Health Woes

Amid all your warm wishes for the recovery of our health, we really, really hate to have to post this announcement, but knowing how full of sound and fury and wildly inaccurate information the internet can be, we consider it our duty to inform you in person of the publicly available facts as quickly as possible, so that others don't fill your ears with baseless freakouts and fearmongering.

First, thanks for asking, but unfortunately, we're not better. We're on the mend, but our condition remains serious, and for this reason, we are taking medical leave from the shopping service until the beginning of February, or further notice. Anyone with pending transactions - we'll deal with you. New orders must wait till February 1st. We have no reason to believe at this moment that we won't make a full recovery - it's just taking longer than expected. Anyway, don't worry about us too hard.

Instead, please send Mr. Sakurai all your good vibes!

Why? Because the remaining dates of the Guernican Moon tour have all been postponed indefinitely due to the fact that Mr. Sakurai was diagnosed with gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and needs to take time off to recover. No announcement has been made about the 29th at the Budoukan as yet, so it's possible that if he's recovered sufficiently by then, the Budoukan show may still take place as planned. However, I think y'all will agree that Mr. Sakurai's health is more important than any concert, and that if cancelling the Budoukan is the price of his recovery, it's not too high a price to pay.

Fans who bought tickets to the remaining Guernican Moon shows should sit tight holding onto the tickets until a decision is made as to whether the shows will be postponed to a later date or canceled outright. Don't assume cancellation - the remaining shows of the Utakata no Razzle Dazzle tour were postponed after the Great East Japan Earthquake, but then took place to great fanfare six months later. We think it's likely that Mr. Sakurai would prefer to postpone rather than cancel if at all feasible.

As far as the underlying causes of his condition, there are really too many potential causes of GI bleeding to be able to speculate, but two of the most common are ulcers and the stress related to heavy drinking, so let's just hope this is nothing more serious than a man who's not as young as he used to be working and partying a little too hard.

But whatever the cause of his illness, he needs all the good vibes you can send him. There have been an awful lot of bad vibes in Buck-Tickistan lately - an unprecedented level of crowd violence and fangirl vitriol against foreign fans, for one. Back when we started going to Buck-Tick shows, fangirls mainly pushed in the pit in order to get closer to the stage, but these days, strangely, they seem less interested in enjoying the show than they are in starting fights. In particular, the swath of fangirls including the bitchiest, most obsessive Japanese Acchan fangirls from the Tokyo area seem to have been taking it as a point of pride lately not to smile, cheer, dance, or show any sign of enjoying the music, while simultaneously attempting to punish all the people nearby who are daring to commit the terrible sin of dancing and looking like they're having fun.

How this trend got started, we can't guess, but we're quite certain Sakurai and the other band members have noticed - while the band's performance at Tokyo's Toyosu Pit was low energy verging on lackluster, and their performances at Kawasaki Club Citta' and the Fish Tanker's Only date at Zepp DiverCity Tokyo were solid but not really up to the band's full potential, the performances at more far-flung locations such as Osaka, Hiroshima, and Takamatsu were brimming with the band's usual gleeful energy, and it was easy to see why - the crowd was more into it. All you want to see when you're a performer is an audience who looks like they're enjoying the show, so holding up bitchy disaffection as the only acceptable posture for the True and Pure Acchan Fangirl seems awfully self-defeating.

I guess what we're trying to say is, if Acchan-chan caught some bad vibes, he caught them from his fangirls. And now it's up to us to send him good vibes instead. Close you eyes with us right now and imagine sending him a whole rose garden of loving, positive warmth and healing. We know he'll feel it.

Also, for what it's worth, we were at Zepp DiverCity on December 9th (yes, we have been following B-T despite our illness, yes it has been very difficult at times, but somehow life is so much easier when B-T are onstage, so we found the strength to carry on even if we couldn't manage to dance quite as much as we would have liked). In any case, we witnessed Mr. Sakurai's near stage collapse for ourselves, and all we have to say is, he's one tough cookie. He'd been looking a little off since the beginning of the show - missing lyrics, dancing less, though we doubt most people noticed it - but it wasn't until about halfway through the show that he started to look visibly ill. At first he hid it well, keeping it to less movement and longer breaks between songs, but once he left the stage to speak to a staff member, we could tell it must be something serious. His wan performance of Gustave was troubling, but somehow it hurt more to watch himself draw himself up to try and take on Rozen Kreuzer and growl out the vocal line perfectly despite the fact that he appeared to be having trouble standing. Each song grew obviously more difficult, and he spent more and more time in between songs wandering in circles, drinking water, or bending over and clutching his left side. During Imai's noodling before "Seven Deadly Sins," Sakurai picked up his handheld spotlight and flashed it aimlessly across the stage and the crowd, staggering in a slow circle as if at a loss for what to do and hoping that the light would guide him. And yet somehow, he sucked it up, and performed the song in its entirety, and even managed a little awa-odori dancing on Memento Mori before stumbling off for a much needed break.

