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Documentary / Music

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Stan Lee Photo
Stan Lee as Self
Gene Simmons Photo
Gene Simmons as Self
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
877.72 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S 8 / 41
1.59 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S 9 / 38

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by moviewatcher-323415 / 10

Enjoyable but clearly a missed opportunity to be amazing.

Review from a fan's point of view.

My expectations were somehow accurate when I first heard a long time ago that they were working on a documentary, made in USA. When I saw the first trailer, with the cool effects and images of Japanese swords and other Japanese cultural icons, I knew it would not be the documentary that says it all. But maybe the intention was not to be X Japan from A to Z. Not so sure if they jumped from A to Z or just went from A to B because there is a lot missing.

X Japan is an amazing band. The fans liked, like and will like this band not only for their music but also for their story and the charisma of its members. This band was Japan's Beattles and Elvis Presley during the 80s and 90s, when that country was loaded with money and later going down. This was an era in Japan when many similar bands emerged from that, which was still making the popular culture bloom extravagantly. Yoshiki, the leader of the band (aka almost the band by himself),creative and passionate as he was, was going straight into this, blind folded and probably not realizing the impact he had. Now he probably does.

This movie is pretty much like digging a gold mine only on the surface, while you have all the machinery to go deeper. Now don't get me wrong, it is a good movie, but not a good documentary. I thought that the overall editing was especially excellent, but sadly this is clearly not what you want to see when you watch a documentary. You want learn and leave the room with the feeling that you gained knowledge about the subject.

I went to see this movie in Japan and the crowd what obviously fans who knew about the band. The reactions after the movie were very silent but I did hear a few "it was OK" because obviously, they know much more about what it is said in the movie. I didn't need confirmation to think that this movie was made for the Western countries because clearly, it was, and it's OK like that. There was numerous documentaries made in Japan and also many books written on the subject. Non-Japanese fans deserve to get something too.

But my concern was more about those viewers who knew little to almost nothing about the band. The movie can't explain clearly, in a chronological order the history of the band. We get some bits and parts here and there but nothing that will make the viewer leave the room and understand X Japan and the position that the band had in Japan. I wish that they took this very first opportunity, with such a great coverage, to talk more about how the band was important, successful and how it impacted the rock scene in Japan. Although the fact that the movie does a great job on showing Yoshiki's story, emotions and passion (which is the obvious focus),it could have done the same with the other members and taught the public about how great these musicians are. For example, I think that Pata, the second guitarist since the band's early days, has about one minute of coverage. Nothing is said about how this guy joined the band and how he supported them during their struggling times at the beginning. That's just one example.

Overall, if you are a fan of X Japan and know the story well, you might be disappointed because the footage and the editing is great. It does bring some emotions, like any movies should, but the lack is really the depth, and it's a little bit frustrating, especially for the fans who can't understand Japanese enough to get their information in other media than this movie.

To the non-fan viewers who read this before watching, expect to have a good moment but you might not understand much about X Japan apart that it's a band coming from Japan with a leader named Yoshiki. So, if a viewer has no knowledge of the band, which also means no attachment to its charismatic leader Yoshiki, I don't know what can be expected from that. It's definitely better to listen to their music instead.

Reviewed by elenag_ru10 / 10

Great film about a great band!

It's a great film about X Japan - one of the most unusual and flamboyant rock bands of the 20th century. It chronicles their rise to superstardom. X-Japan blew up traditional rock music and became the founders of J-rock, a musical genre that is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. Their role in the musical world can be compared to such rock giants as The Rolling Stones.

Director Stephen Kijak was able to get into the spirit of this incredible story and created an amazing, brutally honest film. He used plenty of unique photos and videos from the group's personal archives, for example, a video by David Lynch.

The film mesmerizes by its brightness and dynamism. The narrative changes fast, moving from everyday life to Yoshiki Hayashi's (the leader of the band) thoughts about life and death, and it shows that the life of musicians includes a lot of hard work and taking things to the limit.

Backstage footage from rehearsals and concerts, as well as interviews with band members where they talk about their youth, personal tragedies, losses and moments of triumph. Footage from the archive chronicles other important moments such as the split of the band and their last concert, the death of one of the guitarists, vocalist who got under the influence of the sect and reunion of the band many years later, all these events are proved by archive footage.

There are also videos of the concert to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Emperor Akihito's ascension, from Tokyo Dome and Madison Square Garden concerts. Interviews with Gene Simmons, Marylin Manson and Stan Lee, who respect the art of the band and personally know Yoshiki Hayashi. And during the whole film, you can hear the fantastic music of X Japan.

It is a life story of the musicians who had they ups and downs, times of happiness and pain, story about overcoming and moving forward. The film is worth watching to find out about musicians from Japan who conquered the hearts of people all over the world.

Reviewed by kluseba8 / 10

One of the world's most fascinating bands

X Japan is a band like no other. The band combined punk aesthetics with speed metal musicianship and unusually emotional lyrics which led to the existence of the so-called Visual Kei genre. After growing in the underground for several years, the band rose to stardom in Japan in the late eighties. The group went on to integrate more and more elements of classical music in its sound and gradually focused on writing epic ballads throughout the nineties. The band attempted to conquer the international market but didn't have the self-confidence to release an entirely anglophone record. They were however considered highly influential stars in their home country, similar to what bands like Queen achieved in the Western world.

What sets this band apart from many others is its share of tragic events. Band leader Yoshiki's father committed suicide without leaving any explanations behind when his son was only ten years old. This event would traumatize the brilluant but fragile band leader for the rest of his life. When the band reaches its peak of success, influential bassist Taiji was fired under vague but emotional circumstances. Singer Toshi started to be manipulated by a sect his wife was a member of that declared X Japan's music devilish work that would harm the Japanese society and the singer decided to exit the group, leading to a shocking disbandment in 1997. Charismatic guitarist hide died under mysterious circumstances less than a year later, hanging himself with a towel hanging from a doorknob. Experts consider it a suicide while fans believe it was an accident. This event came close to a national tragedy as several fans committed suicide in similar ways. Former bassist Taiji would also end up committing suicide with a bedsheet in a prison cell after having been arrested following inappropriate behaviour on a flight in Japan.

Despite all these hardships, the band reunited ten years after it had called it quits, willing to achieve international success this time. The band played numerous shows all around the world including a concert at legendary Madison Square Garden.

This last event is the leitmotiv of this documentary as we witness the media work, band practices and the concert itself. Band leader Yoshiki is the key figure in this documentary and tells us his story and the one of X Japan in numerous flashbacks. Singer Toshi also opens about the time when he was brainwashed by his former wife. The other members sadly don't have much to add. Local and international supporters of the band tell some anecdotes from Yoshiki's mother over Gene Simmons to Stan Lee.

The documentary manages to help X Japan rise to international acclaim. It captures the melodramatic essence of this innovative band. It's filled with amusing, curious and depressing anecdotes we won't forget.

The only negative elements are the facts that the documentary focuses too much on Yoshiki and not enough on the band X Japan and that the emotionally draining melodramatic anecdotes sometimes feel exhausting.

Still, any music fan should watch this documentary, no matter if you usually listen to classical music, pop music or heavy metal. X Japan certainly is one of the most fascinating bands in the planet.

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