~ 「TGIF!」Idol♥’s unzipped on way back Fridays features samurai idol-ism, stinky eats & a Freudian slip for the ages! (Volume 80)

Idols unzipped...

Happy~Happy Aloha~♡ Friday ヾ(^∇^)!!~!!

For tonight’s Idols♥ Unzipped we’re heading all the way back to that time when you first saw Azumi and went Woah! Awesome film(s) ヽ(。´▽`。)ノ。。!!Okay so the first Azumi without question reigns superior to its sequel you know with the original storyline, amazing fight choreography, that supremely dark character in Mogami Bijomaru played incredibly by the very versatile Odagiri Jo!, an accomplished director in Kitamura Ryuuhei and of course the multi-talented and beautiful Ueto Aya~♡!~!

~My Favorite♥ Ayachan Movie!~

When it comes to stylish~action all set in the samurai genre~* one of my most watched and re~watched movies is “Azumi.”

Good storyline under the masterful direction of Kitamura Ryuhei who also directed the cult classic “Versus” along with director duel winner and short film “Aragami” and “Alive.” He has a most amazing way of capturing action scenes and like a director such as Tarentino you can really see a distinctness to his visions brought to the silver screen~* which can often be viewed as trademark to his style of direction~. Ueto Aya is amazing in her role as the lead character “Azumi” and also of note is a most chameleon like actor Odagiri Joe…he’s so so talented!!!!..and his character Mogammi Bijomaru is one of the most deliciously bad villains ever!!!..I’d say in cinematic history~!

Okay so as you can see just above I “may” have been just a bit clinically~obsessed♥ with this movie series and Ueto Aya of course what with me owning the LE Japanese original release (which is gorgeously packaged I must say!) along with the U.S. release version and for the sequel both a Taiwanese version as well as the original Japanese version and a special mook (yup when you’re born part magazine and part book you become a Mook!) ^^.

I’m thinking that most everyone on planet earth has seen “Azumi” however just in case anyone reading is from outer space or just hasn’t just yet seen it, I’ll refrain from spoilers here and instead share just a few glimpses into this most awesome film~* \(^o^)/☆。

Here’s the movie trailer…

~Ueto Aya in “Azumi” (movie trailer)~

Um….I think I may have a bit too many versions of this film (*´艸`)。。(and one of them isn’t even pictured…forgot! (*>ω<))but there’s also “Azumi 2” although it wasn’t quite a great as the original film~ ^ ^。 The LE is awesomely packaged though~!!

And here’s a little fun clip where famed director Kitamura Ryuhei visited the Anime Expo in the U.S. and he had some fun poking it at one of his familiar cast members…really funny =)!!

~Anime Expo 2006 with director Kitamura Ryuhei~




Yuria says...

SmapxSmap Bistro

Oh but wait!!!!!!!!!!!

“Azumi” isn’t actually the reason for this post at all!

Tonight’s post is all about a bit of reminiscing with

the SMAP boys when Ueto Aya visited their Bistro

set for a most fun episode on SmapxSmap

….and as the timing of this episode coincides with

the height of the “Azumi” craze I just got a

“little” Azumi~nostalgic there just thinking about

it ^^.

SmapxSmap Bistro...SmapxSmap Bistro..

Baby Lama

(random baby~llama picture inserted for your pleasure ^^)

Ueto Aya on Smap Bistro.. (1)Ueto Aya on Smap Bistro.. (2)Ueto Aya on Smap Bistro.. (3)Ueto Aya on Smap Bistro.. (4)

~SmapxSmap Bistro feat. Guest Ueto♥Aya~

Okay so I’d originally labeled this episode as being originally aired on July 5th, 2003 however my memory or my pen on that day may have been a bit off as I realize that Azumi2 is actually mentioned so that would place it perhaps in 2005 instead, but in any case this most awesome episode of Smap Bistro occurred right in the wheelhouse of Azumi so we’re going back pretty far as Ueto Aya was just right around 17~19 years old then! Now while the boys try to hide just how smitten they are with the young actress/singer/model/talent! ….it’s always fun to see the youthful demeanor of someone who’s grown into a major celebrity over the years and here with Ueto Aya it’s sooooooooo cute!! how she interacts with host Nakai~kun who’s the constant pro as well as the two Bistro teams. So tonight it’s Team Kimutaku/Shingo vs. Team Goro/Tsuyoshi and if you’ve ever imagined the embodiment of the joy of eating then you’ll readily recognize all of those symptoms coming at you two~fold as Aya~chan is beyond herself in loving all of the dishes presented to her by both teams I might add which then makes it most most difficult in even attempting to guess which team will reign triumphant at this episode’s end!!!

