EXCITE.CO.JP: “Play earnestly, learn earnestly”, the unchanging motto of the “school” festival entertainment show hosted by GACKT / Report

The final performance of “Camui♂Gakuen de Otachina-sai”, hosted by GACKT, was held on 25 October (Thu), at Tokyo’s Toyosu PIT. This year’s, the 94th, had a total of 8 shows played at Aichi, Fukuoka, Osaka, and Tokyo. In this setting where a Student Council President, Kamui Gakuto, who adores GACKT, runs a celebrity school, the shameless Gakuen Fest entertainment unfolds with music, dances, and games by the senpais known as the F9. The audience also takes part as “students”, donning uniforms in accordance to the dress code. This is an exclusive report on the happenings of this 4-hour long festival.

Upon stepping into the venue, standees of the President and the F9 senpais who are also part of the student council, have already been set up in the lobby. The students were engrossed in taking photos. The school entrance ceremony was first held on stage, which resembled a school auditorium. To the greeting of “To all freshmen on this 94th edition, congratulations on your entry~!”, the students replied “Arigataki~! (Thank you!)”. Using phrases that are unique to the Gakuen Fest, we are completely drawn into the world of this show.

After singing the school song and the opening speech by the school principal, the son of the board chairman, the Studen Council President, Kamui Gakuto, finally enters. Entering from the back of the hall to loud cheers that fill the space, he leisurely made his way to the stage with GACKT’s “Kimi ga Oikaketa Yume” playing in the back. Once on stage, he put his left hand on the lectern and puffed up his chest, waited a moment, and then greeted the freshmen with “Gokigenyou!”. As expected of someone who “adores GACKT”, his creeds are exactly the same as GACKT’s, with statements like “I want to fire up your heart and body”*, “ancient and honourable, shameless tradition”, “Our motto is to play earnestly, learn earnestly. To tackle everything with the attitude that your life is at stake. If you don’t give your all, you won’t be able to obtain true happiness”, and so on.

Following the declaration, “‘Otachina-sai’ is hereby officially opened!”, we move into the announcement of Miss/Mister Camui Gakuen. Pictures that were submitted before this were collected and examined to select the student(s) who won. With the Miss/Mister/Hellball Club announced as well, the ceremony where the President puts on the sash for the winners was held.

What was memorable was the exchange that occurred with Chibikko Yuuto-kun who was picked as Mister Camui Gakuen. For some reason, Yuuto-kun handed a stuffed toy to the President as he crouched over to put on the sash for him. His gesture was met with a wordless reaction by the President… … The amusing scene drew laughter from the audience.

Next was the introduction of the F9 members. YOU senpai, TAKUMI senpai, Sato senpai, Baru senpai, Hayato senpai, Tennen senpai, Yuusuke senpai, Rassan senpai, and Madoka senpai came on stage, lined up with slick moves. The Bromide sales competition was introduced, where the winning member will receive a gift of money and take photos with the students who guessed that he would win after the event. Among the senpais who have been going head-to-head in a fierce competition at the various branch schools, the winner of the final competition at this Toyosu branch school is Hayato senpai, with 360 pieces sold. It appears that he won due to the existence of a passionate fan who bought 240 pieces on their own, making this the deciding factor in his win. The F9 members removed their ties, and the music started, leading into a flamboyant dance performance. The show is finally starting.

After a corner where Shinnosu senpai answers questions gathered in a box, the F9 members come back on stage wearing jerseys. This year, the talk and games unfold with GACKT’s 2nd single “Vanilla”, which was released 20 years ago, as the theme. What appeared on screen was TAKUMI senpai’s magazine interview from 20 years ago. After getting teased by the members for his passionate declaration of love for guitars in the article, the President comes back on stage. “Chanbara Zero”, a game where you lose if you fall from the balance beam, marks the start of the games corner.

