9.8.17

Panic, Updates, and Reminders

Hello, folks. How is the August heat treating you? Here in Tokyo, we're hiding out indoors to escape 37 degree weather and 90% humidity... can't say how much we envy y'all South Americans who get wintertime in the summer!

Anyhow, the announcements from Buck-Tickistan continue apace. The track list for the 30th Anniversary Best Collection has been announced, so if you're curious, check it here. Also, if you're interested in reserving a copy of this item through us in order to get the promo calendar, please contact us asap, as time is running out.

In other news, a special program will air tomorrow at 10PM on NicoNico. If you're not able to watch at this time, make sure you sign up to watch it on Timeshift right away! The program will include a countdown of some music videos and live footage of songs on the best-of collection, as well as presenters reading the Buck-Tick members' responses to a questionnaire about the songs on the best-of collection. Why questionnaires? Because the real band members aren't appearing, folks. Perhaps it's because they're too busy recording their new album, or perhaps they, too, simply feel that it's too hot to go outside, but whatever the excuse, this is certainly another reason to be disappointed in the lack of 30th anniversary celebrations. NicoNico has gotten the Buck-Tick members on air many times before for what were some of the most interesting and memorable video interviews they've given in recent years, and it's a damn shame they won't be appearing this time. Instead, the special guests for the program are a trio of magazine writers who've covered Buck-Tick for magazines such as Ongaku to Hito, Fool's Mate, and Rock & Read: Imai Tomoko, Ookubo Yuka, and Masuda Yuuichi. For what it's worth, we can say that we've personally been out drinking with Imai Tomoko on a few occasions, and she's a smart cookie and very professional. However, if they were going to bother to interview magazine writers, it seems bizarre that they've left out Buck-Tick's number one journalist fan, Kanemitsu Hirofumi, who might as well be Buck-Tickistan's press secretary. Then again, maybe Mr. Kanemitsu has plans to go drinking with all the Buck-Tick members that night in secret, in order to skip being on TV.

In addition to the NicoNico special, another special program will air on August 31st on WOWOW TV, but since it's pay-per-view, it's much harder for overseas fans to watch. Plus, it's just a marathon of all three Climax Together videos, punctuated by a countdown of Best Buck-Tick Music Videos (TM). The band members will not be appearing for an interview. However, a second WOWOW program will air on September 16th, and it looks like the band members may actually be present for real on this one, in between clips of old live footage. Anyone who manages to p*rate this program, please share it with us because we don't have a television and can't be arsed to buy one just to watch WOWOW.

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Finally, we'd like to have a talk with y'all about anxiety. Lately, we've been getting a whole slew of emails from readers, many of whom are planning on traveling to Japan to see Buck-Tick, who have given us to know that they are panicking, freaking out, engaging in self-destructive behavior, and extremely concerned that Cayce may not respond to all emails immediately.

Folks, first of all - Cayce's very busy. We love hearing from you, we do. We read all your emails and endeavor to respond to them as quickly as possible. But the volume of email we receive from Blog-Tick readers has increased steadily over the past couple months, as have our IRL work commitments, and sometimes, striking a balance and finding the time to get to everything is difficult (unfortunately, we also have to eat and sleep). If you don't hear from us right away, please do not freak the fuck out. Barring emergency, we WILL get back to you in time to solve your ticket problems. If you feel like sending us a reminder, that's fine. But we assure you, there is no need for panic.

Second of all - yes, we get that traveling to Japan for the first time is a nerve-wracking proposition. However, the fact remains that giving in to blind panic won't help you. Here's what will help you: careful research. On this page, we recommended a number of useful travel-planning resources. If you are feeling anxious, we highly recommend that you allay your anxiety by arming yourself with knowledge! Japan is a clean, safe, efficient country, full of a lot of friendly, helpful people. The number of foreign tourists in Japan has increased drastically in recent years. Services for tourists are getting better, and locals are getting more used to dealing with foreign travelers. You're not the first foreigner to visit Japan. Plenty of people have done it before you. You can handle it, if you plan well. The number one thing that could ruin your visit if you're not careful is lack of sufficient research and planning. We cannot stress this enough. Ladies and gentlemen, do not freak out - READ. The truth will set you free... and so will taking the time to look at a map before you get on the plane!

