Achieving the Anime Dream with Naruto Shippuden and J-Rock Legends KANA-BOON
If you've been or have become an anime fan at any point in the last 15 years, then you know KANA-BOON . Formed in 2008, the Japanese rock quartet saw breakout success after their track "Silhouette" was featured as the opening theme song for Naruto Shippuden . See? You know KANA-BOON. Welcome to another installment of Have You Heard? from Crunchyroll, the ongoing series where we sit down with iconic musicians worldwide to celebrate thousands of music videos and concerts arriving on Crunchyroll. As you can guess, this month is all about KANA-BOON . Take a look below at what Maguro Taniguchi, Takahiro Koizumi, Hayato Koga and Masami Endo have to say about their journey as a band, the anime they love, and what's next. Meet KANA-BOON All : Hello. Hello. We are KANA-BOON. Hi. Thanks for having us. Thank you. Maguro Taniguchi : I’m Maguro Taniguchi, lead vocals and guitarist for KANA-BOON. Hello. And then… Takahiro Koizumi : I’m Takahiro Koizumi. Taniguchi : Right. Hayato Koga : I’m the guitarist Hayato Koga. Masami Endo : I’m the bassist, Mashi. Taniguchi : Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. How’s everyone doing? All : Good morning. Hello. Taniguchi : We have some questions here. All : OK. How did your group form? Taniguchi : When we were 16-year-old first years in high school, we met through our school’s light music club. I said I wanted to form a band and Koi-chan sat next to me. Koizumi : We sat next to each other. Taniguchi : That’s how we met. And I didn’t bring any pencils on my first day of high school. Koizumi : You sure didn’t. Taniguchi : So I asked Koi-chan to lend me a pen. Then we joined the light music club together. And these two– Koga : We’re childhood friends. Koizumi : Since grade school. Koga : Koi-chan told me he’d been invited to join a band… or rather, invited to join the light music club. So I thought, “Maybe I’ll join the club too.” It was like a domino effect. Taniguchi : The first band the three of us formed together was KANA-BOON. And we met Mashi in second year. Endo : I was second-year at another high school, but we became friends. For a long time after that, I was either living with Maguro or hanging out as friends. Taniguchi : You joined the band last year. Endo : Last April. Taniguchi : In April 2022, you became a member. Endo : Yes. Taniguchi : And now the four of us work together. Next one’s about Naruto . Achieving Anime Dreams A lot of fans learned of KANA-BOON through Naruto . Could you tell us your highlights providing music for Naruto ? Taniguchi : So, like, memories, I guess. Naruto ’s “Silhouette” was the first song we wrote for an anime. We were so happy. Sorry, Mashi, you weren’t in the band then. Endo : Right. Taniguchi : So this is just for the three of us. The Naruto manga started while we were still in grade school. We got really excited following the series in real-time. So, working on Naruto had been a dream of ours since we debuted. When that came true and we went to the SONY Music office together, I cried. It’s not often that you get to experience something that moving. So I was very happy about it. Mashi, you watched KANA-BOON do all that. Endo : Your popularity exploded and you started appearing all over the place, including on TV. I was watching all of that while working my regular part-time job. Taniguchi : People get really excited for this song at shows, which always reminds me how great and significant it is for us. People get really excited for “Silhouette.” They even sing it in Japanese. This was true when we released the song, and it’s still true today, but it always moves us in fresh ways. OK. I like this question, it’s about the Naruto game. NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja STORM 4 ’s “Spiral” is awesome. All : Thank you. “Silhouette” is also awesome. Could you explain the process of writing songs and music for Naruto ? Taniguchi : Our connection with Naruto is kind of special. We followed the manga and anime in real time. We never really felt any pressure. We’re able to naturally produce songs just by thinking about what Naruto and Boruto mean to us. We think a little more about the original work when we create songs for other series. We’ve written about five songs for Naruto and we’ve been able to do it in a natural and relaxed way. We have a kind of mysterious affinity with the series. You know, like Rasengan. Koga : Right. For the Naruto series, I pay extra attention to the scenery and technique names and draw inspiration from them. I’ve written phrases trying to capture the sound of Rasengan. Taniguchi : He’s the guy in the band who can produce a Rasengan. Koga : I can? All : Yeah. Yeah you can. We’ve heard you’re big fans of Naruto . All : Yes, of course. How does it feel to perform Naruto songs live? Taniguchi : Is there anything we think or feel as fans? Koga : I mentioned it just