One of the latest terms in the Japanese lexicon of fashion trends and subtle fetishes is “busu-kawaii,” “ugly-cute,” and a collection of examples readily illustrate the term.
Similar terms such as “kimo-kawaii” (creepy-cute) and “ero-kawaii” (ero-cute) now also exist, but busu-kawaii perhaps presents the strongest paradox and so is the most curious.
If you were wondering about the etymology of the word, it is simple enough: 不細工 / busaiku means ugly, and for the sake of convenience when attempting to call people hideously ugly wretches who deserve to die alone this is often abbreviated to “busu.”
Kawaii in this case just means “cute,” but combining the two yields the mysterious slang you are about to become thoroughly acquainted with…
Animals can be busu-kawaii too:
In case you were wondering, a quick Photoshop makeover is usually enough to totally obliterate the “busu” elements:
Just what this implies about regular idols is perhaps best left unsaid…