How did you get into Visual Kei/J-rock?

Hey! I was wondering how you guys discovered Visual Kei and J-rock and how you guys got into it at first.

Since I’m starting this topic, I’ll go first.

It was back in 2006 in the summer, the first Visual Kei song I heard was one from X-JAPAN called Forever love, but I didn’t look much afterwards.

Then after some time in the same year, I was looking for percings, yeah I wanted to get one (never did but oh well haha). So I found a picture of Hitsugi from Nightmare on google while looking for percings, and I was like, WOW, this guy is so COOL. I found out he was in a band called Nightmare, so I look on youtube the song “Akane”. I fell in love with Yomi’s voice, and it became quickly one band that I loved so much. While looking at the comment someone mentionned “Dir en grey” so I looked it up too and then people were talking about the GazettE so I looked for that too. Those were my 3 first band aside from X-JAPAN, and ever since then, there’s no a day without Visual Kei or J-rock.

My first J-rock band was One Ok Rock in 2010 along with Coldrain. I kept on listening to the same albums over and over again.

So yeah, I’m in the scene for over 14 years now, bougth so many cds and dvds, I think my collection might worth 2000$ or something. I started buying on cdjapan back in 2008 when I got my credit card, so yeah. 14 years of good music! Cheers guys!

Let me know below how you got into the scene! :slight_smile:


It’s been in spring 2006 when the brother listened to MUCC all the time (kuchiki no tou and houyoku albums) and bit by bit I liked the music.
I then found out that MUCC was going to have a live in Berlin in May and three days ahead of that I got me a ticket and the two albums from one of the electronics specialty retailers here and that was how everything started. Next live was Dir en gey three weeks later.

I came across quite some bands at YouTube like Gazette and Ayabie, but aside from this by more lives and trying the bands out to decide whether I’d see them or not. That’s how I came across Plastic Tree and Calmando Qual, too.

I also met other fans which again got me to more bands (even though I didn’t care much about these) and there were more lives (back then a lot of bands came to play in Berlin).

I started getting into more indies vk bands partly in 2007 but especially from 2008 on, originally mostly through LiveJournal and by other fans.

I’ve never really been into just J-rock. There are three songs by Remioromen that I like and there might be more my mind just doesn’t come up with now but that’s basically exceptions.


My first artist I discovered was Dir en grey randomly on Napster back in late 2000. God, that feels weird saying. I was in 8th grade. My first song was 304 Goshitsu, Hakushi no Sakura and I instantly fell in love. I found out they were a Japanese rock band and looked up other artists. From them, I discovered artists like The Mad Capsule Markets, MUCC and kagerou. And that’s it!

If I want to go even deeper earlier, I did discover J-pop just a little earlier than that due to anime songs. Specifically Two-Mix, Do As Infinity and Ayumi Hamasaki.


In that time (around 2003-2004) I hated all the anime-related culture and a friend of mine were really into that. One day she makes me listen to X-JAPAN’s Week End and Dir en grey’s Jealous, I was really amazed by those tracks and started to search for new bands, so I remember joining tonberry-torrents discovering a lot of new bands. Other thing I remember from that time is listening to some VK bands without a picture of them so you didn’t know really well if they were or not a visual kei band. Good old times without much information lol.


Wow I didn’t know that period haha. I used to download lots and lots of vk on brazilian blogspot and such haha. I used to go to my friends’ school using their unlimited wifi so we could download a lot of stuff. I didn’t know about torrents. Good to know haha. I remember using limewire to get dir en grey’s songs though haha. Back in 2006.


Limewire! with all those crappy dir en grey dvd’s :laughing:, how about WinMx or is too old?. Btw tonberry-torrents still exist is just an abandoned place.


WinMx? Never heard of it haha. I didn’t know there were crappy diru’s dvd on limewire haha, but that doesn’t surprise me at all XD. But I do still remember when 128 kpbs were consider good quality for rips XD does that count? hahaha

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If I remember correctly there were some blitz5days rips in horrible quality (not like our internet in that time were good enough for a proper rip) and yeah 128kbps were awesome for those horrible PC speakers :laughing:.

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In late 2007 when I stumbled on An Cafe’s Escapism PV on youtube. It was potato quality compared to what we have now. xD

I’m not really into that band now, but I have some sentiment for that song.


