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Messages - matsumoto

Pages: 1 2 3 ... 22
Offtopic / Re: Post funny X-related things you come across
« on: April 10, 2019, 09:27:35 AM »
HAHAHA no way, Joker, man this made my day!  ;D

Can you get in touch with the owner? We need to get him over here, this is epic!

Other Bands / Re: HYDE
« on: April 04, 2019, 08:56:27 AM »
That's really impressive, the Rolling Stone is the Holy Grail of music press, it's huge that a Japanese musician got a dedicated article like that, good job, Hyde!

ETA: One more!  https://jrocknews.com/2019/04/hyde-interview-2019.html

Important / Re: Important Announcement 2019.01
« on: April 02, 2019, 04:42:24 PM »
Well, I am extremely stupid lol

Hahahah no way man, you fell for it?  ;D

Important / Re: Important Announcement 2019.01
« on: April 02, 2019, 09:53:49 AM »
Ehhhh well, why not though  8)

Important / Re: Important Announcement 2019.01
« on: April 02, 2019, 09:19:50 AM »
Dear all,

In case you couldn't tell, the last part of this post was an April's fools prank. So worry not! The X Freaks are alive and kicking and we don't plan on changing any key letters in our banner  ;D

The first part of the post is for real, though, please welcome Kasumi as a chatroom and forum moderator and Hatsor as a chatroom moderator!

Covers / Re: Finally Yoshiki can rest ;D
« on: March 22, 2019, 02:00:38 PM »
Hahahaha YONKI, tho? That sounds like a knockoff Yoshiki you can get for 0.22 cents a pack on some Chinese website.

« on: March 17, 2019, 08:26:50 PM »
Thanks nb!

Offtopic / Re: I had a dream. It had X in it.
« on: March 13, 2019, 10:21:19 AM »
Was it the end of X Japan? No! It was the opposite way round. All concerts took place. Similar to the acoustic special concerts 2017.
And that's not all. X Japan has become more and more successful and active. Toshi had taken the lead from X and the album was released. Tours and other song releases followed. Even another album.

Shooooot man, I certainly don't want the guy to die, but I wonder what would happen if he dropped X and Toshi or Sugizo took the lead. Don't hate me, but I would sell my pinky finger to see that happen.

You're more than welcome, Kasumi!  8)

Offtopic / I went to a concert in Japan and it was weird - a chronicle
« on: February 28, 2019, 03:24:22 PM »
Following up on my last post in which I listed a bunch of weird things I noticed during my stay in Japan, here’s the story of that one time I went to a concert and it was pretty weird (but at this stage, were you expecting anything in Japan to be normal?). Be warned that this post contains the following allergens: cat balls, cat boners, shiny knickers and frequent album releases. Make sure you're not allergic to nuts, you have been warned.

You can watch the concert I went to here.

1. At a Buck-Tick concert, you worship cats

Hmmmm, fluffy little catballs.

Japan is crazy about cats, it’s a fact. They have maneki nekos, hello kitties, Yoshikitties, more cat cafés than brains per capita, books about cats, songs about cats and if you throw a random stray cat anywhere in Tokyo, at least ten ladies will rush to pet it and take pictures with it. Well, I like cats too. But I usually don’t see the point of band merch that isn’t actual music (no offense to all of you munching on your X Japan-flavored noodles). But I swear for once I gave in and bought the stuffed cat in the picture above. It cost about a week’s worth of food, as expected. But hey. It’s not just a cat. It’s a cat with balls. Tiny balls. If this doesn’t put you in full-blown SHUT-UP-AND-TAKE-MY-MONEY mode, you clearly don’t have your life priorities sorted out.

Fun fact? This stuffed cat is supposedly designed after the band’s pet cat, Maru. They have another pet cat called Kurumi and there’s also merch of her. But if you’re here for the cats, don’t leave just yet, there’s more.

2. At a Buck-Tick concert, thou shalt wear black

I mean, better a little black dress than this.

This is not an X concert, motherfuckers. People here don’t dye their hair funny colours and they don’t walk around in intricate 1993-cosmo-space-priest Hide cosplays. Nope. Black lace is the uniform here. Black lace dresses, black lace stockings and black lace knickers to match, if you want to play by the rules. You’ll see a couple of folks in flashy attire, but they’re all clueless gaijins the veteran Jap fans side-eye with unconcealed contempt. Because, ironically, cosplaying the band's iconic resting bitch face is a thing. I mean, look at Mr. Imai (the guitarist pictured above). Do you think he ever smiles? No, honey, he doesn't. He’s freaking annoyed he has to play concerts for booze money. Fans are a total nuisance, everyone agrees on that in the Buck-Tick fandom, even the fans themselves.

Fun fact? Imai was good friends with the late Hide (of X). I guess you could tell.

3. At a Buck-Tick concert, thou shalt NOT dance or headbang

Serious as f*ck. Laugh and you’re dead.

The band can dance and headbang all they want, but not you, you overexcited twat. The moment the concert starts, everyone stands up and stares at the stage. Did I miss something? Did they just announce something terrible? Who be ded? Gasp. Suspense. Nope, it’s just that the Japanese don’t really show excitement. Or at least not at goth/new wave gigs. So everyone stands there in their funeral clothes and politely nods as the band plays. The girl right next to me froze Han Solo in carbonite-style from the very first notes and only showed signs of life in between acts, during which she proceeded to shout her favourite band member's name repeatedly and hysterically, in a shriek that bore striking resemblance to a dying hyena. Ouch, my ears.

