G A C K T
GACKT Camui is a Jrock superstar and television personality from Shiga prefecture in central Japan. He rose to fame during his years as the vocalist for the Visual Kei band Malice Mizer before going solo in 1999.
Since his solo activities began, supported by his band Gacktjob, GACKT has left a huge mark on the Jrock scene as we know it. He appeared suddenly on the rock scene with the explosive debut single Mizerable, which stands as one of his greatest songs of all time. GACKT used his background in quality Visual Kei and his own passion for performance to create a level of perfectionism and quality in Performance-Rock that skyrocketed standards for Jrock artists. However, by 2000 he had already left behind his Visual Kei roots, and began carving out his own image and creating his own niche.
Although his main focus, obviously, is his music, GACKT has worked, and continues to work, on a selection of multimedia. He has worked in voice-acting, acting, appears regularly on a variety of popular variety and talk shows, has written multiple books, and endorses various random products including cell-phones and coffee. He has been the ‘poster-boy’ for the elitist Takano Yuri Beauty Clinic, owned a private restaurant, and developed a line of designer accessories. Many of his songs have been used as the OPs and EDs for popular anime, including Mobile Suit Gundam and Hokuto no Ken. His songs have also been used in many major video game franchises; Redemption played in Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus, and GACKT’s image was CG-ified into the villain, Genesis, whose voice he also supplied. GACKT has stated that his ultimate dream is to open an amusement park, and it would seem that he is well on his way to doing so. In 2009 he opened the “Camui Gakuen” (“The Camui School”) where he holds events and performs exclusive lives where fans must attend in pre-approved school uniform. That’s just to cover a little of GACKT’s repertoire. Yes, he is a superhuman…or at least he thinks he is.
GACKT’s music is impossible to place in a genre. It ranges wildly from sentimental ballads to thrasher metal and everything in between, vacillating from style to style within each live performance, album, and even throughout the phrases of each song. He plays what he wants, and no matter what it is, it is uniquely his and fits effortlessly into his collection. There are, of course, certain eras of influence and stages of development, which do nothing to contradict the above statement– rather it enforces it.
GACKT is renowned for his elaborate, poetic lyrics heavy in romanticism and idealism. He is notorious for being a translator’s nightmare by making up his own kanji or using rare or old-fashioned kanji to add double-to-triple meanings to lyrics–which is an analytical discussion unto itself and may mean more to the scholar than the average fan, but so it stands.
But if you take a look over the massive undulating crowd cheering and supporting him from every corner of the world, it has to be noted that there’s something more here that goes deeper than just good music (granted it’s damn good). So much of ones’ appreciation of GACKT is drawn directly from the source itself- the person who is writing the music, performing the set-list. GACKT isn’t just an idol or a star, he’s a national and international role-model who has won over millions of fans with his sometimes harsh honesty, and his ability to be himself and express himself, even if it looks like coming across as an OCD bastard, or just a shy introvert with an incredibly dry sense of humor.
GACKT has an incredible devotion to perfection, which is apparent in everything he does. He pushes everything to the limit, and this is obvious in the fact that there is not a single song that GACKT has ever put on an album that has not met a strict standard of quality and perfectionism– the GACKT standard.
This year, GACKT has set out to become more than just this, though. He has begun asserting himself as a social figure, and a mentor to young Japanese (and youths worldwide). In response to the “Grass-eating guys, meat-eating girls” trend, GACKT started a series of men-only lives, and began appearing in roles as a “strong but nice guy” Samurai, as a way of encouraging young men to find their Samurai fighting spirit, and not give in to the trend of becoming a tofu and bean-sprout eating effeminate wimp.
GACKT’s motto is If you put your mind to it, you can do anything. And the hope he has expressed often is that his fans will remember this and always strive to do their best in everything.
I’ve found a lot of inspiration in GACKT and what he does, and I have an unsurpassed level of respect for him. If you’re just learning about GACKT for the first time through my blog, then I consider my work here a massive success. I hope you will explore his music and find as much inspiration, pleasure, and fighting-spirit in it as I have.