Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Response to the Versailles Community

I would like to respond to the Anonymous comments left beneath my Tokyo Decadance post, as well as comments made about me on Tumblr.

Anyways, thank you Anonymous for the responses, criticisms, opinions, etc.  Comments of all kinds are welcome on my blog, regardless of their feelings towards me or what I have written.  I also appreciate that a couple of the comments were left out of concern for Versailles and Kamijo, and were not mere attacks on me (though attacks were included as well).  In response to your well-thought-out comments, I’ll return with one of my own.

The truth is, I believe the commenter(s) have misunderstood me.  My guess is that my “review” (it was not a review, really, but an impression) was posted somewhere on the internet and the people who read my post became angry and left comments on my blog having never been to Twisted in Tokyo before.  Though I understand everyone has busy schedules and most certainly have better things to do than read my blog, I would appreciate a bit more research before my integrity is brought into question.

The first thing I would like to address is that I am not a Westerner who traveled to Japan for Halloween, went to Tokyo Decadance for the first time, saw Kamijo for the first time, and proceeded to do nothing but “moan.” I did not “pass judgment on people [I’ve] never seen before.”  I passed judgment upon musicians I’d seen have better performances.  The truth is, I work eight hours a day in the Japanese countryside at a job I’m not fond of, working with delinquents and under-trained teachers, to pay for the fun I have in Tokyo.  I understand that people in England would do anything for the opportunity to see Versailles, but I’m not a person in England.  I’m someone who worked extremely hard, even through the death of my best friend, to fill out applications, gather letters of recommendation, go to interviews, and get a job that allows me to stay in Japan.  I work very hard for my pleasure.  Every show I go to is different, and there will be good ones and bad ones.  The Japanese fans understand this, and I understand this too as I approach my 65th concert.  Two years ago I saw Versailles perform at V-Rock Festival and gave them a very good review.  That performance two years ago was excellent.  This was a different show.

Another point of contention I have with the comments is that they assume Tokyo Decadance is a concert.  It is not a concert, it’s a party.  I’ve been to a Tokyo Decadance Halloween party before and wrote my “review” based on my own comparison.  One party was fun, the other was not.  The commenter(s) feel that what I wrote about Kamijo couldn’t possibly be true, or was an exaggeration, but they forget that this was a party.  Two years ago, Kaya did things at Tokyo Decadance that he was quite embarrassed about, and he apologized profusely and asked people to take down the videos of it.  Why did he do such embarrassing things?  Because it was a party, it was 4 AM, and he’d had some drinks.  Tokyo Decadance is not the same as a concert, and the performers don’t treat it the same or behave in the same fashion they normally do.  I’m sorry I brought this fact into the light, but it’s not my job to censor the internet or protect the integrity of JRockers.  When someone criticizes a performer, it doesn’t mean they “really hate them all.”  It means they watched the performance, reflected upon it, and concluded that the musician didn’t perform to their highest potential.  I think Kamijo is a wonderful singer and a great performer.  But that night was not his best night. While I understand that Versailles fans become concerned when they see posts like mine, they also need to understand that Kamijo is a human being.  He’s not a god, and he’s not perfect, and it does him a great disservice to believe he is always godly and perfect.  It’s important to clear the stars from our eyes and look upon these performers rationally and thoughtfully.  They’re people with the potential to grow and change, and it isn’t fair to the performers to put them upon a pedestal and expect them to never fall off.

The last thing I would like to say in my defense is that the commenter(s) are the ones who are “exaggerating.”  No “trouble” or “chaos” has been caused by what I wrote.  If drama formed in the Versailles communities, I apologize, but English-speaking Versailles communities are small and have no effect upon the Japanese Versailles community, which is the one that counts.  The Japanese are barely aware that an English-speaking community exists, and the English-speaking community’s purchasing of merchandise and occasional trips to Japan to see the band have little to no effect upon the band’s career, future, or standing.  I assure Anonymous that the Japanese have written far worse things on the internet than I have, and those are the comments that are seen by many and affect the band.  What I’ve written will fade into obscurity like everything else I write.  At least it would have, if the Versailles fans themselves hadn't spread it.  If they're so concerned about many people reading something negative I wrote (though I hardly think I said anything negative, other than some personal observations), then why do they re-post it?  Why not contain it here, on this blog, where it belongs?  I’ve checked to see what “chaos” Anonymous speaks of, and I’ve found none, other than some people panicking and bickering about me on Tumblr.  The English-speaking Versailles communities are moving along the same as they always have, regardless of what I’ve written.  There seems to be little to no awareness that my “review” ever happened, other than what I saw on Tumblr.  But the people who love Versailles certainly wouldn’t be swayed by my words, would they?  A good fan can sift through comments and criticisms to form their own opinion on the band.  And they certainly wouldn't post my words in anger in various parts of the internet, right?  Because that would just spread my words farther.

