I think that it’s been too long since I last spoke of Gackt’s songs. The winner for today is one I discovered a couple of months ago, Sakura Chiru. I had no idea that there’s also an English version sung by Yohio, so I have to thank Ana Maria for telling me about it. Both versions are lovely and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them, but I admit that I prefer the Japanese one. Sung in English, Sakura, falling has something which bothers me. I can’t really put my finger on it… there’s something rough to it and the lyrics do not fully capture the meaning and emotional aspect of its sibling. “How is that possible?”, you might ask. No idea, but I didn’t feel the need to put Sakura, falling on replay. After listening to it twice, I returned to Gackt. I blame his voice for that.
A lot of his songs do not have a video, so it was a bit unexpected for me to find this one. I didn’t quite know what to make of it at the beginning, it feels like there are two stories brought together. The past and the present, if you wish. But what is the link? As I learnt afterwards, the bits and pieces where we see Gackt and other artists act on stage are parts of Moon Saga – Mysteries of Yoshitsune I&II (2014). I haven’t seen the play yet, but the clips used for this song made me want to watch it all. From what I’ve read, it’s got a historical dimension (the protagonist is Minamoto no Yoshitsune, played by Gackt), but we’ll also encounter supernatural elements.
The other part of the video, the frame, reminds me of the setting of a period drama. I love how it is filmed and how you are drawn into a place apparently protected by the cherry blossoms. There is an air of mystery to it, not stifling, but just enough to make you understand that nobody should ruin the peace settled all over the place. Unless, of course, you are part of the band… in which case, the peace and quiet will be ruined. Thankfully, the music is quite soothing. It might not seem so, with the way it goes from playful to loud and rather subdued again. Watching the guys playing their instruments in the background while wearing traditional clothes… I don’t know how to feel about that. It’s funny, obviously, but I wouldn’t have minded not seeing the drums there. If you pay attention to details like this one, you might get pulled away from the story for a few moments. And I did not appreciate it.
Gackt is at the forefront of the video, also wearing a traditional outfit, less active than in the scenes from Moon Saga, but apparently more elegant and mature. Older, really, as if more than just the passing of the years has changed him. He’s there, in a place both mysterious and romantic (or what could be so if the one he cherished were there), maybe reminiscing a love story which ended. Even without looking at the lyrics, I’d say that his thoughts aren’t always painful. The smile on his face is one I’ve seen often when one is thinking about a happy memory, even if there is also an omnipresent shadow of sadness threatening it. Loss does leave its mark and the transition from one emotion to another is obvious if you watch them flickering across Gackt’s face, as if trying to escape and join the rhythm of the song.
Nothing lasts forever and love and friendship can be easily lost, whether because of something we do or because of death. I think this is what the symbol of the cherry blossom stands for here. Sure, memories are left behind, but one cannot stop the flow of time or return to the past to save someone dear. And yet… flowers might die, but they bloom again, coming to remind us of what used to be. Not because it brings pain to those who recall the past, but because memories and familiar details (like the delicate falling petals) make them feel closer to the person they lost at one point.
The video opened and closed with the image of cherry blossoms. If the beginning feels like stepping in a new world, the ending is more personal and it looks like the falling petals are embracing and soothing the one left behind to mourn. It is the strength he needs to look towards the future once more. Until next time, my lovelies!
by Elena Atudosiei