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visual kei ... groups


15 Apr 2002
Visual-Kei = Gothic in a loose sense

1992 Japan get's hit with today's first wave of Visual-kei groups.
1997 2nd wave
2002 = ??? 3rd wave possiblity

3 groups have been gaining attention with each using a slightly different style.

S to M -- a group that is targeting a GothicLolita look

Kagrra -- a group that is targeting NON-Euorpean and NON-English with a Neo Japanesque look. Sort of along the lines of Kimono Ghosts

Psycho Le Cemu -- which is a Super-Costume-Play (cosupure) imitating RPG game characters.

Sound wise I don't know but I'm sure these groups will probably fad off into oblivion but what they've started will probably continue and leave their mark on the music industry.
Hmm, right now Visual Kei is only an indies thing.

There are few really big acts left. Dir en Grey is probably the most well known at the moment, followed by Pierrot.
A few years ago there was the trend of Visual Kei bands going all natural and focussing on the music instead of the looks.
Yeah, the bands above definitely are still in the indies arena.

I didn't mean to say that all visual-kei bands have gone into oblivion. But you're definitely right about current visual-kei bands going natural. Glay have definitely cut down on their cosmetic bills.

I don't think visual-kei will leave the scene completely for a while since Japan is so hooked on anime and cutie-cutie things.

I like these bands because they give the J-Music industry a great visual look to it ... hehe ... got my pun in there.

@ twisted
Thanks for always picking up on what I can't fill in!
It's missionairy work, Moyashi. There's just too little information about Japanese music in the English language and there are a lot of misunderstandings.

Visual Kei is what fascinated me most, when i first started listening to Japanese music.
When i first looked into Pop-Beat magazine and glanced at pictures of Glay and Malice Mizer, i said:"Wow, these girls have a great wardrobe...". 😊
The fact that they were actually all guys, didn't put me off, because the music they made was great.
Wow, these girls have a great wardrobe
:D 👍

I never was a death stalker type but for fun before I met my wife I did it for the hell of it. Full geisha white hand paint (great for the vampire effect), black nails, black lipstick and black clothes ... ohhh ... I even died my dirty blond hair to jet black to complete the effect. I went out in town a few times like this but I realized that the visual kei look is only for TV or hidden pockets of folks who are more part of the anime world than the music scene.

Maybe, Sapporo is still not that cosmopolitan yet.:eek:

Although, I do see one here or there every once in a while.

@ missionary work

I hear ya! 10-12 years ago, sukiyaki and Loudness were about the only music that came out of Japan. At least today, Japanese music has spread and many more people know about it beyond those who venture in "Japan" towns.

I'm glad though that you've picked up the work and are trying spread the word.
A goth look does not look good on us gaijins.
Put a picture of Gackt in his Malice Mizer period next to a picture of Marilyn Manson and you'll understand what i mean.

Here, i've already found some pics.

Look! it's a rip-off!! Malice Mizer did it first! :D


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lol ... you're right. Dam ... Mr. Marilyn though didn't bother to spend oodles of cash on a new face though. Hehe, without his make up you'd think that he's Bill Gates brother or something.

Yeah, Asian features make good material for the Goth look. I guess the dark colors help.
@ moyashi, your scareing me!, I'v met quite a few people with that type of look, and I always found them very strange people, distanced from the real world and in a kind of dream like state, maybe this was due to the fact that the normally dressed people where insulting and to tell the truth a bit wary of these overly dressed and overly painted people, oops tangent alert!!!!🙂 lol
as i think .. Malice Mizer is the best visual kei for me ..they got the best look for that they become populer much !! .. not like the others INDIE'S bands .

Dir en grey is kool .. but there songs is much heavier ..it didnt like them much .. & there style was more gothic :) .. hehe

there is many bands of visual .. but why they dont become more populer as Glay or L'arc en ciel ?? because they are Visual ??

i think so // visual is for teenage more lol ..i ask'd many old ppl (not that old :p ) they say they hate visual style ! ..i was shocked !! when ive heard this thing 1st lol !! than i knew that visual is populer with'n teen's more :) (im 1 of them) ! :D

but till now X japan is the best hehe..
X-Japan were the ones who started it all. The band Kiss was a big example for Yoshiki and he had been growing up in the Glamrock era. Dressing up like that was one of the ways he expressed his individuality.

I'm not surprised that visual bands aren't as popular as before. The current flow of bands just aren't that good. They're not produced by bigtime producers anymore. Remember that Dir and Grey, Luna Sea and Glay started out being produced by X-Japan bandmembers.

