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Bleach Music: Vivid

Tom Smith on the band behind the 14th opening


The latest instalment of Bleach sees series protagonist Ichigo on the run. Following the defeat of Aizen, peace had returned to the Soul Society and World of the Living until Soul Reapers began to mysteriously disappear. With the evidence pointing towards a certain ginger-haired hero, Ichigo needs to vanish until his name is cleared.

Part 1 of series 15 also sees another disappearing act: the disappearance of five musicians with hair just as bright as these episodes’ defendant. Together they formed Vivid, the visual kei band responsible for “Blue”, the 14th opening to Bleach, and a band which stopped all activity last month, disappearing just weeks before their track would appear in the latest UK release of Bleach.

It really is unfortunate timing who knows what could’ve happened if they had held out a little while longer? In Asia, their career rocketed around the time of the single’s original release. They conducted their first Asia tour directly after, which included a comic and video game convention in Hong Kong, as well as Asia’s biggest music festival; Sundown in Singapore.

The festival appearances didn’t end there. Back in Japan the boys were added to the line-up of V Rock Festival 2011, the country’s biggest celebration of all things visual kei. There, they shared the stage with the likes of MUCC, Golden Bomber and Ohio’s own glam rockers Black Veil Brides.

Not bad for all that to happen following the release of a song in Bleach. The band were quickly gaining momentum, and the release of their follow-up single “Fake” marked the pinnacle of their career. No, not because the song (and the band!) featured in questionable mobile dating sim Koi to Shigoto to Kimi no Produce, but because the group managed to pull off a gig at the mighty Nippon Budokan – the equivalent of playing The O2 in London.

Vivid even managed to squeeze in a show in Europe, though it was before they hit the big time, before landing a major record deal. Back then they were rocking the Oricon Indies chart and turning heads of European visual kei fans, partly for belonging to the same management company as visual kei veterans the GazettE. They were invited to perform at Japan Expo in Paris during the summer of 2010, and within a month of the show they were snapped up by Sony and ready to launch their first major single; “Yume Mugen no Kanata”.

With the help of a major label behind them, “Yume Mugen no Kanata” marked a long run of tie-in singles from the group. This was their first with anime, with the track becoming the ending theme for Yoshihiro Togashi’s alien-prince high school comedy Level E. They’d later have themes in Mobile Suit Gundam AGE and Magi: Kingdom of Magic too before eventually calling it quits.

Bleach 15.1 is out on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment from 25 May. Vivid’s album Infinity, which includes Bleach opener “Blue”, is available from iTunes.

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