E.m.u: the music behind the manga


Entertainment Music Unit

It's hard to really know how to introduce E.M.U to the complete novice. Anyone who is familiar with any kind of anime will likely have heard of at least one of the Seiyuu involved in the band - Bleach's Byakuya, for example (Okiayu-san), or Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy (Midorikawa-san). But to understand the E.M.U phenomenon it's really necessary to understand the Japan Seiyuu-band phenomenon. And that this is not a random incident. In fact, it's not unusual for seiyuu to do a lot of singing and even form bands of this nature.

For the record, since this has happened once before, this group has nothing to do with Aucifer's rival group (spawned from the series Kaikan Phrase). That group is e.mu (note the lower case and the punctuation) and they were spawned three years after the Sotsugyou/Entertainment Music Unit project was launched ^_^, not even releasing their first single - as far as I'm aware - until the same year E.M.U shut up shop. This site has no connection to Kaikan Phrase at all - the M world is completely different (just to clear up that slight and irritating misconception).

In short, this page is dedicated to the original E.M.U ^_^.

E.M.U as a musical unit are (at least to the 'outside' obsessive fantype non-Japanese world) probably better known than the story characters with which they identify. Their style of music varies widely (another common habit of Japanese bands - this world called J-pop actually incorporates everything and anything you can think of!). However in general it can be put into two categories - "pop" (think Eurovision in Japanese...if you know what that is...heh), and "rock" (guitars, keys and drums aplenty).

E.M.U first broke onto the Japanese music scene in 1995 with the release of Boku-tachi no Kotae ~Rule~ which also introduced the characters with which the five seiyuu would become closely associated. They went on to release several more singles and albums and performed several live events including two tour performances at Yokohama Blitz and Pacifico Yokohama which were released on VHS and Laser Disc (The First Live and the Equal Live).

There is also the "Thank You" DVD which comprises snippets from each plus a couple of unique tracks. Sadly there are no live performances of any of their later tracks, except Ore-tachi no Sotsugyou, which was performed and recorded as their "farewell" to the fans. (Having said this, the Thank You DVD does have a live performance of most of Mountain on it, if memory serves). The Thank You DVD also includes the music video to PhantoM which was first released on the VHS "Another Side Of E.M.U" Arguably, the real thrust of the E.M.U era was 1995-7, despite the appearance of the M boys on the original single release, whereas later projects were far more tied in to Sotsugyou M and the characters themselves. (The line gets a bit blurry somewhere in the middle!).

E.M.U visual media is not easy to get a hold of and all of it is out of production. The same goes for all of E.M.U's CD releases and all of the memorabilia connected with Sotsugyou M. Consequently the only place to get a hold of this stuff is through the Japanese second hand market, although very occasionally items pop up on American eBay. (Speaking some Japanese does help!). The most comprehensive release of E.M.U music is the Memorial CD box set. But...yeah, you guessed it. It's also out of production.


The quote at the top of the E.M.U pages (romanised, it says "Ore-tachi ga EMU da ze!" or "We're EMU!") comes from Okiayu-san introducing the band during the First Live. He introduces them first as "eh-mu" then - if I'm hearing him right - he goes on to say "Ee - emu - yuu te kaite...ehmu te yobu’n da ze." (which translates pretty much as "Spelt as "E.M.U", we're called "Ehmu").

(I feel this is important to mention, since my younger sister likes calling them "Emu" (as in the bird you might see on safari...)