Guruguru Eigakan

グルグル映畫館

indies - disbanded (1995 - 2012)
Despite their rather unusual appearance, Guruguru eigakan are unfortunately one of the few bands that have failed to create a stir both within and outside of Japan. This group of men, to those who know them, have established themselves as one of the pioneering faces in the eroguro movement. With their characteristic ‘geisha’ white faces, black lipstick and dark eye shadow, the band’s subject material covers young love and emotion throughout the teenage years.

Uncharacteristic, one might think, for a band with their ghostly countenances, but in fact this is the subject for a vast majority of eroguro bands and Guruguru eigakan are similar in that aspect. A difference is, however, that unlike various regular rock bands, this group twists this subject matter into something macabre by adding the themes of death, lost love and depression.
author: Cage (2007-10-16)
line up
Guruguru eigakan were established in Nagoya in 1995 by the original line-up of the band: Amano Tonbimaru, Yoshikawa Masatoshi, Yamada Shunsuke and Matsushima Kouji. The band’s concept focuses on the “Shouwa Eroguro Innocence”, a period in Japan’s history corresponding to the reign of Emperor Shouwa (Hirohito) from 1926 to 1989.

It was a number of key events during this period which Guruguru eigakan focused their concept around. With Japan engaging in war with China for the second time in 1937 and in 1941, the nation attacking Pearl Harbor, it is no wonder that the band chose to centre their attention on this politically challenging time for Japan. With the result of the attack on the US giving way to the first (and only) atomic weapons attack in history and with admittance to their defeat, Japan fell to occupation under a foreign power.

It is undoubtedly this specific period of American occupation that Guruguru eigakan focus on in particular, what with the emotional turmoil of the youth at this moment in history and in part, the influence that America’s culture would have on Japan’s. Using these emotions and period of history as a basis for their work, Guruguru eigakan focused on writing and composing material.

As well as forming in 1995, the band also performed their first live in the Nagoya Music Farm on the 11th of November of the same year. It was in the following two years that Guruguru eigakan focused their activities around Nagoya accompanied with the release of several demo tapes. 1998 saw the band branching out to Tokyo in order to perform, attempting to establish themselves as a new and individual band. Following a live in Osaka, Guruguru eigakan focused their activities around the Nagoya-Tokyo-Osaka area.

In June of 1999, the band released their first CD and in the following year collaborated with the eroguro quartet, Inugami Circus-dan in a limited edition single that was only sold at lives. 2000 also signalled Guruguru eigakan‘s first oneman concerts held in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. In the few years that the band had existed, their popularity within the Japanese underground scene had risen thanks to their engaging lyrics and communication with the audience throughout their performances.

2002 signalled Guruguru eigakan’s most active year, but was also filled with disappointment with the graduation of all members of the band aside from Amano Tonbimaru in the July of that year at the Shibuya Quattro performance. Quite happily however, the band had performed at the Shibuya ON AIR WEST "kiwamonotachi no kairaku" revival alongside bands such as metronome and Oblaat in May.

In November 2002, Guruguru eigakan released their second album of the year Sono mama de ii yo with their new line-up, consisting of Numakura Shin, Tamakoshi Isao and Maeda Kazutomo.

Over the following years, Guruguru eigakan continued to release various media, such as CD’s and in 2004, their first DVD became available. Coupled with performances in the areas that the band felt most comfortable in, the band seemed to be taking a ‘slow and steady’ approach since the graduation of several members only a short while before.

Sadly, in the fall of 2006, news came that bassist Tamakoshi Isao would be leaving the band for undisclosed reasons. Fortunately, this loss didn’t stop Guruguru eigakan, and in the Spring of 2007, the band released their first single since 2004, 14sai no shayou. July signalled a busy time for the band, as they released two separate albums, one solo effort and one with the infamous Inugami Circus-dan. This album displayed the characteristic skits that Guruguru eigakan blend flawlessly into their work, and with the accompaniment of Kyouko‘s vocals, created a truly wonderful and individual album.

As of more recent months, Guruguru eigakan have focused their efforts on touring, mainly throughout Tokyo. What with their individual take on humans and their emotions, one can only hope that this charismatic band achieve greater success in both their native country and abroad in the years to come.
author: Cage (2007-10-16)
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