Best Japanese Rock Singer

From visual kei to heavy metal the top 10 Japanese rock singers.

The Top Ten

Kyo - Dir En Grey Kyo is a Japanese musician, singer, lyricist and poet. He is best known as the vocalist of the metal band Dir en grey. He has been with the band since its inception in 1997 and was formerly in La:Sadie's.

He should be above Ruki on this list! Cause Kyo has such a wide range of vocals he is great he can sound almost inhuman at times with his screams like at the beginning of Repetition of Hatred it's just 'WHOA' cause with Ruki you get sick of him after a while. But the rest are still good musicians!

Ruki is brilliant, but I can't imagine a single human on earth touching Kyo's vocal ability. He is a master in every sense of the word, from low growls to high shrieks, whispers, crooning, screams, not to mention that insane 5-octave range. Come on, guys.

Kyo is WAY better than Ruki. Way more experienced, and he has a much better vocal range than Ruki. I do like Gazette, but I think overall Kyo is more talented and should have made the top of the list.

Not many voices inside J-rock can be instantly recognizable to someone who's outside the genre, but this guy certainly is one of those "one-of-a-kind" frontmen - not only inside Japan but outside too, as the band releases are frequently praised by magazines such as "Kerrang! " and "Revolver" for their high quality and diversity.

His absolutely unbelievable vocal range takes songs like "The Pledge", "Incovenient Ideal", "Zakuro", "Zan" and "Vanitas" to another level, what comes out of this guy is simply insane. He howls, croons, barks, laughs maniacally, screams, growls and does many noises that you surely wouldn't believe that were made by a human.

Kyo is as diverse as the discography of his band, but it isn't so hard to believe the same guys who did "raison d'etre" is the same that did "different sense" when you have such a unique voice fronting them.
Obvious ...more

Takanori Matsumoto (Ruki - The GazettE)

his hard voice and his smooth voice is balanced, rarely singers can do that.. and he put his all feelings and heart to every of his songs..

Digs very deeply into the theme of every song, and not only conveys an emotion but inspires emotion within the listener. An empathetic singer that inserts himself into the point of view of the subject. Portrays an image through a speaker that can be empathized with, despite the often extreme circumstances that are portrayed. A human being that has a genuine message he believes in.

Ruki is an amazing singer. After everything that has happened to him he still goes after his dream which is what I admire about him. His lyrics are amazing and he is a good friend to everyone in the band. Ruki all I want for you is to SMILE! Every time I see a picture of you I see this: I-I we all love you so just smile for us! We"ll love you even more! (if that's possible! )

Not commenting would eat at me but just the thought of Ruki and all that he has done and means to us makes it difficult to even begin.

We are "Sixth Guns" for a reason.

I am a "Sixth Gun" for a reason.

Expression at its most purest sorrow...
Un-named feelings I never knew how to fill in with words until I heard him...
A light of deep honesty softly comforting and brightening the shadows of my life...

Ruki's voice...
There is a bottomless infinity of admiration for it.

Just the smallest seconds of hearing his voice, feeling and coming to an understanding with the thoughts of his heart, holding on to the call of the song that captivates me still even after it has ended... He's all I need to suddenly smile out of no where like a fool.

And if others do find me a fool for voting for him then I AM a fool.
-but there is no other that I can admire but him.

Matsumoto, Takanori is my #1.

Iwagami Tatsuro - MUCC

He has a great vocal range and has such energy live - an amazing vocalist who in my opinion deserves to be at least in the top 5

Tatsuro has very unique voice and his way to use it is different compared to many others. You can hear the real emotion from his singing - it's coming straight from the heart. You can see it best on stage. He's very effective and intense performer - must see it. His voice is also so diverse... he can sing hard and fast songs but sensitive and slower songs as well. Here's some reasons why he's the best in my opinion.

It's simple. He can sing. That's all. If we're looking for the best one, who is known outside Japan too, then I think Tatsuro is the only one, who has got a really good voice, and this is the thing with it you have to born. Because just working on it is never enough, if you doesn't have something that is called God-given talent.

