Show Your Heart

It’s been just over a month since the magnitude 9.0 “Tohoku-Chiho Taiheiyo-Oki” earthquake and tsunami disaster hit the Tohoku area of Japan. Although the original reports were hopeful, with the death-toll simply ranging in the 100’s, to have believed it would be that merciful would have been naive. The death-toll now rests somewhere around 13,000, with another 15,000+ people still missing.*

To get a better grasp on the damages and statistics, information has been compiled into a well-cited Wikipedia page on the quake. You can read the page here.

Removed from the damage as myself and others are, we can only begin to imagine the sorrow and suffering that the affected people are going through at this time. However, it has been inspiring to see not only Japanese residents and citizens, but also Japanese and non-Japanese communities alike coming together overseas to send support, in the form of money, books of messages and condolences, or simply their hopeful prayers, to everyone who is struggling at this time.

My attention has, naturally, been particularly drawn to what Visual Kei and Jrock artists have been doing to assist in the relief efforts. To name a few, legendary Luna Sea recently released the single Promise, the proceeds of which will benefit quake relief. Today, April 13th, girugamesh released a song in 2 versions which was instantly made available on iTunes, entitled Pray, as a charity benefit for Japan. Megastar T.M.Revolution rallied his posse and founded a charity group, Stand Up Japan!.

But of course, predictable gacktpause, the movement that really touched my heart, and the message of which nearly had my manly facade in pieces as I sobbed hopelessly into my sake, was that of the charity project founded by GACKT, called Show Your Heart.

GACKT accepting donations for SYH on the street

Image: aramatheydidnt.livejournal.com

Founded quickly after the earthquake hit off the Pacific coast of Tohoku to raise disaster relief funds, the SHOW YOUR HEART foundation is also supported by artists such as Shinya (Luna Sea), DAIGO  (BREAKERZ), Ni~ya (Nightmare), Tamaki Nami, Haruna Ai, Jinnai Tomonari, and many more.

The SHOW YOUR HEART official webpage includes a heart-warming message (in English*) describing the project’s efforts. The project set out onto the streets of Japan, lead by GACKT and including a team of 150 talentos and athletes, as well as 5,000 volunteers. The campaign set out to raise money in 130 different cities across Japan.

A very involved GACKT went out, bowed, and met with people on the street to raise money, and asked that people give their courage and strength to those in need. Many female fans of the singer stood in a long line with ¥1,000 bills and placed them in the donation box. GACKT shook each other their hands and gave his thanks as each one donated.¹

Image via fyeahgackt.tumblr.com/

“It’s a small determination at the beginning, but I believe that it will become greater and greater with everyone’s support. Now the circle is steadily increasing. Anyways, I’d like to borrow everyone’s strength. Although individuals may not be able to do much, if everyone works together, it becomes a lot of power. Especially in this sort of time, we need the courage to lend a helping hand.”²

As to Ni~ya from Nightmare, whose hometown was one of the stricken areas, commented: “Miyagi prefecture, my home, has been hit seriously. I’m worried that I can’t contact with my parents and friends right now. I want to go to the there as soon as possible right now. I want to help the victims and contribute my strength. Please cooperate with this charity project.”³

More than ¥170,000,000 was donated by enterprises and celebrities such as Noriko Fujiwara and Takahashi Hisanori, and this number continues to be added to via the SHOW YOUR HEART website, where donations can be made through direct-deposit. The foundation will forward the funds to the Japanese Red Cross and local community associations, which will then distribute them.

From April 3rd to the 4th, 10 countries also participated in the SHOW YOUR HEART cause, including volunteers from South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, America, Germany, Australia, and Singapore.

If you can, of course it’s great to go and donate money. That’s awesome, man. Even better, buy a plane ticket to Japan and go get your hands dirty assisting in the thick of it. That’s what I would like to be doing right now– more than anything. But if you can’t fly over there and help, and if you’re unable to donate money–or can, but want to do more–, SHOW YOUR HEART is accepting another kind of donation.

The SHOW YOUR HEART page on GACKT’s website has a posted message stating that one way we can contribute is by making a video of yourself delivering a message to those affected by the disaster, concluding your message with the words “SHOW YOUR HEART!!!”. All you have to do is upload the video to Youtube. If you are unable to upload the video to Youtube, it’s possible for the foundation to post it for you if you send them the file. If you can’t make a video, then just take a picture complying with the guidelines.
Complete instructions and information is available here. Submissions are open until April 31st.

So go, Visualists, and do what you can do to show those who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami, show them that people all over the world are lending them their courage, strength, and fighting spirit. Show them that, although thousands of miles, language, and nationality separate us, that we’re right there with them, giving them everything we’ve got in whatever way we can. So go, go and show your heart.

Cited sources: Dears Official
* — National Police Agency of Japan (Updated daily)
¹, ² —TokyoHive
³ —MusicJapan+

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Yoshi’s Island

It is currently 12:03 AM, EST, on September 11th, 2010. Assuming the TIFF folks are as punctual as the Japanese, which they likely aren’t, 12:00 saw the onset of the screening of the official premier of the long-hungered-for film that has been hinted at hither and thither, along with horrible teases such as “2011” and “pushed back”.

That’s right, yo. 10 minutes ago (as I am writing this) at the Toronto International Film Festival, they began screening BUNRAKU.

I’m not sure what it is. But I feel somehow uncomfortable knowing GACKT is on the same continent. We haven’t quite reached that point of same country or same city or, ideally, same building, but I figure same continent is progress. Still not sure why I feel like I’m being watched, though. I guess it’s ‘his’ overwhelming aura stretching itself across the Canadian border. Well, that’s more or less how I articulate “I wish I was there”.

