Buck-Tick in Translation Hell Land, and Other Stories

Happy summer, kids! Let's give a big round of applause to our favorite 21st-century bugbear, Climate Change, for its heroic effort to end the rainy season in Japan a full three weeks early and usher in an extra-long summer of infernal heat, humidity, and vampire-roasting sunlight sure to turn every last one of your undead friends into ash - and we don't mean Daniel!

And in honor of this Season in Hell, Buck-Tick's management have rolled out their own special surprise: a new English-language version of the Buck-Tick official site that was almost certainly written by a robot, or at the very least, a Japanese second language speaker of English with robotic aspirations. Jesus, Imai must be so happy. A real robot, working for Buck-Tick! The only problem is, robots can't write their way out of a paper bag.

Example sentence:

"The band has also performed in a total of 18 performances for the “THE DAY IN QUESTION 2017” tour, going from Omiya Sonic City on October 21st (Sat), to Takasaki Arena on December 23rd (Sat / holiday), and finishing at Nippon Budokan on December 28th (Thurs) and 29th (Fri)."

Dear Robot Person, if we were your English teacher, we'd give you a 70% on this one, at best. Let's correct it, shall we?

First, the phrase "performed in a total of 18 performances" makes it sound like Buck-Tick weren't the only band to appear on the Day in Question 2017 tour. 

Second, the title of the tour should not be rendered in all caps - all-caps rendering is generally reserved for acronyms only in standard English prose body text. 

Third, "going from" is a weak and vague way to refer to the start of a tour. Instead, try something like "opening at" or "starting at" to make the meaning clearer.

Fourth, there is simply no need to include the days of the week along with the tour dates, but if you want to keep the days of the week in there at all costs, please follow standard English writing conventions and revise the phrasing to "Saturday, October 21st, "Saturday, December 23rd," "Thursday, December 28th," and "Friday, December 29th." The convention of putting abbreviated week days after dates is widely used in Japanese, but in English, it is only acceptable on lists, spreadsheets, or other such documents - it is unacceptable in formal prose sentences.

Fifth, there is no need to mention that December 23rd is a holiday, especially because it was already a Saturday and therefore not a standard work day in Western countries. But the fact that it was a holiday is also totally irrelevant to the point of the sentence, which is to explain Buck-Tick's recent touring activities. We advise you to cut this word. Brevity is the soul of wit.

Sixth, for future reference: no spaces after slashes! The fact that you wrote ""Saturday/ holiday)" with that unnecessary space in there is a dead giveaway that you're a Japanese person who studied English as a second language and didn't bother to learn the conventions of English formal punctuation before going to work in a profession for which thorough knowledge of English punctuation conventions is one of the basic requirements. Please give the Chicago Manual of Style a thorough read-through before your next assignment.

We would offer detailed corrections on the entire piece, but it would take too much time, so instead, we'll simply offer you our revised version as a free sample of our work. If you'd like to contact us to produce further English language content for Buck-Tick, please email us at themadaristocrat@gmail.com.

However, before we begin, we'd like to point out one more thing- the phrase "Bakuchiku Genshou" should certainly be translated as "The Buck-Tick Phenomenon." Why? Because "genshou" means "phenomenon," while the word for "syndrome" is "shoujougun," which implies illness, which isn't a good recommendation for the band. Also, the Sen-Sor documentary on Picture Product I used the phrase "The Buck-Tick Phenomenon," so this translation should be maintained for consistency reasons, in addition to the fact that it sounds much sexier and cooler than "syndrome" in this context. Oh yeah, and it's the title of this blog, so don't mess with that!

Anyhow, please find our correction of the band's profile below.


One-of-a-kind rock band Buck-Tick got their start in the mid 1980's as an iconic product of Japan's "band boom." Maintaining the same lineup of members for the entirety of their 30-year career, Buck-Tick have had an enormous influence on the subsequent development of Japanese rock and rock-n-roll culture.

In 1989, the band scored their first chart-topping hit with their third album, Taboo. Just two years after their debut, they joined the ranks of Japan's top artists, playing to sold-out crowds at the Nippon Budoukan and the Tokyo Dome.

Never content to rest on their laurels, the band followed their initial success by deepening their pop sensibilities with a darker worldview, and expanding into more experimental territory, taking chances on radical new performance styles and technology in a process of continuing evolution.

