Yes I Too Have Osaekirezu ni Aishitsuzuketad

Was thinking about this question of why GACKT used kanji+katakana instead of kanji+hiragana and since I’d seen the video relatively recently it occurred to me that since this arc of the MOON SAGA takes place in Europe, it could be that he did that to show that the character singing isn’t one of the Japanese originators of vampires but rather a European one. Because the other use for katakana besides emphasis or historical uses is to show that a) a non-Japanese character in a work of fiction is speaking Japanese for the benefit of the Japanese audience but within the story line should be understood to actually be speaking whatever language would be appropriate; or b) to show that a non-Japanese person is speaking Japanese (regardless of whether they’re speaking it well or not—kinda the same way that sometimes American TV shows put captions on people speaking English if they have an accent even if it’s not heavy). In these cases it is more common to write everything in katakana, but mixing in kanji isn’t unheard of either. Sasazuka Elise comes to mind.

Personally I prefer to think he did it for emphasis because unrequited or otherwise unfulfilled love is a particularly strong and sucky emotion, and because I find the practice of writing what non-Japanese say in katakana discriminatory (though I can cut Usage A some slack). But given that GACKT’s always talking about how each song portrays a character, I think the possibility that he meant for this to be a non-Japanese character’s song is also possible.

There’s one other thing I’ve wondered about this song, and that’s the weird beep at 3:40, right behind GACKT’s vocals as he’s singing “kimi no na wo.” I hear it on the CD and on MP3 and AAC rips of this track. It sounds very similar to one of the beeping noises the old iMac G3 had. It was one of the sounds you could use as an alert. There’s at least one other instance of a Mac sound in GACKT songs in weird places, namely at 2:37 of “Kimi ga Matteiru Kara.” I had that chime noise set to announce the quarter hour on the old family iMac. I’m pretty sure there was one more song with one of these sounds, but alas, I’d written these observations into the comments section of iTunes on my now-dead MacBook Pro. I’ll try to remind myself to write things down next time I hear these beeps & chimes.


Neener Neener, My Culture’s Older Therefore More Valider Than Yours

I can’t sleep. I think it’s because I didn’t drink enough caffeine today. Whatever the cause of this insomnia, rather than toss and turn, I picked up GACKTIONARY. To be honest I’ve never read the whole thing. When I pick it up, I usually read the headings and let that determine if I’ll read the rest. There’s some good stuff in there, but there are also things I don’t agree with. And usually, I leave it at that. But it really annoys me when GACKT asserts as facts things that he has no qualifications to say. Take this passage from entry #32:


It’s often said that Japanese people’s mannerisms are very passive, and Westerners’ gestures are very big, right? If you ask, “why is it that Westerners use such large gestures?”, the reason is simple. Why do those people living in America use such large gestures? It’s simple. It’s because, in short, compared to our language, English has few expressions which are grammatically specific as masculine speech or feminine speech. They can do nothing but express that through gestures and mannerisms. So, they express femininity through their bodies. Their bodies speak with them. Body language is necessary because their words are lacking. But from the start, we’ve had something that could be sufficient for everything through words alone, which is why we could express things through just the beauty of our words without the need to move our hands.

Perhaps I should’ve started off by saying that this entry is about how he likes for women to speak “properly” or “beautifully,” which to him means “like a woman should.” Ignoring the issues of restrictive gender roles and the fact that no one ever said the sole purpose of gestures was to constantly be slapping people over the head with gender expression (since you can’t see my gestures, let me tell you since apparently it’s crucial that you constantly be reminded of this, but I’M A WOMAN! </sarcasm>), what bothered me about this was the Japanese Exceptionalism (better known as Nihonjinron). Whereas I as a biased Westerner would say that gestures enrich our communication, perhaps GACKT as a biased Japanese sees this feature of English through a lens of deficiency stemming from Nihonjinron: English has X. But Japanese doesn’t have X. There’s no way any language can have something over Japanese, so there must be something wrong with English that requires the use of X.