Third, if you have anxiety problems, we urge you to find positive ways of dealing with them, rather than resorting to self-destructive behavior. Anxiety is normal and everyone experiences it to a degree at times. If you think everyone around you looks chill and like they have their shit together while you're a total mess - that's probably a misperception on your part. Lots of people who appear calm on the surface are hiding all kinds of worries inside. You are certainly not alone in worrying about things, or in feeling socially awkward. Everyone, literally everyone, feels socially awkward sometimes. Why? Because it's tough to live in society. People are judgmental and they don't say what they mean and it can be confusing as hell, but do not, I repeat, do not, allow your superficial sense that other people are doing better than you are to ruin your self-confidence or self-esteem.

It's disturbing how many people these days, especially young people, seem to think that they're alone in struggling with depression, anxiety, social phobia, etc. You're not alone, kids. A lot of people are struggling with the exact same things that you are. Secretly, no one has any idea what the fuck is going on. Fake it till you make it is actually a pretty good strategy a lot of the time. Also, so many people lie about being happy and successful. Almost nobody's life is as great as it may look from the outside. Just look at Mr. Sakurai. He's got beauty, brains, fame, wealth, and an adorable cat... and he still struggles with depression. The things that cause depression run much deeper than superficial achievements.

If you see other people around you achieving more than you're able to, because some days, you're too anxious to go out the door, stop paying attention to those people. You have your own path to walk and your own dragons to fight. And I guarantee that you also have something unique and special to offer the world, that no one else can offer. You just have to find out what it is. Plus, judging people based on their productive output or high achievement status is a profoundly fucked up capitalist neo-liberal way of seeing the world. Take a look at the lyrics to "Only You" one more time. You're the only one of you there will ever be, and that makes you awesome! You don't have to earn your right to be alive. You have inherent worth and dignity and a fundamental right to exist.

So take a deep breath. Sit still for five minutes and look at some flowers. Have a cool drink of water or a cup of tea. Remind yourself that you're still alive and the world is still turning, and fuck yeah, you're going to Japan and you're going to have a blast!

Oh yeah, and turn off your screen for a moment. Stop looking at social media, stop checking your phone. Go for a walk, read a book, cuddle with a pet, take a hot bath, go to the gym, cook a nice meal, chat with a friend or family member face to face. Social media and constantly checking devices is liable to instill anxiety in even the calmest person.  Love yourself and take care of yourself as you would a friend or family member. Be your own best friend. Find ways of reminding yourself that you're not broken and you're not alone. Holding yourself to impossible standards by using social media to compare yourself to models, celebrities, and high school classmates who got famous will not do this for you.

Also, even if your anxiety is at the level of clinical diagnosis and you use medication, that does not mean that simple things like breathing exercises, taking walks outdoors, and chamomile tea won't help. Healthy life habits and compassionate self care are good for everyone, clinical diagnosis or not. Western medicine loves to pretend that drugs are the only thing that can help mental health issues, because drug companies make lots of money that way, but generalized anxiety disorder, panic syndrome, etc. are not "curable" conditions, not in the sense that tuberculosis or strep throat are curable. Mental health issues are chronic. They never go away entirely, but the symptoms can be mitigated through good management. Maybe medication is a part of good management. But taking care of your overall physical and mental health is always a good thing, full stop. You know how you're less likely to catch the flu if you're getting enough sleep every night and not feeling stressed out than you are if you're working crazy hours and using energy drinks to stay awake? Mental health is no different, folks.

Anyhow, one strategy we recommend for dealing with anxiety in the face of new situations such as foreign travel is to organize your worries by writing them down. Rather than sitting there in blind panic listening to a white buzzing in your ears, get out a notebook or your laptop and write down a list of the things that are actually worrying you. For example:

- I'm afraid I'll get lost
- I'm afraid I won't know how to act at the concert
- I'm afraid I won't be able to communicate
- I'm afraid I won't be able to find the right train

