borealgrove: (Angel of Procrastination)
Ah, another long week. It shouldn't have felt that way, because it was only a 4-day work week, but I guess all of the missed hours of sleep prior to my friend leaving the city (also caused by a writing spree) have really left me feeling drained. Despite that, I've been steadily working on and polishing up my third and last fest fic for this year (I really don't think I can do another until 2018, at least lol!), and I managed to resolve a plot point that was really bugging me while I was in the middle of work (eureka!). FS has been percolating in the back of my mind for the past month or so, and the next chapter has gone through several iterations already. I'm honestly not certain which narrative path I'm going to take yet--I suppose I'll be as surprised as anyone else when I can finally concentrate fully on that chapter with nothing else vying for my attention :p

I had a lot of social engagements this week as well, which added to my overall tiredness. I met up with not one but two old friends (one from university and one from elementary school) and while it was really, really great to see them again, it took a lot to push myself to get dressed and go out to meet them in the first place. I'm glad I did. My elementary school friend now has a little boy and a puppy (both very cute--we had a fun evening, the four of us, playing outside), while my university friend had just returned from teaching in Japan (plenty to talk about, there). My university friend invited a bunch of other friends for a day-long hangout session, and while it was fun to meet them (we all seemed to get along pretty well), I eventually started to reach my capacity for being around new people and cheerfully took my leave. Unfortunately that meant I didn't get to stay for board games, but she (and one other friend that I went to uni with as well) will still be in the city for a while so I'm sure I'll get to game with them another time. Human beings are just really exhausting to be around lol.

Speaking of human beings, I managed to get a lot of messages (from Facebook, mainly) and emails answered and cleared from my inbox, so that took a bit of weight off my shoulders as well. It's always pretty easy once I get going, but when things build up this much, it looks so daunting that I can't even bring myself to do a little. I think, I need to answer everything at once and then, tomorrow... tomorrow for suresies.

Yeah. I say "for suresies" out loud too. I like to watch the world burn.

The revitalization of my A9 obsession is still going strong. I bought their newest single (Re:Born), a bundle of their old FC アリ通 flyers, an old issue of H'evn (vol 18, with an interview about ALICE IN WONDERLAND, which I was really excited about because there are no scanned interviews online for that release and I really wanted to read about their thoughts behind each song :D)... and those are just the things that have arrived. What is on it's way is a bundle of auction items that I won which includes: HELLO,DEAR NUMBERS (limited--first live DVD I ever watched from them all the way back in 2007, and I almost can't believe I will finally own this beloved performance... bring on the furi lol), Discotheque-Play like "A" rainbows- (that title will never not be hilarious), ALICE IN WONDERFILM (cue the audible audio-skip in G3 lol), and Court of "9"#4 (the tour finale from the tour that I got to go see them live during ;_;). I also won a super low-key auction for H'evn vol 20, which has only been the most sought-after item on my A9 magazine wishlist for the last 6 years or so. Scans exist, but they're old, low quality, and even a native speaker couldn't read the tiny, fuzzy characters in the scanned interviews. I've been dying to read this thing for a long time and each time I managed to find it, it was either being sold for an exorbitant price (it's really damn old, and one of their first mag covers ever), already sold, or--last time--someone managed to outbid me lol. This time, the magazine had been slipped into a lot of unassuming postcard-sets (which I'm certainly happy to be getting as well), so unless you went into the auction page itself and browsed through the lot photos, you wouldn't necessarily realize that H'evn vol 20 was being included. I won the auction (magazine along with a bunch of rare stickers, photos, and postcards) for a whopping... 500JPY. So... like... 6$. That was a good day, lol!

Well, that's all I can think of for now, I suppose.

Back to writing... and maybe later I'll finally get those choco-lavender cupcakes made.
Mr. Bore's anticipation for those desserts is reaching an unbearable threshold :p
borealgrove: Shou and Saga wearing the same obi... for whatever reason. (Coordination)
Alright, so I think it's clear (based on the last post[s]) that I had a bit of a wild night yesterday. I stayed up for 25 hours straight to watch that A9 live performance the whole way through and it was so worth it. I think the last time I stayed up for 24 hours must have been in my last year of university, when I was scrambling to finish a paper for my women's and gender history course (how the perception of lesbian relationships changed from the edo to meiji era in Japan--pretty much the most enjoyable paper I ever researched/wrote).