The members first get up on the platform and start dissing each other before crossing swords. After the clash between TAKUMI senpai and Madoka senpai (※Madoka won) was a battle between Hagichan senpai and the President. The President stands tall with an impressive posture and casually swings his sword down twice. Hagichan was writhing in agony.

Next, in the “Gahaku Zero (Master Painter Zero)” corner, Hayato senpai, nicknamed as Camui♂Gakuen’s Pablo Picasso, draws profoundly mysterious pictures for everyone to guess what they are supposed to be of. In this corner, the President touched on Hayato’s bizzare artistic abilities, smiling wryly as he said, “Isn’t there a fine line in the difference between genius and insanity? When I see Hayato in the dressing room, it’s so scary… … “. His manner of speech made him sound like he was seriously frightened, drawing laughter from the audience.

He also suggested, “Won’t you work on about 20 pieces of work seriously by next year’s event and we’ll hold a Pablo Picato exhibition?”. Having seen how Hayato had turned familiar characters like Sailormoon and Baikinman into horrifying figures, even the audience reacted with, “Eh~!?”.

Closing off the game corner, the senpai who “did not give his best” was to take on the punishment game, and on this day, Baru senpai was chosen. While being restrained by the split machine, he has to drink the Devil’s Vanilla Shake that was mixed by the President, while singing “Vanilla”. With this hellish punishment game, the curtains closed.

Elegant classical music played during a 15 minutes break, and once the students returned to their seats after visiting the student canteen and the sales club, the second part begins. The copy band from the light music club appears for the main event. Following the announcement, “Please use your existing shameless lightsticks”, the curtains were drawn to the sides and the first song “Chotto Dake KISS ME” played. With the President on vocals, TAKUMI senpai and YOU senpai on guitars, Sato senpai on bass, and Baru senpai on drums, they perform the songs seriously despite the fully comical setting.

There are also special rules for calls in this Gakuen. Throwing out a heart-shaped gesture from his chest, the President says, “When you call my name, please shout “Kaichou, pyu!” with a heart”, and he adds, “I want to capture everyone’s hearts”, as he takes his jacket off. We will now go deeper into detail on this festival where everyone becomes one with the President.

The next song, “Ultra Medley”, is an enjoyable powerplay where different hit songs are linked together with B’z’s “Ultra Soul”. This is a popular act in the Gakuen Fest, and this year, they have attempted to put 9 songs together. The President himself calls out, “Please change your lightstick colour to purple”, and begins to give a lecture on the accompanying moves (jump with a furrow in your brow, and stick your left hand in the air), followed by a reconfirmation of the new greeting “Yoro・tiku・vi!” which was added since the previous Gakuen Fest. With a call of “Lastly, a smile of exquisite love, please!”, “Ultra Medley” begins.

Beginning with gymnastics by the dancers who were wearing white ballet tutus, B’z’s “LOVE PHANTOM”, Kome Kome CLUB’s “Roman Hikou (浪漫飛行)”, Mr.Children’s “everybody goes -chitsujou no nai gendai ni dropkick-”, TRF’s “EZ DO DANCE”, CHAGE and ASKA’s “SAY YES”, and THE TRA-BRYU’s “Road (ロード)” harmonica intro being played by the President, they barely got into the songs before recklessly linking them to <Ultra soul!>. The medley finished with KAN’s “Ai wa Katsu (愛は勝つ)”, Saijo Hideki’s “YOUNG MAN (Y.M.C.A.)”, and finally B’z’s “恋心 ~KOI-GOKORO~”. Despite the growing desire to listen to each song carefully in full, this hilarious medley entertainment once again reminds you of the combination of singing ability and humour that is unique to the President.

