Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

I got kyatapulted into Kyary blogging on a whim, when I started imitating the Blog of Funny Names at my place. Now that I’m actually on the BoFN crew, it’s time to bring everything ’round full circle and put Kyary where she truly belongs . . .

The Hall of Funny Name Fame!

The Hall of Funny Name Fame!

Our subject has been called the Japanese Lady Gaga, but she’s really more in the tradition of Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, Twiggy, and Betty Boop. She started out in life as an ordinary looking girl with the unexceptional name Kiriko Takemura, growing up in the Harajuku district of Tokyo, world famous for offbeat street fashion.

Now, the undisputed queen of Kawai, she is known by her stage name Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, sometimes just Kyary, or her full stage name, Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Let’s break that down. Caroline and Kyary (“Carrie”) are cute sounding Western names (the latter a nickname given by her high school classmates). Charonplop and Pamyu Pamyu are Lewis Carroll type nonsense words (Caroll-ine! I never saw the connection!), and also onomatopoeia (sound effects). My interpretation: Charonplop is the sound of candy rolling off a counter and landing in a cup of hot cocoa, and Pamyu Pamyu the sound of a heart-shaped cushion being beaten with a Hello Kitty slipper. But it’s kind of subjective.

For linguistic equivalence, imagine a freaky 21 year old introducing herself to you as Monique Twinkle-sugar Dribble-plunk Daniella Cushie-cushion Poof-puff.

Kyary’s path to fame began as a teen, wearing striking outfits that wowed her peers on the streets of Harajuku. Then Kyary started a fashion blog that got increasing notice. Then she became a model, then a designer with a line of false eyelashes.

Kyary’s entrance into the musical world was not gradual. Her 2011 video “PonPonPon” went viral, and is now past 60 million views:

Kyary went on to do more videos, albums, hit singles, her autobiography Oh! My God!! Harajuku Girl, world tours to fanatical crowds, tv commercials beyond counting, and ubiquitous appearances on Japanese tv.

The creative talent behind Kyary’s music is the monumentally prolific Yasutaka Nakata, who also produces the leggy techno-pop trio Perfume, and has his own band, Capsule.

The videos following “PonPonPon” comprise Kyary’s best work, IMHO, and the best of those have been “Tsukematsukeru,” “Candy Candy,” “Fashion Monster” and “Furisodeshon” (my two personal favorites), and most recently “Mottai Nightland“.

KuchisakeKyaryKyary’s trademark is transforming grotesque or macabre things into something “kawaii” (cute). Her titles and lyrics are full of dadaist nonsense, discombobulating Joycean puns, and mutant lexical hybrids. Invariably, her twin themes are arrested childhood and perpetual self-invention. I think Kyary videos are some of the most visually inventive stuff around. Their formula is a pounding techno beat, intensifying hallucinogenic effects, accelerating Dionysian revelry, and a swirling pastiche of pop cultural tropes.

So, are Kyary’s fifteen minutes up? Don’t count on it. Whenever I start thinking that, Kyary pulls another polychromatic rabbit out of her magic PonPon.

Kyary forever!

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30 Responses to Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

  1. Pingback: Bodacious Boldness Brimming at BoFN | What Do You Do for an Encore?

  2. Way to go Wdydfae! You finally brought Kyary to the BoFN.

    It looks like she’s got the whole Madonna reinvention thing down to an art.

  3. amb says:

    This – “My interpretation: Charonplop is the sound of candy rolling off a counter and landing in a cup of hot cocoa, and Pamyu Pamyu the sound of a heart-shaped cushion being beaten with a Hello Kitty slipper. But it’s kind of subjective.” – is my favourite. There was so much I loved in this post, but I love “the sound of a heart-shaped cushion being beaten with a Hello Kitty slipper” most of all !!!

  4. Arto says:

    I would definitely go to a show where Monique Twinkle-sugar Dribble-plunk Daniella Cushie-cushion Poof-puff was performing. That’s like the second best name ever. The best of course being Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

    I was not previously familiar with this lady, but I gotta say, she’s awesome. T’rific post, Diddz!

    • wdydfae says:

      Thanks, Arto! I didn’t succeed in my mission to inflate the views per hour bars beyond my usual measly showing. I’ve been stunned at my place (a very, very low traffic blog) to get even as many as 600 hits a day for Kyary posts. Kyary fans are insanely driven fanatics! But alas, I couldn’t get their attention this time.

  5. I’ve tried to say this name nine times. NINE TIMES. And I cannot say it. My neighbours must think I have gone mental or developed a tic.
    Thank you for introducing me to a selection of words that I just cannot say.
    🙂

    • wdydfae says:

      Thanks, Becky! I found a way to sing it to the tune of “Superfragicalilisticexplialidocious” if you add “and” two times:
      Caroline and Charonplop and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
      Caroline and Charonplop and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
      Caroline and Charonplop and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
      Caroline and Charonplop and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

  6. ksbeth says:

    being asked to say her name correctly would be an excellent test for drunken driving.

  7. Liz says:

    Diddy, I am so very happy that you finally brought Kyary to BoFN 😀 And I love your post so very much that I am going to commit it to memory. Everything you say is so well said! I jest not, this is good stuff. Edutainment at it’s twisted finest.

    Curious: were your parents funny people? Because you somehow got ahold of one of the best sense of humors I’ve ever encountered. You are funny. (at least with written words–are you funny with spoken words, too?)

    • wdydfae says:

      Thanks, Liz! You’ve always been there for me with the Kyary blogging! In fact, the idea first came up in your Dragonlady thread.

      Yes, they were/are. I have my moments IRL, or so I’m told, and I do some good impressions. But when I’m off and bombing, which is about 40-50% of the time, it can get awkward, for me and those unfortunate souls around me.

  8. Liz says:

    p.s. You should pull an amb (or a Liz, haha) and tweet this to Kyary.

  9. Dave says:

    Great stuff! I was gone all day at an interview, but I’m glad I could make it here for this before the clock strikes midnight! Brilliant stuff – I remember us bonding of Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu early in our blog friendship!

  10. Pingback: Colin Ferguson: the one where we (almost) didn’t talk food | The Blog of Funny Names

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