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Thread: Asian Kung-Fu Generation

  1. #1
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    Default Asian Kung-Fu Generation

    Given that this is an anime forum, I’m sure most of you have heard of a few songs (“Haruka Kanata”, “Rewrite”, “After Dark”), but that isn’t what this is about. So if you’re just going to post “I love Rewrite and Naruto!”…don’t. This is about music.



    Members:
    Masafumi Gotoh: Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
    Kensuke Kita: Lead guitar, back vocals
    Takahiro Yamada: Bass, back vocals
    Kiyoshi Ichiji: Drums, Piano

    Asian Kung-Fu Generation was founded by Masafumi Gotoh (he signs his name with the h) in 1996, while all the members attended Kanto Gakuin University. Initially it consisted only of Masafumi, Kensuke, and Takahiro, until they were able to recruit Kiyoshi, who was a member of another band at the time, several months later.

    After graduating, the group performed at local clubs in the Yokohama area, and eventually made their first release in 2000, as collaboration with a group called Caramelman, entitled Caramelman and Asian Kung-Fu Generation. Later this year their released their first independent solo EP, The Time Past And I Could Not See You Again written mostly in english. The track “Konayuki” (Powder Snow) received repeated radio play by a popular radio DJ by demand of listeners. In 2001 the band released their second independent EP, I’m Standing Here, which was recorded entirely in Japanese. With this, the band began performing around Tokyo.

    After getting signed to Under Flower records in 2002, the band released their first major-label EP, Houkai Amplifier. The EP proved successful, and the band was signed to Ki/oon Records, a part of Sony Music Japan. In the summer of 2003 the band held their first miniature festival called Nano-Mugen Festival at Shinjuku Loft, with several other bands they had come to know who were still independent. At the end of the year they released their first full album, Kimi Tsunagi Five M, headed by the singles “Mirai no Kakera” (Fragments of the Future) and “Kimi to iu Hana” (“A Flower called You”).

    In the summer of 2004, the band held their third Nano-Mugen Festival, this time at the famed Nippon Budokon. Afterward the band released the singles “Siren”, “Rewrite”, and “Kimi no Machi Made” (“To Your Town”), before releasing their 2nd album, Sol-fa, at the end of the year. The album received critical acclaim for having a sound that “broke the language barrier”, a problem which has held down a great number of Japanese bands from succeeding outside the nation’s borders. Sony Music Japan was successfully petitioned by foreign listeners to release the album outside of Japan (Tofu Records released the album in the United States in 2005, before shutting down several years later). At the end of 2004, the band released its first DVD, Eizo Sakuhinshu 1kan, a collection of their music videos up until that point.

    At the beginning of 2005 the band released their second DVD, Eizo Sakuhinshu 2kan, encompassing two concerts held at the Budokon that winter. The held their 4th Nano-Mugen Festival that summer at Yokohama Arena, this time inviting several UK bands to perform, and writing the song “Blackout” for the show. The band ended 2005 with the release of the single “Blue Train”.

    They opened 2006 with the single “World Apart”, which is their first and only song to reach #1 on Japanese charts, despite the overwhelming success of all their other singles. The band was able to purchase its own studio, in which they recorded their third full album, Fanclub, released that spring. In the summer they held their 6th Nano-Mugen Festival, featuring bands from Japan, the US, and England. For this year they wrote the song “Jyuni Shinhou no Yukei” (“Evening Glow of the Analog Clock”)

    2007 saw the released of Feedback File, composed of the B-side from all of their singles, and their third DVD, Eizo Sakuhinshu 3kan, another compilation of live performances.. The band was hired to write a theme song for the upcoming film “Tekkon Kinkreet”, for which the band produced the single “Aru Machi no Gunjou” (“A Certain Town in Cerulean”). They skipped putting on another Nano-Mugen Festival this year in favor of performing at other Festivals during the summer. In the fall they released the single “After Dark”.

    The beginning of 2008 saw the release of the single “Korogaru Iwa, Kimi ni Asa ga Furu” (“Rolling Stone, the Moring Light Falls On You”), followed by the album World World World. Three months later the band released their second major-label EP, Mada Minu Ashita Ni (“Into an Unseen Tomorrow”). The band held Nano-Mugen Festival once again, again feature bands from the Japan, the US, and the UK. This year they wrote the song “Natsuzemi” (“The Summer Cicada”). The end of the year saw the release of the long in production album Surf Bungaku Kamakura, headed by b-side songs released on earlier singles, and the new single “Fujisawa Loser[/i]. Each song was titled with cities at stops along the Enoshima Electric Railway. Their fourth DVD Eizo Sakuhinshu 4kan was released at the end of the year, another music video compilation.

    The beginning of 2009 saw the release of their 5th DVD, Eizo Sakuhinshu 5kan, another collection of live performances. The summer Nano-Mugen Festival produced the song “Yoru no Call” (“Night’s Call”). The band has announced another live concert DVD for October, and has said they will begin recording in the studio again this fall.

    Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s style has changed greatly over the years. Their independent releases and Houkai Amplifier reflect a Weezer-styled punk influence, with lyrics about finding a way in life. Kimi Tsunagi Five M showed a more independent style of rock music, lyrically having a fairly negative standpoint. Sol-fa maintained much of the rock stylings of the prior album, but had considerably more pop influences. The lyrics of the album, while similar to the prior album, view things in a more positive light, and focus on making things better. Fanclub showed itself to be a pure pop album with classical overtones, with lyrics focusing around hopelessness. World World World showed a much more balanced alternative pop feeling, with lyrics reflecting changing our world for the better, and making progress as a species.

    "Kaiga Kyoushitsu" ("Class Picture")
    +
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


    "Jyunni Shinhou no Yukei" ("Evening Glow of the Analog Clock")
    +
    ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
    Last edited by Gjallarhorn; 08-02-2009 at 10:00 PM.

