Tokyo Damage Report

reup : sanrio (hello kitty) theme park.

september 14, 2004

today . . . .kitty world domination!!

i saw this ad in public. can you believe they are so bold as to advertise their scheme? talk about Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz magnitudes of hubris. . .


today i went to . . . Puroland, the sanrio theme park .

according to the book THE REMARKABLE STORY OF THE BILLION-DOLLAR FELINE PHENOMENON, this theme park cost $600 MILLION to build and almost bankrupted the company. It also relates how the founder of the company, Mr. Seiji, recently asked the dancers to show a little more leg because the '(customers') fathers were looking bored.' It's kind of a crappy book, actually, but I can vouch for the veracity of the skirt report.

The park is totally frightening for 2 reasons in general:

One: the designers decided to co-opt disneyworld's 'magic kingdom' motif, so the very bright and somewhat abstract Sanrio characters are put in this very dark, very realistic dungeons-and-dragons setting. It's definitely a square-peg-round-hole phenomenon, and there is no letup – every room is decorated in this way.

Two: the relentless Kittification of every square meter of the joint. Kitty is on the wallpaper, the lightswitch, the tiles on the floor, staring at you from the merchandise, the backs of uniforms, the undersides of tables. . . there is something very Orwellian about this, her little beady eyes that never blink, watching you from every direction. Also after a while it begins to feel a little schizophrenic, you start to SEE KITTIES THAT AREN'T REALLY THERE. Like, concealed in the bark of trees, or superimposed on the heads of the staff, or subtly woven into the fabric of your pants, or crawling under your VERY SKIN. . . .! next comes the mumbling to yourself and the shoes made of newspaper.

On this particular day, there was something else wrong . . .A school day after summer. The place had almost no customers. Semi-deserted theme parks are just stone eerie.

Kitty turned 30 this year, so there was a bit of musical theatre involving a giant birthday cake, and some devil-woman in fishnet stockings that was trying to use the cake for evil. I didn't stick around to see how it turned out; I had to go to the kitty museum. They had a 30 year retrospective of kitty goods. . .including the very first kitty item ever made – the legendary coin purse! Oh my Jesus!!

There is only one 'ride' in the whole park. And it's awesome! But most of the entertainment is in the form of musical theatre. But this isn't musical theatre for adult queers, this is for little kids, so it's basically done at a manic cartoon pace, with set and costume changes every 4 minutes, and/or puppets / inflatable restaraunts / laser beams. Basically imagine someone animating a bugs bunny cartoon IN REAL TIME and you will have some notion of the kalidescopic overload of sanrio musical theater. Also, nothing makes sense. I don't mean this in some self-depricating 'I don't speak Japanese so I can't figure out the plot' way. No. PORN has plot compared to puroland's unique brand of theatre. When i say 'nothing makes sense,' i mean NOTHING MAKES SENSE. Other than a general commitment to starting slow and building up, there is no cause and effect at all here.

For example, here is today's main play:: kitty at home in her garden, watering her flowers. Her dad has to go to work. 'BUT IT'S MY BIRTHDAY, YOU PROMISED YOU'D STAY!' she shrieks. Then suddenly she finds a magic wand in the garden. She points it at a bush and it explodes in a shower of petals and out comes a blue-haired fairy, who escorts kitty and Daniel (her beaux) to a magical plant-filled wonderland, and tells them very sternly not to smell this one special flower, which of course that's the first thing they do. Oh no, Kitty just got Old Testament on my ass!! So the flower casts some kind of spell which causes Flamenco dancers to come out and Velcro skirts to be torn off. After that, her parents appear in some kind of Liberache 3000AD outfits and save her, and then they (kitty and Daniel) wake up and "it was all a dream . . . or was it?" happens, and then she runs and hugs her father and apologizes for being so selfish, and then her parents are like, "hey, this calls for a celebration! Bring on the belly dancers and the guy in the carrot outfit with the inflatable guitar!" after that, just for good measure, we get some ballet and the ballerinas are all wearing flower costumes, where the petals open up at the end and you can see their panties. So once you've shown the panties, how can you top that? Zoot Suits of course. It's like, Musical Theatre Helpful Hint #45: if you've written yourself into a corner and don't know how to wrap up the play, just have zoot suits appear. There's nothing THEY can't do!!

And this was one of the more sedate plays I've seen in my 3 years of coming here.

