Featured Artist of the Month: Tomoko Kawase
The woman with the two (or three?) faces. She is the face behind the cheery, bubbly and cutesy Tommy February6 and the dangerous, rebellious and dark Tommy Heavenly6. We count down my Top 10 favorite songs from her as we count down some 10 fun trivias about Tomoko Kawase!
How to identify her in her different egos?
February6 = Has glasses, cutesy, drinks liquor, has cheerleaders as back-up
Heavenly6 = No glasses, spunky, gothic theme, has her band as back-up
but both of them have = Random music videos and cuteness of course!
Now let’s get on with my top 10 fave songs from her, accompanied with trivias and pics!!!
BONUS: Ash Like Snow [The Brilliant Green]
Tomoko Kawase was first the lead vocalist and lyricist of the J-pop band the brilliant green. She was asked to join the band in 1995 after bassist Shunsaku Okuda and guitarist Ryo Matsui heard her sing in an amateur talent contest. [btw, Ash Like Snow was the OP for Gundam 00]
10: BLOOMIN’! [February]
Tommy February6: Her original intention with Tommy february6 was to create a character who was far from innocent, though cute in both sound and appearance; Tommy february6 was designed to be someone who was true to her feelings despite the cutesy nature of her outward character, do as she wanted (and as such, Tommy february6 is seen repeatedly in music videos drinking alcohol from flasks, bars, etc.) Unfortunately, the original concept started to disappoint her, and Kawase began to feel that the character could no longer maintain its purity.
09: I’m Gonna SCREAM+ [Heavenly]
Tommy Heavenly6: She then took off her glasses and donned a much more alternative look to create Tommy heavenly6, a brand new character with a modern rock sound. Kawase would later explain that Tommy heavenly6 was born from a dream that Tommy february6 had, in which she extrovertly embraces all the elements of her personality she had previously been repressing. This is reflected in the promotional video for Tommy heavenly6‘s first single, Wait Till I Can Dream, wherein Tommy february6 drinks from a hip flask and falls asleep, only to be woken by Tommy heavenly6. Musically, she’s the polar opposite of Tommy february6, and possesses an image most people would consider more dangerous, but Kawase claims that Tommy heavenly6 is far more pure and true to her heart than Tommy february6 is.
8: PRAY [Heavenly]
This is the 1st OP of the anime, Gintama.
7: Everyday At The Bus Stop [February]
She sings and writes songs in both Japanese and English. Although she reportedly does not speak much English, she does have an English-speaking friend who sometimes runs a quick check through her lyrics, but his input is often minimal at best.
6: Heavy Starry Chain [Heavenly]
Kawase claims that the invention of Tommy heavenly6 occurred due of her disappointment in Tommy february6‘s character, but far from being a replacement, Kawase chose to keep the two characters’ careers separate. During 2003 and 2004, Tommy heavenly6 released only two singles, whilst Tommy february6 went on to release her second full album, Tommy airline. It would be in August 2005 (nearly exactly two years after her first single) that Tommy heavenly6 would finally release her third single, which was shortly followed by her own long awaited eponymous debut album.
5: L・O・V・E・L・Y [February]
Whilst in character as Tommy february6, Kawase seems to have a distinct pre-occupation with Pikachu from the anime/video game franchise Pokémon, so much so that her song L・O・V・E・L・Y ～夢見るLOVELY BOY～ has been dedicated to the character. The single’s cover features a picture of Tommy february6 lovingly embracing a giant plush Pikachu.  The music also featured on the ending of the 7th Pokémon Movie, Destiny Deoxys.
4: PAPERMOON [Heavenly]
This is the 2nd OP of one my current favorite animes, Soul Eater.
3: Lonely in Gorgeous [February]
This is the OP theme for Paradise Kiss. This music video is partly an homage to the famous music video of Sabotage by the Beastie Boys.
2: Hey My Friend [Heavenly]
She was married to a fellow band mate, bassist Shunsaku Okuda. The marriage was announced at November 23, 2003. Btw, this song is played on the J-movie Kamikaze Girls.
1: Love is Forever [February]
WARNING: SEVERE EXTREME CUTENESS
She’s born February 6, 1975… Yes. She’s 33 years old.
So that ends my countdown!!! That’s also my new feature for this blog. I’m really a fan of her music and I think that the alter-ego thing is just plain awesome. She’s really talented and woah at her being 33!!! Tomoko Kawase will be releasing her 10th new single under Tommy Heavenly6, entitled Unlimited Sky soon!