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Akino Arai (新居 昭乃 Arai Akino?, born August 21, 1959, in Tokyo) is a Japanese singer, song-writer, and lyricist, best known for her works in anime such as Outlaw Star, Noir, Macross Plus, and many others.
She has performed with Yoko Kanno, Luna Sea, ZABADAK, Samply Red (unrelated to Simply Red), Yayoi Yula, and was once in a group called Marsh-Mallow. Arai debuted in 1986 with the theme song to anime Windaria, "Promise" (約束 yakusoku?).
"Voices" from Macross Plus is possibly Arai's most famous song to date.
Akino Arai is currently a popular performer and is asked to sing at many conventions, music festivals, and clubs. She continues to write music for commercials and anime such as the recent #1 Japanese box office movie Gedo Senki and the popular Kaze no Stigma. She has found success overseas, especially in France where she has a rather large fanbase following after her recent performance in Paris, following her first European live concert in Berlin. Her most recent solo efforts were the simultaneously released albums Red Planet/Blue Planet, in April 2012.
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Akino keeps her personal life hidden from the public and she is a very quiet person. Those close to her and those who have met her say she is humble and very kind.
She is very close to fans. At concerts she always takes time to do autographs and take pictures and throughout the concert she is always thanking the audience. She likes to be close to fans by asking them what type of music they want from her and she also writes back to the fans who send her fanmail every chance she can.
- Natsukashii Mirai (懐かしい未来?, Nostalgic Future) – August 21, 1987
- Sora no Mori: Arai Akino Best Album (空の森?, Forest of the Sky) – August 21, 1997
- Sora no Niwa (そらの庭?, Garden of the Sky) – October 27, 1997
- Furu Platinum (降るプラチナ?, Falling Platinum) – May 24, 2000
- concept album Kouseki Radio (鉱石ラジオ?, Crystal Radio) – May 23, 2001
- collection album RGB – February 24, 2002
- Eden (エデン?) – September 8, 2004
- VHmusic – August 19, 2005
- Sora no Uta (20th Anniversary album) (そらのうた?, Songs of the Sky) – November 23, 2005
- VHmusic 2 – July 18, 2006
- Sora no Sphere (ソラノスフィア?, Sphere of the Sky) – April 29, 2009
- Red Planet – April 25, 2012
- Blue Planet – April 25, 2012
- "Yakusoku" (Promise) – 1986
- "Chizu wo Yuku Kumo" (A Cloud Which Passes Through the Map) – 1986
- "Kaze to Tori to Sora ~Reincarnation~" (The Wind, the Birds, and the Sky) – 1992
- "Kooru Suna" (Frozen Sand) – 1992
- "Dragon Quest Retsuden: Roto no Monshou" (The Wings of Youth) – 1996
- "Hiru no Tsuki" (The Moon at Noon) – 1998 – end theme to Outlaw Star (episodes 1-13)
- "Tsuki no Ie" (The House of the Moon) – 1998 – end theme to Outlaw Star (episodes 14-26)
- "Kanaete" (Grant My Wish) – 1999 – end theme to Ayatsuri Sakon
- "Hana no Katachi" (Shape of a Flower) – 2001
- "PALME Songs" – 2002
- "Kakusei Toshi" (The City of Awakenings) – 2002 – end theme to Tokyo Underground
- "Nostalgic Sea" (懐かしい宇宙 "Natsukashii Umi"?) – 2004 – opening song to Kurau Phantom Memory peak ranked 37th at Oricon singles charts
- "Kimi e Mukau Hikari/Aquarium on the Moon" (キミヘ ムカウ ヒカリ?) – 2006 – opening song to Zegapain peak ranked 31st at Oricon singles charts
- "Golden Wave, 1000 Waves" (金の波 千の波 "Kin no Nami, Sen no Nami"?) – 2008 – closing theme to ARIA the Origination peak ranked 26th at Oricon singles charts
- "Honeyed Dawn" (蜜の夜明け "Mitsu no Yoake"?) – 2009 – opening song to second season of Spice and Wolf peak ranked 41st at Oricon singles charts
- "Unknown Vision" – 2013 – end theme to Maoyū Maō Yūsha
- "Akino Arai on TV.com". Retrieved March 12, 2010.
- "懐かしい宇宙" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
- "金の波 千の波" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
- "キミヘ ムカウ ヒカリ" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
- "蜜の夜明け" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
- Official web site (Japanese)
- Akino Arai at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Akino Arai at the Internet Movie Database
- 新居昭乃 (akinoarai) on Twitter