Welcome Visual-san!! (Last time)
The "brute writer" Kadokawa Keiko, who loves visual kei, teaches us all about it.
This month's band:
The most important character in the aesthetic visual scene makes his advent on Saizo!!
He is the leader of the music project Moi dix Mois. He was also the leader of the famous and influential V-kei band MALICE MIZER now on hiatus. He has also produced Kanon Wakeshima, whom we covered in September of this series. He is called "Mana-Sama" by his fans, and there is no exaggeration with the name "sama". Mana-Sama, who is always dressed in the Gothic Lolita fashion, started up the brand Moi-meme-Moitie in his own image, and designs as well as produces and manages it. It is the Saizo advent of the V-kei androgynous god!
New Album (Planed to be released on December 15)
A way to describe it in a single word would be "Genuine". Many V-kei bands have done similar things, but you have not listened to a band with complete works to this degree! A good point of the songs are that the lyrics have a well performed quality, and there is no other like him [Mana] after you see and hear this artist first hand. The aesthetic style of Mana-Sama is like nobody else. No other person could possibly mimic Mana-Sama!! Aah, it is possible to say he is truly distinguished. When I got to see Mana and his behaviors, I became very nervous (laughs).
"Recently I bought Snoopy pajamas to wear when I'm sleeping"
Mana (Initial, M) Thank you very much.
--Mana-Sama is speaking!
--First of all, tell us the origin of your name.
M: waa, don't ask that…. This is a hard question (laughs).
-- On Wikipedia it mentions you go by 魔名* [Mana]……
(*Side note -- these are very specific kanji which Mana has chosen to write his name)
M: I use a name that interested me. Its not what I actively use as an artist, but the maniacs (rabid fans) seem to know about it.
-- So then, is the origin a secret?
M: Well, it does sell as mysterious. huhuhuhu……
--What is some kind of characteristic about lives you haven't talked about before?
M: Probably the foundation.
-- So did you wake up to music?
M: When I was in middle school I listened to western style Heavy Metal, and I thought "There is so much violence in this kind of music!". So in high school I started up a band. Now I incorporate classical music, but as a matter of fact I never learned about classical music.
-- ehh! So one day you thought about having classical music as the basis. Did you teach yourself?
M: I did……it seems (laughs). My parents are music teachers, so since I was a child I've lived in an environment where classical music was always being played.
--What instrument did you play in your first band?
M: I played drums.
-- Wow! Thats surprising (laughs) One bus? Two bus?
M: Two bus.
-- and so it was a metal band?
M: I did heavy metal, but in particular it was a punk band.
-- (laughs). So you started out in full blown music?
M: After I left my parent's home I went to Osaka. During that time I played guitar, but it was a lot of trial and error, but I pressed on with the instrument.
--Therefore you found your talent?
M: No, I said things more like "What am I cut out for?"
-- We've been covering a lot of V-kei bands stories up until now, and all the band members who do more feminine style unanimously say "I studied the make up, clothes, and work ethics of Mana-Sama". It was Mana-Sama who practically started this whole androgynous style, isn't it?
M: When thinking the meaning of this through to the extreme, I could have been the beginning.
-- How do you take advantage of that?
M: I questioned inside of myself what is "the ultimate female image," that was when I was doing the frame work for the band during MALICE MIZER time. I thought about the fine arts and how to do it in a theatrical way. Therefore, I investigated that question.
-- Why did Mana-Sama originally think of looking good in a feminine style?
M: I thoroughly studied and looked at feminine styles, and I wanted to try it for myself.
-- And you are particularly beautiful!
M: Even now I do all my make up myself. Because I wanted to create an image of beauty in myself, I thoroughly studied myself.
-- There are rumors that when Mana-Sama goes to his neighborhood convenience store he dresses in gothic clothes……
M: I didn't know about that (laughs), but actually I don't only own black clothes. I don't have blue jeans either though.
-- What do you wear when you go to sleep?
M: I don't have a jersey. Recently I purchased Snoopy pajamas, so now I wear those when I go to sleep.
-- Do you like the character Snoopy?
M: When I was a child I slept in a Snoopy futon, and since I was really attached to that, I still like Snoopy.
-- What color are your pajamas?
M: Light blue.
-- Wow, Mana-Sama wears something that isn't black. I want to see!
Keiko's Interview Subscripts
This important artist has been performing for more than 10 years, and Mana-Sama showed up 5 minutes before we started covering the article. I was very surprised. He said "……I am prepared to speak" and since he does not speak on TV and such other members speak for him, so it was something special to hear his voice. I have been in charge of this series for about two years now, and every androgynous artist has said they are aware of Mana-Sama's members costumes and staging. It was wonderful to be able to meet Mana-Sama. I give thanks to be able to have such a brilliant series finale. To all the readers who have continued on with my series, Thank you!
Translated by: Sarah@Mana-sama.net
I interchangeably used the words "feminine appearance" and "androgynous" throughout the article, but the words originally used in Japanese are more closely associated with the idea of a male performer acting the role of a female, similar to the idea of Kabuki. I changed the words around a little for more convenience for foreign readers to be able to understand, but I hope this explanation helps a little!!