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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My Kanji Adventure: Week 2 End

So, since I decided to no longer write out EVERY SINGLE kanji that I am learning, I also decided that I no longer need to update EVERY SINGLE day. It's time to do things differently!

Anyhow, Guillaume's back from France, and I've gone back to working every day, I have WAY LESS free time, and I'm actually finding it somewhat hard to keep up with the kanji. And I have had WAY less time to to watch drama. I'm presently watching Hanazakari no kimitachi he (花ざかりの君たちへ or For you in Full Bloom), which is absolutely AMAZING! I started it after finished Gokusen, and I am happy to say: no Matsumoto Jun. There IS Oguri Shun, though, and he is totally adorable in it. I've still got a few episodes left, though (though I'll admit I practically ran home today to try to get an episode in!).

I've also been listening to the Kiddie a LOT, and I am presently OBSESSED with this song:

In week 2, I managed to study 193 new kanji. Not quite as many as the 205 kanji that I covered in week 1, but I still think it's pretty good. At the end of the week, I decided to take a day off of learning new kanji and just review all of the kanji that I did in week 1. There were a few I didn't remember. :-P

Kanji I Had Forgotten From Week 1

- inlay
God laid truth in all the soil of the Earth; and I imagine a giant footprint in soil with the word truth in it
- measurement
I somehow only remember this as glue, and I still haven't come up with a good story for it as measurement
- shining
The sun comes down and seduces people by shining so brightly
- pop song
a stream of clams or money, spewing out of the mouth of the person singing the pop song
- derision
morning mouth
- complete
I can't believe I forgot this one! It's a kid wrapped up COMPLETELY, with only its head sticking out.
- rising sun
At the baseball field, watching as the baseball rises up like a rising sun
- petition
I just got the two elements of this backwards. So basically, you FIRST go to the meadow where Oz's gigantic head is waiting, and you petition to it.
Also got the two elements of this one backwards. Have to remember that the soil is in your mouth FIRST, then you spit it out, and it is beside your mouth.
- prosperous
Is there anything more prosperous than two suns?
- stomach
Brains are on top of the flesh that is stomach, but the stomach controls the brains.

So far week 3 has been rough. I immediately regretting skipping a day, especially thinking about the 10 days I will be in Louisiana, when it will DEFINITELY be hard to find time to study. Despite that, I had MEGA trouble finding time the day after to study, so I only managed to do 13 kanji. Since then, I've been trying to do at least 35 a day, but I think it might be too much for my memory, and I'm afraid I'll forget them too easily. I think I've got to stick to 30 max a day.

Annnnyhow, that's all for this week!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

My Kanji Adventure: Week 2 Days 3 and 4

Okay, so I finished NatsuNiji (夏の恋は虹色に輝く or Summer Love Shines in Rainbow Colors), and it was okay. I think my favorite part was the few seconds during which Nino appeared in the last episode. Adoooooorable!!!! The story itself was really cute. . .though I think the name they gave it is somewhat weird and doesn't fit. And I maintain that the actress that played Shiori, the lead female character, Takeuchi Yuko, was just wrong for the part. I don't really know how to explain why, but something just seemed wrong about her. Still, overall, I really enjoyed it - I cried and laughed, etc. . .And I thought Matsumoto Jun also did an AMAZING job acting!

Since finishing, I also managed to watch the entire first season (I know, I know, a Japanese drama with more than one season; sheer craziness!) of Gokusen (ごくせん, or Gangster Teacher), which I absolutely LOVED! I am absolutely NOT doing this on purpose, but it seems that every drama I've been watching lately has Matsumoto Jun in it. I'm going to have to make an effort to make sure he's NOT in the next one, which I'm thinking will be Hana Kimi. Anyhow, that said, Gokusen made me realize just what an amazing actor he really is. I have now seen him in SO MANY different roles, and he is totally superb in all of them. And Gokusen was really just so different from everything else I've seen him in, and he really just did so amazing. Even though he looks like a sewer rat, I have to say it, I'm a fan. Oguri Shun was also adoooorable with his bleached blonde hair and braids.

Anyhow, I totally loved it, and I'm looking forward to the second season (though I sort of wish some of the characters from this one would make guest appearances). Now, Kanji!!!!


- cow
- special
- revelation
- before
- wash
- jammed in
- world
Basically, our world has become a place where we have to jam as many people into the space by the rice fields as possible.
- fit
Two mouths meet, they fit perfectly and make one mouth
- pagoda
- king
- jewel
- treasure
- pearl
- present (like the present time)
- toy
The first "toy" that people probably played with was a ball
- lunatic
- effulgent
The king of radiance and beauty and light is the sun.
- emperor
"Five little blackbirds making up a pie; isn't that a dainty display to set before the king"
- whole
I imagine a very fat king and trying to shove his whole body under one small umbrella
- plug
- logic
The king of logic is the computer
- lord
- pour
- pillar
- money
- pig iron
- bowl


- copper
- angling (in the sense of catching fish)
- needle
- inscription
I just think of the watch I got when I graduated from high school, with my name inscribed on it
- tranquilize
- road
- guidance
- crossing
- swift
- creating
The road to revelation is creation.
- urge
- escape
There is a portent of evil, so we must use the nearby road to escape
- environs
- patrol
A flood of patrol motorcycles pours onto the road
- car
- take along
- transport
- in front of
- roast
A bull with large horns is holding a butcher over the fire, roasting him!!!! Muahahahaha!!!!
- each
- status
- graft
I imagine shells grafting themselves together; if each one of them doesn't come, it's pointless. However, the dictionary says that this has the same meaning as 賄, to bribe
- abbreviation
No possible way to remember the name of EACH rice field, so we must come up with abbreviations
- guest
- forehead
The forehead is the guest of the head. I don't know why, but this is how it has stuck in my head.
- summer

I'm thinking that maybe, from now on, I'll just write the ones I have trouble with instead of elaborating every single one of them like I have been doing. We'll see, though.

