Style and Genre – The Differences Between Visual Kei and J-Metal


This will be brief.

So I recently had a few comments posted on the blog about how Japanese Metal was not Visual Kei.  First off, visual kei is NOT a musical genre in this country or any other country though many people tend to misunderstand this.  It is a style of fashion that all genres of Japanese music tend to use to express themselves visually…hence that curiously obvious name “visual” kei.  Dir en Grey used it for a while (and if you consider their stage theatrics they still somewhat are) and The Gazette still use it.  Yet both of these artist’s music is classified under “metal” and not visual kei since they don’t play visual kei music since there is no such thing.

So to help clarify things I wish to put in quotations below this piece of information:

Visual kei (ヴィジュアル系 bijuaru kei?, lit. “visual style” or “visual system”) is a movement among Japanesemusicians,[1][2][3] that is characterized by the use of varying levels of make-up, elaborate hair styles and flamboyant costumes, often, but not always, coupled with androgynousaesthetics.[4][5][6] Some sources think that visual kei refers to a music genre,[7][8] with its sound usually related to glam rock, punk rock and heavy metal.[9][5][10][11] However, this is contradictory to the fact that visual kei acts play various genres,[1][12][13] including those unrelated to rock such as electronic, pop, etc.[2][5] Other sources, including members of the movement themselves, state that it is not a music genre and that the fashion and participation in the related subculture is what exemplifies the use of the term.[4][14][15][16][17]

I’m not putting this up to slam anyone but before you message any writer or blog staff to insult them about anything they’ve written, please consider that not everyone is right, people make mistakes, and typos happen.  I am only clarifying what appears to be a massive misunderstanding on the blog.

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