Ora Ora kei and trend rising

I’ve been wanting to talk about OraOra Kei for a while now. Actually my first post on the Doll mentions it, but I guess I need to dive deeper into it. OraOra-kei has kanji attached to it 悪羅悪羅系 the kanji has a nonsensical meaning of evil smooth. However it’s more the pronunciation that’s important since Ora is the manly sound used by yanki to say “hey” or “look here”.

OraOraKei is a continuation of yanki culture with the addition of Onii-kei gyaru styling. I know after seeing some pictures you might think, hey this is not gyaru. But it is, and many 109-2 brands are latching onto it. Soul Franky is opening it’s own OraOra side brand on 2010/1 and hunting for models currently to be the face of its brand.OraOra has risen for a lot of reasons. Mekas blog has another contestable article about them here. I will agree it has come from outside Tokyo, but its headliners are Tokyo based.”

OraOra Style is characterized by

  • Black
  • Track suits, construction wear, or suits with a black and sometimes black+ gold theme
  • Extremely tan skin
  • Short cropped hair, often with Atsushi-styled lines shaved in (see below)
  • Sunglasses or fake glasses, worn either on the eyes, forhead or behind the neck
  • wa tattoos such as yakuza-styled sleeves or back pieces
  • high brand accessories such as D&G sunglasses and Louis Vuitton pochette gange bags
  • A group, OraOra boys are extremely group oriented aka they travel in packs
  • Cars or bikes especially those that are monstorous or bosozoku culture.
Even Joy rocks some Oraora
Wa-style tattoos + glasses
The second most popular brand below Rebel according to Soul Japan readers is Natural Nine, a more street-wear Stussy looking brand.

The rise in OraOra I think has happened for four reasons.

– The lowering economy does lend itself to yanki styles.
– The sharp rise in Hosto-kei last year with 109-2 brands putting out suits for the first time, tends to support a backlash to a manlier side of gyaru: currently that’s OraOra-kei
– With the Game network headlined by Dj ACE, they have been like prophets preaching as they travel.
– OraOra is supportive of a wide range of ages, Soul Japan was featuring an 18 yr old and a 43 yr old.

I think it’s impossible to not look at the Game network when looking at OraOra-kei. Ace began the Game website earlier, offering OraOra clothes along with psychedelic trance cds. In essence he was beginning to sell a lifestyle. A further extension of that is DJ Ace’s Rebel clothing line that he sold off the Game website. Rebel clothing has grown into a wildly popular brand (the top rated by Soul Japan viewers), with Men’s Knuckle noticing the fad in August 2008 and Ladies’ Egg in October 2008. Both within the gyaru/gyaruo circle, but focusing on what is a yankii fashion.

Under the Men’s Knuckle umbrella, Soul Japan came out in May 2008, focusing solely on OraOra culture.

The first issue with Game members on the cover and all sporting Rebel wear.

Now another yanki culture is born. However, that is not to say Bosozoku have died out. Last time I was in Osaka I could hear roar their trade-marked capped engines made circling Osaka every 30 minutes, and I was on the 28th floor ^_^;; If anything Soul Japan tries to latch onto 3 markets at once Bosozoku/car freaks, K-1 hopefuls, and new manly Gyaru.

Oraora has two main idols. The names people repeat when saying they love OraOra.

Atsushi from Exile

The lead singer with the velvet voice and looks that attract a manly guy to say hey… I love you, not in that gay way, just I love you man.

DJ Ace who is designer of the Rebel clothing line, DJ, Producer and model.

Ace in the Center

Ora-ora is here to stay for 3 reasons.

It’s not just Tokyo
The Mixi group of Soul Japan and in its introduction thread people have said they’re from Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Saitama, Ibaraki, Chiba and Tokyo to name a few. Soul Japan 4 did it’s release party in Fukuoka to spread the word.
It’s has its own music style
Now psychedelic trance (and Goa) used to be supported by clothing makers Goa (of course) which does a loose khaki hippy style and Shanit which is full on tie-dyed hippiness.
Men’s Egg model Daichi Tanaka rockin’ the Goa
Sexy DJ Ace rockin’ his Rebel brand
However with many of the psychadelic trance DJs actually more manly and into the then-yanki style, now OraOra-kei. The people who go to the clubs are OraOra now. When I was at the Gataka event, it was impossible to see anyone dressed in Shanit, instead they were all OraOra-kei.

It’s supporters can wear it and still have a job
This was one of the big reasons Mamba died. Handing out tissues or trying to work Izakaya catch isn’t a steady job, but most of the people in Soul Japan are making good wages. Buffalo Bobs, Xfrm and Vice Fairy’s chief people are all OraOra-kei. They can therefore continue the fashion easily. DJs, K-1 figthers, car customizers and such are some of the good jobs OraOra boys can get. There was even a salaryman featured in Soul Japan 4.
OraOra girls
Now this has been a harder fashion to take off than for guys, mainly because it’s very visually easy to group this style for women into the Rock-style genre combined with a mannish look. Brands like tutuHA, Barak, DIA and Heaven and Earth support this look.
A girl from the mixi Soul Japan doing full on mannish-Oraora-kei

This is not as a common as the looks presented in the October and December 2008 issues in Egg

As you can see there’s a lot of animal prints, black, texture, and mannish looks. You’ve probably seen this look in a lot of magazines or walking around in Shibuya, but you might have said it’s rock or simple gal. Oraora girls are usually not group oriented. You’ll often see 1 or 2 with a bunch of Oraora boys.
Note: Although this look is made to seem tough and deliquent-esque, in my experience OraOra boys are very nice and polite and are often the most welcoming in clubs. They like to turn around or to the left and make sure everyone is raised up and excited for the music or hand over a free drink.

