8.1.18

Ain't No Pain on the Blue Train

By popular demand, we have written up an all-new helpful guide for visiting Japan, to accompany our previous guides, the Japanese Concert Guide, and So You Want to Visit Japan to See Buck-Tick? Our new guide concerns that very hot and important topic, TRAIN TRAVEL. We can't cover everything, but we've covered the topics we get asked about most frequently by readers. If you're thinking of traveling to Japan this year to see Buck-Tick, or for any other reason, please read this guide before you email us for advice. We guarantee it contains the answers to most of your questions.

In particular, we'd like to call your attention to the sections on the Tokyo and Osaka metropolitan areas, since a lot of you seem to be confused about how far various concert venues are from various major cities. In brief: a lot of the Tokyo-area concert venues are not located in Tokyo proper, but in satellite cities such as Yokohama and Chiba. However, that doesn't mean it isn't very easy to get to those places while still staying at a hotel in Tokyo! Check out the guide for more info.

Edit: We added further info on JR Passes and savings, to clarify things for folks who are still confused. We also added a link to a site with lots of info on other train passes that exist in addition to the JR Pass.

And again, if you have any further suggestions for things you think we should add to any of our Japan travel guides, please leave your feedback in the comments. We're not a travel website, but we're aware that people who travel to Japan for concerts have specific needs and concerns, and we'd like to address those needs and concerns as best we can.

Once you've read the guide in full, please join us in singing along to this excellent song.

6.1.18

Travel, Tickets & Thank-Yous

Happy New Year, kiddos! Just because 2016 was the worst year on record and 2017 wasn't much better doesn't mean that 2018 can't be a year of fairy dust, unicorns, miracles, and Buck-Tick "grand masterpieces." Make it so! 

Anyhow, even as we continuously greet the arrival of The Future, we'd also like to thank y'all for your continued support of NGS/Blog-Tick. We'd like to extend a big thank-you to all the Blog-Tick readers from Indonesia, Russia, Romania, the UK, the USA, Chile, Mexico, the Netherlands, and France who sent us gifts - seriously, y'all are awesome and your gifts are very well received. The rest of the internet has trolls and men's rights activists, but here in Buck-Tickistan, we've got people who love dark red wines, chili powder, chocolate, punk comics and harmonicas as much as we do! We never expected that when we started out, so we're continuously pleasantly surprised, which is not a bad way to be, especially these days.

Also thanks to you, we received an unprecedented number of shopping service commissions and ticket requests last year, and an unprecedented number of emails from readers. If we don't respond to those emails right away, we're sorry - we're always happy to hear from each one of you, it's just that we really do get a lot of email! We will always prioritize time-sensitive shopping service requests, but we are not one of those phone-handed people who are online 24-7. When we're off the grid, we're off. Therefore, if it takes a little time for us to get back to you, please don't panic. We work online, so we can't afford to stay off the net for very long. We can't summon demons to ensure that you win ticket lotteries, but we will receive your request and respond to it in time for everything to go your way if the demons are favorably disposed.

However, since we're getting more email than ever before, our time has become more limited than ever before. If you'd like us to be able to help you as quickly as possible, we need you to help us, by reading our informational guides before you email us, and providing all the info we need up front in your initial email. In fact, with Buck-Tick's new tour coming up, we've already received a number of queries about tickets, so we'd like to take this opportunity to issue a few reminders and clarifications.

First, if you're interested in purchasing something through our shopping service, in addition to reading this post, please check the newly updated Shopping Service section of NGS carefully before placing your order. And remember, we're willing to hunt for stuff on your behalf! Always wanted a copy of Mr. Sakurai's Secrifice photobook, or the Climax Together Collector's Box, or that issue of Rockin' on Japan from November 1991? Just let us know. With only a very few exceptions, if you have the money, we can get you the item.

Second, if you're thinking of visiting Japan to see Buck-Tick or another band, before you email us about it, please read our Japanese Concert Guide and So You Want to Visit Japan to See Buck-Tick?, especially Section III, the Going to Japan FAQ. If you still have questions after you read these guides, please feel free to email and ask us. If there's anything you think we should add to the guides, please post a comment on this thread. We want the guides to be as useful as possible, so your input helps a lot.

If you'd like travel advice, start by checking out the very helpful website Japan Guide. It has all the basic info you'll need to get started planning a trip to Japan, and we've used it plenty of times ourselves, so we can vouch for its veracity.

If you're thinking you'd like to go to Japan but you don't know anything about Japanese geography, by all means, LOOK AT A MAP. Japan is way, way, WAY more than just Tokyo. Honestly, Tokyo isn't necessarily the best place to visit if you're a tourist, and it's also not necessarily the best place to see a live show. We cover Tokyo because we live in Tokyo, and we live in Tokyo because we're in the music industry, but the rest of the country is great and worth exploring. Check out different possibilities before you decide where to go.



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And now for some brass tacks.

TICKET PURCHASES

When you write to us to place an order for TICKETS, do us a favor and send us ALL the following information up front in your initial message!

1. What artist(s) do you want to see?

2. What are the dates of the concert(s) you wish to attend?

3. What is the name of the venue?

4. Link to the artist/ticket sales website (not required but very helpful!)

5. How many tickets do you want per show? Please, this is important! Most people who contact us want more than one ticket. If you only want one, you need to specify that.

6. What country are you located in? (USA kids, we're looking at you. Don't assume we know you're located in the States. Most of our customers are not.)

7. Would you like us to send you a PayPal invoice, and if so, to which email address should we send it?

8. How would you like to receive your tickets?

Oh yeah, about receiving tickets...

In most cases, we will hold the tickets for you until you arrive in Japan, then send the tickets through the Japanese domestic post to your hotel, hostel, dorm, AirBnB, etc. We do it this way because it's cheaper and safer. The Japanese postal service is extremely safe and reliable. Usually we send tickets via express post, because they are guaranteed to arrive the next day. Don't fret about this! We have lots of experience. Not once has a ticket ever failed to reach a customer on time. However, if you really want the ticket in your hand before you get on the plane to Japan, we can send the tickets to your country via EMS document mail (2000-2400 yen, depending on your location). For some tickets, this may not be possible due to time constraints, but if this is your preference, please let us know in your initial email, and send us the international address to which you'd like us to mail the tickets.

