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 Ten
1 X Japan X Japan is a Japanese heavy metal band from Chiba, formed in 1982 by drummer Yoshiki and lead vocalist Toshi.

One of the greatest rock bands of all time! I only just heard of X a little over three months ago, but they have become my favorite band. I only wish I had seen them perform in their prime (I was born after their breakup in 1997). I wish they had gotten the recognition they deserve when they tried to go international. If they weren't Japanese, they would have.

I discovered X Japan when Roger Taylor (the legendary member of Queen - the band I've been a fan of since childhood) recorded a song with Yoshiki. I decided to listen to them, bought some X Japan records, and was blown away! I'm from Russia and barely knew English at that time, not to mention Japanese, so I didn't understand a word they sang. But the strength of emotion and musical expression was so powerful, it impressed me deeply. I became a fan. They changed my life forever! It was many years ago. I'm still a huge fan, except now I know all the lyrics. I've tried to listen to many Japanese bands since then. Many of them are great, but X Japan is definitely the best.

I've listened to X Japan for 6 months now (compared to others here, it's nothing but still something), but they are definitely one of my favorite bands. Unfortunately, I was born after they stopped playing together, and it's even more unfortunate that hide died before I was even a year old. But I still think he is the most amazing guitarist that I've ever heard, and one day I will be able to play all the songs that he could play. I could swear that I listen to their songs at least five hours daily (sometimes even during class :D). I just hope that they will play again soon within a reachable distance. X Japan forever, we are X!

Who doesn't know about X Japan? A few days ago, they were nominated for the Golden Gods Awards as The Best International Band - and they won! Last year, they had their first world tour, and many fans had the opportunity to see them (like me - X Japan's gig in Berlin was the best day of my life). Now fans are waiting for a new album and the second upcoming world tour! I know it will be great.

X changed my life, and their music helped me a lot when I felt depressed. I love their ballads so much, like 'Endless Rain,' 'Say Anything,' 'Forever Love,' 'Unfinished,' 'Alive'... You definitely should listen to them!

2 Gazette

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

First and foremost, I'll say that I'm still quite new to the GazettE. The first song/video I listened to/watched was RED, and I loved it as it suited my taste. Then I saw SHIVER, and that was good for me too.

After a while, I started listening to more of their songs, and I really got into them. The boys have great fashion sense and hair to die for! Another thing I commend them for is their beautiful lyrics. I believe Ruki-san is the one who mostly writes them, and his prose and language are absolutely gorgeous.

The music, too, is great. Each GazettE song has its own unique solo, which I love to listen to. They must be very creative to come up with guitar solos for every song.

Lastly, I just love the members: Ruki, Aoi, Uruha, Reita, and Kai. Each has their own personality that shines through when they perform. Ruki-san has a great voice that isn't like the norm, I should say. Uruha and Aoi are awesome guitarists. Reita's bass grooves are incredibly good, and Kai, ...more

The GazettE is unique and inspiring, just as X Japan is in their own way. They have touched so many lives. The reason I voted for the GazettE is that their music really got through to me first when other bands never could. Each and every member has their own qualities that create the whole of the GazettE, and their teamwork has pulled them through to their coming-of-age, with their tenth anniversary coming up. Each song is, of course, different, but they all discuss various aspects of life, something that connects all the fans together and isn't limited to just the youth, but the older crowd as well. They have so much determination, have struggled to get this far in their early years, but with their example, they have shown future generations of rock bands that they too can achieve their dreams. They turned their dreams into goals, and for all their hard work and the lives they've inspired, I think they deserve the title of Best Japanese Rock Band.

The GazettE is the band that has stayed true to itself. When their fans leave them, they don't bother trying to win them back. Instead, they do their own thing, and whoever happens to like their music, they rock on with them. I love the fact that while many trends are going on in the music industry, the GazettE has never paid much attention to them. They have their own style and know what makes them unique. I admire that their thoughts regarding music are not influenced by anyone else, such as their label company or other factors. Each band member is unique, and no one completely stands out. As Uruha once said, the GazettE is like a team. When they all work together, good things come out of it. I will always follow and support the GazettE.

3 Dir en grey Dir En Grey is a Japanese heavy metal band formed in 1997 and currently signed to Firewall Div., a sub-division of Free-Will.

"I think that we have the courage to do what others are scared to do. 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 bands try to be friendly to 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 on every level." - Die

Need to say anything else?

Dir en Grey transcends genres and reinvents themselves with every album. The band has been around for fourteen years now and continues to pursue the new and bizarre just when everyone thought they could not possibly have something new up their sleeves. All members of the band are irreplaceable because they each bring forth their own important, unique elements to the music. They may be a cult band, but they truly stand apart from the rest of the groups on this list, despite their lack of mainstream appeal. True rock musicians should be out to break boundaries and question authority, which is exactly what these guys do.

