Top 10 Best Japanese Rock Singers

From visual kei to heavy metal, the top 10 Japanese rock singers.
The Top Ten
1 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.

I must say that I love both Kyo and Ruki very much, and I think they are both superb vocalists. I hope people/fans on both sides would stop bashing these two amazing vocalists. They have different singing styles and different musical pursuits, so stop saying stuff like "his songs are so much better," because your opinion is not everyone else's.

Both Kyo and Ruki's voices have reached into my soul and touched me in different ways. Kyo amazes me with his raw emotions pouring through his screams and growls. Ruki's voice, on the other hand, always immediately seems to be able to pull me into the world of the song. However, I personally lean a little more towards the darker side of things, and Kyo's songs and emotions in his voice just cut through my soul like a sharp knife sometimes. I also have to admit that Kyo does more amazing things with his voice than Ruki, though I'm not saying that Ruki's technique isn't good. He is easily one of the best vocalists I've heard, up there with Kyo.

2 Takanori Matsumoto (Ruki) - The GazettE

It's true that Kyo from DeG has a wider range of vocals, reaches higher tunes, and so on, but that only says he's got a better voice. Being a singer is much more than having a good voice. It is about using it properly to sound perfect in every live performance. Of course, there are concerts where Kyo sounds great, but he has to deal with significant throat problems (operations) for pushing his voice too far. Too many times, his voice does not sound as good live as the studio versions. The problem is just that he refuses to get taught or trained in singing (which isn't really bad, it's his style), and therefore he doesn't get to make the most of his unique voice. That's the only point for me to say Ruki is better than Kyo. As for their live performances, both are just incredible and give all they have.

3 Iwagami Tatsuro - MUCC

Tatsuro's voice is simply one of the best voices I know so far. He can interpret almost every song with such deep feelings. His voice is powerful yet full of emotion. It can have energy, and even slow songs are amazing. I learned to love his voice, and almost every time I hear it, I get goosebumps, and a shudder will run down my spine. That is all because of his voice, which can bring all this power through his voice!

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 something you have to be born with. Because just working on it is never enough, if you don't have something that is called God-given talent.

4 Toshimitsu 'Toshi' Deyama - X-Japan, Toshi and T-Earth

His voice is really improving again. I think he's taking classes again. I hope he can be even better in the future. ToshI has an amazing voice, like rough, and X JAPAN melodies are also difficult to sing. And another thing... he asked his fans to ignore the existence of Toshi With T-EARTH and all his projects for the label Healing Music due to personal and professional problems.

Amazing singer, his voice is so unique, and he has the perfect rock voice. I think he should be number 1 on this list. He can hit every note amazingly, he can make you feel the emotion in the song he sings. Him, Yoshiki, and the other bandmates are outstanding together. In my book, I think they are number 1!

5 Hyde - L'Arc~en~Ciel

This guy needs to be in the top 3, but to me, he is the best Japanese rock singer. His vocal range is so wide, and his voice continues to evolve through the years. It's not only the range but the variety of voice Hyde has to offer.

He has this particular tone with Laruku, which made me follow him. I'm a fan of Jrock bands and their vocalists. I understand that there are pure qualifications that can add more points to a Japanese rock singer, but his unique voice has reached international fans like me.

I love the other voice and emotion that Vamps and his solo work have to offer. To my surprise, Who's Gonna Save US sounded like Linkin Park to me.

Even at 50+, you can see he has also improved his English, reaching more international fans. His voice knows how to please girls.

Not related to rock, but this guy sings well in different genres and with the right emotion. He has songs for all occasions.

6 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... read more

Listening to his album for FFVII Dirge of Cerberus got me into Japanese music in the first place. His music and the way he performs is extremely admirable. His voice is great, deep, sexy... I guess you can say he's my idol. He's an actor too, which is great! Just listen to Vanilla, Mizerable, Storm, Luna, Redemption, Episode.0, Ever, and maybe even Dears, I'll definitely keep up with being a fan of his!

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!

7 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 questions 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.

