Cover of the first volume of the Viz Media English release of Sensual Phrase
|Written by||Mayu Shinjo|
|Original run||1997 – 2000|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hiroko Tokita|
|Original run||April 20, 1999 – March 25, 2000|
Sensual Phrase (Japanese: 快感 フレーズ Hepburn: Kaikan Furēzu?) is a shōjo manga series created by Mayu Shinjo. The manga was published by Shogakukan in Shōjo Comic between 1997 and 2000, and collected in 18 bound volumes. It was adapted as a 44-episode anime television series by Studio Hibari and as a series of novels. The series tells the story of Aine Yukimura, a high school student who becomes the lyricist for a Japanese rock band, and her relationship with the band's lead singer, Sakuya Ookochi.
To promote the anime, two real-life bands were formed: Λucifer, the band the story focuses on, and e.MU, a rival band. Both bands continued after the anime ended before disbanding. Within the series, Λucifer’s original name is Lucifer, which is changed to Λucifer (using the Greek letter lambda) when the band decides to go international. For the purposes of the article, the second name, Λucifer is used. Japanese names are given in Western order, with family name last.
Aine Yukimura is a seventeen-year-old high school student who writes sensual song lyrics on the side in hopes of becoming a song writer in the future. One day, two of her friends from school talk her into entering her best lyrics into a contest. Out on the side walk, she is bumped into and drops her lyrics in the street and is almost run over by a car driven by Sakuya Ookochi, the lead singer for Lucifer a hard rock band known for their sensual lyrics. Aine is clueless about who he is but falls for him anyway. While making sure she is not hurt, he gives her an all access pass to the Lucifer show that night. After she has left he finds her lyrics and takes them with him back to the band with a plan in mind. Aine goes to the show and listens from the back of the audience. As she begins to leave, she hears her lyrics sung by Sakuya and runs up to the front of the stage to see if he is the same guy from before. From this time forward, he sweeps her off her feet. At first she is told that Sakuya is never serious about women and she thinks he might be playing her. However, when he kidnaps her and convinces her become the band's lyricist, she thinks he's still playing her but it's all business and not romance. Sakuya goes as far as to transfer into Aine's high school to protect her and work with her. Initially, Sakuya sees her as a virgin he can tease but his emotions for her soon change into something stronger and more lasting. Seeing her talent and desiring the girl, he campaigns for Aine to become the official lyricist for the band. His manager initially objects, but when Aine continues producing excellent lyrics, he relents and she becomes their lyricist using the male pseudonym Yukihiko Aine to protect her identity and the band's image.
Aine and Sakuya's relationship starts off rocky due to their lack of communication as to their real emotions. Aine tries to hide her feelings for Sakuya thinking that he only sees their relationship as co-workers and nothing more. She believes that he wants her virgin imagination in order for her to continue writing hit songs for the band. When he rejects her sexual advance, this only furthers the belief that he doesn't see her as a woman, only as a co-worker. Although it's not in his nature to be subtle, he attempts to express his feelings for her through a ballad he writes entitled "Little Bird" or "Love Melody" only for her to continue misunderstanding him. It's not until he corners her after the filming for the music video "Drug" does he confesses his feelings. However, starting a romantic relationship and being the girlfriend of a high profile star is not an easy task. As the series progresses, Aine is frequently targeted by Sakuya's enemies including rival bands and obsessed fans.
In particular, Ralph Grazer, Sakuya's older half-brother, an American media mogel who heads an empire in the States and is branching into the Asian markets. Ralph heads to Japan with a grudge against Sakuya, who he has never met but has been pushed to met by their father, and uses blackmail to force Aine to work for him and to break up with Sakuya. This forces Sakuya to take a hiatus from the band and face his biological father, the man had who raped his mother. Sakuya travels to the States to learn the family business, thus giving him the knowledge and power to take Ralph's position as head of the media corporation. Sakuya returns to Japan and forces Ralph to sign a contract giving him his position back if he releases Aine. This tactic and Sakuya's love for Aine confuses Ralph who has always gotten what and who he wanted that he returns to the States to start over and relearn from his father. However, Ralph returns two more times within the manga, and not necessarily as Sakuya's enemy.
Lucifer continues to grow as a band, moving from an independent band to major hit, renaming itself to Λucifer, and preparing to do tours in America and Europe, while Sakuya and Aine attempt to balance their love and professional lives. Aine's feelings for Sakuya and her ability to write lyrics are tested. Hitoshi Takayama is hired as the band's producer to prepare them for international fame. At first, he thinks that Aine is nothing but a mouthy groupie who has no place in the building, let alone in Sakuya's life. As he gets to know her, he falls in love with her but hides his feelings by pretending to be homosexual. He attempts to break up, not only Sakuya and Aine, but Atsuro and Yuuka as he plans their six month move to England so they can set the stage for capturing European fans. Yuki soon puts a stop to this plan by letting Takayama know that the success band is due to their relationships with their families and lovers.
As the group continues to grow, the president of Λucifer's rival label, Kaito Yoshioka, who dislikes the band's success and decides to destroy Sakuya and break up the band through Aine. He brutally rapes Aine in an attempt to break Sakuya. She is found by their producer Takayama, who takes her to his home and tries to comfort her while helping her avoid Sakuya. She tries to commit suicide that night, leaving Takayama no choice but to tell Sakuya. Sakuya finds he has lost his desire to sing (and his voice) and leaves the band. Yuki realizes that the only way to protect the band is to sign with Ralph's label and move the band into the international arena. Meanwhile, Sakuya tries to kill Yoshioka, but is stopped by Ralph, who tells him he's not worth a nickel and reminds Sakuya that Aine needs him with her, not in prison. Ralph avenges Aine by having Yoshioka investigated for tax evasion and fraud, thus destroying his company.
