Tower Presents: The Buck-Tick Cafe

Tomorrow the new world is calling you, folks. In one more day, you get to find out what those Devils' Wings really sound like (taste like?) A typhoon is about to hit Japan but so long as the trains are still running, we'll be traipsing out to Shibuya to check out the new release shrine and pick up some CDs and mags for y'all while we're at it.

But it's a testament to how spoiled people get when they live in Tokyo, that when we called up our friends one by one and invited them to share a bottle of Buck-Tick beer with us at the Buck-Tick cafe after the Tower run tomorrow, every single one of them begged off.

"Too tired," sighed one.

"No money," lamented another.

"For the past two months, I've been too depressed and miserable to leave my house," kvetched a third.

"I can't make it, I have to work nights so I can afford to attend every single gig on the Atom Miraiha Hall Tour," we were briskly informed by a fourth.

"The spirit is willing, but the body is perpetually weak. But we're always with you in spirit. And we mean always," said a fifth, rather creepily.

And so on down the gamut of excuses. It makes us sad, it truly does...because we know you readers in other countries would do almost anything for a chance to drink some real, bona-fide B-T beer in a bar within view of Laforet Harajuku. If any of you want to hop on a plane right now, you're welcome to join us tomorrow for a cuppa.

But in fact...we have a confession to make, and the confession is this: we've already been to the Tower Buck-Tick Cafe. We simply enjoyed it so much we'd like to go again.

Three times is certainly the charm, it seems, at least where Buck-Tick cafes are concerned. The first attempt at a Buck-Tick cafe happened with the release of Yumemiru Uchuu, when NicoNico created a Buck-Tick themed cafe space in their Harajuku shop. While the NicoNico cafe boasted some interesting attractions such as a Buck-Tick purikura machine in which it was possible to take photos fake-smooching the band members, a graffiti wall where fans could draw pictures of whatever they liked, a costume exhibit, and a distinctly unappetizing black curry, it had some major drawbacks, such as the fact that it was only open for a week, it closed every night at 8PM sharp, and it didn't serve alcohol.

The second Buck-Tick cafe appeared to celebrate the release of Arui wa Anarchy, at the Cafe Manduuka next to Tower Records Shibuya. While this event featured Buck-Tick placemats, coasters and wall decor, and the cafe itself stayed open till 11PM and did serve booze (plus it was right next to Tower Records where fans had just bought the album), the mediocre food offerings were not Buck-Tick themed, and the sound of Arui wa Anarchy being played over the speakers was drowned out by the loud shrieks and giggling of drunken gyaru girls who were definitely not Buck-Tick fangirls, because Shibuya is a trashy town for trashy teenyboppers, and goths and people over age 25 are unlikely to feel at home there unless it's the middle of the night.

This time, at last, they've finally learned: not only is the Tower Records Buck-Tick Cafe open for a total of three weeks and open till 11PM every night, it serves both Buck-Tick themed food and Buck-Tick themed booze, and while it may not offer anything so exciting as a costume exhibit or a purikura machine, it does have a lot of back issues of magazines. Plus, as we found out for ourselves, the food is damn good.

It's a bit of a walk from Tower Records Shibuya - about ten minutes up Meiji Street, then a little jog down Omotesando, in the heart of (sadly gentrified) Harajuku. However, from the entrance on up, the place makes it clear that non-B-T fans are not welcome.

At the entrance. Most Wanted: these five guys!

And a peek through the door...

A line of empty Buck-Tick beer bottles adorned the window. When our party arrived, there were no seats at the tables, only at the counter overlooking Omotesando, but soon, a space opened up right underneath the projection screen which was currently playing the live DVD of the Razzle Dazzle Tour.

Just in time for the start of the DVD...

And oh look, here comes Acchan-chan-chan-chan-chan.

And did we mention...the Buck-Tick beer is really original Buck-Tick beer? You can even take the bottles home if you like. On this slow weekday evening, very few fans had bothered to show up, so the Diabolo Lucifer chicken was still available, as was the Angelfish Fish & Chips. While the Diabolo chicken was really nothing more than bog-standard fried chicken, the quality was more than satisfactory, and the sharp knives provided to help cut the chicken lent themselves naturally to joking imitations of the "Romance" PV.

As for the Angelfish, it was a lot better than the title made it sound - yummy fish and chips, though I think somebody forgot to tell them the meaning of the word "chips" in this context. What you served us, my fine Tower friends...those are crisps. I recognize that when it comes to potatoes, Japan speaks American, not British, but on the other hand, Buck-Tick recorded a whole album in London. You can accuse us of having a chip on our shoulder, but really we just want to chip in to make this cafe an authentic success.