And that's all for today - it's so hot, I'm going to go play the piano and take a cold shower before I have to go babysit!

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Kanji Adventure: Week 2 Days 1 and 2

So An Cafe's newest song is out!!!! Or, at least a preview of the PV is. Aaaand, they are all dressed up as girls in it. Miku, the singer, is soooo beautiful that I always thought he would make the most amazingly gorgeous girl. And somehow, his face just looks big. To the point where I can almost understand the Japanese people thinking of small faces as a sign of beauty.
It doesn't work for him NEARLY as well as I thought it would. So I guess it's settled - he's just a beautiful boy. Or maybe it's just that the hair doesn't suit him. I dunno. Anyhow, watch the video and let me know what you think.


- tree
- grove
- forest
- Japanese Judas tree
I have NO clue if it's actually the Japanese Judas tree or not, but I just imagine a tree with lots of vines going up it, and as they go up, they start moving and come alive.
- oak tree
- frame
- treetops
I just imagine a GIANT Christmas tree with lots of beautiful candles at the tops.
- shelf
I imagine a wooden shelf with a big smile following me around everywhere I go, being my companion.
- apricot
- Paulownia tree
Again, I don't actually know what this tree looks like, but I pretend it looks like bamboo, and I imagine the beautiful bamboo forest outside the temple in Kyoto, and then I imagine monks walking around enjoying the nature, and I've got this tree.
- plant
- chair
I imagine a giant wood chair with a giant St. Bernard sitting in it with its mouth nailed shut.
- wither
- crude
- village
- inter-
A tree that is alive with giant human eyes; very inter-species
- desk
- book
- tag
- calendar
- plan
- parch
- not yet
- extremity
- obscure
The sun shining beautifully on ALMOST everything. Except one little OBSCURE area which we can't yet see because the sun hasn't reached it yet.
- splash
- flavor


- younger sister
- vermillion
- stocks
- young
- grass
- suffering
- bullying
- tolerant
- dilute
- leaf
- graveyard
So, according to my phone, this means "must not" or "do not," not graveyard. But remembering it as graveyard helps me remember so many other kanji, so I guess that's what I have to do.
- imitation
- vague
Usually, if I'm in a graveyard, I'm sad, and I'm therefore crying. Through my tears, I can't see very well; everything looks vague.
- grave
- livelihood
I spend my days working just for what? To end up eventually in a graveyard.
- flesh
- seedling
- portent
Yay! I get to imagine the turtle from the Neverending Story, talking of bad things to come.
- peach tree
- stare
- dog
- status quo
- reed
- hunt
- cat

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Kanji Adventure: Days 6 and 7

Anyone that knows me knows that An Cafe is one of my favoritest bands of all time! I have loved them for AGES, since I was in France, and my love of them hasn't waned at all. Every time I listen to them or see a picture of them or even think about them, I am overwhelmed with happiness, and I remember why I started loving visual kei (and think; yappari, An Cafe really is still the best).

When they came back, though, after their 3 year break, as much as I LOVED the music, I was a little bit disappointed with the look (see above). They were still my beloved An Cafe, but their look was a bit ridiculous, over the top, like they were trying to hard for a comeback. And I was sad.

Since then, though, they have had 2 different looks, and both of them were perfect and wonderful and amazing (see above for the first of the two). And I was able to fall in love with all of the members all over again. And remember just WHY I am in love with Teruki. And I was looking at pictures of them this morning and thinking that, and I am happy. :-) It's good that all it takes is a new look to make me happy. :-)
Teruki, my future husband (shhh, don't tell Guillaume).

Anyhow, kanji! I managed to seriously study kanji for a WHOLE week!!!! And then some, as now I'm actually in the middle of week 2. I'm super proud of myself, but really, I wonder how long this will actually last. Given my laziness, probably not too long.


汰 - cleanse
The problem here is that, according to the dictionary, this kanji means "select." According to Heisig, it means cleanse. So which is it. Maybe I should just stop learning the ones that he seems to get wrong. Hmmmm. . .
- soup
- grains of sand
- tide
The tide is water that comes in with the mist and is controlled by the moon.
- source
- lively
- extinguish
- but of course
Yet another one where the meaning he gives isn't in the dictionary. This kanji seems to ACTUALLY mean condition, not but of course. How I remember it: if a mom asks a teenager is he's taken a shower, he's CONDITIONed to say "but of course." That way, both of the meanings are in there!
- river
- overnight
- lake
Here, I actually imagine an episode of Game of Thrones, where they are sending a dead man's body away in a lake, and someone keeps trying to shoot an arrow at it to light it on fire and missing. As such, we've got that the lake is the water in which you put old flesh.
- fathom (in the sense of measuring)
- soil, gournd, dirt, land
- spit
- pressure
- cape
Growing up, I used to read this series of books about this group of kids that grew up on the cape and had minimal access to outside people. Craaaazy things used to happen on the cape. As such, the CAPE is the LAND where STRANGE things happen.
- hedge
- inlay
- square jewel, vine, ivy
- horizon
- temple
- time
- level
- fire
- inflammation
- anxiety
This head is on fire! with anxiety.
- thin
Drinking lots of water is a great way to THIN out any inflammations that the body may have.
- lamp