Sakuya takes Aine, who is in a near catatonic state, into hiding to care for her. When she again attempts suicide, he cuts his own wrist telling her he will die with her if that's what she really wants. Aine snaps out of her depression and begins healing emotionally. Takayama locates Sakuya and attempts to lure him back into the band. Several attempts are made by Takayama and by Yuki to get Sakuya back. While they work to recover their relationship, Aine realizes Sakuya is avoiding music and is afraid that she will be hurt again because of him. She convinces him to return to the world they both love. Takayama's death in a car accident, which tramatizes and pushes Sakuya to rejoin the band and sign the contract. Ralph informs Sakuya that once he moves into their father's position that he wants Sakuya to take over the media end of the company, but Sakuya refuses stating that he would rather be a producer instead. After the death of the Takayama, Λucifer goes on to perform their final concert in Japan before moving the band to New York City. While they are overseas, Aine studies to take Takayama's place and become a producer. At the end for the series, Sakuya and Aine are married with a son. (See the one shot of Atsuro and Yuuka's wedding; also, the one shot 'King Egoist' in Love Celeb for the announcement of Sakuya and Aine having a second child.)
The anime adaptation does not follow most of the manga, acting more as a prequel series that shows how the band came to be formed and the daily hardships and struggles they faced as they formed. Aine is not introduced until the band gets their debut in Episode 19.
- Aine Yukimura (雪村 愛音 Yukimura Aine?)
- Main female protagonist of the series. Aine is a shy but innocent high school girl who does not know how to hide her feelings. Her home life is rocky, her parents seem to ignore her, so she's left to her own devices mostly. Their emotional neglect hurts her and causes her to cling to Sakuya all the more. She lacks confidence in herself so she has a hard time defending and protecting herself, relying on Sakuya and feeling guilty about her inexperience and doubts. When Sakuya tells them that Aine will be living with him, they finally realize that they are losing their daughter to a dangerous world. Sakuya eventually convinces Aine's dad that he loves her and will protect her, so they can live together. Meanwhile, Aine has to fight to find her own place within the label and prove herself over and over again. Eventually she is seen as a valuable asset to Sakuya's emotional heath and to the band, and earns her own place with her innovative concepts, as well as for her lyrics. Towards the end of the series after she's raped and with the death of Hitoshi Takayama, the band's producer and her friend, she grows up, matures, and becomes stronger. Voiced by: Atsuko Enomoto
- Sakuya Ookochi (大河内 咲也 Ōkochi Sakuya?)
- Main character of the series, Sakuya is the highly talented lead singer of Λucifer. He is also the youngest member of the band at the age of seventeen and still in high school. He transfers to Aine's high school to get closer to her. While he respects and trusts Yuki, the only other band member who he is close to is Atsuro. He is known for his striking blue eyes which are inherited from his American father. However, Sakuya is also rude, physical, and doesn't care about life even when he starts singing with the band Lucifer. Sakuya lived most of his young teenage life paying off his mother’s debt at the club she worked in. Like his mother, he sang and played the piano for club guests, but to make more money he also worked as a male escort prostitute on the side. He was able to do this because he appears older than his years. Because of his harsh experiences as a child, Sakuya's sense of trust was lost in people. But when he meets Aine, a high school girl, he shows a new caring and sensitive light towards others, especially to Aine. When she first starts working for them he says to himself that he is just selfishly using her, but after a while his true feelings start pouring out. ~see Sakuya's one shot and Vol. 10, Lucifer's Legend~ Voiced by: Masaya Matsukaze He makes an appearance in "Love Celeb" as Kirara's producer.
- Yukifumi ("Yuki") Todo (藤堂 雪文 Todo Yukifumi?)
- Yuki, guitarist and leader of the band. He's the one who steps up to management and let's them know what is in the best interest of Lucifer and his band mates. Santa's old friend (in the anime only) and one of the founders of the band, Yuki has the strongest sense of leadership and responsibility that naturally makes him the band leader. In the manga, Yuki is the actual founder of Lucifer since he scouted out Towa and Atsuro first from the band Bi-Jazz. ~see one shot on Towa and Vol. 10, Lucifer's Legend~ He is often the one who knocks sense into Sakuya (sometimes almost too literally) whenever Sakuya's primal feelings blind him to Aine’s own hurt and pain, and the exasperation he causes his band mates. Yuki is the eldest son of a famous, traditional Noh theater family, but was forced to choose between the band and his family when he tells his father he wants to quit Noh and concentrate on the band. He is subsequently disowned by his father, but a later episode of the series (anime only) reveals a friendly relationship between the two. Although he does go back to Noh theater after Lucifer officially disbands, Yuki's relationship with his parents is not mentioned in the manga after Marriage Phrase, Vol. 6. On a side note, Yuki is married to Maria and has a child. Their marriage was arranged because Maria's family was in Noh theater as well. She was in love with him but felt he treated her like a little sister. Eventually Maria found out about Lucifer and snuck out with him to watch the band practice. Yuki's tune changed when Sakuya started to come onto her. Maria supported his decision to be a guitarist in a band. However, when Yuki's father disowned him, he briefly divorced Maria because he wasn't certain he could take care of a wife at the time. He begged her to remarry him when the band signed their first contract. ~see Vol. 6 Marriage Phrase~ Voiced by: Shinichiro Miki
- Yoshihiko ("Santa") Nagai (永井良彦 Nagai Yoshihiko?)
