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Maon Kurosaki

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Maon Kurosaki
Kurosaki Maon at AX 2011.jpg
Maon Kurosaki at Anime Expo 2011 in Los Angeles, California
Background information
Native name 黒崎 真音
Born January 13
Tokyo, Japan
Genres J-rock
Occupation(s)
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2008–present
Labels NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan
Associated acts Altima
Website nbcuni-music.com/maon/

Maon Kurosaki (黒崎 真音?, Kurosaki Maon, born January 13) is a Japanese singer and songwriter signed to NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan. After being discovered while working as a performer in Akihabara, Tokyo, she made her major debut in 2010, performing ending themes to the anime television series Highschool of the Dead. She released her debut album H.O.T.D. in September 2010, which features the ending themes from Highschool of the Dead. Her first two singles were used as ending themes to the anime television series A Certain Magical Index II.

Kurosaki's music is influenced by her love of anime and lolita fashion. Her songs have been featured in various anime series such as Jormungand, Tokyo Ravens, and The Fruit of Grisaia. She has collaborated with artists such as Mami Kawada, Kotoko, and Trustrick for her music releases. She performed twice at Anime Expo 2011 in Los Angeles, California, and is a regular performer at Japanese anime events such as LisAni, Animelo Summer Live, and Animax Musix. She has also appeared at Anime Festival Asia, Bangkok Comic Con, and CharaExpo. From 2011 to 2016, she was vocalist of the musical unit Altima, together with Motsu of the band Move.

Biography[edit]

Kurosaki originally became interested in becoming a performer during her elementary years. During this time, she wanted to become a theater artist, and she participated in an audition in her school during her sixth grade. She did not pass the audition as she lacked talent in performing, but her singing was praised. This event would leave an impression on her, and as her parents were not interested in her taking up performance arts, she decided that she wanted to become a singer.[1]

Kurosaki began her singing career in Akihabara at the performance venue and bar Dear Stage, where she had been singing since at least January 2008.[2] Music producer Akihiro Tomita noticed her singing talent, and he subsequently became her producer when she made her major debut signed to Geneon Universal Entertainment (now NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan). Kurosaki first announced her major debut to her fans in January 2010.[3] Before she had her major debut, Kurosaki posed as a gravure model for the cover of Yūsaku Kitano's novel Maid Road Reload sold on April 26, 2010 by ASCII Media Works under their Media Works Bunko imprint.[4][5]

Her first music release was her debut album H.O.T.D. on September 22, 2010, which contains the ending theme songs used in the 2010 anime series Highschool of the Dead. Kurosaki also made a voice acting cameo during the series' twelfth episode.[6] To commemorate the album and the broadcast of the anime, she performed songs from the album once a week at Dear Stage from July 7 to September 22, 2010. Another event to commemorate the album was held at Animate in Yokohama on October 16, 2010.[7] Kurosaki became the regular host for the Thursday broadcast of the radio program A&G Artist Zone 2h on October 7, 2010; she would host the show until 2011.[8] Her debut single "Magic∞World" was released on November 24, 2010, and she performed at Dear Stage on that day to commemorate the release. Kurosaki's second single "Memories Last" (メモリーズ・ラスト?) was released on March 2, 2011. Both "Magic∞World" and "Memories Last" were used as ending theme songs to the 2010 anime series A Certain Magical Index II.[9]

Kurosaki had her first solo live event titled "Maon Kurosaki Live 2011 Spring: Memories First" on March 4–5, 2011 in Harajuku.[10] She made her North American debut at Anime Expo 2011 in Los Angeles, California where she performed on July 1 and July 3.[11][12] She released the mini-album Goshiki Uta: Immortal Lovers on August 10, 2011, which contains the ending theme songs used in the 2011 original video animation series Hakuōki Sekkaroku.[9] She made her first appearance at Animelo Summer Live on during its 2011 iteration on August 28.[13] Kurosaki released her second studio album Butterfly Effect on November 30, 2011 containing the song "Scars", the ending theme for the ninth episode of Hellsing Ultimate.[14]

