Archive for January, 2007

Ladies, start your engines!

Monday, January 29th, 2007

birthmachine.jpg
(Kick-ass picture by Giger)

Reuters ran an article according to which Health Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa called women “birth-giving machines”, in a speech intended to boost the record-low birth rate.

“The number of women aged between 15 and 50 is fixed. Because the number of birth-giving machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do their best per head, although it may not be so appropriate to call them machines,”

Oh, you think so?

Home Improvements…

Thursday, January 25th, 2007


Too busy to post much this week. I’m getting ready to upgrade to Wordpress 2.1, so I gotta read everything reaaally carefully, and I’m trying to figure out how to insert multiple thumbnails on a page at once so I can get on with my new hot Japanese women section. :-)

School Life in Japan – January 24th

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

About this series

January 24th
Morning classes only for 3rd year students (Finals start tomorrow)
Entrance Exam Preparations:
Applicants list prep
15:40:Meeting of teachers in charge of applicants’ school records
16:00: Meeting of teachers in charge of sending confirmation letters to applicants

Nerves Are Strained In Place To Vary

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Ainori #345

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Ainori is a popular reality show in Japan, aired on Fuji TV on Monday nights at 23:00.

In August 2005, I discovered that Ainori was not only popular in Japan, but also all over the world thanks to Bit Torrent technology. I decided to write a summary of each episode, and do a translation of the weekly photo captions from the official site. What do I get out of this? I get to improve my Japanese, I get more traffic to my blog, but above all, I get the satisfaction of knowing many non-Japanese speakers all over the world can appreciate a truly unique reality show. Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to post any comments or questions you may have.

Ainori’s official homepage (Japanese only).

Current participants

Ainori’s BT downloads available @ D-Addicts

Good News, people! It seems streaming videos of Ainori are still available on youtube.com.


Ainori #345

WARNING! THIS IS A SPOILER!

Oh yeah, I (we) saw it coming, and it hit fast and hard! Yokomi dropped out, crushing Bambi and Yankumi in an unbelievable manner. Well, maybe it’s better that way, as it was obvious he couldn’t go on. But first, let me talk about other minor events.

Sanchan Bambi

Well, Sanchan invited Bambi again, and they had kind of an, ahem, awkward conversation. At first, she told him he wasn’t very talkative, and Sanchan confessed that he was more of a strong, silent type. Although she didn’t know him from the beginning, she realized he was really introverted, and that just being there with her was a big step for him. She praised him on being able to change, and told him to hang in there, as she was also making efforts to change, i.e. lose weight. He then asked her if she was really that plump, and flattered, she asked him if he wasn’t so preoccupied with external appearances. He replied that although being thin was a good thing, he preferred girls with whom he could talk and relax. So when she asked him if he was looking for a mellow girl, he said yes, but that it would even be better if she was thin, too. I like Sanchan’s honesty, but knowing how sensitive the weight issue is with Bambi, I would have left out the last part of his comment. At least, they were having fun together, as this was the first time Sanchan had such a “long” conversation in which he actually fully participated. It’s really nice to watch him grow with every episode. When he joined I couldn’t picture him doing a “kokuhaku” (love declaration) at all, but now it doesn’t seem too far-fetched anymore. Slowly, but surely…


“And if she were thin, too” “Ha, ha, ha, ha!”

Bambi Yokomi

Poor Bambi. She really was motivated by her affection for Yokomi, and as she was doing her best in the fitness room, she promised herself that when she had lost 5 kilos, she would declare her love to him. I hope his leaving the group won’t stop her from achieving her goal. Hang in there, girl, you can do it!


With a strong determination, Bambi kept on running

NagisaIssy

Our little princess is in love with pretty boy Issy. Although he gave her a severe reprimand a couple of episodes ago, it seems he was very encouraging to her last week when the group climbed up Pulpit Rock . When she started falling behind due to an old ankle injury she got back in high school while being part of the rhythmic gymnastics club, Issy noticed and stayed with her until they made it to the top. It looked liked they had been friendly since then, and she confessed to the staff that she was falling for him. Issy didn’t seem to do anything special, other than being sympathetic, although I suspect he might have done that in part out of guilt for making her cry when he told her off. In any case, the brat needs to show one of her good sides (if she has any) before I start rooting for her…


Staff: “You look like you’re in love”


Yankumi

Yokomi

Bambi

And then, le plat de resistance! It started in the afternoon, when Yokomi decided to go for a walk alone. His reclusive behavior in the past few episodes had got worse, and there was a tangible tension in the air. Yankumi told Gurasan how she didn’t want to have any regrets, that she wanted to do and say the things she needed to. Unfortunately, although she was in love with Yokomi, she hadn’t had the guts to talk to him again since he had told her he couldn’t pursue any romance since Chaki had left with Uekki. Later, the group was enjoying the nicest meal they had in a long time, and when they were done, Yokomi told them he had something to talk about. Nobody was expecting what was to follow, as Bambi even joked saying: “Are you gonna talk about diets?”. Yokomi proceeded in explaining how he would leave the group upon their arrival in the next country because he couldn’t think about anyone else than Chaki, and also because he only had limited time off from his job. Issy asked him if leaving wouldn’t cause any regrets, and Yokomi replied that although he was disappointed he couldn’t reveal his feelings to Chaki, he was satisfied with the fact that he could fall in love with someone. Based on his experience, he further advised the others to take their courage in their hands and take the necessary steps if they had feelings for someone. He then thanked the group, and left.


“I’m done with Ainori”

Bambi freaked out, and she had to start breathing in a bag as she was losing her breath. Yankumi left the table and went into the next room, where she crouched and cried, by herself. Well, although I respect Yokomi’s honesty (something I liked from him from the very beginning) and his decision, I’m sure it will have long term effects on the rest of the group. If they don’t drop out themselves, Yankumi and Bambi will most probably draw back for a while, and Guransan, Sanchan, Issy and Yokomi’s replacement will have no one to turn to but… Nagisa. Wow, that should spoil the mood of the group reaaaaal good. Unless…

Next week, the group will be grieving over Yokomi’s leaving, but the preview showed us something interesting: one of the girls, and it looks like it’s Yankumi, will leave her room in the middle of the night. I think there are only three possibilities: 1) She’s going to Yokomi’s room to talk him into staying, 2) She’s going to the staff’s room to tell them she’s dropping out, or 3) She’s going to the staff’s room to get the plane tickets, and declare her love to Yokomi. Well, people, what do you think?


One of the participants had left the room

NEXT ON AINORI