Fun fact? I have since learned that shouting your favourite band member’s name is a thing in Japan and they call it kakegoe.  Screaming your favourite performer or character’s name during kabuki plays or kendo fights was the thing to do back in the day and the Japanese don’t want to put this tradition to rest just yet. Unfortunately for your ear drums.

4. At a Buck-Tick concert, every song is about sex

Buy 1 concert ticket, get 1 strip show for free.

To be fair, some of them are about drugs and cyborgs. But whatever the lyrics are about, rest assured that there will be pole dancing, shoe-licking, suggestive mic-pole stroking, finger-sucking and all kinds of lewd dance moves. Enter a song from their new album about a cat. No, really, they really did it. The song is about a cat called Gustave and the lyrics go like “Catcatcatcatcatcatcatcatcatcatcat”. Listen to it here if you don’t believe me. I bet you wouldn’t expect the singer to screw this one up. But oh boy, he did. By adding an introductory line about the cat going out to pick up pussycats and getting a cat boner (still don’t believe me? look it up). Lewd, man. Very lewd.

Fun fact? According to an early 2000s interview, Mr. Sakurai once got himself a fax machine so he could fax people blank pages with dicks drawn all over them. He must be fun at parties.

5. At a Buck-Tick concert, it’s okay to take off your pants

And by the way, you there with the camera, make sure everyone gets an eyeful of my shiny knickers.

Alright, let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Buck-Tick’s singer is obviously the elephant in the room. For the record, it’s nothing personal. If you like digging through your wife’s/mum’s/grandma’s lingerie drawer, go ahead, dude. Whatever you’re into. But you probably want to keep that in the privacy of your bedroom, living room, BDSM torture playroom or whatever. Going on stage wearing that, though? Well. Backstory. Sakurai the singer used to be a pretty sober dude for the largest part of his band’s career. Like, Professor Snape sober, if you know what I mean. His entire career consisted of teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts during the day and throwing gigs at night. And then he hit the big 5-0 and presumably decided that trousers were a total nuisance and probably not metal enough for his aging rockstar self. So he got rid of them. Actually, he probably burned them in a fire while laughing hysterically and reciting verses from the Satanic Bible. That’s his style. And this old witch is pretty invested in letting everyone know that #nopants is the way to go, by the way.

Fun fact? I couldn’t find a single fun fact about this. I’m too busy applying my eyebleach drops.

6. At a Buck-Tick concert, thou shalt not drink

Kanpaiiiiii~~ we hope that you diiiiiie~~~

What's even better than a good gig? A good gig with beer, my dudes. And if you have a gut feeling that you’re going to a No-Pants gig, beer might not be just a superfluous commodity but a therapeutic measure powerful enough to prevent visual trauma. Trust me on this, kids: if you’re going to a concert where pants are optional, do yourselves a favour and don’t go sober. Except the Budokan doesn't have any beer. Nor cocktails. I learned this the hard way by questioning a few very bemused staff dudes, who looked me up and down and then politely pointed a narrow corridor leading away from the arena. Cooooool, hidden bars! Mildly illegal booze! The forbidden fruit! The beer-ravenous animal in me rejoiced at the thought of some fresh ale, but at the end of the corridor was a soft drinks machine. A staff member looked up in surprise as I (probably) audibly expressed my dismay, raised his hot can of green tea, said “Kanpai!” and gave me a pat in the back as he walked away. Ha. Ha. Ha. So funny.

Fun fact? The fans might be straightedge but the band sure isn’t. Mr. Imai was arrested in the late 1980s for LSD possession. The press turned it into a national scandal but the band backfired by holding a big comeback concert at the Nippon Budokan when he was released. It was in December 1989 and they supposedly had so much fun trolling everyone they decided to turn this into a yearly tradition. Ever since, the band has been performing at the Budokan in late December to celebrate Imai’s release from jail. Not done trolling? They sure weren’t. Months later they released a single called “Speed” and shortly afterwards one called “Chocolate” (a metaphor for coke in Japan) and also one called “Heroin”.

Bonus pic: dear Mr. Imai being taken to jail for popping acid pills sucking on illegal hard candy.

7. At a Buck-Tick concert, you realise that they get shit done

Mr. Toll needs your cash to buy MOAR hairspray.

In the land of Buck-Tick, a parallel universe, they actually release more stuff than you can possibly buy and they throw more gigs than you can possibly attend. No, for real. You would need to be multi millionaire with a teleporting device to catch up with these guys. By the time you land in Hokkaido for the evening gig, the band has already dispatched their virtual dopplegängers to Fukuoka and so on. You think you’re seeing the real Buck-Tick, but you’re actually just seeing their virtual cyborg avatars. The real ones are too busy getting shit done.

Fun fact? Repeat after me: this band released 21 studio albums, a ton of DVDs of their performances, one yearly concert guaranteed at the end of December, constant touring, festival gigs and big arena concerts. In 2018 alone, they performed a total of 51 times (YOU READ THAT RIGHT. Fifty. One. Concerts.), released one album with 13 new songs, a DVD of their tour, a DVD of their previous year’s end-of-year show and announced that they’re not done yet digging into your savings account - two huge arena concerts next year guys, and in the meantime buy. our. cat. merch. plz. Ouuf. I’m out of breath.

