fantasy

And the Hunky Jesus winner is . . . Baby Jesus

baby2_hunky_jesus.JPG

Like Folsom Street Fair, the Hunky Jesus and WTF Mary contest marks the SF spiritual calendar of fantasy, spectacle and the sublime. This was the 36th annual contest and my first HJ in many years since I’ve been living in Tokyo.

I like how each Jesus created their own storyline, often independent of the Christian chronology. A 9 month pregnant woman won WTF Mary. “Good timing on her part,” as my friend said. Baby Jesus, “I’m just a baby,” won the HJ category. His is probably the sexiest adult diaper I have ever seen, and he won a lot of attention by pouring milk from his baby bottle across his hairy chest.

Thanks, Sister Roma, and all the good nuns for an outstanding event that brought together freaks, families, and pure joy.

baby_hunky_jesus
Advertisements

I love how fantasy wedding involves no groom, no family

meiji_jingu_wedding_ad_t

Why is this gorgeous woman lurking in the back seat of an old fashioned limousine? Of course, she’s promoting weddings at Meiji Jingu, perhaps the poshest place to get married in all of Japan. I love how this bride’s wedding fantasy includes no groom and no family. The perfect wedding is all about HER.

The Party is Over, or is it just starting?

I love how Japan is always pioneering feminine entertainment. The Party is Over is a new TV series about five fantasy dates with intensively groomed men.

For the past week, Tokyo’s JR stations have been blanketed with advertisements for this new series available only on the mobile phone channel Bee TV. They are bringing the ikemen of television onto the pocket screen.

Surely one of my readers is watching this feminine entertainment? The first date is with Narimiya Hiroki 成宮 寛貴, the last with my favorite canned coffee idol Koide Keisuke 小出 恵介. The husband likes best Takaoka Sousuke 高岡蒼甫 (his birthday is tomorrow!), he’s date #3 or top right in the photo below.

Here’s the online version of the billboard at the top of the post. It’s brilliant that the image is arranged to focus your attention only on the men. Doesn’t it help you feel like these are *your* dates?

Korean boy band posters cause JR Metro pandemonium

Tohoshinki's women fans go crazy in JR Metro

A frenzy of cellphone camera wielding ladies, young and “not-so-young,” were going crazy in the Omootesando subway yesterday. I was innocently going from one business meeting to the next when I saw swarms of women excitedly photographing these dewie images of their favorite Korean boy band plastered on the columns outside the fare gates. Two security guards, one with a bright red megaphone, implored them to not obstruct JR Metro passengers.

The band is called Tohoshinki, and they are 5 super-young looking Korean boys who are doing a two day concert at Tokyo Dome entitled “Stand by U.” I was startled when two fans explained that the band has existed for four years. I wondered if the boys, who barely look pubescent now, had started before the age of 10. No, I was assured, they are now in their early 20s. One middle-aged fan was there with her son, who looked mildly embarrassed. The female fans hugged the posters, vamped, and were completely crazed!

Later the same day, I saw a crowd of several hundred Japanese women lined up to see Korean movie star Park Hae Jin making an appearance at Shinjuku’s Kinokuniya bookstore. In both events, not a single male fan was present. I wonder if this female adoration for Korean stars translates into Japanese women romancing or marrying real Koreans. Or is this fantasy merely for “idols” and not for reality? Is it like Boys Love, a fantasy and displacement that is never fulfilled? I *almost* felt sorry for Japanese men.

More photos after the jump.

Continue reading

“How come I am uke?!”

Bangin cosplays Kyon on Otome Road

On Monday, I had the supreme pleasure of helping my internet friend Bangin, the master teacher of otaku vocabulary for the English-speaking world, cosplay Kyon from The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi.

Bangin’s idea was to have Kyon, the narrator, provide a tour of Otome Road, the fujoshi (female geek) world capital in Ikebukero. My role was to take hundreds of photos. It was great fun since I’ve long admired Bangin’s blog, and I’d watched seven English subbed episodes online between the time he asked me and when we did the cosplay.

A brief summary of the manga and anime story: Kyon, the narrator, is a high school freshman who is trying to grow up. He falls under the spell of a dominant female classmate who organizes the SOS Brigade to make contact with extraterrestrials, time travelers, and ESP experts. Basically, she’s looking for magic in the mundane world, a lovely concept. The story has plenty of otaku moe (school girls in uniform, including one who is used as sexual bait to gain a computer, new members and attention), and a slash fan story of Kyon’s romance with the “mysterious (male) transfer student Koizumi.”

My National Science Foundation and Fulbright-sponsored university research with Rio de Janeiro drag queens in the early 1990s only partly prepared me for the role of cosplay photographer. Make-up, costume, fantasy, role-playing, utter seriousness, a depth of knowledge and passion– all to be expected.

What surprised me was the concern to not be “too loud” or too noticed while performing. I had thought it would be fun to interact with the butler cafe doorman, or the many fujoshi pulling their wheelie bags full of manga and doujinshi (fan slash manga). This was not Bangin’s idea at all. And, oddly, no fujoshi approached us to ask about Kyon.

Here you can read Bangin’s post about Otome Road. It’s even funnier than I anticipated because Bangin writes the whole travelogue in Kyon’s voice– being “forced” by Haruhi, and warned by Koizumi about the catastrophe of closed spaces. His introduction ends with, “Today is going to be my worst day in all of my life. Will you follow me? I will show around.” There are many photos, observations and explanations!

The finale of the tour is very amusing. Across from the dozens of shops catering to fujoshi is a small, somewhat uncared-for-park, where the young customers open up their purchases (and homeless people make their home, which reminded me of San Francisco).

The photo at the top of the post shows Kyon’s shock and horror that he is the subject of a Koizumi x Kyon doujinshi. Bangin provided the quote, “How come I am uke?!”

“Er, well, I suppose I was in love with a man myself”

Junjou romantica

Following a few blog links, I discovered this year’s most popular Boys Love anime, Junjou Romantica, with seasons 1 and 2 appearing on television. With a cast featuring university students, professors, and a famous novelist, this story tells the connected stories of four male couples.The title can be translated as Pure Romance.

Like all Boys Love, this anime is clearly written by and for women. Gay romance and sex is a fantasy displaced onto men for maximum erotic exploration. Few if any of the characters identify as gay. The sex is generally forced and desire denied, while simultaneously there’s also sweetness and true love.

Super hen, ne. ちょう変、ね!(Very twisted).

Equally amazing is that these shows have a huge international fanbase, who fansub them into English within a week or two of broadcast. All episodes can be found online for free. Season 1 can be found here.  The first five episodes of Season 2 here.

Here’s some more stills, showing ostensible rejection of attention, “but” . . .

Junjou Romantica

Sex that’s borderline rape.

Junjou Romantica

More denial of desire.

Junjou Romantica

A rare role reversal, saved for the finale of Season 1.

Junjou Romantica

The voice actors are hilarious, and the visual style very entertaining. When the characters frequently become mad, the drawings get simplified, and characters regress to children. There’s also some excessive use of falling flowers.

Season 1 has a rock and roll love song in the opening. I’ve learned most of the lyrics:

君に会いたくて会いたくて
I want to see you, just want to see

二人でいればいる程寂しくなるなら
If the more we’re together, the lonelier we get,

寂しくなくなるまで手を繋ごう
Let’s hold each other’s hands until we’re not lonely anymore

その手離さないで離さないで
Don’t let go of that hand, don’t let go

僕がそばにいるから
Because I’m here beside you

どんな時でも笑って笑って
Keep on smiling, always smiling

花を咲かせてよ
And make flowers bloom

Junjou Romantica