Music: Seikima II
SEIKIMA-II is probably the first and only band to successfully fuse Visual Kei (as well as help create the genre) with a slightly different take on Black Metal, possibly also being one of the few truly melodic Black Metal bands in the process. It formed in 1982, around the same time as many of the other bands that would form what would become known as Visual Kei such as X Japan and Buck Tick were either forming or in the early stages of inspiration.The band would go on to be one of the most highly successful metal acts in Japan, with sporadic ongoing activities even after it had to officially disband at the end of the century per its mythos. There was also, in The '90s, at least one interview on CNN world with Demon Kakka, and the band inspired many a Shout-Out including an appearance of "Kogure" as a character in Fist of the North Star, and Detroit Metal City and its live-action films, which primarily revolves around a band that is an Expy of SEIKIMA-II.
Current Members (as of the 2010 and 2011 reunion gigs (All members use Stage Names):
- His Excellency Demon Kogure/Demon Kakka: vocals
- Empire Magistrate Jail O'hashi: guitar
- Staff General Luke Takamura III: guitar
- Doctor Xenon Ishikawa: bass
- His Imperial Highness Raiden Yuzawa: drums
- His Majesty Damian Hamada: guitar
- Majo Ryoko: keyboards
- Giantonio Babayashi: guitar
- Zeed Iijima: drums
- Gandhara Sangeria Tigris-Euphrates Kaneko: guitar
- Jagy Furukawa: drums
- Zod Hoshijima: bass
- Captain Ace Shimizu: guitar, drums
- Seikima II - Akuma ga Kitarite Heavy Metal (1985)
- The End of the Century (1986)
- From Hell with Love (1986)
- Big Time Changes (1987)
- The Outer Mission (1988)
- You Guy! (1990)
- Kyoufu no Restaurant (1992)
- Ponk!! (1994)
- Mephistopheles no Shouzou (1996)
- News (1997)
- Move (1998)
- Living Legend (1999)
SEIKIMA-II Provides Examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Inverted: Luke Takamura and Damian Hamada are the most normal Stage Names.
- Apocalypse Cult: Zig-zagged and subverted like crazy - in the band's mythos, it wants to propagate Satan through Heavy Metal. Except, Satan Is Good, so it's actually an anti-Apocalypse claiming to be an apocalypse.
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Just one part of the band's love for Costume Porn.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: All of the band's original stage names. Though "Kakka" is not such in English for most people.note
- Ax-Crazy: Sometimes a feature of the band's lyrics, though subverted as often as it is played straight.
- Badass Bookworm: His Excellency Demon Kogure/Demon Kakka, both onstage and offstage, is this. He's a metal singer - but he is also a polyglot (he can speak fluent English and Spanish as well as Japanese), a legitimate journalist and writer, and one of the most intelligent people within Visual Kei.
- Basso Profundo: His Excellency Demon Kogure/Demon Kakka.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: What the band claims to be - highly evolved hyperdimensional space demons called "Akuma," sent to Earth to promote Satan via rock and roll.
- Costume Porn: One of the most famous bands for it in Visual Kei: their costuming and inventiveness in it was second to none at the time, even if at times they did seem like clones of Kiss at points. Even now, if you want to look at some of the more heavily costumed visual kei bands, they are still right up there with Malice Mizer and Versailles and others that would come after them.
- Cover Version: His Excellency Demon Kogure/Kakka covered Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.
- Darker and Edgier / Lighter and Softer - The discography jumps back and forth between the two quite a bit. Akuma ga Kitarite Heavy Metal is straight-ahead heavy metal, but the following albums added more and more elements of arena rock and ballads. By the point of The Outer Mission and Yuugai, their sound had become quite pop friendly. Kyoufu no Restaurant was a deliberate return to the darker, heavier sound of their early days... which was followed by the even MORE pop-friendly Ponk!! and a SECOND "back to basics" rock album Mephistopheles no Shouzou. The cycle repeated once more with the lighter News and Move preceding the dark and heavy swansong Living Legend.
- Denser and Wackier: Their approach to Black Metal — being a Stealth Parody of the pro-occult attitude associated with the genre.
- Drunken Song: Chinese Magic Herb is sang in the key/tone of one of these. It's actually more likely the audio version of a Stoner Flick.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Big Time Changes PV, in which the Earth explodes in a massive nuclear blast then reforms as an apple.
- Follow the Leader: They took a lot from Kiss, possibly even more than X Japan did at the beginning. That said, they quickly became something uniquely themselves as well.
- God and Satan Are Both Jerks: Sometimes this trope is played with - one of the best examples of it is the Big Time Changes PV, where that board game is war in the world and it eventually leads to an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
- Gratuitous Japanese - Parodied in "Tatakau Nipponjin", where the verses are a jumble of random Japanese words foreigners would likely know.
- Kayfabe Music: Demon Kogure and his band are demons seeking to take over the world with their music.
- Rock Me, Asmodeus!: The band's mythos is all about this - and playing with it in every way possible, to the point of going around in a circle and being almost Stealth Parody of the concept. Being Japanese in The '80s (where playing with Satanic and Left Hand Path themes would not draw fire either from Christian Moral Guardians and get them ran out of town and arrested in the panic, or from occult or Black Metal “Stop Having Fun” Guys assuming their work was insulting parody or somehow incorrectly portraying something or other or not metal enough) and the enabled them to create both a deep mythos and very interesting and intelligent lyrics based around the theme. One great example is the song Adam's Apple.
- Satan Is Good: A common theme here, though it may be any one of the ways of Playing With that trope depending on the song or the performance.
- Scare Chord: An absolutely classic example comes at the end of "midori iro no ame," which sounds like a peaceful neoclassical instrumental ballad... until the Screaming Woman at the end.
- Shout-Out: Lots of them. Detroit Metal City is probably the most obvious of them all, but there was also "Kogure" in Fist of the North Star as well as quite a few others - if a band in a Japanese work after The '80s is wearing full-face makeup and incredibly elaborate costumes, odds are it is either inspired by or an expy of Kiss, SEIKIMA-II, or both.
- Stealth Parody: Of Kiss, and arguably of every other Black Metal band.
- Symbolism: A very, very, VERY big thing for SEIKIMA-II. The amount of symbolism both in lives and P Vs is intricate, sometimes explicit, sometimes complex, sometimes some combination of all of it. Apple symbolism is VERY common (showing up with at least two songs, Adam's Apple the live of which involves the band throwing apples at each other and the audience, and Big Time Changes where the nuked world transforms into an apple.)
- Visual Kei: The band is, along with X Japan, Sex Machineguns and Buck Tick, a co-Trope Maker for the subculture.
- Widget Series: ONLY IN JAPAN. Seriously. This band could not have accomplished half its popularity anywhere else.