We understand that at the time you contact us about ticket purchases, many of you have not yet booked your accommodations in Japan. This is fine - just let us know once you've booked. However, make sure that you send us ALL of the following info regarding your booking:

- Complete address of accommodations in Japanese kanji

- The dates for which you will be staying at this address

- The FULL NAME under which you made your reservation - if you completed your ticket purchase with us under the pseudonym Darth Acchan, but the hotel is booked under your friend's legal passport name Robert Smith, addressing the tickets to Darth Acchan isn't going to do any good, because the hotel won't know who the hell Darth Acchan is supposed to be. For the tickets to reach you at your hotel, they need to be addressed to the name on the reservation, Robert Smith. We NEED the name on your reservation, or we cannot send you the tickets. End of story. We promise we won't share your real name with third parties. We are not in the business of doxxing. But if you don't send us the name on your reservation, there is nothing we can do to help you.

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OTHER PURCHASES

For orders not related to tickets, such as orders for items from web shops, please include the following info in your initial email:

1. What specific item do you want? (Including color, size, model, etc. - without this info we cannot place the order!)

2. How many items do you want?

3. What country are you located in, and what is your address? (USA kids, we're looking at you. Don't assume we know you're located in the States. Most of our customers are not. Without knowing which country you're in, we can't calculate shipping rates.)

4. Would you like us to send you a PayPal invoice, and if so, to which email address should we send it?

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Finally, if you send a request to us, please please please CHECK YOUR EMAIL REGULARLY. If you never respond to us when we send you the details of costs, dates, etc., we cannot help you get the items you desire. If you decide at any point before money has changed hands/orders placed that you don't want the items after all, please do the favor of sending us an email and letting us know you want to cancel your order, so we can cross you off our list of pending transactions. We can't allow cancellations once money has changed hands or orders have been placed, so please don't confirm your order till you're absolutely sure about the purchase. If you'd like to ask us questions about prices, ask as many as you like. But keeping up with your email will make everything happen a lot faster.

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Also, a lot of people have been asking about ticket lotteries, and how they work, so here's a brief explanation:

TICKET LOTTERIES

In Japan, the best way to get tickets to shows by popular artists is to enter one of the presale ticket lotteries which take place before the tickets go on general sale. These lotteries are conducted by ticket agencies like Ticket Pia, eplus, Lawson Ticket, and Yahoo! Tickets. The lotteries work as follows:

1. The lottery opens for applications.

2. Fans send in applications, specifying the number of tickets they wish to purchase for each date.

3. The lottery closes. No more applications may be submitted.

4. The ticket agent runs the numbers to decide who wins. Usually (but not always) the results are announced on Friday or Saturday night at 6PM about a week after the lottery closes.

5. If there are fewer applications than there are tickets, every fan who entered wins a ticket. If there are more applications than there are tickets, some people win, and others lose. The rate at which people win depends on the number of applications vs. the number of tickets available. For Buck-Tick and Japanese indie artists, most fans win most of the tickets they want, most of the time. For major-label j-pop acts who can fill stadiums, the ratio may be a bit lower. For idol groups such as Arashi, many more fans lose than win. 

There is no such thing as winning halfway. If you requested 3 tickets for the Moi Dix Mois show on the 18th of March, you'll either win all three, or lose all three. However, lotteries for each date are conducted separately. If you requested 4 tickets for the show on March 17th and 3 tickets for the show on March 18th, you might win the the four for the 17th but not the three for the 18th, or you might win both, or you might lose both. But there is no possibility that you would win two tickets when you requested four. It's all or nothing.

There is also no possibility that you will be able to choose your seat or line number. Japan is a democratic country, and seat numbers/line numbers are assigned randomly. The only way to ensure you get a good seat/line number is to spend extra money to buy a ticket from a resale site such as Ticket Camp after the fact, but this is far from a guarantee, so we don't recommend it.

6. Fans who win tickets must pay for the tickets before the payment period closes. Usually the cutoff for payment is three days after the announcement of the lottery results. If payment is not made before the deadline, the tickets are forfeit.

7. Fans who don't win tickets don't have to pay a single yen, but will have to try their luck again in the next round of lotteries, or in the general admission sales.

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A number of you needed to cancel orders, or became unable to attend a concert to which you purchased tickets. To that end, here is a reminder of our cancellation policy.

CANCELLATIONS

We are happy to respond to inquiries free of charge, and there is no charge if you ask us to enter you in a ticket lottery, but you don't win the tickets. However, we do not accept cancellations once you confirm your order. Once we place an order with a web shop, or enter you in a ticket lottery, you are responsible for paying for the item you ordered, no exceptions.

If you purchased tickets through us and then become unable to attend the show, you may contact us to request that we re-home your tickets. We cannot promise anything, but we will try our best. In the event that we manage to find another buyer for the ticket, we can offer you a refund up to the cost of the ticket itself (though if we couldn't manage to re-home the ticket for full price, the refund may be less). However, please understand that we cannot refund any transaction fees.

We are not responsible for items lost in the international post. If you're concerned about the safety of your country's postal service, it is your responsibility to pay for a traceable shipping option such as EMS or Registered Air Mail. That said, we've only ever had one item get lost once in four years of operation.

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Anyway, that's it for reminders for now... but if this applies to you, please read everything carefully. You'll save both of us plenty of time and headaches :)

28.12.17

Zero News

We've got a big two days ahead of us in Buck-Tickistan, and brevity is the soul of wit, so we'll be brief: numerologically speaking, Buck-Tick have completed the cycle they finished with No. 9 and reset the clock to 0. On March 14th, known in Japan as White Day, the band will release their 21st full-length studio album, entitled No. 0

And if you think White Day is about white supremacy - go unfriend yourself from Facebook, you nitwit. White Day is a fake holiday invented by candy companies as a companion to Valentine's Day, because Japanese Valentine's Day revolves around the sexist custom of women giving chocolates to men to beg desperately (and probably in vain) for their approval while failing to appreciate the fact that most Japanese men prefer a gift of booze over chocolate any day of the week (also girls, if he doesn't give YOU chocolate, he's not worth crying over). Then on White Day, the men return the "favor" - by obligatorily giving chocolates to every girl who gave them chocolates on Valentine's Day, which means that nobody's feelings get hurt, and also, it means that these chocolates have no meaning, emotionally speaking, particularly given that they're supposed to be white chocolates, because apparently, in addition to being unable to smoke cigarettes or drink whiskey, beer, or coffee, women in Japan are expected to prefer white chocolate over milk or dark, because doncha know, every woman in Japan is a strawberry Lolita, or so I'm told.