- Λucifer’s drummer, Santa’s namesake comes from his birth date, which is on Christmas Day. Santa is an easy-going, but boisterous guy, who formerly played in Climb' with his girlfriend Yumi, who cheated on him and thus broke up the band. --(anime only). In the manga, Santa was originally the drummer for a heavy metal band called Shinigami. And the first time Santa met with Yuki about leaving Shinigami for Lucifer he made a pass at him. Yuki knocked him flat against the wall for thinking he was a woman. Santa agreed to a session and the rest is history in the manga. ~see Vol. 10, Lucifer's Legend~ He comes from a large family, loves ramen and beer, as well as putting his foot in his mouth at the most inappropriate times. It is through Santa that Yuki was able to meet Sakuya. ~ Other than that, his history is little known when compared to his band mates, and is the only one who remains single at the end of the series. Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai
- Kazuto ("Towa") Sakuma (佐久間和斗 Sakuma Kazuto?)
- Bass guitarist of Λucifer. He doesn't joke around a lot and is considered an enigma of the band. He can be quiet and secretive, although not shy. He and Atsuro are best friends and attended the same high school. They both joined the band Bi-Jazz together. Much to his dislike, Towa’s androgynous good looks make not only women but also men swoon over him. His parents wanted a girl so when he was born he was raised as a girl for the first few years of his life. Cursed with fair, wavy hair and feminine beauty (and the inability to tan), Towa’s looks blur the lines between people’s perception of his gender so much that some people ignore his natural gender and do not even consider him a man. His bain was receiving love confessions from guys in high school, which Atsuro would tease him about. Although Towa was irked by this at first, he decides to use his beauty as a shield. The only person he reveals his true self to is his childhood friend (they literally grew up together and know each other to the point that he was afraid that she would see him as a girlfriend instead of a man) and current girlfriend, Miya, Λucier’s official makeup artist. Miya, ironically, is considered tomboyish and considers herself a rather plain woman. She and Towa completely complement each other, as in each other’s eyes, Towa is fully a man as much as Miya is fully a woman. ~see Towa's one shot~ Voiced by: Susumu Chiba
- Atsuro Kiryuu (桐生 敦郎 Kiryū Atsuro?)
- Guitarist. As the most friendly and cheerful member of Λucifer, (in the manga he can also be as volatile as Sakuya when it comes to Yuuka) Atsuro serves as the comic relief in Kaikan Phrase. Atsuro’s long-time girlfriend, Yuuka, is actually his stepsister with whom he desperately tries to keep their relationship a secret from their parents, the media, and even his band mates. The biggest problem they face is that they are listed in the registry as siblings so there was a possibility that they might not be able to get married. Shinjo never really explains the legal complications fully even during the one shot in which Atsuro and Yuuka get married in the US without their parents blessing. Aine is the first person to find out about Atsuro and Yuuka. She tells him that she will keep their secret even though the paparazzi see him with Aine and mistakenly, as usual, announce that Atsuro is having an affair with Sakuya's girlfriend. Aine's secret about dating Sakuya has been outed for a while but the media never finds out that she's the lyricist for Lucifer. The secret causes Sakuya and Atsuro to fight until Yuuka announces to the band that she's in love with Atsuro. Eventually the band (except Sakuya) reveal that they had suspected that was the case all along. Also by the end, Atsuro and Yuuka also make a conscious decision to be together even if their parents objected and to be open about their relationship to the public. ~Vol. 6, Forbidden Phrase; Vol. 12 for outing of the relationship; and another one shot called Kinden Phrase~ Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura
In her blog, Shinjo noted that though she was the actual creator of Sensual Phrase, she was one of the last to know that the series was going to be adapted into an anime, and that by the time she knew, Shogakukan had already made the decision to do the series. She was also unaware that there were talks about making a film adaptation of the series until two years after the proposal was rejected. When the anime was rerun on AT-X, she found out by seeing it on the channels official website. She left Shogakukan in 2007, despite the company threatening to take all of her earlier series, including Sensual Phrase, out of print if she did so. Shinjo contacted a lawyer and, the threat was never carried out.
Written and illustrated by Mayu Shinjo, Sensual Phrase premiered in Shōjo Comic in 1997, where it was serialized monthly until its conclusion in 2000. The individual chapters were collected and published in 17 tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan from June 1997 through January 2001. An additional volume was released on April 24, 2003 containing a sequel chapter for the story and additional unrelated short stories. Shogakukan republished the serialized chapters across six shinsoban hard cover editions in 2003 and re-released the original 17 volumes in 2006 with new covers.
Sensual Phrase is licensed for an English-language release in North America by Viz Media, including the special final volume. It released the first volume of the series on March 24, 2004; the final volume was released on February 13, 2007.
The series is licensed for regional language releases by Editorial Ivréa in Spain and Latin America, Pika Edition in France, Egmont Manga & Anime in Germany, and Star Comics in Italy. It was serialized in Germany in Manga Twister and in Italy in Amici.
Five novels based on the manga were published by Shogakukan:
- 90-nichi no Densetsu, published December 1, 1999 (ISBN 4-09-421241-8)
- Hong Kong Kyoushikyoku, published July 25, 2000 (ISBN 4-09-421242-6)
- Ao no Meikyu, published November 26, 2001, (ISBN 4-09-421243-4)
- Owarinaki Shinwa, published February 2001, (ISBN 4-09-421244-2)
- Engage Song, published June 3, 2003, (ISBN 4-09-421245-0)
Sensual Phrase was adapted as an anime television series by Studio Hibari. It was directed by Hiroko Tokita, with music by Susumu Akitagawa and character designs by Yumi Nakayama. There were multiple opening and closing themes, some of them credited to the fictional bands Λucifer and e.MU, for which real-world counterparts were created. The anime was broadcast on TV Tokyo in 44 episodes from April 20, 1999 to March 25, 2000. It was later released on 11 Videos by Pony Canyon.
