torsdag 30 maj 2019

Schwarz Stein Immortal Verses Tour Encore Final -Daywalker-

Okey, this is odd. Never ever have I written a live report over 6 MONTHS after it acctually took place :P I considered not Writing anything, but as a huge fan of Schwarz Stein (and other smaller Visual kei bands) I know the available material is limited and therefore decided to write this...based on what I remember.

I wasn't even sure I'd be able to attend this live due to some issues with my uni in Osaka (one of my courses was going on a fieldtrip that very weekend and I was told it was mandatory). In the end I obviously decided to go anyway...because it's Schwarz Stein :P but it was stressfull because it wasn't very planned out from my part and I ended up leaving Saturday night from Osaka arriving on Sunday morning in Tokyo. With barely any sleep I headed for Shibuya where the live would be and spent a couple of hours at the infamous Starbucks (I tried waiting for as long as I could but I never got to see the crazy amount of people crossing unfortunately), then went to Donki to change into my live clothes and back to Hachiko to meet up with my friend. I've mentioned Before how I didn't really like it in Osaka, so I was so happy to be back in Tokyo, seeing my favorite band and meeting up people that I know (in contrast to my life up the mountains alone in Osaka:P).

This live was during daytime, like the title hints, and I have to say it was a bit disapointing. For me it was rather convenient as I could return to Osaka the same evening but I do prefer going to lives at night.

Kaya had mentioned on Twitter (I think) that there would be announcment during the live so I was hyped thinking there might be a new single or something, I'll get back to the disapointing news later...
Shibuya Rex was not so crowded, I bought my ticket late due to the issue with uni and assumed I'd get a high ticket number, but I ended up on the second third row from stage (and during the heavier songs I even managed to get to second row) so I wasn't too disapointed. I don't remember the exact order of the songs, but I do remember morgue and Apocalypse being in the begining and I really like those songs so it really got me in the Schwarz Stein mood. Kaya told us that people had been a bit jealous of the setlist from Hokkaido so they would basically do that, except for Beautiful the Virgin! The moment he said that I wanted to cry a bit (Beautiful the Virgin is one of my favorite songs and I still haven't been able to hear it live yet). Obviously they played all the songs from Immortal Verses and they were all good live, especially Immortal Light and Lotus. I'm not saying that just because Hora does vocals for them, but I've realised that the songs in which Hora acctually do have vocals Kaya tend to improvice more to be part of the performance if that makes sense. Everyone who hasn't been able to see them live, perhaps you've seen their live dvd from 2011? During Creeper and Syphilis and Disorder for example, Kaya will add stuff (might it be the arm movement during Creeper or the shouts in Syphilis and Disorder) so that he still is a big part of the song, and that I really like. They also played Release Me, one of my all time favorites so I was pleased. 
So what was the announcment? Before the live I noticed a woman to my right holding a paper or something with an image of Kaya and Hora, and my mind went wild imagening what it might be. Ticket for soemthing perhaps? ...oh no. The announcment was that added to the merch was a sticker set... 1000yen for 3 tiny stickers. sorry, but that was not what I expected (didn't stop me from buying it though...) Funny thing was they had a new photoset of Hora which was not announced and I think that was a lot more of value...

Like they seem to do most of the time nowadays, an after event was held as well as a 3person cheki. Unfortunately they're charging 2000yen for a cheki now, used to be 1000yen, so with the after event ticket, sticker and regular cheki I couldn't afford 2 but got 1 cheki with them. I'm not gonna post my cheki, because I fucked that one up bad :P let's just say it turned out to be the most funny cheki I've ever taken but also a really big failure. (I will be so disapointed if that will be my last cheki ever with Schwarz Stein XD)

Truthfully I don't have much memory from the after event, I don't think any special questions were raised and they didn't do any extra performance if I remember correctly. I do remember thinking it was way too short, I seriously think it was shorter than their previous after events I've attended which is a shame considering the price.

