Tag Archive | himuro kyosuke

My Waifu! ^_^

All right, so after all the views that I’m getting for the entry about Charles (Charusharu), it seems like people out there are curious about him or are already watching his videos. If you haven’t, here’s his latest from his alternate channel:

If he said his waifu was Sailor Mars,… I don’t know, I think I’d be done with the internet at that point, because otherwise I’d sit here and be all, “OMG Sailor Mars is my favorite of the Sailor Senshi and I have her deck from the collectible card game that came out and she’s just my favorite and I…”

Relax, take a breath, don’t be awkward…

Scratch that, it’s too late. I’m already being awkward. Might as well own it!

So what is a waifu? As Charles’ video explains, using a definition from ye olde Urban Dictionary, a waifu is basically your two-dimensional wife, it’s the character you would marry if it were possible to do so. The male version is a husbando. It’s not really limited to anime characters, your waifu/husbando can be a musician, an actor, or a character in a movie or book or television show.

My comment earlier today was to say that my husbando was Hyde from Vamps and L’arc en Ciel. It’s not entirely true.

My husbando, right now, would probably be Kyosuke Himuro. He has a voice like black velvet when he’s singing ballads, and I think the perfect evening spent with him would be spent under the moonlight of a summer’s night with him singing to me. He also has a well-toned body, like he works out and eats a fair amount of protein. Some of his body language suggests he has an ego, which would be nice to be around a guy with that much self-confidence. I like watching his concert performances, because I like his energy and the way he moves along with the songs. He also seems like a bit of a playful badass with a heartfelt side, but I have no basis for that other than his songs and just how he seems to act.

My waifu would probably be Hyde. I know, he’s a guy. But he has a more slender figure than Himuro, and Hyde has also cross-dressed as Harley Quinn and as a geisha-like character, so he’s rather androgynous. Just like Himuro, I wouldn’t mind being serenaded at night by Hyde. Hyde has a slightly deeper, slightly raspy voice, but it’s still nice to listen to. Hyde’s energy on-stage is different from Himuro, in that it comes from Hyde’s shyness and bashfulness. Hyde rocks out to his music just the same, but his dancing and spinning seem to be more of his personal enjoyment of the music. Back to his bashfulness, I think I would have too much fun, every now and then, doing things that would make him blush. I think he would be fun to be around by day, sometimes even at night. If we’re on the same wavelength, he seems like the kind who could tap into my sadness when I’m feeling down and make me feel like everything is going to be alright.

If I had to pick an anime husbando, it would probably be Sebastian from Black Butler. At least if I promise to be with him for eternity, there would be the possibility of that actually happening. I mainly chose him because I’d likely do like Ciel and be a little shit towards Sebastian, taking sarcastic shots at him when possible but knowing he gives as good at he gets. But I’d be impressed by his work ethic and skills, because after all, he’s one hell of a butler. Can you imagine him as a significant other? If he plans a romantic evening, you know that no detail will be spared, and you’d likely have a really classy experience.

Another husbando would be Kyohei from The Wallflower. Okay, so he has his moments where he only cares about what’s in it for him, but at the same time he does care about Sunako. I might not be able to deal with him if he often thinks only of himself, but if he points out when I’m being unreasonable or otherwise lights a fire under me when I want to shut out the world, then he’d be good to keep around. Also, he’s one of the most gorgeous people in the story (not an opinion, that’s part of his character as a “radiant being” or “creature of light”), so if I really wanted to be superficial about my choices, I would go for the pretty boy who gets into a lot of fights because he’s so pretty.

Do I have more on my waifu/husbando list? Yes, yes I do. There’s at least two more, but if it wasn’t so late, I could probably think of a few others.

But don’t tell ME who your waifu is! Go watch Charles’ video and leave a comment over there. No, seriously, watch the video and comment over there, and share the video with your friends. We’re going to get 1,ooo views on that video within a week. Let’s do it!

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Kore Wa Pen Desu – How My Scatterbrain Learns Japanese

Mornings around here are hit or miss. Either everyone is reasonably quiet, or I’m just in a very deep sleep when they’re getting ready to leave for school and work, because some mornings I don’t wake up until 9 am or so. Other mornings, it’s either a manic 6-year-old with no volume control regardless of how many times you tell him to be quiet, or it’s a banshee in her mid-thirtees complaining about what does and doesn’t get done properly around here. This morning was a combination of both noisy individuals, but it was fine because I had to wake up at a reasonable hour since a guest was stopping by around 9 am.

With all of this time on my hands, what was I to do? Supposedly, early daytime hours are better for learning things. I’ve only learned to either obey the alarm clock or go back to sleep for another hour. As long as I was awake, I pulled out Memrise and Mindsnacks.

I had the word kore (これ, this) drilled into my head by Memrise. It reminded me that the first phrase Japanese-speakers tend to learn when they’re learning English is “this is a pen.” So, I decided to teach myself how to say “this is a pen” in Japanese.

Google Translate converted the English into これわペンです.