8. At a Buck-Tick concert, a concert gets cancelled for the first time in 30+ years

Neck hernias? Dead guitarists? Management fuckups? Postponed concerts? No sir! In Bucktickistan, if you schedule a concert, you play it. In Buck-Tick’s history, only three concerts/tours were ever postponed: the first because the guitarist was in jail. The second because the singer was comatose in the hospital. And the third because Japan was hit by a massive earthquake. That’s it. Every other concert has been properly honored, regardless of whose hemorrhoids were itching, whose neck was about to snap and whose horoscope advised against playing music (perfect timing, alright, huh.)

Wait a sec. They don’t cancel stuff?

Dafuq is a ‘cancel’?

So you can imagine how surprised I was when I learned that they cancelled one the very week I was in Kyoto. Bad luck, man. But don’t worry. Despite the apocalyptic official reports stating one of the guys was howling in pain with some sort of mysterious internal bleeding (read: the shits), he still showed up on stage a week later for the tour final. Propped up by a cane and with the pallor of a drunkard so starved of booze he’s on the threshold of delirium tremens, but he was there anyway. Much appreciated. And well, in Bucktickistan you get actual apologies. Of the sincere, tearful kind. A-p-o-l-o-g-i-e-s, I said, not a new Yoshikitty variant.

X fans dry their tears with love, BT fans wipe their backsides with BT branded wet wipes.

Fun fact? X Japan should learn something from those guys. By the way, did you know that Yoshiki and their singer once did a gay nazi photoshoot? Well, now you do. Lol. No idea why I dropped this fact here.

9. At a Buck-Tick concert, you hear some of the WORST lyrics in Jrock history

Composing a song must be tough. It’s part poetry and part whatever sounds good when you sing it on a particular note. I have a few musician friends who say they mostly begin by writing the music, sing it a couple of times with just humming or screaming and then see what kind of words would fit the sequence. I don’t know if Buck-Tick plays by this rule, but if they do, I assume by the time they have to write the lyrics they’re just too drunk to make sense. Judge for thyselves.

Cat Cat Cat
in Gustave, a song about a cat

in Dada Disco, a song about the dadaists

The endless mass of "that" that never ever changes piles up beneath the self-righteous puke
the title of a song about... being high as a kite?

I wanna live just like a bitch (...)
I wanna be like your dog
upside down and make a god
in Love Letter, a song about being a bitch. lol #yolo

So hot, so hot, in the red, melting flower bud
That's right, thrust your hips
in Sex for You, a song about having sex with flowers

Hey hey sing it, ice cream
Hey hey why don’t you fuck me
I'm crazy, I'm coming, I’m fucking inside you
in Cream Soda, a song about jizzing (I’m sorry, that’s what it is about)

10. At a Buck-Tick concert, you hear some of the BEST lyrics in Jrock history

This is the only no-joke section of this parody review. And that’s because this band freaking deserves a bit of serious from us in the songwriting department after all. Because when they’re not playing Scrabble or making a nicely seasoned Engrish word salad, you get some pretty deep lines. Judge for thyselves again.

In the brain, mind's eye refrain, I sink
omnipotent, I am
torn apart through the cosmos, in my dream
and out onto the last stage
from Mudai (Untitled), a song about the loneliness of stage performers

Please, when you close your eyes
Make me believe you're sleeping peacefully
I know you're tired
Of acting,
of dreaming,
of everything
from Sakura (cherry blossom), a song written by the singer for his dying mother

And who am I to say?
And what am I to do?
I who sing songs of love and romance to you
And how about you all?
How do you feel?
Someone is killing someone else even now
Your body blows away
Scattered to the winds
All of the ones I loved
Carrying away
My city lies
In flames my friend
However I might love you
This is goodbye
from The Night of Guernica, believed to be about the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings

As we played in the swirl of the spiral of the dark
It always ends up this way - the blue sky interrupts our game
In the twilight, gaslight flickering on a red cloak passing by
The night falls, chased in by the moon and a déja vu of a girl's sneer
We accelerate moving ever faster, running on
As we played in the swirl of the spiral of the dark
It always ends up this way - the blue sky interrupts our game
Letting the night's flâneurs on for a ride, off goes the rocket shooting star
Slipping away from the beams of the searching lights
From Hikari no Teikoku (Empire of Light), a song inspired by Magritte's homonymous painting

Fun fact? It's not necessarily fun, and it's not necessarily a fact, but this band writes some of the best shit in rock history. Also, their CD and DVD sleeves are amazing.

Fool thyselves not, that little moon is a battery-powered vibrator. Buck-Tick don't do vanilla.

Albums/Singles / Re: X JAPAN New Album(When??)
« on: February 27, 2019, 09:36:58 AM »
(oh yes, Feudal is sharing something that ISN'T Yoshiki hate, hell must be freezing over!)


That was actually a really interesting theory. I think it's plausible, but for some reason I can't help but think it's a little far-fetched. Grunge and speed metal are a bit like oil and water, they just don't mix. Sure thing, Cobain was like a flash of lighning that came in through the front door and left nothing standing in his wake. And like you pointed out so well, the Cobain craze ended up pushing glam/hair rock to the background in terms of mainstream interest. I still think they're two very different things, though. Why hasn't Yoshiki ever mentioned Cobain? Same reason why he doesn't mention Rhianna or Jay Z or whatever. He mostly comments on acts that were somehow associated with the hair/glam metal movement, i.e. David Bowie, Kiss, Manson, etc. or classic performers. And then he poses with random people on Instagram for PR purposes.

