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Music / L'arc-en-Ciel

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L'arc-en-Ciel is a Japanese Alternative Rock band from Osaka, formed in 1991. Founded by bassist tetsuya and vocalist/guitarist Hyde (not to be confused with the late hide of X Japan), with then-rhythm guitarist HIRO and then-drummer PERO, they had a successful start in their hometown in 1992. In the same year, both HIRO and PERO left; they were replaced by current rhythm guitarist ken and drummer sakura. in 1997, sakura was expelled from the band due to being arrested for marijuana possession; That same year, he was later replaced with current drummer yukihiro.

They were initially signed to Danger Crue Records, but after releasing their debut album, Dune in 1993, in 1994 they signed a contract with Sony Music Entertainment Japan under the Ki/oon division. and, eventually, becoming one of the best-selling and most prolific musical acts in the Japanese rock music scene.

Originally a Visual Kei (more specifically, Visual Shock) band, they have dissociated themselves from the scene since 1994. How far they have distanced themselves from the Visual scene is debatable, but despite the fact that they loathe Visual Kei and being labelled as a Visual band, they still maintain some close ties with many Visual Kei bands and artists; the band's members have all worked with or are working with established VK artists from all over the scene. In addition, they still showcase, from time to time, the wild hair and exotic outfits characteristic of 1980s-mid 1990s Visual Shock bands. Even in recent years, they continue to target their established Visual fanbase alongside the Periphery Demographic of casual J-rock fans and Bishōnen fangirls. They are widely credited for bringing Visual Kei closer to the mainstream and, consequently, the first proto-Oshare kei band. They are also credited as the first post-Visual kei band, mainly because of their "dissociation" from the scene in the early 1990s.

Members (All members use Stage Names):

Current Members:

  • hyde: Vocals, guitar (1991-present)
  • tetsuya: Bass guitar (1991-present)
  • yukihiro: Drums (1997-present, became an official member in 1998)
  • ken: Guitar, backing vocals (1992-present)

Former Members:

  • sakura: Drums (1993-1997)
  • HIRO (1991-1992)
  • PERO (1991-1992)


Studio albums

  • Dune (1993)
  • Tierra (1994)
  • Heavenly (1995)
  • True (1996)
  • Heart (1998)
  • Ark (1999)
  • Ray (1999)
  • Real (2000)
  • Smile (2004)
  • Awake (2005)
  • Kiss (2007)
  • Butterfly (2012)

L'arc-en-Ciel and their works provide examples of the following tropes: