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Shiki music: BUCK TICK

Thursday 3rd January 2013

Tom Smith on the forefathers of visual kei: BUCK-TICK

BUCK TICKFrom forming in 1983 with no prior music experience (or skill!), to filling the massive Tokyo Dome with 50,000 people in 1989, BUCK-TICK’s journey through the Japanese music system is amongst the country’s most exciting stories. They refused to let any record label dictate their sound, their image or their line-up, and the risk paid off, and in doing so, they led a whole new musical movement in the country. And they’re still making music today.

The second box set of Shiki is lucky enough to contain not one, but two new songs from the band. The first half continues the opening theme set out in opening DVD collection; ‘Kuchizuke – SERIAL THRILL KISSER’. The song was specifically crafted for use in the series, with the band being force-fed the anime and the manga until they had a good enough taste of what it was all about. The only direction they had from the production team was ‘make it up-tempo’. See if you think it fits in with the supernatural nature of Shiki below;

Kuchizuke – BUCK-TICK

The latter half of this box set also introduces Shiki’s second ending theme, ‘Gekka Reijin’ from the same group (which can be translated as ‘the beauty under the moon’ or ‘the moonlit lady’, or something of that ilk – oh the ambiguity of kanji). This BUCK-TICK track wasn’t released as a single like the opener, leading to fans creating their own music videos for it online. The one I’ve linked you to at the start of this paragraph captures the band’s image styles, using a number of clips through the decades, though mostly choosing those when the visual kei movement was all about big hair, shoulder pads and plenty more clichés from what we’d come to call the new romantic era in the west.

Similarly, the above song also demonstrates that the ‘unique’ Japanese genre of visual kei actually has a lot more in common with British new wave, punk and rock of the 70s and 80s than that of Japanese music. Listen closely; those moody, haunting guitars licks sound awfully similar to those found in tracks by The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the electrifying and aggressive guitar solos and harder parts fall somewhere between the grittiness of the Sex Pistols and the craftsmanship of Led Zeppelin, if you ask me.

The comparisons aren’t unwarranted. BUCK-TICK were, and still are, open about their love for the UK and its music scene. Their fourth album Taboo is particularly influenced from the darker side of British music, something the band found lacking in Japan’s often optimistic and positive music scene. Coincidently, the album was also recorded in London and the band made sure to fit in a sneaky live show whilst over here.

Fitting in with the dark and melancholic theme, BUCK-TICK also found a place in Manga Entertainment’s spooky XXXHOLiC: Part Two, where their track ‘Kagerou’ was used as the ending theme.

Shiki: Part 2, featuring themes by BUCK-TICK, is out 31 December on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

Buy it now

Shiki music: BUCK TICK


Jormungand: Perfect Order - Complete Season 2

was £24.99
The child soldier Jonah continues to protect Koko while she brings the boom to cities across the globe. When the international arms dealer ramps up sales, her hired guns are targeted by government agencies, warmongers, and assassins - leading to some devastating betrayals and losses.
Amid all the gunfire and grenades, Koko begins to work on a secret project in South Africa: Jormungand. But when she finally reveals her master plan for the future of war, not everyone is happy with the plot. As the body count starts to explode, Jonah will have to decide if he can stand by and watch his employer's blood-soaked plan for world peace unfold, or try to put a stop to it.
Contains all 12 episodes of season 2.
Special Features: Commentary on Episode 4, Textless Songs, Trailers.
Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.



This Koko is no clown
Opening with a running fight down a freeway where anti-tank missiles and heavy vehicles are tossed around like party favours, the first episode never lets up, setting a standard that the show maintains throughout.


One Piece: Crew Manifest 5

Brush up on this latest volume of nautical nonsense!
The Skypiea arc is well underway in the latest batch on One Piece, taking the Straw Hat Pirates to a floating island where danger and adventure abounds.

The Ninja Museum

Stephen Turnbull risks nine deaths in the eye of the ninja storm... or does he?
There is more to the ninja myth than meets the eye. By 1638 all wars had ceased under the police state of the Tokugawa family, yet within twenty years armchair generals were busily writing manuals of military theory, including speculations about sneak attacks, night-fighting and backstabbing.

Podcast: Speaking of Hugos and Gareths

More than one way to skin a catbus, in our 24th podcast
Jeremy Graves is joined by Jerome Mazandarani, Andrew Hewson and Jonathan Clements, for a series of rants and ill-informed commentary about anime, manga, the storm over the Hugo Awards, and your most awkward convention moment.

Guilty Crown Goes Dark

Andrew Osmond on anime that turn to the dark side…
If it sounds like Guilty Crown’s getting dark, it is. In particular, there’s been a lot of comment on how dark some of the main characters get, in a series that seemed relatively light, even cheesy, in its first half. Star Trek used to have episodes set in a so-called ‘Mirror Universe,’ where the familiar cast could be really bad. Guilty Crown does something similar, without the mirror.

Anime Streaming Sites

Legal ways to mainline your Japanese animation
The new Manga Entertainment podcast includes a discussion of legitimate anime streaming sites – in other words, the ones that send money to the Japanese studios which make anime, thereby supporting the industry. (Rather than the other streaming sites, which just steal anime and make it less likely there’ll be anime to steal in the future.)

Podcast: The Evangelion Two-Step

Box sets and brutal violence, in our 23rd podcast
Jeremy Graves is joined by Jerome Mazandarani and Andrew Hewson for our 23rd podcast., featuring cover woes, delayed shows, and several uses of the word Slash. Your questions answered, dodged or otherwise belittled, while Jerome confesses to his Facebook addiction, and Jeremy is reprimanded for flagging his own segues.

Out Now: Naruto Shippuden 16

Ninja action sneaking to a store near you
Naruto Shippuden box 16 is out now on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

Fairy Tail Music: Daisy x Daisy

Tom Smith on Fairy Tail Part 7’s opening theme
Little Mika still has a long way to go, but since signing to Pony Canyon she has managed to have a crack at the anime universe, featuring heavily in one series in particular; Fairy Tail.
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