The first time I ran into Dir en Grey, I was captivated by Kyo's vocal range and quality. He sang in a way that was similar to the visual kei style and J-rock style but was able to add his own completely unique touch. Not to mention, I love their guitar riffs and melodies that sometimes feel like you're being pulled down a spiraling path with a chain. The drummer and bassist are equally awesome, making for a very well-rounded band that continuously comes out with songs that appeal to the heavy side of metal. Let's not forget the lyrics behind their songs. If you've never looked them up, I suggest you do. They often touch on issues that just aren't openly discussed. But that's what music is about: expression. It's the key to visual kei and J-rock (not excluding any other genres).

I love Dir en Grey. I have never heard a band with so much passion. I love the way they can go from aching melancholy to brutal nihilism, sometimes within the same song. All the musicians are so talented. They each have their own distinctive style and give the arrangements so much textural depth. They never rest on their laurels and reinvent themselves with each album. The only constant is a portrayal of raw beauty in a desolate world. They are the only band that has made me cry with emotion. Diabolos and Vanitas from their latest album are a couple of their masterpieces.


I too discovered Scandal in 2009. I found them by accident on YouTube via a Japanese TV show with "Perfume" as guests. These four girls were there too, chatting with Perfume. They seemed so lively, copying Perfume's dance routine, and I thought they were just a schoolgirl fan club of Perfume (I don't speak Japanese). A day later, while looking at a promo video of girls from Japan playing guitars, I realized, "Hey, those are the schoolgirls from the Perfume interview show." I checked out a YouTube video by this band, Scandal. As soon as the live show opened for the Best/One-man Live tour, and they hit the stage, hit those big chords, with bass and drums pounding it out, and the crowd chanting along with encouragement, Haruna yelled out something, and they went into the "Space Ranger" riff... I was gone. I sat there, mesmerized, watching with my jaw on the floor for almost the entire song. Then, at the end of the song, they powered to the finish with the closing chant... What the f&**#! ...more

SCANDAL is definitely one of the best rock bands in Japan. They are a proud icon of all-girl rock bands. They've got skills - and we know they are improving - they have attitude, and they sound great in their albums and even more so in live performances. They play their respective instruments really well. They all sing (and it's nice to hear four different voice tones blend as one), they write their music, and they can dance too.

From four normal students, barely knowing anything about instruments, to becoming one of the best rock bands around. They work hard to get to where they are now, and they keep on getting even better!

Girls can rock the stage, look deadly and powerful, yet stunningly beautiful at the same time. That's SCANDAL.

Of course, I was captivated by the idea of cute Japanese schoolgirls playing rock music, but I continue to support them for so many more reasons. Their music is catchy and upbeat. They actually play instruments and do so exceptionally well. They keep improving all the time. In a world and an industry dominated by idol groups, this is worth supporting alone. They write their own lyrics, and Tomomi is especially talented at this, although I mainly read translations (Switch is a great example). They are learning to write their own music as well. I've watched them grow up from their high school shows, which makes their journey seem so personal. Plus, they are just great people. Tomo is always out for fun but is really a sensitive girl, and Rina could be the typical, lofty, beautiful one, but she is very down-to-earth. Her comments at every Sendai show since the earthquake mean a lot. She's always so caring. Their live shows are great too. They manage to keep the energy going and aren't ...more

Ever since I heard SCANDAL's music, it touched my heart instantly. They work hard every day for the band, and their songs have also touched my heart, even without knowing the translation. The melody of their songs is just beautiful. Plus, if you read the translation of their songs, I guarantee that you'll be inspired. SCANDAL really changed my life ever since I started to become a fan of them. Because of their songs, my life changed for the better, and I strive to aim high for my dreams. So, if I were you, I'd love these girls, and I bet they will touch your hearts too.

5 L'Arc~en~Ciel L'Arc-en-Ciel is a Japanese rock band, founded in Osaka in 1991. With a reported 40 million records sold, they were the first Japanese act to headline at Madison Square Garden.

I've extremely struggled between GazettE, X, Malice Mizer, and L'Arc. To me, the first three bands impact me with their magnificent world settings and talents. But only L'Arc accompanied me during the hardest time of my life.

I think GazettE encourages people with Ruki's powerful words, but L'Arc does this in a soft way - they heal like four angels. 'Pieces' and 'Anata' saved me when I almost gave up. 'Niji' always reminds me of their legendary stories. They remind you what should be cherished in life with purely beautiful music. Actually, I love many J-rock bands, and I admire GazettE, X, and M+M the same way as L'Arc, but L'Arc is special in my life.

L'Arc en Ciel is the best rock band for me. Their songs are magnificent, and the voice of Hyde is wow. I can barely describe it in words. And it's difficult to copy. They are incomparable and irreplaceable to me. They make my whole world in music go round. I am madly in love with Hyde, Tetsu, Yuki, Ken, and even though Sakura was long gone from the band, I still do love him also. They make exceptional music that truly moves your heart and soul.

I just love them! I love every single one of their songs. Each member has their own specialty, and bringing it all together results in a very great and beautiful tone. Their music gives the same feeling as when we see a rainbow in the sky: so beautiful, heartwarming, comforting, and... majestic! They are simply the best!

I also love Do As Infinity, but I'll choose Laruku first because this is the first J-Rock I've ever heard, and up to now, I still hope to see them live. When I heard they would come to my country, I was so happy, but I was completely sad because I couldn't get the ticket. It sold out in about 15 minutes! So frustrating!

