And we finally kick off our newest corner titled “Seiyuu digest“. This month we cover the work behind and around the newest seiyuu unit in the block, Lagrange Point.
Lagrange Point were created with, not only the purpose of featuring a new seiyuu unit in Marginal#4‘s PSvita game “Idol of Supernova“, but also as the other seiyuu unit brainchild from Japanese otome game enterprise Rejet, known for several hit games like “Diabolik lovers” and “Ken ga Kimi“. Lagrange Point debuted in August 2014 and are only now taking the first steps towards a promising run.
Lagrange Point are seiyuu/stage actor Toshiyuki Toyonaga and stage actor/seiyuu Genki Okawa. And yes, the order “seiyuu/stage actor” and “stage actor/seiyuu” is not something we fancy, Toyonaga is primarily a seiyuu while Genki is a stage actor for a living, only now starting to work consistently in drama CD’s and games.
A lot of the smoothness and talent you listen in their single is provided not only by the top notch musical arrangements provided by MIKOTO or Daisuke Iwasaki‘s lyrics – no kidding! Rejet‘s CEO is also a lyricist and a good one to boot – but also a big part comes from the vocal performances provided by Toshiyuki Toyonaga and Genki Okawa. And who are these two talented guys?
|Born||April 28, 1984|
|Occupation||seiyuu (voice actor), actor, singer|
Toyonaga is a jack of all trades and seems to be a master in each and every single one of those. He’s primarily known as a seiyuu with several impressive main roles under his belt being Ryuugamine Mikado from action anime Durarara!!, one of his big hits. While he’s not behind the mic, he’s also an actor having played a role in Prince of Tennis musical and in dystopian action-thriller movie Battle Royale II: Requiem.
In the music industry he’s a member of seiyuu unit TH·IA (in hiatus) with fellow seiyuu/stage actor Yuki Fujiwara, seiyuu Iida Toshinobu and Mio Acaba. And there’s more to his career in the music industry besides the failure behind TH·IA. Toyonaga has an impressive solo career with lots of mesmerizing music but not enough recognition for his massive amount of talent. Writing both the lyrics and music for his solo project, he has his hands full but shows an unprecedented talent for the music industry. And it’s not only his talent as a lyricist or him writing his music that impresses, it’s also his flawless voice that puts all the pieces together and really paints the bigger picture.
Toyonaga is a skilled, experienced singer with a velvety, soulful and well trained voice that is the perfect magnet for those that can’t resist a beautiful, sweet vibrato and falsetto user. Since his solo debut back in 2013, Toyonaga has released 8 singles and an album. “MUSIC OF THE ENTERTAINMENT” turned out to be one of 2014’s best albums of the year, an album that shows how versatile and skilled Toyonaga is. Jazz, enka (japanese traditional music), rock, pop and R&B, he’s done all those genres in this album and the final mix is the perfect blend between the jazzy laid back tracks, edgy speedy rock, timeless enka and given the final touches with sweet, slow paced R&B/pop. A jack of all trades that certainly deserves a lot more of attention than what he’s receiving nowadays. As of 2014 he’s part of Lagrange Point giving voice to Shy Makishima and is the most powerful member in Lagrange Point.
On the other side who’s Genki Okawa?
|Born||August 26, 1987|
|Occupation||actor, singer, seiyuu (voice actor)|
Genki Okawa might sound like an unknown name for most people that haven’t got the time to check japanese dramas, plays or musicals. Genki is a big name in many of these, on the other side he’s not that active as a seiyuu, having only some minor roles credited to his name. As an actor he has credits in the movies: Cafe Daikanyama: Sweet Boys (2008), Cafe Daikanyama II (2008), The Bridegroom is 18 Years Old | Hanamuko ha 18sai (2009), Cafe Daikanyama III: Sorezore no Ashita (2009), Beatrock Love (2009), Panikku 4 rooms Gekijo ban (2009) and Gekijo ban kenka bancho: Zenkoku seiha (2010).
Genki debuted back in 2006 with his role as Kirihara Akaya in the musical Prince of Tennis “Absolute King Rikkai feat. Rokkaku ~First Service~.
A lot of other characters were played in the following years with him having played more than 30 roles so far in his career.
In the past several years, Genki has been incredibly active in stage plays / musicals having landed roles in the musical adaptations of seinen manga WILD ADAPTER and Switch! as well as his most recent role as Junpei in the adaptation of game / anime titled PERSONA3 the Weird Masquerade, where he’s working with seiyuu / actor Shouta Aoi and Yuki Fujiwara.
But Genki has tried other projects besides acting and in 2009 decided to make his solo debut with the mini-album “RISE“, but his debut failed to impress, and soon after the mini-album was released, the project was completly put in the background with Genki once again fully focusing in his acting career.
It was only in the second quarter of 2014 that we heard about the big Rejet announcement that involved Genki. He was once again back in the music industry, this time as part of two piece seiyuu unit, Lagrange Point, alongside fellow actor / seiyuu Toshiyuki Toyonaga. Only now can Genki show his full potential as a singer, making good use of all the experience earned in each and every musical he’s been a part of since his debut. He’s a good singer, that is a given. Genki has an unique voice tone, easily distinguishable from Toshiyuki Toyonaga, making the overall sound in Lagrange Point sound not only refined but also incredibly enjoyable and melodic. With lots of room for improvement, Genki seems like a safe bet to be part of this unit.
Genki Okawa gives his voice to Lagrange Point‘s Kira Himuro.
With this we have the lineup complete and we’re now free to explore their music.
Released in August 2014, the unit’s first single “CATASTROPHE” made an impact with addictive lyrics, captivating pop-rock instrumentals and vocal performances capable of rival Marginal#4 or any other seiyuu unit in the business. We’ve reviewed the album and the big conclusion was that:
“What we’re seeing in here is a brand new seiyuu unit full of potential to be explored. Toshiyuki Toyonaga and Genki Okawa show us that they can be on par with Marginal #4 without any problems. Once again we have Rejet opting for choosing mid-toned voices for their seiyuu units. It’s the safest route that will, without a doubt, provide the best results. (…)
(…)The instrumentals are rich in variety and quality. Strings, latin percussion, synths, the rock “triad” (guitar, bass, drums), piano and a whole lot of small elements only audible if listening to the instrumental track only, make this release one that won’t bore the listener. It’s a safe formula not being overwhelming for the listener, choosing wisely the mixes between the instruments. It’s nice for a change for a Rejet seiyuu unit release to have so little synths and, in the end, it turned out to give a slightly rougher edge to Lagrange Point‘s music, a big plus for this unit.(…)“
Lagrange Point made a big, pompous debut, a complete opposite of their seniors Marginal#4‘s debut back in 2013. Lagrange Point‘s debut was all well publicized, even presenting the fans with a live performance of their first single – for free -, although it was only a snippet of the title track that was performed live. This made a lot of people direct their attention towards this unit from the very first minute of the debut. Contrary to Marginal#4 that have already performed live in RejetFes 2013 but only those who attended the event got to see them live, so most fans didn’t have the luck to see how they fare in a live context (singing and dancing as well as the chemistry between the unit’s members). Lagrange Point have the advantage of having everyone get to see how they perform in a live setting without any restrictions.
Lagrange Point turned out to be a big surprise for the fans, be it for their pop-rock sound or for their live performance aired on RejetTV 24h event back in August. In the following video Toyonaga and Genki sit to talk about their debut, their overview of the single, broken things and finally perform the single “CATASTROPHE” live. A nice insight on the unit’s core. [attention: this interview is in Japanese without subs]
This unit is up for good things in future releases and with the second single already announced – BLACK SWAN – the unit seems to be on the right track with both their sound and performances. Just take some minutes to listen to the previews in Lagrange Point‘s website for the new single and you’ll be blown away with the quality that emanates from this unit.
A seiyuu unit with good chemistry, a lot of untapped talent and will to grow, Lagrange Point seem to be on the path to become one of the most successful seiyuu units in the music business and show that Rejet‘s on a roll with both their seiyuu units doing amazing feats.
To complete this digest we leave you with this simplified overview of Lagrange Point.
|Members||Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Genki Okawa|
|Founded in||Tokyo, Japan|
|Genre||J-Pop / Pop-rock|
And that’s all for now! Be on the look out for the next SEIYUU DIGEST.