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Thought of the Day: Uesugi Kenshin

Yeah, took me long enough, but I finally finished watching "Ama Kakeru Ryu no Gotoku"! It really was an inspiring piece!

Let me just start with a little review of the DVD.

The DVD includes some of the most memorable appearances of GACKT-san in Fuurin Kazan. There is also footage of GACKT-san visiting Uesugi's temple and grave in Nagano, as well as behind-the-scenes footage from production of the drama. A real gem is GACKT-san's physical training. ^_~*
Of course, this DVD features a lot of interviews.

In one of the first interviews, you get to learn how GACKT-san got casted into the Taiga drama in the first place.
Later, you learn about Ogata Ken's chemistry with GACKT-san, which aids in performing their proper roles. It just brought a tear to my eye when Ogata-san imitated the "thumbs-up" sign he gave to GACKT-san in praising his performance.
My favorite chapter of the documentary was the one covering the shooting of the drama's climax. In the final episode, there is a scene of the legendary face-off between Uesugi-dono and his enemy, Takeda Shingen. (Here you can see a statue depicting the event in Kawanakajima: http://bit.ly/7C9fl3 ) It turns out the director had initially sacrificed the authenticity of the event in order to preserve the actors' safety. But of course, GACKT-san was not satisfied with such a half-assed job, and wanted to do it for real. It really made quite a difference when watching the finished product.
Finally, as the title suggests, there is a lot of comparison done throughout the documentary, between Uesugi-dono and GACKT-san. I have to say: when I hear GACKT-san talking about his values, I feel like he's quoting "GACKTIONARY". Hahaha! I guess the man is just that honest with himself.

As I was further in watching the documentary, the more I was convinced that GACKT-san is indeed an incarnation of Uesugi-dono.
One example is seen in one of Uesugi's famous quotes: "Those who fight with the will to die, will live. Those who fight with the will to live, will surely perish." GACKT-san explains that how he has always lived his life was by preparing to leave something in this world once he dies. By expecting to die at any given moment, he has always lived his life to his fullest. So it greatly pleased GACKT-san that his philosophy was also adopted by a war hero 450 years ago.
Another comparison is in their goals. Uesugi-dono waged war against greed. In order to accomplish this goal, he had to overcome himself as a human being. So Uesugi-dono devoted himself to Bishamonten, and rid himself of romantic relationships with women. Similarly, GACKT-san wages war against denial. He notices that a lot of people are giving up on doing their best. So as an artist, he wishes to inspire youth in living life to the fullest, without holding back.
During production of Fuurin Kazan, GACKT-san trained in the early morning, then quickly headed to the set, only to come back home in the early morning to repeat the process. Others would be amazed at GACKT-san's brutal training, as well as be amazed at Uesugi's sacrifice of women. People would wonder at how they could manage living like that. Yet, since those two are driven towards their goals in enlightening the world, to them it is not very burdening.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed watching this DVD, and I highly recommend it to any devoted fan of GACKT-san. It may only be an hour long, but the footage you get to see is purely priceless, as well as the knowledge you will obtain about these two honorable Japanese men.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 7th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC)
Very good review, dear.

My favorite part had to be the interview with Ogata-san. To find out that the fact that Gackt's hard work was what made him accept his role, was just amazing because if it hadn't been that way, maybe we wouldn't have the Gackt we have now. And that shows ever more clearly just what a big impact he had in his life and it made me even more thankful of the fact that their paths crossed even if it was for a few years.

When I hear him say that he didn't think history was relevant, when he was young, I really felt like slapping him, but then to hear him say that he had come to understand that history is important because the events of the past have influenced modern Japan, made me see that through his portrayal as Kenshin he has reaffirmed what his goals in life are.

It really is an amazing DVD, Gackt comes through as a very intelligent and eloquent man, full of ideals that he would like people to understand and maybe even embrace. It really made me respect his views and him even more.
Apr. 11th, 2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
Aww, I'm glad that you approve of my review, shiroki! I did my best. (^_^) I really am in love with this DVD, for it does show a deeper side of GACKT-san.

Oh, by the way, I got to see that funny scene from PBVIII you made a gif of, shown at the end of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ezysM6NY68

I really lol'd at the part where GACKT-san was abandoning YOU-kun (was he letting the girl have him as her husband?), and he turned back to say, "YOU, ganbatte na!". (Also, did GACKT-san say to the girl at the very end to take care of YOU-kun? I'm just basing on assumption, so I would really like to know what's going on. )
Apr. 11th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, let me write what happened.
Gackt: Onee-chan are you single, now? Are you married?
Girl: Actually I just became single.
Gackt: Oh, really. YOU GO!!
Then, after he leaves YOU as the omiyage.
Girl: Thanks for the lovely present.
Gackt: Ma'am(wife) take care, mom and dad take care. Though my YOU is useless, please take care of him.

I loved when he was abandoning YOU, because YOU said: "are you abandoning me?" xDD

He also "married" YOU off on PBIX and was going to do it on PBX, but the would be wife was 9, so he couldn't. =3
Apr. 11th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! Oh my gosh, that is so adorable! GACKT-san arranging a marriage to a little girl for YOU-kun. . . *cuteness overload*

Thank you very much for the translation! I greatly appreciate it!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )