Music / Sugizo
Sugizo at Madison Square Garden X Japan live, 2014.

Yūne Sugihara, better known as his stage name Sugizo, is a Japanese rock guitarist and violinist best known for being the lead guitarist of the Visual Kei band Luna Sea. After Luna Sea, he became a solo artist and an environmental and political activist, releasing several singles and joining the band Juno Reactor.

He was invited to perform on stage with X Japan in place of/alongside lead guitarist hide starting in 2008, and became the sixth official member of X Japan starting in 2009, on lead guitar.

After the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear disaster of 2011, he has become one of the most notable figures in the recovery, volunteering on the ground as a worker at Ishinomaki for a couple of weeks, and performing at various charity and anti-nuclear events.

Provides Examples of:

  • Actual Pacifist: Sugizo is an anti-war activist and has written several songs around the theme, from "No More Machineguns Play the Guitar" to "Enola Gay."
  • A Lady on Each Arm: He does this in the "Super Love" PV from his solo works.
  • Badass Bookworm: Known for being one of the more intellectual artists in the modern Visual Kei scene, and is a very capable writer on a variety of subjects with interests in the environment, politics, and world affairs in general.
  • Bandito: Pistolero by Juno Reactor is the story of one of these, in an electronic dance rock soundscape.
  • Becoming the Boast/Becoming the Mask: This is actually part of how Sugizo changed his life so powerfully — he threw himself into his environmental and anti-war work (which some said he had only adopted at first as a pet cause to look better) and became far more of an empathetic person and someone actually concerned with said causes rather than just using them for self promotion.
  • Berserk Button: Pro-nuclear arguments (especially for the Monju and Rokkasho plants, both of which pose major risks) and right-wing genocide denial/war apologists, at least enough to lead him to write long Facebook posts about them.
  • B.S.O.D. Song: "Dear Life" from his solo career. It's more like a "recovery from BSOD" song, though.
  • But Not Too Foreign: One quarter Chinese, one quarter German.
  • Cassandra Truth: With a bitter side of Harsher in Hindsight. Sugizo has been an anti-nuclear activist in Japan for many years. Among other demonstrations, he once participated in one against none other than the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
  • Casual Kink: Once offhandedly referred to himself as "S-Type" (sadist) in an interview.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The first guitarist signed to Extasy Records by hide as well as being hide's ''kohai'' and friend.
  • Cultural Rebel: Quite a bit of one, even within Visual Kei itself with everything from his political stances to his work with EDM style music while not being Oshare.
  • Double Entendre: "Super Love" from his solo career. What isn't Double Entendre in that song is all on display.
    • His side projects SHAG and Spank Your Juice.
  • Due to the Dead: There will usually be some Shout-Out to hide in his performances with X Japan.
  • Expy: One of his signature Visual styles has him appearing like a near-clone and a Darker and Edgier version of hide.
  • Flame War: Once got into one involving an ex-girlfriend, her fans, his fans, and trolls. The results almost were enough to damage his reputation and career, until he apparently realized that Streisand Effect was in effect and got out of the flame war.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Have been part of some of his outfits.
  • Genre Roulette
  • Performance Video: Several from his solo career and with Luna Sea, and he's starred in at least five X Japan performance videos now.
  • Power Ballad: Several with Luna Sea.
  • Protest Song: "No More Machineguns Play the Guitar" is a protest of war. Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped applies, and the song itself is very much worth a listen.
    • A remix entitled "No More Nukes Play the Guitar" and an original song called "The Edge" were released as protests to the TEPCO nuclear disaster of 2011.
  • The Quiet One: At least, compared to hide. Tropes Are Tools applies here: He is equally skilled (if not more so at points, arguably, from not being drunk or high out of his mind on stage), and his stability and intelligence both onstage and offstage are very much a good balance to Yoshiki's and Toshi's problems.
  • The Sixth Ranger: In place of hide for live lead guitar.
  • Succession Crisis: One of the candidates for lead guitarist of X Japan after the reunion, and the one who got the position.
  • Survivor Guilt: Very much so, and his approach to handling it vs. Yoshiki's approach to handling it (despite neither's being wrong) almost led to a huge miscommunication between the two of them that once left their friendship almost destroyed and each's fans hating the other's. Both seem to be over that fight now, though.