Kurosaki performs at Bangkok Comic Con in 2014

In 2011, Kurosaki formed the band Altima with Move's Mototaka "Motsu" Segawa and fripSide's Satoshi "Sat" Yaginuma.[15] Kurosaki released three more singles in 2012: "Hell:ium" on May 9,[16] "Reimei" (黎鳴?) on August 8, and "Under / Shaft" on October 17. "Reimei" is used as the opening theme for the 2012 Hakuōki Reimeiroku anime series,[17] and "Under / Shaft" is used as the opening theme for the 2012 Jormungand: Perfect Order anime series.[18] Kurosaki was a guest at Anime Festival Asia Malaysia in 2012.[19] Her third studio album Vertical Horizon was released on April 10, 2013.[20] Her single "X-Encounter", released on November 6, 2013, is used as the opening theme for the 2013 Tokyo Ravens anime series. Kurosaki's fourth studio album Reincarnation was released on July 23, 2014.[21] In July 2014, Kurosaki attended the Bangkok Comic Con.[22] Kurosaki's seventh single "Rakuen no Tsubasa" (楽園の翼?) was released on October 15, 2014; the song is used as the opening theme for the 2014 The Fruit of Grisaia anime series.[23] Her eighth single "Setsuna no Kajitsu" (刹那の果実?) was released on May 13, 2015; the titular track is used as the opening theme for the 2015 Le Eden de la Grisaia anime series.[24] She made an appearance at CharaExpo in Singapore in June 2015.[25]

Kurosaki's ninth single "Harmonize Clover" (ハーモナイズ・クローバー?) was released on August 19, 2015. Harmonize Clover, along with "Afterglow" (アフターグロウ?) from the same single, are both used as ending themes for the 2015 anime series School-Live!.[26] Kurosaki released her fourth studio album Mystical Flowers on November 25, 2015.[27] As part of Altima, she collaborated with musician Kotoko in performing the song "Plasmic Fire", which was used as the theme song to the 2016 anime film Accel World: Infinite Burst.[28] During the Animelo Summer Live event in August 2016, Altima announced a hiatus from music activities.[28] She released her tenth single "Dead Or Lie" on August 17, 2016 featuring the duo Trustrick; the song is used as the opening theme for the 2016 anime series Danganronpa 3: The End of Kibougamine Gakuen: Mirai-hen.[29] Kurosaki's 11th single "Vermillion" was released on November 23, 2016; the song is used as the ending theme for the 2016 anime series Drifters.[30] Her tenth single "Last Desire" was released on March 22, 2017; the title track is used as an opening theme to the 2016 anime television series Rewrite,[31] while the single's B-side track "Ignis Memory" is used as the theme song to the game Rewrite IgnisMemoria.[32]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Kurosaki is a long-time fan of anime and video games, and these two interests have influenced her throughout her career. She was a fan of the band Evanescence, and her first lyrics were inspired by the band's songs. She was also influenced the song "Powder Snow" by Ayumi Hamasaki.[33] When writing lyrics for theme songs for anime, she would first read the anime's source material, then she would write lyrics based on the series' themes and setting.[34]

In an interview during her North American debut in 2011, Kurosaki mentioned that it had been her long-time dream to perform theme songs for anime series, and that anime is a big part of her life. She related her experiences working at Dear Stage, where originally worked as a waitress and performer. She said that she worked hard to meet customer expectations, and that performing at the venue's stage would prove to be a valuable experience as it would allow her to perform at larger stages with more imagination and inspiration. She mentioned that while writing lyrics for anime series, she wants the tone and mood of her songs to match the anime's setting.[35]

In an interview with Animate, Kurosaki related her experiences in writing the song "Memories Last". She mentioned how, after reading the A Certain Magical Index books, she sympathized with the character Accelerator and imagined his feelings as she wrote the song. She describes Accelerator is a character who initially has a lonely personality but gains kindness after meeting the character Last Order, and she wrote the song's lyrics based on his personality. She describes the song as an emotional song, and she originally sang it with a little pain.[1]

In an interview with Misako Aoki in 2015, Kurosaki discussed the influence of lolita fashion on her work. Her life changed when she encountered lolita fashion, and modeling in the style would broaden her world and give her a sense of comfort. Kurosaki was inspired by the film Legally Blonde because of the film's main character always wearing what she wants to wear, and how the main character's bedroom is colored pastel pink, a color scheme that Kurosaki liked.[36]

Kurosaki collaborated with musical duo Trustrick in performing the song "Dead Or Lie". In an interview with Diga Online, Kurosaki mentioned how she had been a fan of the Danganronpa series and was surprised to learn that she had been chosen to perform a song for the series. She compared her duet with Trustrick's vocalist Sayaka Kanda to an angel and a demon, with her voice being compared to a demon, and Kanda's voice being transparent and feminine like an angel. It was her first time writing lyrics for a duet, and she had to consider the roles of Kanda and Trustrick's guitarist Billy in the song.[33]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak positions
JPN
[37]
H.O.T.D. 25
Butterfly Effect
  • Released: November 30, 2011 (JPN)
  • Label: Geneon
  • Formats: CD, CD/DVD, digital download
43
Vertical Horizon
  • Released: April 10, 2013 (JPN)
  • Label: Geneon
  • Formats: CD, CD/DVD, digital download
25
Mystical Flowers
  • Released: November 25, 2015 (JPN)
  • Label: Geneon
  • Formats: CD, CD/Blu-ray
27

