Matt Cab and Grace Aimi Release ‘Honemade Aishite’
24.January.2023 | MUSIC
Matt Cab and Grace Aimi released a cover of the song Honemade Aishite (Love Me to the Bone) on January 19, 2023.
The lyrics for Honemade Aishite were written by Kohan Kawauchi, a master author and screenwriter who also wrote the lyrics for the classic hit songs Ofukurosan and Isezakicho Blues. It was composed by Jun Kitahara, the man behind Showa era hits like Inochikurenai, Kyodai Jingi, and the theme song for Manga Nippon Mukashi Banashi. Now, a massively popular song from the 1960s has been revived in 2023 with a new hip-hop sound.
Last October, Matt Cab and Grace Aimi each released a studio session video of the new track on each other’s social media pages, instantly attracting attention and rave reviews from several artists. Pulling in nearly 1 million views, there was clearly major fan demand for a full release.
The song combines a structure, melody, and lyrics that capture the feeling of the Showa era while also infusing elements of modern hip-hop and R&B.
Matt Cab & Grace Aimi
Honemade Aishite (Digital Single)
Release Date: January 19, 2023
Streaming URL: https://lnk.to/HoneMadeAishite
Lyrics: Kohan Kawauchi
Composition: Jun Kitahara
Arrangement: Matt Cab
Blue Lock Anime Series Inspires New Collaboration Items from SuperGroupies
Japanese apparel brand SuperGroupies has released a new collection of bags and watches inspired by the anime adaptation of Blue Lock. The items feature the four main strikers aiming to become the best in the world. All items are made-to-order, so be sure to order while you can!
Tote Bag (Yoichi Isagi ver.)
This tote bag features a Blue Lock-inspired chain.
A perfect size for taking to practice or for use in everyday life, the inside pocket is modeled after a soccer field.
The front pocket is Isagi’s representative green color and features his name and his jersey number, 11. It also features his iconic quote “I… I want to win by my own goal!!!”
Fans will also notice the letter Z and number 299, referring to his initial team and Blue Lock rank.
Watch (Rin Itoshi ver.)
This wristwatch features a chain design and the Blue Lock logo on the back.
The metal piece at 12 o’clock is shaped after the Blue Lock emblem and features a crown motif reminiscent of the world’s best striker rank and Itoshi’s jersey number 1 during the Second Selection. The second hand is turquoise, Rin’s representative color.
The turquoise stone at 9 o’clock is a subtle reference to Itoshi’s birth month of September. This is a perfect addition to any casual or formal outfit!
Blue Lock Collaboration
Watches & Bags (8 varieties total)
Order Period: January 30 – February 20, 12:00
Watches / Early July 2023
Bags / Early June 2023
Watches / ¥18,700 each (Tax Included)
Bags / ¥14,300 each (Tax Included)
Singer-Songwriter Minami Releases ‘Rude, Lose Dance,’ Opening Theme for Record of Ragnarok Season 2
Singer-songwriter Minami has been in the spotlight lately, performing the opening theme for the new Urusei Yatsura anime series alongside MAISONdes and SAKURAmoti. In October 2022, she also performed the vocals on the mash-up track Suisei x Konyawa Boogie Back nice vocal meets Yuri on Ice. The track was used in a hugely popular Suntory Horoyoi commercial.
Following this wave of popularity, Minami has released the song Rude, Lose Dance on all major streaming services! The singer also announced that her upcoming EP LOSE LOOSE DAY, her first EP in over a year and a half, will be released on March 22.
Minami made her major label debut in January 2019 with Kawaki wo Ameku, the opening theme for the Domestic Girlfriend anime series.
Since her debut, the singer has become popular both in Japan and abroad, with her YouTube channel filled with supportive comments from fans around the world. Her new song Rude, Lose Dance has been chosen as the opening theme for the second season of the Record of Ragnarok anime series, now available to stream on Netflix worldwide.
The fast-paced animated music video for the song, along with the jacket cover, was created by Kazuki Oekaki, a manga artist and illustrator.
Be sure to check out the music video on Minami’s official YouTube channel!
