Best Japanese Rock Bands

No limitations. Put your favorite Japanese rock band here and vote for them. Rock/punk, Rock/Pop, Rock/Visual Kei and similar genres are accepted.

The Top TenXW


The most professional modern rock band what I've ever heard. They're fantastic. Very very good musicians, and they're the BEST band for me. I had a lots of impression of them to make my own music /I'm rock-musician too/

The GazettE is by far my favorite band simply because their music touches me and moves me. they have the ability of making me happy, accompanying me when I'm sad, cooling down my anger and just being fun to rock out to. It's the combination of vocals and instrumental that make the songs so touching. Every member is so talented. Uruha's and Aoi's guitar, Reita's bass, Ruki's voice and Kai's drums are just awesome. Their lives are always amazing and prove their talent and dedication to what they create and do.

The GazettE will be the band that every kid in japan will look up to, like how they did when X-japan or luna sea was together. They simply have every variation of music, from rock to metal to alternative metal and rock and of course BALLADS too. They are so awesome I will still listen to them until I get married...

I don't live in Japan

V514 Comments
2X Japan

X Japan does somethings other bands can't.
They actually HELP people, their lyrics touch our hearts.
They disbanded 1997 and came back. Why?
Because not only are they the gods of J-rock and Visual Kei, They love what they do. And we can hear it. :)
We are X.

X Japan has changed my life completely last 20 years. They showed me 'The dream WILL come true, if you try very hard' YOSHIKI never betray me. How long take it, once he said so, he will do. 20 years ago, YOSHIKI said he wanted to go to the world. 20 years on, he is now conquering the world. As I'm Japanese, I'm really proud of X Japan. They are loved all over the world now.

I can't imagine my life without their songs. I'm a fan of X-Japan since 8-9 years and their songs are the best medicine for my sadnes. This year is unique, because I was at X-Japan's gig in Berlin. I must say that it was the best day in my life! And... how couldn't love Yoshiki?
We are X! Now, tomorrow, forever.

Oh come now, how is X not number 1? No one has ever made songs that can be so fast, have such great, heavy riffs, and still make them meaningful. Listen to Art of Life, if there is a song that can be called a speed metal masterpiece its this.

V158 Comments

you are the best l'arc en ciel...

you are my inspiration..

never die l'arc en ciel...

I just love them! I love every single of their songs. Each of the member have their own specialty and getting it all together resulting a very great and beautiful tone. Their music gives the same feeling when we see a rainbow on the sky, so beautiful, warm heart, comforting, and... Majestic! They are just the best! Simply the best!

L'Arc en Ciel is the first band I've ever admire since I'm a child and I will never stop listening to them. their music have its own style and I love all of their songs. I always get crazy when I saw them on TV.

Laruku! Never stop composing new songs! I wish to hear more great songs from L'Arc en Ciel! HYDE! TETSU! KEN! YUKI! YAMENAIDE KUDASAI YO!

I love you hyde

V219 Comments

SCANDAL Must be the first, SCANDAL have the fastest guitarist girl ever, the beat is impressive, all of them is Beautiful, Kawaii, Moe I'll always supporting SCANDAL, keep up the good work girls, I'll always waiting for you Mami chan

SCANDAL may not be the #1 Rock Band, but they're definitely the #1 All-girl Rock Band! They had it all---Talent, Looks, Attitude---and they're still improving! And the combination of Haru's and Tomo's voices is just so amazing! I'm so looking forward to what these girls can do in the future.

Scandal is the most powerful girlband! They must be the first. Other than that, their songs was really great and awesome just like them! So COOL! And take note! All of them were GIRLS!

In my opinion, Scandal is the best

V395 Comments
5Dir en grey

I love Kyo's voice, it's great! And I find their music special. No other j-rock band doesn't have similar style.

"I think that we have the courage to do what the others are scared to. I mean, musically we go beyond the format established elsewhere. Our visuals and videos are meticulous, outrageous and grotesque. The whole identity of the band is unique. This is our strength. We motivate each other, the idea is to grow together, develop together, and continue to inspire each other with what we each bring to the band. It's definitely a plus. Also, most of the bands try to be friendly to the people, to the media this is not our case. We are not here to please anybody and we have the courage to do what we want to do in every level. " - Die

Need to say anything else?

I've followed them for over 12 years and have not gotten bored of their music. They really know how to reinvent themselves and keep their fans interested.