Every song of Laruku inspires me, especially 'Blurry Eyes,' 'Hitomi no Jounin,' 'Honey,' and 'Ready Steady Go.' Ah, no! I love all of them!

Hide's voice is so inspiring. While he's singing, his eyes are so pure and focused on his song. DAI SUKI DESU!

6 One Ok Rock One OK Rock, is a Japanese rock band, formed in Tokyo, Japan in 2005. The band currently consists of Takahiro Moriuchi, Toru Yamashita, Ryota Kohama, and Tomoya Kanki.

I love this band for three reasons.

First, their songs transcend various genres, and they sound amazingly and incredibly good!

Second, their talent and live performances are unmatched. I have never watched live concerts as energetic, upbeat, and emotional as theirs.

Lastly, the members' bonds with each other are extraordinary. They treat each other like family. You can see it in their documentaries and Primal Footmark. Even just by seeing them perform live, observing how they love what they are doing and how harmonious they are with each other while enjoying themselves onstage, you know they are meant to do this. They are meant to be THE ONE OK ROCK!

One OK Rock is an absolutely amazing band. Taka's lyrics are so deep, strong, and motivating. The music Toru contributes fits perfectly well. It's really amazing and forms one complete and fantastic piece of music. Their recent single, Cry Out, is one of their best songs yet! Taka's English has improved so much, you can really tell by his singing. It proves how much effort and thought he has put into his work and his music. This band is sure to spread throughout the world. In fact, I'm sure it already has!

They've performed live in the US and Mexico. I'm not sure about China and such, but yeah, they're bound to become one of the best rock bands in the world, and I'm sure of it!

One Ok Rock is definitely one of the best bands I've ever heard in my life. To be able to infuse such overwhelming emotions into a song is amazing. They never cease to impress me with their great music. Moreover, their songs are incredibly catchy and also vary in genre. Not to forget the awesome band members: the main vocalist, Taka, is a true genius. His voice, control, expression, and stage presence are all exceptional. Then there's Tomoya, who always manages to wow us all with his superb passion when playing the drums. Just watching him makes us feel overwhelmed. Ryota and Toru, the bassist and guitarist, have incomparable charisma. Their music is just AMAZING. Just hear any song. It's love at first listen.

One Ok Rock taught me what good music is. Their music has changed my life for the better.

I truly believe One Ok Rock is among the greatest bands you will ever find in your entire life - if not the best.

This band is what made me love rock music. Their music is unlike any band you will ever listen to. They mix various genres of rock into their music, so they have their own unique style. With so much variation in their songs, you'll never get tired of listening to them. They don't have a bad song. They're all great! Especially Mighty Long Fall and The Beginning. There's a great mix of Japanese and English in their songs, so it's the best of both worlds. In their live performances, they are really energetic and enthusiastic. You can tell they love what they do and are living the dream. They also always get the audience really into the music. I just saw them live, and the audience loved them - even many who were there to see other bands. Not to mention their live performances sound just like their recordings. Unlike any other Japanese bands, ONE OK ROCK is loved and recognized worldwide. Their name and image have been growing more in America over the past year than ever before, which is ...more

7 Asian Kung-Fu Generation

Asian Kung-Fu Generation may not be the most well-known band, since they're a bit older, but what they bring to the table is phenomenal. Their live shows are absolutely amazing, and their vocalist is one of the best in the game. I really prefer their music style over many bands because the emotion within their lead singer's voice doesn't sound overexaggerated or fake. The emotion of each and every band member is live and there. I also look up to them because their recording style is very raw, unlike many modern-day bands that process their parts individually and fix sounds through editing.

Their songs such as "Haruka Kanata" and "After Dark" are extremely emotional - just listen to those jaw-dropping vocals - and have exceptional musical ideas integrated regarding the chords used. Almost all their songs are extremely catchy as well. Many of the up-and-coming bands in Japan look up to them, such as Kana-Boon.

Unlike many bands out there, they sell through their music ...more

I have every single song they've made, and they are so great. This band is the only thing I could listen to all day. Their albums are not all the same. They're all different in a way that no other band could achieve. The point is, you should consider listening to this band because not only are their lyrics amazing, but the instrumentation is phenomenal. Everything in their songs combines so effectively.

I can listen to Ajikan anytime and never become bored. No matter what mood I'm in, they always brighten me up. They have such variety you wouldn't believe it's the same band. Their style has never changed throughout the many years they've been active, and there is a very large music collection from which you can listen. The vocals are incredible, and the instruments are even better!

I really love them. I've known them since I was a child, and they are still the best, and even better! Maybe they're not the most famous band because they don't focus on visuals, so their age becomes an issue for the "new visual music taste." Even so, they pour all their experience into their music, and that's the most amazing thing any artist could do!

