0 Items | £0.00


Japanese pop-singers, Level Stage Planning

Wednesday 6th February 2013

Tom Smith on anime's weirdly named pop-singers LSP.

Level Stage Planning

Larval Stage Planning. It may sound like a company you’d find in Yellow Pages, but if it’s the planning of stages you’re after, then this trio of J-pop beauties will only disappoint. But! If it’s theme songs you desire, it’s an entirely different story. They specialise in them, and the second series of Baka and Test – released on UK DVD this February – just so happens to contain one of their tracks as its opening; ‘Kimi + Nazo + Watashi de JUMP!!’, check it out in the video below.


The unit, which also goes by the initials LSP, was originally formed in 2010. If you thought their full-name was inappropriate, you clearly haven’t met their production company Fuctory Records – yes, it’s pronounced exactly how you think it is. LSP were formed and coached by long-time Fuc-er Eiko Shimamiya; a popular J-pop star that produced under her own name, as well as part of the (also bizarrely named) production collective ‘I’ve’. Eiko is best known for her songs featured in the ultra-violent anime and visual novel Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, and probably not so well known for featuring on a Fuctory Records compilation album along with a song called ‘F*CK ME’, without the safely placed apostrophe. If you haven’t already guessed from the not so subtle label name, Fuctory Records dealt with a lot of ‘adult’ game soundtracks.

Not so surprising, then, is that LSP is far from a conventional pop unit. Their first maxi-single ‘Rolling Star’ wasn’t even stocked in music retailers. Instead, if you wanted to pick up a copy you’d have to trot along to your nearest video game shop.  The title track of the single was used in the saucy PC title Kisaragi Gold Star, so was conveniently stocked where seedy ‘dating’-sim junkies went to get their digital seduction hits.

‘Kimi + Nazo + Watashi de JUMP!!’ was LSP’s follow up single. This one took the group in a new direction. ‘Rolling Star’ had caught the attention of anime-song specialists Lantis, who soon snapped up the girls to join their ranks alongside the likes of JAM Project (Dragon Ball Z), Milky Holmes and Natsuko Aso (also from Baka and Test). Lantis took the girls into the world of anime and placed their single ‘…JUMP!!’ as the sole opening of Baka and Test series two. It was also LSP’s first exposure to Japan’s official charts. The single managed to scrape into the top 40 of the daily charts, and narrowly missed out on the top 40 of the weekly charts. Their next single ‘Trip -innocent of D-‘, which really isn’t a euphemism, worked on the exposure the girls had gained from Baka and Test and led to their highest chart position to date, at 32 in the weekly charts, while also featuring in the anime High School D x D.

Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts – Complete Series 2, featuring an opening theme by Larval Stage Planning, is out 11 February on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

Buy it now


was £



One Piece. Pieces of Hate

Been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt....
Of the anime titles turned into T-shirts by Uniqlo, One Piece is the biggest – the reigning king of all the anime and manga franchises, pretty much unchallenged in the 16 years since Eiichiro Oda began the manga, and 14 since Toei Animation started animating it. But perhaps Uniqlo would have turned One Piece into a line of shirts even if the saga hadn’t been a world hit. Just look at those pirate designs – brash, cartoony, uncompromising. There’s no whiff of a committee, no hint of a five-year product plan reliant on changing a heroine’s hair colour (or deepening her cleavage). It just helps that the pictures are as commercial when they move as they are when they’re a cool static graphic in a manga, or on the front of a T-shirt.

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.

One Piece - ninja or pirates?

Matt Kamen turns video pirate!
“Ninja or pirates?” While Naruto – representing the ninja corner, of course – has proven hugely popular, UK fans have long been unable to weigh in on the other side. With the long-awaited arrival of One Piece on DVD this May, that finally changes.

One piece: Crew Manifest #1

Matt Kamen finds out who’s who in the One Piece anime
Monkey D. Luffy: The founder and captain of the Straw Hats, Luffy is a carefree soul who wants to become king of the pirates. After eating the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit, he gained an elastic body, making him near-invulnerable and able to stretch but paradoxically making him unable to swim.

One Piece: Crew Manifest #2

Back at sea for volume two of One Piece
Before you set sail on the second round of voyages for One Piece, brush up on who you’ll be encountering in this latest volume of nautical nonsense

One Piece music: TOMATO CUBE

Tom Smith on One Piece’s TOMATO CUBE
One-hit wonders. Every country has them. And, as PSY can most likely attest, very few musicians really want to be labelled as one. Sure, it’s all fun, games and fancy dinners when that royalty cheque floats through the letter box. The one with all the zeroes from that single from yesteryear that went massive. But what about the rest of your work? It must be somewhat unsatisfying as an artist to be known for one track, while everything else remains relatively overlooked, and expectations are high for that difficult follow up single. If you’re TOMATO CUBE, you do nothing. Ever again.


Check out the first teaser trailer of the upcoming Godzilla: Resurgence (Shin Godzilla) film.
Jordan and Fray have been checking out the new series that are being simulcast this season and have tried their very best to narrow down their favourites.
We'd like to thank those of you who came over to say hello, joined in with the karaoke, and made our weekend so awesome! Check out our photos from the weekend!

Podcast: Scotch Tape

Necromancy, ten years of NEO, and the carrot of continuations on our 27th podcast
Jeremy Graves is joined by the fragrant Gemma Cox of NEO magazine, the pungent Andrew Partridge from Anime Ltd, and the newly doctored Jonathan Clements to discuss Scotland Loves Anime, the Boom Boom Satellite Distraction Device, and rogue robot tanks.

Giovanni's Island

Jonathan Clements on this season’s classy anime feature
Ever willing to poke around in the interstices of history for children’s stories of the war, the Japanese animation industry alights here on the true story of Hiroshi Tokuno, on whose life story this film is partly based.

Naruto Music: Totalfat

Tom Smith on Naruto’s rising punk-pop stars
‘The next hero in the Japanese rock scene!” boldly claims their press release. Someone certainly believes in Japan’s rising guitar act TOTALFAT, it’s not every day there’s an English language press release accompanying a theme song from Naruto (or most anime for that matter).

Satoshi Kon Exhibition

The late animator celebrated in a Tokyo museum.
The Suginami Animation museum’s current exhibit should be of particular interest to British fans. It’s a showcase of the art of Satoshi Kon, who built an international reputation as a truly adult, often bitingly satirical anime director before his tragically early death in 2010
Contact Us   |   Refund Policy   |   Delivery Times   |   Privacy statement   |   Terms & Conditions
Please note your card statement will show billing by MVM. Japanese pop-singers, Level Stage Planning from the UK's best Anime Blog.