[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Aliene_Mariage1_6812.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: A fine group of... [[AmbiguousGender men?]]]]


Visual Kei, or Visual Style, is an artistic movement among Japanese musicians that is characterised by the use of make-up, elaborate hair styles and flamboyant costumes, often, but not always, coupled with [[{{Bishonen}} androgynous aesthetics]], in the style of Music/DavidBowie. It came about in the early 1980's, spearheaded by bands such as Music/XJapan and Music/BuckTick, and has existed in various forms ever since. (You can see more of the history over on the UsefulNotes page, if you like.)

It is often considered a sub-genre of J-rock (a term referring to Japanese rock in general), with its roots in GlamRock, ShockRock, {{punk}}, HeavyMetal, and Kabuki Theater, though its use outside of Japan is making this somewhat an outdated definition. As is usual amongst more theatrical musical genres, the aesthetics are supposed to be as strong as the music in order to complement and enhance it, and although there have been many trends over the years there is no defining sound.

In the current scene, for instance, the most commonly used genres are hard rock and Music/HeavyMetal (except for within the Oshare subgenre, which favours [[PopPunk pop-punk]] or pop rock, and Digital kei, which can span everything from ElectronicMusic to pop), but there is also horror punk, PowerMetal, GothicMetal, [[ElectronicMusic electronic]], pop rock, [[NuMetal nu-metal]], {{Industrial}}, {{Metalcore}} and even DeathMetal. Even some rare RapMetal and straight-up rap can be found. Exactly which genres are used often depends on the time period: In the 80's rock and glam metal were popular; in the 90's a heavy goth influence came in and many bands developed a softer or more experimental sound, with the use of synth becoming common; and in the early 2000s {{Metalcore}}, AlternativeMetal and PopPunk have become the norm. As of TheNewTens, HeavyMetal of various subgenres and HardRock are experiencing some renewed interest despite most said bands being unsigned or reunions of older HR/HM acts (or ongoing acts such as Music/BuckTick, Music/DirEnGrey, and Music/TheGazette), and ElectronicMusic styles are gaining popularity among newer bands and solo artists, while the majority of label signings and promotion and publicity still tends to go to PopPunk Oshare Kei artists.

Despite the [[ViewerGenderConfusion highly feminine appearance]] of many VK musicians, the majority of band members, as with other rock genres, are male.

Visual Kei is often broken down into subgenres, the most common being:

* Angura Kei: characterised by an emphasis on traditional Japanese culture, with band members often wearing kimonos, and occasionally Geisha style makeup. Music/HeavyMetal and HardRock are the most favoured genres. Example bands of this style would be Music/{{Kagrra}}, Music/WagakkiBand and HeiseiIsshin. Music/{{Miyavi}} went through a phase as this and still has some elements of it.
* Kote Kei: arguably the oldest and most established form of VK after genres began to split off from Visual Shock, it is characterised by incredibly striking clothing and hair. A common theme is to have every member of the band dye their hair a different color. There are two main forms, 'Black Kote Kei', which is faster, harder and more aggressive, and 'White Kote Kei' which is more melodious and focuses more on musicianship. Example bands are pretty much too numerous to name any one individual band, though this is arguably what both Music/LunaSea and Music/DirEnGrey began as, though they would change to other styles... and this is what Music/{{Versailles}} was said to be before it broke up, and its reformation as "Music/{{Jupiter}}" seems to be similar.
* Oshare Kei: Characterised by a more cheerful sound and brighter aesthetics, with softer colours and materials being favoured. Most bands play pop punk or soft rock, though there are a few who play straight-up HardcorePunk. Some example bands would be Music/AnCafe, LM.C or [[=SuG=]], some of the early works of Music/{{Miyavi}} would qualify, though he was always on the fringes.
* Lolita: As in the UsefulNotes/{{Lolita|Fashion}} style of dress, [[{{Lolicon}} not anything related to the infamous book or its subject material]]. This is harder to define, but the general consensus is that bands in this genre have a more goth-rock influenced sound, although AlternativeRock and PowerMetal also feature in. Some bands may incorporate SymphonicMetal or, in very rare cases, ThrashMetal overtones. The visuals tend to focus on elegance and the costumes are often more OTT than in other subgenres. Also, Lolita musicians are far more likely to deliberately invoke ViewerGenderConfusion, going out of their way to be as feminine as they possibly can be. Anything connected to Mana (including Music/MaliceMizer while he was in that band and Music/MoiDixMois) is a good example. Music/{{Versailles}} takes some inspiration from this but isn't entirely it.
* Eroguro Kei: Combines [[InterplayOfSexAndViolence ero and guro together]], in the veins of Music/AliceCooper and Music/MarilynManson taken UpToEleven; a lot of emphasis on both HotterAndSexier and BloodierAndGorier, combining FetishFuel with {{Gorn}}, NauseaFuel and NightmareFuel. Music/DirEnGrey was once this before they toned down their visuals (though it didn't take long before they returned to being eroguro with the release of ''UROBOROS''). Music/TheGazette is this all throughout their career.
* Nagoya Kei: Is defined by a gloomy, dark or harsh sound, and usually grim visuals. Darker than Lolita and less in-your-face than Eroguro, black is very much a favoured colour, and growled or barked vocals are common. There tends to be less importance placed on visuals in this subgenre than in others. The term has become the subject of misuse, with [[FanDumb ignorant fans]] often applying the label to any dark and heavy J-metal group regardless of origin or musical style, such as the case with Music/LunaSea, despite not being from Nagoya (though it is somewhat acceptable nowadays to use the label for any VK band that shows the archetypal attitude, sound and image of true Nagoya kei bands, regardless of origin.) Music/DirEnGrey also gets misclassified as this. True Nagoya kei bands, however, include acts such as Music/{{Kuroyume}}, Music/{{Deathgaze}} and Music/{{Lynch}}.
* Visual Shock (aka Veteran Kei): The arguable parent subgenre from which the others branched out, as pioneered by Music/XJapan and the other Extasy Records bands, Music/BuckTick, and COLOR in the late 1980s and early 1990s. ThrashMetal band Music/SexMachineguns also belongs here. (It also includes Music/SeikimaII, though simply because SEIKIMA-II fits nowhere else). It contains and can use any and all elements from these subgenres and arguably gave birth to them all, but ViewerGenderConfusion is a near-constant as are EightiesHair and YouGottaHaveBlueHair. Few new bands would fall into this genre, though cover bands and the occasional new band that doesn't fit elsewhere may try.
** Neo-Visual Shock is primarily an invention of the middle of the TurnOfTheMillennium into TheNewTens by artists such as Music/{{Miyavi}} and Music/{{Kisaki}}. A few artists around 2006-2010 and onward began to take a renewed interest in the foundational musical and artistic stylings of Visual Kei and either play them straight or reconstruct them for a new era. Example artists would be Music/{{Miyavi}} (who created the flagship song of Neo Visual Shock with ''Neo Vizualizm'' with its shoutouts to "X, Kuroyume, and Luna Sea"), Music/{{Kisaki}} in both his personal style and his bands Megaromania and Lin, and the bands Music/VaguProject, Music/{{DEZERT}}, Music/{{TSP}}, Music/{{BORN}} and Music/{{Gyze}} are all examples, featuring artists with long or impressively styled hair, more emphasis on makeup than Kote Kei, a strong, fast HeavyMetal sound and lyrics for most (that for DEZERT and TSP, is ThrashMetal). Along with Post-Visual and Oshare, it's one of the fastest-growing new genres.
* Ex-Visual Kei/Post-Visual Kei: These are bands that started out as visual or tried to appeal to visual fans and then dissociated themselves from the genre/took on an unorthodox approach to the style, either as a form of aversion/subversion of its tropes or in an attempt to reach a wider audience. Good examples are [[Music/LArcEnCiel L'Arc-en-Ciel]] (started out as Visual Shock, but referring to them as visual became a near BerserkButton for them), Music/DirEnGrey (started out as Black Kote Kei, became Eroguro, and is now DeathMetal or deathcore) and Music/{{Miyavi}} (started out as Visual Shock, but has also tried different styles and even went through a non-Visual phase). Post-Visual Kei straddles a fine line between VK and non-VK J-music, leading to many controversies surrounding post-Visual artists.
* Digital Kei is an emergent Visual subgenre that has existed since the AlternativeMetal and IndustrialMetal boom of TheNineties, initially pioneered by artists such as Music/{{hide|toMatsumoto}}, Music/TMRevolution and Imai Hisashi of Music/BuckTick, and now popularized by acts such as Music/BloodStainChild, [[Music/XJapan I.N.A.]], Dazzle Vision, {{Gackt}} and post-GenreShift Music/TheGazette. Digital kei music and visuals are rooted in established ElectronicMusic and JapanesePopMusic styles. The subgenre is also notable for its emphasis on stage theatrics and interactive live shows (animations, holograms and ''even virtual band members'' are common) and for its saturation of solo artists, mostly DJ[=/=]sound manipulator-type artists.

There are always exceptions to this though. Many bands straddle genres and some don't really fit into any at all. Other bands start off visual and then leave the subgenre. Also, as there are no real rules to Visual Kei besides the fact that you have to put effort into a quirky appearance, there are often debates amongst fans as to which bands count as visual in the first place.

In recent years, Visual Kei has begun to be used by non-Japanese bands, especially bands in the underground metal scene. One such band is the Swedish AlternativeMetal / MelodicDeathMetal band Music/{{Seremedy}}, which gained some mainstream success before disbanding in 2013 - and Music/{{Kerbera}}, which is led by its former vocalist SEIKE. Music/{{YOHIO}}, the former guitarist, has began a career as a solo guitarist and vocalist as well.

----
Some Visual Kei labels and associated organizations:

* Creator/ExtasyRecords - Music/{{Yoshiki|Hayashi}}'s label, and probably the first specific Visual Kei label. Inactive (mostly) in recent years.
* Creator/FreeWillRecords - DynamiteTommy's label. TheRival to Creator/ExtasyRecords, and the rivalry has ranged from open fighting between artists (early on) to mostly friendly, since it is the only active of the two labels (currently).
** Creator/PeaceAndSmileCompany - Often shortened to ''PS Company'', it is a sub-label of Creator/FreeWillRecords which heavily leans toward Oshare bands (with Music/TheGazette being a notable and pretty much [[EnsembleDarkhorse the only exception]]) and has stricter rules.
* Creator/{{Lemoned}} / Creator/LemonedPlant: labels once ran by [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]] but which are now ran by Hiroshi and are mostly defunct as actual "labels" as {{Lemoned}} is more of a fashion and merchandising venture.
* Creator/SherowArtistSociety: Began by Kamijo of Music/{{Versailles}} for Versailles, Music/MatenrouOpera, and associated artists, now only hosts Music/MatenrouOpera
* Creator/UnderCode: Began as a sub-label of Creator/FreeWillRecords but became its own label, ran by Music/{{Kisaki}} until it went bankrupt in 2012. Notable for being the only neo-Visual Shock label (though it also had White Kote Kei bands in its roster, and one Oshare band).

----
Media inspired by or making major references to Visual Kei (Visual Kei or at the very least Visual Kei artists are anything from a plot point to making a recognizable on-screen appearance)

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Manga/DetroitMetalCity: The bands in it are arguably inspired in equal parts by [[Music/XJapan X]] and Music/SeikimaII.
** It is worth noting, however, that DMC itself is never explicitly referred to as Visual Kei, but their bassist, Jagi, joins a visual band as a side project in one story arc. The band, Karisuma, is portrayed quite differently from DMC, and appears to be based on more recent Visual Kei. [[FridgeBrilliance Could well be an intentional comparison]] between Visual Shock and modern Visual Kei, in that everything from fan behavior to stagecraft has changed and morphed into a form almost unrecognizable from the beginning. [[note]]While this isn't a place for debate on whether those changes were good or bad, just compare an 80s-early 90s video of XJapan or SEIKIMA-II to a more modern one of [[=SuG=]] or Uchuu Sentai Noiz. Also, unlike in Western genres where new generally overtakes old, the old Visual Shock bands and more modern Visual Kei bands tend to co-exist for a variety of reasons - and also tend to share from the same pool of talent.[[/note]]
* Anime/TheLegendOfBlackHeaven, the protagonist's band.
* Manga/LoveLucky features a character, Tsunami-san, who was once in a Visual Kei band.
* Manga/{{Otomen}} has characters that are part of a Visual Kei band called "fra-fra."
* Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei has a teacher who is a fan of the RealLife Visual Kei band Nightmare.
* Manga/SketDance features Kiyoshi Date, who is voiced by Visual Kei artist Music/{{Gackt}}, and is a huge fan of Visual Kei as an AffectionateParody.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* "Bus Stop," which featured a two guys at a bar scene... one of the guys being Music/{{Yoshiki|Hayashi}}. Barely counts, since it was filmed during a time in his life when his style was more "cool rich guy" than specifically Visual Kei - yet he was recognizable on sight enough to make it count.
* The live-action version of ''Manga/DetroitMetalCity'', see the anime and manga example above.
* "Maebashi Visual-Kei!" A 2011 Japanese film about a young man that left his rural life to become a famous VisualKei artist. Known best for [[TheThemeParkVersion its romanticization and sanitization of the realities]] of Visual Kei, as well as [[WTHCastingAgency casting Johnnys Jimusho actors for everyone involved]] never mind that casting actual indies Visual Kei artists at least as extras could have easily been done.
* "Oresama," a semi-autobiographical fictional piece written by Music/{{Miyavi}} and including him.
* "Tokyo Pop," a 1980s film that is actually the first appearance on film both of Music/XJapan (then known as X), and of Visual Kei in any media outside itself.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'': One of the characters you can pick up in your LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters journey (and one that is arguably fairly plot-important) is Nikki, a Visual Kei bandleader and guitarist who is equal parts shoutout to [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]] (he's a redhead with eye makeup very much like hide's, and plays a yellow heart guitar) and Nikki Sixx from Music/MotleyCrue. In the Japanese version he was named Slash instead of Nikki, which made him a shoutout to the Music/GunsNRoses guitarist and to hide.
* In ''VideoGame/SagaFrontier'', Virgil is based on Atsushi Sakurai from BuckTick.
* Music/{{Vocaloid}} features Gakupo (based on Music/{{Gackt}} and voiced by him) and arguably Len.
** Visual Kei Band Vanan'Ice (consisting of Gakupo, Len, and KAITO).
* A main character in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'', Eikichi Mishina, is a leader of a rock band whose appearance and personality are based on visual kei.
