Well, there’s been a complete and total drought of interesting I’ve Sound news lately, so I figure it’s time to get back to what is, at the moment, my only real regular feature. That’s right, it’s time for an I’ve Data File. This time I’ll be covering Eiko Shimamiya (島みやえい子), one of the original I’ve girls and the second-most prolific vocalist of the group (after KOTOKO, of course).
As with KOTOKO, Eiko Shimamiya was no stranger to the music industry when she first signed on with I’ve – but instead of a recording career, prior to I’ve Eiko had been working as a vocal coach at the Mitsuno Music School in Sapporo. And it’s worth noting that amongst her students were current I’ve Special Unit members Mami Kawada, Kaori Utatsuki and KOTOKO, thus making MELL the only Love Planet Five member who wasn’t in her class at Mitsuno.
However, despite her prominent role later on down the line Eiko’s debut was a quiet one – her first song with I’ve was ‘Last regrets -X’mas floor style-‘, a Christmas-themed version of the opening theme for Key’s well-known eroge Kanon, recorded for the first I’ve Girls compilation album ‘regret’. But things picked up quickly, with her eroge theme debut (‘Hyouketsu no Yoru’, 氷結の夜 – opening theme for AIL’s “Makoto Ruriiro no Yuki ~Furimukeba Tonari ni~” 真・瑠璃色の雪 ～ふりむけば隣に～) 4 months later, and in the year 2000 her first single was released – not with I’ve, mind you, but her first single nevertheless. ‘Takino no Mori’ (滝野の森), songwriting credits currently unknown, was released as the ‘image song’ for Takino park in Sapporo sometime in 2000 – Eiko’s first official single release, and thus far the only theme song for a park in Japan I’ve ever heard. At least to the best of my knowledge.
While she had released an EP with I’ve previously (the Comiket-exclusive ‘Ozone’) Eiko’s first major release with I’ve through Geneon records came in 2005 with her EP ‘ULYSSES’, which she wrote all the words and music for (as with KOTOKO, much of Shimamiya’s work is self-composed) – which was followed up later that year by another EP titled ‘Endless Loop’.
Her anime debut followed a year after that, when she sung the titular opening theme for anime Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (ひぐらしのなく頃に, ‘When They Cry -Higurashi’ for its English-language release). The song later appeared on her full-length debut ‘O’, which made her the fourth I’ve member to release a full-length album on affiliated record label Geneon.
DISCOGRAPHY (I’ve only):
Ozone – 2003
ULYSSES – 2005
Endless Loop – 2005
O – 2006
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (ひぐらしのなく頃に) – 2006
Naraku no Hana (奈落の花) – forthcoming
I’ve PV Collection vol.3 – 2003 (with I’ve Special Unit)
I’ve in BUDOKAN 2005 ~Open the Birth Gate~ LIVE DVD – 2005
regret – 1999
verge – 2000
Disintegration – 2002
diRTY GiFT – 2002
LAMENT – 2003
OUT FLOW – 2003
Mixed up – 2004
Collective – 2005