I wanted to post something that was informative and fun. I’m always asked about Visual Kei and what it is exactly. Visual Kei is what originally got me into Japanese music. It’s similar to a lot of goth and glam rock that you would hear anywhere else. It actually means “visual style.” This is because the members of the band wear elaborate makeup, hair, clothing, and can be very eccentric. It’s often mistaken for cosplay. Majority of the time, the males dress as females or they simply seem androgynous. These males who dress as females are sometimes referred to as “lolita boys.”
Visual Kei started in the late 80’s, but grew very popular in the 90’s and has stayed a very popular genre. The following bands are certainly not the only ones. These are just a few of my favorites.
Malice Mizer – This band went through a lot in their time. They have three eras, which are distinguished by three different singers. The sound changed with each one. A very popular singer, Gackt, was one of them; his era was the longest and most popular. I’ll post two videos for this band since the style is different with each era; the first is Gackt and the second is Klaha.
The Gazette – Formed in 2002, this band has had quite a few songs featured in anime.
Phantasmagoria – This band is probably my favorite. Their music is so addictive. They took a couple years off, but they did release an album last year.
D – I love this band! The lead singer, Asagi, has a very unique voice. I love their style, too.
Versailles – This is a fairly new band, but I love the drama in their music. It’s almost like vampire meets Phantom of the Opera.
Some other Visual Kei bands to look for: Nightmare, Parfait, An Cafe (also called Antic Cafe and Antique Cafe), D’espairs Ray, and Alice Nine.
This is just because I felt like putting in another video. This is An Cafe – Cherry SakuYuuki.
These are by no means in any special order.
Gackt – His voice is beautiful (as well as other parts of him). There are some songs that seem a little pop and some that seem a little more rock-ish so it appeals to both sides of me. He has some very heartfelt songs that I want to listen to over and over again. I started listening to him when he sang for Malice Mizer and continued to listen to him after he went solo. My favorite songs by him at the moment are: Ghost, Returner, Redemption, Seiipai no Sayonara, Farewell, and Seki-ray.
Phantasmagoria – Visual Kei at it’s best!! Riku *faint* is amazing…voice, beautiful…appearance, beautiful. Need I say more? Unfortunately, they band stopped making music together a while back, but their songs are worth listening to. My favorites are Eternal Silence ~Gensoukyoku~, Variant Jihad, and Neo-ark.
Versailles – Another visual Kei band; with another beautiful creature as the front man. There are some very dramatic intros and their PVs are fantastic. My favorites are: Sympathia, The Love From a Dead Orchestra, and Beast of Desire.
D – This band is the same as the other two visual Kei band’s I’ve described, but with a bit more femininity thrown in. My favorite is: Ouka Saki Some ni Keri. Yeah, just one, but it’s amazing!
Kokia – Her voice is unlike any other I’ve heard before. She has a little bit of an operatic sense, but it’s very gentle. Most of her songs ballads. Favorites: Ai no Melody & Cyouwa Oto ~With Reflection~. Both of these songs are featured in the anime movie Origins: Spirits of the Past. Ai no Melody makes me cry everytime I see the video…just watch it.
Well, I think I’ve wasted enough of your time for today…at least with videos. ^_^ Sayonara!