Rude, Lose Dance
In addition to the main character, many background characters appear in the video. A campaign is currently underway on social media, asking fans which of these curious characters they’d like to see in one of Minami’s future music videos. Check out the website below for more information and to place your vote!
Minami will release the EP LOSE LOOSE DAY on March 22, a year and eight months after the release of her previous EP DROP. The release will include last year’s hit GOOD LUCKER, Rude, Lose Dance, and three brand-new tracks.
In addition to the standard CD-only Blue Check disc, the Red Check disc comes with a 14-page original comic by Kazuki Oekaki. The Yellow Check disc comes packaged with the music videos for GOOD LUCKER and Rude, Lose Dance along with original playing cards. The Green Check disc will be released in a total of four formats including a radio CD, a first for Minami.
Minami will kick off her FREEZING CANDY TOUR 2023 on March 25, visiting 18 cities across Japan and performing 20 shows.
BABYMETAL Completes 2-Day Performace at Makuhari Messe, More Shows Announced for Next Chapter
04.February.2023 | MUSIC
To coincide with BABYMETAL’s 10th anniversary last year, the group announced that it would “seal” itself off from the world until further notice in October 2021. On January 28 and 29, 2023, the band held BABYMETAL RETURNS -THE OTHER ONE-, a two-day performance at Makuhari Messe. After a year of silence, the girls are finally back ahead of the simultaneous worldwide release of their concept album THE OTHER ONE on March 24, 2023. The two successful shows welcomed fans into the new world of BABYMETAL, attracting over 30,000 people.
On January 27, the Japanese government revised the country’s guidelines for dealing with COVID-19, abolishing the restrictions on maximum attendees allowed in concert halls. The first performance on January 28 felt even more celebratory as a result, with masked fans able to participate as if they had returned to a time before the Coronavirus. The audience cheered and the girls performed their hearts out, reviving BABYMETAL in a whole new way. BABYMETAL held the ‘LEGEND – METAL GALAXY’ concert at Makuhari Messe in January 2020–the last show prior to the world-changing pandemic.
BABYMETAL performed a total of 13 songs on January 28 and January 29, including five new songs from the upcoming concept albumTHE OTHER ONE. As the audience watched on, the venue was filled with quiet tension as the band returned to the stage for the first time in a year and a half. Fans were given Savior Masks to wear–the dress code for the BABYMETAL unsealing ceremony. At the start of the show, a story video began playing to announce the ten parallel worlds that are represented in the upcoming concept album. Ten apostles appeared on the runway stage, walking from one side to the other in veils and holding wands. A massive stone fox gate appeared, where the members of BABYMETAL were said to be frozen in eternal sleep. Arriving at the gate, the apostles raised their wands and the gate opened in a flash of light and smoke, revealing SU-METAL and MOAMETAL. The two took to the throne and the ceremony began!
The audience’s excitement rose to a fever pitch as SU-METAL rose from the throne to perform METAL KINGDOM. The audience began to get even more excited by the dynamic dancing and powerful singing of the Avengers, who joined in on the next song Divine Attack. Following, BABYMETAL’s more popular tracks began playing in rapid succession including Distortion (feat. Alissa White-Gluz), PA PA YA!! (feat. F.HERO), Gimme Chocolate!!, and Megitsune.
In the video shown before the song Doki Doki Morning, it was announced that the door to the new world, the METALVERSE, was ready to open, revealing new lifeforms and plenty of new experiences. While the first half of the song was the same as always, the second half featured a new arrangement. Suddenly, a mysterious trio appeared on another stage. It was as if a parallel world was appearing before the audience’s eyes, with both groups dancing and singing in unison.
The second half of the live performance featured the new song Light and Darkness, telling the story of a world where light and darkness intersect. The group also performed Monochrome, with the audience’s smartphones beautifully illuminating the venue and adding color to the monochrome world.
As the concert began to come to a close, the audience responded by dancing along to an intense performance of Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!! The girls also performed their signature track Ijime, Dame, Zettai and Road of Resistance. BABYMETAL screamed “We are BABYMETAL,” causing the audience to respond in kind.