8 Maximum The Hormone Maximum the Hormone (Japanese: マキシマム ザ ホルモン, Hepburn: Makishimamu Za Horumon) is a Japanese heavy metal band from Hachiōji, Tokyo. Their lineup has consisted of vocalist Daisuke-han, drummer Nao, guitarist Maximum the Ryo-kun, and bassist Ue-chan since 1999. Each member alternates singing lead vocals, often within the same song, with the exception of Ue-chan, who provides backup vocals almost exclusively. more.

Maximum the Hormone is amazing! Dir en Grey was my favorite band. And then along came 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 headbang to and smile about! The other bands on the list are good too, but Maximum the Hormone has just influenced me to make music too!

MTH is just godly. I mean, if you blend Pantera, Tool, Red Hot Chili 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 to 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 choruses 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 attractive! 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 visual kei.

Like most people outside of Japan, the first time I heard this band was while watching Death Note. They have been my favorite band since. Many bands try to blend different styles in their music, and almost all those bands fail epically. Not MTH! Their ability to mix nu-metal with J-pop (and anything else) keeps this band fresh, and every track is a pleasant surprise. The chemistry between the band members is also a wonder to behold.

What the hell is this band doing at number 5? They should be at number 1! I love Maximum the Hormone, especially their song Zetsubou Billy, which was used for Death Note and rocked the world! I was like, "This is THE song!" Keep rocking, guys! By the way, I also love Scandal, UVERworld, Aqua Timez, Vamps, and Girugamesh (though I'm disappointed with their new album).

9 Versailles

Versailles definitely has a unique style and beat. Their songs cover a wide range of emotions, and their clothing is always surprising and entertaining. Kamijo's voice is incredibly beautiful and deep, possessing just the right tone. Versailles' lyrics are also masterfully written, and it's obvious they've been penned with passion. My favorite two songs from Versailles, Episode and Serenade, are especially beautiful in their simplicity. Hizaki, Jasmine You, Teru, and Yuki are also very talented in playing the guitar and drums, respectively. Though Jasmine You will always be missed, both in presence and skills.

The music is well-arranged. The bass and drums complement each other wonderfully. The guitars are never overbearing nor out of place. Every riff sounds like it belongs. I love the way they start out slow, with piano and other instruments, and then completely start rocking it by the end of the song. Kamijo's voice is velvety and unique. It really suits their typical song topics. What are their songs about? Well, I've noticed quite a few are about vampires, which is awesome! How many bands out there sing about vampires? But there are also songs about loneliness, love, nostalgia, etc. Their costumes are as amazing as their music. They all look really good (refraining from more provocative comments).

Versailles delivers an elegant performance in both their music and physical appearances. They have set clear standards for themselves and never disappoint their fans, their music continually evolving with each new release. They tell stories in every song, filling them with emotion. Each of the members has noticeably grown stronger over the years, and each has a definitive place in the band. They try new things and excel each time. The love they have for music and beauty permeates everything they do.

Versailles is truly the personification of beauty. With its aesthetics, sound, and concept, it is truly a band that cannot be rivaled. Unique in their sound, from Kamijo's poignant and elegant vocals to the sublimely intricate guitar solos from Teru and Hizaki, through the never-ending proclamation of Yuki's drumming down to Masashi's unique and heavy flow on his bass... you can't deny just how brilliant these guys are.

10 Nightmare

Well, I've listened to every song Nightmare has put out there, and I've got to say these guys show improvement throughout their careers. As a former band guitarist myself, I appreciate witnessing a band like this one improve over the years. With typical American rock, it seems as if we just keep the same style and don't even dare to change up or experiment with different vocalizations. Like, I know someone is going to be mad, but Nickelback and Five Finger Death Punch have songs that sound exactly the same. That's because there is no attempt whatsoever to change up. So, good job, Nightmare, for showing you guys aren't just some one-trick pony! I look forward to more hits.

My first Japanese rock band. I discovered them, like most Americans probably do, through the anime Death Note. They opened a whole new world to me, and I'll always love them. My favorite songs are Nothing You Lose and a:fantasia. C.S.

Flawless instrumentals, seamless arrangements, and an amazing vocalist who, in my opinion, has one of the best voices of any artist anywhere today. Diversity of musical styles, all done so well with their signature style. An amazing catalogue of music for their 10+ years as a band. Nightmare is all I need in music, really. The best band (Japanese or otherwise), period.

For me, they're the best band ever. They've been my favorite band for almost ten years, and I just can't stop loving them. Their compositions are wonderful. Sakito, Hitsugi, Ni~ya, and Ruka have incredible skills, and Yomi has a god-like voice. And they truly love their fans! They love their job and what they do. I don't understand why they're not more famous, and I think it's a shame people only know them because they made the Death Note opening and ending. They truly deserve to be more famous.

The Contenders
11 SID

SID has always been the greatest help for me. They're my inspiration, my life, and my support. Without them, I don't know what I would be. Perhaps I wouldn't even be in this world to write this here. I respect them for their great music and their personalities. I've never respected anyone as much as I do each member. They have such kind hearts that everyone should learn from. And they support their fans as much as we support them. SID is a great band, the greatest band, I would say. They make the greatest music. Most importantly, they are not a monotonous band. They have various types of music and lyrics. You cannot predict any upcoming single, and they always surprise you. They are the truest and most talented artists.