* [[spoiler: Sergei]] from ''AsurasWrath'' is [[spoiler:reincarnated as a Visual Kei artist in TheStinger of DLC ep 22 part Iv: Nirvana.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Productions for which Visual Kei or post-Visual Kei artists/bands have created music/soundtracks ]]
(please list in this section if the band existed ''before'' the anime or manga or film - if the band was ''created'' for the production, it belongs in one of the above categories)
* Anime/{{Buddha}}'s theme ''Scarlet Love Song'' is by Music/XJapan.
* VideoGame/FinalFantasyDirgeOfCerberus's song ''Redemption'' is sung by Creator/{{Gackt}}
* Anime/{{Mnemosyne}}'s opening theme ''Alsatia'' is by Music/{{Galneryus}}.
* Film/MoonChild's song ''Orenji no Taiyou'' is by Creator/{{Gackt}} and Music/{{Hyde}} singing a duet.
* Film/RepoTheGeneticOpera 's song ''VUK-R'' is by Music/VioletUK, and the entire soundtrack was produced by Music/YoshikiHayashi.
* Film/{{Saw}} IV's song ''IV'' is by Music/XJapan.
* Film/{{Saw}} 3D's soundtrack includes the song "Hageshisa to..." by Music/DirEnGrey
* Anime/{{Texhnolyze}}'s ED is by Creator/{{Gackt}}.
* Anime/{{X1999}}'s theme song ''Forever Love'' is by Music/XJapan.

----
The Visual Kei musicians and the Visual Kei scene provides or has provided examples of the following tropes:
* AccentuateTheNegative: Visual Kei artists (especially Visual Shock era artists) are often seen as musical novelties at best, outside of their band fandoms and the general Visual Kei/Jrock fandom at large in the US. This often leads to US musical critics and US media ''ignoring them entirely,'' writing heavily insulting and patronizing pieces about them or their acts/refusing to recommend them when they recommend objectively artistically worse acts, and/or emphasizing their negative behaviors or attributes when they would not do the same to a similar white, American artist - and that's from people who are "professional" or "respectable." From the average US metal or mainstream FanDumb, they won't even be kind enough to ignore or damn with faint praise, and will usually pile on with a flurry of anti-Asian racial epithets and homophobic insults.
** Within the fandom, various rivalries and hatedoms often lead to this - e.g. to the most rabid X fans, there is ''nothing'' good about COLOR or their music, to the most rabid Dir en grey fans, The Gazette stole their ideas and is a bunch of wannabe emo fanboys... if fans hate a rival band enough, ''nothing'' about them can be worthy of praise, even if it objectively is.
* AcquiredSituationalNarcissism: A common reason for VisualKei artists becoming the AttentionWhore or DramaQueen, getting into scandals, or otherwise acting in ways that seem to be ItsAllAboutMe even after becoming famous (and no longer ''needing'' to be an AttentionWhore or ShamelessSelfPromoter as getting famous occasionally requires.) To name any specific artist would start a FlameWar, because there's ''more than one.''
* ActuallyIAmHim: This can happen due to artists often looking ''far'' different out of usual costume and makeup, especially if the artist is one that normally engages in CostumePorn onstage and dresses fairly normally off.
* AgentPeacock: As quite a few people stupid enough to get into a BarBrawl with VisualKei artists quickly learned, ''looking effeminate does not make one a weakling or wimp.''
* AllPartOfTheShow: During live performance, Visual Kei bands generally try to keep the show going at almost any cost, especially in Japan, because they must pay to play every show. This trope is often a result - a mistake or even an injurious accident is brushed off as intentional and part of the show.
* AlmostKiss: Common as a form of fanservice, especially among straight male artists who don't want to ''really'' kiss.
* AlwaysMale: Pretty much, as in most rock genres, though there are a few exceptions: [[LuciferLusciousViolenoue Fiction]] and LuciferLusciousViolenoue from older VK, and the modern bands Music/ExistTrace, DESTROSE, and Danger Gang are all female, as is the Website/YouTube Music/XJapan cover band called SOX Japan. There are some individual artists too: the drummer Hina (who works now with the late Music/TaijiSawada's band which was and is otherwise all male) is one; Inugami Kyouko, the vocalist from Inugami Circus-dan, is another, Creator/YuiItsuki of Yousei Teikoku is a rather famous example, and perhaps the most well-known outside the subculture is Music/KanonWakeshima.
** Inverted by the fans. It is not unusual for Visual Kei bands (even in the HardRock and Music/HeavyMetal genres which are usually heavily male for non Visual Kei acts) to have more female fans than male fans on average, or an almost even split of fan gender.
* AmbiguousGender: Many Visual Kei artists have made this their "hat," as noted above, and some seem to have chosen it as their gender presentation onstage and offstage alike. A couple of examples would be [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]] from Music/XJapan for old Visual Kei, and Hizaki from Music/{{Versailles}} ([[HighTurnoverRate and a whole lot of other bands]]) for new. Other notable artists who presented themselves in this manner are Mana of Music/MaliceMizer and Music/MoiDixMois, Music/{{Kaya}}, [[LadyLooksLikeADude Omi]] of Music/ExistTrace and [[DudeLooksLikeALady Shinya]] of Music/DirEnGrey.
* AmicableExes: Not in the relationship sense, but in the ex-band member sense. While some bands and friendships break up due to intense drama and there are some artists who (or whose fans do, or both) intensely hate each other, many other people just drift apart for other reasons, bands break up for financial or label reasons or creative differences or a member being in legal trouble etcetera, and therefore they remain on friendly terms and will sometimes come back to work with each other. One example was Yoshiki and Taiji - while their split was a bit more acrimonious at the beginning, they reconciled, and before Taiji's death were actually somewhat close friends again.
* AppealToObscurity: Due to the amount of hurriedly disbanded bands in the scene, this is ''incredibly'' common - almost everyone knows a band or act that never made it even to the six-month mark, to the extent where it's often used as an argument against entering the scene as an artist at all.
* ArtEvolution: Has happened in all of VisualKei, though whether the changes brought by the evolution are good or not is ''very'' dependent upon the fan/the artist commenting. There's quite a few people, for example, who wish a specific subgenre had never developed (Oshare gets this a lot from metal fans, but so does Eroguro from people who find it a misogynistic, backward embarrassment), or that Post-Visual had never became a thing. On the other hand, there's a lot of fans and artists who are thankful that the scene has evolved and therefore survived at various points.
* ArtisticStimulation: Very much so. Alcohol could be argued to be almost the lifeblood of Visual Kei because almost all performances are at bars, many band events center around drinking and drinking parties, and the amount of artists who are or who are close to TheAlcoholic or OffTheWagon or FunctionalAddict are too numerous to count. Most Visual Kei artists also smoke, although many have quit. While recreational drug use in general aside from alcohol and tobacco is VERY much frowned upon openly due to Japan's attitudes toward drugs in general, methamphetamine abuse is also an open secret among some artists and has figured in the burnouts and/or deaths of some.
* AttentionWhore: ''VERY'' common in VisualKei, except ''most'' tend to be a relatively harmless ShamelessSelfPromoter at worst, because from the beginning of the scene, artists ''had'' to try to stand out and get attention to even be noticed as Visual Kei. There may be some of the more pathological type, but most VK attention whoring is simply for artistic and artist promotion purposes due to attention bids being an effective way to get one's message out - getting on the news, for example, is nearly-free publicity that might introduce you to a PeripheryDemographic who thinks you looked cool, or filming your PV in a busy public location without proper permits gives you both the chance to look natural and induce EnforcedMethodActing.
* AtomicFBomb: Common in some lyrics...
* TheAtoner: Many members of older bands will fall into this trope, becoming social activists or at the very least very nice people to make up for [[HairTriggerTemper the]] [[SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll excesses]] and sometimes even criminal acts of their early days.
* AudienceParticipationSong: Visual Kei is a genre very dependent on audience participation. Most bands will have at least one image song like this, complete with specific "furi" (hand gestures or dance moves) to go along with it.
* AxCrazy: Some bands (generally Eroguro or Visual Shock bands, but Nagoya Kei sometimes as well) take posing as this trope UpToEleven, at least for specific members, and many songs go around people with the theme. Then there are the few people who are AxCrazy {{Jerkass}}es offstage - Wataru from the band 12012, who ended up in court for choking somebody after a night of heavy drinking, is one famous case.
* The various types of {{Badass}} clothing. BadassCape, BadassLongcoat... it will be worn by someone in some band somewhere.
* BadassBiker: Visual Shock was a near-direct descendant of ''bosozoku'' and ''yankii'' style and fashion of TheEighties at ''many'' points. While [[Music/TaijiSawada Taiji]] of Music/XJapan and Music/Loudness (among many others) was the most famous example, there were many, many others, although most of them either disappeared, disbanded, or went back to being more "ordinary" rock or metal artists by the middle of TheNineties.
* BadBoss: A lot of label owners/producers tend toward this, though with producers, they're under pressure from their overhead as well.
* BannedInChina: The ''Chinese'' Visual Kei band Silver Ash was actually banned in its own country in a literal version of the trope. While most Visual Kei bands aren't banned in China itself (in fact, Chinese fans make up a ''very'' large portion of Music/XJapan's fandom) they have ran the risk of being banned or restricted elsewhere, or having to tone down performances in places to avoid it (for example, Adams can't perform in Russia or the Islamic world due to its very band concept being HoYay, and while Kaya has performed in Russia he faced similar issues)
* BarBrawl: Arguably somewhat less common now (though still engaged in by indies and unpopular bands and between fans, for [[BaseBreaker various]] [[BerserkButton reasons]]), this was common for a while among Visual Shock bands in the 80s and early 90s.
* BaseBreaker / BerserkButton: Almost anything that can be associated with Visual Kei can and would enrage someone somewhere in the fandom. From the usual, such as which bands, artists, or subgenres are better to more specific topics such as reasons for bands breaking up, members leaving/retiring from music/transferring to another band, or the deaths of famous artists.
** Do ''not,'' ever claim to have slept with a bandperson or be dating them, even if ''you are'' or ''you have.'' This is a BerserkButton to many fans for a lot of reasons (everything from homophobia/transphobia to jealousy to their being convinced you're a liar, to anger over being invasive of privacy, to fear of the GoldDigger or YokoOhNo). It is ''somewhat'' mitigated if you are a highly beautiful and conventionally attractive straight female and/or the artist himself or herself has announced the relationship first, but it's still very touchy for a lot of people.
** Post-Visual Kei, in general, is the subject of much controversy. It is a major BaseBreaker and BerserkButton for many fan circles. mainly because artists associated with the label are known for leaving the scene/denying they were part of it, actively loathing Visual Kei and VK artists, or appearing "different" from the usual, leading to many accusations of artists "selling out" or "damaging the image of Visual Kei". L'Arc~en~Ciel has been the target of many VK purists for leaving the scene, then showing off visuals despite constantly denying that they are VK. A similar controversy exists within the fandom of DirEnGrey.
** Whenever a band goes NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly, [[GenreAdultery plays songs in genres other than rock or metal]], or [[GenreShift outright changes their musical style]], to some degree. As with the general rock/metal scene, GenreBusting is usually seen as bizarre and untrue to the spirit of the subculture and therefore, is not tolerated by everyone in the scene (though the VK scene is more tolerant of such artists and bands). Bands like Music/ExistTrace and Music/TheGazette gain fairly sizable {{Hatedom}}s for having changed their musical styles.
** Oshare Kei. [[SchmuckBait Bring it up]] on any Visual Kei or J-rock (or any rock/metal discussion for that matter), and hope to escape alive and unscathed.
** As a general rule, never, ever confuse Visual Kei with {{Emo}}, Scene, or HairMetal, or label VK bands as such.
** Deaths in general are a topic for discussion in all rock subgenres, but in Visual Kei, deaths are a touchy, touchy subject; to avoid causing controversies, many bands never disclose the reasons for their bandmates' deaths (though this practice is an equally controversial move, since [[SchmuckBait it would attract curious fans]] and cause [[EpilepticTrees rumors to pop out]]). Music/{{hide|toMatsumoto}}'s death, in particular, is probably not a good idea to discuss unless you're ''absolutely certain'' everyone around agrees with what you're going to say. The roles of alcohol and other substances, whether it was accident, intentional suicide, murder, or whatever else are all flashpoints, the roles of other people in his life even more so, and people are so used to {{troll}}s using discussions around it to start fights that saying anything even vaguely controversial, even if legitimate (e.g. mentioning his alcoholism) can start a roaring flamewar or get you called out as a rumormongering troll.
* TheBeautifulElite: The most successful Visual bands and artists were considered these.
* BestKnownForTheFanservice: Some bands, and some individual artists. In the better cases, because they actually are skilled and talented musicians who just happen to be TheBeautifulElite and/or skilled at PlayingToTheFetishes. In the worse, because the music itself is bad to horrible, but the artists doing it are very skilled at fanservice.
* {{Bishonen}} and {{Biseinen}}: Almost all Visual Kei artists to some degree, at least onstage. Arguably an EnforcedTrope in some underground circles.
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy: Invoked by some bands and artists. Jasmine You of Music/{{Versailles}} made this a joke, as did hide from Music/XJapan, and being "alien demons" was the entire hat of SEIKIMA-II. Music/{{Kaoru}} of Dir En Grey describes his band's concept as "[[OurZombiesAreDifferent Japanese Zombie Heroez]]", and Creator/YuiItsuki's Yousei Teikoku is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin (the band's name translates to "The Fairy Empire").
* BeforeAndAfterPictures: Common, and the difference between an artist when he or she is fully kitted out in their style and when he/she is not is often so much as to make the person unrecognizable. Averted by "lifestyle" artists who are always dressed in some form of visual style, and by those whose style is one of the more "rockstar" varieties.
* BonusMaterial: Much of TheMerch is this, for attending shows and the like, and often special CD or DVD releases have at least a little "present" of some sort, whether it be a special version of a song, pictures of the band, the liner notes, backstage interviews, outtakes... among many other options.
* BothSidesHaveAPoint: Applies very much to ''almost anything'' argued over in the scene by anyone, and why making judgments even on violent or seemingly criminal actions can be harder than it may seem on the surface.
* BrokenBridge: The RealLife version of this is why many bands disband or never attain much notice. Due to the lack of financial stability, anything from a band member suddenly taking ill and being unable to be replaced quickly enough to perform at the venues bought, a major gear theft or vehicle accident, a venue closing and not paying back the fees, the label that just signed them going under, ''anything'' can be a catastrophic end to a band at the very least going on as itself, and possibly the artist's career as such.
* BrokenPedestal: Can happen when one works with or meets with an artist and finds them to be anything from a run of the mill {{jerkass}} to something far worse, ''especially'' if said artist's image is incredibly different from this revelation (e.g. the effect is far more pronounced with, say, an Oshare artist than an Eroguro one)
* CameraAbuse: A very common stylistic trick in Visual Kei PV or live video. One very expensive example involved hide taking a signature Burny Fernandes guitar to an expensive stage camera. Just from looking at the footage, an estimate of that stunt probably cost at least the equivalent of US $10,000.