For the finale of BABYMETAL’s revival, the group performed the new song THE LEGEND. SU-METAL and MOAMETAL stood on two moving stages each representing the symbol of THE OTHER ONE (∞), soon starting to float in the air, moving slowly from the two ends of the stage to the center of the venue as if the two circles overlapped. The audience was soothed by SU-METAL’s singing voice, which gently enveloped the venue, and MOAMETAL and her choir in white.
As the ending movie played, it was announced another seal would soon be opened, and that BABYMETAL would soon be standing on a new stage. SU-METAL and MOAMETAL appeared on stage again and began to climb the steps of an aerial staircase, reminiscent of the stairs to the living legend that appeared in the infinite universe. Two crystal coffins appeared and the girls got in, prepared to be sucked into the gate to the multiverse. Suddenly, an arrow of light was shot between the two coffins, and another crystal coffin appeared, with someone new appearing in front of the third coffin. As the three coffins came together and the gate to the new universe pulsed bright red, the performance came to an end with a flash of intense light.
BABYMETAL was successfully resurrected, sharing their determination to start anew with the audience. The BABYMETAL RETURNS – THE OTHER ONE – performance opened a gate to unknown worlds filled with mysteries far beyond our imagination. What was the third coffin? What three lifeforms appeared on the opposite stage? During the ending movie, fans were excited to see that BABYMETAL BEGINS -THE OTHER ONE- would be held at Pia Arena MM on April 1 and April 2, 2023. A new METAL will be born on Fox Day on April 1, the same day that BABYMETAL will begin the journey to a new world.
The quickest way to preorder tickets for BABYMETAL BEGINS – THE OTHER ONE – is to register for THE ONE 2023. Preorders will start on January 30 at 18:00. See the special website for more details!
BABYMETAL BEGINS – THE OTHER ONE – will also be broadcast exclusively on WOWOW on March 25, 2023.
BABYMETAL RETURNS – THE OTHER ONE –
Dates: April 1, April 2
Venue: Pia Arena MM
Doors Open 16:30 / Show Starts 18:00 (April 1)
Doors Open 15:30 / Show Starts at 17:00 (April 2)
BABYMETAL Tour Information: https://www.babymetal.com/tour/
THE OTHER ONE (Concept Album)
Release Date: March 24, 2023
Voice Actor Daiki Yamashita Releases ‘Action,’ the Second Ending Theme for Yowamushi Pedal LIMIT BREAK
On March 8, 2023, voice actor and singer Daiki Yamashita will release his first album, from here. Ahead of this exciting date, the songAction is now available on streaming services! The track was chosen as the second ending theme for the anime series Yowamushi Pedal LIMIT BREAK.
Action is a duet with fellow musician and personal friend Saeki YouthK. The song pairs both voices expertly, and it’s clear to listeners that these two performers are incredibly close. Focusing on those with belief and those who are believed in, the horn arrangement was provided by Saeki YouthK and is a unique element of the song. The recently released jacket cover illustration was created by the up-and-coming artist Aruta and depicts one character looking forward as another looks back. More information on the upcoming streaming release campaign for Action has also been announced, with a Twitter sharing campaign having already begun. See the official website for more details.
The Limited First Edition release of from here will include a set of three clear cards, and images of these cards have been released! A release event and online autograph event will also be held in Tokyo in March.