A9 13th review... )

I got about three hours of sleep after the live finally ended around 6:30am (and another three in the afternoon, when my partner said "...you look wrecked, you need sleep"), and then spent my whole morning just indulging in reading old A9 interviews, the main one being from arena 37c (2006.06 vol 285) in which all the members introduce one another. There was nothing really that I didn't already know, but it's just fun to read things that they said when they were so much younger--when they did such a staggering number of interviews each month, most of them humorous. They really are a funny bunch. Speaking of old interviews... I placed an order on Closet Child this morning for a used copy of Re:Born (regular edition is STILL not in stock, and it's been almost twice the length of time that CDJapan estimated the restock would take, so I finally cancelled my order there), a set of all 12 old Club Alice Aritsuu fanclub newsletters, and a very old H'evn issue (vol 18) with an equally old A9 article in it. It's never been shared online anywhere, but based on the era of the issues that precede and follow it, I would guess that the article is either for yami ni chiru sakura or yuri wa aoku saite... either is awesome. That h'evn magazine has been listed for years, but it was always so expensive, so I never bothered, but since they slashed the price by two thirds... :p

Alright, alright. I'll stop my gushing about A9! I guess you could say that doing some fangirling about them this weekend was sort of a way to de-stress about all the fest writing I've been doing. After all, I'm not out of the woods yet. I still have one last, super-secret fest entry to polish off--an irresistible claim that I made quite a while back, which I have been working on in the background for almost two months. Of course, I'm also now actively working on the next chapter of FS as well, since I have finally completed most of my fest entries. It's been a hell of a busy summer, and I have definitely learned my lesson about taking on too many projects at once. I'm just going to focus on FS for a while, once this last fest entry is submitted. I do miss my grumpy!Severus, after all :p

Another bit of stress has come from the fact that one of the people in our usual friends group is going to have to go back home at the end of the month. It's a few hours away, so it's not catastrophic, but her boyfriend (my partner's best bro) will be staying here to continue with his studies... so it's going to be hard. She's working on a plan to return here quickly to do a co-op type course, though, which would hopefully lead to a job after, and we're all just hoping it will pan out. They were apart for almost three months before, when my partner's best bro went back to his home country for the summer, intending to be there for just a few weeks (a passport situation left him "stranded" there for several months--it's a bit funny now, but it was a nightmare at the time!)... so they can take being apart, but it's not going to be fun, I know that much. In the meantime, we're just trying to get in as much hangoutage together as possible.

Side note: I think I'll just call my partner Mr Bore from now on lol. Much easier.

The last thing of note to say, for now, is that... ACBB posting has begun! Yay! Lots of new, long fics to read, and now that I have a bit more time, I can start digging in. Of course, Drizzle and SSHG Smut Fest are about to start soon, too, so I'll have plenty to keep me going until December, basically lol! The bottomless creativity in these fandoms is inspiring and wonderful... Now, I'm off to do a bit of reading, and then try to get my butt into the kitchen to make scones before the blueberries I bought go bad!
borealgrove: Shou and Saga wearing the same obi... for whatever reason. (Coordination)
EDIT 4: This entry was originally posted in three parts, but I nested the two other entries into this one when I later woke up. It seemed like the sensible thing to do. Oh, what a night.

I've had a wild week of writing, let me tell you. Most nights, I stayed up until or past midnight--and last night, I was up until about three. What can I say? When the inspiration strikes, you just have to get on board and ride it til it stops. Too bad my inspiration couldn't have chosen a more convenient time to kick in. What a jerk.

I'm writing this entry just after 1 am, with 5 minutes to go before A9's 13th anniversary live begins. It's being broadcast on NicoNico, and while I have timeshifted it, I want to watch at least a little bit of it live before I give in and go to bed. I love A9 so much, and it's amazing they're still going strong after 13 years!


