At long last, after many delays, Buck-Tick have finally announced the details of their collaboration with famed rock-n-roll manga artist Kamijo Atsushi, author of the manga To-Y, Sex, and other titles. If you ever wondered what it would look like if Kamijo Atsushi drew illustrations of Buck-Tick, wonder no more!
Kamijo's illustration of the five band members, and his special separate illustration of a long-haired Mr. Sakurai, will be released as t-shirts through Kamijo's new clothing label, GAIN (check the site for more photos of the shirts). The shirts are available in in either black or white, because adding insult to the injuries of 2020, oversized block printed ultra-white t-shirts are currently the height of "fashion" in Tokyo these days, if fashion is what you can call it. White to match your mask? Oh, wait, it's been seven months now! Why are we still wearing white masks? What happened to crisis being the mother of creativity? But we digress. The shirts are available in sizes S through XL, and cost 8580 yen apiece, which is an awful lot for a t-shirt, but the laws of the universe state that if it's possible to extort fan love into the spending whopping sums, then it must be done. And the illustrations are very cool, it's true. The t-shirts are available for pre-order from today until November 15th. If you'd like our help pre-ordering them, please send us an email.
As to why Mr. Sakurai alone got his own special illustration - that was because Kamijo Atsushi declared he was just dying to draw his Buck-Tick namesake. Why? Probably because having the same name as a national sexual XXXXX symbol made him feel aroused. Though we can't say for certain.
Happy Halloween, folks. Enjoy the Blue Moon, but don't give in to lunacy! More Abracadabra translations coming soon.
Once again, sorry for keeping y'all waiting. The kanji, romaji, and singable English translations of "Sophia Dream" and "Urahara-juku" are now up over at Not Greatest Site, along with a truly epic slew of notes. Actually, we posted the translation of "Sophia Dream" on NGS last week (did any of y'all notice?) but we didn't post about on here because we were so plum tuckered out after writing all those translation notes that we fell asleep before we could write a blog post about them, too. And in fact, we're now feeling much the same way after tackling "Urahara-juku." All the juicy stuff is in the notes, so we'll keep this post short and sweet, but please do share your thoughts on these songs in the comments.
Anyhow, in case you were in any doubt: it's official. Imai is high on acid. He's high on acid, right this minute. And he wants you to know about it, in no uncertain terms. In fact... if we didn't know any better... we'd almost think he's encouraging Buck-Tick fans to do acid, too... almost like he's suggesting that doing drugs is fun... almost like he's suggesting that the full power of Buck-Tick's music can be better unlocked under the enhancements of Lady Lucy... or like he's suggesting that if you do acid then you, too, will get to hang out with Imai's anima and watch Abracadabra sunbursts twirling through the sky and maybe even find a really huge rainbow diamond, to boot!
Imai says he was inspired to write "Sophia Dream" after a person at the DIQ 2019 after party suggested to him that he write a song like Pink Floyd's "Julia Dream." If you're curious, watch a beautifully animated video for that song below.
Another thing, in case you were in any doubt: it's official. Buck-Tick have not only spent more or less their entire careers performing under stylized images of giant vaginas, they are also feminists. While Lady Lucy helps Imai celebrate the Divine Feminine as the hope of the future, Mr. Sakurai rages at street harassers.
It's true. Over and over again in the interviews the band gave about this album, Mr. Sakurai kept saying that one of the emotions that inspired him was rage. Rage. RAGE! Where are you, LiveJournal fangirls from 2009? How does that make you feel, to know that your precious Gothique Prince is so full of rage, at capitalism, idol marketing, gentrification, and most of all at sleazy guys who sexually harass cute goth girls on the streets of Harajuku, that he would take the fall for any girl tough enough to defend herself from street harassment by pushing the harasser into the street so that he gets hit by a car and dies! Does that turn you on as much as it turns us on? Or does it horrify your dainty selves out of your white china teacups and clean out of Buck-Tickistan? Or did you already leave Buck-Tickistan ages ago because you realized that "Gustave" is about a cat having sex and you simply cannot deal with such bestial themes?
Sorry, fans, but Acchan-chan knows that what's really beastly is how tough it is, being a woman in a situation where you're being physically threatened by someone bigger and stronger than you are. Not only is it scary, the world is full of victim blamers who would be quick to blame you if you used violence to defend yourself, even in situations where violence in self-defense is your only option. Not only that, but Japan is full of old-fashioned sexists who don't think girls should use language like "fuck off," like the girl in this song does. But what does Atsushi "Rage" Sakurai think? He thinks, if you're threatened, girl, put the fear of god into the guy for daring to try to mess with you! Girls, if you've ever told a guy to go to hell or punched him for harassing you, Atsushi "Rage" Sakurai is on your side. Atsushi "Rage" Sakurai will punch that guy too. Atsushi "Rage" Sakurai knows that bitches had it coming.
...and is angry about the gentrification of Harajuku...
