Category Archives: Special Articles

Reflection pieces, video game soundtrack reviews, and other works otherwise not belonging to any other category will go here

Upcoming: Best of 2010 Countdown!

I am hoping that I can complete this long-awaited post before New Years, but considering how impossible work has been lately (who knew so many people need lotion!) I’m unsure if I can finish it on time!

The Countdown will consist of my top twenty songs from 2010. I’m also going to showcase the artist who impressed me the most in 2010, and the artist who disappointed me the most. (cough, Girugamesh) Here’s where you all come in. If there is any other field you would like to see me dissect, post it here or tweet me. Any suggestions are welcome and I’ll try my best to include it!

2010 was a beast of a year as far as music goes. I can’t wait to share my thoughts with all of you!

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HIZUMI Screamed “Death Point” One Time Too Many

Click here for the source of my heartbreak.

D’espairsray will be going on an indefinite hiatus due to problems with vocalist HIZUMI’s vocal cords. They will finish their D’espairsRay World Tour 2010 Human-clad Monsters but after that, all activities are going to be suspended.

Though it’s sad, you have to support the band for acting in HIZUMI’s best interest. Hopefully he can get some treatment and we can get back to watching tripods get kicked over.

Best wishes!

~Alisa~

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Capitalizing on Capitalization: How AYABIE Became Case “Sensitive”

It looks like the coup d’etat isn’t simply a strategy practiced on the battlefield. It also exists among the realm of Visual Kei. In a strange, convoluted, and seemingly bitter past few weeks, the band Ayabie has been through all kinds of twists and turns. Through disbanding, and rejoining without the leader, Aoi as AYABIE (caps make all the difference, folks. Ask GACKT.) the band has pulled a sneaky, sneaky move indeed. In articles I’ve read, the band is made out to be the villain in this situation. But could Aoi be the culprit instead? Please discuss here!

(and feel free to correct any factual mistakes I may have made in this post)

~Alisa~

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Happy 6 Month Anniversary to Sakurayume!

I'm treating myself to some ice cream!

Sakurayume was launched on February 9, 2010. I just noticed that today marks my 6 month anniversary as a blogger. I just wanted to thank everyone who has read, contributed, and inspired me. I think my readers and the unforgettable friends I’ve made along the way have kept me here so long. Thank you all for your kindness! Let’s hope I last another 6 months… and 6 months after that… and…

🙂

~Alisa~

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Filed under Sakurayume's Collection, Site News/Updates, Special Articles

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

keyinjpop suggested I watch the new AKB48 PV and report my thoughts on it. So, I did. I present to you, myself ripping the guts out of Heavy Rotation, or as I’d like to call it “Hot & Heavy Rotation.”

Uhhh... 'scuse me. Just how old are you, anyway?

If that cover isn’t bad enough… I think it’s funny how I just posted a long nonsensical rant about how sexual imagery has gotten out of hand, then this PV gets shoved in my face.

At first, the video starts out nice and innocent. You think it’s going to be okay. They’re wearing black military jackets (I swear I have the same one in white!) and the music sounds all cute and happy. Just when you’re getting comfortable, thinking they’re going to sing (fully clothed) in those nice jackets for the duration of the video… BAM! There they are, in lingerie having a pillow fight, no less. I gulped in agony and fear that my experience with this video was about to go horribly, horribly wrong. We all know that cute girls having a pillow fight is a stereotypical male fantasy, for reasons I have yet to wrap my female brain around.

Then, after some jumping all over each other in said lingerie, I felt my moon pie from breakfast beginning to make a return trip to my mouth. Ugh. But, alas! They return to wearing those stupid jackets, which I have come to hate. I’m glad I decided to buy a white one because if mine were black, I’d be burning it right now instead of blogging. “Don’t give me that crap,” I thought. “Don’t be acting all sexy like that and then try to come back all innocent-like. I know what you’re up to, and I don’t like it!”

The song’s not even that good. “I want yooooou…. I need yoooooou….” Brilliant lyrics! Who wrote them, Barney the dinosaur?

Just when you think this can’t get any worse, they all suddenly become furries. Yeah. You also get bathtub shots and plenty of kisses exchanged. A man had to have created this video. There is no other possible explanation.

Personally, I was insulted by the degrading nature of the video. I understand that AKB48 is a hot item right now, especially among men and they are definitely trying to play into that demographic. I get that, and because of this reason the single’s sales are probably going to go through the roof.