- farm
- disaster
- ashes
- spot, points
- illumination
The sun reaches down its giant, seductive arms, with licks of fire coming off to illuminate everything around us
- fish
- fishing
- ri (measure of a rice field), computer
- black
Fire comes up and chars everything in the land that is the rice fields black
- black ink
The black that marks the land
- carp
The carp is the fish you most often see swimming near Japanese homes, in their gardens, around their rice fields
- quantity
- rin (the measure of something REALLY small)
If you look at a ri from the top of a cliff, it looks about 1000 times smaller, a rin
- bury
- same, monks
- den
- trunk, torso
- yonder
- esteem
- character
- guard
- perfect
- proclaim
- wee hours
- relax
- banquet
- draw near
I imagine a GIANT St. Bernard with his mouth nailed shut, sitting in the window of a house. If I'm running by, and I see that, I imagine that I wouldn't be able to stop myself from DRAWing NEAR to the house, to check it out a little more closely.
- wealth
- savings

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Kanji Adventure: Days 4 and 5

I am soooo loving not working full time right now. I realize that I'm going to have to get over that soon as, yknow, money, it's an issue and all. And I've got to be a productive member of society and all. But for now, I'm only working a few hours a week, and I am having SUCH a great time learning kanji and watching dramas and learning Python. And I've even started trying to learn Russian. Of course, I'm still working on the alphabet (which is, for some reason, harder than learning the Japanese alphabet - perhaps because I find it so much more difficult to pronounce the letters), and I can say hello! Preevyet! Or, to my boss, Zdrastvuytye!

Anyhow, I just finished watching 1ポンドの福音 (One Pound Gospel), and I absolutely LOOOOOOOVED it! Seriously! I'd heard from people that it was only so-so, and, since it was about boxing and nuns, I wasn't convinced. I'm glad I finally found the time to start it, though, as I absolutely ADORED it! Kamenashi was adorable beyond words. And I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed at the end. I want more!!!!
Now, I've started 夏の恋は虹色に輝く (Summer love shines like a rainbow), and it's okay so far. But I've always kind of thought that Matsumoto Jun looks like a sewer rat, and this drama is no exception. Also, I feel like the female lead does NOT look the part she's playing at all. She just seems to old for it, somehow. I dunno, there's just something. . . wrong about her.

Anyhow, this is NOT about the dramas I've been watching. It's about the KANJI I've been learning. And I have been learning!

- cut
- seduce
- shining
I imagine the sun sending giant rays down to people, shining on them, seducing them. People are seduced by the shining of the sun.
- rule
- vice-
- separate
- street, nail
- village
- can
- place on a head
- child
- cavity
I have a bit of trouble with this one. If I see the word cavity, I can write it. But looking at it, I couldn't remember what it was. I think of a child in the dentist's office. He has a big hole is his tooth and is super afraid because the dentist is coming at him with a giant hook to take out what's in the hole.
- complete
- woman
- fond
- likeness
This one is somewhat vulgar. When a child comes out of a woman's hole, it is a likeness of her and the man that made it.
- mother
- pierce
- curse
- overcome
If I had 10 teenage older brothers, I would be OVERCOME by big brothers, overcome by teenagers. Agh!
- little
- few
- large
- many
Many moons ago. . .wait, I don't remember what happened many moons ago. It's so far away that it's clouded in my memory.
- evening
- eventide
- outside
- name
- stone, rocks

- resemblance, candle, sparks
If a little bit of flesh is the same, there is a resemblance
- nitrate
- smash
Take a rock and throw it down, SMASH it into 9 pieces; no, that's not enough, 10 pieces!
- sand
- jealous
- plane (i.e. shave wood)
- ray
- plump
- utensil
- stinking
- sniff
If this is ACTUALLY how the kanji is written, with a drop to make the bottom right kanji dog and not big, it's written wrong in the book.
- exquisite
- focus
- thick
- strange
- stream
- state
- obey
- water
- icicle
- eternity
Find eternity in a drop of water
- spring
- gland
- meadow
- petition
- swim
- swamp
- open sea
- inter-
The wind goes around the WHOLE word, picking up drops of water in one place and dropping them off in another. Very INTER-continental!
- creek
A CREEK is WATER that has been CRAFTED into what it is.

I actually had to look up quite a few of the kanji this time, to know their pronunciations to be able to type them. And some of them didn't seem to have the meaning that Heisig has given them at all. I wonder if I should be worried about what I'm learning. At the same time, the meanings that he has given them have really helped me in remembering how to write some of the ones where the meanings are what they should be. Still, I'm nervous. And I wonder if I shouldn't try to remember them with their proper meanings. It just seems weird that he would give them meanings that don't exist. Like 召. According to him, it means seduce. According to jdic, it means a summons or a call.

That's all for today. Wish me luck in my continued kanji learning journey! I'm off to watch more Natsu no Koi ha Nijiiro ni Kagayaku!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Kanji Adventure: Days 2 and 3

I spent the last three days, between kanji studying and working, watching Ikemen Desu Ne (イケメンですね), a Japanese drama about a nun who poses as her brother in a pop band while he recovers from having broken his nose. Apparently, it was based on a Korean drama. I loved it SO much that I might just have to watch the Korean version as well. I fell in love with all of the characters, and I was totally routing for the love connection that seemed to be getting the least attention (as is, somehow, always the case with me. Guess I have weird taste).

Anyhow I'm super sad it's over, I miss the characters, and I might just have to watch it again. In the meantime, though, I have started One Pound Gospel (1ポンドの福音), which also has a nun, and which I am loving. :-) But which is not Ikemen Desu Ne. :-(
Anyhow, KANJI STUDYING! I'd say it's going pretty well!

- white
- hundred
- inside
- thousand
- tongue
- measuring cup
It could be because I don't really have a clear image of what this is, but I had SO much trouble remembering this one. So, I just think of it as 1000 needles, and then I think of a shot class, used to measure sake, covered in those 1000 needles. And that sort of does it.
- rise up
And, perhaps because it uses measuring cup as a primitive, I have a ton of trouble with this one, too. So I think of the top kanji as a mouth with a wagging tongue and the bottom kanji as that needle covered sake glass. If that wagging tongue goes to take a drink, which is does, the person can't help but rise up out of their seat in shock and pain. It's stretching things a bit far, but it's the best I've got.
- round
- measurement, glue
He says: one drop of a ten. Hopefully that will eventually do the trick. Luckily, I have more trouble remembering the story than remembering the kanji.
- elbow
The elbow is the flesh that holds/glues the body together, as it is what connects the body to our hands, which are basically our livelihood
- specialty
Having a specialty is like taking 10 separate aspects of one field and gluing them all together in your mind to make one thing that you are supremely awesome at.
- Dr.
A doctor uses a fine pointed needle to glue those fields together, and don't forget the . at the end/top for the abbreviation
- fortune telling
- above
- below
- eminent
I thought I would never remember his story, but, bizarrely enough, I find the image becoming clearer and clearer in my head: her eminent highness the sunflower queen running around lazily with a sunflower as a magic wand
- morning
- ridicule, derision
morning mouth
- only
- shells, shellfish
Though he doesn't say it, I find that it really helps in forming other kanji if I remember with this one as paper as well
- pop song
Taking what's on paper, the music, and having it come out of your mouth
- upright
- employee
- post a bill
- see


- newborn babe
- beginning
- page, head
- stubborn
- mediocre
The wind is amazingly strong, but just one drop of wind - not so much. I'd even call it mediocre.
- defeat
I keep the image of a person crumpling up a piece of paper in defeat; no matter how much they study, they just can't do it
- ten thousand
- phrase
- texture
- decameron (season for something)
- ladle
- bull's eye
I thought I would NEVER remember his story of a white bird being painted in the middle of a bull's eye on an old rusty ladle. And that bird going chirp every time it's hit. But now, every time I see this kanji, I hear the bird chirp in my head.
- neck
- fish guts, hook
I find that I remember this thanks to the adorableness of Yaotome Hikaru (八乙女 光)
- riot
- straightaway
- tool
- truth
- craft
- left
- right
- possess
- bribe
- tribute
Making a tribute is crafting paper into money or shells into something else to serve a purpose
- paragraph
AGH! I have SO much trouble with this one. Crafting heads, what? Crafting pages, what? Somehow, it seems like it should make sense, but it just REFUSES to stick in my head.
- sword
- blade

Monday, June 24, 2013

Learning and Remembering the Kanji: Day 1

Okay, so I've been thinking about just HOW I'm going to document my progress, as it seems silly to just write out the kanji I learned along with their meanings and stories. Soooo, I've decided that I will write out the list of kanji that I learn in any given day along with their meanings.

And THEN, if I changed the story from what was in the book (it was day 4, and I've already had to do that a few times, to suit me), I'll write that. Or if I have trouble remembering the story, I'll write that. To help me remember. Also, kanji I feel like I forgot from the day/s before.

So, let's get started!

Day 1 was easy, as it involved mostly kanji that I already knew. I for some reason, though, have always had trouble remembering the kanji for the numbers (specifically 7 and 9), so hopefully that will help with that. I learned:

- one
- two
- three
- four
- five
- six
- seven, diced
- eight
- nine, baseball
- ten, needle
- mouth (in every sense of the word)
- day, sun, mouth with a wagging tongue
- month, moon, flesh
- rice field, brains
- eye
- old
For this one, he says to imagine a tombstone, but I find myself imagining a skill with a giant mouth wearing a headdress of needles
- I
- risk
- companion
- chant
- sparkle
- goods
- spine
- prosperous
- early, sunflower
- rising sun
I can't remember the story he came up with, but I just imagine someone hitting a home run with the ball flying/rising up into the sun
- generation
- stomach
- nightbreak
- gall bladder
Don't let the night break on your anger/gall
- span
- concave
- convex

And there we have day 1! Since there were quite a few I already knew easily,I learned more than I think I usually would! And I feel confident about remembering them! Yay! Tomorrow, I'll have to update for 2 days, so I can catch up with myself. In the meantime, to reward myself for the hard word I've done today, I'm going to eat some soy ice cream and watch an episode of イケメンですね。超ー可愛い!!!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Learning and Remembering the Kanji, an Adventure

I started this blog as a place for myself to talk about Japanese things, in the hopes that, just maybe, I would want to talk about them in Japanese. Which would in turn help me to practice Japanese and not forget it, being away from Japan and all.

