August 7th, 2010

Ayabie members break off to launch new band

Visual-kei band Ayabie has apparently been having internal conflicts, as four of the band's five members announced on Saturday that they are leaving. Guitarist Yumehito, guitarist Takehito, bassist Intetsu, and drummer Kenzo simultaneously posted messages on their official personal blogs to inform fans of their departure. Vocalist Aoi is now the only remaining member of the band.

At 6:00pm on August 7, the four members posted the same announcement on their blogs, which stated that they are breaking off from Ayabie to form a new band. The note implied that they had problems with Aoi, but no specific details were mentioned. The four are now affiliated with a new company called DNL, whose website includes the same message that was posted on their blogs. Details about their future activities and their new fan club will be available in the near future.

In their blogs, each member included a personal message to their fans. Yumehito said that he sympathized with the fans' pain at this outcome, but explained that he couldn't continue holding back his true feelings about the situation.

Ayabie was formed in 2004 as a four-member band consisting of Aoi, Takehito, Intetsu, and former guitarist Ryohei. Kenzo joined the following year. After Ryohei left in August 2006, Yumehito was added a few months later. Their lineup has remained the same since then, and they finally made their major label debut under Tokuma Japan in May 2009.


THE SOUND BEE’s US debut at Nekocon

Anime convention Nekocon, located in Hampton Roads, Virginia, have announced that they will be bringing Japanese Visual Kei group THE SOUND BEE HD as a guest of honor.  This will be the official US debut for the group, so it is sure to be quite the event.

Nekocon takes place at the Hampton Roads Convention Center from November 5th through November 7th.  THE SOUND BEE HD will be giving two concerts at the convention, one on Friday and one on Saturday.  This is the third time that Nekocon has hosted the American debut of a Japanese artist.  Last year the convention helped Suicide Ali cross over to the US for their debut.

THE SOUND BEE HD is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year and this is definitely a great event for them …


  • juweel

Mixi To Enter Asia, The US And Europe

Earlier this week, I read a quite interesting interview Fumiaki Koizumi, the CFO of Japan’s biggest social network Mixi, gave to the Nikkei (the country’s leading business daily). In the interview, Koizumi touches upon a few interesting points on how Mixi wants to internationalize after all these years.

Here’s a summary:

* Mixi now has over 300 employees.
* The new office the company moves to next year will be large enough for 700-800 people.
* One current focus is finding new staff, for example engineers.
* Mixi wants to accelerate internationalization efforts, which is why the company looks for people with work experience overseas and/or those who can speak multiple languages.
* There’s now a new business unit within Mixi that coordinates internationalization efforts.
* The Chinese subsidiary in Shanghai now has more employees.
* Mixi plans to start hiring people in Asia, the US and Europe.
* Foreigners who just graduated might be another option, starting in fiscal 2012.

I am aware that big companies must proactively look for business opportunities in order to satisfy share holders and that Mixi’s growth within Japan is poised to stop at some point. Also, there are many big advertising markets outside Japan, and the competition isn’t sleeping either (GREE announced international expansion plans, while DeNA has brought Mobage-town to overseas markets already).

But whatever Mixi’s goal is (establishing itself as a vertical/niche network somewhere?), the company is way, way too late in the game. The announcement to start hiring foreign graduates in 2012 (!) alone is ludicrous, which is why I can stop here and say this will never ever work. Absolutely no one outside Japan is waiting for Mixi.