Mahoraba Singer/Composer Bice Passes Away

You might not have heard of Bice, but those who’ve seen Mahoraba ~Heartful Days~ may remember the sweet, charming music that played in the anime as well as the calm, soothing vocals that accompanied some of the BGM. Bice, who also goes by Anne, composed the score for Mahoraba’s anime and provided said vocals. Regretfully, she has passed away on Monday, June 26, from a heart attack.

In addition to Mahoraba, Bice also composed music for Kirarin Revolution as well as a live-action adaptation of a Yayoi Ogawa work.

Source: Natalie

K-ON!! Vol. 2 Anime Soundtrack Release Date Set

For those of you who’ve been having a blast listening to volume 1 of the K-ON!! Original Soundtrack, the soundtrack to the second season of the K-ON! anime, the second volume’s release date has been set. The CD will be out in stores on October 6, 2010. You can order the soundtrack on CDJapan.

Like with the previous album, volume 2 will continue to present Hajime Hyakkoku’s light-hearted compositions from the K-ON! anime series. Whether the album will come with a character song or two like the first volume did is unknown for now.

Seiyuu Pop Group Sphere Concert Announced at Budokan

Sphere, the pop group made up of seiyuu Aki Toyosaki, Haruka Tomatsu, Ayahi Takagaki, and Minako Kotobuki, have announced a concert at Budokan on November 23, 2010. The concert, ON LOVE, ON Live, will open their doors at 4:30pm and officially start at 5:30pm.

Anime music fans should be familiar with Sphere’s work given their debut single for Hatsukoi Limited’s intro, titled “Future Stream.” They’ve gone on to release “Super Noisy Nova” for Sora no Manimani, and, most recently, Asobi ni Ikuyo!’s “Now loading…Sky!!.” They also have a single set to be released in October for an anime premiering in Fall 2010.

Source: Sphere website via J1m0ne.

Hiroaki Yura, Hiroki Kikuta, and Shihori are Guests at Otakon 2010

It shouldn’t be a surprise given that Hiroaki Yura, Hiroki Kikuta, and Shihori will be guests for this year’s Otakon 2010. The trio will appear during the opening ceremonies where the three worked together in composing, producing, and rehearsing the theme song, titled “Shackles of Night” which will be performed during the ceremonies.

The music will accompany the opening animation which is done by Japanese studio Production I.G.

Dir En Grey to Tour US, VIP Packages Available

Japanese metal band Dir En Grey is all set to begin touring in the United States, performing in such cities as Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland in late August, early September.

The tour will begin in North America at Toronto on August 23 before moving on to the United States with a performance at the Nokia Theater in New York on August 24. More information about the dates and locations can be found on Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles.

VIP packages are also on sale, which includes goodies such as an opportunity to meet and greet with the band members, a Dir En Grey VIP carabiner, a hand-signed Dir En Grey silk-screened poster, and a commemorative VIP laminate. More information about the VIP packages can be found here.

Angel Beats Band Score to Be Out on July 28

For those looking to figure out how to play some of the songs featured in the Angel Beats! anime series, the official band score, titled Keep the Beats, will be released on July 28, 2010. The band score will feature the vocal insert songs from the in-anime band, Girls Dead Monster, and will have the instrumental versions of all 13 songs on the official Keep the Beats vocal album in addition to the sheet music to those songs.

The Band Score can be purchased through CDJapan.

Eminence Symphony Orchestra Announces Japan Concert in August

The Eminence Symphony Orchestra, based out in Australia and known for performing music to video games and anime have announced that they will be performing in Japan on August 14, 2010. The concert, titled “Passion: Twilight Legacy” will include such pieces as the Otakon 2010 theme song and possibly a few tracks from the Project Promise disc containing arrangements of music from Makoto Shinkai’s works. For those who are not able to attend, there are options on the table to have the concert streamed.

More information can be found on the concert website.

Mikuni Shimokawa to Perform in Singapore On August 22

Mikuni Shimokawa seems to be back in action internationally, as she has announced a concert in Singapore on August 22, 2010. The singer, well-known for performing a large number of intro and outro songs to shows such as Full Metal Panic, Kino’s Journey, and Grenadier, will be performing at the Movida, St James Power Station venue and presumably, her anime songs should feature prominently in that concert. In addition to Singapore, she will also be traveling to South Korea and Hong Kong for concert performances.

Source: Mikuni Shimokawa’s Official Site

Hatsune Miku Arrives in America Through TinierMe

Miku and the other Vocaloids aren’t limited to the space on Youtube or Nico Nico Douga, or Japanese retail stores. Hatsune Miku will go as far as to appear on TinierMe, a virtual world developed by GCREST America, Inc. in the vein of Second Life through a partnership with Crypton Future Media.

From July 20 until November 30, 2010, you can catch Miku perform newly-released songs within the virtual world. That is, the composer, KarenT will release new songs over that time period as a way of keeping the virtual concert varied and interesting. Those interested can create an avatar in TinierMe to check it all out.

Azumi Inoue Releases Collection of Ghibli Songs

Azumi Inoue, best known for singing the ending songs to a variety of Studio Ghibli movies such as “Carrying You” from Laputa: Castle in the Sky and “My Neighbor Totoro,” the theme song to the anime of the same name, has released a vocal album that focuses entirely on songs from Ghibli’s movies. The album, titled Ghibli Meikyoku Selection~Dear Ghibli, includes the work she’s done as well as covers of other artists’ works such as Fujimaki Fujioka and Nozomi Ohashi’s duet in Ponyo’s ending theme song and Youmi Kimura’s “Itsumo Nandodemo” from Spirited Away.

Samples have been listed on the album page at HearJapan for those interested in seeing what she has to offer.

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