Their evolution is amazing and they always come out with new improved songs

V184 Comments
6One Ok Rock

One OK Rock... One of the best, yet underrated J-Rock bands (most likely because of the ever growing emo VKs). Because of their many different genres of emo, metal, rock, and sometimes a mix of all three, you'll never get tired of this band. This is seriously the first band in which I love EVERY SINGLE ONE of their songs. So, if you haven't heard them before and want to know which song is best to try out? ALL OF THEM. From "Kanzen Kankaku Dreamer" to "Naihi Shinsho" you'll never get tired of One OK Rock!

If you want to know the meaning of the word "rock", listen to One Ok Rock!

there's no band which can vary in types of melody in their songs like theys do

Their lead singer is unique. His voice is that of a true rock god. Awesome producing, amazing international sound.. This band can play a club or play stadiums without any problem. You will leave their show feeling like a winner.

V325 Comments
7Alice Nine

Alice Nine should be no.1! Some bands don't deserve to be higher than alice nine! Try playing "the last empire", "shunkatshuutou", "blue planet" and "kousai"... And also "akatsuki" then reconsider...

I love this band very much! Shou's voice is so beautiful! The lyrics are meaningful and touched my heart. Hiroto & Tora & Saga are talented on compose and I love Nao's drumbeat! All of them are talented! I love them very much

"They are definitely a band that is unique from the rest. They have a classical visual kei look and more rhythmic songs. Good catchy music and all are very HANDSOME!

A9 Is the best forever♡

V86 Comments

I like there music, it sounds great... Just follow what you see about SID, you'll love theme and there music, my heart... can't hide the emotion when I hear any song of SID! I love Mao's voice, so sweet like candy~ ^_^ Anyway, SID is the best Jrock Band in my life...

Mao's voice is the best! I believe he really puts soul into his music. Also he's so hot :3 I LOVE THEM! I can tell Mao really cares for his band members, and when I was watching the concert on youtube, they all seemed to be having fun making the music they were singing and playing. Which is important to me when doing stuff like that. You gotta love what you are doing to make it good. And they do that. They aren't just good they are epically awesome!

the best music ever! SID is my favorite band ever!
and Shinji is so handsomee

So amazing and so talented. I love Mao's voice!

V286 Comments

I just LOVE them, I can't explain it. They don't give me a headache like L'Arc~en~Ciel and Dir en Grey give me. They're just AWESOME! I can listen to them all the time and not get tired of them. They have such a great variety of songs that I just enjoy listening to them all the time.


yes I can listen to UVERworld songs at least a hundred times in a row!

I don't know much about UVERworld but they have the most number of songs here in my playlist above all of these j-rock bands. All I can say is I love their music and I support them!

I've loved this band for the past 10 years since their debut, and I've loved the combinations of rock with multitudes of different elements that just give their music such wonderful color. Not to mention they are one of the BEST bands live, the band is crisp and TAKUYA∞ can actually sing through an entire playlist perfectly, which is incredibly hard for anyone to do. They're also not just a stagnant, one-trick-pony, they explore several different styles while at the same time retaining them all through the years so that fans of different types of music can stay interested in them. Whether you think they are the best band or not, these guys are definitely worth checking out!

V160 Comments

Beautiful. Visual. Elegant. Skillful. Everything that contributes to an amazing band is seen with Versailles, even now that they have a new member they are still going and reaching new limits. Soon they will rule above most and when that day comes and it will, it will because of their musical skill and artistry. They will be on top one day!

Versailles must be the First! They're simply perfect. The Visual Kei are based on lyrics, ero guru, the costumes and overreality videos, and Versailles is more completly and their sound is like the GODS. The Versailles music expresses all you wanted to hear all your life. I love the Visual Kei and Power Metal, my favorites of all genres I listen and Versailles is a combination o both and more, and their customes reflect the greatness and superiority, when the members are like kids and have good heart. X JAPAN must be the second, but Versailles is the new generation and a young band with excesive tallent an charism above these other bands 'cause in Japan are very commercial. WE ARE VERSAILLES!

Definitely deserves #1; these guys will go down in J-Rock history, if you can even classify their music in that genre. Kamijo's vocals are outstanding, Hizaki and Teru's solo leave me speechless. Seriously these guys are so underrated.

They really know how to play their instruments and they make difficult music, not only some random screamo crap. It's elegant and they just have something unique.

V126 Comments

The Newcomers


Amazing voice, good upbeat music!

?Dazzle Vision

The Contenders



This is a band that I feel is slightly underrated in the VK world. Their style has evolved much since their indies day and is more polished in terms of musical skills and performance.

They're the best band in the world in my opinion. I really love them and their music, they experiment with a lot of different styles and every one of them are amazing.