In 2012, the band established their own new label, Lingua Sounda, in conjunction with their 25th anniversary. To celebrate the anniversary, the band held a festival on September 22nd and 23rd entitled "Buck-Tick Fest 2012 on Parade" in Chiba Port Park at an outdoor venue designed specially for the occasion. In addition to two hour-long headlining performances by Buck-Tick, the festival also featured a complete roster of artists who contributed tracks to Buck-Tick's second tribute cover album, Parade II -Respective Tracks of Buck-Tick.

In 2013, a double-feature documentary film about the 25th anniversary, The Buck-Tick Phenomenon, was released in cinemas throughout Japan to great acclaim.

In 2016, the band returned to their original label, Victor Entertainment, after 20 years of work with other labels. New World, the band's first single since rejoining Victor, was released on September 21st, followed by a new album, Atom Miraiha No. 9 on September 28th.

In 2017, Buck-Tick celebrated their 30th anniversary, and were awarded the Inspiration Award Japan, a special prize given to music artists who have had an outsize influence on the development of pop music in Japan. The band accepted their award on September 27th at MTV Japan's live music video awards show Video Music Awards Japan 2017 -The Live-,” where they also gave a special live performance.

On September 20th, the band released a 30th anniversary best album entitled Catalogue 1987-2016. Following this, on September 23rd and 24th, the band performed a pair of concerts, Buck-Tick 2017 The Parade -30th Anniversary, "Fly Side" and "High Side," at Tokyo's Odaiba Special Outdoor Event Area J, attracting a crowd of more than 20,000 people over two days. Then on November 15th, the band released its first 30th anniversary single, Babel.

Before releasing Babel, the band embarked on an 18-stop national tour, The Day in Question 2017, opening at Omiya Sonic City on October 21st and featuring a stadium performance at Takasaki Arena in their home prefecture of Gunma, before concluding with a pair of finale concerts at the Nippon Budoukan on December 28th and 29th.

In 2018, the band released another single, Moon Tell Me Goodbye, on February 21st, followed by a new album, No. 0 on March 14th. The band are currently in the middle of a new tour, Buck-Tick 2018 Tour No. 0, to promote the new album.


That said, we think it would be a lot cooler if this band profile included some more info about the arc of Buck-Tick's career, and not just their recent activities - including a more balanced history of the band would give a better feel for just how successful and influential they've been. Why is there no description of the band members or the band's musical style? A dry list of achievements may be appropriate if you're submitting a resume for a job interview, but that's not what this profile is for - this profile is to sell new would-be fans on the band. Tell me what their music is like. Tell me why they're special. Tell me why their story is inspiring. Tell me why I should listen to them! As it is, most people probably aren't going to bother to finish reading to the end. Therefore, we offer this alternate bio, written by yours truly.


One-of-a-kind rock band Buck-Tick got their start in the mid 1980's as an iconic product of Japan's "band boom." All hailing from the small rural town of Fujioka, Gunma Prefecture, the five band members met while still in high school, bonding over a mutual love of records during informal gatherings at the home of band founder, lead guitarist and main songwriter, Hisashi Imai. Though the band's original lineup featured a different vocalist and Atsushi Sakurai on drums, after graduating high school and moving to Tokyo to pursue their dream of becoming professional musicians, Sakurai soon switched to vocals, and bassist Yutaka Higuchi recruited his older brother Toll Yagami to play drums instead. The band have maintained the same five members since that time.

After being signed to the indie label Taiyo Records, the band rocketed to stardom, making their major label debut on Victor Entertainment within a year, and taking the Japanese music scene by storm with their infectious punk melodies, spiky bleached hair, bold costumes, and theatrical stage shows. Within two years, they topped the charts with their third album, TabooRecorded in London, Taboo marked a turning point for the band, from a teenage pop sensation into something darker. Buck-Tick continued into darker territory with their next album, Aku no Hana (The Flowers of Evil), named for the poetry of Charles Baudelaire.

