Gackt Camui (神威 楽斗 Kamui Gakuto, born July 4, 1973), known by his stage name Gackt, is a Japanese musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actor, and author. He has been active since 1994, first as the frontman of the short-lived independent band Cains:Feel, then for the now defunct visual kei rock band Malice Mizer, before starting his solo career in 1999. He has released nine studio albums and, with forty-three singles released, holds the male soloist record for most top ten consecutive singles in Japan music history. His single “Returner (Yami no Shūen)”, released on June 20, 2007, was his first and only single to reach the number one spot on the Oricon charts. He became the first Japanese artist to release his music catalog on iTunes in October 2007.
Besides the modern entertainment industry, his music has been used as theme songs for various video games, anime films and television series. In addition to his music career Gackt has acted in a few films, including the film he wrote, Moon Child, and his international debut Bunraku, and TV series such as the NHK drama Fūrin Kazan. He also performed live in a theatre stage production.
GACKT was born on July 4, 1973, as the second of three children in a Ryukyuan family, in Okinawa, Japan. His father was a music teacher primarily playing the trumpet and his mother was also a teacher. GACKT has an older sister, and a younger brother. Because of his father’s job, he lived in many different cities in addition to Okinawa: Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Shiga, Osaka, and Kyoto. GACKT’s musical education began at age three, when his parents initiated his classical piano education. He grew tired of the piano at age seven when entered elementary school, and because of moving had to change teachers. It would take another four years until his parents allowed him to quit. Since his father played the trumpet, he was also familiar with brass instruments. He has credited the classical pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin with being “the one who taught me the beauty, depth, fun, sadness, kindness of music; that music could grant people courage, and the meaning of the layers of sound. It isn’t an exaggeration to say Chopin is the foundation of my music.” Having only listened to classical music and enka while growing up, he did not become interested in rock music until he was a young adult. He cites Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” as being particularly inspiring, and went on to master modern percussion and electric guitar.
According to Gackt’s autobiography Jihaku, he was a mischievous child and had a tendency to face death; at age seven he nearly drowned while swimming off the coast of Okinawa. After that near-death experience, he claims to have paranormal ability to see and speak with deceased people, as well as family members. At the age of ten, he was hospitalized with a gastrointestinal condition and had to remain at the hospital for a prolonged time. He made the acquaintance of several terminally ill children, some of whom died during his stay.
Gackt’s introduction in the filmmaking, besides music videos, came in 2001 and 2002 with the two TV documentaries Fly to Madagascar and Hero’s Hero.
In 2003, he worked on the script and starred in his film Moon Child. It was released on April 19 in Japan, and screened on May 13 at the Cannes Film Festival and on April 12, 2004 at Philadelphia Film Festival. He voiced Seiji in the original video animation New Fist of the North Star, for which two of his older songs were used as themes and released as a single. Gackt also assisted as a model, provided the voice, and the motion capture for a main character in the video gameBujingai by Taito Corporation and Red Entertainment.
His next involvement was in 2006, with the Final Fantasy VII franchise, for a video game Dirge of Cerberus, where the character Genesis Rhapsodos was modeled and voiced by him, and again in 2007 for a video game Crisis Core. Besides that, Gackt composed and performed two theme songs for the first game, and were released as a single “Redemption”.
In 2007, Gackt played the Sengoku period daimyo Uesugi Kenshin at the NHK Taiga drama Fūrin Kazan, for which received the TV Navi award for best supporting actor in drama category. His only topping single “Returner (Yami no Shūen)” title song was the theme for the TV series. He was also the voice actor in the Japanese version of the French/American animated-live action film Arthur and the Minimoys. In 2008, from April 17, Gackt was filming in Romania for his first international film debut, Bunraku, which was released in 2010. The next year (2009) he appeared as a prisoner on death row in the second episode of the TV series Mr. Brain, and the film Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker.
In 2010, he was the voice actor in several occasions. For the film Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard, the anime series Shiki, his first regular voice cast role, and Tono to Issho, where provided the voice for the previous daimyo, and for the two video games Dragon Nest, for which composed and performed the theme song “Ever”, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs.. In 2011, he was the voice actor for sequel of Tono to Issho, anime series Supernatural: The Animation (episode 21 first season), and Sket Dance for which also performed its theme “Graffiti”, and TV drama Tempest. He was also a voice actor and theme song performer for the animated film Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker.
In 2012, Gackt appeared in the Sengoku Basara television drama Sengoku Basara: Moonlight Party as the games’ depiction of warlord Oda Nobunaga. He also performed the series’ theme song “Hakuro” (42nd single). He will also be seen in a dual role as a Professor of Neurology “Shiki Takashi” & “Yumeoji” (literally translated “Dream Prince”) in the upcoming drama “Akumu-chan”, which is based on the novel “Yume Chigai” by Onda Riku.
In November 2013, Gackt also appeared as a guest-star in two episodes (21 & 22) of Indonesian Tokusatsu Series Bima Satria Garuda as “Noir”, the mysterious “Bima Legend” Knight from Parallel World.