And of course to the winners go the spoils of the special guest’s kiss~♡ at each episode’s end =) and that’s exactly when the aforementioned youthfulness of Aya~chan comes to a head in the form of her nervousness of being on such a “stage” as it gets the better of her in one Freudian slip moment with the Japanese language ~*you won’t want to miss…(^q^)!

~One Stinky Food to Rule Them All!!~


Now as far as stinky foods go I clearly remember the very morning when my Mom decided to have some natto, a dish she hadn’t eaten in years or ever as far as I knew ….and its scent traveled to my unsuspecting bedroom where I suddenly thought I was smelling feet or perhaps something worse (・д・`*)!!!And upon entering the living room I realized it was YES natto, just that word sends shivers down my nostrils at the very thought of it   (゜Д゜;)!!!And it smells that way because it’s fermented!!!! And if you’ve smelt noni juice before I believe it’s equally as gross LOL! So anyway long story~short I went outside just to escape its scent as I just couldn’t handle it!

~Natto’s Umm “History”~

So I’m guessing that some guy during rural Japan had forgotten his lunch somewhere outside and then on a dare from his buddies decided to actually eat it even though it had been outside in the hot sun and weather for some days then (。ーωー。)笑!And wallah! Natto was officially um …..born \(^o^)/ ☆!!!Okay so I just totally made that whole natto story up however I didn’t make up it’s smelly sense of itself as in it really REALLY smells (*>ω<) !!!!~!!People seem to really love it though so it’s probably just me (。ーωー。)笑。

Bugs Bunny & Pete the Puma....

~Would you like one lump or two with that?~

Anyway, Ueto Aya’s Smap Bistro order is none other than natto along with a yummy dessert dish and let’s just say that the boys don’t disappoint (*´∀`) うれしー♥♥♥!Their culinary skills have long been the stuff of legends and in particular I have to admit their desserts are most alluring~♥ albeit I’m not even that much of a sweets~lover ^^. Also be on the ready for Shingo’s “oishi” reaction which he always does during his opponent’s unveiling of their dishes if and when the guest of honor declares it YUMMY as it’s an Azumi reference …..literally! Shingo also offers up a bit of his own cinematic nostalgia in the form of his starring role in the must-see “Nin Nin Ninja Hattori-kun The Movie” also a DVD I’ve purchased from back then as it’s great fun and you gotta love Aya~chan’s reaction here to his wacky antics on set =)!

So sit back and enjoy this bit of Bistro meets Idol♥ nostalgia with one of Japan’s most beloved stars, just feel fortunate that the clip above isn’t smell~o~vision…(^q^)!

(For a post about the size of a small village based upon my adoration of all that is Ueto Aya you can search here under: “Ueto Aya Smile Project” for much more Aya~chan content, it may take a bit of time to load ….you’ve been warned! =) )

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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23 Responses to ~ 「TGIF!」Idol♥’s unzipped on way back Fridays features samurai idol-ism, stinky eats & a Freudian slip for the ages! (Volume 80)

  1. OH man…. this was SUCH a great post! I adored Azumi when it first came out, watched it a million times, and wondered who the cute girl was that played in it? Oh right, it’s that Ueto girl who you can’t walk five feet in Japan without seeing her somewhere. I had no idea she was this hugely popular girl at the time I had watched Azumi, but yep, amazing and incredible that she has been such a part of the JPOP mainstream for quite some time. I’m truly impressed with her.
    Great post! Loved the throwback. Keep em’ coming!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Derek!

      I’m very sorry for my blog delinquency =(. Me responding so late =(!
      For me it all began with the Hawaii broadcast of the beloved series Kinpachi Sensei where Ueto Aya played a most troubled student and when Azumi came out it was like woah! My favorite movie of the genre then and it’s enjoyed lots of replay value in owning all of those discs! Her modeling has been all over too as you say and then there’s her movies and dramas and music!

      Actually the real reason for this post though was for the Smap Bistro portion and you’re really missing out on a most nostalgic episode not to mention the guys of SMAP can truly get their gourmet culinary skills ON!~! Nakai~kun always such the perfect host too and overall a most enjoyable episode here if you decide to watch ^^.

      Does your blog have a subscribe option as I somehow thought I did but then again my brain may be playing tricks on me xD? I haven’t heard from you in a bit so I was just curious =).


