LiSA: The Rising Star of Japan

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LiSA on her Launcher album outfit.

Love is Same All / Live is Smile Always
or more known as "LiSA" was born exactly twenty-nine years ago today(24th day of June 1987) in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. The new born child was named 織部里沙 "Oribe Risa" and little did they know that this child will be a singer-songwriter and was destined to be known across and beyond the nation someday.

LiSA describes herself shy as a child although she says she's a lively child at home. She loves singing along to songs especially those of the Disney. Over the time, her mom realized that maybe sending her eldest daughter(LiSA) to a music school would help improve her daughter's confidence; and so LiSA was enrolled into a music school. At first, the young LiSA was very hesitant, shy and afraid of singing infront of many people but she had a sudden change of mind when she saw somebody perform making LiSA's imagination explode. She realized that this could be fun and not bad at all. Gradually, she had somehow coped up with her shyness by attending the music school. When she is with her friends at the karaoke, she would always sing songs of the group SPEED particularly the lines sang by Hiroko Shimabukuro. This band had a great influence on her high-pitched songs and also inspired her to dance. She even went as far as attending a dance school from her fascination to the band.


● Chucky and Love is Same All

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Left photo: Chucky; Right photo: Love is Same All

During her high school around 2005, she formed a band called "Chucky" which became successfully popular within Gifu. Her band even got tours outside their hometown like Nagoya and Osaka. Sadly, graduating from also marked the end of her band. They bid farewell and disbanded on July 13, 2008 due to each band members' personal goals like going to college or getting a job. Some of the songs LiSA made with Chucky are Hands & Smile, Don't Decide Your Own Limits, OMURICE, END ROLL, BACK WILD, and Dear You. All of these were written by LiSA herself. (Sorry, I can't find any links to the other four songs.)

(Trivia: In her 2014 concert at the Nippon Budokan televised by M-ON, there was a video clip going back to LiSA's early years as a singer; from the live house where LiSA performs frequently to a logo sticker of her band Chucky on a vending machine!)

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LiSA with her mother and grandmother. Photo taken just this year.

Now LiSA is back to square one, she thought of what should she do now that she had finished high school and left by her band. She believes that she wasn't good at anything other than singing and so with full determination she decided to pursue her ultimate dream of becoming a professional singer. The LiSA with a heart filled with hopes and dreams gambled and went to Tokyo. Her mother definitely disapproved her daughter's plans because the dream she wished for her daughter isn't singing. She'd rather have her daughter take a much more typical job like a nurse. Everyone at home were against LiSA's decision but except for her grandfather who loves to sing in the karaoke. Despite her family telling her to stop singing, the stubborn LiSA traveled to Tokyo(even without her mother's approval) in hopes of achieving her longest dream. LiSA and her mother had never spoken to each other for four months since she left and the very worried mother gave up and took the first action to fix their broken bridge. Her mom realized that she can't stop her daughter from doing what she really want. And seeing LiSA enjoy singing, she decided to forget her personal dreams for her daughter and thought that there is no other better way but to support her daughter's ambitions tand so she came up of a phrase which she always speak to LiSA. These words are 今日もいい日だ!(Kyou mo ii hi da!) which means "It's another great day!" or simply "Another great day!" These words became so very powerful and dear to LiSA as it somehow magically ease up the not-so-good things of the day when she thinks of this words before she sleep. In short, it's LiSA's motivational phrase from her mother.

Taking the next step to her dreams in Tokyo, she met the indie band Parking Out and joined them. She then named the band Love is Same All(stands for the acronym LiSA) which is eventually her stage name as well. Some songs of the band are ここにいるよ(Koko ni Iru Yo), 糸(Ito)笑っていたくて(Waratte Itakute), だよね(Dayo Ne), GREEN BUS, Braze of Smile and I FEEL YOU LOVE. The Love is Same All band's types of songs are quite similar with Chucky which probably made it easier for LiSA to adapt with her new band.

(If you would notice, her voice during her CHUCKY and Love is Same All days is low and thick, the kind of voice you'll hear from a punk/rock band vocalist. But listen to the very noticeable change in her voice as she shifts to being an anime song singer.)

● Girl's Dead Monster

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A poster of LiSA being one of the vocalist of Girls Dead Monster.

At 2010, she auditioned and was chosen to be Yui's singing voice(The second generation vocalist of the fictional all-girl band Girls Dead Monster on the anime Angel Beats!). She signed to Key Sounds Label and made her major debut. The anime was able to produce one album "Keep The Beats!"(with all the songs from the album sang by LiSA) and five singles wherein three of which were sang by LiSA("Thousand Enemies", "Little Braver" and "Ichiban no Takaramono") while the other two singles were by Marina, the singing voice of the first generation vocalist of Girls Dead Monster.