GACKT has never (as far as I know) lived in a Western country. If he had, he would know that what most Japanese people are taught in schools about gestures is exaggerated; furthermore he would be aware that despite the fact that he can communicate to some extent in English, he is nowhere near fluent, thus he would kindly refrain from educating people about a topic he can’t really instruct them on. How could someone who doesn’t know the difference between calling your S.O. “baby” and calling a mass of people “babies,” or the huge semantic difference between a sentence-final “anyway” and the same word at the beginning of a sentence, think that he knows the nuances of what makes gendered speech in English, or even how much of it exists? GACKT has come a long way in his English expression ability, but realistically it doesn’t take that much to communicate. Babies do it without using words at all. Let’s see newborns get Holier Than Thou about that!

As for the gestures, I think Western gestures aren’t as big as most Japanese people apparently imagine them to be. As a Westerner who had the privilege of judging middle school English recitation contests in Fukuoka, I saw that children were trained to gesture through speeches to the point it went from oratory to mime. Nobody delivers a speech like that! Watch J.K. Rowling’s Harvard speech, which was used for the prefectural high school speech contest in 2011, and you’ll notice that she doesn’t even use her hands; she speaks with her eyes. When comedians do impressions of Obama or Bill Clinton or other modern politicians, they do that thumb pointing thing, and we can immediately recognize it as a politician’s gesture because most people don’t move their hands that way when talking. The mime thing isn’t as bad at the high school level (at least, it wasn’t in my experience), but the tendency for Japanese Teachers of English to tell students that they have to gesture is still there, but they don’t offer concrete examples of how to go about doing that in a way that’s natural for them and appropriate to the setting. Even in more casual social settings, which are likely more what GACKT was thinking of when he wrote this, you don’t have people turning to mime to express themselves, though some people certainly get more animated than others.

As far as traditional binary gender expressions go, I think most Americans are able to tell whether a person is a man or a woman from things like voice pitch, consistency of said pitch, number of words used, and certain vocabulary choices. In the traditional gender binary, I wouldn’t expect a man to walk into a room and greet his male friends with “Hey Guys!♪” in a singsongy voice; he might say it in an excited voice, but there wouldn’t be as much variation in the pitch within those two words as there would be were a woman saying the same thing to the same people. Grammatically, written Japanese can be vague about gender because it’s unnecessary to state the subject of a sentence in many occasions. (Side note: I wouldn’t want to leave out that saying that Japanese “omits” the subject is, potentially, viewing Japanese through a lens of deficiency. Maybe subjects don’t exist in Japanese!) So sure, “atashi” is the feminine “I” while “ore” is the masculine “I” in informal speech, sentence-final “wa” is a marker of feminine speech outside of certain dialects, and women are in general expected to be more polite. So let’s look at English. Sure, “I” is unisex, but in situations where Japanese would make no gender nor marital status distinctions by addressing people as Last Name-san, in English there’s Mr., Mrs., and Ms. Last Name. Women’s greater vocal pitch variation or the fact that they get associated with vocal fry despite the fact that men do it too is sort of like a “wa” at the end of a sentence. And in the Western world as well, women traditionally weren’t “ladylike” if they cussed or otherwise spoke rudely.

Those are just some examples, but if we put more on the scales, I think they’ll still even out. I don’t say “Such language has to do X because it’s deficient.” I say “X is a feature of such language because it is.”