Et cetera. Next, find ways of addressing these concerns one by one. Identifying the source of your worries can make them a lot less scary, and making contingency plans can help you feel more in control. In fact, we included a lot of information on Not Greatest Site to help you deal with fears like this, so please go ahead and consult our Japanese Concert Guide and So You Want to Visit Japan to See Buck-Tick sections. Also, the internet is your friend! There are loads of great sites out there to help you plan your trip to Japan. Google them! If you're an anxious person in general, nothing will take away that anxiety completely, but cool-headed planning can do a lot to lower your overall level of trepidation. If you're freaking out about worst case scenarios, come up with some emergency plans for what you'll do in case the worst occurs. Carry a phrasebook, a toothbrush, a change of underwear, and extra cash yen on you, and you'll be prepared for anything. Just don't forget your towel :)

Finally, if you have specific questions that we haven't answered on Not Greatest Site, please do write to us. If you think there's an issue we haven't properly addressed but should address, let us know. We aim to be helpful. And on that note...


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And once again...


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Once more, with feeling...


It's physical neurose, oh too blue sky. This is Cayce, signing off.

31.7.17

Buck-Tick 30th Anniversary Best

At last, the votes are in, and the track list for Buck-Tick's 30th Anniversary Best album has been released! The good thing is, whether it's thanks to Blog-Tickers or not, this track list contains some impressively rare songs we never expected to make it on there. The less than good thing is, these songs don't really hang together at all as a collection, so this album is going to make for a weird listen: a whole bunch of moody recent numbers interspersed by profoundly silly old songs which the band members themselves are reportedly embarrassed to have written (not gonna name names, "Hearts.") Also, it's disappointing that the only two Hide songs on the fan-voted collection aside from the childish (if severely under-appreciated) "Under the Moonlight" are "Dress" and "Jupiter," which were already present on the other best-of collections. Come on guys. Hide's written a lot of other great songs. We even wrote an entire post on it once. "Jupiter" may still be the song that pays most of his rent, but he still deserves to be appreciated for more than his soccer player tan, rugged beard, and ultra-sexy mole, if you ask us.

Anyhow, here's the track list. Songs highlighted in red were songs we recommended on Blog-Tick (though we'd like to point out that while we included "Dress" and "Nocturne" on our best-of lists, we didn't recommend you vote for them, since they were already included on previous anniversary best-of albums.) Songs marked with an asterisk are songs which already appeared on previous anniversary best-of albums, while songs marked with two asterisks appeared on both previous anniversary best-of albums. Fangirls, it seems, still lack imagination - though it's heartening to see that Section 2 doesn't include any repeat songs, even if not all songs on there are ones we would have chosen. But THANK YOU for not voting for "Muma" or "Aku no Hana"! I guess there's still hope for Buck-Tickistan after all.

Section 1 (Singles Top 10)
01. Nocturne -Rain Song-*
02. Miss Take ~Boku wa Miss Take~
03. Kyokutou Yori Ai wo Komete**
04. Under the Moonlight
05. Diabolo*
06. Dress**
07. New World
08. Love Parade
09. Jupiter**
10. Angelic Conversation*

Section 2 (Albums Top 10)
01. Sapphire
02. Coyote
03. Hearts
04. Moon Light
05. Cuba Libre
06. Baudelaire de Nemurenai
07. My Eyes and Your Eyes
08. Ai no Souretsu
09. Mudai
10. Machine

But wait, there's more! It's the 30th anniversary, so shouldn't there be 30 tracks? That's what we thought when we made our own best-of lists, and apparently Victor thinks like us, because they included a third disc, this time of songs selected by the band members themselves. The upside: many of these songs (we're going to go with seven of them) are clearly and obviously Mr. Sakurai's favorites, so good on him for insisting they go on the best-of album even though they didn't make the top 10. The downside: there's only one song on this album by Hide (that's "Shanikusai," folks). Since Hide's written more than 10% of Buck-Tick's music, that's a little sad. 

Three significant things about these selections:

1) All of these songs were released in 1996 or later, which is proof of what we already knew - the band members consider their later work to be stronger than their earlier work. 

2) Three of these songs ("Boy," "The Seaside Story," and "Sane -Type II") didn't even make it into the top 30. I guess that means Imai is especially proud of them.

3) There are more songs recommended by Cayce in this section than in any of the others :P Anyhow, here's the track list:

Section 3 (Band Member Selections)
01. Cosmos*
02. Shanikusai -Carnival-
03. Serenade -Itoshi no Umbrella-
04. Romance**
05. SANE -Type II-
06. BOY Septem Peccata Mortalia
07. The Seaside Story
08. Zekkai
09. Keijijou Ryuusei
10. Yasou

What we didn't expect: the album cover is better than the track list! Check it out, guys. Maybe it's just us, but we think there's maybe a teeny tiny bit of fangirl mockery in here. Check out that bedroom! Do you wish you had that much Buck-Tick stuff in your room? Do you have more Buck-Tick stuff than that in your room and think the band need to up their game? Let us know in the comments. Bonus points to the people who can identify the source of the life-sized cardboard cutout of Imai. Further bonus points to any fans who are willing to share photos of their own life-sized cardboard cutouts of the band members. We will post the pictures, so please, share!


Even more bonus points for anyone who can forcefully unman Mr. Sakurai of that jacket, and send it our way. We want to wear it. Yes, it isn't our usual style to advocate robbery, but that jacket is so stylish we'll be willing to part from our usual style for its sake. The fan who sends Cayce that jacket gets a life-sized cardboard cutout of his/her favorite band member, handmade by us. And that's a promise.


Kurumi isn't the first of Mr. Sakurai's cats to star in a Buck-Tick CD jacket photoshoot (that honor goes to the dearly departed Boo, who appeared in the booklet for the Alice in Wonder Underground single.) However, we'll hazard that she's the most mischievous, and the most likely to destroy Buck-Tickistan government property. Burning candles, Bengals, and Buck-Tick goods don't mix!

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This cover shoot is good enough that if you decided to buy the album just for the cover art, we'd forgive you. Still, for us, the two-disc best-of set is nowhere near enough to convince us to part with our money. We already have all these songs on CD anyway, so what's the point?

Here's where things get interesting, my friends. Despite all their past failures, this time, Victor has actually made it worth our money to buy this release, by including three extra discs in the limited edition: two discs of live tracks from various tours for which official live albums were never released, and one video disc of rare live footage of the band performing at various rock festivals over the past two decades or so. The only thing we're sorry about is that they didn't include the clip of the band's performance of "Rendezvous" at the Rising Sun Rock Festival, during which a drunken Mr. Sakurai reportedly fell off the stage. But you can't have everything in life. Here are the track lists for the bonus discs. Songs marked with an asterisk are songs which were voted into the top 30 by fans. Songs highlighted in red are songs which were recommended by Cayce (to be fair, we would have recommended "Heroin" and "Yuuwaku," too, but there wasn't enough space.) Total count of Hide songs for both discs: 4/20, one of which is "Jupiter." They still need to up their Hoshino Hidehiko game.

Disc 3 (Live Tracks, Part I)

01. Physical Neurose
(Jan. 20th, 1989, Nippon Budoukan)

02. Jupiter
(Climax Together, Sept. 10th, 1992, Yokohama Arena)*

03. D-T-D
(July 29th, 1993, Darker Than Darkness Tour, Omiya Sonic City)*

04. Ao no Sekai
(July 28th, 1993, Darker Than Darkness Tour, Omiya Sonic City)

05. Heroin
(May 8th, 1998, Sextream Tour, Nippon Budoukan)

06. Glamorous
(The Day in Question 2000, Nippon Budoukan)

07. Cyborg Dolly: Sora-Mimi: Phantom
(The Day in Question 2000, Nippon Budoukan)

08. Zangai
(Mona Lisa Overdrive Xanadu, June 28th, 2003, Hibiya Yagai Ongakudo)*

09. Yuuwaku
(July 3rd, 2005, 13th Floor With Diana Tour, Osaka Kosei Nenkin Kaikan)

10. Doll
(July 3rd, 2005, 13th Floor With Diana Tour, Osaka Kosei Nenkin Kaikan)

11. Mienai Mono wo Miyou to Suru to Gokai Subete Gokai da 
(The Day in Question 2005, Nippon Budoukan)*

12. Memento Mori 
(July 1st, 2009, Memento Mori Tour, NHK Hall)

13. Django!!! -Genwaku no Django- 
(Dec. 16th, 2010, Go on the Razzle Dazzle Tour, NHK Osaka Hall)

14. Alice in Wonder Underground
(The Day in Question 2011, Nippon Budoukan)*

15. Muma -The Nightmare- 
(The Day in Question 2011, Nippon Budoukan)*


Disc 4 (Live Tracks, Part II)

