I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, June 9, 2017


Rock music isn't exactly my forte but even I have to admit thinking the name LUNA SEA as one of the cleverest and coolest monikers for a Japanese rock band. And strangely enough, according to the J-Wiki write-up, it did originate from the band's first name, LUNACY. The band first came into being in 1986 via a couple of high school buddies, Jun "J" Onose(小野瀬潤)and Kiyonobu "Inoran" Inoue(井上清信)after which  Yasuhiro "Sugizo" Sugihara(杉原康弘)and Shinya Yamada(山田真矢)joined in 1989. Finally, the most famous member, vocalist Ryuichi Kawamura(河村隆一)entered the band later that year. The name change from LUNACY to LUNA SEA took place in 1990.

I hadn't paid too much attention since visual kei wasn't my thing and my early memories of LUNA SEA were the members in makeup and outrageous clothing. But it looks like by the time I returned to Japan in late 1994, Kawamura and the band had toned down their looks to a large extent.

Now, JTM was the first collaborator on "Kayo Kyoku Plus" to put up a LUNA SEA article through his elaboration of the theme song for the Fuji-TV drama "Kami Sama Mou Sukoshi Dake"(神様、もう少しだけ), "I For You". As for me, my biggest memory of the band was from their 8th single, "IN SILENCE" which was released back in July 1996. I remember the song getting lots of airplay and I especially liked the refrain where Kawamura unleashes that voice of his and the percolating guitar work.

Created by LUNA SEA, "IN SILENCE" went all the way up to No. 2 on Oricon. It was even used as the image song for the American CBS drama "Chicago Hope" via TV Asahi. The single was also placed on the band's 5th album "STYLE" which came out in April 1996 with a No. 1 ranking and an eventual place at No. 30 on the yearly charts. The end of 1996 would signal the band's sabbatical from recording or performing for about a year so "IN SILENCE" was the final single before the break. I think it was during this time that Kawamura started popping up on TV screens regularly due to his solo career.

Now, the boy in the music video for "IN SILENCE" is rather interesting. I had no idea until I was about to write up this article that he was future actor/tarento Eiji Wentz(ウエンツ瑛士). The reason I mention him is that he became a regular sighting for me on the variety shows as this strapping half-Japanese and half-German-American lad goofing it up. Wentz is the fellow on the far left of the row of foodies chowing down on some don.

Apparently, according to the article on "IN SILENCE", during the filming of the video, little Wentz had to hold the true corpse of a bird (perhaps he was truly screaming in that scene) and he said that he was so scared of the thing that he was on the verge of tears. I hope the director had the good sense to at least fumigate it.

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