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  Eizo Sakamoto

Exclamatory Singer of Anime Songs Comes Out Again


On October 22, 2006, ZEPP TOKYO at Odaiba, Tokyo was filled with hard-core ANIMETAL fans.
It was the night of the very last concert of ANIMETAL.
The weather turning to rain late afternoon had turned to a severe thunderstorm by the time the concert started.
Up in the sky, thunder was drumming, and down on the earth, loud sound of ANIMETAL
and screams and shouts of the fans filled the air.
Eizo sang the last number, gPegasus Fantasyh, with his best shout and raised his arms in V-shape.
Total Victoryfwas the message dedicated to the ANIMETAL fans that were always with him all through the ten long years.

ANIMETAL that rushed through the front line of anime song world closed the book of its glamorous history.

When ANIMETAL was first heard with Eizofs first shout at Club Quattro in Shibuya in 1996,
who could have imagined the enthusiasm that would last for the next 10 years?
And who could have forecast the reborn of anime songs that would sweep all over Japan with ANIMETAL as its starting point?

The story began in the early 90s,
when anime songs were becoming stealthily popular with frequent concert events of the singers of the original songs.
However, anime songs carried negative image of eold TV cartoon songsf orf limited only for the maniacsf,
and they were never considered main-stream in Japanese music scene.

However, those who had keen sense of smell around music world started to notice something inside the anime songs.
They were not merely songs singing head and vehemence.
Solidarity and sense of liberty empathizing with the same songs had a power to breathe new life into the repressed post-bubble-burst Japan

Grown-ups dressed in armor of individualism were antagonistic and tended to fight before talk.
Because it was such a time that singing in the melodies and lyrics everybody knows was sought after with music.
eWhy donft we wear something we once were so accustomed to but took off as we grew older, with our pure hearts with the armors taken off?f
Restoration of anime songs that fit so much with Japanese sentiments was what that time was looking for.

However, just as grown-ups cannot wear childrenfs clothes, an anime song cannot be a competitive blade to face the reality unless it is returned to a burning lump and annealed once again to be stronger.
In order to rip off nostalgia and regenerate an anime song, crossbreeding was necessary,
and a real vocalist with madness and passion was absolutely necessary to make that blade alive.
Who in the world could that be?

There was a man.
The lead vocalist of a heavy-metal band that dominated Japan in the e80s, Eizo of ANTHEM.
He was rage of the times with his high-pitched shout, swept the college chart in L.A. in f87,
later left ANTHEM and became a taxi driver, but kept singing inserted songs of video games and theme songs of professional wrestling, etc.
However, they were not exactly what he wanted to sing with his heart and soul.

When his name was called, Eizo had been searching for his dream as a singer.
Anime songs have lyrics full of straightforward expressions of justice,
fighting and love, and converting them to heavy metal version was a process never tried.
Eizo was not a great fan of animations and it cannot be denied that he felt awkward accepting this offer.
But looking closely at lyrics saying eResent when in angerf,
eProtect what you must protectf etc. right out cleared his mind.
eThatfs so true.f eThat is it.f Eizo, believing only in himself, met head-on with the anime songs with all his soul and shout,
springing out of his depression. His energy to get back to the music front line gave the anime songs wild power.
Anime songs and heavy metal merged with the catalyst called Eizo. It was almost miraculous.

A leap that was supposed to be impossible. That was ANIMETAL.

At first, ANIMETAL was regarded as something strange and new.
But Eizofs hard rock-type singing and interesting chat were highly evaluated as entertainment
and the fans expanded from original anime song fans to teenagers, ladies and even to some subculture watchers.
Many epigones appeared and disappeared, as they were not comparable with ANIMETAL, the concentrated body of class-A musicians.
The albums of ANIMETAL set unprecedented sales records.

Eizo has returned to the forefront of music scene, as one of the righteous keepers of the soul of anime songs.

And ANIMETAL started to embark on the world.
Japanese animations have been seen not only in Japan,but also have been exported to and aired in Europe including France and Italy,
Central and South America and other areas.
Anime songs have spread throughout the world and impressed many people regardless of their nationalities.
The pioneering style of ANIMETAL obtained enthusiastic support also overseas, with its free style not bound by traditions.

In July 2004, Eizo went to Sao Paulo, Brazil alone and found a stage with the singer and audience integrated.
Ecstatic cheers showed him how much the world had sympathy and yearning toward Japanese animations.

In June 2006, ANIMETAL, with the super-hot vocalist Eizo, crazed French audience at Paris concert.
The impassioned eyes staring Eizo were no different than those of Japanese fans when ANIMETAL started singing anime songs in Japan.
Audiencefs attitude is consistent wherever they are.
eResent when in angerf, eProtect what you must protectf.
Eizo knew by instinct that singing most enthusiastically in Japan also meant shouting anime songs most vehemently in the world.
And he senses that it is his mission unaccomplished.

Sure, ANIMETAL ended by sealing itself. But remaining passionate will is calling.
The world is still not satisfied.
Eizo remembers how hot he was back then, trying to grab his second chance.

Eizofs challenge starts here and now.

And You ain't heard nothin' yet!

Extreme of Japanese Scream, Dedication to the Anime tokusatsu song

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