So this review seems really late doesn’t it? That’s the price of international shipping baby! The JRock Vault also went through a few changes since my last posting about them. Firstly they’ve moved to shipping every 3 months, around mid-August when they anticipated to reveal the next artist. They announced Chiyu in August and opened up orders, and then had a mid-September ship out date. However, there were some materials that needed more time to be delivered so it was sent out late September. Of course, given that I am now having this delivered to me in Japan, I only received it about a week ago. The new house has new lighting issues so I had to hold off for a bit but now I’m back on track! Let’s dig into the review!
This month’s box design was a lot more sleek in Vivarush’s. The simple use of grey, black, white and red with Chiyu was a smart move. This also marks the second solo artist for the Vault, so I’m curious if they’ll maintain their ‘soloist then band’ rotation. We’ll have to wait and see.
There was some minor aesthetic damage to my box, as to be expected considering it’s now traveling internationally to get to me! Nothing I’m too worried about.
Moving forward I really liked the bright introduction card which says:
“You may know him from SuG, or his support work for GREMLINS, but did you know that he’s an amazing solo artist? His mini album “Seven Deadly Sins” featured Aiji from LM.C, Tom-H@ck, younth case, Mizuki from Sadie and The THIRTEEN, JUN from GOTCHAROCKA, and REika from D=OUT.
He’s been working with senpai musicians like Aiji and producer Tom-H@ck since his band days. He practically grew up in the music scene with longtime buddies Mizuki, JUN and Reika.
Another interesting fact is that youth case helps to create many songs for J-pop group Arashi.
We think he’s got something special and are happy to feature him in our fall edition of Jrock Vault!”
They then featured Chiyu’s Website, Twitter and Instagram all of which are linked!
I’m really… kinda off put but this introduction card. I disagree with the information it listed. Chiyu’s introduction card talked more about Chiyu’s collaborators and their accomplishments then it did his. I know that’s an opinion but I would have loved to see more information about songs Chiyu’s penned himself, or music he’s written for himself/SuG/Gremlins then a random fact about youth case writing for Arashi. I mean that’s fun and all but how does that relate to Chiyu?
Next up was the T-shirt and… I’m a little unimpressed. It is a design exclusive to Jrock Vault which I appreciate and the shirt itself is high quality but the design… There’s so much black on black. I love that the image is one of Chiyu’s official artist photos but having a black outfit photo gray scaled and then put on a shirt wasn’t the greatest move. The whole image minus the logo looks out of focus and just… not great. I would have much preferred a crisper image on something like a royal blue rather then black on black.
Don’t get me wrong, the quality of the shirt is high. The quality of printing is high, although I have not done a wash or wear of the shirt yet, but in comparison to Kaya and Vivarush’s designs this is subpar. I have a feeling that some of this is due to switching companies/timing but, I hesitate to put it all on that.
Next came the live-limited single, photocard, and another double sided poster (that I did not pay for)… I’m left a little miffed about this month’s box. I poked around online and saw that some people received buttons and others did not, and that they are ‘subject to availability’ but… this feels lackluster.
Being 100% this box has me feeling a little jipped this month. Between the cost of the box, delays, and such I feel like there should have been something else included. I get that Chiyu is busy as is the JRock Vault Staff, but the cost of what I got, doesn’t seem to match the sticker price (not including shipping of course).
Also being 100%, part of my let down is my own hype not meeting reality. I was really looking forward to getting something 1) not a bill and 2) music related aka not home goods delivered to my house for once. That hype probably built up too much of an expectation to be delivered upon but even then it still doesn’t feel right to me. Part of it is the comparison between this box and the Vivarush box. There was just so much exclusive and customized content in that box!
I did look back at my order and realize that there is something missing from this month’s box which is the ‘Exclusive Content or Experience’. I did message JRock Vault and without releasing my email info publicly, they did say that had, had issues with communication between the Vault and Chiya. There is some emailed bonus goodies on the way, just have to be patient.
I also know that some of you are probably scratching your heads at me. Why am I keeping a subscription service for JRock goods when I already live in Japan? I have a few reasons.
1) I kept my subscription to support international Jrock/VKei businesses. The international community (which I do consider myself a part of) is small but mighty. I really do want to support business ventures like this outside of Japan when and where I can. Jrock Vault is still doing the international Jrock community a huge service at the end of the day.
2) I live in the middle of nowhere. I know, hard to believe since it is ~Japan~ after all but seriously: the nearest grocery store is 20 minutes by car from my house. The nearest second-hand music store is an hour from my house (obviously the Jrock selection is small). The nearest music store that sells VKei/Jrock is 3+ hours away, same with any venues. You get my point.
I really don’t have a lot of access to new music other then the internet (Spotify and YouTube are still my friends) and saving for the few releases I really want physical copies of. So a 3-4 times a year subscription service is still a bargain when I calculate in the cost of travel, price of goods, connivance and such.
3) I am one of those people who can, at times, be suckered by the idea of ‘exclusive’ content. Who knows who the next artist will be and what perks we might get? They might stream a whole concert just for us international fans one day! Or at least I can dream lol.
TL;DR I’m not satisfied with this month’s content but I have been in contact with Jrock Vault to see what’s going on. Fingers crossed about the artist and box for November!
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