I know I’ve mentioned before that I would blog myself more often, but, sometimes, especially in the summer, real life and other interests (sometimes) just occupy your time and all of a sudden, a month’s passed and you start to wonder, where did all that time go?
We’ve already been planning on getting the house renovated for a long time now. Our target was on the second floor of the house, where we will be replacing our decades-old carpet flooring with Pergo hardwood flooring. This only meant one thing: super major cleaning of all our rooms from serious decluttering to discovering special treasures you didn’t know you had from the beginning. I was able to find quite a lot of them, from books to memorabilia of my past self from (almost) 20 years ago. I’ve even posted them on my Instagram. I’ll just embed them here.
Remember that famed book about decluttering by Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying? Actually, there’s a Udemy class available for the KonMari method that was being taught by KonMari herself. I purchased and took the class last year when it was first released (and when it was $10 from the beginning). I highly recommend checking her book series out1 and you’ll be able to learn some tips on how to declutter and reorganize your things… and your life.
I finally got the chance to apply it here, as I’m tearing down and clearing and decluttering all the stuff that no longer sparks joy for me.
Card Captor Sakura
Sometime in the late ’90s-early 2000s, I became a huge fan of Card Captor Sakura. This year, a sequel was created, known as the Clear Card Arc. I have to admit that I lost in touch with the series again when this was first released, however, I did purchase their 20th Anniversary art book back in 2016 that featured all of the original CLAMP artwork originally published from the Cheerio!2 art book series. I actually had both the Cheerio! art books from before, but is currently stored somewhere in the boxes in our tool shed.
I also found this mini-collector card book that represented one of the Cheerio! art books. I didn’t remember that I attempted to start collecting CCS cards from before. I did remember that I had an American Cardcaptors card game that I used to collect, but I sold that ages ago. The ones inside this mini-book are the ones from Japan.
These are my remaining memoirs of my CCS fangirl period. I’m thinking of selling the cards but I am keeping the 20th Anniversary book. I may probably keep my original Cheerio! art books though.
Johnny’s (V6, ARASHI, etc.)
This is a huge one. A huge find, actually. I have two wheeled plastic containers that had been collecting dust and being kept under my bed for nearly over 10 years. I thought I stored some useless junk that I don’t know how to get rid of back then. When I finally brought them out, I was super-shocked to see my ongoing fangirl life from almost 20 years ago. I gave up anime/manga for J-Pop, starting with the Johnny’s boy groups, from V6 to ARASHI.
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12 years ago, I was an ARASHI fan club member. (櫻井翔 was my favorite/bias/oshi then) While I was cleaning up, I found my collection of their bi-monthly newsletter pamphlets. But I'm an Axcel now. Thank you for the memories, ARASHI AMNOS, but I've moved forward. #arashi #johnnys #fanclub #backinthedays #movingforward
For about three years, I was a proud ARASHI fan club member. I was lucky to find and meet Japanese ARASHI fans who were active online (as well as being able to speak some English too) and were willing to expedite all my payments and love just to be a fan club member. I’ve gotten so much memorabilia that was aside from the CDs: calendars, uchiwa fans, pencil boards, etc. I started to question myself in the 20s on what I was thinking back then. That was how much I loved ARASHI. That was also how much I loved V6 and various Johnny’s groups and idols. Yeah, what was I thinking back then?
One of the things that Johnny’s and other various Japanese idol groups and agencies like Hello! Project and the 48 groups3 are known for are selling bromides. Bromides are the Japanese terms for official photos of their groups, celebrities, and idols. My fellow ARASHI fan friends gave me a collection of these bromides for birthday gifts and such for almost six years. In ARASHI, Sho Sakurai was my ultimate bias, therefore, most of my bromide collections are that of Sho-kun.
I also owned (almost) all of the key memorabilia from ARASHI’s first movie together, PIKANCHI, and its sequel, PIKANCHI DOUBLE. I had the soundtracks, the singles, and even the photo books from the movies. I even saw both movies as well through burned CDs. Back in those days, social media and YouTube did not exist, so we all had to put all of our efforts in sharing all of our love for our favorite groups and idols through snail mail. After snail mail, they get captured digitally and are posted on the net. That was how it was back then.
I owned the largest ARASHI fansite, Rising Storm,4 that ran for about seven years starting back in 2002. Back then, I had to have pretty much everything to be showcased on the site for all the other global fans who have no access to anything ARASHI at all. That also included select mp3s of the CDs as promotions to get everyone to purchase their CDs. At least back then, there were several Asian goods online shops that also sold Japanese CDs.
Japanese idol magazines (Myojo, Duet, Potato, H3, etc.)
