Well, with just three photos perhaps “unboxing” is a bit grandiose. ^o^
Anyway, I popped into Tower Records before Japanese class as is my wont to pick up this week’s GACKT release: RE:BORN. The regular edition comes with 2 CDs; one is a drama CD, and the other compiles the songs from GACKT’s 4 anniversary singles + the GHOST single for a total of 13 songs. First, the pretty pictures, then, a more in-depth review. Click the pictures for the full size!
So, I admit I was a bit mad at GACKT for pulling his “a slew of singles instead of an album” stunt. Now that he’s released this compilation, I can forgive him a little, though I figure anyone that actually bought all the singles might be a bit ticked off if they aren’t the obsessive collector type. Luckily, I had only bought 8 tracks from the iTunes Store, so now I can have all of them.
The drama is called REBIRTH TO RE:BORN “ZERO’S MAIL”. If you don’t understand Japanese at all, I can’t recommend making the 3800 yen investment just for it. However, if you’re learning Japanese, I think it is an AWESOME thing to have, because get this: they talk RELATIVELY SLOWLY! I’m listening to it as I type this, and can understand a good portion of it. I transcribed the sentence it happened to be on when I got to typing this, near the end of Track 11, to give a small sample of the level of the language used on this CD (I’m not sure about the part in gray):
Of course, there are also much easier parts, stuff like 「死なないで！」、「あなたを忘れはしない」and, well, non-word things like crying and gasping. I’d never listened to a drama CD before, and radio dramas were a little before my time, so I was dubious about how enjoyable it would be, but it’s actually pretty good! Besides the acting and sound effects, there’s music, both new music and previous GACKT songs, including at least one from outside the Requiem et Reminiscence arc (“Saikai~Story~”). It’s kinda funny for me to hear them yelling out “Maria! Maria!” because I can’t help but think of novelas. ^o^ (Oh Lawrd if GACKT acted in a novela! ROTFL!)
The liner notes, while obviously not the comprehensive telling of the world of ЯR that went with the DEARS version of RE:BORN, does give some details into the story. There’s a page of short profiles of the main characters. At first I was a little WTF?! over the German, but I think I got it. (“Ein voller Name” is some sort of name, and I’m guessing “heimatstadt” means “home country” or “home state.” Any of you random readers know German?) There’s also a page with a timeline of the story, starting in July of 1913 and ending in April 1945. The rest of the liner notes are taken up by the lyrics. There are only two photos inside.
The only other thing is the 13 songs, but since those have all been out for a while, I don’t think I really need to say much about them. I think this is a good album to have if you’re a big GACKT fan and you didn’t already buy all of the singles. I think if I had already bought all of the songs, I wouldn’t have bought RE:BORN. Sure, the drama CD’s nice, but…I’m not gonna listen to it over and over like the songs, nor do the drama in karaoke. (Wouldn’t that be funny though?! ^o^)
EDIT: There are some small differences between the tracks as presented on RE:BORN and those in the single releases that were put on sale in the U.S. iTunes Music Store. It could be that these versions had already been released in some other version of these singles. So, I will talk about the differences between the RE:BORN versions and the iTMS single versions.
Some tracks are a few seconds longer, with different intros and outros, on either of the releases. For example, the single version of “BLUE LAGOONー深海ー” has a 10 second intro of beeps and chirps before the guitars come in, whereas the version on RE:BORN starts straight off with the guitars. I assume that all the songs marked with “-ЯRII-” on RE:BORN are different from their single versions; I assume the RE:BORN versions are the way these songs were performed in concert. While I can’t confirm it for all songs marked thus, the difference between the single and RE:BORN version of “JESUS” isn’t that big; the ЯRII version has a 30 second outro of various guitar and drum nuttiness. The difference is quite noticeable, however, on “FLOWER”: the ЯRII version on RE:BORN has a 50 second intro the single version does not, consisting mostly of GACKT doing a voice-over, so to speak. [End of EDIT]
Anyway, I hope this review has been helpful. I’d like to end on the same note GACKT ends the drama. It’s not a spoiler for the story, but I thought it wrapped up all the shooting I just heard pretty nicely:
I pray from my heart that a peace without wars will someday come to this world.