Welcome to Puffy AmiYumi World - A J-Pop World Featured Artist Site
"Why I like Puffy AmiYumi"
Essay Contest
In December of 2007 we had a "Why I like Puffy AmiYumi" essay contest. The first place prize was Puffy's first five CDs: AmiYumi, SoloSolo, Jet, Fever-Fever and Spike.

The winner was MySpace friend Ichigo. Here was his winning essay:

"Why I like Puffy AmiYumi."

It was a normal September or October evening of 2005. I got home from my part-time job and my family was almost done eating dinner. My brother was channel surfing on Satellite tv and came across Cartoon Network. There was two Japanese girls talking about Japan, then the credits came on and the show was over. I was curious about the show, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi. I did some research on the web about them and found out their names, Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura. After researching about them, I decided to watch the show. When the show was over, I liked it. Was it the animation, the catchy music, or mixing live action with cartoons? It was probably the music, especially during the middle of the show. I started to watch Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi every Friday night to see old and new episodes.

During my year of senior high then to college, I bought 4 Puffy's albums. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, Splurge, Nice, and Hit & Fun. My older brother bought me, The Very Best of Puffy, when he visited Japan. I also have, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi - Rock Forever and Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi - Let's go dvd's. Their calendar of 2007, I have that too. I plan to buy Honeycreeper soon and their American version of Honeycreeper. I have a group picture of the cds, dvds, and calendar in my pics, under NEW.

My favorite Puffy songs are; That's the way it is, Mogura-Like, Urei, Hataraku Otoko, and Teen Titans theme (Japanese version). If I didn't see the show two years ago, I wouldn't know about Puffy AmiYumi and J-Pop. In fact, it was Puffy AmiYumi who got me into J-Pop. I really like "That's the way it is", it's the first song that I like to sing along when it's playing. I like to listen to Hataraku Otoko when I'm working on homework or working at my part-time job. It fit's the theme of working hard.

If it weren't for them I wouldn't know about; Morning Musume, High and Mighty Color, Otsuka Ai, (Also my favorite) and many other J-Pop artists. Puffy may be a girlband and not known as much in America but, isn't listening to music that you enjoy where ever you are and sharing it with other people? I like their music because it's cool and calm, comparing it to the different kinds of American music that's playing today. Everyone has their own taste of music, Puffy's music is my taste of music.

With all that said, Puffy AmiYumi IS my favorite J-Pop group and favorite music to listen to, comparing it to American music. That is Why I Like Puffy AmiYumi.


Original Thread.

Here were the original posts:

I have extra copies of Puffy's first five CDs: AmiYumi, SoloSolo, Fever-Fever, Jet and Spike. Thought I'd give them away to whoever can write the best "Why I like Puffy AmiYumi" essay.

To be eligible to win the 5 CDs you must:

1) Either be a member of the Puffy AmiYumi World Forum or one of my MySpace.com friends.

2) Submit your "Why I like Puffy AmiYumi" essay by the end of January 1st, 2008.

Here are the options on submitting your essay:

1) If you're a Puffy AmiYumi World forum member you can post it on this thread. That's where I'll repost all the entries.

2) If you're my MySpace friend you can post it on either my profile or blog or message it to my account.

Judging: I'll pick the three finalists and my more objective wife will pick the winner.

I'll announce the winner on or around January 2nd or 3rd. If you're the lucky winner and you want the five CDs you'll need to send me the address you want them mailed to (I'll shell out the shipping cost).

If for some reason the winner wants to decline the CDs I'll let them decide which applicant will get them instead.

So good reasons for everyone to write an essay - even if you already have the CDs (hey you can always sell em on eBay). Now have at it!

foreverami December 10, 2007, 03:21:46 PM

My favorite J-pop/J-rock band is Puffy AmiYumi! Smiley They are the best out of all the rock bands I listen to, combined! There's something about them that justs makes me want to listen to their music, instantly. Almost everyday, I go on to either youtube and type in " Puffy AmiYumi" or go on to this website to listen to them. Even though I don't know any Japanese, their Japanese songs are really great to hear. And, when they sing in English, it's even better. They can always sing as one person and not separately. My favorite song from them is Kuchibiru Motion because it's something new and original. The video they made is pretty awesome and I love the guitar solo. That is why I like PUFFY AMIYUMI! You guys rock!

