Growing up with Idols

August 31, 2011
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In my last post I mentioned grabbing an old notebook at random from beside my bookcase in which to write. I keep all sorts of old things in that space- calendars (which I hate), wrapping paper from birthday presents, school things which I can’t bring myself to throw away, and all of my notebooks from freshman year up until graduation. After arriving at Ben and Jerry’s and ordering my sorbet, (but before setting out to write my Sumer Refreshment post), I opened the notebook and leafed through it.On discovering that I had picked up  my all-purpose notebook from Freshman and Sophomore year, I was immediately drawn in by the nostalgia. What interested me most were the page dividers. On each one I had doodled, scribbled, and generally left record of all of the dull and confusing math and science classes I’d ever been in.
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Y’know who else gets bored? Eri. Eri gets bored. But not Koha!
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Most of those doodlings had to do with Hello! Project. In my freshman year I had been a fan of H!P for two years. My scribbles were mostly about my most and least favorite members each group. On one page I explained that I hated Michishige Sayumi, that I couldn’t stand Sugaya Risako, and that Airi’s line-hogging annoyed me to no end.

On the next page, I wrote down ideas for various sub-groups, mostly in jest. One was Maxi-Moni, consisting of Yurina, Maasa, Koharu, Maimi and Erika. Another, somewhat less well-intended group was untitled but consisted of Matsuura Aya, Okada Yui, Saitou Hitomi and Goto Maki.

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Gee, wonder what this group oughta be called…
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On another page I had set up a challenge for myself: To remember all of Morning Musume’s singles in order. I didn’t do too poor of a job, and from Ai no Tane to Resonant Blue the only song I ended up missing was Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari (incidentally my least favorite Morning Musume song). Still other pages had little caricatures of my favorite members, charts drawing up proposed revivals of the old sub-groups (long before Tsunku had the idea!), and lists of those girls whom I considered the most talented singers.After leafing through all of the pages and eating half of my sorbet, I sat back. I looked around the shop and noticed that I was the only person eating alone. But most of the other people sitting around me looked sweaty and bored, while I felt pleasantly distracted. When I realized that, I sat forward in my seat and wrote these lines:”I have been a Hello! Project fan for five years now. For all of those years, Idols have been my main hobby. Whether I’m bored at school, alone at a restaurant, trying to fall asleep after a long day, or flying to a foreign country, Idols and their music have been my constant and sometimes best companion.”

I’d be lying if I said I had no regrets regarding the four years I spent in high school. But all in all, I had a lot of fun with friends, clubs, and school trips. Throughout those years, Idols were my soundtrack, my distraction, and my hobby. All of the songs on my ipod are more to me than just background music, and the videos I’ve favorite’s on Youtube aren’t just  entertainment. When I listen to Genki+ I am taken back to the plane ride to Greece during my junior year. Whenever that song comes up on my iPod I remember how excited I was, but also how close-minded. I was ready to judge and look down on all of my party-obsessed classmates. I also remember how much I opened up on that trip, how I was able to get along with the very kids I’d set myself up to despise. Whenever I feel myself starting to prejudge someone, I think of Genki+ and I remember to give them a chance.

Similarly, whenever I watch an episode of Ayaka’s Surprise English Lessons, I remember the time in my sophomore year when, lonely and shy, I set myself in the corner of the library and watched Ayaka teach Yaguchi how to say “I want to be naked on a deserted island.” To my surprise, a few kids came over to watch, and those kids soon became my friends.

Just a few days ago I packed up all of my things and moved to New York for college. I’ve been here a few days, and the uncertainties and feelings of timidity and the desire to prejudge are already upon me. I have to find a job, find all of my teachers’ offices to arrange interviews, and for the first time in my life do all of the little things that make up life without parents. Amidst all of the future uncertainties, one thing is solid. I know, without a sliver of doubt, that Idols will continue to be there for me. Even if all of my most beloved groups disband tomorrow, there will always rise up another group of smiling young women with questionable musical talent. I’m not going to go into why I think the Idol phenomenon in Japan will never die (at least not in this post)- this post is simply meant as a reflection on my past and future, and all of the ways in which Idols have and will affect me.