Being involved in the anime industry paved LiSA's way to a bigger audience. The popularity of Angel Beats! plus the fun, powerful and emotional singing voice of the fictional character Yui made it very easy for LiSA to introduce herself to people and because of that, a concert entitled "Girls Dead Monster starring LiSA Tour 2010: Keep The Angel Beats!" was made from August 03 to September 02, 2010 wherein LiSA was brought to tears while singing the song "Ichiban no Takaramono"(Put a box of tissue near you before you listen to this song. Hehe!). And on December 27 of same year, LiSA and Marina held their last concert as members of Girls Dead Monsters entitled "Girls Dead Monster Last Live: Final Operation"

Getting the opportunity to be an anime song(anisong) singer was a real twist on LiSA's life and career. She had completely reinvented herself particularly with her voice, fashion and even style in music. From punk/rock to pop/rock; indie band to solo artist; thick heavy voice to a sweet high-pitched voice; shorts and tight skirts to fluffly skirts; heels to combat boots. 

● LiVE is Smile Always

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LiSA becomes a solo artist now with her backup band Ramenz.

After her undeniable success during the Girls Dead Monster era, LiSA is now set to blast Japan's music world as she takes her biggest leap on her career—as a solo artist. She signed to Aniplex under Sony Music Artists and still with her screen name LiSA, she changed the meaning of her acronym as a mark of a new beginning. Love is Same All is now LiVE is Smile Always.

Meanwhile, despite her being a solo artist, LiSA has her band whom she holds very close to her heart and she named her band Ramenz. With the major changes, she now comes out brand new to a bigger audience ready to embrace her music with open arms.(Thanks to Angel Beats!) She is now definitely ready to take her stage to a whole new level of stunning music!

(Trivia: Did you know that LiSA doesn't like being called cute? She wanted more to hear people say that she is cool but with the new image that she had transformed to, she had slowly accepted the word "cute" to her vocabulary and now enjoys being complimented as cute.)


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A collection of LiSA's music.

● 2011

LiSA made her solo debut with her very first mini-album called "Letters to U" last April 20, 2011. Came November 23, she released her first single entitled "Oath Sign", wherein her song Oath Sign was used as an opening theme song to the popular anime Fate/Zero. Her first single reached number five at the Oricon weekly charts capturing the attention of the anime fans once again. During this moment, she was slowly being recognized and loved more by the anime fans and non-anime fans as well.

● 2012

At 2012, LiSA released her first album called "LOVER"S"MiLE" on February 02. The album also includes an acoustic version of the song Oath Sign. She then next released her second single called "Crossing Field" wherein the song "Crossing Field" was the opening theme song for the anime Sword Art Online. Her second single is her best-selling single to date with 85,138 copies sold. The song Crossing Field became so very popular solidifying her name as one of the most remarkable anisong singers in Japan.(I believe this song had really helped her rise to popularity and gain massive number of fans!)

● 2013

The following year, she released her third single called "Best Day, Best Way" on April 03. A month before, March 14, she also released a digital single of "Best Day, Best Way" which was also her first digital single. And after almost four months, she released her second digital single/fourth single called "Traumerei" on July 31 and August 07 respectively. The song "Traumerei" from her single was used as an opening song to the anime "Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou"(Day Break Illusion). She also released her second album on October 30 with the title "LANDSPACE".

● 2014

On 2014, LiSA didn't release any album although she had three singles namely "Rising Hope", "BRiGHT FLiGHT/L.Miranic" and "Shirushi". Her fifth single Rising Hope which was released on May 07 came with a 16-page photo booklet on the limited edition (CD + DVD). Her song Rising Hope from the single was also used as an opening song to the anime "Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei"(The Irregular at Magic High School). Rising Hope also became an instant hit just like Crossing Field strengthening her career even more in the anime song industry. Four months later on September 17, she released her sixth single/third digital single called BRiGHT FLiGHT/L.Miranic where a 24-page photo booklet for the limited edition(CD + DVD). This single showed both of her pop and rock side where BRiGHT FLiGHT has a happy pop-ish melody while L.Miranic has a darker tune. Meanwhile, her third song "Tokyo Love Song", still from the sixth single, is an acoustic song and has a very cute melody. A month after, she released her fourth digital single "No More Time Machine" where the song No More Time Machine was used as an ending theme song for the anime Sword Art Onlne II. The full version of the song was included on her fifth digital single/seventh single "Shirushi" released on November 09 and December 10 respectively. Her song "シルシ"(Shirushi meaning sign or mark) was again used by Sword Art Online II as its third ending theme song. An english version of the song Crossing Field was also included on the limited and regular edition of the single Shirushi.

