Since I decided to cosplay a swimsuit version of Michiru Kaioh/Sailor Neptune for a photoshoot, I wanted the most suitable nails for this character. I looked at various nail catalogs online, but no design fit the one I had in mind so I decided to create my own. Fortunately, most nail salons in Tokyo are able to create original nail designs using stencils, hand-drawn art, studs, and various gradients of polish.
I booked an appointment at Nail Salon Glory through Hot Pepper, and these were the amazing results I got:
My nails were absolutely gorgeous! Since I have short nails, I requested the scalp nail course that will extend your tip to a custom length. The nail artist used a combination of beige and turquoise glitter polish to create a gradient that looks like an ocean. After painting a shiny coat over it, she added sea shells and pearl studs, as well as hand-drew the insignia on Neptune’s mirror that I requested. I was almost speechless when our session ended because I was so impressed!
Most fancy nail courses start at 10,000 yen ($93), but they are worth the price for the amount of detail and effort that is put in. There are various coupons that can be used to lower the price, like the ones featured on HotPepper.
Scalp nails last for typically 3 weeks and are perfect for every occasion. Not only did I use them for my photoshoot, but they also matched the color of the ocean when I was swimming in Thailand. I’m sure I’ll be back in the future once I think of more anime-based designs!
Traversing through the streets of Harajuku–one of Tokyo’s most iconic fashion districts famous for pastel, lolita, goth, and designer street wear clothing–one would not be surprised to see bright-colored styles in all sorts of unique forms. However, one piece of clothing in particular caught my eye. It was a bright pink sweater with a green dinosaur on it and felt strangely nostalgic:
Upon looking at it closer, the dinosaur had a very unique expression on its face. Its lips were parted in an extremely derpy way, and it looked liked it was trying to say something. Not “roar” like you would expect a dinosaur to say, but perhaps something less intimidating… like “rawr”. When I noticed this, I immediately thought back to the Rawr xD memes that plagued the internet in the early 2000s. And it got me thinking… Is Scene Kid Fashion Forever Iconic in Tokyo? Or does it just coincide with Harajuku fashion?
Similarly to how Harajuku fashion is influenced by music (especially Visual Kei), scene fashion was originally influenced by rock and other subgenres. Both styles feature brightly colorful attire that is sometimes paired with excessive hair clips, intricate makeup, big bows, and sometimes piercings as well. Just like scene lingo exists, Harajuku gyaru lingo exists too. When you compare pictures of the two fashions side by side, they are slightly different but fundamentally the same:
Although Harajuku fashion started in the 1980’s, the gyaru and lolita subcultures started from 99′ – 00′, which was right around the time when scene kid fashion was starting to form as well. Though it wasn’t until the late 2000s when the term “scene kid” was coined, a lot of people were wearing the style before then. Regardless of when exactly they were formed, both fashions express a statement against conforming with societal normsandare designed to express individuality.
Though both styles have received both praise and cringe-worthy reactions from the public, I find that their connections are quite interesting. Japanese fashion continuously uses inspiration from the west, and western countries often import and find Japanese fashion quite alluring. I don’t think I’ll ever be a scene kid or a Harajuku girl, but I can appreciate both fashions for the uniqueness (and weirdness). At the end of the day, I am extremely grateful to whatever influenced my derpy dinosaur sweater!