Switching his voice around as he reenacted an incident, the President recalled, “This happened 3 months ago. Just as I was drinking coffee** in the school canteen, a female student came up to me, saying “Kaichou, Kaichou! What kind of anime are you into?”. And to that, he answered with a reply that only a celeb would give, saying “Well, since we own almost all of the anime production companies in Japan~”. After this one-man performance by him that goes on before each song, at this point, this one-man dialogue was done before the theme song of Tokyo Ghoul, “Unravel”. As per his words “I want to perform it strictly in falsetto”, the President sang it with a beautiful voice as high as a female’s. Just as it looks as if he is grabbing the mic stand with an air of masculinity, the fingers of his swaying hands move softly, beautifully. Only his shout of “let’s go~!” was in his natural voice, while the rest of the song was done in falsetto, even his breathing was sexy. The performance by the band exuded a powerful aesthetic. It was a song that “enthralled” in every aspect.

Next, “HOT STEADY HIGH DESIRE,GO!!” is exactly as the song title suggests, it is a mishmash of 4 songs. The actions for each song was taught to the students in a funny, odd manner, and the performance was lively with the senpai dancers taking part as well. It was chaose that basically started with L’Arc~en~Ciel’s “READY STEADY GO”, followed by LUNA SEA’s “DESIRE”, and then T.M.Revolution’s “HOT LIMIT” and “HIGH PRESSURE” woven together as the chorus, before going back to “READY STEADY GO”. The audience enthusiastically waved their lightsticks to the songs that change at every moment with intermittent sprinklings of the action “Love, Kaicho”, creating a sense of unity.

What came next was the theme song of Attack on Titan, “Guren no Yumire”. The President began to lecture, “What you now hold in your hands are the blades that will take down a Titan. Please call out the name of the one you love in all this excitement. When I go “Say!”, you’ll call “Kaicho! <3”!“, continuing with “During the A-melody, I want all of your hearts to become one and shake the earth”, and then adding the instruction, “Stuff all your usual stress into your feet and kick, kick, kick! Stomp with your right foot!”.

“In the B-melody, it’s our annual ‘Yosaku’”, he said, conveying the action of swaying your body while headbanging in a humorous manner. “With the thought of wanting to save your loved one, as if you’re being attacked by an Abnormal! Have you readied your hearts~!” he called out, and finally started the song. Drenched in the red of the lightsticks from the audience, the members were lit up under pinspot lights. Following majestic choral music, the intense performance and song exploded. Overwhelming with his formidable singing abilities and vocal power, he drew everyone into that world. During the chorus, the President put his foot up on the speaker in a valiant pose.

Changing into short-sleeved white shirts, the President stood in the middle of the dancers and performed his beloved GACKT’s “舞哈BABY!!-WooHa-”. He sang and danced, holding lightsticks in his hands, energetically waving them like Taiko drumsticks. The venue was overflowing with excitement.

After the stage grew dark, the President stood alone, wearing a black fur coat over his uniform, turning time back to the night before the Gakuen Fest. “The days leading up to the Gakuen Fest sure are tough~ Why is being the Student Council President so tough……?”, the President speaks to himself. “Ah! There’s a girl waiting outside the school gates again,” he realised, and after fretting over whether he should avoid her or not, he asked “What’s the matter?” (※This is all a one-man show).

As if responding to the girl’s request of “I want you to sing that song”, he performed Remioromen’s signature song. Snow started falling on the screen that the President was shown on, and with the words, “Oh, look, it’s powdered snow (Konayuki)”, the song started. Holding on to the mic stand, he rocked his body forward to the intro, and as it ended, he gently sang the A melody with his bewitching voice. Just as it seemed like purity showed through with his falsetto, he filled the big chorus with all the power he had and sang passionately. In the last line <sora ni kaesu kara (send it back to the sky)>, he dragged out his voice, drawing even more attention to it, before ending the song in silence.

Next, with the utterance of the words “Here we are again…… Do you remember?”, the stage changed in our minds. As he asked, “I wonder, will this song reach you where you are?”, we imagine that the next song is dedicated to a lost love. What came next was Ozaki Yutaka’s “I LOVE YOU”. Powerfully accenting the words here and there, he brought the essence of the song in all areas, singing carefully with subtlety. The audience gave a thunderous round of applause. These were two songs that drew on the President’s hidden potential.