(If you don't know what a strawberry Lolita is, click here to find out.)

Anyway, sorry, that wasn't a bit brief. Guess we're not witty anymore. But it's time someone told the truth about White Day already. Obligatory chocolate sucked enough already without it being white like the abominable snowman.

But! On to the news. As we announced in our last post, prior to the release of No. 0, Buck-Tick will be releasing a second single, entitled Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete, and the are now some more details about that. In addition to an adorable band photo which can be viewed on the splash page of the band's website, the band have announced that the B-side to this single will be a song called "Salome," with lyrics by Mr. Sakurai and music by (drumroll) Hoshino "Sexy Beast" Hidehiko, who hasn't been allowed to write a track for a Buck-Tick single since he made more money in royalties from "Dress" and "Jupiter" than Imai ever made in his whole life since "Love Parade" in 2013. Not only that, but the last single track Hide wrote that actually made it onto an album was "Yougetsu," the B-side of Kuchizuke, which was released in 2010. Not only that, but the last time Hide wrote the A-side for a Buck-Tick single was "Gensou no Hana," released in 2003, and kids, 2003 was a whole 14 years ago. So on that note, we were already betting that "Salome" was going to never appear on an album, possibly never be played live, and almost certainly be instantly forgotten by just about everyone (with the exception of yours truly) until some anniversary rolls around and they re-record it as the theme song for the BDSM action thriller Goth Bondage Jesus 2: Mistress May I Have Another (y'all remember "My Baby Japanese," it was the theme song to Goth Bondage Jesus: Crucify My Love, that terrible yet amazing film with starred Mr. Sakurai opposite a cross-dressing Yoshiki.

(God guys, how could you forget this movie so soon? It was way better than Longinus!)




However, it's all academic at this point to take bets on whether "Salome" will get the head of John the Baptist all up in its bits or if it will be, as we predicted, relegated to the B-side bin of history, because the track list for No. 0 has already been announced in the latest issue of FT, and "Salome" isn't on there.

Join me in playing a sad trombone for Mr. Hoshino... but play it with a bit of bounce, because, friends, this is a blessing in disguise. Hide has three of the songs on the new album, and if one of them were "Salome," that would mean a total of three Hide songs for the next two years, but none of them are "Salome," which means that we get FOUR Hide songs, which is at least one more Hide song than we got last time, so put on your striped t-shirts, pour ten packs of sugar in your coffee, point and wink at the girl nearest you, and dance like that shy-yet-sexy rhythm guitarist second fiddle in the streets/fiddler extraordinaire in the sheets you know you are... especially because every Hide song on this go-around has a sexylicious title and all save one are named for women, which more deeply pounds in the point (absolutely no sexual double entendre intended!!!) that when Messrs. Sakurai and Hoshino get together to write lyrics, there's clearly something sassy going on that isn't going on when Imai's involved, because more often than not they end up writing about sex on the beach, white froth and incoherent moaning, stripper pussy, mystical mandala LSD pussy, death goddess pussy... well, you get the picture (bonus points for whoever can match each description above to the Hide song it describes. Leave your answers in the comments.)

But without further ado, here's the track list for No. 0.

01. Reishiki 13-Gata "Ai" (Type-Zero Model 13 "Love") - Sakurai/Imai
02. Bishuu Love (Love the Beautiful and the Ugly) - Sakurai/Imai
03. Babel - Sakurai/Imai
04. Nostalgia-Wita Mechanichalis - Imai/Imai
05. Ophelia - Sakurai/Hoshino
06. Femme fatale - Sakurai/Hoshion
07. Barairo Juujidan -Rosen Kreuzer- - Sakurai/Hoshino
08. Gustave - Sakurai/Imai
09. Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete (Tell Me Goodbye) - Sakurai/Imai
10. Hikari no Teikoku (Empire of Light) - Imai/Imai
11. Igniter - Imai/Imai
12. Guernica no Yoru (The Night of Guernica) - Sakurai/Imai
13. Tainai Kaiki (Return to the Womb) - Sakurai/Imai

Sakurai has already declared that it's one of the best albums they've ever made, and there's clearly a lot in here, but we don't want to speculate too much without having had a chance to look at the lyrics. Still, there are a few things we can comment on. 

The title of the first track is written in such a way as to imply that "Love" is a make and model of weapon, such as a gun, missile, or bomber. 

Ophelia is the lead female character in Shakespeare's "Hamlet." Ophelia is basically Hamlet's girlfriend, but Hamlet plays hot and cold with her and in general treats her pretty badly. He has his reasons, but it's not enough for her. She has a mental breakdown which culminates in one of the most beautiful suicides in the history of literature, immortalized in a famous painting by John Everett Millais, beloved of both goths and emo teens alike.

A femme fatale is a beautiful woman who lures men into trouble, often to their deaths. Salome was one of the original femme fatales, but we'll go into that more once the Moon single is released.

Rosen Kreuzer is the German version of Rosicrucian, which was an esoteric society that gained popularity in the 1600s in Europe. Whether or not the secret order actually existed, the idea of such an order had a tremendous impact at the time. The theosophists who searched for Shambhala-Argarttha around the turn of the 20th century were a later wave of similar hermetic occultists. We're sure we'll have loads more to write about this when the album comes out.

Gustave is probably a reference to the engraver Gustave Dore, whose engraving of Babel we shared in our article a little while back. When we hear the song we'll be sure, but he wouldn't be the first artist for Sakurai to write a tribute song to or name in a song - the award for the former goes to Van Gogh in "Asylum Garden," and the award for the latter goes to Chagall in "Lullaby III."

Edit: In the latest issue of FT, Sakurai stated that "Gustave" was Imai's working title for the song, which he took from the name of artist Higuchi Yuuko's brand Gustave, which includes a lot of whimsical illustrations of cats. Y'all may remember that Higuchi Yuuko's illustration book Babel is one of works which inspired Buck-Tick's song Babel. Anyway, according to Sakurai, Imai showed Sakurai some of the Gustave cat illustrations, and Sakurai felt inspired to write a song about a cat named Gustave, and therefore he kept Imai's working title as the final title of the song. But as for where Higcuhi Yuuko took the name Gustave from... the answer is, she took it from a crocodile! This crocodile, to be exact. Read about it here. (Special thanks to Blog-Ticker Mawb for helping us with researching this while we were off partying at the DIQ).