Love the theme they did in deathnote

V77 Comments
12Asian Kung-Fu Generation

I have every single songs they have made and they are so great. This band is the only thing I could listen to all day. Their albums is not all the same or one thing but they are all different in a way that no other band could do. The point is that this band you should consider yourself listening to because their lyrics are amazing but not only that the instrument is phenomenal, everything in their songs combine so effectively.

Great, Asian Kung-Fu Generation... A great band, with addictive music

the most amazing band in the world is ajikan. the first time listening to them you will already be addictive to their music. Awesome are their concerts played with an additional orchestra.

Definitely the best! After Dark remains one of the best songs I have till date!

V48 Comments

I love girugamesh so so much. I can't ever get bored of them. That is why I can't come up of any idea would explain why the hell they are at the bottom of top 20. I bet you think the same as I do: girugamesh deserves in much higher placement for who they R. I know many fan stop follow them because they are disappointed of girugamesh new music style, but please do reconsider like how I did. Their music isn't just metal but always develops in unexpectedly great sound. The fact that each member getting older but they keep renewing their music like it was freshly made. They aren't outstanding like how they used to be in those old glory days(2005-2009) but still unique as ever. They are never perfect like the other bands that were voted that to be on top but nonstop working hard, also putting effort and soul into what they do, made them loveable and highly appreciated by us. Moreover, they hold unremarkably impressive lives both in Japan and all over the world. Not only that, their attitude towards fans and other artists/bands shows how well they understand their position. For girugamesh to take pride in themselves, they have already been on top. I am grateful to anyone that would read this comment then becomes more considerate towards girugamesh. We love girugamesh.

I just love their music, and would love to see them in concert one day.. Satoshi, Nii, Ryo, and Shuu are absolutely awesome. I would hate to see them disband. GO Girugamesh ~!

They are very Strong metal band. If you are into fast hard, melodic singing and hard guitar work. You should check them out.

Girugamesh was one of the first Japanese bands I found and is still one of my favorites to this day. I'm even getting one of their jackets for Christmas~ ^. ^ They're how I really started getting into Japanese music, but I still find myself listening to them and can't find any band that really compares!

V24 Comments

FLOW are a popular modern Jrock band, theyre cool, fun and have a good mixture of crazy fun to kickass awesome songs - sheila101

they are the best band that I heard to play good music with funny antics!

Love these guys I could listen to them all day. I sometimes do!

They played for the legends

V37 Comments
15D'erspairs Ray

Forever the greatest band ever.. I miss them so terribly much, but I honestly really can't wait for the day of their comeback! I hope I'm not gonna die from happiness, that'd be really sad, ne? Their music gives me hope, strength, cheers me up and takes my anger away.. I've met the greatest people thanks to this band and they've saved my life so many times.. That a simple 'thank you' will never be good enough. Their music deserves to be appreciated more, plus they sound unbelievably AMAZING live. Hearing Hizumi's voice makes you tremble and shiver, makes you want to go insane and forget about everything.. Seeing Karyu fulfilling his dream as he plays the guitar, going all insane on the stage makes me feel alive.. Watching Zero with his pervy amazing smile, asking from audience for more noise makes me want to jump out of my skin and just give them my all.. Scream my heart out.. And hearing and watching Tsukasa playing drums makes my hear beat so fast I think it's going to tear itself out of my chest.. I wish I could experience this all again.. I believe in D'espairsRay. Thank you for your nearly 12 years..

I just rewatched their last live concert (human-clad monsters)
And I cried again at the ending Wishing I was there... To relive these feelings I've hidden after they'd disbanded!
Hizumi is/was such a good songwriter! To see how happy they were on stage! Karyu and Zero playing guitar and Bass like gods! Hizumi screaming his heart out with so much intense emotions! And then of course Tsukasa maniacally playing the drums > which enpowered their whole performance!

Though they all have different lives now (zero/tsukasa in the micro head 4n's, karyu in Angelo and hizumi being a producer (which made me really happy to hear > at least he's still writing awesome lyrics)!
I would sincerely hope that they'd come back one day!

it is simply, their music is for everyone who love rock with little metal sound, you will love and adore HIZUMI's voice and their whole sound, I know a lot of jrock bands, in past I was thinking they was only ordinary japanese rock band, but now I understand they are the best... try it... you can't be disappointed trust me

One of the best bands... too bad they had to disband but their music lives on..

I don't know how but whenever I feel down this band manages to pull me back up...