  2. Pingback: Recommended Drama Reading: August 1, 2015 | Idolminded

  3. philipleslie says:

    I agree with Derek: great post! I’ve not watched the movie for a while, so will have to dig it out this weekend. It’s always fascinating to watch the guys prepare the meals. Some of it looks just so complex, doesn’t it. They certainly know their stuff. I really enjoyed the adverts, especially Aibon and Nono’s and the crazy one for Gatsby hair colour! Thank you for posting. Very enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A~h you own the movie too!!! (*´∀`) うれしー♥♥♥!You know the very first time I watched it I was so heartbroken when cutie Oguri Shun♥ died so quickly (;゜□゜)!!!!! But then the entire movie was epic and just incredible so all was forgiven then =P! Does your DVD version include the making of? It’s pretty fascinating to see how many of the scenes were shot and how Aya~chan trained for all of her fight choreography….not to mention she actually got hit on the head accidentally at on point which was really scary! Definitely one of the very best of its genre and modern style next to that of “Shinobi~heart under blade~” which stars the beautiful and most talented Nakama Yukie along with Odagiri Joe whom is the scene stealing character in Azumi too! He’s such a chameleon and can look and act so vastly different in his roles….a great talent!

      Un the SMAP guys are soooooo talented and I remember when I first saw their Bistro segment years ago I was just blown away at how incredibly they cook! I mean they’re creating intricate cuisine which you’d find in high class eateries so often, well of course it depends on what the guest of honor orders of course but they always manage to create amazingly yummy looking dishes and desserts albeit I’m not big on desserts =P….still looks like they’d be yummy though! Haha I’d forgotten that the CMs are all in there….would have been too much trouble to edit them out and create separate video clips instead of one…plus Japanese CMs are the best aren’t they!! So much more variety and fun than the one’s aired here for sure =).

      Oh and did you catch Aya~chan’s Freudian slip? It occurs right near the ending as she says the totally wrong idiomatic Japanese phrase which creates a most hilarious and embarrassing moment for sure =P!

      Liked by 1 person

      • philipleslie says:

        Yes, the R2 DVD does having a making-of featurette.I’ve sent you a photo of my copy to show you what the cover looks like. As for the 143-minute version: have you heard of this? I’m wondering what was trimmed out for the regular release. (A huge fan of ‘Donnie Darko’, I went to see the director’s cut, which has a lot more material that had been edited out edited back in again. It was disappointing, and felt a bit flabby. Preferred the streamlined original.) As for Japanese CMs, they really are the best. There are some great compilations on YouTube:

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh just replied in the tea room =)…I had not heard of this extended version of the film before and it’d be amazing if they’d release it!! I mean the film as it is, is perfectly paced and such but still to be able to see more scenes or even extended scenes would be most interesting and exciting!~! The Lord of the Rings trilogy extended cut versions are sooooo worth it!!! Those films are already epically long and yet all of the added back in footage really didn’t bog down any of the films at all I thought =). I’ve heard of Donnie Darko but have never watched it, seems like an eerie type of film but I’ve read that it’s really a cult classic with a huge following. The Disney CM with the cute doggie was great and they sure make way better cell phone CMs than we get over here without question! I was surprised that someone even subtitled these CMs =O.

          Liked by 1 person

          • philipleslie says:

            I love the LOTR extended versions. It’s odd that the demise of Saruman in the 3rd movie wasn’t left in the original cut, as that was really left hanging the air. Ooh, I recommend you borrow Donnie Darko from someone. It’s an amazing experience. There are so many good bits, but here’s one well-liked scene set to a classic Tears for Fears song. It won’t make any sense, but should give you a flavour of the movie. Look out for Drew Barrymore, who was the producer.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m not even kidding that’s my most favorite Tears for Fears song of all~time~!!!!! Appears to be some sort of transition scene from the movie and now I wanna listen to my Tears for Fears albums =)! Got them on my iPod so I can do that right now…..Drew Barrymore has her hair auburn here I didn’t recognize her at the very first instant. I’m going to search Amazon for the movie as there are a few other things I’m thinking of getting. “Songs from the Big Chair” is a great album although there’s so much more substance in “Sowing the Seeds of Love” and you know me and how much I love The Beatles!!!!!….so that song alone brings The Beatles readily to mind in so many nuances of that title song! So true that the LOTR trilogy extended cuts really warranted making each of those movies to full director’s cut length and you bring up a most persuasive argument for just that ^^.

              Liked by 1 person

              • philipleslie says:

                My Tears for Fears albums are still on LPs! One day I’ll get them on CD. Head Over Heels is an incredible song. The volume definitely needs to be turned full up. Donnie Darko is a weird and wonderful experience and can easily be watched several times. I hope you’ll enjoy it if you decide to buy it. I think there’s a version where you can include the deleted scenes when you play the movie. Not recommended, as all the sense of mystery goes out of the window.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Haha you do get that drastic volume drop with some older albums xD….just the way it opens with the cascading piano notes and then the electric guitars is so so catchy!! And what a melody!

