appeal

Mr Johnny is always thinking

Warning: this music and dancing might hurt your head! I must give full creative credit to Mr Johnnys, the creator of generations of J-pop boy bands. With EastWest Boys, he’s assembled a group of hip-gyrating, overly coiffed, and ridiculously choreographed white boys (“from Los Angeles) to appeal to Japanese teen girls. And, in a departure from decades of standard practice, he’s using the internet to get some free buzz. He’s even added a little emo to add some foreign “flavor” while sticking to the formula that has made Mr Johnny a very very rich, old man.

I found this video and story from Mutantfrog’s blog. I love how s/he captions their photo with “every girl’s fantasy English teacher.” Is it me, or does this Western version of J-pop seem even gay-er than the standard Japanese boy band? Have I gotten used to ridiculously vain Japanese pseudo-celebrities and their ability to feminize themselves in order to appeal to their fangirls? What do you think??

New slang & trends of 2009

One of the joys of November in Japan is the release of the top 60 new slang and trends of the year. Publisher Jiyu Kokuminsha provides the list, and fortunately Pink Tentacle provides excellent translations of each term (with explanations for those who may be less familiar with pop culture, politics and notorious crimes in Japan).

Next month 10 finalists are selected. I will start introducing some terms on my blog. You can read the full list of 60 new slang of 2009 on Pink Tentacle.

Above is sekushii buchō (セクスィー部長, or sexy department chief), a character with exaggerated masculine sex appeal from the NHK sketch-comedy show “Salaryman NEO.”