In fact Sphere consists of four established voice actresses: Aki Toyosaki (who voices Yui in K-On!), Minako Kotobuki (Mugi in K-On!), Haruka Tomatsu (Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Air Gear) and Ayahi Takagaki (Mobile Suit Gundam 00).
Aki Toyosaki made her musical debut with the opening and closing themes to K-On! in April 2009. The first release for Sphere was released the same month. Future Stream is a melodic pop affair which was also the opening theme to shonen romantic comedy anime Hatsukoi Limited. Sphere also provided theme songs for the anime titles Sora no Manimani and Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maō.
Sphere’s follow up releases follow a similar light J-Pop pattern with a few standout moments, such as the punchy High Powered and the catchy melodies of LET.ME.DO!!
Their debut album A.T.M.O.S.P.H.E.R.E was released in December 2009 featuring Future Stream as well as collecting other earlier singles and new material.
A new single is scheduled for release on the 25th April in the form of Non Stop Road. This is also the theme to new anime Natsuiro Kiseki in which all the members of Sphere also provide the voices for the four main characters. The plot of Natsuiro Kiseki (Summer Coloured Miracle) revolves around a rock at a Shinto shrine. Legend has it that if four close friends gather around the rock and wish for the same thing, that wish will come true.
Three of Sphere have also branched out into their own solo careers. Haruka Tomatsu released her own album Rainbow Road in 2010. Meanwhile, Aki Toyosaki issued her first single love your life in October 2009 and an album, love your life, love my life, was released in 2011. Minako Kotobuki has released three singles herself, with the last being Dear my… issued in September 2011.
The release of Non Stop Road though shows that Sphere are keen to continue as a group and clearly have plenty of anime theme songs to come.
Text by Paul Browne
24th April 2012