Psycho le Cému (also known as PLC) is a Japanese Visual Kei band born in the end of The '90s and being most famous in the Turn of the Millennium. This band enters into Visual Shock classification, but different from other bands, this one uses Cosplay as their main inspiration, basing on external references of Pop Culture, like anime and video games, but also taking ideas from Super Sentai, Western Fairy Tales and a classic in Asian literature.
The group was formed in 1999 releasing a demo album in the same year. In 2000 released Kronos and Risokyu Ryokou Guide Disc, their first maxi-singles and later their first album in 2001, Doppelganger, all signed by the indie label Limited Records. Then in 2003 Psycho le Cému signed with Nippon Crown getting a big impact in Japan and releasing two albums: Frontiers and Beautiful World and a lot of singles. But the success overpassed this country and became a big hit in the USA, mostly because of the Cosplay, being invited to big events in that country like Pacific Media Expo, Project A-kon, Katsucon and Megacon between 2004 and 2005.
But the fame has a price. In 2005, Daishi was found guilty of being positive for methamphetamine, was arrested by Kanagawa police and jailed for a year and half. The news was so shocking in Japan that all PLC albums and merchandising were confiscated and the group went into a hiatus until Daishi went out of the jail. After that, in 2006 the group recorded for a last time releasing their last album, Epilogue, and compiled the Greatest Hits Album Psycho le Cému Best. Then, the group had a breakup and all their members went for their side projects "Dacco" (YURA-sama and Lida) and "Mix Speakers Inc." (Aya and Seek), as well Daishi went into a solo carrer.
The End... Or Is It? Well, certainly not. In 2009, Psycho le Cému reunited again with new costumes and a tour celebrating the tenth anniversary of the creation of the group with a concert tour called Psycho le Cému 10th Anniversary - Legend of Sword. And again they did it in 2014 with the 15th anniversary. But this time the group reunited for real, making more costumes, more new songs and the first album since the last one they did in 2006: NOW AND THEN ~THE WORLD~, released in August 2016 in their new label, noneless than Warner Music Japan. And the Adventure Continues...
Psycho le Cému has their website back, just called as PsychoLeCemu.com, as well now have official accounts in YouTube and Twitter (all in Japanese, sadly). Not to mention the article of the group in The Other Wiki as well the fanpage Super Cosplay Band (offline, archived in Wayback Machine) that compiled PLC works before the breakup.
Psycho le Cému members
- Daishi (real name: Daishi Kajinaga) - The Leader of the band and the lead vocalist of the group, usually playing The Hero in music videos and live concerts. Known for being the shortest band member, in which is usually seen with platform shoes as part of the costumes he uses. He's the only member of the group who had a solo career by his own (known by his real name), as well creating The Romeo.
- Lida (real name: Tatsuya Akeda) - The lead guitarist and the Foil of Daishi in the group, being The Rival of The Hero as well The Lancer. He's known for his orange hair, usually in the form of Anime Hair. After the breakup, he made the group Dacco with YURA-sama.
- Aya (real name: Naoki Okawa) - The Chick of the group, which is really a Wholesome Crossdresser as most of Visual Kei bands and the backup guitar supporting Lida. Known for his pink hair, Aya is the Moe Girly Girl who also dances in music videos and live concerts with YURA-sama. With Seek, they formed first ISABELLE and later Mix Speakers, Inc., a Visual Kei group similar than Psycho le Cému, but with Halloween theme.
- Seek (real name: Takuma Shiramizu) - The bassist and the most bizarre of the members, usually making the Monster of the Week in music videos. The Foil of YURA-sama that represents the grotesque and monstruousity, often closer to Eroguro Kei looks. And if their costumes weren't enough, also has Savage Piercings, which shocks even with normal clothes and no costumes. With Aya, they formed first ISABELLE and later Mix Speakers, Inc., a Visual Kei group similar than Psycho le Cému, but with Halloween theme.
- YURA-samanote (real name: Takeshi Kuroiwa) - The drummer and the choreographer of the group dances, as well the backing vocalist. A Narcissist in real life (and even Played for Laughs in some music videos), is the member with the most complex and detailed costumes of all the group, sometimes being so handsome to be a man. After the breakup, he made the group Dacco with Lida.
- Doppelganger ~mou hitori no jibun~ (2000)
- Prismnote (2002)
- Frontiers (2003)
- Beautiful World ~Kono hitomi ni utsuranai mono~ (2004)
- ~Epilogue~ Kataritsugareru Monogatari (2006)
- Psycho le Cému Bestnote (2006)
- NOW AND THEN ~THE WORLD~ (2016)
Tropes applied to band members
- Action Girl: Aya in various of the music videos, also he makes Damsel in Distress or simply The Chick.
- Subverted in their first videos, like "Kronos" and "Excalibur", where Aya made a Dark Action Girl instead.
- Ambiguous Gender: YURA-sama, in various music videos isn't stated that he's a male.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Lida in videos where he's the martial artist like "Excalibur" and "Ai no Uta".
- Badass Preacher: YURA-sama, usually representing a Christian one. In the Japanese Spirit music videos, he made a Onmyouji instead.
- Bishōnen: Daishi and Lida, but mostly the former. Also in some videos, YURA-sama as the Aloof Big Brother.
- Blue Is Heroic: Daishi usually wears this color being The Hero in most of the videos.
- Cosplay: The bread and butter of the group, which gives them a big fame not just in Japan.
- Costume Porn: The group is known for their overdetailed and stylish costumes, especially exaggerated in their reunions in 2009 and 2014. YURA-sama is also the Trope Codifier.