V20 Comments
16Stereo Pony

Stereopony has amazing songs, they have a superb vocalist, an amazing bassist and a very talented drummer! The girls have a style that's unique yet when they collaborate they create new magic! Go STEREOPONY!

Stereopony stands out as a band not just because they are amazing or the fact that they have style, it's because their music is full of life and their energy and their message travels way beyond words. Using simple but profound words, amazing talent at playing their instruments and a very fresh take on everything, Stereopony is a developed style that appeals because of their originality. Collaborating with other artists brings out their talent further~ YUI, Kariyushi58, Scandal and various others. STEREOPONY ALL THE WAY! ROCK THAT CARRIES US THROUGH THE DARK AND BRIGHT DAYS!

Best Japanese all-girl rock band ever ^_^ play their own instruments, write their own music as well as the lyrics... Great talent musicians

It's Stereopony! Not Stereo Pony. Also, they should be in the top 5

V28 Comments

LM. C is my favourite Japanese band no doubt. Not only is the music great and catchy, but their lyrics are also surprisingly deep and ambiguous. I think prime examples of this are "little Fat Man boy" and "CHEMICAL KING-TWOON", with the former being a historically conscious song told from the perspective of a pacifistic atomic bomb (the clever use of allegories and symbols is what really makes it so great to me) and the latter the description of a man's journey to himself, his hardships and struggling filled with references to Buddhism and spirituality.

I thoroughly enjoy the musical side as well. Maya's voice is a very pleasant sound to the ear and he is rather versatile in the styles of vocal he adopts - low, grim recitations ("OH MY JULIET. "), high pitched, emotional ballads ("88", "Yellow Beauty"), even rapping ("Rock the LM. C", "SUPER DUPER GALAXY") - and he definitely doesn't disappoint in any of ...more

Kya! Love you LM.C! When I see MAYA and aiji my heart is beating fast! My 1st song I heard by LM.C is BOYS AND GIRLS 2nd is PUNKY HEART! Love you LM.C!

Because they're amazing. I can't belive they weren't even on this list until I requested it. They are oustanding. Boys and girls, 88, John, and Galileo are my personal favorites. - Floppypanda

The way they perform is too great.

V78 Comments

I like SuG's uniqueness with the pop styles they add into some of their more recent songs. Their positive rock approach is a breath of fresh air from all the darker j-rock bands

I believe SuG is a very amazing band no matter how many diffrent people they will have in this band the imagionation is this band is outstanding! Cause who doesn't love a band that is very creative? Haha

Hearing them live was probably the best thing that's ever happened to me. Their joy is infectious, I'm crazy about masato, though I do love Chiyu, Takeru, shinpei and yuji and their music just brings me through those bad days when you just need a bit of music to chase those blues away.

They are cool and funny

V31 Comments
19Luna Sea

If Luna Sea is not in the top ten in this list... this list is stupid. I love X Japan but c'mon there style never evolve (Dhalia: 1997 album containing singles from 1993 and the sound of this album nothing out of the ordinary)(Still would put them around the 3rd position), The Gazette: Its awesome that this guys have crossover to the US but that is about it. Nightmare, SID and SKIN are you serious... c'mon fanboy you can do better then this. Janne Da Arc: awesome guitarist but I haven't heard something worth putting in top ten. Never heard of UVEworld. Laruku first stuff was out of this world but their latest album have been half ass work (I still would put them in top ten). Dir en grey and Asian Kung Fu I agree in the spot they are. As for Luna Sea I would rate them number one and let the music do the talking (forget what they look like and diva attitudes, jut listen to the music)

I'm sorry, but a list based on fanboy/fangirlism tends to be rather ridiculous. LUNA SEA #27? You have got to be kidding! When J says that there is no band like LUNA SEA, sometimes he tends to sound rather arrogant, but I don't mind. The man can back those words up. LUNA SEA is a band where ALL FIVE MEMBERS are independent of each other. This is a band in which each member can do very well without the others. Each one stands with so much strength on his own and with a completely different style from the other. When those independent, different styles come together, they transform each others' works to result in something beyond what one would have presented on his own. I keep reading about the other bands "Each member is so talented. " What happens when each member leaves the band? ALL MEMBERS OF LUNA SEA have already put that to the test AND HAVE SUCCEEDED (proof that they do not need each other to succeed because each one can easily do it on his own)! I still have to hear that about other bands. Each individual member's growth helped this band grow. It has been copied by others (heck, early L'Arc~en~Ciel was like a copy of LUNA SEA! Hyde totally copied the long haired, drunken sounding Ryuichi! Tetsu was like a copy of Sugizo. Young ken had a bit of J in his look. Even hyde mentioned going to Tokyo and watching LUNA SEA during the early Laruku days. ) but has never been equaled. This band deserves to occupy the top spot.

