Photos courtesy of Sony Music Japan
ready America. The revolution is on!
Japan & Tofu
Records artist, T.M. Revolution performed in front of a packed
crowd at Baltimore,
in August 2003 for
the anime convention,
performance is the first time a well known contemporary
Japanese pop music artist has performed at a North American anime
Revolution, which stands for "Takanori Makes Revolution",
is the monicker that Takanori Nishikawa has used within the
last decade as one of the top Japanese pop stars in the last
decade. At Otakon, he was there to entertain anime fans and
show thousands of attendees a performance never
at an anime
In attendance were some
have just discovered his music from the anime "Gundam
the hardcore Japanese entertainment fans who have watched
him for many years on the various Japanese music shows and
were dedicated listeners.
the waters for bringing contemporary Japanese artists to perform
in the United States are currently being tested at North American
anime conventions, the
performance and packed autograph sessions were so successful
that even Nishikawa and staff were in awe by how well his debut
American performance was received.
Japan, where most music fans at autograph sessions tend to receive
a one second hand-shake and a thank you, the scene
was different in the US as fans could not wait
to talk, take pictures and hug the artist.
Revolution's presence at Otakon was a sight to be seen as hundreds
of fans were waiting to meet the music artist. Fans
in line were
trembling with excitement to meet the stylish artist and there
were fans who could not contain their tears once they got close to
the T.M. Revolution excitement doesn't end with Otakon, to
further promote his music in the United States, Tofu
Records will be releasing a T.M. Revolution album titled "Coordinate"
which will feature hit songs such as "Invoke", "Meteor" and
"Heart of Sword".
some of you who are not too familiar with T.M. Revolution,
Takanori Nishikawa is one of the most humorous and stylish
Japanese entertainers around. His certain bishounen-esque
fashion style for the JPOP scene sets him apart from other
performers. His music revolves around pop to rock and his
CD singles have appeared within the top 5 single and album
chart rankings numerous times.
Revolution debuted back in May 1996 with the CD single "Dokusai
-Monopolize-". His third CD single "HEART OF SWORD
- Yoake Mae -" which was used as the ending theme song
to the anime "Rurouni Kenshin" was the song which
many Japanese music fans started to take notice of the performer.
The artist then came out with hit after hit with songs such
as "LEVEL 4", "HIGH PRESSURE", "WHITE
BREATH" and albums such as "MAKES REVOLUTION", "restoration
LEVEL->3", "triple joker" that would grace
the top single and album ratings of music charts that would clearly
indicate that T.M. Revolution's popularity was skyrocketing.
Revolution would try his hand in acting. Although he has done
voice acting for anime like "Rurouni Kenshin" and later for "Gundam
Seed", T.M. Revolution appeared in the very highly rated TBS
Takuya Kimura and Takako Tokiwa. His role was not the typical
one episode, one minute role. T.M. Revolution's would have a significant
role in the drama series. So, unlike most Americans who would know
T.M. Revolution through his music work in Japanese animation, with
the many Japanese pop culture fans in Asia that are into Japanese
dramas, it is no surprise that his music fan following in Asian
countries such as Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia are credited to
charismatic singer would then later be married to Puffy AmiYumi's
Yumi Yoshimura but a year later
in 2001 and 2002,
mainly DVD releases were available for T.M. Revolution and
it would appear that Nishikawa would be away from the spotlight
or from the media frenzy temporarily.
artist talked about that time period in a recent interview with
Newtype USA (July 2003, Issue 7, page 27). Nishikawa said,"It's
been two and a half years since my last album release, and to tell
the truth, during that time I thought a lot about myself and the
future of T.M. Revolution. I didn't work on anything during that
period - to be honest, I couldn't work on anything."
has gone on to say that "Gundam Seed" director Fukuda
was helpful in his return to music. The song "Invoke" was
used as the opening theme for "Gundam Seed" and the popularity
of the show and the support by Fukuda and the show's staff helped
jumpstart T.M. Revolution again. Currently his latest CD single "Meteor" is
the latest opening theme for the popular anime.
Revolution is now back and it is indeed a pleasure to see Takanori
Nishikawa return to his musical roots.
recently had the chance to interview Takanori during his brief
stay in the United States. Whereas the majority of his American
interviews will focus on his performance
at Otakon, his music or involvement
with anime, for our J-ENT viewers worldwide, I decided to focus
my questions on the Japanese entertainment side.
You performed in front of many Americans at Otakon. How
were you feeling before your performance?
T.M. REVOLUTION: I was nervous
and excited. More than words could say!
There are Americans and many people outside of Japan familiar
with your music from watching you on the different music
shows. Were you ever aware that you had a fan following
outside of Japan?