Guernica is a famous painting by Picasso depicting the bombing of the Basque town of Gernika by the Nazi Luftwaffe at the start of World War II. All hail rock albums about art history.

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In any case, if all this news has you feeling weak in the knees, or if you're a crotchety old granny who likes to enjoy your rock-n-roll through opera glasses while sitting on your plum duff in a red plush seat at the back of a Respectable Adult Theater far away from the speakers, rather than dancing your feet off while plastered to a speaker in a clump of sweaty fangirls at some Disrespectable Non-Adult Live House, then boy do I have some good news for you: Buck-Tick are going to be putting on another seated tour this spring to support their album, and it's going to last approximately four years and take them to approximately every city in Japan with a population greater than ten. Don't believe me? Here's the tour schedule:

3-31 (Sat.) Kanagawa - Yokosuka Arts Theater
4-1 (Sun.) Tokyo - Olympus Hall Hachioji
4-7 (Sat.) Hyogo - Kobe International Hall
4-8 (Sun.) Nara - Nara Centennial Hall
4-14 (Sat.) Tochigi - Utsunomiya General Cutural Center
4-15 (Sun.) Gunma - Gunma Music Center
4-21 (Sat.) Ishikawa -  Kanazawa Honda no Mori Hall
4-22 (Sun.) Nagano - Nagano City Arts Center
5-12 (Sat.) Kagawa - Sunport Hall Takamatsu
5-13 (Sun.) Kochi - Kochi City Culture Plaza Carport wtf?
5-19 (Sat.) Okayama - Kurashiki Citizens' Hall
5-20 (Sun.) Kyoto - Rohm Theater
5-26 (Sat.) Hokkaido - Sapporo WakuWaku Holiday Hall
6-1 (Fri.) Fukushima - Kooriyama Citizens' Culture Center
6-3 (Sun.) Chiba - Ichikawa City Culture Hall
6-9 (Sat.) Osaka - Orix Theater
6-10 (Sun) Osaka - Orix Theater
6-14 (Thu.) Niigata - Niigata Citizens' Arts and Culture Center
6-23 (Sat.) Hiroshima - Hiroshima JMS Astair Plaza
6-24 (Sun.) Fukuoka - Fukuoka Citizens' Hall
6-30 (Sat.) Miyagi - Sendai Izumity 21
7-1 (Sun.) Aomori - Aomori Citizen's Hall
7-6 (Fri.) Saitama - Kawaguchi Lilia
7-7 (Sat.) Kanagawa - Kanagawa Citizens' Hall Yokohama 
7-14 (Sat.) Shizuoka - Shizuoka Citizens' Culture Hall
7-15 (Sun.) Aichi - Nagoya Blah Blah Forest Hall
7-18 (Wed.) Tokyo - NHK "Shittiest Sound in Tokyo" Hall
7-19 (Thu.) Tokyo - NHK "Shittiest Sound in Tokyo" Hall

Tickets are now 8000 yen each plus as 720 fee, because they just keep jacking up the price of sitting in a red plush seat so far from the band members that you can't see them without opera glasses, breathing in the farts of the fat lady who's standing next to you refusing to dance, while intermittently screaming "ACCCCHIIIII" in your ear in a baby voice whenever things get too quiet. The Fish Tank presale (i.e. the only time you have a minimal fighting chance of getting a seat close enough to the stage to see the band with the naked eye) is on between January 13th and January 23rd, to ensure that people will buy the maximum number of tickets despite not knowing what the fuck they'll be doing in JULY because it's half a year away for fuck's sake, and therefore some of those people will definitely end up not being able to go see B-T, which means that they'll resell their tickets on Ticket Camp or similar, and Buck-Tick's management will get angry about resales and maybe ban some people from Fish Tank, only god dammit, they brought this on themselves.

If any of y'all want our help with tickets, we are ready and willing to help, but ask us as soon as possible. General sales open on March 10th, but before that there will be lots of Ticket Pia presale lotteries and other similar presale options, so don't miss them.

Also, if you enjoyed watching the Fish Tanker's Only 2017 DVD, please write to Buck-Tick's management and tearfully request moar fun standing shows like that, because the opera glasses industrial complex already has enough of our money, and listening to a live show in NHK Hall is kind of like listening to a live show through the water in an indoor swimming pool.

And... that's it for now. Tomorrow is the Day in Question. The day after tomorrow is also the Day in Question. Cross your fingers with us and hope that they've swapped out "Dokudanjou Beauty" and "Muma the Nightmare" for some old songs they haven't played in a while. We known it won't work, but if there's one thing Buck-Tick taught us, it's never to give up on our dreams.

16.12.17

Tickets, Goods, and Spotify

Hey, folks. How's the winter treating you? Were sorry we haven't been more post-happy lately. It's been a weird month, but we hope to get some live reports done in the near future.

However, first things first: the new news from Buck-Tickistan!

First, we would like to announce that due to some Blog-Tickers overestimating their ability to fill seats at B-T shows, we have several tickets available for sale for Buck-Tick's shows at Takasaki Arena on December 23rd and the Nippon Budoukan on December 28th and 29th. If any of y'all are interested in any of these tickets, please contact us right away. We will be selling each of them for the original price plus fees. Two of the sets of Budoukan tickets are contiguous pairs, so if you want to go as a pair and sit together, you can do that! Just let us know right away.

Second, as some of you may have noticed, there are new DIQ 2017 tour goods available in addition to the ones we've already profiled earlier this year. These goods happen to include the ugliest t-shirt ever made, which comes with an attached fake plaid shirt tied around the waist. Kids, let us remind you: plaid shirts are only cool if you are a lumberjack or an out lesbian. Otherwise, they are cultural appropriation, hipster cosplay, or you haven't come out of the closet yet but we encourage you to come out because enough of this heteronormative world already. But there's a caveat to that - plaid shirts are never, we repeat, never cool if you tie them around your waist. This shirts-tied-around-waist thing is really a trend in Japan this year, which we find very surprising as it basically indicates that this year in Japan, looking as uncool as possible has become cool. #makeitstop. In any case, if any of y'all want to place any further tour goods orders with us, just shoot us an email. For only 6000 yen each, one of these fabulous tees could be yours. Don't worry - if you pay us, we won't judge you.