What? No. 27? You must be kidding me. Have people simply never heard of this amazing J-rock legend or are most people that vote just some random anime fanboys and fangirls that only listen to anime theme songs?

Luna Sea is a very influential band, their music is unique and they are all very talented indeed (if you watch their live DVDs you will know what I mean). They always sound perfect live with amazing technique that often surpasses their CDs. You never hear Ryuichi sound bad live (as opposed to Hyde from L'arc en ciel), and Sugizo's guitar technique is world class! Not to mention Shinya's drumming technique which blends well with the songs, with a strong sense of rhythm yet difficult drum beats, as well as Inoran's unique arpeggios.

I strongly recommend this band for those of you who have never heard of their music, especially now that they are finally reunited to produce more music! I really look forward to their upcoming original album in 13 years which I hope will be released this year (2013)!

LUNA SEA is celebrating their 25th Anniversary and yet can still produce great music together. No other band can withstand the test of time and yet be great. To place them in #18 is blasphemy to us Slaves.

V22 Comments
20Maximum The Hormone

MTH is so underrated and from what I can see, there isn't a logical reason for it. Even though I can, YOU DO NOT need to know Japanese if you want to rock out and dance to their songs. There first two EPs, Shine and Ootori had English songs and they rocked. Although everyone mostly knows the Buiikikaesu album, I'd say 99 percent of all their songs are awesome (excluding Kyokatsu...). It's 2013 and they've got a new album, Yoshu Fukushu. This ablum outdid the hardcore awesomeness of Buiikikaesu and has seven notable songs that top all the rest, such as Utsukushiki Hitobito no Uta, Mesubuta no ketsu ni binta KICK mo, Suwomints Hockelereiro Mifeho, A.L.I.E.N., (F), of course, maximum the hormone, theme song, Chu2 the beam, and Beauty Colosseum. Uehara-chan is fantastic on bass, everyone loves Daisuke-hans screaming, Nao's excellent and shockingly awesome voice and Ryo-kun himself shredding and singing on guitar and mike. MTH is uber-fantastic, has awesome shreds, screams, and hilariously inappropriate songs like Chuu Chuu Lovely, my girl, tsume tsume tsume, (and on the new album, the final song is an ode to beautiful SPERM! ), that any REAL music fan should listen to.

MTH is just godly... I mean... If you blend Pantera, Tool, Red Hot Chile Peppers and System of a Down... You end up with Maximum The Hormone. They mix Metal, Rock, Punk and Alternative to make you become a slave of their mind-blowing music. Daisuke-Han is insanely hyper with his strong screaming vocals. Ryo is great at shredding guitar and sings most of the chorus and softer vocals. Ue-Chan is the Japanese Flea! He is INSANELY good at bass! Nao is one of my favorite drummers... She's good AND hot! And she even sings a lot in 90% of their songs as well! Everyone in the band is just so talented! I can't pick a favorite because they are all AWESOME! And they are original, name a band that is nearly identical. Considering they have a lot of change ups meaning they don't just do a verse and chorus through the whole song. They don't do the visual kei

Maximum the Hormone is amazing! Dir en Grey was my favorite band. And then came along the MAX! I love how everyone in the band sings. Daisuke-kun with his screaming, Maximum the Ryo with his awesome guitar playing and melodic vocals (sometimes funny sounding too! ) Newo with her metal drumming and her "pop" sounding vocals and (my personal favorite) ue-chan with his crazy god-like bass playing and he does sing every now and then. They are just so fun to listen to. This is the one band that I can head bang to and smile about! The other bands on the list are good too but Maximum the Hormone just influenced me to make music too!

They're amazing! Just listen and feel!

V33 Comments
PSearch List

Related Lists

Top 10 American and Japanese Rock Bands Best Female Fronted Japanese Rock Bands Best Rock Bands of All Time Best Punk Rock Bands Top 10 Best Modern Rock Bands

List StatsUpdated 26 Nov 2015

34,000 votes
396 listings
8 years, 232 days old

Top Remixes (48)

1. X Japan
2. Anthem
3. Show-Ya
1. X Japan
2. Mucc
3. Asian Kung-Fu Generation
1. Gazette
2. D'erspairs Ray
3. SuG

View All 48


Other Underrated Legendary Japanese Rock Bands
Huge change to the list!
Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.