Interview with Anison Singer Gero

Interview with Anison Singer Gero

Anime songs (anison) from Japan are currently highly popular overseas, with anison singers frequently holding concerts and events. Among these anison singers, one who is picking up considerable attention is Gero.

Since 2008, the videos of him singing that he submitted to video sites have become hits, and he began his activities in the indie sphere. He made his major debut in 2013 with the opening theme “Beloved × Survival” for the TV anime Brothers Conflict. This year, he is once again in charge of the opening theme of a TV anime, this time “Outgrow” for Tokyo Ravens. His third single is set to release on May 21. We sat down with Gero to find out all the details surrounding his debut.

TOM: I’d like to hear the details that led to your major debut.
Gero: It started with my little brother telling me, “Big bro, there’s this interesting site other than YouTube called Nico Nico Douga!” I’m a huge fan of heavy metal, you see. In fact, many anison have hard rock and heavy metal elements to them, don’t they? I like the song “Pegasus Gensou,” the opening theme to Saint Seiya, by Make-Up 1, and they have high-pitched vocals like heavy metal. So I listened to the “Uttemita” songs by Gom of HoneyWorks 2 who composed the song “Outgrow” for me, and I thought, “So there’s a culture like this. Why can’t I join in too?”

TOM: Does this mean you developed music you liked on Nico Nico Douga?
Gero: That’s right. I am inept at using electronics, but somehow or other I was able to record me singing and upload it to the site. I thought I would try it out for only a year. It was totally hopeless at first, but after about 10 months the number of playbacks started to increase. From there, I was able to perform concerts, and participate on a variety of CDs.

TOM: So you truly started on Nico Nico Douga.
Gero: Then in 2011, I held my third nationwide tour and I was contacted by someone at NBC Universal. From there I debuted with the opening theme “Beloved × Survival” for the TV anime Brothers Conflict.

TOM: Did you used to play in a band?
Gero: Not at all! The extent of it was just going to karaoke. In high school I did play in a cover band, but no one came to see us.

TOM: If that’s the case, you suddenly went from singing “Uttemita” songs to performing live. Was there anything you were uneasy about?
Gero: I was so nervous! At the first event I was invited to, 500 people suddenly crammed into the space. So I don’t remember it much (laughs).

TOM: You were a so-called indie artist for a long period of time, but there was a gap in time before you debuted.
Gero: In truth, I was contacted about a year and a half ago, but I turned them down. I wanted to debut after I had confidence in my performance, songs, and staging.

TOM: So does that mean you wouldn’t have debuted if you thought you were just normal?
Gero: Normal is a good way to put it. But, the timing was also important. I’m glad that I didn’t debut back then.

Valuing “Showmanship, Radiance, and Laughter”

TOM: You then had your major debut with the opening theme song “Beloved × Survival” for the TV anime Brothers Conflict. Even though it’s geared toward girls, it’s a very interesting work that has many male fans as well.
Gero: Very true! When I was asked to do the opening theme, I read the manga and thought it was interesting. I’m actually a fan of shoujo manga and have read Kimi ni Todoke, Say “I Love You”, Ao Haru Ride, and High School Debut to name a few. So I totally got into Brothers Conflict. I enjoyed expressing the world through “Beloved × Survival.”

TOM: Around that same time you also announced your album.
Gero: I released my major debut album titled One. It’s an album that captures my love of hard rock.

TOM: One definitely seems hard rock, but it also has strong heavy metal elements, doesn’t it? What artists did you draw inspiration from?
Gero: First off is Sex Machineguns 3 which I was into during middle school. Next, I researched the artists that Sex Machineguns were influenced by and I heard Metallica, Slayer, and Helloween.

TOM: Does your influence from Sex Machineguns also extend to your MCing?
Gero: I’ve seen videos of Sex Machineguns performing live so many times I basically have them memorized, so my MCing has been heavily influenced by Anchang. I like things that are cool and entertaining.

TOM: Does that mean that it’s not just singing that’s important to you but also talking during your performances as well?
Gero: I think the style of focusing on songs and not doing much MCing is cool too, but I want to talk. I want to talk as much as I can and play music so that everyone will laugh and have a good time. I believe that performing is incorporating all these things. I value “showmanship, radiance, and laughter.”

Since He Was Born Online, Is Gero Widely Known?

TOM: You’ve performed in Taiwan as well, right?
Gero: That’s right. I’ve performed there three times. Speaking recently, I was invited to an event last year that a friend of mine had planned. Fans in Taiwan are very energetic, aren’t they? They have a passion that rivals even that of Japan. Taiwan is close to Japan, which makes it feel familiar, and I was warmly welcomed.

TOM: Maybe because there are so many people in Taiwan who watch Japanese anime?
Gero: That is true. They try their hardest to study Japanese so they can sing together with me. It’s very spot on.

TOM: Do you have any interest in performing in other countries?
Gero: I definitely do. About two years ago, I also visited Thailand and Singapore. One of my friends is Dasoku from the band √5 4 whom I joined up with to form Dagero ( From there, I had the privilege of singing the opening theme to a character anime called Clinoppe by GREE 5. And I was able to go to Thailand and Singapore because of that. The excitement they both had was amazing. Truth be told, they had sung songs by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu on video sites, but never my own songs, just “Uttemita” ones. When I arrived, I was greeted by fans singing a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu song in a large chorus. I thought, “This isn’t my song.” (laughs)

TOM: There are surely many anime fans that hope for you to come to their country. So, a final message to all your overseas fans here on Tokyo Otaku Mode please.
Gero: I still haven’t performed all over the world yet, but I absolutely love performing live so I definitely want to perform in many places. I think that the value of hearing something live is entirely different than hearing it on a CD or seeing it on TV, so I will try hard to be able to come to where you all are. If I do come to your country, I’d be happy if you come to see my show. This has been Gero!

^1^ A Japanese rock band.
^2^ A music group comprised of composer Gom, guitarist Shinto, and illustrator Yamako.
^3^ A Japanese heavy metal band.
^4^ Root Five. A five-person band consisting of Nico Nico Douga singer Dasoku, Pokota, Mi-chan, Kettaro, and Koma’n.
^5^ A Japanese social networking service.

■ Single “Beloved × Survival”

■ Album One

■ Single “Outgrow”

Gero Official Site
Dagero Official Site
TV Anime Brothers Conflict Official Site
TV Anime Tokyo Ravens Official Site

This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article written by Nobuyuki Hayashi and translated by Jarrett Meuser.

【Gero】2nd Single「〜Outgrow〜」Music Video -short ver.-
【Gero】2nd Single「〜Outgrow〜」Music Video -short ver.-
Single “Beloved × Survival”
Single “Beloved × Survival”
Album One
Album *One*
Single “Outgrow”
Single “Outgrow”

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