I, however, don’t understand why it can’t be written as これわぺんです. So when I typed that into Google Translate and made it spit the English back at me, it said “this is very confusing.” You’re absolutely correct, Google! It IS very confusing! The hiragana is phonetically correct, so why can’t it still say, “this is a pen?” But I’m here to learn, not to teach, so I’ll have to do some research on that and talk about it later.

The new hiragana I did learn, I could write about it here, but typing the hiragana isn’t going to help me learn the hiragana. The computer already knows the symbol, I just have to type the letters for the sound it makes.

Speaking of, I’m going to get thrown by め and ぬ. One is me (pronounced may) and the other is nu (pronounced new). So it’s not just a matter of looking at the one and thinking, “it looks like no but has a little u-like marking, so it must be nu.” NO! I have to look for the little curlicue on the bottom right of the character in order to tell them apart.

I tried doing the N5 sample questions for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, just to see if I had advanced at all since the last time I tried looking at the questions. I still have much to learn, because even though I know more of the hiragana characters, I don’t feel as if I have all of the vocabulary learned and therefore there’s a disconnect.

And I don’t remember what word I was trying to commit to memory, but I was trying to put a word into context by putting it in a sentence so I’d remember it. Unfortunately, I noticed I was using Spanish articles. I learned some Spanish in high school, and I guess my mind only wants to have one secondary language. If it happens again, I’ll have to write down the sentence I was trying to make, because I had some wires crossing somewhere and I couldn’t help but shake my head.

Of the hiragana I do have memorized, I have ka (か) down pat. I associate it with my most recent Dungeons & Dragons character Kha’knacca, a tiefling warlock who acquired Hyde (yes, Hyde from L’arc en Ciel) as a sort of pet bard. Well, I’m far enough into Memrise that ka is now its own vocabulary term, and it translates to “mosquito.” Considering how many times people wanted to swat Kha’knacca, I guess か is rather fitting.

I’m watching more Kyosuke Himuro music videos tonight. I tried pulling myself away for a day or two, as my mood had changed a bit, but I’m still mesmerized despite watching the same music videos day in and day out. Also, I want to gaze into his eyes more, because they look like pools of ink from what I can see in the videos. I’m so used to seeing people with different colored irises, to the point where solid black irises are mysterious to me. That has nothing to do with learning Japanese, however, people have added the lyrics to his songs at the bottom of some of the videos. Knowing more hiragana helps a bit, because I can follow along with the lyrics even though I still don’t know kanji. One day, I’ll be able to do Himuro’s songs at karaoke without needing to look up the romaji lyrics, but that’s going to take some practice.

A Vamps song just came on. Hyde, you’re not helping my Japanese education by singing in English! You get a pass for putting dragons and a moon in the video for Replay. You did, however, inspire me to look up some of the first Japanese words I ever committed to memory, so you did teach me some Japanese. I’ll save that post for another day, or maybe I’ll turn a song into a vocabulary list.

For now, it’s late and I must be off to bed. Not that I have anything to do tomorrow, since my interview was cancelled. But there’s more Japanese to learn, and more self-awareness questions to answer. Tomorrow is just another day to do it all.

Aging Like A Fine Wine

I probably wouldn’t have written about my birthday, other than to say it happened and it was a good day as expected. But things happened, and I ended up crying for about half of the day.

When I woke up this morning, it wasn’t because I slept as late as I wanted to and then sat up and stretched like a Disney princess. I woke up to the sound of cats licking milk out of a cereal bowl that one of the kids left on the bookshelf. The cats’ drinking fountain was running low on water, and while there was enough to drink, it wasn’t enough to keep the motor from sputtering. I couldn’t just close my eyes and hope for another hour of shut-eye, especially since the sun was brightly shining which triggered my brain to stay awake.

The house was empty, a product of circumstances out of everyone’s control because my friend has to be elsewhere this week. I slowly ate my breakfast while navigating the offerings of the internet. Eventually I got dressed, debating between whether to wear a more feminine shirt with rhinestones or to wear my Hard Rock Cafe NYC shirt. The Hard Rock Cafe shirt won out, which I wore with blue jeans and my boots. I decided to bring Mom along with me, so I put on the necklace that’s holding her wedding rings. Since the weather was like spring, I donned a black hooded sweatshirt and stepped out the door.

I drove to the mall, opting to get a movie ticket first and then plan my mall trip around that. It was just before noon, and the 11:50 showing of Beauty And The Beast would have been starting already. When I asked for a ticket, I was sold one for the 11:50 showing, so I had no time to waste. I raced across to the other side of the mall’s third floor, away from the box office and towards the theaters. I entered my theater just before the last preview played, and found a decent seat near the center of the room.

Beauty And The Beast was absolutely fantastic! By the time the title card was on the screen, I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. Up to that point, it was a beautiful reimagining of the animated movie that I saw in the theater with my parents. I thought about how much Mom would have enjoyed seeing the movie. I thought about her as if she was there in the theater beside me, because she would have been there if she was still alive. But there were so many moments in the movie that made me cry, because so much of the story is dedicated to a parent’s love for their child and the child’s love for their parents in return. If you dropped a hat during that movie, I would start crying, that’s how easily the waterworks began to flow.

