0 Items | £0.00


Sword Art Online Music: LiSa

Thursday 20th March 2014

Tom Smith on the rising Dead Monster girl, LiSA

LiSaSalarymen to the left of me, shoppers to the right. And here I am, stuck in the middle with otaku. Well, more accurately I’m frolicking with them, in Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall, a concrete amphitheatre that’s dwarfed by the towering skyscrapers of Tokyo’s business district to the west, and high-end retail haven Ginza to the east. Between the two is the venue, hidden in the peaceful Hibiya Park. Peaceful, that is, until 3,000 anime fans descend en masse, clutching chunky glow batons, wearing identical shirts and all waiting for the latest lady-singer that tickles the tastes of otaku to hit the stage; LiSA.

Born Risa Oribe, this 24-year old singer is probably best known to anime fans as Yui, one of the two vocalists from Girls Dead Monster, the fictional girl group of Angel Beats!.  The animated band has had very real success too. All three of their singles ranked top five or higher in Japan’s Oricon single chart, and their first and only album Keep The Beats! was awarded gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.

LiSaA band linked to a 13-episode anime will naturally have a limited life span, and once Girls Dead Monster had gone as far as it could, Oribe-san started work on her next musical project. Recruiting help from some of the indie band members she used to hangout with before her anime fame, she formed LiSA, an acronym for Love is Same All – not to be confused with the completely uppercase J-pop singer LISA. LiSA’s recently released full-length album LOVER“S”MiLE, debut EP Letters to U and her maxi single Oath Sign, are now available digitally from Amazon and iTunes stores across 20 countries, including the UK.

Staying faithful to her fans, ‘Oath Sign’ continued in the anime vein by featuring as the opening to the series Fate/Zero, the prequel to MVM’s Fate Stay Night. And her debut EP also had stars working on it from Japan’s doujin, popular with the crowds of Comiket – a festival celebrating all things fan-made and self-published. Her latest appearance on the radar of UK fans is singing "Crossing Field", the first opening theme to Sword Art Online.

What all this means is that her fans are a very different type than those of typical pop stars, idol singers and the like. They’re the type of devoted fans Akihabara is famous for, and LiSA’s record label knows it! After all, they gave shops in the area exclusive LiSA posters to give away with every CD sale.

These fans are out in force today, away from their natural habitat and sizzling under the sun. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve experienced all sorts of live shows in Japan, from super arenas to hidden underground live houses and everything in-between – but I’ve yet to see fans as devoted as these. There’s tears, there’s cheers, there’s the waving of glow sticks in perfect unison like some kind of tribal dance. And they’re doing it from start to finish – everyone. Even at the end of the show fans refuse to go home and begin singing LiSA songs in full, a cappella style – and I’m not talking about the bits before the encore. Or even right after the encore. The crew are out dismantling the stage and still the fans refuse to go home. It’s all rather endearing.

Will fans outside of Japan appreciate her music in quite the same way? Only time will tell, but with her releases now out worldwide, and a show in the pipeline for America this summer, the time to find out may not be that far away.

Sword Art Online, featuring the opening theme "Crossing Field" by LiSa, is out now on UK DVD and Blu-ray from Manga Entertainment.

Buy Sword Art Online Part 1


Sword Art Online Part 1 (episodes 1-7)

was £19.99
In the year 2022, next-generation game Sword Art Online (SAO) is the world's first true VRMMORPG. A virtual reality helmet known as Nerve Gear has been developed, making Full Dives into a virtual dimension possible.
SAO has generated worldwide buzz, and on its official launch day, one player, Kirito, immerses himself in its virtual world. But Akihiko Kayaba, the developer of SAO, proclaims the following to all players. This game is inescapable unless all levels are cleared. And in this world, 'Game Over' is equivalent to death in the real world.
Contains episodes 1-7
Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles, Spanish subtitles.



Sword Art Online

Matt Kamen levels up on the RPG to end all RPGs
Kazuto Kirigawa is a reclusive teen, most of his free time invested in video games. As one of the few people selected as a beta tester for Sword Art Online, he’s been anxiously awaiting the final version for a chance to return to his unreal life as ‘Kirito’, his avatar. He’s not alone – advance buzz has been positive, and with the first production run limited to 10,000 units due to the proprietary virtual reality helmet, it’s been an instant sell out. Release day goes smoothly – until players realise it’s impossible to log out.


