Aoi Defies Dye Lot 335 “Asian Blonde”

“The New Look”, always a much anticipated release of information. In my experience, the disclosure of a Visual Kei band’s “New Look”, as organized for the promotion of a new album or single, is always a testament to rock bands’ abilities to create infinite variety with one or less colors.

In the past, I’ve found The GazettE to be satisfactorily edgy in their looks. Veering shockingly away from the standard black pants, black blazer, and the occasional, unnerving splash of gray, The GazettE‘s image always pops up in my head dressed in colorful velour suits with perfectly coiffed blonde mullets.

However, when black became the new, well, rainbow circa 2009, and the word on the street was “chic”, it seemed like Visual Kei started getting a little less, y’know, visual. The host-boy hair syndrome overwhelmed the industry as the standard hair-fare, and, that-which-must-not-be-named (oshare) aside (out of the discussion, where it belongs), the universally accepted Visual Kei uniform became the angry angura badass bad-lands look. That is, blackblackblack.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t worn color since 2009 either. But I will pass judgment here and say, I think that Visual Kei bands could stand to break out of the angura thing and at least give us a splash of something that’s not just black clothes and blonde hair. I’m pleased to see that one of the most universally accepted “cool-looking” bands have let at least one member go out on a limb this time¹. First of all, let me just say that I think the concept for these shots is pretty epic. The industrial, utterly lackluster backdrop contrasts with the striking paint-splatters smeared over each portrait, giving a creative twist to otherwise standard Type A new look portraits. I’m actually astounded by this “new look”, simply because they actually did something with Aoi’s hair. Gone is the ultra simple black coif of their past, and present now is a spiky, edgy, and very……purple… style that totally defies the “Asian Blonde” I thought it was illegal for a Visual Kei band-member to not have. Whether he actually had a hair color for past single Pledge cannot really be known, as the PV was monochrome, and I bet they stood behind a monochrome holograph for all their promotions. Can never be too careful– you never know when a splash of color might invade your cool, black-clad life and ruin everything with its recklessness.

The hair and high collar also bring across something of a hide-feel, which I think is probably a healthy direction to be moving in.

As usual, Uruha, with his tumbling golden locks and smoldering glare, just begs to be worshiped by men and women alike. Putting all androgynous Visual Kei creatures eternally to shame as he does, even after all these years I cannot reason with normies who say he looks like a woman. No disrespect- you have to be utterly and irreparably confused to even attempt to deny it.

I like what they’ve done with his hair– some edgy layers and of course a pretty little twist of the hair-iron produces that little iconic curl. That being said, from the neck down I can’t help but have this feeling that he’s wearing one of Ozaki Nana’s outfits from the anime Nana. The signature leather jacket and….please tell me that’s not a tulle dress?

Some things may change, but Reita will forever look the same.

I can’t say I’ve ever disapproved of a Ruki look, unless you consider that one time he tried to be totally gangster, which I think was succeeded by The Perm….Which I think was succeeded by…Nah, just messing with you guys. The slight wave to his hair is acceptable, and all the clean lines and simple details make for a solid vocalist ensemble. No big shockers here.

Who is this ninja musician, and when will the waiter be here with my check?

All together now:

 

¹ – Would like to take this moment to also mention Jyou of exist trace who is rocking some fiery locks.

images from http://gzrock.wordpress.com & google

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Pledge Allegiance to GazettE 12/15

I’ll admit, The GazettE is, much like girugamesh, one of the mainstream Visual Kei bands whose releases I don’t procure religiously anymore. I more or less skipped over Red, although in retrospect it was a pretty decent single. In many ways, I’ve enjoyed their earlier work to such an extent that I’m pretty content keeping NIL in heavy rotation, and if something utterly mind-blowing is released, that’s okay too.

Heading into mid-November now, a new wave of release dates are being announced for the December and January rounds of economic Visual Kei worship. I find it quite fascinating when I’m paying the bills…There’s always Rent, Cellphone, Internet, List of Visual Kei singles to pre-order for [insert month]. It’s one of the few I pay cheerfully and with a sense of great reverence. Coming up to reward your December tithe is new single Pledge from The GazettE on 12/15, just in time for their first Tokyo Dome performance on Dec. 26th. I bet that leaves no mystery as to how I want to spend my holidays.

Check out the preview for the heavy ballad (Yeah, I wasn’t surprised either), and Gazerock fans, censoring any spewing of “Reita omg kawaii kawaii!”, let me know what you think.

Mug Shot

Finally the stylists stopped being on strike, recognized that Kai is, in fact, part of the band and not a misplaced member of the catering crew, and outfitted him accordingly. For once in their career he is actually starting to fit in with the band, and it’s working wonders for him. The sharp black outfit (what can be seen of it, anyway) is…a…y’know, sharp black outfit for which too much can never be said. The extreme layers and long hair bring me way back to Visual Kei in the late ’80s and early ’90s, before Host Boy Hair Syndrome (HBHS) took over the scene.