And then the movie ended, and I had to compose myself.

Before I did anything else, my next stop needed to be the craft store. The cord on my bracelet was starting to fray, and it seemed like a matter of time before it would snap. While in the craft store at the mall, there was a sale on beads. Okay, I didn’t need to spend any more money than the $1.50 for the cord, but some of the beads caught my eye and I was inspired to make a bracelet like what I’ve seen Kyosuke Himuro wear. I bought the beads, and the cord that I needed, and proceeded to my next stop.

Being a member for every rewards program is sometimes beneficial, even if you don’t frequent the business. I had a free dessert, no purchase required, from TGI Friday’s because it’s been my birth month. I hadn’t used the offer, so I figured that since I would be at the mall anyway, I would redeem it as a treat to myself. I only had a single dollar bill, and I wanted to leave a tip, so I ordered a soda so I had an excuse to use my credit card. I ate the brownie I ordered, then worked to finish my soda while I waited for the bartender to give me the bill. When the bartender asked if I wanted a refill on the soda, I politely declined, but asked for the bill at that moment. He waved me off, wishing me a happy birthday.

I was floored. I couldn’t think straight, not of the dollar bill in my wallet that I could have thrown down or anything. I walked out of the restaurant, trying to process my thoughts. My bladder was suggesting that I should find the bathroom, so I did. While sitting on the toilet, I pulled out my phone and pulled up TGI Friday’s page on Facebook, then typed up a thank you for the good service I had. The person behind their social media responded to me, wishing me a happy birthday and asking for my rewards account information. I passed it along to them, and was eventually gifted with 100 reward points. So not only did I get free dessert today, but I have enough points to go back and get a burger. Or I could get another dessert, if I so desired. The whole thing made me cry, because it wasn’t expected or needed, but I appreciated the gesture so much that it got to me.

Back in the car, because I was trying to figure out how to waste time before dinner, I typed up an e-mail to my friend in Japan. I started by telling him how much of a mess I’ve been. I cried through a movie. I cried over a free drink that I had with my free dessert, that I received free points for appreciating. And I still had dinner with friends to get through, but I didn’t know if I was going to cry through that. I didn’t tell him, but I was crying while typing the e-mail. I wanted to say that I felt like I didn’t deserve to be treated so well by people, but then I couldn’t help but think that maybe I have been good or otherwise deserving of the kindness. I sent the brief message, which helped me feel a little more grounded again.

I drove to where we would be having dinner, then parked my car. It was a gray, cloudy drive. Where did the sun go? I had a pair of nail clippers in the car, and I used the clippers as scissors while I restrung my bracelet to pass the time. Of course, there was still more time that I needed to occupy, so I made my Himuro bracelet. At one of his concerts, Himuro wears a couple of bracelets, one of which looks like a string of onyx beads. I bought black glass beads, which I alternated with wooden beads so it would look similar to the tigers eye and wood bracelet I had restrung.

I also bought some black glass beads that have blue iridescent enamel on one side, and I made a second bracelet with those beads and some wooden beads. As the blue iridescent side doesn’t always show, the bracelet takes on a personality where it coordinates with the Himuro bracelet for part of the time, then stands out on its own at other times. The name I gave that bracelet is rather personal to me, as it evokes feelings of a person I want to see. I was hoping they would surprise me and show up for dinner, but I told myself it wasn’t going to happen because I knew that it would require sacrifices that couldn’t be made so easily. So as expected, I didn’t see the person.

I did, however, have an awesome time with the ones who were there. I had one friend and my cousin, and my friend brought her significant other’s daughter, which made a total of four of us. As the party was all girls, things did get a bit silly.

After dinner was karaoke. I thought I’d start off the night by singing Vamps, but I didn’t pull the English-only song, and I didn’t bring up the romaji lyrics on my phone. As soon as the Japanese characters showed up on screen, a combination of kanji and hiragana, I cancelled the song and uttered an expletive. I could hear laughing out in the lobby, which I hoped was aimed at me because I was laughing at myself so much at that point. My friend picked out a song and performed while I looked for another song to do.

I started to look for anything performed by Himuro at that point. All I could find were two songs by him and one song by Boøwy. The Boowy song was Marionette, which I haven’t listened to too many times and don’t know how the song goes. I would have preferred Welcome To The Twilight or 16. The Kyosuke Himuro songs, which I recognized only by title and the kanji spelling of his name, were Jealousy and Kiss Me. I’m familiar with Jealousy, but I’m more familiar with Kiss Me because YouTube puts it as the first song for my Himuro playlist that’s automatically generated. So, I tried to do Kiss Me, and I stumbled over the timing and pronunciations. I would have rather had his ballads to perform,

Oh well, I still had anything performed by Hyde in one way or another, along with Tetsuya’s music. I did the Tetsu69 song Tightrope, eventually finding the Vamps song that was all-English (Love Addict) and then finishing with Horizon by Hyde. My friend sang Lady Marmalade, Taylor Swift’s song Love Story, and Scarborough Fair along with one other song.

