One of the most electrifying seiyuu units in the music business graces us by the end of the year for a new Seiyuu Digest.
With powerful dance beats, addictive pop lyrics and slick dance moves, D.A.T managed to impress right from their debut in 2012 being featured in our TOP 20 Best seiyuu units at #6.
|MEMBERS||Daisuke Ono, Takayuki Kondo|
|FOUNDED IN||Tokyo, Japan|
|GENRE||Pop, Dance, Ballad|
Before debuting as D.A.T, Daisuke Ono and Takuyuki Kondo were already known as the polivalent and comedic duo behind the popular radio show “Dragon & Tiger – Yume Bouken radio” (Dragon & Tiger adventure dreams), show airing on Nippon Cultural Broadcasting every week.
The main point behind the show lies in achieving “the dream” through various situations and games in what is one of the highlights in Japanese radio. The unit formed because of this radio show – starting to score both the opening and ending themes for the it and further developing a strong image and sound that went beyond simple radio show music.
As members of “Project DABA“, Kondo and Ono already had the chemistry and charisma needed to embark in this new adventure.
And that’s when we reach 2012 for their big debut.
DEBUT “The VS era”
Debuting with a strong dancefloor driven concept, D.A.T made their way in the midst of an already packed music genre – especially when it comes to seiyuu making their solo debuts – and really presented an explosive performance and song that made everyone stand in awe. Fans weren’t exactly expecting a dance project coming from these two seiyuu – especially when we take into account that Kondo‘s voice is well suited for ballads or rock songs and would, on paper, be a weird choice for a dance project.
Turns out that Marine Entertainment – home to Black Velvet and ELEKITER ROUND 0 – was willing to try a new concept and this duo would be the best one to pull it off – for those who don’t know or don’t recall, Ono was, at that time, well known for his playful dance tracks (Delight, Ride on Funky Night, Netsuretsu Answer, ect) as a solo artist, and his choreographies were often the talk in town among fans and fellow seiyuu. The fact that Ono was known for that as well as how quickly he learns the moves to a choreo only made it more natural for the label to assign them this kind of music.
The unit made their debut on 2012’s Marine Wave Super Live festival that counted with the performances by their Marine Entertainment label mates – M.O.E, Black Velvet and ELEKITER ROUND 0.
Their debut single “VS” impressed with both its strong instrumental and the extremely energetic and technical choreography that the duo performed flawlessly – although with some minor setbacks live because of the microphone assignments constantly failing to work at 100%. Even so and with a blend of two rich mid-toned voices, Daisuke Ono and Takayuki Kondo sounded on top of their game be it singing rap parts on “VS” or the highest notes available like in “SWEET NEST”.
“VS” charted on Oricon daily at 10th place, a fantastic feat for a rookie unit.
The long awaited royal comeback
We reached late 2013 and silence was broken: D.A.T were going to make their comeback in 2014, in what was quite possibly their fiercest and classiest comeback ever.
Dressed in a royal fashion and with classy looks to go along with it, D.A.T surprised everyone with their addictive “NOCTURNE -drastic dance-“. Both music and dance once again stood out and managed to impress everyone. The beat-synced dance made their polished looks and improved sound reach new heights. On our review we could help but to notice how addictive the music and choreo were:
(…) Daisuke Ono seems to absorb the dance routines so fast and makes those moves sound so fluid and smooth, that at times we at the THTF HQ’s noticed that everyone just automatically started to follow OnoD’s moves, not caring about the music or even about Takayuki’s amazing performance (…)
The duo started to establish themselves as the name to go when you need a power dance track with strong choreos and steady vocals. In 2014 few seiyuu units were doing better than them and sounding as good as them. 18th century nobles on the dancefloor? A brand new thing in the seiyuu business that was pulled off nicely.
