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About the four seasons songs....
Gackt - Nemuri
...I thought it'd be fun to look at the MVs.

I'm going to start with Hakuro, which might not make much sense to begin with, but will hopefully do so later. The lyrics make references to summer coming to an end and the MV is full of autumn imagery, so this song actually reflects the move from summer to autumn (and not just solely autumn).

It starts with the empty chair.

And a "sleeping" protagonist/GACKT who is resurrected and comes to life.

The rest under the cut due to being image heavyCollapse )

Next in the sequence is, actually, Akatsukizukuyo.

again, cut for imagesCollapse )

Next in the sequence is Setsugekka.

More imagesCollapse )

All three MVs start with a resurrection and end with a death/sleep. Sakura, Chiru... is the exception that doesn't fit the story of the other three, unless you count the blooming and falling of the sakura as a resurrection and death, I guess?

It's the ebb and flow of seasons, how one flows into the other that then flows into the next.

It's easy to say that he's out of ideas and just repeating himself with the MVs and sounds of the song, but the idea is to have four highly linked songs. That's the point and intention. It's not running out of ideas, that is the idea.

Now personally, I'd rather have four individual and distinct songs but I applaud the idea and scope behind it (if not the execution).

Although, it's kinda ironic that I'm debating this while listening to this particular song by Dream Theater as a few years after they initially recorded this song, they decided to revisit the story and made an entire album out of it by lifting entire melodies and lyrics and re-using them. I have so many concept albums in my iTunes (I like metal and progressive metal, it goes with the territory) that I really shouldn't be as critical of GACKT when he tries something similar as I'm never critical of those bands. I guess we've all just been so music starved these last few years that we desperately want something new...

(And I'm not making up the order of the songs to fit my post, it really is Setsugekka > Sakura, Chiru > Hakuro > Akatsukizukuyo. Akatsukizukuyo is not related to summer in any way)
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Sephiroth & Stitch
I saw the first MOON SAGA show on Friday. I'm not going to do an in-depth review or synopsis for many reasons, but I'll give a brief overview...

Obviously, there are many, many spoilers.

Also, if you're a little confused about characters, actors and backgrounds I suggest checking this entry over at OGYD.

Spoilers aheadCollapse )

For any FC members that go, make sure to check in as an FC member before the show in the little area next to the goods as you will get a free play on the gacha machines. You'll either win a badge or a special prize.
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(no subject)
GACKT - Monster's Inc
I've had an evening of doing nothing and it's finally given me time to catch my breath a little. Since changing job and moving it's been non-stop.

First, I worked eleven days straight without a day off. And when I say worked, I actually do mean worked. With my old job I'd be there for about eight hours a day but usually half of that was spent reading books or studying as I had no classes and didn't need all of that time to prepare. With the new job I'm constantly busy, either with teaching or prep work, from the second I get there to the second I leave. It means the days are just flying by, but it's also quite tiring.

My apartment is slowly getting sorted. I now have actual floor space and all of my suitcases are empty and put away. There's just a few boxes lining the walls now and I hope to empty at least another one tomorrow.

Yesterday I went on an overnight English camp with the first year junior high students. We went to an education centre in Saitama and I was surprised when I found out that everyone had to make their own way there. For me, it was 90 minutes and three train changes and it would have been similar for everyone. If my class when I was 11 years old had been asked to do that, I'd have bet money that a third would have been late and that a further third would never have turned up at all and would have just gone somewhere random. Thankfully my students were good and all turned up on time. The rooms for the girls were nowhere near the teacher's rooms either and I was expecting them to be up all night talking and wiped out in the morning but nope, they were all bright eyed and energetic this morning at 7am for our pointless walk around the facility.

The camp itself was fun. I had to teach five lessons to them over yesterday and today so it involved a lot of preparation (powerpoints, worksheets, things for games, etc) but it went well and I received good feedback from both the girls and the vice principal who came along too. He did just sit at the back during my classes reading a book, but I guess his disinterest was a sign that I did well and he didn't need to pay attention because I had everything covered.

This week should be a normal week and then I have two four day weekends coming up due to Golden Week and the school owing us all a day off for working a Sunday. I hope to have the apartment sorted by the end of those holidays. I've been assured that things will calm down and be a little quieter once Golden Week has gone and everyone is settled in, but we'll see...

Gackt - Shiki
It's been ages since I posted anything here and now I actually have something to post about!

This week has been incredibly busy for me, and the busy times aren't going to stop for quite some time.

On Monday, I moved house.
On Wednesday, I started a new job.

