Meet the Mascots and Prize Winners Announced
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ROKKYUU!!
It’s our first birthday but we don’t ask for presents. In fact, we’re giving them away!
However, before we announce our lucky winners, there’s someone we would like you to meet:
As you can see, ROKKYUU‘s brand new mascots, Hexe and Nia are uncharacteristically excited to celebrate the mag’s 1st anniversary. Stay tuned for more comics to learn more about them and their wily ways.
Remember we said there would be a bonus prize from ROKKYUU? Well, one lucky winner has been chosen to receive a print of Hexe and Nia by Iris Chen.
Without further ado, ROKKYUU presents our 11 winners from around the world!
Bonus Prize Winner: narie
My first real encounter with visual kei happened when I learned about Golden Bomber’s existence. It was in autumn 2010 that I became interested in this band, and although you can’t call them a usual v-kei band, my interest in v-kei started from them. Later through them I learned more about the visual-kei scene in general and other v-kei bands (Jun the gyaru-o, thank you xD). In general I tend to like older visual-kei bands like Raphael or Lareine more. I also like angura kei and indies bands a lot. But Golden Bomber are my taihonmei forever.
Visual kei world is kind of drawing me. I don’t know how to properly call this feeling though. The v-kei culture, bangyaru culture are very interesting phenomena, I would say. Visual-kei music industry has its dark and not very pleasant sides too, but they contribute to general perception of v-kei, I think, not always in a bad way.
The biggest thing visual kei gave me is probably people whom I met thanks to it (I guess it’s the same for lots of other people too). I am really happy that I was able to meet such amazing and wonderful people, who are now my friends. I’m a really shy and reserved kind of person, so well, the thing that I can communicate with others is really important. I also started to study Japanese about the same time I started to get into v-kei and thanks to it my level has considerably grown (I’ve taken JLPT3 last December, waiting for results now). I’m glad that because of this knowledge I can contribute, even if it’s only the smallest things, to promoting my favourite bands by doing translations, subbing etc.
For the moment I have been to only a few v-kei gigs because they’re rare in my country, but I’m definitely going to go to Japan as soon as I can afford it.
This somehow became a really long rant, so thank you for reading it.
Winner #10: tamiteraXx
Visual Kei means a way to convey emotions like no other music genre. The lyrics become a part of you, griping you inside of a story that will always stick with you.
Winner #9: Yutako
I learnt the term “Visual kei” on TV. I got interested and looked for it on the Internet, and since then I’ve been a fan for six years. The most important thing that Visual kei shows me is that it’s okay to be different. It taught me to be confident with myself. There is someone out there who understands you, what’s in your head and your heart. It’s somewhere I fit into. To me, Visual kei is a way of expression, be it in music or fashion or art. It’s also a way of life.
Winner #8: Luci
Firstly, I discovered some songs of the most well known vk bands, but I always liked a lot just some songs of them. But the songs I liked impressed me enough to continue in searching for some j-rock band which would impress me with all songs. The first band which completely impressed me was heidi. Thanks to them, I started to listen to j-rock and being interested in vk in general. I finally have some bigger interest, listening to the music immediately makes my mood better. Through interest in vk I finally found more friends.
Winner #7: mandina
I became interested in VK and Jrock in general thanks to Fanime 2004. I was lucky enough to have front row seats to music fest and once DuelJewel took the stage my life changed. I no longer felt alone and the music seemed to give a voice to emotions I would not let myself feel. It was cathartic and I walked out knowing that my life was going to be different and better from that point on. Following bands has let me experience cities that I would not of visited before, form deep and rewarding friendships with people from around the world while having the most fun times of my life. Even in my worst times I have been able to turn to the music and know that things will eventually be ok. My chosen profession is to work with severely abused and neglected children and I experience a lot of vicarious trauma from their stories and even severe physical injuries when they lash out. I have to ensure the safety of the other children and families, even if it is to my own detriment. When that happens, the one thing that can calm me down, ease the pain, or remind me of the good things in life are a few very special songs. Visual Kei, especially DuelJewel, have given me a happier life and the strength to bring peace, hope, and healing to children and families who have been all but forgotten.
Winner #6: Aoi Kazuya
I was always interested in punk styles and Japanese music. I happened to stumble upon An Cafe’s Escapism one day, which introduced me to Oshare Kei styles and from there I was hooked. I discovered Rentrer En Soi soon after and from there I lose track of all the bands I listened to.
Whenever I got upset over something, or just wanted to forget the world around me, I found blasting Visual Kei music helped me to forget my worries for a while. The overall genre was fascinating to me. Now, I find it impossible to even stop listening to the music.
Of course, the styles are absolutely gorgeous as well. The clothes, the hairstyles, the make-up… it was all things that my parents were against, but were willing to put up with for me.
Visual Kei has become my escape and my inspiration.
Winner #5: FreyaFaith
I first became interested in vkei when a friend let me listen to Gackt’s Birdcage. From there, I went on to explore other artists, amazed by how music and visuals blended together to create a story, often different between each release. It was vkei that helped me get back on my feet when my depression and anxiety disorder started to take the best of me; through going to concerts and talking to people in the fandom, I found amazing, supportive friends, going against my social and agoraphobias. Their work also inspired me to pick up on playing bass, and to travel. Now, I’m finally getting my life on track. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I had never encountered vkei and every day I’m grateful to that.
