The Roaring Twenties.

My friend Errol of the late lamented Debs and Errol singing duo and creator of the My Neighbor Errol web-comic, has requested some tunes from the '20s that his former partner Debs could sing. Check out her lungs in any of these or other tunes.
For example:

Or seek out one of their CDs such as...

Scamming from the Wiki pages of 20s tunes, here is a smattering of the tunes I like and some Japanese ones I hope to learn.

Not too many from 1920 that I know yet this one called The Japanese Sandman looks intriguing.
Written by Richard A. Whiting and Raymond B. Egan, it was scammed a lot for use in Propaganda cartoons.

I like this Artie Shaw version but it's only instrumental.

So let's try this Andrews Sisters version instead.

Nope. It's a little too boring for Debs. So it's on to 1921...

"Ain't We Got Fun". Hey, it's also by Whiting and Egan. I remember this tune mainly as a one-liner in a Bugs Bunny cartoon but this version by Peggy Lee is nice.
ps. Happy 75th birthday to Bugs!

It's a little livelier when warbled by Doris Day.

How about "April Showers"?

oops. I'm most familiar with Al Jolson's take on it, yet this one by Mel Torme is jazzier.

Not very seasonal though, so let's try "I'm Just Wild About Harry". The best version ever is from "One Froggy Evening"!

Any of the above songs would be okay, this one is from the 55 second mark.

On to 1922, I've like this song ever since I heard Stephanie Mills sing this on All in the Family. "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" is a little inappropriate for a nine-year old, but Debs could kill it. You can sit through the entire episode below or wait until the 20:20 mark. (For a more adult version, try Michelle Peyroux.)

From 1923, there is a Japanese version of "Dinah" sung by Mine Takeuchi or this version by Enomoto Kenichi.

The Japanese one may be a bit tough for Debs, so let's try this one by Josephine Baker instead.

Ooh, that's a little screechy. Let's move on to 1924 and "The Man I Love" by the Gershwins. I found an anachronistically inaccurate version from Young Indiana Jones and the Scandal of 1920 (it states the episode is 1920, the song is 1924) but the singer has gusto.

Either "Indian Love Call" or "Rose Marie" are good Slim Whitman tunes written in '24, the former can be sung if any Martians decide to attack the theatre.

There are lots of tunes from 1925 that I like. "Squeeze Me", "I'm Sitting on Top of the World", "If You Knew Suzie", "Sweet Georgia Brown" or "Tea for Two" are all songs I like.

Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, or Lena Horne all knock it out of the park, let's go with Canadian Diana Krall though.

I'm most familiar with Al Jolson's styling but I think "I'm Sitting On Top of the World" by Arethra Franklin would suit Debs better.

"If You Knew Suzie" may not be the best choice for Debs, but I'm partial to the Kelly and Sinatra tune.

I'm most familiar with "Tea for Two" when Johnny Carson bombed a joke. It might make a nice duet with Errol though. Listen to Doris Day warble it.

"Sweet Georgia Brown" is a cool tune popularized by The Harlem Globetrotters though I'm not too sure whether Debs is that a good whistler.

Moving on to 1926, if Debs doesn't sing "Blue Skies", I'm certain everyone will be disappointed. This version by Ella is the one I always listen to in the car.

I'm sure she could pull off the Geek version based on Ol' Yellow Eyes, Data.

Absolutely everyone has covered "Bye Bye Blackbird" so let's go with Ringo Starr...

I have a gag about "Someone to Watch Over Me", the ultimate stalker song. Before the Ridley Scott movie began, I quipped, "More like 'Someone to Watch while I Pee'" and sure enough bodyguard Berenger had a scene when he had to view Mimi Rogers in the bathroom.
When in doubt, go with Ella.

"S' Wonderful" is a wonderful song with lots of made up words to make Grammar Nazis cringe. Let's check out Diana Krall again.

I think Errol should sing "Ain't She Sweet" in honour of his former partner.

The song "Stardust" starts off my favourite movie, "My Favorite Year". You'll have to take my word for it, it doesn't show up in this clip.

You can't go wrong with any of Hoagy Carmichael's songs, especially when sung by Nat King Cole.

Speaking of Nat, how about "My Blue Heaven"?

I first remember Cole Porter's "Let's Misbehave" from Woody Allen's Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex. Let's not forget about Chris Walken's striptease in "Pennies from Heaven".

Moving on to 1928, I'd be remiss if I didn't include Mack the Knife from Three Penny Opera. I sing the Bobby Darin version though Debs may be more comfortable with the ubiquitous Ella.

Lots of versions of "Embraceable You" though Billie Holiday has the definitive one. (If Debs and Errol want to reunite, they could try the Judy Garland/ Frank Sinatra duet).

If you want to add to your Geek cred and sing (offensively) about "Nagasaki", follow in the steps of Jeeves and Worster:

Finally, 1929. If Debs has a soft-shoe routine, she could try the original version of "Singing in the Rain" (I don't really need to link that, do I?) Or she and Errol could do a Young Frankenstein version of "Puttin; on the Ritz".

Put on a Catwoman costume and try "Ain't Misbehavin'".

The last suggestion I'm going to make (it's now 4 a.m.) is "Honeysuckle Rose". I like how Holly Cole nails it like she did in Tokyo when I saw her a a few years back.


Taizai City.

From the Wiki Page, The Seven Deadly Sins七つの大罪 Nanatsu no Taizai」 were the strongest and cruelest order of Holy Knights in the kingdom of Liones, which was formed by seven brutal criminals, who had all been convicted for grievous crimes and had carved the symbols of seven beasts onto their bodies. After having been framed for murdering the Great Holy Knight, they were indefinitely disbanded, branded as traitors and villains. They are the main protagonists of the series.

That's all just gibberish to me. I collected the series of these Sinners premiums because the little doodad came with a lemon drink I like, すきっとレモン.

The doodad in question is a Cell phone Cleaner and it works fairly well. It has an attachment you can use to plug into your earphone hole or add to a key-chain.
There are eight different ones: 1:メリオダス (Meliodas, Sin of Wrath)  2:エリザベス (Elizabeth Liones, the one who enlists the aid of the Sins)  3:ディアンヌ(Diane, Sin of Envy)  4:バン(Ban, Sin of Greed)  5:キング(King, Sin of Sloth) 6:ゴウセル (Gowther, Sin of Lust) 7:ギルサンダー (Gilthunder, a Holy Knight) 8:ホーク  (Hawk, a talking pig).
Not listed are the Sins of Gluttony (Merlin) and Pride (Escanor). I'm not sure why they weren't included with these doodads.
For descriptions of those characters in English check the link above or this one about the manga.

Here's a little video of the anime ads. No, it doesn't make much sense to me either, yet the pig is cute.

If anyone is a fan of this series, I'll be happy to send you some of these, I have a few extras.


Play Tag.

Yesterday, it was See Day Sea Day so I went to sea see a movie. What I thought was a typical Japanese movie in which High School gals get dismembered and gunned down with machine guns turned out to be an atypical Japanese movie in which High School gals get dismembered and gunned down with machine guns.

The movie is called リアル鬼ごっこ or Real Onigokko translated as "Tag". Apparently it's based on a manga written by Yusuke Yamada, The Chasing Worldand the movie I saw is actually the seventh in a series! 
This is the trailer to the original film.

I wish I'd know this going into the movie for I was confused throughout. I began to piece it together and near the end I figured much of it out.

The protagonist is portrayed by Reina Triendl., a nerdy girl on her way to school by bus when the bus and all her schoolmates gets severed  in twain by a wind. She runs the rest of the way to school and is calmed down by a friend. A few minutes later her class gets mowed down by her machine gun wielding teacher.

Somehow Mitsuki turns into a kick-ass bride played by former AKBer Mariko Shinoda ably aided by a sidekick.

After this she transforms into a marathon runner played by Erina Mano

I'm not going to spoil the ending for you, mainly because I had a hard time figuring out what was going on. (What's with the Groom with the Pig's Head?) Suffice to say, I enjoyed it and will probably watch some of the earlier movies if they show up on the tube.

The music is by Glim Spanky (who comes up with these names?) and isn't too bad.

Finally, here is a making of video for behind the scenes fans.

Check it out... 

OMG! I just google this and my blog came up from a few years ago. I wrote about Onigokko before!! 


Wookie Cookie.

