I wonder how my peers already set their life goal and putting strategy to achieve it. Some of them even lectured me on how to be a successful person. Am I the only one left behind here? Ask me what I want to be. The answer is I know not.
Some of them are traveling the world. Some earned their master degree. Some are climbing the career ladder. Some are starting up their own business. And I am just…
Where will my life take me to? Das weiß ich nicht.
It is another rambling post. “Career Counseling for a Bird in a Cage” is an episode title of “Search for a Lost Future” anime and it induced me to imagine such event with me as the counselor.
I am walking into the room to find a yellowish small bird waiting for me in front of my desk. I greet it.
The bird chirps.
I know I do not have to look for the bird’s file since I know very well it has no file; at least not in my possession. “It will be a great singer”, I think. It is the only career I can think of for the bird. But I can not force my thought about its future. A counseling is supposed to involve a two-way conversation. So I start the conversation. I start asking about its outlook for its own future, what kind of job it loves, what school subject it is good at, and what its family prefers it to have as profession.
The bird chirps.
I comprehend not what its chirp means but I am sure it responds enthusiastically. I put forward my idea about singer career for it and some alternative options;pilot, fruit farmer, and insect exterminator. I elaborate those jobs’ responsibilities and prospects.
The bird chirps.
I comprehend not what its chirp means but I am sure it responds enthusiastically. I thank it for coming to see me and I express my utmost confidence for its bright future. I show it the way out.
The bird chirps.
I comprehend not what its chirp means but I guess it asks my help to exit my room. So I take its cage and put it outside my room. I get back and I sit down with a big smile. Another satisfying day helping people.
Those are pictures I took on the ship which was taking me back to Jakarta. I wanted to take more pictures, but I realized the result were, at best, inadequate in comparison to what I perceived at that moment. Maybe it’s because my phone was incapable to capture the moment; it’s not a DSLR; but maybe it’s because of something else. The scent of the ocean, the movement of the clouds and sea, the motion of the ship, the wind, the whole experience; pictures can’t emulate such thing. So, I guess I decided to stop taking more photos and just dwelled at that moment.
As an extra, I would also like to share some story about my vacation on that island. Perhaps calling it a vacation is inaccurate. It took hours to get there. The main program in the itinerary was visiting relatives, which involved hours of conversation I don’t really fancy to participate in. A high level of precipitation. And that’s it. Oh, did I mention the blackout? I experience multiple blackouts on my stay there.
Did I enjoy my “vacation”?
I don’t like the notion of breaking the illusion that I’m an optimistic kind of guy, so I will say: yes (with a forced smile)
Oh, did I not tell you what are those pictures above? It’s Bakaheuni Port, Southern Sumatra. I went to Lampung.
For those people who never heard of BABYMETAL before, they are an idol-metal trio from Japan, which combines metal music with idol cuteness, turning it into something new and possibly foreign. I wrote about them before, you can check it out here. Now, apparently, when you inform others that you like BABYMETAL, you don’t get a positive respond. Or maybe it’s just me. I told some people about BABYMETAL and how I like them, showing their MV-s and playing their music. and I rarely got positive respond; most of them asked me what’s wrong with me. They remarked about the members were underage and I might be categorized as pedo, and their songs were weird and their MV-s weirder. And I always got shunned whenever I bring BABYMETAL up in conversation to those people I have told about them before.
So, I want to write a post that, in a way, “justify” my fondness for them. They are an awesome musical group, no less than any other artist that you can freely and openly tell others. Let me start!
Let’s answer the first question. No, they are not too young. I’m not saying supporting underage idol is not good or that underage artists are of less quality. I’m simply contradicting prevalent view with this fact: the youngest member of BABYMETAL, namely Kikuchi Moa, was born on 1999 (on July 4th, coinciding with USA Independece Day), which means she’s 16 in 2015, in comparison, Justin Bieber released his debut album (2009) when he was 15 and no one complained that he was too young. So, no, they are not too young in this business.
Not The Kind of Idol You Conventionally Encounter
No metal band has made quite the same impression as Babymetal in living memory. Forming as teenage schoolgirls, the Japanese trio were introduced to the world of hard rock, mixing it with Japanese idol culture to add a menacing, unsettling edge to an otherwise sickly sweet and manufactured world.
