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Be My Baby

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氣志團ライブ@武道館
A few Sundays ago I went to my first real concert in Japan, the KISHIDAN Gig at the Budokan. Bryan found out about the show a few weeks ago and we decided might as well check it out. Kishidan had kind of disappeared for about 2 years, and their last album was a lot of “solo” projects that just wasn’t the same. But they’re back now, and have new songs in the works and a Japan-wide concert tour this summer. 夜露死苦!

Headed out to the Budokan pretty early, but it was obvious that there was a Kishidan concert going down. There were tons of street stalls selling bootleg Kishidan stuff, mostly by old guys in wifebeaters with sweat towels tied around their heads. I’m sure they don’t even know about the band, but they Google image searched it and printed out what they found on a variety of t-shirts, posters, buttons, and towels. Even more ridiculous though was the audience/groupies for this show, since at least a fourth of the people seemed to be in hardcore costumes. I guess this counts as cosplay, although there is a possibility there were some actual bikers who dress like the stereotypes that are Kishidan. Among this crowd I also saw quite possibly the biggest pompadour ever:

暴走族っぽいなリーゼント
Pretty amazing hair.

Budokan definitely seemed smaller than I expected, since it’s so famous. I have no idea the actual sizes, but it seemed almost smaller than Assembly Hall at IU. The stage was in the middle of a round arena, with 4 jumbotrons and a rotating platform on the stage.

武道館のステージ

There was a lot of machine-made fog in the arena so the picture above isn’t so good. Also you’re not supposed to take pictures inside Budokan, so immediately after I took this picture a staff workers popped out of nowhere and told me to not take pictures. Oops!

The show was awesome, pretty straightforward music and some talking, without skits or other stuff in the middle. Out seats were pretty high up, but since the venue’s not that big I thought we still had a great view. Also we were originally set up behind the drum kit, but since the stage rotated a lot during the show it wasn’t a problem at all. The creepiest thing about the concert was the audience though, in a kind of “cool if you’re in a cult” way, since everyone seemed to know all of Dragon Voice’s dance movies, and they did them the entire time. You know how the wave is cool at a baseball game because you have so many people in a somewhat synchronized move? Imagine that for a 4 hour concert, only with intricate arm movements and a lot of “whoooo!”s. It seriously felt like we should have spent a good three months before this concert rehearsing the dance moves.

It was sweet when Kishidan debuted a new song though. Not only was it a good song, but it was funny to see the audience looking around confused and screaming to themselves “I don’t know the dance moves!!!!”

Too fast to live, too young to die.

The Knights Return

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Amazing news. While DJ Ozma was entertaining and interesting while it lasted, causing families across the country to complain to NHK about fake nudity, it just wasn’t the same as good old Kishidan. Luckily, however, after almost a year and a half, Kishidan has returned with a new album, SIX SENSES. It comes out on March 28th, for 3000 yen retail. It will most likely be awesome, as you can tell by the album cover:

Six Senses

Thanks to Bryan for finding out this news on the Mixi group. I am getting an exciting punch perm in anticipation.

Links:
Kishidan Official Site
Amazon.co.jp page for the album
(also where I stole the picture)

Kishidan takes over the world

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Kishidan never ceases to amaze me. I just downloaded (er, I mean…bought. yeah, bought) their new single, and as it turns out, this song will be the theme for the new “One Piece” movie in Japan. One Piece is this anime about a pirate crew or something. I’ve read some of the comic, never really got into it. Apparently Kishidan is a huge fan of the show (their blog makes it look like Hoshi Granmarnier is the main one. since he’s the big dork of the group, that makes sense). I also found out that Dragon Voice Ayano Kouji, the leader, is also doing a voice in the movie. Kishidan is slowly taking over ever media outlet in Japan, which means that’s another reason why I have to go back. Haha. Oh, and the cover of the CD is Kishidan drawn by the One Piece artists. Awesome:

Kishidan Revelations

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So I was first going to e-mail just Ari this. Then I decided I was gonna e-mail the whole A-Team. Then I decided I’ll just make it a blog entry and everyone will see it eventually. I even went to the effort of taking some screenshots, just so everyone can follow what I’m talking about, also so you know I’m not just making this up.