Everyone had places to be, except for me, so we all ended the karaoke session. In the process of leaving, I managed to get a shot of pineapple vodka as a kind of free birthday drink. Then we all headed to our cars… in the rain.

I drove around to waste some more time, as I had a friend who wanted to celebrate with me but couldn’t get out of work until after midnight. So I walked around a grocery store where I used to work, and managed to be seen by people who I didn’t expect to see. One person I talked to was a friend on Facebook who had already wished me a happy birthday on the website, and then wished me a happy birthday again upon seeing me. It was pretty special that I ran into him after the events of my day. I actually paid for his $30-something grocery order after he accidentally left his wallet where he works. To pay me back, he gave me two prints for free of things in the Syracuse area that he’s photographed, one of the prints was framed and would have cost $200.

When I left the grocery store, it was just before midnight. The rain had started to freeze, and snow was falling. I sent a message to the friend who was working until midnight, asking if we could postpone because I didn’t want to be tired, out half the night, and driving on icy roads to get back to where I’m resting my head.

As soon as I got changed into my night clothes, exhaustion set in.

It was an amazing birthday! I don’t think I could ever have a birthday that ends up being “just another day.” I didn’t even try that hard to make this birthday amazing. Between the laughter and the tears, I certainly wouldn’t have changed anything. I’m alive, I made it through another year, and that’s cause for celebration and emotion and anything else that my heart calls out for.

Such as this little guy. My heart wanted him, and I had a coupon because of my birthday. Things will always work out well.

Sweet, Sugary Goodness

I’m supposed to be avoiding sweets.

Not eating sugary things would be good for my health. It might also be a sign to someone out there that I care about what they say and will honor their wishes for me.

But no one said I wasn’t allowed to bake.

I’ve been baking less often in recent times. When Mom was still alive and I lived with her, the oven wasn’t just used for the family’s macaroni and cheese recipe. A few times I experimented with cookie recipes, and one time I discovered that frozen red raspberries turn a bluish-purple when baked. Regardless of the change in colors, white chocolate raspberry cookies taste amazing.

When I moved into the apartment, I no longer baked for fun. Was there an event that I was going to attend? Did I need to bring food? If so, then I would fire up the oven. I couldn’t bake for fun, otherwise I’d have a month’s supply of cookies or cupcakes, and baked goods don’t last a month. And while I’d rather avoid talking about my ex, the fact is that he was a part of my life during that time. If either of us made anything, it was usually him just cooking something and bragging about it, but anything I made was only bragged about if I did my own bragging. It was as if I had just met expectations, not that what I made was anything special. Wow, the more I talk about him, the more I’m surprised I didn’t end things sooner.

Now that I’m staying with a friend, it’s not my oven to use. I don’t even have my own baking dishes. Cleaning everything I used is to be expected, so that’s not a problem. But I haven’t baked anything in the few months I’ve spent here. I’ve cooked a few things, but it’s been limited to whatever I decided to have for lunch.

But baking is completely different.

Baking is therapy. Mixing batter, unless you’re counting the number of strokes to mix something, doesn’t require your entire focus so you can process whatever thoughts are on your mind. The physical action of mixing batter is like stress relief, being able to work out any built-up tension by releasing it through muscular motion.

But, I wasn’t thinking of any of that. I was focusing on how much everything involved a significant amount of time and effort that I didn’t want to invest.

There’s a birthday party that I’m attending tonight, and the birthday girl has requested food to share in lieu of bringing a gift. So yesterday, while I was at the grocery store and foraging for dinner, I was also trying to figure out what to make for the party. I considered making mini, silver dollar pancake-sized okonomiyaki. I decided against that idea with a laugh to myself because I’m probably the only one amongst my friends who would look at it and be like, “yummy!”

But I also thought of other things I could make and bring with me. I thought about making muddy buddies/white trash/puppy chow (I’ve heard it called all three things) with Chex cereal, but something about that sounded like… too much work. I thought about Rice Krispies treats, even amusing myself with the idea of making Rice Krispies sushi, but… too much work. I considered making fudge, since I already had marshmallow fluff and would need some of the other necessary ingredients, but… too much work, too little product in the end.

Not everything was too much work. But the last time I celebrated her birthday at her place, I took brownies topped with melted chocolate. So I couldn’t take brownies again, I figured. It would become repetitive, and boring, and then it might become what people expect me to bring because that’s what I consistently brought. I couldn’t get away from the mindset that I had to bake something, though.

