In 1995, after a year of inactivity, Malice Mizer recruited Gackt as their new vocalist. With a new concept created by Mana,
the band's music became more progressive and complex incorporating even stronger classical, electronic and using instruments
like accordion remembering French popular music of the 19th century. Visually, the band abandoned their 1980s goth look for
colourful historical costumes always with a gothic feel. In 1996, Malice Mizer released their second album, Voyage ~Sans Retour~.
The band became increasingly popular and in 1997 signed with Columbia Records, where they released a number of successful
singles, a short film (Bel Air ~Kuuhaku no Shunkan no Naka De~ de L'Image), and, in 1998, their third album, Merveilles. The
band even had their own radio show around this time. In January 1999, at the height of Malice Mizer's success, Gackt was requested
to leave the band and after just four months he released his first solo album. Malice Mizer left Columbia and returned to
A few months after Gackt's departure, drummer Kami died of a subarachnoid hemorrhage on June 21, 1999, leaving behind
a handful of songs, which the band eventually released as part of the EP/video boxset Shinwa. Kami was never replaced; from
that point on, Malice Mizer would only use support drummers (namely Shue, who is not shown in the band's later and final music
videos, nor credited) and Kami would be credited as "eternal blood relative" on all their future releases.