Jrock, Ink.: A Concise Report On 40 Of The Biggest Rock Acts In Japan (英語) ペーパーバック – 2005/10/30
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Josephine Yun has covered classical music and Japanese pop for City Paper, Baltimore's alternative weekly, and is also an editor at jrockonline.com. She wrote the official English biography for the breakthrough band X JAPAN and presented a panel on Jrock at the Anime Central anime convention in 2004. She is a member of various online communities dedicated to alternative music.
After reading it, I can honestly say that it is fairly good, especially for those that have no exposure to jrock or any of the earlier bands from the '80s. After reading the other reviews, I can agree with them about the major complaint being the section on Gackt. Being a huge Dear, I was a bit upset but at the same time Gackt has accomplished so much. Since this was not a biography, items were bound to be left out. I think it could have been written better.
The biggest suprise and joy for me were the sections on Due' le Quartz and Miyavi- more so Miyavi. The author remembering the huge impact DLQ had on the indie scene for such a brief period impressed me, others might not even remember them. The fact that she gave Miyavi his own section proves his increasing growth and finally his acceptance into the music scene as a solo artist. Miyavi is my favorite artist so seeing him included really made me squeel like a fangirl.
All in all, it is a fairly decen complilation. Nothing is perfect but it is good for anyone wanting to learn about the genre or for fellow jrock fans to refresh their memories and share their interest with friends.
This book is definitely something you want in your JROCK collection!
Diane C. Donovan
I'm really dissappointed with this book. The images was colorfull, but some of them didn't even look anything like original people...
And was it me, or did Yun write incorrect info about Dir en grey? I mean, Dir en grey does NOT mean "two sides of a coin". I mean, it's a "GREY" in it. And it was like... "Yeah, Dir en grey is scary, and stuff. Kyo's voice is...special... And that's it". >_____<;; I find a lot of more info and more interesting stuff at wikipedia.org, and that's for free.
Okay, good, L'Arc~en~Ciel is a GREAT band, but it seemed like it was the only band she wrote positive stuff about x__X; But they're already very popular. Why not try to get deeper into other bands and make them intresting?
And what was that about Gackt? ...She missed too much there.
And Yun sorta left out a lot of important things about the bands. It's not like it was an profile book or anything, but she could've written something about the members of the band. I'm sure newbies won't know the difference between j-rockers dressed up like girls and those who are actually girls.
If you're new to j-rock and visual kei, this book might be something. But if you're like me, who knows where to get good information and already knows the lot, use your money on something else!
What makes Jrock, Ink. so interesting is that it's written with a fan's passion, an enthusiast's knowledge and a journalist's respect for the medium. Not every artist is covered with the same clarity and depth, but the essays written for the 40 artists, manage to cover most of the bases, with a mix of description, history and fact.
The art, like the breezy style of the writing, is a delight. Dripping with the artist's personality, yet still tied strongly into each individual band. The unique layout of alternating profile/illustration works well.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with this book, though I'm not sure even Takui himself could convince me of his relevance. i like that the book doesn't let bands off the hook. It's not all gushing. Psycho le Cemu, for instance, gets called out for their somewhat questionable musical importance, while simultaneously praised for their anime fan friendly looks. I also like that the book didn't play it safe, and made some important comparisons to Western music. If only for the sole reason that Western audiences should not be expected to know the old school Japanese artists who inspired this generation's sound.
Novices, and Experts alike should find different things to like (or gripe) about this book. No matter how you slice it, it's an important work that will no doubt be clutched lovingly to some teen's chest as I once held Frederick L. Schodt's Manga Manga: The World of Japanese Comics.
Academia can be such a kick, eh.