Today, the eight-piece unit WagakkiBand finally hit their 100 million views milestone on the music video, Senbonzakura (Thousand Cherry Blossoms)! The video was uploaded five years ago on YouTube, in 2014, and has accumulated more than 630,000 likes.
Senbonzakura was originally composed by Kurousa-P and sung by the Vocaloid (voice synthesizer) Hatsune Miku, telling a story about the westernization of Japan, during Meiji Restoration that happened in 1868. WagakkiBand’s arrangement sets apart from the original rendition by combining modern rock and incorporating more of the traditional Japanese (wagakki) elements, including vocalist Suzuhana Yuko’s marvelous shigin singing style.
While there are a massive amount of Senbonzakura covers on YouTube and niconico, WagakkiBand’s arrangement has become one of the most popular of all-time.
WagakkiBand released Senbonzakura along with their first full-length album Vocalo Zanmai—the album that would take the band further than anyone would have expected. While the album itself only contained covers of popular vocaloid songs, each one of them were arranged with a wagakki theme that resonated well with the Japanese audience, especially as Vocaloid was already popular in Japan at that time.
Even before Suzuhana Yuko started recruiting members for the band, most of them were already covering Vocaloid music on niconico or composing their own music using Vocaloids. It was these circumstances that allowed the members to meet in the first place, as such, the progression to a Vocaloid cover album became quite a natural one.
Since Vocalo Zanmai, the band started composing their own original work and has released five studio albums to date, along with several singles and miscellaneous work. Reaching the top spot on the weekly Oricon chart with the album Yasou Emaki in 2015. They’ve been immensely successful abroad and domestically, being able to perform all around the world and also make appearances on Japanese commercials for big brands like Kirin Mets.
The band has a long way until they reach their full potential, so we look forward to seeing what the band’s next big breakthrough will be!
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