I decided upon making sugar cookies, so I picked up the packets of dry ingredients and checked to see what else I’d need, then grabbed some butter because that was all I really lacked. I also picked up some vanilla marshmallow-flavored frosting to put on top of the cookies, since it seemed like an appropriate flavor for the season of sugar-covered birds and bunnies that we’re in right now. I was going to get some food coloring, but I couldn’t justify spending $4 on something I only needed a drop of, so I opted to use my friend’s food coloring instead.

After dinner, I thought about how much time I had for everything. I started mixing the batter, then considered putting it in the fridge and baking everything this afternoon. Unfortunately, I considered the fact that there was no room in the fridge for my bowl of batter, so I had to bake last night. And then, I figured I’d spend this afternoon frosting all of the cookies, but since I thought the frosting might not set in time and the cookies would stick to each other, I figured I should just do everything last night.

And so, I was up until 1 in the morning, mixing, baking, frosting, arranging, and hoping that the cookies would still turn out just fine. I was exhausted when I was done, not because baking is so exhausting, but I think I managed to reset my circadian rhythm a little too well after Daylight Savings Time went back into effect. Quite honestly, I was fighting the urge to put things away and go to sleep, but I pressed on until every last cookie was frosted and put in a container.

I think the part I enjoyed the most was coloring the frosting. My palette of pink, purple, blue and green was vivid and beautiful, and I got a little obsessive and made certain that I had an equal number of cookies frosted for each color. I arranged them in the box as well as I could, trying to avoid having cookies touch each other if they were frosted with the same color, but after a while that didn’t matter as much. After everything was put away and taken care of, I went to sleep.

Today at lunch, the younger boy was home from school and was asking his mom, my friend, about making cookies sometime. To make his day, I opened the box of cookies I made and gave him one frosted in green, his favorite color. He was delighted! I mean, half the fun of baking is getting to eat freshly baked goods.

And let me tell you, I did a good job. Those cookies I made taste so delicious! I know, I said I should be avoiding sweets, but damn it, I have to sample what I made. Those cookies were made with love, you can taste it. Okay, I was listening to Himuro again while I was baking.

My cookies were made with love for Himuro music, but they taste so good, they can’t be avoided.

Bold & Delicious

I’m barely in a chipper mood right now.

So I found that GaijinPot has a study-in-Japan program, where an advisor will set you up with a Japanese language school, find you a place to live, and even help you find part-time work on the side (since you have a limit to the number of hours you can work in a week while on a student visa). That sounded amazing to me, but the biggest issue I have is getting the money to go.

Reluctantly, I set up a GoFundMe campaign, and then I didn’t have it in me to share it on Facebook right away, so I waited a day before doing so. Initially, I was thinking of sharing the link with my extended family, but I’m so timid about doing that and haven’t done so yet.

The friend I’m staying with took umbrage with me asking for money. She wants me to stay here, thinking I have something amazing inside of me hidden behind unprofessionalism and feelings of worthlessness. That’s the short answer. The long answer deals with how she’s “fiercely independent” and wants me to be the same. I won’t get into all the ways that she relies on others to make ends meet. I’m not here to rant, but I will take what she says with a grain of salt.

I have another friend who lives in New York City, and he’s willing to help me out if I help him out for a couple of weeks. He’s not offering the full amount that I’m asking for, but it would help me get by even if I don’t use it to go to Japan. He and I have an understanding that I might use it for things I owe instead of going to Japan, and he’s fine with that.

Oh NYC, how I miss thee.

I take that back. My car was broken into on the second night I was there. The only redeeming qualities that NYC has for me all exist in Manhattan, and they all cost money that I don’t have right now.

While I’m not living out of my car, I do have a lot of stuff in it that I don’t want to lose. The thought of lightning striking twice bothers me, because this time I feel like I might actually have something stolen from me. So if plans get solidified, I’m going to try to leave a few things at my Upstate NY friend’s place before I go downstate.

Back to the current time, and the state of things as they are, my friend from Japan had a few words to say about my plan. I read his message briefly, then nodded off back to sleep because the couch was way too comfortable and the house was reasonably silent except for my music.

My first thought was, he doesn’t want me to do this, he’s discouraging me from going to Japan at all because of my current situation. That was the thought that was on my mind when I had drifted back to sleep, and I don’t recall having any dreams as a result of that thought.

When I did roll out of “bed,” it was because one of the kids wanted to watch television, and he put it on an obnoxious cartoon that motivated me to leave the room and start my day. So when I sat down for breakfast, I had my headphones plugged in to my phone and was listening to music while eating and catching up with e-mail and social media. I read my Japanese friend’s message again, telling myself to read it in the tone of a concerned parent instead of someone who doesn’t want others to be happy. Doing so changed my perspective a bit, as I saw it as him making sure I had things figured out and settled before embarking on this quest of mine.