Ohhhhhhhh shit the live is starting AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥


EDIT 1: It's been about an hour, and the live has not started yet. In order to amuse the ~3000 viewers already online (more keep arriving all the time), the broadcast staff are just playing all their PVs in order, and it's the most nostalgic fucking thing. Everyone is just sharing memories of the PVs and gushing over them, and it's been so long that I've spoken to other fans that it's really emotional. I love them so much.







The waterworks are going to go off sometime tonight, I can feel it. Nostalgia overload ♥

EDIT 2: )

EDIT 3 : )
borealgrove: Shou and Saga wearing the same obi... for whatever reason. (Coordination)
Okay, look. I'm going to sit my butt down and do some writing tonight before I go to sleep. But before I do... before I do, jfc, I need to scream about the series of tweets that Saga just made, because that asshole gave me the pick-me-up that I had desperately been needing after a long week.

So, first of all, the new single has been announced for September 20th - PENDULUM - and according to him, it's going to be a heavy track. Sign me the fuck up. Also, sign me the fuck up for Re:born, because it's still on backorder. At this point, I'll be receiving both those singles at the same time. I mean, it's not a bad thing, but I really would prefer to spread the joy out a little more.

Second of all... I'm sorry. I'm still reeling. I'm so excited, I don't know how to put it into words.

They've decided to release another photobook, like their Piece of 5ive Elements from forever ago. But the teaser photos for the upcoming book, 5 ELEMENTS PIECES, caused me to do a double-take in a crowded restaurant, and then promptly turn off my screen and take a breather.

They retweeted a Barks [ article with plenty of information, and a Decolum [ article ] with high-res photos (THANK YOU GOD).

So... this collection is going to be released in five books, apparently. I'm assuming each will focus heavily on just one member, and have some group shots along with (hopefully) some interviews. But I'm dying because the teaser photo for Saga's shoot looks like softcore porn.

He is a babe. That bare-chested photo of him is just sublime. He's got just enough roundness that I kind of think, if someone didn't immediately know he was a man, they might mistake him for a woman. I am 100% here for that.

He also tweeted this shit right here:



To the best of my knowledge, what is says is: Feel free to use this when you're making out with your boyfriend.

I don't know if he means use the image as an internal fantasy, or use it as a how-to for looking like the sexiest thing ever, but...

SAGA GET THE FUCK OUT.

When can I preorder this shit? This is what money was made for. Also, Shou retweeted every single tweet Saga made about this, without comment. Not one dirty joke. Nothing. Notable, because it's unusual. The last sexy photos totally got comments from him. Even Hiroto made a sly jab about Saga's "breasts". Could it be that Shou is just... admiring the view? I'm going to look forward to him breaking his silence about this lol. Also, for some reason, I am suddenly reminded of the time he accidentally retweeted a Drarry manip meant for his secret, personal account, on his public band account. Like. Shou? Why? :D

Also, like, let's not forget that the last "wet tshirt" Saga photoshoot in Piece of 5ive was Shou's "artistic vision". Yeah.

Shou, you can get the fuck out too lol.
borealgrove: Shou and Saga wearing the same obi... for whatever reason. (Coordination)
I've been having a semi-productive night, no thanks to the handful of distractions that wormed their way into my inbox. Chief among them was an email from the A9 FC (NUMBER SIX.), informing me that the old proxy address that they had originally provided to all international fans was no longer in use and that I would have to register for another through a third party. That wasn't a problem, as I already had an account with a company that could provide me with such a proxy address (how else was I going to get my hands on A9 magazine clipping auction lots? LOL! I have a weird obsession with collecting A9 magazine articles and interviews). But actually forming cohesive replies to the emails was the little challenge for tonight. They used to send separate, roughly-translated emails in English to the handful of international fans with a membership, but have recently switched to sending them in Japanese only. Which is completely fine--probably better, because I don't need to constantly wait longer for the English mass-email that I am supposed to reply to when I have already read the original. It just means that even my short replies take a while to craft, since the emails are in keigo and I don't want to reply in a loosey-goosey register lol.

Anyway, tonight involved some emergency review lol.

