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BeForU

BeForU is an all female J-Pop group who performed music primarily for the Bemani series of rhythm games. BeForU debuted in 2000 with their song "DIVE," which was notable as being the first J-POP song in the Dance Dance Revolution series. BeForU was produced by Naoki Maeda, one of the lead Konami musical producers. In 2006, the group made their major label debut under Avex tracks.

The Original BeForU

BeForU began as a competition for a new J-Pop group singing for Konami and their bemani series of video games, namely Dance Dance Revolution. The four winners were chosen for their talent, ablility and emphasis. They were Riyu Kosaka at age 15, Noria Shiraishi at age 19, Yoma Komatsu at age 26, and Shiyuna Maehara at 21. Their first single DIVE was promoted widely throughout the J-Pop community. DIVE made its first appearance on DDR Extra Mix, and its official debut on DDR 5th Mix.

"BeForU" is a play on words and was the winning result of a contest to name the group. The group name is both a reference to the Dance Dance Revolution song "B4U" from 4th Mix and a play on the words "before you." In another play on words, when BeForU originally formed, they had four members.

In DDR -Max- 6th Mix, BeForU released another song called Firefly. Riyu also performed two solos which were then released on her first single, true....

By DDR -Max 2- 7th Mix, Shiyuna was the only member of the group that had not received a solo in any BEMANI game. As a group, they released another song entitled BRE∀K DOWN!, that was later re-arranged for Guitar Freaks and DrumMania. Yoma debuted as a soloist with her song ever snow, her only solo to be featured in any game to date.

Their eponymous first album BeForU was released on November 28, 2003. Riyu released her first solo album, entitled begin on June 11, 2004, which featured covers of many BEMANI songs. In early 2004, Shiyuna left BeForU group to pursue other venues. She was the only BeForU member without any solos.

The New Beginning - BeForU NEXT

After Shiyuna's departure in 2004, BeForU had another contest for two new members. Somewhere along the line, there was a tie for either first or second place, so the grand total became six instead of five. The additions were Miharu Arisawa, Sayaka Minami, and Risa Sotohana. These girls would form the second generation of BeForU known as BeForU NEXT. (Note that BeForU NEXT refers exclusively to Arisawa, Minami and Sotohana).

The new BeForU debuted with their single KI・SE・KI. This song was released as a CD-single and was featured in DDR Festival, both released on the same day. The CD was packaged with a DVD featuring a message from Naoki Maeda, the group founder/producer, and each of the girls.

In 2006, BeForU released a new album, BeForU II. They also performed live for the first time, which was released later that year, on DVD as BeForU FIRST LIVE at ZeppTokyo 2006. Riyu Kosaka, Noria Shiraishi, and Yoma Komatsu formed a group similar to BeForU NEXT called BeForU Orimen. At BeForU's 2006 and 2007 Live at Zepp Tokyo, they performed their song チ・カ・ラ (Chikara Power).

From that point, there were no releases on CD until a Bemani secret live event in which Riyu Kosaka and Noria revealed that they had signed onto the avex label and would subsequently release a single each. In the following month, BeForU soon followed and released the single Red Rocket Rising on November 1 2006.

On December 22, 2006, BeForU released Get set GO!! 〜BeForU Astronauts Set〜, which contained the song Get set GO!!. Their single Strike Party!!! followed, and was released on January 17, 2007. Strike Party!!! is featured during the ending credits of the 3rd season of the anime MAJOR.

They also released an EP called 6NOTES on March 3 that was under their Be+Wings Records label. Each of the 6 songs is a solo by each member. This CD was only available at live events and on their website and as of February 29, 2008, is no longer available.

BeForU's third album, BeForU III: Breaking Into the Probability Changes was released on March 14, 2007 under the Avex label. Following this, BeForU returned to Zepp Tokyo and performed live for BeForU LIVE 2007 and a DVD was released later.

The next single released by the group was Yoru Hanabi (夜花火 Night Fireworks). Following its release, the group was quiet for the rest of 2007, though Riyu continued to release solo singles.

On December 12, 2007 Riyu announced on her blog that due to illness, Miharu Arisawa would retire from the group. Similarly, Yoma Komatsu had chosen to depart for personal reasons. Their departures were effective immediately, and as such, these two members would be unable to perform at a scheduled concert on December 30, where a "graduation" took place for Noria and Risa Sotohana. These two members planned to move on to solo careers.

The Third Generation

On February 15, 2008,the Be+Wings site was reopened and it was announced that 3 new members would be joining the group. The new members are Ayano Tachibana, Hiromi Nishiuchi and Megumi Fukushita.A new song was announced at Riyu's Carnival and the 3rd Generation performed their new song, without Sayaka due to illness. Sayaka later announced that her recuperating was not going well, and that she had left the group.

The debut of the third generation, as well as Riyu's solo concert was filmed and released on DVD as BeForU / Four Piece Riyu Kosaka / Live 2008. The first official single from the group followed on September 10, 2008, but not on the Avex label. Instead, it released on their new label, Gambit (Sheeps Eyes). This single, Shangri-La was a cover of Denki Groove's popular original. Their next album, also titled Shangri-La, is set to follow on October 08, 2008.

Group members

Original Members:

Also, the following members are referred to as BeForU NEXT, and are first featured in Drummania/GuitarFreaks V. The three girls to replace Shiyuna Maehara:

  • Risa Sotohana (外花りさ) - Also known as Lisa Sotohana due to the phonetical similarities between r and l in the Japanese language (Left group in 2007)
  • Miharu Arisawa (有沢みはる) (Left group in 2007)
  • Sayaka Minami (南さやか) (Left group in 2008)

Also, the following members joined the group in 2008:

Discography

See BeForU discography for a complete discography, including solo works.

Singles

Albums

DVDs

Mini-Albums

Other Songs

Many of the songs whose original versions are not featured on a BeForU CD are listed here.

  • BRE∀K DOWN! (Original Version)
  • チカラ (Original Version)
  • ever snow (as sung by Yoma)
  • DIVE ~more deep and deeper style~
  • Freedom (Original Version)
  • GRADUATION ~それぞれの明日~ (Original Version)
  • Under The Sky [in full in IIDX, as edited in DDR] (By Sayaka Minami from BeForU with platoniX (Tatsh & Junko Hirata) (Original Version)
  • BLACK OUT (Original Version)
  • Staff Roll [DDR EX OST] (full version of GRADUATION ~それぞれの明日~)

Trivia

  • BeForU and TËЯRA are both produced or composed by Naoki Maeda, and many of the songs from each are related.
  • The song "I am..." by Miharu Arisawa bears similarity to the song "WE ARE" by TËЯRA - both have similar themes and both are composed by the same artists. (Both are composed TËЯRA WORKS, the composition moniker used by Naoki Maeda and jun.) A noteworthy similarity is that 'we are' is the plural form of 'I am.'
  • "ever snow," a solo by Yoma Komatsu (from DDRMAX 2) was composed by TËЯRA WORKS. A long version sung by Karashima appeared in TËЯRA's album, RЁVOLUTIФN.
  • The song Freedom has a similar melody to the song "1/6 billionth" by TËЯRA.
  • BeForU II was released on February 14, which is Valentine's Day.
  • Strike Party!!! was released on Riyu's birthday of January 17.
  • BeForU III was released on March 14, which is White Day in Japan.
  • Although Risa Sotohana was the youngest member of the group, she was not the youngest member to join; Riyu Kosaka was 15 when BeForU originally formed back in 2000. Hiromi Nishiuchi is currently the youngest member of the group.

See also

External links

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