The Announcement You’ve All Been Waiting For

Di$tress + C0mA: Infected by Japanese Visual Kei



I know a few of you have been around for a while now (and I’m still happy to have you, rest assured), and some of the really good ‘uns will probably remember my mentioning a particular anime con that has been honored by my attendance several years in a row. Although I keep saying I won’t go back, and have little to no active interest in anime, I keep going back, utterly unable to resist the gravitational pull of the organized culmination of Japanese pop culture and its cult following.

This year will also mark my first step outside the blogsphere representing Secret Garden. You guessed it (or, I don’t know, maybe you haven’t), I have been granted the honor of appearing at the con as the first Visual Kei/Jrock panelist since circa ’07.

I’m pretty psyched to have this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to working with the con as a presenter, thus being able to expand the world’s awareness of Visual Kei, one step at a time.

Di$tress + C0mA: Infected by Japanese Visual Kei
Presented by gacktpause

Friday, Oct. 22, 5:00 PM EST
Panel Room 2

BakuretsuCon 2010 Oct. 21-24
Colchester, VT

Say you saw it on Secret Garden.

“Of Corset Is!”


Crimson leaves are starting to fall, and rockers far and wide are digging up corsets, frock-coats, and implements of bondage to identify with the gloomy change in weather.

The other day I was talking about how Halloween is coming up, and how I will be spending it at a con. I hope the rest of you have interesting plans for the gloomy un-holiday. I at least hope that you have a party to attend, where much Malice Mizer will be blaring. Martha Stewart suggests complicated green curries cooked in gutted pumpkins, and acrylic-nail application parties for Les Halloween ’09. But we’re a long way from Connecticut, Visualists…


Visual style has wormed its way into the apple of rocker fashion. Most Visualists are rooted strongly in their individuality and creativity, hacking their own look into the world of Visual style. However, because of the nature of Visual style and the rising popularity of Visual Kei as a mainstream genre, it has also transcended personal style and gone into the, shall we say, band-boy-band-girl and/or cosplay modes of expression. A lot of people who appreciate Visual Kei style and music feel that cosplay and band-fan-dom is a way of forging a closer bond to their favorite artists and bands.

Although I personally believe in Visualism and Jrock as a life-source, not to mention life-style, I also believe in cosplay  as legitimate means of expression and appreciation of bands and idols. Even if you decide to do a simple cosplay, and can’t find all the Moitie accessories to glam up your Mana-sama, cosplay well, (and this goes for everyone across the board—) and cosplay with integrity. There’s nothing less appreciative of a band or specific band member than half-assing your depiction of them. If you’re short on time, cash, garb, gear, or all of the above, consider simplifying your effigy by focusing on several very characteristic traits (hairstyle and makeup, for example…whatever the personality is really defined by.) and toning down the other elements. For example, Kanon Wakeshima? Broke? Full-time job (yup, they do go together)? Con in a week? Simple solution! Focus on the hair and makeup and any accessories you can manage, and then try and emulate the experience and sentiment of her outfit without actually recreating it in full! This is much more appropriate than buying a $14 cheesy prom dress from Salvation Army and hauling a cello around.

kanon-wakeshima…and remember…next year, start making the costume right after the convention, not right before. (To be fair, I tried this and failed miserably. Wish me luck that I don’t return a hypocrite….Not that you’d know  either way :D).

Whether you’re seeking to improve your own Visual style, or considering cosplaying your favorite band-member, here is something that may help along the way– and remember, do your best, and have fun! ganbatte ne!:

If you’re totally green to Visual style, but want to go the whole nine yards, a DVD was released in September called Visual Makeup Lesson. The DVD has a variety of lessons to show Visualists how to do typical Visual Kei style makeup. Japanese language with English subtitles. Learn it from the best– and by that I mean, of course, learn it from the Japanese…

Pumpkin Fever?


It must be something in the water these days. Perhaps there’s some form of roadkill in the mountain creeks, rotting its little heart out, and everyone is drinking the diluted stuff, pepped up with fluoride and antibiotics put in there to neutralize the eau du fetid stag. It makes them overexcited. I received a rather telling email yesterday explaining to me that this rather rinky-dink anime convention held annually in my neck of the woods has been forced to put a cap on attendance this year. (The cap is gawking teen anime freaks X 700– yes, I give you permission to laugh). That means nearly 200 extra g.t.a.f.’s will be in attendance, up from last year. Now, the reason this solicits musings on our poor dessicated wildlife there, is because I was wondering why 200 more people got the idea to get out their space-suits and ice-picks and schlep the ol’ pig-skin up to the barren, northern wastes. People are raised by wolves up here. When crossing the border, instead of confiscating aforementioned ice-picks and any other sundry articles or armaments, Homeland Security gives them toboggans and an extra slab of lard and sends them grimly on their way with a prayer.

On an entirely (although not irrelevant) different train of thought, we are now officially well into the first week of October. I noticed, because I saw those great monstrosities of inflatable pumpkins, deflated in the dewy murk of the drive-to-9-to-5. There are a few holidays which I truly enjoy– among them are Christmas, my birthday, July 4th, New Year’s, and Tanabata [July 7th]– and Halloween is not one of them. We’ve ceased the spooks and hit the calories. To be fair– I said ‘we’. This year, however, the ripe venison in the aforementioned paragraph has truly stepped in on my behalf. This year, the (again) aforementioned convention will settle its calorized flanks over Halloween weekend. The cosplay at this convention is usually surprisingly good, and this year I expect pumpkin fever will possess the g.t.a.f.s into great feats of costuming ballistics. (Goodness, don’t look at me).

I would like to make a formal request as I close off this topic now– that request is that the West Coast anime con-goers not be smug. Jrock is so very alien in this icebergian tundra that it was voted out, either through lack of popularity or collection, at the con’s resident dance party. It was with a great issuance of ennui that I beheld the switch from head-banging to dir en grey till ones ears bleed to bopping along to those repetitive techno loops of echoing female and male voices mysteriously chanting in ominous tones, in the darrrrrrk forest…..

I know it seems a pathetic and meandering topic without premise, but its purpose is to assure–myself, more than anyone– that Gacktpause carries on. That rather hysterical and often invasive thing, ones real life, has been asserting itself forcefully of late, and it seems I am powerless to resist its harrowing call. With the turning of the weather, the coming of great costuming events that are conventions and Halloween– whether you cosplay or merely flaunt your usual frockage–, something tells me it’s time to turn mascara-ed eyes to Visual Kei. Coming up next, on Secret Garden.