Winner #4: Mudai
I listened lot of J-rock by animes. And slowly I became interested in Visual kei.
Winner #3: misfitmisfit
Funny story, actually. I originally was very much into Chinese pop, and one day this site that I usually browse for information on Chinese pop was down for several days. That was one of the best sites for information and I was devastated, so I decided to ask my friends what type of music they listen to. Interestingly enough, that was my first exposure to visual kei because my friend showed me the PSC 2009 Carnival concert, haha. At first I found the visual-ness a little much, but as I started to get past all of that and really listen deeply to the music itself, I found such deep passion within the music they were playing and singing. I was blown away by Kagrra, and Alice Nine. Visual kei means keeping the music real and devoting 100% passion into something you love. It’s a great genre of music and I hope to be a fan for life.
Winner #2: Byuukuro
I discovered jpop first through an anime which eventually lead to me discovering visual kei with the band The GazettE. Right from the start, I loved the sound, the look, the feel, everything. I feel like visual kei fulfilled what any other genre of music couldn’t. I could actually feel the emotions and what the music was trying to convey. It just proved that music is the universal language because I didn’t know even a word of Japanese but I could still make out the feelings in the song. It didn’t matter about the language barrier because the emotions put into the song were strong enough to overcome that. I felt it. It even made me pick up my bass guitar that I gave up on and learn it again along with electric guitar and acoustic. For me, visual kei means freedom. When I showed visual kei style to my friends, they all asked how someone could dress like that in public, and I told them that’s exactly the point. Visual Kei gives you the freedom to go crazy, make a statement, and stand out. It’s also freedom to me because when I feel suffocated, visual kei helps me breathe. The band pours out their heart into their music, put in their all, so you can feel the same and pour out your heart, and that is exactly what I do. The band X Japan is one of my biggest inspirations though I think. Not only did they help bring the world what we know as visual kei today but they proved that if you put your heart into it, you can do it. They’re doing things they told themselves they would do 20 years ago. Because of X Japan, The GazettE, and so many other amazing visual kei artists and visual kei in general, I even realized my dream and I realized that music means so much more to me than I thought. So to sum it up, visual kei is my inspiration, my hope, my escape, and helped create the wonderful optimistic person I am today.
Winner #1: alexisbellinger
Back in High School, a friend show me some Visual Kei artists. I didn’t know at the time that they were Visual Kei-I didn’t know anything about the genre. For about a year or so, I only knew about 3 artists: DIR EN GREY, Miyavi, and Gackt. Like I said, I didn’t know that those three acts were associated with a particular genre; I just thought they were Japanese rock acts. I had always been a music lover but gradually my long list of artists that I listened to pretty much diminished into those three. Looking back at it now, I really just wanted to listen to Visual Kei. I was converted so to say.
So, one day I decided that I should try out more bands. I had been introduced to other Japanese music acts by a friend who was going to be spending the summer there. All of it was pop and I pretty much detested it. So naturally I was tentative about whether I would find anything I would actually like. I came across a list of “the best Japanese rock bands,” one of those where people online vote. It was all messy and ill-organized but I took a couple of the names and started punching them into youtube. When I got to Buck-Tick, it took 15 seconds for the great Atsushi Sakurai to reel me in! And for the whole summer I was obsessed to Buck-Tick. But to make a long story short, I used the list-and many other lists afterwards to find out about more bands. It didn’t take long for me to realize that all the bands I liked were considered Visual Kei.
In regards to what the genre means to me, I don’t think I can quite give an adequate answer. I suppose my perspective of the genre is a little different then some. I think I see it more as an artistic movement and I am always trying to learn not only more about its roots and influences but also what is current on the scene. It seems to me that most people are either older Visual Kei or newer. I don’t necessarily have a preference in regards to that distinction. I suppose I can say that VK is a hobby but it really isn’t. I take a great deal of interest in it-more than I probably should and I spend hours upon hours a day listening to it or watching videos on youtube or reading about it. And like many other people who are attached to it, there is a strong emotional connection I have with it. I guess that’s really what the prompt is hinting at: “What does it mean to you.” I guess the most honest answer would be a lot!
Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to everyone who shared with us what visual kei means to you. Your stories are a flame of inspiration to keep ROKKYUU burning hot!
Each winner will be contacted in turn by email with the remaining prize options, so please look forward to the selection from the following items:
- A(Ace) – Signed message board.
- DaizyStripper – Signed poster.
- Fest Vainqueur – Signed T-shirt.
- h.Naoto – HN+nois camo-print choker with cool silver details and punk studded wrist band.
- heidi. – One of three signed posters.
- Jury Black – Studded Union Jack and Skulls T-shirt
- Sebastiano Serafini – Signed DNR single A Taste of EUROVISUAL.
- Sixh. – Shoulder bag.
Once more, ROKKYUU would like to thank Beyond Max, Headwax Organization, Jury Black, Kincs and Sebastiano Serafini for making this celebration possible.
For those who were unlucky in the draw, we wish you better luck the next time around but you, too, can celebrate ROKKYUU’s anniversary by sharing your favorite article through Twitter or Facebook. Let’s kick off another year to remember!