Awakening The Rocker Within

NEWS FLASH: This just in today! Japanese superstar GACKT (37) invents and instates, via general consensus, a new form of verbal punctuation. Now, replacing the Japanese and English words ‘desu’ and ‘are’, we shall hereby be required by Japanese law to say EVER at the end of every statement and sentence. May also be used as a general exclamation, or as a warning called out after anyone wearing capris.

This PV screams GACKT. It screams GACKT louder than a hysteric fan-girl in the front row. The excessive, unnatural, hard-to-believe-it’s-serious machoness, and insanely awkward acting and lines, which we began encountering early on, and the utterly random moments that are so shockingly powerful, it makes them even more random, all just seethe GACKT.

Long story short, he got it all right with the brand new PV for EVER.

The random (yet undeniably brilliant and meaningful) fragments of storyline in this PV are simplistic, and yet I somehow have a feeling we’re not meant to accept them at face-value. I was really into the shameless self-directed idol-worship, and how his performance awakens the rocker spirit in the boy wearing the YFCz uniform.

The most unbelievable moment of the whole PV is the first scene actually showing the idol himself. When he does that spirit-fingers thing? I mean come on! Everything about his outfit (even the sparkly makeup looked quite cool in the PV), his dance moves, and how he used the hat was really stylish. All I can say about the scope thing that periodically targets him, though, is…Gundam or it didn’t happen.

My only real complaint about the video was…what happened to Chachamaru? Is he camera shy now or something? I’m seeing Tsukasa, SHUN, and some guy with a Perm on bass (Ni~ya from Nightmare again?). I know Chirolyn is scary, but really.

The random ending where the spirit-guide bouncer guy (AKA “GACKT’s Secretary” -insert expletives-) laughs and says “heh…EVER.” was… was…very…let’s just say I bet GACKT thought up that one personally.

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KO’d in Munich, Back in Business in Bochum

I’ve been insanely busy this past week. It’s amazing how you suddenly start working 40 hours a week, and those few hours you have between getting home and going to bed (trying to make sure you get enough rest to make it through the following day without passing out at your computer…it almost happened last Wednesday.) become fleeting, and extremely precious. Before, it just took will-power to make sure I got things done, now it actually takes skill. Carrying on in this demented, self-absorbed la-la land of trying to make money, get rest, and still have fun, it’s like being in a daze of busyness. Things get seen more as if from out of the corner of your eye than full-on. There are a few things, though, that can rise right up out of your news feed and give you a nice, sobering slap in the face.

GACKT collapsing mid-song and falling off the stage into the arms of crazed fangirls is one of those things.

Friday was the final show in GACKT’s European debut tour. And from what I hear, even after the intense closure to the second-to-last show in Munich, he pulled another GACKT and got up on the stage in Bochum and rocked them just as hard. In fact, in his blog he stated that because he got, shall we say, KO’d in Munich, he rocked harder in Bochum.

Honestly, although this kind of news is painful to hear, I’m not surprised. And after the fact, I don’t think anyone is, really. When the first rumors went around about a European tour this summer, I don’t think I was the only one who thought it wouldn’t happen because “it’s not physically possible”. Between voice-acting projects, the huge process of being part of Nemuri Kyoshirou, releasing EVER, moving to Avex, organizing and touring YFCz around Japan, and everything else that goes with being one of the biggest celebrities in Japan, how could it look like a possibility? Now that I’m thinking about it logically, I’m shaking my head. What was he thinking? How was this, in any way, shape, or form, a good time for him to debut internationally?

There were already reports from the Japan shows of GACKT passing out after the lives. He even went to the hospital at least two or three times in as many weeks. And not to mention, we all know the stories. He discusses openly (psycho is probably proud of it) the fact that he has been known to collapse after shows, and even to be hospitalized with serious conditions such as pneumonia after extended tours. This is different. This is 3 hospitalizations in as many weeks. At the London on the 16th, GACKT was noted to be ‘unsteady on his feet’ at times. But this is different. This is collapsing mid-song and falling off the stage into the crowd of flesh-eating zombies.

I wasn’t at the Munich live when, during the encore, GACKT collapsed and fell off the stage into the crowd, and I didn’t experience what it was like to be standing in the front row when he lost it. Or watching from afar and seeing him suddenly disappear from the stage. However, I did read accounts of both, and some other, perspectives including his, and it’s obvious that it doesn’t matter where you were when it happened, really. I want to address it from a universal stance, anyway. It’s not just disturbing to see it happen – fans all of the world have been worrying for days without having seen anything.

It should be common knowledge by now that GACKT does everything in his power to avoid living only a partial existence. He wants to do everything %150+. This is an incredible quality in a person, and GACKT’s superhuman capacity to do and get done has been a huge source of inspiration for me, and I’m sure for others as well. In fact, it’s entirely because of GACKT that I was even able to realize that I was living my life so shallowly to begin with. If it weren’t for him, I would probably never have stepped it up. It’s because of his philosophy around living fully (or, in his case, to an extreme) that I have been able to work through some intense situations that may have potentially overwhelmed and drowned me.

