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About astra☆

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    Kiwamu's Bitch

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    I like all kinds of music and visual kei fashion!

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  1. astra☆

    It's easy looking at vk bands to assume that French culture is really popular in Japan, but they're actually really into Germany over there. They admire many aspects of German culture and more or less view German people as their western counterparts. They were also military allies of Germany, so their admiration + history with them may lead to some WW2 fetishism. Of course, yes, there is probably an element of provocativeness there as well as that's a core part of early vk.
  2. astra☆

    I don't care so much about the language. If the music is truly heartfelt, the feeling will be conveyed regardless. If a video exists which I've seen, I'll usually default to that. Otherwise, I put images to music in my head, usually of other times and places. Combining visuals and music is something I think is really special and important. It allows the listener to immerse themselves fully. So I like to take the feeling I'm hearing along with the tone of the instrumentation, and create a story or image from that. For example, Malice Mizer's Apres Midi, I imagine Gackt in the park in the middle of Paris during autumn, surrounded by orange trees, sitting on a bench and watching people go by. One of the people is a woman he instantly attaches to, but she doesn't even notice him. All he can do is hold onto the moment as she fades from view. I feel very bonded with the artist when I think of things this way; perhaps this was the intent of many visual bands!
  3. astra☆

    All I will say is that there is a reason most of us will say what we listen to most are acts like X, MM, Versailles, GazettE etc...where are the newer acts that inspire us like those ones have? But, this is largely because I feel there isn't a lot of genuine intent in it right now. Compared to having musicians that used vk as a way of self expression and adding a new dimension to the music, you mostly have standard rock bands that want to dress up because of the history of its success. I also believe the imagery has grown really homogeneous. You get people dressing exactly like more successful acts before them with no improvisation. How often do we have to see a rhythm guitarist that looks exactly like Teru? The lack of creativity is born from a place of dis-ingenuity. Visual kei has become synonymous with marketing gimmick. Of course, there was always a marketing aspect to it, but there was also a rebellious nature to it, a way of expressing one's inner self and rejecting conformity. Adults on the large seem really afraid to be this way these days. So it's quite sad! But, I believe like all things, a resurgence will come. There are people who experience the artists I enjoy for the first time now and think "This is really interesting!" For example, that youtuber who makes all those reaction videos where he experiences Japanese artists and usually really enjoys them! This has been my experience showing Japanese music to others as well. Anything that is or was a pop culture phenomenon will fade out for a bit and come back eventually in full force. Remember how vaporwave was 'ironic' at first, "haha it's so corny and 80s isn't that silly" and now so many people are creating new genres to tap into sounds and moods of the 80s and obsessing over cyberpunk themes and imagery. I don't think visual kei will be too different in the end. Let's do our best to help it grow further!
  4. astra☆

    It's cool seeing your costumes! 🤗
  5. astra☆

    I'm sorry to hear about some of the very dumb things said about vk and about Japanese music in general! I didn't know people could be that ignorant about it. So, some positives is that I've actually gotten girlfriends solely because they liked the way I dress! Some people that I hadn't talked to in years remembered me because I wear aristocrat style, they recalled how they respected me at the time because I was 'unashamedly myself' and wasn't afraid to stand out. So there are people who are open to vk as a fashion thing, at least. These have mostly been girls, as to be expected. However, a friend once called me a tranny after seeing my makeup, though he says he was joking. Still, it was a thought that came to him so that did hurt. Other male friends have been generally supportive! I have also made it a point to share Japanese music with people. I've found that Gackt is really popular. Almost everyone likes him when they hear his music. Malice Mizer seem to intrigue people, people are fascinated with the costumes. Raphael and L'arc en Ciel also seem to also get really good reception. One of my exes really liked Kimeru, who is on the pop side of things; she was a Mana fangirl, despite not really listening to MM. Overall I really just think people don't know much about Japanese music as it hasn't been pushed in the USA as much as say, k-pop has. They've mostly been content with keeping things in Japan since local music does well there. Hyde is touring the US as an opener for a band called Starset (US rock group), and I've seen way more comments about Hyde than I have about the main act! I think really Japanese music just needs exposure, especially now as westerners are growing more open to foreign language music. Japanese music in particular has gotten a bit of a cult status through smaller genres like vaporwave and future funk. I also see anime becoming more mainstream, which inevitably will lead to more openness of foreign music. There's anime merch and movies selling at our biggest retailers in the US! This is something I'm very happy about.
  6. astra☆

    During the end credits, they played a song called "No One Defeats Us" by DREAMS. My girlfriend and I are big fans of Luke Steele's main project (Empire of the Sun, so it was a cool surprise to hear his voice in a F&F film! Of course, she started sobbing uncontrollably like a fangirl!😅 The last movie I saw was It Chapter 2. I enjoyed it more than the first. I thought the 'creature' designs were really cool and was an all around well put together film. I was reluctant to see it, as horror sequels aren't known for being good, but Jessica Chastain is always a hit in my book.
  7. astra☆

