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ROCK OF ASIAN: X Japan And The Pursuit Of World Dominasian

July 28th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Diana

Yoshiki at an X Japan performance in 2009

The LA Times just published a lengthy profile about X Japan, a wildly successful J-rock metal band led by charismatic pianist-drummer Yoshiki (pictured above), that will attempt the leap from Japanese superstardom to American mainstream when they join the Lollapalooza tour this summer.

Why I know I already ♥ X Japan:

  • The band flanks a HEAVY METAL PIANIST-DRUMMER.
  • Hello Kitty produced a likeness of said heavy metal pianist-drummer, the only so far created for a human being. (Ed. note—Hi Sanrio! Jen and I are tooooootally open to having Kitty versions of ourselves!)
  • Yoshiki is apparently Bono-esque, and X Japan aspires to be Metallica-esque, yet they’re probably–most accurately–KISS-esque.
  • The early X Japan aesthetic appears to be a hybrid of early Mötley Crüe and Poison, but with almond eyes, so they look like the rockstars I wanted to be when I was a kid.
  • Every time I hear the words, “Arena Rock,” my personal areas get warm.
  • LAT refers to Yoshiki as a “fevered multitasker and established brand unto himself in Asia,” which means he is a) totally Asian and b) pretty AMAZIAN!
  • We need somebody to freak out over other than Rain.

Read the whole X Japan LAT feature here. Check out the Lollapalooza lineup here.

[LAT: America, Meet Yoshiki]

Thanks, Tina!

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How To Make A Wedding Even More Awkward: A Robot

May 17th, 2010 | 7 comments | Posted by Diana

Here’s a romantic story…

A Japanese robotics professor falls for a beautiful female employee of Kokoro (Sanrio’s humanoid robot division). They tumble deeply in love, and are married at a beautiful ceremony, surrounded by family and friends. The sacred, romantic service is officiated by none other than their close friend… a humanoid robot with the world’s cutest voice.

And no, it wasn’t Ann Curry:

Robot. Wedding. Robot. Wedding.


[via Boing Boing]

Thanks, Jasmine!

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Hello Kitty? More Like Hello Cougar

May 17th, 2010 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

According to the NY Times, Hello Kitty is, at age 36, over-the-hill.

Hello Kitty Tombstone: Is an over-35 Hello Kitty as good as dead?

Back in 2002, when Kitty was pushing 30, she lost her spot as Japan’s top-grossing character and, in the words of the Times story, “has never recovered.” Apparently the world of cartoon characters is as ageist as Hollywood, governed by an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality:

Sanrio has tried to keep Hello Kitty up to the times: sensing a move away from Japan’s love affair with the cute, or “kawaii” aesthetic, it has pushed an edgier look for the cat in the last three years, using as much black as pink.

Still, a sense of crisis is evident at the Tokyo offices of Sanrio, where 30 designers, led by Ms. Yamaguchi, are charged with developing new characters. At periodic product meetings, each designer presents as many as 20 characters for consideration by Ms. Yamaguchi.

So what’s a girl over 35 like Hello Kitty to do?

Continue reading Hello Kitty? More Like Hello Cougar

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Hello Kitty Turns 35

November 2nd, 2009 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

hello kitty coin purseThe very first Hello Kitty merch, Coin Purse, 1974

Name: Hello Kitty (née Kitty White)

Born: November 1, 1974

Occupation: Icon

Known for: Presiding over a $5 billion dollar empire, pioneering kawaii style, having no mouth, that fucking red bow, serving as Japan’s tourism ambassador, being everyone’s favorite pussy–from children to club kids to celebrities to haters–and decorating everything from guns to bongs to maxi pads to vibrators.

What explains Hello Kitty’s enduring popularity?

Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Hello Kitty Turns 35

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Thinking Pink

May 14th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Jeeeeezus, Nick Cannon! Have a little pride, will ya?

If you refuse to (you are, after all, wearing an ill-fitting suit with a pink oxford, while shopping at a very icky second-tier Hello Kitty store) … just show a little tech-savvy.

Buy direct, and buy online. You’ll thank me later, Pinky.


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Goodbye Kitty

December 31st, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

And now, introducing…Hello Kitty! For men!

Sanrio company spokesperson Kazuo Tohmatsu explained the reasoning behind the line to the AP:

“Young men these days grew up with character goods,” said Tohmatsu. “That generation feels no embarrassment about wearing Hello Kitty.”

Really? Perhaps they should.

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