Ryotaro Aoki

For Ryotaro Aoki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Tokyo Comic Con calls on Hollywood's big guns for star power

Dec 1, 2016

Tokyo Comic Con calls on Hollywood's big guns for star power

As we sit down for an interview, Tokyo Comic Convention Committee Chairman Mitsuaki Munegumi casually points to a glass case in the center of the room. “There’s actually a real ‘Star Wars’ lightsaber in there,” he says, and reaches over. He pulls out a ...

Ogre You Asshole flirts with tension on latest album

Nov 20, 2016

Ogre You Asshole flirts with tension on latest album

The members of Ogre You Asshole are bracing for something. At least, that’s what the title of their seventh album, “Handoru o Hanasu Mae Ni” (“Before Letting Go of the Handle”) suggests. (The album’s official English title is the less tense “Everythingsomethingnothing.”) “It’s not ...

Crypt City turns into the alt-rock supergroup we didn't see coming

Oct 9, 2016

Crypt City turns into the alt-rock supergroup we didn't see coming

Despite what his mammoth bass guitar sound may suggest, rock band Crypt City bassist Kentaro Nakao is comically self-deprecating at times. “This sounds terrible, but I have no commercial ambitions for this band,” he says with a laugh. His band’s new album, “Chant,” will ...

Bo Ningen: 'We're Japanese, but a London band'

Jul 10, 2016

Bo Ningen: 'We're Japanese, but a London band'

Though seasoned music festival veterans overseas, the four members of British rock band Bo Ningen had never been to a Japanese event until Fuji Rock in 2013. “It was really fun compared to festivals in other countries,” says singer and bassist Taigen Kawabe. “It’s ...

Muddy Apes' style of rock knows no borders

Jul 3, 2016

Muddy Apes' style of rock knows no borders

When looking at the pedigree of rock quartet Muddy Apes, it’s hard not to mention the term “supergroup.” After all, the band’s members — which consist of bassist Taka Hirose of British rock act Feeder, guitarist Kiyonobu “Inoran” Inoue of Japanese arena-rock band Luna ...

Review: Sugizo and Inoran at Zepp DiverCity

Jun 15, 2016

Review: Sugizo and Inoran at Zepp DiverCity

From superheroes to presidential elections, 2016 seems to be a year of infighting and rivalries. It has even trickled down into Japanese rock, as Sugizo and Inoran, the two guitarists from renowned rock act Luna Sea, went toe to toe with their respective solo ...

Hollywood takes its wisecracking hero seriously

May 25, 2016

Hollywood takes its wisecracking hero seriously

The opening credits of “Deadpool” begin with the words “Some Douchebag’s Film.” Maybe it was because of this self-deprecation that overseas audiences found the film refreshing. Especially since in another recent superhero blockbuster, a billionaire vigilante pontificates on morality using the “one percent doctrine” ...