I'd love to know what he thinks of the grunge movement, tho. And it's interesting that you like it, because most metal fans I know despise Nirvana with a passion. Personally, I don't have a solid opinion about their music. I find Cobain quite fascinating, but he died to young to have accomplished anything groundbreaking. I often feel that way about artists that passed before they could reach maturity, Hide included. 

Toshi / Re: Toshi's Injury
« on: February 18, 2019, 11:05:05 AM »
Interesting but impossible to know for sure what caused it. Stress, physical injury or a combination of the two. In any case, poor guy, I'm glad he got the hell out of that bloody cult.

Albums/Singles / Re: X JAPAN New Album(When??)
« on: February 15, 2019, 09:04:29 AM »
Boooo, am I the only one who thinks it would be really lame to drop the album along with the XXX4 thing? I mean, associating your epic band's first album in 357+ years with a freaking Vin Diesel film?

Albums/Singles / Re: X JAPAN New Album(When??)
« on: February 14, 2019, 09:35:47 AM »
Not much, it's just a joke.  8)

Albums/Singles / Re: X JAPAN New Album(When??)
« on: February 14, 2019, 09:30:01 AM »
He didn't say X Japan was secondary or that he liked playing with Sarah Brightman better than playing MSG with his own band. He just said it was one of his most exciting moments, among others. And he probably didn't even say this himself, that kind of line is usually prepared by his PR people and signed under his name, people sometimes don't even know they've been quoted in the press saying stuff like that.

Actually, this is a troll reply. I know just as well as you do that the guy is far more interested in getting botox with his new BFFs Sarah Brightman and Marilyn Manson than he is in making music with X.


Oh, and Hyde. Getting botox with Hyde is quite an experience too.

Other Bands / Re: HYDE
« on: February 10, 2019, 10:13:46 AM »
Thank you so much lakeisle! That's a stellar analysis.

Sounds like a pretty... unusual song theme, but it all depends on the literal quality of the lyrics I guess. Anyway, nice vocals Hyde, nice piano, Yoshiki, terrible special effects, video director.

Forum Games / Re: Things, that pissed you off today
« on: February 09, 2019, 11:42:13 PM »
Today I went out with friends and we got hungry so we went to a restaurant. Then one of them didn't let us eat for a solid 10 min while she took pictures of our food to post them on instagram. Like, none of your 13 followers cares about your food pictures, sis, LET ME EAT.

Forum Games / Re: Random facts about you
« on: February 09, 2019, 11:11:40 PM »
I'm obsessed with weird/unusual earrings and I have a collection of over 50 pairs. I wear a different pair everyday. I just scored a pair of funny plastic parrot earrings on eBay for $3, yey.

Offtopic / Re: What is NEW about YOU?
« on: February 09, 2019, 11:00:08 PM »
Congratz on that raise and on the invitation to help on the research paper! Hope your pops recovers fast, fingers crossed!

Violet UK / Re: Violet UK Coming In 2013!
« on: February 09, 2019, 10:48:22 PM »
Excuse me in advance, my reply is not going to be as optimistic as Yoshiki I'd like it to be.

I don't think this so-called project will ever see the light of day and maybe that's not a bad thing. If Violet UK is anything like what we've seen during the reunion concerts, I don't think this is the kind of album I would buy, but maybe that's because I'm just not into trip-hop, or whatever VUK is supposed to be. He aimed high with that "blending the boudaries of fashion, music" and whatnot. The concept was never properly explained and all I've seen of it was synths and keyboards with a rather flat background female voice and a bunch of standard models walking on stage wearing very standard fashion pieces. Nothing about it was groundbreaking and I've seen better on fashion week runways, both fashion and music-wise. Kathie Wathever and Nicole Scherzinger are great singers, but VUK definitely didn't bring out the best in them. The 'I'll be your love" performance from the early 2000s that's been floating around on Youtube ever since is mediocre both in terms of lyrics and key/vocals. Yoshiki's piano playing is good, but he's known to pull much better than that. The religion/sex/butterfly/blue/roses/love song themes have been done to death and don't accurately reflect Yoshiki's remarkable ability to take tacky themes like that and compose masterpieces (see Rose of Pain, Art of Life, Dahlia, etc.) I fancied Mandi Martyr, though, the crazy-looking punk bassist that was part of the project at some point, but she didn't deliver anything groundbreaking on stage either.

TL;DR: this is a pretty basic project whose only chance of becoming a thing was based solely on its association with a dude like Yoshiki. Exit Yoshiki, nobody will go around shouting VUK is their favourite thing ever. Musically and image-wise, it also made a lot more sense in the early 2000s but not anymore. He also seems to have dropped it in favour of his Yoshiki Classical project, which kept some of the same singers and concepts, yet it's clearly superior. VUK will never debut and the album will never see the light, fight me on this!  8)

Taiji / Re: Report from Tomomi Akatsuka
« on: February 09, 2019, 10:10:41 PM »
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the incident is weird, whichever way you consider it. On the other hand, I could find no concrete evidence that foul play was a possibility. And add to this the well-known fact that next of kin are usually in a state of shock when a loved one passes and doubting the official version is a normal reaction, especially when the victim supposedly died of suicide.

