History UsefulNotes / VisualKei

25th May '16 9:17:46 PM HypnoticMeerkat
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That said, at the time, tobacco use was off the charts. In 80s-90s VK, as in Japan itself, EverybodySmokes was a given trope. Finding an artist that ''didn't'' smoke at the time was nigh-impossible, and all venues and events and such allowed for smoking. Most artists would even advertise for their favorite brand of cigarette by listing it in their profiles - for example, [[HidetoMatsumoto hide]] became one of the biggest promoters for Japan Tobacco's Mild Seven brand, without even actually appearing in any specific advertisements for it.

to:

That said, at the time, tobacco use was off the charts. In 80s-90s VK, as in Japan itself, EverybodySmokes was a given trope. Finding an artist that ''didn't'' smoke at the time was nigh-impossible, and all venues and events and such allowed for smoking. Most artists would even advertise for their favorite brand of cigarette by listing it in their profiles - for example, [[HidetoMatsumoto [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]] became one of the biggest promoters for Japan Tobacco's Mild Seven brand, without even actually appearing in any specific advertisements for it.
19th Apr '16 1:13:28 AM aye_amber
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How VisualKei itself differentiated from Japanese HardRock and Heavy Metal is somewhat lost to history if one is looking for an absolute, precise band to claim as "they started it." Around the early to mid 1980s, many bands were forming or had formed in the major cities. The bands generally credited with beginning the scene, though, were the Tokyo-based Music/XJapan (then simply called "X,"), the Tokyo-based {{Rosenfeld}}, the also Tokyo-based Music/{{COLOR}}, the also Tokyo-based Music/SeikimaII, the Yokosuka-based artist actor and singer Rolly, and the Gunma-based Music/BuckTick. Fans of ''each and every one of these acts'' will claim their band was the one who started VisualKei, when the real truth is somewhere in between - that ''all'' of these bands and acts, beginning their careers in the same time window and doing similar things and sometimes associating with each other, was what launched VisualKei as a culture and musical scene as well as a subgenre.

to:

How VisualKei itself differentiated from Japanese HardRock and Heavy Metal is somewhat lost to history if one is looking for an absolute, precise band to claim as "they started it." Around the early to mid 1980s, many bands were forming or had formed in the major cities. The bands generally credited with beginning the scene, though, were the Tokyo-based Music/XJapan (then simply called "X,"), the Tokyo-based {{Rosenfeld}}, ''Rosenfeld,'' the also Tokyo-based Music/{{COLOR}}, the also Tokyo-based Music/SeikimaII, the Yokosuka-based artist actor and singer Rolly, and the Gunma-based Music/BuckTick. Fans of ''each and every one of these acts'' will claim their band was the one who started VisualKei, when the real truth is somewhere in between - that ''all'' of these bands and acts, beginning their careers in the same time window and doing similar things and sometimes associating with each other, was what launched VisualKei as a culture and musical scene as well as a subgenre.
17th Apr '16 8:48:27 PM aye_amber
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The biggest influences on the concept in general aside from these artists and Kabuki theatre, though, were Western bands. Music/{{KISS}} was one of the very biggest influences - two of the first VisualKei bands to exist were directly inspired by KISS. Western HeavyMetal and HardRock took off in Japan around the early 1980s - providing more influences upon the culture and the subculture, and on the music itself, as a local HardRock and Heavy Metal scene soon developed in Osaka with Music/{{Loudness}} and then soon enough, in other major cities in Japan with other local HardRock and Heavy Metal acts including Anthem (a Heavy Metal band) and BOOWY (a HardRock act where TomoyasuHotei of Kill Bill fame got his start).

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The biggest influences on the concept in general aside from these artists and Kabuki theatre, though, were Western bands. Music/{{KISS}} was one of the very biggest influences - two of the first VisualKei bands to exist were directly inspired by KISS. Western HeavyMetal and HardRock took off in Japan around the early 1980s - providing more influences upon the culture and the subculture, and on the music itself, as a local HardRock and Heavy Metal scene soon developed in Osaka with Music/{{Loudness}} and then soon enough, in other major cities in Japan with other local HardRock and Heavy Metal acts including Anthem (a Heavy Metal band) and BOOWY (a HardRock act where TomoyasuHotei ''Tomoyasu Hotei'' of Kill Bill fame got his start).
17th Apr '16 8:28:54 PM aye_amber
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Many Visual Kei artists such as Atsushi Sakurai as well as Kenji Sawada himself consider a 70s artist, KenjiSawada, as the "Pioneer of Visual Kei," because he was known for his flamboyant nature and excess use of makeup and bright costuming, as well as dying his hair a lot(even once dressing similar to hide in the late 90s with pink hair and an outfit similar to the Dahlia-era kimono.). Another pre-80s rock artist, the late KiyoshiImamura, is also seen as one of the early local pioneers of VisualKei.

