It is the tenth, and final edition of the year of Visual Kei&Anime! This time our feature is a group I know the name, and image of but have never listened to anything in their discography until today. It’s none other than Psycho le Cému!
Psycho le Cému formed in 1999. Their line-up in their entire run has never changed and has always consisted of Daishi as the lead vocalist, Aya the guitarist and dancer, Lida the lead guitar, Seek as the bassist, and drummer Yura-sama, who also does dance and vocals. The group has seen hiccups in activities however. They were active from 1999-2006, going on haitus due to Daishi testing positive for metaphimainse and being subsequently arrested. This was very swift as immediately upon the news, the band’s music and goods were pulled from shelves and any subsequent touring cancelled. During this haitus the members made several side bands. Aya and Seek are members of the band ISABELLE, Lida and Seek are part of DACCO, and Seek and Aya are involved wit Mix Speaker’s Inc. as well. Daishi during 2007, and after his release from jail, persued a solo tour. In 2009, the group annouced via their blog that they would be going on tour to celebrate their 10th year anniversary, complete with new costumes. They were inactive again until 2015 where they annouced a 15th anniversary tour, and subsquently re-started full time activities of the band. During their career the group has released 3 demo tapes, 15 singles and 10 albums.
What makes Psycho le Cému stand out, is their concept. The band’s Visual Kei theme is cosplay as you can see by the featured image. Their outfits are significantly more vibrantly colors, extravagant stage outfits that are inspired by various anime and video game characters, the biggest inspiration from the group (speculated) being the Dragon Quest franchise. They also theme their music videos around anime as well. The members also each have an assigned ‘role’ within these framing. Daichi’s role being the hero, Aya being ‘the girl’, Seek being ‘the monster’, Yura-sama being ‘the Warrior or mystic’, with Lida usually being the ‘side kick’ or even more unfortunately ‘whatever is left over’. It’s also worth noting they have an alter-ego band called “Bad Boys, Be Ambitious!”.
I figured that surely with such a concept that anime studio representatives, especially those with fantasy shonen plots, were lining down the block to have the group perform an opening or ending theme. Yet, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. The group has performed exactly one anime opening, and one ending theme for only one anime. A pretty unknown to the West series called Croket! . Apparently it was licensed by the European branch of Viz Media, not sure about the American division. The story goes like this:
“Croket! has both humans and exotic anthropomorphic animals, and have individuals called ‘Bankers’. Croket is our main character, and a young Banker himself. His goal is collect enough Kinkas to summon the Bank Wizard, who will grant the wish of any Banker who collects enough Kinkas. Croket’s wish is to revived his father, Burger, who was said to not only be a legendary banker, but also killed by the villain known as the “Black Gown Man”. Croket, being the protagonist he is, sets out for a tournament called the Banker Survivia Quest, which has a huge prize package of Kinkas”. [Paraphrased from the English Wikipedia page]
Of course, we are starting in order so anime opening first. So I have to give the song credit with the very video game inspired opening notes that suit the idea of Croket! very well. The fact that they layered that in to later parts of the song as a re-occurring theme was really smart. I bet hearing that over a TV set would alert any fan of the series to come quickly. The way the song is structured really does have an opening animation in mind, you can practical see where the various double hits on the drums, certain lyrical pauses, would have a different character appear on screen.
As a song though, it falls very much into the generic anisong category. It’s very clear that this song was commissioned by the studio producing Croket! to Psycho le Cému. I broke down that’s it’s pretty much structured around the opening animation, and overall it’s a rather boring. There’s some bop to it in the beats, but for a song that’s literally called “MIRACLE HIGH TENSION”, there’s no tension in this track. I’m sure for fans of the series this has some nostalgia. For non-fans like myself, it reads as a very much dated anisong, with nothing remarkable about it.
We then have the ending theme of “Visitor”, which actually has a bit more body to it then the aforementioned opening. There’s a similar pattern of starting the track with some video game inspired motifs, but Daichi’s vocals flow much better into this track. It might have to do with the more latin styled tracks, Seek’s bass skills get more time to shine, or that the cover this time is very much an album cover verses an anime. Whatever it is, this track sounds better to my ear.
From two tracks alone, I can’t really judge the vocals. Daichi’s offerings in these two tracks isn’t particularly impressive aside from some effects, although they are incredibly stable. I have to say for this track, the band certainly gets to shine. Lida’s guitarwork is really impressive when you can pick it out from the other on-goings within the song, same with Aya’s. There’s a nice guitar solo in there, I’m pretty sure it’s Lida’s, that’s really striking as well. Yura-sama’s drumming is really the driving force behind the song, and it shows. I have to say that this song really does fit as an Ending Theme really well. I have to say it certainly has more personality and appeal then the aforementioned opening.
For having no prior listening experience with this group, Psycho le Cému has been quite the unique group to look into. They have one of the most distinct concepts in the scene, and they’re still active as well. I’ll have to keep my ears tuned for their non-anime tracks, but they aren’t quite the high priority for me. Be sure to take a listen at their Spotify if this post got your curious! I’ll see you next month with the next edition!