jrock, ink. : a concise report on 40 of the biggest rock acts in japan

jrock, ink
Book Info.
Release Date: June 15/2005
No. of Pages: 128
Format: Text and Colour Illustration
Published In: North America
Author: Josephine Yun
Quick Links
Publisher: Stone Bridge Press
Contributed by: Iffer


I'll be honest; all this book had to have to get me to check it out was "J-ROCK" in the title. However, that does not mean my standards were low. I had high expectations for this work and they were simultaneously met and not.

The colour illustrations are reason enough to look at this book. Artist Yana Moskaluk brings to life some of the biggest J-ROCK icons in vibrant colour and stunning interpretations. Some of the most impressive works include a rendition of Shiina Ringo in the Honnou nurse uniform, an underwater Luna Sea and Malice Mizer bathed in blood. The themes of the images are clever and witty as well, making them suitable representations of the bands.

As for Josephine Yun's actual report, I find I am both pleased and disappointed. The author had a difficult task ahead of her, treading into territory that had yet to be actually mapped out in North America; she is the first published English author to focus on the J-ROCK scene. She does well for the limited space she has, provides anecdotes, release information and information about members for all the artists listed. She's able to cleverly use vocabulary to try to capture the listening experience for each musician.

However, some of her descriptions drift from the side of accurate into the format of personal taste. J-ROCK fans may also feel that she misses certain important points about some bands and focuses on lesser details instead. One may find that they don't agree with aspects of the description of their favorite band, which can be aggravating to the expectant reader.

I do commend Yun for her effort in such a difficult task. In the future, it would be nice to have more authors explore this topic in response to add more variety to the market. Despite its few shortcomings, I do highly recommend this book to any J-ROCK fan, or any music fan interested in knowing a little more about Japan's music scene; just beware of the bias present.

- February 26, 2006

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