In the same year, she also sang two songs for the sixth episode of the anime "Mekakucity Actors" namely "Headphone Actor" and "Yuukei Yesterday"(Yesterday Evening). She also sang the ending theme song for the episode 12 of Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works called "This Illusion".

● 2015

At 2015, she released her third album "Launcher" on March 04. Both limited editions (CD + DVD) and (CD + Blu-ray) include a 48-page photo booklet. Two months after, she released her eighth single "Rally Go Round" on May 27 which comes with a 16-page photo booklet for the limited edition (CD + DVD). The song Rally Go Round was used as the opening theme song for the second season of the anime Nisekoi. Four months later, she released her seventh digital single/ninth single "Empty Mermaid" on September 28 and 30 respectively. A 16-page photo booklet is included in the limited edition (CD + DVD) while a 48-page photo booklet for the limited pressing edition. On December 02, she released her eighth digital single "ID" where her song ID was used as a theme song for a video game called "Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax Ignition".

● 2016

This year marks her five years since her solo debut and as a part of the celebration, her first mini-album "Letters to U" was re-released in an analog vinyl edition last March 23 with just a limited number of five thousand copies. And on April 20, the exact date of her solo debut five years ago, she released her second mini-album called "LUCKY Hi FiVE!" which also comes in analog vinyl edition released on May 11.

(Did you know that her fifth song from the LUCKY Hi FiVE! mini-album entitled "halo-halo" was inspired by the sweet Filipino dessert halo-halo! I'm very sure LiSA loves this Filipino dessert so much because she even used it as a title for one of her songs! Haha! This song was used as the ending theme song since April 2016 for "J-MELO", a program on NHK World. Here's a short clip of LiSA singing halo-halo live!)

This coming August 24, LiSA will be releasing her tenth single called "Brave Freak Out" wherein the song Brave Freak Out will be the opening theme song for the anime "Qualidea Code" which will air starting July 10.


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LiSA goes to music stores to promote her songs.

LiSA is also very active on promoting her albums and singles. She diligently visits popular and major music stores around Japan to write a special message and autograph on posters. She also never forgets to take a photo together with the music store staff. A collection of life-size LiSA(in her music video costumes) made of cardboard can be seen in Tower Records Japan where she also often promotes her songs into acoustic versions.

(Trivia: When her albums or singles have just been released, expect her to flood your timeline with her almost endless-like tweets and photos of her visiting record stores! So when you're in or living in Japan, try to go to a record store at the first week of her album or single release and who knows you just might bump into LiSA!)


Other releases of LiSA are live albums and concert videos. She has two live albums namely (LiVE is Smile Always - PiNK&BLACK - in Nippon Budokan "Ichigo Doughnut") and (LiVE is Smile Always - PiNK&BLACK - in Nippon Budokan "Choco Doughnut") from her 2015 concert "LiVE is Smile Always - PiNK&BLACK - in Nippon Budokan". For her concert videos, the "LiVE is Smile Always - LOVER"S"MiLE -" released in Blu-ray on September 26, 2012. Followed by "LiVE is Smile Always -Kyou mo Ii Hi da - In Nippon Budokan" which was then released in DVD on June 18, 2014. 

This 29th of June 2016, "LiSA MUSiC ViDEO CLiPS 2011-2015" will be released in Blu-ray and DVD featuring her music videos and latest concert "LiVE is Smile Always - Mega Speaker -".


LiSA had two music videos with the Angel Beats! anime namely Day Game and Little Braver. You could really see how young she is in these two music videos. (I think her hair and eyebrows were slightly different too although you can already see her wearing cute skirts and her trademark combat boots.)

More music videos were made after her solo debut like Believe in myself, Oath Sign, Crossing Field, Best Day, Best Way, Traumerei, BRiGHT FLiGHT, L.Miranic, I'm Rockstar, Musou Controller, Rising Hope, No More Time Machine, Shirushi, Rally Go Round, Empty Mermaid and her most recent music video Hi FiVE! Here's a collection of her music videos on her mini-album "Letters to U".(Her music videos tend to level up every time! My favorites are Rising Hope, Rally Go Round and Hi FiVE! I find her nutcracker costume in Rally Go Round really cute!)


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Hi FiVE by LiSA


○ Did you know that the girl in the crowd dressed in panda suit on the Best Day, Best Way music video was actually her younger sister?

○ In her music video No More Time Machine you can see her friend Nakamura Marina, her co-artist for the Angel Beats songs.