Good God, there are two of them!?

Third, and much more importantly, Buck-Tick have announced that on February 21st, they will be releasing a second single in advance of their forthcoming new album. Entitled Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete, this single will contain the original version of "Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete," which appeared in remix form as the b-side to Babel, plus an additional song. It will be available in three versions - two limited editions, plus a regular edition. Limited Edition A will contain a bonus BluRay disc, while Limited Edition B will contain a bonus DVD. Both visual discs will contain the music video for "Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete." The pricing is listed below. If you'd like to reserve this single through Cayce, just shoot us an email. We will make sure you get your Tower Records bonus goodies.

Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete Limited Edition A - 2570 (incl. tax)
Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete Limited Edition B - 2030 (incl. tax)
Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete Regular Edition - 1080 (incl. tax)

Also, we invite all of you to take guesses as to what English lyrics Mr. Sakurai is singing in the chorus to this song. Is it "Under the moonlight/You bring me down every time"? Is it "Plunder the moonlight/You go to town every night"? Is it something else? You decide! Let the mondegreens abound!

Fourth, Buck-Tick's most recent single "Babel" will be featured as the ending theme of the series Unforgettable, which will air weekly on Tuesday nights at 1:34 AM on Nihon Terebi Kanto Local starting on December 19th. However, the first broadcast only will air at 2:34 AM instead of 1:34. Note that when they say Tuesday night, they mean the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, not the night between Monday and Tuesday.

In addition, "Babel" and some other selected popular B-T songs will soon be available on the music streaming service Spotify, in addition to Apple Music, LINE Music, and Google Play. It's unclear whether these songs will also be available on the international versions of these streaming services, so overseas fans, please let us know - because if these songs do indeed become available overseas, it means that the B-T management actually took our advice! Fingers crossed.

Fifth, the usually-truant Fish Tank newsletter is scheduled to be sent out spot on time on December 25th, the day otherwise known as Christmas. Why are they bothering to get it out on time this month, after failing to do so for the past year? We really hope it's because they're doing a standing tour and they need to announce the ticket sales in a timely fashion. We really hope it's because they're doing a standing tour and they need to announce the ticket sales in a timely fashion. We really hope it's because they're doing a standing tour and they need to announce the ticket sales in a timely fashion. We really hope it's because they're doing a standing tour and they need to announce the ticket sales in a timely fashion. We really hope it's because they're doing a standing tour and they need to announce the ticket sales in a timely fashion. We really hope it's because they're doing a standing tour and they need to announce the ticket sales in a timely fashion... (say it with us ad infinitum...)

Anyway, that's all our news for now. Pray with us that we can lose this cold so we can write live reports.

16.11.17

Babble of Babel

Well, kids, the Babel single is out, and we are pleased to present our official, eminently singable English translation, complete with expanded translation notes, since y'all have been sending us so much feedback over the years begging for more notes, moar notez!

Also, for ease of reading, we've reposted some of the notes here, along with some additional fun stuff and analysis we thought y'all might enjoy. But first, the song.


Babel
Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi
Music: Imai Hisashi

Dark of the universe
I embody oblivion
All things under heaven
Gossamer grace in the moonlit night

Flesh of the lamb
And the wine crimson and red
I want more
I want more
Blood I crave ah give me more

Tonight am I through Heaven towering
Right to the place where you stand
Call me Babel
Pleasure and joy
Anger and sorrow
Unto the end of desire
Call me Babel
Love the pale moonlight

Caught in the Fear, if you...
Fantasy, illusion you are
Here or not here if I...
I myself am nothing but a dream

Oh see the void
Split apart and soak me in
It burns
It burns
How I thirst, losing my wits

Tonight am I through Heaven towering
Until I tremble and sleep
Call me Babel
Pleasure and joy
Anger and sorrow
So do I crumble and fall
Call me Babel
Love the pale moonlight

Oh see the void
Split apart and soak me in
I want more
I want more
Blood I crave ah give me more

Tonight am I through Heaven towering
Right to the place where you stand
Call me Babel
Pleasure and joy
Anger and sorrow
Unto the end of desire
Call me Babel
Love the pale moonlight

Tonight am I through Heaven towering
Until I tremble and sleep
Call me Babel
Pleasure and joy
Anger and sorrow
So do I crumble and fall
Call me Babel
Love the pale moonlight

"Babel," of course, refers to a famous story from the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, in which the ancient Babylonians, having survived the Great Flood of Noah, set about to build a great tower as a safeguard against a second flood, saying, "Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." God looks on and notes, "Behold, the people are one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them." To prevent the people from reaching Heaven, God confuses the people's language. Unable to communicate with one another because they all speak different languages, the people give up building the tower and scatter off into various splinter groups. The site of the tower is named "Babel" because it sounds like "Babylonia," but also like the Hebrew word for "confusion." The word "babel" has been adopted into English to refer to a scene of noise and confusion, or a mixture of many languages.

In addition to being an origin story about why people speak different languages, the Babel story is also a story of the folly of hubris. People seeking to become equal with god are invariably brought low. Stories about the folly of hubris abound in all religious traditions, and stories similar to the Babel story appear in many non-Christian mythologies, including pre-Christian Sumerian mythology and even completely unrelated mythologies of American indigenous peoples.

Beyond this, in the Christian tradition, Babylon has long been used as a symbol of hedonism, decadence, and oppression, mainly because the Jews in Babylon were an oppressed minority, yet at the same time, in its day, Babylon was the largest city in the world and the center of the height of human knowledge. The Freemasons consider Babylon their birthplace, while the Rastafarians use Babylon as a metaphor for the white colonialist capitalist industrial hegemony. The Walls and Hanging Gardens of Babylon, a remarkable tiered water park and pleasure garden, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, though since not even ruins remain, there is doubt as to whether such a place ever existed. Most accounts agree that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built by one of the Babylonian kings (there's debate about which one) to please his wife... and all we have to say to that is kids, if your guy builds you a wonder of the world to show his love for you, he's almost certainly a keeper. (Quick conspiracy theory: King Sakurai I of Buck-Tickistan built the mighty Tower of Buck-Tick as a highly phallic love monument to the same blue-eyed minx for whom he wrote "Sapphire" and "Yougetsu." Vkontakters, spread it far and wide! Get angry, argue about the lady's true identify, and start flame wars! That's what conspiracy theories are for! Plus, remember - everything you read on the internet is true!)