from here (1st Album)
Release Date: March 8, 2023
Where to Buy: https://official-goods-store.jp/yamashitadaiki/
Daiki Yamashita – from here (1st Album) Music Video Viewing and Release Party at Gamers
Venue: Akihabara Gamers Main Store
Event Date:March 11, 2023 [Doors Open] 12:30 / [Show Starts] 13:00
Event Details / How to Apply: https://www.gamers.co.jp/contents/event_fair/detail.php?id=3336
Daiki Yamashita – from here (1st Album) Release Event and Listening Party at Animate
Venue: Animate Annex 4F (Ikebukuro)
Event Date:March 18, 2023 [Show Starts] 14:00
Event Details / How to Apply: https://www.animate-onlineshop.jp/contents/fair_event/detail.php?id=108734
MeeUP: Daiki Yamashita 1st Album from here Online Autograph Even
Target Locations: MeeUP
Date: March 4, 2023 / 14:00
Sales Period: January 27, 18:00 – February 10, 23:59
Sales Method: Lottery
Product: from here – Daiki Yamashita (1st Album)
Limited First Edition: ¥5,500 (including tax) / Standard Edition: ¥3,300 (including tax)
Event Details / How to Apply: https://meeup.tokyo/products/yamashitadaiki_20230304
Limited Stand: Daiki Yamashita 1st Album from here Online Autograph Event
Target Locations: Limited Stand (Limista)
Date: March 4, 2023 / 18:00
Contents: Online Autograph Event
Sales Period: January 27, 18:00 – February 10, 23:59
Sales Method: Lottery
Product: from here – Daiki Yamashita (1st Album)
Limited First Edition: ¥5,500 (including tax) / Standard Edition: ¥3,300 (including tax)
Details / How to Apply: https://limista.jp/projects/3692
Upcoming One Piece Netflix Series Coming in 2023, First Live-Action Visual Revealed
03.February.2023 | ANIME&GAME
Netflix has announced that it will release the live-action adaptation of One Piece worldwide in 2023.
One Piece is one of Japan’s most popular and long-running manga series. Created by Eiichiro Oda, the manga has sold over 500 million copies worldwide.
The series was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997, starting with the protagonist Monkey D. Luffy going on a journey with the Straw Hat Pirates to find the One Piece, a treasure that was left behind by the legendary “Pirate King” Gol D. Roger.
The live-action project has gained a ton of attention on social media, with the cast being revealed in 2022. As the world awaits more production news, the first live-action visuals have been released along with the news that the series is coming in 2023.
Following the hugely positive feedback for ONE PIECE FILM RED, fans are ready to see the Monkey D. Luffy once again in the first episode of the Netflix series titled ROMANCE DAWN – Dawn of Adventure-.
In the original series, Luffy, who admires the great pirate Shanks after meeting him in his hometown of Foosha as a child, decides to become the Pirate King, taking to the open seas to make his dream come true.
During his unpredictable adventures, Luffy meets a group of friends who he can always trust.
The newly-released visual shows Luffy (played by Iñaki Godoy) in his trademark straw hat, raising his right fist to the sky.
On his Instagram page, Godoy often posts pictures of his friends and fellow cast members including Mackenyu (Roronoa Zoro) and Jacob Gibson (Usopp). Fans have been largely pleased with the casting choices.
The extraordinary success of ONE PIECE FILM RED made headlines in 2022, as the film topped the yearly box office in Japan. It finally ended its theatrical run on January 29.
Will you be tuning in to the live-action Netflix series?
Coming to Netflix worldwide in 2023
KAWAII LAB. Report #18: The Lowdown on FRUITS ZIPPER’s New Track ‘Happy Chocolate’ ♡
03.February.2023 | MUSIC
FRUITS ZIPPER released the new song Happy Chocolate on February 1, 2023. Happy Chocolate was written by Shou Yamamoto, who previously wrote the group’s smash-hit second single Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro, which currently has over 600 million views on TikTok.
In this new report, we sat down to interview the members about their new song Happy Chocolate. Read on to see more about the new track’s cute choreography, highlights of the lovey-dovey music video, and much more!♡
–What kind of a song is Happy Chocolate?
Luna: “This Valentine’s Day song is packed with tons of cuteness. It’s one of those songs you’ll catch yourself humming to and can’t get out of your head! My favorite lyrics are “I want to reward myself with my love,” and “I want to reward myself starting today!” I want to reward myself every day for my hard work.”
–What were your first impressions of the song?
Amane: “I thought it sounded so cute and happy. When I heard that it was a Valentine’s Day song, I was shocked that it was already that time of year!”
Mana: “I couldn’t get the chorus out of my head, and even before I learned the whole thing, I was humming it constantly. I instantly thought that when the song was released, it would be stuck in people’s heads for a while!”