T.M. REVOLUTION: I had
absolutely no idea. That is a great surprise!
Well you know there are Americans who are familiar with you because
of your music used for anime such as "Rurouni Kenshin" and “Gundam
Seed” but did you know that many people outside of Japan
are very familiar with you because of the hit Japanese drama “Beautiful
Life"? How did you get involved with that drama?
T.M. REVOLUTION: Wow! You
know that drama? I agreed to do “Beautiful Life” because
I was offered the role by the screenwriter. She was a fan of mine
and came to all my concerts. She offered me to be in the drama
right after we met.
DENNIS: So, does that mean we will see you in more dramas? Do you
T.M. REVOLUTION: Though acting
is not my priority, I would consider doing it again if I get an opportunity
in the future.
DENNIS: I recall about two or three years ago, you came to
America with Fukuyama Masaharu to cover an Ichiro baseball game in
are you a big baseball fan?
T.M. REVOLUTION: Actually,
we went there to watch Kaz Sasaki (note: Sasaki is a relief pitcher
for the Seattle Mariners) because we are friends. But in Japan right
now, everybody is excited because the Hanshin Tigers have a good
chance of winning the championship this season for the first time
in 18 years.
DENNIS: You know, I remember a few times when you were
on “Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ” and several times
the hosts of the show, Downtown would hit you in the head.
By the look of your facial expression, sometimes it looked
you were hit hard and it seemed like it hurt. Truthfully though,
did Matsumoto or Hamada really hit you that hard?
T.M. REVOLUTION: (Laughing)
It’s hard to explain. That’s called “Tsukkomi” (*
note: See definition below page) but I don’t know how
to translate that to English. It may look bad but I guess
the guests. Anyway, I hit them back when we go backstage! (Laughing)
You are a very stylish musical artist and each time I see
you on television or on a magazine, you always have a different
hair style. I was wondering how long does it take you to
do your hair.
T.M. REVOLUTION: I have to
ask my stylist. (Asks stylist to answer the question)
STYLIST: It takes about 20
DENNIS: So, Nishikawa-san. Why are you always stylish?
T.M. REVOLUTION: That’s
because I naturally look good! (Laughing)
STYLIST: It’s because
of my magic.
So, during your stay here in the US, what kind of American
food do you like to eat or are you the type of person who
tries to find a Japanese restaurant when you come to the
T.M. REVOLUTION: When I go
to Italy, I eat Italian food. In America, I eat American food or
whatever people recommend.
DENNIS: What kind of music or which artists are you currently listening
to right now?
T.M. REVOLUTION: I am listening
to Evanescence, TRUSTcompany…what
else?? I have so many CD’s! (Asks staff member
to bring him his CD case) Oh! I also listen to Mad
At Gravity and
DENNIS: Let’s do a little word play, I’ll
give you five words and you give me the T.M. Revolution
definition for these
LOVE – Something that is lost one day. No,
that was a joke. In truth, that is what I want most.
SUCCESS – Something that is
MP3 - Shapeless
Britney Spears – A bombshell!
SEX – I don’t know.
If there is one word to describe yourself, what would that word
be and why?
T.M. REVOLUTION: Prince. I
like using the sentence, “Why don’t you let me be your
DENNIS: Eh? Why?
T.M. REVOLUTION: Why?
Because I want a Green Card. (Laughing) Just kidding. Well, because
I want to be loved by everybody else.
DENNIS: What final words would you like to leave with your fans?
T.M. REVOLUTION: Let me be your only prince. Thanks so much!
Tsukkomi: "Tsukkomi" is one of the roles in a traditional
manzai duo. The other is "boke". Usually what happens
is the boke says a lot of non sequiturs, goofy observations
or just plain nonsense. The tsukkomi's job is to rein them
in. Usually this is by statements like "that's not right" or "cut
it out" but sometimes it's physical. Looking at the words
themselves, "boke" means senile or ditzy and "tsukkomi" literally
as the person is interjecting into the conversation [Explanation
of "Tsukkomi" by Rick Frankum].
to nt2099 Interviews & Profiles Page
the latest on T.M. Revolution, please visit his Official
Records or Sony/Epic.
celebrity photos on nt2099 Entertainment has been supplied to us
by the artists, their agencies or their recording companies.
A. Amith is the former Editor-in-Chief of Asian Pacific
Review and a freelance entertainment writer and celebrity interviewer.
Amith is known for his knowledge of pop culture especially Asia
to stick with his formula of promoting artists and professionals
who are well-known to the up-and-coming, his goal of helping to
smash the barriers that exist for Asians in the entertainment industry
and to ask questions that will definitely grab your attention.
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