In case you haven't heard the news, Buck-Tick have jumped on the kitty wagon. And no, I don't mean this kitty wagon.


I mean the HELLO wagon.

As in, the Hello Kitty Wagon.

What does this involve, you ask?  Well the truth of the matter is that this year, Ms. Hello Kitty herself is turning 40.  We had long suspected based on her age that she probably harbored a secret crush on Buck-Tick...after all, here in Japan, women around age 40 are the band's primary fan demographic.  Now, we have confirmation.  In honor of her 40th birthday, Ms. Kitty used her star power to reach out to a number of her favorite musicians, including our favorite musicians, Cat-Tick, I mean, Buck-Kit, I mean, Buck-Tickitty - and an all-new Buck-Tickitty smartphone case was born.

It looks like this:

Note that Yutaka is smaller than the other Buck-Tickitties. However, Toll appears to be the tallest of all, and I'm honestly not sure what's up with that, since, just between you and me, without his mohawk, Toll isn't a whole lot taller than Yutaka.  Naturally, Acchan-chan appears the most zen about having been turned into a female kitten, though Imai's rocking it pretty well, too, but Hide appears to be protesting by refusing to let go of his beard. And let's be honest...dressed like that, he's going to need all the beards he can get :P

Anyhoo, the Buck-Tickitty case is available in various sizes that fit all major smartphone models on the Japanese market.  Sales open from 7PM tonight, which is slightly more than 4 hours away by my watch.  The price is 3300 yen including tax, excluding shipping. If you'd like Cayce to help you order one, just shoot me an email.


In the meantime, honor Ms. Kitty by feasting your eyes upon this Harajuku dubstep extravaganza by Canadian Hot Topic poster child, Avril Lavigne. 

Word has it that when this music video debuted, it was initially pulled from YouTube due to allegations of being "extremely racist." To which, as a person who personally lives in Harajuku about 170.2 days per year, I have to say...you people, do you know what the phrase "extremely racist" actually means?

This video was filmed on location in Harajuku, so for those of you who don't know: yes Harajuku actually looks like that.  In fact, I can see that candy store out the window of my room as I write this! Also, the extras and dancers who appear are all actually Japanese, some of them clearly picked up off the street as the video was being filmed (check out the sequence at the end!) White North American whiners can whine all they want that Avril is using her backup dancers as props, that the Japanese girls are merely supporting Avril in her self-involved whiteness in a foreign land, but the fact remains that almost any girl off the street in Harajuku would jump at the chance to appear in an Avril Lavigne video and her friends would all be foaming at the mouth with jealousy.

And as to the lyrics...

Come, come, kitty kitty, you're so pretty pretty
Come come kitty kitty stay with me

Is this a denigrating perpetuation of the stereotype of Asian women as sexually permissive? Or is it a blossoming bicurious love song sung by one lady to another lady's...um...pussycat? YOU DECIDE. All I know is that where I come from, telling a girl's "kitty" to "come" is less racist than it is racy. Therefore, I think it's awfully queer strange that people misinterpreted this very gay happy and positive song as derogatory.

To my mind, the only mis-step here is the fact that no one who values a hangover-free tomorrow would drink Jiro shochu out of the bottle.






  1. Oh that fucking Avril video. First the Americans called it racist. Then the Japanese were like "This is great, what's the problem?". Then the Americans started telling off the Japanese for not being angry.... it was a weird week.

    Aaaaaaaaaanyway, Kitty-Hide is clearly pissed that he's stuck wearing that girly bow while Acchan-chan-neko-chan gets to wear a dignified mask instead.

    1. I have to assume that the Americans who called the video racist had never actually been to Japan, and therefore had no idea that the video was filmed in Japan and that Japan really looks like that, and therefore they thought it was some sort of offensive parody, when in fact I'd say it's a pretty good summary of what it's like to spend a day shopping for candy on Takeshita Street. People are funny!

      I have to give Avril some points for sampling the warning alarm sound on train gates at level crossings.