The fact of the matter is, even if Kamijo were to hear what I wrote, I doubt he’d feel the slightest unrest.  His career has remained perfectly fine for years and years and years despite, and in spite of, the internet.  My critics on the internet repeatedly mention how "biased" my blog is.  You're correct.  It is biased.  Because it's my blog.  Versailles fans are biased in favor of Versailles, and love them unconditionally.  I'm not biased towards Versailles, personally, but sometimes I'm biased towards bands I do love.  This is called human nature, and it's normal.  I would be worried about myself if I didn't have biases, because it would also mean I had no hate, and thus no love.  If the internet has a problem with what I write, they can choose not to read it.  And they can especially choose not to spread it.  But I don't appreciate being called an "idiot" for writing my own feelings.  I understand that what I say on the internet always has the potential to come back to me, but I would appreciate it if it was kept to disagreements, and not attacks on me as a person.

Also, I would appreciate if the Versailles fans would have a little more confidence in their band.  Just because one girl (me) saw the show one way, doesn't mean you should suddenly see your favorite performers any differently.  I shouldn't have that kind of power, and it shows a clear lack of trust on the part of the Versailles fans.  Someone on Tumblr accused me of being a dumb teenager, but I fear the ones who found their love of Versailles disturbed by my words were probably far younger than I am.

Thank you for your time.

18 comments:

  1. What can I say, keep it up :) I enjoy our reviews because I think you're having some very smart ideas about the things you experience and have the gift to put it in quite entertaining words.

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  2. Based on what you've said here and in the last "opinion" I can't imagine you know much about Versailles at all. Their foreign fanbase does matter a lot because it's several times larger than the Japanese one. In Japan they can barely sell out the smallest halls but abroad they frequently sell out halls with capacities over 2000 people. They do world tours. In fact they are in the middle of one right now, and the community that had the biggest response to this was the one they are heading to next week.

    Reports online are the only way many people have access to what bands are doing in Japan. If it's a concert then maybe a video will pop up on youtube. Tokyo Decadance was a party, so no video. Pictures give a pretty good idea, but look, an English report from someone who was there! People will flock to it because it's the only window they have into what happened.

    What bothers me is that you don't see how your "opinion" is problematic. You said Kamijo was extremely drunk, staggering about, and basically said that he sexually assaulted Kaya (a "sloppy" unwanted kiss can be construed as sexual assault). You are accusing him of a lot of things (that aren't true by the way) and people who have no other venue into what happened at that show are reading your report and taking it seriously because you are basically the foreign representative of that party, because you put a report out there for the public to read.

    You said people need to not take your "opinion" so seriously but I read back in your blog that you had people messaging you, concerned, over what a musician had written in his blog, which you translated. This is the same sort of situation, except this time around you've put stuff down that could seriously damage his reputation abroad, which DOES matter, a lot.

    Instead of saying "I'm sorry you took my opinions as truth" you should be saying "I'm sorry I was in a bad mood and looked at everything negatively, and judged the performers harshly because I was having a bad night."

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  3. Personally, I found your review/report interesting. It's rare that you hear about musicians just being normal. Everyone has done something they regret and it's hardly correct to assume someone is perfect. I'm a Versailles fan myself and I feel no different about them after reading the review. A few chuckles here and there but nothing more.

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  4. @xfranczeskax: I'm glad someone enjoys my blog. The urge to continue it has decreased continuously these days, and the sudden drama tempts me to abandon it completely, but I have friends telling me it's not worth giving up on it, so maybe I won't. But damn if it isn't tempting at this point. I've always been toeing the line of becoming an internet pariah, but now I'm worried it's going to happen for real >__< I suppose it doesn't really matter, though. The internet isn't the real world anyways >__>

    @Colouring Needle: Thank you for being a mature Versailles fan. Personally, I was shocked by the drama because I didn't think the stuff I wrote about Kamijo was even negative. I was more amused than anything else, and it was the one part of the show I discussed happily with my friends afterwards. Perhaps my tone was off when I wrote it, but what can I say? I always sound like that, lol. I wish more Versailles fans could be as objective and mature as you :-)

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  5. Nice, only unscreening comments that agree with you.

    I had a good laugh that you compared the performance of two members to the band's performance in 2009, which was all over the place because their bassist had just died two months prior.

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    1. Wow, I am soooo sorry. Five months later, I just realized why it looked like I screened comments. I just noticed that I have a "spam box" where comments get flagged and go into the box, instead of appear on the blog. There were only three comments in the spam box, and two of them were for this post. Yours must've been one of them! Very sorry that happened, and for the confusion. I put all three comments back here in the comments section. I can't say "hope there's no hard feelings" because there's obviously hard feelings, but I'll at least say, "I hope there's no hard feelings about the posting of comments on my blog. No one gets screened!"

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  6. I didn't screen any comments at all. What are you referring to? All the negative comments have remained untouched.

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  7. Based on what you've said here and in the last "opinion" I can't imagine you know much about Versailles at all. Their foreign fanbase does matter a lot because it's several times larger than the Japanese one. In Japan they can barely sell out the smallest halls but abroad they frequently sell out halls with capacities over 2000 people. They do world tours. In fact they are in the middle of one right now, and the community that had the biggest response to this was the one they are heading to next week.