Andrew on: December 11, 2007, 01:37:50 PM

Here is MySpace friend Ichigo's essay:

"Why I like Puffy Amiyumi" by Ichigo

It was a normal September or October evening of 2005. I got home from my part-time job and my family was almost done eating dinner. My brother was channel surfing on Satellite tv and came across Cartoon Network. There was two Japanese girls talking about Japan, then the credits came on and the show was over. I was curious about the show, Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi. I did some research on the web about them and found out their names, Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura. After researching about them, I decided to watch the show. When the show was over, I liked it. Was it the animation, the catchy music, or mixing live action with cartoons? It was probably the music, especially during the middle of the show. I started to watch Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi every Friday night to see old and new episodes.

During my year of senior high then to college, I bought 4 Puffy's albums. Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi, Splurge, Nice, and Hit & Fun. My older brother bought me, The Very Best of Puffy, when he visited Japan. I also have, Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi - Rock Forever and Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi - Let's go dvd's. Their calander of 2007, I have that too. I plan to buy Honeycreeper soon and their American version of Honeycreeper. I have a group picture of the cds, dvds, and calander in my pics, under NEW.

My favorite Puffy songs are; That's the way it is, Mogura-Like, Urei, Hataraku Otoko, and Teen Titans theme (Japanese version). If I didn't see the show two years ago, I wouldn't know about Puffy Amiyumi and J-Pop. In fact, it was Puffy Amiyumi who got me into J-Pop. I really like "That's the way it is", it's the first song that I like to sing along when it's playing. I like to listen to Hataraku Otoko when I'm working on homework or working at my part-time job. It fit's the theme of working hard.

If it weren't for them I wouldn't know about; Morning Musume, High and Mighty Color, Otsuka Ai, (Also my favorite) and many other J-Pop artists. Puffy may be a girlband and not known as much in America but, isn't listening to music that you enjoy where ever you are and sharing it with other people? I like their music because it's cool and calm, comparing it to the differant kinds of American music that's playing today. Everyone has their own taste of music, Puffy's music is my taste of music.

With all that said, Puffy Amiyumi IS my favorite J-Pop group and favorite music to listen to, comparing it to American music. That is Why I Like Puffy Amiyumi.

viiicto.r December 13, 2007, 05:26:36 PM

I love Puffy because they don't just rock, they J-ROCK!

NejiPooshon December 13, 2007, 07:51:21 PM

sutetto!

Why I like Puffy...

Let me see, it all started in February 27, 2007. When I saw the Hi Hi Show on TV, not on CN, but on a Brazilian Channel. At first, I didn't like them so much, maybe because my brother likes the cartoon. Lol.

Since than I've found lots of Brazilian Web Sites and a Forum, called Puffy AmiYumi Brasil (Brazil, in English). I've made lots of new friends and knew more about this wonderful world!

It wasn't a dream! A plenty of my schoolmates said that Puffy was for children and ridiculed me! But every time I held my head high and overcame each difficult.

Now, I can say that I'm a big fan of Puffy! Because I love them, they are amazing! They teach you that you can't hear what people say about you! If you are ugly, if you don't dress like everybody else or just like things that everybody doesn't like! They taught me a new way of life, to make friends, to help everyone through their musics! Now, I listen to others J-Music bands, but Puffy is unique! The way they sing makes me feel like in a dream! Each music makes me feel something different! I can't stop anymore! I listen to them in the bus, at school, at home, everywhere!

Maybe I can't live without Puffy! In my life I've liked many things... but nothing was like Puffy.

I don't like Puffy... I L-O-V-E them!

bai bai boo!

Andrew December 19, 2007, 09:38:24 PM

Here is MySpace friend Gener's essay:

Why I like Puffy AmiYumi... a more complicated and layered subject than I first imagined. Often things we like can not be defined in a quantitative fashion.

What strikes a chord with me is their humility, which I think stems from having rock sensibilities as they have evolved. The trap of many pop artists is the music is all about them and there is no room for other musicians or collaborators. The musicians that play with Puffy have space to play be it instrumental parts of a song or simply meshing into Puffyfs vocal work. Puffy songs are not monopolized by Puffy. As well, Ami and Yumifs attitude about Splurge sums up their humility.

Puffy could have made it a fabulous ten year celebration of themselves, but rather it was splurging to celebrate their collaborators and support musicians. Their silly bits at the end of VCDfs or as extras on DVDfs show their silly humble side.

