I love you. Random snippets from Japanese TV in the last few months.
I think this one is for soap.
"Shopping is what makes Japan happy". Yeah right. (Although what do I know, apparently I'm from a "post-consumerist" society. Again: yeah right.)
Oh and the Goblin King himself would be jealous of this getup. But does it sell mini PCs?
And just because, let's continue to put Shingo in female-coded roles. The mum and daughter trope of Japanese ads. Because daddy and bro are way too busy with outside stuff like work and baseball, it's usually up to mum and daughter to do the laundry, cook curry, drink coffee etc. But Shingo can play too!
So here is the exclusive sneak peek at some stills from the film that took over my life for the past three months.
And this, one day, will be the poster. For now, here is just the picture:
All the Peace Park shots, by the way, taken at about 4am, drunk, as was the scene we shot there. Thanks to Andy and Susan for all the hard work. Film has been sent into the Damah Film Festival, for now I will leave it at that but will try to upload it at some point when I have days and patience to spare (the internet still so. bloody. slow. when it comes to lenghty video uploads).
For now, that's all there is of news. Oh, except that I am back in Japan and jittery, having learnt the hard way just how much caffeine there is in green tea when you make it cold. Yowsa.
Much as it pains me, I probably won't be posting here for a while. There is Shingo to be covered, and a neverending stream of updates re the length of Kusanagi's metaphorical house arrest (which seems to be cut shorter and shorter). But I have a metaphorical house arrest of my own, as I am trying to make a film, something I've never ever done before or thought I would, but there you go. I bet a month ago you wouldn't have thought Tsuyopon was one to get blind drunk and strip in public. We live to surprise (pleasantly, of course).
I leave you with this. It's my look for the mushi sticky hott summer to come, Nippon '09:
And I know the fashion is so salaryman on a Sunday, but I love that pink jacket!
He also seems to finally be back to his cheerful self, thank God.
I am sure part of this is because the subject was one close to him - food. They are discussing a book called "Kare gohan" (boyfriend food, a clever-ish pun based on the similarity between the words for curry and boyfriend).
This inspired Shingo to invent a longer story about how you should buy it, and hide it before your boyfriend comes over, but hide it in a way that he would find it. And when he finds it, he sure will say:
Fly girl, come here, 'cause you're sexy and you're fine, and I want you to be mine.
Ah, koitsuuuu. (Oh, no you didn't.)
I don't really care what he says. As long as he says it in broken English.
Yup, today is Green Day (Midori no hi) so he dressed in green. Makes sense, no?
But yeah, he still doesn't look too thrilled with what seems to be a regular new part of his Monday appearance on Waratte Ii Tomo. Basically, they pair him up with an older woman (at least 40s), and ask the rest of the participants if they look like friends (read: lovers) or mother and child. Yeah, I know:
Shingo: the greatest Stoic of the modern age.
He did look genuinely thrilled on tonight's SMAP x SMAP, an extravaganza of various SMAPpers (but of course not Kusanagi) performing various songs past. Not only was Shingo super happy and doing the pointless random stuff we are used to him pulling:
it was also cut weirdly, and had shots of lots of famous guests listening, but no interviews, suggesting it was taped ages ago and had all the Kusanagi stuff quickly binned, even if it meant binning stuff that had him just sitting there when someone else was being interviewed. It also had way too much of Goro Inagaki's lame-ass CCB Goro character for this to have been intentional from the start. I mean it even had stuff from when Shingo was blond which I believe is at least a year ago:
He did it for The Monkey King (don't ask) and kept it for a while, if I remember correctly (oh dear, I really am becoming quite the SMAxpert).
And, while we're on the topic of Goro, seriously, if you're gonna take style tips, does it have to be from Enrique Inglesias?
It worked for Shingo though. This was his reaction to the line "I want you to laugh and say it was just a joke you were leaving me":
Which leads me to suspect that our Shingo is just a rather sensitive lad in general, and that maybe we shouldn't be too worried about his appearance over the past few weeks as clearly he is a boy who is not afraid to cry. And often.
Case in point: Shingo singing The Carpenters' Yesterday Once More:
However, please note: 'Tache present. Which means this is post-Kusanagi and so perhaps a little deeper the sorrows, as indeed it seems here.