I tend to refrain from saying “Japanese is such and such” and “Japan is this and that” because I know that four years in Japan is a very short time in terms of truly mastering a language and culture at the level a native speaker would. I know more than someone who’s never lived there, but I still tend to present my experiences with that caveat, because I think it’s important to say. Also, the suburbs of Fukuoka City are culturally not the same as Tokyo. Many non-Japanese in the blogosphere and vlogosphere talk about “In Japan” when really they should be saying “In the Tokyo metropolitan area.” Then there’s the issue of being in the global eye. I remember how that video was making the rounds during the World Cup (IIRC) of Japanese fans picking up after themselves in the stadium in Brazil even though they’d lost the game. “Japanese are so clean and respectful!” was the message. And they were in that instance, most definitely. But do all Japanese act like that at home, which is the implied message? I went to several baseball games in Fukuoka, where one of the features is that fans buy long balloons to blow up then release during the 7th inning stretch, and again at the end of the game if the home team wins. The balloons aren’t tied; the point is to have them fly around as they deflate, then they fall down unto the stands. Nobody picks them up. There would be spilled food and drinks on the stadium floor too. It was what you’d expect to see in a stadium. While there I thought, “See, Japanese are regular people too. They’re not these perfect stoic Zen drones, they make and leave messes.” Then that video was going around, and Japanese people who’d I gone to baseball games with were posting it on Facebook like “See how wonderful we Japanese are! ♡” and I was like “…So we’re just gonna act like Yahoo Dome isn’t always a filthy mess at the end of SoftBank Hawks games? Okay cool gotcha.”

Hahh, let’s see if I can sleep now. ^_^;

Videos in which GACKT…

Sits in a chair:

Secret Garden
Kimi no Tame ni Dekiru Koto
Juuni-gatsu no Love Song
Kimi ni Aitakute
No ni Saku Hana no You ni
PS I Love U

Sits in a chair and dies:


Dies outside of a  chair:

Kimi ga Oikaketa Yume
Returner ~Yami no Shuuen~

Dies outside of a chair but in a sitting position:

Tsuki no Uta
Until the Last Day

Dies la petite mort or pretends to do so:

Black Stone

Does not die but appears very hungry:


Goes down to Georgia:


Is an inspiration to little kids:

The Next Decade

Has red Kool-Aid raining on this blonde chick:


Wears a burlap sack:


Sits in an ear canal:

Arittake no Ai de

Gets you every time:

Love Letter


I could be wrong about some of these as I didn’t actually go through and watch them all again but I had a dadaistic compulsion to make this list.

Unagi no Gotoku

Message from GLEARS just came in like “The Kugustu ga Gotoku video is finally out!” and I’m sitting here watching it grinning from ear to ear because GACKT is robot dancing in an eboshi while an eel flies around on fire for no good reason.

Unagi no Gotoku

Granted if I actually look at the eel and not at all the almost popping and locking I can see that it’s a dragon. With like legs and stuff. But the association has already been made. It’s too late for me to go back. I’m reminded of all the times Gackt has joked about his grandfather saying that x animal looks delicious.

Not the kind of feast he was singing about. XD

Not the kind of feast he was singing about. Someone please go to Yoshizuka Unagi in Nakasu and eat this for me so I can live vicariously through your stomach.


Air Moon Update & The Night I Scanned All of the Things

Just a little update on my progress translating The Air Moon ~MOON PROJECT Document Book~: I have translated up to page 158 of 278, meaning I’m 57% done. Whew! I hope to get at least a couple more stops done while I’m on summer vacation, but once classes start back up and/or once I (hopefully) have to go in for training for a new job, the progress will go back to being erratic.

Anyway, you can find the Table of Contents for the translation here on my other blog.

In other news, recently my beloved 8-year old all-silver MacBook Pro died almost completely. It turns on but won’t boot up, I can’t even get it to start in safe mode. 😦 It wasn’t my main machine anymore and hadn’t been for the past 3 years, but it still made me sad. Perhaps that’s what prompted my Scan Party.

I have an old HP printer/scanner/copier that played nice with my laptops as far as printing, but the scanning software wasn’t compatible with the late MBP, much less the new(er) one. That’s why I’ve kept my 10-year old iMac around despite the fact that it’s practically useless on the internet and the screen has been dying a slow death for the past 5 years.