I’m not a huge fan of chess. I like the musical Chess, but don’t ask me to play the board game. The only time I like to think a certain number of moves ahead is in my own life, and even then, I prefer to consider that multiple options are valid if I have to consider what’s to come. So when I was asked what I would do after one year of language study, I listed my options: go for another year, go to college, or go back to the States or something. Do I have a guaranteed job? I don’t even have a guaranteed job now. Becoming bilingual, especially in Japanese, should be a marketable skill. I do need to go back to college, and Japanese schools are cheaper than in the States. Earning a degree in a second language should be impressive, I would think. Maybe I’ll even meet a nice guy while I’m in Japan, you know, if things with my valentine don’t work out in the long run, and then maybe I’ll stay there on a spousal visa. Maybe I’ll head to Australia once my first year in Japan is done, since I’m interested in things around Sydney. Maybe I’ll let myself get kidnapped and trafficked, sold to a high bidder and treated like property. Do I really need to have everything planned and figured out?

Not that I want all my friends to be enablers, but perhaps the resistance came at a bad time for me emotionally and biochemically. I had the house to myself for a couple of hours in the afternoon, which was enough to keep me from being distracted while I imagined myself having a breakdown in front of my friend from Japan, telling him that, yes, I am worthless, there’s nothing special about me, I don’t deserve a lot of the things that I hope to have in my life,.. I entered my daydream somewhere in the middle of that rant, so I don’t remember everything I was saying about myself. I imagined myself running upstairs after that, unable to face him anymore, feeling like I wasted his time in visiting me, and figuring he would walk out the door anyway. I revisited this daydream again in the early evening, changing the event that happens after I run up the stairs. In one version, I collapse at the top of the stairs, somewhere in the hallway, just from being emotionally unable to stand on my own two feet. In the other version, I go upstairs but shut myself into the bathroom, sitting in the bathtub and crying almost endlessly. In both instances, I don’t imagine my friend from Japan leaving. Somehow I imagine he’s the one who knows me well enough to play songs I enjoy, and I pictured him going on to my computer to find certain songs and play them loud enough for me to hear them. I did imagine him playing guitar outside of the bathroom, but I can’t figure out where that guitar came from as my guitar is in storage. I couldn’t imagine myself being in a happy mood again, all I could do was feel like whatever walls I put up were knocked down by hearing the music. I do wonder if any of my friends would consider playing music to affect my mood, or if they’d all be like, “just leave her alone for a while, she’ll settle down on her own.”

Maybe I needed to do something with my music. I created a new playlist in iTunes. I threw in all of my Himuro songs, a decent number of L’arc en Ciel songs, a good amount of Hyde and Vamps, one X Japan song, my only Acid Black Cherry song that I have so far,… basically, a random mix of Japanese music.

When I got to Ayumi Hamasaki’s songs, I double-clicked on one because, hey, it’s a good song and I wanted to hear that one specific song. And then I went to look up the lyrics, just to make sure it’s not a song about steak sauce. Thankfully, Bold & Delicious is about not hesitating, being bold and doing something in the moment, because it’s better to do something and regret it later than to do nothing and regret not taking the chance.

Maybe I needed that song today, in this moment. I thought about my plans for going to Japan. Sure, I’m not thinking like a rational adult by not considering the things I need to do here before I go over there, or at least by thinking I could live off a half-baked plan for a while. But what if I never get to go? What if I’m stuck in poverty and have to give up on my dreams, dreams which might actually help me out in the future with getting a better job? Is it so wrong to boldly go and assume that things will work out the way they’re meant to be? I guess so.

But… again, regret after action is better than regret without action.

I looked for the video for Bold & Delicious. Ayumi is riding around New York City. Her hair looks amazing, and it reminds me that I’m overdue for getting my ends trimmed, though I want to walk out of the hair salon with hair like hers. And again, she’s going around NYC. Maybe this is a sign, or a good luck charm, or something. If the NYC trip goes through, that will be money I could use.

But forgive me if I have that attitude! At least let me try to act bold, like I have everything figured out and I know exactly what I’m doing and nothing is going to stop me or mess things up. Maybe I can fake it for a while, maybe things will magically work out for me. I feel like I screw up more so when I don’t act confident, so convincing myself that I’m bold and delicious will be good for my ego, at least for a little while.

At that thought, I’m feeling a little better. I did also think of myself as having a flavor, if I’m going to be bold AND delicious, which made me snicker to myself. Yeah, music definitely helps improve my mood.

炎の化石 / Diamond Dust

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If you’re ever on YouTube for music videos, the website will get a crush on you and make a mix tape of songs you might enjoy. It’s not far from what actually happens, which is to say that YouTube pulls music videos and concert performances that are relevant to music you’ve already played, and then those videos go into a list on autoplay. After playing enough Kyosuke Himuro music, to the point where I’m looking at his stage attire in recent concert videos and thinking about how I could pull off his look as a woman, I have a fairly dedicated Kyosuke Himuro mix in YouTube’s playlist category.

Now, I love music videos. I used to get criticized by my family for watching music videos while doing chores in the living room, because I could play the radio if I wanted to listen to music. Never mind the fact that I grew up on other people putting the television on VH1 (basically MTV for grown-ups). Back in the day, we didn’t have the internet to pull up music videos on a whim, we had to hope that the gods at Viacom blessed us with decent song selections. Regardless of how good a song was, there was still a music video to go along with it, and that too could be a hit or a miss but it was added entertainment.