○ In the Empty Mermaid music video, she had a special mermaid makeup which took three hours to complete. According to LiSA, she was wondering how it would turn out but because the process was too long, she fell asleep. When she woke up the result surprised her a lot.

○ The intro song on her latest music video Hi FiVE! was Believe in myself, her first song on her first mini-album.


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LiSA sings her song "ID" during her Mega Speaker concert.

Within five years, LiSA already had five major concerts in Japan. With her awesome voice and dance moves, she can easily control the crowd from being emotional with a sad song to a hyper jumping crowd with her upbeat and rock songs. The crowd also turns into a pink sea during her concerts due to the pink light sticks and some really special star-shaped LiSA light sticks which is really popular and a must-have item during her concerts. (A concert gets better and intensifies with light sticks! Haha!)

● LiVE is Smile Always - LOVER"S"MiLE -

Her first major concert was held at the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall last April 30, 2012. I do really love her voice during this concert and she sang most of her songs perfectly. Her opening song 優しさに辿りつくまで(Yasashisa ni Tadoritsuku Made) was the best for me. I love the combat boots with white laces she wore for this concert!

● LiVE is Smile Always -Kyou mo Ii Hi da - In Nippon Budokan

Held at the legendary Nippon Budokan last January 03, 2014. During this concert, she had a very bad problem with her voice but despite her vocal problems, she pushed through the concert giving her all and sang to the best she can . She proved that nothing can stop her from performing.(Even a vocal problem can't!)

● LiVE is Smile Always - LiSAMMERLAND -

In the same year, she had her second concert held at the Fuji-Q Highland in Conifer Forest last July 20, 2014. This is her second open ground concert but also the first time a fire effect was used for her stage. Her dress and stage design looked very vibrant too which perfectly matched the summer season in Japan.

● LiVE is Smile Always - PiNK & BLACK - in Nippon Budokan

LiSA welcomed her fans in 2015 with a two-day concert last January 10 and 11. The first day was called "Ichigo Doughnuts" and the second day "Choco Doughnuts". She had her big come back at the Nippon Budokan with an instant 20,000 tickets sold in just 2 days since the start of ticket sales. This proved the unstoppable rising popularity of LiSA. Her stage was also made extra special this time as tons of Sony ActionCam were put around the center stage to capture her performances in a more awesome way.

She also had two backup dancers namely Dona and Natsu. She got the names by dividing the word "doughnuts".

● LiVE is Smile Always - Mega Speaker -

Before 2015 ended, she gave her fans a one last concert for the year which was held at Makuhari Messe last December 23. Mega Speaker was her biggest concert so far. She even road on a float(Sorry, I don't know what it's called. Hehe) to reach her fans who were far from the stage.

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Photo announcement for LiSA's upcoming major concert.

● LiVE is Smile Always - NEVER ENDiNG GLORY -

The game had stepped up even more as LiSA will again surpass her biggest concert Mega Speaker. She is set to rock Yokohama Arena this coming November 26 and 27. The first day will have a theme called "Sun" while the second day will have a theme called "Moon". Tickets will be available starting August 08 with a price of Y7,650 yen or P3,490(Php) or $78(USD). (Japanese fans are really lucky though sometimes I feel relieved not being in Japan, else, I'll go really really broke! Haha!)


○ Let me share to you something special she always say at the beginning and end of her concerts. To officially begin her show, she chants the words "Saikou ni tanoshinde ikimashou, piisu!!!". It means something like, "Let's go have fun to the fullest, peace!!!". (Please correct me if I'm wrong. This is my own translation. Lol.) Meanwhile, she chants the words "Kyou mo ii hi da! Bye-chi!!!" signaling the end of her show. It means, "It's another great day! Bye-chi!!!"("chi" means really nothing, I think it was just added to make the line sound cute.)

○ LiSA gets teary-eyed really easy fast when singing songs like Believe in myself, Ichiban no takaramono, Itsuka no tegami and other of her really heart-touching songs. She also still sings some of her songs from Angel Beats! like Ichiban no takaramono and Crow Song(her favorite song for encore) especially on her international shows.


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Compilation of some guestings and tours of LiSA.

LiSA has been a staple to some events especially in the anime song concerts such as Animelo Summer Live(Anisama), LisAni!(リスアニ!), etc. She's also a regular guest to AFA(Anime Festival Asia) I Love AniSong event where she rocks out her anime songs infront of her international fans. She was also present at the Kishidan Banpaku Festival and Rock in Japan Festival last 2015. At the same year on May 8, she had a song duel with Eir Aoi(a fellow anisong singer) at Music Station. This was the first time Music Station had anisong singers perform in the show.

