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Bleach music: SID

Saturday 4th April 2015

Tom Smith on the band behind Bleach’s 14th Opening Theme

SIDThe Manga UK blog has covered a wide range of bands and singers from anime, but none of them have been on the same level as the visual kei / pop-rock group SID. Not only did they take their role in producing Bleach opening theme ‘Ranbu no Melody’ further than most (their bass player Aki went on to name his pets after the franchise’s characters), the song also become so popular that it eventually became a theme song for several other shows as well!

Bleach was the very first series that the single appeared in, and the group composed it with the anime in mind. The song is based on the singer’s own experiences of forming a band and the hardships endured while keeping the faith for a brighter future, with lyrics just vague enough that they could easily represent the struggles of Ichigo and pals, too.

‘Ranbu no Melody’ was SID’s eighth major-label single. Yet, despite it selling loads of copies, having a tie-in with Bleach (it came bundled with an exclusive calendar of the series too!) and then going on to be themes for oddly named Japanese TV shows such as Bebop! High Heels (a cultural variety series, apparently) and even weirder music programs such as A-ha-N and Chart Busters R, ‘Ranbu no Melody’ somehow managed to be SID’s lowest charting release in the Oricon Singles Chart up until this point. Not that that was a bad thing, all of their singles, including this one, managed to secure a top-five chart position – but while previous efforts enjoyed comfy number two and three slots, this one made its debut at number five. Even to this day, with the band celebrating their tenth anniversary, they have yet to release a CD that hasn’t entered the top-ten. Something very few bands achieve.

It also wasn’t their first partnership with anime, that honour belonged to their debut single with label Ki/oon, ‘Monochrome Kiss’, featured in Black Butler. In the time between then and Bleach they had also managed to squeeze a couple of songs into Fullmetal Alchemist, as well as FMA: Brotherhood.

Today, SID are still a powerhouse in the visual kei / pop-rock scene, only really topped by the might of L’Arc-en-Ciel. They celebrated their tenth anniversary last year with a tour that included a massive show at Yokohama Stadium as well as the famous Nippon Budokan.

The anniversary parties continued. As well as the tour, the band released their first ‘best of’ album, compiling some of their most popular songs of the past ten years. All the hard work sung about in ‘Ranbu no Melody’ had finally paid off – the album went straight to number one in the charts.

Unfortunately for overseas fans, SID’s following outside of Japan isn’t as strong as a number of their contemporaries. Germany’s Gan Shin took a punt and released SID’s indie album Hoshi no Miyako a while back, but didn’t release much more after that. Now that album has fallen out of license, leaving SID’s music exclusive to Japan.

Bleach: Series 14 Part 2 is out now on UK DVD courtesy of Manga Entertainment.

Buy it now


Bleach Series 14 Part 1 (episodes 292-303)

was £24.99
Ichigo returns from Hueco Mundo at last to battle Aizen. But in the face of Aizen's overwhelming power, Ichigo begins to lose his will to fight. The Thirteen Court Guard Squads are there to support him, and along with the Visoreds, they launch a full-scale attack. Even Head Captain Genryusai Yamamoto joins the fight, attempting to incinerate Aizen in a blazing inferno. But is anything enough to stop the Soul Society's ultimate foe?
Contains episodes 292-303.

Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.



Bleach music: Aqua Timez

Tom Smith on Aqua Timez, the band from the Bleach 6.2 soundtrack.
Many of the artists who perform the many themes of Bleach can attribute their entry to mainstream success to the famous anime series. And if not to Bleach, then to anime in general. That was until the five-strong pop squad Aqua Timez entered the scene.

YUI does Bleach for Rollingstar

Tom Smith reports on YUI, the all-caps rock chick.
It’s been suggested that Japan’s singer, song-writing guitar chick YUI is her country’s answer to Avril Lavigne. Amid an industry manufactured and micro-managed to levels that make England’s best pop efforts seem amateur in comparison, she stands out as beacon of musical delight. For teenage girls, she’s proof that you don’t need to buy into the squeaky clean, plastic smiles of sickeningly sweet J-pop to be a successful female musician; for guys she’s the girl next door, and for anime fans she’s composed and performed themes in some of the most prominent series of recent years, including Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Bleach and Japanese cleaning products

Matt Kamen strangles a puppy… for science
It’s gratifying to see a generation of people so interested in hygiene – that must be why you’re lining up to buy a series called ‘Bleach’, right? If some orange haired janitor with a fancy mop (mop, magical talking death sword – whatever) excites you, hold on for these other heroes of the Japanese cupboard space!

Bleach music: Kenichi Asai

Tom Smith on ‘Mad Surfer’ Kenichi Asai
“Try ‘n boogie, guns n’ tattoo” – there’s no greater embodiment of Kenichi Asai’s work than that opening line. As the words are dragged across the bluesy, rock n’ roll riff of Mad Surfer – the Japanese rebel’s song used as the 20th closing of Bleach – it’s difficult not to imagine smoke filled bars, motorcycles or leather jacketed misfits sporting hairdos your mother wouldn’t approve of.

Bleach music: SunSet Swish

Tom Smith on the band behind Bleach’s 21st Ending Theme
SunSet Swish held their first-ever live performance on Valentine’s Day 2004, at a small venue in Osaka Prefecture’s Hirakata city. A fitting introduction to the music world for a band whose claim to fame is having quite possibly the soppiest theme in Bleach history: ‘Sakurabito’.

Bleach music: P. Graffiti

Tom Smith on another band with an unfortunate name
Right, before we go any further allow me to clear up that name. Porno Graffitti (or just Porno for short – don’t google it) are a hugely popular rock duo influenced by 1990s American glam group Extreme, who themselves were inspired by the likes of Van Halen, Queen and Aerosmith. Extreme’s second album Extreme II: Pornograffitti (A Funked Up Fairy Tale) was released in 1990 – along with the single Get The Funk Out, which briefly flirted with the UK charts – and although it didn’t do too well at home in the States, it managed to catch some attention overseas. Not least Japan, where Extreme would later conduct a brief Japan-only comeback tour. The album clearly had an impact on the soon-to-be Porno Graffitti twosome, too.


Cosplay: Fairy Tail

Paul Jacques snaps another fan with a fiery passion
Daniel Hughes suits up with a fiery vengeance as Natsu Dragneel from Fairy Tail, season three of which is out imminently on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

New Ghibli Film Announced

Suzuki’s swansong will be the ultimate in exclusivity
Rough artwork has been leaked of Studio Ghibi’s next film, announced as the ultimate in collectibles: a film released in a single print, with a guarantee of no DVD or Blu-ray release. Slated for release in one year’s time, Gertie the Dinosaur began with the most unlikely of inspirations for a much-loved children’s studio.
With MCM London Comic Con just round the corner, we thought we’d put together a guide to help convention goers. Here are five things you must know in advance.

Harlock Space Pirate

The life and legend of Leiji Matsumoto's anti-hero
The new Harlock's ship is positively monstrous, a skull-faced battering ram that smashes other spacecraft to flinders. The press notes suggest the darkening of Harlock is a reflection of the times, and of modern Japan.
The new cross-content project, nowisee, (pronounced "noise"), is aimed at young people, asking them to "question the meaning of life".


Tears, cheers and liver-ripping fun with Japanese ghosts
The battle to destroy the eight seals dominating Kyoto steps up in this second half of the second series adapting the manga of the same name. Nura, our young hero, here finds his desire to use the supernatural to protect humans means he has put his clan in the way of much greater harm than ever before – and before series’ end, yokai, onymyoji and humans will have all spilled blood....
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