I guess what I’m really trying to say in this post is a huge thank you. To Idols, to their producers, to their fans, to their questionably sane costume designers, their choreographers, and to everyone I have met as a result of this unusual hobby. True, more often than not I have found things to complain about. I will continue to rail against the evils of the Manobeast, and Tsunku will probably never be fully on my good side. I’ll probably never be able to look at S/mileage and not think of Wada’s xenophobia, and AKB48 will continue to confound me. But even that is all part of what’s so wonderful and fun. So thank you, Berryz Koubou, Morning Musume, C-ute, H!P Eggs, AKB48, Onyanko Club, and all the rest. I’ve had a lot of fun these past five years thanks to you. I look forward to every fluffy-skirted and squeaky voiced moment that you will provide me with in the future.

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Thank you!

Maybe one day, I’ll learn how to use this internet doohickey

February 17, 2011

This post contains technology

I may not have made this clear on this blog before, so let me do so now: I have the same grasp on technology as a 95 year old man. I mean it. I work at an elderly home, and when the residents ask me for computer help… I’m nearly useless.

Thanks to the bastards beautiful people on #wotachat, this blog now has an affiliated Twitter account. Twitter was one of those bits of technology that I just couldn’t ever understand and really didn’t care to. However this blog now has… one of those. So you can follow me or like me or add me or whatever it is that you do with Twitters. I promise to tweet (twit twote twig?) on a frequent basis, and will let you know secrets about my personal life that you could NEVER learn from reading this blog.

I’m sure there’s some way to make the link to my Twitter account appear permantly somewhere on the left hand side of this blog…

… but heck if I know how to do it.

Go here to look at my Twitter and hear me babble in 140 characters or less.


A huge thank you, and a blog you should visit!

January 16, 2011

You may have noticed that Aoi♥Usagi has gotten a bit of an upgrade,  header-wise. If you haven’t noticed that, take your eyes and lift them vertically to the top of this page. Allow the visual messages to be relayed to your brain. Process them. Now return to this text. Do you understand? That image that you just viewed is different than it was last week. You see it now? Good. I’m glad we’ve straightened this out.

Despite being a person who loves to draw and sketch, I have absolutely no skills when it comes to photomanipulation, photoshopping, and graphics in general. My first header was just a huge image loaded into wordpress and cropped to fit, and my last one, despite sporting images of the Lovely Linlin, was ugly as poo. This new header is neither of those things…

…Which ought to lead you, dear reader, to one conclusion: This current header was made by someone other than the author behind Aoi♥Usagi. The very observant among you (likely not those I had to direct to look up in the first paragraph) will have noticed a small watermark in the upper left corner. “Header by Isilie.” Does that name sound familiar at all? I hope it does!

Itsumo Genki is one of my favorite blogs. Run by Isilwentari (Isilie), it’s a bit like Aoi♥Usagi in its subject matter. I never fail to laugh when I read Isilie’s blog, whether it be over her irreverent nicknames (can you guess who was dubbed “Diamond-Sucker?”) or her gushing eye-candy posts… and she always, always has an awesome header.  I commented to that effect, and without reservation, Isilie offered to make me a header for my blog!  It’s thanks to her that the lovely Airi header now graces my blog.  She made a bunch, so expect this blog to be pretty for a while to come!

If you like to laugh, to look at pretty headers, adorable pictures of the H!P girls, and a to read a good balance between light-hearted and in-depth posts, go check Itsumo Genki out!

Isilie, thank you so much!

PS: All of the Yossy in this post was for Isilie. She adores Yossy, and I say, good taste!


The morning after…

September 8, 2008

Just a bit of follow-up from my last post.

Yes, my pageviews did increase quite a bit. What does that prove?

That men (and some women) like boobs.

So basically, I proved something we all already knew.

My god, I feel like that guy who made “Supersize Me.” Remember him? He’s the guy who said, one day, “Yes, I think I’m going to prove that fast food is bad for you by eating a lot of it. Here goes!”

Well, that’s fine by me. Have some Turtle-flavored fanservice for reading this. :3