Friday, August 17, 2012

BORN, BLACK MASSIVE ANIMAL$ Tour Final, Shibuya O-EAST


Let’s go to da BOOOOORN!


I’m back with my first concert report in awhile.  Yay!  The show is called BLACK MASSIVE ANIMAL$ (that dollar sign is very important), which is hilarious enough on its own.  And the show was on my birthday, which made it kinda awesome.  I mean, what better way to celebrate turning old than watching BORN act like a bunch of children?

Anyways, we started the day in Shibuya, cuz that’s where the venue was.  Went to La Pausa for cheap Italian food and mostly chilled out, cuz BORN shows are exhausting, so it’s best to “hibernate” ahead of time.  I think we moved from the restaurant to a café, cuz anything more than that and we’d never survive the show.  Plus, caffeine before a show can lead to interesting results.  Oh, and I wanted some damn cake to make up for turning old.  They had a melon cake that was really good.

At the café, we sat around trying to stylishly wrap the BORN “suck my dick or death” bandanas around our wrists (it’s tricky to do it so the “BORN” is facing out).  We also tried to find the best way to get the pink, leopard print towel attached to ourselves without looking stupid (I decided to opt out of the stupid leopard-print tie look I had last time I saw BORN.  I looped the towel through a belt-thing around my waist instead).  While we were goofing off in the café, other BORN fans were coming in with their own bandanas and towels.  BORN fans are hilariously easy to spot, because they’re all merch-whores.  Loud, leopard-printing merch whores.

Eventually, it was time to head over to the venue.  Today’s venue is Shibuya O-EAST.  I’ve been there a couple times in the past for bands like D’espairsRay and MERRY.  What do those band have in common?  Well, for one thing, they’re major bands.  See, Shibuya O-EAST is a fringe venue, catering to both major bands and indie bands that are doing exceptionally well.  Unlike venues like Takadanobaba AREA that hold up to 450 people, O-EAST can hold up to 1,400.  So an indies band getting to play there is a pretty big deal.  My own tickets were won by lottery.  I had to apply online through my cell phone and enter the ticket raffle, the result being that I was guaranteed A tickets.  My number wound up being kinda shitty anyways, but it’s still better than a B ticket.

So, when my friends and I showed up to the venue, the streets were packed with BORN fans.  I could tell immediately (and had already suspected) that BORN didn’t actually sell 1,400 tickets.  It was more like, maybe… 900 people.  Which is still pretty damn good, so congrats, boys.  You are no longer indie-babies.  Pretty much everyone loitering around was draped in BORN merch, like BORN t-shirts and wristbands and towels, etc.  There were more boys in the crowd than usual, and also crazy amounts of foreigners.  Lately it seems like foreigners are popping up all over the place.  There was, like… forty of them at the show, easily.  Must be the summer holidays giving people lots of vacation time.

Uuuum, went off to use a coin locker.  Before the show, I told myself I didn’t want to buy any merchandise, so I wouldn’t need to bring money into the venue.  But then I looked around at the other BORN fans and was like, “aw, crap.”  The BLACK MASSIVE ANIMAL$ shirt is awesome, with the name of the tour in the middle of a big, pink leopard print heart.  And the new bandanas are red leopard print.  Damnit BORN, you fucking bastards.  If there’s one thing I love more than pink leopard print, it’s red leopard print.  Whoever works in PSC’s marketing department needs to get throttled.  This is all his/her fault (that genius).

Number-calling was slow, especially since 450-ish people were going to get in ahead of me.  But that’s okay, because it gave me time to admire the band’s congratulatory balloons, which were by far the most impressive gift balloons I’ve ever seen at a show.  They came from the fans, I guess, who were able to pool a lot of money together for this.  The bouquet was enormous, with black balloons and flowers and wreaths, and the whole thing was wrapped in red Christmas lights that were lit and glowing.  Freakin’ crazy, man.  I was an idiot and didn’t get a picture of it, though, sorry.  I got side-tracked after the show.

Anyways, eventually my friends and I got called in, and we went up the stairs, past the beckoning arms of the merch booth.  Then we joined the crowd a couple rows behind the second barrier.  There was actually plenty of room in front of the barrier, but too many people were blocking the way through, so I figured we’d just slip forward during the show when nobody was looking.  We wound up next to that cosplay group I mentioned at the last couple shows.  Amazingly enough, the blonde Ryouga cosplayer actually replicated this costume with 95% accuracy:

Warning: if you search "BORN BLASTED ANIMALS" on Google image search, you get a lot of mutant, two-headed animals for some reason.

I dunno how this girl does it.  She looked just like Ryouga, even down to the eye patch and the spiky hair.  Her friends were wearing various outfits, some of them from the new BLASTED ANIMALS look, and some a little older than that.  All of them looked amazing.

The wait for the show was another twenty-five minutes after I got in.  I felt soooo antsy.  I hate waiting around for shows to start.  My friends and I started placing bets on how late the band would be.  Big venues seem to necessitate tardiness.  As for pre-show music, the band played a lot of music you’d expect, like Marilyn Manson (shocking, I know), Rob Zombie, and Foo Fighters, but also more unusual things like Michael Jackson and 70’s disco.  Whatever floats your boat, BORN.

The stage was also set up strangely, with these huge, hexagon-shaped metal beams angled towards the stage, each one with a half-slice of disco-ball stuck in the middle.  They looked like groovy UFOs.  The back wall of the stage was also draped floor-to-ceiling with shiny, silver streamers.  I asked Peachy how much she thought it cost to cover the entire back wall with shiny-shit.  She said “$10.”  Hah, probably.

Amazingly enough, the band was not especially late.  Five minutes at most.  Good job, boys.  Now, I want to halt this report for a moment to let you know about this: the first hour and a half of the show was streamed live on NicoNico Douga for people who couldn’t make it.  That might seem irrelevant, but the video stream was also recorded.  So, if you’d like to render most of my report totally irrelevant, you can watch the first hour and a half (about 3/5) of the show over here:

LET'S GO TO DA BOOOOOOOORN 

AND AGAAAAAAAAAAAIN (Part 2) 

Sorry, I tried to embed the videos here, but I think something's wrong with their embed link (or I'm just terrible with computers).  The videos embed just fine, but it stays frozen and won't play.  Oh well.  Probably easier to have it in a separate tab anyways.

