Sphere is a J-Pop idol group consisting of seiyuu Aki Toyosaki, Haruka Tomatsu, Ayahi Takagaki, and Minako Kotobuki.When the group was formed in early 2009, only Haruka had released solo singles (not counting Images Songs for shows), while the other three were most known for their voice acting, but since then all members have solo careers with their own singles, albums and concert tours, while still being members of the band.In 2011 they starred in Sphere Club, their own 15-minute variety show which lasted for 22 episodes. The following year saw the launch of the Anime First vehicle Natsuiro Kiseki, in which they played the four main characters, and did a Image Song for each episode in various lineup combinations. Since they're all both singers and actors, live concerts often include a 15-20 minute play performance in addition to the songs.They made a quick animated cameo as themselves in an episode of I Couldn't Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job.Not to be confused with a 1987 sci-fi novel and it's 1998 film adaptation.
Releases by Sphere:
- "Future Stream" (2009)
- "dear-dear DREAM" (2009) (kind of, it's not an official Sphere single but was released under the name "My Sunshine (Ayahi's character in the anime) meets Sphere" with the other three members only singing backup)
- "Super Noisy Nova" (2009)
- "Kaze wo Atsumete / Brave My Heart" (2009)
- "Realove:Realife" (2010)
- "Now Loading... Sky!!" (2010)
- "Moon Signal" (2010)
- "Hazy" (2011)
- "Let Me Do!!" (2011)
- "High Powered" (2011)
- "Non stop road / Ashita e no Kaerimichi" (2012)
- "Pride on Everyday" (2012)
- "Genesis Aria" (2013)
- "Sticking Places" (2013)
- "Eternal Tours" (2014) (5th Anniversary single)
- "Kasukana Hisokana Tashikana Mirai" (2014)
- A.T.M.O.S.P.H.E.R.E (2009)
- Spring is Here (2011)
- Third Planet (2012)
- 4 colors for you (2014)
Associated with the following tropes:
- A Cappella: The only instrument on "Niji wo Kakeru Melody" is a piano at the very end.
- Audience Participation Song:
- "A.T.M.O.S.P.H.E.R.E": For the verses the crowd shouts the name of each member during the three syllable "A.T.M." part.
- "Let Me Do!!": The final "WHOA-OH-OH" part is often at least 3-4 times longer than normal at live shows.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Haruka and/or Aki tend to play the wise guys in skits, with Ayahi and Minako playing the straight men.
- Color-Coded Characters: Each member has their own color, which they also use in their solo concerts and merchandise.
- Cover Version: Contributed with "Glory Colors ~Kaze no Tobira~" on a ZONE tribute album, and has performed it live as well.
- Cute Little Fang: Aki.
- Girl Group
- Lucky Charms Title: "Watashi ♪NOTE to #Pencil", which also works as a pun (the #-sign is "sharp" in Japanese)
- Lyrical Cold Open: "GENESIS ARIA", "Super Noisy Nova".
- The Napoleon: Ayahi sometimes takes this role, being the shortest (but also oldest) of the four girls at 150.8 cm (4'11").
- Non Uniform Uniforms: Their outfits usually have minor differences between them, sometimes at the sleeves.
- Numbered Sequels: Their third album being titled Third Planet, and fourth 4 colors for you.
- One, Two, Three, Four, Go!: The title for the 5th anniversary concert was "Ready Steady 5th Anniversary"
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Ayahi singing opera. Her English pronounciation is also very good while singing.
- Statuesque Stunner: Haruka and Aki. In 90+% of the group photos — such as above — they can be found standing at each side, with Minako and Ayahi in-between.
- Title Track: A.T.M.O.S.P.H.E.R.E, and Spring is Here had them, while the main new track on Third Planet was "Planet Freedom" instead.
- Vocal Tag Team: All members sing on all songs. Often the verses are split in either two or four.
- Yukata Fanservice: At the Natsuiro Kiseki Festival event.