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This 10,000 word monstrosity that has been consuming my life for a month is finally done. Done enough for me to let it be for a while, at least.
I present: The Multiplying Horror Girl in Contemporary Japan, an examination of a contemporary trope in Japanese popular media including Ringu, Tomie, Parasite Eve, and of course, Kyarypamyupamyu.
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“Ostensibly a “decora”-style music video—a style characterized by elaborate accumulations of layers of bright colours (especially pink), toys, gemstones, sparkles, candy and so on, of which Harajuku is a main centre—“PONPONPON” takes the imagery to such extremes that it verges on the grotesque. Along with the more usual decora conglomerations of ornaments, toys, bows and candy, there is liberal use of brains, hearts, eyes, teeth, dead birds, bullets, tanks, Jason-esque hockey masks, and skulls, most of them human. Take, for example, Kyary’s signature motif of almost superflat-esque candy-coloured eyeballs; at first, these eyes only adorn her bloomers and gloves (which are zoomed in on in the very first image), but quickly become key to a kind of kawaii body-horror in which eyeballs spill from her mouth, float around her body, and burst out of the screen at the end of the video. Kyary’s body itself is productive and mutable: the tinsel-coloured baton she dances with and sings into grows slowly out of her ear, her skin and hair constantly change colour, and at one point, her entire head transforms into a pulsating blob onto which her face is projected upside-down.”
I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS MY JOB