* CarefulWithThatAxe: Some Visual Kei vocalists are absolutely famous for this. Kyo from Music/DirEnGrey is the most well known, though he learned from the late Ume from Music/TokyoYankees.
* CashCowFranchise: While many Visual artists break out into the mainstream, there aren't a lot who gain popularity outside the music industry, but those who do become living, breathing, walking examples of this trope, spawning loads and loads of [[TheMerch merchandise]], as well as [[FountainOfExpies legions of imitators]]. Notable examples include {{Gackt}}, Music/TMRevolution, Mana, and both Music/{{Yoshiki|Hayashi}} and Music/{{hide|toMatsumoto}} of X Japan (the last being a case of DeadArtistsAreBetter / VindicatedByHistory)
* CastFullOfGay: Can happen when every or almost every member of a specific band is gay or male-preferring bi. These bands, or bands that pretend to be them, tend to draw ''huge'' SlashFic fandoms and a GroupieBrigade of YaoiFangirls and YaoiFanboys, for reasons that should be obvious.
* CastFullOfPrettyBoys: Almost all VisualKei bands, unless the band is made of women or has female members, or the band is ''really'' old and hasn't had good luck with genetics or money for plastic surgery and/or makeup, or the band has intentionally decided to avert the trope and be as ''ugly'' as possible in hopes of being more shocking.
* CharacterTics: Nearly every band member has one of these that makes him stand out. Funnily enough, for the ones that specifically don't, that itself becomes a character tic: for example, Pata of Music/XJapan is so quiet and focused on his instrument that that IS predominant of his CharacterTics.
* ChekhovsGun: Very common in PerformanceVideo - the ''literal'' gun version alone exists in almost too many to count, but most famously including ''Another World'' by Music/{{Gackt}} and ''The Final'' by Music/DirEnGrey - if a gun appears in a Visual Kei PV, it will almost always be used. The non-literal variants ''are'' too many to name, to the point that RedHerring being invoked instead (with what seemed to be one being absolutely meaningless/forgotten about) is often a shocking surprise.
** And a variant to the scene itself is an artist going solo. While there have been ''some'' exceptions, this is such a frequent direct or contributing cause of disbandments that one or more in a band developing (especially more popular) solo careers is when the countdown to the artist's band breaking up usually begins.
* ChivalrousPervert: The stage image and lyrical output of ''most'' of the more sexually-inclined Oshare work where it exists, and a fair amount of sexually-themed Visual Shock and Kote Kei, although there the lyrics can be a bit less of the "chivalrous" part than the stage image. ''Occasionally'' the stage image of someone at the softer end of Eroguro, though that's rare.
* ClipShow: Most Visual Kei DVD are this - clips of performances, of tour events, sometimes interviews with the artists or other stuff. Many promotional videos and performance videos are also these, even when they claim to be live, they may be a pastiche of ''several'' lives. The latter is most notorious with anything related to hide, as ''all'' the official DVD for him are ClipShow rather than the film of one single complete live show.
* CloneByConversion: Accidental, perhaps, but one source of the FountainOfExpies for hide is that he is such an influential artist to the scene and that rightly or wrongly, ''many'' visual kei artists see doing tributes to him or looking like him as personally important for at least a while or to at least rake in a ton of cash from his fans. Therefore, the artists do this to themselves, accomplishing his physical looks and occasionally his mannerisms, for some, to the point of UncannyValley.
* ClusterFBomb: Somewhat less common than the Atomic and Precision varieties but a lyrical device used by bands that have NuMetal or {{Metalcore}} influences.
* ColbertBump: Why getting on a bill with a more recognized artist (if you're not doing oneman lives yet), appearing with a more recognized artist as a guest or in a combined photoshoot, or even hanging out with one is a ''major'' step in establishing oneself. Getting on mainstream TV is another huge thing for Visual Kei artists - and this was ''heavily'' exploited in the beginning by X Japan and SEIKIMA-II among others.
* ConspicuousCG: Often found in VK promotional videos until well after TheTurnOfTheMillennium, and ''very'' prevalent in TheNineties. With the access almost anyone with the money to film a video has to even somewhat good producers and production software as of TheNewTens, it's mostly intentional or StylisticSuck if it appears in a video made then or afterward.
* ConspiracyKitchenSink: The scene itself is one, when you consider the amount of people all trying to make money (often by less than ethical means), all the business deals and intricate yet concealed relationships (business, personal, and otherwise), and amount of criminal activity and drug use and similar that only occasionally get noticed. Which leads to the presence of the...
* ConspiracyTheorist: Any visual kei band fandom will have at least one person spreading various rumors and various conspiracies/secrets/etcetera. The larger the fandom gets and/or the more the band keeps secret/the more things that happen to it or its members that could have more than one explanation, there will be more than one, and sometimes they will have a FlameWar over who's right or wrong. If there's an unexplained or suspicious death, a sudden disbandment, or any other type of major incident, there's a strong possibility of a majority of the fandom becoming one, at least in regard to the incident. Sometimes, they can even be right.
* ContemptibleCover: Most common among Visual Shock and Eroguro bands, though it mostly tends to be Contemptible PerformanceVideo now. Also sometimes subverted by [[MinimalisticCoverArt solid black covers]] or, by "GrotesqueCute" covers.
* ContractualPurity: Some labels and band leaders (generally Oshare ones, or those trying to market as available or alternately to YaoiFangirls) forbid band members to talk about their relationships. Almost every band and label (with a few exceptions) demands its members keep quiet about using drugs/substances other than alcohol and tobacco.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: ''VERY'' common in early VisualKei PerformanceVideo, promotional video, and even occasionally live performance. Visual Shock bands such as Music/XJapan and Music/BuckTick ''loved'' pyro back then, and often the determinant for "should we set this on fire" was the RuleOfCool, not anything related to safety or sanity or even if it made sense in the video. When done in live performance or practice or otherwise, belief in the trope actually led to accidental fires and even to a few incidents of ManOnFire as mentioned below. When people began to get tired of taking said risks with ''actual'' pyro, CG became good enough to render semi-realistic fire, so the trope continued on in videos even as it somewhat died out in lives.
* ConvenientlyCommonKink: BDSM and related fetish are fairly common at least as ways to invoke a shocking stage image/outward image, especially in Visual Shock (and the parts of Black Kote Kei and neo-Visual Shock that are its SpiritualSuccessor) and in Eroguro - while occasionally making appearances elsewhere. Some of the most famous photoshoots and stage performances and songs are themed around some idea of BDSM.
* CoolBike: These occasionally make appearances in videos or photoshoots - especially from the early days, when bosozoku and yankii and Visual Kei had a larger connection. Probably the most famous BadassBiker visual kei artist is Music/TaijiSawada, but there's many, many more especially from TheEighties and early in TheNineties.
* CoolLoser: Early on, ''many'' Visual Kei artists were this - ex- or present JapaneseDelinquents, people who tended to be hard-drinking, hard-partying societal outcasts as opposed to easily marketable polished professionals.
* TheCorruption: ''Methamphetamine.'' There's two primary routes of entry into the Japanese v-kei scene - band members who happen to use the drug turning their bandmates onto it, and [[{{Yakuza}} the very nice gentlemen]] who often supply people in labels and/or have dealers working the scene. Either way, it spreads virally - one artist using meth almost always ensures that at least some of his/her associates/friends/kankeisha/groupies/fellow artists/bandmates will, and then ''those'' people expose others to meth, and then those people do, and on it goes. Users first experience euphoria, the lack of need for sleep, weight loss to be thin enough for any standard, and increased sex drive - all good things for a Visual Kei artist in Japan... except the drug is slowly addicting them, depriving them of needed sleep and nutrition, and causing physical and mental illness, one horrifying example being amphetamine psychosis followed by, when the drug is quit due to the loss of touch with reality, a depressive crash that can last ''years'' and drive users back to the drug just to feel alive or normal, or be capable of work. Or it can just blow out someone's heart or brain with a heart attack or stroke instead. Quite a few deaths in the scene have resulted (though, due to the "shame" of using illegal drugs it's rarely mentioned even if the use was detected on a tox screen or the person was found with pills and/or needles.)
** Its use is also cyclical due to this pattern of distribution with "speed booms" over certain years, becoming very virulent, and then the major users dying/being arrested/quitting the drug/quitting the scene, which puts it back to "background noise" while pot or diverted prescription drugs or something else becomes more popular - until the ravages of the last speed boom are forgotten and more speed users spread use and access in the scene - leading to the ''next'' speed boom.
* CostumePorn: Defines some parts of the scene, specifically Angura and Lolita, and is very common in other subgenres and elsewhere.
* CoverVersion: Most VisualKei bands start out by covering ([[{{Plagiarism}} or occasionally outright ripping off without credit]]) other VisualKei bands. More established bands will also still do covers, usually as tributes, for cover albums, or as a [[TheAtoner belated form of credit]] for past plagiarism.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: When Visual Kei began, ''no one'' wanted to sign the first Visual Kei bands (which necessitated one of the founding bands of Visual's bandleader to create [[Creator/ExtasyRecords his own label]] for his and other bands), believing that there was no way anyone would want to see it, that it wasn't accessible or interesting or marketable. Yoshiki, hide, Imai, Atsushi, Demon Kogure, Rolly, and (D'erlanger)'s Kyo (and all the many, many other people who are far less famous) proved absolutely otherwise despite what was, until roughly 1988 when they all hit the PopularityPolynomial, an entire industry that thought they were too crazy when they were exactly this - by appealing to the incipient desire for freedom and change and as a way to express the frustration of not only the disaffected JapaneseDelinquents that made up much of the scene but of a large chunk of "normal" society as well, and by making HardRock and HeavyMetal local to Japan rather than imports (and eventually by making it an export), Visual Kei worked.
* CreatorBreakdown: A very common event in VisualKei as a result of the various financial and societal pressures on artists, as a result of many artists already being TheMentallyDisturbed to some degree, and the amount of amphetamine-class stimulants funneled into the scene by the [[{{Yakuza}} very nice gentlemen whom we shall not name for fear of getting whacked]] among other factors. Often a reason for disbandments or people leaving the scene entirely.
* CruelTwistEnding: Disbandments, usually, unless everyone really just wanted to go different directions and there's no hurt feelings. Band members becoming sick or dying, especially if the illness or death is sudden, unexplained or [[BlatantLies badly explained]], or the result of criminal activity or negligence.
* CrutchCharacter: A place where this occurs outside of VideoGames. Many times, a member from a far more famous band will be brought in for name recognition purposes and/or will start a solo band, or members from other famous bands will form a supergroup. These bands rarely succeed at the time, and almost always collapse when the most famous member or, in the case of supergroups, ''anyone'' walks (though there are some exceptions). Some good examples of this are nearly ''every band'' featuring Music/TaijiSawada after Music/{{Loudness}}, and any band featuring Music/{{Kisaki}}, and the failures of S.K.I.N. and Music/TheKillingRedAddiction, two superbands. One example where it actually ''did'' work was [[Music/{{Hyde}} Vamps]].
* CulturalPosturing: Pro-Japanese cultural posturing is SeriousBusiness to the few artists in the scene that are hardcore right-wingers, and occasionally engaged in by fans if a "J-Rock vs. Korean Pop" FlameWar begins. There's a little of it scattered everywhere around the scene, but generally it doesn't reach the level of hating on other countries than Japan outside of right-wingers and that flame war.
* CulturalRebel: The entire Visual Kei scene for both Japan and elsewhere in the world.
* CutenessOverload: Being "kawaii" is important in Oshare and in some parts of Lolita. This can often be the result, sometimes to the extent of TastesLikeDiabetes.
* DancePartyEnding: A common thing in Oshare PV is to film a dance party of some sort.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Compared to pretty much all other output of the Japanese music industry. Averted by Oshare Kei (see LighterAndSofter below), which developed as a backlash to the domination of Music/HeavyMetal and {{Goth}} in Visual Kei and a way to make the genre more "accessible."
* DeadArtistsAreBetter: As with many forms of rock, it is generally agreed upon that dead artists (especially very popular or talented ones) are better than their living counterparts; consequently, many of them have achieved legendary status, even among non-rock fans. Taken UpToEleven in Visual Kei, where bands see their members as highly important that, should one of them (typically someone very popular or with exceptional talent) pass away, it would be nigh-impossible to find someone of equal skill or influence to take his place, resulting in many bands listing them as "eternal members" and/or [[NeverLiveItDown carrying on as if they were still alive]], with a [[ReplacementScrappy substitute musician]] ([[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute preferably an expy]]) filling in for their absence. Often, the death of one member is a valid reason for a band to break up, go on hiatus, or change into darker styles. Famous examples include Music/{{hide|toMatsumoto}} and Music/{{Taiji|Sawada}} of Music/XJapan for old VK, and Jasmine You of Music/{{Versailles}} for modern VK.
* DearNegativeReader: Sometimes, Visual Kei artists lash out at their {{hatedom}} rather than pretending it's not there. The results can be anything from HilarityEnsues to a massive FlameWar.
* {{Determinator}}:
** Almost anyone in a LongRunner band, because you ''have'' to be to keep a band together over 15 or 20 or more years.
** Indies or broke artists who manage to stay in the scene and keep performing anyway, even if it's obvious their bands are too old/too weird/too something to get a major label signing.
** Almost all the still-surviving founders of the scene from Yoshiki to Imai, with all they had deal with to get to where they are.
** [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]], because he suffered mental illnesses, financial issues, the breakup of his first band, and more things that would make most people quit music and still became one of the most influential figures in the scene, even though he's not still surviving.
* DigitalPiracyIsEvil: A [[FlameWar VERY contentious debate within Visual Kei.]] Some people (many fans and including some artists such as Yoshiki) see piracy and bootlegging as a means of promotion, of making their art widespread and popular, and generally relatively harmless in the sense that many people who pirate couldn't afford to buy or wouldn't buy them unknown anyway, and therefore tolerate a certain level of piracy (usually from those who do buy some things to their ability, and of bands that either make relatively little money off of CD/DVD sales or are disbanded), subverting the trope. Played straight officially and by JASRAC and the record companies. DoubleSubverted by hide fans who insist on defunding Hiroshi Matsumoto by buying ''nothing'' official from him.