So yes, I'll vote for SID.

This band is the best band I've ever heard! Their songs, their music, and the way Mao sings are beyond wonderful! He puts his heart into every song he sings, and it reaches my heart. They have made so many helpful and supportive songs that have helped me become who I am now.

I can't get enough of their songs and their lyrics. The whole band makes it complete with the guitar, bass line, and drumming. All four of them are genius musicians! Most of all, they never fail to surprise their fans with every single they release. They're not monotonous, and the joy of hearing them is simply wonderful. They help me smile every day.

I love their music. I can listen to it for 12 hours and never get tired of it. In fact, I listen to it every day now. I really like Mao's voice. It sounds so nice. Even without the background music, his voice is still awesome.

Songs composed by Aki and Shinji are awesome. I can say I like almost every song they've composed. They're really good. I sometimes prefer their live performances because the feeling is there, even though I'm not present. I also enjoy listening to live versions when they are in concert. Yuuya is just so cute. When he's playing and smiling at the back, he always makes me smile. He can also play lots of instruments. I love SID more than words can explain.

Sid is the best Japanese rock band I've ever heard. My whole perspective on life has changed. I'm thirteen, so I'm not at the exact age appropriate for listening to their music, but I understand a lot of things in life. I have listened to a lot of love songs, and I find theirs to be the best. Mao's majestic voice and Aki's amazing ability to play his bass with both hands are incredible! Shinji has the ability to play the guitar like a master, and Yuuya has the ability to make people laugh! I get excited over every new song they come out with.

I live in Kentucky, where we don't have many foreign people. Many people put me down and say I'm weird for liking them, but that's me and they don't understand. Mao said that I can't help everyone individually, but I can be someone you can look up to. That inspired me a lot to help others and support them. They're the only rock band I like! I usually only listen to country or bluegrass, so stepping out of my comfort zone was a big deal. Be ...more

12 UVERworld

Very unique, open, uplifting, hard-hitting sound, all due to UVERworld's diverse instrumentation and vocal elements (sax, synth, bass, electric and rhythm guitar, beatboxing, rapping, crazy drums, and Takuya's lovely singing voice). Every UVERworld album is incredible, and each song really fills up the sound space - they really transport me to some other world when I listen to them. I love that UVERworld continues to experiment with each release and always aims to outdo anything it's done before, yet still manages to make it work. I've really enjoyed watching and listening to UVERworld grow, and I think they really deserve all the success they've achieved thus far.

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 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!

I don't find any reason for UVERworld to be underrated! It should be at number 1!

The best thing about UVERworld that you can't find in any other band is their beautiful lyrics and melodies. And the way they arrange all their songs is fresh and unique. Anyway, I'm a musician, so I know how thoughtful Takuya and his friends are in crafting all their songs. They are so talented, really. All their lyrics always have deeper and thoughtful meanings, and I genuinely believe that UVERworld purely wants to motivate people to be better and give all their fans high, positive spirits every day. Simply amazing.

UVERworld is truly a great band with touching songs. Their members have deep musicality, which you rarely find in other band members. It's so sad that people often underrate them. Go, go UVERworld! Six Pride forever.

They make me happy and energetic. My heart beats so fast. I get into the song and sing my heart out, even though I can't sing. Even though I don't understand Japanese, I understand the music they play, and it's so beautiful that it makes me feel beautiful. I can't help but smile whenever I hear their songs. They never tire me. They managed to make me fall for them the first time I heard them play, unlike other bands. I love them, support them. They are different yet so awesome. UVERworld for the win!

13 Fear, and Loathing In Las Vegas

I didn't think techno and screamo went together when I first heard them, but after forcing myself to listen to them for a while, I found that I love this band. My music taste has changed insanely since I started listening to this band. This is my favorite group, and I can honestly say that I love every one of their songs. Do you know how rare it is to not dislike a single song that a group has made? Falilv rocks. Go check them out!

I hate screamo, but Falilv is my all-time favorite band! They've nailed how to use electronics with heavy metal and how to make screamo a lot less emo. Every single member feels important, not just a background guy. Every member has a distinct look and a distinct role, which I find very respectable. I haven't yet heard a song of theirs that I dislike. These guys are very talented and are only growing in popularity!

They're unique. Techno and scream were something I didn't know would sound perfect together. The synths, Minami's screams, and So's autotuned voice blend very well, and that's what makes it unique. It's rare not to dislike at least one song. I just love every song they've made. Their dances are the weird ones, but they're my favorite band of all time.

Very creative band. They just keep getting better and better after every song they make. Minami's unique screaming, combined with the autotuned voice and great guitar riffs and synths, makes the band very unique from the others. They're my favorite band of all time.

14 Stereo Pony

Okay. In terms of consistent, audience-rousing energy and power, SCANDAL most often has Stereopony beat.

But, in terms of balancing the composition of their own music and performance, they are definitely among the top 10. Because of this, Stereopony may hold the most talent in terms of an all-girls band instrumentally. Moreover, they have perhaps been the most successful in integrating American musical talent into the world of Japanese art. Stereopony has shown time and again that they are dedicated to such a cause and have visited the U.S. repeatedly, even merging permanently so far with their favorite American artist, Avril Lavigne's guitarist Evan.

