By Tom Smith.
Following a date from hell, Ken Kaneki’s life as a run-of-the-mill freshman becomes a distant memory. Suddenly evenings spent nose-deep in library books are replaced with brawling local ghouls, searching for fresh blood and the occasional bit of studying too (student life, eh). It’s all too-much too-soon for Tokyo Ghoul’s main protagonist, a bit like the band responsible for the series’ ending theme: People in the Box.
The three-piece post-rock band originally formed in Fukuoka in 2003, before being picked up by Tokyo’s premiere indie-rock management company Zankyo, perhaps most famous for their work with guitar powerhouse 9mm Parabellum Bullet.
After landing a major record deal with Nippon Crown (the same label as SUGIZO, GACKT and MAN WITH A MISSION), the band started relentlessly touring and releasing EPs, including 2012’s aptly titled “People in the Box vs. The Van Tour”. It saw them join Zankyo’s own te’, a flood of circle (who are performing in London this February, and insist that their name is spelt lowercase) and a bunch of other bands that somehow managed to cram into a van and hit nine Japanese cities together.
Around the same time, Zankyo decided to set up a UK office to promote and release a selection of their finest artists from Japan and overseas. In the end four bands were chosen; Sheffield’s mighty 65daysofstatic and the band’s programmer’s side project Polinski, as well as People in the Box and te’ from Japan. People in the Box managed to release two albums in that time through the UK office, Ave Materia, which was (and still is) only available digitally through Zankyo’s Bandcamp page, and 2014’s Weather Report, which did get a very limited UK release as a 21-track CD through the UK office.
Unfortunately, much as how Ken Kaneki’s grades took a dive due to him being transformed into a half-human at the most inappropriate time possible, People in the Box’s official UK presence petered out also at the worst time – just as they were about to land a huge deal that would later propel the band forwards across the world. They landed their excellent song Seijatachi (“The Saint”) as the ending theme to hit anime Tokyo Ghoul.
At the time of writing, Zankyo UK seems to have disappeared and been replaced by a single Bandcamp page for all international fans. On it, you’ll exclusively find the digital editions of some of their artists’ catalogue, as well as limited amounts of physical CDs and merchandise, as found in their People in the Box section. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of Seijatachi available in any formats across the site.
Tokyo Ghoul: Complete Season One is available on UK DVD and Blu-ray from Anime Ltd.