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5-Girl Band Gambare! Victory Plays 2nd Baby Steps Season's Ending

posted on by Egan Loo
Pony Canyon debut for band formed in grade school; anime to continue using Mao Abe's opening

The five-member girl band Gambare! Victory announced at their Tokyo concert on Sunday that they will perform the ending theme song for the second Baby Steps anime season. The band told the 200 fans at the Tsutaya O-Crest venue in Shibuya Ward that Pony Canyon will release the CD single for untitled song on May 20. The CD single release will be the band's debut on a major label.

The band members — Ayaki, Rena, Minami, Shinobu, and Mayuko — were classmates in elementary school at Karatsu City in Saga Prefecture in southwestern Japan. They formed the band in 2007 when they were in sixth grade, and then they performed in the Rock in Japan festival while they were still in their first year in high school. The band released an indie single "Fly High!!!" in December, and it sold 2,000 copies in its first week.

Gambare! Victory often use baseball jargon in their performances, and their name (meaning "Do Your Best! Victory" in Japanese) can be a rallying cry from baseball fans. Their major debut date also happens to be the birthday of Sadaharu Oh, the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks player who holds the world record in home runs. The single from Pony Canyon will have a regular standalone CD edition and a first edition that bundles a DVD. Pony Canyon will also offer five additional, separate editions with exclusive CD jacket designs — one for each band member.

The band will hold another concert at the nearby Tsutaya O-West venue on September 12, and the E+ service will begin selling tickets on Monday. Pony Canyon will also host an acoustic live concert and single pre-order meet-up at its Tokyo headquarters in March. People who pre-order at the event will receive bonus trading cards of the members.

The Baby Steps television anime adapts Hikaru Katsuki's manga of the same name, which revolves around Eiichirō "Ei-chan" Maruo, a punctual and earnest boy who has strived for straight As since elementary school. The 15-year-old high school boy stops by a tennis school to deal with his lack of exercise. There, he meets Natsu Takasaki, a beautiful, earnest girl who only has passion for tennis. The second season's story picks up at a Florida academy where the rival players of the world vie for #1.

The second season will premiere on April 5 and will run for 25 episodes. Just as in the first season, the new season will continue using Mao Abe's song "Believe in Yourself" as the opening theme song.

The first anime series premiered last April. Pierrot (Naruto, Kingdom) animated the first television series with a total of 25 episodes. Katsuki himself collaborated on the creation of episodes with original stories not told in the manga. Kenji Saito (Dennō Coil, Bakuman., Bottom Biting Bug) produced the anime for NHK. Crunchyroll streamed the first series as it aired in Japan.

Sources: Sankei Sports, Natalie

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