J-Pop Sunday – GACKT

Singer, composer, writer, and actor: That’s our GACKT. When I think of GACKT one of three things typically springs to mind: First is “REDEMPTION”, the song he did for that Final Fantasy VII spin-off game – because it’s a great song. Next is his acting role as 16th century samurai lord Nobunaga Oda in the “Sengoku Basara” television drama series – because I’m a massive Sengoku Basara fan. The final item is the topless photo of him I have saved on my hard drive – because he has a nice torso.

This obviously isn’t the aforementioned photograph.

Quick Guide
Act Name: GACKT
Real Name: Gakuto Kamui( 神威 楽斗)
Years Active: 1994 – Present
Genre: Rock
Notable Tracks: “Mizerable” (1999), “Vanilla” (1999), “Wasurenai Kara (忘れないから)”(2002), “Metamorphoze” (2005), “REDEMPTION” (2006), “Returner ~Yami no Shuen~ (RETURNER~闇の終焉~)” (2007)

GACKT grew up studying classical music – mainly piano – at the request of his music teacher parents and spent much of his childhood only listening to classical music – Chopin being a particular favourite of GACKT’s – and traditional Enka ballads. As he grew older he developed an interest in rock music with Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” having a profound effect on him in particular. In the early 90’s he formed a short lived rock band called “Cains:Feel” then later joined another band “MALICE MIZER” who needed a new vocalist. With GACKT on board Malice Mizer’s popularity grew, but in 1999 GACKT felt a rift between him and his band mates and left to embark on a solo career. Considering that his name is still around today and he’s still releasing new material that safe is to say that this was a good move for GACKT.

GACKT’s first solo single “Mizerable”

Outside of his music duties GACKT has also been involved in acting and filmmaking. In 2003 he assisted in the writing of and starred in action horror film “Moon Child”, he also appeared in the NHK samurai period drama series “Furin Kazan” with one of his songs “Returner ~Yami no Shuen~ (RETURNER~闇の終焉~)” being used as the theme song for the series. A number of other GACKT songs have been used in soundtracks: These include 2005’s “Metamorphoze” which was featured in the sci-fi anime film “Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: Heir to the Stars” while – as previously mentioned – 2006’s “REDEMPTION” was included in the PlayStation 2 game “Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus”

The video for “Returner ~Yami no Shuen~” follows the samurai theme of “Furin Kazan”

“Metamorphoze” features scenes from the “Gundam” film along with GACKT in the pilot seat of a Mobile Suit.

Cornrows, GACKT? Seriously? Not cool. Other than that “REDEMPTION” is a rocking tune.

Currently GACKT is preparing for his latest nationwide tour which kicks off later this month – his first tour in four years and he’s still as popular now as he was when he made his debut.
I’ll leave you this week with this somewhat surreal video I stumbled upon while conducting this week’s research. It appears to have been taken from the extras section of one of GACKT’s live tour DVD: A short skit of GACKT in a selection of silly outfits:

I‘ve got to say; the nurse outfit totally does it for me.

Until next time!

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