Favorite Bassists
#1
Some version of this thread was eventually going to be made, so whatever I might as well do it. The bass is an instrument that's traditionally been neglected and relegated to boring parts for hundreds of years, but for whatever reason, Japan seems to have way more good bassists per capita than any other country. List your favorites. And as always, explanations are encouraged. There's way too many to choose from, but here's my tentative top 10.

1. Pirarucu/Koh Morota (Doom): Fretless bass way before it was cool. Morota was a technical master and goddamn beast. He could do pretty much anything: crazy tapping, spastic leads, slaps, weird frills, and anything else you can think of. It's really such a shame he died.
2. Hibiki (Light Bringer, Alhambra, Mardelas, etc.): No surprise here. Hibiki is another godly bassist and has his name among some of the craziest prog/tech freakouts I've ever heard. His proggy touch + poppy sensibilities is one of the huge factors that made Light Bringer so damn good.
3. Toshiya (Dir En Grey): Toshiya's bass was always one of my favorite parts of Dir En Grey even in their j-rock days, but as the band developed, he proved himself to be yet another virtuoso. There's great bass lines all over DEG's career, but Toshiya's performance on Dum Spiro Spero is probably his best. There's tons of awesome slaps and other A++ lines all over that thing.
4. Toshi (Gargoyle): Admittedly, he's not nearly as noteworthy in Gargoyle's more recent work, but his stuff in the first part of Gargoyle's career is stellar. Whenever the band played some of their weird funky numbers, Toshi would slap the shit out of his bass and it was awesome. He also had a ton of great lines and leads all over the place.
5. Syoi (Aresz): Syoi is my pick for the most underrated, underrated bassist. This guy plays a big 6-string and does a lot of cool, technical tapping neoclassical leads and solos. Aresz has plenty of weird songs that center around this guy's slaps and lines. He's definitely a bass beast.
6. Tsunehito (D): It's not unusual for visual kei bands to have a good bassist, but most of them aren't nearly as good as this guy. Tsunehito is a highly proficient player. He can do some cool slaps and lays down a great backbone for D's music.
7. Yosuke (Octaviagrace, Scrambled Soul Circus, etc.): He was originally just some random guy that was in Cross Vein for me, but it turned out that Yosuke is fucking awesome. He's one of big focal points in Octaviagrace for me, and his bass lines are a huge driving factor.
8. Masashi (Versailles, Jupiter): He sort of came out of nowhere, but Masashi is really damn good. He's got a lot of neat tricks with tapping lines and some slap parts. My personal favorite performance of his is on Versailles' Holy Grail. There's a ton of good basslines on that one.
9. Shunji Saegusa (Kenso): He hasn't been in the band since the very beginning, but he's a long time member (since the 80s). He's a prog bassist, so by default he's good, but Kenso is easily one of my favorite prog rock bands. There's never a dull moment.
10. Yuuma Hiraizumi (3nd): Picking my favorite math rock bassist is hard, but I'm probably going to go with this guy. 3nd was a very short lived project, but the music was excellent. This guy had a ton of awesome bass parts (Clockworker, Monsoon, etc.) He's an excellent player for sure.
Occasionally, I write music reviews.
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#2
I'll second Hibiki, Syoi, and Yosuke (those are the ones from your list I'm thoroughly familiar with). Others I like (in no real order):

Masaki
Jutaro Ohkubo (Starless/Teru's Symphonia)
Matatabi (Onmyo-Za)
Kiyoshi (The Madcap Laughs/Mary Friedman/etc)
Fin (Re:MAKER/El.Mira)
Ichiru Yagawa (Fuyusuru Neko)
Masahiro Sakashita (Jormungand/Iron Attack!/etc)
Tatsunori (ASRA)
Nobuyuki Kanai (LANCER>>Bee/ADIZ/etc)
Y.O.U. (e:cho)

Most Japanese math/indie bands I listen to have pretty good bassists to, so my list could change a bit over the next year or two as I delve into that genre.
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#3
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'd pick Masaki if I was more familiar with his work. The guy from l'arc~en~ciel is also a good contender, but I only have a couple of their albums. I probably could have gone with more prog rock picks, but damn everyone is good.
Occasionally, I write music reviews.
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#4
Megu (Zwei) I forgot and she was one of my favorite bassists. Koga (Gacharic Spin) too. Sawa (Aldious) is no slouch either, even though she's reigned in too much.