But even though he has inspired me personally, and again, I’m sure many others as well, by being this type of person, it’s not %150 anymore, it’s %200. He’s moving at a velocity now that we can’t even really comprehend, even from a place of trying to understand the process of celebrity status. And obviously, it’s beginning to effect his health, and as a result, it’s causing a lot of concern among us, the fans.

In his blog post about the show*, he recounted the experience of the whole thing, of losing consciousness 5 or 6 times during the live, and the pain in his legs as he was about to collapse. They were, in his words, “absolutely human legs”. Yes, GACKT, you are a human too.

However, I don’t think he really realizes that. And so much of the time, I don’t think we do either. But now that this has happened, Fans are realizing it, in some way. Unfortunately it’s playing out more or less exactly how you might expect it to. It’s about this that I want to talk right now.

A bunch of fans have gotten together on Facebook recently (I’m not sure which account this is based out of, but if you search GACKT enough you’ll likely come across it) to organize a Facebook Event (of which I highly disapprove in general) based around “supporting GACKT’s health”. The event is to, on the same day, “spam” GACKT’s email account with a standardized block of text that says, to paraphrase, ‘GACKT: shut up, sit down, and rest yo ass or we fangirls gonna cry’.

Now, I want to make it really clear that I think the intention and sentiment behind this “event” is really commendable, and I think we all agree with it. We all want him to rest and regain his health, and we would all like for his strength and longevity to be his priority…But firstly, I really don’t believe anything is solved by spamming anyone with anything. And I really don’t believe flooding his email with these messages is going to help at all– in fact it will probably just result in annoying him on a deep level. Yeah, I’m sorry guys, but I have to say it straight up. I don’t believe hammering “you have a problem, we demand you fix it” into anyone’s head helps in any way. I do believe in focusing on the positive in every situation, and through the drawing of attention to the positive, the negative issues or aspects become diminished by the positive force funneled into the hopeful, helpful direction.

If you want to support GACKT, and you want to give him a message to encourage him to take care of himself, flood his email with messages. Flood it with personalized, individual messages written with sincerity, composed from the concern in your heart. Tell him how amazing his shows were in Europe. Tell him how much you are supporting him, and how many encouraging hopes and wishes you are sending to him with your thoughts. Tell him you are concerned about his health– tell him how much you care about his well-being. Don’t say “You’re going to die if you don’t stop.” Say, “You are the strongest person I ‘know’. I believe in you. You are what encourages and keeps me going when things get tough. Your music keeps me fighting for my dreams…and now, I want to help you keep fighting for yours. I believe in your ability to be strong. You can do this. I believe that this is the beginning of the increase of your strength, stamina, and health. I believe in you.”

Because you do, don’t you?

*To read an English translation of his blog post please check out amaiakuyume’s page. Special thanks go out to her for doing an awesome job making his words available to monolinguals.

GACKT YFC Tour +Japan Circuit+


ツアースケジュール

June 10 Zepp Tokyo      July 04 Zepp Osaka
June 11 Zepp Tokyo      July 06 Zepp Osaka
June 13 Zepp Tokyo      July 07 Zepp Osaka
June 16 Zepp Tokyo      July 09 Zepp Osaka

June 17 Zepp Tokyo

June 21 Zepp Nagoya       August 11 Zepp Sendai
June 22 Zepp Nagoya       August 12 Zepp Sendai
June 24 Zepp Nagoya       August 14 Zepp Sendai
June 25 Zepp Nagoya       August 15 Zepp Sendai

June 28 Zepp Fukuoka      August 17 Zepp Sapporo
June 29 Zepp Fukuoka      August 19 Zepp Sapporo
July  01 Zepp Fukuoka      August 20 Zepp Sapporo

July  02 Zepp Fukuoka

The tour schedule has finally been decided, confirmed, and released for the Japan circuit of GACKT’s metal-head livehouse tour. This certainly won’t be an amiable round, but I guess this is the kind of thing GACKT gets off on. He needs to be driven %150 and everything, so I suppose sandwiching a European debut between all of these Japan dates should suit him perfectly fine.
Looks like good business for the Zepp clubs, in any case.


Source: Official website

Images: one asian world, gackt.com


GACKT YFC Europe Tour Announcement

It was officially released on the Japanese mirror of gackt.com that the Europe Tour is absolutely official. Here’s the full announcement.

NEW TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT!

The YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz long-awaited tour has been decided!
The burning guys are gonna rage in Europe!!

GACKT COMING TO EUROPE 2010 ATTACK OF THE “YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz”

7/16-(Fri) O2 Academy Islington (London) +SOLD OUT+

7/18-(Sun) Alhambra (Paris) +SOLD OUT+

7/20-(Tue) Salamandra 1 (Barcelona) +SOLD OUT+

7/22-(Thur) Theaterfabrik (Munich) +SOLD OUT+

7/24-(Sat) Zeche (Bochum) +SOLD OUT+

Please check the following URLs.

【London】http://www.ticketweb.co.uk
【Paris】http://www.fnac.com
http://www.digitick.com

http://www.ticketnet.fr

※Only Paris has multiple sites.
【Barcelona】http://www.ticketmaster.es
【Munich】http://www.konticket.de
【Bochum】 http://www.konticket.de

For Japan: There are no plans for fan-club pre-order or domestic ticket sales. Please understand.

