Hey, kids. First off, an announcement: despite all that hard-scrabble heartache trying to wangle non-existent tickets to this year's The Day in Question 2019, somehow we ended up with an extra ticket to the DIQ show on December 29th in Yoyogi, Tokyo. If you're interested, send us an email!
Second, the jacket art for Datenshi has been released, and in fact, there are two whole jacket arts to see! First is this original drawing by Uno Aquirax for the limited edition:
Second is this eerily effeminate soft-focus photo of Mr. Sakurai for the regular edition:
The images mirror each other than that both Mr. Sakurai and the girl in Uno Aquirax's work are holding similar poses, hand raised, fingers curled expressively. Sakurai's dark eyeliner and lipstick also echo the face of Uno Aquirax's lady. Aquirax's drawing is obscure - though that's probably no more to be expected. What is that shape in the foreground? Is it some kind of stylized rendition of a map of Japan? What's the photo in the background? Is it Mount Fuji or somewhere else? As in much of Aquirax's work, the nature imagery is strong, conjuring images of pagan rites or animal medicine. The girl holds a flower that might be a higanbana, which on closer inspection reveals itself to be made of devil faces. A tree sprouts from her head, as if she's some kind of earth goddess. She has both a man's leg (devoid of garters but we're pretty sure we know who's leg that is) and a bird's leg - is this Inter Raptor back again?
Meanwhile, the photo of Sakurai seems like an overt reference to both "Dress" and "Heaven" - the feminine make-up and misty lens call to mind the looking-glass gender-bending of the "Dress" music video, while the overall white color scheme mirrors the cover of "Heaven" while making it clear that this time, it's after the fall - black hair, black lips, no all-white innocence anymore. In addition, Buck-Tick's home page has this mysterious new title graphic, in which the band members embrace empty white cutouts:
What does it mean? Sakurai has been working with the idea of duality and non-duality for a long time, and on the topic of "Satan," he stated in one of the Rock & Read interviews that he wasn't interested in any subject that couldn't be seen from more than one perspective. This theme appears in many songs - "Cabaret," "Melancholia," "Mudai," "Bishuu Love" - but "Dress" may be the song in which Sakurai explored it most fully - a love song to his inner woman, his reflection, his looking-glass self. The twin soul idea was the central theme of Shiina Ringo's "Elopers," but now it seems that in visuals, at least, all the Buck-Tick members are joining in to explore this theme. Who is the other half, the other self? Where can she be found? There's no question that the Divine Feminine is denied and repudiated in society today. Without restoring balance between masculine and feminine energies, how can we heal the problems we've inflicted on the natural world (that Uno Aquirax draws so beautifully) and in human society? If Buck-Tick are speaking up for balance, it's a message everyone should listen to.
And third, on a completely different topic, the tour goods for The Day in Question 2019.
Ugly rubber bands that cost a whole 500 yen each!
Cute little band member charms that cost a whole 500 yen each and you can't choose the band member (random draw, yo) and what they didn't tell you is that that Acchan-chan ones don't actually exist, they just pretend they do to get the fangirls to spend moar moar MOAR moneyzzz hoping against hope that they can snag a Ken-doll smooth round plastic Acchan-chan to stick down their underpanties! Tough luck, suckers!
Trading cards that cost a whole 1000 yen for one pack, that's 200 yen per small laminated piece of paper. But who are we to judge? These are memories in the making!
This absolutely beautiful tour towel featuring a black-and-white graphic of a cosmos flower. And it's 100% cotton and made in Japan. 2000 yen.
This ridiculous fake-leather coffee cup holder for the Starbucks-addicted among y'all! 2500 yen.
This year's guitar pick set, a bit uninspired, but Hide's making the most out of that 66-6-16 birthday of his! 666, Number of the Beast? Nu-uh, more like number of the Sexy Beast!!! #SexyBeastHide Another 2500 yen.