I should also add that a DVD of the show will be released, meaning my report is going to become completely obsolete.  But that’s alright, I’ll keep writing anyways.  I watched the first NicoNico video once, and I didn't watch the second one at all yet.  I’m not gonna use it as reference material for this report, because then I’ll wind up accidentally just writing what I watch, rather than writing what I remember.  And this is about my experience, not the selective camera angles of the staff.

So, as you can totally see in the video without any help from me at all, the show started with a really intense remix of THE ANTHEM (the “welcome to the 666” intro).  Big venues and big shows require big entrances.  The band members even got to come on stage one at a time, get on the crate, and milk it for all it’s worth.  The first member out was drummer TOMO, who sauntered up to the crate with an overly-serious look on his face.  The side of his head is still completely shaved, which makes me happy.  I love asymmetrical hair like that.  Anyways, TOMO jumped up onto the crate, turned away from the crowd, threw his arms out and tossed his head back.  Then water exploded out of his mouth like a fucking whale.  I totally did not see that coming, and I burst out laughing. 

The next member out was bassist KIFUMI, I think.  He got up on the crate and was his usual smiley, derpy self.  He seemed very happy, and had a smear of pink make-up across the side of his left eye.  The next member out was left guitarist Ray.  He played it “cool” as usual.  He got up on the crate, but still kinda had this “I don’t give a fuck” air about him.  Man, his hair was huge.  It’s like he got caught in a windstorm or something.  The third member out was right guitarist K, who seemed way more hyperactive than usual.  I mean, K’s very stoic, but he’s usually very active onstage nonetheless.  But at this show, he was either very excited, or wanted to show off for the cameras.  He kept throwing his fist and bein’ all “fuck yeah!” and shit.  When he got on the crate, he got a particularly loud cheer, probably cuz he was being awesome.

The last member out was, of course, our dear vocalist, Ryouga, who did a slow zombie-walk across the stage as the audience burst into cheers.  This was my first time seeing Ryouga in that new boiled-lobster outfit, and I nearly burst out laughing at the sight of him.  I’m sorry, but that outfit is ridiculous.  I mean, it’s good ridiculous; I like it.  But it’s still ridiculous.  To be honest, I think there are two versions of the costume: one used for the music video, and one for live performances.  The one Ryouga wears on stage is looser, with slits cut above the corset to allow for ventilation.  Basically, he has a second version of the costume so he doesn’t cook into tempura inside that thing.  Also, not to be a dick, but the costume makes Ryouga look suuuuper tiny.  I mean, he’s not an especially tall guy (the lower end of average in Japan, I’d say), and he’s really skinny, so the skin-tight red outfit emphasized all that and made him look like a little boy.  Also, the damn costume was wedged up his goddamn ass for most of the show.  Nice butt, buddy.  Ryouga’s hair was also much longer than the music video, and spiked like Cloud from Final Fantasy VII.  Instead of wearing the eye-patch, he had white-out contacts in both his eyes, which was honestly very creepy.  He also had SUCK written in red under his left eye because… why the fuck not, I guess.  When Ryouga got up to the front of the stage and started shouting at us to get ready, I knew it was oooooon, bitches.  He was fond of yelling, “yeah, baby!” at this show, and I was ready to go “fuck yeah!” right back at him.  So let’s get to it!

First thing’s first, about the setlist.  I think there’s one out there somewhere.  Peachy found one that was able to tell her the names of two songs we didn’t recognize.  But she didn’t pass the setlist along to me, and it’s since vanished.  I’m sure it’s still on the internet somewhere, but hell if I know where to find it.  But does it really matter?  I’ll just toss out the highlights here, and that’ll be good enough.

Edit: A very special thanks to Zinn for finding the setlist!  Totally amazing!  Thank you so much for finding it, Zinn!

DEMONS
more Deep 
【beauty;beast】
MY SWEET BLACK
MAD whistle
Dizzy you
Mosaic
ProudiA

White harmony
Gurou
AGITATOR

BLASTED ANIMALS
BODY
RADICAL HYSTERIA
Ranshido
Criminal Berry (new song)
DIRTY STACKER

Encore 1


THE ANTHEM
Kuroari
Karasu
Shunkouhana -SAKURA- (note: I don't fuckin' know if that's how the kanji's pronounced)
NEO SCREAM
Chemical Romance

Encore 2


RADICAL HYSTERIA

So, the show itself: super awesome.  I was a little worried because really wide stages can sometimes hurt rather than help an indie band’s performance.  I mean, it makes me really happy that BORN got to play on a big stage, but sometimes if a stage is too large, it creates distance between the band members, making the performance cold.  And it can also lead to very confused vocalists who don’t know what to do with themselves (although I wasn’t too worried about Ryouga, since he practically crashes into the walls of small venues anyways).  However, BORN totally rocked the large stage, better than almost any band I’ve ever seen.  Some of that might be due to the fact that they’re an older band with a lot of experience under their belt.  Most of the members have been in bands since 2000, so they all have at least ten years of experience.  So, as weird as this sounds, there’s an air of “wisdom” about BORN, despite their silliness.  No matter what happens at shows, the band always knows what to do, because they’re older and “wiser” performers (and they’re all in their thirties).  To be honest, I think Ryouga’s one of the most intelligent vocalists in indies, although you wouldn’t know it if you weren’t used to him.  There’s a difference between being smart about performing, and being a naturally good performer, but Ryouga’s both.  And that’s rare.  He knows how to be a good frontman because he’s a natural, but he also has a hidden cleverness that isn’t detectable right away.

Anyways, that was a long-winded way of saying: BORN did an awesome job at O-EAST.  All the members took advantage of their area without looking frazzled.  They were always up at the front, interacting with the crowd, moving around the sides of the stage, switching sides with each other, and playing around.  KIFUMI was constantly on K’s side, and even Ray would suddenly go running over whenever he felt like it.  K liked to hog the crate area a lot.  Everyone made sure to pester TOMO too, whenever they thought of it.  That “distance” problem was non-existent between the members, despite the size of the stage.  BORN somehow managed to make that massive stage feel very small, and I mean that in a good way.  BORN was able to keep the intimacy of a small stage while still entertaining the full width of the audience.  Ryouga was constantly moving back and forth across the front of the stage, yet he was so quick about it, I barely ever noticed if he was on the right side or the left or the middle, because he was just sort of everywhere at once.  Part of that was because he spent so much time standing all the way up on the (precariously tall) crate, turning this way and that like a lawn sprinkler, making sure to include everyone.  Do you see what I’m saying about him?  A smart vocalist would think to stand on the crate so the whole audience can see them.  A naturally good performer would think to run to all parts of the stage as much as possible to include the whole crowd.  But Ryouga thinks to stand on the crate and turn in every direction like a dictator giving a speech.  And that’s clever.  I’ve discussed this with my friends many times, and I’ll just say it right here: Ryouga’s a smart motherfucker.