Still, the fact that this computer can still think after 10 years is impressive, isn't it?

Still, the fact that this computer can think after 10 years is impressive, isn’t it?

With my MBP brain dead I saw the writing on the wall more clearly than it has been. I figured I had to scan everything I wanted to scan NOW. For the most part, the Things I Wanted to Scan consisted of my extensive clear file collection. (Yes, I am a dork.) But as I was going through boxes to get at some of those, I came across several other amusing things. Such as:

I meant to send this to GACKT but never did.

Unfortunately, the artist did not write their name on the post card, so I have no way to credit them.

I don’t know if they’re still doing it, but when I lived in Fukuoka, there was an annual postcard exhibit and sale inside of the store InCube in Fukuoka Tenjin Station. All of the postcards featured were done by local artists from Fukuoka Prefecture. I found this one in either YFC’s first or second year, I don’t remember when exactly. The chicken’s speech bubble was empty and I knew I had to write in this line from the YFC “press conference.” I bought two so I could keep one and send the other to GACKT, but I never quite had the balls to do it, thinking he wouldn’t be as amused as I was.

Another thing I came across:

The CLAMP collab would have been so beautiful if it happened.

The CLAMP collab would have been so beautiful if it happened.

And this isn’t directly related to GACKT save for the fact that I went to Japan for the VISUALIVE, but since it pleases my inner train geek I’ll post it here anyway:

Peep the triple 7's yo!

Peep the triple 7’s yo!

When I exited JR Futsukaichi Station, I noticed that the balance on my IC card was 777. I wanted some way to commemorate this, and went to the card machine thinking I had seen the option 「履歴」(rireki “[personal] history”). I didn’t know you could print it out like this though, that was a nice surprise. This was actually the same IC card I’d had years ago, but now that you can use one region’s card all over the country, I figured it would be convenient to have so I took it along. 懐かしかった〜

Everything, Or, What Happens When My MP’s Approaching Zero

For the past few days I’ve had Kimi Dake no Boku de Iru Kara stuck in my head but now that’s been replaced by the 15 seconds of Hips Don’t Lie that Shark-ira dances to.

¡Si! ¡Si! This brings me so much joy. LMAO

A few weeks ago I was watching Initial D on Hulu. By the Fourth Stage the show gets so technical that I space out during the parts where they start talking about driving aspects beyond my understanding. Or I start cleaning the area around my desk during these parts. But then all of a sudden the show’s signature Eurobeat soundtrack was replaced by enka of all things and I started paying attention to this Magic Moment in Translation Awesomeness:

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I don’t know if Japanese cars today have this feature, but in Initial D when the main character goes at or above 100 kilometers per hour, the car makes this beeping noise in warning. I thought to myself, “How fast is 100 kph? Is it really so fast that you have to be warned about it?” And as I had bought a car that was originally intended for sale in Canada, the big numbers on the dash are in kph with mph in smaller numbers underneath.


But it wasn’t enough to just look at that and see that 100 kph is a little over 60 miles per hour, no. I thought, “Sixty mph isn’t really that fast, is it?” So I planned to see how just how fast it was the next time I got on an empty freeway.

I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t get my license until recently out of fear, but I didn’t mention that another thing I was afraid of was the speed demon that lives inside me. I imagine it must be a cute demon, kinda like the demon representing toe nail fungus in those old Lamisil commercials. (Don’t Google that if you don’t already know. Toe nail fungus is gross. It’s only the mascot that’s cute in an ugly way. Or ugly in a cute way.) Anyway the speed demon makes me want to go fast in all things. Especially if there’s music playing. So after seeing that 100 kph isn’t really that fast, and developing the habit of pushing it just a little more each time, one day I found myself feeling like my car was getting away from me. I looked down at the dashboard and realized I was doing 90. (That’s 140 kph for all the metric folks out there.) And this song was playing:

