2.3.17

Fangirls and Special Extras

First, we would like to call your attention to a new article we've posted over in the Features section of This is NOT Greatest Site. Entitled The Fangirl Phenomenon, it explores the genesis, behaviors, and psychological motivations of Japanese fangirls, and why fangirldom in Japan is something of a unique phenomenon. For those of you who love our long-winded pretentious pontifications, this is the longest-winded, pretentious-est, and most pontificable of the bunch! If you love the word "hegemony," prepare to wallow in it! (In fact, we are sincerely sorry we used the word "hegemony" at all, but it had to be done. To find out more, read the article.)

I know, it's really a shame that we haven't posted a live report yet. Trust us: we are working on the live report. But sometimes, a subject weighs so heavily on one's mind that it demands to be written about before anything else, and lately, for us, fan mentality has been that subject. It just won't leave us alone. We'd share the details of our travails with y'all, but unfortunately, they are far too personal for posting on the internet. Therefore, we felt moved to share this analysis with you, instead. After all, that's the android's best advice for overcoming that pesky human shortcoming called "having feelings": replace all those troublesome feels with a detached face of cool logical analysis. Emotions are for chumps! The way to true enlightenment is to become totally dead inside. #TotallyDeadInside.

Anyhow, mostly, this article is meant to offer you overseas fans some insight into the strange, arcane rituals and rules of the Japanese fan scene (we know those of you who've previously visited Japan may have been confused by this already). Though it's true that there are certain fangirl behaviors we don't support, this article isn't really intended to be a critical censure. We don't mean it as a personal attack on anyone (except for the girl who hit us over the head, but we doubt she speaks English). If you want to find out why it was she hit us, read the article. But in the meantime, just remember: if we actually hated fandom that much, we'd never have given you those pics of Acchan's thighs. Never forget it was us who gave them to you. Oh, and also - never hit someone unless you're prepared for the possibility that they'll hit you back.

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Second, the album artwork and track list for for the Atom Miraiha live DVD are up over on the Buck-Tick official site, along with info on the various special extras that will be offered along with the DVD if you purchase it at specific record stores in Japan. They are as follows:

Tower Records: a special rubber-band bracelet
HMV: a badge
Tsutaya: a clear file folder
Amazon: a postcard
Shinseido: a sticker
Victor Online: a different special rubber-band bracelet

If any of you readers would like to reserve the DVD or BluRay through us, please contact us via email by no later than April 20th. In principle, we buy new releases at Tower Records - and one big reason for that is that Tower does more than any other record store chain to support and promote local talent. For more info on that, read this article. Viva those rubber bands, I guess.

Also, we've been getting increasing inquiries about reservations for releases by other Japanese artists besides Buck-Tick (such as My Way My Love's forthcoming cassette tape - yes cassette tape yes you heard right yes it's 2017 and cassette tapes are hot shit again what you threw away your old cassette player well too bad buy a fucking new one dammit guess you're not a real fan after all you're just a poseur.) We'd just like to let you know that if you're interested in reserving any other Japanese releases through us, including the work of indie bands, just let us know, and we'll do our best to help you out. Those of you who wanted u crack irigaru CDs: they exist, but are currently only sold on-site at the live shows. If you want them, we can get them for you. But be prepared to wait for up to a few months.

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Third, please stop asking about Cayce's personal identity. As we stated before, Cayce is a non-corporeal entity whose consciousness was uploaded to the internet and now resides there permanently. Furthermore, the corporeal lackeys who serve as Cayce's boots on the ground shall remain faceless, ageless, nameless and genderless. If you can't deal with that, we'll have you stand trial before the Identity Correctness Committee of Buck-Tickistan for failing to respect our gender and corporeality identity. For the record, we identify as "Genderless Non-Corporeal Being" and if you ever so much as think of calling us by a pronoun, we'll be mortally (get it?) offended, so stop it with the pronouns right now. Japanese doesn't have pronouns, and neither does Buck-Tickistani, and neither should you.

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22 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this article Cayce!It was such an interesting and delightful read!I wonder if you got tired writing it all,lol.Thank you also for taking the care to divide it in sections, etc. because it was very helpful.In the end,I think everyone of us,with few exeptions maybe,is guilty of a little "fangirlism" but I would never imagine that there are people who focus their lives on a band or like them and "worship" them without caring about their music or music in general.That came as a revelation reading your article and I gotta say that leaving aside the "disgust" I feel for this kind of fetishizing mentality, it makes for an interesting case study.

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  2. I love how you are basically telling us not to make an idol out of you, after mentioning the fangirl article. Don't worry Cayce, I just want to be your equal.

    Thanks for the article. It was a good read!

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  3. Thank you for the amazing articles, totally enjoyed them and took almost four hours to finish, guess I need some english reading lessons. Being female in Japan is tough, expats from my country stay in Japan for the job but would prefer to return after making enough money (especially single women), I myself find Japan a wonderful place to visit but stressing to live in.