Personally, we'd have been okay with the show ending right here. Had the people cheering for an encore not noticed what was happening? It seemed unfair to cheer for an encore, somehow - health is always more important than encores. But Mr. Sakurai is a perfectionist with a lot of pride, and in retrospect, it seems likely to us that he finished the show as much out of personal pride as out of reluctance to let the fans down. After a slightly longer break than usual, he returned for the sequence of "Reishiki 13gata Ai," "Guernica no Yoru," and "Tainai Kaiki," belting out each number with pitch-perfect aplomb, despite the fact that at certain points, he was once again obviously having trouble standing up. Fans were increasingly cottoning on to the fact that there was a problem, but still seemed reluctant to dance in support of Mr. Sakurai's bravery, shame on them.

Again, it would have been fine if they'd ended the show after the first encore - once you've played "Guernica," you can call it a show, right? But after another longer-than-usual delay, the band were back out and Acchan-chan was back with them, with a smile on his face, performing "Tango Swanka" with more energy than he'd shown since the first half of the set, and even deigning to service a few fans with the opportunity to grab at his outstretched fingertips.

"Sorry for causing trouble," he announced between songs. "I won't make excuses. All kinds of things happen in life... I won't go into detail. But thank you for the warmth of your applause and your cheers of encouragement."

As usual, the band concluded the show with "Kodou," which seemed even more appropriate tonight than on previous nights. Before leaving the stage, Sakurai strolled across the front of the stage in a semicircle, reaching out his hands and miming embracing the audience. See? He felt the good vibes already.


So that's what happened, and never let the Twitter nits tell you differently. But we admit, we'd been waiting for an announcement of this kind ever since Sunday. We understand that it's probably quite distressing for some of you to hear, and we're more than a little bit distressed ourselves, but look on the bright side: he's been diagnosed and he's being treated, and the Japanese medical system is one of the best in the world. It's much better that he should take the time off to recover than continue to push himself and worsen his condition. Something about his announcement on Sunday night makes me think that whatever happened didn't just happen out of the blue - but that might not be bad, it might just mean that he already knew about the problem, which with luck will make it easier to treat. Ulcers, for one, tend to stick around, but they also don't tend to be serious. A witchy friend of ours believes this is simply a necessary wake-up call to him to improve his health routine. Let's hope she's right, and send him all the good vibes in the meantime. Whether or not you believe it, this stuff works.

And while you're at it, send us a few good vibes, too, since we're sure that without a fully recovered Mr. Sakurai slinking around flashing his shiny hotpants at unsuspecting citizens, we will never recover enough to rise from our coffin and stalk the nighttime Tokyo streets for blood anymore, and what a shame that would be. For one thing, it would mean the end of NGS/Blog-Tick, and after nearly 13 years, it would be a damn shame to fizzle out just as the cute kittehs are finally multiplying. So let's hunker down and kumbaya and get the big bad groove back for a scintillating and salacious 2019.


  1. I needed to read it from you after all the random posts.. Lets send all our good vibes so he makes a full recovery! Sadly, such condition makes a lot of sense. I had that awful feeling after all the comments about the last concert. Damn, oldman, take care of yourself a little more...
    That also applies for you, take your time to recover! All the good vibes and virgin's blood for you, too!
    God forbid, I won't be able to be a fully functioning human being without buck tick or the blog tick.

  2. I'm so sad to hear/read this about how you guys been faring lately and of course I was scared about Mr. Sakurai's health at first.
    It must be some kind of coincidence I was watching some BT videos performing Gekka Reijin (my favorite track on RAZZLE DAZZLE) and some other gothic stuff from the mortal or Mr.Sakurai solo album (yeah I was in that mood). So I just thought about coming here to catch up.
    But I guess that's life. I'll send my best vibes and wishes an also be hoping for a quick recovery both for Mr. Sakurai and you guys.

  3. Thank you for this kind post. Yours and Mr Imai's little note did a lot to help me calm down. Here's to hoping that this too shall pass and Acchan will be back to his sexy, sexy self in no time.

    Please take care of yourself as well. We need you ❤️

  4. Cayce! I'm so sorry to hear about your health as well.

    I had friends at the show as well that saw Mr. S not feeling 100%, but we all assumed that if it was anything major they'd let us know.

    I had just read Imai's message before coming to check in on you, and I'm glad for your thoughts.

    It's not just Twitter, since the first foreign concert reports came out, Sakurai's message about not feeling well has been exaggerated by a game of telephone. Even a so-called fan had the gall to rub it in the face of one of my friends who had been at the show "Oh so I guess it was bad after all"

    I'm not understanding any of the fan behavior lately at all, it's very disheartening.
    But I won't let them phase me, and I'm sure Imai won't either *sudden thoughts of Skull Baby* nor will the rest of the band.