Oh give me your tired, your poor. Well, your tired and kawaiso Shingo, at least. Anytime.
And seriously, Goro AGAIN with the Enrique:
AND KimuTaku again looking ridiculous and AGAIN being saved because although dude looks ridiculous, dude looks like a very cool lady. In this case - Louise.
Anyway, here is the whole performance, because you know you want it.
There is some brilliant Engrish on this as well.
"When I was young I'd listen to the ladio, writing for my favourite songs. When they'd play, I'd sing alone." Ah, Shingo! Love! I'll listen with you. I'll write with you! And we can sing along rather than alone.
At least Shingo's English is decent and his mis-singing still makes sense, unlike Goro's effort:
"When they get to the pod, when he's breaking her hood, he can really make me cry."
It's funny, though, as is Kimutaku's "And I'd memo-write each word."
Next: Shingo can actually sing rather well as he did with Kome Kome Club.
Ah, Kome Kome Club. It's like ABC but if ABC kept doing the same stuff well into the 90s. Which is, of course, awesome. Good for Shingo for not being shy about his love here, nor indeed his ability to actually sing, nor indeed his penchant for strange non-stripping stripping.
More 80s came after that. Nena, yes, that Nena, performing 99 Luftballons. Yes, the German version and all. Sadly, there was no mangled Japanese German or... Gelman? I wish Goro would have attempted to sing a bit but, alas, he was happier just making fun of it all. Indeed, the 80s are officially funny in Japan. Welcome to the 90s.
From an ad break. It's a new DS game (or possibly a new DS, I didn't bother to check), which has over 90 "Puchi Games" (puchi being the Japanisation of "petit"). Among them, this one:
So much less satisfying than the real thing.
Finally Goro, Shingo and Janet Jackson. Just because it happened.
And that concludes this Monday's Shingo roundup. Every sha-la-la-la, every wo-o-wo-o, and every Shingo-ling-a-ling.
Nice sympathy move, Shingo. Even if you do look like Huey.
Tonight's SmaStation was a much happier affair than last week's. The theme was where to take the kids for the Golden Week holidays (this show knows its demographic), and Shingo spent the time watching info about aquariums and Alpacas with this week's guest, the extra-kawaiiBecky (she's the one in the tutu).
But it all went wrong in the last ten minutes.
There was a mail from a viewer asking Becky whether, shiny as she is, she ever gets sad and in that case how she deals with it. This set Shingo straight off.
Her assertion was that she sees hardship as a lesson from the gods:
"There's something you want me to learn?"
"Okay, I will take it on and I will grow stronger."
Shingo flat out refuses to accept this explanation:
And he presses her again.
"Do you do this even when awful things happen?"
Shingo is still completely unconvinced.
"But when awful things happen, you do feel this pressure downwards, right? And you do cry, right?"
Becky confesses that she does, of course, cry from time to time, but
...she does so on her own, where no one can see.
But this is not enough for Shingo. The sadness inside must out and so it comes.
He mimics crying very hard. And asks her if she doesn't do this. The obvious subtext here is that Shingo sure does. A lot. And recently.
Becky denies this, clearly getting uncomfortable with the whole thing.
Quite why this is not enough for Shingo, I don't know. I guess he just wants everyone else to suffer too, if he must, or perhaps the pain has made him insensitive to other people's feelings. Whatever the reason, he continues to press on. He really, really needs to know, it seems, if Becky ever cries floods of tears, and so we get...
The second crying mimic scene within TEN SECONDS of the first one!
Finally, Becky is forced to admit that, indeed she very rarely does. "Tamani ne" ("Rarely, innit"), she confesses, and they both break into the most toe-curlingly forced laugh I've ever seen in Japan, and boy I've seen many.
Fake-laughing is like a national sport here. I mean every single smile or laugh in the .gifs and pictures above is fake. But nothing, I think, will ever beat this:
He clearly is still very raw and very sore from the whole Kusanagi affair.
And seriously. That's kawaiso facial hair. Can't wait to see that progress over the following weeks.
It's Golden Week, it's sunny and Kusanagi might return to SMAPxSMAP as early as May 18. Thank God, and I hope it's true. All the other silliness about waiting six months was just ridiculous. I mean, who knows what the world will look like by then anyway, swine flu and all? We need Kusanagi in these unstable times. Till then: