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What I see is a young woman who has aged remarkably well over the past 6 years. Everything else is just bad lighting and bad angles. Anyway, I've been enjoying her Vlogmas series. I'm impressed at how quickly she can crank out relatively decent videos.
Well honey, I just started watching her videos and I noticed that she has been branding herself as "your virtual ticket to Japan" or something like that. But it felt more like a virtual ticket to leaky gut syndrome, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, gassiness and bloating, mental health issues, anxiety attacks, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Did I mention constipation? I'm not sure how many of those ailments are real and how many are imagined but certainly many of them must be psychosomatic. For example, she was going on about her "nut allergies" in earlier videos and then in a more recent video she is pouring a giant cup of ALMOND milk into her "organic, gluten free oats": She reminds me a lot of some of the ditsy California blondes I've met in Tokyo who are really sweet girls but also easily manipulated and get stuck on these ridiculous fad diets and espouse crazy pseudo-scientific nutritional beliefs. In fact, when I started watching her videos I immediately thought of the "Kelly" character in the film Lost in Translation: There was one scene in the film where she's raving about some new "power cleanse" which would have been even more perfect but, unfortunately, I couldn't find it on YouTube. Anyway, I like eccentric people and I've enjoyed watching LoveLyzKelly's videos so I've subbed her. Good luck with your gut issues, honey! We're all rooting for you!
The Sharla bump is real but looks to be only temporary. New subs and total views are starting to plummet as the Sharla effect wears off and people get bored with Norm. His content is just not that interesting and his personality only appeals to a small handful of sycophantic, underage fangirls and middle aged incels. Even TkyoSam knows how this game works. I found this gem of a comment hidden in one of his most recent videos where he mentions *cough* Tokyo Lens *cough*. Lol... too funny! I love it.
I asked Rody if he had any evidence that she was deported and he said no, he has only heard rumors. I was hoping for something more concrete but I guess it's not too surprising since Mira cut off all contact with him some time ago.
Oh my... you've really hit the nail on the head with that summary, sweetie, thank you! Poor Sharla, she really doesn't seem to know the sort of person she's dealing with but I'm here to tell her... and everyone. It's getting late here in Tokyo on this cold and rainy day so make yourself a nice cup of tea and let me tell you a little bed time story from Missy's grab bag of warm and fuzzy Norm memories. Since this story is more about Sharla than Norm, I decided to post it in the Sharla thread. Once upon a time, back in February of 2015, Norm was assigned to the position of Academic Counselor (AC) at the Tokyo Gaba Learning Studio. An AC is a position they reserve for incompetent Instructor Service Leaders (ISLs) who need to work alongside more successful and talented people to improve their basic sales skills. It involves pushing new Gaba products onto insecure, struggling students, and occasionally doing regular lessons and first meetings with potential new clients. It's low paid and relatively easy work and it comes with lots of downtime. As luck would have it, the video of Norm and Sharla's first meeting that was posted in this thread has a timestamp at the end which details exactly when that meeting took place. I checked the schedule on that date and Norm was working that day which is not surprising given that he's wearing his Gaba uniform in the video. A close friend of mine was also working in the Tokyo LS on the very same day and I asked her if she could recall Norm mentioning the name "Sharla" in any of his conversations. Her immediate response was "YES!" and she then launched into a lengthy account of how Norm had boasted about how he knew a famous YouTuber called Sharla whom he described as "just another Japan fanatic who got lucky with some viral videos about pizza and bread" despite having "boring, weeby content" and "poor video editing skills". Apparently, Norm had no interest in ever meeting Sharla in person until after her YouTube channel took off. My friend said he was even showing everyone a newspaper article about Sharla in the Japan Times and made sure everyone knew that he intended to meet up with her in order to ride on Sharla's success and build up his own channel so that he could "finally leave this dump and you losers" (referring to Gaba and his Gaba coworkers, respectively). What Sharla says in her Norm video seems to be consistent with my friend's account. In addition, Norm's boasting about using Sharla as a stepping stone to fame and his smug condescending attitude toward his Gaba coworkers is very consistent with Norm's character. Therefore, I believe that my friend's recollection is accurate. I also found the Japan Times article about Sharla that she mentioned. It is here: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2015/02/23/digital/sharla-japan/ I'm sure that Sharla will see this post and won't believe it and that's fine but I have a personal message for her: Stay safe, sweetie. No matter what happens we will always be here for you. I always knew you were a good girl even though you have at times shown very poor judgement when it comes to choosing friends. As they say, nobody's perfect. I also have a personal message for Norm Brandt, aka "Nakamura" (who is also reading this): I've got more dirt on you, Norm. This is NOT done yet. The only thing preventing me from exposing all of your treachery is this terrible arthritis in my hands that seems to flare up at the worst possible moments and keeps me from typing these lengthy essays as often as I'd like. But someday I WILL get around to it. Bet on it.
OMG... yes, I'm so glad others noticed these things too! I subscribe and get alerted to new videos so I was cautiously optimistic when it came up. But this rant about an airport terminal?? Are you kidding me?! I think most of us have our own personal airport horror stories and it's just not an original or exciting topic that other people want to hear about or re-live. After a few minutes of listening to that rant I decided to let it play in the background while I did my makeup which is something I normally only do for the most extremely boring and rambling YouTubers like givemeabreakman and TkyoSam. Sad that Rachel has sunk to that level in terms of content quality but I'm just telling you how it is honey so don't shoot the messenger. I mean seriously? A rant about the most boring nondescript airport terminal in the most boring nondescript city in Japan? Not interesting, honey. Not interesting! Now I could tell you about the time I had to run through the maze called Tokyo Station wearing five inch silver stilletos and a sparkling glitter ensemble with feather boas streaming behind me. I got stuck in a construction zone and somehow ended up on the Chuo Line instead of the Yamanote. But I'm not going to bore you with that old rant, honey. Okay, maybe over drinks sometime in Kabukicho but certainly not while you're sober. Lol
It's a point of reference. If someone is moving toward me, he/she is coming to my location. I'm not moving. If you are moving from here to there then you're going somewhere. So if I'm at home and my husband is late I can call him and say "When are you coming home you naughty salaryman?". Then he will tell his friends in the izakaya "I have to go home now because my wife needs me." So Misato made a good point because on a subconscious level Miranda should have said her friend is coming to Japan if Japan is indeed her point of reference. If she is somewhere else in the world then she would have said he is going to Japan because Japan would not be her point of reference. It's very subtle but a good catch.
I was just watching (Tokidoki Traveller) Emma's latest video that was filmed in Korea a couple of weeks back. In the middle of the video Emma visits Sharla and her cats at the apartment of Sharla's ex-husband. The scene lasts for only a minute and the entire time Sharla is speaking off camera. Emma clarifies the situation in a hushed voice: "Sharla will not be in this video which is totally fine. It's kind of a chill out day so... no pressure to be on camera." I found it very bizarre. Why is Sharla going out of her way to hang out with that annoying self-absorbed woman-child called Taylor but can't take the time to make a quick cameo in Emma's lovely video? And since when has Sharla not wanted to appear on camera?
Yes, honey, the whole thing seems very, very shady to me as well. But I'm willing to bet that Okano was fired by the investors at Redhorse which is the company that funded this venture after Okano and Takamasa Kawasaki ran Odigo into the ground. Since Kawasaki was the actual investor from Redhorse, he would be in the position to fire Okano. The glassdoor reviews for (now defunct) Odigo consistently highlight the fact that Kawasaki had a habit of randomly firing people, creating a toxic and unpredictable work environment. Then there is this from the Redhorse investor's relations page that I just discovered: Looks like the company was hemorrhaging cash and the shareholders had to make some drastic changes. That was June 20th and Okano's linkedin profile states he left in July. Coincidence? I don't know, but usually when people quit a job it's because they have a new/better opportunity already lined up somewhere. I don't see any job history on Okano's linkedin profile after TC so... you be the judge.