For a brief moment, the audience was immersed in a dewy atmosphere. Baruto (Baru senpai) shows up on stage and started his one-man show by imitating the President’s words with, “Now that we’re here……”, drawing laughter. This punk band that isn’t called THE BLUE HEARTS, but THE BA・LUE HEARTS instead, began to perform “Hajimete no Filipin Pabu (My First Filipino Pub)” (parady of “Hajimete no Chuu (My First Kiss)”). The lyrics are extremely shameless, so they have to be omitted, but the silent guitarist Gashi (the Student Council President) wore a wide bandana and exposed his beautiful collarbone in his black, long T-shirt.

Baruto was energetic, exclaiming, “We are BALUE HEARTS! It’s the final!”, but when he called out “Try calling my name!”, the students only answered with “Gaー shiー!”. Baruto, who has gotten used to being given the cold shoulder throughout their tour, rolled up one of the two shirts that he wore, revealing a print of Gashi’s face on the back, and began talking under it. This act of desperation was so hilarious that the cool Gashi himself couldn’t bear it anymore, and had to turn away, his shoulders shaking with laughter.

The parody of “TRAIN-TRAIN”, “Kuwaeru Kuwaeru”, ended in a wreck, and a sudden announcement appeared on the screen. It said that the vocalist will be changed to Baruto’s older brother, and that a newly rebirthed BALUE HEARTS will begin!, drawing laughter again.

Here, the full X JAPAN copy band, Super EXcellent highschool students in JAPAN, or SEX JAPAN for short, takes the stage. As “PROLOGUE (~WORLD ANTHEM)” reverberates, the members came up on stage following the order of call, dressed like complete copies as well. YOU senpai was PATA, TAKUMI senpai was the pink haired HIDE, Sato senpai was TAIJI, and the President took his place at the drums as YOSHIKI with long blond hair and a jacket on his bare torso. Vocalist ToshI? used his crystal voice, performing a high-speed version of “Soul’s Refrain” to the music of “Kurenai”. The performance was a complete, high-quality copy with the speedy guitar solo, unison, and drum solo.

Following a shout by “ToshI?” of , “Shall we have an open relationship***?”, the President stood up and took off his coat , then surged straighed into “X”. Not only did he play it with precision, the President’s posture when he crossed his hands, the angles of his face was reminiscent of YOSHIKI’s as well, leaving everyone extremely impressed. The students were enthusiastic and excited too, jumping over and over. In the last part, the mic was brought to TAKUMI senpai who shouted, “This is the Toyosu Final! Jump jump jump jump jump~! Don’t leave behind any regrets!”. After the turbulent performance, the President puts on his jacket again and tossed red roses. With all their hearts and souls, they have shown what an adult’s copy band entertainment is..

The curtains closed at 21:40, and there was quite a lot of content by that time but the President and the Executive Council reappeared on stage in jerseys, performing not DA PUMP’s “USA” but “KSK” with all their hearts. The President, who sang strong while pulling out sharp dance moves, was powerful with how unbelievable it seemed that he was the same person who gave his all drumming away just earlier.

The moment they threw their right hands out and raised their chins, great splitting cheers were poured towards the President. “Be careful when going home!” “Kashikomari~! (Understood!)” “Everyone, together, Yoro・Tiku・Vi~!” And with that exchange, the festival concluded. It has been a densely rich 4 hours that burned numerous unforgettable scenes into the back of our minds.

* In it’s literal sense 心と体をアツアツのチンチンにしたい would mean “I want to do your heart and body with (my) hot dick”.

** He actually said コーシー (ko-shi-) instead of コーヒー (ko-hi-) which is the actual vocabulary for coffee. We assume that this was a pun to say that he was enjoying hips (腰 / こし / koshi).

*** Another pun where “裸” in “裸の付き合い” means “naked”.

Source: excite.co.jp

Translation: GACKT ITALIA Team

Translation © GACKT ITALIA

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