International Wota Summer Refreshment Program!

August 15, 2011

As some of you may know, International Wota has been hosting a series of posts dedicated to Summer refreshment, Idol style. Since this has been a hot summer, I decided that as long as someone else was paying, I might as well go out, get myself a refreshment, and think about Idols while enjoying it.

To that end I grabbed an old notebook that was laying about next to my bookcase and headed into the only significantly large town in Vermont. Being a Vermonter, a few things are near and dear to my stomach. Maple syrup, cheese, creemees (soft serve to the rest of you), apples, and perhaps our state’s most famous export, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. I love Ben and Jerry’s ice cream enough to ignore that I’m lactose intolerant, but today I was feeling like a good girl, so I bought…

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Sorbet! One scoop of Berry Berry Extraordinary and one scoop of Lemonade. Delicious and refreshing, and no stomach-ache later!

After sitting down to eat my guilt-free sorbet,  I opened the notebook and proceeded to write a long, heartfelt something-or-other concerning how much of my history has been inextricably linked to Idols. The idea was good, and I’d still like to turn it into a post, but there was nothing Summer-y,  nor anything refreshing about it. So I scrapped it, and spent a few weeks oscillating between conviction that I’d get my Summer Refreshment post done THAT VERY HOUR, or never get it done at all and be forever ten dollars in debt to Ray, a prospect which terrifies me. The solution to my terror came as I was staring at the cover of Buono!’s mini album, Partenza. Staring, in fact, at Miyabi’s legs. Her pants, to be even more specific. What a great change of pace to see an Idol in pants for once, how intriguing, how… refreshing.

Look at almost any random photo of an Idol. If she is from H!P, she will be wearing a poofy, glitzy tutu-monstrosity with dead birds and beanie-babies glued all over it. If she is from AKB48, she’ll be wearing a bikini. If she’s from any of the other dozens of Idol groups currently on the market, she’ll doubtless be wearing one of those two, or a school-girl uniform. Of course, you say. Why not? Idols thrive on their appearance of cute, attractive femininity. What better way to show that off than in a skirt, dress, or few centimeters of bathing suit?

For that very reason, seeing an Idol wearing pants is extremely refreshing. The look is so rare, so casual and slightly boyish that it can cast the Idol in a new light. Pants make you do a double-take, whether they’re part of an official costume, or a casual snap-shot from a blog entry. In appreciation of that fact, I dedicate my Summer Refreshment post to the Best of Idols wearing Pants.*

First off are the pants that sparked the idea for this post. On further inspection we find that these are, indeed, capris. No matter. Miyabi’s legs look long and slim, especially next to Airi’s giant maxi skirt. As a note, Momoko also wears pants in the alternate outfits for this mini-album. Jeans, even!

Speaking of jeans, Takahashi Ai is our next Idol in Pants. Ai’s blog is a great spot to find these kinds of pictures, since Takahashi’s love affair with denim has been recorded extensively in her near-daily outfit snaps.

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Ai-chan’s jeans tend to be slouchy and boyish. While Ai’s choice in legwear doesn’t rectify the impression she’s been giving off lately that she is G-dragon’s less feminine twin, she still looks great.

Ai’s partner in crime also occasionally dons pantaloons, as seen here:

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See how excited Gaki is? That’s because she can now do a deep-knee bend and a cartwheel without fear of flashing Ai. Not that Ai would mind…

Speaking of giant lesbians, there is one woman whom stylists put in pants at any opportunity. I almost considered not including her in this post, because it would be too easy. Luckily I came to my senses in time to provide you with these excellent images of Yoshizawa:

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Ignoring the fact that she looks vaguely clown-like with those shoes and socks, here we can see Yoshizawa doing what she does best- looking absolutely cool and princely, with just enough of a feminine edge to make EVERYONE question their sexuality. Here, have more:

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I hate jeans with holes in them. I think they’re silly. But those jeans… are good. I like them VERY much. 😀

Ayaka got the picture a long time ago, when she taught Yossy a very useful phrase:

She does, Ayaka. She does.