I took my foot off the accelerator like WHOA. But then what I was most surprised by was that it had been this song. It’s a good song, but it’s not even my favorite among the Initial D theme songs. (That honor goes to Blazin’ Beat.) I suppose it does have this nervous tension kinda like GACKT’s Birdcage to it, that may be what made me keep going. Well, it was also that everyone speeds on that section of that freeway. No one was in the left-most lanes, but the people in the right lanes were going pretty fast. In the left lane you have to go faster than them, right? Heh heh…

Black Sesame Soy Milk

I’m thinking of sending this photo to GACKT for OGYD’s birthday project. It’s not my first choice but in case that doesn’t work out it’ll be this one. It’s the only photo I took in Japan specifically with the LAST VISUALIVE merchandise. (I wasn’t gonna buy those cat paws & ears again, I took my set from Best of the Best with me!) I’m holding a box of black sesame soy milk, one of the things I was looking forward to having again. For some reason everywhere I looked in Tokyo and Fukuoka, it was nowhere to be found. Finally, I found it in the Sunkus next to my hotel in Sapporo as I was walking back from the Nitori Bunka Hall. Whew! Thank goodness.

While I was in Japan I was supposed to be working. That’s the beauty of being a freelancer, right? I had hours upon hours of sitting on planes and trains, so I figured I’d get lots done in all those vehicles and in the hotel in Sapporo (since I know nobody in Hokkaido). But I hadn’t taken into account that some trains *coff coff Hokkaido Shinkansen coff* wouldn’t have convenient big luggage compartments. At least, I didn’t see one neither in my car nor in the next one. So from Sapporo to Shin-Hakodate on the Hokuto Limited Express, with no one in the seat next to me, I got so much work done. But then on the shinkansen from Shin-Hakodate down to Tokyo, there was nowhere I could put my big international-travel suitcase but in the space between my knees and the seat in front of me. It was a very uncomfortable ride. No working in that situation. Then on some plane rides people kept reclining their friggin’ seat. So I could only open my laptop to about a 70-degree angle, which meant I could only see a small portion of the screen, significantly slowing me down. Slowness is death to a translator. All of this was double plus ungood. Normally I translate at an average rate of 1200 moji per hour when the source is digital, but considering how late I turned that one in, the client would probably never imagine it. Wump wump. No more mixing pleasure with business for me.

I can’t wait for this term to be over! At my university, Spring term is 8-weeks instead of 16 weeks like Fall and Winter. But the workload is the same. Which is fine in every discipline except ceramics. We’ve all decided to let the uni know that ceramics in Spring Term is so not good. Or at least, not with a Fall/Winter workload. Too much depends on things beyond our control. It’s not up to me to fire up the kiln. And they wanna do raku firings, which require good weather since it has to be done outdoors? Even more variables. This class has felt like a marathon.

And when I topple over the finish line, maybe I’ll get back to this:

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♪ Call me a tease? Brother please. You’re just having bad memories. ♪

♪ ¿Como se llama? ¡Si!

Bonita ¡Si!

Mi casa, su casa ♪

I don’t even care that ¡Si! isn’t a logical answer to the question “What’s your name?” XDD

Second Hokkaido LAST VISUALIVE

I ended up in Sapporo by myself after being unable to sell my second ticket. Considering I went to the first show with The Most Adorkable Human Being in the World this show felt lonely for me even though on a technical aspect it was probably better. The sound in the Nitori Bunka Center was superb, far better than that at the Fukuoka Sun Palace. Don’t know whether that was due to better acoustics in the building; a better sound system; immediate previous experience in the hall for the sound team with this being the second Sapporo show; something else entirely; or a combination of all of those things. This time I could feel the music pounding in my sternum; anything that doesn’t produce that sensation isn’t loud enough. I even had a little bit of ear ringing this time. (I’ve probably been killing my hearing with loud music, ahaha…)

The first thing that I noticed was different was that the text of the Oath of the Peach Garden now comes up on the screen, using the classical spelling(?) 違えど instead of 違うとも which is what I’ve been hearing GACKT say in the recorded version of “ARROW”. When I first heard the spoken part as warera umareta hi toki wa chigau to /mo warera onaji hi ni shinu koto wo negau I Googled it like that and came across the phrase spelled with chigaedo not chigau to mo, but I thought maybe GACKT was keeping things modern. Now I’m not entirely sure which one he’s saying. Also the last spoken part comes up as またきっと出逢えるさ (mata kitto dearu sa “Hey, we’re sure to meet again”).