It doesn't seem like they're shutting down but it's also not clear that they're making any money. The fact that they recently had to use Norm in another video was very telling. It seems to indicate that they're really scraping the bottom of the barrel for "influencer" participation. It also seems that more videos feature only Emma and Shiori who are both regular employees of TC. As for Okano, I checked his linkedin profile and it appears that he left TC back in July. https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopherokano/ To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if Kawasaki-san quietly fired him. I think your suspicion is correct. Sharla was probably either let go or her hours were drastically curtailed. It's relatively costly to send someone from Morioka to Tokyo on the Shinkansen and put them up in a nice hotel for a week every month. Even though Sharla is undoubtedly popular, TC can't continue to throw money at her like that without a solid revenue stream to justify it. The fundamental problem is that they don't appear to have a sustainable business model and there is no easy way to fix that.
Well sweeties, I'm just very fascinated by Rachel and Jun because I honestly don't understand why their channel is so popular. That's not meant to be criticism as I think they are very authentic and attractive people who deserve all the success they've earned and I only wish them well. But when I watch their videos there doesn't seem to be anything particularly special about the content. It's either about their cats or some new gadget in the house or watching them opening a package from fans. There are other long term Jvloggers who have been doing videos with similar content and they don't have even have 1/10th the subs or views. So my apologies if this question has already been asked, but I'm really curious to know what is the secret to their success and popularity. Can anyone explain this to me? I mean, certainly it helps that Jun is such a handsome young man and a tall drink of water to boot! I could easily watch him all day, honey! You can imagine my disappointment when there wasn't a single shot of Jun shirtless in the recent beach video. He's such a tease! lol
OMG... this is news to me. Did he actually say that he was leaving the company or just stepping away? What is the source of this information? Please provide the evidence. Inquiring minds want to know, honey!
I think Sharla is a nice girl but I wonder why she keeps associating with these annoying losers (I'm looking at YOU Norm). This new "friend" in Korea who goes by Taylor (not to be confused with the other Taylor) has the personality of a five year old who consumed too many sugary drinks. In Sharla's livestream video, we witness Taylor go berserk over the Korean spelling of passion fruit and it's cringeworthy to watch. You can tell that Sharla is trying desperately to change the subject in between forced, awkward laughs. This girl is so completely self-absorbed that she can't stop injecting herself into Sharla's livestream while simultaneously doing another livestream of her own. In this scene, she hijacks Sharla's video by randomly showing us her tacky wallets(?) and then starts fiddling with Sharla's phone, adding a new lens, muffling the sound, blurring the video, all the while Sharla seems incredibly annoyed and avoids making eye contact with this creature. Again, we're not dealing with a normal adult here but an emotionally stunted woman-child with the attention span and self-control of a five year old. Oh well, I guess Sharla got a free place to crash in Korea out of it but if it were me I'd have opted for the hotel instead, honey. Some things just aren't worth the bother!
Sorry I've been on hiatus for so long but I was out enjoying the unusually cool weather while it lasted. Now that Tokyo has become disgustingly hot and humid I've been cooped up in my ice cold apartment with the aircon blasting at 16 degrees so my heavy layer of foundation doesn't melt off. Anyway, I want to say that I'm so very, very thankful that Cakey61 has come forward to more or less confirm everything that I've been saying about Norm. Just keep in mind that there are countless others out there who have also been deeply offended by Norm's character (or lack thereof) and hopefully they will come forward as well. And yes, I know for a fact that he has been reading this thread because he used a sock puppet on this site to milk me for information via private message. When I revealed to his sock puppet certain social media information that only Norm would have known about, it was deleted almost immediately. Just now I decided to check his "Tokyo Lens" account after many months of not viewing it and I noticed that he's pretty much flat lined in terms of viewership. He has only 44k subscribers and 25k of that was from the Sharla bump. His videos are also averaging between 5k-10k views which is essentially what they've always been at. How much longer can Norm's wife financially support this expensive hobby of his?