Let’s keep speaking about giant lesbians for a minute, and move on to Sayumi. Unlike Yossy, it’s nearly impossible to find pictures of Miss SugarPinkBunnyPrincess in pants. But they do exist, and I, dear readers, have found one for you:
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This is one of my favorite pictures of one of my favorite Idols, so if you were planning on scrolling past it quickly on the way to the rest of the post, I must humbly request that you stop and look again. And then again. For a full minute. Or else.**

Now that we’ve moved on to bikini shots, let’s consider the group that’s turned the bikini shot into high art; AKB48. One member of that group in particular is extremely fond of jeans. So fond, in fact, that back in 2009 she felt the need to share her love of jeans in her “private video.” I’m talking, of course, about Miyazawa Sae.
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(Apparently 2009 was also before they invented charisma. OOOOOH.)

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YEAH!

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The rest of AKB48 have worn pants rather more rarely. The most significant instance of it in my (admittedly lacking) memory would be this stage, Himawari-gumi’s first:

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Back when AKB still had the image of Idols you could Meet, I think jeans really suited them. The casual, girl-next-door vibe of denim worked in their favor. They look so relatable. When all is said and done, I think that the relatability factor is what I love the most about seeing Idols in pants. Take away their piles of glitter and enormous costumes, and they’re just girls…

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…albeit extremely beautiful ones. I am practically piddling myself over Koharu’s modeling career. Even more chances to see those legs in gorgeous, tailored pants!

Before I sign off on this post, let me leave you with a few videos that feature Idols in pants, in all of their leggy glory; from the classics, to the new, to the downright horrific:

The moment when Yoshizawa’s fate for the next five years was sealed. Also the last time real men were allowed in a Momusu PV.


Sayaka in paaaaannnntsss…

And now, the truly horrific, only in this post because the lovely Murr reminded me of its existence…

The murdered stuffed animals attached to their hips like war trophies, and Reina’s entire everything (those leggings, those “Say YEAHS”… Uuuugh),  are only saved by how unequivocally sexy Kamei and Gaki are in their jeans. Yum.

This post has been ridiculously fun. Expect to see a part 2 in the future!

Finally, enjoy the last few weeks of your Summer!

*Full-body jumpsuits, overalls, and male Idols are not included. Unless they look REALLY good.

** Or else what, you ask? Well, if you’re a little girl, Sayumi will come and molest you like she has Riho and Mizuki, and if you’re not a little girl, she WON’T come and molest you, and you’ll be sad (this joke was entirely tongue-in-cheek. 😉 )


Oogoe Diamond from the PoV of an AKB48 newb

October 6, 2008

Catchy title, no?

I will be the first to admit that I am a newb, or even a n00b when it comes to AKB48. Sure, I recognize most of their faces, but I only know a handful of their names, and even less of their personalities (those profiles of yours, Cat? They’re amazing. Please keep them up, because they’re the only thing that made me able to pick some of the Team A girls out of the crowd). So when I watch their PVs, I am generally in it for three things: Hoping that something as amazing as Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou will come along, watching for something eyecatching or different, and Miyazawa Sae.

You can imagine how happy I was when I watched the new PV and saw that Sae is practically the main character.

I really wanted to give this PV a serious review, but when I sat down to write it, I found myself resorting to descriptions likes “That girl about four girls to the left of Sae wants to be anywhere but there” or “the one who looks like a cocker spaniel looks really bored.” That just doesn’t sit well with me, so I threw out that sad version and, well, now I have something that’s part review, part ramble, all WTF-ery. Basically, these are the notes that I took as I was watching the PV in their original format, with crappy screencaps to help them along. Let’s start, shall we?

So the PV begins with Acchan, one of my least-favored girls that I can actually recognize. She’s running, she’s running, she’s running, and then! Some girl bumps into her, and gives her the look from Hell. This look, to be specific:

I’mma eat j00 up, Acchan!

Waittaminute, who is that? Seriously, who is she? She has a kind of funny mouth. Is she that research student with the funny mouth?  Muranaka Satomi, right? Hnnh.