Anyways, so that was a bit about the band, what about the crowd?  The crowd, well… they lack Ryouga’s innate intelligence, that’s for sure.  BORN fans are usually very cohesive, and that’s what makes BORN shows a lot of fun.  Everyone’s on the same page; everyone knows what to do.  But this crowd was full of people who hadn’t seen BORN before but went because it was a big weekend tour final (many people find small live house concerts to be intimidating and scary – like an exclusive club that also likes to beat you up – so many people only show up for concerts at major venues).  There were others who just hadn’t seen the band a whole lot and didn’t have a lot of experience.  The result was a generally confused audience who couldn’t get its shit together.  For example, a lot of BORN songs involve the weird forward-headbanging where the whole crowd is supposed to lurch forward in time to the beat.  It looks really cool when done right.  When done right.  We usually had half the crowd going forward as the other half was going back, or one part of the crowd was going forward while the back half had to do it backwards to avoid colliding heads with the idiot row ahead of them that got the rhythm wrong.  There’s a part in the NicoNico video I posted above where you can see the audience very clearly split half-and-half on the headbanging, and I nearly knocked myself out with the force of my palm hitting my forehead in embarrassment.  It looks so dumb when that kind of thing happens.  The problem is that a confused audience is a dangerous audience.  You wind up with a whole crowd throwing their heads forehead, and then that one moron row throws their heads back, and the next thing you know, a bunch of people have concussions.  At this show, I usually waited several counts before joining in the headbanging, to make sure the person in front of me wasn’t about to do something stupid.  Similar to the headbanging issue was the issue of the side-to-side.  Let me lay this one right here in broad, internet daylight:

The side-to-side is not based on making it all the way from one side of the venue to the other.  It’s based on the measures of the song. 

In other words, if eight counts end and you’re still not all the way to the right, stop what you’re doing and turn back around.  Some people in the audience didn’t understand that (especially since the floor was so wide), so we’d have half the crowd trying to jump one way, and the other half still jumping the other way, until everyone was just sort of flailing around in a giant boiling stew of confusion.  It got so bad, Ryouga actually stepped in to help us out towards the end of the show.  He started leading the crowd in one direction across the stage, then turning around and leading us back the other way.  He was pointing his finger in each direction, making sure we couldn’t possibly fuck it up.  Again, the problem is that it’s a hazard.  The side-to-side is a trust move, and you have to trust the people around you not to knock you ten feet across the floor.  I saw girls jumping across the floor and then suddenly getting slammed off their feet by some hyperactive moron who wasn’t paying attention.  Then the person on the floor gets trampled, and it’s no longer fun for her, or the people around her.  But Ryouga stepped in to fix it, because he’s smart like that.  He didn’t look annoyed or anything, and he acted as if he would’ve led us back and forth anyways, but it was pretty obvious he started guiding us around because the audience was so uncoordinated.  Thanks, Ryouga!  Glad you got our back!

But I’m not dissing the crowd, by the way.  They were actually a very cheerful lot, and they were really into the show.  They were just confused, that’s all.  For the most part, the crowd was pretty amiable, and there weren’t any bad vibes coming from anyone.  Throughout my JRock travels in Japan, I would have to the say the nicest indies fandom I’ve encountered is the BORN fandom.  BORN fans are always the fans who want to have friendly chats with strangers (including foreigners), always the fans who mind their own business, always the fans who apologize if they cause a problem.  They’re not perfect but, overall, BORN fans are always very friendly.  Other fandoms have a lot of bad eggs or are just overall unpleasant (ahem, MEJIBRAY fans), but BORN fans are a very comfortable crowd to be in.  It seems like everyone’s just there to have a good time, and no one’s out to have a good time by forcing a bad time on others.

Okay, more stuff.  The setlist for the show was pretty awesome.  On Ameblo, BORN asked people to send in song requests for the show, so the setlist was kinda all over the place.  We had the usual fare, like MY SWEET BLACK and more DEEP and Ranshido, but we also had songs that don’t show up as often, like Grave Dancer Punish and mad whistle.  Aaaaaand, as I expected, the requests also meant I had to put up with some stuff I’m not fond of.  Some really slow ballads showed up, like SAKURA and ProudiA.  I reeeeally don’t care for ProudiA.  Usually, when the song shows up on my shuffle and Ryogua goes, “don’t you love me?”, I say, “yes,” and switch to the next song.  But Ryogua sang the song quite beautifully, and I’m sure it pleased the crowd.  SAKURA was a much prettier ballad, and the band seemed really into it.  Ray kept throwing his hair back and making passionate faces like the song was pleasuring him or something.  Well, I’m not much of a ballad person, but I can’t blame the band if they like it.

Two songs showed up that I'm not familiar with.  Peachy was able to uncover that one song was called BODY.  Does anyone know what BODY is?  I would’ve said it was a new song, but it felt like a lot of the crowd was familiar with it (I guess new songs might’ve been played recently, but who knows).  With BORN, there’s always the possibility of “unknown” songs popping up from BORN’s previous incarnations (they went through several “phases” before becoming BORN).  It could also be an extra from some recent release that I never got a hold of.  Well, if anyone knows what BODY is, let me know.  The other song is new, it seems.  I don’t think it has a title yet (edit: according to Zinn, the title is Criminal Berry.  For fuck's sake, BORN, we've got rotten cherries and criminal berries.  What's wrong with you?!).  It has really silly furi, which Ryouga was more than happy to do with us.  It’s like… raise your left arm out diagonally and point at the far corner, then your right arm too, so you’re making a big Y.  Then cross them back in, then back out.  Then the left arm comes back in, then the right, and then a big “yay!” or something like that.  I don’t fucking remember.  It’s silly.  The song is very dance-ish but more hardcore than the recent BLASTED ANIMALS.  The best part, however, was Ryouga’s demonstration of the furi.  Ryouga… often seems like he’s on the verge of a volcanic eruption, and this was no different.  Although the furi’s meant to be done in as graceful a manner as possible, Ryouga’s whole body was seizuring as he did the moves, and his arms were shaking out of control as he did the movements.