* DoesNotLikeGuns: While this trope does ''not'' apply to PVs or lyrics or fashion where (usually flash-paper non) guns make frequent appearances, it ''does'' apply in RealLife to the scene, which is partially why, despite all of the violence that was in the scene in TheEighties few people actually died as a result (and those who did were not usually shot) and why the homicide rate is still fairly low enough that outright murder in the scene is shocking and newsworthy when it does occur. Due to Japan's strict anti-firearm laws and the personal distaste for firearms most people in the scene have being a dual version of this trope, Visual Kei has managed to fairly successfully avoid major issues with RealLife gun violence.
* DontTryThisAtHome: Generally, trying to teach oneself a skill or instrument off of the most extreme artists for it is not a good idea, because those artists generally have thrown safe technique and care for their own bodies to the wind, which is why they often get hurt and hurt badly from doing what they do. For example, using Music/{{Kyo}} or pre-1991 [[Music/ToshimitsuDeyama Toshi]] as absolute technique models for your singing may very well give you the same vocal polyps they both had, or burst your own eardrum or break your vocal cords. Trying to drum exactly like [[Music/YoshikiHayashi Yoshiki]] pre-1995 may give you the same injuries and pain he now has to deal with, or if your neck snaps in a different place, just outright kill you.
* DoubleEntendre: Common with the earlier works or "marketable" works of Visual Shock bands, mostly done as a form of GettingCrapPastTheRadar or RefugeInAudacity. Still in use by Oshare bands, for similar reasons of marketability. Averted by Eroguro bands, which generally are far more direct with sexual and violent imagery and lyrics.
** Most bandmen will use forms of DoubleEntendre or other wordplay to communicate being gay/bi/trans or communicate drug use, if asked about such subjects in an interview or other context without actually saying it. This plays into Japanese culture, where admitting, say, that one finds one's own gender attractive would be seen as crass and outre - so to say one is "embarrassed" by their reaction to a man flirting with them, or to vaguely mention "taking pills" to refer to drug use or to refer to a mental breakdown as "nervous exhaustion," are ways to convey the meaning without being too public.
* DramaQueen: The "diva" or "princess" type is fairly common in Visual Kei. Some that became notorious for it include [[Music/YoshikiHayashi Yoshiki]], Creator/{{Gackt}}, Music/{{Kisaki}}, Music/{{Hizaki}} all fell into this at some point or another, among ''many'' others.
* DramaticShattering: Fairly common way to do something "shocking." Pioneered primarily by Music/XJapan whose band members liked to [[RockersSmashGuitars smash things]] [[TrashTheSet onstage]] and in PerformanceVideo (and pretty much ''[[BarBrawl elsewhere]]''), and picked up by pretty much everyone.
** As a matter of fact, one of the US-English sites covering VisualKei is called "Shattered Tranquility," in a form of LampshadeHanging.
* DrivenToSuicide: A ''very'' common theme in much Visual Kei work, to the extent that if you are easily triggered with themes of suicide it's probably a good idea to avoid many songs or bands, unless you find music/discussion of it helpful to your healing.
* DrunkenMaster: Quite a few people in Visual Kei are TheAlcoholic but this doesn't seem to affect their stage performance or skill. Pata (and the late hide and Taiji of X Japan) are probably the best examples - all of them could perform at insanely skilled levels despite their level of intoxication.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: Very, very common, and a frequent cause of ViewerGenderConfusion among fans. Occasionally inverted by female artists who will try to look [[LadyLooksLikeADude male or]] [[{{Bifauxnen}} masculine-androgynous]].
* DungeonmastersGirlfriend: A common reason for band drama or breakups, and why relationships between band members are actually often looked down upon: members who become closer friends or especially romantic partners are ''far'' more common to give their closer friends/romantic partners preferential treatment, to the degree of someone who's with the bandleader in such a way having UltimateJobSecurity, even if it means the band implodes for it.
* DudeNotFunny: Due to its ShockRock and HeavyMetal roots, Visual Kei often happily deals in ''all'' of the subjects there, on a sliding scale of respect and intelligence to CrossingTheLineTwice and BlackHumor to just being pointlessly offensive for the sake of offense.
* DysfunctionJunction: Many Visual Kei bands, due to having more than one member that is OffTheWagon, TheMentallyDisturbed, financially or relationally unstable, or in some other way socially dysfunctional.
* EpicRocking: The bands that lean toward PowerMetal or progressive rock/progressive metal usually have a song like this, although the crowning example that ''no one'' has so far dethroned is Music/XJapan's ''Art of Life.'' Music/{{Versailles}} has come close with the full edition of ''The Revenant Choir,'' though. Also, almost all of the more metal leaning bands will have a long solo at one point or another (usually guitar, but sometimes drums, or even bass with an especially talented bassist).
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: [[Music/YoshikiHayashi Yoshiki]] until around 1994, and Music/{{Hizaki}}. The entire Lolita Kei subgenre.
* EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench: Quite a few Visual Kei bands use French or pseudo-French in song titles, tour titles, and similar.
* EverybodySmokes: Almost everyone, at least to a certain point in time anyway. This trope was in full effect in TheEighties and TheNineties. Some well-known artists began to quit smoking (or at least publicly claim to do so and conceal the habit as they continued on) as of the TurnOfTheMillennium and TheNewTens.
* ExplicitContent: It's everywhere, at least if you know where to look and can find translations/can understand Japanese. From the very beginning - while Music/XJapan may be better known for such ballads as ''Forever Love'' and ''Endless Rain'' now, a quite large amount of its work is IntercourseWithYou, including ''Stab Me In The Back,'' a song released in ''1987'' that was explicitly about the joys of male/male sex, and of course ''Orgasm,'' which is about ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. Music/BuckTick is nigh-famous for it, as a short browse of its page will show. SerialEscalation and SeinfeldIsUnfunny means that Music/DirEnGrey and Music/TheGazette have stuff that makes X and Buck-Tick look almost innocent in comparison. Almost the only part of VisualKei that doesn't indulge (openly) are some Oshare bands, and even they have it, they just prefer to hide it behind a lot of innuendo, LyricalDissonance, or similar tricks.
* ExplosiveStupidity: Back when actual pyro was more of a thing and the bands using it were a bunch of young drunk and high guys... you could probably guess explosives and incendiaries handling wasn't the smartest, though the amount of people who actually died was surprisingly small, and somehow there weren't any venue incidents that killed everyone inside.
* {{Expy}}: It is quite common for 1990s and late 2000s-era Visual bands to have members that resemble other Visual kei artists. [[FountainOfExpies Frequently imitated artists]] include Music/TMRevolution, Reita of Music/TheGazette and Dir en grey vocalist Kyo (who himself was an expy of not one, but three artists: T.M. Revolution, Ume of Tokyo Yankees and Kiyoharu of Kuroyume). Of notable mention is Music/{{Gackt}}, who has inspired legions of imitators in terms of both musical ability and visual flair. There's also a thriving industry of Music/{{hide|toMatsumoto}} clones...
** An ''entire band'' of [[Music/MaliceMizer Mana]] expies in Music/MoiDixMois, a band founded and produced by the ''original'' Mana, who is also a member. ([[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob3-LOV4rOI Watch]] and see for yourself.)
** Music/{{Kisaki}}'s Under Code Production label is particularly notable for having Music/DirEnGrey clones and imitators of Visual Shock-era bands, with the only ''seemingly original'' artists being Kisaki's own projects (Phantasmagoria and Lin) and Megaromania, bands that are well-known for reestablishing the Visual Shock image (though Megaromania slowly shifted to Kote Kei).
** Early on, Visual Shock bands adopted 80's glam stylings, to the point that early Visual Kei looked more like a StealthParody of HairMetal than a distinct style. Most of these bands have since established their own image (with the notable exception of Music/SeikimaII)
* EyeScream: Often used in promotional videos that want to invoke NauseaFuel or {{GASP}} for it being one of the easier CG effects at first (all you needed was a closeup shot of an eye animated or real or a long view on someone "operating" on someone's face etc)
* FakeOutMakeOut: Because yaoi fanservice is a cheap way to distract fangirls from lack of musicianship or intelligent lyrics or... pretty much anything.
* FamilyVersusCareer: Why a lot of Visual Kei artists retire, go indies or on hiatus, or alternately keep performing but get divorced/insist on their partners having abortions or pay them off to go into hiding/similar. It is hard if not absolutely impossible to maintain a somewhat profitable touring and recording schedule as a label-signed artist ''and'' have a family with especially young or special needs children.
* FanCommunityNicknames: [[Music/AnCafe Cafekkos]], [[Music/DirEnGrey The Merciless Cult]], [[Music/TheGazette Heresy]], [[Music/{{Versailles}} Descendants of the Rose]], among many, many others...
* FanDisservice: Quite a few things in Visual Kei, sometimes intentionally, other times, because what is fanservice to one person (e.g. HoYay) is FanDisservice to another.
* {{Fanservice}}: Pretty much the stock in trade of Visual Kei. Started with the original Visual Shock bands (Music/XJapan and Music/BuckTick are masters of fanservice of various forms, and Music/YoshikiHayashi of Music/XJapan was [[OldShame a worker in a host club at one point early in the band's indies days]]) and whatever form of fanservice you are looking for, it will generally be provided by some Visual Kei band or artist somewhere. Subverted, somewhat, by Lolita artists who do not like to be touched or touch fans, and by Eroguro artists who prefer FanDisservice and/or serving up {{Gorn}}, NightmareFuel and NauseaFuel in equal parts to the FetishFuel.
* FemaleGaze AND MaleGaze: Most Visual Kei bands to some extent. The most well-endowed men will generally tend to show off, providing lots of eye candy for women and gay/bi men alike...
* FightingYourFriend: Instrument "battles" such as guitar or drum battles. Most people who compete are friends, often in the same band or friendly bands.
* FinancialAbuse: As you can likely imagine in a scene with lots of money circulating but relatively little going to the artists themselves, this is ''incredibly'' prevalent. Everything from band/label contracts that wouldn't make it for a second before being thrown out in a fair court of law but enforced by the [[{{Yakuza}} very nice gentlemen]] or rougher band members, to mitsu forcing bandmen into unwanted relationships, to religious "self-help" seminars and gurus recruiting people claiming to save them from the scene/from SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll, it's all there and it can happen to ''anyone'' who loses control of their finances or who isn't a business and financial wizard.
* FirstPersonSnapshooter: A RealLife one, for concert and rock magazine photographers. Some photographers are almost as famous as onstage performers, especially if they had the good luck to cover a band that succeeded, such as Hideo Canno, famous for his photography with X Japan and hide, among ''many'' others.
* FlameWar: There's one raging in pretty much any corner of Visual Kei at one time or another. Some fairly common causes are, but are not limited to:
** {{Troll}}ing of almost any form imaginable, ranging from the silly obvious attempt to get flamed to cruel cyberbullying, and a FlameWar between the troll(s) and the people they are targeting/people defending that person or band
** Sexual orientation or relationships of any given person
** What band or artist is better, what band or artist is worse, what band or artist has "sold out" or "remained true"
** Rumors, gossip, conspiracy theories, etcetera
** What some song did or didn't mean
** Is Visual Kei still alive or is it dead with KoreanPop being the better genre
** Pretty much ''anything'' people can find to fight with each other over
* FluffyFashionFeathers: A common part of some Visual Kei costuming.
* FountainOfMemes: Visual Kei is one of these.
** In Visual Kei, "meme" has two meanings. The first is the usual, the second is anonymous communities called "hate memes," which are basically the Western attempt at Tanuki, mentioned later.
* FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire: See VampiresAreSexGods below. ''Such'' a common Visual Kei trope that people mocking the scene have called it out on everyone being "gay vampires."
* FriendlyRivalry: ''Most'' band rivalries, especially after TheEighties, in that people tend to be fans of both bands/artists, they will perform together, etcetera.
* FrivolousLawsuit: A few of them have been filed, especially when Visual Kei interacts with American lawsuit-friendliness. Some of the more famous are:
** X Japan being sued by the American punk band X over its name (which was at the time, also X)- forcing it to change its name and not perform in the West for several years
** Extasy Records being sued by a hearing aid company, Ear Extasy, over its logo and name - forcing it to not use the name Extasy officially in the US
** Dir en Grey being sued by a concerned mother, who took her 10 year old daughter to a concert in the US where the uncensored version of ''Obscure'' PV was on projector. The suit was settled by the venue.
** Versailles being sued by an artist named Versailles - forcing it to change its name to Versailles Philharmonic Orchestra in the US before its disbandment.
* FromClonesToGenre: GlamRock, HairMetal, shock rock. Two of the founding bands (Music/XJapan and Music/SeikimaII) started out as Music/{{Kiss}} fans, with SeikimaII being outright clones.
* GagPenis: Occasionally achieved by various tactics of pants-stuffing, done to often absurd CompensatingForSomething levels as per ArenaRock and ShockRock stage trick standard, sometimes even lampshaded with the person wearing a codpiece, chastity belt, or similar attention-drawing costuming, for which Demon Kogure of SEIKIMA-II and Himawari of Sex Machineguns were famous. Some possibly ''aren't'' stuffing, but they will not be named for [[Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease obvious reasons]].
* GaiasLament: Environmental themes and a CrapsackWorld via environmental destruction are common themes with some artists: Sugizo is probably ''the'' most famous for it, though everyone from Buck Tick to Dir en Grey has used such themes in PV or lyrics or both.
* {{Gayborhood}}: Is, to some degree, in the same way theatre is in the West. The scene developed an almost immediate reputation for HoYay for several reasons (mostly from its inspiration from GlamRock and Kabuki theatre, and that the percentage of at least to some degree bisexual men in the early scene was ''much'' higher than that of Japanese society in general, and that early on being openly and dramatically out was seen as a way of flipping normal Japanese society off as opposed to {{fanservice}} for YaoiFangirls). These factors, while not making it an ''entirely'' safe space for gay/male-preferring bi men, crossdressers, transwomen, made it far more accepting than the rest of Japan or the rest of the Japanese entertainment industry for much of TheEighties / TheNineties. (Lesbian and transman representation was and is still fairly limited in the Japanese scene because of the lower percentage of women or men with current/once externally female bodies being directly involved, but in non-Japanese Visual Kei ''both'' are also fairly heavily represented). Even in TheNewTens, it's a ReconstructedTrope: gay or male-preferring bi men who wish to remain closeted can pass as simply doing fanservice for YaoiFangirls, while those who wish to be out can be out with relatively few problems from anyone. While most men in Visual Kei are heterosexual or female-preferring bisexual men, despite what some of the more rabid YaoiFangirl would claim, it's undeniable that there ''is'' a far higher percentage of ''out'' gay/male-preferring bi men in Visual Kei than in a random sampling of the Japanese mainstream society.
