Luna Sea is one of the bands that made Visual Kei popular in Japan. Originally called Lunacy, the band was founded in 1986 by schoolmates Inoran (guitar) and J (bass). In 1989, Ryuichi joined as vocalist, bringing Sugizo as a lead guitarist and occasional violinist, and Shinya joined as their drummer. They have stayed in this lineup ever since.
Shortly before they released their first album, they changed their name to Luna Sea, justifying a lot of pv's and stage decorations featuring either sea and water or moon later on. Their tendency to release important information on a full moon day and name their concerts after moon phases might also have something to do with that. In 1992, they were discovered by hide of X Japan and signed to Yoshiki's label Extasy Records (which they left at the end of that year to sign with a major label). They were very successful in the 90's, though they abandoned their wilder hairstyles and looks for a tamer version (aka the boyband look) pretty soon.
Focusing mostly on rock, the band has accomplished a variety of sounds over their careers, each showcasing the progressive songwriting talents of the band members. Their early career is characterized by a very 80's sound, mixing elements of grunge, metal, punk, and a hint of neo-classical into their playing. The band is known among fans for having a "mysterious" sound.
In 2000, they announced an indefinite hiatus, as each of the members pursued their own solo careers, several of them finding great success. In August 2010, this hiatus was ended, and the band announced that they were both going on tour again and writing new songs.
Luna Sea albums:
- Luna Sea (1991)
- Image (1992)
- Eden (1993)
- Mother (1994)
- Style (1996)
- Shine (1998)
- Lunacy (2000)
- A Will (2013)
- Luv (2017)
- Cross (2019)
Luna Sea singles:
- Believe (1993)
- In My Dream (With Shiver) (1993)
- Rosier (1994)
- True Blue (1994)
- Mother (1995)
- Desire (1995)
- End of Sorrow (1996)
- In Silence (1996)
- Storm (1998)
- Shine (1998)
- I for You (1998)
- Gravity (2000)
- Tonight (2000)
- Love Song (2000)
- The One -Crash to Create- (2012)
- Thoughts (2013)
- Limit (2016)
- Sora no Uta ~Higher and Higher~/Hisōbi (2019)
Luna Sea provides examples of:
- '80s Hair: in their early Visual Kei days, downplayed by Ryuichi and Inoran in their 20th anniversary concert lunacy.
- All Drummers Are Animals: Ever seen Shinya with long, unkempt hair and mustache, "talking" to the audience after a strenuous and sweat-inducing drum solo? Thought so.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: "Sweetest Coma Again" was the theme song for the Japanese release of the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough.
- Bishonen: Practically everybody, specially during their Visual Kei era.
- B-Side: There are even two albums of B-Side Singles: Singles, Disc II (1997) and Another Side of Singles (2002), and their fan club is called after one: Slave, B-Side of In My Dream (With Shiver)
- Epic Rocking: Into the Sun (7:09), Love Song, Search For Reason and Moon (7:10), Another (7:36), Ray (7:33), Selves (8:01), Genesis Of Mind (8:12), Virgin Mary (9:15), Forever & Ever (10:18) and The One -Crash to Create- (22:56, their longest song of their entire career).
- CarefulWithThatAxe/MetalScream: Prominent in their early albums, as Ryuichi would start a song clean, and slowly get grittier until shouting at the chorus, for an intense build of suspense.
- Fanservice: Inoran, Ryuichi and Sugizo, mostly.
- Foreign Language Title/Gratuitous English: Arguably, since all their titles are in English (except one: Kono Sekai No Hatede), yet there is very few English in the actual songs.
- Great Balls of Fire!: Take a Shinya solo. Any Shinya solo.
- Greatest Hits Album: Period ~The Best Selection~.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Everyone at various points, with Shinya as the notable exception. He prefers the fur to the hide.
- Lighter and Softer: They became that during their career.
- Long-Runner Line-up: They lasted from 1989 to 2000, then reunited in 2010.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: In their career, the band experimented with rock, metal, punk and pop.
- New Sound Album: With Style and Shine, the band moved away from its aggressive style toward a more mainstream sound.
- Performance Video: "Dejavu," "Rosier," "In Silence," "Desire," "End of Sorrow," "Storm," "Shine," and "Tonight."
- Putting on the Reich: Sugizo in photographs and TV performance. Ironically, he dislikes glorifying Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany.
- Putting the Band Back Together: Literally, in 2007 for a Christmas concert, in 2008 for the hide memorial summit, and for real in 2010 after ten years of inactivity.
- Rockers Smash Guitars: During their Visual Kei era, it was unsurprising that the drummer, bassist and guitarist destroy their instruments... and sometimes put them on fire.
- Shirtless Scene: Ryuichi when he plays live shows... specially during their Visual Kei era.
- Self-Titled Album: Two of them. Luna Sea, their first, and Lunacy, their last. The band's original name was "Lunacy," before they got signed.
- True Companions: And how! Unlike other Visual Kei bands like X JAPAN, Luna Sea maintained their lineup during their entire career.
- Vocal Tag Team: Minus vocal plus violin for "Providence" (it's pretty much Ryuichi's and Sugizo's song).