Unfortunately, my laziness and business combined to bring you. . . ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I would get afraid of writing in Japanese and so just not write anything. My Japanese since moving away from Japan is limited to short conversations every week or two. (oh, and also of course lots of listening practice via music and dramas. Though less than I would like). I hardly ever talk, I never read, and I never write. As such, my level in Japanese is getting closer and closer to non-existent, and this makes me SAD. :-(

I've always been extremely awful at kanji. People would regularly make fun of my because my kanji level was WAY lower than you would think for someone speaking at my level (I'm sure it still is, but just because the number of kanji I've forgotten is proportional to the amount of Japanese I've forgotten).

Once, though, I had a teacher tell me that I was something like a genius - because I could read through and understand Japanese texts without being able to read any (or almost any) of the kanji. I was able to do this because, somehow, through it all, I had managed to remember the MEANINGS of the kanji without having any clue how to pronounce them.

And then, I was looking through some of my Japanese books the other day, and "Remembering the Kanji" by James W. Heisig caught my eye, and I realized that that's what it's all about. Remembering the MEANINGS of the kanji without knowing how to pronounce them. And then I thought "Hey, I can do that! That's what I've been doing all along!"

And then I thought "If I know the meanings, it will be MUCH easier to learn the pronunciations after." And then I read the introduction and realized that that's EXACTLY what Heisig's Remembering the Kanji is all about.

So now I've decided that I WILL learn the kanji his way, and I will do it in a maximum of 3 months, meaning that I'll be learning about 25 kanji, more or less, a day. And I've decided to use this much-neglected blog to document that process, in the hopes that it will help me to hold myself accountable and actually LEARN them!

The goal: Learn the meanings and the writings of the 2,200 kanji in Jame's W. Heisig's Remembering the Kanji
The time limit: Do this by September 22, 2013
The way: Using Heisig's Remembering the Kanji and learning stories for each one! (and them documenting what I've hopefully learned in this blog!)

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooo on it!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Hi guys! Have you guys ever heard the band alfabeto? They're a super energetic Nagoya-based J-rock band, and they are awesome! When I was living in Japan, they played a lot of free lives at Sakae Hiroba, so I got to see them a lot. As first, I thought they were only okay, but the more I heard them, the more I came to like them. And now - I highly recommend checking them out!

皆さん!alfabeto というバンドを聴いたことがありますか。 名古屋を中心とした精力的でカッコイイJーロックバンド。日本に住んでる間このバンドは栄広場で無料のライブを沢山やっていて、私はライブに何回も行った。最初はまぁまぁだと思ってたけど聴けば聞くほど好きになった。今はー凄くお勧めです。

With a friend, I saw them so many times that we became friends with Takayuki, the vocalist. Unfortunately, he decided to pursue a new dream, it seems that he quit the band. I hope he achieves it! They're also looking for a drummer now (so if you're in the Nagoya area and interested, go for it!)


Still, with Sakurai on vocals, Toshi on bass, and Kitagawa on guitar, I am sure they are still an amazing trio, and I would love for them to come to Montreal. At their last live I went to, I was told they would try,. . .so I'm waiting!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review: Liphlich - Something Wicked Comes Here Against You

Artist: Liphlich

Album Title: Something Wicked Comes Here Against You

Release Date: 10/31/2012

Note: This album was first released with the original members of the band, but last year they re-recorded all the songs with the present lineup and added in a few specialties.

I first fell in love with Liphlich when I somehow randomly happened upon their video for "Ms. Luminous." I think I must have listened to it at least 48 times in a row, and it was love.

After that, with the release of Lost Icon's Price (which for some reason doesn't show up on their website discography), I was completely sold. Liphlich was slowly making their way to number one on my list of "Visual Kei bands I must see live." (Unfortunately this didn't happen before I had to leave Japan - reason number 80,000 to go back).

"Something Wicked Comes Here This Way" is everything I could have/would have expected from a Liphlich full album, and even more. Listening to his album is somewhat akin to spending the night traipsing through a dark carnival. The first track リフリッチがやってくる (Liphlich ga yattekuru), starts off slow and creepy, as if you're entering into the night circus and wondering just what you're doing there, wondering if you'll stay. It's got a somewhat jazzy feel, vocals filled with hesitation, and it leaves you feeling just the right amount of wonder, just the right amount of expectation.

With the second track, 猫目の伯爵ウエンディに恋する、Nekome no hakushaku wendy ni koi suru, you're in. The strong vocals, the nimble piano, unsure guitar, thumping bass - it all blends together in such a way that you can't help but feel as if you're being observed by all of the oddities of the night circus. I imagine standing in the middle of the tents, black clouds in the sky, as as everyone comes out and looks you over. By the end of this song, you'll know Liphlich has a story to tel with this album, and you'll be dying to know what it is.