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Many Visual Kei artists such as Atsushi Sakurai as well as Kenji Sawada himself consider a 70s artist, KenjiSawada, as the "Pioneer of Visual Kei," because he was known for his flamboyant nature and excess use of makeup and bright costuming, as well as dying his hair a lot(even once dressing similar to hide in the late 90s with pink hair and an outfit similar to the Dahlia-era kimono.). Another pre-80s rock artist, the late KiyoshiImamura, '' Kiyoshi Imamura,'' is also seen as one of the early local pioneers of VisualKei.
7th Jan '16 7:00:19 AM Morgenthaler
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MaliceMizer debuted in 1992, but didn't go big until they signed {{Gackt}} in 1995. When they did, they instantly rose to being one of the very top and most influential acts in Visual Kei, and they arguably defined this era - they acquired almost as many FollowTheLeader bands as Rosenfeld and Music/XJapan did, and even existing bands began to adopt a more Gothic style because of them - Music/BuckTick, for example, took on a darker GothRock tone and began to succeed with it. Cyberpunk and cybergoth also made some major inroads - as "digital kei," and similar names, it was the primary style of [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]]'s solo career - [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly if a primary style could]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot have even been attached to it]] - which was, at the time, even eclipsing that of the band where he'd first become famous.

to:

MaliceMizer Music/MaliceMizer debuted in 1992, but didn't go big until they signed {{Gackt}} in 1995. When they did, they instantly rose to being one of the very top and most influential acts in Visual Kei, and they arguably defined this era - they acquired almost as many FollowTheLeader bands as Rosenfeld and Music/XJapan did, and even existing bands began to adopt a more Gothic style because of them - Music/BuckTick, for example, took on a darker GothRock tone and began to succeed with it. Cyberpunk and cybergoth also made some major inroads - as "digital kei," and similar names, it was the primary style of [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]]'s solo career - [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly if a primary style could]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot have even been attached to it]] - which was, at the time, even eclipsing that of the band where he'd first become famous.
6th Jan '16 1:03:45 PM Willbyr
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The 2000's also saw the rise and eventual recognition of female VisualKei artists. Post-GothicMetal outfit Music/YouseiTeikoku, fronted by voice actress/singer Creator/YuiItsuki has gained recognition in the {{Anime}} scene for their contributions to several well-known titles, the best-known of these being the first opening track to the anime ''Manga/MiraiNikki''. {{Metalcore}} band Music/ExistTrace challenged the conventions of VisualKei by being the most successful all-female Visual act in the scene, both in Japan and on an international level. Other all-female bands, such as Music/{{Aldious}}, Music/{{DESTROSE}} and Music/DangerGang would also enjoy some commercial success. In the mid-2000s, Music/KanonWakeshima, a baroque pop artist and fashion model, revived Lolita kei as a commercially successful subset of Visual Kei. [[TheMentor Produced]] by Mana of Malice Mizer, she rose to stardom with her [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly unusual sound]] and stunning image. Her [[SignatureSong song]] "Still Doll" was used as the ending for the hit anime VampireKnight; it would later become one of the most recognizable Gothic pop songs in modern Japanese music. Another Lolita artist, Music/{{Kana}} brought Lolita kei to even greater prominence with her active participation in Japanese mainstream culture, being an [[RenaissanceMan artist, toy designer, model, singer and actress]].


to:

The 2000's also saw the rise and eventual recognition of female VisualKei artists. Post-GothicMetal outfit Music/YouseiTeikoku, fronted by voice actress/singer Creator/YuiItsuki has gained recognition in the {{Anime}} scene for their contributions to several well-known titles, the best-known of these being the first opening track to the anime ''Manga/MiraiNikki''.''Manga/FutureDiary''. {{Metalcore}} band Music/ExistTrace challenged the conventions of VisualKei by being the most successful all-female Visual act in the scene, both in Japan and on an international level. Other all-female bands, such as Music/{{Aldious}}, Music/{{DESTROSE}} and Music/DangerGang would also enjoy some commercial success. In the mid-2000s, Music/KanonWakeshima, a baroque pop artist and fashion model, revived Lolita kei as a commercially successful subset of Visual Kei. [[TheMentor Produced]] by Mana of Malice Mizer, she rose to stardom with her [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly unusual sound]] and stunning image. Her [[SignatureSong song]] "Still Doll" was used as the ending for the hit anime VampireKnight; it would later become one of the most recognizable Gothic pop songs in modern Japanese music. Another Lolita artist, Music/{{Kana}} brought Lolita kei to even greater prominence with her active participation in Japanese mainstream culture, being an [[RenaissanceMan artist, toy designer, model, singer and actress]].

actress]].
3rd Jan '16 9:52:19 AM Morgenthaler
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Attitudes toward women and female artists were pretty much in the same troglodyte Dark Ages that HairMetal and hardcore punk elsewhere in the world were in the mid to late 80s, along with a huge dash of Japanese cultural sexism toward women. ''Many'' songs and much VK artwork expressed ideas that even the artists who created them at the time later found repugnant, actual rape and fetish BDSM were conflated, and women were often seen as either "honey women" supporting the bandmen or as groupies. That being a given, it wasn't a universal NoWomansLand and could at times even be FairForItsDay: women achieved journalistic or band management or PR or other positions that they absolutely couldn't elsewhere in Japan at that point (and some of the pioneering rock journalists of the era were women), there were all-female or female-fronted bands though they were a rarity (those, however, included Show-Ya and LuciferLusciousViolenoue), and even some male bands and artists wrote lyrics that weren't all about rape and violence against women.

