Biography

Whils still a university student in oil painting, Akino Arai  won the Yamaha Popular Music Contest with her song "Kiniro no Me". After graduation, she was scouted by the label Victor Music Entertainment (currently, "Victor Entertainment") and began her career as a singer and songwriter. After collaborating with various artists, she released her first single Yakusoku (1986), inserted in the Animation movie Windaria.  She then released her first album Natsukashii mirai (1986). However, Akino Arai's creative efforts at Victor were offset by severe management restrictions and demands. She couldn't bare the restrictions on her artistic freedom any more and decided to leave.

Akino Arai left her management agency around 1988 and became a solo/freelance musician. In 1989, she became friend with Tane Tomoko and began to provide back up vocals in many of her albums, as well as concerts. Another artist that deserves some mentioning is Shiratori Yuri. In most of Shiratori Yuri's albums Akino Arai has at least written, composed and arranged several tracks and she left all the vocals for Shiratori to perform. By providing songs to many artists, Akino Arai has since proved her talent as a songwriter. But she didn't forget her passion for singing as well. In 1992, she released two singles (Kaze to tori to sora~reincarnation~ & Kooru sona) used as images songs for famous anime Record of Lodoss War (OVA) and a quality and artistic animation movie, The Weathering Continent. In 1994, the song Voices she sang for Macross Plus OVA has won her a huge community of fans. Releasing numerous singles and albums, we shall highlight her first collection album Sora no mori (1997) and a number of popular singles such as Hiru no tsuki (1998) and Tsuki no ie (1998), respectively the first ending and the second ending she sang for TV anime Outlaw Star.

When Akino Arai started to get more involved with anime and games soundtracks, she started to have greater confidence and inspiration. This new found creativity led to more solo album releases and chart success. Her dream of musical success was now a reality. Working on notable anime including "Record of Lodoss War", "Macross Plus" and "Please Save my Earth" cemented her place as one of Japan's most popular and prolific anime music artists. Her popularity earned her the chance to work on a new project called "VIRIDIAN HOUSE" which is a weekly hour long radio show and also the name of her personal website.

 

Apart from anime/game soundtrack recordings she has worked on several collaborations, including a successful duet project with Yayoi Yula, with the album Goddess in the morning (1998) released. Additionally she played acoustic guitar and toy piano in the band Marsh-mallow that recorded a self titled album Marsh-mallow (2001). She also recorded an album with the band Zabadak. But she did not remain a member of either band for long because of her commitment to her personnal works including three singles, Kanaete in 1999, Hana no katachi in 2001, Kusei toshi in 2002, three endings she sang respectively for TV anime Puppet Master Sakon, TV anime (The) Daichis - Earth Defence Family and TV anime Tokyo Underground.  She then released the single Natsukashii umi (2004) opening for TV anime KURAU Phantom Memory, which has ranked 19th in Oricon, her highest ranking ever.

To celebrate her 20th anniversary as a recording artist, she released a special album entitled Sora no uta (2005) which has ranked 35th in Oricon. Due to growing international interest in her career, Akino Arai made the decision to embark on her first overseas tour. She went to France and Germany and performed to enthusiastic audiences there during the spring of 2006. After she returned to Japan, she continued to sing for anime. All released singles since then of her anime theme songs have all ranked into Oricon’s Top 50, which are kimihe mukau hikari (2006) as the opening for TV anime Zagapain, kin no nami sen no nami (2008) as the ending for TV anime ARIA the ORIGINATIONmitsu no yoake (2009) as the opening for TV anime Spice and Wolf II.  She has then released a new album RuRu Chapeau (2011)  with her new band and this year she surprised fans by releasing simultaneously 2 new albums Red Planet (2012) and Blue Planet (2012). Akino Arai's long career now continues with great success and her first live in Asia outside of Japan being Hong Kong on March 24th 2013 !