Since Mr. W. has returned to us I think this calls for a party.

Bear style, which is, if we’re really honest, the only true style anyway.

Be thankful I didn’t use the 60 minute version. It would be too much for you hairless gits!


About Edohiguma

A friend of death, a brother of luck & a son of a b*tch. A bear with guns (based on the right to arm bears), enforcer of the law and a riot cop of history. Studying that Japanese stuff. Shanghaiing your books since 1543.... AND NEVER GIVING THEM BACK!
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24 Responses to Party

  1. wormme says:

    Thanks edo. The sound hit me like a brick wall, but otherwise it was very relaxing.

  2. wdydfae says:

    Pale emulation of party screech. Yeeeoooooowwwwwwwww!

    Good to see both of you.

    You probably shouldn’t have an open invitation to a party like this. I’m the one where they say “Don’t be that guy” but I’m like, that guy.

  3. wdydfae says:

    And I had almost everything in place to seriously scale back blog activity, with the very live possibility of getting it down somewhere close to zero.


  4. wdydfae says:

    Might appreciate this wee bi’ o’ Scots humor.

  5. wdydfae says:

    Edo, have you been watching Kanbei? Man, it’s good. Other than some Shakespeare productions (maybe) I don’t think I’ve ever seen a historical drama as good. And I don’t even like taiga drama that much, as a rule.

    • Edohiguma says:

      I have it up to episode 21, but finding it has become really hard.

      I did love Gochisousan though. Friend of mine was in it, too, which made it twice the awesome. And Ken Watanabe’s daughter has grown into a pretty decent actress.

      • wdydfae says:

        Don’t think I’ve seen Gochisousan.

        What was the recent drama with the Densha no Otoko guy playing the art teacher? I really had mixed feelings about it because the casting, acting and production were so superb, but the content was so disturbing that I genuinely worried about people watching and imitating that stuff (though it was presented ultimately in a very humanistic way).

      • wdydfae says:


        Damn good, but damn disturbing.

        • Edohiguma says:

          I have it downloaded, but no time to see it yet. There’s so much every season! And there was ST and Nobunaga no Chef to watch.

          ST was very good. Fujiwara Tatsuya as lead, damn he’s good, but he’s even better on stage. And Shida Mirai was in it, too. Been pretty much a fan since The Queen’s Classroom. Nobunaga no Chef was, as expected, abysmal, like season 1. That lead “actor” from some ass boy band, blargh! Lackluster, boring. The only highlight, like in season 1, was really Shida, again. She was pretty much given free reign, but I can’t blame really blame anyone for that decision. With such a lead “actor” the others have to do at least twice as much.

          Gochisousan is also selling really well as DVD and blu-ray, which makes me very happy.

          The last really good taiga, IMO, was Tenchijin. Abe Hiroshi as Uesugi Kenshin was terrifying. Since then, well, Ryoma-den was solid, but not outstanding. Gou was a train wreck, though Miyazawa Rie and Ashida Mana were spectacular. Miyazawa, I’m not expecting less, she is outstanding. And Ashida was that good and popular that she ended up playing two different characters.

          Taira no Kiyomori does not exist. I have purged it from my memory.

          And Yae no Sakura had so much potential that was completely wasted. They also had that problem that after the Boshin War things got very boring very quickly. Bad move by NHK, really. They should have made a 10 episode drama based on the Aizu Women’s Brigade and actually get big names and good actresses for these girls, and not some third rate like Kuroki Meisa as Nakano Takeko. When I saw that casting I was like “What the monkey F!”

          My favorite remains Fuurin Kazan. Uchino was just perfect for Yamamoto Kansuke. Closely followed by Komyo ga Tsuji and Toshiie to Matsu. Yoshitsune in 2006 was generally bleh, though MatsuKen as Benkei was epic. Shinsengumi had a spectacular cast but was really just a 50 episode whine fest. MUSASHI, Ichikawa was ideal for Musashi, but after the famous duel with Sasaki Kojiro (Matsuoka was fantastic) the whole thing just lost all drive it had. And Yonekura was far too old and mature for Otsu.Uchiyama and Tsutsumi though, their scenes were hilarious.

          • wdydfae says:

            Excellent media roundup! As a pretty passive and occasional tv viewer, I haven’t seen most of that, and know most of the people mentioned by face rather than name. I have noticed the quality of the dramas going up, though.

          • Edohiguma says:

            The great thing about actors in Japan is that the good ones play all three: TV, movie and stage. And they do A LOT of it.

            Last time I’ve seen Fujiwara on stage was in 2010, in London, in Ninagawa’s production of Inoue’s Musashi. Fujiwara was mind blowing and unearthly powerful. Though, in all fairness, the entire cast was exceptional.