** That said, don't make the mistake that you can necessarily tell someone's sexuality by how androgynous they are. As an example, Music/{{Kaya}} is out as gay and one of the most convincing crossdressers in VisualKei, but [[Music/MaliceMizer Mana]], another of the most convincing crossdressers, is straight. Also, in Japanese culture, androgyny and crossdressing are not as equated with same-sex attraction as they are in the Western world - whereas being [[TheBear overweight or heavily muscled]] and [[MachoCamp hypermasculine]] behavior ''are'' (for an example, see BaraGenre and its page image).
* GenreAdultery, GenreBusting, GenreRoulette and GenreShift: Fairly common, especially among the older bands that have lasted. Also a [[CreativeDifferences fairly common reason]] for bands breaking up or changing members.
** Arguably makes sense due to some deep divisions in the scene, for example, a Black Kote band consisting mostly of hardcore metalheads is not going to be pleased if the singer suddenly decides he wants to go Oshare and claims Avril Lavigne as his greatest inspiration. This is why the bands that have survived GenreRoulette and GenreShift usually either survive with different members, or when all of the band is in agreement about the change to some degree.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Visual Kei artists are near-experts at it. A few of the strategies include RulesLawyer skills, DoubleEntendre, LastSecondWordSwap, UnusualEuphemism... and if nothing else works, [[RefugeInAudacity flinging ''so'' much crap at the radar at once some of it gets past by sheer force of will]].
* GoingNative: Non-Japanese Visual Kei artists and the picking up of Visual Kei tropes and styles by underground metal artists outside Japan, and the creation of western Visual scenes, are such in a downplayed way. As in, they developed from admiration of the Japanese style and scene, but not all artists involved are OccidentalOtaku (and being considered as such for the "music only" ones may be a BerserkButton) and have major differences from the Japanese scene (e.g. more women and/or men with female bodies involved, no rules on what one may or may not disclose - for just one example, in the US scene, there are even some Straight Edge v-kei people that even shun drinking and sexual activity - which in the Japanese scene would make them AcceptableTargets for at least some major ribbing if not outright laughingstocks)
* GossipEvolution: Tanuki, a splitoff from the Japanese 2Channel ImageBoard, originally created to discuss Visual Kei. It managed to become a discussion of Visual Kei and the hard rock / heavy metal ''artists'' that cross over with the community and ''each other'' by their {{groupie|Brigade}}s, {{m|oneyDearBoy}}itsukano, assorted [[DaydreamBeliever fantasists]] and haters, and [[PolishTheTurd eventually]] [[AttentionWhore themselves]] and [[GreenEyedMonster their]] [[TheRival competitors]]. Sadly, this means that much information that is not, to some degree, BlatantLies or AstroTurf has at least undergone this to some degree. Others have launched via MemeticMutation.
** In the Western fandom, there are the (usually LiveJournal based, but they're possible anywhere that allows anonymous commenting on a post) "hate memes" which consist of anonymous commenters (many of whom are actually sockpuppets of each other) trashing people they hate. Unlike Tanuki, these tend to target fans and fandom people as much as they do active artists, and posts are often even more grudgy than Tanuki or the like, because even the pretense of the discussion being anything but a bash-fest is gone.
* GossipyHens: See the above entry for Tanuki, the 2ch community for bangya, mitsukano, tsunagari, bandmen, fantasists, haters, and {{Troll}}s. Anonymous memes for the VisualKei or jrock scene elsewhere attempt to approach its level of nuggets of truth mixed in a massive shitstorm of insane vitriol, but can barely compare.
* GothRock and GothicMetal: Lolita and Nagoya artists, and both Music/XJapan and Music/LunaSea have gone in this direction on occasion.
* GratuitousEnglish: Depends on the band. Some artists in the scene have incredible English (and other language) skills despite having accents: Demon Kogure from SEIKIMA-II, [[Music/YoshikiHayashi Yoshiki]] and later on (as of TheNewTens) [[Music/ToshimitsuDeyama Toshi]] from Music/XJapan and Yama-B ex Music/{{Galneryus}} are among those few. Others have learned English very badly if at all, and the result shows up in their lyrics, stage patter, interviews, and nearly everywhere else.
* GratuitousRape: Fairly common as a lyrical or art theme among Visual Shock bands and [[UpToEleven more so]] among Eroguro bands, owing to ShockRock and HeavyMetal's "acceptance" of rape for shock value. Some examples can include the OldShame that is Music/XJapan's cover for ''Vanishing Vision,'' the entire band concepts and names of Gilles De Rais and Rapes, and Dir en grey's video for ''Obscure,'' ''Agitated Screams of Maggots,'' and ''Different Sense,'' among ''many'' other examples. What usually differs this from RapeAsDrama (also used) is that there is ''no reason aside being shocking'' for the (usually graphic) rape imagery or use of the word "rape.''
* GroupieBrigade: Visual Kei bands often have the organized version, their respective fan clubs. Outside of the fan club (and often including it) the front row/pit can become this, and if a band is popular enough, the GroupieBrigade tends to pop up anywhere the fans are.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: ''Averted,'' to an extreme degree, in TheEighties, in regard to what drinking establishment owners thought of blondes. Visual Kei artists were known for two things: huge, often blonde 80sHair and getting into lots and lots of BarBrawl and similar trouble . The signs that didn't single out Yoshiki for being banned from a venue often said "No Blondes" to keep him ''and'' others out.
* HairMetal: Visual Kei is what happens when HairMetal is taken to extremes, allowed to mature, and become experimental in nature, both musically and in terms of aesthetics. While some hate is directed towards the movement, due to it being the SpiritualSuccessor to its parent genre, many VK artists are accepted by purists as legitimate rock and metal artists.
* HandicappedBadass: [[Music/YoshikiHayashi Yoshiki]] is probably the crowning example (his split neck and back vertebrae and wrist tendonitis, yet still capable of playing drums and piano almost at the same level as when he felt better, along with having suffered a combination of apparent unipolar depression, PTSD and complicated grief), but there's quite a few other Visual Kei artists who became very sick or very injured. For mental handicaps, there was [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]] (Bipolar 1, alcoholism, bulimia) and [[Music/{{Versailles}} Jasmine You]] (major unipolar depression) and [[Music/TaijiSawada Taiji]] (dissociative disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy). For more physical, there is Music/{{Kyo}} of Music/DirEnGrey who screamed his own eardrum out and had to have surgery on his vocal cords, and the late K from Pay Money To My Pain, who suffered from an apparent combination of heart and other issues and yet maintained a career as a singer before his untimely death.
* HarshVocals: Some Visual Shock bands (Music/TokyoYankees became famous for the late Ume's vocals). Became primarily the province of Angura, Eroguro, and Nagoya, with the best representative being ex-Eroguro Music/DirEnGrey vocal Kyo.
* [[HighClassCallGirl High Class Escort]]: Prostitution is rampant in Visual Kei. Many indie artists can't afford to finance their bands and due to the stigma of being in a Visual Kei band they often can't get a conventional job. The result is that many VK artists engage in "Mitsu" (dating or having sex with fans for money) or work in host clubs. Even some of the popular VK artists such as {{Gackt}} and [[Music/YoshikiHayashi Yoshiki]] have histories working as hosts.
* HeavyMeta: Some songs are meta or snark on the scene itself, or even TakeThat directed at other artists or styles or songs.
* HoYay: One of the most common forms of onstage fanservice.
* IconicLogo: Visual Kei bands have become rather well-known for their band logos, with the crowning examples being Music/XJapan's (it is arguable that the logo of ''Manga/X1999'' was based on the band's logo), Music/TheGazette's and Music/{{Versailles}}' respective logos.
* IdenticalLookingAsians: A major part of Japanese Visual from very early on was ''averting'' this. Many people realized that they all looked alike and so they relied on hair colors, makeup, contacts, clothes, different gear, and anything else they could think of (including plastic surgery or the like) to set themselves apart from each other.
* IdolSinger: Visual Kei has the gender-inverted version: [[SpearCounterpart young men]] [[PrettyBoy that sparkle]]. More often than not, they are ex-band members or members of active bands who become [[BreakupBreakout breakout stars]], either through recognition for their sheer musical prowess or being chosen for their [[{{Bishonen}} handsome image]] and charismatic personality. Their careers are also more long-lived, lasting well over the typical [[ChristmasCake 25-year age limit]]. Good examples would be {{Gackt}}, Atsushi Sakurai of Music/BuckTick and Music/TakanoriNishikawa.
** Part of the reason why Visual Kei experienced a renaissance in the 2000s is the increasing number of non-Visual Kei idol singers and solo artists adopting a Visual kei image and sound, to the point where, as of TheNewTens, Visual Kei-influenced J-pop artists have become so common that even casual fans will have little to no trouble finding VisualKei almost anywhere in the J-music scene.
* IgnoredEpiphany: Many people have these in regard to things that later lead to anything from disbandments to their own deaths. For a truly sad example, look at the text of Music/TaijiSawada's final communication to his apprentice bassist and friend, if you can find the posting of it. In short, he ''knew'' how much trouble he was likely in, but chose not to panic or ask for help from others - which he most certainly ''should'' have done.
** One common reason for the invocation of this trope ''is'' that due to the various sources of paranoia in the scene, people often find it hard to tell if they are being ProperlyParanoid, and a common reaction to detecting a potential issue both as overcorrecting for paranoia and JapanesePoliteness is to pretend it doesn't exist.
* IHatePastMe: Why Post-Visual developed, and why many people who leave the scene entirely and retire to a more "normal" life or to performing in non-rock, non-metal genres tend to look down on the scene or their life in it. Sometimes this extends to being a FanHater or hating/having CondescendingCompassion toward people still in it.
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: One of the driving motivations of involvement in Visual Kei, and one of the main motivations for the TropeMakers of the trope and scene. Can lead to some ''major'' flamewars when it runs into the above, as well as even the ending of friendships or more - someone who espouses an IHatePastMe attitude toward their life in the Visual scene and hating the idea of ever having had this view/seeing it as delusional encountering someone who ''still has it'' is rarely if ever going to end well.
* IKEAErotica: Some IntercourseWithYou songs fall ''very'' flat, due to poor language choices or translation, UnfortunateImplications, or feeling as if the band was ordered to make a song about sex when they didn't really want to. That doesn't even begin to describe the often execrable output of many fanfic writers.
* ImplausibleDeniability: There's even a short dictionary to go with some of the more obvious forms!
** "CreativeDifferences" = "We all hate each other, that's why our band broke up"
** "Exhaustion/Nervous Exhaustion" = Sudden physical/mental breakdown, usually either from an episode of mental illness or amphetamine psychosis/amphetamine withdrawal crash.
** "Our band is on temporary hiatus" = "We're breaking up" or "We're looking for different members so we don't break up" or "One of our members is really out of shape/ill/not good"
** "Ongoing personal issues" = The band breakup or member departure is because someone got pregnant OR there was an inter-band relationship that went either very bad or very good, derailing everything related to the band itself
** "A contract matter" = The bandleader or label didn't want to pay the guy who left what he deserved, so he walked
** "Troubling conduct" = The guy that just got kicked out got popped for drugs or some other crime
** "We are very sorry for troubling everyone" The ''bandleader'' just got popped for drugs or some other crime/the label and/or bandleader got popped for tax evasion or the like
* ImportantHaircut: Haircuts and hairstyles are, obviously, a ''very'' big deal in Visual Kei, especially in Visual Shock, Neo-Visual Shock, and Kote Kei. They are often the most expensive part of the style (someone can expect to spend anywhere from US $100 to US $700+ on a professionally done haircut/style/color depending on its elaborateness, the stylist, the current condition of their hair, and more and around US $30-$50 a month to maintain it until it needs to be done again), they are often seen as the way of "presenting yourself" or "coming out" as a lifestyle Visual Kei artist, and most people only do dramatic changes to their cut or color when they start/leave bands, debut new albums/tours, or for a specific photoshoot or the like. Intentionally ''ruining'' someone's hair (or even touching it without permission in some cases) is a ''huge'' affront that can often lead to a fight.
* ImprobableHairstyle: One of the things that defines some forms of VisualKei, specifically Visual Shock and Kote Kei.
* IndecipherableLyrics: Often found among Eroguro and Nagoya bands, and pretty much any band that heavily uses GratuitousEnglish or certain substances. Also used to obscure the actual words of songs in a form of GettingCrapPastTheRadar.
* IneffectualDeathThreats: A very common lyrical theme, pioneered by none other than the very first Visual Shock record ever, Music/XJapan's debut single... "IllKillYou."
* InsufferableGenius: Some of the most talented and musically competent people in the scene are also some of the hardest to work with.
* InterplayOfSexAndViolence: Some bands. No more shall be said.
* ItsAllAboutMe: VERY common in Visual Kei, and a very common reason for various drama or band breakups.
* IWorkAlone: Solo artists, who don't join a band or who are only the GuestStarPartyMember for a number of bands. Usually they tend to be singers or guitarists (or singers and guitarists) - solo drummers are even more vanishingly rare than drummers in general, and bassists tend to work in bands.
* {{Jerkass}}: There are quite a few of them in the scene.
** JerkassFacade: ''Far'' more common than actual jerkasses, if only that people are advised to keep one up if they don't wish to be bothered by the LoonyFan and GroupieBrigade and others (because it's common wisdom that being seen as a NiceGuy just welcomes tons of undesirable people while [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys turning off]] [[BastardBoyfriend alpha females]]), and/or it's part of several popular stage images/public images.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: ''Many'' artists who maintain the JerkassFacade or who really are kind of jerks can also be really cool/intelligent/caring people in other circumstances or in general.
* JerkWithAHeartOfJerk: On the other hand, some people really do want to seek unnecessary attention, play SmallNameBigEgo and AttentionWhore blindingly straight, just hurt and upset other people, start drama and trouble, cause problems for anyone they can, and never take responsibility or do anything that could mitigate people's opinions of them as being anything but jerks.
* {{Juggalo}}: Defied: most Visual Kei fans are ''not'' Music/InsaneClownPosse fans, and assuming a Visual Kei artist or even fan dressed in style to be a Juggalo (even if the makeup is vaguely clownish or mimelike) can make you look ignorant or seem insulting.
* JunkieProphet: The scene boasts at least one, now dead - [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]], who among other things described TheNewTens culture alongside current Japanese culture in ''Oblaat'' and who told people he knew about a recurring nightmare of earthquake and nuclear disaster. If Music/{{Loudness}} could be considered part of the scene, its late drummer Music/MunetakaHiguchi also qualifies with his work on the lyrics of ''Pandemonium,'' the band's album that foretold TheWarOnTerror and its [[HopelessWar outcome.]]
* JustAKid: There was a drummer called Riku who could drum on the same level as Yoshiki at ''13'' and debuted at that age. He was dismissed because of his age and because the band he was in was Toshi's formed while he was a member of his former religion, and once the band broke up, he faded into obscurity.