After the live, me and my friend went to a Hawaiian restaurant, in Hora's honour. Warning, if ever ordering pancakes, make sure you're REALLY hungry. The restaurant is called Moke's Hawaii and is located in Meguro, highly recomended. Very nice restaurant, the macadamia milk cocktail was really nice :3

tisdag 28 maj 2019

Urusei Yatsura Cafe

Unfortunately I haven't updated this blog in a long while, despite having done so much during my time in Osaka. I will upload my adventures later, even though it will be about 6 months since it acctually happened.

I couldn't stay away from Japan, so 2 months after me coming back I went to Japan again. This was just to get away from my thesis and personal issues really. On one of my last days in Osaka, I was walking around Shinsaibashi (my main purpose was to go to Amerika mura to visit Puresound and Closet Child, hohoho) and by pure coinsidence I walked by a pop up café themed Urusei Yatsura! I began watching Urusei Yatsura 2 years ago while studying in Tokyo and found it quite amusing (I've also liked Ranma½ and Inuyasha since my early teens so I was eager to see some more from the same manga creator).

I'm not so sure how popular Urusei Yatsura is outside of Japan, especially in the West. I know some movies were released in Sweden but I don't know anyone who watched those. In Japan however it's very popular, one of those most people know of no matter the age. Since it's old though, most guests were in their 30s as far as I could see.

The café was on the 2nd floor of the building, so at the bottom floor was a showwindow for all the merch and on the walls surrounding the stairway were different pictures from Urusei Yatsura. In the actual café the walls were covered in drawings from the manga, as well as posters looking like paintings. The soundtrack was playing and on one of the walls and tv screens the anime was playing.

The menu was interesting and I would probably have prefered the foods, but since I had a huge lunch that day and wasn't really up for eating, I just managed to squeeze down a french toast for the sake of it. When ordering a drink and a food you were given an original sticker when before leaving, and for every drink you got a random coaster.

Out of all the themed café and restaurants I've been to, the food here was not as good as what I'm used to. I can't say what quality the other meals had, but the french toast was rather dry and did not taste much. However, it was so cute that I don't really mind.

The french toast came hidden, with just an image of Jariten burning your food...

...and obviously it was made to look all burnt! This dish came with a sorry-card from Jariten, hehehe.

As for my drink, I ordered a minth/lime soda. Very tasty.

This is also a bit late, I realised that today (May 28th) was the closing day. It seems to have been a similar café in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Their webpage for those interested:

tisdag 25 september 2018

Malice Mizer ESP Exhibition

I first began listening to Malice Mizer in high school. I remember they usually came up on lastfm as a similar band to Velvet Eden and I really loved the picture from Gardenia so I decided to check them up. I really disliked Gardenia eventhough they were one of the coolest bands I had ever seen (still don't like Gardenia, so boring). A couple of months later I decided to try them out again and ended up on the PV for Le Ciel and from that moment on I've loved Malice Mizer (10 year anniversary for us this year). 

Out of my top 3 favorite bands I've been able to see 2 (sort of), Malice Mizer was the only one missing. I tried to make things work so that I could go but since I was going to Japan as a student I could not go too early and unfortunately I could not attend the concert, so I had to settle with just going to the exhibition held at ESP museum in Shibuya.

Eventhough I have been to Tokyo many times and stayed for longer periods as well, I still get excited when I get to see my favorite bands. Seeing Malice Mizer shown like this felt so special, Malice Mizer has sort of been something just displayed on my tv or computer, almost as if they don't really exist. By the entrance was a poster signed by various members and a picture of Mana and Kozi from Moi Dix Mois and ZIZ (which I found a bit weird but whatever).

On a tv they played the first live DVD with Gackt as vocalist (unfortunately they did not include the N.P.S.N.G.S), and on the walls hang posters from the first era with Tetsu to the very last with Klaha.

Other than posters were also nostalgic items such as the doll Kozi had on his back during Brise at the Merveilles concert, Mana's teddy backpack and the Merveilles book.

Of course the new costumes were also on display! My pictures are rather poor though and doesn't make them justice considering the amount of details. Közi's especially incorporated much of his previous costumes doll like appearance. The chest part had a ruffle like his Gardenia outfit, and the left leg of the pants had a check pattern.