I still haven’t figured out yet whether it’s going to get rough around here when YOSHIKI realizes the American continent isn’t this trembling, vulnerable, innocent creature waiting to be violated by (1980’s) Jrock. There is already a “One” that we have been waiting for, a “One” that will mobilize fans across nations. A “One” that set out to conquer Asia, and having done that, is making his way steadily West.

Sorry to interrupt the mood, but, is it just me or does that sword look *very* long?

This summer, GACKT left Asia to hit up Europe with a limited international debut tour. And now he is encroaching on the Americas with a (rather brilliant) new step into internationalization. Premiering as I type, before a sold-out audience in Toronto consisting of at least a few Canadian and devoted Various Other GACKT fans, TIFF’s Midnight Madness likely has no idea what it is unleashing on the West. And no, I do not mean Josh Hartnett with his banker’s ‘stache.

Hartnett is standing on a (thick) phonebook for the photo

Films, particularly should they be really excellent ones are a superior form of forcing people to expand their horizons. Unlike music, which, even if you can handcuff someone to a post, stick headphones on them, crank it and hit play, often will go in one ear and out the other, especially if it’s in Japanese (a “foreign language”, god forbid). However, many more people are likely to see a film, especially if it gets decent hype, and awareness of certain persons in the film is much more likely to spread than if we attempted to hijack a shopping center’s sound-system and jack our iPods through it (not that I’m discouraging any attempts).

So the question I think we’re all wanting answered is, is his appearance in BUNRAKU, an American film starring big-name American actors, presumably primarily without subtitles for the benefit of our extremely cultured populace, a bold step toward the globalization and mobilizing of the GACKT fandom? As far as GACKT’s interview with “Darryl” of TIFF is concerned, the answer is yes.

Did I just read the words “US, South America, Canada” and “next year” used in the same sentence by GACKT?

The answer is yes.

Nippon Crown, Dethroned?


The other day the news started going around about a summer single for GACKT, which was not yet announced officially on his website, and the details for which were limited simply to the release date. The mystery around this enigmatic summer single seems to have been undone yesterday evening, with the announcement appearing all over Japanese online news sources, that there’s quite a bit more than just a new release to announce for the rock god.

Everyone who knows GACKT will be, I’m sure, equally familiar with the name “Nippon Crown”, that is, the noble tagline of the Jrock King– his royal record label. However, it seems that they have abdicated (and by that I mean GACKT dethroned them), as news declares that GACKT will leave Nippon Crown as his distribution company and move to the well-known AVEX label. Although GACKT attended a press-conference yesterday, presumably to discuss the topic, no official announcements have been made on his website, so it seems likely that the information was leaked prematurely.

It is worth mentioning that unlike kingly Nippon Crown, the AVEX group will most likely encourage a wider range of international activities and releases, and will give GACKT a wider reach in regards to world domination. One of the articles hints at a possible European tour being in the works for Summer ’10, but I would like to counter that by reminding everyone (we are all highly agitated about this, I know, but still) that GACKT is already cramming both the YFC tour and Nemuri into every possible chronological nook and cranny this summer, therefore despite the thrill of that suggestion, it seems highly unlikely.

The single, to be releases June 16th, will be GACKT’s debut release with AVEX.

I would like to thank Ryuutatsu for tipping me off about this, and credit GACKT ARMY and the Dears Community, at LiveJournal, and Tokyograph.

RECEIVE IN YOUR HANDS

After much drama, several prolongments of release dates, and a lot of commentary from a lot of people on the subject, it’s finally coming out. The DVD of the year. That’s right, this month you, too, can watch GACKT’s latest live tour, Visualive Tour Requiem et Reminiscence II…and you don’t have to go to Japan to do it (sorry).

 Here’s the official preview on G’s website

                               2010.3.31

             RECEIVE IN YOUR HANDS.

WOWOW HEAVEN!

WOWOW is right! Here is footage from Gackt’s Saitama final performance that concluded the long-awaited, nationwide Rebirth et Reminiscence II tour that went from December 2008 to July 2009. Gackt performed all of his anniversary-countdown singles during this tour, and today I present to you proudly, Koakuma Heaven, as aired on WOWOW.

I know I already mentioned this in the post on FLOWER [She loves me, she loves me not], but I just have to say it again– the tour looks absolutely incredible. I think it’s great how GACKT’s tours are never too BA for some fun– harking back to the early days and cat-suited romping in U+K–and even in the incredibly macho-sounding Rebirth et Reminiscence tour GACKT indulges us with some hand-style DDR-type game. Am I the only one wondering how they practiced for that?

In any case, enjoy the video. Gacktpause, over and out. +

Thanks to SqueeltsPara for re-posting the video.

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Third Heaven

We’ve all heard the term Seventh Heaven, but this year Gackt brings a whole new meaning to First, Second, and Third Heaven with his four-week ten-year countdown campaign. The first two heavens were previewed a few weeks ago as performed during the Visualive Arena Tour (Dec 2008- July 2009) (you can listen on his website), but as far as we were concerned, the last heaven and the fourth disc, “Anniversary Disc” remained a mystery. Now the Third Heaven, Lost Angels, to be released June 24 09 is available for viewing, courtesy of a TV performance.

Listen and enjoy!


Lost Angels / Gackt
Gackt

Last day of Gackt overseas-fans questionnaire

gackt-and-chappy

Today is the last day of the Dears Overseas Fans Questionnaire on Gackt.com. Thanks to everyone who added their vote to setting up an overseas fan-club, and hopefully, helped Gackt decide to tour overseas! And last but not least, thanks to Gackt himself for giving us the chance. ;)

www.gackt.com