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  1. The Reverend

    So it's end of the year best-of list time, and I wanted to get involved... but I realized with more and more streaming of music rather than mp3s, and more and more me being lazy and not really listening to as much new stuff as I should: my best of 2016 list would be incomplete and hard to make because what I've been listening to isn't as easily organized by year in Spotify. But I'm a narcissist who still wanted to get in on the fun and write *something* so I decided to highlight some of my favorite, or at least notable for one reason or another, looks from the VK world in 2016. Visual is in the name after all! I know hipsters, such as myself, say that the looks don't matter and it's all about the music, man... but I'll freely admit even though I'm not looking at a picture of the band for 98% of my listening to them, the aesthetics matter and part of the reason I like VK is that I enjoy looking at pretty boys in elaborate costumes rather than bearded dudes in black tshirts. With that in mind here is my partially tongue-in-cheek but also I seriously thought about it 10 Notable VK Looks of 2016: Garak’s Vocalist ジュリ I call this the James Dean x Jesus. Insanity Injection Vocalist Kyouka Because of that YouTubers react video, this look may be the VK shot heard ‘round the world. “Looks like Kerrigan” is pretty accurate shorthand for Kyouka’s possessed crab/snake cannibal spirit costume that is almost elaborate enough to explain what the hell he’s been doing for the last ten years. ペンタゴン Bassist Minpha The kawaii-ness is undisputed around these parts… I’m embracing dark Minpha and his crown of demonic scallop shells. 乙女国家 Band I know it’s a VK trope, but I seriously like it when band members all pick a different color and just commit. I’m never going to learn their names, so it helps to just be able to reference “the yellow one who borrowed some gloves from Ensoku’s This is a Pen PV”. Also for anyone else who’s been there: was this photo taken at the ramen ‘museum’ (read: food court) in Yokohama?? It kinda reminds me of that spot. Doak Band As a rapidly balding dude, I appreciate when even fake-baldness gets some shine in VK. Shout-out to the dude from Codoma A! Avelcain Vocalist Karma I bow at the altar of Avelcain… and I’m on the record as loving black-suit-wearing VK looks. Add some fucking palpable *zetsubou* and a sword for no real reason!?? I’m sold. Elysion Band They get my vote for best golden age Matina cosplay of the year. I saw them in June and there was just tons of vinyl and straps and lace and bare thigh and a frilly white dress and… there’s no joke here they just had an awesome/classic look. I don’t even remember what they sounded like, but I remember thinking their outfits and makeup had to take hours to get right before the show. Lack-co. Vocalist Tenten What you thought I wasn’t going to include this transcendent “it’s coming in nice” puberty mustache dyed red?? You don’t know me very well. He’s got some sort of black sequin freckles happening too for some Annie vibes. Nihilizm Band Just a look that I think really kills. Those red lace blindfolds are just cool IDK. The member with the bob is a cutie. ギャロ Vocalist Jojo I always love Jojo’s extremely sparkly lipstick…. And in this video (and others this year) he wins the award for most dangerously low-rise pants in VK. Got them side abs! I also don’t really understand his fork hat, but fuck it if you can’t get weird in VK where can you? Close but no cigar: Hollowgram's grown up/understated black looks, vocalist from More's curls and one satyr horn, Plastic Tree vocalist pushing the bounds of how cool he can make cutting his own hair look Purposefully Omitted: The Black Swan blackface, any boring not-quite Kamijo look Let me know why I'm wrong and what should have been on this list!