His voice reaches such heights of emotion, it's impossible not to be enthralled!

Toshimitsu 'Toshi' Deyama - X-japan and Toshi and T-Earth

Why is Toshi not in the top 1? His vocal started the scene overall.

1. Part of the most influential Japanese band.
2. One of the best rock voices.
3. Sounds better live than in a studio version.
4. Greatest Japanese frontman.
Listen to Art of Life, Kurenai, IV or Tears and you'll see why.

Even after three hours, he still sings live like the recording. So clear, so powerful and beautiful.

ToshI is the best! He's got the best voice. It's powerful, beautiful, emotional. It's great! ToshI sings from the heart and soul, and no modern Visual Kei band singer can even begin to hold a candle to ToshI.

Hyde - L'Arc~en~Ciel

Hyde is the best. He had wide range of vocal. His technique is more skilled as he got age. Hyde is great and the best

He feels the emotion of whatever he sings. That adds so much. But he has a powerful voice with a wide range. There is no comparison.

HYDE is simply the best! his voice makes my heart beat faster and that is amazing! he is the only one that can reach those incredible high notes in every laruku and vamps' song! by the way, his writing skills are even more amazing! every song is truly beautiful! I respect every japanese artist, they are all better than anyone else... they all sing beautifully... I can't name any american singer who can perform live without singing out of tune! asian artists are perfectionist in that regard specially HYDE WHO FOR ME IS THE BEST!... hope you understand my bad english

Hyde. My favourite vocalist of all time. He can sound sexy when with VAMPS or beautiful when he's with L'Arc~en~Ciel. Overall I think no matter what the music sounds like it would mesh nicely with his voice.

Gackt Camui - Malice Mizer and solo Gakuto Oshiro (大城 ガクト Ōshiro Gakuto, born July 4, 1973), better known by his mononymous stage name Gackt, is a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. He has been active since 1993, first as the frontman of the short-lived independent band Cains:Feel, and then for more.

Gackt just has the perfect voice.. Deep and beautiful. He sounds so good live. His voice is just wonderful..

Gackt works very hard and really cares about his fans he keeps surprising us with his new work and ways of expressing himself through his music

No matter what his music is always different I think that is why he is supposed to be nr. 1!

He has real talent and such a beautiful voice! If you have ever listened to him sing "Au Revoir" in Malice Mizer, that is a great example. The way he hits those high notes flawlessly and quickly is amazing!

Just amazing, I first heard his voice in Redemption, and the depth and sound of it made my heart ache... I just fell in love with it.

Morita Takahiro (Taka) - One OK Rock

He is too amazing. Not a lot of singers have total voice control. Husky, melodious, hard, smooth, anything he does with his voice, he still sounds awesome. Jumping, running, turned upside down, the control is still present. And the way he looks at the camera or feels the song he's singing? It makes a girl's heart melt. Some girls I know even cried. The bottom line is, he's one of the greatest singers and lyricists ever born. Try imagining him singing my sweet baby or kagerou, and he's looking directly into your eyes. These question for the girls: wouldn't you palpitate? Wouldn't your knees give up? Wouldn't you feel butterflies in your stomach? If not, go die.

His voice is just incredible! His tone is awesome! Imagine getting tired of his voice? Not possible, right? He honestly deserves to be in the top three minimum, if not even to be first.

The power in his voice, the presence it caries; he can set the mood with his voice and adapt it to any style. He's killed it all, power ballads, hard rock songs, screaming, soft rock: everything. When Toru first tried to recruit him he said he didn't think rock was a vocal genre. Well congratulations Taka, you made it a vocal genre and I love you for it!

His voice is powerful and emotional, husky yet soft at same time. His total control is amazing too.

Hideto 'Hide' Matsumoto - X-japan and Hide with Spreaf Beaver Hideto Matsumoto, better known by his stage name Hide, was a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter and record producer. He is primarily known for his work as lead guitarist of the heavy metal band X Japan.