–The Happy Chocolate dance is super cute. What do you focus on to make it extra adorable?
Karen: “The video is full of us eating chocolate, and the trick making that extra cute is to focus on how you take a bite!”
Noel: “I think it’s pretty easy to make a dance cute if you dance with lots of chocolate in mind! When you’re dancing, think about how sweet chocolate is, how much you love it, and how yummy it is! ♡”
–Tell us your favorite part of the Happy Chocolate music video!
Yui: “I hope everyone enjoys this music video with all of us eating chocolate together!
There is a cutout with a hashtag somewhere, so be sure to take a look at it and see what it says.🥰 Personally, I hope you don’t miss the face about 3 seconds before the end of the music video!” ♡ (Laugh)
Suzuka: “I love the scenes where everyone is dressed up cooks making chocolate.♡
In the first take, everyone was really cooking without paying attention to the camera. It was a real FRUITS ZIPPER moment (laugh).
Our outfits are so cute too! ♡♡
Also, look at the rings on my fingers, they are so cute!”
–Do you have any messages for the fans?
Yui: “I think this song is an interesting and extremely cute pop song. I think FRUITS ZIPPER shows off so many kinds of kawaii♡ It’s NEW KAWAII!” ♡ (Laugh)
Happy Chocolate is a wonderful song that will not only make your heart pound this Valentine’s Day, but will also bring you plenty of happiness!
Please listen to it! 🥰”
Karen: “Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet, please fall in love with Karen!”
Happy Chocolate will be performed live for the first time at the FRUITS ZIPPER 1st One Man Tour 2023 -WINTER- ♡BE AT THE HEART♡ concert. Only general tickets are on sale for the expanded capacity show at Namba Hatch in Osaka on February 5 and the tour’s final show at LINE CUBE SHIBUYA in Tokyo on February 12, so grab them while you can!
Release Date: February 1, 2023
Streaming Links: https://ssm.lnk.to/HappyChocolate
Atarashii Gakko! Joins Amazon Music’s Family Friendly Series ‘Hee! Hee! Hoo!”
02.February.2023 | MUSIC
Amazon Music’s first music entertainment show for kids and families to be released in Japan is here! Hee! Hee Hoo! premiered on Prime Video on January 26. The four-member vocal and dance group Atarashii Gakko! is also participating in the project.
Hee! Hee Hoo! is a body-themed four-episode series featuring surreal and psychedelic visuals along with Amazon Music Original music for young kids and their parents. This project was made to entertain and educate babies and children by using original images and music to address the physical changes they’ll experience from birth to death and to explain the sensations they feel.
The members of Atarashii Gakko! appear in the first episode, performing the song BABY which was written exclusively for the show.
<Comment from Atarashii Gakko!>
“The theme for this show is so great–the four of us had so much fun coming up with ideas, writing lyrics, and making choreography! I hope even fetuses can enjoy it!!”
Hee! Hee! Hoo!
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video (4 episodes total)
*Anyone with an Amazon.co.jp account can watch.
Episode 1: Aren’t Toes Amazing?
Guest: Atarashii Gakko!
Vocaloid Producer Balloon Releases Hatsune Miku’s Image Song for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio
02.February.2023 | MUSIC
Keina Suda, also known by his Vocaloid producer name Balloon, has been rising in popularity with the release of the music video for his new track Darling. On May 24, he’ll release his second full album Ghost Pop, and his track Hana ni Kaze is being used to promote Hatsune Miku’s 360 Reality Audio Experience at the Sony Store. This catchy track will be released on all major streaming services on February 10, 2023. In addition, the cover for the song, created by Avogado6, has also been revealed.
The song was created exclusively as the campaign song for Sony Store’s exclusive Walkman and accompanying headphones featuring exclusive Hatsune Miku designs by Avogado 6. These are available to order now, and starting January 27, Sony Store locations are offering a new listening experience, allowing guests to enjoy Hana ni Kaze with Sony’s 3D Reality Audio.
In addition to this listening experience, a special viewing event was held in theater rooms, making guests feel as though they were at a live concert. Reservations were required to participate.