Ep. 1 – Misty Blue Sakuya starts singing at a hotel lounge and attracts more female guests. One woman chases after him. Yuki (guitar) and Santa (drums) are part of the band “Climb” until Santa sees his girlfriend Yumi aka the lead vocalist being lovey-dovey with another band member. They decide to leave “Climb” and to create a better band. Yuki has an appointment with a female friend at Sakuya’s hotel. She suggest Sakuya as a great singer. Yuki and Santa are interested in “Neon’s” bassist Towa. They ask him to join their band, but he hesitates and leaves. Yuki decides the name of the new band: “Lucifer”, the fallen angel.
Ep.2 – Jam Yuki and Santa ask Sakuya to join them, but he refuses. Yuki gives him a Mini Disc and leaves. Atsuro wants new live shows with his student band “Lucy Lane”, but the members have to care about school and work. Sakuya regularly meets the woman from the hotel. “Neon” got the opportunity to debut, but because all the record company cares about is their looks, Towa leaves. Yuki and Santa meet Sakuya and want to play live together at the “Cradle”, but Sakuya arrogantly refuses. In the evening Yuki meets him again, but gets angry because Sakuya sees this as a pettiness and not as a dream. Atsuro, his sister and Towa decide to go to the “Cradle” independently of one another. Yuki and Santa see Sakuya drop by the "Cradle" and start playing at the stage. They announce the leaving Sakuya as their singer. Together they begin their song and Atsuro and Towa join. Both decide to join the band for real, but Sakuya says no again.
Ep. 3 – Into The Wind Atsuro, Towa, Yuki and Santa try to persuade Sakuya, but fail. Sakuya gets an offer as a singer by Kudo from “Radical” and is interested, because they are professionals and are going to debut. He accepts but says, he is expensive. Yuki has difficulties at training Noh-performances and his father criticizes his hobby. The members of “Lucifer” continue trying to persuade Sakuya, but fail again. "Lucifer" realizes that he don't want to join and decide to search for a different singer. They meet up on a practice room and suddenly Sakuya appears. He agrees to be the lead vocalist.
Ep. 4 – Time up “Lucifer” has live shows and gets lots of fans. Atsuro’s sister Yuuka is accompanying them most of the time and helps “Lucifer” with promotion and ticket sales. Sakuya is still playing at the hotel and he is still meeting up with the woman. “Lucifer” has lots of rehearsals and work to do, but Sakuya stays a loner. He likes to be a band member, but nothing more. The other members are afraid he would leave if he is pushed too hard. Sakuya meets the woman from the hotel incidentally and stays with her, but “Lucifer” has a live concert so he wants to leave her timely, but the woman don’t want to let him go. The band members are waiting.
Ep. 5 – Day By Day “Lucifer” was stood up by Sakuya. They go on with their rehearsals, but the morale is pretty low, because Sakuya says he doesn’t care what the other members chase after. Sakuya meets up with the woman again, but her husband appears and so Sakuya leaves. In the evening he shows up again and warns him to never meet his wife again, but Sakuya meets her again. Yuuka saw this and tells him that “Lucifer” needs him/ his voice. Her enthusiasms makes him think about it. Later Yuki is talking to him, too. He says that he never consider what Sakuya wanted, but he wishes his dream would become Sakuya’s dream, too. In the end the husband attacks him and says Sakuya is pathetic, because he has no hopes and dreams.
Ep. 6 – Cradle The “Cradle” will be closed down and “Lucifer” can’t believe it. It was the place they had their first session, it was the place “Lucifer” was born. Just Sakuya seems indifferent about it. He refuses a meeting with the woman, because he has something to do. The other band members assemble at the “Cradle” and Sakuya shows up eventually. They are all depressed, so they start to invite people to the live house in order to save it. The next time the “Cradle” has lots of guest, but it isn’t enough to save the place. “Lucifer” suggests a farewell live show, even Sakuya agrees. At home he ignores the call from the woman.
Ep. 7 – Farewell Live Everyone helps to decorate the “Cradle” for the farewell live show. Sakuya disappears to a meeting with the woman in order to break up. "Cradle's" final night is a wonderful one. The woman appears and is drinking a lot. While “Lucifer” has a gig the woman lets a bottle fall from the table and brakes the mood. He drags her outside and brings her home. Everyone seems to notice that Sakuya is changing.
Ep. 8 – The End During their gig Sakuya hears someone insults “Lucifer”, so Sakuya starts a fight in the middle of their live performance. At last the other members join the fight. Everyone gets arrested and Atsuro’s and Yuki’s dad get them out. Yuki has a responsibility as the heir of the Todo family, hence he has to distance himself from the band and focus on his Noh-practice. Atsuro has to study for his exams. Santa discovers that his ex-girlfriend Yumi debuted already. They go to the same live house in order to apologize, but nevertheless got banned. Yuuka tries to find another live house, but no one wants “Lucifer” as an aftermath. Atsuro wants that everyone looks for a place to play, but Sakuya refuses and Santa put the blame just on him, so Sakuya declares he will leave the band.
Ep. 9 – On The Street Towa, Atsuro, Yuki and Yuuka are still trying to find a place to play. Santa visits Sakuya at the hotel in order to apologize, but Sakuya stays with his decision. Yuuka realizes that Sakuya does care about the band, because he heard that Sakuya went to the live house to apologize. Sakuya thinks it’s his fault that “Lucifer” was banned from the live houses. Yuki’s father doesn’t like that Yuki is so often with his band again, so he decides on night Noh-practices. Atsuro doesn’t know if he should quit school and take a gamble with the band. Yuki finds Sakuya singing in the park.