Earlier in the day, I saw some extremely exciting tweets confirming that Bryan Fuller is now in talks to try and get a studio to pick up Hannibal for a fourth season. For those that don't know, Hannibal is one of my favourite shows. It is dark, queer, poetic, romantic, horrific... and delectable, just delectable. The dialogue, the cinematography, the acting is just exquisite. I love Hannibal, and even though the ending to Season 3 was incredible and could absolutely serve as the definitive end of the series proper, I would love to see this series brought back. My god, would I ever.

I like to think of Hannibal as being a proper representation of a novel onscreen--it is full of visual metaphor that often isn't subtextual at all. It's right there, the poetic connection obvious, as if you were reading the line in a book. It does a really good job of capturing the main characters' mental states without outright stating them most of the time, which is often a problem with novel adaptations--there is a lot going on beneath the surface (important internal character thoughts, reactions, emotions) the complexity of which can't always be conveyed with acting alone.

So many of the murder tableaux in the series were incredible not because they were gory and shocking, but because each one was meant to be a piece of (disturbing) art--and I can honestly say, a lot of them creeped the fuck out of me, while also enthralling me, and I haven't really seen anything like them in any other program. The fungus, for fuck's sake. The instrument. No spoilers, but holy fuck, I will never forget those. The dialogue is often ornate and well-crafted, so many of the characters almost unnaturally well-spoken. You don't go into Hannibal for a bit of light programming, or for stark realism. You go into Hannibal ready to read deeply into everything you see onscreen and enjoy its opulence (the overly-rich dialogue, scenery, morbidity...). You go into Hannibal absolutely reading into the crazy chemistry between the two leads, and having to tell yourself, as usual, that it'll never go there, but then it does. It is pure, queer poetry.

Enough about my thirst for the continuation of Hannibal. ♥ ♥ ♥

When I wasn't daydreaming about Hannibal S4 or crafting deceptively short emails, I was working on my HP Drizzle submission. I didn't get any actual writing done tonight (just plotting), but I did begin to do the HTML formatting, picked out a title, and got the summary (always the biggest headache) figured out. In other positive news, I came up with the beginning and end of my Smut Fest submission, with the stuff in between mostly plotted out. I'm on track to get the HP Drizzle fic in on or (hopefully) a couple days before the deadline, but this weekend is probably going to involve late nights in order to do that. That's optimistic, considering that Saturday is my birthday, and we're planning on going out to celebrate, but anyway... I'm on track for now. One way or another, this first fic is going to be sent off on time and then the next is going to get written out in short order.

Geez, I need to get to sleep soon. Best get back to that formatting and see if I can get one more scene squared off!
borealgrove: (Old Religion)
This long weekend has been great, but it flew by so quickly. I've tried to get in as much writing as I possibly could, but my HP Drizzle fic is still ongoing--the plot isn't dragging, exactly, I'm just very conscious of how much time is left to get it done and want to get it finished as soon as possible! So a quick rundown of the other things that I got distracted with this weekend:

- An escape room to celebrate a high school friend's birthday (we escaped with half the time remaining, which was more bewildering than satisfying--we were all like, "...we're finished?"). Afterwards, I went out with the group for lunch, there was lots of reminiscing and gossip, you know, all the good catching-up-after-almost-a-year-of-little-to-no-contact stuff.

- Clickbait lists and Youtube videos. Holy hell my concentration is bad sometimes, especially when a deadline is close, but not imminent.

- A9 stuff on twitter, because the new single (Re:born) recently came out and I got an email from CDJapan telling me that the single is now on backorder and that they may not be able to ship it out for another week or two--even though I preordered it. I'm a little pissed, but I'll be patient. I curbed some of my saltiness by indulging in reading the band members' twitter feeds, and enjoying pictures of them in their yukatas for an instore event. Good stuff. Then, I noticed a recent interview in which Hiroto hinted that they were planning to possibly release two more singles before the end of the year. WHAT.

- I finished the last few episodes of recently-released Netflix original GLOW, which was a pretty satisfying watch, all around. The plot was fun, and the characters were pretty well-rounded. Not to mention, the very first episode had a lot of butts in very tight leotards being bandied about. And it only got better from there. BLESS.

