Forget playing air guitar, Konami has done it again. The company that had Travolta wannabees queuing up in video arcade centers to stomp on the Dance Dance Revolution platform has launched a new game for guitar freaks everywhere.
First you strap on a life-size guitar, then attempt to play along with your selected music by pressing buttons on the guitar fret board in sync with color-coordinated notes that flash up on the video screen in front of you. The machine grades your performance with exclamations from “bad” to “cool.”
And if you manage to combine intermittent Bill and Ted-style riffs by cocking your guitar to the sky at the exact moment a tiny guitar icon appears on the screen, you gain a Wailing Bonus. This gets you canned applause and a few seconds extra to play along to the track. And time is key because this game is totally addictive. The machine wolfs down 100 yen coins, and the better you play, the longer you have to close your eyes and make like Jimi Hendrix or Courtney Love in a street in Shibuya.
Packing your packets
Cigarette smokers seem to be a dying breed in many countries where it is often almost impossible to sneak a puff in public. But here they flaunt their addiction. A current Harajuku trend is to parade cigarette packets in a sturdy see-through packet-size plastic holder on a string.
These cases are intended to protect your belongings from the elements and can be found in the camping section of Tokyu Hands. They come in this season’s bright colors — lime green, fluorescent pink and lurid yellow — and at around 480 yen they are the ultimate nonessential but terribly handy accessory for spring.
Not simply divine
Schoolgirl pornography magazines, “white sox” hostess bars, enjo kosai … There is no denying that Japan obsesses on the fetish surrounding the jaunty sailor-suit and those omnipresent big socks. But does designer Issey Miyake have to get in on the act?
A window display in the Shibuya Issey Miyake store currently shows off the back of a pair of mannequin legs wearing a short gray pleated skirt and bunched-up, long white socks. An electric fan in the corner of the window ensures a schoolgirl take on the famous scene in “Some Like It Hot” in which a gust of air from an underground grid lifts up Marilyn Monroe’s dress. In this case it is Shibuya passers-by who are treated to a glimpse of lacy, white panties.
To be fair, an Issey Miyake spokeswoman explained the display is the work of a junior member of staff who has been allowed to use the window as a “sketchbook.” Apparently Issey Miyake “has given a small window in the Parco store to young staff designers to give them the chance — on a rotation basis — to use the window as an open canvas to explore their observations and experiences.” So, it’s a cynical reflection rather than a celebration of the Shibuya schoolgirl scene. No need to shout, “More pleats please, less sexual titillation” then.