to:

Attitudes toward women and female artists were pretty much in the same troglodyte Dark Ages that HairMetal and hardcore punk elsewhere in the world were in the mid to late 80s, along with a huge dash of Japanese cultural sexism toward women. ''Many'' songs and much VK artwork expressed ideas that even the artists who created them at the time later found repugnant, actual rape and fetish BDSM were conflated, and women were often seen as either "honey women" supporting the bandmen or as groupies. That being a given, it wasn't a universal NoWomansLand and could at times even be FairForItsDay: women achieved journalistic or band management or PR or other positions that they absolutely couldn't elsewhere in Japan at that point (and some of the pioneering rock journalists of the era were women), there were all-female or female-fronted bands though they were a rarity (those, however, included Show-Ya and LuciferLusciousViolenoue), Music/LuciferLusciousViolenoue), and even some male bands and artists wrote lyrics that weren't all about rape and violence against women.
27th Dec '15 4:18:12 AM Morgenthaler
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MaliceMizer debuted in 1992, but didn't go big until they signed {{Gackt}} in 1995. When they did, they instantly rose to being one of the very top and most influential acts in Visual Kei, and they arguably defined this era - they acquired almost as many FollowTheLeader bands as Rosenfeld and Music/XJapan did, and even existing bands began to adopt a more Gothic style because of them - BuckTick, for example, took on a darker GothRock tone and began to succeed with it. Cyberpunk and cybergoth also made some major inroads - as "digital kei," and similar names, it was the primary style of [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]]'s solo career - [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly if a primary style could]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot have even been attached to it]] - which was, at the time, even eclipsing that of the band where he'd first become famous.

to:

MaliceMizer debuted in 1992, but didn't go big until they signed {{Gackt}} in 1995. When they did, they instantly rose to being one of the very top and most influential acts in Visual Kei, and they arguably defined this era - they acquired almost as many FollowTheLeader bands as Rosenfeld and Music/XJapan did, and even existing bands began to adopt a more Gothic style because of them - BuckTick, Music/BuckTick, for example, took on a darker GothRock tone and began to succeed with it. Cyberpunk and cybergoth also made some major inroads - as "digital kei," and similar names, it was the primary style of [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]]'s solo career - [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly if a primary style could]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot have even been attached to it]] - which was, at the time, even eclipsing that of the band where he'd first become famous.
25th Dec '15 6:10:25 PM FF32
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* ScaryMusicianHarmlessMusic: Mostly averted. Save for the [[AnimeHair wild and colorful hairstyles]], most digital kei artists don't appear too different from {{Idol Singer}}s, indie rockers or nightclub DJs, and their music isn't particularly harsh either. Occasionally inverted and/or subverted by industrial and noise-influenced artists, and inverted by [[TropeMaker hide]], who had a couple of "cute" visual style phases yet only rarely went below a 6 on the MohsScaleOfLyricalHardness in instrumentals.

to:

* ScaryMusicianHarmlessMusic: Mostly averted. Save for the [[AnimeHair wild and colorful hairstyles]], most digital kei artists don't appear too different from {{Idol Singer}}s, indie rockers or nightclub DJs, [=DJs=], and their music isn't particularly harsh either. Occasionally inverted and/or subverted by industrial and noise-influenced artists, and inverted by [[TropeMaker hide]], who had a couple of "cute" visual style phases yet only rarely went below a 6 on the MohsScaleOfLyricalHardness in instrumentals.
1st Nov '15 1:23:41 AM jormis29
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Later within this period of time, DynamiteTommy formed Creator/FreeWillRecords, though it would not rise to prominence as the main signer of Visual Kei acts until later - when it became ''the'' dominant label for visual.

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Later within this period of time, DynamiteTommy Music/DynamiteTommy formed Creator/FreeWillRecords, though it would not rise to prominence as the main signer of Visual Kei acts until later - when it became ''the'' dominant label for visual.



Creator/ExtasyRecords semi-folded at the time in Japan, with almost all of its band roster disbanded or on hiatus, the label closed to anything other than Music/XJapan and Shiro, another band that stayed on it, as Yoshiki decided to focus it on a more international level, an effort which would meet later on with failure. DynamiteTommy's Creator/FreeWillRecords began, around this period, to start picking up some of the bands from Extasy's roster (including GillesDeRais and Bellzeleb) and building itself into a competitive force in VisualKei, though it would be in the next period of Visual Kei when it would truly shine as the top label.

to:

Creator/ExtasyRecords semi-folded at the time in Japan, with almost all of its band roster disbanded or on hiatus, the label closed to anything other than Music/XJapan and Shiro, another band that stayed on it, as Yoshiki decided to focus it on a more international level, an effort which would meet later on with failure. DynamiteTommy's Music/DynamiteTommy's Creator/FreeWillRecords began, around this period, to start picking up some of the bands from Extasy's roster (including GillesDeRais and Bellzeleb) and building itself into a competitive force in VisualKei, though it would be in the next period of Visual Kei when it would truly shine as the top label.
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