Mug Shot

Best part of my weekend: when The GazettE changes their look, and all the fangirls spam comment all over our lives with “Oooh omfg Reita kawaii kawaii!” When…his look never changes. Ah, a world without GazettE fangirls would be a sad, sad place indeed.

Mug Shot

Aoi always tends to pull off these minimalistic chic looks, with simple hair and normal-ish outfits to which he lends his natural enigmatic charm and makes everyone else look like they’re trying way too hard. He, like Reita, never surprises me. At least it’s in a good way.

Mug Shot

Uruha says, If my face ends up on another British T-shirt ever again…..at least send one to all of my band members.

Nosebleed

I’m not too much of a man to admit that I got a nosebleed.


New Look Needs New Designer

While twiddling our thumbs waiting for alice nine‘s SENKOU single to hit shelves and counting the days of September to see how much longer we have to wait for MIYAVI’s promising new album due out in October, the Visual Kei community has been busying themselves with snaring a scandal.

It would seem that there’s a bit of a border issue that comes up every now and then in the world of international creativity. While art is meant to defy all borders, its ownership, legalities, and respectful usage shouldn’t be brushed aside while leaving the country– or appearing on the web.

There are a lot of vague gray areas and many questions concerning copyright and the internet. With the vast amount of media content being posted for all to see, save, and upload back into the viscious cycle that ravages the entire concept of sharing-is-caring, it can become confusing as to what belongs to who and who can use what for why and when and how.

However, if one thing is clear to me, at least, it is this: art may defy all borders, but what goes up on Deviant Art stays on Deviant Art unless the Deviant Artist says otherwise. It would seem, however, that British fashion brand New Look disagrees.

It has recently been uncovered by GazettE fans that a likeness of guitarist Uruha’s goddess-like visage was used as the graphics on a New Look top. But not only that, the image, described on the online store as a “Pixelated punky girl illustration”, doesn’t credit the illustrator, Deviant Kyunai, whose remarkable Uruha fanart originally appeared on their Deviant Art page in 2007.

As I haven’t received permission from Kyunai to post their image here, surf on over to their DA page and check out the original illustration. It is absolutely worthy of appearing on a stylish top…however, the artist’s permission should be solicited, their affiliation approved, and their dues delivered in that clear, clean-cut and very legitimate fashion (no pun inten– well, ok, fine).

Using an image like this is a terrific idea- the illustration, and the face captured in it, are both exquisite, and such a depiction could be incredible promotion for a lucky artist as well as the band. Unfortunately, this interesting marketing op has been massacred by the tactlessness of whoever ‘designed’ the shirt for New Look. Now, instead of great promotion for the band and the artist resulting in an awesome piece of clothing, we are left simply with image-theft, a bad rap for New Look in the Jrock crowd, and a bunch of people hoping Kyunai’s request that the brand recall the item be peacefully passed.

Original artwork by Kyunai…Used without permission by New Look UK.

Thanks to Tweeps @ToshiChica @JanecutiehWARP for spreading the word.

Dye Lot 501: ‘Russet Mother’

I’m….I’m having some problems….and I was hoping if I put this up, someone would be able to offer me some kind of assistance…or at least some sympathy.

Ever since I developed my capacity to be neurotically fixated on something with those 5 posts dedicated to that Jrock phenomenon, The Perm, I have been highly sensitive to the hair trends among Visual rockers. I was checking out some of the “new looks” for this season, and I noticed something of a disturbing new trend.

This particular hair color was first introduced into the Jrock fashion scene when Nishikawa Takanori started wearing it about, what, 20 years ago?  The difference here is that Nishikawa actually has a cool haircut.

Tetsuya

Tetsuya no longer feels confident in his physical appearance. He has, for the past year or two, had his secret twin sister take his place for photo-shoots and album covers. Pink skulls, pink boots, and fashion-denim? I mean really? Gone are the good ol’ days when Tetsuya still looked like a man, wore rubber-soles, and was never to be seen without at least ten different plaid garments on at once. Only in Japan do all famous men become Californian women when they turn 40.

SCREW

Who’s the hot chick on the far left? And more importantly, why is Kazuki wearing traditional pajamas and a smoking jacket? Middle man Byou there is rocking a pretty much picture-perfect rip-off (just parting it on the right won’t fool me) of the look Ruki started wearing earlier this year.

The GazettE

Aoi and Uruha aside, I have so many issues with this new look for The GazettE— don’t even get me started. Between Ruki’s metallic layers and Kai looking like he’s about to strangle the chef who made the Chicken Cordon Bleu late for table 7, I just don’t know what to think anymore. At least their music is still— oh, wait…

Next Scene for The GazettE

Big news for The GazettE, who just finished their latest tour THE END OF STILLNESS for fan-club members across Japan. About 30,000 people made an attendance at the 13 dates scheduled through March. Following the conclusion of THE END OF STILLNESS tour, the band announced that they will be moving on to the “Next Scene” of their career, literally, with a brand new single titled NEXT SCENE, as well as a new DVD release “New Music Clips : Film Bug II”.

