All-Girl Band ZONE to Break Up in April
posted on by Sarah Nelkin
All-girl band ZONE will end their activities after a final concert on April 7 at Tokyo's Shibuya O-East in Shibuya. Member Maiko Sakae broke the news on the Runtime Music agency's website.
“I've decided to bring ZONE to an end with my own hands,” she said, “We have caused all of you a lot of worry and trouble.”
She also commented on member Miyu Nagase's trouble with the record label that led to her being released from her contract, saying, “It was an event that I myself didn't expect; my shock towards this is truly how I feel.”
Runtime Music Entertainment had terminated the contract of Miyu last month, citing "considerable misconduct as well as repeated work negligence" as its reasons for cancelling the contract. The company explained in an official statement that it "attempted to provide Miyu Nagase with guidance and persuade her to change, but there was no improvement in her actions."
Zone debuted in 2001 with four members. The band became known for the song "secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~," and a cover was used as the ending theme to Fuji TV 's Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai (anohana) anime (as sung by the anime's voice actresses). Zone also performed in the opening theme "True Blue" and second ending "Tetsuwan Atom: ballad version" for the 2003 Astroboy series, as well as "Shiroi Hana," the theme song for Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. After the band broke up in 2005, Miyu continued her music career as a solo artist.
Maiko, Miyu, and former band member Tomoka Nishimura held a 10th anniversary reunion in 2011 and performed "secret base" at a charity concert in the anime's model city of Chichibu in Saitama. Tomoko left the band again in 2011 for medical reasons while Miyu and Maiko continued to release new songs as a duo. Their latest single, "treasure of the heart ~kimi to boku no kiseki~" in 2012, was the first to be released by the band in seven years.