By Tom Smith.
The young star behind Sword Art Online II’s first ending theme had a difficult choice to make. Whilst in her second year of high school, Haruna Luna had to juggle her homework and revision time with being a popular model in Japanese street fashion magazine KERA – a gig that led to her modelling for brands and companies, including Tokyo-based department store chain Marui. The tough choice she faced was not which company to work with next, but rather, if she should put modelling on hold while she concentrated on other aspirations.
Luna had always been a huge anime fan. In fact, she ventured into modelling almost entirely because of fantasy series D.Gray-man’s gothic lolita icon, Road Kamelot – it was her experimentations with Road’s style that got Luna noticed in KERA. However, all that progress as a fashion model changed upon witnessing the epicness of Gundam SEED.
Suddenly teenage Luna wanted to give it all up and work in the anime industry instead. Her first step was auditioning for the internet radio play of popular series Rental Magica while her third year of junior high school (around Year 10). She didn’t land a character role, but she was commission to sing the show’s theme song, which led her in the direction of a career in anime music. She later entered Animax’s All-Japan Anime Song Grand Prix (naturally, singing a Gundam SEED track), and made it all the way to the finals.
Although she didn’t win the anime song contest, first place went to Nekomonogatari theme singer Marina Kawano, Luna still managed to secure a record deal with Sony Music. In 2011 she revealed her debut single with the label, “Sora wa Takaku Kaze wa Uta” (The Sky is High and the Wind Sings), and secured her new dream of singing in anime when the track became the second ending theme to hit show Fate/Zero.
Her follow-up single “Overfly” is one of her most popular releases outside of Japan. The music video to the track has racked up nearly five million views on her international YouTube channel at the time of writing. An amazing achievement when you consider that she has zero promotion outside of Japan. It was also her first track in the Sword Art Online franchise, and was the second ending theme to the first series.
One of Haruna Luna’s most recent releases, taken from her newest album Candy Lips (click the link for its iTunes link) sees the singer return to Sword Art Online, this time for the second series with her song Startear. Oddly enough, this one isn’t available officially on YouTube… but it is available on iTunes along with the rest of her anime-inspired catalogue.