* JustEatGilligan: Just pay your band members fairly/equally, because not doing so causes more trouble than it's ever worth. Same for paying taxes.
* KaleidoscopeEyes: The subversion of color contacts is very common, to the degree that people who naturally have odd-colored eyes (blue or blueish or violet or gray in Japan, odd shades of all eye colors elsewhere) are assumed to be wearing them.
* KaleidoscopeHair: Richer artists or artists with hairdresser friends or who are hairdressers themselves will often tend toward this, as they are not constrained by finances or the like. hide was probably the crowning example of it, being both a hairdresser himself and with enough money for frequent changes. Imai of Buck-Tick also changed hair frequently as opposed to for reasons like a band style change or a new tour or the like.
* {{Kayfabe}}: Visual Kei often has its own version and it is why you can ''never'' trust something you see onstage or that is otherwise for public show to be the truth. This includes HoYay, age, origin story, and almost anything else. Magazine and TV interviews are ''slightly'' more trustworthy sources of legitimate information, though some artists choose to maintain kayfabe even there, making the "truth" and "rumors" almost interchangeable.
* {{Keet}}: A ''very'' common stage persona in Oshare Kei.
* LanguageBarrier: One reason VisualKei is often inaccessible to Westerners, despite the best efforts of some Japanese bands such as Music/XJapan and the non-Japanese bands to avert it.
* LastNoteNightmare: ''Very'' common in Visual Kei songs, as it is "shocking."
* LessDisturbingInContext: Sometimes lyrics (and RealLife stories) from the scene can be ''far'' worse when pulled from their context.
** A lyrical case involves Music/DirEnGrey's ''Mazohyst Of Decadence,'' which, ripped from its context of abortion being a primary method of birth control in Japan, seems like a right-wing anti-abortion rant and VictimBlaming, when it's actually lashing out at a society that refuses to acknowledge the need for birth control and sex education and uses the ''most'' painful and traumatizing last-ditch procedure as a substitute for preventing pregnancy in the first place.
** A RealLife story example is the rumor that Toshi "abused children" during his days in the religion he abandoned. Combined with a dash of PaedoHunt, this has created one of the scene's nastiest rumors possible - except that the abuse wasn't physical or sexual, it was overseeing them in working for the cult instead of being allowed to go to school. Which was bad (if he even did it, he was found not guilty), but which ''wasn't'' raping or savagely beating them.
* LetsYouAndHimFight: ''Much'' of the BarBrawl and similar in TheEighties consisted of bands on the same labels or at least with the same general goals in the scene viciously fighting with each other, sometimes later becoming friends (for example, hide and Tomoyasu Hotei became friends soon after Hotei kicked Yoshiki's ass in a [[CurbStompBattle fight Yoshiki picked with him]]) or remaining enemies or in TeethClenchedTeamwork (for example, Yoshiki and Dynamite Tommy)
* LGBTFanbase: For reasons that are probably very obvious if you've been reading this far. It's probably one of ''the'' most HoYay filled genres/scenes of music there is with both real LGBTQ performers ''and'' FauxYay and ShipTease, quite a few bands themselves have a sizable LGBTFanbase in Japan and in the West, and in general Visual tends to have one, ''especially'' outside of Japan.
* LighterAndSofter: Oshare Kei. It's also TheScrappy of Visual Kei, as in it's the genre most likely to be hated/not taken seriously by other VisualKei artists and by fans of any other genre.
* LimitedWardrobe: Poorer Visual Kei artists. You can actually tell the financial status of an artist or a band on how limited it is: a very poor artist will have hair in a "drugstore dye" color (usually black or blonde) and simple style (straightened, curled), and maybe two or three outfits that have been rotated over the past four years. A poor artist will have better hair (e.g. they can afford a stylist visit every few months) but around the same outfit rotation give or take one or two outfits. Someone just outside of poverty will have maybe a ten outfit rotation with at least two new per year, and so on, all the way up to rich people who can have a different outfit every day and different hair every few weeks... or days if they like wigs.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy: Many, MANY Visual Kei artists early on. That said longer hair is out of modern fashion and is more likely to be seen now with non-Visual Kei heavy metal bands, post-Visual bands or with neo-Visual Shock bands.
* LongSongShortScene: Often happens when vkei bands write songs for anime or video games.
* LongRunnerLineUp: Very uncommon in the movement, as bands would often tend to break up due to CreativeDifferences. However, there are bands that last for years with the original lineup, with the longest-lived lineups spanning more than a decade.
** Music/LunaSea's lineup remained the same from 1989 up until their dissolution in 2000. They have reunited in 2010 and resumed activities ever since.
** Music/BuckTick is probably one of the longest running lineups in Visual Kei, if not ''the'' longest, if one is only counting consistently Visual Kei bands. They have had the same lineup since ''1985,'' have only gone on long hiatus once (due to an external factor, the lead guitarist/co-founder's LSD arrest in 1989), have not broken up, no one has died or been hit with a career-ending or capability-limiting injury, and aside from that LSD arrest, they seem the beneficiaries of extreme good luck. As well as, of course, flexibility, being able to work with each other, and general apparent avoidance of major drama.
** The lineup of Music/DirEnGrey has not changed since their inception ([[OldShame if La:Sadie's isn't considered as part of the band's history]]). What's unusual is that nearly every other album (and to an extent, every other song) sounds like it's been done by a totally different band.
* LoudOfWar: A common theme in Visual Kei PerformanceVideo and promotional video.
* LovableRogue / LowerClassLout: Quite a few early Visual Kei artists (and arguably the entire scene at its beginning) were these due to their being various forms of JapaneseDelinquents like ''bosozoku'' and ''yankii'' and punks.
* LovesMyAlterEgo: Many fangirls/fanboys/groupies would hate artists they "love" if they knew anything beyond the stage image. Often causes BrokenPedestal when these don't realize the people on the stage are actually [[HumansAreFlawed human beings]] off of it.
* LowestCommonDenominator: Some bands and some styles (none of which will be mentioned here) are often accused of being sellouts to this, for varying reasons.
* MachineEmpathy: Instrument players can develop a form of this, as can programmers, light/sound techs, or photographers, due to knowing how what they use is supposed to work.
* MadeASlave: Some labels which shall not be named have contracts ''very'' similar to indentured servitude, which is why being an indies artist often works out ''better'' for the truly talented who can promote themselves.
* MadeOfExplodium: Obviously, pyro. Unfortunately, very sprayed up hairstyles and elaborate clothes and some stage props can be, while not made of explodium, very conducive to catching on fire.
* MadeOutToBeAJerkass: False rumors, AccentuateTheNegative, NeverLiveItDown and the like can lead to this.
* MadonnaWhoreComplex: ''Often'' invoked in regard to the perception of groupies and models etcetera vs. wives/fiancées, or for some bisexual men, men versus women (with "men are for sex and good times, women are for babies and settling down," or conversely, [[BrosBeforeHoes "women are to be used for sex, men are our soulmates"]])
* MaliciousSlander: There are some rumors and similar that exist ''only'' to hurt people or get people to hate them. Specifically, anything that claims someone is [[PaedoHunt a pedophile]], [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil a rapist]], a murderer or contributor to someone's death, in major financial trouble and only seeking a signing or relationship or whatever to get out of it, a direct active criminal member of the {{Yakuza}}, or that they have a uniquely dangerous/disgusting fetish they wish to force on other people is usually something to wait for collaboration from ''multiple'' sources or [[IsThisThingStillOn the artist themselves]] before believing or worse, sharing with others.
* ManInAKilt: Skirts are a common fashion item for Visual Kei bandmen.
* ManOnFire: Visual Shock bands (and some modern bands) tend to use a lot of pyro. Combining pyro with the amounts of flammable hair products + costumes + props [[SpecialEffectsFailure can occasionally result in this]]. One notorious incident in the 90s led to major burns on the side of [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide's]] face during one of his solo performances, and a close brush with it occurred during Music/XJapan's 2010 Yokohama show when a pyro went off too close to two band members, surrounding them with smoke and soot.
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Happens frequently, since especially for Eroguro and some metal bands, the {{kayfabe}} involves being angry or rageful or even downright ''evil.''
* MeaningfulName: Many band names and stage names, though often averted, subverted, or inverted.
* MenAreUncultured: Depends on the band. Many bands play this heavily straight offstage and onstage, others avert onstage and play straight offstage, and a rare few will avert it both places (usually when education or wealth or the combination of both are involved.)
* TheMerch: Merch is a very large portion of the Visual Kei experience. Every band has a fairly large (and sometimes strange) range of branded merch. Sometimes, the amount of merch can lead to a band being accused of "selling out."
* MetalScream: VERY common for the more metal-oriented bands, obviously.
* MindScrew: Visual Kei is prolific of seemingly bizarre artists and material, some crazier than others...
** A great many songs come across as jarring and hard to appreciate for the uninitiated; it is not helped by the fact that most songs are written in Japanese or nigh-unintelligible GratuitousEnglish, and sound like a mix of [[NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly different and disparate musical styles]]. Whether this is MindScrew or not depends greatly on the listeners, but more often than not, the music comes across as bizarre and alien-sounding for most.
** In some cases, the bands themselves are a source of MindScrew, due to their bizarre appearance (relative to most HardRock[=/=]Music/HeavyMetal acts anyway) and to an extent, their videos and live performances. Nagoya and Eroguro bands tend to invoke MindScrew more than other bands, but in a particular case of an entire band being MindScrew incarnate, there is the post-VisualKei band Music/DirEnGrey, who have taken NightmareFuel, SurrealHorror and TrueArtIsIncomprehensible UpToEleven through their songs, videos, and live performances ([[WidgetSeries and elsewhere for that matter]]). Another band, Kuroyume, approaches the same level of craziness - but whether they kickstarted the whole MindScrew thing in VisualKei or not is highly debatable
** To some of the metal FanDumb, Visual Kei itself ''is'' MindScrew.
* MightyWhitey: DoubleSubverted: The bands that inspired VisualKei were American and Western bands mostly composed of white people, but there have been very few successful Western Visual Kei artists white or otherwise, and those that have been successes have been so ''not'' by rewriting the rules of the scene, telling the Japanese what to do, or similar.
* MightyWhiteyAndMellowYellow: Inverted intensely by the Visual Kei scene. You're far more likely to find white fangirls and the occasional gay or bi fanboys seeking out Asian men for their power and sexuality and status as rockstars and (rarely) rich and powerful (in the case of the label owners and older bandguys) there than almost anywhere else.
* MilitaryBrat: Some of the very earliest Western fandom (which is almost vanishingly rare as of TheNewTens and the internet) consisted of these: US or other military brats checking out Dementia or Yokosuka Saber Tiger or X or Buck-Tick, being "this is actually really cool," and bringing cassettes back to their native country.
* MisogynySong: Unfortunately...Some bands have written songs with misogynistic lyrics.
* MistakenAge: Very, very easy to do, and most band members want their age mistaken for something younger, so they actively try to invoke the trope with makeup, plastic surgery, and lighting among other tricks.
* MistakenForGay: HoYay {{Kayfabe}} often leads to this, as does bisexuality when people assume NoBisexuals is truth.
* MistakenForJunkie: Name ''anyone'' in the Visual Kei scene and they've probably been accused of using illegal drugs when they don't, using more serious illegal drugs than they do, or of being an actual drug addict. A very common mistake is assuming any injection scar = track marks from injecting drugs, when said marks can be from medical injections or intravenous lines (meaning anyone in recent medical treatment likely has them for that reason). Another is assuming using drug imagery in songs or art is ''encouraging'' it. And yet another is how ''all'' drugs are referred to under the Japanese law as "stimulant drugs" or "narcotics," a bit of horrific ArtisticLicensePharmacology that, unless the actual drug is named, makes it ''too'' easy for rumors to get started that, say, someone caught with weed was actually caught with heroin, or someone caught with LSD or MDMA was caught with methamphetamine or cocaine.
* MistakenForSpecialGuest: How Toshi got one of Visual Kei's and X Japan's first interviews, in a now-deleted piece of video - a newscaster mistook him for someone "special" due to his HairMetal + HellBentForLeather look in TheEighties. Which helped him on the way toward being exactly that.
* MockMillionaire: Labels and occasionally bands or individual artists occasionally boast far better financials than they actually ''have.''
* MohsScaleOfLyricalHardness: The scene's love for ExplicitContent pretty much ensures any given band will be at least a 6-7, with many being far higher and very few being lower. Some of the Visual Shock bands and others who did PowerBallads or SillyLoveSongs can peg lower with those. Eroguro bands are 9 to 11 on principle. Oshare kei rarely rises above a 4.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Visual Kei bands can range anywhere from one to eleven, often with this kind of variance among a single band's discography. Generally (though this is very much a generalization), Angura, Nagoya, and Eroguro bands tend to be higher, whereas Lolita and Oshare bands tend to be softer. Visual Shock and Kote Kei bands, on the other hand, often tend far more toward having this variance in their own discography - good examples being Music/XJapan, a Visual Shock era band which has songs that range from one to eight or nine, Tokyo Yankees, another Visual Shock band with songs at the higher ranges of the scale, and Matenrou Opera, a NewTens Kote Kei band with songs ranging from two to eight.
** A few bands, most notably Music/DirEnGrey and Music/TheGazette did [[UpToEleven everything]] from a 1 to an 11.
* MotiveDecay: Originally, Visual Kei was similar to PunkRock and ThrashMetal as a movement of social and political protest via shockingly different appearances, lyrics that often referenced issues the Japanese (and occasionally Western) mainstream media didn't wish to touch, its embrace of delinquents and outsiders and such, and advocated extreme individual and social freedom - it could have been considered a combination anarcholibertarian and individually libertarian/politically left-wing libertarian to left-wing socialist movement. Very little of this strain is noticeable now - most artists wish to pander to mainstream wealth or power, or are entirely divorced from what goes on outside the scene itself. The scene itself, both in Japan and elsewhere, has also become about attaining the most fashionably chic looks and producing music for money.
* MotorMouth: Some artists, singing, in interviews, or elsewhere, sometimes as the result of certain substances.
* MrFanservice: Most Visual Kei artists, though there are a few MsFanservice, and a few attempted total aversions (such as Pata post TheNewTens).
* MurderBallad: A common subject for Visual Kei bands.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Occasionally happens when geopolitical issues regarding Japan vs. China or Korea or similar are brought up and the band members aren't educated about the issues or wise enough to defer: they will almost always become pro-Japanese nationalists, even ''if'' they aren't fascists normally or aren't politically active.
