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Tom Smith on the rise of the UK clan

LM.C are amongst a very elite type of Japanese musician. The clan they belong to is so exclusive that its numbers barely reach into the double digits. And its members are also a diverse bunch, including a guitar legend named Tomoyasu Hotei, a boiler-suited new-wave trio called POLYSICS, to a dark, heavy noise making machine dubbed Dir en grey. There’s even pop goddess Hikaru Utada in there too to balance things out. What could this bunch of musical opposites have in common? They are of the very rare major-label Japanese act to have not only performed in the UK, but to have done it multiple times!

Aiji and Maya of LM.C even warn they’ll do it again – soon! The pair will grace the United Kingdom at least once more until then, and this time it will be through the medium of DVD.

In March the supernatural action romp Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan will return with its second series, subtitled Demon Capital. Along with a whole host of paranormal activity, the new season also brings with it four new opening and closing themes, and this time round LM.C is the band handling both of its openings.

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The first of the two is LM.C’s 13th single Hoshi no Arika and captures the unit’s poppier, eccentric side. Singer Maya’s outfit in the single’s video acts as a visual metaphor for the song’s sound, as he prances around in a tight leopard print jacket, with spiked jewellery and a lollipop in mouth – it’s over the top, has its roots in rock, but is ultimately sweet and innocent.

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From episode 14 The LOVE SONG takes over. This one chucks aside the sweetness of the previous opening, and replaces it with the same punk-rock attitude that LM.C were originally conceived in. Bye-bye leopard print, hello black jumpsuits and spikey hair.

It wasn’t the twosome’s first set of tie-ins with anime, but it is the only series to feature their music and have a UK release. Previously LM.C’s 2007 single BOYS & GIRLS had been used as the second opening to mafia-comedy Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. They’d return in 2008 to the anime with song 88, becoming its fourth opener.

Before that, however, they had had their first double whammy of anime openings in sci-fi series Red Garden, featuring the very first track from their debut single Rock the LM.C, a song which would become their live anthem, chanted by fans across the world, and OH MY JULIET.

All of the above songs, as well as their singles until 2011 have been included on Best the LM.C, their first compilation album, available now from iTunes. And don’t forget to keep checking their homepage for that promised return to Europe.

LM.C provide the opening themes for Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Season 2 Part 1 as well as Part 2. Part 1 out from 10 March on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

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