now but when I write songs or phrases I think about the techniques and scenery that appear in Naruto . I think about those things while playing too. I imagine the opening animation in my head while I’m playing. But when I saw how excited fans were in Canada, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, I couldn’t even think about that anymore. I wanted to connect with the people right in front of me. Taniguchi : When we performed overseas I found myself most often thinking about the original author, Mr. Kishimoto. We’ve met and spoken to Naruto ’s original author, Mr. Kishimoto. When we wrote the song “Diver” and performed it at an event, Mr. Kishimoto cried tears of joy. I remember that specific moment. So when we perform “Silhouette” overseas, I think about Mr. Kishimoto. Like, “Thank you for bringing us here,” and, “I wish I could show this to Mr. Kishimoto.” Yeah, that’s what I think about. Aside from Naruto , you’ve written songs for a variety of anime series including My Hero Academia , Fire Force , and more recently, Zom 100 . When you first started out did you imagine you’d end up working on so many amazing series? Did you expect this to happen? All : No, no, no. Taniguchi : No, we didn’t. We always wanted to be a good, cool band but we never expected to work on so many anime series. Even when we wrote “Silhouette” for Naruto , we didn’t expect to write so many more songs for anime series. Koga : We wanted to work on Naruto , so that was something we could imagine, but working on all these other series isn’t something we imagined. Taniguchi : Yeah, it’s strange, isn’t it? All : It is. Taniguchi : KANA-BOON and anime. I guess we’re very compatible. On Music Videos and Creativity The video for My Hero Academia ’s “Starmaker” featuring the disco ball man… All : His name is Starman. Taniguchi : The person who wrote this question really likes the music video. It’s interesting, isn’t it? That person is a professional dancer. What they did wearing that shiny silver costume was amazing. We got to see them dance, it was interesting. How much are you involved in the creation of the music videos? Taniguchi : For the most part, the film director makes the decisions. All : Yeah. Taniguchi : The film director for the project tells everyone what to do. Our own director and the film director work together to come up with a proposal. We’ve been involved in a lot of challenging film shoots but we do whatever we’re told. Are there any concepts you’d like to try in future music videos? Taniguchi : What if one of us directed? Endo : You mean one of us? Koga : Koi-chan’s done it before, right? Koizumi : Once. As a parody. It was done in a jokey way. Taniguchi : What kind of video would you make if you directed? Koizumi : I was the primary subject of the video I made. All the other members turned into me. So this time I wouldn’t be in it. I’d rather think about what I’d have everyone else do. Taniguchi : And you wouldn’t be in it? Koizumi : You wouldn’t be playing instruments. You’d be acting instead. Taniguchi : So, like a drama? Koga : Like a drama? Koizumi : Yeah, I’d make it like a drama. Taniguchi : What would we play? Koizumi : Well, it would depend on the concept. Koga would probably make the most interesting lead. Koga : Me? Koizumi : Yeah, Koga. But Maguro acts a lot, so I’d have Koga play the lead and you’d play his girlfriend. Taniguchi : I’m his girlfriend? Koizumi : And you’re the dad. Endo : Why? So I could watch over them? Koizumi : Exactly. Taniguchi : I wanna make these two go skydiving. Koga : No, no, no. No way. Could you tell us about any future projects, albums, or tours? Taniguchi : Well this fall we’ll be visiting 47 locations across Japan. We’ll be touring everywhere. Koga : We’re going all over, yeah. Taniguchi : We did it once five years ago. Since this is our tenth anniversary, we’re doing it again. As far as releases go, there’s Zom 100 ’s theme song, “Song of the Dead.” We’re always thinking about how we’d like to produce an album, too. As soon as we say that, someone will make us do it, so it’s not easy. But we do always want to write new songs. We always have that energy. As for overseas performances… we’d like to. We were invited to go to South America at the end of the year. In the fall, I think. But we have our domestic tour, so our schedule didn’t allow it. We’d like to go next year though. All : Yeah. Taniguchi : We’d like to visit new places, though it’d be nice to return to Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Canada, too. There are places we’d like to visit for the first time too, so we hope someone will invite us. Thank you. Rapid-Fire Questions It’s time for a bunch of rapid-fire questions. Favorite anime? Koga : Favorite anime? Endo : Cowboy Bebop . I got really into it as a kid. The opening is just so cool. Koga : I know what you mean. Endo : That’s it. It taught me a lot about how cool an opening can be. The