* MyHairCameOutGreen: Bad or unfortunate hairstyles happen on occasion, either due to poor band members self-styling or asking equally drunk/unskilled bandmates to style their hair or fix their current style, or stylists who really shouldn't be doing visual kei hair, or a variety of other reasons.
* MyNaymeIs: StageNames often are odd spellings or character uses in otherwise "normal" names. hide (all lowercase) is one example, ToshI another.
* NauseaFuel: Some of the imagery produced by Visual Shock, Kote Kei, and Nagoya Kei bands handily qualifies, especially depending on what {{Squick}}s you personally, but this has become the true expertise of Eroguro bands, whose express purpose is creating a mixture of this, FetishFuel, and NightmareFuel - and which are not welcome for discussion here.
** Unintentionally created by bands or artists glorifying {{Imperial Japan}}ese or [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazi]] imagery or atrocities.
** To a lesser degree, sometimes unintentionally created by GlamourFailure or SpecialEffectsFailure. Good examples of this are when severely unflattering information about an artist's appearance, behavior, or fetishes leaks to fans, especially when photographs are involved.
** To a breed of Website/YouTube commenter who shares a combination of Western MisplacedNationalism and homophobia, Visual Kei is itself NauseaFuel, as well as [[InternetBackdraft Rage]] [[{{Troll}} Fuel]].
* NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: A ''very'' common reason why the early Visual Kei bandmen converged on cities such as Tokyo/Yokohama, Osaka, Sendai, and Nagoya, creating scenes in each one that eventually somewhat united. Many bandmen came from rural areas or even the few WretchedHive areas of Japan (US military towns like Yokosuka, where hide was from, or Okinawa, where Gackt spent some of his youth). If the bandmen make it (as in the case of hide and Gackt) the trope becomes soundly averted, as the hometown now has a hero with a lot of publicity and money from his fans coming to visit (which is especially good for the WretchedHive areas especially - hide singlehandedly turned Yokosuka into a place of interest for more than sailors looking for trouble, and Gackt has drawn some attention to Okinawan issues at points)
* NeverLiveItDown: Often a result of the NoodleIncident or something that becomes widely known or rumored or reported in the mass media.
* NiceCharacterMeanActor: Because sometimes, ContractualPurity or {{Kayfabe}} requires someone to seem "cute" or "nice" or at the very least "not raging violent abusive meth-shooting wannabe rapist monster."
* NiceHat: A common fashion accessory. Use was pioneered by Toll from Music/BuckTick and Music/TaijiSawada from Music/XJapan (at the time X), and now the NiceHat is almost as ubiquitous as showing hair, especially for bandmen who have day jobs, are balding, or have other reasons that none of the hair tropes can be put into effect.
* NightmareFetishist: Lyricists/producers for many bands, especially of the Eroguro persuasion. Some of the more famous would be hide and Kyo.
* NightmareFuel: It exists in many, many forms. So much there's even a subpage for it here.
* NobodyLovesTheBassist: Almost completely averted. Two of the most memorable figures in Visual Kei history are late bassists: Jasmine You of Music/{{Versailles}} and Music/TaijiSawada (formerly of Music/XJapan). Bassists tend to be highly noticed in general, if only that usually the person picked for bass tends to be one of the most attractive members of the band. And when he's musically capable too, as You and Sawada were, you have legends ready to be made.
* NobodyPoops: ''Averted,'' obviously as the people involved are human beings, but some of the aversions have been a [[TooMuchInformation TMI]] cut above: Music/MinoruNiihara once posted about his anal issues and hemorrhoidal difficulties on his blog, a now-retired artist, Juka/Shaura, became famous for a fecal {{fetish}}, and a famous artist who shall not be named because he didn't reveal it himself was once photographed next to a [[NaughtyNurseOutfit nurse]] {{dominatrix}} and enema equipment.
* NobodyThinksItWillWork: No one thought it would, until it did.
* NoodleIncident: Almost every band has one somewhere in their history. Some more public than others.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: Some artists have been examples of this, mostly due to sheer luck as opposed to anything else. Some good examples are pretty much all of Music/TaijiSawada's life until his death, [[Music/YoshikiHayashi Yoshiki]], who survived sustaining a broken neck onstage without dying or being paralyzed and carried off by roadies with no idea of how to handle spinal cord injury, only because he was lucky enough that what broke wasn't essential to breathing or neural connections to most of his body, and Atsushi Sakurai of Music/BuckTick, who survived abdominal peritonitis from a burst appendix (which is nearly ''impossible'' to survive)
* NoOSHACompliance: Obvious, since there's no OSHA in Japan, but even according to the Japanese equivalent of OSHA, there was very little worker protection in Visual Kei for a long while and there still isn't much. Pyro and its usages and proximity to things it shouldn't be close to were/are probably the biggest example, as is water/water effects being in way too close proximity to electrical equipment or electrified things, slip and fall hazards, improper technique, toxic hair dyes and other products and toxic makeup (including items that could permanently damage hair or skin), tobacco smoke exposure, vehicles and travel to and from gigs and other events, and many other things are or were major, unmitigated hazards for performers.
* NoPartyLikeADonnerParty: Cannibalism is an occasional theme in lyrics and PV by Eroguro bands and some Visual Shock acts.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Played straight by most bands and their activities with the predominantly male bent of performing acts. Averted by a few Visual Shock and some Eroguro bands who will depict menstruation, period sex, bloody childbirth, abortions, and the like in their lyrics and PV and stage imagery.
* NoSocialSkills: There are quite a few Visual Kei artists who would qualify as having no or limited social skills, at least within mainstream society. As of TheEighties and the early Nineties most were JapaneseDelinquents or similar outcasts, and as of TheNineties and beyond, many are {{otaku}} or even near-{{hikikomori}} offstage.
* NostalgiaFilter: Why some fans like older bands, why the LongRunners exist, and why Neo-Visual Shock and Black and White Kote Kei exist.
* NoSwastikas: Averted during the early days of Visual Shock and up until TheNewTens, because PuttingOnTheReich and/or using actual swastikas and the Imperial Battle Flag were seen as "shocking." The Imperial Battle Flag is now generally no longer used by anyone who ''isn't'' a fascist (with the exception of Music/Loudness), and bands have become more educated/publicly shamed for Nazi-themed shock/have tours in countries that have NoSwastikas as law, so this trope is now often played straight.
* NoTellMotel: Most mitsu activities and inter-band hookups tend to take place at love hotels, for the reason that it is far easier to evade media, curious fans, and other people who might begin rumors at them.
* OdeToIntoxication: Almost every band has ''at least'' one of these songs, and it can be either played straight or the deconstruction that is actually an OdeToSobriety.
* OhCrap: Often an InvokedTrope for some bands, but there have been some ''real'' OhCrap moments in VisualKei:
** Deaths or serious injuries, especially out of the blue or when they seem like a bad joke.
** When anyone collapses or falls onstage and doesn't immediately get up again/do something to show they are really okay or that it is part of the show. Similarly, the sound of a working microphone picking up breath or gasps but ''no voice'' from a vocalist.
** Label closures, for bands on a label that's suddenly ran afoul of the tax authorities or that's really too broke to pay them, for example.
** Arrests are pretty much always an OhCrap moment for both fans and a band. Especially if the arrest is for something like attempted murder or rape as opposed to the more usual drugs/disorderly conduct.
** For band people, being onstage and suddenly your instrument or microphone is ''not working.''
** Also for band people, the price of playing a major venue.
* {{Ojou}}: In Lolita Kei there's quite a few people who play to this, Hizaki probably being the most noticeable. Yoshiki of Music/XJapan during his "princess" phase was probably the premiere example who wasn't Lolita Kei but set the example for many who followed.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Almost everyone in Visual Kei, due to the interest in maintaining "ageless" appearances after early adulthood. For some, it almost reaches UncannyValley levels.
* OldShame: There are a few examples, some specific and some more general.
** A lot of bands have had a ContemptibleCover or other art (whether it be a poster or an entire PV) that they ''really'' want everyone to forget about. The worst is when an actually good or important production was overshadowed by the OldShame of the awful art - as in the case with Music/XJapan's ''Vanishing Vision,'' one of their first and best albums with some of their rarest work - but which has an infamous cover of drawn and photoshopped ''rape'' being depicted as erotic. The album will likely never be rereleased by the band, but its musical value ensures fans keep spreading it via piracy - which spreads the cover along with the music.
** In the case of an ''entire band'' being an OldShame, there is the 80 s band Rosenfeld, which took PuttingOnTheReich UpToEleven, to the point where it was almost impossible to tell if they were just very skilled insulting StealthParody of Nazis or if they had ''actual Nazi sympathies.'' Had they just dropped or toned down the Nazi image, they would have been seen as one of the pioneers of Visual Kei (''especially'' since there is some debate as to whether they or Music/XJapan copied some of their hairstyles, their non-Nazi musical stylings, etcetera from each other). Instead, they faded into obscurity as anything but a flag for elitism or trolling when they pop up in a discussion of early Visual Kei.
* OneMarioLimit: Yoshiki, Hide/hide, Gackt, Miyavi, Kiyoharu, and quite a few other StageNames and real names are SO attached to the people who became famous for them that people who are NamesTheSame are advised to change or add something to the name (e.g. people named Hideto have gone with Music/{{Hyde}} or [[Music/{{D}} hide-zou]] instead of hide) to avoid name confusion, lots of anger and drama from being seen as derivative off of fame, being assumed to be dead, or other undesirable outcomes.
** Sometimes it even includes SignatureStyle: for example, pink or red hair will almost always be, especially if cut in some ways, seen as a hide tribute or hide clone attempt, even if it's not.
* OnlyCoolPeopleMatter: The attitude of some people in the scene. These tend to gravitate either toward elitism or, conversely, toward the assumption that what's trendy is best. The more elitist tend to assume that only their preferred style and people who have some degree of inside access and [[TheBeautifulElite perfectly youthful and thin appearance]] are worthy of even mere tolerance, and anyone else is a stupid fangirl or fanboy. The trend followers hop onto whatever trend is cool (you can see them as die-hard Oshare fans one week, die-hard Post-Visual and Eroguro fans the next, into the new suddenly cool Angura band the next...) and tend to hate anyone who doesn't want to immediately jump ship to the new trend.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Probably one of the saddest examples is Yoshiki at hide's 1998 funeral. Wearing [[WidowsWeeds solid black]], his normally bleached hair a stringy, askew mess with most of the dye out of it, no makeup, and simple black sunglasses, trying to maintain a calm, stoic exterior in order to stop the copycat suicides that had begun as he looked absolutely devastated, it was such a stark contrast to his usual overemotional displays and his usual concern with appearance that it made it ''quite'' obvious how seriously he was grieving and affected and at the same time, how concerned he was with stopping the copycat suicides and being strong for the fans.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: At least one Visual Kei PV (X Japan's for ''Jade'') had someone who's generally in character as a vampire as a werewolf.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: Zombies generally aren't a huge thing in Visual Kei, but some bands do a zombie aesthetic, most famously, Music/DirEnGrey.
* OverTheShoulderCarry: A very common way to be carried onstage, or offstage if an artist is injured.
* PaedoHunt: Can be invoked in the scene, usually when band members are seen in the company of teenage girls, and/or a teenage or prepubescent girl is cast for a PerformanceVideo. Oddly enough, does ''not'' apply to boys - teenage boys hanging around older bandmen [[VictimBlaming are often seen as]] juvenile JapaneseDelinquents in sketchy situations, and as simply learning as musicians with more respected artists.
* PerformanceVideo: Almost every band has at least one, and it's almost always best to check out a few of these (especially lives) before you decide whether you like a band or not, because some bands with admittedly lackluster recordings are great live performers or have incredible videos. Other times, the videos are crappy while the music is good, and other times [[ItSucks it is all crappy]]...
* PintsizedPowerhouse: Some of the very best vocalists are ''very'' short at least per Western standards, and even for Japanese standards. This has no bearing on their vocal ability. Toshi of X Japan is 5'5, for example, and Kyo of Dir en grey 5'3. Both are some of the best power vocalists in all of metal.
* PoliceAreUseless: Zigzagged in the scene. Generally, an ExploitedTrope back in TheEighties in that police didn't tend to interfere much. Averted in Toshi's leaving Home of Heart as he thanked the police for their help. Played devastatingly straight with what happened to Taiji Sawada in Saipan as the uselessness and brutality of the local police was why he died.
* PrecisionFStrike: A common lyrical device for many bands, along with the aforementioned Atomic and Cluster varieties.
* PromotedFanboy: One of the reasons Visual Kei came into existence was the amount of Music/{{Kiss}} fanboys that decided to take their favorite band's tropes UpToEleven. Music/XJapan and SEIKIMA-II were such bands. As the scene developed, many fanboys (and some fangirls) developed musical acts and bands of their own, [[AscendedFanboy and in some cases were actually signed or even took over for the artists they admired]].
* PuttingOnTheReich: Unfortunately common in early Visual Shock and in some other bands, though becoming less so over time as bands tour in countries where NoSwastikas has the force of law, get negative feedback for Nazi-themed costuming from fans, and as some educate themselves. Some artists have been direct aversions of this: Music/{{Sugizo}} in particular is known for his anti-fascism, left-leaning political views, and disgust with glorifying ImperialJapan or NaziGermany.
* RapeAsDrama: Also a fairly common device used by Visual Shock, Neo-Visual Shock, and Eroguro artists. Differs from GratuitousRape but can also overlap with it (often in shades) but the general difference is that the lyrics/art takes it seriously to some degree, or the song is about rape or using rape symbolism with a reason other than trying to arouse the viewers or getting attention when something else would do, such as The Gazette's ''Taion'' which is a somewhat respectful treatment of the RealLife Junko Furuta case, or hide's ''Genkai Haretsu'' PV where the point is to show just how pathetic the VillainProtagonist ''is.''
* RearrangeTheSong: Early on, most retakes/rearrangements/remixes/demos were released with the "studio version" or "primary version" as b-sides or "special presents" or similar. Remixes/rearrangements took on a life of their own as VisualKei grew, and many artists and bands will release entire albums consisting solely of remixed and rearranged songs.
** This is also the work of the rising amount of DJ type artists within the scene, although many are original artists as well - the idea of DJ/beatmaker as solely remixing and playing others' work is ''not'' much wanted in a scene heavily dependent on live shows, so DJ s and beatmakers and the like working within VisualKei ''have'' to be capable of their own original electronic works and/or at least some form of truly unique appearance and style.
** Taken UpToEleven by Music/DirEnGrey, with rearranged songs being considerably harder than the originals (some even going as high as 10 or 11 in terms of hardness). They've also released ''The Unraveling'', an entire EP of rearranged songs, save for the title track.