BABYMETAL does not rely on their cuteness alone, or the fact that their concept is so bizarre that it will garner heavy publicity. No, not just those. They can dance; their choreography is creatively complex and energetic, requiring not only experience but also utmost diligence in undergoing hours of rigorous and arduous hours of training. They also can sing, especially Ms.Nakamoto, an alumnus of both Actors School Hiroshima and Sakura Gakuin, her trained strong vocal conquers the air, going high and low and hard and soft in accordance to tricky BABYMETAL song’s arrangement.
Furthermore, they don’t have that “goofy” aura that contemporary idols radiate (again, not implying that having “goofy” aura is of less quality, just stating the absence of it in BABYMETAL). As far as I know, they don’t do variety shows or games that “disrespect” them, but you can see their cute and youthful personalities in interviews and talk shows. Such arrangement is purposefully made; the premise is BABYMETAL members are chosen by “fox god” to lead a resistance, they might be polite, but they may not be humiliated. Watch their live concerts and you will realize, they are majestic on stage. Serious performers doing their business. Pulling people by acknowledgement of their performance rather than their personality.
Awards, That’s Award with an S
But how do you know that all that I’m saying above is not just a delusion of a fan? Look at the recognition and accolades they received (courtesy of wikipedia):
2014 MTV Europe Music Awards — Wild Card for Best Japanese Act [Pre-nominated]
NEO Awards 2014 – Best Musical Act
7th CD Shop Awards — Grand Prix
Loudwire 4th Annual Music Awards — Best New Artist of the Year Award
Kerrang! Awards 2015 — Spirit of Independence Award
Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards 2015 — Breakthrough Award
2015 MTV Europe Music Awards — Best Japanese Act [Nominated]
2015 MTV Video Music Awards Japan — Best Metal Artist
GQ Men of the Year 2015 Award, Special Prize “Discovery of the year”
Vogue Japan Women of the Year 2015
NEO Awards 2015 – Best Musical Act
Loudwire 5th Annual Music Awards — Most Devoted Fans of 2015
Loudwire 5th Annual Music Awards — Best Live Act of 2015
Road of Resistance
Loudwire 5th Annual Music Awards — Best Metal Song of 2015
You can check out all the award grantor and find that all of them are respectable establishments. I bet metal magazines won’t grant award wantonly, and Vogue won’t give “women of the year” to ordinary artists. These awards resonate objective commendation for BABYMETAL.
It is also worth noting that BABYMETAL has garnered international popularity, which resulted in worldwide fanbase. BABYMETAL has held their concerts outside Japan, in 2015 alone, at England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, USA, and Mexico, and their concerts were packed with foreign fans. Furthermore, their fanbase are growing bigger and bigger by day. It is not improbable that soon having penchant for BABYMETAL is as common as liking cats (ok, that’s a hyperbole). It’s an encouragement for every BABYMETAL fan out there considered as an outcast by society; you are not alone, your allies might not be near you, but they are all around the globe, and they are many, and they are Metal fans.
And that concludes this post that I have been writing for like two weeks with a lot of writing, deleting, and rewriting.
Join the resistance!
or at least be decent and treat us (me) like a normal artist fan.
Sakura Gakuin has hit the 5th year mark! In five years there has been 13 graduates and 5 albums. And to commemorate the milestone, the current active twelve members held two days live events…with some graduates making surprise comeback!
To participate in the celebration, I will showcase my personal doodles for Sakura Gakuin.
The El Presidente of Anton World, which is I, is a talented artist, right?! right?! right?! (the answer is “yes” or a head will roll)
I went to Bali on early October to attend an anime festival called Dewata Anime Festival (DAF) 2015.
The festival claimed BABYMETAL will come. Amuse SG confirmed BABYMETAL won’t. (ಥ⌣ಥ)
The venue changed in short notice. ಠ_ಠ
I paid. The ticket didn’t come. ಠ▃ಠ
And at last…the event got cancelled… (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
But the flight and the hotel was already booked, so I still had to go. (ᗒᗣᗕ)՞
A more detailed and complete version of the adventure has been written by my friend over here and here, so I’m just going to share some trivial things that I found noteworthy on my trip. If you can slack, go slack, right? XD
At Terminal 3 Soekarno-Hatta Airport, I rode on a bus refitted for vertically unchallenged sentient beings to reach the plane.