I downloaded and watched part of the 紅白歌合戦, the music show that they show in Japan on new years eve. (Seth, did you catch it? Or were you studying) It’s like a battle of the singers with guys vs. girls. Well one of the bands on there was, of course, Kishidan, because they are awesome. 2 really important and incredible revelations that must be spoken of though:

1) Ari will be happy to know, that during the performance, they had all these random backup dancers running around the background, including the usual gay-esque American flag wearing guys with the cutoffs on, some bousouzoku, angels, a chick in a bathtub, etc. But the best? 6 Pe Yonjun look-alikes. Oh man it was hilarious.


2) the main singer guy, I think his full name is Ayano Kouji, nicknamed Celonious or something, but you may know him as Dragon Voice. right in the middle of singing One Night Carnival, pauses and whips off the front part of his hair. We knew it was too good to be true. His hair is real, except for the front part (the Ghostbusters cartoon Egon-looking pointy thing). And even better: he has a receding hairline/going bald, so it just looks really weird. I don’t think that anyone in Japan knew about this, and I was pretty surprised (ショック!).

Ah well, they’re still so badass though.

Random updates

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Last week we had a meeting for the start of IES SIG groups, basically little clubs for various interests like sports, Japanese language, culture, etc. Clubs so the IES kids and Japanese students can hang out. I joined the biggest one, Movies, and became leader of it. Then, I didn’t realize that the leaders of each of the SIGs were automatically candidates for IES Student Council President. Well, that was the case, and I am now the President. Haha, funny funny.

On Monday, we were off for 老人の日 (Roujin no Hi), or “Be nice to old people day.” So what did I do? Went to the movies. Japanese movies are ridiculously expensive. 1 ticket is 1800 yen, or around $16. Student Discount is a little bit less. Me, Seth, and Bryan went to see Naruto the Movie. Mii showed up a little late, so we stubbed her in. She didn’t know this at first. I guess Japanese kids aren’t big on sneaking into movies. After that, we decided that we paid so much money, we wanted to see more than 1 movie. Luckily, when we bought our tickets, they give you a schedule of the movies playing that week. Makes it easy to figure out which movie to sneak into next. So, I watched about 20 minutes of Biohazard 2 (Resident Evil 2), then moved to watch the Dekaranger/Kamen Rider Blade double feature. Good times. Went to Outback for dinner.

Tuesday was just classes as usual, no biggie.

Wednesday, went to Harajuku to buy a man-purse, since every guy in this country has one. It’s actually just a black canvas bag with Kishidan on it. Then, me and Ari went to a restaurant that had for 1000 yen all you can eat pasta, pizza, pancakes, and hip hop. When I ever get around to putting up pictures, I will have to show the sign from this place. Then, we went to Ebisu to see the Sapporo Beer Museum. Horrible museum really, it’s just an excuse for people to try (after paying for) different kinds of Sapporo and Yebisu beer.

At night, went with Ari, Ahn-tuan, Dan, and Adam to Shinjuku. Went to 2 huge music stores, then walked around Kabukicho (the shady yakuza/triad-run area). Before we finally made it to Kabukicho, however, thanks to my awesome map-reading skills, we found where the Shinjuku gay district is. Definitely some weird stuff going on there. And also a gay park, where I guess the gay folk do their business. We were out of there as soon as we realized where we had gone.

Randomness for the rest of the night, primarily walking around aimlessly in Shibuya. Met up with Dave Heston from high school, and his friend from Germany. We walked around a lot, finally ended up in Roppongi at the famous Gas Panic (the locals call it GasPa) club. Let me make this short and sweet: ROPPONGI SUCKS. It is the dirtiest area I have seen in Japan, hilighted by the hordes of refugees/immigrants from Europe, Africa and the really poor parts of Asia. They are either in Roppongi to be hookers, to pick up Japanese guys who don’t know any better, and/or to go to dirty, crowded clubs like Gas Panic. Ah well, at least I know not to go back to Roppongi. Also note that since we were in Roppongi so late, I couldn’t even leave until 5AM. So I was trapped there for hours longer than I would have liked.

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