1) YES. They fascinated me since... approximately forever. I remember first hearing about them... I was about 12 dare I say? For a while all I knew about them was that someone in that band got worshiped like crazy and everyone who wasn’t a rabid fan thought it was pure madness, but they still intrigued me. Then I read up a bit about them and... well, you can’t deny no screenwriter could come up with that storied a story. By then I’d made up my mind to actually listen to them. And then I heard “Rose of Pain”. They immediately became one of my favorite bands.
2) I feel like most haters hate the fans more than the band. Hating X Japan is like hating Black Sabbath—they were the ones to make a musical tendency into a true genre. Also, there’s a difference between disliking someone’s fans and saying that person couldn’t play an instrument despite ample evidence to the contrary.
3) Should get off his high horse, but quite the artist nonetheless. I understand neither the boundless love, nor the boundless hatred.
4) See what I said about 2. They didn’t “invent” the genre, but they gave it an identity. And that’s a big part of why it didn’t peter out after a few years.
5) Again, they gave VK its identity and a point of reference which still stands to this day. And their classic lineup was startlingly good. One of the world’s fastest drummers, the best bass player in Japan, two world-class guitarists (with complementary styles to boot), and a genuinely impressive singer. And the songwriting was extremely good. They deserve the love. That being said, individual members can be overrated and over-worshiped. I think that’s disrespectful. What makes artists great is that they are people who bleed like us, cry like us, laugh like us, do stupid things like us, die like us... they’re not gods. And it’s sad seeing a human raised on that kind of a pedestal. It’s a disservice to that person.
6) Musically, hide all the way. Sugizo is very good, but he tends towards generic shredding a little too much.
Overall... see what I said in 5.