Ep. 10 – One From the Heart Yuki tells the other members about Sakuya’s street performance and he thinks Sakuya loves “Lucifer”, but he can't persuade the others to call him back. Yuuka suggests to participate in a contest. Santa has no interest, because there is no singer. They make an appointment at the park to talk to Sakuya. Santa does not come and Sakuya, who regularly comes to the park to, shows up pretty late. They talk about the contest, but Sakuya leaves and says he will do what he wants. Atsuro decides not to enter college. Santa passes by the park and hears Sakuya sing. Sakuya tells him that he writes a song and he wants to play it with everyone.
Ep. 11 – Some Day Sakuya finishes his song and Yuuka rents a studio. “Lucifer” decides to use this song for the contest. Atsuro pretends to learn for his exams in front of his parents. He wants to talk to Towa, because Towa left his family for music. Santa gets a CD delivered. It’s an album from his ex-girlfriend, which debuted. Yumi phones him to ask about the CD and she tells him she broke up with her friend. Sakuya entitles the song “Datenshi Blue” and “Lucifer” plays it in the park before the contest. Atsuro tells his parents that he won’t go to college and that he wants to become a professional musician. His father doesn't approve of it and orders him to leave his house. Atsuro asks Towa if he can stay with him.
Ep.12 – Step One Atsuro appears with red dyed hair, which causes the others to laugh, but it’s his mark of determination. Yuuka sends in the entry papers and the MD, so everyone has to wait for the return letter addressed to Towa. Sakuya is sure that “Lucifer” will stay at the top one day. Atsuro gets the post, but it's only junk so he throws it in the trash bin. As a delivery man Atsuro submits a Pizza to his parent's home. They see his red hair and so they start to fight again. The return letter is due and the band members are getting anxious. Atsuro kicks the trash bin, because he placed the bet on ”Lucifer”. Towa wants to put the paper back in the bin, but he finds the overlooked invitation letter. Yuki’s father says that Yuki has to accompany him to next week's Noh conference in Kyoto from Saturday till Sunday, but the Tokyo contest will be on that Sunday.
Ep. 13 – Rainy Express Yuki has difficulties playing the guitar like Atsuro. Santa knows it’s because Yuki is the only heir of the family, but Yuki keeps the whole truth a secret. Santa believes Yuki is the one who should be their band leader, because he can hold the band together. Sakuya meets the ex-owner of the “Cradle”, who intends to reopen it someday and then “Lucifer” has to be big. Atsuro invites his parents to the contest, but has a fight with his father again. Yuki wants to participate in the contest, but his father opposes and says Yuki has to tear the fan apart, which he used from childhood, so he tells the band he will leave for Kyoko. The band doesn’t want to give up and tries to change the song to a four men arrangement.
Ep. 14 – Grand Prix “Lucifer” is the last band, who will perform at the contest and their mood is down, because Yuki’s missing. Atsuro was stuck with the most changes after Yuki left, so he tries his best, but fucks up the last rehearsal. All band members are anxious. Yuki acts in the Noh-performance perfectly, but later shows his father the torn fan. His father cast him out and Yuki leaves for Tokyo instantly. It’s their turn and Yuki turns up in the last minute. Yuuka urged her parents to see Atsuro live. They see him perform so lively and forgive him. Yuki holds the band together and therefore “Lucifer” performs great, but they get only second. Sakuya doesn’t want to give up, because that would hurt his pride.
Ep. 15 – Magical Mystery Tour “Lucifer” borrows a minibus and drives to Hakodate, Sakuya drives ahead of them on his motorcycle. Atsuro made up with his parents, but Yuki stays as a castoff and lives with Towa while Atsuro moved back. “Lucifer” tries to find live houses, where they can play, but the bars only want local bands and don’t care about the second place at the Tokyo contest. Everyone tries to persuade the clubs, but everyone fails. Sakuya suggests a 24 hours live show by the side of the road. Lots of people are drown to them. Two guys want to sell their theater tickets and consort with them. Afterwards one suggest he could lend them an event space. Yuuka advertises “Lucifer’s warehouse live show” and it becomes a complete success. Then they are driving to the next city.
Ep. 16 – Rival In the next city Nagoya, Yuki and Yuuka are trying to find a not totally booked live house, but members of a quicker band were already too late. At night “Lucifer” sees the band “Feel” performing in front of a large audience at the park. At a different live house Sakuya and Yuuka tries to persuade the person in charge to become “Woods Black’s” supportive act, but the lead singer of “Feel” appears and wants the same. They agree to do a joint show at the park to decide the matter. “Lucifer” fears that the audience will be biased, because the crowd knows “Feel” but not “Lucifer”. Before their real gig, Sakuya starts with a harmonica composition and captures the audience. No band gets the supporting act, because both are better than the real band.
Ep. 17 – Osaka Rhapsody Their next stop is Osaka and a bar accepts their band. Atsuro is pretty down again and Sakuya takes a solitary walk. The others see Towa’s old band “Neon” perform and advertising their debut album. Towa admits their significant improvement. “Neon” sees “Lucifer” perform at the bar therefore Towa takes the lead, but Atsuro fucks up. He disappears after a fight with Santa and stays with the girl band “Lorelei”, which he saw perform at the park. The other “Lucifer” members are worried and are searching for him. The female guitarist relates to Atsuros and gives him advice. She invites him to a joint gig with the band for the evening. She also phones “Lucifer” to invite them as guests. Atsuro and the others reunite, he apologizes and the others say he was amazing on stage.
Ep. 18 – Coming Home “Lucifer” is returning to Tokyo and remembers how they got the idea of a national live tour after the Tokyo contest. The “comeback” concert of “Lucifer” at the park collides with a typhoon, however they brave the storm and the audience is getting bigger despite the weather. An unknown man is searching for the band and finds the advertisement spread by Yuuka. He watches the concert und he reveals himself as a judge from the Tokyo contest and offers them an official debut.
