cosplay, I just enjoyed wearing the costumes I wanted to wear or act as I like. As I told you last year, I did an actor thing for two years and a bit. So I really like to be in the character I cosplay. That never changes no matter what.
–Why I asked above question is because your pictures have been better than before. Better than those photos shown last year.
I think that is thanks to the camera and the photographer. One of my best photographers is Hajime who is also a cosplayer. She spoke to me because I cosplayed Naoe Nobutsuna in Mirage of Blaze which she really really loved. She helped me with my cosplay because I had almost no photographers at that time. And the photos she took were very nice. Her camera was Nikon D40 which was far better the camera I had. She loves to take “cosplaying photos,” not portraits.
–What do you mean by that?
I didn’t see the point at that time, but now I see. You know, cosplaying photos are pictures which clearly shows the mood of the series you cosplay. Not only a model, but a location, a camera thing, and photoshop have to work together. If you cosplay someone from Evangelion, the photos have to show that neutral mood of the anime. That is a cosplaying photo. I think that is an artwork. As I worked with Hajime, I started to love those photos she could take for me. But even that, I didn’t have such a skill like her because I didn’t have a digital single-lense reflex(DSLR). So I decided to buy it. This is how I bought my camera, Nikon D90 with a single focus lense.
–Sounds so expensive.
It is. But not so much. Because the latest version is Nikon D3, D90 got the price down. Anyway, I seriously learned how to use it in order to make cosplaying photos like Hajime did for me. But that was not enough.
Actually, I tried to find some more photographers who could help my cosplays. I could find one or two. I hate to say, but none of them were good. Even though they were using a much better camera with a better lense, those photos were unsatisfying. The reason is only one. They are not otaku. They don’t know who I cosplay, that’s why.
–So you saying, otaku or not. Is that such an important thing?
Absolutely. Those photographers sure take good portraits. But it doesn’t mean they are good cosplaying photos because, once again, they don’t know who I cosplay. They don’t love who I cosplay. Hajime loves the characters I cosplay, that is why she can create cosplaying photos. How could we take out the mood from the cosplayer? Only those who love the character know how to.
–Ah, so love is everything for cosplayers.
Yes, love conquers all. We say 愛[ai] to mean love. If you are just a consumer, all you need is 萌え[moe], but if you want to create something, you need 愛. We cosplayers love characters we cosplay more or less. In order to make such photos, we do whatever. Sometimes, I had to ask people for a permission to take cosplays, or go to so a faraway place…That is because I love my characters. Having said that, Hajime doesn’t know all of my cosplays. So I had to find someone else if she didn’t know my character. Not anyone is good. They have to love the character I cosplay as much as I do.
–I see…so this is why your photos have improved.
Thanks to my friends, I could make it alright. I told you before, I was always a minor character like a waiter A when I was in the drama group. After all, I was never the lead. But I wanted to be all this time. That is why I became a cosplayer. Because cosplay always makes my wish come true. However, I found cosplay is not something I can do myself. Because you need someone who helps you with your cosplay. To create an artwork called cosplay.
The chime is ringing.
–Who is it?
I have no idea…I’ll go and see.
Takano: Hey man. Can I come in?
–Excuse me, sir. Are you the editor-in-chief of the Emerald department, Mr. Takano from Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi?
Takano: You are having an interview. Should I come back later?
–Oh no, it’s okay. We are almost done. What do you have in your hands?
Omg, Takano-san…is this…
–That is very sweet. Why don’t we toast together?
Oh yes. I gotta go and get a glass.
Series: Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi [世界一初恋]
Character: Takano Masamune [高野政宗]
Here comes a rainy season in Japan, which means it’s been humid and muggy. I don’t like it. Though I like hydragea. How’s in your country? Anyway, I need to make a post as I shouldn’t leave my blog.
Now, there is a remarkable TV drama series named 名前をなくした女神[Goddesses who lost their names]. Most of my friends are following this soap opera, and even my elder sister got hooked. This drama features five mothers who battles in the society. You might be thinking of women who are actually working, but no. I mean, they are mothers who face confilct in the mothers’ community. The more I watch this drama, the more I feel scary. Does this kind of thing really happen?