Visit the official Sony website for more information!
Hatsune Miku’s 360 Reality Audio Experience at the Sony Store
Ghost Pop (2nd Full Album)
Release Date: May 24, 2023 (CD/Download/Streaming)
Call of Artemis from D4DJ Releases First Album, D4DJ Groovy Mix Cover Tracks Vol. 7 Also Drops
Call of Artemis is a legendary all-girl DJ group from Bushiroad’s D4DJ media mix project.
The group is composed of Airi Amano (Nana Mizuki), Shano Himegami (Raychell), Mana Kase (Arisa Komiya), and Toka Takao (Hinako Umemura), all of whom bring incredible power and talent to the stage. On January 25, the group released its first full-length album.
The album is filled to the brim with epic tracks including the new song I don’t wanna lose, written by Tetsuya Komuro.
The album also comes with a Blu-ray featuring live footage from D4DJ D4 FES. LIVE – ALL IN, held at the Fuji-Q Highland Conifer Forest on May 28 and 29, 2022, including Michiru Umihara’s performance, the performance by Lynx Eyes, and, of course, the show by Call of Artemis. It also includes a making-of featurette.
In addition to the first album by Call of Artemis, D4DJ Groovy Mix Cover Tracks Vol.7 has also been released! The D4DJ project is known for cover songs and fans won’t want to miss this 12-song collection ranging from anime and Vocaloid tracks to game music and J-Pop.
©bushiroad All Rights Reserved.
Anime RPG Princess Connect! Re:Dive Gets 31st Character Song CD
The 31st Character Song CD from Cygames’ popular smartphone anime RPG Princess Connect! Re:Dive was released on January 25, 2023.
This new release includes the song Knight’s Soul sung by Matsuri (Asami Shimoda) and Christina (Chiaki Takahashi), as well as Hatsuyuki Twin Approach by Yori (Sayuri Hara) and Akari (Azumi Asakura). Original karaoke and solo remixes of each song are also included.
These tracks were used as the ending themes for the limited-time Tribal Spirits: Raising Sword and Pride Bridge event, which began last October, and the Happy Happening Happy Twin Angels and Christmas Eve Gift event, which began last November.
The songs are also available to stream on all major music streaming services!
In addition, a music campaign will begin on February 14 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Princess Connect! Exclusive A3-size posters (2 varieties) will be given to those who purchase the new CD at participating stores while supplies last.
© Cygames, Inc.
Hololive and DECO*27 Music Project holo*27 Reveals Second Song ‘Mosh Race’ by Sakura Miko and Usada Pekora
01.February.2023 | MUSIC
holo*27, a new music project collaboration between Hololive and DECO*27, has announced a new track coming to streaming services soon! Mosh Race by Sakura Miko and Usada Pekora has been released on January 27, 2023.
The new rock tune features playful lyrics by DECO*27 and catchy vocals by the two popular Hololive VTubers.
The project will get an official album release on March 15. holo*27 Originals Vol.1 features ten new tracks by DECO*27, while holo*27 Covers Vol.1 features ten covers of classic DECO*27 tracks by Hololive VTubers. The limited-edition release will come with an exclusive shoulder bag only available with this product.
In addition, holo*27 Vol.1 Special Edition will also be released including both albums, a special art booklet, an original sticker set, and an original card.
The jacket artwork for the original album was provided by Miyoshi Yoshimi, while the pop art for the cover album was created by Omutatsu.
The Hololive talents participating in this album include Tokino Sora, Sakura Miko, Hoshimachi Suisei, Yozora Mel, Murasaki Shion, Nakiri Ayame, Yuzuki Choco, Ookami Mio, Nekomata Okayu, Usada Pekora, Shiranui Flare, Kanata Amane, Himemori Luna, Yukihana Lamy, La+ Darkness, Takane Lui, Hakui Koyori, Sakamata Chloe, Kazama Iroha, Moona Hoshinova, Airani Iofifteen, Kureiji Ollie, Takanashi Kiara, Mori Calliope, Gawr Gura, Nanashi Mumei, and Hakos Baelz.