Source: OHP

GACKT’s Animelodies

I’m not a fan of anime conventions anymore. I used to watch tons of anime– I was never that into popular stuff like Bleach or Naruto, but there were some great series that I devoured, from Samurai-spirit-imbued street racers Initial D to classic space-ified epic vengeance via Gankutsuou ~The Count of Monte Cristo. I think a lot of people discover Japan through anime, and that’s awesome. I discovered Japan through music first, but anime came close behind, and really helped to further my friendship with Jrock. It was, after all, through anime that I first heard songs like BUCK-TICK‘s Dress.

I’ve been to one anime con in the town where I currently reside, about 3 times consecutively. But then things started happening- like how they obliterated any reference to Jrock. There was a Jpop dance, and they also had an “intro to Jrock” panel, which I absolutely could not stand, but nonetheless my irritation with the panelist’s incompetence really inspired me to do a better job at introducing people to (actually good) Jrock and VK.

On that note, I would just like to say that despite my indifference to anime cons at large, I would have absolutely zero resistance to attending Japan’s Animelo event!

Animelo is Japan’s largest anime-song concert. Artists who have worked on anime theme songs, or seiyuu (voice-actors) who specialize in singing, perform. In this case, our focus is obvious. GACKT performed three songs, ranging from new, to newish, to classic. Animelo was held at the Saitama Super Arena on August 22-23, 2009. GACKT performed on the second day, along with notable artists such as m.o.v.e, Nana Mizuki, Suara, and many others.

See for yourself:

This is the first time that I’ve seen a proper arena Ai Senshi live like this (although there is at least one other live performance of the song), and it’s awesome. One of my favorite pieces off the Gundam-dedicated 0079-0088 album, along with the exquisite Meguriai. Personally, I thought the best part was the extra-manly shouts of Gakuto!! coming from the audience.

More extra-manly screams, this time in call-and-response style MC. After his customary shouting, GACKT says “This next song is, from us, to you, The Next Decade.”

This is honestly the first time that this song has really brought out my fighting-spirit. It’s an incredibly bad-ass performance, and GACKT’s headbanging, shouting, and general energy fire the whole thing up, plus the crowd is going wild, and it’s impossible to resist the amount of energy flying around.

Redemption will always be one of my favorite GACKT songs. It particularly hits home in this set-list as it’s paired with his new-generation piece The Next Decade, and then, before that, a cover song.

All video credit: WanlesShmilly

Thanks to Roukun.

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.

Dasu Dasu GACKT

Today marks the release of GACKT’s latest live tour DVD: Visualive Arena Tour 2009 Requiem et Reminiscence II ~ Chinkon to Saisei.

Cover

The DVD goes for JPY 7,000 ($70.90 [price subject to fluctuation due to currency conversion]), is region 2 encoded (Japan, Middle East, Europe, South Africa), and includes 3 discs. Although there are no subtitles on songs or MC portions of the film, I have heard it noted that the documentary portions are subtitled in English. Awesome!

The DVD shows footage from the July 12th, 2009 Final performance of the RRII tour that spanned late 2008 through 2009, with a massive slew of arenas and dates all across Japan. The Final was held at the Saitama Super Arena, and was a fan-club members only live.

Shot from a Korean TV program(?)

GACKT stated somewhere around the release of the DVD that he would like to do something along the lines of renting a movie-theater and showing RRII to fans. Well, he actually did rent movie-theaters out and did an official showing to fans. He called it the “GACKT VISUALIVE SURROUND ALLNITE PARTY REQUIEM ET REMINISCENCE II FILMS -I am DASUDASU-SAGI!!!-“* (I know, it is a lot of capitalized random words). He did a showing on March 26th at the Shinjuku Piccadilly, and on the same date at Dino’s Cinemas Sapporo. Tickets were JPY 2,000 (around $20.90), and the showing lasted exactly 4 hours.

Now you can have your own private viewing at a cinema near you (AKA your house). I know, I know…It’s not as fun as queuing up at midnight to spend the next 4 hours watching RRII surrounded by a bunch of crazed Japanese fans in Tokyo…But hey.

If you have your copy, I would definitely be interested in what anyone has to say about his latest work. He’s definitely made some changes, and from the few clips of this great big disc collection that I’ve seen around, it looks like his lives have changed quite a bit since Diabolos.  And if you don’t have it yet, I hope it’s because it’s still in the mail!
GACKT Visualive Arena Tour 2009 Requiem Et Reminiscence II Final Chinkon To Saisei / GACKT

He's come a long way...

*- Note: Dasu Dasu Sagi is Japanese for “Is it coming out- Is it coming out- Scam” and is, how did you guess?, a type of scam. GACKT postponed the release of RRII so many times (around three times) that finally the media started attacking him, claiming that he had run out of money and wasn’t actually going to release the DVD, even though he said he was. There was much drama about it, and finally, the DVD has been released, so GACKT is responding with some wry humor by calling the official showing of the footage DASU DASU SAGI. Take that, Japanese media.