- I feel like I answered some messages this weekend to try and clear my pile, and more just came in. SHRUG. I WILL GET THERE ONE DAY. :D

- I MADE MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. GOD. GOD. I finally baked something for the first time in... I don't even know. I just kept putting it off. But my mint plant was getting a little too wild, so I had to give the ol boy a trim, and the result was so delicious, I can't even tell you. These cookies are my absolute favourite, and I always look forward to making them every summer. I am planning to finally try out the chocolate/lavender cake I've been meaning to make for months a while, but we'll see how much writing I can get finished during the week.

- This song by Angelo is so good. Holy shit. Kirito's voice is so gruff and soaring. Just delicious. I hope the rest of the new album will be as good!

borealgrove: (Saga'll touch ur)
Things that I have accomplished this weekend:

- Finishing season 1 of Luke Cage
- Finishing season 5 of Orange is the New Black
- Starting season 2 of Dark Matter
- Epilating (the everloving shit out of) my legs (...which is how OitNB got finished lol)
- Surprise barbeque at the beach (before it started pouring... we got two grilled sausages out of the affair before our poor, hard-won fire winked out of existence lol)
- Bleaching and then dyeing my hair (from brown, to bronze, to... purpley-blue... ish?)
- Reading a brand new interview from Shou all about Saga (sjkaffdkasl)

Okay, that last one, I nearly had to take the whole day off writing yesterday just to fully read it and scream about it to myself. I am still screaming. It was Too Much. Fully reading it meant transcribing it into a word document so I could properly look up the kanji I didn't know (I was surprised that after so long away from using it, I still knew a hell of a lot, and was typing it all up pretty quickly). The interview went through the whole "how did you meet?" thing, and it was basically anecdotes that we've heard before in other interviews, but I guess this time, it really struck me how unusual the tone was. I'll explain.

Shou's asked how they met. So he says that, while he was in his first band, he heard of a band formed around the same time (Visage), which had a really hot bassist... so he decided to go see them. UM. OKAY. I... guess? Like, he didn't even hear that the bassist was "good", he wasn't looking for any new people to join his band at the time, he just heard that Saga was hot. Which is why he decided to go see the band. Shou. What. UM.

Unfortunately, by the time he went to a live, Saga had already left Visage, so no dice LOL

They didn't cross paths properly until Shou had left his second band, attempting to form one with Nao (there's a whole other amusing anecdote about an into-the-night phone call to try to convince Nao to form the band that Shou didn't get into in this interview, but anyways...). Nao had already recruited Saga, so eventually, it was decided that the two of them, and Shou, along with his previous band member, Tora, would form Alice Nine (they scouted Hiroto together, later on). After the phone call that resulted in an agreement to form the band, they decided to all meet at a fast food joint in Shibuya... which was when Shou first met Saga. At this point in the magazine, I literally had to stop and just get a grip. I'll write it out in full.

そのときの衝撃は今も鮮明に刻まれていますね。沙我くんは、薄紫のノースリーブに淡い色のジーンズを合わせていて、髪の毛は肌と同じ真っ白で、今よりさらに細くて。大袈裟じゃなく、『ロード・オブ・ザ・リング』のエルフ族みたいだったんですよ。

"The impact of that moment is still engraved in my memory. Saga-kun had put together a light purple tank-top with some pale jeans, and his hair was just as white as his skin; he was even skinnier than he is now. I'm not even exaggerating, he looked like an elf from The Lord of the Rings."

I'm. Dying.

This is the first time I've read Shou comparing him to an elf; usually he says that when they first met he thought that Saga looked like a fairy.

Which doesn't actually lessen the impact of the above anecdote LOL

Then he adds: "Despite that appearance, he stoops and shuffles when he walks." (laugh)

Every fucking aspect of this interview is just full of Shou being completely charmed with Saga. His appearance, gushing about all the "cute/weird" things he does (he mentioned that Saga used an ashtray as a plate at a restaurant at once, completely absent-mindedly hfbjksdAL), how he's a "total airhead", but a "gifted craftsman/composer". At one point, he tells a story about Saga, trails off, and the interview notes in brackets say, "he was laughing so hard, he cried". This interview is a gift. It was like receiving Neo Genesis 10 again. And let's not forget the fucking tweets from them just before this interview came out. Yeah, Shou wasn't kidding about this thing being "love".


