The Land of the Rising Sun is famous for a lot of reasons: sushi, wacky television shows, cat cafés, robots, anime and panty-dispensing vending machines. Another aspect of Japan that gets a lot of press is the unique music scene, with the public eye usually centered around kawaii J-pop culture.
The country’s plummeting birth rate and sky-high suicide rate leave behind a population in crisis. In times of panic, people like to shut off their brains, and what better way to escape than a pair of headphones and something to jam to?
Speaking of J-pop, this list starts out with one of the weirdest bands in the genre. BABYMETAL must be what pop music sounds like in Hell. Take three cute Japanese girls who sing their hearts out while wearing cute and fluffy outfits. Throw in some pentagrams, sacrificial goat blood and a metal backing band. Shake them all up, and you’ve got a kawaii-metal band cocktail.
2. World’s End Girlfriend
While the name World’s End Girlfriend actually does sound like the name of another J-pop idol group, this music is the work of one man. World’s End Girlfriend blends Japanese classical music with Aphex Twin style drum programming and turns out something crazy.
3. Shugo Tokumaru
The music of Shugo Tokumaru bustles with life and energy. You’d probably be surprised to learn that all of the music and instrumentation was written and recorded by one person. If the amazing music video for Katachi is any indication of the time involved in his creative process, it’s surprising he’s even put out more than one album.
My personal favourite from this list, Myavi is a very talented guitarist and irresitably eccentric. His music a mix of industrial/punk with of course his own Japenese flair.
5. World Order
Front Man and MMA superstar Genki Sudo formed this ‘boy band’ after his retiring from Mix Martial Arts. They’re best known for their elaborate choreographed dance perfomances, and their youtube has over 84 million views. In 2012 the group help set a world record for largest group ‘robot dance’ when having 647 people dancing to their self titled song World Order in downtown Tokyo