The key word in this drama is ママ友[mamatomo] which means mom buddy. If you happen to be a mother, you would have a child who goes to school. Sometimes you need to go to school to talk to the teachers or to pick up your child. So you would see other mothers. You would have to make friends with them because your child and their children are friends. You are mothers who can share joy and pain to raise a child, and in order to let your child have fun, you need to join such a community by mothers…but that is a prelude to the hell.
The lead is Yuko who has a gentle husband and a good boy. Seemingly, there seems to be no problem in her family. But as her son goes to school, she has to experience such a stressful relationship of other mothers. The most troublesome thing is rumor. Once someone starts a rumor about you, it would be a nightmare. That would spread out in one day, and next day you would be an outcast. In the episode 1, there is a mother who blogs for her family. After she uploads her child’s photo on her blog, someone takes it for the child porno. To much worse, not only her child, but his classmate is in the photo, she is terribly accused of by mamatomos. So she becomes an outcast, and in the end she tries to kill herself.
Sounds far-fetched? No, this kind of thing happens. I just asked my elder sister as she has a son. At the school her son goes, mothers have to show ID to pick up their children. Also, they are not allowed to upload any photos of other children. No one says so, but that is a rule. You shouldn’t talk about your family too much, you mustn’t show off something, and blah blah blah…
Oh no, it is very tedious. If I were a woman, I wouldn’t endure something like this. The world of mamatomo is so awful. What does this title, “Goddesses who lost their names” stand for? In this drama, mothers never call their names each other, but use their children’s names. For example, if your son’s name is Terry, you would be called テリ―君ママ[Terry-kun mama]. If your daughter’ name is Sally, you would be called サリーちゃんママ[Sally-chan mama]. This really happens. Even my elder sister is called like this way.
There are other sayings in addition to ママ友. オタ友[otatomo] is otaku buddy, ネトゲ友達[netoge tomodachi] or online game buddy, コス友[costomo] or cosplay buddy. Some of my friends use リア友[riatomo] in order to categorize your friends. リア[ria] of リア友[riatomo] stands for real, which means friends you hang around with no specific interests. For example, your childhood mates or classmates. In other words, they are not your friends while you place in your community. Suppose here are two friends of yours. One is a person who can share your otakish interest, and the other can’t understand that kind of thing. I am not gonna say which one is your true friend, but do you think you can decide? オタ友[otatomo] is a friend only when you want to talk about your otakish hobby. In other words, he is not your friend anymore without it. Personally, I do not like this way. So long as they know who I am, they are all my friends. I am an otaku, and a cosplayer. As long as they accept the real me, I don’t care who they are. I mean, they are cosplayers or not, otaku or not. It doesn’t matter. I just want to look for such friends. True friends do not require such a thing, I believe.
Even though there are so much concern, we’ve got back our daily lives. Trains work, and delivery is okay. Food is still late, but not so much. The only thing we are scared of is the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima.
Having said that, more and more people refrain from having fun in consideration of those people who are living in the disaster area. Because of this, restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, wedding churches are too slow. They even cancel their own wedding ceremony. We often say 自粛[jishuku] to mean such a voluntary restrain. Meanwhile, some people critisize those who have fun in this situation. Of course such a mood is coming to cosplayers. I have seen a lot of debates, I mean, to cosplay or not to cosplay now.
I have no idea. Because there are too many opinions, so I can’t judge what is right. I just asked some of my friends or colleagues at work how they feel about 自粛. One guy told like this; those who have a normal life should go on having a normal life. If we don’t do anything, don’t purchase anything, don’t go anywhere, it would make things worse. What we can do is to retrieve a normal life as soon as possible. Go to work, eat, sleep, and go out weekend to have fun, that’s it. Meanwhile, we should do for the victims like doing a donation, saving power and water or whatever.
Besides, a friend of mine whose hometown is the disaster area told like this; she hasn’t seen any cosplay photos of her friends since the earthquake, nor even heard they have fun. She seems to feel sorry because she knows her friends refrain from having fun. As this situation persists, she feels they can’t have fun because of her.
