We Are X
Directed by Stephen Kijak
As glam rock's most flamboyant survivors, X Japan ignited a musical revolution in Japan during the late '80s with their melodic metal. Twenty years after their tragic dissolution, X Japan’s leader, Yoshiki, battles with physical and spiritual demons alongside prejudices of the West to bring their music to the world.
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★★★½ review by Jason Alley on Letterboxd
A solid rock documentary about the Japanese power metal band X Japan (superstars in their home country), and their nearly-thirty-year history, marked by multiple tragedies. Their story is frequently powerful stuff, and I am definitely interested in seeking out X Japan's forceful and sweepingly melodic music (which kind of sounds like Dragonforce, Meat Loaf, and Queen all mashed together?)
The documentary itself has some issues (namely, why structure the entire film as leading up to their 2014 debut at Madison Square Garden, only to barely show any of the concert?) but it's an engaging and moving viewing experience.
★★★★★ review by Kristina Winters on Letterboxd
One of the most interesting and engrossing documentaries I've ever seen. Probably the best music documentary ever.
I went into the film having only barely heard of the legendary rock group X Japan and their leader/drummer/keyboardist Yoshiki. I came out a huge fan and spent the next 10 hours obsessively reading more, listening to music and watching concert footage. You might want to use caution if you have work the next day!
The content is great, but the editing and visual style is also amazing. I can imagine there's a ton of subtext for longtime fans and I look forward to rewatches as well as (hopefully) bonus features and director's commentary on the DVD.
I cannot recommend this more strongly.
★★★★★ review by Heather Forrester on Letterboxd
I loved this doc! X Japan is the Motley Crew of Japan with tremendous influence in their music scene still felt today. The band existed from 1987-1997 then broke up before doing a reuniting tour years later. In the meantime lots of tragedy. The editing is amazing, the concert footage crew from London who shot the reunited show at MSG in NYC in 2014 did a stellar job, most of all the doc crew got these guys to open up a lot which is rare in the reserved Japanese culture. If you love rock and roll or things Japan like me check this out.
★★★★★ review by Sam on Letterboxd
I wanted to cry like 5 times, but I managed to remain composed throughout its entirety. Personal best.
(I just have a lot of feelings about X Japan.)
★★★★★ review by Monique Morgan on Letterboxd
A document on one of my favorite bands...that most Americans have never heard of. Told from the band drummer/pianist/leader's pov. I've actually had a chance to listen to yoshiki speak in Baltimore years ago and I found this documentary answered so much more to the life and spirit of this band. Inside the music, the live performances and the men themselves. I found myself personally reflecting on X japan's influence on my life, I made friends due to a mutual love of this band. I think the talk of suicide hit close to home especially in relation to the deaths of two band members. I think there's great levels to this doc, for someone new to the band and for long time fans.
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