They may not have gained the most popularity in contrast to SCANDAL, but they are definitely one of the strongest, if not the strongest, Japanese female bands. So, let's raise their rank, guys.

These girls are amazing at what they do. You can hear all the energy they put into their music. The sound just touches you. If you haven't heard any of their songs, check some out. Hitohira no Hanabira is the first song I heard from them, and I fell instantly in love. If you ever have the chance to see them live, it's an amazing experience because you can see all the energy they put into playing their music, as well as how much fun they have while doing so.

Stereopony is not about some kind of appeal. They are just themselves, with their own style! They are sweet, yet they rock all the way. And, sincerely, they play their self-composed songs with passion and just keep improving! That's why I choose to follow them: they aren't flawless yet, but the three of them keep trying to make their music better and better.

The awesome girls of Stereo Pony are so talented and hardworking! There is so much more to come from them, so keep an eye on this amazing group from Okinawa! They are also really great to their fans, always going out of their way to meet as many fans as they can from all around the world. Even despite a language barrier, they are very personable and fun to be around.

15 Ling Tosite Sigure

A three-person Japanese rock band that is utterly beautiful. Both singers have incredibly unique voices and play their instruments wonderfully. The music that they write and perform is like poetry. They combine many different rhythms, singing styles, and lyrics to create masterpieces. They are my absolute favorite. Listen if you want your heart broken.

Personally, my favorite band ever. I have never heard a single song from them that I didn't like. A great combination of emotion and technique. I'm not surprised it's so low on this list, though, as not many people will appreciate the sheer uniqueness of the vocals. Also, their live performances are awesome.

This is my personal favorite band, and I can totally see why some people dislike them. They are incredible, though, because of the unique style of Math Rock and Prog they produce. Not to mention, they have two vocalists. Every member of the band is extremely talented, and they are far too underrated. (TK's voice is not for everyone.)

This is the group that got me into J-rock! I'm kind of surprised that they are not as well-known overseas, but it's great that I'm able to enjoy their music anyway. TK, Miyoko, and Nakano are all unbelievably talented artists with different (but AWESOME) styles of playing music, and I hope to hear much more from them in the future!

16 Abingdon Boys School

Those who do not have any idea about music can easily be educated if they listen to it carefully. But if they don't understand this because of all the extreme things these guys are doing, then you better stop listening to rock. Abingdon Boys School combines guitars that play at the same scale and level, at the same beat but with different touches. The keyboard not only supports the guitars but also adds new effects, and bassist IKUO, my third god, is awesome at everything. The drums make it perfectly clear that this band is awesome. And then, vocalist TAKANORI totally makes this band immortal in music.

Abingdon Boys School never disappoints. Nishikawa has gathered some of the best musicians out there, and their combination is electrifying. Whether it's the euphoric keyboards of "Athena" or the heavy guitars of "Via Dolorosa," each song is a masterpiece. SUNAO's and Shibasaki's styles are very different, but they complement each other perfectly. Kishi's keyboards and programming give them a really cool futuristic sound. Nishikawa's voice is godlike. His vibratos are the best. ABS totally deserves a higher spot on this list!

I love all of their songs, and especially Takanori, you're the best quality singer for me. Now that you're back after so long, I've been waiting for your new single "WE aRE." You bring my heart and soul down with "From Dusk Till Dawn - INCH UP," make me emotional in "Nephilim," and empower me to sing "STRENGTH" all the time.

Great sound. They have two great guitar players. They should have longer leads to showcase their talents. The drummer is excellent too. I suppose a jam band might not appeal to Japanese fans, but if you're already a fan, then longer guitar leads are just icing on the cake.

17 Girugamesh

I love Girugamesh so much that I can't ever get bored of them. That's why I can't come up with any idea that would explain why they are at the bottom of the top 20. I bet you think the same as I do: Girugamesh deserves a much higher placement for who they are. I know many fans stopped following them because they were disappointed with Girugamesh's new music style, but please reconsider, like I did. Their music isn't just metal. It always develops into an unexpectedly great sound. The fact that each member is getting older, but they keep renewing their music like it was freshly made, makes them unique. They may not be as outstanding as they used to be in those old glory days (2005-2009), but they are still unique as ever. They are never perfect, like the other bands that were voted to be on top, but their nonstop hard work and effort make them lovable and highly appreciated by us. Moreover, they hold remarkably impressive live performances both in Japan and all over the world. Not only ...more

Girugamesh is such an underrated band. Their music is unique, and there isn't a single band that has the same sound as they do. With such original instrumentals and heartwarming lyrics, and with the energy they give you during their songs and the impact they have on people's lives, Girugamesh should definitely be listed as the number one band. It is really hard to put into words how amazing they are. I just love this band to death!

Girugamesh was the most amazing J-rock band that I've ever heard, the very first in fact. The vocalist, guitarist, bassist, and drummer all have it down and coordinate perfectly together, which just sounds amazing. If it wasn't for Girugamesh, I would have never given J-rock a chance. Now it's my favorite music in the world. Girugamesh will always be the greatest!