 Kami's drumset as well as other items, such as a bag he had drawn on was up for display. By the cashier was Kami's hat and gloves from Gekka no Yasoukyoku on display with the two dolls from the PV.

I really liked that they had so many random objects (even the whips Mana and Kozi used), and of course their instruments. They also had a guestbook in which you could write something in (I assume the band will receive it later?), and I saw some fans who spent a lot of time writing their messages. I went back the following day just because I wanted to spend some more time in Malice Mizer heaven, hoho, and noticed they had then changed to the last live DVD. I didn't stay for all of it, but a long while, and picked up both of Közi's and one of Mana's guitar picks! ESP also sold a keychain so you could put the pick in there, I decided not to get that because I sort of want to try and make one of Közi's picks into an earring (let's see how that goes :P).

Seeing the exhibition was awesome, but it also made me so sad I could not make it to the actual concerts. Might not happen but I can't help but to hope they'll make a new one in a couple of years. The last couple of years I haven't really listened to Malice Mizer as much as I used to, but this exhibition really made me remember why I fell so hard in love with this awesome and so unique visual kei band.

söndag 23 september 2018

Sailor Moon shop in Harajuku Laforet

Last September the first Sailor Moon shop opened in Harajuku Laforet (a couple of weeks after I left Tokyo grrrr). Since then I've been dying to come back and have a look.

watched a couple of videos on Youtube recorded from the store and I have to say I was expecting a bigger shop. It's devided into two parts though, one with more expensive items, such as dolls and clothes, and one with cheaper and more usable items such as totebags, pens and smartphone cases.

Since I was about to leave for Osaka I didn't want to shop and fill my bag even more, so I just bought an accessory for my phone (or any other Place you which to hang it), in the shape of Sailor Jupiter's staff.

The store is totally worth a visit, even if just for window shopping.
Laforet can be reached from the Omotesando street.

lördag 22 september 2018

Tokyo Bay Night Cruise

I really love Odaiba, it's so different form other parts of Tokyo. The architecture stands out and it's kind of quiet compared to the rest. During my many visits to Odaiba I've seen boats circulate in the water at night and it looks very nice, so I mentioned this to a friend who also wanted to try one of these Cruises and we decided to go.

There are different kinds of cruises in the area, the smaller boats just go between different stops (for example Asakusa-Odaiba) during the day and then sometimes during the year they will have a longer trip for which they will lie in the water outside of Odaiba for a while for the night scenery.
The cruise I went for though, was a bigger boat with 4 floors, taking off from Close to JR station Hamamatsucho.

The tickets cost 2600, but if bought beforehand 2100yen, and if wearing a yukata 1600yen. Included in that price is a nomuhodai, meaning they have drinks available for free. Smaller food is sold as well. The boat leaves at 19:15 and is back at 21:00.

They have events on the boat aswell, like dancing for those who might be interested. I went for the view, and I also like riding boats. Unfortunately we did not have much luck with the weather. It rained, a lot. To the point where we had to go inside, and we weren't allowed on the top floor either due to the weather.

I did get some good photos though from passing Odaiba, and it was a fun experience. Will probably try it out another year.

Beautiful rainbow bridge.

This was when all the water from the roof ran down the side... it had rained a lot.

This cruise is only available between June and September!

I guess I'm not in Tokyo anymore

The reason I'm in Japan this year is because I'm doing an exchange semester at Osaka University as a graduate student. I had the option to chose a University in Tokyo but decided to chose with my brain and not my heart (Osaka had much more courses within subjects of my interest). However I love Tokyo and can't imagen going to Japan without visiting, there are also some people there I really want to see, so I started my trip for a week in Tokyo (Asakusa to be more exact) and then I took the nightbus (booked through Willer express, be sure to check them out if you're planning to travel within Japan) heading for Osaka and I arrived yesterday morning.

From the start I've felt kind of weird coming to Osaka, I've only been here once and it was ok I guess, but my heart is in Tokyo. On top of the location I felt that the University was pretty bad at keeping in contact with me. For example the first contact I got was in late May, and that was because they needed me to sign a contract in which I agree to respect the school's rules etc. On top of this my visa application was very late and I didn't receive my document needed to apply for a visa until 4 weeks before departure! Up until then I had not received any information whatsoever on how my time there would pass, the curriculum or other very basic things. This made me feel very uncomfortable, and unfortunately my worries were confirmed yesterday when I arrived.