Doing two major things like that so close together is not something I recommend!

I'd been living in Chiba and working in the same schools for the last 2.5 years. I considered myself very lucky to have six wonderful schools (well okay, one was slightly frustrating occasionally but nothing I couldn't cope with!) and I will miss the students and teachers there. However, I didn't work for the schools directly. I worked for a dispatch company that sent me to those schools, and the dispatch company has driven me insane the past year.

I won't get into the long list of reasons why they've annoyed me, but it got to the stage where I was finding something new to complain about every other day and I'd just had enough of it. I don't like being frustrated and genuinely complaining about something (anything I complain about on Twitter is just me letting off steam and not a genuine complaint. These work issues went way beyond just letting off steam), so I made the decision to stop complaining and find a new job.

As the company were guarantors on my apartment, a new job meant moving. And if you're going to move, you may as well move right?

So I started job hunting in Tokyo proper (for anyone who doesn't know Japan's geography, Chiba is next to Tokyo. If you go to Tokyo Disneyland or land at Tokyo Narita airport, you're actually in Chiba, not Tokyo. So I was close before, but not actually in Tokyo).

Previously I'd worked in public schools but that's not as big an option in Tokyo, so I started looking at private schools. It took a little longer than I wanted it to because the schools dragged their heels a little on setting up interviews, but I got a new job and then hastily saw about getting an apartment.

Apartment hunting is not a fun activity in Japan, so I'll gloss over that.

My new job is in a private all girls junior high and high school. It's very different to what I am used to. The school is beautiful and completely hi-tech, with smart boards in every classroom (these are connected to the PC servers so you can directly use PowerPoint, Word, the internet etc in class, you can write on the boards and do a million other tricks with them). The students are very lucky as they get a homestay in England during their junior high years and a three week tour around various countries in the EU in their high school years.

English is a huge focus of the school. Instead of teaching just one lesson a week per class like I did in the public schools, I'll be teaching five lessons a week to each junior high class. It's solo teaching too, no Japanese teacher in class, and I'm 100% responsible for the syllabus, materials, homework, tests...

It's all rather daunting, to be honest. I feel like I should need a teaching license to have this job.

There is another native teacher that is also new this year. We will be teaching the same lessons so it makes sense for us to prepare them together and halve the workload, but as nice as he is, I can see me losing my patience with him quickly enough. I have only one speed when it comes to doing any kind of work - fast. He's the kind of person that will happily spend an hour just choosing which swipe effect he wants to use in his PowerPoint. We're busy! We don't have time for that!


Anyway, I started there on Tuesday but today (Saturday) was the first day to meet any students. Most of them were in today to be introduced to the new teachers and prepare for the opening ceremony tomorrow. They seem really nice, cute and happy. I chatted to one of the high schoolers that I'll be teaching and I was really impressed with her English ability. She was also really cute, because when I shook her hand she noticed how cold my hands were and instead of letting go, stood there and rubbed some warmth back into them. Awwww.

The Japanese teachers seem nice enough. The world history teacher is really pretty - he has lovely long and floppy hair and plays bass. One of the part time teachers looks like he should be in a Johnnys band. Both of those could be trouble, hahahaha. It's all really formal though. No drinking at your desks (that's really unusual - every teacher's room I've ever been in has run purely on coffee) and everyone wears really formal business suits.

When I get paid, I think I need to pick up some more work clothes. I dressed pretty formally for work before, but this is another level. Thankfully, even taking into account my increase in rent, this job pays sooooooo much more than the last one.

So, I started work on Tuesday and my first day off is... next Saturday. That'll be eleven days straight. I already have made plans to go out on Friday evening to celebrate surviving it all.

That's what's been going on with me. If anyone wants the new address, just ask!
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Frozen - Anna
It's been a while since I've posted anything and I don't have anything major I want to talk about right now, so instead I'm going to talk about books.

I think that buying my Kindle was one of the best uses of cash ever. Not only can I load it full of study material for my free periods at school and surf the net on it at the school that set up wifi specifically because half the teaching staff now have Kindles too (my fault, hahaha) but I've read so many more books in the last six months than I have in the last six years.

The last books I finished were the Divergent series.

It's going to be a movie soon-ish, and it's in the same vein as the Hunger Games series. Future, dystopic society, strong female lead and written for a YA audience.

It isn't the most well written of series but the story is good, it has many twists, turns and major surprises and makes you keep reading until the end. One thing that I really did like about it, is that it explains quite clearly how the society ended up how it did, instead of just doing some hand waving and saying WAR like so many other similar books do. The explanation might be a slight cop out (no spoilers) but at least there is an explanation.