I know very little about Taiji's life during or post-X, but from what I could gather, he was a rowdy free spirit and his life kind of went downhill after he left X, despite the great opportunity we was handed when they asked him to join Loudness. Things can easily go downhill very fast when you're young, rose to fame fast, made bad decisions with your money, etc. According to Yoshiki, Taiji's hit a rough patch shirtly after he left X. In his book, he mentions him having lost all his teeth and his unrecognisable looks, compared to his glam stage image when he was part of X. I have no evidence to back this one up, but I reckon that he might have been on some heavy ass drugs. If this portrait is accurate, a mental breakdown while under pressure is definitely not off the table. Fun fact: there are SO MANY suicides in detention cells they won't even let you keep your shoe laces. Being locked up in a cell with no support can do that to your brain.

TL;DR: I lean towards the suicide thesis, but maybe the authorities fucked up the investigation or maybe they handled his arrest the wrong way from the start (i.e. He hung himself with a bedsheet. They're not supposed to put fabric bedsheets in a detention cell. A blanket or paper sheets but not bedsheets that can be used as a slipknot). His fiancée and next of kin are devastated and questioning the official version is their way of coping with it.

Offtopic / Re: Favourite song lines
« on: February 09, 2019, 09:44:00 PM »
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
Rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner

Roger Waters in Shine on you crazy diamond, motherfucking Pink Floyd is my favourite band ever

Little by little the night turns around
Counting the leaves which tremble at dawn
Lotuses lean on each other in yearning
Under the eaves the swallow is resting

Roger Waters in Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun, did I mention that Pink Floyd is the best thing ever, btw?

There's room at the top they're telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill

John Lennon in Working Class Hero, this one hits close to home

I wish that I was born a thousand years ago
I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas
On a great big clipper ship
Going from this land here to that
On a sailor's suit and cap

Leonard Cohen in Heroin, because omfg The Velvet Underground!

Breathe deep the gathering gloom,
Watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people look back and lament,
Another day's useless energy spent.
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one,
Lonely man cries for love and has none.

Graeme Edge in Late Lament by the Moody Blues

And don't get me started on freaking Bob Dylan. I'm getting carried away here. I love this thread  ;D

Other Bands / Re: HYDE
« on: February 09, 2019, 09:15:02 PM »
I confess that I hadn't properly listened to Zipang yet. A few thoughts on it:

1) Hyde's voice really is incredible. I think he's hands down one of the best singers in the current Jrock scene. There's something really powerful and enthralling about his voice and this single brought me back to my teens and reminded me of what drove me to listen to L'arc~en~ciel in the first place, considering I'm usually more into metal.
2) Yoshiki's presence in the song and videoclip adds depth to it and for once he didn't make it all about himself, which was nice to listen to and watch. The piano bit is really good.
3) I have mixed feelings about the videoclip. It has some really ineteresting scenes, but I think Hyde's bodhisattva (?) styling looked kind of cheap and is overall of rather bad taste. Not entirely sure why, though.
4) Overall a really interesting song. I definitely prefer this one over Red Swan. I couldn't find a translation of the lyrics, but I'd love to know what it is about.

Pata / Re: Pata Translation
« on: January 31, 2019, 09:08:45 AM »
"This is a phonecall from a guy who stutters"  ;D

Thank you for the correction.

Not a correction at all, your version was totally correct, just stressing how funny this part is  ;D

Yoshiki / Re: Yoshiki talks (181004)
« on: January 31, 2019, 09:07:58 AM »
That's what I understood, he's at a hotel but the leather bed is his.   8)

Pata / Re: Pata Translation
« on: January 29, 2019, 07:28:03 PM »
"This is a phonecall from a guy who stutters"  ;D

Yoshiki / Re: Yoshiki talks (181004)
« on: January 29, 2019, 07:26:07 PM »
This is great! Thank you so luch for this translation, Lakeisle!

Yoshiki : That is my bed.

MC : Ah!

Yoshiki : Am I not allowed to reveal it? That's my bed.

MC : I thought it was a hotel.

Yoshiki : I can't talk about it in detail, but that is my bed. That's all my personal belonging. Even if it's a hotel, that's my bed, a leather bed. Since those are my futon and my bed... I'm the only one who can scold.

Pfffffffffft  ;D Is he not allowed to reveal that it's his bed? Oh, and "I can't talk about it in detail".

'ts okay, man. We grok that you party hard. Also, the poor guy who has to carry his bed around wherever he goes.

Offtopic / Re: X JAPAN minus the X: a review
« on: January 28, 2019, 10:21:33 AM »
Thanks guys, glad you enjoyed it!  8)

Geez, don't take this seriously, though. I visited lots of amazing places that were NOT massive freak hubs (nope, not everyone in Japan is a total perv obsessed with AKB48 and stuffed cats). I picked the weird bits for the sake of lolz.

Need to work on that concert review though. It's gonna be a fun one too.

Offtopic / X JAPAN minus the X: a review
« on: January 25, 2019, 04:30:36 PM »
Last December I took the leap and finally decided to visit Japan. And I had a lot of thoughts about it, so here’s 10 things that might be funny, odd, unusual, uncanny or just plain weird about the empire of the rising sun. Enjoy the read!