What are you opinions on this PV?

~Alisa~

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Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

GACKT’s Too Sexy for Respect, Too Sexy For Respect…

“Why is he so sexy?????”

“Too hot.”

“Waaaaa, sexy!”

What do these useless statements have in common? They are all ACTUAL YouTube comments left on GACKT videos. (usernames withheld to protect the ignorant innocent)

Since being converted, in a sense, to the ways of GACKT a couple years ago, I’ve grown to become more and irked by his fanbase. It seems as though many people look to him as a sex symbol rather than a legitimate musician/artist. I challenge you to lurk around on YouTube for a while and surf through some of his videos. The number of comments reading along the lines of “I wanna be his waifu XD XD XD” far outweigh things like “GACKT is a phenomenal and brilliant artist. Golly, I sure do appreciate what he does!” This makes me sad.

Truth is, GACKT has more than one side. He’s human, after all. As a big fan of him, I can appreciate all of these sides because I appreciate him! In saying, I don’t only see this GACKT:

I see this GACKT too! The fun-loving GACKT!

And this GACKT as well. The artist GACKT, who works tirelessly just to make us smile:

To only like GACKT because he is “sexy” or because he sometimes performs music with sexual themes is narrow, and downright immature. He’s an artist, and people who are true fans (or rather, true Dears) will be able to love his music and his messages no matter what he looks like or sings about. We should love him because he’s GACKT, and he puts his entire heart and soul on display for us every time he opens his mouth. He loves us unconditionally, and we should return the favor.

I think my anger exploded when I read Liam’s write up of the YFCz gig in London, where some fangirls demanded for GACKT to play Vanilla, a song that wasn’t even in the set list, and the band obviously hadn’t rehearsed. Regardless of whether or not GACKT actually heard their cries, I was horribly embarrassed to read that this happened, and that these people had the gall to do such a thing.

I know what they were thinking. They thought “if GACKT sings Vanilla, it will be like he’s singing it to ME and then… *dirty thoughts*” I bet they don’t even know anything about the song other than the lyrics. I bet they have no respect for the fact that the song has one of the most spectacular bass lines ever. It’s sick.

The point is that GACKT didn’t have to come to Europe at all. It was his gift, and those fangirls abused it.

I am fully aware that celebrity crushes happen, but it’s important to think objectively in these situations. Learn to love the music too. That’s all I’m saying. Celebrity crushes usually happen to people who are otherwise untalented (A.K.A JUSTIN BIEBER) so normally I wouldn’t be so offended. But, GACKT has more talent in his pinky than I have in my entire body so it supremely irks me that people overlook this just because he’s “hot.”

Plus, do you think GACKT is going to be in the same physical condition twenty years from now? If you said yes, guess again. He is beginning to age, slowly but surely and at almost forty years old, this is natural. What happens when he’s old and gray? Will we abandon him then because he has lost his physique and his once-immaculate face is clouded with wrinkles?

I’m speaking from the perspective of a non-traditional female GACKT fan in that I am in no way attracted to him (rare, I know) but I love his music and find him to be possibly the most creative individual who ever lived. Maybe the fact that I love GACKT without “loving” GACKT influenced this long and senseless rant. I hope it was moderately coherent.

~Alisa~

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Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

Weekly Babble, Hoorah!

What I’m Listening To This Week
“EVER” by GACKT
“Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai ” by D
“Death Point” by D’espairsRay
“SILENCE” by RAMPANT

What I’m Thinking This Week

1.) Whatever they say, I’ll never change my way. 🙂

2.) I’ve been on a ridiculous j-rock binge. I don’t really acknowledge the existence of other genres as much as I used to.

3.) Faraway is the only GACKT song I can’t stand, yet it is still on my iPod and I have no intention of deleting it.

4.) When I checked the OriCon charts yesterday, I noticed that a Fullmetal Alchemist soundtrack (compilation of all openings and endings) was ahead of VAMPS’ BEAST album. That’s a little sad. MAYBE if Hyde went back to L’arc the sales would be higher. Okay, that was uncalled for. Nothing against VAMPS, I just miss L’arc. A lot.

5.) Sometimes I forget just how good GACKT is.

6.) I’m challenging myself to use the word “ever” as much as possible over the course of the next week. Would anyone like to join me?

~Alisa~

Heh.... EVER.

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