*「Even now, the me who runs at full speed is here」GACKT’s 42nd birthday celebrations*

On 4th of July 2015 (Sat), GACKT’s 42nd brithday, the fan club event【GACKT’s 42nd BIRTHDAY PARTY】 was held in 2 sessions, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. The venue was the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel’s「THE CLUB Fuji」 at Maihama. In the lobby, the costumes from the historical stage play were put on display for everyone to get a close look, and in addition, there was a display where one can write well wishes on paper and tie them to bamboo plants.

As one enters the hall where the luxury party is held, LOVERS wearing dresses and kimonos(fans)were seated in round tables for about 8 persons. While gazing upon the screen which flashed footage from past concerts and tasting the course menu dishes, they waited for the star of the event to arrive.

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Around 14:50, actor Furumoto Shinnosuke, who performed in GACKT’s stage play, arrived as the assistant MC. When he asked,「Is there anyone here who attended yesterday’s party as well(release event for ReMIX Album『GACKTRACKS』?」, many hands were raised. After welcoming one of the participating DJs for 『GACKTRACKS』, ROCKETMAN who remixed「Wasurenai kara」, and Fukawa Ryou as the main MCs, they said today’s goal is「To call GACKT-san(presenting for himself)to『Goji ni Muchu!』(TV variety show)」and laughed. Finally, the main event was about to start.

Once the back door of the hall opened, starting with bassist Sato, music producer and guitarist TAKUMI, dancer RYO, MADOKA, DuelJewel’s Hayato, guitarist CHACHAMARU who was introduced as “age and sex unknown”, and guitarist YOU who is also GACKT’s childhood friend, the members of “GACKT JOB”, who help to support GACKT’s activities, entered one after another. They paraded between the tables with loud cheers around them as they headed to the stage.

They exclaimed,「It’s about time for Big Bro to arrive! 」and got everyone hyped up, with the actual sports car entering the venue with a flashy entrance… … but despite that, the silhouette that appeared was slightly different from Big Bro’s, in the premature buzz created by the attendees, the person who showed up was DuelJewel’s drummer, Val.

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After heating up the venue with the mini drama(?), the actual Big Bro = GACKT came in from the back door in a spectacular entrance. Dressed in a dark suit with his hair swept back, he is the epitome of dignity. While leaving a fragrant trail with him, he calmly paraded through the LOVERS’ outstretched hands and loud cheers to head to the stage. 「(While walking through the guests)one of my rings, got pilfered away. Everyone gathered here today are thieves (laughs). Since I, too, am considered as the thief of your love, please enjoy yourselves until the end」he said in greeting, as a great round of applause came in response.

The 8 members sat in a row on one side, while GACKT was seated on the right side tilted towards them on a gorgeous sofa. Immediately they started off with「『MOON SAGA -Yoshitsune Hiden- 』Series Ogiri Tournament 」. With the audience’s participation, the tables pick a member who they predict will have the most amusing results. It is a punishment game where if the table pick a member who isn’t amusing, they collectively have to drink senburi tea.

YOU, and Val(「 You guys won’t let us down! 」they boasted)got picked by many tables, GACKT who saw what was going on, said with a laugh「When CHACHA(MARU)came out it(the cheering)was amazing, or so I thought but, no one wrote(his name)」. Well now, and the results are……?

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The first question was, a 『MOON SAGA』 character shrouded in darkness, the silhouette of “resident of darkness” was shown, and they had to give him a fitting name in the form of「resident of ○○○○」. While answers like「resident of the garbage room」(RYO),「resident of the Nobi Family *(doraemon)*」(YOU)made the whole hall laugh, CHACHAMARU threw curve balls with「10 people in all」「A total of 10 people」, making GACKT slap his hands in laughter. He praised CHACHAMARU, saying「How unexpected~! Is it wisdom from age? 」.

Continuing on, after the questions of naming characters and dialogue, for the 5th question, a scene where Yoshitsune wakes up from a ngihtmare was shown. Following that, CHACHAMARU remembered “a strange thing” which was reproduced, and the theme was presented. While making full use of memory skills and creativity, the members who were stretching their bodies and throwing out uncommon answers were teased 「Is this not a punchline showcase gag tournament? 」.

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Hit with a real challenge, while the members continued to struggle and sink, Sato confidently commented 「In terms of flow, I believe we’ve convey our love for GACKT-san! 」.