Never content to rest on their laurels, Buck-Tick followed their initial runaway success with a push into more experimental territory, spending many more hours in the studio to create ever deeper, more layered records. Koroshi no Shirabe -This is NOT Greatest Hits-, a self-cover album featuring heavily reworked versions of the band's earlier material, was followed by another album, Kurutta Taiyou (Crazy Sun), now regarded as a classic of Japanese rock and roll. From this album forward, vocalist Sakurai took a greater role in the band's creative output, penning darker, more introspective lyrics based on personal experience rather than the romantic fantasies of the band's previous works. While lead guitarist Imai remained the band's main composer and creative director, rhythm guitarist Hidehiko Hoshino also began to contribute more to the songwriting, cementing the band's mature sound.

Over the next two decades, Buck-Tick continued to evolve, exploring a diversity of genres ranging from new wave to industrial, shoegaze, punk, electronica, dreampop, surf rock, rap, Latin dance, goth, and symphonic metal. Drawing on both Western and Eastern influences, the band developed a unique style instantly recognizable despite their continuous genre-hopping. Layers of minimalist riffs, melodies, and electronic tracks synergize into an immersive, kaleidoscopic sonic experience far more than the sum of its parts. Tied together with the tight grooves of the Higuchi brothers' bass and drums and the bold simplicity of Hoshino's rhythm guitar, Buck-Tick's songs feature Imai's instantly memorable guitar licks like a second vocalist, even as Imai often adds eccentric backing vocals to Sakurai's rich baritone lead vocals. Cosmic themes of love and death abound in the piquant, poetic lyrics, which traverse as many genres as the music, overflowing with inspiration from art, literature, and philosophy.

The result is something utterly original, which continues to exert a tremendous influence on the progress of Japanese rock music to this day. Maintaining a large and wildly devoted cult following, the band continue to perform for sold-out crowds at Japan's most well-respected music venues, and are regularly cited as an influence by younger Japanese artists. A number of Buck-Tick's songs were also used as themes for popular anime series, expanding the band's fame internationally among fans of Japanese pop culture in dozens of countries around the world.

The band's recent achievements include establishment of their own new record label, Lingua Sounda, in 2012, and a 25th anniversary festival held in September 2012 at a special outdoor venue in Chiba Port Park, featuring an all-star roster of artists who contributed tracks to Buck-Tick's second tribute cover album, Parade II -Respective Tracks of Buck-Tick-. In 2013, a double-feature documentary film, The Buck-Tick Phenomenon, was released to great acclaim in theaters across Japan.

In 2016, Buck-Tick returned to their original label, Victor Entertainment, after 20 years of separation, releasing a single, New World, followed by Atom Miraiha No. 9, their first new studio album since 2014. 

In September 2017, the band cemented their legacy as Japanese rock legends by celebrating their 30th anniversary with a two-day outdoor concert series, Buck-Tick 2017 The Parade -30th Anniversary, "Fly Side" and "High Side," held on Tokyo's Odaiba Island before a crowd of more than 20,000 people. The next week, the band took to the stage again at MTV Japan's Video Music Japan awards to accept the Inspiration Award Japan, a special prize given to music artists who have had an outsize influence on the development of pop music in Japan. 

In October 2017, the band embarked on a national tour, The Day in Question 2017, performing a selection of hits from their back catalog to celebrate their anniversary, featuring a stadium performance at Takasaki Arena, near the band's home town.

Entering their 31st year of major label activities, the band show no sign of slowing down. Two new singles, Babel and Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete (Moon Tell Me Goodbye), preceded the band's 21st studio album, No. 0, and the band are currently in the middle of a new tour, Buck-Tick 2018 Tour No. 0, to promote the new album.


In summary: if you have a band as good as Buck-Tick to sell, sell them for what their worth, and not one yen less. Yeah, it's a bit longer than the original profile, but Buck-Tick have been active for thirty years. They have earned a long profile. Even this longer profile barely scratches the surface of who they are.


In other news, the entire Buck-Tick website has been redone in order to be easily usable on Smart Devices and hell to use on a computer. Pros: it loads faster and there are band member profiles. Also, the background is black, and we like that. Cons: endless links to click through to get to anything you want to see, and the English site is an insult to our dearly beloved native tongue. Furthermore, the new version of Fish Tank web is not working right. While we're not exactly surprised, we are nonetheless a bit disappointed.

Another thing we'd like to call your attention to: there is now an English language version of Fish Tank Web. It also appears that a Fish Tank Only 2018 tour has been announced. But this announcement was made on the Japanese version of Fish Tank Web only. It does not appear on the English version. Does that mean they think that English speakers won't attend Buck-Tick tours? Dear Fish Tank, the historical evidence proves that wrong. Please revise your strategy accordingly.