No matter how much we feel sorry for the victims, it changes nothing, saves nobody. We had better do what we can do. I have been thinking a lot what to do. I mean, I should stop cosplay or not. But if there is only one person who enjoys my cosplay, I will cosplay. That is what I can do. So I decided to join the cosplay event with my friend last week. The cosplay we did is Nodame Cantabile. If you have been following my blog, you might have seen part 1. After that me and the Nodame cosplayer decided to do part 2 in which Chiaki and Nodame have a session. She started to make her dress for the concert, and I tried to find the concert hall to cosplay.
This is how we arrived at the memorial hall in Yokohama city, Kanagawa pref. The cosplay event takes place sometimes, but because of 自粛 or power saving this event might have been cancelled. But luckily it took place, so we joined. The setting was so beautiful, but the lighting was too dark to take a picture. However, the two photographer who have helped me joined as well. The devastation maniac Muen Kashi and the photographer NOBORAN kindly helped Chiaki and Nodame to do a session. Let’s go, Nodame. We’ve got to play for the people who are living in the disaster area in order to send our music, hope, and love. Read the rest of this entry »
The terrible thing is ongoing in Japan, but I do want to keep this blog because, thank you very much, I have a lot of people who support me. That is why…I shall make a post as usual.
So this time, I shall pick up a funny word, 昭和臭[shouwa shu]. 昭和[showa] is the name of Japan’s era, and this had lasted from 1926 to 1989 before the current one, 平成[Heisei] came. Now it actually is Heisei 23rd , but around Heisei 10th or so, 昭和臭[showa shu] is used to ridicule such an old thing or to point out it’s out of date. 臭[shu] means odor. In a good way, I could say it’s a retro style or classic but if not, it’s out of date. If you don’t want to sound “odor,” you could use 昭和風[Showa fu] or 昭和テイスト[Showa taste]. 風[fu] means vibe. Look at some examples.
This is a telephone as you can see. This type of telephone is called 黒電話[kurodenwa], or black telephone, and very old type. I think this doesn’t exist anymore unless it is in a film. Of course it doesn’t record messages. I am from Showa period so I still remember this type of phone. But if you happened to be born 1991 onwards, you would have no idea. And what about this?
Yes, this is a transistor radio. After World War 2, people used to rely on transistor radios to get information. People actually made a radio themselves using some small parts. If you happen to be in Akihabara, just go and see the outlet next to the station. You will see a lot of junk parts even now. This station has already been re-constructed, but only this outlet still remains. I might say this outlet is 昭和臭. I don’t mean to ridicule, though.
Of course there are a lot of anime series or manga in Showa era, but they don’t necessarily count 昭和臭. How do I say…such a retro character design or cinematography, we might say 昭和臭. As I said, I was born in Showa. But even if I see Heisei anime series, I might say 昭和臭. There is the other way around. Recently, I watched the anime Bokurano[ぼくらの]. Even though this anime was aired in 2007, I just thought it was made much much longer time ago. Then when does this story happen? It’s not officially decided, but Ushiro’s birthday is 2017, apparently the story takes place in 2030 or so. Even that, it looks so old, doesn’t it? Especially Daichi…
Then do you think Rainbow -nisha rokubou no shichinin- counts 昭和臭? This story takes place around Showa 30th, but I don’t think it counts because the design doesn’t look so retro although the clothes they wear fit in the anime. Out of topic, I really like this anime because my favorite seiyu, Rikiya Koyama stars. Also, Megumi Hayashibara narrates the story.
When I speak to my friends, sometimes I feel a generation gap because I have early 20’s friends. I talk about CLAMP anime, they mention Code Geass, but I prefer X. They might ridicule it’s 昭和臭 though I don’t think so. Well, good anime is good no matter how many years pass. In the end, we always conclude that we share good anime series regardless of the generation gap.