8 Hideto 'Hide' Matsumoto - X-Japan and Hide with Spread 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 guitarists. 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 a very good vocal range, to the point where he would sing backup for himself in some songs. I would have to listen to the song again just to make sure it was him. He was a musical genius. Period.

Even though he was Japan's greatest guitarist, he was also a great singer with songs such as Goodbye or Rocket Dive.

9 Kamijo - Versailles

He's definitely a 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, whether it's singing or speaking, and not get tired. He has a really lovely voice and uses it in music quite well!

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

10 Hizumi - D'ESPAIRSRAY

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 to surrender to throat sickness is a huge loss for the industry.

Hizumi's voice isn't just a voice... it's a voice healing the soul. Come back!

I dunno, I just love his voice. It's so touching, heart warming. He is my inspiration. And also I love him as a person. I think he is just perfect

The Contenders
11 Haruna Ono - SCANDAL

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

12 Koshi Inaba - B'z

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 is still going strong. With 45 singles and 22 albums hitting number 1 on 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.

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?

13 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.

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

14 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.

15 Satoshi - Girugamesh

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!

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

16 Ryuichi Kawamura - Luna Sea

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 a heavy deep metal rock voice to mellow pop. And now in his late thirties, he changed again to opera. Just continuing to adapt and perfecting his voice, which is a difficult streak when you're such a veteran rock/pop vocalist.

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

17 Takanori Nishikawa - T.M.Revolution

If you never knew about T.M. Revolution & Abingdon Boys School then YouTube it. You will love his performance. His voice is very unique and energetic. Consider the mix style of Techno and Rock. I think he is definitely the one who specializes in this field. His T.M. Revolution focused on techno in the early era before shifting to a more rock-style later. Abingdon Boys School is more like metal rock style where his bursting voice suits it perfectly.

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.

18 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, the camera loves him. He's beautiful.

19 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 a really good 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 "normally," and scream very well. In live performances, his voice stays perfect throughout the concert. And he's a great composer too. The lyrics he sings are beautiful. That's why I think that Mao should be higher in this ranking!

20 Mao - SID

Mao should have been higher than this. The main thing I 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 hit it full body sprawled, but his voice didn't even WAVER. I thought that was pretty damn amazing.

21 Kohara Kazamasa (Shou) - Alice Nine

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 is true, not a charade. He feels deeply and is able to translate those emotions into beautiful, poetic lyrics that state normal emotions in ways you may not have ever thought of them.

I used to only listen to instrumental music. But his voice totally blew me away. It's deep and rich, yet he is able to sing softly when he pleases. It's also smooth but has a nice vibrato. I've never come across such a unique voice that is both so energizing and soothing! It's therapeutic to listen to him.

22 Sakurai Atsushi - BUCK-TICK

Yes, Atsushi Sakurai has a voice that has its own charm. He's very strong-willed too. I keep thinking back to when he was very ill, yet by his singing and performance, you would have never known. He was later hospitalized and then back on his feet before too long.

His voice is "charm" all on its own. Such a deep voice that can alternate to a much higher pitch... It's incredible. He's aged well, and his voice has grown even greater. He's a very passionate artist and belongs right up front on stage, despite his shyness.

Everyone in BUCK-TICK is a wonderful asset to the band, but Sakurai's voice is what easily made them my favorite band. With such beautiful, distinctive vocals, he belongs at the top. I've heard plenty of male singers, and many of them have this similarity, but not Atsushi.

After hearing him and BUCK-TICK, no other music sounded quite right to me for a long while. Not to mention how quickly I became addicted to them. Almost immediately. After a day of Sakurai's music [yes, a day, because I couldn't stop listening to their songs], I was hooked.

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks... Well, why would you want to when they're this good?

23 YOMI - Nightmare

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 vocalists who sound terrible live). He never disappoints. Furthermore, 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 vocalists who smoke).

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.

24 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?

25 Takuya - UVERworld

Takuya is a wonderful, sentimental person. He is so talented, always trying to surpass himself in any way possible. He's 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.

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 for UVERworld's 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.

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