8.7.14

Obangya

Translation of this articleFor those of you interested in the realities of the Japanese rock scene, a great illustration of just how much sexism in Japan is still alive and kicking.

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Fifty Years Old, but Still a Girl Inside! The "Obangya" Returns to the Live House When Her Children are Grown!

We know "bangya" (short for "band girls") as women addicted to visual kei.  The usual image is of a teenager, chasing bands, but these days, the kids who got hooked on Buck-Tick and X Japan have finished raising children of their own, and returned to the live houses as "obangya" ("old band girls.") To find out more about what motivates these women, we interviewed four self-identified "obangya" in their 40's and 50's.

It's Important to Make Family Time

Manga artist Yumi Enomoto, age 50, explains, "When I go to live shows several days in a row, my husband starts to get annoyed. That's why I promised him that when I go to live shows on week days, I'll make dinner in advance, on weekends, I'll be sure not to go out all day, but leave some time for family, too. I have to fight for the time to attend live shows, in between house work, taking care of the kids and spending time with my husband."

Potentially the biggest problem for an obangya is gaining the understanding of her family. If other family members are not visual kei fans, it becomes difficult for an obangya to continue her band-following lifestyle unless she gains her family's understanding.

Mother-Daughter Bangya

Next, we spoke to Ms. E, 41, whose daughter is also a visual kei fan.

"I liked X Japan when I was in middle school, but then when my daughter reached middle school age, she became a fan of Nightmare, and this is what led me to return to my bangya life. Since I usually attend live shows with my daughter and her friends, I don't really feel like an obangya.

At an age when most young teens are seeking to break away from their parents, mother and daughter attending a show together is a heart-warming sight.

The Internet Made Me a Bangya Again

The proliferation of the Internet has had the biggest impact on the bangya lifestyle.

"My daughter is 18 now, but when she was about ten, the Internet started to be more accessible, and I decided to look up what my favorite rocker was doing these days. I discovered he was still playing in bands, so I went to see him perform again for the first time in 23 years. He was just as beautiful as ever, and my bangya soul was revived!" says Ms. R, 52.

Without the internet, she might never have known that her favorite rock star had re-started his old band.

The Tragedy of the Single Bangya

Being an obangya isn't always fun.  Ms. M, 49, tells us about "the tragedy of the single obangya."

"I think it's really sad that there are a lot of obangya in their forties and fifties who are still single, still live with their parents, and work part-time or temp jobs.  To make matters worse, these obangya usually have horrible fashion sense and don't take proper care of their skin." [Burrrrrn!!!]

Ms. M tells us, "When I thought about marriage, I knew it was best to pick a nice normal man."  Ms. M did not want to marry a rocker, so she married an average salaryman.  No matter how much they may love their lifestyle, the choice of whether to be practical and marry, or stay single and continue to follow bands to their heart's content depends on the individual obangya.

When I Get Wrinkly, I'll Stop Going to Shows

So, how long do these obangya plan to continue going to gigs?

"I don't want band members to see me when I'm ugly, so I think when I get wrinkly, I'll just stop going to shows. In their memories, I want to always be beautiful," says Ms. R.  So long as the band members themselves are beautiful, in her heart, she still feels like a young girl.

In this interview, we focused on the difficulties of life as an obangya, and the problems obangya must overcome.  However, they all told me that when they go to see a great show, dance and headbang till their necks hurt, they feel a wonderful sense of achievement when they leave the venue, and think "I'm glad I'm an obangya after all." Gaining the understanding of family and making sure they themselves look their best is no object. Perhaps that's what truly defines the bangya lifestyle.

-Kei Himeno

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Note from Cayce: I would never have translated this if I didn't think it were spot-on accurate, but it is. Now readers, let's pick up the red flag and challenge some antiquated gender norms, shall we?

7.7.14

Buck-Tick airs their dirty laundry...

Actually, the laundry was clean.

Spotted hanging out to dry in a small village in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Note the Tenshi no Revolver bath towel (left) and Warp Days bath towel (right.) Underwear choices suggest that this is the abode of a fanboy, not a fangirl.






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P.S. It was raining that day.  Who hangs out their tour towels to dry in the rain? Fanboy, you can't fool us. We know you left that towel out specifically for us to find.

20.6.14

Speak Gibberish or Die

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Hugo Ball recites "Gadji Beri Bimba" at the Cabaret Voltaire.

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And by that I mean, all the translations and lyrics for the songs on Arui wa Anarchy are now up over at Not Greatest Site, but you can access them from here:

03. masQue
08. TEQUILA
13. Mudai

Feel free to leave your comments here. Please try to keep your comments polite, concise, and constructive. Gibberish responses welcome. I reserve the right to mock you if you say something stupid. Word to the wise: if you only have something stupid to say, speak gibberish instead.

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In other news, we have seen the tour, and we can say already that it was quite something to see. We're not going to spoil the set list here because some people enjoy being surprised. For now, we'll just say...that song you never ever thought would come back? It came back. Like the cat came back. Which cat, you ask?  I dunno, I think he belongs to that crazy physicist guy, I think his name was Schrödinger.