01. Love Me 
(Sept. 22nd, 2012, 25th Anniversary Festival, Chiba Port Park)

02. My Eyes & Your Eyes 
(Sept. 23rd, 2012, 25th Anniversary Festival, Chiba Port Park)*

03. Elise no Tame ni 
(The Day in Question 2012, Nippon Budoukan)

04. Miss Take 
(The Day in Question 2012, Nippon Budoukan)*

05. Miu 
(Dec. 23rd, 2013, The Day in Question 2013, Kooriyama Shimin Bunka Center)*

06. Rhapsody 
(Dec. 23rd, 2013, The Day in Question 2013, Kooriyama Shimin Bunka Center)*

07. National Media Boys 
(July 31st, 2014, Arui wa Anarchy Tour, Shibuya Kokaido)

08. Keijijou Ryuusei 
(July 31st, 2014, Arui wa Anarchy Tour, Shibuya Kokaido)*

09. Dokudanjou Beauty 
(Dec. 14th, 2014, Metaform Nights Tour, Zepp Tokyo)

10. Devil'N Angel 
(The Day in Question 2014, Nippon Budoukan)

11. Iconoclasm 
(The Day in Question 2014, Nippon Budoukan)

12. Speed 
(Sept. 11th, 2016, Climax Together 3rd, Yokohama Arena)

13. Machine -Remodel- 
(Sept. 11th, 2016, Climax Together 3rd, Yokohama Arena)*

14. Melancholia -Electria- 
(Nov. 10th, 2016, Atom Miraiha Tour, Nakano Sun Plaza)*

15. Mudai 
(The Day in Question 2016, Nippon Budoukan)*


Disc 5 (Live Videos)

01. Iconoclasm 
(Summer Sonic 2003, Aug. 3rd, 2003)

02. Baby, I want you 
(Rising Sun Rock Festival 2007, August 17th, 2007)

03. Kyokutou Yori Ai wo Komete 
(Inazuma Rock Festival, 2009, Sept. 20, 2009)*

04. Yasou 
(Countdown Japan 12/13, Dec. 28th, 2012)*

05. Dokudanjou Beauty 
(Countdown Japan 12/13, Dec. 28th, 2012)

06. Yumemiru Uchuu 
(Dedicate to... ~gang 451~, February 11th, 2013)

07. Elise no Tame ni 
(Kishidan Banpaku 2013, Sept. 14th, 2013)

08. Climax Together 
(Kishidan Banpaku 2013, Sept. 14th, 2013)

09. Melancholia -Electria- 
(Lunatic Fest 2015, June 28th, 2015)*

10. Mudai 
(Lunatic Fest 2015, June 28th, 2015)*

It would have been nice if there were fewer double songs on these extra discs. It would have been even nicer if the songs on these extra discs weren't mostly crowd-pleasers that the band play all the time. But let's focus on the good stuff: they included "Ao no Sekai" and "Yuuwaki," despite the fact that they were written by Hide and they were nowhere in the fan rankings. Maybe Hide asked them to do it. That's great, Hide. Start standing up for yourself more often. You might find that you get used to it after a while!

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Fans who reserve the limited edition of the best-of album by August 20th will receive a special bonus calendar, and let's hope it includes more of that photoshoot of the Buck-Tick members invading that Buck-Tick superfan bedroom, because it's the most humorous photoshoot they've done since that sexy birthday card photoshoot a few years ago and we want to see more of it. Blog-Tickers who wish to reserve the album through Cayce, please contact us as soon as possible. The prices are as follows:

Limited Edition A (special package, 5 discs with Blu-Ray)
12960 yen, incl. tax

Limited Edition B (special package, 5 discs with DVD)
11880 yen, incl. tax

Regular Edition (2 discs)
3240 yen, incl. tax

Also, if you are interested in asking our help to purchase tour tickets, please contact us as soon as possible, and please specify how many tickets you wish to buy per show! If you don't give us all the information up front, and then don't answer your email in a timely fashion, there is little we can do to help you.