Which brings me to the next thing I wanna talk about: the band’s hyperactivity.  Maybe it’s because tour finals are exciting, maybe it’s because the stage was so big, maybe it’s because they were being filmed… I don’t know.  All I know is, the band was on hyperdrive.  BORN's already an overly-energetic band to being with, but this just got crazy.  I mean, Ryouga is always insane, but this was even more than usual.  He was running this way and that, flailing suddenly and without warning, dancing in strange ways that were not exactly flattering…  His random flails were my favorite.  In the middle of a verse, he would just suddenly be like, “aaaaaaagh!” and start shaking his body like was he was being electrocuted.  This happened… a lot.  The NicoNico video catches some of it, but sometimes it only catches the scream while viewing another band member.  But I assure you, most screams also involved seizures. 

Of course, Ryouga’s not the only hyperactive member.  KIFUMI usually takes the #2 spot for hyperactivity, and his high-kicks were not absent from this show.  And when you combine him and Ryouga, the results are intense.  At one point, Ryouga ran up to KIFUMI and started hopping up and down as high as possible, trying to get KIFUMI to bounce with him.  I’ve seen them do this before, but not with this kind of air.  NicoNico only caught about half of the jumping, but it was pretty impressive.  KIFUMI could only jump so high because of his bass, but Ryouga was soaring higher and higher, until I started to wonder if he was a kangaroo in a past life.  K was also in a hyperactive mood, and spent a lot of time spinning in circles (he tends to do that), or jumping up on the crate and taking a flying leap off of it.  Ryouga did some huge leaps too – ones that looked like they should’ve hurt upon landing.

Ryouga was so out of control that, at one point (I think the NicoNico video caught this), Ryouga intentionally threw himself off his feet and landed flat on his back for no apparent reason.  At other times, he laid himself out on the crate, only to leap back up a second later.  And sometimes he would start dancing in a jerky, robotic fashion, which was honestly hilarious in that shiny, red outfit.

Speaking of which… the new songs.  The BLASTED ANIMALS single has three songs: BLASTED ANIMALS, AGITATOR, and Dizzy You.  Dizzy You… is pretty meh, in my opinion (just thought you guys could rehash those riffs from DOGMA and no one would notice?), and seeing it live didn’t change my opinion a whole lot.  BLASTED ANIMALS was, as you would expect, a lot of fun.  The song’s even more dance-y live, and Ryouga was jumping up and down right along with the crowd (seriously, is Ryouga just plugged into an electrical socket at all times, or what?).  I think AGITATOR has to win the prize in the “fun” department, though (which isn’t really that surprising, is it?).  First of all, for the audience, there’s a lot of jumping, but every time the string section yells, “hey!” we jump extra high, so it’s like boing-boing-boing-HEY!!!  The band did the jumping along with us too, because the string section seems to like jumping just as much as Ryouga does (even Ray does it).  Also, Ryouga took up The Robot for this song.  Especially during the part that’s like, “I will dance until death”, Ryouga did a full-blown Robot dance on the crate, which was really funny.  He's... not so great at doing The Robot, but he doesn't have to be.  And with that red outfit, he looked like something plucked right out of a stereotypical 80's movie.  Fucking NicoNico barely showed this part at all, and it was one of the highlights of the show.  Overall, I give AGITATOR a big thumbs up.

Other stuff, other stuff…  There were several MCs, but the one worth mentioning is the really long-winded thank you one (I don't think this one made it into the NicoNico videos).  Basically, Ryouga did a five minute MC, and for once he was actually being serious (and standing perfectly still, which I didn't know he could do).  He was talking about how far the band had come, and how he remembered the first show BORN ever played, and the tiny little stage, and how few fans they had, and how much he admired and respected bands that played at places like O-EAST.  He said, at the time, getting to a place like O-EAST seemed almost impossible.  And then he talked about how, at the time, the band felt like it was slowly getting more fans, but very slowly, and that all of the fans were in Tokyo.  But then he said they started to notice they had other fans, from all over Japan, and then they realized they even had fans from around the world.  Then he said he feels extremely grateful to all those fans, and how BORN couldn’t have done it without them.  Of course, it made me happy that Ryouga actually acknowledged and thanked his foreign fans.  I feel like that’s unusual, not because JRock bands necessarily do or don’t appreciate their foreign fans (because really, who the hell knows), but because most bands know it’s a touchy subject and don’t want to mention it, because it’s awkward.  They prefer to just ignore the topic.  But Ryouga went out of his way to mention and thank BORN's international fans, and I thought that was really nice of him.  And the BORN fans, being awesome as usual, didn’t bristle in the slightest.  Anyways, the more Ryouga talked, the more sniffly he seemed to get.  I kinda didn’t expect that.  I couldn’t tell if he was sniffling because he just had the sniffles, or if it was because he was getting upset, but his band mates were looking at everything except him, which made me think he was getting choked up.  After he was done going on and on about how far BORN’s come and how amazing it felt to be at O-EAST, he finally passed the MC along to TOMO.  TOMO was immediately like, “wow, it seemed like Ryouga was gonna cry, didn’t it?  I haven’t seen him cry in at least a year.” Of course, that made me wonder what the hell happened a year ago.  Did a Marilyn Manson show sell out on him?

