Kill La Kill music: Sayonara Ponytail

July 20, 2015 · 2 comments

By Tom Smith.

Sayonara PonytailOscar Wilde wrote, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”, but for Japanese group Sayonara Ponytail, it could be said that their art imitates manga far more than life. In fact, when this mysterious band first appeared, via the ancient medium of MySpace, its members were said to exist solely as a series of illustrations by its mononymous leader (referred to as “God”) Yuritan, and any members that didn’t quite fit in would be simply erased…!

Ironically, only one member has so far been touched by the great eraser in the sky; Yuritan herself! Now, an even more mysterious figure is running things, going by the name of Chiitan. Mind you, I call into the question the validity the band’s extensive 12-member line-up, as well as if Yuritan, Chiitan and the rest of them are real people or the imagination of one or a few.

I’m particularly dubious of its chief publicity officer, a talking black cat by the name of Kuroneko. They even have their own Twitter and Tumblr accounts, and have been known to give the odd press interview, too. Mind you, I am being a tad pedantic. Dear Kuroneko isn’t a member of the band proper; cats can’t play instruments; that would be silly.

Sayonara Ponytail have their own manga, too (obviously), which details the history of the group as well as offers greater depth to its members’ personalities and their adventures so far.

In 2014, they made the transition from the pages of manga to the TV screen courtesy of school uniform battle anime Kill la Kill and its second ending theme “Shinsekai Kokyogaku” (New World Symphony). Unfortunately the official video is blocked from the UK, and the group’s catalogue absent from iTunes.

The group hasn’t always been limited to illustrations to express itself. One of their few music videos available outside of Japan is their early single “Mukiryoku Switch”. Now with over 400,000 views, the video sets the mood of the song with playful Japanese schoolgirls jumping around their classroom while generally being a bit daft. The video was directed by Yuki Aoyama, the photographer behind controversial photobook series “Schoolgirl Complex”, which may explain why it’s had such a high view count compared to the group’s other music videos.

Currently, all the signs for Sayonara Ponytail’s future aren’t looking particularly bright. When contacting Sony Music for images to use with this article, I was informed the group no longer belongs to the label, and further research shows that vocalist YuiYukari has just launched her solo career with the cutely titled song “Lovesick Gelato”, just in time for summer. Meanwhile, a new unit consisting of three Sayonara Ponytail members has also started activities under the name Ohayou Twin Tails (I see what you did there…). Check out their first song here. However, for Sayonara Ponytail, it might be time to say goodbye.

Tom Smith runs Japanese music label JPU Records. Kill la Kill Part 3, featuring Sayonara Ponytail’s ending theme, is out now June from Anime Limited on UK DVD and Blu-ray, and features deluxe packaging and bonus content.


  • Avatar for Megane-kun's Ex-Wife (left at the altar)

    Megane-kun's Ex-Wife (left at the altar)

    October 26, 2021 2:02 pm

    The most accurate parts of this article is the mention that Sayonara Ponytail's music videos are region-blocked (which is true for their early catalogue), the mention of manga (which is no longer produced), and their connection to Kill la Kill (the reason for this article). The rest of this article is full of misinformation and distracting insinuations that need some clearing up. I get the impression that writer Tom Smith was assigned a topic that had very little accessible (i.e. English) info available. Thus I'm completely convinced that Mr. Smith, in the quest for information, used this 2011 Wordpress blog post ( as his main source (a somewhat dubious source for any proper article). The writer of that blog has some gripes with the Sayonara Ponytail and their whole anonymity concept in general, so they ultimately produced a not so flattering image of the band; it is not written by someone who actually likes them (fair enough, it is their blog). Unfortunately, the tone of that blog post is carried over into this article, which is a bit obstructive as this is meant to be an informational article about the band (which ultimately doesn't give a whole lot of info). For one, the blog post author relates a one-off joke about "erasing" group members from an interview (this one to be exact They seem to fail to realize it's a joke, take it a bit too seriously, and get flustered about it. In this article, it gets snowballed; now, erasing members is said to be an established practice of the band. Then, there's the blog author's doubts over whether all the members truly exist, which is imported wholesale into this article. Even the blog author's particular suspicions of Kuroneko is borrowed, repackaged, and presented here as Mr. Smith's "own" doubts. The article stops ripping from the blog after this, yet the unflattering tone still remains. The paragraph on the "Mukiryoku Switch" video is a bit of a digression by Mr. Smith, seemingly only present so that he could be condescending about its content. As a result, it attaches more negative association to the band. Then there's the messy last paragraph which really, really wants to paint an image that the band is done for. I'll clear things up: - At the time of this article, Sayonara Ponytail was in between record labels. They would soon sign onto T-Palette Records. So no fault of the author, though the line "Sayonara Ponytail’s future aren’t [sic] looking particularly bright" continues the unnecessary negative tone. - It's YuYu (ゆゆ), not "YuiYukari", which is the occasional strange result of Google translating Yuyu's name from Japanese to English. - Yuyu didn't start a solo career but a solo unit, a branch of the band (a pedantic correction but necessary as the author is trying to paint a misleading image of separation) - Ohayou Twintail is a sister group with three vocalists that are outside of Sayonara Ponytail, though SP's music team composes for them as well. This is forgivable because information on them is, even now, scant. - "However, for Sayonara Ponytail, it might be time to say goodbye." This didn't age well, as the band is still together in 2021. Also, it would've been cheesy, but how did you miss something like "it might indeed be time to say sayonara." Some other things that need correction/clearing up - If you listen to the band long enough, you'll be able to tell that the members (vocalists, composers, and illustrators) are different people and not "the imagination of one or a few." - Yuritan & Chiitan were the band's illustrators (the latter replaced the former), who have since left the band. They were never that band's leaders (more broken telephone from the blog). - "Dear Kuroneko isn’t a member of the band proper", he actually is; he composes music for the band. They're also obviously a real person, I don't know why the blog post writer (and by proxy Mr. Smith) got hung up about this. I'm clearly a fan of Sayonara Ponytail, but I'm mainly annoyed by how Mr. Smith put this article together by misrepresenting one person's doubts (which he presented as his own) to produce a misleading and somewhat negative piece. It's unfortunate that English posts and articles on the band are written by those who are not so interested in them in the first place. However, a fan wiki has been made by people who actually like Sayonara Ponytail. It is still in the works, but check it out if interested And yes, this comment is 6 years late, but hey, better late than never.

    • Avatar for Megane-kun's Ex-Wife (left at the altar)

      Megane-kun's Ex-Wife (left at the altar)

      October 26, 2021 2:04 pm

      FYI, I inserted paragraph breaks in the above comment but apparently this website's formatting ignored it completely! Sorry for the unintentional ugly wall of text


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