As far as I think about it, jrock is basically two camps: Visual Kei and the rest :). Visual Kei is very, very pretty; lots of boys in great costumes and many of them actually dressed as girls.
A Few VK Examples
X Japan (1980s)
Malice Mizer (1990s) (we'll come back to them in a minute)
Rentre en Soi
Yes, they are all men. List of VK bands on Wikipedia
I like the VK look a lot ... takes me back to the New Romantics :). They also tend to indulge in a lot of what is called "fan service", which is where members of the band pretend to molest each other on stage. This is why Jrock is the perfect place for slashers.
I got into Jrock via Moon Child:
Gallery of Moon Child piccies
Moon Child is a fabulous vampire/gangster movie that was written by Gackt, and starring him, Hyde and lots of other people.
You can buy it off Amanson.co.uk here:
Moon Child UK buy
and Amazon.com here:
Moon Child US buy
I bought it because it has vampires in it, I have rewatched it many times because I love it. Even if you never get into jrock, this is a great film. Gackt plays Sho (the gangster type) and Hyde plays Kei (the vampire).
Now when I watched Moon Child I knew Gackt was in it, but I had no idea Hyde was, and he's just too pretty not to Google :). It was via Hyde that I discovered the music because Hyde has several albums a large percentage of the songs on which are in English.
No matter how much he looks like a girl sometimes, Hyde is not Visual Kei.
|Roentgen English version - very mellow, quite soft, ballad type songs|
|666 Much harder rockier sound|
|Faith Somewhere in between sound wise|
Hyde's various styles
Hyde has had many styles over the 15 years he has been famous, these are just a few of them (in no particular order since I haven't a clue except for the first and last ones):
He started with the girly look ...
... and he seems to have returned there :)
Hyde started in and still is part of a band called L'Arc-en-Ciel (he just did some solo stuff as well).
L'Arc (also know as Laruku) have been around 15 years - they had their 15th Anniversary last year and are fab. Their sound is poppier than Hyde's solo sound and most of their songs are in Japanese, but I recommend them. My fav album is Awake.
L'Arc was formed by Tetsu, who is the bassist, who then approached the others. Ken plays lead guitar and is considered one of, if not the finest guitarist in Japan. Yuki was not the original drummer, but there was some nastiness with drugs in the 90's where their drummer Sakura was forced to quit the band and Yuki replaced him. Hyde on vocals finishes the group.
They have an alternative incarnation called Punk-en-Ciel where Hyde plays guitar and Tetsu sings.
They all have their own solo projects, but I know little about them except Hyde's, sorry.
Wiki article about L'Arc
Hyde is married to Megumi and has a son (but that doesn't stop us slashing the pants off him :)). Hyde is also a Harry Potter fan.
He was in another movie called Last Quarter as well, playing a character called Adam. The picture above with the blue background and long hair is Adam and if you watch Cape of Storms no Youtube below, that is also from the movie.
And for the TH fans - I can never understand why they compared Bill to Miyavi, but Hyde, now Hyde I can understand see:
The only thing Bill has more in common with Miyavi than Hyde is height - Hyde's about 5'3''/4'' where are Miyavi is 6'1''ish :).
Some Youtube links
Lies and Truth (Hyde Potter :)) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZM3SrUTA_I
Stay Away - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF1HHzrMBMg
Neo Universe - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLGHRHfrFMU
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFWHzHVGXRg (english subs, but worse quality)
Seventh Heaven (their latest) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMSwMZr6PDw
Cape of Storms - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaveSrfDP1I
Evergreen - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IENZP0Ekijc (Japanese version)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1snPQnvx1nw (English Version)
Hello - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc8l5qeRxBs
Countdown - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCTrSL9i1EM
Season's Call - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQtJDoVfjr0
Just search on Youtube for L'arc en Ciel or Hyde for many more.
Back to Moon Child, the writer and other star is Gackt.
This is him at his latest concert with his new band S.K.I.N. Gackt very much is from the Visual Kei genre.
Gackt first became famous in a band called Malice Mizer (I told you we'd come back to them), a jrock Visual Kei band of the first order.
Gackt is the one in the middle.
He left them for reasons that have never been clearly stated and then went solo. His back up band is GacktJOB. He has pop tunes, ballads and rock tunes in his repertoire.
Last year he and Yoshiki (another legend of jrock from X-Japan) announced that they were starting a band together. They then announced Sugizo and Miyavi as the other members. Ju-Ken from GacktJOB played as their bassist when SKIN played their first concert at Anime Expo. Gackt is still doing his solo stuff as well though (jrockers appear to be able to maintain many irons in the fire at the same time :)).
SKIN piccie (sorry don't have a piccie of the others)
Yes Miyavi is a guy … really, I promise.
Gackt's various styles
Gackt has not been around quite as long as Hyde, but he's had as many styles - all perfect :). Again these are not in the right order.
Malice Mizer Gackt
He has so many I shall just direct you to the Wiki Page with them all listed.
Malice Mizer Illuminati - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qeu8JPy_EPE
Malice Mizer Syunikiss (live) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyCLLOs8d9E
Mizerable (very VK) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khb7UeGYXEw
Vanilla live (yaoi fan service) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIl85cKtSDg
Black Stone (pop) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FauL8awYALc
Redemption (rock) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUlbUnLrcQM
Returner (VK) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuF_MP24IhI
[EDIT] Soph pointed out I have forgotten some significant Gackt piccies so here they are:
The Naked Pictures
Another couple of bands I am fond of are:
Dir en Grey
(I hope I got the names around the right way)
They've moved on from their VK days and are into the rockier side now. I prefer their earlier stuff, less screaming and more lyrics, but they're cool.
