Commenters at Feministe veered between participation in and critique of zuzu's "Japan Is Slightly Terrifying" title for a promo shot of Hello Kitty Airline (a Taiwanese outfit, as was pointed out, part of a Taiwanese multinational consortium, as wasn't). Disney came up a bit, of course--it's not like America isn't brimming with cutesy and completely corporatized cartoon characters. In fact, Disney recently bought Studio Ghibli (that's why there was that Miyazaki marathon on A&E last year). Kind of a metaphor for or just plain old example of something--but what?
But I digress. I don't claim to be a big expert on Japan or anything. I didn't even hear of this band called SMAP, which is the biggest band in the history of Japan and the biggest boy band in the history of the world (despite no longer being close to even having been boys) until She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Mentioned-on-Blogs revealed to me the heights and depth of her fandom a few years ago. (Which is not at all about being an otaku, she emphasizes--otaku are so into things few others care about they'll only talk about their obsessions, not that she has anything against otaku, having married one, she hastened to add.) OK, so SMAP is bigger than the Beatles. They've taken over Japanese media of all kinds. Kimura Takuya, Kimutaku as his fans call him, is the undisputed heavyweight of the group (although SWWNBMOB has decided she's transferring her affections to some other guy in the group, not that I would ever admit to feeling jealous of a pop icon). Which is one way of setting up this little clip, Kimutaka's version of the "para para" dance thing that was popular seven or eight years ago in Japan.
Yup, Mostly Harmless is out to start a YouTubeocalypse. (Calling all Benzons....) [YouTube publishes the embedding code to the right of the video; you just have to copy it into your post, as I did above--BB] Laughter may now commence over my