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I. Tsunku: The Enigma

If one follows the development and output of Hello! Project, one is likely well acquainted with Tsunku, the Producer:

Of course, Tsunku does not produce everything in Hello! Project, nor is his work limited only to production. A prolific lyricist and composer, he is also responsible for writing most of Hello! Project’s songs. One need only scan any recent (Tsunku-produced) Hello! Project release to see Tsunku’s name emblazoned across the front cover, acknowledging his role in producing the record. In addition, on the interior of the liner notes, one may often see both the lyrics and composition of the tracks attributed to Tsunku, his name rising elegantly above the very words he has penned.

Indeed, let us journey together, dear reader, through the experience of gazing upon Tsunku’s name as it appears on the Berryz Koubou single “VERY BEAUTY”, selected arbitrarily as a typical example of a Tsunku production.

Observe in particular how the three simple hiragana strokes (つんく) are embellished with a Mars symbol (♂), prominently displayed yet not intended to be pronounced. An interesting touch, otherwise attributable to Tsunku’s idiosyncratic whims but for the fact that this name appears differently on the interior:

Here the Mars symbol is noticeably absent. One might dismiss this as a mere typographical error, but closer examination of other recent Tsunku productions reveals that the Mars symbol is consistently missing from the lyrics and composition credits while present on the cover production credits.

One might fancy the notion that behind the “Tsunku” nom de plume lies a team of two individuals, one a producer and the other a lyricist and composer, differentiated only by the presence or absence of the Mars symbol. While there is some merit to this possibility, one must consider the history of this peculiar symbol as it is displayed on the covers of Tsunku-produced releases over the ages. In particular, one must note that early Hello! Project releases credit Tsunku as producer without the Mars symbol.

Immediately some pertinent questions arise: At which point did Tsunku the producer begin adopting the Mars symbol as an essential feature of his pseudonym? Did he consistently omit the symbol prior to this point, and has he consistently included it since then? And perhaps most importantly, why are there two Tsunkus now when once there was but one?

Speculation about Tsunku’s gender identity and/or sexual orientation aside (to be addressed in due time), let us examine in detail, dear reader, the evolution of this name, in hopes that such an endeavour may uncover heretofore unacknowledged clues to illuminate this enigmatic figure and to guide us in dissecting this mystery.

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Going over the last few installments of Pocket Morning Weekly Q&A, posted in translation at Hello!Online, one might notice a developing interest in mathematics by none other than Michishige Sayumi:


Question: Is there something about which you’ve thought, “Certainly this year, I want to challenge myself with this!”?
Michishige: Math Problems ☆

Question: Fill in the blank to the right with one word. “I’m surprisingly ___”
Michishige: I’m surprisingly intellectual.
Please try to understand that somehow. m(・-・)m

Question: Among your fellow members, what about you makes you think, “At this, I definitely can’t lose!”
Michishige: Simultaneous equations!!


The evidence is indisputable. Sayumi is a math geek. XD

While her fellow MoMusu are busy with more mundane interests, our Sayumi is off challenging herself with math problems (here, Sayu, try Project Euler) and has apparently discovered the wonders of linear algebra (I’m assuming at least some of those simultaneous equations are linear). No doubt Sayumi has mastered the techniques of Gauss-Jordan elimination, Cramer’s rule, and LU decomposition and is well on her way to achieving world domination.

In addition to this, Sayumi has listed Tetris as a hobby and as a “special skill”. This is by far the geekiest interest I’ve seen in any H!P member. Because Tetris is not your average video game. It is a mind-stretching mathematical puzzle, and several of its subproblems are NP-complete. NP-complete, I tell you! This places it in the class of difficult problems that includes Boolean k-satisfiability, determining the existence of a Hamiltonian path, and Minesweeper.

Sayumi is hardcore.

For this, she gets an Excellence in Unabashed Geekitude Award.

And I still need to give Koharu one, don’t I?

Just for fun, and because Goto Maki’s name makes a great programming pun, here’s a function in C/C++ that uses Goto’s name to actually do something (it computes the factorial of a number; the goto maki statement makes the program loop over the individual multiplications until the final product is computed):

int factorial(int n)
    int p = 1;
    if (n == 0)
        return p;
        p *= n;
        goto maki;

You can put this in, say, a C++ program like the following:

#include ;
using namespace std;

int factorial(int);

int main()
int n;
cout << "Enter a nonnegative integer to factorialize: "; cin >> n;
cout << "The factorial of " << n << " is " << factorial(n) << ".\n" << endl; return 0; } int factorial(int n) { int p = 1; maki: if (n == 0) { return p; } else { p *= n; n--; goto maki; } } [/sourcecode] and then you too (yes, you!) can factorialize away with Gocchin:

% g++ -o gotomaki
% ./gotomaki            
Enter a nonnegative integer to factorialize: 1
The factorial of 1 is 1.

% ./gotomaki
Enter a nonnegative integer to factorialize: 2
The factorial of 2 is 2.

% ./gotomaki
Enter a nonnegative integer to factorialize: 3
The factorial of 3 is 6.

% ./gotomaki
Enter a nonnegative integer to factorialize: 4
The factorial of 4 is 24.

% ./gotomaki
Enter a nonnegative integer to factorialize: 5
The factorial of 5 is 120.

% ./gotomaki
Enter a nonnegative integer to factorialize: 6
The factorial of 6 is 720.

% ./gotomaki
Enter a nonnegative integer to factorialize: 0
The factorial of 0 is 1.

Fun, ne?

Countdown! The Top 100 Hello! Project PVs


After a three-month hiatus, the Countdown continues! And you thought I’d abandoned it!

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This is a pointless post to say that asparagus (and specifically GREEN ASPARA) reigns over all other vegetables and has the support of Natsuyaki Miyabi:

In return, this blog announces its complete support for Miyabi … because seriously, asparagus rocks.

MIYA FTW!!! <3

(yeah, I know, I’m late… whatever)

Hihihi… I’m a-changing my main handle to

Kirarin☆Snow ☃

(not to be confused with the Veoh user by the name of kirarinsnow … my handle has a STAR, or alternatively a space/dash/exclamation point if you’re not Unicode-compliant)

I’ll respond to Kawaiirrhea, but that name’s getting kind of old, and everyone (including me) keeps misspelling that pesky double i double r (which is now separated into nonconsecutive i‘s and r‘s). So I am now

Kirarin☆Snow ☃


Konnichi pa! コンニチパ!!!! Konnichi pa pa kon nichi pa!!

I’ve gone by various names over the last couple of months, including the following (you can trace the etymology of Kirarin☆Snow ☃ accordingly):


⁂ Kirarin☆Snow ⁂ ☃

I’ll respond to any of the above, as well as these alternate transliterations in various writing systems (I’m not an expert at most of these, so please correct me if I mangle the orthography of your language…):

Kirarin☆Snow ☃
きらりん☆スノー ☃
キラリン☆スノー ☃
きらりん☆すの〜 ☃
キラリン☆すの〜 ☃
kiɾaɾiɴ☆snoʊ ☃
Κιραριν☆Σνω ☃
Кирарин☆Сно ☃
키라린☆시노 ☃
כררן☆סנו ☃
किररिन☆सनो่่ ☃
คิระริง☆สโนว์ ☃
ਕੀਰਰੀਨ☆ਸਨੋ ☃
કિરરિન☆સનો ☃
Կիռառին☆Սնո ☃

Gah! My eyes! I can’t take any more of this! Sorry if I didn’t get to your writing system.


DJ Kirarin☆Snow ☃'s remixes are now appearing at K!☆Mixed.
June 2008


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