He is and will always be Japan's and one of the world's greatest guitarist. His voice was very distinctive in general, regardless of what language he spoke in, Japanese or English and (rarely) Spanish. I love it. He has very good vocal rage, to the point where he would sing backup for himself is some songs. I would have to listen to the song again just to make sure it was him. He was a music genius. Period.

Even though he was Japans greatest guitarist he was also a great singer with songs such as Goodbye or Rocket Dive.

He was the Japans most greatest and love guitarist and singer and the worlds most loved man we will miss you

Simply a genius in anything that he attempted, whether it be singing, playing the guitar or anything else.

kamijo - Versailles

Kamijo is the best singer, his voice is so sexy and he is a charismatic artist!

Wonderful voice that just makes your heart soar when you listen to it. It reminds you of a fine wine--gets better with age. Through all of his years of vocals, the magic that is his voice makes a rainy day better.

Great singer and frontman.
Listen to Revanant Choir, Prince or Aristocrat's Symphony.

He's definitely great vocalist! Besides having an amazing voice, he also has a tremendous stage presence and puts on a great show, which is something a lot of vocalists lack. I can listen to his voice for hours, no matter if it's singing or speaking, and not get tired. He has really lovely voice and uses it in music quite well!

Even more than having nice voice and a pretty face, he's also wonderful person. He seems to be really sweet and caring person, but also very smart. And he's so professional, too, which is a big plus!


Seriously why is he even at #41? He has this lush and emotive voice that's almost breaking the JRock stereotype. Also, he has amazing range... He can growl, croon, and belt like a champ... And revert to growling in a heartbeat. It takes real vocal power to pull that off, especially during lives. Him having surrender to throat sickness is a huge loss for the industry.

Hizumi's voice isn't just voice... Is voice healing soul.. Come back!

One of the most touching heart, mind ^^ soul voice! The only voice which sounds better live than recorded. Full of emotions, those good and making you to scream yourself.

The best vocalist ever

The Contenders

Haruna Ono - SCANDAL

Haruna Ono is gifted, also a gift to the world to give us positive energy. Once I watched her perfect performance on Scandal vs Budokan live DVD on big screen... I was drenched by that unique powerful but gentle beautiful husky voice. The coolest and experienced performance of Pride... the gentle, passionate, and beautiful Haruka... man, she is a piece of art. Her voice, figure, face, movement, energy, and her guitar... doing that perfect performance so naturally and easily... she is a goddess... That unique husky voice conquered and melted your heart from the first day you heard of it, you know... I nearly gave up modern music and songs, thank you to Scandal, thank you to Haruna Ono, music and songs give me power, life, and hope again.

Her voice captivated me the moment I first heard of it. It was very hard for me to explain the experience, but it was like my heart melted. Her voice is deep and powerful, but also versatile. She is the amazing leader of SCANDAL, very professional and brave, but very caring and thoughtful and looks after the other members. She also has this amazing stage presence and charm along with her great guitar skills which really rocks!

With a husky and a slightly deep voice, Haruna Ono is one of the few female singers in Japan that has this suited for rock kinda voice. Her voice really blends in for every song that she sings, be it SCANDAL very own song or other cover songs. Her voice is one of the major factors that contributes to the success of the band. Just by listening, anybody would know that that is SCANDAL's Haruna singing because her originality of her singing voice. No doubt Haruna Ono is an amazing lead singer that everyone would pay to hear.

She rocks our heart, she rocks our soul. A leader with a kind heart,. The Passion is there, Talent, voice. All is in her. And she never show a tears, when she feels lonely or want to cry. She never want to do that, 'cause she doesn't like us to worry. That's the Haruna ONO we have. She never show her weaknesses, always strong..

Koshi Inaba - B'z

178 FOREVER. His voice has been evolving and changing for the better over the years, and everything of be'z has been so far number 1 on the oricon charts. How many bands can be the first on the charts for ALL of their singles/albums?

