MALICE MIZER (マリス・ミゼル or in Romanji, Marisu Mizeru) is really what got Mana where he is today. "Malice Mizer" is a term created by the band originating from the words "Malice" and "Misery". Eventually they would become a real legend in Jrock history and there are still fans today whom wish to see them reform. Who knows, maybe they will some day.
Mana and Kozi formed the band in 1992 after having performed together in the band 摩天楼 ( Matenrou -- which translates to "Skyscraper"）. Mana and Kozi's newly formed band, Malice Mizer, consisted of Mana (g), Kozi (g), Tetsu (v), Yu~ki (b), and Gaz (dr). Shortly after the band formed, Gaz was fired and never really made much of an appearance with the band. Gaz was almost instantly replaced by Kami as the new drummer. Tetsu eventually quit Malice Mizer and was replaced nearly a year later by Gackt when the band was at an all time low.
With Gackt and Kami as the newest additions to the band, Malice Mizer was ready to take on the Visual Kei and Jrock scene. They performed a variety of music; ranging hard rock to music with elements of French pop, classical, and listless variations inbetween. Malice Mizer was never based around just one style in particular. The band members were constantly experimenting with new styles and conceptions to their music. The blend of not only music but band members and their creative ideas drew in thousands of fans and created them as a legend.
The main idea behind Malice Mizer however, was the concept and questioning of "What is Human?". For Malice Mizer, this concept was a constant exploration that gave them even more meaningful insight as to their purposes and goals as a band. They were able to aesthetically interpret their ideas from their elaborate costumes all the way to the heart of their music. In fact, while their music had a large selection of contrast, so did the messages behind the songs. Malice Mizer was known for their music incorporating subjects such as war, occult, 18th century life styles, angels, demons, and vampires.
It was a range from belief systems, super natural, and even worldly occurances. All of these concepts tend to tie into the possibilities of answers to the band's main question -- What is human? Are we products of Malice and Mizery, or is there something more? Is there something to be had from worldly pain diving from the depts of a spiritual world?
Through their years together, Malice Mizer had become exceptionally well known in the Japanese visual kei movement. During the era of Gackt as vocalist, Malice Mizer was finding their albums to be hitting record highs on the music charts -- reaching #2 with their album Merveilles. Their sets and performances were large and eleborate, consisting not only of musical performances, but also small skits and instrumental solos. However, in 1999 during the making of Malice Mizer's newest single, Le Ciel trouble arose and tables started to turn when Gackt decided to leave Malice Mizer to persue a solo career due to his success with Malice Mizer as a vocalist. This was the first time the band got into a real fight and couldn't even look each other in the eyes.
It was around that same time tragedy arose. Malice Mizer's drummer, Kami, passed away from a sub-arachnoid hemmorhage in his brain. A weakness in his brain which has no symptoms (an anneurysm) burst while he was sleeping. No one knew it was going to happen but at least he didn't really die a painful death (after all, he was asleep when it happened). Kami's body was found about 3-4 days after he died. A small funeral was held that day with Kami's closest friends and family. Gackt was never invited to this funeral or informed of Kami's death, which seemed to make hard times worse.
After the tragedy of Kami, Malice Mizer decided to never replace him with an official drummer. Kami would be known in all Malice Mizer publications as "Eternal Blood Relative". The band played without any real drummer or singer for a while, but Klaha was soon found; first as a guest singer then, eventually the newest addition to the Malice Mizer family.
As a group, Malice Mizer played for one more year now with Klaha, Mana, Yu~ki, and Kozi as the remaining members. The appearances of the band members and style of music drastically changed from that of mass variety and themes to the concept of Gothic and Horror perspectives. Their new album and singles would consist mostly of dark heavy music, with inspiration found in classical pieces along with rock and dark, gothic-y sounds. After that year, the group went on hiatus in December 2001, and each member went their separate way.
-The After-Math of Malice Mizer-
Mana-Now leader and founder of his own solo project- Moi dix Mois
Kozi-Also working on his own solo career and as of 2008 has been making a few appearances with Mana. He performed a session band playing Malice Mizer music at Dis Inferno (Moi dix Mois' yearly end-of-year concert) and later in the summer of 2009 performed with Moi dix Mois during their tour titled "Deep Sanctuary".
Yu~ki-After the Malice Mizer hiatus, Yu~ki helped Kozi kick start his own solo career helping to compose pieces of music with him. Currently Yu~ki has been in contact with Mana and plans to perform with Moi dix Mois' on their summer 2010 tour "Deep Sanctuary 2".
Klaha-Klaha also was working on a solo career of his own but shut down everything in Fall 2004 to take a break. He came back in winter of 2005, but nobody has heard much of anything on him since then.
Tetsu-Tetsu has been working with a variety of bands and solo careers after Malice Mizer. He is currently with the band Nil.
Gackt-Gackt became a world famous jpop icon and is still performing as a highly praised and successful soloist to this day.