Music videos do a number of different things. Maybe it’s just a montage of concert performances, so you get to see what the performers look like. Sometimes it’s a lot of flashy imagery, color filters, nothing much in the way of substance but it catches your attention. And then there are those which tell a story, you see the vocalist or a random actor in a troubling situation that resolves itself as the song is fading out. The story music videos are probably my favorites, because they don’t rely on the lyrics to tell the story, you have to focus on the events as they occur and figure out what is going on.

My Japanese friend sent me the link for the Diamond Dust video, and I must say I’m disappointed because I expected to see Shiva from the Final Fantasy games doing her signature move. YouTube eventually gifted me with the Honoo no Kaseki music video, at which point I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There is an angel character in both music videos, as well as Kyosuke donning black and feathers. So I figure there must be a connection between both videos.

Before I begin, there was a single that was released between Honoo no Kaseki and Diamond Dust, but I CANNOT find a music video for it and it’s killing me! The song in between is called Eternity.

Also, Diamond Dust was released as a single before Honoo no Kaseki. It doesn’t fit in the timeline that way, but these things sometimes happen with recording companies and release dates and such.

I spent a couple of hours on this last night, determined to piece together some kind of story between the two music videos. What I came up with was this:

“To me, the woman in white in Honoo no Kaseki is someone he had to bring to the afterlife, and the angel might have been her guardian which could explain her sadness. After that, the angel felt lost in our world, but as Kyosuke is an angel as well, she felt comfort in his presence. Meanwhile, Kyosuke seems to resent having to usher folks to the other side as it causes their loved ones to grieve. By Diamond Dust, he seems to feel protective of the angel, watching her stumble around in our world but nearby so she doesn’t feel so alone. Being protective of her gives him a new purpose in life, so to speak, as it’s something he can do that won’t cause more suffering but will instead try to minimize that suffering.”

Also, I made the following note:

“There is one reason why I put the videos in that order, and that would be Himuro’s wings. He never has the wings in Diamond Dust, and it would make no sense to give him wings out of the blue. The loss of his wings could suggest that he’s a fallen angel, but the angel’s embrace would suggest he was forgiven even though he never seems to be searching for forgiveness.”

And then I actually searched for the lyrics and translated them just before deciding to publish this entry. What I found was that everything I needed to know about Honoo no Kiseki was in the lyrics.

Oops.

So I called it a night and went to sleep.

In Honoo no Kiseki, he has wings for the first twenty to thirty seconds of the music video. I thought there was a wardrobe malfunction, and the crew was like, “okay, the wings broke. We’ll put him in a black coat that has feathers on it, and we just won’t worry about the wings. We’ll say it’s symbolic of his wings.” Well, it is symbolic of the wings he lost. But, there is a lyric that, when translated, roughly comes out to, “An angel who lost its wings, It’s a violently fleeting beast.” He was supposed to lose the wings! Lucky him! I had a pair of black feathered wings that I bought about 9 years ago, and they wouldn’t stay together for anything, so that’s why I assumed what I did. 

If I take what I learned from Honoo no Kaseki, then Diamond Dust has a little more significance. Well, the lyrics for Honoo no Kaseki are about seeing another person and being in love with them because they share something in common with you, but it’s a painful kind of love as it’s limited to looking and not physically embracing the other person. And in both music videos, he’s often in a voyeuristic role.

Diamond Dust is softer, more loving. Himuro watches from the rooftops of a city, still in his black feathered coat. The weeping angel from Honoo no Kaseki now seems to be lost in the world and confused (not to mention, it also looks like a different actress, or there were some changes in the hair and makeup department). The lyrics aren’t the bleeding emotion that was the theme of Honoo no Kaseki, but instead feel more saddening. Himuro wants his love to melt the loneliness of the angel, as all he can do right now is give his love. In the video for Diamond Dust, the angel does approach him and wrap her arms around him, as it’s as if she does appreciate his love for her. Himuro never seems to warm up to her embrace, instead remaining in a crouched position, but maybe that’s all he can really do and it’s all that’s really needed.

I do wish I could find a music video for Eternity, just to see if it carries on the story at all. I would love to see what softened up Dark Angel Kyosuke, or what caused the other angel to go from weeping to searching for something. But maybe it doesn’t exist at all, and that’s fine.

I changed my Facebook profile pictures tonight to represent Honoo no Kaseki. I had Babydoll from Sucker Punch up before that, as a New Year’s motivational reminder that I have everything I need within me, I just need to fight. But Honoo no Kaseki is a little more than just wing porn for me, now that I have a rough idea of the lyrics. That’s not to say I don’t still want his wings; I do. However, the song is yet another that resonates with me, which is why I went specifically with images from Honoo no Kaseki and not just random Himuro pictures. After all, “Let’s give it all in the future if time can be brought back by insanity and craziness.” 