Ep. 19 – Debut The man is Sasaki, a successful producer and he arranges an appointment with “Lucifer” to talk about the contract, which everyone signs. It’s the first appearance of Aine Yukimura, who doesn’t care about the entertainment business, but likes to write poems. Her parents are always fighting and showing her a lack of love and caring. She thinks the relationship between her and her boyfriend is off and she wonders what love is. “Ʌucifer” is recording their debut song, but asking for continuous repetitions. Sakuya accepts the bet from the irritated staff that if the song doesn’t get within at least 3rd place on the charts “Ʌucifer” has to quit music.
Ep. 20 – History “Ʌucifer” has a radio appearance, which Aine listens to. They introduce their members. (Recap of previous episodes).
Ep. 21 – Hit Charts “Ʌucifer“ got only 7th in the charts. Sakuya wants to quit, because he lost the bet, but Sasaki forbids it and wants redemption. Sakuya announces live, that if the 2nd single doesn’t hit the top of the charts “Ʌucifer“ intends to quit music. Sasaki blames Sakuya for not being better than 7th, because his fans feel his coldness. Sakuya has to write a better song for the 2nd single, which will be introduced at the end of the debut concert. He meets the woman again, who tells him he never loved someone earnestly. He couldn’t write the song and it’s the day of the final concert. Aine is done with her poem and later sees her boyfriend cheating. She runs across the street to where Sakuya drives with his motorcycle.
Ep.22 – Song Witer Sakuya stops before he could knock Aine down, but she slumps to the ground. He gives her a backstage pass, if she was hurt after all. She walks away, leaving a paper with her poem behind, which Sakuya finds. In the evening Aine decides to go to the concert and she hears her poem sung by the man, who nearly knocked her down. Sakuya sees her and drags her behind the stage in the moment the lights go off, but Sasaki sends Aine away. Sakuya attacks Sasaki and announces her as the songwriter. After school Aine gets picked up by Sakuya, who drives her to Jupiter records. Sasaki wants to announce officially the songwriter, but wants to use a male penname. Later Aine says she can’t write the lyrics for “Ʌucifer”, because she doesn’t know the bandmembers and Sakuya. Sakuya agrees to tell her everything about him.
Ep. 23 – Yesterday Sakuya tells Aine about his past. His mother was an alcoholic jazz singer, who neglected Sakuya, because he was an unwanted child with an American. Aine thinks of phrases for the new song and gives them to Sakuya, while his fans are watching. They ambush Aine, but Sakuya can save her and promises to protect her. Everyone from the band see him change after meeting Aine.
Ep. 24 – Long Goodbye The 2nd single gets on top of the charts, so “Ʌucifer” has not to quit music. Yuuka rejects an offer to make a “Ʌucifer” PV and nominates Aine for the job. She stopped being their producer since “Ʌucifer” debuted, so she wants to fulfill her own dream by studying music business in London. “Ʌucifer” is sad to lose her. Yuuka leaves for London ahead of schedule and “Ʌucifer” can’t bid their farewell, because they are too famous. Aine gives her a goodbye CD before she enters the plain. “Lucifer” thanks her for everything she did and gives a concert just for her at the runway.
Ep. 25 – Junior The American Grazer Group plans to enter the music industry in Japan with Metro Records. The vice president Ralph Grazer has an interest in “Ʌucifer”. By the time he meets Sakuya, they start to compete with their arrogance. Ralph intends to crush “Ʌucifer” with a charity concert on the same day and next to the place “Ʌucifer” has a concert. International famous artist Freddy Brown sings at the charity concert and attracts more media attention than “Ʌucifer” and more people than the concert hall can contain. “Ʌucifer” uses this and lets the people in front of the hall take part at their concert.
Ep. 26 – Knock Out Their popularity gets boosted, so Ralph wants to crush them once and for all. Their 3rd single is due. Metro Record poaches 5 popular bands from different record companies and tries to buy “Ʌucifer”, but they decline. The bought bands have to release a single per band on the same date “Ʌucifer”'s 3rd single hits the store. “Ʌucifer” assume it’s because they declined the offer. Sakuya wants to release 5 singles at the same time to top Ralph’s plan. Sakuya and Aine have to stay at a hotel next to Metro Records for one week to create the new songs.
Ep. 27 – Sympathy Sakuya and Aine have difficulties to create the songs and the others are promoting the songs a priori to support them. They finish the 1st song and the 2nd and 3rd follows. Ralph learns that a girl is staying with Sakuya in the honeymoon suite. He intends to spread the rumor to put the media onto Sakuya. They finish the 4th song and Jupiter Record has difficulties to take care of the rumor.
Ep. 28 – Scandal The paparazzi besiege the hotel, but the “Ʌucifer” members can get Aine out of it undetected. Sakuya and Aine are separated and they again experience difficulties to create the last song. Ralph uses Sakuya’s past to rat him out. Kudo from “Radical” gives the media the dirt on Sakuya. “Ʌucifer” earned themselves a bad name so the stores reduce the booked “Ʌucifer” singles. Yumi invites “Ʌucifer” to her radio show to clear the bad press. While listening to the radio show Aine gets the idea for the last song and finishes the lyrics for “Plasmagic”.
Ep. 29 – Destiny Thanks to the radio show the stores change their mind and order their single again. Ralph wants to start a big promotion for his bands, but “Ʌucifer” doesn’t give up and becomes 1st with “Plasmagic”. Ralph is furious so he orders the media to boycott “Ʌucifer”. “Ʌucifer” assumes it’s because they refused the crossover with Metro Records. Ralph reveals to Sakuya that he has nothing against “Ʌucifer”, he is just interested in Sakuya. The other members decided to do a concert tour and Sakuya doesn’t intend to lose to him. On their tour they visit the ticket seller in Hakodate, “Lorelei” in Osaka and lots of other cities. Back in Tokyo Ralph phones Sasaki and orders “Ʌucifer” to disband. If “Ʌucifer” doesn’t obey, Metro Records will boycott all artists of Jupiter Records.