After that, with a long sigh, GACKT plunged into the scene saying「Hurry up!(angry)」. Sato, shrank back「I thought wrong ……」and the flustered Sato once again roused laughter. Finally, CHACHAMARU came to the front, and demonstrated the correct answer while wearing a wig. Looking back at what could be said as a tiring series of developments, GACKT said「Just now the last person(Sato)was hurt the most. Fukawa-kun(in-charge)must have had it the hardest I think」, encouraging the MC.

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As a winner was picked, when GACKT was asked “who was the most amusing?”, he replied「Well, is it wisdom from age? CHACHA(MARU)I guess? 」. CHACHAMARU threw flying kisses with both hands in joy. On the other hand, when asked「who wasn’t that amusing?」, 「I thought he contributed quite a bit though… … but overall, I think he was the worst. Its MADOKA 」he picked. The guests of the table which picked MADOKA all stood up, played rock-paper-scissors with GACKT, and the remaining team had to carry out the punishment game with MADOKA.

MADOKA who lead a toast with the senburi tea, gave an enigmatic rant「I’d still like to to thank those who won against GACKT-san in rock-paper-scissors! 」and after a laugh, he downed the senburi tea with「Happy Birthday! Cheers! 」, then exclaimed「Bitter! 」. GACKT teased MADOKE who was drenched in sweat, saying 「You’re sweating too much on only one part of your back! You have a tap on right? 」. Laughing at the members’ replies, being amazed (in both good and bad ways), the figure of cheerful GACKT, with his ever-changing expressions from start to end, was impressive.

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The next corner, is the presentation and introduction of the members to take part in the long-awaited『LASTVISUALIVE』. First , they started with CHACHAMARU. He spoke about his history saying「The 55 year-old wonder.
But a little lower than Takamizawa (Toshihiko)-san」「One of the top 3 guitarists in Japan by GACKT」and etcetera.

When the person correlation diagram describing the relationship between GACKT and CHACHAMARU was shown, laughter came forth accompanied with calls of「Like husband and wife(laughs)」. He gave hilarious presentation with things like a graph that showed the changes in the number of days worked with GACKT, and a hot photo of him and GACKT’s faces close together on stage.

Also, the list of demerits of having rival TAKUM on board included「He chatters too much to Gaku(GACKT)」「Desperate to please (almost boot licker level)」and more, they’re blatant complaints that put him down but… …

In response, GACKT commented「It’s pretty much correct(laughs)」but, the audience sprang out more. In the merits of having CHACHAMARU on board, to prove that「Amazing technique! 」, the audience gave him a large round of applause as he showed off his super high speer right hand playing. GACKT praised him, saying「Midway I could see Takamizawa 」.

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After the presentation, between the tags “employed”, “not employed”, and “keep”, GACKT’s choice was「keep」. Following the tone of this presentation, TAKUMI called himself, “the Son of God TAKUMI” with a father who is Japan’s leading bassist Samejima Hideki. Using a pyramid to portray the world of bassists, Sato was appointed a spot at the bottom,「I’ve given up on the guitarist spot so, I’ve got no choice but the bassist spot! 」he said, and even as he changed the part, he emphasized on his stance at aiming to be picked. GACKT said「If I picked TAKUMI … (shouldn’t I go with)his father
instead? 」and drew laughter.

Continuing, YOU began his presentation with「I believe that I’m the most important person to GACKT」. At the end of his appeal which used his experience of starring in a music video with himself in it, he passionately added「 But, I want to be with everyone! Don’t you think the disputes about demerits are weird? I believe that its because everyone is together that we are GACKT JOB 」. Pointing out the absence of a leader, he requested「I shall take this opportunity to propose myself as a candidate for a leader! I would like the guitarist appearance fee and the leader allowance to be calculated separately」.

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In addition, proposing the succession name “2nd Generation GACKT”, he boldly stated「I will lay to rest the worries regarding GACKT retiring」.
Revealing a collage of photos depicting what post-succession times could be like, the audience burst out in laughter. He made GACKT laugh by saying「We should try it once. To see how tough it is to be a leader. Probably, by the 4th day of rehearsals I’ll come crying and apologising I think(laughs)」. (After this, during Val’s presentation video, GACKT dismissed him, saying『Re-do it then try again』. We could see Val was truly heartbroken…..).

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Next, Hayato and Val performed / YOU was the narrator for a video on screen. It showed GACKT’s friends visited, and were asked to draw a Gundam illustration on the spot, as a birthday present to him. In the video, Golden Bomber’s Kiryuin Sho (Vo), director Kiriya Kazuaki, and Nankai Candies’ Yamasato Ryota appeared.(While they were drawing, pranks were going on like the DuelJewel duo eating wasabi stuffed Dorayaki).

