The chupacabra, a goat sucking cryptoid said to inhabit the Americas. CHU-BURA, a Japanese rock song from the band KELUN. Thanks to Manga Entertainment, there is proof that one of these now exists within the UK – and best yet, it poses no known risks to goat-kind. Yes, series nine of Bleach is here and it brings with it a single opening theme, and it would become Kelun’s most popular track to date.
Back in 2006 the band was known by a very different name. UTARI. The line-up was almost identical to today, with Ryousuke Kojima supplying the vocals, guitar and piano work, Satou Shuusake dropping bass-lines and Masahiro Kajitani keeping everything together on drums. Under that name the trio released a debut EP and were soon rocking up the Oricon indie chart.
By the following year the band made the transition to a major label, signing with Sony Music Entertainment. They emerged with a new name, continuing their activities, this time under the banner of KELUN. Within months their first major CD hit the shelves, entitled Astral Lamp. It featured six tracks, two of which became theme songs. First, opening track ‘SIGNAL’ was used as the sixth ending to the anime series Gintama. Then, album track ‘HEART BEAT’ as the opening theme to the live action vamp-boy drama RH Plus.
The CD peaked at 78 in the charts, and was followed up with their debut single ‘SIXTEEN GIRL’ – which may or may not be an Engrish prophecy as to how many people would buy it. Either way, it failed to enter the top 100 despite heavy tie-ins with various television shows.
Thankfully KELUN were third time lucky with their follow up single. It was CHU-BURA, and for Bleach fans, the CD came with two songs from their favourite franchise; the title track, from series nine, and the grammar defying B-side ‘Boy’s Don’t Cry’, which featured as the opening to the PSP action RPG Bleach: Soul Carnival. The single rocketed the band into the charts, landing them a respectable position at 20 in its opening week on sale – still KELUN’s highest ever ranking. Unfortunately, bassist Satou left the band just before the single hit, being quickly replaced by new boy Yukito, completing the group’s current line-up.
CHU-BURA’s success couldn’t have been better timed. Two months after its release KELUN dropped their first full length album, fresh off the success of the track. The whopping 17-track self-titled beast of an album included the single, plus alternative versions of ‘SIXTEEN GIRL’ and ‘SIGNAL’ from their first major EP. It seemed like they were set, they’d finally made it. And then the sales figures came in; KELUN (the album) got as high as 140 in the chart. From there, besides one collaboration single in 2009, the band disappeared from the limelight without a trace (their homepage has also been deleted). A shame, but at the least the legacy that is CHU-BURA lives on in Bleach.
Every ten years, seven magicians compete with them for a secret war in order to possess the Holy Grail. After this battle, the magician winner will have the right to see a heightened desire. Emiya Shiro is an ordinary high school boy except that he is the adopted child of a very powerful magician died. Emiya does not have the talent of his father but to cultivate a very specific, it can repair items. But the day he finds himself facing a battle between two wizards, it will awaken the power that lies dormant in him as a young woman's beauty as devastating as its power: Saber. The order of seven magicians is now met, the war begins.
Who watches the watchmen watching your thoughts...?
Psycho-Pass; the first half of the name should warn you. This is a blend of SF and horror by the studio which brought you Ghost in the Shell, now splicing cyberpunk, police procedural and splatter. There will be blood, and dismembered body parts, and if no-one’s actually eaten a human liver on the show yet, there’s still Psycho-Pass 2 to come.
I got quite excited when I found the clip online. "James Bond, aka Bondo (agent 007), the suave superspy who…" Alas, my delight was premature. It was a fan animation starring a green-eyed, spiky-haired pretty boy who looked as likely to bed the villain as shoot him - a quantum of solace, undoubtedly, but no help on my mission: find anime's answer to Bond.
Live-action remakes of classic anime titles are the subject of controversy and fan-rage in the anime community - Akira being a rather hot topic on that front, but could this be the saviour we’ve been looking for?
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.
Higanjima eagerly mixes the locked-room combat of Battle Royale with the viral horror of Resident Evil, with just a dash of the old-time religion of The Wicker Man, and presents that most tantalising of locations for the role-playing gamer – a private island of adventure, close to home and yet inhabiting a world of myth and magic.
They’re world-famous practitioners of pictorial media. They started out labouring in despised sub-cultures, then rose to become full-blown artists with establishment respect. Oh, and they both have really impressive facial hair. Miyazaki prefers to keep his beard neatly trimmed, but Moore’s magnificent bristle evokes a shaggy primeval forest, housing a Paleolithic shaman from Northampton or a bouncing bellowing Totoro. Or possibly both.