NEXT SCENE will start on July 21st (details pending), and the DVD will be out August 4th, for JPY4,800.

Not only that, but this “next scene” isn’t a still-shot. The band also announced a second, much longer, 2010 tour Tour10 Nameless Liberty Six Bullets 1 & 2. The tour kicks off at Nippon Budokan on July 22nd, the day after NEXT SCENE hits shelves, and will run for around 40 dates, with the final on December 26th. The band stated that last year they performed a New Year’s live to welcome in the year, and that perhaps this year they will do a “Big Bonenkai party” (End Year Party) to bid sayounara to 2010.

I’m relieved that they’re starting a new thing called NEXT SCENE, as Dim Scene, cool a name as that may be, is hardly a motivational tagline for moving forward.

THE GAZETTE ++ TOUR10 NAMELESS LIBERTY SIX BULLETS 01

07.22(thu) NIPPON BUDOKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:30]
07.23(fri) NIPPON BUDOKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:30]
07.25(sun) NAKANO SUNPLAZA HALL
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
07.28(wed) SAPPORO SHIMIN HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
07.30(fri) HACHIOJI SHIMIN KAIKAN
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.02(mon) IBARAKI KENRITSU KENMIN BUNKA CENTER
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.03(tue) TOCHIGIKEN SOGO BUNKA CENTER
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.05(thu) KIRYU CITY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER SILK HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.08(sun) AKITA CITY HALL BIG HALL
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
08.09(mon) AOMORI CIVIC HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.11(wed) YAMAGATA CIVIC HALL BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.14(sat)KOCHISHI BUNKA PLAZA CARPORT
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]

+POSTPONED DATES+
08.16(mon) HIROSHIMA ALSOK HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

11/15 (Mon) Hiroshima ALSOK Hall
OPEN 18:00 /START 18:30
08.17(tue) OKAYAMA CIVIC HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

11/12 (Fri) OKAYAMA CIVIC HALL
OPEN 18:00/ START 18:30
08.19(thu) FUKUOKA CIVIC HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

11/22 (Mon) FUKUOKA CIVIC HALL
OPEN 18:00/START 18:30
08.21(sat) CHIBAKEN BUNKA KAIKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]

11/11 (Thu) CHIBAKEN BUNKA KAIKAN
OPEN 18:00/START 18:30
08.22(sun) ATSUGISHI BUNKA KAIKAN
[OPEN 17:00/START 17:30]

11/8 (Mon) Atsugi-shi Bunka Kaikan
OPEN 18:00/START 18:30

INFORMATION + TICKETS:

7/22,7/23 Nippon Budokan
[Price] ..6,800(tax in) *Reserved seats
[Start of General Sales]6/12日(sat) Japan wide sales start
*”HERESY” Fan club members will receive pre-sale information at the beginning of April by mail.
*People, who applied for membership until 2010/4/12 (Date of the postal stamp) will also be included.

7/25-8/31 Performances
[Price] ..6,000(tax in) *Reserved seats
[Start of General Sales] 7/10 (sat) Japan wide sales start

THE GAZETTE ++ TOUR10 NAMELESS LIBERTY SIX BULLETS 02

10.01(fri) HONDANOMORI HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.02(sat) TOYAMA KENMIN KAIKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
10.05(tue) WAKAYAMA MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.06(wed) KOBE INTERNATIONAL HOUSE
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.08(fri) NARA PREFECTURAL CULTURAL HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.11(mon) OSAKA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER MAIN HALL
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.12(tue) OSAKA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER MAIN HALL
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.14(thu) TAJIMISHI BUNKA KAIKAN
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.16(sat) YAMANASHI KENRITSU KENMIN BUNKA HALL
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
10.17(sun) SAITAMASHI BUNKA CENTER
[OPEN 17:00/START 17:30]
10.20(wed) MATSUYAMASHI SOGO COMMUNITY CENTER CAMELLIA HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.22(fri) SUNPORT HALL TAKAMATSU BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.24(sun) SENDAI SUNPLAZE HALL
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.27(wed) KUMAMOTO PREFECTURAL THEATER
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.28(thu) KAGOSHIMA TANIYAMA SAZAN HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.31(sun) YOKOSUKA ARTS THEATRE
[OPEN 17:00/START 17:30]
11.02(tue) MIE CENTER FOR THE ARTS BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

INFORMATION + TICKETS:

10/1-11/2Performances
[Price] |6,000(tax in) *Reserved seats
[Start of General Sales] 7/17 (sat) Japan wide sales start

[TOTAL INFORMATION]
BACKSTAGE PROJECT: TEL03-5786-2400(Mon – Fri 12:00~19:00)

SEE: This Page for more details concerning overseas ticket purchasing.

Need any more information? Just leave a comment. ++