For the Fukuoka show I forgot to mention how beautiful the little 1-minute interlude after “ZAN” that has this music box music is, but today I noticed it anew. Not just because I was hearing it again, but also because I was closer this time (13th row) so I could actually see the dry ice smoke making curlicues about GACKT in his Heian Era robes. Why is this song not on the album?! Well, I’m assuming it’s not. I had preordered the limited edition of LAST MOON from the GACKT Store Global but then they pushed back the release date so the album is waiting for me in the States while I’m here in Japan. orz But I digress.

I think I remember the order of things now. It’s:

  1. Intro video with flower, narration, and lots of people getting killed
  2. GACKT singing as Maro (the eyebrowless Sephiroth clone); the songs are ARROW, Hana mo Chiyu, Returner ~Yami no Shuuen~, RIDE OR DIE, and Akatsukizukiyo
  3. Video that takes place nine years before [the first section, I assume] of Heian Era Robes Yoshitsune walking somewhere, this one dude freaking out about it, then running on ahead to tell this other dude that Yoshitsune’s coming, and when the other dude hears it he gets this “OH SHIT” look on his face and drops his sake saucer, but then when the three meet with Yoshitsune everything seems cool, until Other Dude asks Yoshitsune “What’s behind you isn’t human, right?” and Yoshitsune answers something I don’t understand.
  4. GACKT singing as Heian Era Robes Yoshitsune; songs are Utakata no Yume, ZAN, some short song that ends with yume no naka no boku wa tada anata wo mitsumeteita (IIRC, which means “Inside the dream, I was just staring at you”), Kugutsu ga Gotoku
  5. Video from the second Moon Saga play(?) where Yoshitsune kisses Nori but then Nori dies and Yoshitsune gets sucked up into a vortex or something but then we see that it’s a video that Seito Kaicho is showing the students of Kamui Gakuen’s Ikemen Kenkyubu (Ikemen Study Club).
  6. In this video, what the boys are to learn from Yoshitsune Hiden is about one on one fighting. They invite some women sempai to participate. I assume they’re real athletes, but I didn’t recognize any of them. There’s a kickboxer, a wrestler (Rina was her name I think), and a dominatrix (They said “the SM Club” LOL). Since they might end up fighting women, the guys have to fight with their hands tied behind their backs. First, the dancer Madoka goes up against…I can’t remember, one of the guys. Was it Val maybe? One pushes the other out of the sumo ring very easily, and gets -240 points while the loser got -2,400,000 or something like that from Seito Kaicho. Next, Sato takes on Rina. She knocks him down easily enough but then when she’s trying to prep a pile driver (I assume) he grabs hold of her right leg. Eventually she pins him down for long enough, and just for show, at the end she picks him up and tosses him out of the ring. Last, Seito Kaicho is to fight…Hiro from the Sumo Club. I think he’s a real sumo wrestler. But then a message came up on screen that said “To be continued in Saitama” and the audience groans/whines.
  7. Next is the band introduction done by the unseen English speaker. I noticed that YOU signaled the audience when the “Do you want him?” question came, so everybody said Woooo this time. (Well, not that I can know for sure that YOU didn’t do this at the Fukuoka show, since I was on the Chacha side that time.)
  8. Then I think One More Kiss is next? But then when does the tossing water into the audience thing happen? Guess I can’t remember after all. LOL But some guy on the 2nd floor leaned way over and down to catch the water bottle GACKT had thrown in that direction. I thought he was gonna fall! His buddy actually had to pull him back up, that’s how far down he leaned over. Not worth risking your life for dude!
  9. The survey Yuki talked about this time was “The top 3 artists who are probably narcissists”. I didn’t recognize the name of the top one, but 2nd was Takuya KIMURA and 3rd was GACKT. Yuki said that GACKT isn’t a narcissist. He is so not a narcissist that he doesn’t even know what the word means. The reasons people thought so were…I can’t remember, but one of them was “They seem like they always have a spotlight one them,” and Yuki said, “He does! He does always have a spotlight on him! He’s always saying, ‘My future’s so bright I can’t see it’, right? That’s because of the lights shining in his face! If it weren’t for that, he’d be able to see it!” The other one may have been “They seem like they always walk around naked” because Yuki said something about the only person who should be walking around naked as often as GACKT does is Yoshiki (from X Japan). Oh, there was also something about showering too much.