Plus let’s not overlook the bizarre crux of the story: kids and adults turn to kitty for an escape into a cute innocent world. But in this play, KITTY HERSELF is so stressed out by life that SHE has to escape into a fantasy world. That’s like finding out your favorite comedian is on planeloads of Xanax and Prozac.

After that I saw a play about Cinnabon. Cinabon is like an armless, mouthless Thalidomide midget made from what appears to be an uncooked Cinnamon roll, who communicates by flopping his huge pendulous ears. Sort of like if John Waters and Matthew Barney got together to do a makeover of the Pillsbury Doughboy. In short, Cinabon is scary as FUCK. anyway him and the rest of his make-the-children-cry family are all chilling on stage, and relating their dreams whilst waving their little nublike arms. The one guy, CAPPUCHINO, wanted to be a fashion designer. Suddenly like 10 models rush the stage chanting FASHION! FASHION! FASHION! FASHIONNNNNNNNN!!!! And wearing costumes which broke my camera. the guy who designed these costumes is pissed at Elton John for too straight. Then suddenly they all run away, and the next character MOCHA explains HIS dream : to be in showbiz. Suddenly, THE EXACT SAME DANCE NUMBER HAPPENS, but with chorus-line kicks. SHOWBIZ! SHOWBIZ! SHOWBIZZZZ!!!! Then the NOUGAT (or whoever) says HIS dream: to EAT A REALLY BIG HAMBURGER. So this guy in a giant hamburger costume runs on stage . . . the burger is like 6 feet wide and has a vertical pac-man mouth bisecting it. The burger tries to eat NOUGAT but then the other guys all bum-rush him off stage. So far this is like 4 minutes into the play. Then CINNABON’s turn comes. He wishes to . . OPEN A Restaurant. But nothing happens. No dance number. So he gets sad. I mean, imagine wishing for something, and NOT automatically seeing your wish fulfilled amidst throngs of scampering dancers. Who could live such a life? Not I, my friends. Anyway they all tell CINNABON to wish REAL REAL HARD and then . . poof!! A huge INFLATABLE Restaurant blows up like POOOOOOF and like 3,000 dancers dressed as food come out and run around, plus some babies are born.

And that is what sanrio-style musical theater is all about.


also, to read a report of my PREVIOUS puroland trip, go here. it's all new and different photos.

 

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—- entrance. Um. Yeah.

 

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—- a big FUCK YOU to anyone who doesn't like The Cat.

 

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—- Miss Kitty White and her typial English family.

 

—- kitty's parents

 

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—- and ballet for no reason!

 

—- zoot suits for no reason!!

 

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—- and oh, wait, we forgot flamenco!!

 

—- notice the guy on the left, between the flamenco queen and the bellydancer, that's him – dressed like a carrot and playing an inflatable guitar. That guy was the best shit ever. Also, the woman on the right was wearing a ballet costume shaped like a Fuscia (upside down pretty flower, for those of you not as fucking gay as me). but at a crucial moment the 'petals' of the fuscia dress open and reveal some panties.

 

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—- the totally disturbing Cinabon family. #drunk.jpg" type="image" /> —- #elegwarmers.jpg" type="image" /> —- #esocktoes.jpg" type="image" /> —- #estraightperm.jpg" type="image" /> —-

 

—- kids' drawings of Her.

 

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—- there were literally HUNDREDS of these

 

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—- cooling fan in the theater.

 

—- exhibit from the KITTY HISTORY MUSEUM. This shit is the super old school, 1970's stuff. Oh my GOD IS THAT— in the very center, the little purse is the FIRST KITTY ITEM EVER MADE. It's like going to some fucked cathedral in germany or something and seeing a piece of the true cross.

 

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—- no joke, ese.

 

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—- kitty's BIRTHDAY, yet another song-and-dance routine. The woman on the right with the fishnet stockings is trying to steal Miss Kitty's cake.

 

—- the parade.

 

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—- Herself, descending from the roof on a winged stallion. . .

 

—- . . . and winding up in prison.

 

—- . . . and then escaping in a UFO.

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1 Comment so far

  1. John Sabotta July 6th, 2010 6:07 pm

    "we are in the paws of those who toy with us as we toy with licensed plush collectable merchandise."
    http://johnsabotta.livejournal.com/5709.html

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