When I got to Ngurah Rai, I found free Japanese brochure and magazine about Bali; titled API magazine, if I’m not mistaken. They were surprisingly very helpful. They are mostly in Japanese, but I advise you to bring it with you. They got map of Bali; detailed map of interesting areas like Ubud, Jimbaran, etc, including the location of shops, restaurants, and points of interest; and they also got discount coupons for selected stores. You really should take it the first time you arrive at Ngurah Rai.
I drove a rented car far from my father supervision for the first time. It was a Daihatsu Agya and it used automatic transmission; I have driven an automatic only once before and it was for less than an hour. So, the experience was quite new for me.
The drive to Ubud was long and tiring.
Arrived at Bebek Bengil. For those who still look at the price of food in the menu, this place is probably not for you.
Went to Puri Saren Agung together with Chinese horde.
Went to Budamarket, kind of store for organic foods. There’s a lot of interesting snacks there.
Continue driving to Mount Batur.
To the peak of Mount Batur, we went.
Fyi, I still bring my cosplay gears.
Then, another long drive to the south. We were going to Uluwatu, since our hotel was there; thx to DAF 2015 who moved its venue to Garuda Wisnu Kencana. Out of curiosity, I went to GWK to take a peek. To anyone of you interested of going there: don’t. You have to pay just to get in and there’s not really much to see there. Go spent your money somewhere else.
At night, we traveled around the hotel by foot and I literally lost my balance and fell, probably due to fatigue.
The hotel where we spent the night has a nightclub on the roof. It was very noisy and the sound got into our room. My advice: don’t choose hotel with rooftop nightclub.
I hate sunburn and heat. I hate beach. Oh yeah, we went to Lembongan Island. And then I knew I also hate snorkeling. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go there though. The sea was beautiful; the marine life was lively; the corals were colorful. But I got bad sunburn that’s not going after a month and a scratch mark from a coral. I always prefer mountain.
We went back to the mainland. And since we returned the rented car the day before, we had to rely on other transportation mode. We were made to believe that taxis in Bali were expensive by some blogs and traveling websites, so I tried Uber for the first time. The driver was very helpful and drove us to a “piesusu” factory which we did not know before and he also escorted us to a restaurant near Ngurah Rai called Budesa.
Then we used GrabCar to drove us to the airport (also my first time) and rode on an iron bird once more to Jakarta.
That’s my experience travelling to Bali. How’s yours?
This week was really hectic. I was stationed at a distributor post to observe their activity. The place was close by but that did not mean I could reach home earlier; the work hour was long (I got home on 8 or 9 PM), not to mention I had to join the sales persons in their quest of pushing our dairy products to stores, which means I had to travel to markets and “warung”-s under the heat of the day. I persevered by telling myself, “Saturday is coming! Sunday is coming!”.
There was blackout from 00:00 to 04:00 AM. Fine, it’s nothing!
Then, I found out the internet was off and so was the cable TV. They were off until 09:00 PM of SUNDAY!!!
All my plans were ruined!
The provider’s customer care only told me the network was damaged. I phoned them twice (with hours in between) and they gave me same answer. (¯―¯٥)
Luckily, a certain loot from Popcon 2015 was available to accompany me; the After Dinner Mystery, a translated version of a Japanese mystery novel that I didn’t expect to find here in Indonesia (thx for penerbitharu). The “dark era” (the internet and cable tv blackout) gave me a lot of spare time to enjoy Ms.Hosho’s adventure with Kageyama, but my favorite character is Mr. Kazamatsuri. It’s a funny and witty story. I recommend you to read it or watch the live action drama.
Another interesting thing this weekend? I went to a store close by to buy some milk and I saw a promo sign of Oreo that said there’s a “wonder speaker” waiting for every pair of Oreo bought. I wondered if it’s true and I wondered what kind of speaker it is.
Well..Mondelez kept its promise in some way. It’s a speaker…which probably made from toilet paper tube. No electricity required. Put the mobile phone in, play a song, and… it’s not really louder.