Ep. 30 – Unplugged Jupiter Record has no other choice to bow to Ralph so “Ʌucifer” wants to leave with Sasaki and make their own production house. Sakuya chimes in and reveals that whatever they do Ralph would harass “Ʌucifer”, because Sakuya is one of them. Sakuya is in reality Ralph’s half-brother and Ralph thinks Sakuya is his greatest threat. Sakuya declares the disbandment of “Ʌucifer” and leaves Japan. “Feel” wants to recruit Atsuro and “Neon” wants to have Towa back, but they decline. All ex-members wants to release their own debut single to get better and their individual popularity rises.
Ep. 31 – Reborn Their debut singles are popular and they are invited to the J-Rock festival. Ralph wants to make use of the ex-members popularity and wants to revive “Ʌucifer” with Freddy Brown as their lead vocal at the J-Rock. Sasaki accepts and leaves Japan to inform Freddy. He notifies the ex-members about the agenda. At the J-Rock festival the member announce the revival of “Ʌucifer” and a chopper brings Freddy, who took Sakuya with him. They declare that Sakuya is their lead vocal again and they use the broadcast to promote their comeback-concert in the Todo Residence.
Ep. 32 – Loser “Ʌucifer” got back at Ralph, but he sees Aine hide behind Sakuya. Ralph wants all media to boycott “Ʌucifer” completely, but all refuse to do so. Ralph puts Kudo and Neon’s leader up to disrupt their concert, but they refuse at last. The media discovers that Ralph wanted to destroy “Ʌucifer” and besiege Metro Records. “Ʌucifer” celebrates and Aine goes on errands, but gets kidnapped. Ralph phones Sakuya and orders him to come to a hotel in order to settle this once and for all.
Ep.33 – After Days Sakuya comes to see Ralph, but wants to know where Aine is. Ralph wants him to disband “Ʌucifer” again and tells him that he was sent to Japan by his father to compete against him. Ralph’s men clobber Sakuya until they receive orders from Rupert Grazer. They inform Ralph, that he is fired and has to come back to America, then they leave. After the brothers have a fistfight, Sakuya leaves for Aine and finds her in a hotelroom. Rupert Grazer offers Sakuya the Grazer Company and a debut in America, but Sakuya declines. Sakuya asks Aine out for a walk and says she has to be with him together so that he can protect her, because he brought her in the dangerous entertainment world. When she says she is glad she was able to meet Sakuya, he kisses her in the middle of the street.
Ep.34 – Actress Their next single will be the theme song for a drama with Sakura Ayako in the leading role, but Sakuya is less than thrilled. When Ayako finds out “Ʌucifer” is in charge of the theme song, she visits Sakuya at Jupiter Records and reveals their sexual relationship in times past, so Sakuya gets angry. She wants him to play the male lead and her lover in the drama. Aine is bothered by their past relationship so Sakuya tells her that his future only belongs to Aine. He declines the offer as actor, so Ayako insults the whole band and Sakuya agrees to be the actor to pay her back with ability. Aine is upset seeing them act together and Ayako falls deeper in love with Sakuya.
Ep. 35 – Femme Fatale Ayako notices Aine standing always around Sakuya. Aine’s lyrics get constantly rejected, but after staying with Sakuya for a day they get accepted. Aine watches the filming, therefore Ayako orders someone to take care of her. A scaffold collapses onto Aine, but Sakuya protects her with his body and gets wounded. Ayako blames Aine for delaying the filming because of Sakuya's wound, therefore he wants to go on acting. Ayako learns that Aine is Ʌucifer’s songwriter and hires a photographer to expose their secret and relationship. Sakuya turns the tables and mislead the reporter to disclose the fake relationship with Ayako. Ayako rings by Sakuya and drops to the floor with a cut on the arm and blood pouring out.
Ep. 36 – Final Act Aine calls an ambulance and stays with her till she wakes up. Ayako feigns depressions to Aine. Sakuya psyches her and says she never intended to die. Everyone blames Sakuya for their love scandal and the suicide rumors only Aine knows that he did everything to protect her, therefore she thinks she is a burden to Sakuya. Aine begs Ayako to stop causing Sakuya difficulties and collapses because of the rain, but Sakuya catches her and brings her to his flat. He takes care of her till Aine wants him to continue filming. Sakuya explains Ayako that he only loves Aine so she announces the breakup with Sakuya to the press.
Ep. 37 – Top Runner “Ʌucifer” is going to hold a concert in the Dome for 3 days, but Sasaki thinks “Ʌucifer” is too confident and nothing intimidates them anymore. Atsuro had a deal with his parents to graduate High School so he has to go to school and learn for the exams. Yumi has problems and Santa wants to help her by being her drummer. Yuki’s dad is sick and he has to replace him in the Noh-performances so he has to train. Towa takes care of a stray puppy and Sakuya goes on dates with Aine. The members neglect their practices and take the concert too lightly so Sasaki gets angry. He finds the talented band “e.mu” that shall surpass “Ʌucifer”.
Ep. 38 – Mistake Sasaki stops being their manager and Aine takes over the job. Sakuya is bugged by the unprofessional behavior of Santa and “Ʌucifer” is picking at each other. Sasaki announces that “Ʌucifer” can’t be first place forever and “e.mu” will beat them. Sasaki chucks them out of their practice room, but the others agree to overthrow the barrier. “Ʌucifer” competes with “e.mu” on a live broadcast, but because they use the new arrangement for the concert they fuck up and “e.mu” saves the morale. Their 1st single gets on top of the charts and beats “Ʌucifer”, so Sasaki wants to change the band for the concert at the Dome.