    Please rest up as I'm hoping Sakurai is as well. I'll relay your own status update to the crew btw ;) Not that anyone is being unreasonable about real life getting in the way of fan things.

    Take care!!!

    1. Might we inquire out of morbid curiosity as to how exactly the tales of Sakurai's illness have been greatly exaggerated? We admit that internet hyperbole makes us laugh...

    2. Cayce, you're an awesome person but I'll be damned if I risk seeing another one of those image memes of a long-haired young Atsushi saying that we need to tag 10 of our friends and pass it along for his health by some fan with the last name of Sakurai to track down the Facebook post in question lol.

      What I remember is that their version of what he said in apology was a bit more desperate and stoic sounding like "Oh I'm fucking dying but it won't stop me" (/paraphrase)

      Also that he nearly fell off the stage at some point.

      Gotta say tho, not just the overseas fans now it seems. You checked out Imai's early morning blog update? Christ almighty.
      I'm gonna upgrade to pulling out a Virgin of Guadalupe candle for the man now.

    3. Oh the old "if I make his name my name online that makes me his wife" charm! You just made me feel like it was 2003 on the internet again, and for that I thank you. Bonus points for these fans above if they've been fans of B-T for six months or less.

      Sakurai never nearly fell off the stage, but there were a few moments where it looked like he was about to fall over, especially during his performance of Guernica. For the most part, in between songs and during instrumental breaks, he kept to his area at the back of the stage between the Higuchi brother, drinking water and trying to center himself.

      The words he spoke in Japanese with regard to his illness, I remember exactly: "Iiwake wa shimasen. Iroiro aru ne. Kuwashiku wa iwanai kedo. Demo minna-san no okage de... (something about how he received warmth and strength from the fans to finish the show)."

      In fact, he never directly said that he was ill or in pain, it was just that it was obvious. He certainly never uttered the words "I'm fucking dying." Lol.

  5. Cayce, muito obrigada por nos contar o que realmente aconteceu com nosso querido Sakurai-San. Como ele é fascinante, ainda fez um show com dores e lágrimas para alegria dos fãs, que ainda teve uns que achou o show ruim, decepcionada com muitos fãs que pensa que a banda tem se esforçar o máximo pra agradá-los. Pior que ainda não agrada. Que vc fique bem e se cuide. E que meu querido Acchan-Chan receba muitas vibrações positivas de mim e que se recupere o tempo que precisar, não tenha pressa. Não se exceda em realizar tradições, como o show no budokan, é apenas mais um show só isso. Querido Sakurai-San se recupere com calma e fique tranquilo, pois te amamos muito!!! E muito obrigada Cayce mais uma vez, muitos abraços 😘💕💕

  6. Hopefully Mr Sakurai will be able to recover soon. Let's wish for the best for him and for the guys. They are amazing, and they have a special strength as a band. All the best for them.
    Thank you so much for the info.

  7. Thank you very much for these clarifications, I hope he recovers as soon as possible and so do you.

  8. Hello and nice to meet you. Thanks a lot for your post, i really apreciate all your efforts. About your witchy friend words, i witchty friend of mine also said something similar to me. And i truly believe in this stuff, that´s why im sending every day all the good vibes i could, and i continue to do it. I hope he recovers as soon as possible and so do you, best regards from Mexico

    1. How interesting that your friend said something similar. There's no doubt this stuff is real, and that Sakurai's creepy ans take a spiritual toll on him. Send good thoughts to banish the bad!

  9. So sorry to hear about your health. Wish you a speedy recovery!
    The news was discouraging since I didn't get to attend the Zepp show. Mr.Imai's message was helpful but unfortunately some fan girl still got pissed. Mr Sakurai and you both please rest well.

  10. Gracias por mantenernos informados y así como le deseo pronta recuperación a Sakurai,te lo deseo a tí también.

  11. God bless our Acchan! Thanks a lot for ypur story. i can't hold back tears🙏✨✨✨✨✨✨♥️

  12. It is sad to hear of his health problem but I am hopeful that he will overcome this and hoping that he will take better care of himself afterwards. I am new to their music and has inspired me to learn the language to understand it better and even write to them in their language. Of course I have admiration for Japan's culture itself, I only want emphasise how inspirational and motivating they can be. So I really hope Mr. Sakurai heals fully and quickly to remain here with us.

  13. Happy Birthday Blog-Tick. Sending some Malaysian warmth to you too Cayce. May the stars in the BT universe keep you well. <3

  14. Dear Cayce,I hope that you are doing better,was sorry to hear that you were ill,please get well soon.


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