  10. The call & response part in Mirror didn’t last for nearly as long as it had in Fukuoka, I think. But the Hokkaido audience was much more unified. Maybe not as loud (at first, I think I riled my section up once I got into it because I am LOUD and can sustain a scream for at least 10 seconds but probably 20 although I don’t know because I’ve never measured it and also the people who notice I’m a foreigner start feeling like their Japanese pride is at stake if they don’t keep up with me—it’s actually kinda annoying because I wish they would just scream because it’s what GACKT wants us to do) but certainly more unified.
  11. However, GACKT’s talk portion (“MC”) was really long. Really really long. He did some of the usual bits, this time mentioning that the reason he’s calling this the LAST Visualive is that he doesn’t know how long he’ll be able to keep doing this, and that it had taken 7 years between RRI & RRII (he also made fun of the fact that he had called the tour Requiem et Reminiscence as he stumbled over the pronunciation of the second word, eventually calling it just “RR Two” but then he had to clarify that he was saying “RR TWO” not “RR Tour” [in katakana English “Tour” and “two” sound nearly the same]) so therefore if he kept doing this he’d be 50 by the time of the next VISUALIVE. Someone screamed out that that was fine and he said, “No, wouldn’t it be creepy if some 50 year old went like this to you with these long nails?” and he made his little reachy clawy Maro gesture. Then he said, “But it’s not just me. I mean, look at my band.” And the other members come back out on stage and he says “Look at this nice Grandma. She’s 78 years old still playing the guitar. She hit menopause and can still play, isn’t that great?”
  12. The other interesting thing in his talk portion was about what I assume is Hokkaido dialect. So I didn’t understand all of it. Apparently in Hokkaido (among friends I assume) when making a phone call the person receiving the call picks up and says “Dousha?” (“What’s up?”) and the person who called says “Nanmo” (“Nothing”) or maybe it was “Nanbo” I couldn’t quite tell. Anyway GACKT said that’s strange because if nothing’s up then why did the person call in the first place. He said he really liked it though, and that it was a part of Hokkaido culture that should be preserved. He said that maybe many people won’t understand it, but that if they just think of it as “like that American thing” it would make sense. So he says, “Dousha?” while making a weak rapper-esque gesture, and answers himself “Nanmo” while gesturing with the other arm. He said, “See? Doesn’t it seem American?” and I couldn’t help but say “amerikappokunai wa (“no it doesn’t seem American”) but not too loud as this was the dialect part of the show which I thoroughly enjoy when I’m in Fukuoka and I didn’t want to turn it into the GACKT Please Stop Playing To Stereotypes Educational Hour. So the people started saying “Dousha?” to him while trying to mimic the gesture and he told them they were doing it wrong, and I couldn’t help but want to tell him that he’d did it wrong too.
  13. During the Tadaima/okaeri exchange he kept doing it really fast for the first floor people, so the audience started chanting “Nagai no! Nagai no!” and he said “What the hell is up with that call? You want a long one? Sapporo is weird!” to which the crowd Woo’ed so he said “I wasn’t complementing you!” So he starts the usual innuendo questions (“You want a long one? Here? Right now?”) followed by the usual feigned innocence when he points to some member of the audience and says “You’re grinning too much. That face is creepy.” Then he says “Okay, fine, I’ll give you a long one. [Mine is] pretty long after all.” So he goes OkaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAaaaaAAAAaaaaAAAeriiii! and we go TadaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAaaaaAAAaaaimaaa!
  14. For the microphone-less shouting, the audience apparently voted for Chacha. I was yelling for Sato since he’s from Hokkaido and I figured many people would want to see him do it. Well, maybe he did it for the Friday show. I couldn’t understand most of what he said, only that he ended the sentence with “chinchin” (“dick”) and GACKT said “Hey, hey, can you really have people screaming ‘dick’? How old are you?” and Chacha apologizes. So he starts yelling something else and that also ends with chinchin, and eventually it just turns into chanting, “Chinchin, chinchin, chinchin!” orz
  15. GACKT’s microphone-less yelling consisted of, “SAPPORO! Every time I come here, you’re so weird! But I love you for it!” and the crowd woo’d a lot.
  16. I think the rest of the show was as it had been in Fukuoka.

