Raphael (band)

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Also known as Raphael -Starring Kazuki-
Origin Japan
Genres Progressive rock, art rock, symphonic rock, baroque rock, folk rock
Years active 1997–2001, 2012
Labels Sony, For Life Music, Universal
Associated acts Rice, Black Love
Website raphael.jp
Members Yuki
Past members Kazuki

Raphael was a Japanese visual kei rock band that formed in 1997, when the members were only 15.[1] They disbanded in 2001, after guitarist Kazuki died at age 19.[2] In 2012, the remaining members reunited Raphael for two concerts on October 31 and November 1. [3][4]


Raphael was originally started by bassist Yukito in 1997, after recruiting guitarist Kazuki (華月?), vocalist Yuki and finally drummer Hiro,[5] they had their first concert on December 10. Their first album Lilac was released in 1998 and was followed with a home video. They charted on the Oricon chart for the first time when their song "Yume Yori Suteki na" was used for the TBS show Kyaiin Kanbyou no Megumi no Heart (キャイーン・寛平の女神のハート?). They released two singles on the same day, one hitting number 37, and one number 38.[6]

In 1999 their major label debut, "Hanasaku Inochi Aru Kagiri",[1] reached number 25 on the Oricon.[6] Their later releases centered about graduation because it was around the time the members would have graduated from high school, had they not dropped out to pursue music.[7] They performed their first show at the Nippon Budokan in March 2000.[4]

However, on October 31, 2000, guitarist Kazuki died of a tranquilizer overdose.[2] In January 2001, after finishing a nationwide tour, Raphael decided to disband.[4] Yuki and Hiro went on to form Rice, while Yukito formed Black Love.[5]

Raphael's song "Yume Yori Suteki na" was covered by Dog in the Parallel World Orchestra on the compilation Crush! -90's V-Rock Best Hit Cover Songs-. The album was released on January 26, 2011 and features current visual kei bands covering songs from bands that were important to the '90s visual kei movement.[8]

On April 7, 2012, it was announced that the remaining members Yuki, Yukito and Hiro would reunite Raphael for two nights at Zepp Tokyo on October 31 and November 1.[3][4] With Yuki claiming he had made the decision back in 2010, while visiting Kazuki's grave.[3][4] The shows featured Anchang (Sex Machineguns), Lida (Dacco, Psycho le Cému), Sakito (Nightmare) and Yumehito (AYABIE) as guest guitarists.[9] They released a single under the name "Raphael -Starring Kazuki-" on the day of the first show; a re-recording of their hit 1999 single "Eternal Wish (Todokanu Kimi e)" that also includes the previously unreleased songs "Dear", "Haikei Nervous" and "Elf no Yuutsu".[10] A 2-disc live album of the two concerts titled Tenshi no Hinoki Butai was released on December 26 and includes 30 songs.[11] Footage from both reunion concerts was also released on DVD that same day, titled Tenshi no Hinoki Butai Dai Ichi Ya "Hakuchumu", while the second show was released on January 30, 2013 as Tenshi no Hinoki Butai Dai Ni Ya "Kokuchumu".[12][13]


Former member


Albums and mini-albums
  • Lilac (April 7, 1998)
  • Mind Soap (December 1, 1999) Oricon Album Chart Weekly Top Position: 30[14]
  • Sotsugyô (卒業?, March 23, 2000) 50[14]
  • Fumetsu Hana (不滅華?, February 21, 2001) 17[14]
  • Raphael Singles (August 1, 2001, compilation album) 25[14]
  • Tenshi no Hinoki Butai (December 26, 2012, live album) 133[14]
  • "White Love Story" (November 1, 1998)
  • "Sick (XXX Kanja no Karute)" (Sick~xxx 患者のカルテ~?, February 20, 1999)
  • "Sweet Romance" (April 29, 1999) Oricon Single Chart Weekly Top Position: 38[6]
  • "Yume Yori Suteki na" (夢より素敵な?, April 29, 1999) 37[6]
  • "Hanasaku Inochi Aru Kagiri" (花咲く命ある限り?, July 23, 1999) 25[6]
  • "Eternal Wish (Todokanu Kimi e)" (eternal wish~届かぬ君へ~?, October 1, 1999) 28[6]
  • "Promise" (November 20, 1999) 32[6]
  • "Lost Graduation" (February 2, 2000) 40[6]
  • "Evergreen" (August 23, 2000) 28[6]
  • "Akikaze no Rhapsody" (秋風の狂詩曲?, November 1, 2000) 24[6]
  • "Eternal Wish (Todokanu Kimi e)" (October 31, 2012, re-recording) 24[6]
Demo tape
  • "Eternal Wish (Todokanu no Kimi e)" (December 24, 1997)

Home videos[edit]

  • Lilac: Vision of Extremes (August 1, 1998, PVs)
  • Lilac: Vision of Extremes II (September 20, 1999, PVs)
  • Pictorial Poem (March 24, 2000, PVs)
  • Raphael Special Live "Graduation" -2000.3.4 Nippon Budokan- (August 23, 2000, concert)
  • Forever and Ever (April 25, 2001, making of)
  • Pictorial Poem 2 (September 19, 2001, PVs)
  • Last (September 19, 2001, concert)
  • First (September 19, 2001, concert)
  • Forever and Ever (April 25, 2001, making of)
  • Raphael Clips (September 19, 2001, PVs)
  • Last (September 21, 2001, concert)
  • First (September 21, 2001, concert)
  • Tenshi no Hinoki Butai Dai Ichi Ya "Hakuchumu" (December 26, 2012, concert) Oricon DVD Chart Weekly Top Position: 45[15]
  • Tenshi no Hinoki Butai Dai Ni Ya "Kokuchumu" (January 30, 2013, concert) 26[15]


  1. ^ a b Raphael Artist Profile cdjournal.com. retrieved 2011-02-19
  2. ^ a b Google Music Artist Profile retrieved 2008-08-25
  3. ^ a b c "V系・Raphaelが12年ぶり復活! 華月さん13回忌ライブで“決着”". yahoo.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Raphael announces comeback live after 12 years". tokyohive.com. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  5. ^ a b "JaME profile". jame-world.com. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Oricon Singles Ranking oricon.co.jp. retrieved 2011-02-19
  7. ^ www.barks.jp Barks Raphael Profile retrieved August 25, 2008
  8. ^ "'90s Visual Kei Cover Album". jame-world.com. Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  9. ^ "Three New Releases from Raphael". jame-world.com. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 
  10. ^ "Raphael to release their first single in 12 years". tokyohive.com. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  11. ^ "Raphael to release their first single in 12 years". cdjapan.co.jp. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 
  12. ^ "Tenshi no Hinoki Butai Dai Ichi Ya "Hakuchumu"". cdjapan.co.jp. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 
  13. ^ "Tenshi no Hinoki Butai Dai Ni Ya "Kokuchumu"". cdjapan.co.jp. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 
  14. ^ a b c d e Oricon Albums Ranking oricon.co.jp. retrieved 2011-02-19
  15. ^ a b Oricon DVDs Ranking oricon.co.jp. retrieved 2013-01-19

External links[edit]