Acchan: “What a rude, rude little Reasearch student you are! Acchan is your Supreme Overlord, and you, as a Research student, are her bitch! Apologize, or you will never find yourself in another single as long as you live! Not even as one of those random extras that no one notices! HAHAHAHAHAer… -kawaiiemolook-”

Now they’re in a hallway. Mayuyu reminds me of a toy poodle. I just base this off of how tiny and fragile she looks. Like the tiny kind of dog that yaps all the time and practically wets itself whenever a bigger dog so much as glances at it. What is she bitching about now? Wait. I see Sae texting! It’s Sae, huzzah! Oh, wait, Mayuyu has an announcement to make…

Toy Poodle: “Excuse me, everyone? Yeah, hi, over here. Our producer just texted me. He said that I’m going to be the newest soloist. If I don’t sell 10,000 copies of my new super-slutty single, he’ll push me off of a cliff. Will you guys help me think up a stage name that’s a barely disguised euphemism for the word ‘penis?'”

Everyone: “…C’mon Mayu! No one’s that stupid! That’d never happen in real life!”

Acchan: “…Acchan wanted to be the new soloist… Now what is Acchan supposed to do with the hunky men she hired to be her slightly awkward back-up dancers?”

Here she is again! Who are you?! Agh, this is so going to bother me! Research students wouldn’t get that much screentime, right? I’ll admit that she’s kinda fun, but can someone tell me where the heck she came from? She even gets a duet line instead of just getting stuck into the chorus. Wut?

The dance really isn’t anything special, is it? But there’s lots of Sae-time, so I’m set. She dances with so much energy. She’s like Yossy… only she hasn’t cross-dressed, to my knowledge.

Toy Poodle: “Guys, he wouldn’t actually make me dance to this while wearing an outfit that manages to make me look like an anorexic football player with no backside to speak of, right?”

Theeeeere’s Researchy again! With the Toy Poodle and two other girls whose names I don’t know.

Er, would Mariko be allowed to wear stuff like that at a Japanese high school? Wouldn’t the teachers like, bitch slap her and make her hold heavy buckets of water as punishment for daring to stand out and be original? That said, she looks awesome.

Have I ever mentioned how much I like this Iida-looking girl? ‘Cause I do. Only, if you cover up the left half of her face in this screenshot and stare for a while, she looks like an odd mixture of Maasa and Yurina, and not a good way.

Sot he girls are adorable, learning the dance by watching a video of “real idols” dancing. Since that’s how most of us laern how to do H!P and other idol’s dances, there’s a sense of realism here. “Yes, that’s me.”

And then Sae comes in and is all “Lol, wut?? r u gaiz st00pid? thats not how u do it lol!” She then proceeds to show Acchan how much she, Sae, wins at life. Acchan is appropriately depressed.

Acchan then bitches. And bitches. And bitches.  Toy Poodle, pay attention. This is what you’re aspiring to become.

And then… the best part of the PV (which I won’t screencap due to all the moving aroundness and such) happens: Sae practically attacks Acchan, who, true to her role in the PV, stands there and sobs.

This may be because I have a martial arts background myself (I recently received my black belt in Shaolin Kempo), but I love strong, fighting women. So seeing Sae about to absolutely destroy Acchan was probably one of the sexiest things I’ve seen come from any idol group this year. If anyone, ANYone could perhaps turn that bit into a .gif and send it to me, or even just tell me what Acchan was bitching about, I would be such a happy, happy wota.

Sayaka: “-gazes longingly at Sae- I’d so tap that…”

So, I recognize who this is now. In fact, I feel kinda bad for not realizing sooner. But, can you blame me? I wasn’t expecting Voldemort to be hanging around inside AKB48.

More Sae. Why? Because there can never be enough Sae love. What’s with her hair, though? I bet it looks ridiculous from the front. It’s like a failed unicorn look.

Damnit! Tell me who you are and why you’re getting so much screentime, you… alien!!!

But the PV is getting long, and so, after an internal revelation or two, Acchan is able to get back on her feet, back onstage, and put her best face forward:

This face, to be specific. You might be thinking, “What? But that’s just her normal, dull expression that she usually wears when performing!”

Exactly.

EDIT:

OHMIGOD! SHE’S EVEN ON THE COVER, TOO?!?! WHAT GIVES? She’s totally not the Research student with the wierd mouth. Is she the SKE girl who’s listed on the Wiki page? If she’s not, I’ll scream.