Cover album[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak positions
JPN
[37]
Reincarnation
  • Released: July 23, 2014 (JPN)
  • Label: Geneon
  • Formats: CD, digital download
21

Extended play[edit]

List of extended plays, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak positions
JPN
[37]
Goshiki Uta: Immortal Lovers (五色詠?, "Five Color Songs")
  • Released: September 22, 2010 (JPN)
  • Label: Geneon
  • Formats: CD, digital download
51

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
JPN Oricon
[37]
JPN Hot 100
[38][A]
"Magic∞World" 2010 20 [B] Butterfly Effect
"Memories Last" (メモリーズ・ラスト?, Memorīzu Rasuto) 2011 14 60
Hell:ium[C] 2012 61 [D] Vertical Horizon
"Reimei" (黎鳴-reimei-?, "Dark Dawn") 40 [E]
"Under/Shaft" 36 [F]
"X-Encounter" 2013 13 22 Reincarnation
"Rakuen no Tsubasa" (楽園の翼?, "Paradise Wings") 2014 16 27 Mystical Flowers
"Setsuna no Kajitsu" (刹那の果実?, "Fruit of a Moment") 2015 21 21
"Harmonize Clover" (ハーモナイズ・クローバー?) 36 62
"Dead Or Lie" 2016 27 25
"Vermillion" 44 64
"Last Desire" 2017 29 TBA


Other album appearances[edit]