By the way, long time ago someone told me that my face fits the characters of the 80s/early 90s. Then should I cosplay the characters from that era? Aside from the topic, I am so pleased to have a lot of messages from you. I don’t know what to say, what to do…what I should do. I am not too sure if this is a good thing or not, but no matter what happens, if tomorrow more terrible thing happens, I just want to make you happy. My blog is always full of happy mood so long as I live on. That is how I felt after watching Bokurano. So that’s why…I would like to do what I can do.
だから見ていて下さい、私の…コスプレ― Read the rest of this entry »
If you have heard of what had happened in Japan, you might be worried about me. Yes, I am okay now. Yesterday while we were working, I felt the shaking. First I didn’t care that much, but it was getting very hard and finally I placed myself underneath the desk. The shaking lasted very long, it seemed to be so long. Things were messed up all over. The ceiling was nearly destroyed. If it were a bit harder, the ceiling would have been fallen down. My place was magnitude 6 and a bit.
Anyway, after the shaking we all got out of the office and got together at the park. We waited for the direction which announced what to do. The lucky thing is I am just a チャリリーマン so I could come home. But most people had to stay at the office because the trains were stopped.
My mobile has been out of order because of this earthquake, so I can’t contact my people. Hopefully I could speak to my elder sister and nephew. A few hours later I could reach to all of my family. My apartment was okay, and some things came out of the drawers or fell down. But it wasn’t a big deal. My computer is okay, so this is the only one way to contact now. My cosplay friends are saying they are okay on the bulltien board, so did I. And when I checked my mail, I got a lot of messages to make sure I am okay.
Once again, I am okay. I shouldn’t die here! Until I cosplay Gakupoid…I have a mission to give moe to all the anime fans. And I really want to say thank you for your concern. こんな私でも心配してくれるなんて…とても嬉しいです。
Time has come, now is the time to make a post on this. Is it too late? Anyway, I have been wondering when to write all this time as AKB48 is now a very famous even out of idol otaku. If you happen to follow Japanese pop music or culture, you would’ve heard of it. Today we can hear about them everywhere, everyday because their songs are still on the weekly ranking. I didn’t think about this way, I mean, I have never thought they could be that popular like this.
Anyway, what is AKB48? Before that, anybody who knows about them, raise your hand. I wonder how many people out of Japan know about them because there are even foreign fans. AKB48 is a mega idol group which was born in Akihabara[秋葉原] where is a holy place for otaku. It consists of three teams, A, K, and B. When they started, there weren’t 48 girls. But now they are. Those cute girls are almost from 13 to 24 years old, very young, and chosen by audition. The show happens at AKB48 theatre in Akihabara almost every single day.(now it’s changed, I’ll explain later). The manager, Yasushi Akimoto[秋元康] introduced a new concept when he created AKB48, that is 会いドル[aidoru], abbreviation of 会いに行けるアイドル[ai ni ikeru idol], meaning the idol you can go and see. Long time ago, the distance between idols and fans is very far. Fans had to go to such a big concert hall. Even that, the idol on the stage is so far away from you unless you get a S-class seat. But AKB48 theatre is so small that you can see them close.
When AKB48 started in 2005, I was not so interested in them because their performance was not so professional. Yes, even though they were well-trained, the dance and singing were not so good. But that was actually the scheme Akimoto planned. Normally, idols have to dance very well like ARASHI[嵐] or SPEED. However, AKB48 could require some patience as they are still amateur. That might be the point fans love. I think I introduced 素人萌え[shirouto-moe] before, but AKB48 is not just a bunch of amateur girls. As you see them, you would be able to see how well they get better, I mean, a wrong step at tonight show is going to be right tomorrow. In this way, they show you such an improvement. We can say 成長系アイドル[seichou-kei idol]. 成長[seichou] means growing-up, and 系[kei] is a type. I think the level of the dance is now much higher than before. I quickly asked people around me how they feel about AKB48. Even people who do not know about them say the dance is good and they are all united. Also they are even cuter than before. Agreed, I know some of the girls have been in the group from the beginning, and they’ve become cuter. In fact, my sister really loves AKB48 even though she is not an otaku at all. She recommended me to listen to the songs, and now I am hooked, too.