Ep. 39 – Painful Choice The board of directors have decided that the 3-day concert will be taken over by “e.mu”. Sasaki wants Aine to write lyrics for them, but she declines. Atsuro is done with his exams and Yuki stops his Noh-practices and goes back to the band. “The Cradle” is going to reopen, therefore “Ʌucifer” wants to improve to make the event a success. Santa is absentminded and Yumi tells her she will disband her band and go back to her hometown so Santa can concentrate on “Ʌucifer”. Yuki wants to do a live tour again, but Sakuya wants to snatch back their right to hold the concert from “e.mu”.
Ep. 40 – Emotion Sakuya suggest that Aine writes two lyrics, one for “e.mu” the other one for “Ʌucifer”. Both singles will be released at the same day and who will be on top of the charts after two weeks is going to hold the concert. Sakuya has to do the tune and asks the other members how they feel about the poem and about “Ʌucifer”. “e.mu” does a lot of promotion, but “Ʌucifer” has none. After a week “e.mu” is on top of the charts, but then because the single of “Ʌucifer” is constantly requested by the radio, their sales increase significantly and beat the sales of “e.mu”. Sakuya explains that when he composed he thought of his lover being hurt. Daisuke, leader of “e.mu” congratulates him for winning. Even Sasaki is happy, because he intended to push Ʌucifer forward. Aine and Sakuya are going home, but she runs across the street without looking as a trucks nears. Sakuya pushes her away, but gets hit and lies on the ground powerless.
Ep. 41 – Never Die Sakuya is in surgery and Aine blames herself. During the surgery his hearts stops beating and he has a dream not being needed, but he remembers the promise he made by seeing Aine crying in his dream. His hearts starts beating again and Aine, the band members and the fans in front of the hospital are relieved. Sakuya asks Aine for helping him to attend rehearsals of Ʌucifer at night, but he gets weaker and collapse in one of them. The media discovers that Sakuya tried to save a girl so Sasaki orders Aine not to come to the hospital again, but the fans know her already and beat her up.
Ep. 42 – Separate Eve Sakuya can’t manage a 2h performance, so Sasaki wants “e.mu” to perform as special guests during a 30 min break. Sasaki indicate that no one shall tell Sakuya that the media knows of a girl's involvement in the accident. It’s the first day of the concert and Aine is on the look-out for the backstage, but the fans head her off. Sakuya learns that the media knows of her and wants to find her, because he knows that the fans know who Aine is. The band members, who didn’t know that, try to stop him and send the staff to seek for her.
Ep. 43 – Love Melody “Ʌucifer” has to go on stage, because the fans are waiting. Aine gets beaten up, but she was found and gets treated by the doctor. Sakuya gets angry as he sees her being beaten up, but she can comfort him. Aine goes to the audience to watch “Ʌucifer” and Sakuya declares his love for Aine and begs the fans not to blame her. On the second day of the concert a foreigner asks Aine to show her the way to the Dome, but he leaves in the middle of the concert. Sasaki misses him, but informs “Ʌucifer” that he is England's most influential producer. He invited him for “Ʌucifer” to break into the international market.
Ep. 44 – Fly Away “Ʌucifer” has a break and prepares for the reopening of the “Cradle”. In the evening of the new opening the foreign producer appears and says “Ʌucifer” has talent, but shouldn’t leave Japan, because they are loved there. He doesn’t intend to be their producer, but accepts when “Ʌucifer” hits no. 1 on UK’s indie music charts within 6 month. Sakuya declines and says 2 month are enough. “Ʌucifer” and Aine are leaving for London and start perform at live houses with Yuuka as their manager. Ralph declares the real battle between them begins now.
Kaikan Phrase Original Soundtrack (快感フレーズ Original Soundtrack?) is the anime series soundtrack album. It was released February 16, 2000 by Pony Canyon. Some tracks are performed by Λucifer, the real-world counterpart of the fictional rock band of the series.
Kaikan Phrase Visualism (or Kaikan Phrase BGM Image Album: VISUALISM) was releaded on March 15, 2000 by Pony Canyon. In addition, a self-title album by Λucifer was released on April 15, 1998 by PolyGram, containing songs from the manga.
A video game based on the series, Kaikan Phrase: Datenshi Kourin, was released in Japan for the Sony PlayStation by Enix on February 24, 2000. Produced by Produce, it is a Single-player Music game that features the five members of Λucifer. In 2010, Datenshi no Amai Yuuwaku x Kaikan Phrase was released for the Nintendo DS.
In 2006, a film adaption of Sensual Phrase was reportedly discussed by the Sensual Phrase editor at Shogakukan, but the idea was rejected because the company felt it would have been too much of a "hassle." According to Shinjo, she didn't learn about the proposal until years after it happened.
In addition, an artbook called SA KU YA (ISBN 4-09-199791-0) and a postcard book based on the manga were published.
|This section requires expansion. (September 2008)|
- "Shinjo Blogs about Canned Sensual Phrase Film Talks". Anime News Network. 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
- "Sensual Phrase's Shinjo Explains Why She Left Magazine". Anime News Network. 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- Shinjo, Mayu. "Kaikan Phrase". Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "快感♥フレーズ / 1" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2009-01-24.[dead link]
- "快感♥フレーズ / 17" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "快感♥フレーズ 特別編" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "Viz Announces Q1 Acquisitions". Anime News Network. 2004-01-09. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "Sensual Phrase (Kaikan Phrase) Vol.1". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- "Sensual Phrase, Vol. 18". Viz Media. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- Mayu Shinju's official Sensual Phrase page
- Official Viz Media Sensual Phrase site
- Sensual Phrase () at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Kaikan Phrase: Datenshi Kourin at allgame.com
- Band reunites