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22.7.17

Cheese and Bunnies and Gingerbread Men

You thought we were joking about the gingerbread version of Hoshino Hidehiko?

We were not.



This is the work of intrepid Instagrammer q.j_mom, who just can't get enough of food art! Although scrolling through her account, it's easy to see that gingerbread isn't her usual medium - most of the time, she prefers a healthier option, in the form of nori-on-cheese collages. Check these out!

Look, it's Buck-Tick!


And Cali-Gari!


And Kikkawa Koji!


And Prince!


And David Bowie!


And Boy George, looking a lot like young Imai Hisashi!


And look, here's the real Imai Hisashi!


And Hoshino Hidehiko! (Mm doesn't that stuffed chikuwa look good...?)


And here's Mr. Sakurai in a garter belt! (She hashtagged this one #sexybento)


And more Acchan-chan, saying "Eat me, eat me!" (But also eat your beans.)

 

Not only that, but Ms. Q. J. has also tried her hand at Serious Toast.




In addition to making "character lunches," her other main hobby appears to be crocheting silly hats for her cat. We dunno about you, kids, but we always wanted a cat whose head looks like a strawberry, and we're pretty sure Mr. Sakurai does, too (we'd ask him directly, but according to our sources, Kurumi upended a bottle of shochu all over his phone and he needs to get a new one before he can reply to our texts. This is the danger of real cats vs. watching cat videos on YouTube! Are you sure you wanted a real kitteh, Acchan-chan? Are you sure?) Look at the guilty face of this cat! She's definitely up to something wicked!



But bravo, Ms. Q. J. We applaud your brave efforts to push the boundaries of fanart further than they've ever been pushed before. Go check her out on Instagram, y'all. There's way more to be enjoyed over there.

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In other news, one of our long-time readers recently emailed us to let us know that her pet bunny has become an avid Buck-Tick fan.

Michelle wrote to us from the east coast of the USA, to inform us of the following:

"Lately I started binge watching Buck-Tick videos and now my pet bunny is a fan. Seriously. On the third day she went over to the TV and stood up on her hind legs to get me to turn on the TV. Once I hit play, she did her relaxed pose, and I had to take a photo.

My bun's name is Cocoa, and she has a very sweet personality. I found it interesting that she faces the TV when I watch Buck-Tick (& The Mortal & Sakurai) concerts, but with movies and TV shows she sits off to the side often facing away from the TV. Of course rabbits have almost 360-degree vision so direction may not matter. Her ears are definitely up and attentive."



Cocoa is surely soothed by the velvet tones of Mr. Sakurai's voice, Michelle. We think that's more than abundantly clear. Welcome to Buck-Tickistan, little bunny!

No need to be lonely, either. There are other rabbits in Buck-Tickistan, too! Melissa from Belgium is the proud mama of another two:




What a charming sight! How soothing for the soul!

But what about those days when the famous and powerful oligarchs of Russian Buck-Tick fandom keep sending you jars of pickled herring with threatening letters attached, full of dark, vague pronouncements such as "In Soviet Russia, Fly High okays itself to YOU!" What's a humble gonzo tabloidist to do?

Another one of our readers had an answer for us.


Sorry, Russian fans. We're sorry for picking on you. We know you're not all alike, and that some of you okay yourselves to the fly high and not the other way around. Keep your English очень styly and save us some vodka for next time :) Cause we love you, Russia, and so does Q. J. Mom.


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19.7.17

Open Letter to Fish Tank

First of all, I'd like to thank all of you for your contributions to the discussion on the previous post. There was some disagreement, but everyone who contributed wrote in full sentences and largely refrained from ad hominem attacks, insults, or flames in general. Thank you for demonstrating that the internet doesn't have to be a mindless chaos of shrieking trolls.

I was hoping that the Russian commenters who accused me of "breaking the rules of Japanese etiquette" in my open letter to Fish Tank would respond to my queries and tell me what "rules" they think I "broke," exactly... but it doesn't look like that's going to happen, so for the rest of you, I offer an English translation of the letter, just to clear up any confusion.

