A Nod to the Goo Goo Dolls? -UPDATED-

So much for the hiatus eh? ^_^;

As I was taking a stroll down memory lane watching the video to the Goo Goo Dolls’ 1995 hit “Name,” I couldn’t help but feel that I’d seen that bus station somewhere before.

iTunes will tell everyone the song's name.

Replace good ol’ Johnny Rzeznik there with GACKT, and what have you got?  The video to the latter’s 2000 song “Secret Garden.”

Same place? Only the flooring and cushioning on the chairs seems different.

Maybe this is old hat and it’s widely known, but it was a surprise to me.  I tried Googling about it and the only thing that came up was someone’s Sims in-game GACKT, who someone else said reminded them of the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls.

If I remember correctly, “Secret Garden” was filmed somewhere in the States, so it’s possible that it’s the same bus depot as was used in the Goo Goo Dolls’ song.  Maybe it’s even a famous station and I just don’t know it.  Anyway, if it were just that it wouldn’t have made much of an impression on me, but the whole vid itself is very similar to that for “Name.”  Well, except for the fact that all of the characters that appear in “Name” are portrayed sympathetically, unlike some of the stereotypical portrayals in “Secret Garden.” (^_^;;;)

UPDATE (February 21, 2011): When a friend of mine from L.A. saw the video to “Secret Garden,” she was like, “Ohmygod! Is that Union Station?!”

So it would seem this is Union Station in Los Angeles, California.  Here’s a picture of its waiting room from the station’s Wikipedia article:

This has gotta be it!

Also, I found this article from the LA Times that says that “Name” was filmed in various L.A. locales, and now that I’ve got my copy of GACKT’s Greatest Filmography RED with me, I’ve confirmed that “Secret Garden” was shot in L.A.

Mystery solved! *Victory Fanfare*

Well, I’ll go ahead and put the two vids here.  And with this, I go back to studying!


A Student in GACKT’s School

Ahhhh, I spent about an hour letting my mind roam, but then it turned into a rant, and nothing will come of it, so I’ll just break my hiatus to give brief thoughts on the November 6th Gakuensai in Kobe.

The “Fu-fu-fukinasai” was awesome. It was very interesting to see everyone’s seifuku.  I had really been worried about it, thinking they would be strict, but I don’t think they even really cared all that much.  My friend was wearing a black tie; the YFC tie but it was tucked in, and she had no problem.  I was also worried about the whole “people who didn’t win the tickets can only go with someone who bought the tickets,” but apparently they didn’t really check that either.  I thought I’d have to go get processed, then go with my friends to do their “school admission,” but one of my friends even finished the procedure before me, no questions asked.

I guess that's supposed to be a stamp of GACKT as Nemuri, but it reminded me of Jenova SYNTHESIS. ^_^;

Behind me sat a young man who looked very similar to GACKT, only shorter.  I did a double take when I first saw him!  I didn’t want to stare, even though someone who bothers getting GACKT’s accessories and the blue contacts probably wants it, but…well, at the same time it’s kinda weird.  I thought it would be interesting to take a picture with him; indeed, the woman next to me asked him if she could take a photo with him, but I still felt like it was wrong to want to socialize with someone not for who they are but because they bear a resemblance to a rock star.

What can I say?  I’m the most idealistic jaded person ever. ^o^;;;

There were guys in tough-guy ouendan outfits that looked like they stepped out of Crows Zero.  Mmm, though I don’t think there’s an ouendan in that movie.  They’re too busy beating the crap outta each other.

*Ahem* ANYWAY…I won’t post the pictures of myself with the cardboard GACKT cutouts on this blog.  It’s bad enough I put one on Facebook, but I restrict who I’m friends with on there and should probably do a Purge of the friends list now that such an embarrassing image is up there. XD  But, I figured, if GACKT can have his bandmates make fun of his “EVER” jazz hands for a good five minutes, then I can put up a silly picture of myself daydreaming at Cardboard GACKT’s side.

The first half of the event was all about setting up the mock school atmosphere.  It was really funny to me to see the serious assemblies turned on their heads.  At the school I work at, students get bopped on the head if they’re caught nodding off at these various ceremonies (終業式、修了式、etc.) but I really can’t blame them.  The principal’s speech is usually interesting, what I can understand of it anyway, but it’s still a 20-minute speech; and if for me, sitting in a chair, it feels like forever, I can imagine what torture it is for the sleep-deprived kids sitting on the floor.

