The illustrious duo Atsuko and Katsu (usually stylized ‘atsuko’ and ‘KATSU’), members of the Japanese anisong group angela, known for their dynamic arrangements and exciting melodies, was formed in 1993 and initially began as street performers. Their breakthrough occurred in May 2003, with the release of their single ‘Asu e no brilliant road’, which was the opening theme song for the 2003 anime series, Stellvia of the Universe. Their newest single, ‘Zenryoku Summer’, was released in July 2017. angela made their second appearance at Los Angeles’ Anime Expo as one of the anisong artists who performed at the Anisong World Matsuri on 1 July 2017. Read onwards to see their thoughts on having an international audience, KATSU’s great love for America, and their thoughts on their distinct music style.
angela’s music videos are typically very dramatic. How do you decide the right mood and style for your music videos?
atsuko: We have a director who’s mostly responsible for these decisions but we’re allowed a degree of input. He often aims for a more serious tone.
angela’s most recent music video, ‘Zenryoku Summer’, is bright, playful, and very different compared to your usual music videos. Is there a reason behind this new direction?
atsuko: The director told us that we didn’t have to follow our usual serious style, so we tried to be more bright and cheerful. It was a really fun experience.
You made a joke about being confused with GARNiDELiA, another anisong duo, in your promotional video for Anisong World Matsuri. Is there some friendly rivalry between angela and GARNiDELiA?
atsuko: [laugh] Well, there are several anisong duos with a similar setup where a female sings while the male composes. But we do this all the time! It’s our idea of a joke and we consider them to be our friends.
Why does KATSU love America so much?
Katsu: I believe it’s because I was an American in a previous life. America really is great. That’s why my ultimate goal is the green card.
KATSU: I’m being completely serious. This isn’t a joke.
atsuko: He’s also looking for a wife.