- Color-Coded Characters/Rainbow Motif:
- Costumes Change Your Size: Being the smallest of the group, Daishi usually uses platform shoes and boots to get the same size than his fellow members.
- Dancing Is Serious Business: At least for YURA-sama, the choreographer of the group.
- Epic Rocking: Lida usually shows this in almost all the songs of the band. Aya also does this in some songs.
- Fake Band: The band has an alter-ego version called "Bad Boys, Be Ambitious!", in which band members used normal clothes. Although this group has no official discs or LPs, their songs can be found in the B-sides of PLC singles before the breakup.
- Call-Back: One of the songs of Daishi in his solo album (God Japanese Monster) is called "Bad Music, Be Ambitious!"
- Fiery Redhead: Lida. Subverted in Dacco, where he has black hair to contrast YURA-sama's white one.
- Five-Man Band:
- Japanese Delinquent: In some videos, Daishi takes this stereotype as the Anti-Hero, mostly seen in "Yume Kazaguruma" (a Bōsōzoku) and "Love is Dead" (a yankii.)
- Kayfabe Music: Psycho le Cému is basically a Cosplay band that plays as if they were an anime/video game/tokusatsu Five-Man Band ripped directly from the source into live-action version, as seen in their many music videos and in some of their concerts, where even they make live-action RPG.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: YURA-sama.
- Magic is Feminine: In the band's High Fantasy-themed music videos, Aya always appears as a magic-user, either as a Cute Witch or a Magical Girl. By contrast, the guys dress up as warriors, monks, or monsters.
- Monster of the Week: Seek. Also, in High School settings he's the Creepy Child.
- Nobody Loves the Bassist: Made with a purpose with Seek, who makes usually grotesque characters, some of them Eroguro worthy.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Lida and Daishi.
- Rose-Haired Sweetie: Aya, his basic characteristic in the group. Subverted in the first videos of the band ("Kronos" and "Excalibur") in which he has black/dark hair.
- Savage Piercings: Seek, who doesn't hide all the piercing in his mouth and nose, and even more, remarking them in various of his costumes.
- Silver Fox: YURA-sama.
- Stage Names: All members usually use the same stage names for all their projects apart of PLC (like Dacco for Lida and YURA-sama and ISABELLE/Mix Speakers Inc. for Aya and Seek), with the exception of Daishi who used his real names in his solo career.
- The Stoic: YURA-sama, mostly in the "action" videos.
Tropes applied to band songs and music videos
- And Starring: "Prism" music video introduces every member of the band as well the name of the group.
- The Apunkalypse: "Love is Dead", at least in the music video.
- Cover Version: "Roman Hikou" is a song from The '80s J-Pop band Kome Kome Club made in 1990. In Japan is known as a cover song, but in the West is mostly credited as a Psycho le Cému song, which was made in 2003.
- Gratuitous Disco Sequence: More than Disco, the group has danced in various of their music videos as well in concerts.
- Gratuitous English: Mostly seen in the song names, but also there's a lot of songs with English phrases on them.
- Greatest Hits Album: Psycho le Cému Best is 2-disc compilation album, one disc is for Indie songs and the other is for Major songs.
- High School: The main setting for "Roman Hikou" music video. Also, the alter-ego of Super Sentai heroes from "Megatron."
- Homage: There're very colorful ones on "Omoide Haruki" (Journey to the West) and "Michi no Sora" (Disney Animated Canon) music videos and costumes.
- Japanese Spirit: Various of their music videos have this, marking them in Angura Kei style:
- "Yume Kazaguruma", a music video with classical Japanese stereotypes, all of them Played for Laughs. The members are disguised as a Bōsōzoku (Daishi), a Kabuki performer (Lida), a Kunoichi (Aya), a Samurai (YURA-sama) and an Oni (Seek.)
- "Prism", which is based on Feudal/Sengoku Era and made in a serious tone instead of "Yume Kazaguruma", based mostly in works of fiction than in history. Here appears a Samurai (Daishi), a Ninja (Lida), a Geisha (Aya, a modern version closer to Vocaloid), a Onmyouji (YURA-sama) and a Tengu (Seek.)
- As part of their comeback, "Ooedo Tabigarasu" comes back with this, having a serious tone like in "Prism" and also Japanese instruments in the song like "Yume Kazaguruma". Here, there's a Samurai (Daishi again), a Buddha (Lida), a Geisha (Aya again, a futuristic version just like in "Prism"), a Youkai (Seek) and an Onmyouji (YURA-sama again, this time with some Medieval Spanish details on it.)
- Kabuki Theatre: In the Angura Kei music video of "Yume Kazaguruma" where every member takes a classic Japanese stereotype. One of them, Lida, takes the role of the Kabuki dancer, being disguised with a red robe and mannerisms. Also, the scenery of the video is like a big Kabuki theatre and all the members dance to the song.
- Silly Love Songs: Like the half of their songs are about this.
- Shout-Out: There are SO MANY references to Pop Culture that a Shout-Out page was made to group them all.
- Title Track: "Prism", apart of being one of the most known PLC songs, is also the title of second album and the first mini-album of the band, which this song comes with.
- Vocal Tag Team: Although Daishi is the lead singer, various of the members are an active part of the songs:
- Usually Lida with some rapped parts in like the half of the songs of the group.
- YURA-sama sung "AREA" with Daishi as a duo.
- In the 2014 comeback, Seek sings "2020" leaving Daishi the chorus.
- A Wild Rapper Appears!: In some songs, Lida makes rap lines with some Gratuitous English phrases on them.