Well, anyways, TOMO’s MC was much shorter, but just as thankful.  Then Ryouga passed the MC along to Cool Beauty.  In case you’re wondering, Cool Beauty is Ray.  WTF?!!  I guess that’s Ryouga’s nickname for him.  Well, Ray does come off as really “chill”, and he has pretty-boy hair, so… I guess it works.  Anyways, Cool Beauty’s MC was, as expected, short and to the point.  Thankful, yes, but very abrupt, even though he’s the band leader.  A girl behind me was like, “wow, he’s soooo cool” (in Japanese, “cool” has a connotation of being aloof and unconcerned with anything, but in a good way.  Like, “cool” is considered sexy, because the guy is too hot to give a shit).  To be honest, Ray’s “coolness” has always seemed like shyness to me, but who am I to judge.  Next up, Ryouga passed the MC along to “that guy who managed to get his hair blonder than mine.”  Obviously that’s K.  K’s MC was similar to TOMO’s.  Last up was KIFUMI, who tried to make light of the situation by being all like, “hi, I’m KIFUMI!” and stuff.  His MC was also thankful but short, and very smiley.  During the MC, the lights were up, so I could see the balcony behind us.  Man… there were about forty people up there, and all of them looked like they play in visual-kei bands (and they probably do).  So many weird layer-cuts and strange hair colors.  Some hot chicks up there too, hahaha.  Sisters?  Hmm?  No?

Anyhoo, I’ve been rambling way too long.  This isn’t a very good live report… it’s all over the place.  Um, let’s see…  Well, BORN did the RADICAL HYSTERIA straight into Ranshido combo again.  Jackasses.  That’s the most exhausting thing ever.  You guys tryin' to kill us?!  There was other exhausting stuff, like Mosaic.  Grave Dancer Punish was a lot of fun, with the band swaying side to side along with the audience.  When the band came back for encore, they went back to the original THE ANTHEM intro as if the show was starting over again.  When they returned, Ryouga had already struggled out of his boiled lobster suit and was wearing a black one-piece janitor outfit with a weird hood that looked like a rotten fruit.  Seriously, this hood was fuckin’ weird and misshapen.  Anyways, I turned to Peachy and was like, “what the hell kinda outfit is that?!”  In response, Peachy said, “can I clean yer pipes, ma’am?”  Haaaaaaaah.  The others had all changed into similar outfits, but without ugly hoods, and they weren't wearing one-pieces.  I can't believe the whole band has two sets of matching costumes for BLASTED ANIMALS.

In total, we got two encores, and then the show “ended” with a large screen on the side of the venue blaring several big announcements.

Announcement #1: The concert is becoming a DVD, which will be released in November!

Announcement #2: A new single will be released in January!  No name yet, but I’m sure that new song is involved.

Announcement #3: Another one-man tour!  It’s called Devilish of the PUNK.  What?  Fucking hell, BORN.  Also, the tour final in Tokyo is at Shibuya Club Quattro (another big venue) and it’s on a Saturday.  Yes!!!  I am so there.  Also, each time they announced a new date on the tour, people from that area would scream.  It was like “Saitama!” “SCREAM!” “Fukuoka!” “SCREAM!” “Osaka!” “HUGE MOTHERFUCKING SCREAM!” etc.  Also, the first show is at Urawa Narciss.  Seriously?  Narciss?  I’ve been to Narciss… back in the shit-show days.  It holds less than 200 people, I’m serious.

Anyways, after those announcements, you’d think the show would be over, but the insistent little bastards in the audience kept screaming for encore.  Sigh.  I was pretty sure the band couldn’t come back, but they actually did, because they were impressed by our stubborness.  Of course, they had no encore planned, so the band ran us through RADICAL HYSTERIA again.  Omigaaaaawd, Ryouga, I already said I’d suck your dick over death, you don’t need to keep saying it.  Also, according to the online info, the last RADICAL HYSTERIA won't be on the DVD (since it was unplanned).  So... my blog is the proof of its existence!  Hah, my post isn't completely obsolete!

After the show, I bought merch.  The awesome red leopard print bandana:

Guuuuuh, I love red leopard print.  Also, BORN was smart and made the BORN really small, so it's easy to make it fit and face out if you wrap the bandana around your wrist (which everyone does).
 And the awesome t-shirt:

Weird how the shirt doesn't say BORN anywhere on it.  Duuuuuuuur.
And since that cost me at least 5,000 yen, I got a free DVD with it that included a live performance and small interviews.

After the show, my friends and I also wound up chatting with a Japanese high school girl who was conversing with MelJay in the audience.  We all wound up exchanging numbers with her and stuff.  The girl’s English was pretty good.  From what I can gather, she’s a rampaging GazettE fan.  Big surprise.  Unfortunately, due to our conversation with her, I forgot to go back and get a picture of the pretty balloons with the Christmas lights.  Sorry.  I don't handle distractions very well.

So… um… I guess that’s the show.  Sorry, that sucked.  Me and my shitty one-man live reports.  The DVD will do a better job of bringing the show to you.

Oh, but one more thing.  I have a comedy bonus for you all.  Okay, so my mom has a twisted sense of humor (which is one of the best things about her), and she knew I was very sad about the end of UnsraW, and she also knew it was my birthday (um... duh?).  Since she couldn’t very well send me a Yuuki in a box (damnit!),  instead she used her random connections to get a political cartoonist baker (yes, that exists) to make Yuuki cookies.  Yeah.  I'm serious.  I guess the baker combined a bunch of pictures my mom gave him into something resembling Yuuki, and this was the result:

Truly terrifying.
And this is me eating Yuuki, pleased... horrified... both...

What... what is this...?!
Do...... do I eat him.......?
OH GOD, I'M SO SORRY I ATE YOUR MOUTH.
Haha, lol, no I'm not.
Oh, also, this happened:


See y’all next time!!!

35 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Kita! ^----^. This show must have been an exhausting way to celebrate your birthday xD.Oh and this:"Warning: if you search "BORN BLASTED ANIMALS" on Google image search, you get a lot of mutant, two-headed animals for some reason."
    I found a picture of Romney and Obama when I typed searched that in google pictures xD.

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    1. Thanks for the birthday wish ^__^ And OMG, lol, that's hilarious. I love Google image search sometimes XD

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  2. Wooo, a very Happy Birthday to you! You really know how to celebrate them. xD

    Well, this was awesome to read, as always, but I MUST go watch those videos right now before the curiosity kills me. And, for some reason, you left me lmao at the image of Ryouga crying over a sold out Marilyn Manson show. >_>

    Freaky epic cookie is freaky epic.

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    1. Thank you ^__^

      And you should totally watch the videos, they're really fun! If you make it all the way through the second one, you can enjoy the camera guy zooming in on Ryouga accidentally dumping a straw in his face while he's taking a drink break, lol.

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  3. OMG I died at eating Yuuki. Last picture takes the cake.