** Music/XJapan has translated and rearranged several of their non-English songs into English. Some that were primarily Japanese with English lyrics at points were also flipped to be mostly English but with a few Japanese lines. Among them are ''Kurenai'' ([[OlderThanTheyThink which actually had a complete English version as early as 1987]]) and got a new retool as of 2009, ''Rusty Nail'' (2010, complete English version), ''Rose of Pain'' (2010, half the song was redone in English). Combined with Toshi's much improved English over 2008-2011, the effect is sometimes jarring for those used to the older songs, for good or for ill.
* RefugeInAudacity: Visual Kei is an ''entire genre'' that lives off this trope.
* RevolvingDoorBand: Many bands have experienced unstable lineups due to CreativeDifferences between the members, musicians getting busted for drugs/criminal activity or suffering AuthorExistenceFailure, or similar. Some bands ditch members for no reason at all -- Anti Feminism, a 90's Visual Shock band, had more than 50 different members joining it since its inception; [[IAmTheBand its founder and only constant member]], Kenzi, [[WordOfGod stated]] that the band has no official lineup.
* RockstarSong: Most bands have at least one.
* RomanticizedAbuse: Unfortunately, this trope is sometimes depicted in Visual Kei lyrics and PVs and artwork like album covers and photoshoots (especially by Visual Shock, Neo-Visual Shock, and Eroguro bands), often paired up with GratuitousRape and/or the MisogynySong to present rape and/or violence against women as "sexy." Sometimes the "violence against women" part is averted by the RomanticizedAbuse happening between males in PVs (or by writers of SlashFic) but then that invokes DoubleStandardRapeMaleOnMale.
* RuleOfCool: Why Visual Kei exists and is popular...
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: A common reaction to '80s Visual Shock and Kote Kei by modern fans. Oshare Kei is slowly getting this as of TheNewTens; almost everyone who is a fan of Visual Kei sees Oshare as exceedingly juvenile and cutesy host club music for {{Yaoi Fangirl}}s. That being said, styles in Visual Kei seem to be a CyclicTrope of sorts with the popularity of many styles being largely dependent on the PopularityPolynomial.
* SerialEscalation: Visual Kei in general is an example of this trope in nearly everything, but the Eroguro subgenre is probably the biggest example of it. Just take a look at lyrics from hide's X Japan and solo work and Kiyoharu of Kuroyume in TheNineties - the co-founders of Eroguro - then at Dir en grey, Nega, or even TheGazette (which isn't technically Eroguro but is close) in TheNewTens.
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: Technically, the drugs part is very much frowned upon in Japan and even ''marijuana possession'' is highly stigmatized to the point that all of a [[Music/LArcEnCiel band]]'s music and merch can be pulled from shelves and boycotted, and arrested users are often kicked out of bands or their bands go on hiatus. That said... it's definitely around to a huge degree, it's just not to be discussed except in lyrics.
** Played straight by indies bands, bands not on labels associated with major record companies, or established overseas artists, some of whom have far less fear of such societal punishment (or might even take it as a badge of honor) - and can, therefore, somewhat openly support marijuana use and legalization - therefore playing this trope straight and averting the "no drugs, really, we swear it" rule...
* SickAndWrong: You ''will'' react this way at something in Visual Kei at some point or another. In fact, that's the point of much Visual Shock and Eroguro - to make you have exactly this reaction or "It's sick and wrong but I'm turned on."
* SlashFic: Quite a lot of SlashFic is written about Visual Kei artists and bands, due to the HoYay everywhere in the scene: it's like a gigantic signal for YaoiFangirls and other gay romance/gay erotica writers. Much could be considered {{yaoi}}, but there's also quite a lot of stuff that is closer to ordinary slash than "yaoi," and there's even some BaraGenre thanks to the presence of some older and more masculine/normal weight/muscular artists.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To HairMetal and shock rock, as well as being a fusion of the two. It should be noted, however, that Visual Kei doesn't sound exactly like its parent genres...
** Many bands of the scene are often compared to western bands: Music/XJapan to Music/JudasPriest, Music/DirEnGrey to Music/FaithNoMore, Music/TheGazette to Music/{{Deftones}} and Music/{{Rammstein}}, Music/{{Versailles}} to Music/{{Nightwish}}, Music/AnCafe to Music/{{blur}} and Music/{{Oasis}}, Music/BloodStainChild to Music/InFlames, Music/{{Loudness}} to Music/{{Metallica}} and Music/{{Megadeth}}, Music/{{Deathgaze}} to Music/{{Sepultura}} and so on...
* StealthParody: Some artists, especially [[{{Expy}} bands that worship/imitate other bands]] and a few post-Visual Kei acts. Music/SeikimaII and Music/MariaCross are implied to be this, as seen in their visual styles and manner of performance (the former being a band of Music/{{Kiss}} imitators while the latter being an Oshare kei ''[[{{Grindcore}} noisegrind]]'' StreetMusician).
* UsefulNotes/{{Suicide}}: The Japanese Visual Kei scene has a huge problem with it, partially as an outgrowth of Japanese society's own massive suicide epidemic/problem, and partially due to the conditions in modern Visual Kei (limited finances, oppressive working conditions for label signed bands, societal othering, and more). Then there are the possible [[NeverSuicide times murder or involuntary manslaughter is written off to suicide]]...
** [[Music/YoshikiHayashi Yoshiki]] is probably one of the most opposed to suicide musicians in the scene having been a survivor in both senses of the word (of his father's intentional suicide, his closest and best friend's accidental suicide, and at least one attempt of his own), but his lyrical explorations of his grief and feelings could be a trigger to some (and were one ''to his own vocalist'' which he didn't know until Toshi left to join the religious cult in the hopes of it healing his mind) as much as they've been possibly lifesaving to others (what with the nature of the beast - the very thing that helps one person back from the edge can shove another over it)
* UnfortunateImplications: VisualKei and the scene around it have created a few sticky areas here:
** The preference by some fans for male artists over female can sometimes reek of sexism, even if it's a personal preference with a justified reason in some cases (for example, someone wanting to see someone attractive to their own orientation, or someone who prefers deeper voices to the higher shrieking/squealing that characterized a ''lot'' of female singers until Music/ExistTrace proved there was a market for deeper female vocals). Where this crosses into the UnfortunateImplications is when female musicians (especially those who aren't singers) are automatically seen as inferior or less capable of playing "real" visual kei / "real" rock and metal, and unfortunately that attitude is still present in a lot of Visual Kei fandom.
** The preference by fans for Japanese artists as "real" Visual Kei can sometimes become racialized to the degree of being racist. Again, sometimes this has justified reasons for being a personal preference (a fair amount of non-Japanese "visual kei" bands that have popped up ''have'' been crappy owing to their tendency to try to mimic Oshare or to try to fuse Oshare and Angura or Lolita and to at the same time be pandering to OccidentalOtaku). Where it crosses into the racist UnfortunateImplications is when people either automatically assume ''any'' Japanese artist to be better than ''any'' Western one (e.g. assuming Music/MariaCross to a better vocalist than [[Music/{{Queen}} Freddie Mercury]] [[InsaneTrollLogic just because Maria Cross is Japanese]]) or when they take non-Asian racial/ethnic attributes as "strikes" against someone's ability to do visual kei fashion (e.g. one's skin color/eye color/hair type/height/features)
** The trivialization of rape in some corners of the scene (generally older Visual Shock and modern Eroguro) and use of rape imagery and the conflation of rape with BDSM or erotic imagery can create some nastily triggering images for survivors, and can convince some people in the scene that rape is anything from a term of endearment to [[DudeNotFunny a funny joke]] to, when it actually happens, something that must be written off and covered up with the victim blamed.
** The use of HoYay as {{fanservice}} can sometimes be seen as a homophobic insult to real GLBTQI people and their issues if it's handled flippantly or poorly. ''Especially'' if the people doing it are obviously straight men offstage who have no support for gay rights except to make money onstage (though [[LaserGuidedKarma once this is found out, said bands/artists rarely maintain popularity]]), or alternately, if the people doing it are YaoiFangirls who are only wanting to use "the hot guys" as fantasy rather than acknowledge the reality of their lives in Japan (and that Japan is still not, outside of visual kei, the most gay or bi friendly place in the world, ''especially'' for gay or bi men but also for lesbians).
** The scene (especially in its Japanese iteration, and in some parts of the American scene) is known for excessive drinking and unsafe sexual behavior (despite the efforts of some bands to plead for safer sex openly).
*** And a backlash/preemptive denunciation of this in American and other Western Visual Kei led to the exact opposite problem - people who exemplify SmugStraightEdge and will ''not'' hesitate to engage in SlutShaming, everything from CondescendingCompassion to outright slurs against people they see as physically or mentally "unfit" to "represent the scene," and a combination of hypocrisy and judgmental attitude that would make MoralGuardians proud.
* TheUnintelligible: Unfortunately common in many metal-oriented bands, especially those that use HarshVocals. Often a result of [[AsianSpeekeeEngrish atrocious English skills]].
* VampiresAreSexGods: A very, very, VERY common idea in VisualKei, enough to make "vampire" a competitive field featuring [[Music/YoshikiHayashi Yoshiki]], Music/{{Hyde}}, Atsushi Sakurai of Music/BuckTick, {{Gackt}} and Kamijo ex- Music/{{Versailles}}, among others.
* ValuesDissonance: ''Incredibly so'' between the West and even mainstream Japan, and almost everywhere, and the scene and artists in it often glory in it, making it an InvokedTrope. Androgyny and open acceptance/embrace of male/male sexuality is often a huge issue here, along with displays/imagery/lyrics that are NauseaFuel / NightmareFuel / {{NSFW}} / any and all of the above, as are the approaches toward religion and religious symbolism taken by many artists... among just a few of the things that Visual Kei artists and fans ''like'' or see nothing wrong or bothersome with, but which enrage mainstream societies, MoralGuardians, politicians, Internet or RealLife bigots, and more...
* VerbalTic: Common among singers and non-singers who interview a lot alike. {{Gackt}}'s "daikishimete" is a fandom [[MemeticMutation meme]] when he sings, as is [[Music/YoshikiHayashi Yoshiki]]'s MotorMouth and use of the PrecisionFStrike and ClusterFBomb when interviewed or speaking publicly.
* VillainProtagonist: Very common in lyrics and PV, and sometimes the stage image of artists (two examples being Music/DirEnGrey's Kyo and Music/SeikimaII's Demon Kogure).
* VillainSong: Sometimes combined with VillainProtagonist, for obvious reasons, to create the atmosphere of an evil/villainous protagonist singing a terrifying song.
* WalkAndTalk: Or the walk and sing variant, both are very common in Visual Kei PV.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Many artists like to show off. Some of the more famous are Yoshiki and Kyo, enough to create a joke that both are allergic to shirts.
* {{Wangst}}: VERY common in Visual Kei lyrics and attitude. Kawaii type Oshare artists avert it strongly by promoting as positive and cute, but nearly everyone else indulges at least at some point.
* WardrobeMalfunction: Happens onstage frequently, both in the accidental and intentional variants.
* WartsAndAll: Why some people like/love artists even when there is public bad conduct, negative rumors, or other things that some people would believe should lead to the artist being hated by all or disgraced, and why fans of bands that aren't super popular or in the currently popular style or even necessarily "incredible" stick around and support those bands/artists.
* WeReallyDoCare: The return of [[Music/ToshimitsuDeyama Toshi]] to his once-band and to the scene. The amount of support that rallied around him went well beyond just Yoshiki (where it started) to fans, to other artists and other bands (including some that actively ''dislike'' X Japan as a whole for various reasons)
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The scene and individual bands in it have so much that it could be its own page.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical: Some works that seem political or politicized at first glance are likely not. This goes ''double'' for any use of PuttingOnTheReich or other {{Reichstropen}}, as, until TheNewTens, Nazi imagery was seen as a way to shock people and a fashion statement as opposed to a pro- or anti- fascist statement. The Imperial Battle Flag is almost ''always'' political and a statement of rightist belief as of TheNewTens but wasn't as much of one before that.
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: A ''lot'' of Visual Kei work appears to have been made under the influences of really, really hard drugs, or at least the quite free use of hallucinogens. That said, most of even that isn't made on anything beyond alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine if that. There are some producers and artists who are heavy drug users, but not even they are constantly under the influence while they work.
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Some Visual Kei artists become the SpearCounterpart of this, whether for short periods or for the rest of their lives. Probably the best example of such an artist (at least for some years of his life) was Music/TaijiSawada, a bass virtuoso in his younger years who spent most of his 30s as a mentally disturbed homeless alcoholic and addict before pulling together his life and making a short comeback before his death.
* WhiteShirtOfDeath: Often used in older PV and in stage performances using blood squibs or red paint because it made a far better contrast for the camera and the less believable fake blood/red paint of the time look a ''little'' more believable. It's gone mostly out of fashion with improved photographic and video capabilities in TheNewTens - the preferred look is bare chested to make the imagery more believable.
* WidgetSeries: While it is rooted in HairMetal and other styles of music an fashion, the VK archetype is a uniquely Japanese development that is [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm difficult to explain through ordinary means]]. It has [[GrowingTheBeard matured]] so much and tied together [[GenreBusting mutliple styles of music]] in a way that makes it uniquely awesome.
** Marty Friedman once commented about Visual Kei, saying that it's "[[HairMetal glam]]-meets-{{goth|icMetal}}-meets-[[CostumePorn really, really extravagant]] heavy metal...Not Music/TwistedSister guys [[GlamourFailure wearing their moms' clothes kind of feminine]]...[[RuleOfGlamorous it's beautiful]]."
* WingsDoNothing: Wings are a common costume/fashion item, and some artists have tattoos of wings (usually inspired by Music/{{Hyde}}'s back tattoos). Obviously, they are incapable of doing anything actual wings do.
* WordSaladTitle: Often the result of bad English skills, trying to sound "artistic," or simply being uninspired for something else.
* WorkingTitle: Often done with songs, lives, albums, and even sometimes bands, as the inspiration changes as the project moves along or gains/loses members or goes through different stages of production (e.g. the original title wasn't marketable, so it's changed in post to something better)
* WorldOfBadass: As well as a WorldOfHam, at least onstage and in PVs. To some degree, even offstage, with what the people involved have had to go through to make it or even to stick around alive if they didn't make it, especially older artists who survived the scene when it involved actual violence and threats of it.
* WorldOfNoGrandparents: Technically, Visual Kei offstage is one, mostly because the ''oldest'' artists are late forties, only beginning to enter the years where they would be grandparents, and most of them became fathers late in their lives once their careers were established, if they had known and acknowledged children at all. There are ''a few'' acknowledged children some of these artists had in their late twenties, but for the most part, it's still a world of youth even for the middle-aged, for a few more years anyway.
----