I wanted to wait until I obtained the final sticker before I posted anything and then two Ewoks showed up at once. This Lotte Bikkuriman waffled cookie is laced with chocolate and it has a long history. I've picked up a few over the years but when a pal pointed out that the sticker included is from Episodes IV-VI of Star Wars, well my obsession took over. I initially bought a box but was still one sticker shy of a set!

Here are the sparkly stickers for your approval.

 Cute and tough in one picture.
 I'm not sure why the X-Wing is deserving of #3.
 Yo da Man!
The Obiwan character is loosely inspired by General Makabe Rokurōta, a character from The Hidden Fortress played by Toshiro Mifune. (Scammed from the Wiki Page.
 See, he did shoot first!
Chewy the Cookie Wookie.
These droids would make a great topper for a Gay Wedding Cake.
 Little known fact. Emperor Palpatine provided all the sparkly bits for these stickers.
 He looks a little short for a Stormtrooper.
 For Boba Fettishists.
 Jawa and Jabba!
 My personal favourite, Admiral Ackbar.
The elusive Ewok.
Cool, I just watched Night Hawks with Sly and Billy Dee.
 A Tusken Raider and a Taun Taun. If they do another series, I want a Rancor monster!**
 Adorable. Max Rebo has never looked more platypus-esque.
 Wow, Wedge Antillies warranted his own sticker!
 Wait a sec, Grand is actually part of Moff Tarkin's name?!
 I'm not enamored with the retcon use of Hayden as Anakin but it's still a nice image.
 Death Star Battle! A fitting card to end the series.

Damn, these are cool! Thanks to my need for completion, I am now only 6 short of a second set. If these cookies go on sale, I'll buy up a bunch more and start Ebaying them.

Speaking of Cookies and Wookies, here is a wonderful spoof of Star Wars starring the world's foremost expert in Cookies.

ps. I discovered a Recycle Shop (Freedom Base) near my home and outside are these two iconic characters. Do you recognize them?

That's right, it's Betty Boop and Santa!



I went back to the cinema, not to see Avengers again but because I'd run out of memo sheets to give out to my students for their presentations. Much to my chagrin, they were sold out at Movix but they had something that wasn't available at the other theatre. A cool Ultron cup of pop!

They also had an Ironman car. It makes me wonder whether other Avengers were given a vehicle.

Furthermore, they had a set of Clear files and I do loves me some Clear files. (For proof of that, be sure to hit the label entitled Clear Files at the bottom of this post to see the collection to date.)

So my presenters on Thursday had to make do with some Toy Story stickers. Oh well.

I couldn't disappoint my Friday classes so I trekked out to Aeon Cinema in Natori to see what they had. Crimeny, they had tons of stuff!

Another cup at 50 yen cheaper than Movix so this time I picked up Ironman.

A few more Clear Files and a sticker were also among my purchases.

I wasn't sure what this was but I liked the vintage design, so I got it.

It turns out to be a package of face wipes to remove the excess oil from your face!

As for the elusive memo pads, there were tons of them, so I grabbed the second volume.

The Ultron was the least popular but that's okay, I have a friend with a 5-year old who wants an Ultron birthday cake. I don't know where who'll custom make these.

This set of memos is for me alone. Best use of Ukiyoe art yet!

As for the kids' presentations themselves, here's an example from one of my Grade 5 lads:

I like baseball, Japanese Swords and basketball but I don't like death!

I love the last panel. The murderer escapes, the victim's soul floats to heaven and an ant crawls up from his nest to investigate.

While I was at the Cinema, I watched a 40th Anniversary release of the old Sinbad シンドバッド anime. It was nicely done and the first classic anime I've ever seen on a big screen. Apparently there will be a new Sinbad feature coming in December.

There no Sindbad (Japanese spelling) goods to speak of so I picked up an Anne of Green Gables Clear File from the same studio and era.

Since the above was only an hour long and the timing was right, I watched Juon The Final as well. I didn't realize there were already so many Grudges held. This is the eighth one in a series!
Even though the word Final seems fairly Final, it isn't for at the end of the movie there was a spoiler for yet another sequel. I won't spoil it for you unless you scroll down below these two pictures and a video.

Did you stick around? Here's the poop and it's not even on the Wiki page!
The follow up to this will be Juon vs. Sadako of the Ring series!!!


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