    Not sure about the song Body. Before born was D&L (Not to be confuzzled w/ pre-Dir D+L) which only had one release (3 songs). Before that was Renny Amy, with only one mini-album. I actually own Renny Amy and a promo video disc from D&L, but nothing from born. Kind of drifted from the scene at that point. Grassthread hasn't been updated for born since 2010 though. I remember liking Felony quite a bit but was annoyed that it was only released on DVD first.

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    1. Hoshit, Evan, long time no see on my blog O____O To what do I owe the honor?!

      Btw, I've decided BODY's gotta be a new song that just happened to get named for some reason. So far, no one's been able to pinpoint the song anywhere in BORN's discography, whether it's BORN, born, D&L, or Renny Amy. It's gotta be new. Friggin' weird that it has a name and the other song doesn't, though. And if they have two new songs, why isn't the new single coming out until friggin' January? The fuck, BORN? XD

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    2. Psh, I read every post. I just like showcasing my knowledge of prehistoric incarnations of bands. ;P

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    3. Every post?! Yikes, I'm sorry, then, lol. But you're definitely more knowledgeable about the diaper-eras of JRock bands, so feel free to chime in whenever XD Or just chime in for anything you want, really, lol.

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  4. "Did a Marilyn Manson show sell out on him?"

    I laughed hysterically at this XD Though Manson's concert in Taiwan left a bad taste in my mouth; I flew 4 hours to watch that concert, dammit!!! BTW, since you were touched upon the subject of Shibuya O-East being a landmark in an indies band career, what about Zepp Tokyo? It can hold 2700 people and MERRY seemed to make a big deal out of it since it was the tour final of their "10th Anniversary New Legend of High Colour" concert.

    Also: happy birthday!

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    1. Thanks for the birthday wish ^__^

      Also, ugh, I feel ya. I grew up listening to my mom (who's a big Manson fan) telling me all these awesome stories about how amazing Marilyn Manson shows are, and when I finally got around to seeing him perform in college, it was....... well....... let's just say his career had already taken a serious nose-dive. He was an hour-and-a-half late, for one thing, and he was barely coherent for most of the performance. Such a shame I missed his glory days. And then, at V-Rock Festival two years ago, I actually skipped seeing Marilyn Manson headline the first night so I could go to Tokyo Decadance instead. I was worried I'd come to regret it, but then people told me awful stories about the show (like Manson throwing beer cans at his roadies), so I'm really glad I missed it. He embarrassed Americans in front of everyone at that show >__<

      And oh man, if BORN made it to Zepp Tokyo, they'd probably freak out. They'd have to resuscitate Ryouga, because he'd seize so badly. Hmm, I wonder how many people Club Quattro holds. Their website doesn't say :-/

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    2. Here's your answer:

      http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/CLUB_QUATTRO

      Less than Shibuya O-East, apparently :(

      Going back to Manson... sigh. I feel you man. I used to worship him and the "Guns, god & government" DVD blew my mind on what a live concert could be. Various bootlegs before 2003 further proved this point. But this Taiwan concert... Manson rushed through the concert (slurring through his lyrics and going through the motions) and towards the end, all the different instruments were in a competition to see who can finish his part 1st. The audience were screaming "return us our money!" when they realized the concert ended after the roadies were throwing out random picks and black balloons (which we later found out was intended to be released into the air during "coma white", which he didn't sing) and other random stuff. My friend got the setlist and we found out he skipped 2 songs (one of them being "coma white") and told us the reason Manson wasn't concentrating on the concert and kept going backstage IN THE MIDDLE OF A SONG was cos he was random talking & making out with his girl friend (talk about professionalism) and got into an arguement somehow and hit her with a mineral water bottle WTF.

      And luckily I was in Taiwan for L'arc~en~ciel's concert as well (hyde was spotted in Manson's concert by alot of people) so it all balances out hur hur. Me and my friends (who went to both concerts) were inevitably comparing Manson & hyde, who ae both born in 1969. One now has an 8 pack & the other is just fat, one's vocal prowess has maintained & improved in some ways and the other can't even sing properly, one gave an enjoyable & interactive 2 hour concert and Manson's concert ended in less than 50mins WTF. And judging from your blog post on Tokyo Decadance, you made the right choice missing out on Manson's set. Anything after "The Golden Age of Grotesque" ranges from medicore to just plain bad IMO.

      And with the BORN boys in their 30s and still struggling to fill Shibuya O-East... I'm kinda afraid for their future. I don;t really think they are earning alot (maybe 20-30% more than their salary man peers?) and I don't see their popularity suddenly surging in the near future since their image & direction is more or less fixed. How much long can the band keep up with those high energy performances while their audience stays stagnant?

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    3. Fuuuuu, I should preorder tickets, then. I've been too lazy, figuring I'll just do general sales, but if it's only 800, maybe I should >__<

      Also, that Taiwan experiences sounds AWFUL. Fucking hell, Manson. What the hell happened to him?! He turned into such a raging asshole, and not even a talented asshole at that. He was destined for greatness but... he blew it >_> His last couple albums were, like... un-listenable to me :-S

      Also, I've thought the same thing about BORN. After six-ish years, they should be doing a bit better than this. I worry sometimes that they're going to stagnate soon. But some bands have gone major on less (LuLu) or done well in the "okay" zone (like D'espairsRay), so maybe BORN'll just keep on goin'. I think as long as they continue to love what they do, it'll be okay. But it's hard to say how things will go since they're so much "older" than other indie bands.

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    4. Well...as long as indie PSC wants them to continue,I guess?. I mean they probably can't force them to disband or anything but I guess that it'll be a lot harder for them with releasing CD's and booking concerts.

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    5. I actually think PSC would cling to BORN whether or not BORN wants to disband. Money's money. Luckily, BORN seems content with their careers, so PSC doesn't have to chain them up behind a garage, lol.