A collage made from the illustrations and including drawings from the members of GACKT JOB were added in as a present.

While GACKT admired them with exclamations like「Who drew this?」「You’re good!」, the cake was brought on stage with Stevie Wonder’s「Happy Birthday」playing in the background. GACKT, with an embarrassed smile, blew out the candles. With a straight face, he said「This, we’ll eat together later. I’m really happy to be able to celebrate like this with everyone… … 」, he started removing the candles by hand.「I can say I’m really moved… … right, MADOKA? 」Just as he said that, MADOKA dived into the cake! With his face turned white with fresh cream, he commented「Delicious!」.

As GACKT started stuffing himself with strawberries, a video with well wishes was shown. The first group was Kishidan. When co-starring on NHK’s Red and White Singing Contest, for the baggy pants (bontan)「How much(is the width of your thigh part)?」(GACKT)/「Ah, 50(cm)」(Ayanokoji Sho)was of the conversations that was held. While still a student, the hem of GACKT’s bontan were caught in the bicycle wheels, and he fell off the bicycle in a rice field. It seemed that the memory of being covered in mud was mentioned before the Red and White Singing Contest,「What a charming guy! 」(Ayanokoji)thought, and he was embarrassed.

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Following that, the next one to deliver a comment was HYDE(L’Arc~en~Ciel、VAMPS). In an easygoing tone, he started advising「42 years, its an unlucky year. I think you should go for an exorcism? 」, when he started saying「since it hasn’t been scientifically proven yet……」, GACKT exclaimed at the video「Because it’s not related!(laughs)」but, his expression was all smiles, and he appeared to be genuinely happy.

Nearing the end of the party, there was to be a gift of song from the members but… … GACKT put a hand on his forehead while saying「This brings back bad memories from last year…… 」, with an expression which looks like he really felt terrible. He was put in the centre, and with an orchestra Hayato sang ♪mayonaka ni~ … … and started「memories」.
CHACHAMARU, Val continued one after another. When the chorus played, MADOKA barely made a sound, and upon hearing that, GACKT fell to is knees.「What on earth, you!! … … that being said, all of you, go practice more! 」he said at the end, utterly appalled.

Of course, what came after was「Let us have a listen to Big Bro’s song」.

GACKT grumbled「Really, such a pain」but, charming and dignified, he sang strongly with a voice that cannot be replicated by anyone. After the song ended, he was unsatisfied as he said「Can I say one thing? At my own birthday party, to have to close it at the end with myself singing is just weird」but, when he said「I have a word for the LOVERS」and prompted Fukawa, the festive mood’s atmosphere suddenly changed.

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「…… Somehow, I’ve turned 42. Because I was at the very bottom of the vertical world of Visual Kei, I didn’t want to mention my age. Because I didn’t like being teased by my senpais, I said I was “56 years old”. From there, it somehow became “440 years old”, and we continued not knowing my actual age. However, when I reached my late 30s, when I noticed my age, I honestly started wondering “how long can I keep this up?” 」he recalls.

「Breaking up the pace while running isn’t suited for me 」he said, while talking about his way of life,「Even now, the me who runs at full speed is here. This too, is because everyone has continued supporting me like this.
I don’t have anything beyond simple words of gratitude but, thank you」he said, conveying his frank words, to the LOVERS who listened attentively in stillness.

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「As the【LASTVISUALIVE】is finally coming together , I’m rapidly completing the songs. Everyone too, so as to not let your heart stop in the midst of the excitement, please prepare your mind and body. Thank you very much! 」he ended. Gracefully waving his hand as he left the stage, the LOVERS waved back at GACKT as they reluctantly saw him off.

「The time that we spent having so much fun earlier now feels like after images 」Fukawa’s comment felt like what we were watching. The dialogue「In『Goji ni Muchu!』, he(GACKT)may appear!?」(Furumoto)/「We will enter negotiations after this! 」(Fukawa)bubbled up, the afternoon session has ended. It was a party filled with laughter from start to finish, even as it was punctured with serious words and an authentic song. Looking at the clock, I was surprised to find that it has exceeded the scheduled timing by an hour. It was a precious moment in time where we got to experience GACKT’s unguarded side.

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Source: www.excite.co.jp

Translation: GACKT ITALIA Team