Maturity is another reason why I like Puffy. Their music has shifted and changed over the years. They have not been afraid to do albums that sound different from each other and songs on an album that have a variety of influences. They are not afraid to have collaborators and celebrate them.

Ami and Yumi have heart, which is endearing to any fan of theirs. Watching their concert VCDfs and DVDfs you can tell they earnestly put on a great show.

One under-rated thing I like about Puffy is that they transcend Japanese Pop. Nobody can say Puffy sounds like some other act. Puffy sounds like Puffy. Ami and Yumi are standard bearers of Japanese pop and rock. As my friend who introduced me to Puffy stated, they are the very definition of Japanese pop.

Even if you do not speak Japanese, it is readily apparent Ami and Yumi are terrific singers and when combined togetherc it is impossible not to like the effect. They mesh together like few acts I have ever heard.

mattramasuden December 23, 2007, 10:23:33 AM

Why I Like Puffy AmiYumi

It was a normal day and I was watching television and all of a sudden; this cartoon with really funky songs came on and amazed me. The song was probably "Ai no Shirushi". I researched them and then found out they were Japanese and I'm like wow. I'm gonna borrow some lines from another favourite song of mine (customised) "every inch of them spelt out desire".

Another reason I like them is that their albums are organised and the song rotation is fabulous. There are other reasons why I like them and they are that:

There lyrics are unique and have meaning (Especially there Mogura Like. I think that they are saying that we work to hard and need to relax

I hope this essay has given you an insight of a couple of the reasons why I like Puffy.

Andrew December 29, 2007, 12:59:09 PM

Here is MySpace friend Lena Sanchez's essay:

Why I like Puffy AmiYumi?

Because they're awesome and they're not like other artists who in their songs they talk about drugs and sex, Ami and Yumi are different, I love their music and I admire their Style, I enjoy listen their music, it's awesome, I love all their songs.

I love both but my favourite PUFFYGIRL is Yumi because she's the most "moved" from the duet, she's awesome!

I only have one PUFFY CD, Splurge.

There aren't any PUFFY'S cd's in Argentina, my aunt traveled to USA and she got Splurge for me.

I hope I can win ^^

PUFFY'S THE BEST!!

Bye!

Andrew December 29, 2007, 06:48:48 PM

Here is MySpace friend Nava-kun's essay:

Why I Like Puffy AmiYumi

It was almost a year or two when I first found out about them. Because I'm American, and a complete gaijin, it was on Cartoon Network watching that new anime-style series, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi. I had commonly been labeled gweeabooh by egotistic, and gotakuh by those more familiar with Japanese style and such. I can see why. But, the symphony that the voices of the two girls made always seemed so soft, even when sung harshly or loudly. It always seemed right on tune, and it always sounded Beautiful.

I was in Japanese I, and could very rarely pick out a word or two that I understood or remembered; yet, even without the words, their voices echoed pure beauty.

I eventually found out more about the band, finding some MP3s on the website of some of their music tracks, and playing them every once and awhile. PUFFY was truly the first band I ever liked. I liked songs here and there, but before PUFFY I had never really shed a single care about music. It was after PUFFY that I found my interest in JROCK and JPOP.

I remember reading a couple of times about their concerts in America. The east coast in 2006, I was so dismayed that I hadnft found out about it when it was going on, I missed it entirely! It would've been my first concert, by my favorite band, and I missed it. I then, learned recently, about the Honeysweeper tour, which hit parts of the US, and learned that I had missed that one too. Every opportunity that came up, I seemed to miss.

My biggest dismay is that I can't get the music. I don't have the cash to splurge on purchasing CDs, and Amazonfs MP3 store hasnft made a deal with Sony Music (yet, as it would seem). So the only song I've been able to legally purchase is Can Nana Fever. Their single song in the I Love Guitar Wolf album.

In conclusion, I love Puffy's music because of their beautiful, symphonious voices, as well as how their music always echoes truths.

rama333 December 31, 2007, 12:28:51 PM

I like Puffy mainly because of their music, but I love Ami And Yumi because of their Sincerity and Humility.

They truly are musical and cultural mavericks in that their sweet honest demeanor goes against the grain of modern musical entertainment.

I consider myself to be among the lucky few that have the opportunity and mind to appreciate two of the best musical entertainers of our age. go! Puffy... go!

amiandyumiforever December 31, 2007, 05:16:19 PM

I like Puffy AmiYumi because they have great personalities and they show their fans who they really are. I like the kind of clothes they wear, and how they try to have their own fashion. I like it the most when Yumi's hair is long and down, and when Ami has a flower in her hair.

I first got introduced to you two when I started to watch Teen Titans back in 2003. As I started to get more intrested in the show, I soon knew the words for the theme song. I went on the Internet to see if I could find the song, and I found out that you two sing it! As the months went by, I got more intrested in you two.

When your cartoon, "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi" started playing on Cartoon Network, that's when everything started to fire up. I learned more songs by you, and soon I knew the words to them. Once your show was done, I paused my TV so I could see if I could get the names of the songs. As more episodes started playing, I wanted to know more about both of you. So I went on the Internet to see if I could learn more about you.

I stopped listening to my other music, and started to listen to your songs. When I was looking for some of your songs, I found a song called "Planet Tokyo". I love that song, and not because it's in English so I can understand it. A lot of your songs has a great beat to them, and that is what gets me intrested in them. I soon found even more songs, including "V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N" and "Tokyo Nights". Some other songs that I enjoy listening to are "Electric Beach Fever", "Jet Police", "Simple", and "Into the Beach" just to list some of them. I also enjoy listening to many other songs by you, so please don't worry. When "Splurge" was released in America, my dad got it for me in October. I started to listen to it non-stop because there wasn't anything else to do. We got hit by a snow storm, "The Surprise October Storm" and everything was closed. Anyway, I liked even more songs by you, so I wanted to know more about you. Once "Honeycreeper" was released in Japan, I listened to your new songs. From your newest CD, I enjoy listening to "Kuchibiru Motion" and "Boom Boom Beat". I try to listen to all of your songs, and so far I can keep up. I like all the songs from "Splurge" and of course "Honeycreeper".

Ever since I started to like you two, I tried my best to know a little bit more about you. I know that Yumi can speak Japanese, some English, some Spanish, and a little French. I can speak perfect English, and I'm studying Spanish in school. I didn't know that Yumi could speak Spanish until after I signed up for it. Anyway, I understand that she lived in Los Angles from February - April in 2003 so she could learn the language. I also know that the end of 1996, she had a bicycle accident and broke her leg. I can relate to that because I broke my leg in three spots when I was very young. To get back on Topic, I also know some things about Ami. Ami's favorite colors are green and brown, and green is a nice color. I also know that Ami's favorite hobby is surfing, and it does seem a little dangerous. I know that she has her own family because she has a child. I also understand that you two get along like sisters even though you have different families. I like that about you two because it proves that anyone can be friends.

I wanted someone who I could always look up to and one who doesn't do anything bad. So I tried to find a little more about Ami, and I soon realized that she's a good role model for me. I'm not trying to take sides or anything like that, and I still like Yumi. Ami is a good role model for me because she has a good attitude towards everyone, she has a postitive look on life, and she tries hard at everything. I understand that she loves animals, can draw and color pictures well, and also enjoys playing video games. I can relate to Ami because I love any animal, I can draw houses well, and I play video games when I'm not busy with my school work.

I'm only in 8th grade, and I'm doing pretty good in school. My grades are all in the 80's, or lower 90's. Did you two do well in school, too? Anyway, before I started to listen to your music, I didn't get the best grades. When I started to listen to your music when I was doing my homework, my grades started to go up. I first thought that I was trying harder, so I tried to see if it was the music. Since I'm in the 8th grade now, I get more homework and I tried to see if it worked. I did my homework when I was listening to your music, and I got it finished faster than I usually did. I had a feeling that it would lower my grades, but instead of that happening, my grades got better.