グルグル自慰行為, Guruguru Jiikoui, a song about masturbation, will have your head spinning in circles. The sureness of the guitar, the non-stop crashing of the cymbals, the unforgettable chorus - you've just experienced your first spectacle at the night circus, and you can't quite figure out if it was horribly terrifying or wonderfully satisfying - all you know is: YOU WANT MORE! And you get more with 僕らの使い捨て音楽, Bokura no Tsukaisute Ongaku. With a title which means "Our Disposable Music," this song is anything but disposable. It's a little bit of a break after the intensity we experienced in the first three songs. But a break for Liphlich isn't like a break for other bands. You'll be dancing in circles, trying to decide where to go next, wondering if it even matters. This song has a sinister feel, leaving the listener feeling trapped, wondering if this night circus is eternal.

And then Recall comes along and makes you feel better about anything. It is soothing and soothingly beautiful, beginning with a piano solo that wraps itself around you and makes you feel like everything is and always will be okay. In this song, Kuga shows that his vocals have range, and Liphlich shows that they aren't just any carnavalesque, gothic visual kei band (not that there are really all that many of those). They have talent, they have range, they are Japanese they are more than what they seem.

Lest we forget that they are also DARK and GOTHIC, Recall seamlessly leads into 淫火, Inbi, which, for me, is by far the creepiest song on the album. Not my favorite song on the album, but it certainly did a good job of reminding me where I was - in the middle of the dark circus that is this album.

With 嫌いじゃないが好きではない、Kirai ja nai ga suki de he nai, they make a smooth transition back into visual rock, and you return to the carnival. And then, with a bell, メリーが嫌う午後の鐘, Merry ga kirau gogo no kane. This is by far my favorite song on the album. It's dark, it's poppy, it's beautiful, it's creepy, and it's got everything that makes Liphlich wonderful. At the circus, everyone is dancing and laughing, as if something wonderful happened, but you, you can't decide whether or not it's appropriate to join in, and they, they can't decide if they want you to.

Are the members of the Dark Circus disappointed? Are they scared? Sudden and slow, マディソン郡の橋の上で, Madison Gun no hashi no ue de, comes in with an unexpected bang. Maybe they just want to show you that even creepiness has its down moments. This song is all about the vocals, and you should probably sit down for it. Because it's about to rain. And the rain and thunder will continue for the entire track of 航海の時, Koukai no toki. At least musically.

淡いドロップ色の髪, Awai Doroppuiro no kami, starts off with a slow, beautiful (and, of course, creepy - it wouldn't be Liphlich if it weren't creepy) violin. This is one of the two songs they added to the album. While I do love the song, if I'm honest, I don't feel like it really adds anything or takes away anything from the album. It could have been released as a non-album single. In any case, I love it! The last song on this version is BABEL. It's a little bit of a departure from the other songs, and, as such, it seems like the perfect closing song to this album. It kind of pushes you out with a tough shove, leaving you spinning in circles with the to die for chorus and wondering if what just happened was a dream or reality.

I LOVED this album, and I think you will, too!

Have you seen the Cirque du Soleil movie? Seriously, the entire time I was watching the movie, I felt like I was in the Liphlich album. I almost think they should have just had this album as background music.

Liphlich - totally LOVE! And you can bet I'll be getting a copy of Manic Pixie the second it comes out in March!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


One of my greatest regrets in life is that, when I was living in Japan, I never bought anything from 6% Doki Doki. Seriously. With the amount of pink and stars and unicorns and cuteness, anyone can tell that this store is for me. So why did I never buy any amazing 6% Doki Doki wonderfulness? Let's just blame it on the fact that I'm poor.


That said, now that I'm in Montreal and no longer in Japan, I feel like I have a responsibility to drool over what I can no longer have.


Like these earrings. Who wouldn't want hot pink unicorns jumping out of their ears?


Or these AMAZING unicorn tights! You guessed it - I'll need the PINK ones!

それとこの素敵なユニコーンのタイツ!皆知ってるんじゃないかな? 私にはピンクのが必要だって事。

And last but not least - how have I been living without this Rainbow Telepathy t-shirt? I actually want the black one.

そして最後になりますが、重要なことを一つだけ。 どうやってこの”虹”コミュニケーションのT-シャツのない人生を過ごしちゃったのでしょう。実を言うとは私は黒い方が欲しいな。

Sunday, January 27, 2013

ENGLISH BLOG TRANSLATION: Teruki from An Cafe - Passionate Week, WING WORKS. 01/22/13

From our first rehearsal on the 12th up until the 20th, for about 1 week, both as a drummer and as a person, it's been a super stimulating, super intense week.

Being able to play support drums for Ryousuke-kun, my friend from a long time ago, and being able to play with such an amazing band, was of course awesome, but still, more than anything, I feel like I was motivated by the warmth of Ryousuke's heart.  When I'm writing music for the drums, I hear his lyrics, and it's like I can actually feel the scream of his heart is so much that these ears listening to it start to hurt.

I was standing on a stage together with Ryuuto-kun and even Aoi-san from 168, when you mix in Intetsu-kun and Sakurai-san, one way or another there are quite a few chances to talk to them, but it seems like this time was really the firs time I got to talk to Yumeji from LC5. As a guitarist, of course he's super good and super cool, but I really came to understand what an amazing person he is as well, and I understand why Miku-kun is so charmed by him.