Know that not all of them show on TV or video clips, but only chosen 20 or so. Yes, only more popular girls can act in the media. That’s pretty hard on them because they have to strive to get better than other girls. Unless she is chosen, she can’t carry on. If she is not chosen, she would have to stay behind the lead girls. Those girls shall be called アンダーガールズ[under girls]. The most remarkable thing last year is AKB総選挙[AKB sousenkyo], or AKB general election. That’s to choose lead girls for the upcoming song. During this election, the media reports what’s going on everyday, so that even people who don’t know AKB48 can be aware of them. Very shrewed, Mr. Akimoto. No. 1 girl can stand at the center, so all of them get more aggressive, and claim like, “vote on me, please!”
Okay, for those who don’t know them, I shall introduce some must-know girls.
She is Yuko Ohshima[大島優子] from team K. Her nickname is Korisu[コリス] or Yuko. She used to be No. 2, but last year she became No. 1 so now she is at the center. Most of the fans assumed she would be No. 2 in the last election, but on the last minute that happened. She could be No. 1, defeated Atsuko Maeda. She was actually a child actress years ago, so she had some experience in the entertainment industry.
She is Atsuko Maeda[前田敦子] from team A. Her nickname is Acchan[あっちゃん]. She used to be No 1, and she had been at the center for so long. But at last she was defeated by Yuko. But she is doing well out of AKB48 as she also works as an actress. I wanted her to keep being No. 1 in fact. Keep going, Acchan!
She is Mariko Shinoda[篠田麻里子] from team A. She has been in AKB48 from the beginning, and elder than any other girls even though she is 24. She seems to care about it, but she is still No 3. Because she doesn’t pretend to be a goody-goody, she is admired by women.
She is Tomomi Itano[板野友美] whose nickname is Tomochin[ともちん]. She has becoming popular more and more. I assume she would do better if there is a next election. The rumor has it that she got a cosmetic surgeon because she looks different from who she used to be. What do you think?
She is my sunshine, my angel, Mayu Watanabe[渡辺麻友] whose nickname is Mayuyu[まゆゆ] from team B. Oh my god, before I got hooked, I had a crush on her. Now she is my angel. No Mayuyu, no AKB48. Why does such a moe-girl exist in reality? Yes, fans are saying her face is like CG. Looks like an anime bishoujo. Too bad, she was No 5 in the last election. She cried out for her place, and claimed she is going to do better next time. Yes, keep going, Mayuyu! がんばりまゆゆ^^ Meanwhile, she is actually an anime otaku. Her favorite is Kuroshitsuji and Hetaria. And she also plays Tokimeki Memorial Girls’ Side. Mayuyu, do cosplay!
Above girls are first top 5 now. But I am sure things will change soon. AKB48 is too busy to do a regular show a lot. Now only once a month or so, a show happens. Even it happens, some of the lead girls are absent. That’s too bad. They are not 会いドル anymore…In fact, you could buy a ticket if you lined up. But now, you have to register for the agency, and win a seat. That depends on your luck. So it’s pretty hard to go see AKB48. Luckily, my colleague won a ticket so we went last Tuesday. It was my first coming the show. But too bad, my angel Mayuyu was absent! Ugahh, next time!! まゆゆに会いたい！Oh I should mention a new term, 推しメン[oshimen]. It’s like a fan-made word, abbreviation of 推しメンバー[oshimember], meaning your favorite.
Now that AKB48 is such a popular group, they could be charismatic among schoolgirls. They always wear pretty uniforms so that even kids try to copy. I was a bit surprised to see some elementary schoolgirls were trying to copy AKB48’s fashion. At the graduation ceremony, they were wearing a blazer, a mini-skirt, and over-knee socks. I like AKB48’s uniforms, too. Do I have 制服萌え[seifuku-moe]?
No matter what, AKB48 is going to do well for more 2 or 3 years, I assume. That is a pity, idols can’t carry on for so long because anybody gets old. That’s why they have to find a new life after they finished an idol. Mostly it would be either an actor or a solo-singer. Anyway, by the time they get less popular, I wish I could see Mayuyu.
For more information, please go to their official site. English and Chinese are available.