    2. Oh no, people were fully aware that the video took place in Japan, featured Japanese dancers/extras, was directed by a Japanese man, and was intended almost exclusively for the Japanese market. Its just considered racist in certain circles for a white person to highlight a "stereotype" of another culture.

      Like if the video just took place in an indistinct residential area, and the dancers were dressed in like jeans and a t-shirt, THAT would probably have been fine. But because she's highlighting what most in the west would consider to be Japanese stereotypes and caricatures, its "exploitative",

      (to be clear, these aren't opinions I share at all.)

      It's due in part to the people of Japanese descent who were born in America and just wanna blend in rather than stand out by being associated by "outrageous" Japanese stereotypes. I've got one Japanese friend who was born in Canada who feels so guilty for liking anime, because he thinks liking it makes him come off as too much of a cliche Asian rather than "true Canadian".

      So basically, the main groups of people who got up in arms over the "Hello Kitty" video were people of Asian descent who never actually lived in Asia, and white people trying way too hard to defend the feelings of said Asian-Americans.

      (And meanwhile, my boyfriend at the time who happened to have been a Japanese immigrant found the video awesome and rewatched it a million fucking times, completely unaware of what was so "offensive" about it.)

    3. Was it really about stereotypes, though? Because the typical offensive ching-chong Oriental stereotypes are totally absent here. Nothing depicted in the video is a stereotype, it's all real culture (the sushi restaurant) or subculture (Harajuku street fashion.) I do find it very interesting that Asian Americans and Asian Canadian battles choose such vastly different battles from their cousins on this side of the Pacific, but that's the difference between living in a society where you're a member of an oppressed minority as opposed to living in a society where you're part of the mainstream majority. However it really makes me sad when people start shitting on accurate depictions of Japanese culture just because of their own ignorance.

  2. Indeed, Harajuku sort of is like that and I wouldn´t say that this vid comes across as racist or as a parody.
    However, Avril Lavigne is just another mainstream chick I´m terribly sick of because there´s really nothing special about her and they play her songs on the radio aaaall the f*cking time!
    It´s surprising how almost any mainstream chick manages to make something that tasteless, cheesy and crude.
    This is not kawaii, it´s just primitive and tacky -_ -.

    1. Check your haterade at the door! I've never been a big fan of Avril but I actually thought this was a really catchy song and a cute video. She makes the perfect Excited Hot Topic Kid in Harajuku.

    2. Well, I have go give her credit for successfully acting like a squeaking barbie doll, but once a (European) girl starts adding "sexy" moans and moves that resemble a courtship dance (see 0:57), it´s a total fail.

      I bet the majority of people in Harajuku walk around like that because they want to express themselves by wearing crazy clothes, but honestly, I doubt that this Avril chick has ever done that.
      I think in case one doesn´t really mean it and feel genuine when wearing and doing something, it´s better to let it be unless you want to come across as ridiculous and fake.
      Then again, it´s nice that she likes that fashion and of course she´s free to shoot whatever video she wants.

      Her song really is extremely annoying though (for sure not in terms of "catchy") and also, I´d say her "cuteness" is a typical case of "you´re doing it wrong- cuteness".

    3. Allow me to explain. Once upon a time, at least ten years ago, Avril Lavigne was the queen of something called "pop punk"...that is to say, she was a mainstream pop star with a little extra black eyeliner who kids who thought they were edgy but had never heard of the Sex Pistols liked to listen to and the real punk kids loved to hate. She had her moment in the limelight, then largely faded into the background, yet somehow managed to continue to maintain a lucrative career without ever really changing her image, despite growing up and getting married like a heteronormative adult. I don't believe she's moaning like that because she's trying to be sexy...I'm not sure she can help it at this point. She has nothing to prove anymore. As far as pop punk goes, she's old school now. Will she ever be "real"? No. But she made realness out of her own fakeness. And I see no problem in admitting when popular songs by silly mainstream artists are nonetheless catchy as hell.