Here goes:

To Fish Tank:

The number of B-T fans is increasing in various countries around the world. These fans discovered B-T by finding photos of the band online, watching PVs on YouTube, etc., then looking up English-language information about the band on fan sites aimed at foreigners. Most overseas B-T fans can't speak Japanese, so if it weren't for overseas fansites, it's unlikely that they would ever have become B-T fans at all. When overseas fans share B-T-related content on the web, it's not because they want to spread pirated materials, it's because of the simple fact that it's basically impossible to access Buck-Tick CDs, goods, and related information overseas. Fans share content because they want to learn more about the band and enjoy them better.

Some overseas fans come to Japan to see B-T live, but it's very expensive to travel to Japan from overseas, and many fans are also held back by school, work, and family circumstances. Even if fans think, "I wish I could make the trip to Japan to see Buck-Tick live!", realistically, many of them can't manage this. Also, many overseas fans are significantly younger than Japanese fans, and many are students with limited ability to travel.

These fans want to support B-T, but for the most part, B-T's CDs and DVDs are not sold overseas, and when they are, shipping costs and customs duties mean that they cost much more than in Japan. Furthermore, since most overseas fans can't speak Japanese and can't attend live shows in Japan, they feel that there is little point in becoming members of Fish Tank. However, if B-T songs were available internationally via digital downloads via iTunes or similar, or if there were an English-language version of Fish Tank, we overseas fans would happily spend money on such services to support the band. We urge you to consider our suggestion.

Overseas fans love B-T as much as anyone, and we don't want B-T's management to think of us as enemies. But... sing and spread the love. Love your enemy, can you do it? 

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The final line is, of course, a quote from the lyrics to "Kyokutou Yori Ai wo Komete." I included it very deliberately, to underscore the point that whatever Buck-Tick's management thinks, the band members themselves support an international, pluralistic world. And I can further say that I've seen it in person at countless live shows - the band members always look fucking delighted when they see foreigners in the audience. Look at it from their perspective: people from other countries are flying all the way from Japan, just to see them play! If that's not flattering, I don't know what is. Japanese fans who get bitchy about this are just jealous. Ignore them.

14.7.17

ATTN: Fish Tank

Edit: If anyone else is getting ready to tell me all about how xenophobia is an ancient and noble part of Japanese culture, just like Pikachu and underwear vending machines, I first ask you to consider the following phrases: Muslim travel ban, "Build the Wall!", Brexit, Le Front National, Syrian refugee crisis. Xenophobia's on a buy one, get two free special all over the world, right this minute! What are you waiting for? Go stock up while you can!

Also, go read the comments section if you want some more of our choice thoughts on this matter. We were debating writing a second post, but upon consideration, decided we'd rather bring you some lifelike Hoshino Hidehiko gingerbread men and Buck-Tick addicted bunny rabbits instead.

Holy shit, did Blog-Tick just turn into a Japanese blog!? OMG halp! There's even a new banner! What the hell is going on here, Cayce?

Don't worry. The text at right is an open letter to Fish Tank, in case they check Blog-Tick. Ignore it as you see fit, or use it for Japanese practice, but don't let it bother you. It's not aimed at you.

As to what's going on here... for my next post, I had originally planned to bring you a light-hearted human interest story about a cute lil' bunny rabbit who just LOVES Buck-Tick, but then... this happened. 

You can see it all for yourself on Twitter, but it appears that our fellow B-T fansite proprietress Buck-Tick Zone received a cease and desist letter from Fish Tank threatening to cancel her fanclub membership because she shared images from the Fish Tank newsletter, and other images of the band. Now, the fact is that the most unsavory type of fangirl has been whining to Fish Tank for years to "crack down" on people sharing images from the Fish Tank newsletter online... their argument goes that if they paid money to receive the newsletter, then no one who hasn't paid money should be able to see it. It's been the cause of Japanese-language social media firestorms many times before now. So in a way, this isn't surprising. But let's examine what's wrong with the argument:

1) If Fish Tank are really so exclusive, then why do they let Fish Tank members purchase multiple tickets to concerts or multiple copies of fanclub-only DVDs? Oh right. They want money. But guess what, Fish Tank: in Japan, there's an expectation that if you want people's money, you should provide them with good hospitality and I'm not sensing a hospitable atmosphere right about now.