    Reports online are the only way many people have access to what bands are doing in Japan. If it's a concert then maybe a video will pop up on youtube. Tokyo Decadance was a party, so no video. Pictures give a pretty good idea, but look, an English report from someone who was there! People will flock to it because it's the only window they have into what happened.

    What bothers me is that you don't see how your "opinion" is problematic. You said Kamijo was extremely drunk, staggering about, and basically said that he sexually assaulted Kaya (a "sloppy" unwanted kiss can be construed as sexual assault). You are accusing him of a lot of things (that aren't true by the way) and people who have no other venue into what happened at that show are reading your report and taking it seriously because you are basically the foreign representative of that party, because you put a report out there for the public to read.

    You said people need to not take your "opinion" so seriously but I read back in your blog that you had people messaging you, concerned, over what a musician had written in his blog, which you translated. This is the same sort of situation, except this time around you've put stuff down that could seriously damage his reputation abroad, which DOES matter, a lot.

    Instead of saying "I'm sorry you took my opinions as truth" you should be saying "I'm sorry I was in a bad mood and looked at everything negatively, and judged the performers harshly because I was having a bad night."

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  8. I believe it was stated right in the post that I'm not familiar with Versailles. Which should be a red flag to people that my post will not be a cheerful, fangirling one, but an objective one. But people are determined to read my post through whatever mental filter they want, as you've done, I'm afraid. Never did my "report" state that Kamijo was "extremely" drunk, nor did my mind ever stray down the dark path of sexual assault (sloppy does not equal assault in my book). But huge fans of Kamijo will read my post however they want, because that's what humans do. People take the word of the internet as literally or as vaguely as they want to based on their personal feelings. That's what the Versailles fans have done, and that's why I'm not apologizing for what you think I should apologize for. I will not apologize for being in a bad mood and writing my feelings, because this is a BLOG and that's what blogs are for. If the Versailles fans can't tell the difference between a personal blog and a concert report, that's not my problem. I never posted the "report" anywhere except right here on my blog, I never stated that it was the knowledgeable report of a Versailles fan, and I made it perfectly clear that the post was 100% personal feelings (and that I was grouchy the whole show). I will apologize for drama having occurred, and I will apologize that people stretched and exaggerated my words, but I will NOT apologize for "being in a bad mood." The Versailles fans have taken something small and blown it into something big. My blog was something that never would've reached the ears of other fans if the Versailles fans hadn't spread it or gossiped about it. This reminds me of this one time... I wrote a Dir en grey concert report and talked about how Die seemed very happy. A Dir en grey fan got angry and stated I was encouraging Die's alcohol abuse because she thought he was only happy because he was drunk. I saw happy, she saw drunk. Two people at the same show saw two completely different things. However, unlike the Versailles fans, the Dir en grey fan private-messaged me about it, rather than blowing it out of proportion all over the internet.

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  9. 日本語ハウスの仲間November 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Dear Anonymous,

    I'm not a blogger. I don't read blogs. But you should be ashamed for attacking someones' web journal. It an individual's free space to write their opinions and share experiences with friends and family. This becomes extremely important when you're living in a foreign country halfway across the world.

    I don't give a F*** about Versailles, but if you want to sign their praises or bash someone's observations which were intended to be shared with people back home and friends in other parts of Japan to give them a reference to what's going on in the blogger's life GET YOUR OWN BLOG and do it THERE. What you're doing is immature. Go out and get a life. Experience something.

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    1. OMG this comment was stuck in my spam box and I never noticed! I'm sooo sorry! I've sent it back into the comments section where it belongs! And thank you very much for sticking up for me ^__^

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  10. @Anonymous: Sorry for my "unscreening" comment. Might just be I don't feel like judging other ppls personal reviews because I HAVEN'T been at the show. You might want to think about that as apparently you weren't either.

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  11. ??? I'm confused, lol. All I know is, I've never screened any comments. Hopefully nobody has any hard feelings, lol. Oh well, hope the misunderstanding is alright, whatever it was XD

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  12. @xfranczeskax Joke's on you because yes I was :) and I don't even know what you're trying to say in your comment. Who/what in the world are you replying to?

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  13. I'm so confused. And so many people wrote on here anonymously that I can't even tell who any of this is directed at =___=

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  14. I just want to say that I've always enjoyed reading your blog (I found it through a random google search for a band a year or so ago lol), and I think you're entitled to write about the things you experience. I'm quite a bit fan of Versailles myself but whatever happened, I don't like them any less... so what if Kamijo had a few drinks at a party, right?! Anyway, I hope you don't stop writing, I really enjoy reading about your adventures in Tokyo seeing as I'm yet to visit Japan myself! :D

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  15. *big fan of Versailles /facepalm

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  16. Thank you for your kind words :-) I'm glad you enjoy my blog, and I'm glad the drama didn't turn you away from it, hahaha XD Certainly soured ME for awhile, lol! The truth is, I have nothing against Versailles, though some might want to make it look that way. I actually have a lot of their music on my iTunes and enjoy them now and then, and went out of my way to see them at VRock Festival. I actually really love Kamijo's voice ^__^ Nothing would ever change that for me!!! Also, I hope you get to visit Japan soon! Seeing Japanese bands in their home country is the bestest (^o^)v

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