The tour pamphlet, featuring another lovely cosmos flower graphic. What will we find inside? Fake candles? Photoshopped wrinkles? Faux-fur mumus? Ball-jointed-doll makeouts? For 3500 yen, you can be the one to find out!
A very expensive "multi-case" featuring a vaguely zebra-striped Buck-Tick logo print. If you have 4800 yen you'd like to throw away.
A very expensive spotted tote bag. Nice, but maybe not bestial enough? Where are the feathers, the horns, the pink eyeshadow? 5500 yen.
The tour t-shirt, complete with tour dates on the back and the band members pictured as flowers on the front. We have to say, this is one of their best tour t-shirt designs in recent memory. Simple, elegant, black and white, no bullshit, no extraneous ugly colors, and no graphics depicting the band members as unappetizing forkfuls of food. It even comes in four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra large. 3800 yen.
What is the point of this other t-shirt? Nothing about this is original or interesting in any way. And it costs 1700 yen more than the other t-shirt just because it has a tiny useless pocket over the left nipple. What about that poor cold right nipple, eh? 5500 yen. If you want a pocket for your right nipple you have to pay extra.
An 8-bit Christmas t-shirt that only comes in sizes medium and large, because thankfully, Buck-Tick understand that small people hate Christmas. 4500 yen, because Christmas celebrates the Birth of the God of Capitalism and everyone should spend, spend, spend.
Oh wow, kids, here it is! The first-ever hoodie Buck-Tick have ever made that's actually cool looking! Took twenty years or more, but zomg, those years paid off! It looks great! Look at that red-lined hood! Those simple, elegant, black and white graphics of pretty flowers, devoid of extraneous ugly colors! Why did you have to appear in the year when Cayce's broke and can't buy you, eh? 9500 yen, for people who've been saving for twenty years for this bittersweet moment. If anyone wants to buy us this one for Christmas, we'll wrap it around our cold lil' shoulders and sing you a Christmas carol Acchan-chan style and love you forevermore. (What carol would he sing? "In the Bleak Midwinter"? "Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella"? "The Holly and the Ivy"? Leave your vote in the comments!)
And finally, for those of you who are still old-fashioned enough that you enjoy the anachronistic thrill of paper notebooks, the obligatory Buck-Tick agenda, 2020. God we love these. They have about 5000% as much personality as a smart phone and they don't even need to be charged in a wall socket. Plus, everyone in the know knows that 2020 is the year when the aliens make contact with earth. You'll want a hard copy record of the events to come, and Buck-Tick is here to help (what they're not telling you is that they ARE the aliens... they've been hiding in plain sight this whole time... why did you think Imai was so weird? "Buck-Tick Agenda," oh yes, oh yes they have an Agenda... oh shit, we weren't supposed to say that! We blew it! If you don't see us posting, assume the FBI swallowed us whole and say a prayer for our souls. Or, y'know, call Agent Mulder.)
And now, what you really want... the band member produced goods!
First up, a t-shirt with an angsty photo of Acchan-chan, and Acchan-chan's angsty-looking initials! T-shirt: 500 yen. Acchan-chan mojo: 6000 yen. That's awfully cheap for Acchan-chan mojo, kids. Snap it up while you can and you'll have the neighborhood cats all over you screaming for love till you're nothing but a dried-up drained husk lying lifeless in the street.
Second, the Hoshino Hidehiko Conservative Japanese Middle Aged Lady Approved Boring Colors Collection. It's a well-known fact that "fine upstanding citizens" in Japan shrink and shy from ever wearing any color that could be considered cool, stylish, funky, sexy, or God forbid, fun. Serious People wear beige. Serious People wear charcoal grey. Serious People wear brown. And if they're feeling eDgY, they wear navy blue. Because black is a scary color for scary, bad people who like scary, bad things like rock-n-roll bands, evil guitars and leopard-spotted hellcats. Serious People eschew graphic prints for something sensible. Take your pick: stripes or polkadots? Could be whimsical, but not in Serious People Colors (tm). Show them how grown up you are this Christmas. Show them that even Muji is too fashion-forward for you. Show them you choose Old Man Hide's for all your "fashion" needs.
