Bondage and My Favorite Drunk Woman

Kawai

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior was definitely one of my favorite shows of the last year. A low brow, slice of life comedy with heart is my best way of describing this gem.

The show follows  Kazunari Usa, a freshman starting high school. He is happy to be getting the chance to live on his own in a boarding house away from his family. He soon finds out that the place where he will be living in populated by strange characters much to his dismay. The only thing keeping him there (aside from his parents being unwilling to pay more money) is his discovery that his senpai (Ritsu Kawai), who he has a crush on, also lives there.

The Characters make the show. While not particularly deep, they are thoroughly enjoyable.

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Ritsu is mostly off inn her own world reading a book.

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There is Shirosaki, Usa’s mildly perverted masochist roommate.

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Sayaka. A manipulative college student who likes to sexually harass another of the residents.

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Mayumi Nishikino. A foul mouthed, sometimes drunk, working woman who has bad luck with men (also my favorite).

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And Sumiko. The manager of The Kawai Complex. A sweet woman with a bit of a devious side. She is also Ritsu’s great Aunt.

All these characters make for good comedy. That alone didn’t sell it for me. They gave the comedy and the characters depth and a heart. While Shirosaki is a pervert, he has standards (which seems funny to write, but true). He also has a big heart. There is an episode where he sends his days building a Pythagoras with an elementary school girl who seemed to not be getting along with her friends and he (along with other residents) helps her repair her friendships. So while there is silly comedy there is a heart as well.

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The art is also well done.

Attention Parents:

The show has Drunkenness, Jokes about bondage, and adult humor. You have been informed, what you do with this is now up to you.

Please watch this show. You won’t regret it. It is fun and that is what entertainment should be.

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J-Pop. Sure I like it…

I love music. Always have. I grew up in the 1970’s listening to my dad’s old Beatles records or music that my older sister turned me on to like Queen and Styx. My parents indoctrinated me with ethnic folk music (mostly Latin American). When I hit middle school it was the early 1980s. New wave and Brit pop were in. I listened to Devo, Howard Jones, Heaven 17, Nik Kershaw, The Fixx, Adam Ant, and Billy Idol (his new album has some great songs BTW).

But high school was the game changer. I got into hard rock and heavy metal. I loved it. I grew my hair out, donned black t-shirts, and wore leather. From Kiss to Def Leppard, Dokken to Dio, Megadeth  to Slayer. I couldn’t get enough.

And then there was Iron Maiden.

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Forget about it. They were (and still are) my favorite. Soaring vocals, long songs, intricate guitar work, lyrics with depth (often based off of literature or historical events), all on top of the theatrics of a huge stage show. What is not to love.

As the 80’s progressed there came heavier stuff: Megadeth, Slayer, Metallica. I consumed them all. But one of the big 4 appealed to me most of all.

Anthrax.
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Why Anthrax. They had all the appeal of heavy guitars and crashing drums that any adolescent boy would love, but they had something else as well. They were positive and they were fun. These guys read comic books, wore Bermuda shorts, wrote songs about Stephan King books, collaborated with Public Enemy, and acted goofy. In all the doom, gloom and seriousness of metal, Anthrax were fun and often gave positive messages.

So jump to 25 years later: how did I get from this:

TO THIS??!!

(Sorry the video won’t embed)
http://www.jpopsuki.tv/video/ClariS—CLICK/5d55374770cb9f97825c115c656a127d

That is ClariS. The song “Click” is the Opening theme (OP) to the anime Nisekoi. ClariS is a very talented duo girls from Hokkaido, Japan. They got together in 2009 when they were in junior high, doing cover songs and submitting them to a video sharing site. They were signed to a label and by the next year released their first single “Irony” which was used for the Oreimo OP. They have since released 3 albums and numerous singles, many of which are associated with popular anime.

I love ClariS’s little bubble gum pop songs. They are addictive. They are happy sounding. They are fun. And I think that is what it comes down to for me: Fun.

I also come to enjoy a song through the visual and emotional connection that one has with a show that I’ve enjoyed. I hear the song every show. I enjoy the show. I come to enjoy the song. Now not all OP songs are created equal in my experience, but that is true with all music.

“Irony” used in Oreimo.

http://www.jpopsuki.tv/video/ClariS—irony/85c01e5084c0ed8de4ec6d661c9ff02b

“Connect” used in Puella Magi Madoka Magica

That’s enough for now. But listen to new things, love new things, see what the world has to offer. If I didn’t I would still only listen to heavy metal…and that is just one small part of what life can give you.