This man possesses power, speed, versatility and accuracy that no one else is capable of matching. Pop, blues, swing and rock, he has covered a huge range of music genres and still going strong. With 45 singles and 22 albums hitting number 1 in the Oricon charts, this is solid proof that Inaba Koshi is one of the best Japanese rock singers that the music industry has ever seen, sealed too in the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame.

Inaba-san is a great singer.. sugoii talent.. K. I.4EVER!
Is my best singer in japan.. and Tak matsumo the king's of japan!

the most selling band of japan's B'z's vocalist

Yasu - Janne Da Arc

Yasu (now under his solo project "Acid Black Cherry") is an incredible singer and songwriter. His voice is beautiful and easy to listen to, he's especially good with high notes. While having a passion for rock, he also likes to sing pop and recently also tried a jazzier sound. Yasu definitely doesn't bore.

Yasu is an amazing singer with a beautiful voice that over the years shown us his talent bringing their music to hatred outside of Japan

Your voice is amazing and is an incredible songwriter. Your music glad my dark days and makes me happy I love it.

He's the best for me, his voice, his music, his remix of excellent famous songs are amazing and well he's great!
Always think about how his fan can feel, always think of how to make possible for them to be able to see his project etc... He's incredible!

Ai - Deathgaze

His voice is so smooth and rich sounding. His vocal control is demonstrated even at live performances. Listen to "Amends" to know what I'm talking about here. Also, his growling is on point and sounds extra good because of his super deep voice.

I think his very good at singing

His voice has a lot of vocal range and it is just really great. He expresses his emotions well through his screams and his normal vocals. Check out the song BLOOD it is really good and it has a fantastic filmclip! ^__^


Satoshi - Girugamesh

All I can say is he deserves to be in top ten and Girugamesh is my favorite band and Satoshi is my favorite singer... He had so much emotion in his voice and I love all his songs (apart from the new albums) but that won't stop him from being my favorite! GO SATOSHI!

He has a great beautiful powerful voice. He can sing in many sounds and his songs are full of emotions. Satoshi expresses them very well. His voice touches me and my feelings, it comes from the heart. While listening to him I melt

He has an amazing voice. Satoshi's voice is so powerful to me as well. Powerful to me doesn't only mean how loud or how energetic he sings. His voice is so powerful that he sings with all his heart 'till he reaches yours. From Heavy to Soft Melody, he never fails to amaze me. NOW. GO. SATOSHI!

Satoshi's voice, more than anything else about girugamesh, is what captured my interest right away. He has power and passion; he can shout and rap; he can sing in a near-whisper and sound brokenhearted, something I've never heard convincingly from any other artist; all in all, I think he's the best male singer I've ever heard, in Japan or elsewhere. Satoshi should be #1 on this list!

Ryuichi Kawamura - Luna Sea

From rock to pop ballads... And now to opera... This year this guy broke the Guinness Book World Records! Ryuichi Kawura is one of the greatest singers of all time in Japan! Unique voice and charismatic live performance makes him interesting to watch. He can sing all types of music available in the world in his own style I believe

Only Ryuichi is able to sing with no microphone, sings ballads, rocks, he does what he wants with his voice. He is soft and bitter. He is able to hypnotize a audience for hours, Guinness Recordist! o He deserves more than this 2%.

What's great about his voice is that he can suit his voice to any type of music. In his late twenties he changed his singing style from heavy deep metal rock voice to mellow pop; and now in his late thirties he changed again to opera; just continue to adapt and perfecting his voice, which is a difficult streak when you're such a veteran rock / pop vocalist.

His voice is unique and unmatched, engaging and high quality, it has been demonstrated on his show No Mic no Speakers, and he got a Guinness Record singing more than 100 songs at Nippon Budokan. Ryuichi is THE BEST!

Takanori Nishikawa - T.M.Revolution

I love his voice consistency throughout each song. I especially like the way he manages to drag his voice at the end of the chorus-- if you know what I mean-- in a strong and steady manner. Great skill in that.

