Tag Archives: kamikaze girls

Outgrowing KamikazeeGirl

What do you when you seem to outgrow your blog identity? 

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I first started blogging close to thirteen years ago. Back then, my very first blog was hosted in LiveJournal.

I was probably in my late twenties, I was sullen most of the time, a rebel-without-a-cause and a devil-may-care attitude. I was obsessed with Japanese culture (as I am still am today), and watched nothing but Japanese movies and doramas. Gokusen, GTO, Hana Yori Dango, Okurubito, Hana Kimi were all a potent mix of a drug for me and I would spend hours and hours trying to watch for snippets on YouTube.

Blogging was also on its infancy and was still not the media behemoth/monster that it is today. As a journal-obsessed girl, I wanted a piece of the action. I wanted a place where I can share my thoughts; someplace that would serve as an extension of the many journals I have amassed through the years. So, I went online – using that noisy dial-up internet connection we had back then and started crafting my online persona. I wanted something unique and distinctly me. Read: devil may care/ Japan-obsessed/a bit crazy and weird.

I was set on becoming another Makino Tsukushi because, at that time, I was convinced that I had a shot with Jun Matsumoto (my then-BF/now-husband knew I was crazy for MatsuJun back in the day) but it was too common for me. Until I chanced upon this crazy, quirky movie and yep, KamikazeeGirl was born:

kamikaze-girls-copy.jpg

These were the two original Kamikaze Girls” Momoko (L), a self-absorbed Lolita Girl who only cared about fashion and Ichigo (R), a yanki biker girl who fits the words “crazy and weird” to a T. To the twenty-something me back then, they were also the perfect personification of my personality. So, my online persona was born. I wrote about anything and everything under the sun and basically made KamikazeeGirl a repository of rants and cringey emo stuff. I didn’t care because I was convinced no one was reading my blog, and my early stats seemed to confirm this.

But life goes on and we grew old. Almost three years ago, and following a steady influx of visits, I made my blog public. The signs were there: paid collabs being offered, in spite the fact that I barely advertise or promote the site; there was free stuff coming in the mail and blogging was starting to become the very definition of new media. So, I signed up to join blogger groups, I started going to events and even joined some collabs. I started to post less and less also about my rants and dialed back on the Japanese pop culture reference.

On the personal side of things, I started a new job, handled more and more responsibilities, worried about my blood pressure and overall health, and became more engrossed with work. Updates became few and limited in between. Advertorials were written and press releases were accommodated.

To put it bluntly, the blog as KamikazeeGirl was losing its identity. I was growing old and I was no longer the young Momoko-Ichigo. Last night, while trying to meditate before going to sleep – it hit me. I was no longer KamikazeeGirl.

I am now a grown-ass woman who worried more about her bills, her investments, her job and the state of her mental health. I stopped following and obsessing about Jun Matsumoto years and years ago, so I was actually saddened to read over Facebook that Arashi (Jun’s band) will be going on an indefinite hiatus after 2020. It felt like the end of an era, and in this blog’s case, it was also the end of the online personality, “Kamikazeegirl.”

Yesterday, I started searching for tutorials on how to change my domain name. This blog is on paid-Wordpress hosting so I might contact WordPress support directly on how to do it.  I am also thinking of how to bring the blog to the next level, given the rise of social media influencers and vloggers. Given that anyone with access to a platform and an internet connection is now calling themselves bloggers and writers — how do you set yourself apart from the crowd?

KamikazeeGirl was the kid with the journal, and with no plan in sight. This planner-wielding, penny-pinching, obsessive-compulsive middle-ager can no longer relate.

 

 

 

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Lolita Temptations

In one of my earlier posts way back 2009, I explained why this blog is called KamikazeeGirl.
Basically, it’s my simple homage to one of my most favorite movies of all time, Kamikaze Girls or Shimotsuma Monogatari, a 2002 novel adopted into a movie in 2006 starring two of my favorite Japanese girls, Kyoko Fukada and the lovely, lovely Anna Tsuchiya.

the origin of my name
crazy, cutesy girls: Momoko (“peach blossom”) and Ichigo (“strawberry”)

“Kamikaze Girls” is the story of two girls who are exact opposites, “Momoko”, a Lolita excited and fascinated with all things Rococo and dreams of living in 18th Century France and “Ichigo,” a rule-breaking, tomboyish girl who belong in a motorcycle gang.

In spite being exact opposites and hating each other at first sight, the two became fast friends who embarked on a fun adventure in an effort to truly show who they are — laces, silk jacket, pink petticoats and motocycles, withstanding.

Momoko, the Lolita girl

Momoko is an ama-loli or a Sweet Lolita, a Lolita subculture heavily influenced by Rococo styles as well as Victorian and Edwardian clothing. They are heavily influenced by the fantasy aspects of Lolita, adopting the basic Loli format and uses lighter colors and childlike motifs in its design.They are partial to Pink, Peach, or Pearl make up styles, usually paired with a shade of bright pink, red or sometimes nude-pink lipstick. Their dress of choice usually come from well-known Lolita brands like, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Emily Temple, Metamorphose temps de fille and MILK, among others.

Aside from the ama-loli, there are also the Classic Lolita, the GothLoli (my personal favorite), Punk Loli, as well as many other subcultures that seemed to continuously grow as the years pass by.

goth lolita

While the Lolita subculture is still immensely entrenched in Japan and haven’t spread as much to the rest of the world, more and more individuals have recognized the beauty and uniqueness of the subculture. In fact, the Lolita costume has become a favorite during cosplay conventions. It’s a beautiful fashion subculture in Japan that goes beyond the frilly dresses and the dollish make-up and has even moved on to become a way of life.