19 Comments

  1. maddy_madness
    November 28, 2009 / 9:56 am

    Thanks a lot! I've been wanting to fully understand oraora kei ^_^

    I'm thinking I'm begining to like stayle (except for the tracksuits U_U)

  2. Toyo-koyo
    November 28, 2009 / 2:30 pm

    Thanks for introducing a new style to me, this perfectly fits what I love!

  3. Rue
    November 28, 2009 / 2:51 pm

    Thank you! I've been wondering what this style was called. ;p

  4. Kat Reaganomics
    November 28, 2009 / 4:22 pm

    This style is so awesome! I really like how casual and tough-looking it is while it still maintains the trendy, stylishness that's expected of Gal styles. The fact that Kanako is doing a lot of modeling for it in that Egg issue doesn't hurt, either. She's my favorite. <3

  5. さらまり
    November 28, 2009 / 5:04 pm

    You did a great job describing this style, I never knew about it before. It was fun learning about a style for men, and then seeing it translated to women's. It seems it may be fun to hang out with some OraOra guys haha^^

  6. chu
    November 28, 2009 / 5:32 pm

    Great article! You really catched the essence of oraora :D Im in love with the style although i cant really rock it XD

    Keep up the great work!

  7. Sparklewolfie
    November 28, 2009 / 5:43 pm

    wow I have never heard of oraorakei! It looks very cool :) Sort of like biker rocker, but more stylish~
    I like the girl looks – tomboyish but stylish chick :D

  8. sasori
    November 28, 2009 / 7:33 pm

    i love you're blog! you're such an inspiration. you have the best gyaru blog out there ~

    and you are so pretty! =D

  9. malignita
    November 28, 2009 / 7:58 pm

    Great guide! As a men's style, I had heard of ora ora-kei before, so I was most curious to see what the style looked like for women. Even for girls like me in the West, it still seems very do-able. American brands like Chrome Hearts and Ed Hardy would work really well for this look, too. :333

    I think it's also a nice alternative for guys who like the gyaru-o but still want to maintain a more manly image. At least for me, there's something totally irresistible about a tough looking guy…especially if inside he's really a sweetheart!

  10. dokiri
    November 28, 2009 / 9:07 pm

    FINALLY more info of oraora-kei. I LOOOOOOOOVE this style. Seeing the clothes it really looks like a lot of things I have in my own closet. I especially love the brand "Rebel".

    thank you for this<3

    and the oraora guys are pretty cool looking, sometimes I get a bit of a gay-wibe from some guys in men's egg >__>''

  11. Markie
    November 28, 2009 / 9:57 pm

    YESSSSS I have been wondering about oraora ever since that egg issue last year. I didn't realize it was so popular as a men's style. not gonna lie, it is super hot. esp. that DJ Ace MMMM baby. It's nice to see Japanese men actually looking MANLY for once hahahaha.

  12. Mitsu
    November 29, 2009 / 9:54 am

    sasori: Wow! Thank you, I'm humbled. Although I think we all have something to contribute. It takes a community to make us all sexyawesomehot :D

  13. Mitsu
    November 29, 2009 / 9:58 am

    malignita: You know the hilarious thing is OraOra was first used apparently in Ladies Egg back in 2005 to discuss Chrome Hearts as a Hard LA look they called OraOra. But now it seems Ed Hardy is Haadi and it's so hard sometimes to distinguish. I was at DIA last week and their store was a mix of roughERO, rock-kei, OraOra and haadi but since they blend it to make it their own it was okay. I am beginning to think the days of defining one store by a look is long gone (except maybe Mars, Liz Lisa and Delyle ^_^;;)

  14. Mitsu
    November 29, 2009 / 10:00 am

    dokiri: Yes exactly! (and malignita too!)

    I have 3 simple rules when it concerns guys and style and what attracts me.

    1) They must not spend longer on their hair than me
    2) They must be TALL
    3) They must still have style

    lol too bad Men's Egg and others just loses me on 2 of those categories (and sometimes all 3 >_<;;)

  15. Ligaya
    November 30, 2009 / 1:33 am

    Oh wow, this IS new to me…
    Hmm, totally workable though! Especially for my boyf (who's mixed-race). Now if he would actually get into it hahaha. XD;;;
    Seriously, thanks for this information! Seeing all the long-haired hosto gives me hives sometimes as I'm not quite sure how hetero they are… X_x I prefer my men stylish but manly, and from the looks of it Ora-Ora Kei keeps them that way.

  16. July 3, 2013 / 1:05 am

    I’m japanese guy who lives in Tokyo.
    Actulally, OraOra style is still popular in Japan.
    But it’s getting less ‘caz merchandize mentioned above this page are quite expensive, thogh japanese economy is still terrible.

    if you have curiosity about OraOra style, this site below is pretty good, ‘caz price is not high, model is brandnew, and so on.
    But in case you wanna buy this clothing, you need to write in Japanese!

    ・Luxury Outlet
    http://lux-out.com

    Thanks.

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