Boring Color Towels, 1800 yen (boring colors cost more to dye than fun colors!)
Sex Toy Case Cosmetics Case, 3500 yen. (Do people who wear colors this boring even bother with makeup? And we know they don't use *gasp* sex toys. Clutch your pearls now!)
(We are sorry, Hide. We still love you. But these colors are really, really boring.)
But! As if in defiance to the Boring Colors, we have the A-Fucking-Dorable Cute AF Serious Bear Lolita Edition goods!
A DIQ Christmas stocking with Serious Bear's lil' head poking out? 2000 yen, but that's a small price for the joy this will bring you.
Or what about a floral-print Serious Bear coffee mug, complete with a Serious Bear figurine head to keep your coffee as warm as your warmed-up heart? Awwww. 3800 yen is nothing for this level of good cheer.
But if this feels a wee bit too childish for your old-man self, why not try Yagami Toll's Old Man Collection?
Reading glasses, complete with case, for your failing eyes. Collaboration with ZoffDeca. Comes in a choice of black or purple leopard print. No boring colors here! 10000 yen for brand-name cachet.
And a super-cool Buck-Tick logo digest tissue case, so you can cart around enough tissues to wipe your winter cold runny nose in style. 3500 yen.
Everyone knows that the best part of winter is sleeping. It's cold and snowy outside. It's dark all day. So why leave your futon? But if you always felt that the one thing missing in that fluffy, comfy, warm futon of yours was a little bit of trashy Imai style in Certified Definitely Not Boring Colors, wow, has Imai got just the thing for you: the Evil GTR Sleepwear Collection,
Sleep With Imai Sleep Imai Style 2019.
Zomg! Imai-print pajamas! And then come in a men's and a lady's version! You can die, sleep, perchance to dream happy! 9500 yen, but this is a steal. These will be collectors' items. Get a pair for you and one for your honey-bun to wear while you listen to Buck-Tick in bed!
And while you're at it, get the Imai-print bedroom slippers to match, so your little toeses won't be cold when you have to get up to pee after drinking too much tea! 3800 yen.
And finally... last but not least... this incredibly beautiful object that hardly looks as though it came from Planet Earth. We haven't cried this hard over tour goods since the GothyGoth Scarf of 2017, a whole two years ago (that's a long fucking time! Kids go from bundles of cells to pooping, puking bundles of mayhem in two years!!!) It looks like it came from the same collection as the GothyGoth Scarf 2017... a collection we might title, "The Inside of Cayce's Sadly Yearning, Horticulturally Enthusiastic Gothical Soul (or what's left of it after several Seasons in Hell)." That butterfly, kids! The butterfly of the soul, of transformation. Black for mystery and magic, red for blood and passion. Butterfly as mask, symbol of the transformation from persona and roleplayed ego-self to the truth of the inner self, or higher-self, everted into that crazy, out-of-control, out-of-season flower garden Mr. Sakurai loves to sing about. Roses for love, poppies for dreams, red lilies for sacrifice, alstromeria for survival, devotion, and never giving up, pink peonies for the Divine Feminine. We could write a whole paper on this bag. Surely the only objects appropriate to carry in the hallows of this bag are power crystals, tarot cards, Ollivander ebony-and-unicorn-hair magic wands, red lipstick, Buck-Tick perfume, purikura of your beloved, special brownies, Shinto good-luck charms, seashells from Okinawa, miniature bottles of wine, sex toys, 45 rpm vinyl records, extremely tiny yet playable guitars, and pictures of your cats. How is this only 3800 yen?
As always, we're willing to line up for goods for our readers far and wide who can't make it to Japan this year, or help you order them through the B-T web shop, so if you want to order any of these items through us, just send us an email and we will do our best to get you what you crave.