1. Porn is everywhere!

Say, you can’t sleep and you desperately need a rice ball at 4 in the morning. No worries, my bud, Japan has your back. Many convenience stores in Japan are open 24/7 and their mild-mannered, excessively courteous employees are more than happy to satisfy your fuck o’clock delicatessen cravings. So off you go to the 7-Eleven across the street, but the last thing you expect to find at 4 am on a weekday is a little crowd (3 is a crowd, right?) lurking by the magazine shelves. Do the Japanese have the compulsion to check the next day’s news in the wee hours of the morning and is it strong enough to make them leave their warm, cozy futons? Nope, they’re there for the porn. A whole, 3 shelf-wide selection of porn magazines with something for everyone’s taste.

A nice stash of kinky stuff at 7-Eleven. Tied shut with ribbon so they make sure you buy them before you take a peek at the good stuff.
Image source: Wikipedia

Airbrushed asian models wearing circle contacts to make them look like creepy child-like dolls? Check. Boobs the size of ripe watermelons? Check. Animated characters with furry tails and cat ears? Check. Porn is super popular in Japan. Way more popular than rice balls and Pokemon. You can’t walk two blocks in any popular Tokyo district without being hit in the face by something flagrantly and unequivocally sexual. Hentai, maid cafés, scantily clad action figures, adult movie theaters, love hotels, you name it.

The perfect Japanese wife.
Image Source: Aliexpress

But if sexuality is as ubiquitous as it seems, then are birth rates in Japan so low the government even decided to have employees go home an hour earlier just so they could… well, do the deed more often? The answer is far from simple. Sexuality is a multi-million yen industry in Japan, but it remains a male-oriented industry and in certain ways a fantasy as inaccessible as your dreams of dating an AKB48 member. Japanese men spend scandalous amounts of yen to feed their own fantasies of screwing a big-bosomed animated character, except animated characters only exist in the ether. They gang up with co-workers and go sit at overpriced maid cafés all evening, except you can’t touch the maids. They lurk around the local 7-Eleven buying cheeky magazines, but if a legitimately hot and available Japanese beauty was to walk by, they might not even raise their eyes.

Hentai books in Akihabara.
Image source: Postcards & Places

Does this sound sad to you? It might not be that bad if you’re a guy with some spare cash. Japan cannot comfort your lonely soul nor can it help you deal with your crippling social anxiety, but it has deployed everything in existence to make you forget about it. The Japanese have even coined a term for that: grass-eater men (草食(系)男子), or dudes who are far too busy absorbing virtual sex to even be interested in actual sex at all. But what if you’re a woman? Which brings us to the next point.

2. Boys and Girls Don’t Mix
Can men and women be friends? Armchair philosophers love to ask themselves this age-old question. Gender segregation in school is still a thing in some parts of Europe, but if you walk past any teenage hotspot in the Old Continent (but hey, why would you, old fart?), you’ll notice that boys and girls mingle naturally and that most Westerners tend to have specimens of both genders in equal numbers on their friends lists. Not in Japan, though. If you’re a woman, you hang out with your girlfriends at the nearest shopping centre or bubble tea café. You spend your hard-earned yen on circle contacts to make your eyes look weird, or on odd devices to stretch your face muscles. If you’re extra daring, you go to a cool music hub like Tower Records and ask for a bento with your favourite #prettyboi idol’s face carved on your bento (which will set you back about $50, but whatever makes you happy). Do Japanese girls even put their doe eyes and cherry-chapped lips to good use? Not much. A whooping 59% of women in the 16-19 age range stated that they had no interested in having sex with real-life guys, according to a 2011 poll.

The face of a popular musician carved on seaweed on a bento.
Image source: q.j_mom on Instagram

3. The Arcade Phenomenon or the Boys Playground

My hotel happened to be just down the road from Akihabara. For the non-initiated, Akihabara is otaku heaven. Manga! Anime! Figurines! Maid cafés! Cosplay! Sega arcades!  Endless towers hiding humongous shopping centers where you can buy the most useless crap this planet has to offer! Neverending lines of people waiting to meet their favourite AKB48 member! If you want to live in a virtual universe full of servile beauties with soft voices and gravity-defying curves, or if you feel like you could totally waste your life away playing video games and munching on strawberry-flavoured Kit-Kats, then welcome home. Walking through Akihabara is a little bit like entering a parallel universe where millions of little men in white shirts spend their days furiously tugging at joysticks and PlayStation controllers while their avatars fight, dance, screw, play the guitar or simply live their lives while their unsuspecting players miss out on theirs. And as we pointed out, the blokes who hit the arcade with the same kind of enthusiasm an alcoholic Irish grandpa hits the local Irish pub are lowkey allergic to the XX chromosome. I bet you get a free Pocky if you spot more than three women in the entire 8-floor building during the testosterone peak hours. The chicks on the AKB48 posters don’t count. Which brings us to…

Japanese dudes doing a great job at protecting their virginity.
Source: Flickr

4. What the hell is AKB48?

Not to be confused with AK-69, Toshi’s rapper friend. Can you even explain modern Japan without first explaining AKB48? You can’t. AKB48 is the elephant in the room. Long story short - one day in the early 2000s a Yakuza dude thought: how can I make a shitload of money off of young, sexless and horny Japanese folks who still believe in unicorns? He soon had a genius idea. He recruited a ton of young, pretty, docile and submissive girls, clad them in schoolgirl outfits, made them sing, dance and entertain. A magic recipe that has stood the test of time. So what’s so unusual about just another idol group that sells imaginary sex? The guy recruited so many of them, there’s always some AKB48 available to greet the average otaku at Japan’s most average otaku hotspots. And don’t worry, when there’s no more AKB48 left, they recruit some MOAR AKB48! And just a side note: AKB48 are not allowed to date, smoke, drink, go clubbing, have social media accounts, get tattoos, sun tans, new haircuts or develop a personality at all. When they hit 30, they “graduate”, a funny metaphor for getting the sack. And if they cross the line, that counts as “graduation” too. Example, that one kid who got the sack because someone leaked a purikura of her and her boyfriend. And that one other who shaved her head and filmed a tearful Youtube video apologising for the fact that tabloids reported that she had a boyfriend (omg! capital sin! behead her!).