The Buck-tick label tags were actually edible (if tasteless) rice cakes coated in black food dye. Like conversation hearts, but more rectangular, and none of them said "fax me."

The walls were covered with an admirable number of photo panels.

These panels of the band members are more or less life sized.

If anyone wants the collaboration goods, just let us know - they're still available. In addition to the Victor dog mug, there are black cafe aprons that read "Buck-Tick Cafe" in a NuGoth font. Highly recommended for those of you who are into the whole naked-but-for-an-apron fetish game.

And here it is...the Serious Latte in a Victor Mutt Mug, accompanied by Toll's Kick Highball, both sitting on complimentary Buck-Tick coasters! (With an empty B-T beer bottle in the background...because it's not a Buck-Tick fan party till there's at least one empty Buck-tick beer bottle kicking around. If anyone wants the bottle, we'll sell it to you for 100 yen.)

The verdict: it was a good latte, but the perfect Serious Bear image was attained via a stencil (we saw it hanging in the window of the kitchen.) We could shame the baristas, but honestly - that would be a lot of bears to draw in one day. A stencil gets the job done faster. Despite the odd mixture of sake with ginger ale, the Kick Highball was a damn sight more palatable than any Kaku Highball we've ever had the misfortune of drinking. Actually, it was quite tasty. Maybe if we make it back again before the place closes down, we'll try Sakurai's Sunrise Tequila just for shits and giggles, though methinks it doesn't have the same magical effect unless you drink it at dawn while doing a sun salutation. Otherwise it's just a pointless exercise in diluting perfectly good tequila. We'd have tried #SexyBeastHide's cream soda, if we were ever willing to put melon flavoring into our bodies, but in our very well informed real-life experience, melon-flavored drinks are best seen and not imbibed. Sorry, Hide.

In addition to the scenes pictured above, the cafe was chock-full of back issues of various magazines the Buck-Tick members have appeared in over the past three years, including the lost The Mortal issue of Ongaku to Hito. Hide and Yutaka's autobiographies were also for sale. Not only that, but the maitre'd is a real-life color-contact-wearing anime bishounen who looked to be in his late 30's...so not too young for you Buck-Tick fan ladies!

Buck-Tick beer, bishounen and Harajuku style - truly, this is a classic classy weeb's night out! And don't be shy boys, because we definitely spotted a gray-haired old man drinking at the counter all by his onesies. The only thing that would make it better would be if it's a PokeStop, but since it appears that no Buck-Tick fans play Pokemon Go, we cannot verify one way or another.

(Imai-chu, I choose you!)

Thus concludes our report.




But...if you're busting out of your knickers so hard that you can't wait for tomorrow's release, and this blog post hasn't tickled your pickle to suit your fancy, then feel free to join me in...reacting...to this brand-new The Mortal copyband, brought to by the one and only Grand Court Jester of the Royal Court of Buck-Tickistan, our own dear Maoh Sakurai.

This is not a joke. We did not have anything to do with the production of these pictures, and we did not alter them in any way. In fact, the members of La Fantomas actually rented this photo studio to stage this photoshoot. We would like to call your attention to the Imai Stabilizer Guitar held by Larger Than Actual Size Jake (who actually went out and bought the exact same hat that Actual Size Jake wore on the real Mortal's real tour). We would also like to call your attention to the Chobits-style anime girl ears worn by Lovely Doll Cardcaptor Mera-Mera Murata. Apparently, according to La Fantomas, this is what happens when Acchan-chan kisses you in front of an NHK Hall full of fangirls: you turn into a Chobit. Don't let this happen to you! Friends don't let friends be kissed by Acchan-chan.

If you've got words beyond this, feel free to add them in the comments section, because we've got none. We're struck dumb.



  1. Oh my gosh, such a lovely tour of the cafe, thank you so much for the post! Would definitely join were teleporting invented already. Will need to settle for good ol' wine and autumn rain and the mortal songs while we wait. But a glass will go 'cheers' in your honour

  2. Thank youuuu! I was waiting for this report but the result was bittersweet since now I'm totally jealous of you guys!:( And you're right, I at least will leave everything to go there even everyday.

  3. Nothing to add really, seems amazing, just a reminder that I adore you and your blog <3

  4. Thank you so much for the vicarious enjoyment of the Buck-Tick Cafe. If I had the means this year, you know I would be there to join you.

  5. I have no words to express how envy I am looking at these photos XD

  6. I was already jealous that my friends went to the Cafe, and your awesome report made it even worse! XD


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