I'm placed on a campus for foreign and japanese language, nothing I intend to study (I'm assuming they just place all foreigners in the same spot), they showed me to my room and then left me there without any explanations for anything. To be honest, I was kind of emotionally upset just by the fact I'll be here for 5 months without knowing anyone, but just being placed in a (very dirty!) dorm without explaining anything made me feel like I just wanted to get out. My room was dirty and I had to start with cleaning (I mean dirty for real, the previous guest had left trash), and I didn't even know when the supposed orientation will be, how to use the kitchen and other facilities, where my mail box is etc. I had to go find staff myself to get these things explained.

I've been on exchange once before, at Chuo University in Tokyo, and had a great time. They really took care of us, even had japanese students help us get to the city office for registration (do I need to point out I was just handed a map here?). Everyone kept telling me at my home University that this is the first time they have this exchange so things are kind of unclear, but this is just a mess. Truthfully, I hate it here and I have no idea how Osaka University can be one of the top universities in Japan (not sure how they rank them though, it can obviously not be based on the administrative). I can't wait for classes to begin so I can occupy myself because since I arrived I'm just counting down the minutes.

It's so depressing here I really need to get out, so tomorrow I'm gonna take a trip into the central parts of Osaka, so that I can think of something else than this shitty place.

torsdag 20 september 2018

Schwarz Stein outstore event

Today was the outstore event for Immortal Verses in Tokyo, and I was lucky enough to attend!

The tickets to attend was handed out to everyone who bought Immortal Verses at the venues or from Hora's webshop.
Last minute it was also announced you could buy the cd there and get to participate, as well as the fact that they'd offer a cheki photo shoot.

Since I participated in the instore for Sleeping Madness I've regretted not bringing one of the Rudolf Steiner tapes so eventhough it was bothersome I decided to bring Perfect Garden with me this time!

The event was held at Saravah in Shibuya, so the capacity was pretty high for an instore. Immortal Verses was playing while we waited for Kaya and Hora, and pretty on time (13.00) the event began.

Since this event was kind of a replacement for an after event I sort of assumed/hoped they'd play a song or two from the release, unfortunatley not. Like at live gigs they sold the regular merch, including the new photosets, and they also had the option of taking a cheki with them for 2000yen.

I had not bought Hora's new solo album RESONANT yet, so I picked up a copy as well as the new photosets (see below).

Previously I had only been to the instore for Sleeping Madness so I was pretty excited to attend and to be able to get something signed. While talking with my date for the day I got the idea I'd try and ask if I could get 2 items signed, since I have bought 2 copies of Immortal Verses. I was in the first row so I did not have much time to think and act, so when they gave me a clear on having 2 items signed I ripped open one of the photosets. I love getting stuff signed but at the same time stuff like this makes me so nervous, especially if I have the rest of the fans staring at me while I pose for a photo (I hate being in pictures in general). I felt like I wanted to sink through the earth to be honest and it showed so well in my photo hehe.

For the talk, they discussed the next possible live (maybe in December), and if Hora is good at English since he goes to Hawaii (he said he's like a native. Seriously though, he said you can use Japanese to some extent on Hawaii).

I always enjoy seeing Schwarz Stein but I was a bit disapointed in the arrangement of this event. Would've appreciated if the photo was taken after the signing and not at the same time. Also they only had a black pen (to start with!), I would've liked them to sign the cover but since it's dark it wouldn't have been that visible. After a couple of people had received signaures however, the staff handed them more colors -.-'

(Funny thing, I was so nervous I didn't talk to them other than say hi and thanks, I handed Hora the lyrics sheet and he said it's nostalgic, when I went over to Kaya he didn't say anything but just signed it, then Hora turned to him and pointed out it's an original tape which made Kaya burst out that it's nostalgic. Hehe, Kaya seems to be going on automode)