In Japan, dating is bad thing. 
Image source: Google

Oh, and fun fact? AKB48 are mostly underage girls who sing bubbly, light-hearted songs about school, love and their friends. You’d expect their fans to be somewhere in their age range. But wrong you are, you rookie Padawan. I walked by their theatre during their evening show on a weekday and I swear a good bunch of fans were well into their fifties, if not sixties. And judging by the way they anxiously elbowed each other when the doors opened, they were not there with their kids. Another fun fact? AKB48 are not allowed to have boyfriends or lovers but their photoshoots are frequently featured on the Weekly Playboy (a Japanese porn mag not affiliated with Hugh Heffner’s Playboy). It’s a strange world, huh.

AKB48 selling sexy to to sexless guys while being sexless in the land of sexlessness.
Image source: AKB48

5. Maid Cafés and Host Cafés are a thing

I skipped the maid café thing altogether because I’m too cool for mainstream stuff they’re so ubiquitous. There sure are high-profile maid cafés worth the detour, but since I didn’t want to break the bank, I chose the maid café’s aspiring third cousin, the host club. A host club is supposedly just that - a bar where cute guys serve their female clientele with pomp and pageantry. Except it’s not just that. Host cafés are all about delusions, competition and milking uncommitted, slightly cyprian ladies of as many yen bills as they possibly can. And they’re willing to go great lengths for that.

A host accessing how many yen bills he’ll make you spend.
Image source: Tokyo Creative

For starters, you’ve got a ranking of the hosts outside - the café I picked in Shibuya had 10 waiters, ranked #1 to #10. Number 1 is the guy who’s better at making ladies order far more cocktails and delicatessen that they can stomach. As I walked in I was informed that I was allowed to buy the hosts drinks if I wanted to chat with them longer and that I would have to pay an extra fee to be served exclusively by my favourite host. Fine, I picked one randomly and went to sit at the back with a guy whose hair was so fried from bad dye jobs and straightening irons it made him look like a your average aspiring visual kei it-boy. The guy informed me, using a mix of broken English and sign language, that if I also ordered a side dish, he would give me a hand massage. Wait. What. You read that right. Side dish = free hand massage. What happens if I ordered everything on the menu? Bad luck, I’m too poor to find out.

Monthly ranking of hosts outside a host club for the world to see.
Source: SCMP.com

The hand massage was nice and it was fun to watch my host pretend to sip his wine - hosts are not allowed to get drunk - but otherwise the experience was quite uneventful. But hey, since we’re here, let me tell you another odd thing. The host café business is actually so huge they have celebrity hosts. Japan’s most famous host is a guy called Roland, a.k.a the guy who milks the most ladies of the most yen bills. Roland is, for a lack of a better description, an amalgamation of a really jacked body with the head of an animated character with spaghetti hair. I don’t know why Jap chicks dig that either, but he makes six figures and gets editorial spreads in every single fashion magazine, every week. Guess we should all learn business from Roland.

Roland, Japan’s no. 1 host
Source: a shit-ton of Photoshop

6. Your backside has never been this clean

But hey, Japan is not just an alien, sexless country. They have some awesome stuff too. So why don’t we start with the one thing that all of us a humans have in common: POOP! According to a Japanese study conducted in 2018, 100% of humans poop and 90% of those who poop would rather poop on a really clean throne. So what did the Japanese do? They invented smart toilets, y’all! It’s not just a urban legend - 90% of all Japanese toilets come with that awesome seat-heating and butt-rinsing function. Note that this applies even to railway stations in the deepest of rural Japan. Now, why is this such a big deal for me? Ever been to a public toilet in France? Good luck, mate.

It rinses your butt! Dries your butt! Warms your entire butt! Plays music while you poop!
Image source: China Daily


So by now we’ve had our sense flooded by porn, we’ve hung out at XY-chromosome-only arcades, flipped through Hentai magazines at 7-Eleven, watched Japan go crazy for a bunch of girls in schoolgirl outfits and won a free hand massage from a random dude. Can things get any weirder? Sure. How about going to the famous Hakone hot springs with a bunch of co-workers… naked?

"Let's talk about work, Hitomi?"
Image source: Teplis Travel

In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept of onsens, they’re bath houses with super steamy hot pools where people supposedly go to relax. Like in many saunas across the world, from Sweden to the Middle East, you’re supposed to go in naked. No bathing suit allowed. It took me a while to find a bath house in the Hakone area that accepted people with tattoos (note than in Japan tattoos are associated with the Yakuza and are generally considered “dirty” or a sign that you’re into some really fucked up shit). But don’t you fret, it was fairly easy to find and no one gave a damn about my awesome inkz. So eyeing the empty onsen, yours truly sheds the yukata and gets into the water praying no one will come in and judge her for having the body of a couch potato who lives on a diet of frozen pizza. Ten minutes later and just as I’m about to tick this one off my bucket list, a group of about ten women walk into the room and settle together at the far end of the pool. My Japanese being very basic, all I could understand was that the said ladies were co-workers on some sort of company trip and they were sitting there talking about...work. Naked. Thumbs up if you dream of chilling with Bob the IT guy, Rob the accountant and Slob the sales rep in an onsen... naked. Yeah man, that’s weird. 