    Anime I've really enjoyed lately are NEW GAME!, Hibike Euphonium, Working!!, Denkigai, Gabriel Dropout, Sweetness & Lightning, I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Watamote and Interviews With Monster Girls. I don't watch a lot of anime films, but I liked A Silent Voice and Ponyo was incredibly sweet. I started Chio's School Road today. I like it so far after 3 eps!
  8. astra☆

    I share your view, and perhaps am a little more militant with it. Allow me to explain... I almost always dislike the way people act when they're under the influence. They aren't being their natural selves because substances alter their most natural state of mind and body. You cannot truly connect with someone's heart when they are under the influence. There's also the fact that often times, alcohol and various drugs will destroy people from the inside. The severity varies of course, but I've known people with rotted teeth, destroyed skin, damaged hair, rotting fingernails, bad breath and a general stink caused by their substance abuse. This is just the external effects as well, nevermind the rotting of the brain and various organs. Heroin, meth, cocaine, alcohol, tobacco...it doesn't matter. It all has the same general effect in the end and I've spent my life watching my own parents rot away due to their addictions. Human strength is cultivated by our eternal struggles. We can only grow through self discipline, knowledge and willpower. I believe any problem can be worked through this way. I say this from the perspective of someone with severe depression, anxiety and agoraphobia. Sometimes things can be very difficult for me. But I've always managed to push through because I try to be disciplined. It is not as easy as sitting down with a needle or a bottle and forgetting about whatever my hardship is at that time. But in the end, I feel better off, and I learn how to deal with things for the future. So I don't believe that people need it to get through the ups and downs of life, as they won't truly resolve anything through substance abuse. To me, this is what makes a person weak. I have also known many people who say they cannot truly live without their vices. "I only like music when I'm high", "I'm only creative when I'm high", "I'm only social when I drink" etc. I think when someone reaches this stage, they've lost the ability to truly connect with things and accept/appreciate them as they are, most importantly themselves. If instead of working to heal their mental condition and to enjoy things simply, and instead lives a life where they are controlled by vices, they are living dishonestly and dishonorably. So I cannot respect them.
  9. astra☆

    For me, I'm very simple! I don't like to spend too much on products, as I would go broke quickly since this is my day to day look. My makeup is pretty often usually what you see in the picture. I like brightly colored eyeshadow applied in an almost raccoon-y way and lots of foundation to add paleness to the face. It depends on if I intend on eating anything while out, but if not I'll usually pale the bottom lip and color the top. This is a look I don't see often, but I like it! I don't really go by brands, but the makeup I typically buy has glitter in it. As far as fashion goes, I wear aristocrat fashion with a white ruffled shirt, black dress pants and knee high heeled platform boots. I'm a big fan of jewelry as well. I wear long black formal gloves usually with no less than 2 rings per hand. I like extra gaudy jewelry. Sometimes I wear a crystal earring that I made (visible in my picture). It's quite heavy though so I only wear it sometimes. Perhaps I will post a picture of the entire look one day. For my hair, I'm afraid of frying it since it is quite long and I don't wish to damage it, so I let it stay natural and style it more similar to earlier tanbi-kei bands (think Tetsu in MM or Kamijo in Lareine). I think I got lucky having wavy hair! I may want something to make it look a little less flat at the top though. Any recommendations for what I could do to give it a more lifted look?
  10. astra☆

    If this was a Fortnite dance, I'd probably actually play the game just to make everyone look at it.
  11. astra☆

    Would you believe me if I told you there's a well known competitive Smash player called Gackt? He's apparently one of the best players in the world. Gackt himself has taken a liking to PUBG and plays competitively, so perhaps he'll gravitate to Smash someday and take on his copycat.
  12. astra☆

    If you listen to his first 3 albums in his solo, he's got an incredible range and amount of raw power and emotion in the songs. I want to like his last 2 albums as much as the previous ones, but his voice just sounds wrong to me. It's lost the natural softness and warmth it used to have and it sounds like he's singing completely from the nose. He's also developed a weird affinity for heavy T Pain-esque autotuning. Gackt's been my idol for nearly 15 years so it's been hard for me!
  13. astra☆

    Aural Vampire, Jupiter, Luna Sea, Secilia Luna, Vanished Empire, Velvet Eden
  14. astra☆

    I used to be known as Sora Yuki (Janglish "snowy sky") around 10 years ago. Here's a picture from back then! Eventually it started to make me feel like a pretender, who wants to fit in because I was trying to be like the Japanese artists I looked up to by using a similar name. Also, hearing "Oh, like the Kingdom Hearts character?" got annoying. So now I go by Astra.
  15. astra☆

    Funny that the OP was made on my birthday! So, happy 15th to me that year I suppose! And a good day to @Zeus as well🥳
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