Himuro

When I talk about Japanese music, it’s always L’arc en Ciel that I mention first. I feel that if you watch anime, you’ve probably heard Ready Steady Go at the beginning of Fullmetal Alchemist, or Driver’s High at the start of Great Teacher Onizuka. If you’ve seen the movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and kept watching the end credits, you would have heard Spirit Dreams Inside. If you’ve been to Otakon in the past, maybe you saw they had a concert years ago, and if you were anywhere near New York City in recent years, you’d have seen something advertised as they were the first Japanese band to perform at Madison Square Garden. L’arc en Ciel should be on your radar if you’re into Japanese rock and pop, even if you’re not listening to them.

So, if I’m talking to someone who listens to some Japanese music, my next inquiry would be either Utada Hikaru or Ayumi Hamasaki. If you play a lot of video games, you’ve likely heard a song from one or both women. Utada sings the theme songs for the main Kingdom Hearts games, both the English and Japanese versions of the songs. Ayumi pops up in so many places, I don’t remember which Japanese roleplaying video game my ex was playing but there was “music featuring Ayumi Hamasaki” and I remember glaring at him for not knowing who she was. But I’ll admit, I was way more likely to be familiar with her music than he was.

There’s Japanese performers that I haven’t listened to much if at all. I think I heard Glay songs for the first time recently because they came up on YouTube. The Gazette seems to be gaining steam. I’ve heard of X Japan and have listened to a couple of their songs but I haven’t gotten hooked on their music.

But I can’t say I had ever heard of Kyosuke Himuro… until now.

I was chatting with my friend from Japan about a week ago, sheepishly admitting that I bought the game Yakuza 0. I shouldn’t have purchased it, as it was within the first week of the game’s release in the western world and I shouldn’t have spent the money on it when I haven’t secured a new job. But, I was feeling confident after getting a call that implied I was on a shorter list of candidates, so I treated myself. Anyway, we were briefly chatting about the Yakuza/Ryu ga Gotoku series, when he mentioned that Himuro had a song in the fifth installment and then sent me a YouTube link to hear the song. It meant nothing to me, as I didn’t know who Himuro was or anything, but I clicked the link and listened to Still The One. Before the song was done, he sent me a link for a concert performance of Wild Romance.

I was trying to find lyrics for Still The One, but couldn’t find anything that wasn’t kanji. In fact, in the great search for HImuro lyrics, there were few instances when I could actually find translated lyrics. I assume it’s because I’m now looking for songs that haven’t been in every anime or every video game. In the grand scheme of things, I like it. It means I’m now being exposed to Japanese music that isn’t directed at me because I’ve seen anime or I’ve listened to probably every song that Hyde has ever recorded.

I usually pick one song and talk about what it means to me, but I’m having a difficult time deciding that at the moment.

I want to start with Wild Romance. It was the first linked video that showed Kyosuke’s face, not to mention it showed the way he performed. He’s very animated and energetic, often moving his arms or legs to the music or reacting to a break in the melody. It’s an infectious kind of energy, as I can’t help but get into the music and want to move around as well. Wild Romance is outstanding for playing while driving long distances on the highway, even if you don’t know Japanese.

What next? Revolver is the death of me, it really is. A bit of back story, I once remarked to my Mom that modern music isn’t like what it used to be. I made that remark while playing a Pandora-like channel of soft rock ballads on one of the cable television stations. Mind you, I was probably in the single-digit age range when a lot of those songs were popular, if I was even born yet at all. Regardless of that, it’s those songs which I enjoy hearing on warm summer nights, when the thinnest bed linens feel like winter comforters, when a cool breeze through the windows is occasional refreshment, and sitting outside or laying down inside is as enjoyable as going for a stroll with a significant other. It’s the songs that make it more than a sticky summer night, telling my heart to search for a love that can’t be found in the places where everyone else goes to find their own love. It makes me feel old fashioned, in a sense, or at least I feel like my heart yearns to be in a decade where our current hookup culture doesn’t exist. But anyway, Revolver… I had to use Google Translate for the lyrics, and I hope the translation isn’t too far off from the Japanese. The Google Translate method does result in some broken English, but the lyrics about not saying goodbye can’t be easily mistaken. That’s the part that gets me the most, “I will never say goodbye my love” which is already in English, and urging the listener to not say goodbye as well.

Oh, but then we have to mention Safe And Sound. How did I miss this collaboration? I’m a fan of My Chemical Romance, so I should have heard about what Gerard Way has been doing, Somehow, I missed Gerard and Kyosuke teaming up to record a song together and sounding awesome in the process.

There’s really too many songs! And then there’s Himuro’s previous gig as vocalist for Boøwy, which means even more songs. But I’m enjoying what I’ve heard so far, the beauty of the slow songs and the energy of the faster songs. Hopefully I’ll have a partner to slow dance to the slow songs, because my heart wants to dance. As for the faster songs, I want a partner in crime, someone by my side for every adventure that comes our way.

Kyosuke, what do you think about that?