Anyhow, the Tower of Babel has been the topic of much interest and exploration in literature and theology since ancient times, and its relationship to actual historical structures and leaders has been long debated. Many historical scholars think that the story of Babel was most likely inspired by the ancient Sumerian ziggurat at Babylon, Etemenanki. Etemenanki was a massive religious structure which, if it had been completed, would have been topped by a temple, but the construction was never finished. King Nebuchadnezzar II (the same guy who is often believed to have built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon) reportedly wrote about Etemenanki in some detail way back around 600 BCE, but there's always a debate as to whether this kind of stuff is true or not, given its extreme age. What is certainly true is that Alexander the Great ordered Etemenanki to be restored from the ruined state in which he found it, but when the work did not progress as swiftly as he hoped, he ordered the whole thing demolished and rebuilt again from the ground up. However, he died before the project could be completed, so Etemenanki was lost forever.

Since the Tower of Bable passed into the realm of legend, many famous artists have depicted it in their work, often depicting the tower as a spiral-shaped structure, which was inspired by records of Sumerian architecture, Muslim architecture, and the Roman Coliseum, among others. Of the artistic representations of Babel, the most famous was painted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1563. In general, Bruegel was less known for painting religious images than he was for painting complex, humorous landscapes populated by numerous figures, often peasants engaged in daily activities. As such, his art was both enormously popular with the common people of the period and also an invaluable window into the life and times of Dutch peasants during the early Renaissance. Bruegel was a contemporary of Hieronymous Bosch, who painted the famous Garden of Earthly Delights which we discussed several times before on this blog. Bosch's subject matter tended toward the fantastical, while Bruegel leaned toward the real world, but the two painters had plenty in common, including a wacky sense of humor and a penchant for cramming as many figures as possible into a single painting. In some cases, the work of one is mistaken for the other, sometimes deliberately. Bruegel made much of his money creating prints which were reproduced by the major print mogul of the era, a guy named Hieronymous Cock, who looked like this:



It's worth noting that not only was Hieronymous Cock the dude's real, actual, true name (Don't laugh! It's not funny!) but that cheeky Hamlet pose he's affecting in the picture above was the real and true hipster Hamlet - Hieronymous Cock died years before "Hamlet" the play was even written, which just goes to show that even Shakespeare didn't pull his ideas out of thin air. Anyway, Hieronymous Cock was a businessman, and he shamelessly attributed at least one Bruegel print to Bosch because their styles were similar enough that it seemed plausible and Mr. Cock (stop laughing!) figured that Bosch would sell better than Bruegel. Sorry, Bruegel. Anyway, here's Bruegel's Tor du Bablee.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Tower of Babel.

In fact, it is Bruegel's Tower of Babel which directly inspired Buck-Tick's song. Imai gave the song the working title "Babel," stating that the bass line sounded like a the rumbling of a large building about to fall down. Sakurai stated in Issue #85 of the Fish Tank newsletter that he built the lyrics off Imai's working title in part because Pieter Bruegel's Babel painting was being exhibited in Tokyo at the time, and also because a fan had sent him a re-imagining of Bruegel's Babel by Japanese artist Higuchi Yuuko, which he found "cute and charming." About the lyrics, Sakurai stated, "I couldn't attend the Brugel exhibition because I was in recording... but if you look up the Bible story about Babel, you find that people built the tower to get closer to God. The foolishness of humanity was the subject I most wanted to write about. Beyond that, interpret the lyrics however you want.

Ad for the Bruegel Babel exhibit in Tokyo, 2017.

Higuchi Yuuko's re-imagining of Breugel's Babel, complete with her own Lovecraftian monster wreaking havoc in the distance.

Gustave Dore's "Confusion of Tongues" is another rendering of the Tower of Babel. [Fun fact: Gustave Dore may be the source of the "Dame Dore bar" Sakurai refers to in the lyrics to "Lullaby III." Illustrating everything from Poe to Byron to Milton, Dore was a primo romantigoth artist sure to win the love of any art nerd with a heart as melancholic black as Mr. Sakurai's. What are you waiting for, go image search his work right now!]

Sakurai previously made reference to the Tower of Babel in the lyrics to "Lady Skeleton," but in the live performances of that song, he made it pretty clear that the tower was intended to be a phallic symbol, more like this Tower of Babel, drawn by M. C. Escher.


But the interesting backstory behind "Babel" doesn't stop at the art history connections. Sakurai's "Babel" lyrics contain a number of interesting word plays and references. In the line "Blood I crave, ah give me more," Sakurai spells the imperative verb "kure," meaning "give me," as "kurei" (くれい). Though Sakurai chose to write the word in hiragana, when written in katakana, "kurei" means "clay," which could be taken as a reference to the clay or dust from which mortal bodies are made. Paired with the reference to wine, I can't help but think of this drinking song by Henry Purcell:

He that drinks is immortal
And cans't ne'er decay
For wine still supplies
What age wears away.
How can he be dust
How can he be dust
That moistens his clay?

I suppose it's a long shot to assume that Sakurai is familiar with a song like this, but he's pulled out some surprisingly esoteric references to Western culture before, so it's not impossible. If he doesn't know it, he should. After all, don't these latter-day pirates look fun to hang out with?



The first line of the second verse also contains a beautiful word play. In Japanese, the word I translated as "the Fear" is "ifu" (畏怖), meaning "dread, fear, or awe." But of course, "ifu" sounds like the English word "if." Sakurai juxtaposes the two to subtly underscore the fact that he's talking about fear of death as the main motivator of selfish and indulgent human behavior. His use of the phrase "here or not here" in the next line is very similar to the way in which he employed "to be or not to be" in the lyrics to The Mortal's "Dead Can Dance." I already wrote a lot about that in my article The Cacophony of Mortality, so if you haven't read that one yet, go read it.