            Personally, Fujiwara and Suzuki Anne directed by Ninagawa Yukio are pretty much my Dream Team on stage.

          • wdydfae says:

            “The great thing about actors in Japan is that the good ones play all three: TV, movie and stage. And they do A LOT of it.”

            They don’t seem very stuck up as a rule, either. Unless I’m missing cultural cues.

            Didn’t know you were such a theater buff!

          • Edohiguma says:

            That’s because in Japan the actors are employed by the agencies. If they do things that damage the image of the agency, if they cause the agency to lose face, then they can get fired and no other agency will touch them until they have atoned for whatever they did.

            In recent years there were some high profile cases. Like Yamamoto Taro. He went nuts over Fukushima, became an unreasonable nuclearphobic and as a result he was fired. Now he’s lurking around in the Upper House with no power or importance. Or, I forgot his name, but recently a musician was nailed by police for drug use and possession. Not only did his agency drop him like a hot potato, his label also removed his CDs form sale.

            You won’t see actors make political statements in Japan like they do in the US. Openly campaigning for a political candidate? Unthinkable.

            My friend has been in the business for quite some time. She’s a pro and she’s no asshat. I’ve met Ueto Aya once and she’s really sweet. Nakama Yukie? Same thing. She’s a very nice woman. There is no fake BS and “I’m better than you”. They’re all very down to earth. Those who break out and try to pull the loopy Hollywood approach get steamrolled. After all, in Japan there are only Japanese ways and the nail that stands out is hammered down.

            Well, not really a theater buff, but Ninagawa’s productions are usually GOOD. His Shakespeare is fantastic. Add a good cast like Fujiwara and Suzuki and you get top of the line theater.

          • wdydfae says:

            Maybe there’s a selection effect, then, wherein acting would tend not to attract the sociopathic narcissist types who wouldn’t get any kind of reward?

          • Edohiguma says:

            Most likely. And I’m pretty sure casting in general there works a lot differently, too.

            I mean, when they cast AKb48 initially, they clearly looked for very specific types. I don’t care much about them, but the initial 48 and all the offspring, they all work together. I’ve never heard anything about bitchy infighting or similar.

  6. wdydfae says:

    To start a J-pop thread (at least potentially), let me give a preamble then offer a few opinions.

    I’m basically a classical, jazz, jazz fusion, 60’s rock kind of guy and have not been too much into the J-pop, and not at all the K-pop or C-pop. (Love Japanese CD shops because they have so much jazz and classical, and there are some great used places.)

    Anyway, the cobwebs are showing here, but I like Keisuke Kuwata and some (only some) of the old enka singers, especially Harumi Miyako, then, the occasional Dreams Come True ditty, a couple of ballads by the nicer lady singers (like Misia, and what’s her face who did Yuki no Hana) etc. etc.

    But . . . I kind of became a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu fan, against my will. I started out determined to dislike her, but some of her videos were extremely inventive. KPP led me more into Yasutaka Nakata’s music, and now I like Capsule and even Perfume. It surprised me, especially getting to like Perfume (though they be lovely ladies), because I was convinced that I detested techno stuff. But Nakata seems to me to do some truly interesting music, creating these great musical textures.

    So, that’s me and J-pop. I can’t get into the giant girl groups like AKB48. There’s a real generational handicap there for me. It’s not like I hate them. It’s just a throw up my hands and have a puzzled expression kind of thing.

    • Edohiguma says:

      AKB48 are an interesting social phenomenon. They are everywhere. Other than that, yeah… Just too many girls. I think they had all of them together once for a performance and it was like 200-something girls. How can anyone keep track of that? It’s just OVERFLOW!

      Though, I admit, I’m kind of curious to see what’ll happen to those who graduate. My guess is that most will simply disappear. Some girls have already left the franchise to focus on school. A handful of them will survive in the business, but that’s about it.

      From what I’ve heard, KPP is one of the hardest workers in the business. She totally goes out of her way with her videos and her success proves her right.

      Perfume are good, that’s all I’m saying. It certainly helps that all three are very easy to look at. But apart from, their music is good. The girls have also been very innovative. I totally love “Spring of Life”.

      Hmm, as for other artists, well, I absolutely dig Usuzawa Misaki (臼澤みさき). That girl is ridiculously good.

      • wdydfae says:

        I will definitely check out Usuzawa, thanks–probably I’ll recognize her when I hear her. For Perfume, Spring of Life is a great video. I am partial to Glitter and 1mm, though possibly on the merits of the favorable leg views. KPP does some of the most visually inventive stuff around. Or at least, her director does.

      • wdydfae says:

        Wait, I forgot. Going old school again, but I like Hibari Misawa and Momoe Yamaguchi. They don’t make um like that anymore.

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