                  I’m going to order it as soon as I get enough items to warrant an order, I tend to bundle all the time and note to self: Do not watch the deleted scenes/extended version!!! =)

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • philipleslie says:

                    I’ve just refreshed my memory of Azumi! It’s a wonderful movie. I forgot there was rock music for some of the fight scenes. It’s so effective. The orchestral score is very atmospheric. What’s Azumi 2 like? I don’t think there’s a subbed version. As a complete contrast I’m now watching Tanaka Reina in Hawaii DVD. I checked, and the surf shop she worked in in the opening scene scene is still going: Strong Currents, North Shore. Did your copy of Brooklyn Nine-Nine arrive? I hope you enjoy it!

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Kitamura Ryuhei is a pure genius!!! Check out his “Aragami” too!! I really highly recommend this film…a short film albeit but it was done that way for a reason…hmmm I think I may have mentioned this film to you before? It was part of a film battle with another director where they had a very limited time to completely shoot their films and then an audience would judge them!

                      Un the Japanese release I have isn’t subtitled but I do have a version from Korea? I think? I can’t remember at the moment but interestingly a friend had found it and even more interestingly it has subtitles =O. After sharing the original film with some co-workers they wanted to watch the sequel so I gave them my DVD but then they were like hey how are we supposed to know what they’re saying unless we all come to your house and watch it together =P….and then one of the guys discovered this perhaps rare release…funny because it looked somewhat unofficial and yet the pictures really clear =O. Azumi2 is no where near as awesome as the original!! That being said it is worth watching just to see how the story continues as it literally continues from its predecessor in that you’ll see the lone comrade who lived along with Azumi once again. One oddity that really puzzled me is that there’s this one actor….remember the hoodlums whom were attacking the traveling entertainers in the forest just before Azumi arrived? Anyway the main big guy whom dies in that scene is in the sequel so so odd as he’s an entirely different character and not even a bad one at that LOL…also there’s also one other notable recast which is equally puzzling but far more forgiving for me at least =P! So I’d say watch it but just don’t expect anything like the original as sadly Kitamura Ryuhei wasn’t at the helm for the sequel =/.

                      Un that’s so much fun seeing her work the counter there!! Would have been fan obsessive mayhem had I known about that and shown up LOL =P!~! And then security would have probably asked me to leave =(. I just started watching it literally this past Saturday!!! Love it!! Andy Samberg is hilarous!!! And how quickly they establish his character during the pilot, the rest of the cast it perfect too with so many quirks and personalities happening!~! I’m now watching Cheers and Brooklyn Nine-Nine switching between the two…almost done with Cheers season six, such an amazing series it was!!!!! You so need to get the rest of the seasons!!!!!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • philipleslie says:

                      I’m happy you’re enjoying Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Adam Samberg is wonderful. The dynamics of the group are such fun. The Captain is especially funny. All the characters are fleshed-out a little more as the season progresses. I’ve said before, I think, but it’s my favourite of the latest comedies, and just gets better and better. I’ve given up on Big Bang Theory, and New Girl didn’t amount to much, even though I’ve been a huge Zooey Deschanel fan for many years. I’ll look out for Azumi 2. I’ve bought several anime series from Indonesia. The English subs are excellent. Let me know if you find the Ruri special! I may have to watch the series again, as it was so good. As for Cheers, I’ve just finished the end of season 2, so will have to get 3 as soon as possible. I was reading the other day that only one person (the actor who plays Cliff) was allowed to attend Nicholas Colasanto’s (Coach’s) funeral, as the producers didn’t want to interrupt the filming schedule. That’s so sad, isn’t it. Apparently a photo of Geronimo that belonged to Nicholas Colasanto is hung on the wall of the bar as a tribute to him, presumably from season 4 on?. Ted Danson straightens it in the very last moments of the final episode.


                    • It’s very smartly written and they’re really making it a point to share the character’s personalities right from the beginning, Mr. Samberg is a brilliant comedian!~! I’ve already pre-ordered the second season on DVD =). Ohh Modern Family is GREAT!! Sooo soooo funny!!!!!!! Still giving the Big Band Theory a chance but I’ve never watched New Girl…just didn’t catch my interest. If you check the photo in the “Smile Project” post the subtitled version is atop, second from the right…it’s the very redish cover next to the making of Azumi2 DVD.

                      Wow I would have never guessed that Indonesia has subtitled anime?! That’s wonderful and more so that it’s well done as well =). I’m beginning to check on Ruri no shima special, hopefully I can find it!