...and is giving the finger to idol culture, but not the good kind of finger...
...and did we mention he wrote a whole song about how if anyone tries to say it's the girl's fault, they can blame him, Atsushi "Rage" Sakurai, instead...
Boys, listen up, and listen good. You want to get all the ladies? This is how you do it: by being an angry feminist. Atsushi Sakurai: raging angry feminist and national sexual XXXXX symbol, since 1966.
Rage, Acchan, rage. Rage at us all night long.
(Oh, the sweet taste of validation. It tastes almost as good as lysergic acid diethylamide. Buck-Tick, if we weren't already married to you, we'd track you down and marry y'all again.)
If you enjoyed these translations and the notes, please consider supporting us on Ko-Fi. It is much appreciated!
You! Buck-Tick fans, we're talking to you! You're the REAL fans. You're the ones who write emails to Cayce of The Blog-Tick Phenomenon, asking for the dirt. No, not the dirt from under Hisashi Imai's fingernails. The REAL dirt. That is to say, WHO is having please me oh yes sexual tacos with Gothique Prince Acchan right now? WHO are the fruits of Gothique Prince Acchan's garter-clad loins, where are they, and what are they doing, right now? And most importantly, are they as juicily deadly sexily luscious as Gothique Prince Acchan, and even more most importantly, are they single????? Because if you can't have the dad's nads, the next best thing is having what came out of them, amirite ladeez?
Oh, but you thought you didn't have to ask, did you? You thought you knew the truth already, even though Cayce never stopped denying it? I know, you know, I know, it's been well known on the fangirl internet for many a year now: Leoneil Vaniru is the son of Atsushi Sakurai. Just look at the family resemblance! Leoneil is much younger, shorter, and less talented than our dear Gothique Prince Acchan! Smaller = clearly a miniature version of the original! And he has a beaky nose like Acchan, a trait not a single other man in Japan possesses, aside from the two of them! And what son of noble filial piety wouldn't want to cosplay his dad's ambiguously gay lover!!!!? I spring, you spring, we all spring for offspring!
Not Leoneil Vaniru but verifiedly made out with Gothique Prince Acchan:
Not Leoneil Vaniru but verifiedly made out with Gothique Prince Acchan (omg is he Leoneil's mom!??!):
Then again... others of you also knew the truth. There's no way anyone who writes as many Buck-Tick / Der Zibet /Soft Ballet madlib mashups is the fruit of Gothique Prince Acchan's loins. Leoneil Vaniru is a homosexually inclined Gothique Prince Acchan fanboy. His mother was Billie Jean. Billie Jean was not Acchan's lover, she was just a girl who thought that he was the one. But the kid, Gothique Prince Acchan's real son, is this guy. Shotaro Mama Mia! Whoops, we meant Shotaru Mamiya. Just look at the way he scowls at that camera! It's is if he's already pulled the sword from the Stone of Buck-Tickistan, revealing himself as the one and only true heir!!! Internet fangirls sure know their stuff.
Practically indistinguishable, huh?
But then! The scandal broke!! The son of Atsushi Sakurai is, in fact, this lil' lipstick-loving bishonen by the name of Ten Yoshii, formerly presumed to be the son of The Yellow Monkey's Kazuya Yoshii. The photographic evidence leaves little doubt!
Who's your daddy, eh, Ten? Who could he possibly be but Atsushi Sakurai!?!?!
...so why are we still in doubt? If we knew all along which bishonen were/are the product(s) of Gothique Prince Acchan's reproductive processes... what is left for The Hisashi Inquirer to Report?
A SCOOP, that's what! A big scoop of Cream Soda I Scream!!!
As a matter of strictly rigorously ethical journalistic fact, major reputable news media outlets such as The Snobby Literary Press, Kyodo News, NHK, Hipster Novelists' Quarterly, and Troubled Children of Divorced Rock Stars Who Went to Law School and Were Going to Be Civil Servants But Found Themselves Instead and Became Award-Winning Novelists' Weekly, have all unearthed the Truth: the fruit of the loins of Gothique Prince Acchan (yeek! we said "loins" again!!) is none other than hipster hairdo model and 2020 winner of the acclaimed Akutagawa Prize for best literary story of the year, Haruka Tono! The Akutagawa Prize is one of Japan's top literary awards, and 29-year-old Haruka Tono (not his real name), born August 22nd, 1991 as the proud instigator of the less-than-yearlong shotgun marriage of his youthfully indiscretional parents, Buck-Tick frontman Atsushi Sakurai and former Buck-Tick stylist and seamstress of giant shoulder pads Sayuri Watanabe, is the first winner to have been born in the Heisei era (post-1988). Tono, who attended the prestigious Keio University law school, wears much more serious suits than his louche father, and previously won the Bungei literary prize for his work Kairyou ("Reform"). He was awarded the Akutagawa Prize for his work Hakyoku ("Breakup"), which, contrary to fangirl belief, is not about the oh-so-predictable end of his parents' ill-advised marriage, but, according to Japanese internet literature nerds, follows the life of a Japanese university student, Yousuke, a douchey, pompous tryhard overachiever who works on his macho muscles day and night, coaches high school rugby, thinks he's the smartest guy in town and his skillz with the ladeez can't be beat. He's studying to be a civil servant and dating a girl who plans to be a politician... but then he meets another girl, and cue disaster. Guess being macho and mansplainy wasn't the answer to everything after all. Jeez, Tono. You could have learned that one from your dad! (The Hisashi Inquirer cannot verify the accuracy of this synopsis, but since The Hisashi Inquirer rarely fact-checks anything, this is not unusual).