The only other thing that happened that I thought was kinda funny was that the woman next to me, after the first long GAKUTOOOOOO! yell that I let out, turned to me and said, “Batchiri!” (“Spot on!”) and made the OK finger gesture. I just laughed, but I thought it was funny because from the way she had been reacting to everything it was clear she hadn’t seen the VISUALIVE yet and I suspected she had never been to a GACKT show period because she reacted with anticipation and surprise even to the bits he’s been doing for years. GACKT actually said in his talk portion something about “I think a lot of people got dragged out to see this so it’s their first time seeing me” and she woo’ed and said she was a first timer so then I really thought it was funny that she’d basically said “Good job!” to me (in a slightly condescending way) when this is my…10th GACKT concert I think? Counting YFC & Gakuensai shows. If not the 10th then the 9th. I can’t remember if I saw YFC once or twice their first year but I definitely saw them twice their second year.

Another thing was slightly before the show. I’d been walking up and down this street in search of the ramen restaurant the hotel clerk had recommended when I said I wanted to eat Hokkaido’s famous miso ramen, but I couldn’t find it. So I just went into this tiny ramen shop, and all the customers at the counter (all men) turned to look at me and gasped. The owner told me, kinda standoffishly in English, to buy a ticket from the machine. I say “hai” and buy one for miso ramen. The men next to me restart their conversation, and they’re talking about sex, and something about how much women do or don’t want it, and I couldn’t help but think they were assuming I couldn’t understand Japanese because they were making no effort to keep their voices down. When the owner hands me my ramen he asks me, “Do you speak Japanese?” I said “Yes.” and he says “Why?” So I switch over to Japanese to tell him that I studied it in college and lived in Fukuoka for four years, that this year I came to see a concert, GACKT specifically, he tells me he likes GACKT too, that he’s a good singer. During this conversation the three or four male customers had piped down some, and then they all left. Maybe they felt awkward upon realizing I’d understood their conversation. Once I finished my ramen and was leaving he told me again to enjoy the show, and he seemed completely genuine. So at the show, when at the beginning I wasn’t really into it because I was sad about not having the one I wanted to see this show with with me, I thought of the ramen-ya-san and told myself to try to enjoy it. Ahaha…

Alright, I have three Mount Everests and a Mount Fuji of work piled up because I’ve been playing while I was supposed to be working (I’m not really on vacation, it’s more like I just happen to be in Japan but I still have work to do) so after this one mission to the KitKat Chocolatory I have to get to it! I’m not even gonna proofread this concert report! POST!