Anyhow, the next live is February 11, and I'll be standing on the stage at Shibuya La mama as Spyralcall's support drummer.

2013.02.11.Monday One Man Life 「Spyralcall LAST LIVE in La.mama」
Venue: Shibuya La.mama
Opening Time/Start Time 17:00/17:30
Tickets(tax included)
Advance ¥3,000 / Same day ¥3,500 (Drink fee not included)

For more information, check out Spyralcall's official website!

**NOTE : The second sentence was really hard for me to translate. And while I'm fairly certain he means "writing," it's possible he means "playing." I did my best, so I hope you enjoy!~

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fashion: What I'm Coveting: JSG Winter Collection

There are regularly clothes I want but can't have. As such, I'd like to tell you guys about them in this blog.

This week what I'm totally coveting comes from the winter collection of my beloved JSG.

I LOVE hoodies, so it's no surprise that I was this hoodie. It's super cute, it's pink (I LOVE LOVE LOVE pink!), and plus, it's got clawed mittens and ears attached! It's super cute, right?

And then there's this jacket. If I were in Japan, even though I have no money, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to stop myself from buying it. I used to wear leopard print a lot back in high school, but recently I don't wear it so much any more. With JSG's fresh, new take on leopard print, I've got a feeling that might change. Is leopoard print making a come back? I also love the stars.

Alright, which one do you guys prefer, the coat or the sweater?

Monday, January 7, 2013

REVIEW: Gotcharocka - Virginity

Artist: Gotcharocka

Mini Album Title: Virginity

Release Date: 12/19/2012

After their first two singles, Gotcharocka and Hydrag, along with an AMAZING live show (where they were playing as 818~hyper, as it was before their first official live) at which they almost outrocked the band I was there to see, I found myself anxiously awaiting Gotcharocka's first (mini) album. From Gotcharocka I was expecting not just mediocre or good, but great. They've got a fresh, new sound that seems to combine all of the best aspects of visual kei (and is it really a surprise, given the background of all the members)

For the most part, I wasn't disappointed. The album starts off with a bang, with the track "Virginity," which is anything but innocent, as the title might suggest. It's heavy while at the same time managing to be light and catchy. It feels like an "Alice in Wonderland" meets "Wizard of Oz" meets "Nemo in Slumberland" kind of dream. Trippy? Surreal? Amazing? Yes, yes, yes!

"Virginity" moves easily into my favorite track on the album, "2032," a poppy, gothy, heavy, scatter-brained tribute to ADD. This track is all over the place, containing enough in 3 minutes and 46 seconds to make up a whole album (did they really need all those other songs?)

After having your mind utterly blown by all that is "2032," you'll find yourself jumping out of your chair and dancing like a maniac to the pop masterpiece that is "Onomatopoeia." Can you say masterfully written, masterfully performed, masterfully produced bubblegum? Because that's what this song is. And if you somehow don't find yourself singing and dancing along, you'll at least find yourself tapping your feet to the beat.

With the first three songs being so supremely killer, I'll admit that they lost me a little bit with "H." Full of electro-beats and heavy bass, this song felt more like something I would hear from a new band experimenting for the first time with visual kei. It has very little of the fresh, fun, experimental sound that I've come to associate with Gotcharocka. It felt generic, safe.

Luckily, "Morphine" picks up right where "Onomatopoeia" left off. Ladies, take your hair down and get ready to bang, because that's what this song is all about. Jui's voice is crisp and clear (and is that falsetto that I hear?) as the guitar moves steadily along - I would even go so far as to call this song beautiful. Which is appropriate, as it takes the occasional foray into death metal voices and heavy, gothic guitar and drums, giving you the perfect headbanging beat. And just enough time to do it without getting a crick in your neck. I get the feeling that's not an accident. . . these guys know what they're doing!

Bamboo flutes, chimes, traditional drums - yet again, not an accident that they chose this song to go out with a Japanese bang. This song is overflowing with emotion, causing it to be the perfect closing song for an album; it will definitely leave you remembering only everything you loved about the album, and you'll most likely find yourself listening to it again. And again and again and again.

I think Jun's super super cute! And his guitar riffs are to die for! Which member of Gotcharocka do you like best?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

ENGLISH BLOG TRANSLATION: Teruki from An Cafe - Happy New Year! 01/01/13

Happy New Year ☆ Thank you for your continued support in the new year.

Thanks for everyone who came out to Osaka Zepp yesterday. It was an awesome end to the year 2012. The theme of this Tokyo/Nagoya/Osaka Zepp tour was Christmas, end of the year drinking parties, and kouhakuutagassen (<--annual New Year's Eve singing party), and all of the members of An Cafe worked hard and spent time preparing it! It seems like all the Caffeko enjoyed it, and for that I'm extremely happy (*^ω^*)

In many ways, I think 2012 was am unforgettable year. I thought about lots of different things and felt lots of different emotions. That goes for things outside of the band as well. . .If you don't cherish the important things, you might end up separated from them.

I wrote it before in another blog entry, but I'm really extremely grateful for everything I have, even if I sometimes take things for granted. . .It's probably because I already lost things once, but I've realized how much it can hurt. And then things that you think that you've lost once, when they come back to you, it's really a miracle. For everyone that made that happen for me, everyone that wished for it to happen, each and every one of your feelings, your wishes - I'm really so grateful for it all.

