Saturday, August 20, 2011

× ZONE ×

ZONEIn 1999, Studio Runtime held an audition in Sapporo for a new type of group that they called a “bandoru” (band+idol, a group that could both dance and play instruments). Initially, 8
members were picked, but that was later shortened to 4: TAKAYO, MIYU,
MIZUHO and MAIKO. This became ZONE. The name “ZONE” refers to the group’s goal, starting from the bottom, or “Z” (the last letter in the alphabet), all the way to number one (“ONE”).

On 1999/12/18, ZONE’s indies single “Believe in Love” was released. More than a year later, in February of 2001 their first major release “Good Days” hit the shelves. “Good Days”, a fast-paced song about overcoming hard times to think positively, brought them a little success, but not nearly as much as their 3rd single, “secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~”. With a dreamy, lullaby-like introduction and touching lyrics about saying a sad goodbye to a good friend, everyone in Japan seemed to relate, young or old. A year after the release of “secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono” came ZONE’s 1st album, “Z”.

Their 6th single “Hitoshizuku” was used as a theme song of the Japanese release of “Ice Age”. Next came “Akashi”, a dark rock song about feeling lost in the world. This showed ZONE’s versatility as a band. These two songs, along with another single, “Yume no Kakera”, were contained on their 2nd album “O”, which was released at the end of 2002.

VE 2002

“true blue” was ZONE’s 9th single and also was used as a theme song of the hit anime “Astro Boy”. Near the end of 2003 as soon as they had begun work on their 3rd album “N”, TAKAYO, the group’s leader and eldest member,
announced that she was leaving the group to further pursue her studies. A replacement member, TOMOKA, was brought in. TOMOKA, who originally tried out for ZONE, was a member of the original 8 but was rejected for being too tall. Her first single with the band was called “Sotsugyou”.

In February of 2005, ZONE officially announced that they were disbanding. The reason was not because of artistic differences or catfights or loss of popularity, they simply wanted to explore options for their futures. That’s a pretty acceptable reason, as at that time 3 of the members had just graduated from high school and one had yet to graduate! ZONE’s final single “Egao Biyori” was released i
n March and soon a best hits compilation, “E”, was put together. On April 1st, 2005, the 4 members of ZONE held their final concert. Sadly, it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. At the end of the concert, ZONE said farewell to all their fans as well as the rest of the world with a very emotional “secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~”.

Guitar and Vocals
DoB: 19/09/1986
Blood Type: O
Height: 160cm

Guitar and Vocals
DoB: 20/05/1988
Blood Type: B
Height: 156cm

Drums and Vocals
DoB: 12/12/1986
Blood Type: A
Height: 153cm

Bass and Vocals
DoB: 24/07/1986
Blood Type: O
Height: 154cm

Ex-Guitar and Ex-Vocals
DoB: 13/06/1985
Blood Type: A
Height: 154cm

Zone Singles (Download link):

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