A third, less obvious word play is the juxtaposition between the reference to wine in the first verse, and the phrase "sake yo" in the second verse. This "sake," spelled 「裂け」 in kanji, is the imperative form of the verb "sakeru," meaning "to rend, tear, or split apart." However, when sung, it sounds indistinguishable from the noun "sake," meaning alcohol (spelled 「酒」in kanji).  Adding to the double meaning is the fact that "sake yo" is followed by the phrase "nurase yo," the imperative form of the verb "nurasu" (「濡らす」), meaning "to wet or moisten." Every time you drink wine, you're certainly moistening your throat with alcohol, so a casual listener who heard the song without looking at the lyrics card could easily be forgiven for thinking that "sake yo nurase yo" is a line about Sakurai wanting to get drunk or be showered in booze. As I've explained before, using homophones to generate double meanings is an ancient tradition in Japanese poetry, so I think it's safe to assume this ambiguity is intentional on Sakurai's part.

But if the actual meaning of "sake yo" means "split apart," then what, exactly, is Sakurai wanting to split? To find out, all you have to do is look at the previous phrase, "kuu yo," which is spelled with the kanji 「空」. "Kuu" is the on-yomi or Chinese reading of this kanji, and as such is not usually used when the kanji stands on its own, as it does in this line. To indicate that he wants the kanji to be pronounced "kuu," Sakurai added a hiragana pronunciation guide known as furigana, to make sure everyone knows that the character has an unusual reading in this context. (For more on kanji readings, check out this article.) 

Usually, when this kanji stands on its own, it is pronounced with one of the two main kun-yomi, or Japanese readings: "sora," meaning "sky," or "kara," meaning "empty." The "kuu" reading usually means "empty" or "air" (as in "melted into air, into thin air"... we'll come back to that in a bit), which is why I translated it here as "the void." However, since the character also means "the sky," in this context, it has the double meaning of referring both to emptiness and to Heaven. So what does Sakurai want to split open, again? He wants to split open Heaven, with the Tower of Babel! Split open Heaven with a big phallic tower, then make it wet... wow, this is turning out to be the most sexual theology class we've ever taken, eh? But let's not focus on the sex part so much that we forget that there's another implication here: Heaven is empty. Does God exist, or is humanity and human desire all there is? 

Sakurai leaves that an open question, but he does explore it further. Look at the next line: "it burns, it burns, how I thirst, losing my wits." The Old Testament God never bothered burning the Tower of Babel, but he's famous for burning some other nearby cities, namely Sodom and Gomorrah, by raining down fire and brimstone upon them to punish their inhabitants for their sins. 

As related in the Old Testament, the sins of the people of Sodom mainly involved the fact that as soon as a pair of angels arrived in the city to check the place out, the men of the city surrounded the house where the angels were staying and demanded that they come out and have a big ol' gay gang-bang with all the dudes in the city square (those of you who think supernatural yaoi is a recent invention, think again...) Lot, the supposedly morally pure man who was sheltering the angels, told the would-be gay gang bangers that they were kinky creeps to want to do it with two male angels. "Please fuck my two virgin daughters instead!" said Lot, because he was morally pure and chosen by God. But the Sodomites were adamant that they only wanted sex with other dudes and wanted nothing to do with icky female virgins. The angels removed Lot and his family from the city and then God promptly destroyed it, and turned Lot's wife into a pillar of salt for good measure, just because she had the shameless curiosity to look back over her shoulder at all that fire and brimstone (best fireworks show ever). So it was just Lot and his two daughters wandering the desert, and his daughters, fearing that their family line would die out, proceeded to get Lot really drunk and sleep with him (their own dad, for fuck's sake) to get pregnant with his kids. So, despite being saved from a public orgy with a bunch of sinful gays in the Sodom city square, they ended up having sex with their own papa and having his babies. Both babies grew up to found great blessed dynasties, and the moral of this story is, apparently, that gay sex is the worst possible sin but offering your daughters as sex toys to a horny mob and drugging and raping your own dad are wholesome, God-approved activities (Jesus, the Old Testament is weird).

The particulars of the Sodom and Gomorrah are largely beside the point, and we only shared them because we hoped you might share a moment of squicky amusement with us, but the main point is, Sodom and Gomorrah and their destruction in fire and brimstone have become an iconic symbol of sin and punishment throughout Western culture ever since the original spread of the Christian religion. Given that the entire premise of "Babel" is already one big Biblical reference, the "it burns" line is surely an evocation of that fire and brimstone wrath of God, the price we must pay for our sins. I've no doubt Mr. Sakurai has been to Sodom himself a fair few times, and he's obviously lived to tell the tale, but coming off the heels of Atom Miraha, it's not hard to imagine what fire from the sky might be. J. Robert Oppenheimer, effective inventor of the atomic bomb, famously compared the original Trinity nuclear blast to "the splendor of the Mighty One," and isn't the bomb the Tower of Babel of modern times? Nothing in the history of humankind has given us such godlike power, and no hubristic act has ever brought us so close to our own total destruction. Perhaps I'm reading too much in, but there are a lot of potential interpretations to these lyrics, and that's what makes them so interesting.

In keeping with this, I can't help but think that the line "love the pale moonlight" is a reference to the famous line spoken by Jack Nicholson as the Joker in the 1989 Batman movie, "Have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight?" What the Joker is really asking is, have you ever examined your own inner darkness, or entertained the elements of your own character and desires which you normally keep hidden? (Out of the "sunlight," as it were). Since this song appears to be all about the way people succumb to their own worst urges, the meaning fits perfectly. For those of you who can't understand how Sakurai could jump from Jesus to Batman with such alarming alacrity, I just want to ask you - how goth is Batman? Answer: he's fucking Batman. Maybe not quite as goth as Andrew Eldritch, I dunno (we can fight about that one, especially since Andy always vehemently denied ever being goth). But Batman would beat Jesus in a goth-off any day.

This is relevant because "Babel" is a fundamentally GAF (Goth As Fuck) song. As the line "how I thirst, losing my wits" demonstrates, it seems that with this song, Sakurai has taken his usual vampire story one step further, this time using the vampire (who drinks blood and can only come out at night) as a metaphor for the way the human race acts like a vampire upon the world. In this way, "Babel" makes a natural sequel to "Devil's Wings." (Read more about my analysis of "Devil's Wings" in this article.) A lot of the imagery in "Babel" is similar to Sakurai's previous vampire songs "Ghost," "Shingetsu," "Romance," "Kuchizuke," "Yougetsu," and "Fantomas," and this similarity is echoed in the music video, which strongly resembles the video for "Romance" in many ways. However, in "Babel," the vampire imagery is clearly metaphorical, rather than literal - no mention in the lyrics to "Babel" of being killed by sunlight, for example. The characters are vague, and there's no love story, only a story of attempting to reach God by satiating desire.