Mosh Race – Sakura Miko, Usada Pekora
Streaming Links: lnk.to/holo27_moshrace
holo*27 Originals Vol.1/holo*27 Covers Vol.1/ holo*27 Vol.1 Special Edition
Release Date: March 15, 2023
Hololive 4th Fes. Our Bright Parade (Supported by Bushiroad)
holo*27 Performance: March 19, 2023
On-site/Stream opens at 12:00 / Show starts at 13:00
Venue: Makuhari Messe, Makuhari Event Hall
General Sales: https://l-tike.com/hololive2023
Hololive 4th Fes. Streaming Tickets
December 2, 2022 – April 19, 2023, 23:59
*The archived performance will be available immediately after the performance and can be viewed as many times as you like until 23:59 on April 19, 2023.
*The archived performance will no longer be available after 23:59 on April 19, 2023, even if you are in the middle of watching.
Official Website: https://hololivesuperexpo2023.hololivepro.com
LE SSERAFIM Holds Debut Showcase to Celebrate the Release of the Group’s First Single ‘FEARLESS’ in Japan
01.February.2023 | MUSIC
LE SSERAFILM is a five-member girl group consisting of Kim Chaewon, Sakura, Huh Yunjin, Kazuha, and Hong Eunchae. The first girl group produced by BTS’s label HYBE and SOURCE MUSIC held a debut showcase event on January 25 to celebrate the release of their first single, FEARLESS, in Japan.
This event was LE SSERAFIM’s first showcase in Japan and was an opportunity for the members to greet approximately 2,000 lucky fans. These fans were chosen by lottery from among those who pre-ordered the FEARLESS CD.
Held at Tokyo Dome City Hall, the venue went dark at the beginning of the showcase, prompting the audience of fans to immediately applaud as the intro of Blue Flame -Japanese ver.- began. At the same time, a chess piece was projected onto a large LED chessboard on stage. The crowd only became more and more excited as LE SSERAFIM’s logo and the White Baccharis-inspired concept photos of the members appeared before the members appeared in white costumes on stage. The members continued to mesmerize the audience with their incredible performance of Blue Flame -Japanese ver-, and once the song ended and the members left the stage, Masayuki Furuya appeared as the MC, chatting about the hyped K-pop artists, and inviting them back to enjoy a lighthearted chat. Amidst the applause from the audience, the girls introduced themselves for the first time following their debut in Japan and enjoyed a photo shoot for the media. Many members of the press were in attendance to see LE SSERAFIM’s memorable debut, and the packed space was a testament to the group’s immediate popularity.
When asked how their debut in Korea was comparable to their debut in Japan, Sakura responded quickly. “Even though I have experience debuting in Japan before, today felt more special. I’m a little more nervous. Of course, it makes sense to be a little anxious about starting fresh as a member of LE SSERAFIM, but I’m equally excited because I know that our fans will support us.”
The name of LE SSERAFIM’s fanbase is FEARNOT. “LE SSERAFIM is an anagram of the phrase ‘I’M FEARLESS,’ which embodies our goal to keep moving forward and to not be impacted by what anyone says,” said the group’s leader Kim Chaewon. The members then took turns discussing the tracks included in the Japanese release of the single FEARLESS.
FEARLESS -Japanese ver.-
Kim Chaewon: “This is the Japanese version of FEARLESS, the title track of our debut album in Korea. I think it’s the song that best shows what we’re all about–we’re always moving forward and we refuse to be stuck in the past.”
Blue Flame -Japanese ver.-
Hong Eunchae: “Blue Flame, which we just performed for the first time on stage, was on our debut album in Korea. Chaewon and Yunjin directly added their lyrics to the original version for the Japanese release, making the song even sweeter.”
Kazuha: “The third track, Choices, is LE SSERAFIM’s first original Japanese song. It has retro hip-hop and R&B vibe, and I think it’s stylish. It has a street culture feel too. This is also our first drama tie-in song! It’s the theme for the show How to Spend Money Happily.”