ADVERTORIAL

That is why I was truly intrigued when Paul, the MD of PMP Communications (and a good friend) sent me a press pack announcing the launch of a new cologne, called Lolita. The press pack came with a picture of the product endorser, Myrtle Sarrosa, the recent winner of the local edition of Big Brother (Teen edition) and a recognized name in the cosplay community.

Myrtle Sarrosa for Lolita Colognes
I love this Print Ad. No need for a long copy — the visuals explained it all.

The 17-year old Myrtle is the perfect pick for the line of teen fragrances knowing her stature in the cosplay community and her fascination to this line of Japanese culture. The pretty teener indeed makes a believable endorser, a fresh-faced, intelligent college freshman who never shied away from expressing herself either through the many costumes she usually slip on during cosplay or as one of the emerging talents of ABS-CBN, her home studio.

True to the Lolita culture, the cologne offers different variants according to the personality of its wearer.

This came in the mail two days ago. Such a cute packaging!
Choose according to your personality type

Here are their descriptions as explained in the press release:

The Lolita line of fragrances is the newest treat from Beauty Elements Ventures Inc. (BEVi) that is sure to capture the hearts of young girls everywhere. With irresistible scents varying from floral to fruity and everything in between, there is a Lolita for every kind of girl and every kind of personality. Lolita spray colognes come in fun, handy bottles that are color-coded for each different scent – just a few sprays and you have standout fragrance all day long!

CALI:
The CALI girl is fun and adventurous, always taking risks and daring to be different. Yet deep down, she is also a true girly-girl with a love for alluring floral scents that bring out her audacious feminine side.

CHICK:
CHICK starts off with a delicately sweet whiff and settles into a warm scent reminiscent of rich, velvety baby powder. Just a few sprays and you’ll have delectably lasting fragrance for hours.

My personal favorite, Cospink!

COSPINK:
A romantic fragrance all around, COSPINK will surely captivate your heart. Its dreamy blend of floral notes is part sweet, part flirty – and completely girly. A true pinkaholic’s dream!

FAIRY:
Looking for the sweetest fruity scent to top off your look? FAIRY takes you to the next level with its sugary scent sure to leave people whiffing for more. Simply delicious!

FANTASY:
This fresh and airy fragrance will leave you daydreaming about an endless summer filled with beach adventures and cool breezes. FANTASY’s light citrus notes simply make for the best tropical scent!

The perfect scent for the sweet rebel with a cause

ROUGE:
For the playful, outgoing girl – ROUGE is your perfect scent. Paint the town red in this classic flirty fragrance that will surely make a lasting impression.

Lolita is available in all Watsons, Mercury Drug, Robinsons Supermarket and Department Stores nationwide

I personally like Cospink, it’s a sweet smell that does not become too cloying. Have you ever tried a cologne with sweet undertones where eventually you feel like you’ve been drenched in some vanilla-sugar confection and the smell is just too much? Well, this variant doesn’t have that. It’s a sweet smell minus the sugary undertones.

Since I ran out of my favorite scent and haven’t had the chance to dash to my favorite lifestyle store, I wore Cospink during my visit to relatives yesterday and was even out in the baking sun. The smell stayed on my skin for about half a day before I had to freshen up and reapply. My sister’s personal favorite is the Cali which she finds refreshing. It’s now currently part of her make-up kit.

The Lolita retails for less PHP100, and will make a good Christmas stocking stuffer for teeners who seemed to want to assert their independence and individuality more than ever.

Quite fitting, since being a Lolita is all about standing out and refusing to conform.

How my name came to be…

I’ve posted earlier about my love for the cool Anna Tsuchiya and her break-out role in the movie, Kamikaze Girls.
By now, you’ve probably realized that this site’s name was born out of that funny, endearingly cool movie.

I’ve always have an affinity to Japanese movies more than the films churned out by my own country. I’ve seen and fallen in love with a lot of ’em: Okurubito (Departures), Must Love Dogs, Ringu, Death Note…but Kamikaze Girls is the one movie that captured senseless my kawaii-lovin’, Japanese-speakin’ heart.

The movie is about two girls: Ichigo (a yanki) and Momoko. FYI: A Yanki is a boyish, tough lady gangster who belongs in a bosozuku gang (a motorcycle gang) while Momoko is a Lolita (girls who dress like dolls) who adore the shop, Baby the Stars Shine Bright.

You may read the rest of the story and summary here and here

Some stills from Kamikaze Girls:

Going banAnas with ANNA!

Hi Dear God,

If I get to die and be given a chance to live again as another person…..
Can I be ANNA TSUCHIYA???
pretty please po?

Consider Anna:

"Lucy’ – From Nana the Movie (BlackStones)

"I’m Addicted to You" (from Kuroi Namida single)

"Cocoon"

What I like about Anna is that she’s unique compared to the typical female Japanese singer.
As much as I love anything JPop (and Japanese for that reason) but let’s admit that most female singers have this annoying pa-cute voice. And more often than not–they have this pre-packaged image that you don’t get their personality anymore.

I first saw Anna Tsuchiya on a CNN interview and I was impressed. Where did this girl come from? Turns out–she’s everywhere in Japan! And did I mention that she’s one of the leads in Kamikaze Girls (with Kyoko Fukada)?

Before I reduce myself to a slobbering, raving lunatic–I’ll shut up.
Losing coolness factor is not exactly cool if I am ANNA TSUCHIYA!