By the time Fairy Tail Part 9 hits the shops here, the J-pop band responsible for its ending theme will be fast approaching their second anniversary – of breaking up! Though, this particular writer can’t help but think Fairy Tail may have had something to do with the band’s demise…
Back in 2006, singer KIM and keyboard buddy AIBA were regulars at local rock joint SENDAI Neo BrotherZ. There, they bumped into their future bandmates SOYA and TOSHIRO. At the time, SOYA was vocalist and rapper in another band while TOSHIRO span and scratched vinyl as a DJ. By January 2007 they had united and made their new band; Hi-Fi CAMP, and they managed to get snapped up by a big entertainment agency shortly after.
In 2008 they were ready to unleash their first single Kizuna and break out of Sendai. They ended up having a massive hit, one that turned out to be the biggest of their career and landing them in the top 20 of Japan’s Oricon singles chart. It also featured in Jae-young Kwak’s sci-fi comedy Cyborg She, helping it build popularity outside of Japan too.
Technically, it wasn’t exactly their most successful song. That title belongs to a single released two months later, Konotoki, Kitto Yume Ja Nai. Although this isn’t a Hi-Fi CAMP track per se, the band composed the music and wrote the lyrics to it before handing it over to J-pop giants SMAP, who managed to get a number one single with it, leading to the song selling enough copies for it be certified Gold by the Recordings Industry Association of Japan.
Anyway, I digress. Back to Fairy Tail and the splitting up of Hi-Fi CAMP! The foursome had a string of so-so singles before jumping to major label Pony Canyon towards the end of 2011. With their help, the boys managed to land their first (and only) anime tie-in – no prizes for guessing which one.
The song was Kono Te Nobashite (‘This Stretched Out Hand’), and it first appeared from episode 99 of Fairy Tail, later to be replaced by the band’s second outing in anime, entitled Boys Be Ambitious!!, following through until episode 125. Despite the catchiness of either track, they managed to earn the band some of their worst chart positions so far, barely making it in to the top 100. Pony Canyon swiftly dropped them, and the band quickly fell apart.
The Fairy Tail curse? I’m not sure. But if you are a fan of the band, or just liked the tracks you heard in the series, don’t fret too much. A new band has emerged featuring Hi-Fi CAMP’s founding members KIM and AIBA, called Panda Lion. This new band has two additional vocalists besides KIM, as well as a DJ, who, according to the band’s profile page, is also in charge of ‘clapping’ – It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it
Fairy Tail Part 9 is out on UK DVD courtesy of Manga Entertainment.
The most powerful wizards in Fairy Tail travel to a remote island rich in magic - and history. There, they compete against one another to see who among them deserves to be given the title of S-Class. But where these wizards go, chaos is sure to follow. Their trials are interrupted when the most powerful of the dark guilds - Grimoire Heart - shows up in search of a legendary wielder of black magic. Once they find him, they'll use his skills to bring death to every corner of the world. As magic forces converge on the island, one of Fairy Tail's former masters makes an unexpected appearance. If the guild is going to stop Grimoire Heart's devious plans, they'll first have to face their own past. Contains episodes 97-108. Special Features: Select Episode Commentaries, Textless Opening & Closing Videos, U.S. Trailer, Trailers. Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.
Matt Kamen is your guide to the world of Fairy Tail!
Welcome to Earthland, where magic runs rampant and professional wizards sell their talents to the highest bidder! Populated by all kinds of mystical creatures, it’s a place of wonder but also one filled with peril.
Mystic action abounds in the second thrilling collection of Fairy Tail, as flame-spewing Natsu, ice-mage Gray, summoner Lucy and the rest of the gang take on sorcerous threats across the world of Earthland. The series is based on the long running manga by Hiro Mashima, and as the anime closes in on its 150th episode in Japan, it’s clearly shaping up to be the next Naruto or Bleach, delivering ongoing adventure to a devoted audience. Unlike a certain orange ninja or black-garbed grim reaper though, Fairy Tail’s roots do not lie in the pages of the famous Weekly Shonen Jump anthology.
It’s been said that two’s company, three’s a crowd. But for Japanese electro-pop duo AIRI and Koshiro, two is more than enough to party – to MAGIC PARTY! At least if the cutesy name of the pair’s musical project is to be believed.
Unlike a number of the bands featured on the Manga UK blog, W-inds haven’t had much of a history with anime tie-ins despite their massive success. In fact, in 14 years they’ve only ever done two anime themes; their first in Akira Amano’s Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, and more recently with Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail, where their 29th single Be as One became its sixth ending.
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.”
Andrew Osmond turns an anime eye on a new history book
If the past is truly another country, then Modern Japan: All that Matters suggests the average Japanese youth may be as remote from the land of shogun and samurai as Britain is from today’s Tokyo. Jonathan Clements’ new book is a concise history which focuses on the country’s last seventy years, from Japan’s surrender in 1945 to the present.
Jeremy Clarke on a documentary about Isao Takahata's remarkable feature
There's a real treat in store for all those eagerly awaiting the UK theatrical release on 20th March of Studio Ghibi's Oscar-nominated The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya. In selected cinemas, alongside the film itself, comes a superb documentary entitled Isao Takahata and his Tale of Princess Kaguya.