2) If we go to our friend's house and read her issues of the Fish Tank newsletter, are Fish Tank going to send that memory-erasing team from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to our house in retaliation, to erase the memories of the content from our mind, and erase all our memories of Buck-Tick along with them? Take that gun, point it at your own foot, and shoot it. Go on. Shoot it!

3) Is the point of joining Fish Tank paying money to see exclusive content? Silly me, I thought the point of joining Fish Tank was to get good tickets to the shows. This is the main benefit of the fanclub and it would be silly to pretend otherwise. The newsletter is just an added bonus.

4) Fish Tank/Buck-Tick management: I thought your job was to advertise the band, not advertise them as being the only band in the world whose management seem to actively hate their fanbase. Buck-Tick Zone has been spreading the Buck-Tick love for like 20 years now (and you thought our 11 years was long!) She's never received any money or glory for her work. The only reason she does it is because she loves Buck-Tick and wants to spread that love... which equals more fans... which equals more people spending money on the band. If the management weren't so fucking dumb, they'd realize that fansites are free advertising and they should be tacitly encouraged, not squashed.

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Anyway, if this makes you angry, I'm going to encourage you to do the following: 

1) Send Buck-Tick Zone an email, Twitter message, etc. telling her how you appreciate her work. This shit is very discouraging when it happens and I'm sure she'd appreciate moral support.

2) Write to Fish Tank. Tell them how much you love the band, and how you'd never have become a fan without the help from overseas fan sites. Beg them to consider starting an English language version of Fish Tank and/or making Buck-Tick's music available as digital downloads legally available in other countries. Tell them how excited you'd be to spend your money on things like that. If we're going to change their minds, they need to hear from as many of us as possible. I encourage you all to write! The text of the open letter above is basically words to this effect, however please do not copy and paste it, because if Fish Tank get spammed with the same letter again and again it might make them hate me more than they already probably do. Also, original letters in foreign languages will have more clout, I think.

3) If overseas fan sites played a big role in you becoming a Buck-Tick fan, leave a comment on this post.

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For those of you who fear that if Buck-Tick Zone's been targeted, Cayce will be next... for the time being, we're not worried. As a non-corporeal entity, we are very difficult for lowly meat-puppet beings to pin down. Fish Tank can try to figure out who we really are as much as they like, but we doubt they'll succeed. So this big fat raspberry is aimed at you, Fish Tank! Plus, we still remember how Imai took the name "The Dazzler" for his guitar right off this blog, and yet remains too shy to thank us/pay us for our translation. Run run as fast as you can, you can't catch us, we're in Buck-Tickistan!

Also, Buck-Tick Zone notes in her tweets the re-location of the Fish Tank office, and speculates that perhaps the Fish Tank management are new and overzealous. As a matter of fact, we can confirm through personal experience that this is the case. Without going into too much detail, we had a run-in ourselves with a new member of Buck-Tick's management in which the party in question treated us with a baffling level of unnecessary contempt and inexplicable rage. As it stands, we can't say whether this treatment represented the attitude of one angry staff member or whether it represents the attitude of Banker as an organization, but it was dismaying, to say the least. And to further fan the flames of scuttlebutt: it's not just us. A number of Buck-Tick's musician friends have reported being treated in a similarly contemptuous fashion by Banker at various points in time, for various stupid reasons. Buck-Tick's management is known in the industry as being one of the most uptight, paranoid management establishments in existence. They've engineered a monster they can no longer control.

Anyway, I'd like to point out that this has, in all likelihood, nothing to do with band members themselves. The reason Buck-Tick have a management office is so that the management office handles their affairs so they don't have to. Whatever it is the management gets up to when the members aren't around, the members may very well not know about. This is how Japanese industry works. So don't go worrying that Mr. Sakurai personally hates you all (even though it's true that he wrote a song called "I Hate You All," that was Jim Foetus's title, so it doesn't count). So let's place the blame where it belongs: with the management team, not with the band.

Oh yeah, and if you can't read the text on our new banner, it's that line from the lyrics to "Only You." It seemed relevant, somehow.