14.6.14

Cafe Manduuka

On June 3rd, after enjoying the celebratory displays for the release of Arui wa Anarchy in Tower Records Shibuya, Blog-Tick & friends headed next door to the Buck-Tick Cafe event at Cafe Manduuka. This is the second time Buck-Tick have held a pop-up cafe event to celebrate the release of an album, the first being the NicoNico Buck-Tick Cafe event which was held in honor of the release of Yumemiru Uchuu. Though the NicoNico Buck-Tick cafe had the distinct disadvantages of closing at the young hour of 8PM and not serving alcohol, the exhibit was extensive, and included displays of the band members' costumes and instruments, as well as a Buck-Tick purikura machine.

How would the Cafe Manduuka measure up? There was only one way to find out.


On our way in, we were greeted by this giant banner, which ran the length of the front window.


Inside, the walls were hung tastefully with prints of various promotional photos, though due to their small size, they didn't intrude nearly as much as I had hoped on the dining experience of the numerous Normal People who had come to the cafe for no other reason than to eat food.



Though Blog-Tick & friends spotted a number of Buck-Tick tour-following regulars drinking beer at the tables near the entrance hall, in the back, there were several birthday party groups of Shibuya teenyboppers who looked to be about twenty years too young to have ever heard of Buck-Tick on TV. Though Arui wa Anarchy was playing on shuffle over the cafe speakers, annoyingly, when the various birthday guests of honor were presented with cake, cafe staff dimmed the lights in the whole restaurant, stepped up to the DJ booth and turned on a loud, canned, j-pop lounge version of "Happy Birthday To You," severely detracting from the Buck-Tick atmosphere. I strongly feel they should have played "Iconoclasm" instead, but no one ever listens to me.

The appeal of Cafe Manduuka's food outstripped the horrifying NicoNico black curry by a large margin, though the prices were high and the drinks were weak. Shop staff had been directed to hand the special Buck-Tick coasters and placemats only to customers who asked for them, so as to avoid giving away coveted Buck-Tick items to undeserving Normal People. However, it seemed a waste to actually use the coasters and placemats, so most fans simply pocketed them and carried them home.

As the album had not been officially released yet, none of us had yet had a chance to listen to the new songs, and we strained to hear over the din of cafe conversation, while watching silent clips from Buck-Tick: The Movie, the Day in Question 2013, and the Keijijou Ryuusei PV on the projection screen conveniently located near our table, groaning in unison as "Sekai wa Yame de Michiteiru" came up over the speakers. We took bets on which sorry band member was responsible for the epic fail this time, and all four of us lost - we all bet Hide, but this song is 100% Imai's fault. Sorry, fans.

And kids, listen good, cuz I'm only gonna say this once: friends don't let friends have babies. Reproduction is rock-n-roll suicide in the making.

Though it would have been nice to sit there in the cafe all night, they kicked us out after two hours to make room for more fans...but not before we got a nice shot of this banner hanging in the entryway.


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So how would Cayce rate the Cafe Manduuka experience overall?

Ultimately, while it was nice to be able to sit down and eat dinner and have a beer, I would have appreciated a bit more aggressive Buck-Tickery - larger panels, louder music, more bananas, and most importantly, TEQUILA!

Bring those tequila shots to the tour, guys. Y'all know exactly when to take them.

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P.S. For those of you wondering whether you will see Cayce on the tour, just remember, this is what I look like:


If you were convinced I was someone else, you're wrong.

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4.6.14

Arui wa Anarchy Displays

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Downstairs in Tower Records Shibuya.


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Upstairs in Tower Records Shibuya.


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Look! It says "Anarchy in the B-T"!
Someone at Tower loves Buck-Tick!


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"The theme is surrealism, but the art is Buck-Tick!"


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"It comes with a magnet!"


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Shibuya Tsutaya


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And the ad truck! (Photo courtesy of Sakura)


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1.6.14

Cuisine of Buck-Tickistan

In contrast to last time, when Buck-Tick took over the NicoNico Cafe in Harajuku for a week, and served us horrifying black curry, non-alcoholic cocktails, purikura and a costume exhibit to celebrate the release of Yumemiru Uchuu, this time, Buck-Tick are taking their gourmet aspirations a notch higher, and will be moving into Shibuya's Cafe Manduuka, a tastefully pan-ethnic purveyor of light fare (and light alcohol!), conveniently located next door to Tower Records, so you can hit them up after you've bought your shiny new copy of Arui wa Anarchy.

In true Buck-Tick style, Cafe Manduuka is open until midnight, so you don't ever have to go out during the day if you don't want to. According to Fish Tank, the special Buck-Tick celebrations will include Buck-Tick themed place mats and coasters, which you will be able to take home after eating, though once they're gone they're gone, so hurry folks.  There will also be an exhibit of some kind of sexy Buck-Tick wall panels (probably live photography), and the background music will be nothing but Buck-Tick!  They will also be screening some Buck-Tick videos, no telling which ones but perhaps it will be the latest DVD.  This special event opens tomorrow, that is to say, Monday June 2nd, and closes on Sunday, June 15th.  For those of you too far away to actually attend, have no fear - Cayce and the This is NOT Greatest Site team will be posting a review shortly.

28.5.14

Cardcaptor Sakurai

...I'ma just leave this here. 



Have a nice day, y'all