Of course, the quirky kyoutou-sensei and kouchou-sensei of the Camui Gakuen are nothing like real-life vice-principals and principals.  Well, I assume so. ^o^  I didn’t get what was funny about everything they said, but just seeing them was a hoot.  The kyoutou with his funny little skip step, and the kouchou with his single thread of hair.

What followed was sort of like something you’d see at a bunkasai (Culture Festival).  One of the presentations was a dance battle between YOU’s team and Jun-ji’s team.  As interesting as the robot dance of the former was, I could get into the latter’s performance more easily.  The audience had to pick a winner by giving their preferred candidate applause, but Jun-ji said the result “wasn’t clear” (though I thought it was clearly in YOU’s favor) so he walked down the center aisle to find a “fair judge.”  I had my hand up, but since I would’ve picked Jun-ji’s team and then been murdered by all the YOU fans I put my hand down, but I think I made eye-contact with him as he walked down!

I thought the remixes of GACKT’s songs that were used for the dance battle were HYPE!  They need to make that a CD so I can bump ’em and scare the neighbors! >o<

During the break, I realized I was an idiot because earlier in the day I’d bought meal tickets only to use for right then and there.  I had read a report about there being a break time, but I wasn’t really aware of how long the whole thing was gonna be. I didn’t see the booth selling meal tickets, so instead I just went to the train station to look for a conbini, but to my surprise there wasn’t one, at least not outside the gate.  I settled with buying a milk tea from a vending machine and went back to the hall.  Once inside, I asked some girls what the lines were for since I wasn’t exactly sure, and upon confirming that it was so that the Fuku-i-i-nchou could “collect smiles” I got in the queue. From far away I gestured over to one of my friends and she came to get in line with me.

Then came the music portion.  I wasn’t sure how this covers thing was gonna go, but GACKT in his infinite wisdom told the audience, to translate the attitude if not the words, don’t be complaining “But I don’t know this song!”; just Google it!  I only knew three of the songs beforehand (“Linda Linda,” “READY STEADY GO,” and “The Next Decade,” of course) but I definitely dug the cover of “Yuki no Hana” and “Kona Yuki.” I was surprised, but Jun-ji can SANG.  (No, that’s not a typo.  He can SANG. ^o^)  I didn’t care much for Cha-cha’s vocals in the X Japan songs.

Ohhhhh myyyyy godddd, the X Japan songs.

There was a whole Hana Yori Dango running gag in this.  Besides the “F9” bit, the “Teen of Japan” turned into “Super Excellent Student Japan,” which somehow gets abbreviated to S.E.X. Japan.  ^o^;  The voiced-over conversations of the Student Council, especially how Fukukaichou Jun-ji kept messing up with the abbreviation (“Sure, I know what it stands for! Super Sex Excellent Sex High School Sex in Japan!!!”) were HI-larious.  Well, my friends and I thought so anyway.  The people around us didn’t seem particularly amused.  Maybe they’re just more mature.  I can’t imagine they didn’t get the joke...what am I saying?  No one knows any English other than “this is a pen” and “I’m fine thank you and you?”

</ALT Humor>

Oh, and for the last song, GACKT was totally rocking a Doumyouji hairstyle. XDD  If it weren’t for one of my friends being really into Matsujun, I would’ve never watched Hana Yori Dango, and I would’ve never gotten all these gags.

All in all, a wonderful experience.  I wish there were a Gakuen show in Kyuushuu!  The Student ID has two slots for Kyuushuu shows, but I guess those were last year…or will there be more Gakuen shows in spring? In any case, my friends and I didn’t even get to see Kobe.  After the show, we just had under two hours to get dinner and hop on the shinkansen back home.  Given the short notice of these shows, it’s hard to make room in one’s schedule for a proper outing, unless the show just happens to fall at a convenient time.  For me and my friends, it was pretty inconvenient; all we could do was go to the show and go back home.  I feel a bit bad about not accompanying my kids to the Prefectural Debate Competition even though my presence wasn’t particularly necessary and my co-ALT did go with them.  Still, I’m really glad I went. ^o^

My hauls! (The plastic YFC bag has proven incredibly useful for chucking omiyage in. When you have to get enough goodies for a high school faculty, such a sack really helps out. Especially when every time you get back home from a trip, it decides to rain.)

Have an unrelated, poorly-taken photo of the inside of the shinkansen Nozomi.  I was trying to get the ad for the Kyuushuu Shinkansen, which will open in March 2011.  Currently, the shinkansen only comes down as far as Hakata.  Also, the inside of a shinkansen looks like an airplane, which for some reason amuses me.  (It’s been a while since I rode the shinkansen, LOL.)

It's coming! Dun dun dun!