    Most of your analyses of fangirl psychology makes sense to me, but I'm terrified to ask you what you think of "fangirls" from nearby Asian countries hahaha! The fact that we spend even more money to see the lives makes us look even crazier. That said, I do have preferences for some songs and albums over others but don't say so in case I annoy other fans. Asian self-conscience at work I suppose.

    However, girls from where I come from are all happily crazy over Sakurai's thighs, so overwhelmed with joy that I never assumed anyone would be uncomfortable with those heavenly thighs! What difference does it make if he's bi or not, the guy's occasionally had preference for drag since young and he looks gorgeous in anything anyway. We are excited about what he's going to expose in the future (maybe not a good sign either).

    PS. Why is it impossible to get cheaper live tickets any time soon?

    PSS. Some of the behaviors link don't work when you try to read the pages continuously

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    1. The Asian Buck-Tick fans with whom I have interacted directly have largely been very polite, serious, thoughtful, well-behaved people. The only ones I had trouble with were the Chinese ladies who pushed me while waiting in line to buy goods at The Mortal's shows at NHK Hall. I guess maybe they're used to pushing in line because that's a cultural thing where they come from, but I was not impressed by that behavior because 1) if you're going to visit Japan, please have the courtesy to respect local customs and wait politely in line like everyone else and 2) for fuck's sake, it's just the goods line, just wait your turn. But that was an isolated case. Lately it seems that a lot of the overseas fans value the band/live show experience more than the Japanese fans do, precisely because taking the trouble to come from overseas is a big commitment of time and money, which means that it's harder to take the experience for granted.

      I don't think there is anything wrong with feeling healthy sexual enjoyment at seeing a pretty person of any age or gender take off articles of clothing. Frankly, I find the discomfort and embarrassment a lot harder to understand than simple red-blooded excitement. It only becomes a problem when people allow their fantasies to skew their vision of reality, and act on their delusions in ways that harm others. Sitting in front of your computer watching a video and thinking "he's hot" never hurt anyone.

      As for having preferences for certain albums over others...that's normal! Nobody likes all the songs equally. If other fans are offended by you talking about your preferences, they need to grow thicker skins. Interpreting a statement of preference that differs from your own as a personal attack is a sign of extreme insecurity. If everyone had the same opinion the world would be a very boring place.

      PS. I checked the links but they're working fine here, so perhaps it's a problem with your system or internet connection.

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  4. Excellent writing! The whole thing came together quite nicely. It clarified quiet a few things for me and provided new food for thought. Thanks for your labor on this, it was well worth it.

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  5. Hi, I read the entire article, I found it very interesting. I follow your blog and website since 7 years ago, I really enjoy it. I'm from Chile (South America) and we have a small group of people who love Buck-Tick (and Issay) and we meet some times a year to watch concerts, talk about the band and drink (of course!) and I think we will discuss about this soon too (the fangirls in Latinamerica are also a little bit interesting in a different way than japanese fangirls. I personally traveled to Japan to see Buck-Tick once and enjoyed so much. Well, hope you can write more about other topics related to the music scene.
    Regards

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    1. Oh, that sounds interesting! Would you consider explaining a bit about the Latinamerican fangirls?

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    2. Tbh I've heard weird stuff even about the russian fangirls.

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    3. Out of respect for the esteemed Russian readers of Blog-Tick who comport themselves with aplomb, and out of a desire not to further escalate current geopolitical tensions, let's not talk about the Russian fangirls.

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    4. Or rather, let's allow Russian Blog-Tick readers to talk about the Russian fangirls themselves, if they wish to.

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  6. Dear Cayce, when can I (we) expect a book with your always phenomenal essays collected in it?
    It is such a huge theme, fangirls and their various obsessions, and you observed, explained and put it into words so brilliantly... I think that not only Japanese fangirls behave that way. There are excessive fangirls everywhere, as sad as it is.
    Well, what I wanted say is simply: thank you for another wonderful read. So, when can I buy an essay collection by Cayce? Or let's say, THE Goth Bible by Cayce?

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    1. Gosh, maybe I should do one of those crowdfunding things? Would this be a thing people would be interested in? If so, I suppose I can consider it.

      You're absolutely right that fangirl behavior exists everywhere. As I said in the article, the big difference with the Japanese rock scene is that the fangirl behavior has become so mainstream that it dominates the rock scene culture. In other places, fangirly stuff seems to be a lot more marginalized. I guess fangirly attitudes are dominant on the internet, but the focus of the article was IRL behavior.

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    2. Yes, please. I'd love to support you for the amazing things you write and of course I would like to read more.