Cage - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzJghF3ySjk
Yokan - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cG-_HekZ7k8
Cube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToovNFXw3xk
Really cute - lots of fanfic and not bad music. Still doing the VK thing too :)
Cassis - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFizzfJ5Y8E
Regret - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uqc6600uGMI
LJs Please note these are only the ones I belong to there are many more.
hyde_daily - image comm, hydeology - Hyde discussion comm, _hydeist, larcenciel, laruku_media, laruku_pics, tetsu_daily
g_a_c_k_t, gackt_daily - image comm, gackt_stills, dears, uesugi_gakuto - for the TV show Gackt is in Fuurin Kazan
hydesexual - Hyde fanfic, hydeship - more fanfic, but no Megumi bashing allowed, jfiction, jrock_aufics, jrock_fanfic, jrockfics, jrockwriters, jrockyaoi - takes more than just fic, kikenna_rennai darker fic, last_pleasure - challenges, nyw_comm - naughty fic
Pairing Specific comms:
HydexGackt - gacktxhyde - takes all things GxH and all thingsjust related to Gackt and all things related to Hyde, including Moon Child
moonchildsekai - Moon Child Comm
HydexTetsu - hxt
GacktvxMiyavi - gakueev
GacktxHydexMiyavi = gakuhaieev
Reita x Uruha x Aoi (the Gazette) - gazeguitar_rabu
DiexShinya (Dir en Grey) - die_shinya
Kyo (DeG) x Ruki (Gaz) - kyo_x_ruki
ReitaxUruha (Gazette) - reita_x_uruha
RukixAoi - rukitoaoi_nil
Other Jrock comms:
gacktianity - insane and lots of fun, gazette_daily, jcrack - need to find an mp3 fast, then jcrack is the place, jrock_europe, jrock_manips, jrock_scans, jrock_wank, jrockhumor - highly entertaining, jrocklyrics, masakarasu - Miyavi's journal translations, miyabi_dear, miyavi_daily, shinya_love - drummer of DeG, uruha_daily, visualkeiuk
JFiction - archive of all fiction with a Japanese slant, including jrock
Links to my jrock fic:
|Crossovers||No fics: 1|
|Creature Comforts||Harry/Draco/Hyde, Hyde/Megumi (mentions Hyde/Gackt)||NC17/18||15,630wds||28-Jun-06|
|(Harry Potter/Jrock RPS) Summary: Hogwarts is celebrating five years of peace by having a reunion for students from the past thirty years. WARNING - RPS, Hyde is a jrocker.|
|Moon Child||No fics: 2|
|*Brighter than the Sun||Kei/Sho||NC17/18||5,912wds||15-Jun-06|
|Summary: There is one thing Kei has never done, one indulgence he has never allowed himself, and as he and Sho await the sunrise he gives in to the last temptation.|
|*The Choices We Make||Kei/Sho||NC17/18||6,277wds||02-Feb-07|
|Summary: Sho wakes up a vampire after Kei had turned him and things go from there. (An alternative direction for the last few scenes of the movie).|
|Jrock||No fics: 1|
|*You Want to What?||Gackt/Hyde||PG||2,225wds||30-Jun-06|
|Summary: (humour) Gackt has made an announcement and it fills Hyde will a familiar feeling of dread.|
|The Dragon Saga (MSWord and MSReader files available here.)|
|*Dragon's Teeth||Gackt/Hyde, Hyde/Megumi, Hyde/OMC||NC17/18||16,728wds||17-Jul-06|
|WARNING - non-con, Summary: While filming Moon Child Hyde finds out that not everything the papers say about Gackt is hype and his life changes far more than just adding acting to his repertoire.|
|*Dragon's Touch||Hyde/Megumi (implied||R||4,327wds||31-Oct-06|
|WARNING - non-con, Summary: Hyde is recovering from his experiences in Taiwan, but he's a long way from over them and going out with the other guys from L'Arc turns out to be a mistake.|
|Summary: Megumi has an announcement that means Gackt finally takes her and Hyde to Kyoto to meet the elders of the clan. Hyde finds out that his vampire status is not so much an accident as it is destiny and the relationship between the three changes significantly because of it.|
|Tokio Hotel/Jrock||No fics: 2|
|Das Geschenk (The Gift) Series (Series listing with MSWord downloads)|
|*Beauty and Talent||Bill(Tokio Hotel)/Gackt||NC17/18||15,520wds||21-Feb-07|
|Summary: The members of Tokio Hotel are in the UK to launch the English version of their album and Bill has caught the eye of another visiting rock star. When they meet Bill finds out that some things he thought were just fantasy do, in fact, exist.|
|*Be Like You||Bill(TH)/Gustav(TH)||NC17/18||17,190wds||11-Apr-07|
|Summary: Tom has decided he wants to be a vampire like Bill, but Bill's not so sure it's a good idea. There could be consequences.|
|*Three Missing Scenes||various||PG-13 to R||??wds||12-Apr-07|
|Summary: Three missing scenes that do not fit in part 2 or 3 of the series.|
|Merry Month of Masturbation 2007||No fics: 31|
[EDIT] Just had a thought - if anyone has any jrock fic recs, please comment and I'll add them to the post.