Guruguru Eigakan

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Guruguru Eigakan are one of the key bands in the largely underground eroguro movement -- the Japanese answer to Western goth music, with the same attention paid to theatrics, history, and all things macabre…
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Artist Biography by

Guruguru Eigakan are one of the key bands in the largely underground eroguro movement -- the Japanese answer to Western goth music, with the same attention paid to theatrics, history, and all things macabre and erotic. The word "eroguro" itself is a portmanteau of "erotic" and "grotesque," coined in the '20s by a group of Japanese artists and resurrected in the '90s by musicians interested in the Shouwa period (1926-1989), with a special emphasis, in Guruguru Eigakan's case, on wars of the 1930-1940s, from the invasion of China by the Japanese to the invasion of Japan by the Americans. The band supports those themes with frantic and dark rock music with a hardcore punk vibe, all the while maintaining the appropriate image in everything from stage appearance to flyer design.

The first Guruguru Eigakan flyers were presented to the world in the autumn of 1995, prior to the band's debut live show at Nagoya Music Farm. At that time, the group consisted of Amano Tonbimaru (vocals), Yoshikawa Masatoshi (bass), Yamada Shunsuke (guitar), and Matsushima Kouji (drums). The band began active touring, soon expanding to the Tokyo-Osaka-Nagoya region as well as putting out demo tapes, followed by the debut album Doko No Aosa Ni Kimi, Maketa in 1999. That was only the warm-up, as Guruguru Eigakan didn't lack material: the album Sakai No Akasa No Sei Nano Desu was out in 2000, accompanied by the EP Bonjin Hakusho Romanshugi Ga Sugimashita; another EP, Nonsense Imi Wa Nai Kedo Igi Ga Aru, followed in 2001, and 2002 saw the full-length Watachi. In 2000 Guruguru Eigakan also did a split single with another eroguro cult act, Inugami Circus-dan. However, in 2002 the group's progress was hampered by the "graduation" (an euphemism for quitting) of all members except Tonbimaru, marked with a final gig at the Shibuya Quattro.

Masatoshi established Taiheiyou Belt, whose sound wasn't terribly far from Guruguru Eigakan, and Tonbimaru established a new lineup, featuring guitarist Numakura Shin, bassist Tamakoshi Isao, and drummer Maeda Kazutomo. The revamped band started with the EP Sono Mama De Ii Yo (2002) and continued to record new material, putting out two more EPs, Sentence Igi Wa Aru Kedo Garasubari and Koi Koron. Kimi Ni Wa Koron, Heya Muon, in 2003, the full-length Drops+Bootleg+2 in 2004, and another EP, Yoi Koto Ga Aru To Omouna Omoeba Makeyo, in 2005. The studio album Iya Na Shi came out in 2006, but after that Isao left the band, which continued as a trio, not letting the loss of the bassist throw the group off stride: in 2007, Guruguru Eigakan released their first single in three years (14sai No Shayou), as well as the album Kyouko No -- Kyoufu No Shinya Radio, which featured Inugami Circus-dan. The EP Chijin No Koi followed in 2008.