As far as satiating desire goes, the imagery of eating "the flesh of the lamb" is at the heart of the meaning of the song. It's a classic Biblical metaphor - the Lamb is one of the most widely used symbols of Jesus ("Worthy is lamb that was slain," etc.), so naturally, anyone or anything that eats the lamb's flesh is, in Christian metaphorical terms, in league with the Devil... or perhaps the opposite. At the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples that the bread they ate was his body, and the wine they drank was his blood, and commanded them to eat bread and drink wine in his memory. This is the origin of the Christian ritual of Holy Communion, whereby worshipers partake of bread (or crackers) and wine (or grape juice) at church as a way of symbolically growing closer to Christ. Some Christian faiths believe in the idea of transubstantiation (not to be confused with trans masturbation), whereby, once blessed by the priest, the Communion bread and wine actually literally transmute into the body and blood of Christ. The question of whether transubstantiation is a thing or not has been the cause of bitter theological debates throughout the history of Christianity, though if you ask us, not enough attention has been paid to the question of whether, if transubstantiation is a thing, does that make everyone who partakes in Communion a cannibal? (We believe in freedom of religion, and we're not trying to disparage anyone's faith. We also believe that context is a tremendously important factor when considering the ethics of cannibalism. So we assure you, this is an honest question.) Anyhow, if transubstantiation is a thing, then that means that every devout Christian who partakes in Communion is, in effect, eating the Flesh of the Lamb and drinking sacred wine in order to be closer to God, so from this perspective, the act Sakurai describes in his lyrics may be considered a divine act.

However, eating flesh also has a strong connotation of predatory exploitation and consumption, particularly when viewed from a Japanese Buddhist perspective. Many Buddhist traditions encourage or mandate vegetarianism, due to the fact that in Buddhism, every living creature is considered sacred, and therefore, to eat the flesh of animals is a sin (dunno why that means it's okay to eat plants, which are every bit as alive as animals, but everyone's got to eat to survive, and that's a debate for another day). The lamb, as an herbivorous baby animal, is a perfect symbol of innocence, which is why Christ is presented as a lamb in the first place. Therefore, eating the flesh of the lamb also serves as a powerful symbol of exploiting, trampling on, raping and/or murdering the innocent for one's own pleasure... because after all, once doesn't need to eat lamb's meat to survive. Lamb is an expensive delicacy associated with wealth and power.

Likewise, wine may symbolize the sacred blood of Christ, or it may symbolize debauchery, the Sin of Gluttony, the clouding of the senses, shutting out the voice of the divine. Christianity has never been anywhere near as opposed to alcohol consumption as certain other religions, most notably Islam, but there's still a long, robust tradition of Christians railing against drinking as morally impure.

So which is it? Are lamb and wine the body and blood of Jesus, or symbols of sin, and thus of the Devil? If all this is happening in the pale moonlight, maybe it's the Devil after all, but who is the Devil, anyway? He used to be the brightest of angels, Lucifer Morningstar, who parted ways with God, and was thus cast out of Heaven, because he wanted to do things his own way. "Satan" is another commonly-used term for the Devil, but the real meaning of this word is "adversary" - i.e. anything which serves as a temptation or test of faith. Contrary to popular belief, most Satanist religions don't actually worship the Devil as a physical entity locked in combat with God, but rather employ the original "adversary" meaning of Satan. Rather than following a dogma and living for a promise of an afterlife, Satanists believe in respecting the instincts, needs and urges of the human animal by engaging with the fleshly, physical, sensual world in the here and now, thus taking the same path as Lucifer, leaving the height of an intellectual heaven in favor of earthy reality. Many years ago we used to regularly receive questions from fans about whether the Buck-Tick members are Satanists. While the answer to this question is almost certainly "no" - Satanism is barely practiced in Japan, a largely secular country where the vast majority of the population identify as lax or agnostic Buddhists with some Shinto thrown in - the lyrics to "Babel" could nonetheless easily be seen as a sort of Satanist hymn. I doubt Sakurai was specifically considering this when he wrote these lyrics, but it's still interesting to contemplate.

Satanism or not, there's a mountain of occult symbolism here to sift through, most notably the occult associations with the image of the Tower. Though the Tower of Babel is never explicitly destroyed in the Bible, its divine destruction reappears in later Christian mystical imagery, most notably in the Tarot, on the Tower, Card 16 of the Major Arcana. 



Tarot of Marseilles Tower ("The House of God") - This is the oldest tarot deck, heavily influenced by Christian mysticism, and thus, the Tower is explicitly the Tower of Babel.

Rider Waite Tower - The Rider Waite deck is the most widely used Tarot deck today, and its imagery has had a massive influence on many later tarot decks.


Crowley Thoth Tower - The Thoth Tower is a pagan reinterpretation of the Tarot based on the teachings of famous occultist Aleister Crowley. Most Christian imagery has been erased from the Thoth deck, but note how the round, wide shape of the Thoth Tower distinctly resembles Bruegel's Tower of Babel. The dove with the olive branch is a reference to the sign which heralded the end of the flood of Noah.


Though one of the most feared cards in the deck, the Tower represents nothing more or less than the "moment of truth": the complete shattering of illusions. Sakurai may or may not be familiar with Tarot symbology, but the shattering of illusion theme matches well with the lyrics in this song about people being nothing more than illusions and dreams. It also calls to mind another Shakespeare reference, Prospero's famous speech in "The Tempest" - 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.


If Sakurai isn't familiar with this speech, I'll eat my dreams. This one is a must have for anyone who's used the word "dream" more than anyone else in the Japanese language, and there can be only one, and that one is Mr. Sakurai.

Next up: Jenga! Buck-Tickistan commemorative version. How high can you built it before it all comes falling down? If anyone wants to illustrate this for us, please send us your illustrations, by all means. We'll send you some B-T goodies in return.


P.S. Congrats, Blog-Tickers, we successfully procrastinated an entire day's work to write this article. If you enjoyed it, please leave us a comment below.