(In)famous musician Gackt at an onsen with friends… naked.
Image source: Gackt’s Instagram

8. The rule of kawaii

You know why Japan is dealing with a huge economic crisis? Because the Japanese spend all their cash on useless crap. And just to be clear, I mean useless kawaii crap. Stuffed animals! Scented stationery! Lolita outfits! Stickers! Bunnies! Unicorns! Alpacas! Yey! There goes your paycheck, but if you have to starve anyway, better starve under a pile of kawaii crap, right? Eugh, wrong. I guess no one can deny that the Japanese have a peculiar penchant, not to say a full-blown weird fetish, for juvenile paraphernalia. Grown-ass women spend a good portion of their waking hours practising their babytalk and naive allure in the mirror. This includes frantically buying all kinds of odd devices to stretch your face muscles, blur out imperfections and make the eyes look bigger and more baby-like. If in the West women are supposed to be forever 21, in Japan they’re supposed to be forever 6. And to be frank both standards are equally disturbing, but the Japs take the cake here. You can’t walk one yard in Shinjuku, Akihabara or Shibuya without headbutting into some sort of purikura photo booth, plushie vending machine, bystander in lolita attire or cartoon-like candy shop. I might not be entirely off the mark if I say that the kawaii industry clearly outperforms the car and tech industries over there. Everybody. is. wasting. money. on. stuffed. freaking. cats.

Women in Akihabara spending their hard-earned yen on stuff originally designed for six year olds.
Image source: Airbnb

9. Sleeping on public transport is a thing

No, by sleeping I don’t mean closing your eyes for a few minutes while you convey satisfyingly vivid images of your boss rotting in hell. By sleeping, I mean slumping on your seat and going into full-on REM-action. Who cares if you snore, drool and end up leaning on whoever’s sitting next to you - they’re probably asleep too! And that’s how it happens in Japan. I was very amused and mildly shocked when I saw a young lady fast asleep on the metro from Shibuya to Ueno. She sat by a window, leaned back against it and began to snooze without a care in the world. If you did this in Paris, by the time you woke up your phone would be gone and there would be a creepy guy hovering over you  trying to stick random body parts of his into random orifices of yours. But not in Japan. In Japan not only it is normal to snooze on the go, you’re even allowed to fall asleep on whoever’s sitting next to you. I think I never saw so many people falling asleep on unsuspecting strangers (who might also be asleep themselves). Two people fell asleep on me on separate occasions. Both fell sideways into my shoulder, snored, then roused and got up without a word. Hey… hope you enjoyed your gaijin cushion?

“I think I’m just gonna take a quick nap, Kiyoshi, that 7pm meeting totally wrecked me”.
Image source: presumably Kiyoshi, employee of the month

10. I’m not ready, honey, I want to wait until marriage beer

They’re incredibly polite, they work long hours, they don’t hang out with the opposite sex, their only passions are arcade games and AKB48 and they’re into some hardcore zen buddhism mind-numbing chill pills. So do the Japs ever get rowdy? Like, really loud and boisterous and inappropriate and whatnot? Yes, they do. But it takes some liquid courage. Veer off the most scenic routes and off the beaten track, search for the hidden basement clubs and offbeat bars in Mitaka, on the last floor of a nondescript high tower in Taito, dare to enter the shady pubs on a gloomy Yokosuka street and you’ll find them. And it’s a little bit like seeing the ugly face of Japanese society without the skin blurring filter, the kawaii fluff, the lolita ruffles and the gleeful solicitude. These are the guys who work 16+ hours a day, the guys who fall asleep on public transport because they don’t sleep at night, the guys who desperately want to succeed and hang themselves when they fail, the guys who spent so much time learning maths they forgot to learn how to interact with other humans and so they resort to maid cafés and cuddle cafés to get a taste of the intimacy they crave but can’t get and so on and so on.

Drunk dude. Good luck riding that hungover.
Image source: Lee Chapman

You can only bottle up so much before cracks begin to show in your steely composure. Or until you feel like getting shitfaced is the only way to dodge The System and the robotic grip it has on you. And so you hit the saké bottle like there’s no tomorrow. Give those uptight businessmen some shochu and their subservient female counterparts some tequila and you’ll see what happens. They get loud. They tell jokes. They shriek hysterically. They shout random stuff in English across the bar to the casual gaijin bystander. But is Japan still worth it? Yes, definitely. 10/10. Will do it again.


Coming up next: I went to a concert in Japan and it was weird so I wrote some stuff about it.

General chat / Re: RIP X JAPAN
« on: January 22, 2019, 02:47:58 PM »
Returner, it was a friendly reminder for the entire community, but mostly for you indeed. The lines I mentioned above were copied from comments you made on the Forum and on the chatroom last week. I brought this to your attention by PM, but if I may, let me remind you again. Those are not nice things to say and they add nothing to the debate.

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