show’s great, too. Koga : Naruto is my number one but I also like the ODDTAXI anime. I really like the deductive reasoning and the way the story progresses. ODDTAXI is a great series. Koizumi : Rokudenashi Blues . Taniguchi : There’s an anime? Koizumi : There is, yeah. Taniguchi : I didn’t know there was an anime. I’ve only seen the manga. Koizumi : I like stories about youth. About men having passionate conversations with their fists. Taniguchi : It’s a manga about street fighting. Koizumi : Yeah. Taniguchi : I like Magical DoReMi . I wonder if foreigners know that one. The theme song’s called “Ojamajo Carnival!!” My dream is to create a song that good. No song is as catchy or amazing as that song. Who is currently the top artist in your playlist? Who do you listen to most these days? Endo : Right now I’m listening to The Hives. They released a new album recently. It’s really cool. Taniguchi : You’ve liked them for a while. Endo : Yeah, I have, but I’ve been listening to them a lot lately. Koga : I’ve been listening to WurtS. Taniguchi : A young Japanese artist. Koga : We competed against him in a battle of the bands and I’ve been listening to his music ever since. Endo : He’s really cool. Taniguchi : And you, Koi-chan? Koizumi : Joe Hisaishi. Koga : Who? Taniguchi : Joe Hisaishi. The Ghibli guy. Koga : Ghibli, huh? Koizumi : I’ve been listening to him a lot. Lately, I’ve been thinking the composition and flow of his music is astounding. So I’ve been listening to his orchestral tracks and thinking they’re amazing. It’s really good. Taniguchi : It’s fantastical. Koizumi : I listened to him a lot in Canada. Taniguchi : Listen to some Canadian bands. I just checked who I’ve listened to most so far in 2023 and it was Foo Fighters. It’s probably them every year. They released a new album, too. That’s what I’ve been listening to. What do you sing most often at karaoke? Endo : Ulfuls, maybe? Yeah, Ulfuls. “Aoi Bench” by Sasuke. Taniguchi : Oh, Sasuke? Different from the Sasuke in Naruto . Endo : Yeah, not him. It’s confusing. I frequently sing a song called “Aoi Bench” by Sasuke the music artist. Koizumi : “TEGAMI” by HY. Koga : We’ve heard Koi-chan’s “TEGAMI” a bunch of times. Koizumi : Ever since high school. Taniguchi : You love that song. I sing a lot of ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION. I sing all their songs. Team Uzumaki or Team Uchiha? Koga : I can’t choose. If I had to be affiliated with one, then… If I had to live with one, it would be the Uzumaki family. Taniguchi : Is it that deep? Koga : No? Isn’t that what they’re asking? Taniguchi : I don’t think it’s meant to be that deep. Koga : Just in general, then? Taniguchi : I think it’s simply whose story do you prefer. Endo : I think I’m Team Uchiha. They’re cool. Their eyes are cool. Koga : The Sharingan. Endo : Yeah, the Sharingan. Taniguchi : Koi-chan? Koizumi : Team Uzumaki, for sure. Taniguchi : Yeah, I’m Team Uzumaki, too. Koizumi : Yeah, I know. Koga : I’m Team Uzumaki, too. Endo : But your clothes are Team Uchiha. Taniguchi : Your hairstyle’s Team Uchiha, too. Koga : Yeah, but I want a peaceful life. In a word, how would you describe KANA-BOON? Koga : That is tough. I’d like someone else to tell us. Describe KANA-BOON in a word. Endo : Love. Koga : Love? What’s he trying to say? Taniguchi : You’re just showing off. Endo : No, not at all. We receive love from our fans and we’re currently expressing our love for all kinds of things. I feel love in everything, like the audience and our shows. Taniguchi : That’s true. In a word. That’s tough. Koga : For me, it’s friends. The band formed because we were friends and we’re still friends to this day. So in a word, it’s friends. Koizumi : Friendship. Taniguchi : Because we’re friends? Koizumi : Friends makes sense to me, too. Koga : It’s the upgraded version of what I said. Koizumi : The four of us are friends but there’s the relationship with our audience, too. Instead of being separated into artist and audience, we’re closer than that. We’re a band that’s close to our audience. So in that regard, I think it’s friendship or friends. Taniguchi : You’re right. My word is friends. There’s that closeness Koi-chan mentioned. I want to be as close as possible with our audience. We don’t particularly want to become rock stars. We’re not trying to become people fans worship. But we always want to be there for our fans who listen to and watch us. We want to be rock heroes. That’s that. What are these? [holding up sticks] All : Candy. Taniguchi : They’re sticks. We’re going to be asked some questions. We’ll use these to point to whoever we think the question applies to. We’ll point at the same time. Let’s give it a try. [Editor's Note: Check out the video embed above for this full section!] For more from KANA-BOON, check out tons of music videos and concerts from the band right here on Crunchyroll!

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