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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Visual kei vs. K-Pop

I'll try to be as unbiased in this post as possible, because the comments I saw on this particular Youtube video just freakin' pissed me off. I'll be honest, I like both visual kei and K-pop, but I like visual kei more. I'm basically an anything-goes person, and where music is concerned, as long as I like it, I don't care about language, genre and/or country of origin.

In general, this is my opinion: visual kei music spans a rather wide range of music genres, but their bands are usually made up from a basic form of a drummer, a vocalist, two guitarists and a bassist. Hence, their music are more concentrated to the quality of the guitar and vocal sounds. K-pop is in general more dance-friendly, their groups are usually large and are more centered towards individual vocal ability and dance performances. Their genre is obviously pop, but sometimes interlaced with a few elements of other genres.

I discovered visual kei when I was 13 and got hooked. It was a suddenly blast of inspiration - I liked rock (which many of the bands provided me with), the way their make-up, hairstyles and costumes looked flawless, and just the feeling of being a fan of something so unique was beautiful.

K-pop I discovered later, which was when Sorry Sorry by Super Junior got popular in Malaysia. At first I didn't really catch on to the "trend", but I found the music getting more and more catchy. K-pop slowly grew around the world, especially in Malaysia. I'm no hardcore fan, but I do enjoy their music, their dance moves.

I'm no hardcore fan of both sides - I get occasional cravings for both types of music every now and then. However, if I were asked to choose one I really liked, I would definitely choose visual kei. Why? Because visual kei changed my life - I started learning make-up, took up the guitar (though I haven't touched it for over a year already), and most importantly found the key in striking up a relationship with my current BF.

Here are the songs/artists they compared against each other:

1. Pink Masquerade by SuG vs Heartbreaker by G-Dragon
Completely irrelevant to each other except perhaps the background of the music video.

2. Senkou by Alice Nine vs Man Man Ha Ni? by U-Kiss
I also do not see anything that is worth comparing.

3. Destiny {The Lovers} by Versailles by Raining by FT Island
HOW?! Versailles - neo-classical aristocratic French style. FT Island - K-pop style. Music-wise, also nothing too similar to compare.

4. Love Scream Party by SuG vs BinGeul {Round and Round} by U-Kiss
LSP - catchy pop-y love song. BinGeul - techno-hip hop dance. Why?

5. Horizon by D'espairsRay vs Cry by MBLAQ
Dark VK vs dance pop.

6. You by KAT-TUN vs Love Girl by CNBlue
I have no comment on this one because KAT-TUN is J-pop, and I actually prefer Love Girl on this one.

7. Eve by Vidoll vs Rainism by Rain
I'm beginning to rest my case.

8. Invisible Wall by the GazettE vs 2PM Heartbeat Cover by No Min Woo
HOW THE HELL DID THIS GET COMPARED TO INVISIBLE WALL?! No Min Woo is obviously a talented guy, but really. What was the video creator thinking? Oh right, his username shows his utter devotion to him.

However, this wasn't what pissed me off. The video barely made me feel speechless. It was the comments that made me want to curse and swear. I'm not saying all K-pop fans are the same, but this guy was just offensive to me.

I know K-pop style and visual kei styles are almost completely different. However, it's called visual kei for a reason.

Visual kei is more popular than he thinks, though I will admit it's not as widespread as K-pop. K-pop is Korean popular music, it's name is self-explanatory. As I mentioned earlier, visual kei has more rock sounds, and hence is not everyone's cup of tea. K-pop itself is almost suitable for everyone - their music is really catchy and is played all over the place.

VISUAL KEI IS NOT A !@#$% COPY OF WESTERN GLAM-ROCK STYLE! He could at least make it sound more subtle by saying VK is inspired by Western glam-rock style. And FYI, ignorant Youtuber, there are many different types of visual kei styles, each one different from the other.

WEARING MAKE-UP AND HAVING ELABORATE HAIRSTYLES DO NOT MAKE THEM GLAM/TRANVESTITE DRAG QUEENS! Ever watched Bambi, ignorant Youtuber? "If you have nothing good to say, don't say anything at all." When have you seen them wearing wigs, wearing drag make-up and faking boobs? Please go Google drag queens and do your research before you even dare think of comparing VK musicians with drag queens.

Visual kei is a style culture, and different visual kei bands perform different genres. Some bands even play a multiple of genres, ranging from ballads to screamo. They are not limited to "powerpop-rock".

Like I said before, I like K-pop and visual kei. However, insulting visual kei musicians just because they wear more make-up, hairstyles and more elaborate costumes is unacceptable. Some may agree with this person, however to each his own - I prefer visual kei over K-pop, and you don't see me libeling and slandering K-pop fans and musicians.

I will continue loving visual kei, and I will also continue listening to K-pop, no matter how much some of their fans step on visual kei, when they obviously don't know enough about the genre.



  1. i think this video is funny. but why would you dislike this video? do you just not like the fact that two different genres were compared or did somehow VK not get represented correctly in your opinion?

    it's just that I like KPop much better, and I have no problem with this. I just think maybe the uploader shoulda used Bermuda by Seo Taiji or more KRock to make it blend better.

    but the fact that he used a topless No Min Woo at the end does not make me complain at all. in fact, it makes me drool. ^^

    and straight off the bat with GD KPop won for me. GD is soo charismatic and I like KPop style a lot more than VK.

    oh... and regarding the comments, i see so many trolls including jrock fans bashing and trolling on KPop videos (and I get really sad too, so I get why you're mad) BUT I just learn to tune that kinda stuff off on BOTH sides.

  2. Hi ChroniclesofChean, watch my NEW video, because this one is removed...
    I would LOVE to read your review on my new video! thanks!

  3. shinee meng cover laruku...dammmmnnnntttt............

  4. Dear Chean,
    I completely agree. I like both genres (and many more), but vk is my bias. I discovered it about 4 years ago and have been hooked. Korean pop, on the other hand is more recent. Yes Korean music is more popular but that doesn't necessarily make it better (or worse for that matter). Fans of both generas are seen bashing each other all over the internet. And no, vk is not drag, I see how that makes you upset. It's a performance style, and most artist dress somewhat normal when not on stage. I find vk beautiful and fun to wach. And the men who do vk are very hot (in my opinion. Sorry for fangirling~♥) But all in all there both good in their own rights. People should try to respect every ones opinion and choices, and not bash on other's interests. Haha, sorry for the rant but I felt like I needed to reply.

    1. I've exactly the same point of vue. I discovered k-pop first so I really like it. Then I discovered visual kei and that was the same. But there's no denying that I prefer visual kei.

  5. Well, I am a visual-kei die hard fan, and I really don't like k-pop. It's just not my cup of coffee. But I kind of agree with that youtube guy. VK is not well known. Actually, VK is an underground style of music. The artists are stinking poor, and some have to stop just because of money problems. A VKer is shunned away by the public, and they won't get a normal job. On the other way, K-Popers are idols. Yes, they work hard, but they have it so much easier. (Oh, and btw, KAT-TUN are NO WAY VK band :D They're J-pop)
    I don't agree with the copy-thing, you're right that they just got inspired with it, otherwise the lyrics would be just about sex, drugs & rock-n'-roll.
    Drag queens... a bit. Transvestite? Some of them. But I can't somehow see his point. What's bad on being a transvestite?
    The last one... powerpop-rock It seems like he had only met bands like SuG or LM.C, if we swap the "power" part with "punk". Well, sending him some nice XodiacK song should help him open his eyes ^^
    Howgh, I am done here.
    No offense :)

  6. To compare visual kei with k-pop is like to compare Jason Derulo with Marilyn Manson, seriously?