Sunday, April 5, 2009

Why I Love The Harajuku Girls

Minstrel show aside: They are SO fly.

I have issues with the interviews: they speak in Japanese and then do their own translation. I mean, it's cool to hear them speak English, but why couldn't they FILM them speaking English? Or just give us subtitles? It's a weird disconnect that makes me feel like they're saying, "Ooh, look at the pretty Japanese girls! Aren't they cute - they can't speak proper English!" And why are they all talking about being pulled into Gwen's fantasy world??? Ewww. *sigh. I would go on, but I'll let Margaret Cho and DISGRASIAN handle that. I will only speak of how fly they are.

Mayuko Kitayama: Baby
Not only is she an awesome dancer from Japan by way of NYC, she's also rocking the most awesome hairdo ever. I'm usually not a fan of the Afro perm, but she pulls it off. She also just seems like a very cool person:



Rino Nakasone: Music
Her name's Music - I already love her. She's also a SICK dancer. Now she's up to idol status. Check her out in the Harajuku Girls interview here:



Who knew anyone could dance to Gwen Stefani's Luxurious, and amazingly well at that? To top it off, below is a video of her freestyling in Teresa Espinosa's class (you already know it's gonna be hot):



Oh and here's a video of her interview from the Beat Freaks (America's Best Dance Crew, Season 3 - why did I not watch this???) - she actually speaks really good English! Gwen Stefani, what the **** are you doing? As in, really - what are you doing?



I've concluded that what I need to do is go down to LA for three months and take dance classes, if I want to be almost as good as these girls. Rock on.

*** Edit, April 6, 12.24pm
So watching the Rino interview again, I'm beginning to think that they had someone else do the translation, not the girls themselves. The question I have is... WHY??? Why make them "foreign"? I suppose so that the spotlight stays on Gwen, and not on these amazing women. Ew. Again.

3 comments:

  1. I couldn't really hear the Japanese version of the interview because the voice over was so loud but the parts I heard were pretty well translated. They don't really need anyone to translate their English for them. They speak English very well. The sing song way that they speak is just natural in Japanese culture. It doesn't mean that they aren't fluent. That's just how they hear English with a lot of up and down tones because Japanese isn't spoken that way.

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  2. Yeah, I figured after watching the Beat Freaks interview that they can all speak really good English. The English voice-over just felt uncomfortable to me because the emphasis seemed very much on their "foreign-ness" or "otherness" as opposed to just their awesomeness, especially in light of the fact that they don't speak English like that normally. It makes me wonder whether Gwen Stefani is doing justice to the women or to Japanese culture by presenting them as happy, bubbly Japanese girls who speak English with an accent. Because that's a stereotype, and it gives the impression that they are these one-dimensional people/cartoon characters, which they clearly aren't.

    I didn't know that Japanese people heard English that way though. Thanks for the info :)

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  3. Yeah, they are always correcting the way I say things because I place a tonal difference where there shouldn't be one. Gwen Stefani treats them like pets. It's kinda' wierd. It's like she bought them and changed their names to fit into her marketing campaign. Very sad. Exploitation at it's best.

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