    "The color fades along the intervals I follow."

  2. #2
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    Ahh... I've loved this band ever since I watched the Loop & Loop music video :3.

    To this day, that remains one of my favorite songs. However, I'm also a huge fan of Sono Wake Wo, Kimi to Iu Hana, Jihei Tansaku, and 24 Ji. I was a huge fan of their albums Kimi Tsunagi Five M and Sol-fa as you can see. I actually liked After Dark, but I didn't know it was an anime song o_o;.

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  3. #3
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    I love this band, tho I can't understand the lyrics (I can't understand japanese) tho I think their bass player is amazing.

  4. #4
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    I love them, i don't get a thing they're saying but the voice of the vocalist makes me wanna start dancing

  5. #5
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    I like a few of their songs. "Rewrite" which was featured on FullMetal Alchemist is pretty damn good.
    ~ Aura ~

    "If you are near to the dark
    I will tell you 'bout the sun
    You are here, no escape
    From my visions of the world
    You will cry all alone
    But it does not mean a thing to me ..."

  6. #6
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    I love this band!! My favorite album from them is Sol-fa. I can't understand Japanese I still love the songs

  7. #7
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    My boyfriend actually got me obsessed with this band when we first met, so I guess I've been listening to Ajikan for over a year and a half...! World World World is my favorite album and I've been attempting to learn a few of the songs on guitar. The music is just so upbeat and you can feel the emotion that is being played through the instruments and the vocals. It's just good music, simple as that.

  8. #8
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    Yay! An Ajikan thread! [total fanboy]

    I wish I had the mp3 to that "Jyunni Shinhou no Yukei" song. It's one of the few I have not been able to get a hold of... that along with some of their stuff when they worked with Caramelman and whatnot. Anyone know where I could listen to Sexy Eddy? xD I heard it's a got a killer solo in there.

    Anyway, Ajikan has been my favorite band for years now. I have never been ale to get sick of their music, it's so varied that if you get tired of or aren't in the mood for the upbeat stuff, you can listen to something a little softer, or a little harder, whichever you like. I wouldn't be able to list all of my favorite songs, there are way too many... I think the first song I ever heard by them was Entrance (by the way, does anyone know if the song is EN-trance or en-TRANCE? Like, entrance as in a place to enter from, or entrance as in mesmerize?), and then the song I heard after that was Uso to Wonderland. It made me think they had alternating lead vocalists... xD. I think Kita should definitely sing another song, his vocals would be much improved since last time.

    SO yeah, basically obsessed...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malkios View Post
    Yay! An Ajikan thread! [total fanboy]

    I wish I had the mp3 to that "Jyunni Shinhou no Yukei" song. It's one of the few I have not been able to get a hold of... that along with some of their stuff when they worked with Caramelman and whatnot. Anyone know where I could listen to Sexy Eddy? xD I heard it's a got a killer solo in there.

    Anyway, Ajikan has been my favorite band for years now. I have never been ale to get sick of their music, it's so varied that if you get tired of or aren't in the mood for the upbeat stuff, you can listen to something a little softer, or a little harder, whichever you like. I wouldn't be able to list all of my favorite songs, there are way too many... I think the first song I ever heard by them was Entrance (by the way, does anyone know if the song is EN-trance or en-TRANCE? Like, entrance as in a place to enter from, or entrance as in mesmerize?), and then the song I heard after that was Uso to Wonderland. It made me think they had alternating lead vocalists... xD. I think Kita should definitely sing another song, his vocals would be much improved since last time.

    SO yeah, basically obsessed...
    "Jyuuni Shinhou no Yukei" is only on the 2006 Nano-Mugen Compilation CD. And "Sexy Eddy" was by Caramelman, no Ajikan. Caramelman & Asian Kung-fu Generation was a split album, with Caramelman doing 3 songs, and Ajikan doing 2.

    It's "Entrance", as in walking through a doorway.

    And, yeah, they performed Uso to Wonderland live at NM09 (the first time it was ever recorded, and only the 2nd time it was performed live) and Kita sounded fantastic. He'd had a lot of rough performances in 2007 and 2008, since he quit smoking. The same goes for Gotoh...the second half of 2008 was a pretty bad year for his vocals.

    They've already said that Kita will probably sing lead for a song on their next album, but they've given no other information other than the fact that they're back in their studio since NM09 ended. Gotoh also said earlier this year that he's been writting a lot.

    During some bits of NM09 they'd go into these fast-pace punk-ish jams (after Uso to Wonderland and during the Wakusei breakdown), which probably hits at what their new album could have on it. They're notorious for putting piece of up-coming albums into their concerts, ever since before the release of Fanclub.

    "The color fades along the intervals I follow."

  10. #10
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    That definitely excites me, I can't wait to hear. Are there any performances of NM09 up on youtube? I guess I could go check... My mistake about the whole Caramelman/Ajikan thing, must have misread or something, but anyway is there anywhere I could go to listen to the music from that album?

  11. #11
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    hmmmm.... is there any new album from this Band??? b'cause my latest song from this band is fujiwara losers


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kurai_cho2 View Post
    hmmmm.... is there any new album from this Band??? b'cause my latest song from this band is fujiwara losers
    The last album they released was their 6th full album, Surf Bungaku Kamakura, in October of 2008, which had "Fujisawa Loser" featured as it's lead single. Their last full album before that was World World World in March 2008, with the mini-album Mada Minu Ashita Ni following in June 2008.

    Since then they have only released one new song, "Yoru no Call", used on the Nano-Mugen Compliation 2009 CD, but have stated they are now in-studio recording, and have mentioned wanted to have a new album out before Nano-Mugen 2010.

    "The color fades along the intervals I follow."

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