(born 1961) is a Japanese vocalist best known for being one of the core members of Loudness
. Originally the bassist and vocalist of Earthshaker, Niihara left before the band took off. He left Loudness once in 1988 and was reunited with the band in 2001. Niihara has been Loudness' most famous singer throughout and has several solo projects.
Tropes encompassing Minoru Niihara include:
- Author Appeal: Intercourse with You and Anti War songs seem to be the main game for him.
- Big Beautiful Man: From 2000 onward he seemed to have become this, as of 2010 he has gone back to normal weight.
- Big Eater: Look at his blog. (Or don't if you don't want to hear about his bowel movements.)
- Bi the Way: Take a look around his blog. He seems to be an Adam Lambert fanboy and comments on how attractive he is, and some of the feelings he expressed for Munetaka Higuchi sound like he was in love with him or had feelings for him. Plus some of his comments on former vocalist Masaki Yamada seem rather odd, such as his calling Masaki "cute" in one interview. Though he is also divorced with a six year old son...
- Creepy Cool Crosses: Wears a crucifix on his neck fairly often, especially apparent in the videos for Metal Mad and Crazy Samurai, in which he is wearing a full-on Catholic style cross.
- Hair Metal: His look until the late 90s (when he experimented with Visual Kei) and the 2000s (when he had no specific scene look), and his lyrical output.
- Harsh Vocals: Minoru's vocal style is best described as "Udo Dirkenschnider meets Rob Halford."
- Intercourse with You: Seems to be a pet subject of his, having wrote almost all of Loudness's songs about the matter, and several solo songs, most infamously "69" from his band XYZ->A. Whether this is Fetish Fuel or Fetish Retardant is up to you.
- Too Much Information: Will occasionally find its way onto his blog. The aforementioned discussion of his anal issues and bowel movements is one such incident...
- Visual Kei: He tried it as a look with XYZ-A in the late 90s(and carried the look over to the Loudness reunion in 2001), since another member of the band was. Whether he failed spectacularly or not is very much up to the fan.
- As of 2013, has taken up the VK look again, and arguably looks much better than he did his previous stab at it, with long red hair and eyeliner. He gave up the look in 2014 for a more classic metal/rock style once again.
- Vocal Evolution: Or not, depending on your POV. Since 2001 Niihara's voice has taken on a much harsher, screechier sound, which works on some songs, others not.