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  5. Amazing review as always. Btw, happy belated birthday. Hope you had a nice one (hell you did). Black Massive Animal$... That sounds pretty weird XD. I lol'd so hard when I heard it. But well, it's Born, so why the fuck not. At least the next one doesn't have a hilarious title. I haven't heard “Body” yet. They released the setlist for the upcoming DVD, and they played a new song. Weird thing is that “Body” is not titled as a “new song”. I'll copy and paste it for you :P :

    BLACK MASSIVE ANIMALS TOUR FINAL 2012/08/12 (SETLIST)

    01 DEMONS
    02 more Deep
    03 [beauty;beast]
    04 MY SWEET BLACK
    05 MAD whistle
    06 Dizzy you
    07 Mosaic
    08 ProudiA
    09 White harmony
    10 Gurou
    11 AGITATOR
    12 BLASTED ANIMALS
    13 BODY
    14 RADICAL HYSTERIA
    15 Ran Toge °C
    16 (UNTITLED NEW SONG)
    17 DIRTY STACKER

    ENCORE
    01 Kuroari
    02 Karasu

    (I'm not sure this is accurate, though)
    Hey, I liked your reviews; I find them very interesting and “cheaper” than the DVD XD. So ,at least, this is useful for me haha. Wow! I finally decided to show up lol. Hope you are doing fine (;. Take care.

    PS. I loved your Yuuki's face cookies XD

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    1. Nice to see you, Zinn! Thanks for the birthday wish!

      Also, wow, thanks for the setlist!!! Where'd you find it?! I'll edit the post to let people know there's a setlist (and I'll credit you). Just gotta add an extra RADICAL HYSTERIA to the end of it ^__^ Also, I think BODY's probably a new song that just got a name for some reason. I can't prove it, but that's my theory, lol.

      And yes, my blog is waaaaaaaay cheaper than buying those damn, overpriced JRock DVDs ^__~

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    2. You're welcome, Kita. I'm always willing to help. I can't remember exactly where I found it, but I think I found it on the Spanish Ver. of Jame World... or it was on Facebook?... I'm sorry :l. BTW, someone in Monochrome-Heaven (Thanks Trombe!) has another setlist WITH the title of the new song and the 2 encores:

      SET-LIST at 2012/08/12:

      01.DEMONS
      02.more Deep
      03.【beauty;beast】
      04.MY SWEET BLACK
      05.MAD whistle
      06.Dizzy you
      07.モザイク
      08.ProudiA
      09.White harmony
      10.愚弄
      11.AGITATOR
      12.BLASTED ANIMALS
      13.BODY (where did you come from? ;o;)
      14.RADICAL HYSTERIA
      15.乱刺℃
      16.Criminal Berry (New song title!!!)
      17.DIRTY STACKER

      EN1
      01.THE ANTHEM
      02.黒蟻
      03.鴉
      04.春煌花-SAKURA-
      05.NEO SCREAM
      06.ケミカルロマンス

      EN2
      01.RADICAL HYSTERIA

      Hope it's the right one (:

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    3. Waaaaaaah, amazing, THANK YOU!!! I just re-edited the post, lol. Thank you so much! A full setlist at last!

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  6. Happy(Belated?)Birthday Miss Kita :D

    Lovely report. While the fan situation sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, at least they participate....or care....really, the MEJIBRAY concert-goers need some help or something :P

    I honestly didn't know red leopard print existed until today and I love that t-shirt.

    The Yuuki cookie reminds me of the cartoon vampire rockers from scooby-doo XD
    How did it taste??

    Giant bunny~~~~~

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    1. Thanks for the birthday wish! :-D

      And OMG, I'm glad I could introduce you to red leopard print! It's one of my favorite things. I have red leopard print earrings, several red leopard print scarves, and I almost bought these awesome red leopard print shoes recently, although I changed my mind last minute. Red leopard print's an awesome thing ^___^

      Also, the Yuuki cookie tasted amazing! I jokingly told my friends a Yuuki cookie would probably taste like kimchi and cigarettes, but it actually just tasted like tasty sugar and frosting, lol XD

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    2. Red leopard print is soooo pretty! I need to hunt for some now :D

      Could you imagine if jrocker cookies actually tasted like jrockers? So many would be some mix of cigarettes and goodness knows what XD

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    3. Cigarettes and beer, for most of them (Die from DIR EN GREY..... bluuuuuugh). Tetsu from UnsraW never stops eating candy, though, so he'd probably taste better than Yuuki XD

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  7. I was /there/ and I honestly did not realize that they played Radical Hysteria again for the double encore. XD It's my favorite song, so I think I was just caught up in enjoying myself, haha~ I really enjoyed reading your live report, thanks for posting it! : )

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Oh geez, I typo-ed that comment horribly. One more try!

      Lol, that's okay, I totally understand. Sometimes I look back on setlists and I'm like, "wait, no way, did that really happen?" It's easy to get caught up in the moment! After I went to a Marilyn Manson show once, I bitched to my friends that this one song didn't happen, only to found out it totally did. I must've slept right through it, lol. Anyways, I'm glad you enjoyed my report! What're you up to in Japan? Study abroad? Work? Vacation?

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    3. Ah, sorry for the late reply; I don't get notifications because I'm signed in through LJ. >.<

      I was there for the month of August, partially for work (I model for street fashion brands based in Tokyo)and partially for vacation, going to lives and such. : ) I'm planning on moving out there in a year, though! How about yourself? : )

      As a side note, just so I don't have to comment in your other post as well, I was at the DIAURA oneman as well! Wasn't it incredible? I've been to almost 20 lives so far, and I have to say(Gazette aside, since they're my ultimate bias and don't count), that was one of the best indie lives I've ever been to. I think they're highly underrated and a very genuine band, especially yo-ka. And the fire extinguisher bit, furi, and all the stage diving? That was crazier than any BORN live I've been to; all the metal buttons studded into my shirt fell off! haha~ Can't wait to read your report on that as well~ : ) I'll be writing mine in a couple days, but I'm not that great at writing interesting live reports, unfortunately.

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    4. No problem, I tend to notice comments on my blog, like, super late, lol.

      So that's cool that you get to have fun in Tokyo! What're you gonna do when you move out here? Find work? I just do that English-teaching bull crap that everyone else does when they run out of ideas, lol XD

      Also, do you mean the DIAURA show that was on Tuesday? The 8/28 show? If so, um... I, uh........ kinda didn't go (o_o) I know I said I was going to and that I had a ticket but then... um... there was some stuff and... yeah, um... I didn't go. Peachy and MelJay said it was really good, though. I'm glad you had such a good time! Sorry I didn't go and can't write a report :-( This is my first "fail" on the blog, I'd say, and I'm not especially proud of it :-( Looking forward to your report, though!

