Category: Jpop

Perfect Imperfections

HondaiMood: Fighting!
Listening to: Yes We Are – SMAP
Playing: Osu!
Craving: Bun Thit Nuong
Watching: Clip! SMAP!

Welcome to another スマロス post. I should make that a category. lol

Anyways, my dad caught me by surprise this weekend. He dropped the bomb saying “we got to clear everything off the floor by the 17th because they’re going to do our carpet that day.” The 17? That’s this Tuesday! A lot of people in my family are upset about my dad’s sudden announcement but I was just like eh, and did all I could. I’m not even mad I didn’t potato this weekend. I just packed stuff in boxes and move them downstairs.

While I was working with sorting and packing stuff I did find something enjoyable to do. Since my sister was staying over on Saturday Night, I moved the PS3 upstairs to our old room and blasted some SMAP Clip! On our first night we got through the first CD (this is actually my 2nd time watching the 1st CD) and man, it was a long journey. As you watch it, you can see how each and one of them grow and how they grow as a group. I really enjoyed watching their old live performances.

Unlike a lot of the boybands nowadays, SMAP did not debuted at #1. Not to mention their debut event was in a typhoon.. it was a disaster. Although these boys weren’t successful upon debut, they still hung on and kept going for years. I would say they finally reached their point of success in 1996, that’s 4 years after their debut. But even after they reached a peak, they didn’t stop and kept going.

My sister and I pondered as to why we became such huge SMAP fans. Is it their looks? Lol no way, our initial response to how they physically look is ‘they look funny’. I even remember being disappointed that they did not look cool. Is it their popularity? Nah, as popular as they are in Japan, they’re not known to people around us at all. Is it their music? I guess the music is one thing, but they honestly aren’t the best singers lol. SO, WHY?

When I look at KPop boy band and girl bands who are so dam perfect at what they do, I feel like an ant when I look at myself in the mirror. I hate it. It makes me feel like there are so many faults in myself and I feel stress that I have to achieve a certain level of coolness like these people. Of course I’m smart enough to put myself apart that they have CG, professional production, makeup, training, plastic and all that $$$ stuff to make them like that but thoughts in the back of my mind will always be there. But when I look at SMAP, their value as an idol is different. If you ask Japanese people, they’ll probably agree. Maybe I’m just like Japan who likes that がんばる attitude. Even today I can’t find a straight answer as to why I became a SMAP fan. But who can ever say for sure why they fall in love with someone, right? All I know is that all of their imperfections is what make them so perfect.


Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

HondaiMood: Impressed
Listening to: そのまま – SMAP
Playing: Osu!
Craving: Pu Erh Tea
Watching: Howl’s Moving Castle

I’ve been on a spree on catching up with SMAP member content (drama, smasma ep, etc) and here’s one, Miyazaki’s 2004 film, Howl’s Moving Castle. I’m personally not a huge fan of Miyazaki films. I enjoy them and I think they’re intriguing but it’s not something I would put on my favorite list.

Well anyways, the reason why Howl’s Moving Castle has anything to do with SMAP is because Kimura Takuya voices Howl. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from him as a voie actor. I thought that at most he is able to provide a unique voice that suits some characters but I was wrong. Howl is depicted as a ‘prince like’ gentlemen who loves beautiful things but Kimura himself does not really have that image: he’s more of the badboy type. So if I didn’t know that Kimura voiced howl, I would have taken me awhile to notice. I think he did a great job adjusting his tone to match Howl’s character.

Now as for Howl’s Moving Castle as a movie… hmmm questionable. It was interesting but the plot seems messy. [spoiler alert] It was all good build up until the point where Sophie runs into the witch at the palace. To me, the direction of the movie seemed like they’re now going to try to either elope or fight for Howl’s freedom. Instead, after they relocated their home, Howl goes back to fight in the war for the kingdom. It’s as if nothing changed… literally. Although the ending did resolved Howl’s curse he casted upon himself but it doesn’t answer any questions. What was the war about? Is the war over? How about Sophie’s damn curse? like, wat. [end of spoilers]

I’ll probably rate Howl’s Moving Castle as average. It could be better. Chances of me re-watching it for the story is low. Though, I do think Kimura did an amazing job as a seiyuu and now that he’s free from SMAP activities (cries), I hope he’ll look more into it. A fortune teller once told him that the busiest time of his life is going to be between 74-82 years old (LOL) so maybe that is a sign he’ll be in the voice acting industry? I cannot imagine someone that old having an acting project to keep then that busy. hah


愛するSMAPへ、ありがとう。そして、またいつか。

I rant so much about it on Twitter. I wrote so much about it on notepad. I wrote, thought, cry, and expressed myself in so many ways about how I feel about SMAP’s disbandment. The closer it got to the end of the year, the closer it became a reality to me. When I wake up tomorrow and the clock strikes midnight in Japan that’s when SMAP will officially become part of the past. And I’ll admit it I’m extremely sad.

After writing so much about it, I think I’ll keep this farewell message short.

I want to thank everyone who is a part of SMAP and help made them who they are today. I’m glad I discovered them when I did. I found the happiness I lost and I started  loving myself ever since I met SMAP. I started accepting myself for who I am and believing that uniqueness is what makes you, you. Because of SMAP I pushed myself to learn Japanese beyond what’s on the textbook, and understand Japan’s entertainment industry beyond Anime, Manga and Dramas. I want to thank them for truly brightening up my life and being the bridge for me to discover many other wonderful things in life.