I've recently re-read the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles but bailed out before the series turned terrible and preachy. The earlier books are still great though.

I'm halfway through a re-read of Alice in Wonderland. I've become so used to the Disney adaptation of it, that I had forgotten how seriously trippy the original is. It reads like one prolonged high, not a fantasy land.

I really want to get the Harry Potter series in Japanese, but I remember opening the first book once in a store and crying at the amount of katakana everywhere, hahahahaha.

Any readers on the F-list? What have you been reading lately?

Gackt - Christmas Nemuri
I have a little bit of downtime so let's blow through this quickly...

So in 2013 I...
added Aichi and Okinawa to the list of Japanese prefectures I've visited. I also went back to Miyagi, Kyoto, Osaka, Shiga, Hyogo, Niigata and Kanagawa (Chiba and Tokyo go without saying)
went to Thailand. It rained. Other than that, it was awesome
made some new friends and had some old ones leave Japan (come back Janet!)
only managed Disney once (come back Janet!)
carried on teaching and it chugged along nicely. Either I'm getting better or the students are more awesome this year as it's been more fun, although the office annoy me more and more each month
enjoyed job #2. I've been picking up more hours and projects here and there
had decided to cut down the number of (non-GACKT and fade) lives I attended, but still managed to see LUNA SEA, the Manic Street Preachers, Ozzfest (Black Sabbath!!!!) and Bon Jovi this year
went to many GACKT and fade shows and also the Kenshin Kousai again
got two shot photos with GACKT, YOU and Takumi. Was happiest about getting one with YOU, hahahaha
wasted too much time and energy on community and twitter related shenanigans, but a follow from GACKT, a few others from his side and upping the followers count to nearly 5,000 kinda made it worthwhile
studied Japanese far more consistently this year (although there is room for improvement there) and I've been able to see the difference in my understanding. I must keep this up
started an exercise programme around spring time as previously I just relied on eating healthily and walking a lot. I think I toned up a little (which was the goal, not weight loss) but I need to get back into that
was better with money. Not good exactly, but better...
most importantly, avoided any major catastrophes and calamities in 2013

All in all, I think 2013 should get a 7.5/10 (I said 8 on Facebook but I've downgraded it slightly)

I don't set new year's resolutions but I do have some continuing goals and they are to stay healthy, study more and be better with money. And try to get over my hatred of cameras so that I can actually relax and look good in the photos I take. At least I'll take them now - that's one step in the right direction. I can continue down the paths I started in 2013, I think.

I hope everyone has a great 2014!
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Well, hello sir!
CM Punk - plushie


I need to restart watching wrestling just for him (and my BB, Punk).

(Taken from the Royal Rumble ad - wrestlers do speed dating. Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes crack me up)

Camui Gakuen at Chiba December 13/14/15
Gackt - Christmas Nemuri
This weekend the Gakuen tour rolled into Chiba for three consecutive days and as I live in Chiba, it would have been rude not to go to all three, right?

I've already done a big in-depth report on the tour here so I won't do that again. This is just news and notes.

The 14th, Saturday, was filmed for the upcoming DVD. Sunday had more people there, but Saturday was a good choice. It was mainly good because on Saturday, me and my friends had seats on the far left of row 28 but when we got there, our seats were missing and instead the overhead cameras were there! So, we got moved to row 14 and were more central.

So... [DVD spoilers]
They made a few changes for the DVD. When F9 do their MOON SAGA variety show, they usually re-enact two fight scenes out of three that they have prepared
1. Tomoe (Sato) vs. Soldiers (Wang & EGA)
2. Yoshitsune (Hayato) vs. Yoshinaka (Takumi)
3. Hiyori (YOU) vs. Sabirou (Val)
but on Saturday they performed all three, so all three should be on the DVD. The fight scenes all have happy endings instead of people dying and they really drove home the happy endings on Saturday and I think they all ended with some variation on GACKT's incessant "we're all family!!!" speeches.

For the part where they have to remember one of Yoshinaka's speeches, it's usually either team 1 (Takumi, Taya, Val and EGA) or Team 2 (YOU, Sato, Hayato and Wang) that is chosen. On Saturday, they ignored the teams and chose YOU, Takumi, Sato and Val (hahaha, the A-Team of this year's Gakuen).