He has an awesome intensity and when make loud notes won't fall for a sec, and used to sing this way all his songs, slow ones or beat up ones always give full power to each one

His voice, in fact, the music itself mesmerizing me! There is power and aura in each of his songs!

My favorite! Wonderful range! Brilliant performer! There is never a dull moment in watching him perform! I have been a fan for years and always will be. I would love to see him in America!

Byou - Screw

An extremely sensual voice that does justice to their feline appearance. His lyrics, his rhythm, his movements, his bearing, his elegance... Byou is magnificent.

I just love his sweet, delicate voice. Besides, camera loves him, he's beautiful.

He is massive! Beautiful voice, beautiful face, beautiful movements. He is PERFECT.

Byou always make me calm

Mao - Sadie

If Dir En Grey were to ever break up, I believe that Sadie would rise to bring on the Visual Kei or J-Metal scene internationally. They are like the Diru in training. Dir En Grey can never be replaced but I think Sadie will just boost the legacy. Mao's really good of a singer, because he is mostly focused on Kyo-style with a good balance of his own.

Sadie is my favourite band. I just find Mao's voice amazing, he can have an acute voice, sing "normaly" and scream very well. In live his voice stays perfect all long of the concert. And he's a great compositer too, the lyrics he sings are beautiful. That's why I think that Mao should be above in this classement!

Mao - SID

Mao should have been higher than this. The main thing love in his voice is the vibrato. He has a GREAT vibrato, I mean he puts it on even the shortest notes! I remember watching a concert where he held a note for almost 45 seconds and he still had a beautiful vibrato at the end! More than that Mao puts so much feeling into his singing. Whenever I watch the SID interviews he's really quiet and calm but he's so different on stage! There was also that time where he tripped on stage in the middle of a song and he hit it full body sprawled, but his voice didn't even WAVER. I thought that was pretty damn amazing.

Mao is the best vocalist ever exist! His voice suitable for every kind of music. Rock, jazz, pop, and else. He's the greatest vocalist ever!

Mao is such a great singer! His voice suits evey rhythm the band plays. He is also very emotive when singing. He doesn't only sing, he interprets, too. He gives to his voice the precise tone to do a great work with every single song. He is great at singin, screaming, whispering. Well, being an interpreter.

Love Mao best! His voice is fantastic! His the first singer I has been addicting to! I can't help myself listening to their songs and after I attended their live, I definitely amazed more at his singing skills. I always think he sings more touching than the original ones. I love both his voice and characteristic; he's the best singer in my mind!

Kohara Kazamasa (Shou) - Alice Nine

Shou's voice is beautiful. He is a talented singer. His lyrics are meaningful. I love him very much!

Shou has the best voice of any vocalist. His vocal ability ranges from a very deep bass tone, to falsetto. He puts so much passion into each and every song he sings, really drawing the listener into the emotions of the song better. The love he has for the fans of Alice Nine are true, not a charade. He feels deeply and he s able to translate the emotions into beautiful, poetic lyrics that state normal emotions in ways you may not have ever thought of them.

Shou has one of the most special voices I ever heared in my life. I love him and Alice Nine very very much

I used to only listen to instrumental music. But his voice totally blew me away. It's deep and rich, but he is able to sing softly when he pleases. It's also smooth but has a nice vibrato, not to mention I've never come across such a unique voice that is both so energizing and soothing! It's therapeutic to listen to him.

Sakurai Atsushi - BUCK-TICK

He has almost the best if not the best male singing voice I've heard. He can make Japanese sound smooth. Most of Buck Ticks songs have to do with sex, death, love, or madness. The videos of live shows usually sound better and videos enhance the experience. Some good songs to try are Sasayaki, Ai no Uta, Kiss me Goodbye, Misshitsu, Mr. J, and Asylum Garden. They have also done some songs that are introductions to anime such as Dress and Kuchizuke.

He's got a lot of experience, his voice is unique, I can totally know when he's the one singing.

Atsushi Sakurai is amazing! I have heard very few people who have a voice as gorgeous as his! My favorite song of his is Snow White. Gekka Reijin and Romance also so off the beauty of his voice.

