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Years active1996–2006
LabelsSony Music Japan
Cutting Edge
Past membersEizo Sakamoto
WebsiteOfficial website at Sony Music Japan

Animetal (Japanese: アニメタル, Hepburn: Animetaru) was a Japanese heavy metal band who specialized in metal covers of theme songs from classic and modern Japanese anime and tokusatsu television series.

They were composed of several luminaries of the Japanese metal scene, most notably vocalist Eizo Sakamoto, who has been involved off and on with Anthem as well as participating in various other projects including the pop rock group Nerima, the JAM Project, and a successful solo career where he also plays lead guitar as well as vocals.

As of 2006, the band is currently on indefinite hiatus.[1] Sakamoto has since begun a similar project called Eizo Japan,[2] but in 2013 he announced that he and She-Ja were reforming Animetal as Aisenshi (哀旋士).[3]


Their music can be classified[by whom?] as speed metal and power metal with a very high level of musical virtuosity,[citation needed] especially on the guitarists' (initially She-Ja for the first four albums, then Syu from Animetal Marathon V to the present) and bassist Masaki's parts. Masaki, in particular from Animetal Marathon IV onward, has shown an intensely active and aggressive approach to his instrument with fluid soloing, manic slapping and popping, energetic fills, and crashing chords for punctuation.[citation needed] The albums are structured as nearly seamless barrages of short songs woven into well-structured medleys that sound as though the band simply enters the studio and lays down virtually the entire album from start to finish in one go,[citation needed] with occasional overdubs and breaks in the action here and there.

Part of the band's nostalgic factor is their incorporation of popular rock-metal instrumentals into some of the songs. For instance, their version of "Choujuu Sentai Liveman" is played to the tune of Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law".

The lyrics are almost entirely in Japanese with occasional lines of "Engrish", which may partly account for why they are virtually unknown outside Japan, except that they admittedly are playing to a very small niche market. For a short time, they incorporated Pink Lady member Mie into the band, hence the name change to "Animetal Lady", and recorded two albums with her distinctive and melodic vocals that are much more commercially accessible than the rest of the Animetal discography.

While they're known more for their covers, the band has a few original songs, including the ballad "Eternal Future" (永遠の未来, Towa no Mirai) from the Rurouni Kenshin film.

Animetal USA[edit]

In 2011, Animetal USA (アニメタルUSA) was formed as a tribute to Sakamoto's band, performing English-language metal covers of popular anime and tokusatsu themes. The band consisted of lead vocalist Michael Vescera, guitarist Chris Impellitteri, bassist Rudy Sarzo, and drummer Scott Travis. They released their self-titled debut album on October 12.[4] A year later, Travis left the band to focus on touring with Judas Priest; he was replaced by Jon Dette before the band released their second album Animetal USA W on June 6.[5]

Animetal the Second[edit]

Animetal the Second
Years active2015–present
LabelsGr8! Records
WebsiteOfficial website at Sony Music Japan

A project titled Animetal the Second (二代目アニメタル, Nidaime Animetaru), centered around anonymous female vocalist Queen.M, was started in 2015 to continue the Animetal tradition.[6] Its self-titled debut album was released on March 25 by Gr8! Records and features musicians such as Akira Takasaki and Masayoshi Yamashita of Loudness, Warren DeMartini, and George Lynch.[6][7] It was followed up in April 2016 with Blizzard of Animetal the Second, which features Scotti Hill, Paul Gilbert, Richie Kotzen, Luke Takamura, and Saki.[8] Animetal the Second made an appearance at Ozzfest Japan 2015.[9]





  1. ^ "Animetal Official Site". Archived from the original on October 25, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "Eizo Japan Official Site". Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  3. ^ "【ピックアップ!】哀旋士…声明文! - Web Rock Magazine BEEAST". January 18, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  4. ^ "USメタル界精鋭が新バンド「アニメタルUSA」結成". September 5, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  5. ^ "アニメタルUSA、セカンドアルバム『アニメタルUSA W』は6月6日発売". April 3, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "二代目アニメタル、歌うのは謎の女性Queen.M". Natalie (in Japanese). February 4, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  7. ^ "二代目アニメタルとLOUDNESS高崎&山下「アクエリオン」カバー". Natalie (in Japanese). February 14, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  8. ^ "ANIMETAL THE SECOND、新アルバムに二井原実作詞のオリジナル曲". Natalie (in Japanese). April 4, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  9. ^ "OZZFEST JAPAN 2015のANIMETAL THE SECOND". Marshall Amplification. February 4, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2021.

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