I’m reminded, every year, why one should never order anything between December 1st and January 20th. Reminded, and yet I never learn. In this case, I really didn’t have a choice. I had no business ordering anything online between those dates to begin with– but the Japanese don’t care. They’ve infected me with the elitist need to pre-order everything I buy so that I can flaunt my first-press, limited-edition, limited-run versions of things. It’s commercial brainwashing– and I know it, and they know it. They also know they’re good at it, and that we’re all completely unable to resist.
I mean, can you blame me? We want the freebies! The official goods! The bonuses! Just a little alms for the deprived non-Nationals. And they put everything out in “limited” runs so then you become a complete nervous wreck watching the item page for the “ACT FAST! ONLY 4 LEFT!” alert to pop up in matador red and set the charging, goring bull that is PayPal loose in the arena.
Since I discovered their company last year, I haven’t purchased any CDs or product from any company other than CDJapan. Therefore, they have me trained well. When I found out that their stock of GACKT’s 10th Anniversary Bible, GACKTIONARY, only had 4 copies left, I let that bull charge! And since the book was released on December 19th, it took forever. And I mean forever, to get here.
And it was worth the wait. Especially because now it’s out of print or out of stock everywhere. (You can buy this book through YesAsia.com, although it costs about $10.00 more than at CDJ or Amazon.jp.)
Released in honor of 2009 marking the first complete decade of GACKT solo activity, GACKTIONARY is a full 191 pages of the honorable rocker. The subtitle of the book marks those treasured years of incredible productivity and insane achievement, GACKT 1999-2009, and the outer sleeve exclaims descriptively, GACKT 10th Anniversary Bible.
That’s what this is. A bible.
It features an opening spread of exquisite, all-new photographs by Nomura Seiichi (who has done GACKT’s yearly calendars, spreads for magazines, and several photo books, including Ryu no Kenshin.)
These opening photos are featured in a “photo-story” (in their words) of a…day on the beach with GACKT. The photographs are amazing- -for anyone who has become a fan of Nomura’s GACKT work, featuring luxurious and exotic natural backgrounds and candid-seeming yet perfectly composed poses, will be pumped over these…Although honestly, who, and I mean whose idea was it to have the opening picture be GACKT in a track-suit? It’s not even a stylish, expensive, GACKT-ish looking track-suit. Is nothing sacred?
Don’t worry– he looks so cool in every other picture you forgive the opening blasphemy. In fact, he looks so cool, maybe that’s why they put it in. I liked the homage to OASIS image especially, where he’s lying beside a fire at night, wearing a burlap-sack like poncho.
The second segment of the book is the VISUALIBRARY. This section is another photo library, but this time it’s images dated from 1999 up till 2009, organized in tiled pages.
This is an excellent walk-through of his work, and certainly a walk down memory lane. All the risky hair-dos and snake-print pants are there for all of our nostalgic and sentimental wallowing pleasure. It’s fascinating to watch the progression, and his development into his own style and image, all the way from Dracula-junior Mizerable up to dashing and more natural current day.
The next section, and the bulk of the actual book, is a combination of text and photographs– this time taken by GACKT– and compiled into 100 GACKT sayings. The photos show things such as the interiors of flights and taxi rides, outside of Starbucks, and roadsigns leading to L.A. Mundane, perhaps, but also a brief but candid insight into the journeys that have…brought him so close, yet kept him so far?
The sayings are organized into sections: ACTION, THINK, LOVE, LIFE, GACKT-ISM. The text runs from a few paragraphs to a whole page in length– and yes. It’s all in Japanese. Embedded into these pages are messages to G from Miyavi, Sugizo, and Hyde. All of whom have worked closely with G at one point or another.
The next section includes the VISUALIBRARY Part II~ GACKT STAGE HISTORY, and a complete history of every tour since 2000, including photographs, set-list, schedule, staff-message, and tour-pamphlet image. This is the point where, I admit, I started bitterly skipping pages. Thanks for taking the special time, ink, and paper to remind me of all the tours I’ve ever missed! Hah.
And really the final piece, and one of the major highlights of the book for a dual abingdon boys school x GACKT fan such as myself, a cross-talk between GACKT and Nishikawa Takanori. There are photographs and text, and even if you can’t read what they’re saying, the images are very expressive, and you can really pick up a lot about their relationship.
The book closes with a section of messages from each member of GACKT’s crew, including makeup and wardrobe staff, back-up dancers, GACKTJOB, writers, and photographers; and a discography.
All in all this is an excellent addition to any fan’s collection, and should not be missed. Even for those who do not read Japanese, the images and feeling in the book are really important, and truly I think they’re something not to be passed up for a superficial reason such as language– and for those learning Japanese, it’s an excellent motivational tool to get back to studying.
@ Amazon.jp (Used copies available)
All of the images are mine, therefore I accept all responsibility for their mediocrity….I know, I know, I’ll get a scanner eventually.