Thank you for being there for me for the past 9 years. Hope to see you again one day.


Perfume – MY TOP 10

So I heard from Twitter that Perfume is going on tour in the US, AGAIN! In fall of 2014 I had the chance to go see them in SF but I decided not to because work….. work. 🙁

So I’m wondering if I am going to regret not going again. Perfume is at their prime (they’ve been at their prime for a long while) and they just keep going up. They have been one of my favorite artists for years. My hairstyle is semi-inspired by Kashiyuka of Perfume and you know how much I care about my hair (thats almost just as much as I care about Perfume LOL). I don’t want to miss the chance but I also don’t really have the money to go. Maybe sometimes it’s okay to miss out on things.. Ahh the FOMO life.

Either way, in tribute to my love for Perfume, I guess I’ll do my top 10 favorite Perfume songs of all time because I LOVE LISTINGS.

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Nocchi, Kashiyuka, A~chan.. aren’t they adorable!?!

10th: Computer City

One of Perfume’s older songs, I think Computer City was my first favorite Perfume song. It starts out strong and eases into a nice electro pop beat. I also love, love, love, love the music video for this song. I think the Dream Fighter music video, also by Perfume, is literally a remake of Computer City’s music video.

9th: Chocolate Disco

Ah, Chocolate Disco, whose first Perfume song was NOT Chocolate Disco. This song is so loved by many people, although to me it came off pretty annoying because the constant “cho-ko-re-i-to dis-ko” in the song but hey, the song is catchy, cute, and the anthem of Perfume and Valentines in Japan.

8th: Macaroni

Macaroni! My first slow-type song for Perfume. It’s a nice rainy daysong. I got really into this song while listening to it, holding my umbrella and walking in the rain. I think this song really showcased the girls singing while still keeping that electronic Perfume image for them.

7th: 575

575 is so clever. You pretty much can write any haiku and sing it to 575’s tune. Honestly, it took me awhile to get why the song was even named 575, until one day in Japanese linguistics class we talked about haiku, go-shichi-go… then I’m like OH…… Anyways, another thing about this song that I got so hyped about is that it was for the IIDA Lightpool phone commercial. Those phones were so cute!! I’ve always wanted one. This song is another /kinda/ mellow late-night feel song with a nice beat.

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575 used to IIDA lightpool commercial

6th: One Room Disco

I think One Room Disco is about a young adult moving into their new studio apartment. To me, at fist, was about me dancing and the bathroom while I get ready lol. This song’s pretty empowering for me because it makes me feel like everything is going to be okay. You may be alone, starting a life alone, away from your comfort zone but just by changing your perspective on it, it can totally change a bad feeling to something exciting.

5th: Spending All My Time

Spending All My Time is the most complete, balanced, and solid Perfume song I know. A lot of Perfume songs are either too electronic-y for people, or too pop-idol for fans. I think Spending All My Time is the perfect balance for both audience. It was a catchy line, and at the same time it’s not overly pop. Great beat, choreography, tune. Ah!! I think this one ties up with 2nd place but because it’s such a Mario-type (balance) song of Perfume, I have to put other songs I feel more extreme about higher on the list.

4th: Ceramic Girl

Say Love Me Girl-AKA- Ceramic Girl has the most amazing beat out of all Perfume’s poptune. I love the Pentatonic melody with glitch hop mix into the pop. It’s just so AHHH I dance to this song a lot when I get ready after the shower.

3rd: Fushizen na Girl 

Fushizen na Girl.. releast on Perfume’s Pop over electronic spree. I honestly am not too sure why I like Fushizen na Girl so much. The beat? The Melody? I think this song is my most listen. I never get bored of this song!

2nd: Perfect Star Perfect Style

Fell in love with Perfect Star Perfect Style from watching a live performance recording. I also fell in love with the straight bangs super long hair look that Kashiyuka had in that performance. The choreography for this song is one of my favorites. I think I would cry if I get to see Perfume perform this song live.

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Kashiyuka Style <3 : I couldn’t find a good picture of that particular live performance 🙁 but this illustrates it well.

1st: love the world

“love the world” has a special place in my heart. I loved this song so much and it’s my definition of Perfume. This song used to be in all of my playlists because of how much I love it. Although I don’t listen to love the world as much anymore, that doesn’t change the fact that I remember how much I used to really really really love this song.

Honorable Mentions

Dream Fighter, Polyrhythm: although I love these two songs as they’re songs from the Breakout era of perfume, I didn’t really have a special personal moment of awe, omg, wowza, like I did with the ranked ones
Daijyobanai, 1mm; these two songs are from their newer album, LEVEL 3. Although I loved these two songs at first sight, it’s still a little bit too new to make it to the list… for now >:)

Well, this sums up my top 10 favorite Perfume songs. I love all of their songs, and I really hope they continue to keep making great music. I just love how they have evolved so much as a group but they still manage to produce that same feel-good sound I love from them no matter how much they have evolved over time. Maybe one day I’ll get to see them live. That one day is just not this year that’s all.