They are the first band that made such an impact on me! They are just fantastic! Girugamesh's music is as powerful as they are during their concerts. I wish I could attend one someday. I also admire them because they work on their music themselves - Satoshi (vocalist) writes the lyrics, Ryo (drummer) writes most of the melodies, and Nii and Shuu help him. You should just listen to them!

18 hide w/ Spread Beaver

Hide (since he did not capitalize his name) was and always will be the best rocker for me. He was caring and amazing, and his voice was just awesome. Hide, though gone now, will never, ever be forgotten because he is the best there is. He even had a museum built for him. Hide will always be in my heart, my thoughts, and my music player.

Hide's solo projects were amazing, given that they weren't like the work he did with X Japan, but they had to be the most successful out of all the other members' solo projects. His guitar playing is truly unique, and even today, people still remember him as a legend.

Hide rocked! It's a shame he passed. Talented musicians always seem to die young. I like Hide because I've never heard guitar played the way he played it, and he was such a unique individual with his vocal style as well as his appearance. Pink Spider~

Just hear him (Hide) play music, and you'll understand. Remember, always Hide. No one can play guitar like that.

19 Alice Nine

From Shou's vocals to the instrumentals of Tora, Saga, Hiroto, and Nao, Alice Nine is definitely a band to watch. They have the most beautiful melodies I've ever heard, and their compositions are both deeply moving and amazing to listen to. This band places a high emphasis on their music, and the fact that each member contributes to the overall song composition is a key factor when it comes to this band. I think they deserve a much higher rank because, judging by their music, their lyrics, and their passion, they're certainly the greatest visual kei band I've ever encountered.

Alice Nine is one of the visual kei bands that changed my perception of J-rock songs. The main reason I became an A9 fan is their collection of great lyrics. Besides the meaningful and beautiful lyrics, this band is also, I can say, one of the visual kei bands with good-looking members. Yes, all of them are incredibly good-looking. Try listening to all their songs. You'll love them. Trust me.

Although looks are not the most important (though they do help), the band has grown over the years. Musically, they have become very strong (Gemini is truly epic). They have now shifted in a direction that showcases their growth in many ways. Each of their songs is very detailed in terms of rhythm (bass and drums), solos, and rhythm guitar licks. Even Shou's voice has improved, like a fine wine, over the years.

This is a band that demonstrates unity, akin to a family. They also have great closeness with their fans. Shou conveys immense emotion when he sings. When Hiroto and Tora play their guitars, you can feel their excellent synchronization. Saga creates all the magic with his bass, and when Nao plays the drums, it touches you deeply. Alice Nine is awesome!

20 SuG

They are the happiest and cutest J-rock band I have ever seen. Unlike other J-rock bands, which often have a darker image, they always have a bright and colorful image. They have happy songs with positive meanings, like Toy Soldier, which makes us feel happy when we listen to it. Besides happy songs, they also compose songs like Misora that touch you when you listen to them. They always work hard and care for their fans. They are the best J-rock band I have ever seen and heard.

The music SuG creates has always been a wonderful medicine for me. It's helped me get through hard times, and I always wear a smile on my face when listening to certain songs. Their positive attitude and cheerful look seem much more attractive than darker bands.

SuG is the best kei band ever! Even if their songs may be similar to others, I always choose them as one of my favorite bands. I hope my band can be just like them, like Takeru. I want to sing with him someday, hopefully within the next three years. I hope my dream will come true.

SuG is the most unique band I have ever heard. They are the most important thing to me. They've literally saved my life. I've never been so impacted by a band before. They deserve all the good things in the world.

21 Luna Sea

They do deserve more credit, for this band was what Elvis Presley was to the Rock genre. The great pioneer and forefather of Visual Kei and Japanese rock as a whole. Yet, this list is kind of flawed in the sense that it says "best," not "most influential," "most popular," or even "most influential now," which are much more easily agreed upon. Also, I enjoy listening to other artists more, such as Versailles and the GazettE.

That was a test to see how triggered the fans can get. But seriously, these fans... I haven't seen such pretentiousness in a J-rock fanbase before. I don't know why, either. Most grown adults who like classic bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith don't look down on people who like other bands that draw inspiration. Oh, wait a second. Adults.

What? No. 27? You must be kidding me. Have people simply never heard of this amazing J-rock legend, or are most people who vote just some random anime fanboys and fangirls who 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, offering a strong sense of rhythm yet intricate 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 have finally reunited to produce more music! I really look forward to their upcoming original album in 13 years, which I ...more

You're kidding, right? Luna Sea was one of the pioneers of Japanese rock! How are they so far behind? While those bands are still really good, Luna Sea needs a higher position. Seriously, they're classics. That's like saying Beethoven's music isn't as good as Yiruma's. Get Luna Sea to the top ten at least, please! The bands above them are really new and haven't had as much of an impact on the industry as Luna Sea has. In terms of best, a lasting influence should be included in that, right? Stop being ridiculous and vote for Luna Sea!