Year Song Album Notes Ref.
2010 "Kimi to Taiyō ga Shinda Hi" Highschool of the Dead Original Soundtrack Short version theme song to Highschool of the Dead anime television series. [50]
2011 "Magic∞World" A Certain Magical Index II O.S.T 1 Short version theme song to A Certain Magical Index II anime television series. [51]
"Memories Last" A Certain Magical Index II O.S.T 2 Short version theme song to A Certain Magical Index II anime television series. [52]
2013 "Snap out of it!!" Toaru Majutsu no TV Songs Sung with Mami Kawada. [53]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sources for chart positions are as follows: "Memories Last",[39] "X-Encounter",[40] "Rakuen no Tsubasa",[41] "Setsuna no Kajitsu",[42] "Harmonize Clover",[43] "Dead Or Lie",[44] "Vermillion".[45]
  2. ^ Charted at number 20 on the Hot Singles Sales chart.[46]
  3. ^ Triple A-side single featuring the songs "Narihibiita Kodō no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku o Kiku", "I'm Still Breathing" and "Just Believe."
  4. ^ Charted at number 63 on the Hot Singles Sales chart.[47]
  5. ^ Charted at number 37 on the Hot Singles Sales chart.[48]
  6. ^ Charted at number 32 on the Hot Singles Sales chart.[49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "黒崎真音ついにアニメイトTVに登場!新曲「メモリーズ・ラスト」は「アクセラレータへの共感で生まれた曲」――新曲に込めた想いを彼女の軌跡とともにお届け!" (in Japanese). Animate. March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2017. 
  2. ^ まおんです! [I'm Maon!] (in Japanese). Dear Stage. January 19, 2008. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ 新曲「メモリーズ・ラスト」をリリースする黒崎真音さんインタビュー [Interview of Maon Kurosaki Who Will Release Her New Song "Memories Last"] (in Japanese). Animate. March 3, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ 黒崎真音表紙!「メイド・ロード・リロード」4/26発売! [Maon Kurosaki Front Cover! Maid Road Reload Sold on April 26!] (in Japanese). Dear Stage. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  5. ^ Kurosaki, Maon (April 23, 2010). メイド・ロード・リロード [Maid Road Reload] (in Japanese). Ameblo. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  6. ^ "All Dead's Attack". Highschool of the Dead. Episode 12 (in Japanese). September 20, 2010. Tokyo MX. 
  7. ^ Kurosaki, Maon (October 17, 2010). "最終日っ!!!". Ameba. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  8. ^ "「黒崎真音の2h」本日ラストです。" (in Japanese). Nippon Cultural Broadcasting. December 29, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "Maon Kurosaki, The Latest Singing Sensation from Tokyo's Akihabara Scene, Will Make Her U.S. Concert Debut at Anime Expo 2011". Anime News Network. June 6, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2017. 
  10. ^ Kurosaki, Maon (March 6, 2011). "MEMORIES LAST" (in Japanese). Ameba. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  11. ^ Kurosaki, Maon (July 5, 2011). "AX!!!" (in Japanese). Ameblo. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  12. ^ "AX to Host Singer Maon Kurosaki, Orange Road's Matsumoto". Anime News Network. June 2, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  13. ^ 黒崎真音 [Maon Kurosaki] (in Japanese). Animelo Summer Live. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Butterfly Effect" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved February 13, 2017. 
  15. ^ "What's ALTIMA" (in Japanese). Warner Home Video. Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  16. ^ "HELL:ium" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  17. ^ "黎鳴-reimei-" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Maon Kurosaki, Nagi Yanagi Sing for 2nd Jormungand Season". Anime News Network. August 20, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  19. ^ "AFA Malaysia 2012". Sozo. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Vertical Horizon" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Reincarnation" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  22. ^ "ครั้งแรกในไทย!! กับคอนเสิร์ตของ 3 ศิลปิน นักร้องและนักพากย์ชื่อดัง จากอนิเมชั่นเรื่องเยี่ยมของประเทศญี่ปุ่น เต็มอิ่มจุใจตลอด 3 วัน" (in Thai). Facebook. June 11, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Takahiro Sakurai, Hiroko Taguchi Lead Le Fruit de la Grisaia Anime's Cast". Anime News Network. July 30, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Maon Kurosaki, Yoshino Nanjou Return to Perform The Eden of Grisaia Anime's Themes". Anime News Network. February 25, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Don’t miss Maon Kurosaki 黒崎真音 first appearance in Singapore at CharaExpo 2015!". Facebook. June 4, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Maon Kurosaki Sings School-Live/Gakkō Gurashi! Ending Theme". Anime News Network. June 23, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Mystical Flowers" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  28. ^ a b "Musical Group ALTIMA Announces Hiatus". Anime News Network. August 26, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Dead Or Lie" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  30. ^ Chang, Chih-Chieh (October 8, 2016). "Anime Spotlight - Drifters". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 5, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Music". Rewrite anime official website (in Japanese). Aniplex. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Key's Rewrite Visual Novel Gets Rewrite IgnisMemoria Smartphone Game". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 
  33. ^ a b "黒崎真音 TRUSTRICKとのコラボ作品「DEAD OR LIE」のリリースが決定!今まで語られなかった自身の深い部分にも踏み込むロングインタビュー!" (in Japanese). Diga Online. July 1, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  34. ^ "アニソン歌手・黒崎真音、英才教育で培われたアニメ愛とおたくな素顔" (in Japanese). Ameba. May 7, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  35. ^ Lee, Roger (August 9, 2011). "Maon Kurosaki (黒崎 真音) Interview @ Anime Expo 2011". Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  36. ^ "#22 Misako Aoki X Maon Kurosaki - Interview: What is the Appeal of Lolita Fashion?". Asianbeat. Fukuoka Prefectural Government. April 1, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  37. ^ a b c d "黒崎真音のリリース一覧" [List of Maon Kurosaki's Releases]. Oricon. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Hot 100|JAPAN Charts|Billboard JAPAN" (in Japanese). Billboard. 
  39. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). March 9, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  40. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). November 13, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  41. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). October 12, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). May 25, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  43. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). August 31, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  44. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). August 29, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  45. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). December 5, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  46. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot Singles Sales". Billboard (in Japanese). December 1, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  47. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot Singles Sales". Billboard (in Japanese). May 16, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  48. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot Singles Sales". Billboard (in Japanese). August 15, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  49. ^ "Japan Billboard Hot Singles Sales". Billboard (in Japanese). October 24, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  50. ^ "学園黙示録 HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD オリジナルサウンドトラック" [Highschool of the Dead Original Soundtrack] (in Japanese). Neowing. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  51. ^ "「とある魔術の禁書目録II」O.S.T 1" [A Certain Magical Index II O.S.T 1] (in Japanese). Neowing. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  52. ^ "「とある魔術の禁書目録II」O.S.T 2" [A Certain Magical Index II O.S.T 2] (in Japanese). Neowing. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  53. ^ とある魔術の楽曲目録 [Toaru Majutsu no TV Songs] (in Japanese). Neowing. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 

External links[edit]