I got pushed straight into the deep end by the OBSCURE video from Dir en grey, which surprisingly was on the “rock hour of the week” program of the music channel during that time. First and last time I ever saw a Japanese video there, I bet they must have gotten a lot of complaints from people about how graphic it was. :joy:

Regardless, as a big horror fan (I was already into Japanese horror movies at that time) I was fascinated and used the heck out of my one hour a day dial-up internet to find it again because I forgot the name. Found a whole lot of other artists during my search and decided to just put up camp here ever since.


It was Dir en Grey, they were playing on MTV2 headbangers ball show. I did my reasearch on then and BAM! Vk was my new thing. Lol.


@gin Was it when they showed “Clever Sleazoid” on the station?

They showed Saku actually. I was really intrigued with it.

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For me it was actually anime, and my first VK band I came across is probably SID:

First and forever favorite anime as well :smiley: Also this song never gets too old!


Oh wow, this brings back so much memories!!! I love that anime as well. Sid is such a nice band, they also did another opening for Kuroshitsuji, the circus arc I think? The song enamel. When he sings “Yes, my lord” I was like OMFG. Hahaha. This is a great intro into the scene!


Stumbled on Versailles Serenade, followed my boner and now here I am.

But really though, I just finished the Initial D anime and was looking for Euro-Beat type of Japanese music. Went down the youtube recommendation path and have been listening to Japanese music ever since.

I never found anymore Euro-Beat music as I ended with rock/metal for the most part. The closest I got to Euro-Beat style of music is Gacharic Spin.


Yeah they did another OP for the ova’s! ^^
I actually got into the GazettE when they did the OP2 song “SHIVER” of Kuroshitsuji. What anime could do to get you into some good music :3


Indeed, Anime made me discover so many bands. But last year, I was so proud of my boys (Coldrain) to make an intro for Fire Force! MAYDAY is so sick!

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my first touch of visual kei is Gackt, who starred in the movie “Moon Child” which I enjoyed in 2004 around and it gave me a strong interest to the world of Japanese rock music somehow. before that, I’m just a normal metalhead who only listened to black metal, death metal and grindcore. btw I was born in 1991. since then, the first wave of visual kei I gave a try are bands around Gackt (kind of) like, Malice Mizer, Moi dix Mois, Klaha, Lareine, Vidoll, etc. because my first beloved metal band is The Old Dead Tree, a French gothic or dark progressive death metal band, I found it immediately at home while enjoying Malice Mizer and Moi dix Mois, pretty easy to get into.


Ah yes, I remember talking about this a lot with my pals and on a thread on MH. I even have my response saved :smiley:

Okay, so one day I was watching Black Butler (only watch a few anime here and there, I am by no means an anime enthusiast) for the first time (Netflix only had season 2, so I just stuck with that) and I was really taken aback by how freaking awesome that OP sounded. I didn’t just make sure to not skip it, I rewound back to it like twice an episode just to hear SHIVER by The GazettE over and over again. After I finished with season two, I made sure to properly watch season one, and the OP for it was just as amazing to me.

So I looked up SID and The GazettE’s music online to hear the OPs in their full form on Spotify, I think. They weren’t there at the time, but I felt this strange urge to hear what these bands were all about. SID got me interested in looking into VK, but The GazettE, they were my gateway band. As soon as I heard The Invisible Wall, I felt like something clicked; as I had just came home again after walking a lonely road for God knows how long. For the first time in such a long time, I heard something that didn’t go in one ear and out the other, but something that actually stayed with me. I was whispering “sorrow made you” even when I was in bed trying to fall asleep. There was something about this music that, as the kids say, hit different. Maybe it was the emo-ness of it, since pop music and Hip-hop didn’t really explore those kinds of emotions (this was before the trend of “emo rappers” like Lil Peep and XXXTenacion became big btw… And back when Billie Eilish wasn’t all the rage), or at the very least the way Invisible Wall did. I also did not have even a single iota of taste for rock and metal at the time, which made my captivation seem so odd and unexpected to me.

So I also listened to some of SID’s other tracks, and I liked them too. Then I began to go down the Spotify rabbit hole, listening to L’arku, GACKT, lynch., MUCC, Kamijo, Kaya… You name it, I was listening to it. And I liked just about all of it, too. Soon, I tried to find as many new bands to listen to, new or old. I looked up band recommendations and once I saw a name that stuck, I’d go to Youtube and listen to as much of their stuff as possible. It was thanks to the J-metal forum, MH, and many others where I heard about my all-time favourite band, Malice Mizer. And after discovering the amazingness that is MM, I was naturally steered in the path of Kote Kei and began to find lots of new artists to love. And here I am today, still just as in love with VK as I was when I first started :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: