The Women of Visual Kei – Necro Circus

Well, I’m back with my second entry this time around. As the title suggests we’re taking another deep dive into the world of women in Visual Kei, with the very little known Necro Circus. I’ll admit, that second to prior mentioned Araune, that has been the most interesting band to compile a comprehensive profile on. Mostly because… well the sources are anything but verifiable. But I’m going to give it a shot and see where we land!

So Necro Circus is originally a four member, all female line-up* that started in March of 2005. The original members consisted of vocalist Az, guitarist Rukito, drummer Woriwori, and bassist killer. The group would not have this configuration long as killer would leave the group July 26th, 2006. On August 28th 2006, the group would pick up Ka-ya as a support bassist until the group would disband on March 7th 2007. During their time together the group would release two mini albums. ハーメルン症候曲 (Hamelen Symptomatology) which was a self-produced maxi-single released May 5th 2005. And then rest in peace, a maxi single released under planet child music on March 14th 2007.

During this first iteration of the group there is some conflicting information about a member named Jien. It’s unclear if Jien was an official member of the group, or a supporting member for live events. Both the vkdb, and vk.gy pages reference her leaving the group the same time as killer. There’s also conflicting information if Jien was a bassist or guitarist, but I have reason to believe that at one point she was working for the group and deserves a mention.

Based on the Japanese, this is from 2006 with bassist killer being in the image as well.

In 2017, after members would try their hand in various other bands, they would reunite on July 1st 2017, until October 28th 2017 performing a handful of live events during this time. The line-up consisted of original members Az, Rukito, Woriwori, Ka-ya, as well as bassist ‘Shaa’ joining them during this time. During the October 28th live, the live-exclusive single Reverse which contained two songs was sold as well.

Honestly, this is around where I would offer my opinions and thoughts about the group. However this time around, I don’t have too much to offer. Despite Necro Circus being a well-circulated name around the Vkei scene as an all female Visual Kei band, there’s a lot of conflicting info and very little direct sources still available. About the best information I have is the various member’s twitter accounts, as well as the Necro-info twitter since those have the most direct information to my knowledge. Any official website, or music sharing links from their 2006-2007 years are dead. It does not appear that any of this was achieved either, nor has their music appeared on Itunes, Amazon or Spotify.

However, at some point in my Youtube history I did search up and listen to the group, via some ripped versions of their songs. This mostly consisted of multiple uploads of the songs off of rest in peace maxi-single. Which, again is actually pretty lucky since finding any copies of this single is impossible. 2007-2009 was a weird time for Western Visual-kei fans because a lot of bands would get mis-labeled, or just people would make up nonsense since they couldn’t read Japanese. Given I’ve been able to cross reference the titles of the song listing on a few sites, and on some 2017 setlists this does led me to believe these are authentic songs from Necro Circus.

Youtube account scrayzii seems to be the most legitimate source for unofficial Necro Cirus music. The account has uploaded all songs from rest in peace, and surprisingly has a version of “ハーメルン症候曲” from the first mini. So, since this song is arguably more rare then those of off rest in piece, I’m going to talk a bit. Especially since the other two songs off that maxi-single have never appeared elsewhere online (at least in my research).

I’m not quite sure where I’d put this song in a category since at first listen it doesn’t feel quite visual kei. It’s got a really bouncy bassline that carries the whole song, so thank you to killer for that one. At the same time, I’m sensing a sort of punk-style urgency in the rhythm and tempo that never quite gets out of control. It’s more of a lingering feeling that pervades the whole song. Both of which, aren’t typical hallmarks of VKei per say, but nonetheless seem to fall under he general composition umbrella.

I’m pretty impressed by Az’s techniques in the song. She digs down into a lower register, and it really suits the song well. I wish she had a bit more technique to really elevate her delivery but this shows a lot of promise for the group especially in comparison to latter releases. Even at this early stage, Woriwori really kept the concept of the song in line giving a solid showing here. I’m also pleased that both Rukito and killer got some time in the forefront with solos to round out the track, especially at the end.

There’s a handful of hallmarks that denote the self-titled release. The audio quality isn’t bad per say, but isn’t as clear as their contemporaries at the time. Composition-wise there’s no major errors, I’d actually say this is significantly more interesting then a lot of other tracks, but it’s a bit muddled in the recording. The mix isn’t off, so much as there wasn’t a ton of post-production behind it. However, for being a self-release in 2005 for a rather unknown band: “ハーメルン症候曲” is a really fun track that I haven’t minded looping while writing.

In another turn of luck, or perhaps good timing I suppose, is that two videos of Necro Circus performing live surfaced recently. These two performances are of the songs “花唄-wind of the brilliant sky-” off of rest in peace, and the below unnamed track performed sometime in 2017.

The uploader, Visual Tv is a Spanish speaker so I had to use the debatable rescource of google translate to check, but this is apparently a live only song. The user referenced that they had in their possession Reverse, the final single, and that this was not a song on the album. Also there’s potential that Visual Tv might be uploading the content of Reverse on Youtube on a later date, which would be fascinating since as far as Necro Circus’s unvertified twitter stated, Reverse just seems to have re-recordings of “花唄-wind of the brilliant sky-“, re-titled “花唄-REBIRTH DAY” and then “cynical Romance”. Either way, considering there is so little of the band’s music available, hearing these songs in their 2017 versions would be a treat.

From this clip itself, we can gather a lot about the band. Firstly, it seems that live only Ka-ya or Shaa would perform, not both at least from what I can glean from the members on stage. (Based off the twitter account and Shaa’s look at the time, I think it’s her.) Secondly, from prior music available this does sound consistent with their earlier music. A lot more punk elements, and a rougher sounding delivery with Az’s vocals dipping into a lower range, before swinging into some growls and a guitar solo for Rukito. We can see that the group had a small fan base, but that their fans appear to be mostly female, my conjecture based off height, statue, and hair but I could be wrong. Other live event photos show a more mixed audience, but it’s hard to tell in general. And that the band did have furitsuke, or the fan dances for their music.

Like with Aruane this is a really, really lucky find. I wasn’t anticipating such a lesser known band to have much material of their actual performances available to see. It might only be bite sized at just under two minutes per song, but it’s a snap shot of the culture around their group that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

From L to R; Az, Shaa, Rukito, Ka-ya, Woriwori.

As with all profiles, it’s time for a bit of falling action and seeing where the members ended up post 2017. For members killer and Jien, there’s no information if they changed their stage names and joined other projects. My search didn’t find any additional details or profiles regarding them. Additionally, I don’t have any info in regards to bassist Ka-ya. She didn’t appear to have a twitter profile active at that time, nor could I find any links to protentional profiles or other projects she may have joined.

Vocalist Az, seems to have retired from the music scene. She had made some attempts in-between Necro Circus disbandment and reunification to be in other projects, but none of them panned out. Exact information about these bands aside from names is pretty limited. However both her twitter and Instagram are active, and she seems to have returned to ordinary life.

As for Rukito, Shaa, and Woriwori the trio have joined together with a new vocalist Tsuna to make their current band Headphone★Baby. I haven’t had the chance to check them out, but there concept is certainly something! I’m glad the trio have been able to stay in music especially since they’re so talented and been at for such a long time!

Also, while poking around after the original draft of this article, I was on Headphone★Baby’s base shop and they’ve recently listed Necro Circus’s “reverse” album . What a complete surprise! This also confirms that the two tracks are in-fact re-recordings as I suspected. I wasn’t sure where to tack on this update, but I’m a bit in shock and needed to include this somewhere natural and not as a full-post note.

Otherwise, once again thanks for joining on my niched within a niche blog posts. I hope you found this interesting, and I’d love to hear from anyone that’s heard of Necro Circus prior to this post! For now once again, I’ll keep researching and digging around for other all female bands and we’ll see how it goes! Who knows, this might become a yearly thing!


*In regards to all-female line-up on vkdb there was a comment left saying Rukito is a man. This reference came from an anonymous account, and there’s no articles or links to substantiate this claim. In my research I haven’t come across anything that has stated Rukito’s gender or preferred pronouns, therefore I’ve referred to them as female with she/her pronouns. If any information comes about where I find out this was incorrect, I will amend my blog post.

Additionally, on vk.gy they have a guitarist named Rei, who was a man listed as being part of the band at some point. However, I didn’t find any reference to him on any other website and his kanji is very similar to Jien’s so I think this might be a profile error. Again, if any information comes about where I find this was incorrect, I will amend my blog post.


References

last fm entry for Necro Circus

vkdb.jp Necro Circus profile

vk.gy Necro Circus profile

Discogs Necro Circus profile

jpopasia Necro Circus profile

generasiawiki Necro Circus

Necro-info twitter, not verified but the account used for 2017 activities.

Rukito Twitter Profile

Az Twitter Profile

Az Instagram Profile

WoriWori Twitter Profile

Shaa Twitter Profile

VisualNavi Page

grassthread.com listing

Youtuber scrayzii, youtube account where you can hear Necro Circus’s music

Visual Tv, uploaded two live videos of the group

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