This is something I told all of the Caffeko in Osaka yesterday, but. . . Next year is An Cafe's 10th anniversary! We'll be doing a nation-wide "48" prefecture tour! When we did SUMMERDIVE, many Caffeko came together, by plane, by bus, by Shinkansen, and all of the members of the band decided "This time, we'll go to them!" Of course, this time we're going to go see all the Caffeko that have, in the past, come to see us, not just the ones that attended SUMMERDIVE. And for the final, on January 4, we'll have a live in the 48th Prefecture, Nyappy Prefecture, Nihon Budokan.  Of course, there is a reason for this date.

On January 4, 2010, An Cafe stood on the stage at Budokan for the first time, and as of that date, we started our indefinite break. On that day, and at the time of SUMMERDIVE, I wrote honestly in my blog, but. . .now I'm doing it again. That's not how I want to think of Budokan; Budokan's not a place where I want to make such sad memories.

When the announcement of An Cafe's reunion was made, when it was published by Nico Nico Entertainment's "dwangya", . . .I think it was maybe the clip from the Big Site live. When it was played for us, I thought "Whoa! That's way cooler than what I thought of An Cafe," and I got into the An Cafe spirit again! I thought, we've got to back on stage even cooler than that! But then, at the end of November, we went to the store of Mr. Shiba, our translator when we were in Mexico, and he was playing our Budokan Live DVD. I saw that, and what I felt then was, "We're not laughing. Our eyes are dead." I thought, "That's not us, not An Cafe." We didn't look cool at all. I'm so sorry to all the Caffeko that bought this DVD, but really - that's honestly how I feel.

"Now that's an An Cafe Budokan live!" That's what we want to be able say from our hearts, what we want the Caffeko to be able to say with a smile, from the bottom of their hearts. We want our 10th Anniversary reunion tour final to be that live. I guess this was probably a little bit heavy for the first blog entry of the year (^ω^;) Sorry! Tokyo, Hokkaido, Osaka, Kyoto, etc. . . 48 prefecture tour - let's definitely have a great time together!

From the opening of the Antique Cafe, from the start of An Cafe, 10 years! Thank you so much for all of your support o(≧∀≦)o It is with an abundance of gratitude that An Cafe will come meet you in "your city" (NOTE: ”キミノマチ"へ逢いに行くよ, we will come meet you in "your city", is the name of their tour) Ten years should be commemorated, so let's celebrate together o(≧∀≦)o

10th Anniversary year
LIVE CAFE "48" Tokyo, Hokkaido, Osaka, Kyoto,etc Prefecture TOUR
※Schedule and Details coming soon!!

●Japan Budokan Live - Scheduled o(≧∀≦)o
10th Anniversary year
「Nyappy Prefecture」
Date:January 4, 2014 (Saturday)
Time:Doors 16:30/ Start 17:30
Price:Advance Sale¥6,500(Tax Included/All Seats assigned)

Tickets Super Fast pre-sale at 【FC BondS】
■Time for buying 12/31(Monday)12:00~1/15(Tuesday)23:59
※These are priority tickets for Budokan
■Payment time 1/18(Friday)13:00~1/21(Monday)21:00
※Please note that there is currently a mistake on the FC Bonds site

Organizers  :DISK GARAGE
Planning and Production:Red Cafe/Sony Music Artists
Contact:DISK GARAGE 050-5533-0888( weekday12:00-19:00)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What This is All About

I think the first post should be a little bit of an explanation as to what this blog's going to be about.


I've been a HUGE Visual Kei fan for a long time now. I was into it a little bit, with my favorite V系 band being An Cafe, and then I moved to Japan, and with all of the amazing music and concerts, etc, I went a little V系 krazy. Now that I'm no longer living in Japan (I have sadly moved to Montreal), I don't want to be away from visual kei, so in this blog I will review awesome (and maybe sometimes not so awesome) Japanese rock (not just V系, but also j-punk and j-rock and other awesome Japanese music that I love) that I manage to get my hands on. I also read quite a few Japanese blogs, so if I feel like it (and happen to find the time), I'm hoping to translate some of those blogs here for you.


Yamamoto Yuusuke

I fought it, I really did, but by the end of my stay in Japan, I was Japanese Drama crazy, with a penchant for dramas including hot Japanese boys, such as Miura Shohei, Yamamoto Yuusuke, and Mukai Osamu. This blog will be a place for me to keep up to date and to keep you up to date with the awesome J-Drama there is out there. And to occasionally look back and remember or discover old J-Drama.

Jinnai Sho

Japanese Fashion

My friends and family like to tell me I have an interesting sense of fashion. I think that really, I just have a very Japanese influenced sense of fashion. I love brands like Listen Flavor,Pink Latte, 6% Dokidoki, Liz Lisa, Arinko Chanpulu, and more! My absolute favorite brand is JSG. I believe in the power of kawaii and the power of hoodies, and I believe, if possible, all hoodies should have ears. All outfits should have SOME form of pink in them or, lacking that, at least something bright!
If I had more money, I would dress very differently. In this blog, I will talk about the awesomeness of Japanese fashion, how I do dress, and how I would like to dress. (and probably, I'll drool over quite a bit of JSG, aka Japanese Super Girl)

I'm sure there's no way I'll be able to keep up with all of this, but that's the plan to start with!