I wanted to watch some of your music videos, but I didn't know where to look. My dad introduced me to this wedsite "YouTube", and I found many of your videos. I watched all of your concerts from your Jet Tour in 1998, and my two favorite videos are "Jet Police" and "Electric Beach Fever". My most favorite video is "Elecrtic Beach Fever" because of the dance or moves you do, and the clapping near the end of the song. I started to look up more videos on the Internet, and I found the video for "Joining A Fanclub". It is so funny when you two started to throw things at each other.

timwamoonface December 31, 2007, 06:25:07 PM

If anyone has seen the movie Ratatouille, remember the scene in which Remy gives his brother rat (whose name escapes my mind at the moment) the cheese and strawberry to taste and asks if he feels the harmony of the foods? Similarly, PUFFY's music has that effect on me. Not the tasting, but the hearing of the sounds of their voices and the instruments that flows so beautifully together to create what we know and love as PUFFY's music. At last count, the song with the most plays in my iTunes library was Kuchibiru Motion with 124 plays. Keep in mind though, that this is coming from a library with over 1435 songs from artists of different genres. From Amy Winehouse to Weezer and 80fs to R&B, I can say that I enjoy different types of music. PUFFY truly sticks out as my favorite band from the library because their music is something not of mainstream American music. PUFFY's sound is more of a melding of popular acts that I see today, from pop and rock to jazz and blues. They are different, in their styles and attitudes and that is what makes them my favorite. The reason why I love PUFFY is the simple fact that their music makes me happy.

PUFFY's music has gotten me through a lot of stressful weeks, homework assignments, and projects. I was listening to boom boom beat all summer long while working in an office and trust me, when you're handed piles of paper to alphabetize and file, music (especially PUFFY) makes it go by so much faster! There has not been a week that has gone by where I have not listened to at least one PUFFY song. Though I have been listening to more of their newer tracks lately, I will always be a fan of PUFFY's earlier works. Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Etc. and Toku suru karada are my absolute favorites. I also enjoy their covers on the Hit Parade (Hurricane, awesome beats and dance!) and of Lucy Wa Moon Face (Unicorn). I've been to two of their concerts (GO WEST 2005 and honeysweeper) and have enjoyed every minute of it. It is strange to see PUFFY up close when you have only read accounts and news about them for months! PUFFY's music have also attracted me towards the work of their (long time) producer Tamio Okuda and Kimura Kaela. It is funny that their music have brought to me four years of happiness and something to rock out to, but I have yet to understand a single song in it's entirety! I have looked at translations but feel that ignorance is bliss and rather feel the emotion of the performed lyrics and music rather than dissecting it and understanding it.

I have been a fan since 2003 and have used the Internet as my source of information. I was a frequent visitor of the PUFFYAMIYUMI ROCKSJP site when it used to be up and then moved onto the Tofu Forums before it mysteriously shut down. But now I rely solely on amiyumidas, Peace. Pop. Puffy., and of course, Puffy AmiYumi World to bring me the current news about PUFFY. I have 6 of PUFFY's albums (7 including Solo Solo) and have yet to add JET CD and FEVER FEVER. PUFFY's music has brought me much happiness within the last four years, but I am awaiting that day when I'm 30+ years old and find my old PUFFY collection that would remind me of these fond memories of music. Grin

sumi December 31, 2007, 11:40:30 PM Why do I like Puffy its hard to make people understand why i like them so much but here goes. First of all i don't just like them i love them there my favorite band in the world. There is just nothing like them I listen to them everyday and night and watch them on you tube everynight after work. I also checkout your site and amiyumidas on a dailey basis. It started in 2003 when at the time I had given up on music. I didn't like anything out there and really wasnt listening to anything. Then my friend let me listen to her Puffy cd nice I fell in love with them from the start. I can't even imagine a time before them now. Anyway, I bought it the next day on the internet and starting downloading any song i saw by Puffy. So i got a wide range of there music and was hooked. I would love to win this but if I don't i'm still going to buy everthing they did in the past. I have everything from nice up to honeycreeper. I cant say what my favorite song is I like them all, but I really like owaranai from there spike tour i think its a cover song of the blue hearts but not sure.

I hope this isnt too long but i can go on forever about puffy. Why i like them is they make me feel good among other reasons. Not just feeling good but I feel like everything in my life will be ok when i listen to them. My friends say i just beam when i talk about or listen to them. There the only group i would pay anything to see them. last yr it cost me about 400 dollars to fly to cleveland and see them in front row of course and about 300 this year to see them in anahiem front row but it was worth it. I plan to plan my vacation in 2008 around there tour if they do one and go to all the shows if i have the money. thanks to them i was introduced to other jpop and jrock bands that i like like high and mighty color, orange, zone etc. but no one is like puffy. Plan and simple just can't imagine music without them now so i hope to win but if i dont as long as a real Puffy fan wins one who want sell them im happy the more english speaking people who like Pufy the better so i guess thats it good luck everyone. Grin



