The valley girl is alive and well - in Japan. Lookism may reign in American high schools, but Japanese girls have a new way to assess relative coolness: call it "soundism." Tired of the Tokyo mode of speech, they mix words and accents to affect their own suburban vernacular. Japanese fashion magazines quick to pick up on street trends are publishing photos with speech bubbles above the girls' heads. Commonly used words include "messa" ("very") and "jan" ("for sure"), but the test of skill comes in the combination of words and dialects. The obsessive Manba girls of Shibuya, known for ultradark tans, garish makeup and bleach-blond hair, take it one step farther: many practice their language through another pop-culture tradition, karaoke. Messa cute.