YOU kept doing Funasshi impressions throughout the variety part while dressed as Hiyori, so he was jumping around a lot and ending his sentences with "nasshi!" (Funasshi is the unofficial mascot of the city Funabashi, in Chiba, and he's become very popular recently.

A few things went wrong during the show.

The dance routine for Jounetsu no Inazuma is a little complicated without the screen to help. The chorus line has three different arm actions that are done in order - 1, 2, 3. During one of the chorus lines Kaicho got his actions wrong and skipped #2, so he ended up doing #3 twice - 1, 3, 3. It was really noticeable! He's got this dance wrong at most of the shows so far, but not in such an obvious way.

During the Big Bang song, Taya lost his wig. I don't know exactly what happened as I was too busy staring at Kaicho but when I looked over Taya was on the floor and missing his wig. He carried on with the song and was smiling broadly. It was cute! He came out without the wig for the next song too, Gangnam Style, as I guess there was no time to refit the wig. Instead Taya let his hair down so it still worked!

And finally, for the Hikaru Genji song.... Since the first day Kaicho has not looked entirely comfortable on those rollerskates. He nearly fell on the first day in Osaka and I noticed in Nagoya that at one point when he skated to the side of the stage, Taya was standing there with his arm outstretched to stop Kaicho in case he went too far. During the recording the inevitable happened and Kaicho fell. I think what happened was that there is a move where they go to one knee, and I think his foot just slipped and instead of going to one knee gracefully and with control, he just fell. They have to keep that in!

On Sunday, the Yoshitsune vs. Yoshinaka fight ended a little differently to the previous performances of it. Instead of the two just being friends at the end, they acted out this big romantic scene that ended with them hugging and Takumi dipping Hayato and (pretending) to kiss him. Shinnosu asked Tomoe (Sato) what she thought about her boyfriend and admirer having a thing together and Tomoe replied that boy's love is good. Then later, during the K-POP section, Takumi smacked Sato on the ass. I'm starting to worry about that boy. Taya has started molesting Kaicho too at the end of the BIG BANG song (although that didn't happen during the DVD filming, sorry!)

The venue at Chiba is bigger than Osaka or Nagoya and by this time everyone knew about the senpais serving food before the show started so the queues were huge. On Saturday it was all nice and orderly. The people who wanted YOU queued on the far left for his udon. Everyone else filed into lines for the other senpais. But then, YOU served the pudding (I think) which was on the right, so everyone in the left queue just pushed through the crowd to get to him. It got a little rough in there...

On Saturday there was no queuing, it was just a mass of bodies. That was even worse. About 20 girls ended up on the floor, people were being pushed into barricades and benches and there was a little bit of blood (skinned knees mainly). By Sunday they'd finally organised it all.

On Friday I got oden from Takumi and he was so much chattier than when I got food from him in Osaka! This was how our conversation started...

Takumi : Gokigenyou! (shakes my hand)
Me : Gokigenyou! (in Japanese) I'm looking forward to today's show
Takumi : "Looking forward to today's show..." Ah! You speak Japanese??

The way he repeated what I said to him was so cute... as if he needed a couple of extra seconds to process that he really had heard Japanese. My friend had gone ahead of me and said to him that she didn't speak any Japanese so he probably wasn't expecting it. He asked me where was I from and stuff and shook my hand a second time as I left.

On Saturday we battled through the crowds and got udon from YOU. Again, I told him I was looking forward to the show and his eyes widened and he did that cute little "oh!" sound and mouth action he does when he's surprised in the Platinum Boxes. He said something in English before I left but I didn't catch it.

Sunday was oden from Shinnosu (I really like the oden). I wished him luck in doing something during the variety section and he replied "arigato.... THANK YOU!! Thank you!!"

Ahhhhhh, they're all so cute when you surprise them with Japanese.

On Saturday me and two friends wore AKB inspired school uniforms to the show. There may have been questionable poses done with the cut out of Kaicho, YOU and Takumi. We entertained the fans that were around at the time at least XD

Now there's only Sendai left. I'm looking forward to it (despite the possibility of snow) but it's also sad as it's the last show.

Camui Gakuen in Osaka 11/24 *spoilers*
Stitch - Halloween

This is in addition to what I posted yesterday, so it's mainly changes.

When I have more time and access to a working laptop I will collate the two, write them better, flesh them out, add photos and post to OGYD so look out for that!!

spoilersCollapse )

And on a completely, selfish and fangirly note, I had my photo taken with Takumi. TAKUMI-SENPAAAAAAI!!! I bought pudding from him yesterday and was able to use my card from that today. I'm happy XD

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