As if all this weren't enough, Buck-Tick fans can start saving their money for a new pair of future releases: a video box set of the 30th Anniversary Festival, and an autobiography of Yagami Toll entitled 1977. Toll's autobiography will be published by Ongaku to Hito and total 176 A5 pages. It will be released on his birthday, August 19th, and retail for 3000 yen. We can only guess at what it contains, but we sincerely hope it includes the story of that time he gave a lengthy lecture of the development, popularization, and subsequent banning of methamphetamine in Japan to a rapt audience of drunken goth kids at 9AM in a Shinjuku dive bar. Not that we were there to hear it for ourselves, but we know it happened, because we read about it in the Hisashi Inquirer, and everything you read in the Hisashi Inquirer is true. Rock and roll forever.

The 30th anniversary video box set will be released to Blu Ray and DVD on September 21st, in both limited and regular editions, costing the following:

BluRay limited edition: 14000 yen plus tax
DVD limited edition: 13000 yen plus tax
BluRay regular edition: 7000 yen plus tax
DVD regular edition: 6000 yen plus tax

The limited edition will come with a four-disc live CD set in addition to the video discs, as well as a 60 page photo booklet and special packaging. Fans who reserve their copies before August 26th at select record stores will receive a free Parade Festival calendar. If you'd like to reserve this release through us, just shoot us an email. The same goes for Toll's book. For the track lists of the Parade DVD, click here.



  1. !! I should've figured you'd already be on top of the news ;)

    I hope Mr. Robot takes your translation lesson to heart

    1. Ah but Mr. Robot was supposed to start a revolution to bring down Wall Street! Someone call Rami Malek and tell him to get a move on, eh?

      Honestly I can't even be happy about the English site right now because I'm so annoyed with how poorly written it is. Feel free to write to them and encourage them to hire a better translator and/or proofreader.

    2. They probably roped in the closest English speaker at hand, some corporate suit with a good TOEIC score, because they knew they'd pay him less money in overtime than they'd pay to hire an actual translator to do an actual good job. This is how Japanese companies work.

  2. We all dream of Cayce being hired as official translator or proofreader. So you can get money for what you're already doing haha

    It is a cute effort that they consider the english-speakers... maybe they're going for a google-translate-feel! So we don't forget it..

  3. Hi Cayce, I'm totally with you, and you've probably seen this already...

    "Hidehiko Hoshino wanting production goods

    We are hiring for goods wanting Hoshino to make it!
    Please send me an idea of what kind of goods I want you to make."


    1. How would we have any idea of what goods he wants us to make? We can't read his mind. Also, hiring fangirls as goods sounds dangerously close to prostitution and I'm not sure that's legal...

    2. I could understand that some great Japanese artists probably didn't have four semesters of English classes back in the 80s, but as a third party, EMTG so far is just a joke...oh, forgot to mention that great site to lock your country of registration and that miserable new web shop.....(for god's sake I change my address 4 times a year...)

    3. Hahaha, you think the B-T members are writing the content for the website themselves? Only indie bands do that! For major bands, website content is the responsibility of the PR management team, and an A-list company like Victor has absolutely no excuse not to hire a qualified translator.

  4. Dear Cayce, I really hope the creators of the BT website read this asap! Although english isn't my mother tongue, what they did there is... devastating.
    It is great that they finally consider english-speaking/international fans but the writing needs serious proofreading, at least. That is not what Buck-Tick deserve.
    The people behind this "work" should truely consider sending serious money your way - even for the free texts you're offering right on this page!

  5. Yeah, I think they need to fix the fanclub bit of the site. I followed the instructions and managed to get an EMTG number and enter in a new password etc, but then it won't let me log in. I really want to see when FT 2018 will be so I can start planning!

    1. Hello,I managed to log by doing the "forgot password" link ,it directs you to EMTG site and then I had to do a shorter password than my old one ,that is to say 8 characters lenght ,otherwise I think the website system cuts it.
      Good luck :)

  6. BTW ,
    does everyone have kept his credit card informations ,my Card number was erased with the renewal of the website and I don't have (or find ?) the Credit card information option :)
    Thank you.


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