Mode7 Januray 1, 2008 at 11:49:29 PM

Puffy was a pure mistake. I was at my computer, working on a biology assignment at the end of the first semester in sophomore year of high school (January 2005). 'Working' should be used lightly here, as I was doing everything in my power to not actually do the work. Oh, but anyhow, the project --- it revolved around animal classifications, kingdoms, phyla, orders, and such. I came upon the jellyfish animal and went to Wikipedia (as all reliable information ever made in the history of the universe is conveniently located at that awesome tome). Upon reaching the page for said sea animal, there was a note in the subject header notifying the reader that there exists a page for "the 90's pop/rock band" by the same name. Sure enough, to kill time because I hated this project, I checked it out. (The 90s was an awesome time, even if political correctness was in extreme excess.) Supposedly, this Andy Sturmer guy who led the band also wrote songs for this Japanese duo by the name of Puffy...

...of HiHi Puffy AmiYumi fame.

Okay, so why did I care about these two women that inspired that DARN ANNOYING CARTOON? Well, I only cared to look because, again, I was bored... but also because I had (and still proudly have) a certain affinity for Japanese culture. It also didn't hurt that I was reading about two incredibly cute Japanese women. A weakness of mine, I suppose. *coughcough* However none of this compared to what I was about to read:

"They often sing whole songs together with harmonies and their sound borrows heavily from the Beatles and oth-"

Oh.
OH.
OH WHAT
OH SNAP.

"heavily from the Beatles"
"the Beatles"
"Beatles"

With that, I just needed to listen to Puffy to really know if Ami and Yumi were the second coming of Beatles... just in amazingly cute girl form. Thanks to Soulseek, chosen because of its complete album mp3 rips that aren't just 128kbps, I checked out the U.S.-released "An Illustrated History" compilation album while walking around outside one day... and it was intriguing. I truly appreciate music after listening through it repeatedly and through my efforts to do so, Puffy was on the path to actually becoming the new Beatles. (More on that later.)

The claim holds true that Puffy borrows from other artists, but Ami and Yumi, along with all the people who make their music possible, manage to configure it into something uniquely theirs. Of special note to my ears is that Korega Watashino Ikirumichi has that old Beatley sound to it. Bonus points are awarded to Tomodachi for sounding like that one 60s oldies hit sung by a female group whose name eludes me. Onward, I must admit that I don't know what reviewers say when they compare Puffy's sound to other genres or artists. "Puffy, at times, sounds like an esoteric pastiche of the Renegade Soundbusters from the 1970s." (Read: Mock quote using standard, but necessary five dollar words.) I don't honestly know much about music because I am so closed in my interests -very rarely do I open up to new artists. Puffy was merely a chance find that happened to prove their worth.

I must stress that to my initial disappointment, Puffy have little in common with the Beatles. I mean, Ami and Yumi really only sing vocals. They don't play instruments or take extravagant studio production control as those four guys did. Puffy is even relatively more manufactured and are no strangers to corporate promotion. But even so the two of them are extremely well-talented for everything they AND their amazing team have done in the past 10+ years. Plus, they're deep on a substance that I can't quite place a concrete definition. Still, beautiful music is beautiful music.

(I do realize that Ami and Yumi have played instruments on OCCASION and that they had some singing and vocal experience before their current status as Puffy. This is more the awesome exception than anything, though.)

In those early days of Puffy, I relied, and still do, solely on the Internet for any information about their music, shows, personal life, pictures and such. Initiative was the name of the game; Puffy WAS obscure compared to other Japanese acts well-known in the U.S.A., cartoon show be darned. I read the same interviews over and over and treasured any new sites or info that popped up. Then, I came upon the forum.

The Forum. The HiHi Puffy AmiYumi Shrine.

Well, it was really all that Puffy had in terms of a specialized place dedicated to them.. or rather, their show, BUT the actual band was represented in sections in that forum. I shall remember it as the only community I could sling around with at the time. No other fans of the real Puffy existed in my area and there was the "double-need" in that people weren't too cognizant of my interest in TWO JAPANESE CARTOON GIRLIE GRRLS. At least some people in that forum community could appreciate Puffy for what they really were.

