Yes, everyone’s favorite crawling chaos is back in a new series that has been airing since last month, and Akihabara is in full-on Nyaruko-mode! I recently made the journey to the otaku culture capital of the world to visit the Cure Maid Cafe, which is currently running a Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W campaign. I had to make a Sanity roll when I sampled the blasphemous and chaotic pasta-like thing seen in the photo, topped off with the “Nyaruko” fizzy non-alcoholic cocktail. The show itself has currently been aired up to episode 6, and while it lacks some of the frenetic humor of the first series, it still manages to offer up a lot of laughs and more geek references than you can shake an unspeakable crowbar at. For those who are not so well-versed in the more esoteric aspects of Japanese culture and the Lovecraft mythos, I recently discovered the amazing and incredibly thorough NyaruReferences blog, which offers episode-by-episode rundowns of every reference in the anime and information on the original light novels as well! Check it out!
Having made a trip to my old stomping grounds in Shinjuku, I was pleasantly surprised to find the scandalous clothing brand NUDE N RUDE now has a shop in the major department store MARUI. I was around for the opening of the head shop in Koenji, founded by talented designers Riria and Nana, and I even modeled in one of their early fashion shows, so I’m delighted to see that their manic brand of “bright despair” has grown to be so successful. The current lineup features various designs incorporating Eliphas Levi’s famous Sabbatic Goat (Baphomet) and inverted crosses made of real bones. In the photo you might also notice that the bag features an image of Cthulhu, representative of the chimerical vichyssoise of occult and controversial symbols incorporated among the garish hues of their designs. Definitely worth a visit if you have the chance!
I have arrived in Japan, and the first surprise of the day was finding Naoyuki Tomomatsu’s latest outré contributions to the burgeoning(?!) genre of rape/zombie films: Rape Zombie: Lust of the Dead 2 & 3. For those who have read my previous post on the maiden title in this series, and those who are aware of the fact that Japan has practically built up a porn industry based on non-consensual intercourse, this should come as no surprise. For the rest of you…well, watch the trailers below and consider yourselves warned.
It seems like only yesterday that I left the Land of the Rising Sun, and now I’m about to depart once more, this time for two months. During my stay in the Tokyo and Kansai areas I will be conducting ethnographic research on goth subculture in Japan from a cultural anthropological perspective. I am particularly interested in the meanings of goth for individual participants in goth’s Japanese localization in terms of formation of cultural identity. I hope to post brief updates regularly here at JohnSkeleton.com, and I look forward to hearing any comments or criticisms from anyone who happens to drop by! If happen to be in Japan and see me, please say hello and let me know your thoughts on all things goth and/or gothic!
Further details about the project will be posted on the Goth in Japan Project section of the web site.
While jet lag is certainly no excuse, I find I’ve been spending more time in my coffin, safely sequestered away from the light, since my return from my conference and research in Goth’s homeland and current mecca: the UK and Germany, respectively. But more to come on that front, for now, I’d like to post some extremely belated photos from a shoot that I did with my dear friend La Carmina in Hong Kong last September.
After some photo manipulations by our mutual comrade Kanae Hamatsuka, the series of dynamic shots feature the designs of what is perhaps HK’s finest Gothic clothing brand, Spider, against the frenetic energy and neon dynamism of the Pearl of the Orient. As it turns out, the photos have been a hit with several magazines, and even made the cover of Dark Beauty magazine. You can find more details and behind-the-scenes photos on La Carmina’s lovely blog here and here.
You can purchase print or digital copies of the magazine here.
Photographer: Ken Yuen
Assistant Photographer: Jacqueline Kwok (noircorner)
Photo manipulations: Kanae Hamatsuka
Hair: Emma Woodall of Toni & Guy Hong Kong
Wardrobe: Spider by Natalie Lam, Hong Kong
Who would have thought? This week on March 8th and 9th, 2013, I have been honored with the opportunity to not only attend, but also present at an academic conference hosted by St. Mary’s University and Strawberry Hill House in London! Amidst the Gothic splendor of the home built by Horace Walpole (1717-1797), the author of what is considered the first true Gothic novel, I will be sharing the fruits of my nascent research on Japan’s Goth subculture in a presentation titled, Turning Goth in Japan: Behind the Scenes of Goth Subculture’s Japanese Localization. In my presentation, I hope to explore the ways in which the “aesthetics of rebellion,” i.e. fashions, performances, and body modifications, are used as subcultural capital within the unique context of Japan’s localized Goth scene. The two-day conference looks to be a splendid opportunity for learning, and of course I will take the time to sample some of the local dark culture while I am in the city of fog.I hope to report soon on the results of the conference. Farewell for now!
The scent of autumn is in the air, and the end of October is drawing near…you know what that means! It’s time to jam-pack your homes with jack-o’-lanterns and break out your besoms for the spookiest night of the year, All Hallow’s Eve! But before that, some of you may just be wondering where I have been for these past few months…
For those who haven’t heard, let’s just say that the pursuit of my studies of Japan, Asia, and the Gothic have led me from my castle deep in the mountains of Japan to a much more metropolitan environment – the legendary Pearl of the Orient, Hong Kong! From among his colorful cataclysm of cosmopolitanism and East-meets-West sensibilities, I will attempt to give my insight into Goth from an Asian perspective through this blog. Shifting from a focus on horror films, from now on I will extend to the Gothic in film, literature, games, music, events, and anything else that I find interesting. Changes to my site may be slow in coming, so for now I will attempt to give you some highlights of what I’ve been up to.
My history with the Japanese body modification scene goes way back, but it was only this April that, thanks to my dear friend and Tokyo subcultures author/blogger/journalist La Carmina, I was able to experience something complete different: becoming a bagel head!
Maybe you missed the memo, but the bagel head trend has gone viral after being featured on National Geographic’s hit show Taboo (the bagel head episode originally aired on Sept. 24, 2012). The process involves injecting the body with a sterile saline solution to create a large protrusion that, while completely disappearing after 24 hours, looks mysteriously like something that might go well with cream cheese.
The bagel head trend went viral after being covered in La Carmina’s blog countless media outlets, including The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed to name a few. A few reports got the story wrong though, claiming the unique body mod phenomena as a hot new fashion trend sweeping Japan and having permanent or negative effects. La Carmina and I were interviewed by The Japan Times and set the record straight there and in her popular blog.
The bagel head filming took place in April while I was still in Japan, but since then I’ve been keeping busy here in Hong Kong as well. Although it’s not Goth-related in anyway, for those interested Japanese anime and popular culture, you may be interested to know that the earless cat robot Doraemon is quite popular here in HK! I reported on an exhibit celebrating 100 years before the fictional birth of manga duo Fujiko Fujio’s futuristic creation. You can read my full report and see more photos here in La Carmina’s post.
La Carmina, who also works as a TV presenter and production arranger, also recently visited Hong Kong, and many adventures were had. And these stories shall also be told…in a later post! For now, you can find a sneak peak here while I get a severed-head-start on the horrifying Halloween events yet to come…until next time, happy hauntings!