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Spyair: Back with the Best

Monday 12th January 2015

 Tom Smith on the return of one of anime’s most popular rock bands

SpyairA lot has changed since Manga UK first wrote about SPYAIR in 2013. Back then, the pop-rock act had just released their first international album through London’s JPU Records. It came packed with three exclusive bonus tracks for the UK release, all of which had featured in anime – including mega hit LAST MOMENT from Bleach Series 14 and fan favourite Samurai Heart, used in Gintama.

One of those changes can be seen above. The band’s official YouTube channel is now open to the world for the first time! As mad as it sounds, the channel was previously restricted to Japan only.

Another is the explosion of overseas fans. In 2013 SPYAIR embarked on their first European live appearance, performing at Paris’ dubiously named (but actually not awful) Tokyo Crazy Kawaii event. The boys managed to sell out of CDs before they had even hit the stage.

Right after that they flew straight to Korea for a headline show before releasing some new singles back in Japan that were tied in with the latest anime. First was JUST ONE LIFE featured in Samurai Flamenco (streaming now on Netflix), followed by Imagination in popular high school volleyball drama Haikyuu. It’s also one of their most watched music videos, clocking in at eight million views at the time of writing.

So where do the guys go from here? On their biggest domestic tour, that’s where!  At least that was the plan, but halfway through the mostly soldout schedule, vocalist IKE suddenly takes to Twitter to make an announcement that would shock everyone, including his bandmates. The message simply stated; “I will leave SPYAIR”.

Suddenly SPYAIR’s momentum came crashing down. The remaining tour dates were cancelled, and fans were left speculating what had happened. Before long a message appeared on the band’s official homepage explaining to situation.  IKE had been suffering from polyps on his vocal chords, combined with acute inflammation. It was affecting his performance, and it was pretty clear from his tweet that the pressure was affecting his mental health too.

And then there was nothing. Complete silence for months. All four members’ Twitter activity ceased. Information about the band dried up. It wasn’t looking good.

Then, without any warning, a new song eventually appeared on their YouTube channel entitled GLORY.

It featured footage of the band throughout the years, from their early street performances, to sold-out shows and festival appearances. The boys were back. And it turned out they were bringing their back catalogue with them!

Shortly after the video launched, accumulating hundreds of thousands of views within days, the band announced that IKE was on the road to recovery and SPYAIR would continue activities. The first step would be a new compilation album called BEST, collating a massive 16 tracks from the band, including all 14 of their singles, plus two never before released songs.

Upon release in Japan, BEST went straight into the charts at number three, and has also been picked up for release here digitally and on CD through JPU Records. With over 50 per cent of the album consisting of Japanese animation and TV themes, including Gintama, Gundam and Bleach, this could be an essential album for fans of anime and Japanese rock alike.

SPYAIR’s BEST album is out on special edition CD from JPU Records from 12 January 2015.

Buy it now



Death Note Complete Series And Ova Collectors Edition

was £59.99
On Blu-ray for the first time! Collected across 6 discs containing all 37 episodes of the hit anime series plus the bonus Death Note: Relight OVAs.

Light Yagami is a genius high school student who is about to learn about life through a book of death. When a bored shinigami, God of Death, named Ryuk drops a black notepad called a Death Note, Light receives power over life and death with the stroke of a pen. Determined to use this dark gift for the best, Light sets out to rid the world of evil... namely the people he believes to be evil.
Should anyone hold such power?
The consequences of Light’s actions will set the world ablaze.

Contains episodes 1-37 plus Death Note Relight OVAs on a bonus Blu-ray disc
Also features exclusive collectors edition rigid box packaging
Languages: English, Japanese and English Subtitles



Code Geass vs Death Note

If you liked that, you might like this
At heart, Death Note and Code Geass tell the same story. A teenage Tokyo schoolboy with a towering intellect, railing against the world, is given fantastic powers by a supernatural agency. He finds he can manipulate people like puppets and kill with ease. His power is bound by rules and restrictions, yet still seems godlike.


Some brilliant souls in South Korea are recreating Devil Fruits from One Piece in delicious looking, mouth-watering, cake form.

Attack on Titan: The Interview

Katsuhiko Kitada, Ryotaro Makihara and George Wada talk Titans
The cheering shakes the roof of the ExCel Centre. It’s October 2013, we’re at MCM London Comic Con, and the audience at the Attack on Titan panel has just been asked if they’d like a second season.

Bandai Museum, Tokyo

Rayna Denison checks out Bandai’s toy museum
In the dark days between the closure of the first Bandai-Gundam Museum in 2006 and the proliferation of Gundam cafes across Japan’s capital over the past few years, a small glimmer of mecha-shaped light remained for anime fans near Japan’s capital: the Bandai Museum in Mibu, Tochigi Precture. This new “Omocha-no-machi” Bandai Museum opened in 2007, following the demise of the original museum in Chiba, offering a huge collection of toys from the Edo-period to the present day.

Anime at the Oscars 2014

Andrew Osmond on Japan's chances at this year's Academy Awards
There are two anime among this year’s Oscar nominees: Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, competing for Best Animated Feature, and Shuhei Morita’s Possessions, vying for Best Animated Short. To date, there has been only one Japanese winner in each category. Miyazaki’s Spirited Away was the winning feature in 2002; Kunio Kato’s La Maison en Petits Cubes won Best Animated Short Film in 2008. What are the new films’ chances?

Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist

Akira Koieyama (Goken) on the latest entry in the franchise

Attack on Titan vs Akira

What about a world of kaiju zombies...?
"Anger is what really links Akira and Titan. Teen rage is at their core, driving the action in spectacular ways."

John Lasseter on Animation

Pixar's producer on who killed the Catbus, spousal vetting and Big Hero 6
“Miyazaki’s reply was: I believe that if the American audience really wants to understand my films, they should all learn Japanese. I went: Thank you! but that’s not really going to help me with this. Then Miyazaki said: I trust you, do what’s right.”

Fairy Tail: Phoenix Priestess

Anime’s answer to the summer blockbusters
This is the perfect summer blockbuster movie, as well as a textbook example of how to do a spin-off feature just right. Modern-day Hollywood could learn a lot from Phoenix Priestess, even as it sticks to lessons from an older version of the American Dream Factory.

Good Luck Girl

Helen McCarthy goes in search of a teenage goddess
Momiji Binboda is no normal teenage girl, but a Goddess of Misfortune sent into the human world to correct a dangerous imbalance in the flow of good fortune and happiness.
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