Last 2015, LiSA also held her first Asian Tour with her band Ramenz in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Singapore after a mini live at Mexico and Manila. Three years ago in 2012, she was invited to perform at the Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California. Other countries she's been to were Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Recently, she was invited at the Penang Anime Matsuri in Malaysia. This is her first time in Malaysia and she enjoyed it even though she was scared of large crabs! After her memorable experience in Malaysia, she flew to Taiwan and to promote her LUCKY Hi FiVE mini-album and an upcoming solo concert on September 24. Right now, LiSA is on her Hi FiVE tour around Japan. Some notable venues for the tour she'd performed at are the NHK Hall and Zepp Tokyo.

Just this month on June 9, LiSA along with anisong singers Eir Aoi and Kalafina sang one song each for the anisong special on the television program "NHK Songs". LiSA sang "Oath Sign" for this program. Also last June 18, she performed again at Animelo Summer Live.

On August 14, people will again witness LiSA perform at Rock in Japan Festival on the Park Stage from 2 o'clock in the afternoon until 2:35 in the afternoon. (I wish she meets Kyary or ONE OK ROCK and have a group photo with them even though they are on different stages!)

Some of her international tours this year is her come back at Mexico(with her band New Menz, formerly Ramenz) at the El Plaza Condesa in Mexico City on September 11.(She made her promise that she doesn't only intend to perform at a country once! Mexico is a one lucky country to be graced by LiSA for the second time and not only with Co-K but with the whole band!) After rocking Mexico, she will fly to Taiwan for a solo concert on September 24 at the Taipei International Convention Center(TICC), Taiwan.

Did you know that her tickets for her Taiwan tour on September 24 was sold out just after 9 hours since the start of the ticket sales? Taiwanese fans aren't that much madly excited for LiSA, aren't they? This shocked everyone especially the singer which prompted her to upload a video message thanking her fans in Taiwan.

She will also hold her annual trip for her fans whom she dearly calls "LiSAkko"("ko" means child, therefore making LiSAkko mean "little LiSA" or "LiSA child"). It will take place in the Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. This time her theme will be "LiSA's LAST CiNDERELLA". The date for this event is yet to be announced.


In a span of five years, Oribe Risa reached her dream of becoming a professional singer. Before, she had doubts with everyone around her like her fans and staff. She doubted that people around her might not like her genuinely, but gradually she felt the love from her staff and most especially from her fans. And so she believes that the LiSA that everyone is witnessing right now is the result of everyone's love and support for her. 

Aside from her fans and staff, I also believe that she owes much of her success from the anime industry. Singing songs for anime really made her to be recognized by people in an instant. Surprisingly, she's not much aware of anime when she began singing for Angel Beats! even she lives in Japan where anime is really very popular. From then on, she did more research on anime and watched some series to get acquainted about why people are so into it. She says, she bases and connects her song from the emotions of the character/s of the anime she will be singing to.

She is known internationally as the "JPop Princess"(Japanese Pop Princess) while Rock Heroine in Japan. LiSA was totally surprised knowing the titles given to her. 

Every year, she strives to be the better version of herself. Forever improving herself to be able to write and sing better songs for everyone; to be able to reciprocate the love she receives from people who helped her reach her dreams. She even calls her albums and singles as "love letters" making her songs extra special. She may not be the brightest star at the moment or even the best singer out there but I believe that someday her star will shine so bright that it will reach everyone in the world.

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Happy birthday LiSA!

Today is LiSA's birthday and this post of mine is dedicated to my most favorite Japanese singer.(I'm just publishing it late.Hehe!) If you ask me why she became my favorite, well, I may be needing a paragraph or two for this! But to make things short, I would describe her like a sushi. She can sing dramatically, cute, happy, rock and dark songs. I like her smile, hair and odd fashion. She can be so cute in fluffy skirts and cool in shorts matched with Metallica and sometimes skull printed shirts. She's everything rolled into one just like a sushi! Got it? Now going back, I found a video of LiSA singing her own version of the happy birthday song and also found a video of her blowing candles(They also celebrated Akki's birthday, keyboardist of New Menz, since his birthday is on the 25th. LiSA and Akki's birthday are just next to each other.)

I know this post isn't enough to fully know the singer, so to get to know her even more you can check her Official Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs(Ameba and Weibo). She's very active on Twitter and updates her Ameba blog at midnight or during ungodly hours!

I guess that's all for this post but let me properly end this by using LiSA's favorite slogan everytime she ends her shows and blogs.

Kyou mo ii hi da! (It's another great day!)


Thanks for reading!

✧ Katsanslimites

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