Digital transvestite Tom Smith on the girl who’s hearing voices
Before taking on the part of Asuna, Haruka Tomatsu had accumulated over one hundred titles featuring her vocal talents, spanning anime, videos games and drama CDs. Achievement unlocked.

Sword Art Online Music: Eir Aoi

Tom Smith on a singer’s internet fame
INNOCENCE, at the time of writing, has been Eir Aoi’s biggest selling, awarding her a peak position of six in the weekly Oricon chart.

Sword Art Online music: Luna Haruna

Tom Smith on the Gothic Lolita who overflies all the competition
Meet Haruna, the artist behind Sword Art Online’s third ending theme; Overly. At the age of twenty she managed to land her dream job as a singer. And not just any singer; an anime singer!


Andrew Osmond says, if you like that, you might like this…
Summer Wars and Sword Art Online are made for a generation who’ve grown up with and within virtuality: social networks, video streaming, games without borders or ends. Both anime are adventures about things going wrong in cyberspace, but neither are technophobic; on the contrary, they’re all about hugging the avatar.


Blood C: The Last Dark

Director Naoyoshi Shiotani on getting the darkness right
“In every theatre you have different light, so you can never be sure what it’s going to look like. So you have to think; will this be okay, will you lose details in that kind of darkness? It was hard to calculate all that.”

Attack on Titan music: Yoko Hikasa

Paul Browne on the songstress behind the dramatic ending theme
‘Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai’ (This Beautiful Cruel World) is, on the whole, a wistful and enigmatic song that seems strangely disconnected from a series that regularly deals with death and despair. Yoko Hikasa’s mesmerising vocals manage to draw the viewer in, lending an air of reflection and regret.

One Piece: Strong World

The Straw Hats Pirates come together for an adventure like no other...
Written by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda himself, Strong World leads the Straw Hats into the deadly path of Golden Lion Shiki.

Naruto Music: Asian Kung Fu Generation

Tom Smith on the Britmaniacs behind the Naruto theme.
They’re so loud and proud that they insist on writing it all in caps: ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION – possibly one of Japan’s most important alternative rock acts. The group’s tenth single ‘After Dark’ makes for the energetic, guitar-heavy opening theme to the latest volume of Bleach, released in the UK this month, and the group’s sound might at first seem reminiscent of America’s indie scene dashed with elements of punk, it actually has a lot more in common with The Who, their generation, and the sea of British-based guitar heroes that have appeared since.

Guilty Crown Goes Dark

Andrew Osmond on anime that turn to the dark side…
If it sounds like Guilty Crown’s getting dark, it is. In particular, there’s been a lot of comment on how dark some of the main characters get, in a series that seemed relatively light, even cheesy, in its first half. Star Trek used to have episodes set in a so-called ‘Mirror Universe,’ where the familiar cast could be really bad. Guilty Crown does something similar, without the mirror.

Robotics Notes

Andrew Osmond tries to build his own robot…
Robotics;Notes could be called You Can Build Your Own Giant Robot! It’s about geeks engaged in a preposterous project; building the mecha they’ve seen in anime for real. The show’s aimed at viewers who might think they really could. After all, they’d probably heard of otaku who have built oversized robots for real.

Kite: the Movie

A live-action remake of the anime classic
Right, hands up those of you who have been betting on which 1990s anime would get a Western live-action remake first. Ok, who had Ghost in the Shell? Evangelion? Cowboy Bebop? But Yasuomi Umetsu’s notorious sexed-up actioner Kite (1998) has beaten them all to the screen, starring anime fan Samuel L. Jackson.
Another MCM London Comic Con has come to an end and we would like to say a huge thank you to all the fans that came to visit the Manga UK booth over the weekend. We had a great time meeting you all and watching you take part in the Anime Karaoke!
Contact Us   |   Refund Policy   |   Delivery Times   |   Privacy statement   |   Terms & Conditions
Please note your card statement will show billing by MVM. Sword Art Online Music: LiSa from the UK's best Anime Blog.