I can’t remember all the names of the magazines I used to subscribe to, alongside with anything and everything ARASHI, but among all the magazines I’ve collected for the past 7 years, Myojo would have to be the most memorable one for me. They’ve got plenty of freebies, from short mangas featuring a featured group, celebrity, or idol, and of course, their periodical collection of lyric songbooks called Your Song.
The Your Song lyric songbooks also helped me discover more J-Pop artists, from Ayumi Hamazaki to BoA5 to EXILE and CHEMISTRY and so much more! Even though I was a complete ARASHI fanatic then, the Your Song books didn’t just became a collection of song lyrics, but it also became a reference to me.
I didn’t take photos of the rest of these because I was really rushing on clearing everything out. I actually thought about just dumping them in recycling and be over with it, but because of their high quality images and everything else, I’ve decided to eventually sell them at my local bookstore. I’ll be doing the same thing with my CD collection also.
Going back to KonMari’s term of spark joy, even though I still love ARASHI and Johnny’s from that period till today, the items I have of them no longer spark joy to me. I’ve moved on forward, taking on other interests, and eventually returning to J-Pop fandom with MADKID. Unlike ARASHI and Johnny’s back then, the only physical item I currently own of MADKID is the Type A version of their latest single CD Summer Time. However, I do have plenty of MADKID memorabilia— they’re all in digital format.6
And unlike ARASHI and Johnny’s, MADKID are more referred as artists and musicians, rather than idols. The fans are focused more on their music and performances from singing to dancing rather than their visuals. They don’t appear on a lot of magazines like Johnny’s groups/idols do. Why? Because they’re easily accessible by all fans worldwide and aren’t limited to just Japan unlike Johnny’s. They’re here on the interwebs, active on social media, active every week through their live events, getting to meet their fans face to face (and social media to social media), and of course, livestreams. In short? You can support them wholly without spending so much money7 unlike I did those 10+ years ago.
Well, that’s the story of my J-Pop fandom life. With MADKID today, I’m starting on a very clean slate.
Last month, I had my annual diabetes eye exams. Luckily there weren’t any problems, even after my eye doctor spotted some spots surrounding my eye8 and all I needed then was that I was due to get new pairs of eyeglasses. Eventually, when I went with my dad to order my pair at Costco, my VSP insurance from my workplace had powerful coverages— two free frames on those that are $130/frame or less… plus Costco specials of $30 off if we purchase a second pair.
Usually, I would have my eyeglasses add transition lenses in them so I don’t have to wear sunglasses. But, it turns out, because of the two frames free benefit, I decided to switch the lens to distance only and get a new pair of eyeglasses.
I got my very first Ray-Ban pair… of eyeglasses.
… and a prescription lens sunglasses with frame from Salvatore Ferragamo…
I was quite shocked at my vision slightly altered once I got new glasses. Now everything became very clear to me, both with my new eyeglasses and my sunglasses.
I will be meeting with one of the managers of Progate, who will be flying all the way from Japan to the Bay Area for a series of coding workshops this month. I would be chronicling the meeting on The NINPOJineous. I look forward for this meeting, and even though I’m one of the Progate students, I’ve given my own feedback and ideas on how the platform can be better in the future. I suggested building a community, which is a good way to gain more students to use the online platform to learn how to code.
We’ll just see what happens. And once again, I’m looking into Automattic again for new jobs.
That’s it for my happenings between July and today. I thought about writing about MADKID again here, but the only rambilings that I got about them:
- AXCEL STYLE has a new layout look and a new host.
- I finally got a separate Twitter account for my MADKID fandom, though it’s more related to the site. If you’re curious, please follow @axceltweets.
That’s all for now. Till next time!
- I also own the book’s companion, Spark Joy, also. [↩]
- If you aren’t familiar with the series, England plays quite a huge role in the series. The creator of the Clow Book and it scards, Clow Reed, is half-Chinese and half-English. His reincarnation, Eriol Hiiragizawa, as well as his two companions, Nakuru Akizuki/Ruby Moon and Spinel Sun, are originally from England. The title cheerio! is a parting greeting mostly used by the British, which is where the art book title came from. [↩]
- AKB48, HKT48, NMB48, even the Asian 48 sister groups like the current MNL48… [↩]
- URL was amnos.net [↩]
- even though she’s Korean… [↩]
- from photos, eBook format magazines, tracks only available on iTunes and Spotify, plus, I get to talk to some of the members on livestream too, so I eventually take my own MADKID images (screenshots) from livestream sessions… and I took plenty! [↩]
- but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support them by not buying their tracks and everything… [↩]
- turned out they’re just that— spots— which are normal. They’re not blood clots or else I’m in trouble LOL [↩]