The third single announcement that failed to be released timely
“Dragon & Tiger – Yume Bouken” radio was high in popularity in 2014 among a never ending list of radio shows airing on Friday night. Both Daisuke Ono and Takayuki Kondo were with their schedules packed with work and the time left to complete the recordings for their 3rd single was not progressing as smoothly as they wanted.
Announced on Marine Super Wave Live 2014 (MSWL) show in 2014, the 3rd single was continuously being delayed to a later date and things dragged, much to the fans displeasure, until 2015, year in which their long awaited new single “CHANGE THE WORLD” was released.
2015 – CHANGE THE WORLD
A new sound
2015 was time to officially release the single that was already well known among fans – due to its premiere on Marine Super Wave Live or even because it was already featured as the opening for their radio show.
“CHANGE THE WORLD” put the fancy clothes and addictive beats aside only to be replaced with leather jackets, slick hair and a rock sound that pulled everyone with them. It was fresh and well crafted and fans were actually surprised that D.A.T had changed so much between releases.
It was the first time D.A.T were approaching the rock genre in such a bold way. The track was the complete opposite of anything they’ve had done before but it still managed to make an impression. “CHANGE THE WORLD” as a single was pure inovation for the unit.
With new colors and sound as well as trying new elements for the sake of setting their own sound aside from other seiyuu units, D.A.T were showing good signs of further improvements.
“In one year the visuals changed, the approach to the unit as a whole also changed and the biggest change of them all is their music genre.” (in D.A.T “Change The World” review)
Embracing rock with stronger and faster beats and also diving into hip-hop and delivering an astonishing oldschool “Hakai souzou“, D.A.T really set the bar high not only for future releases, but also for their career as a unit.
At that time everyone thought that they were unmatched in diversity and adaptability. D.A.T was showing everyone (before it was cool to embrace other music genres besides pop and dance) that seiyuu units didn’t need to stick to mainstream music genres and concepts in order to deliver something that would impress their fans. Originality and freshness were the main points in one of the most interesting seiyuu units out there.
The Best of album and the tour
D.A.T released the Best Of album “SUITE“, released back in April that year.
The Best Of album had a goodbye vibe that was impossible not to notice. Given how sparse their releases had been people couldn’t help but to be a weary of its vibe. “SUITE” revisited all of D.A.T‘s releases up to that date, compiling them in what was a special release with three new songs (with two of them being solo songs).
Looking at the title track and after watching its music video, it’s obvious that everything came full circle with D.A.T‘s mystery loved woman from “NOCTURNE -drastic dance-“. That storyline ended but many unanswered questions were left in the air.
The title track “ELEGY～cruel sky～” was penned by Takayuki Kondo and showcased a completely different vibe from this unit. Even if the vibe was different from what we’re used to, “ELEGY～cruel sky～” still is one of the best songs in their repertoire. The progressive EDM instrumental was a bit of a surprise given just how pop oriented their dance sound was. For this song heavy synths and guitars blended creating a contrasting melody, showcasing perfectly the emotions in the lyrics and the infighting between the members in prior music videos. Kondo was now taking the place as the main singer whereas Ono was basically in charge of all rap parts.
The long hiatus
Since “SUITE“, D.A.T haven’t released one single. Fans have started to wonder whether the unit has disbanded or if the project was put on hold. It seems that it’s the later. The unit is still attending the yearly Marine Entertainment‘s “Marine Super Wave Live” and “MARINE SUPER WAVE R” events, their radio show is still in the air and they just finished a tour in 2016. Right now it just looks like they are taking their time, plus dealing with their packed schedules, before they think about returning with something new.
Earlier this year the live DVD “Sweet Shake Suite” was released. The DVD included their powerful performances during 2016’s live tour.
With this Seiyuu Digest you got a glimpse at D.A.T‘s career, the ups, the downs and all the exciting music and performances they’ve given us. Despite not being as active as before, D.A.T still stand as one of the most exciting groups in the seiyuu business.
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Last updated on 27/08/2017