Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Itsuki Yui and Fairy Empire -- Kurokami ED

One of the Japanese groups I enjoy is Yousei Teikoku 妖精帝國 "Fairy Empire," the two-person unit featuring sometime-seiyuu Itsuki Yui. They call their music a mix of "techno, trance, gothic, heavy rock, and classical."

Yousei Teikoku has done anime music before -- for Innocent Venus, Renkin Sankyuu Magical Pokaan, and a Mai-HiME game -- and is now giving us an enjoyable ED (YouTube audio) and some insert songs for the new anime Kurokami.

The group's persona is based on the idea that humans have forgotten their pure hearts that once believed in fairies, and the group is here to revive the Fairy Empire. During their shows, which they call "ceremonies," subjects of the Fairy Empire (i.e., fans) show their loyalty by rocking to the beat.

The band consists of guitarist, keyboardist, and composer Tachibana Takaha 橘尭葉; and singer/front woman Itsuki Yui 伊月ゆい, who for this purpose calls herself "Fairy Yui" 妖精ゆい. Takaha creates the music, and Yui sings it, with a certain amount of skill but much more passion and style.

As you can see from the pics, their presentation is rock and goth, and Yui makes a convincing fairy -- although perhaps she seems more fallen angel than pure fairy.

Here is a PV of Yousei Teikoku doing Wahrheit ("Truth" in German), a song that shows their various styles. Listen through at least a minute and a half to get the full flavor of their softer and harder sides:

The Kurokami ED was written by Takaha, with lyrics by Yui. And they are decent lyrics, the world of Kurokami with a Yousei Teikoku spin:
Dawn comes unnoticed, thawing my frozen body,
And memories return, bringing me back from an early death:
The sound of insects crying, of birds' wings beating in flight,
And a soundless white wasteland fills with bright colors.

Yousei Teikoku "descended to the human world" in 1997 and was active for 2-3 years, then dropped out of sight until 2004, since when it has produced a string of singles and albums: five anime singles and three of their own, as well as four albums: Stigma, Gothic Lolita Propaganda, metanoia and, just this month, Iro no Nai Sekai. Full discography here.

Yui is a good friend of a number of seiyuus, including Koshimizu Ami and Kadowaki Maii. The three of them call themselves the "three sisters," and have gone on trips together. She is also friendly with Morinaga Rika and Ueda Kana.

Kadowaki Mai, Itsuki Yui, and Koshimizu Ami (l-r) Maita leaning on Yuin during a Three Sisters trip to a hot spring hotel

Yuin (Itsuki Yui's nickname) was Moe in DC Da Capo, Kira in both Futakoi anime, Miya in Mai-HiME and My-Otome, Ruka in Venus Versus Virus, Mio in Kanokon, and Paula in Kuroshitsuji. For most of her career, she was with the I"m Enterprise agency, but last year she switched to Holy Peak.

There are rumors on 2channel that in the past Yui was involved in "pillow business" to get roles, but with her adequate skills and few roles, that seems unlikely. The fact that she always looks so drowsily sexy -- like she just got out of bed and is headed back there as soon as possible -- may have something to do with the perception.

is one of the few seiyuu whose age I cannot find anywhere. Speculation on 2channel ranges from early twenties to mid-thirties.

She has an active photo blog, as well as a separate blog shared by the "three sisters."

There are also rumors that she is getting married, but I can find no confirmation and no details -- except that she said last April in her blog that she would like a black wedding dress (right).

She has a sad, dark side that you can't help seeing in her eyes. One blog post said: "Late one night, I found myself smiling. But there was really nothing at all to make me smile. Maybe I was just tired."

Yuin does web design for her own website, and is known as among the most technically able of seiyuus: she has three computers at home, one of which she built herself.

Yousei Teikoku Homepage
Yui's homepage
Yui's blog
Three Sisters blog
Yui's agency
Itsuki Yui on Anime News Network
Itsuki Yui on Wikipedia
Itsuki Yui on Japanese Wikipedia
Yousei Teikoku on Wikipedia
Yousei Teikoku on Japanese Wikipedia
Yousei Teikoku on YouTube


dingmajiao said...

the youtube song u put up there was nice..

kurokami's ED was ok.. i haven heard of it much enough to comment though..

Emily said...

I really do love her voice and Yousei Teikoku's music- it's so different. Thanks for this post :)

Victor Delacroix said...

Wow, thank you for this post. I consider myself quite the obsessive Yui-sama fan, and had actually never heard some of this information. My Japanese isn't that good, so I'm struggling to translate her blog entries every time she makes them. Anyway, how'd you find some of this information? Just 2channel? I'd never seen the three sisters with glasses picture before, despit my extensive Yui-sama picture collection. Weird as it may be, the marriage rumor made me short of breath with panic as I read it. It's pretty common for girls to dream about their wedding dress, though, so I've calmed down.
So like, if you're feeling charitable and would like to use your obvious skill to help a big fan find out all he can about his facorite singer/seiyuu, then please contact me at
*not getting his hopes up*
Hopefully I don't sound like a stalker. ;_;

hashi said...

@Victor Delacroix -- Great to hear from you. I'm a big fan of Koshimizu Ami, and I saw the "three sisters" stuff first on her blog, then went to the special blog and others. Most of my info does come from visits to 2channel and from reading Japanese Wikipedia articles.

Seizhin said...

Very nice, although I'm interested in her, I never had much interest to do the searching.
This pretty much sum all that I wanted to know about her. :)

Thanks, especially for her blog, I'd definitely be visiting it often.