The music video for FEARLESS -Japanese ver.- was released at midnight on January 25th. “To portray LE SSERAFIM’s goal to always move forward, we thought about chess–the queen can move wherever she likes,” said Sakura. “I really hope that everyone enjoys the Japanese version of FEARLESS!”
“The music video was shot with a completely different image in mind when compared to the Korean video,” said Yunjin. “We had a lot of fun during the shoot. I have so many favorite scenes, but the final one with the words ‘I’M FEARLESS’ and the LE SSERAFIM logo might be at the top.”
Kim Chaewon also chatted about the photo shoot for the single’s cover with a smile. “I wanted it to be different than the Korean cover and I wanted us to show off our new charm. The White Baccharis concept was inspired by what these flowers stand for in flower language, which is ‘trailblazing’ or ‘breaking new ground.’ In the Pink Musk photo shoot, we strived to show the fans our more human side. I remember preparing for the shoot by researching what poses would be best for each member.”
“I personally think that Kazuha and Eunchae looked so cute. Overall, the Pink Musk shoot was just adorable–I have all of the images saved in my personal picture folder,” Sakura said with a grin. She also claimed to have been given a lecture from Eunchae on how to pose, spurring her to start practicing on the spot. The members clearly have an incredibly close relationship.
“Since this is our first single for Japanese fans, we really wanted to share our goals and the freedom we’re seeking,” said Kim Chaewon. “We’ll keep doing our best while performing and creating music, so please support us!” The audience responded with a loud round of applause.
The Q&A corner featured questions collected from fans in advance. When asked about how the members of LE SSERAFIM have prepared for their incredible performances at music award ceremonies and other events, Kim Chaewon quickly responded. “To be honest, I feel like most of us always wish we had done better. We’re never satisfied with our current state, so we always worry and talk about how we can make our performances better. This happens right up until we’re on stage!”
After the music video for FEARLESS -Japanese ver.- was shown on the big screen, the members reappeared in their White Baccharis concept costumes. The game corner of the event began soon after!
In the first game, Checkmate – Let’s Take the King, each member had to complete a mission attached to their selected chess piece. The most exciting part of the event was the group mission, in which each member had to dance with perfect choreography to a very specific moment of Blue Flame -Japanese ver.- The girls also competed in a rock-paper-scissors duel with the MC and a tongue-twister challenge!
After a commemorative photo was taken with the audience, the event came to a close. One by one, the members expressed their gratitude to the fans who had gathered at the venue.
Hong Eunchae: “For me, today was a very exciting and happy day. I’m glad I was able to spend it with FEARNOT. Thank you so much! Make sure to keep your eyes on us!”
Kazuha: “Thank you so much for coming to our showcase today even though it’s so cold outside! We’ll keep doing our best so we can hang out with you again. Please support us going forward!”
Huh Yunjin: “We’re so happy to be making our debut in Japan and we’re so excited about what’s to come. I want to keep doing things for all the FEARNOTs out there! I love you all!”
Sakura: “Thank you so much for coming to our debut showcase today despite the cold weather and despite it being a weekday. I’m so excited to enjoy more time with the FEARNOT community in all kinds of places in the future, so please keep walking with us. Thank you so much for today!”
Kim Chaewon: Thank you FEARNOTs, for coming to our debut showcase in Japan. Please look forward to all of our Japanese activities in the future!”
The last song began with stylish chess visuals projected on LEDs, and finally, the girls began to perform FEARLESS -Japanese ver.-The first Japan showcase was an incredible success, and the audience watched in awe as the members performed their energetic dance moves. The Japanese version of FEARLESS managed to garner more attention than anyone expected, with some websites selling out of the single during the preorder stage. The track also reached the top spot on the Oricon Daily Chart on January 24.
The debut showcase event will be broadcast on the Amazon Music Japan channel on Twitch on February 20 at 20:00. This will include a behind-the-scenes making-of video and a special interview exclusively available during the stream. Check out LE SSERAFIM’s official website for more details!
(P)&(C) SOURCE MUSIC
FEARLESS – LE SSERAFIM (1st Japanese Single)
Release Date: January 25, 2023
Official Japan Site: https://www.le-sserafim.jp