Alan Smithee

I Love Japan: Gackt – Mars

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I’m venturing that a good portion of the people visiting this site (minus me, King, and Styos) don’t know who Kamui Gackt is. Let’s just say that the man is a huuuuuge star over in Japan and the subject of today’s I <3 Japan article, though more accurate to say his masterpiece album Mars.

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Gackt got his start with the group Malice Mizer back in 1995 where he became the groups vocalist and piano player. He was an instant success due to his sultry looks and voice combined with his killer stage presence.

Malice Mizer shared a huge following of fans in Japan due to their elaborate shows and costumes, but this wasn’t enough for Gackt. In 1999, he decided to cut loose from the group and do his own thang (even though he claims that he was “let go”).

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His first full-length album Mars has a special place in my heart as one of the finest examples of J-Rock/J-Pop I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. All the way from the non-language used on the first track “Ares” to the concluding song “Kono Daremo Inai Heya De (lit: In This Empty Room)”, you are taken on a voyage that includes some of the most amazing vocals I’ve heard in a long time.

Perhaps my favorite song on the album is “Oasis” where he uses beautiful imagery to explain the pain and beautiful freedoms that comes from the end of a relationship (in my opinion at least, my Japanese is a bit rusty). You can see the video above and the live version of the video below, which is great because it sounds exactly like the track off the CD.

To me Mars is the Japanese equivalent of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Gackt is their David Bowie…there’s just no way that you can go wrong when getting this CD. Trust me, you’ll be glad that you did!

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Koroshiya Ichi

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