...I am almost done writing that damn FS chapter, just, by the by. Longest one to date. :p
borealgrove: Kalitt (a Qunari Inquisitor) lounging and enjoying a spa day with Vivienne. (Spa Day)
This month continues to be a pain (with the occasional upside), and so my productivity has varied wildly. For some reason everyone I've ever known has decided to send me a message this month (slight exaggeration, but also kind of accurate--also not a complaint lol), so my inbox is a huge mess, an explosion of correspondence. I'm trying to keep on top of it, but every day something new comes in, or I have to do other errands that cause me to not be able to answer, so I'm just... looking forward to that day that I can reduce the unread messages to zero. Or at least to single digits. :p

I'm trying to get some writing in this weekend, because the week has been full of errands, events, filling a zillion forms, not having time after work, exhaustion, etc... But we'll see. I've already spent nearly five hours this morning combing through my inbox and feeds, sending messages, catching up with friends, and just generally connecting with people, and I'm still not finished. But it was nice to make a huge dent in my mountain of correspondence. :D

I'm going to ramble about a few things I have been screaming about this week, and then I will get on with the writing!

It's outdoor music festival time again! This is one of the pleasurable distractions I've had for the past week or so and I've already been to three nights of shows. My feet and knees are not thanking me for it. But my ears and eyes have been enjoying themselves. I'll list my favourite shows so far (which is almost all of them, but ANYWAY) : Elsie Legrow, Said the Whale, The Sheepdogs, Kalle Mattson, The Zolas, and Dear Rouge. All Canadian acts (Canada 150!), all very fun to see live. Seeing The Sheepdogs felt like going back in time (they were dressed in vintage, tacky ranch shirts lol, and their stage presence was epic), while Kalle Mattson was magnetic, and his between-song quips were hilarious. The Zolas threw us a party with incredible energy, and Dear Rouge's frontwoman was djdkalsmdflasmcflfaejen. Okay, okay, I'll be coherent: total rockstar, infectious energy, powerful voice, and... yeah, that partly-see-through body suit was to die for. ♥ They did a lot of call-and-response, which was really fun! The last three in the list I would be especially happy to see again. Can't wait for the next round of live music to hit the city!

This week Duolingo finally released Japanese courses! It's all review for me so far, but it's good fun, and a nice challenge to help keep at least a base-line of skills. I've been so intent on my writing, that I haven't had the time or energy to devote myself to Japanese learning like I used to. I'd like to get back into it, so maybe once I've finished all the lessons currently on Duolingo, I'll feel up to getting back into studying properly again. Or at least watching Jdramas again lol! I have no idea if my old sources for Japanese subtitles are still viable, though. Having Japanese audio and subtitles really helps, because my reading is still better than anything else.



I lost my mind for about two days after Saga tweeted about Stuppy vol. 16 expressing his mock-nervousness (it contains an interview with Shou about Saga). And then Shou retweeting him with assurance jngskfdmal;s,a. Interview is called 『俺とアイツ』~将が語る沙我のこと~. Nope, nope I'm still losing my mind. Screaming, even, you could say. I don't care about images, I just want that interview fhbksjDKSAL

Like, if it's anywhere near as good as the immortal Neo Gen vol 10 interview... fhvbkdjeklmd

It's so damn expensive, though, for one short interview--not that I don't like a bunch of other artists in the magazine (I am VERY okay with a steamy Sakito shoot lol!)... I wish [profile] jrock_scans was still active and putting out high-quality images in one place. The idea of combing through Tumblr is overwhelming; I really don't interact with the vkei fandom on there so I would have no idea where to start. But holy shit do I ever want to read that interview about Saga from Shou's perspective. Those two have been getting real chummy again recently after a bit of a cold period... :D

Oh, lastly, I caught wind of another fest (H/D) this morning that has an incredible list of prompts (I saved 16 really interesting ones, but I would have saved way more if I hadn't stopped myself). They're for [community profile] hd_fan_fair (unusual careers). I don't know if I actually will participate... I'll probably save the list and take whatever is left of the prompts I liked if I finish one of my two fest fics early enough. If the prompts I liked are all taken... well, great! More stuff for me to read in the fall!

EDIT: I was doing some googling to try to find scans of Stuppy vol 16 (no-go), and instead I found a buried post on Tumblr about "Volland Gump", a solo project put out by an unnamed artist in 2015, that has no intention of making any in-person appearances, and plays all instruments on his recordings... except drums. The post mentioned that it was Saga's solo project, and after listening to the song on the homepage... holy actual fuck. It sounds like him both in terms of the description, and the voice itself. My god. But even more googling wouldn't allow me to find anywhere that fully confirmed that it was him. Which I guess is his intention. I really hope he releases something else (sounds like Nao is playing the drums for him in his solo project -- of course they very openly have their THE ALTERNATIVE project as well, which I hope to one day be able to go see live, since they haven't made any recordings). I love Saga's music so much, just, in general!

IDEAL

Apr. 3rd, 2017 07:49 pm
borealgrove: (Saga'll touch ur)


It's always inevitable, that when I decide to take a gander at Saga's twitter, I have a little fit. First of all, I hadn't seen the new look or the new album art yet, and so... that was a shock. A delectable one. I am loving where they are taking their visuals--the casual/little-makeup direction they were headed in towards the end of their PSC contract was really sad. I love that, now they're starting to get the funds to be able to afford elaborate costumes again, they're going in that direction. ♥

You know, I never did post about MEMENTO, and what was on the cover of my regular version: Saga and his blood-red lips, pressed up against the side of Shou's leg. Yep. A truly excellent surprise. And what's more, the songs are solid. This is some good shit, my friends. A9 are overall a pretty experimental band, even if they lean more towards being alternative, so I never know quite what to expect, but both MEMENTO and ibara were heavy and addicting and I feel sorry for any poor sap that only got the limited edish and missed out on ibara. I still have no idea who was the main composer for either, but I've got a new Cure magazine on the way with an interview about the new album, so I intend to read and find out dhfbaskj

Now, on to the twitter madness.



Shou forgot his glasses (presumably at Tower Records in Ikebukuro), and Saga, of course, picked them up, put them on, and took a picture of himself being 300% done.

(...okay, so he said ドヤ顔 which is supposed to be sort of a self-satisfied look, but he just looks super done to me rofl)



Great, cool, yes! Another shot of the new look! Cool beans! Nice header Saga!



...what.

Did he just? Did Shou? Just? Crop out everyone? But him and Saga? Did literally everyone else do a nice crop of the band as a whole? And Shou was just like? NAH, JUST ME AND SAGA IS GOOD?


I know you have both CLEARLY stated that IDEAL is a collaboration between the two of you but

oh my god?

Can you please stop with this capital-C Content? My happiness levels are climbing to unrealistic heights.


no don't stop
borealgrove: (Out of Bounds)
So I lied a bit. I decided to check on MEMENTO news instead or writing, since I didn't have a lot of time to kill before running off downtown. I was very frustrated (and a little happy) to find that the mystery of the regular edition covers has yet to be resolved: the official site (and certain news sources) is showing one photo, while other news sources are spreading another.



I also found tweets discussing the new album and they made me even more eager to throw money at my screen.



OH MY GOD MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE

Saga is confirming that it's a return to their roots, a new beginning, and Shou confirms that it's a collaboration between him and Saga. djfbkjsnldnflskdm Okay, like the last few albums have kind of unofficially been collaborations between the two of them (GEMINI especially), but I can't recall them ever directly saying that. This makes me very happy, to put it lightlyyyyyyyyyyyy



SAGA MY BOY YOU COULDN'T LET ME LIVE FOR TWO SECONDS?

A brief description of each song on the new album. The hype is increasing tenfold.



Please stop with the dirty jokes

Except. Shou loves dirty jokes. So.


hee
borealgrove: (Out of Bounds)


I finally took a look at all the album art and my first reaction was WHAT IS SHOU'S FACE DOING ON TYPE B I THOUGHT THEY DECIDED HIS FACE WOULD NO LONGER ALWAYS BE IN FOCUS FFS then I realized that his face is cropped out of type A and decided to downgrade my rage to a solid side-eye. Then I noticed that the regular edish features Saga's face and everything became okay (mostly. ish).

So for maximum insanity to be achieved, I must further analyze the album art, like old times.

First off, the lettering is to die for. I love the fact that you have follow the arrows to read "MEMENTO" and that the ankh is both part of the word and helps point your eyes in the right direction. I also love that you can start reading at either M. It's even more delectable than the different fonts for each title in ALPHA (and that is saying something, because I always loved that). This is all so, so much better than the original red-on-black art they had released for the single in the beginning.



In terms of the look, I love Nao's hair style, Hiroto's chokers (hdbkjsnlka), and the fact that my boy Saga has an eyepatch again and bold red lipstick. Thank you lord! Overall, the outfits are a little boring (just a little), but frankly, if there's no cheesiness going on at any level, it's not ~authentiqué~ vk.

Now that I have seen The Look, that deluxe booklet that comes with type A doesn't seem like such an unnecessary addition anymore. If it's anywhere near as enjoyable to flip through as the Alpha or RAINBOWS deluxe booklets, I'm excited. The colour palette of this (and to a certain extent, the other editions) honestly gave me a smidgen of "bi flag" feel which probably wasn't intentional, but I'll take it. The perspective and how they're all arranged on and around the table is just so pleasing for some reason ashsbfksj. I like the fact that Shou's head is cropped out (again, in a sort of protest for how he was constantly taking centre stage at the tail end of their PSC days) but... the statement is sort of ruined a little when his face is plastered over type B. I mean. Guys. Seriously.

Let's just skip type B. It's Shou's face. Soft lighting. He's pretty. Got it.

Regular edition. Oh boy, this one was like a present. I was all ready to get up in arms about type B and then they made my boy Saga the focus of regular edition. The lighting is odd if you're looking for the blue in the bi flag, it's riiiiight here, and Shou's crossed leg is just as much of a feature as Saga himself, pressed up against it. The absolute darkest part on that cover is Saga's lips, which you just can't help but notice. Thank you?! Coincidence?!

Okay, now for some symbolism. Why focus on Shou and Saga? Obviously because they're the main artists driving A9's image and sound, but let's go deeper.

I spent Time on this and regret nothing. )

I guess I'll have to wait until the deluxe booklet is in my hands to see if I can make any more unsolicited deductions about The Boys. Yeah... I updated my earlier preorder to include type A as well as regular edish. I really am trash. But hey, it's only type A that counts towards ratings, so there's that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

EDIT: Looked into some news sources are showing a different regular edish than is currently displayed on their official website. Which is real?! The one being shown in news sources has no one's face in it, and gives Hiroto and Saga equal weight in the frame (with Shou's boots still in the middle). STILL. If Saga in focus was the original version remember, Shou is the art director for this shit, my thoughts on it are still valid. And even in the other new source version... they're still touching.

But far more importantly... type A totally is done in a bi flag palette. A bigger image shows that it does go pink-purple-blue. dfbskgjddnfkjndlkmas Again, don't care if it wasn't intentional come on shou, I still love the shit out of this.



AND THEY'VE ALSO ANNOUNCED A NEW ALBUM FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 3 YEARS I'M CRYING THIS IS TOO GOOD

MEMENTO

Jan. 8th, 2017 03:18 pm
borealgrove: (Out of Bounds)
Correct me if I'm wrong but...

Didn't A9 break from PSC because they kept using cheap ploys to boost their sales? Things like, releasing far too many versions, putting random members' faces on CDs so that if you wanted a certain one you would have to buy multiple copies until you got the right one... etc. And yet, here they are, releasing three versions of one single, after having done two really great one-version-only releases. Clearly they could have released just ONE limited version with DVD along with the regular (extra track) version.

It's not as bad as Daybreak, but still. In the early days, it was always only ever two versions. I am side-eyeing pretty hard right now. Please don't return to the dark side thx.

Anyway, just preordered the regular version.

I am literal trash.

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