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Ali Project (typeset as ALI PROJECT) is a Japanese band with a strong Japanese Aristocrat-style image, consisting of Arika Takarano (宝野アリカ Takarano Arika?, vocals & lyrics) and Mikiya Katakura (片倉三起也 Katakura Mikiya?, music & arrangement).
In the band's earlier days, their musical style tended towards light, cheerful and/or refreshing songs. However, the sound has changed in recent times to take on a darker and more mysterious tone. Takarano Arika, lead singer/lyricist, has termed this change as a transition from White Alice (白アリ Shiro Ari?) to Black Alice (黒アリ Kuro Ari?). Though there has been a general shift towards performing songs in the "Black Alice" phase, Ali Project has occasionally sung in the White Alice style as well.
They made their indie debut in the charts in 1988 as Ari (Ant) Project (蟻プロジェクト Ari Purojekuto?) with their album "Fantastic Garden" (幻想庭園 Gensō Teien?). The album was later included in Tatsumi Takayuki's book Philosophy of Progressive Rock (プログレッシヴ・ロックの哲学 Puroguresshivu Rokku no Tetsugaku?), which led to the band being classified under the progressive rock genre.
Four years later in 1992 they changed their name and made their major debut with their single "Fall in love, maiden" (恋せよ乙女 Koi-seyo otome?).
Most of their records are released by Toshiba-EMI, Victor Entertainment and Tokuma Japan. The band is notable in the anime community for having their songs featured in several anime sequences, most notably in the series Noir, Rozen Maiden, Kamichama Karin, .hack//Roots, Linebarrels of Iron, Code Geass, Phantom -Requiem for the Phantom-, Fate/Extra and most recently Another along with Katanagatari. Additionally, Mikiya Katakura has also provided the soundtrack to several anime series, such as Kaibutsu Oujo and Avenger.
First U.S. concert
Ali Project played their debut concert in the United States at the 2008 Sakura-Con in Seattle, Washington. Reportedly, the band itself insisted on making their debut performance in North America at the convention. After the performance, there was a signature session where fans could personally talk to Arika Takarano and get her signature on CDs sold at the convention.
- Official website (Japanese)