Every time I see these lists, they make me laugh so much. Sakurai Atsushi may be the best vocalist that Japan has had in these last 20 years and the inspiration to almost all todays rock vocalists, but yet he is in the 27-th place?! You've got to be kidding me kids!

YOMI - Nightmare

I'm not a huge fan of Nightmare in general - I like their songs, but I'm not super involved with their fan dom. However, whenever I hear Yomi's voice, he sounds amazing. I love when he sings as Chiba in Sendai Kamotsu - it's great how his amazing vocals can still be heard through his "silly voice".

Yomi is one of the rare male altos in the world of music, his voice has such strength and power behind it. He knows how to project, and get the crowd to feel all the emotions within Nightmare's songs. His soul comes out in his voice, and I just love his voice.

Yomi puts so much emotion and power into his vocals, He is like no other, During Nightmare's live shows his vocals actually improve (unlike many other vocalist who sound terrible live). He never dissapoints. Further more he can manipulate his voice like no other (yes I'm talking about chiba) Yomi's vocals were sent from heaven! And the boy knows how to use them without fear. He also takes great care of them (unlike some careless vocalist who smoke)

Yomi is the best singer in all the world, his voice is incredible and very special. Nightmare won't be the best band without yomi. YOMI fighting!

Miyavi Takamasa Ishihara, better known by his stage name Miyavi, is a Japanese singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer and actor. He is known for his finger-slapping style of playing a guitar.

This boy is beyond brilliant. A lot of his fame comes from his extraordinary 'slapping' style when playing the guitar, but he certainly isn't lacking in the vocals department. And when I say that he isn't lacking I mean that he's brilliant. His voice has a somewhat husky quality which makes it sound simultaneously mad sexy and also perfect for the genres he usually plays (punk rock/rock/pop etc. ). If that isn't enough, he's very easy on the eyes (and by that I mean damn hot). Check out 'This Iz the Japanese Kabuki Rock'/'MYV Pops/'Miyavizm' - yes, the entire albums.

And finally, he's even better live. He sounds better live than he does recorded. Isn't that one of the best signs of a genius artist?

Miyavi is... Everything you want in a rock singer. He has an amazing voice, and even more amazing guitar skills. You will be amazed, I'm sure of it! He deserves to be in the top 10! It's almost too good to be real! And his "slapping" style? I've never seen anyone do it better like him!

His talent is enormous. I'll add something to everything that has been said. He isn't only a brilliant musician but also a great live performer in the sense that he rocks the stage but also has a great control over the audience. You can't impossibly stop listening to him throughout the entire show, and that's because his interactions with the fans are interesting. He doesn't do, only, the 'sing the lyric' or 'just listen to my brilliant performance' thing. As said, he ROCKS and he owns the stage when he's up there!

Miyavi has changed the way I think of j-rockers. He's taken me for a wild ride with his music and continues to inspire me to pursue my life as a musician. This man sure knows how to rock! My favorite songs are Torture and itoshi hito!

Takuya - UVERworld

I would kill to go to one of his lives! His voice is more amazing live than recorded. I'm really surprised he is not up on the list. And he has a lot of ranges in his voice but it is so recognizable.

From vocals that can be deep and rocking, to soft and calming, Takuya truly has a voice like no other. Besides having an incredible voice, he writes all the lyrics and music to UVERworld music (sometimes co written with members) Note: UVERworld does Bleach op 2, Blood+ Op 3, DGrayman Op 4, Gundam 00 S2 op 1, Gundam 00 movie ending, etc.

Takuya is a wonderful sentimental person. He is so talented always trying to surpass himself in any way possible, his my idol, I really look up to him and his voice is so magnificent! UVERworld always gives their all in every concert so I really believe he deserves to be at least in the top 10

Takuya is very talented... Aside from being UVERworld's vocalist, he can also change his voice, can beatbox, and play different kinds of musical instruments. Plus the fact that he is sexy and good-looking, that's why I really love him!

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