Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Posts Tagged ‘ L’Arc~en~Ciel ’

There’s been a lot of political gossip going around since Sarah Palin was put on the Republican ticket. Even before that though, McCain was comparing Obama’s rampant popularity, especially among the 18-24 generation, with a celebrity status. This, along with the recent live action movies I’ve seen involving j-musicians, got me to thinking about how most Japanese celebrities are very, very secretive. Japanese people seem to be really into privacy in general though. They rarely put names on personal websites, are gung-ho about blurring out faces in photos, and prefer anonymous BBS to member-registration-required forums. Celebrities, particularly musicians, seem to be take it a step further. For one, most j-rock artists operate under stage names and aliases.

Who knows what 雅 -miyavi-‘s real name is? Pata, hide, Yoshiki, Toshi, and Heath of X Japan — at least three out of five names are obviously fake. The real name of Dir en grey‘s 京 (Kyo) has been a topic of much speculation as he signs his name as Tooru Nishimura in his poetry books, but some sources claim his surname to be Niimura instead. Magazines and fansites love listing supposed real names, but it’s incredibly difficult to find any sort of reliable documentation. Gackt’s full stage name Gackt Camui, but it’s still a far cry from whatever his real name is. Birthdays are similarly difficult to find. Gackt’s birthday is July 4th, but the year is still a big question mark. hyde did not confirm his birthday to the public until an interview in 2002, more than a decade after L’Arc~en~Ciel‘s debut.

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This is something I’ve always been kind of curious about. Dozens of j-pop and j-rock stars are catapulted into successful careers because of songs they provided for various anime (as well as video games and live-action adaptations for anime). Gundam SEED propelled Nami Tamaki into international stardom, and she was one of the first Japanese artists to attend a convention in the US, along with T.M. Revolution, at the Pacific Media Expo in 2004. Similarly, SEED Destiny debuted Hitomi Takahashi. Fullmetal Alchemist certainly did not hurt Nana Kitade, and NANA pushed Mika Nakashima to the top of the Oricon charts along with Yuna Ito. Even well established artists benefit greatly from contributing to anime. I’m sure many people went and looked up Nightmare and Maximum the Hormone for the first time after their respective stints for Death Note, and artists like L’Arc~en~Ciel continue headline anime theme songs even after being around for more than fifteen years.

It’s obviously a mutually beneficial relationship. An opening theme by a popular artist can draw people in that might not otherwise be interested, as loosely related as the themes sometimes are. Honestly, despite being a Gundam fan, I was initially drawn to Gundam 00 because L’Arc~en~Ciel’s single for it, “daybreak’s bell” is absolutely gorgeous. And SOUL EATER drew me in from the very beginning thanks in part to the sheer awesomeness of it’s opening theme, “resonance,” by T.M. Revolution. In turn, flocks of loving fans pick up the corresponding singles, often rushing them to the top of various charts. As well, many people are introduced to artists for the first time and subsequently hunt down other songs by them. For an emerging artist, that kind of attention is invaluable.

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