Heh, it's also where I made some very cool friends. DoAsPuffy was there at the time and also the first one I befriended, because she was one of the few mature people there with a focused interest on Ami and Yumi's work. It also helps to know that she wasn't a kid nor an out-of-touch older person (not that all older people are that way). In the time during and especially after the Puffy Shrine, I've come to know her as a very sensible and likable person. I am encouraged knowing someone like her that lives the lifestyle she lives. It is not easy, but she manages to accomplish it. She can really do everything she wants to do if she believes; her dedication has certainly brought her so far.

Truly a rare person and friend that I can never forget. It's impossible to not care for people like her.

amifan was another great member of the forum. I likened him to a wise sage in that he kept his calm and that he contributed a lot of relevant Puffy information. He also had quite a vast knowledge in music -- I seriously gaped in awe whenever he mentioned his other favorite bands or some musical reference that only a seasoned veteran like him could understand. He may be in his 40s, but he's not out of touch in any way. I send amifan my thanks for even helping me and others during difficult times. I look forward to your continued patronage around these parts, amifan.

Then, there's Ichigo. She came around later and I didn't know her too well, but she was enjoyable to talk to and one of the few who wasn't there to gawk over cartoon Ami's feet. I recall her talking about her then upcoming wedding and how she intended to "blast Puffy at the reception." That's hardcore. When she comes to mind, I think "whimsical." We need more of that! Expect a PM soon.

We were a band of dedicated fans and that is why I mentioned them specifically. Puffy brought us all together. To me, when one is interested in such a niche band, every little bit helps. Every new picture, every new interview, every new piece of info. Every new fan.. heck, every existing fan and every potential fan. Puffy engendered a sense of belonging, whether or not I like it. That is not to say it was the only possible way to fit in, but it just happened to do that.

Now, for Puffy itself. In person. The people. Ami and Yumi. Their style is so hard to describe, so pinning it down to one specific is just a disservice and will also result in my brain melting. They are pretty random. Heck, if you've ever seen their dance/jig/trot routine on video, or even better,in person, then you shall know this is all part of Puffy's natural act. Authenticity breeds enjoyment. Which reminds just how thankful I am that they do not purposely go out of their way to be sexy in order to sell their music and performances. That's not to say that they cannot attempt to look that way, but just that it's best if they do not blatantly aim for such an image.

Also, I must confess that I cannot tell Ami and Yumi apart. I encourage you all to take bets on if I ever will!

Jeff here has even gone on to say that Puffy is noted in Japan for their traditionally "happy" music and I will say that Puffy's work has that effect on me. There are times when I just jump around while listening to any one of their tracks. Often, I sing or hum along. It is music that invigorates the body in many ways. When I went to the Key Club concert last November, I knew almost all the lyrics to Asia no Junshin and felt that, despite the language barrier, there's no denying the power of such a universal medium. Oh, and I danced in my 2.5 square foot area in front of the stage like I was on drugs. Even though the majority of their songs have a happy tone, I will say that anything else is just as fine so long as it is genuinely Puffy and that really has been the case.

For me, Puffy has achieved 'legendary' status for all the reasons I have listed above. Every band that I can imagine achieving this status must not excel only at what they do, but personally to the listener BEYOND simple enjoyment of the music. Puffy is eternal for having established and further instilling said belief into me. It doesn't matter who or what band does it -- the effect just must be profound. Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura are more than music, more than an act, more than pretty faces... They are both singular and yet, together as one in this "gig" that has lasted more than a decade.

This has been my dedication to Puffy's rich history and whatever may lay ahead for Ami and Yumi.

Andrew Januray 2, 2008 at 08:12:27 AM
Thanks for everyone's essays. The winner will be announced shortly.
In addition to the 5 CDs the winner will also be receiving the single Blue Tears (Aoi Namida) which also features the song Turn it into Love (Ai ga Tomaranai).

Andrew January 2, 2008 at 06:48:11 PM
Congratulations to MySpace friend Ichigo for his winning essay "Why I like Puffy AmiYumi!" I picked the three finalists (which was hard!) and had my wife make the final decision. After careful reading and going over her criteria she finally decided that Ichigo's essay rose to the top.

First prize as promised will be Puffy's first five CDs: AmiYumi, SoloSolo, Jet, Fever-Fever and Spike and as an added bonus the single Blue Tears (Aoi Namida) / Turn it into Love (Ai ga Tomaranai).
Thanks to everyone who submitted essays and once again congratulations to MySpace friend Ichigo (not to be confused with our forum member Ichigo).