To unveil this highly unlikely combination of loins and fruit thereof, both father and son gave a joint interview to the literary magazine Bungei, with photographic evidence of their utter lack of familial resemblance, and Gothique Prince Acchan's subtle and slightly-embarrassed look of pride in his decorated offspring, who achieved fame purely on his own merits, because nobody in the literary awards scene has ever heard of Buck-Tick. Bravo, son! Live no longer in the shadow of your garter-clad dad!
Could this baby in Gothique Prince Acchan's arms possibly be the hipster haircut pictured above? If the baby's hipster haircut and the father's slightly embarrassed pride are anything to go on, then yes.
Meanwhile, as literature fangirls titter about the handsomeness of the newest Akutagawa awardee, we at The Hisashi Inquirer are wondering just exactly how Kazuya Yoshii fits into this puzzle after all.
Who's son is the real son!!!? Could there be MORE scoops to come!? Stay tuned and find out!!!
Note from Cayce: The above article was translated from the original Buck-Tickistani by yours truly. The content represents solely the views of The Hisashi Inquirer, and not of Cayce or the Blog-Tick Phenomenon. For those of you who are understandably confused by this strange turn of events, some facts: yes, Mr. Sakurai publicly acknowledged Akutagawa Prize winner Tono Haruka as his biological son. While there has been no mention of who Tono's mother is, Sakurai and Buck-Tick's former stylist Watanabe Sayuri were married in 1991. She was already pregnant when they married, and gave birth to a son shortly thereafter. The two divorced less than a year later after some tabloids broke that Mr. Sakurai was having extramarital affairs (le shock). Watanabe quit being Buck-Tick's stylist and the band hired Yagi Tomoharu to replace her. Yagi has been the band's stylist ever since. No further information about Watanabe or the child was publicly confirmed. Tono Haruka was born on August 22nd, 1991, so if he isn't Watanabe's son, then Mr. Sakurai sure was getting around the town like a yowling tomcat. However, the logical assumption is that Tono is the biological son of Sakurai and Watanabe. Whether Tono Haruka is his real name or a pen name is unclear. Haruka did, indeed attend Keio University Law School. We haven't read his award-winning story, so we can't verify that the synposes are accurate, but from what we skimmed on book review sites, the general gist is correct. Serious reporting from The Hisashi Inquirer? We're frankly amazed. And yes, Yoshii Ten is the confirmed biological son of Yoshii Kazuya.
And thanks for the Ko-Fi, y'all. Keep it coming so we have enough caffeine to write award-winning novel-length notes on the remainder of Abracadabra.
Hi, folks! How are y'all enjoying Abracadabra? Did y'all watch the live stream? What about that acoustic "Living on the Net," eh? Did you see that one coming?
We realize we've taken more time this go-around to start posting translations of the lyrics to the new album. Thanks for your patience in waiting for our translations - there's a lot, a lot, to unpack in this album, and we wanted to let the songs sink in for a while before we took a crack at translating them - also, we wanted to take the time to read through the copious interviews with the band members to check on their intended meanings of the lyrics, and to pinpoint the source of some of the references which might have slipped under our radar otherwise. In other words, we've been off the grid, doing our Buck-Tick homework for y'all (Buck-Tick homework: the best kind of homework ever.) And, you know, work, and IRL life, and less-than-perfect health. All that fa fa fa fa and la la la la. Que sera sera!
The good news: we are done with the preliminary research and now we are cracking! We are pleased to bring to you the singable English translation of "Que Sera Sera Elegy," complete with copious notes, because we know how much y'all love notes. Please feel free to leave your comments on the song on this post. Also, please feel free to join us in imagining Imai in his basement home studio, practicing his high kick dance in his giant platform heel stompy boots, as his daughter chases him around, shrieking and laughing hysterically. The inspiration for this song? Very possibly. Who's your daddy? Imai Hisashi, that's who.
Thanks again to everyone who has supported us on Ko-Fi. If you enjoy this translation and would like to continue supporting our work, please don't hesitate to buy us some more Ko-Fi, as we are currently severely under-caffeinated.
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.
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, the band soon switched Sakurai 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, Taboo. Recorded 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- (The Song of Murder), 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, and 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.