The Tale of the Great Picture Ticket Kerfuffle


Reposted from the new NGS section, So You Want to Visit Japan to See Buck-Tick, part 2: FAQ -Buying Tickets.


Above: a pair of Fish Tank "picture tickets" from the Metaform Nights or Anarchy tour, with name and number redacted (though as a matter of fact, I happen to know that these are the famous winning tickets of Fish Tank member number 69696, Ms. Fanny Cockshott-Shufflebottom.)


Question 18. Can you tell me the story of the Great Picture Ticket Kerfuffle?

Answer. Ah, the Great Picture Ticket Kerfuffle: Fish Tank’s own fourth-grade girl drama come to life! The whole thing is so petty and immature I really can’t believe it happened at all, but some of you may still be confused by it, so allow me to explain.

One privilege of purchasing tickets through Fish Tank is that Fish Tank tickets are so-called “picture tickets”: large, glossy pieces of cardstock printed with a photograph of the band members’ lovely faces, along with the name and Fish Tank ID number of the purchaser. For years, all Fish Tank tickets were picture tickets. So for example, if you, a Fish Tank member, bought a set of four tickets, one for you and three for your friends, all four tickets would be picture tickets, regardless of whether your friends were Fish Tank members or not.

As a sane person, you wouldn’t think this would be the source of any sort of issue. After all, pictures are nice, but tickets are just little bits of paper which are useless after the show is over. They make nice mementos, but not really worth getting worked up over, right?

WRONG. Apparently, picture tickets are really really important to certain fangirls, to the point that picture tickets started fetching higher prices on the ticket auction black market. Fish Tank expressly prohibits selling tickets through auctions, and when they caught on to the fact that the picture tickets were being sold at a premium, they made the decision to only issue one picture ticket per show per Fish Tank member.

Therefore, when fans received their Fish Tank tickets for Arui wa Anarchy –NPPNBDKN- in December 2014, they were dismayed to discover that if they’d bought multiple tickets, only one of those tickets was a picture ticket, and the others were standard Ticket Pia tickets. Included with this ticket shipment was a snippy (and I do mean snippy) note from Fish Tank declaring that picture tickets were a “privilege” offered by a “sense of gratitude” and that “sense of gratitude” did not extend to non-Fish Tank members. Cayce to Fish Tank: I don't think it's called “gratitude” if you’re paying for it.

Naturally, this decision pissed off a lot of fans. For one thing, many Fish Tank members had doubled up to buy tickets in consecutive pairs or groups…but in this case, only one person would get to go home with a picture ticket, despite all the ticket holders being fanclub members. But more to the point, the note from Fish Tank was inches away from being out-and-out rude, and rudeness really rankles in Japan, especially in official written correspondence. Reasonable Fish Tank members who didn’t really give a shit about picture tickets or auction dramas were put off by what they saw as an excessive display of mean-spirited stinginess from a fanclub they’d been supporting loyally for years. They complained.

To Fish Tank’s credit, when they heard the complaints, they realized they’d made a mistake, and changed the system accordingly. Now, when you apply for multiple tickets to the same show, you have the option of entering the Fish Tank ID numbers of any accompanying parties. If you win the tickets, each Fish Tank member whose ID number you listed in your application will be issued a picture ticket (though the name and ID number on the ticket will still be the name and ID number of the purchaser). However, if one of those Fish Tank members also applied for tickets to the same show separately, on her own, and she wins the tickets, too, she’ll only get one picture ticket—either the ticket you bought for her will be a picture ticket and the ticket she bought for herself will be a regular Pia ticket, or vice versa. How they decide which set of tickets contains the picture ticket and which one doesn't has not been adequately explained. One would hope that the picture ticket would be the ticket with the lower line number, but no way to tell for certain, as the system has only just been implemented.

So...is this petty? Yes, very. And we have the crazy collector fangirls to thank. So the moral of this story is: before you act like a complete dipshit, spare a thought for the fact that, in addition to hastening your own self-destruction, you may be dragging the whole circus tent down with you so for fuck's sake, think about people besides yourself just a little tidge before you act.

This goes equally for fangirls, hedge fund managers, and climate change deniers alike. I know you probably won’t listen and will continue to act like dipshits. But if you do, all I can say is, you suck.



  1. Ah! I didn't even realise that a picture ticket is such a sought after item. I would kept them as souvenir but My dear hubby chucked ours away after the concerts.That's a guy for you.....:-(

  2. Interesting, because I got 2 tickets for the Budoukan and wondered why only 1 had the picture... I have to say though, I can sort of understand the crazy fangirls though... Buck-tick isn't my nr1 band, but if I knew my favorite band made picturetickets I'd really want one. Mostly because I don't live in Japan so it would be a really nice memory.

    1. The thing about the fangirls in this scenario is, they're most likely all Fish Tank members, and the only reason they're buying tickets on auction is that they want better seats/numbers than the ones they won in the lottery the first time around (which they are also selling on auction.) So basically, they're the reason the rest of us can't have nice things. We should all have picture tickets and a small handful of these crazy people ruined it for us.


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