    4. Yep, agreed! That explanation sounds legit.

  3. I wished Sakurai tried a Dali moustache, just once. It would make my day.

    I'm disappointed at this B-T x Hello Kitty collab. When I read the FT email I hoped it would be just a Kitty with B-T written on her cheek - I would buy that. But this design is meh. Pass.

    Oh yeah, I remember reading headlines about Avril culturally appropriating Japan, or something like that, but never really knew what was that about. Mostly, I avoid articles that come with the words “cultural appropriation”, as the discussion tends to turn into a huge Babel tower of fuckery these days.
    But damn, her song is almost as bad your average Japanese pop song. So…good job, Avril?

    1. Check your haterade at the door! The incongruity of the Buck-Tick members' well-seasoned rugged manhood and little kitty bows are what makes this collaboration brilliant! Can't disagree about the cultural appropriation debates but if you think this insatiably catchy song is as bad as mainstream Japanese pop clearly you've been listening to much better Japanese pop than I've been tortured with lately. Where is the dubstep in Japanese pop?

  4. I really like that telephone case !

    I consider it a good idea .
    I have also looked at the other musician hello kitty cases and I liked at least half of them .
    I think the buck tick is surely among the top ones .
    I like/love hello kitty and I like/love buck tick so I love the combination .

    Did they make them as girl kitties ? Because the give ribbon only to girl and not boy kitties.
    Or is it kitty who is just dressed as them ?
    Or did they became/turned into kitties ?
    No one knows , right ?

    It is interesting that everyone seems a bit angry ? or bothered ? that they are kitties ? You can see it somehow more or less at everyone's eybrows , except Imai that doesn't have eybrows .
    And I like their clothes ! As I also like them on the real people !
    And they have their instruments !

    I feel happy looking at it !

    But also I feel sad ... because I really like it and I can not have it ...

    Too bad that my telephone is not made for this ( it doesn't even have camera ) .

    As for the hello kitty song video ( that is how I call it ):
    I discover it some months ago while watching nickelodeon at my country ( I like avatar , bob sponge etc ) and some times a day they play music video which we usualy do not watch or just do not hear ( we make the voice go down ) but I saw the title hello kitty and we heard and watched it . Some months later I decided to look the video at youtube ( I searched hello kitty video ) and then I saw all of these comments and I couldn't understand why this video is racist and also the singer is racist ( as they say ). They talk about stereotype and the singer try to be japanese so she very much racist and try to be alittle girl while she is too old for that . I can really not understand .
    The american complain and the japanese not , so they complain to japanese for not complaining by them selves , or say that they complain for the japanese because they can not do it by them selves and they need help. And many many more that will just make your eyes and head hurt from reading ...

    I said to my mother what i saw at the comments and she said it isn't racist why is it racist it also advertise the country ( for free ).

    Anyway I would really like to have those five kitties ( as dolls ) but also really would like to have the case .
    If I had them I really would like to make them sit with me on my bed or pillow ( and yes , I am thinking about it too much and I am just making the things worse because now I do not just want a case but also 5 doll with it ) . And I can not have none .

    Sorry for the really long comment , some times when i start talking it is a little bit hard to stop .

    1. I think the clear existential angst of all the Buck-Tickitties is a big part of the appeal. Who knows if they've been made female or if they are simply boy kitties wearing bows...either way, they seem uncomfortable and it's oddly endearing.

      As for Americans criticizing Avril for attempting to "dress as a little girl"...now that you mention it, that does make sense. That girlish style is popular across all age groups of women in Japan but Americans tend to get overly sensitive about age issues overly fast...as if age is anything more than a convenient pretense that we have the foggiest idea what's really going on...

  5. I love the phone case even though I'm not a Hello Kitty fan, it's cute in a Buck-Tick way. I love how Sakurai san's eyes make him look very moody, although we know he would be secretly pleased to be turned into a cat. As for Avril I'm not particularly a fan but I don't think the video is racist.


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