                      You sound as if you’re in an anime mood? You so have to see this!!!!!!!! You’re 110% guaranteed to laugh and love it!!!!!!….


                      Ohhhh that’s an amazing back story!!!!! I do see that picture on the wall but would’ve never guessed it had such an important meaning to it =)! In remembrance of Coach, I like that! Seeing it now, I’ll see it so differently than before…thank you!

                      Liked by 1 person

                  • philipleslie says:

                    btw, I just spotted there’s a sequel to ‘Ruri no shima’, a special made in 2007. Have you watched this? Same cast, so I assume it’s a watchable as the wonderful original series.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • It’s a one time special? I’d not seen it and I wonder if it’s being sold as sometimes those special are..? I wonder if Takenouchi Yutaka makes an appearance? Now that would have me searching like crazy!!! =P


                    • philipleslie says:

                      The ‘will they/won’t they’ relationship between Jake and Amy is really well done, I think. I won’t give any spoilers, but the writers cleverly avoid the mistakes of ‘Moonlighting’ etc ‘New Girl’ could have been really, really good, as ZD is a great performer, but the show started to feel tired during season 1, and season 2 was repetitive and dull. The anime looks great fun! The two episodes are on YouTube (American dubbed), so I’ll be watching those later! I see the ending theme is sung by Mitsuishi Kotono. I have several of her CD albums! This is hilarious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAdr94fzNPA Brilliantly sung, and what great use of Beethoven’s 7th (and, very briefly, his 3rd, 5th, 6th and 9th symphonies). Masa has two Dragon Half CD albums.


                    • The second season of Brooklyn Nine Nine is releasing this Tuesday here! Also looking forward to the second season of Agents of Shield which comes out soon too…felt so long to wait! One of the very best “new” shows!!

                      Dragon Half truly has one of the all time wackiest ending theme songs like ever!!!!So funny they incorporated classical music that way and don’t even get me started about those lyrics =P!! That’s so coincidentally awesome that you have her albums! You really need to see this anime movie….you’ll crack up so much as it’s off the wall humor at its very best ^^.


          • philipleslie says:

            Just back from the Green Tea room! Yes, it should really be Biyuden, as that’s how it’s pronounced. The V probably caught the eye better on a CD sleeve. They were certainly given some wonderful songs, just as Tanpopo were. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on HKT! I’d better buy the latest single and keep my collection up to date…By the way, I’ve seen 終 used by itself (without the hiragana) at the end of scenes in a movie. Is it just a shorthand for 終わり、or is it pronounced differently?

            Liked by 1 person

            • They do write it with the V so I was sort of conflicted about how to spell their name back then and even now although I will opt for the B spelling =). Ohhhh Tanpopo’s songs are incredible and most memorable too I agree!!…and from their very first single they had something special!

              Speaking of shopping for HKT, I was just on the Cdjapan site earlier and there’s already a 2016 calendar listing for Oshima♥ Yuko!! I was sort of worried that after her leaving AKB that she wouldn’t have the honor of more calendars…..how silly of me! =P 

              Alone 終、is pronounced as “shuu”/”tsui” meaning: finish;last or complete while Owari has pretty much the same meanings as in: end; be over or come to a finish, but I think aesthetically speaking the lone kanji is much prettier without the hiragana characters beside it….could be the thinking.

              Liked by 1 person

              • philipleslie says:

                Ah, thank you. I did wonder if it might have the Chinese reading. Haha, I’ve been attempting to translate Nanno’s Sukeban Deka song ‘Sayonara no memai’. Finding the words was easy enough, but the difficult part has been in making sense of it all. Great fun, even though it makes me realise how much I have yet to learn! I spotted the CDJapan calendar alert in my email but have yet to investigate. I’m happy that there’s a Yoko calendar for you. There’s a thought: 2016 is just four and a half months away!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Translating songs is a most fun way to learn as it presents a meaning which eventually connects you to the melody you’ve had stuck in your heart and mind for some time by then =)….much more fun than translating an article although it it happens to be about a favorite artist/celebrity figure then you’ll most likely be just as determined, intrigued and rewarded at its finish ^^.

                  Very VERY overjoyed to see Yuko is getting a calendar for next year!! I hadn’t really expected it since her graduation for AKB but it does show the power of Yuko~♥ and just how many fans will always adore and love her!~! It’s still a bit early so there’s going to be lots of additional calendars to come in their listings…also happy to see that Okamoto Rei is also getting a calendar for 2016…..already two to pre-order. =) Gosh..how the year has flown by, I can still clearly remember New Year’s =).

                  Liked by 1 person

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