If Luna Sea is not in the top ten on this list, this list is stupid. I love X Japan, but come on, their style never evolved (Dahlia: 1997 album containing singles from 1993, and the sound of this album is nothing out of the ordinary). I would still put them around the 3rd position. The Gazette: It's awesome that these guys have crossed over to the US, but that is about it. Nightmare, SID, and SKIN, are you serious? Come on, fanboy, you can do better than this. Janne Da Arc: awesome guitarist, but I haven't heard something worth putting in the top ten. Never heard of UVERworld. Laruku's first stuff was out of this world, but their latest albums have been half-assed work (I would still put them in the top ten). Dir en Grey and Asian Kung Fu, I agree with the spots they are in. As for Luna Sea, I would rate them number one and let the music do the talking (forget what they look like and their diva attitudes, just listen to the music).

22 Flow

They aren't my favorite Japanese rock band, but they deserve to be known for more than just their anime songs. That's how I discovered them, but I dug deeper and bought half of their studio albums. I did this only because the other half weren't conveniently available to Americans. The point is, music is music, and FLOW does music well.

I fell in love with their music the first time I heard it. They're so cool! They produce classic rock that is really fun to listen to and sing (I can sing a few of their songs, including GO! and Remember). Singing their songs helps pass the time easily. They're a great Japanese rock band, and very popular too. You gotta love them!

FLOW is a one-of-a-kind band, and each song has a quirkiness to it with amazing lyrics that help me understand them. There are many different songs by them, and you're sure to find a song you can relate to. They have done many memorable anime openings as well, such as Code Geass' first opening COLORS, Naruto Shippuden Opening 6 Sign, Naruto opening 4 GO!, and Dragon Ball Z Movie 14: Kami to Kami's HERO Kibou no Uta. They are definitely close to #1 in my books, no doubt about it.

I've seen them perform right in front of my eyes during AFA 2011. Wow! They're so good that even my friend, who's a bit conservative, was jumping especially hard when they played our favorite song "Sign" (one of the Naruto Shippuden OSTs). We were awed. Really, I love them!

23 Mucc

This position is inappropriate for thinking of a band like MUCC. MUCC is not just a band but a project that has stood since they were kids. Miya, the leader, has great knowledge of music, a sad past but indomitable will, and always creates touching melodies. Tatsurou is the singer that moves me and makes me understand how much life is important. Their lyrics are the proof. The energy of Satoshi, the "loyalty" of Yukke, and their appearances - so funny and original at the same time - make them a unique band in their genre, not classifiable as visual kei. MUCC is not about mere appearance, cool outfits, or fanservice. MUCC is music.

It doesn't surprise me that they are underrated. It took me a long time to recognize Mucc as the awesome band they are. I used to love L'Arc, Gazette, Giru, etc., but over time they bored me because they became monotonous and low on creativity. Mucc has a mixture of the amazing voice of Tatsuro in the first place and the music made by the talented musicians who are Miya, Yukke, and Satochi. They really are very creative musicians, and they are so cute and nice. Mucc is underrated because they don't wear outlandish costumes so common in J-music groups that appeal to people, but they don't need it!

Never-ending list of genres these guys can handle, and they've always got more to offer. From riverside songs like Yasashi Uta to hardcore metal, they have such a rich style. Their bassist and drummer are amazing, both backing up Tatsurou, a vocalist that reaches the soul and calls forth memories.

MUCC is a band that can do just about anything. Any genre, they'll do an awesome job. From jazzy to electro, heavy rock to pop, they always play with a lot of emotion and energy! Their bassist is just amazing.

24 Beat Crusaders

Madly catchy songs! Every song has a different feel and is very creative. Songs like Ghost and Let's Escape Tonight are awesome and can't be found anywhere else.

Beat Crusaders totally own compared to the others. Hit in America and Tonight are super sweet songs. You just can't beat the Crusaders.

Why isn't this in the top 10? This doesn't make any sense. Really, I don't get it.

Legends. Wish they would get back together.

25 FLiP

In Niche Syndrome, the band is already pretty good. Their music is quite different from your mainstream, popular J-Rock band. It feels more like Alt. Rock. Other than Wonderland, their other songs don't feel so 'anime.' And I also recommend their album Love Toxicity. Not that Niche Syndrome was bad, but they seriously got a whole lot better in their latest album!

Anyway, if you like an all-female band with dark-themed, less anime-ish kind of J-Rock, I guarantee you'll easily put them at the top of your playlist.

Kind of wish they'd change their name, though. The name FLiP isn't exactly easy to Google for.

FLiP's all the way down here? After Kazana and Kaa to Naigo? Plus, putting all their PVs on the LE for their second album? Plus the B-sides from their two singles prior to it? These girls are FAR more talented than 51st place. Yuko's guitar solos ALONE, along with Sachiko's vocals and how Yuumi can pull off the cute and cool thing, are why I'm a fan. Their first full album sealed the deal, and even in their indie days, they were good. I was hooked the first time I heard them, and it pains me to see them all the way down here.

This band is outstanding! Girls, kick out Scandal!

Good music. I like it a lot.

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