Aside from that there's also the fact that the public has seen it all before. In order to become succesful they need to create very good music as well. Image alone just doesn't do the trick anymore.
"A goth look does not look good on us gaijins. "

Who says? I've been dressing goth since I was.. <counts> 14!! Thats a looong time! Over the last year or so I've been dressing more visual kei like mind you. I blame Dir en grey.. I love their music and style so much that its hard to not want to dress like them.

Maybe if more gaijins would dress like Dir en Grey we'd look sexier!! <laughs>

Most gaijins overdo it. On top of that, they usually don't play the part. Too often you see pictures of people dressed goth with a dopey shy smile on their face. That's wrong. You have to look mean and confident in order to impress.
I've never seen a goth with a smile! I certainly don't smile much when dressed up.. but still, what you have to realize is that all these famous jrock stars are just that.. stars and all you see is their performance. You can't walk around acting all grumpy and depressed 24 7 even if you are because no one will want to be around you - which makes my research postgrad and trying to get a band togheter kinda hard work. Also, the essence of goth IS overdoing it. Kyo's new makeup through Kisou and Childs Prey is just so OTT but thats why it works.

@Overdoing it
What i meant is that bands like Dir en Grey have professional stylists. Most gaijins who dress goth do the make up themselves which usually doesn't look very good. Of course if you look at those 70's glamrockbands you'll see a much higher standard. Marilyn Manson on the other hand shows a distinct lack of taste, but that's part of his image.

Well, Visual Kei is not just goth. It's much more broader and certainly more colourful.

Oh, if you have any pictures of yourself dressed in goth, don't be shy to post them here. I'm very curious. :)
I've got to say, Marilyn Manson is the essence of OTT! <laughs> Used to love his music when I was 15.. then grew out of it!

And yeah, visual kei isn't goth.. its more like the way I've been dressing for years and didn't even realise that it wasn't just my own little style! Unfortunately I can't die my hair anymore because I spent my 3 years at uni dying it every colour of the rainbow (purple was definately the favourite!) and now they've told me that if I keep bleaching it and stuff its going to fall out! So I'm boring blonde now (just a step lighter than natural).

And I want a professional stylist! I'm never going to get my hair like Kaoru without one.. My sisters tried.. and failed!

When I find some photos lying around, I'll scan them and post them!

<chuckles> Well.. I've stopped my hair falling out! But I feel I may be stuck with boring hair for the rest of my life. I miss the purple!

I think lots of Visual artists wear wigs. Surely they're not immune from their hair falling out.
Thanks. I'll do that.

I'd love to get some wigs.. but the costume wigs are too cheap and nasty. The more expensive ones (often cosplay handmade ones) are just TOO expensive! I'm too useless to buy a medium quality wig and do it up myself. There was a Die wig on ebay but it got too expensive for my liking.. also, I'd rather have my own individual style rather than steal someone else's. I'll have to buy a cheap wig to play with and mess up!

@ dieing hair
dieing hair too often in a short period completely removes the oil from the hair itself. When I had my hair died I used to oil it and then put a bandana on at night to not oil my pillow too. I got to be a hassle and the amount of black hair (I'm back to a natural dirty blond now) going down the drain would scare me every morning.

I haven't died my hair in years, but I'm still counting hair going down the drain .... OUCH!
Wow. I realized dying removed the oil from your hair (hence why it stopped my hair being a grease ball!) but I never thought about putting oil back on my hair. For me, its been years of using heavy duty conditioners thats kept my hair. My problem was not so much that the hair was falling out but that it was snapping. The last bleach bath I had to try and stop my hair being orange blonde meant that I had to chop more of the ends off that I wanted to cause you could just cut the hair with your hands by pulling at it. Not nice.

I always get my hair done at hairdressers now and am never using bleach again. Going to get my hair died icy blonde and have black streaks in it them have all the hair behind my ears plaited and extended to about my elbows and leave the front chin length and spikey. This is however going to cost me a total fortune so I can't afford it just yet!!!

have you guys heard of the american/british band, Limete zu Chaos? they're said to have been influenced greatly by j-rock bands, though the lead vocalist seems to have a great love for Dir en grey, Kyo in paticular..
they've been rumored to be one of the first american visual-kei bands.. their style is so much like dir en grey's previous style..

*is listening to their music*

they sound alot like dir en grey as well.. the lead vocalist does the vomiting-sounds and sceaming-bit alot in the songs..
i have a picture taken from a concert my friend went to and it shows that kyo's name is tattooed on the vocalist's back.. 😍

*motions to above and murmurs something about actions being better than words...*

dir en grey are my gods...

i'm a LITTLE bit obsessive..


btw.. manson has knocked off sooo many japanese bands and singers..

like the thing below...



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