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.
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This book is definitely something you want in your JROCK collection!
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 could have been written by the most casual of JRock fans. The highly styalized illustrations in the book, while very well done, sometimes misrepresent the bands. For example, Dir en Grey's illustration is from about five years ago. They are a totally different band from that time. She states about three actual facts in Dir en Grey's section, and the rest is telling and retelling how dark their music is. The other sections, such as La'cryma Christi and Buck Tick, are like this as well. This isn't so much a factual book about the Top 40 Music Acts in Japan, as a livejournal-esque review, filled with more opinion than substance. Some of the entries can even be misleading and misrepresentational of the bands, such as Psycho le Cemu's section.
Some bands in there shouldn't have been in there at all. As much as fans in the West loved Due le Quartz, they did not impact the Japanese music scene. They were an upper-tier indies band that had even gained a decent sized fanbase in the West, but that should not have warrented them an entry into the Top 40 Music Acts in Japan. Duel Jewel, as much as I love them and believe that one day they will be something, should not have been entered either. They were influential in the West as they were the first Visual Kei band to start doing the con scene in America (which later led to bigger acts Pysho le Cemu and L'arc en Ciel comming to perform at cons as well), but they have not yet impacted the Japanese music scene. They are still quite indies. She really should have titled this book something else if she wanted to include bands like these. These had an impact on the Western side of the JRock fandom much more than the Japanese.
This book had the potential to be something really really good, but it blew it. I really don't want new fans of the genre to read this and get the wrong ideas and mistake this woman's opinions as facts. I regret spending my money one this, and plan on sending it back to this woman, with a loose-leaf sheet of paper between each page stating all of her misstatements (which will be a daunting task, as there are many). Perhaps next time JRock fans will get something that give is the real facts about these bands that they may not be able to find elsewhere if they can't read Japanese.
Diane C. Donovan