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  7. Hi, of course, well first of all I'm talking through my experience talking to girls who likes Buck-Tick and other japanese bands, so it's just things that I've noticed over the years. In the previous years there's been a lot of trouble in the latinamerican fandom, most of all because the fangirls here are only care about the private life of the bands, to the point to get really obsess with things like "how Atsushi's son looks like, How many partners have he had, or who is the person to he's married to? Stuff like that. I think this is because in here we have a lot of this culture about wanting to know everything about celebrities and his / her dirty secrets. On the other hand, most of them complaint a lot about why the band wont't do world tours (even when these same people do not even try to buy their albums or dvd). Other things I have notice is that fangirls who are just discovering the band, they were really obsessed with Atsushi, to the point to talk about him like he was this "sexual macho god / demon / vampire" and they really believe in that. I say this because, I've run into some pictures on facebook, or other websites, where all the comments are about how they want to fuck him, kidnap him (not kidding) or even worse. Well, it's not all dark in the fandom, there are some really good people who really enjoy the music, and respect the band, and try to approach the band to us by translating the lyrics or interviews (like Buck-tick Ecuador, really cool People) into spanish. Other case is, Buck-Tick Chile, we are a bunch of people who get together and watch concerts, laugh and drink. We try to go to convention to get the band more known. And we are trying to save money to go to Japan someday, maybe next year. Well that's my opinion, I hope it did not get too pessimist about the fandom, because there are a lot of great people out there who enjoy the music.
    Regards

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    1. Don't be discouraged. I think there are elements of idol worship in all fandoms. The important thing is to find people like yourself, who love the music and don't obsess in a weird way over things. And you have obviously done that. You'll love Japan, good luck with the trip plans!

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  8. Thank you for taking the time to share your psychoanalysis. I totally enjoy your long-winded pretentious pontifications and it was very educational.
    I took a few days to finish reading and digesting everything. The blooming hands made me lol literally. I've not been to many concerts of other bands but BT's the first I've seen those blooming hands as if it's a church worship in session. When I first saw that, I have thoughts like "who started it", "why is it not waving/swaying/pumping but blooming kind".
    It kind of makes better sense after understanding fangirl behavior like idol worshiping.

    I also agree with Lisa. Mr. Sakurai is a beautiful man and I would appreciate however much skin and hair he wants to show. He is a sexy provocative performer and he seems to enjoy it and so do I.

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  9. Now that was a nice read! I´d love to have you as a ghost writer for my uni papers but that wouldn´t only be soooo illegal but also not in my native language lol. And what I mean by that is: You write so fast and yet comprehensible! I wanna have that skill too :333

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  10. And btw, I know I´m late on this post but in case you haven´t watched "The Great Happiness Space", which is a documentary about hosts and their customers, I highly recommend it to everyone here(it´s on Youtube). I figured it is very related to the topics about fan behaviour we´ve already discussed.
    At the same time I believe that while it´s harder for women in Japan to be idolized the same way as their male colleagues, it is not entirely impossible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_tH6Vn05w4
    I guess not everyone likes their style but since I have watched this video my oppinion of Exist Trace changed a lot :)

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    1. I've seen it and read about the Host Club scene and i agree that the costumers are similar to fangirls with the worshipping and spending a lot of money. In some way Hosts and visual kei Artist are almost the same the only difference is that they do music. I also heard that some visual kei artists used to work at host Clubs or do after their band broke up.
      sorry for my bad english

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    2. The big difference between hosts and musicians is that pleasing women is the hosts' actual job. It's what they signed up for and what they get paid for. Musicians are paid to make music.

      It's true that in recent years, the line between visual kei and host clubs has been blurred somewhat. There are some visual kei themed host clubs in Kabukicho (and probably elsewhere, too) and visual kei guys started to dress more and more like hosts starting around 2007 or so. These days, visual kei has become very much like another form of idol. However, that didn't used to be the case and I see the commodification and idol packaging of visual kei as good evidence that visual kei is basically over as an artistic movement. Also, the fangirl phenomenon can be seen in action around many bands which aren't visual kei at all. Most of the bands whose fans I wrote about in The Fangirl Phenomenon fall somewhere on the new wave/rock-n-roll spectrum. I don't really follow visual kei anymore so I can't write about the current visual kei scene in much detail.

      For the record: Buck-Tick are not, and have never been, visual kei. The term visual kei was first applied to X Japan, who debuted after Buck-Tick. Buck-Tick are often put in the same box with visual kei bands, but this is only because it was their outre visuals which first propelled them to fame, and because they had a big influence on the bands who started what would later come to be known as visual kei.

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  11. Sorry for coming up so late at this, but I'd like to leave this registered here:
    I prefer skinny guys over others because of sexual preference and yes, safety measures.
    Two days ago I went to the movies with a chubby-yet-athletic guy at the movies and he raped me. I'm not sad or afraid. I'm pissed off. I'd have intercourse with him if we were at his house and he wore a condom. I already took Plan B and will get tested as soon as I can.

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    1. What a terrible thing to have happen! I know reporting these things is tough for many reasons, but I hope you find a way to make him pay for what he did. Guys who behave that way shouldn't be allowed to walk away without consequences, yet too often they do. Stay strong!

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