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    5. ...okay no that was actually my mistake, haha. xD What happened at first is that I was searching for a setlist from the 8/28 live, and a post of yours that said DIAURA's first one man report coming up had shown up in the search, and I recognized it as the same blog that I had read this BORN report on while I was still in Tokyo, so I auto-assumed you were talking about 8/28 and didn't check the date of the post since the event organizers and all the ticketing materials as well as their gift flowers said "DIAURA first oneman - Judgement Day" on them.

      So did they actually have oneman shows before 8/28? I saw them twice previously at Stylish Wave earlier last month, which is why I decided to attend~

      I'm not sure yet whether or not I only want to be there for a year or longer, so if it's temporary, then likely the English teacher Jet/AEON route, otherwise, I might try to get placed in Japan through a company, since I'll have my bachelor's in Business/Finance. How about you, how long are you planning on staying in Japan, if you don't mind me asking~? : )

      (also, as a completely unrelated note, I'm seconding the fact that Mejibray fans are nicer now, and the band itself has gotten crazier; in the best way possible. XD)

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    6. No problem, lol XD I felt kinda bad that I told people I was gonna be at the 8/28 show and then didn't go, so I was just like, "ooooh, sorry" lol. I had the ticket in my wallet for months and then didn't go, cuz I'm lame >___< But DIAURA's actually had many, many one-man shows before 8/28. I went to their first one-man show about a year ago, and there's been several since then. They're one-man veterans ^__^

      Btw, the JET/AEON route is a pretty safe way to stay in Japan, so it's definitely worth a try :-) As for me, I don't really have any plans yet. I'm already re-contracted for another yet teaching, so I know I'll be here all the way through next August. I kinda... have some thoughts on what I might be doing after that, and most signs point to me staying in Japan for a third year, but I guess we'll see :-)

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  9. Awww I wanted to go to that show. :(
    I was back in Sweden for two weeks summer holiday, so I couldn't..

    I totally agree with you on the point that BORN fans are super nice. I've only had good experience with them too, and that they actually are FRIENDLY. Because most of them are. It's a difference between just ignoring you and actually being friendly. Ignoring (which so many do) is better than being unfriendly*cough*likemejifans*cough*.

    Surprisingly the best experience I have with other fans is at the gazette concert, which sucked, but the fans around us were like, angels sent from heaven. They urged us to join them in their group furis, dragged us along with everything and then in the encore talked to us.. like, I had six or seven girls around me all wanted to hear why I was in Japan and so on.

    I think it's a part of the small band world with bitchy fans, because of the fact that the bands are so small. So many of the girls are so freaking competitive, and it's all just a competition.

    I don't know when you saw mejibray latest, but their fans actually got so much better the last few months. At least towards the band. It was like something happened in late april, before I saw them in a three-man with NEGA and OZ. The fans suddenly went freaking crazy at the meji-live and I was in chock. Saw them once a week three weeks in a row before leaving for Sweden and at every show they had 90% of the audience with them like.. nothing I've ever seen before at a meji-show. The band is also alot more comfortable now, especially Tsuzuku. He's not as angsty anymore, in a good way, and at that three-man live he actually SMILED at me. Can you believe that? XD

    Well anyway.. The born live.. haha. Thank you for your report, and hopefully they make the DVD worth watching! I don't know what's up with PSC band and making boring live DVD's but... I almost never enjoy them, especially not when I've read awesome live reports before watching just to find out that the cut out 90% of the fun from the show. Weeeeell. That's life for you.

    HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY! It really sounds like an epic birthday. ^^

    Totally of topic again, but did you see this video of Black Gene? Is it just me who think it's hilarious to see Ice so awkward compared to his stage-self? XD
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwR3JdOmAn0

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    1. Aaaw, sorry you couldn't go to the show :-( But there are plenty more BORN shows where that came from!

      Also, I agree with you, GazettE fans are surprisingly friendly. Like, I expected cat fights and competitive behavior when I saw them at the Budokan, but everyone was pretty chill. Must just be the Western GazettE fans that are crazy, lol.

      And I've heard from Peachy that MEJIBRAY fans have gotten nicer. I don't know what broke them, but I think they've given in and just accepted the situation for what it is.

      I also agree with you that PSC DVDs are boring as hell. GazettE DVDs make me want to sleep =____=

      And I saw that video of BFN. Man, Ice needs to stop trying so hard or everyone's gonna think he's an old man, lol.

      Thanks for the birthday wish ^___^

      Btw, I only ate the cookie cuz there was secretly three of them ^__~

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    2. Yeaah, I'm just feeling my time here in tokyo running out TAT although... I will probably stay here for another year.

      The mejibray shows are alot more fun now compared to the beginning of the year ^^ I'm really happy for them. I dunno too what happened, because it was such a sudden change. Like.. one week they were dead, the next they were completely crazy screaming monsters from start to the end. o.O well, whatever it was I hope it stays this way. xD

      By the way, you don't happen to have any idea what's going on with the Unsraw dvd? T.T
      They haven't replied to the mail my boyfriend sent with the pre-order-whatever thingie. I know you pre-ordered it at the concert, just thought you maybe knew something. ^^'

      Oh in that case I think I also could be able to eat one haha! Was Yuuki tasty? xD

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    3. Aaaaw, sorry to hear that :-( But you can see lots of BORN in another year ^____^ I know I will! :-D

      Also, I had the same freakin' problem with the UnsraW DVD. Like, the website posted a message saying they were sold out of first-press and the regular edition, so people would have to order later and they would only deal with the orders they already had. But they didn't say ANYTHING about the people who ordered at the show. So I emailed them in my nicest, ass-kissing-est keigo and asked them what we should do, and they never responded. I emailed them weeks ago >___< So unfortunately, I don't know anything either :-( I'm so frustrated. I want that DVD so bad, cuz it's the last piece of UnsraW we can ever have T____T

      And yes, Yuuki was tasty! :-D I joked to my friends that he'd probably taste like kimchi and cigarettes, but he really just tasted like a frosted sugar cookie XD

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  10. Oh I forgot to say AWESOME YUUKI COOKIE! omg XD I don't think I would be able to eat it haha. I'm so weak to things like that. If it looks to nice I can't eat it. :x

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