These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Awesomeness by Analysis / Crazy Awesome: Their style of music and performances invoke so much Mind Screw that even fans of technical music have trouble appreciating their works. Despite that, they still get positive recognition from music critics and metal purists alike.
Brown Note: "Sa Bir" from UROBOROS and "Kyoukotsu no Nari" from Dum Spiro Spero. Especially the latter, thanks to massive Sensory Abuse and its sheer loudness (at least when played live).
The same can be said for the band in general, with every album sounding like it's been done by a completely different band.
It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Happened pre-emptively among some long time J-Rock fans who were actually hoping the band would flop in the United States because they couldn't stand the thought of "Hot Topic kiddies" liking their band.
It's the Same, so It Sucks: The band is beginning to develop this as of The Unraveling and the 2013 tour. Many of the newer songs sound much like other more recent songs (to the degree that when played live and badly mixed, telling what song the band is playing is difficult). But since releasing "Sustain The Untruth", they somehow averted this trope.
Less Disturbing in Context: A lyrical case involves "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 Victim Blaming, 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.
Love It or Hate It: The fandom's reactions to anything related to the band. Some critics are equally polarized.
Magnum Opus: Arguably, UROBOROS.Dum Spiro Spero would be a close second, due to the experimental nature of the album.
Nightmare Fuel: Their music is arguably the apex of stylistic horror in Visual Kei. Particualrly stand-out examples include the following.
"Mazohyst of Decadence", with its Creepy Cute vocal work, atonal guitars and pounding snare drums is a fairly disturbing tune. The fact that it is a Protest Song targeted at a society that uses the most painful and traumatizing last-ditch procedure for preventing pregnancy as a method of birth control makes it even more unsettling.
The folk instumentation that comes right the hell out of nowhere in "Sa Bir", which is then followed by Kyo simulating the chanting of Tibetan monks, and then followed by a deep, gurgling demonic voice and a series of shrieks. One interpretation of the song is that it is about demonic possession.
Signature Song: "Obscure". Other notable songs would include "The Final", "Agitated Screams of Maggots", "Dozing Green" and, more recently, after the "Extreme Metal Olympics", "Different Sense"note It was the song that made Diru win the Olympics..
Tear Jerker: "Ain't Afraid to Die" is a Surprisingly Gentle Song about a man remembering his former lover on the anniversary of her death. One interpretation of the title is that he welcomes death as a chance to be reunited with her. Kyo leaves all but the first line of the last verse unsung, implying that he died before he could finish
Also one reason why The Unraveling was met with mixed reactions from fans.
Fans (or former fans) who complain about Dir en grey's new sound are mostly people who miss the band's Visual Kei period. Though some of the complaining is beginning to originate from people feeling the band is stagnating as of The New Tens, and/or that their production value live and recorded seeming to take a massive nosedive from even the UROBOROS era. Even Yoshiki Hayashi, their former producer, walked out midpoint of the 2013 Hollywood live claiming a business engagement elsewhere.
Tough Act to Follow: Averted every time by the band in terms of music. However, it seems that they have been getting this after some fans have claimed that their new Unraveling EP is not a worthy match for the band's previous efforts.
Also played straight in terms of the band's visual image. Though they have re-applied visuals since the UROBOROS era, fans still expect to see something that would match the awesomeness of the bands Visual Kei era.
Beginning to be averted, however, in Visual Kei itself. While the scene is still heavily populated with Dir en grey (and The Gazette) clones on the rock/metal side, many new rock and metal bands are drawing inspiration from other sources (everything from retro British Invasion to early Visual Shock), showmanship and fan interaction is becoming popular once again as are more elaborate hair and makeup, and unintelligibly screaming vocalists are on their way out with increasing interest in clean or at least intelligible vocals at some points.
Unfortunate Implications: Rape and misogyny are frequent themes in Dir En Grey's work from depictions in their videos to their lyrics, and whether the band is trying to condemn them or play them as erotic, they have a very large Misaimed Fandom that thinks rape is funny/sexy/cool/not as serious as it is/all of the above and will often use the word "rape" as a term of endearment. Dir en grey's fandom is not a very survivor friendly place in Visual Kei as a result. Also, they're probably the primary reason that rape is still seen as "add instant awesome shock value" not just in Eroguro but in a depressingly large part of Visual Kei and metal (especially Deathcore) in general.
All of the band members seem to have issues with women and have let this enter their lyrics and their consideration of all women as being the Groupie Brigade.