I tend to prefer bassists with more aggressive tone/style (eg, Kiyoshi, Ichiru Yagawa).
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#5
It's hard for me to pick a #1, but a less obvious candidate is Munehisa Jinbo from Marge Litch's Crystal Heart, Fantasien 1998, and Alhambra's debut. Dude goes in. His parts on Orion actually smoke the hell out of both of Hibiki's renditions, which is saying something.

Hibiki is god-tier in basically every way though (including appearance, dude is hot). Symphopia and Eau Rouge have my two favorite bass solos of all time. He has a very bubbly, fluttery style of melody that's much more expressive and delicate than I expect bass work to be. He's my most likely #1 pick.

Other than the ones you mentioned:


Toshimi Nagai from Vienna, because fretless, bruh. Fucking fretless bass in a Queen-worship pomp-rock band, like, what???

Yasuyuki Hirose from Providence. As one of my favorite Japanese prog rock bands, they sound a ton like Yes (specifically Yes' more fusion-y albums like Relayer, my personal favorite of theirs), and accordingly their bassist sounds a lot like a jazzier Squire.

Kyujitsu-kacho of Gesu no Kiwami Otome, who is just a funky motherfucker. I love every musician in that band but his grooves add a lot of rhythmic dynamic to some of the band's more basic melodies.

Hideaki Yamasaki of School Food Punishment. How could I not include a member of this band? He occasionally has solos, which is rare for a pop band, and they all have the same ethereal and bubbly floating feeling that Hibiki's solos do. He also loves bass slides, and his tone is pretty growly, which makes them sound super satisfying.

Hiroshi Mizuno of Cyclamen and Arise in Stability. If you want some technically ludicrous shit, he's your guy. I haven't seen many other people sweep pick on a bass. Too bad Cyclamen's production jobs are ass...

Norihisa Fukuda of Defiled. Weeeeird basslines, man. Defiled bust out some Demilich riffs at times, but their bass style and overall song construction is a lot more erratic and counter-intuitive. It's not easy for a band to be more counter-intuitive than Demilich...

Hajime Okano of Space Circus. What a funky monster. He has one of my favorite tones ever, it's so sharp!

Dani from KBB. Nothing too idiosyncratic but KBB are a very interesting band that use a wide range of melodic inspirations, and the bass adds a ton to the color of their harmonies and melodies.

I see the Gotsu-Totsu-Kotsu guy mentioned a lot as a good extreme metal bassist but I've never found his basslines to fit well with the rest of the instrumentation. He's too prominent and it makes it hard to take seriously. Defiled guy is better.

Honorable to Musashi's shamisen player, since in that band it serves a similar role as the bass.
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#6
Naoto Shibata, Koji Yamaguchi, Taiji, Gezol, and Haruhisa Takahata come to mind. All great musicians who did more than just fill in for their respective roles, such as helping out a great deal with songwriting and musical direction.
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#7
my favorite is not based on skill, but energy. Nori from LIFE is amazing, offstage he is the sweetest guy ever, but the moment the show starts he turns into a beast. throwing his bass everywhere, crowdsurfing etc. seen him fuck up quite some times falling, getting cought in the wires and all. but he gives one hell of a preformance.
sadly he cracked his skull 2 weeks ago when he fell stagediving.


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#8
Far too little love for Koga and Sawa. The latter has been kinda low-key in later albums but on the early albums she was awesome.

Also don't forget Naota from Anthem. An amazing picker. Normally pickers aren't very good and tend to just follow the guitarists but he is a Japanese Steve Harris.
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#9
Mine is former Galmet bassist Ama. 

Professionally, I'd rank her as above average, but personally, she's just too much of a sweetheart!
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#10
The guy from L'Arc is Tetsu. Also, I am surprised, Dudemanguy, that with as much love as you have for Kuroyume, that you didn't cite Hitoki as one candidate. Not as virtuoso as some of the other examples, obviously, but he shows his capacity fairly well on some songs by the band such as Gossip (one of their best B-Sides IMHO).
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