Music Mondays: Shocking Lemon


A band whose sound and influence marked the 00’s era of anime.

A lot of what Shocking Lemon, an alternative jrock band, touched within their lifetime was treated as gold. A distinct sound and grungy vibe can be felt in most works they have been associated with. Being that I feel like they were a bit under appreciated, I hope to bring to light the lost potential of the band and their guitarist Hideki Taniuchi.

“Inner Light” by Shocking Lemon, Hajime No Ippo OP2

Exiting the late nineties, alternative rock found solid footing as the mainstream form of rock across the globe. Shocking Lemon’s style followed this well, but with lower guitar notes and a note holding vocalist who’s range wasn’t anything special. It was a growing trend with most Japanese bands who birthed from a genre dominated by established and well respected legends like The Pillows. A punk aesthetic with a never give up tone sums up the era of mainstream rock from 1993 up until the mid 2000’s.

“Star Star” by Shocking Lemon

Shocking Lemon benefited well during this era under the wing an extremely popular series of the time, Hajime No Ippo, producing some it’s most memorable themes “Under Star” and “Inner Light”.  The fast paced building tempo before their cruising choruses stand out as a notable trait within most charted songs that they brought to the table.

“Under Star” by Shocking Lemon, Hajime No Ippo OP1

During the peak of their popularity, guitarist Hideki Taniuchi decided to carry some of his established style into other well recieved shows. Notably, Kaiji and Death Note, which contain some of my favorite themes in all of anime. With the help of Yoshihisa Hirano, he made Death Note’s soundtrack one of the best out there; resonating with anime fans who were lucky enough to experience the power house during it’s run on television.

Sadly, Shocking Lemon disbanded in 2007, around the time when most alt.rock bands were becoming a thing of a past and more emo-pop-punk started to thrive in the spotlight. We will also never see the rest of Hideki Taniuchi’s rock solid career as he was arrested in 2012 for possession of marijuana which is considered a serious offense in Japan. His future in the industry is pretty much over as scandals like these ruin people’s image for life.

In conclusion, a lot of what the members of Shocking Lemon were able to produce are solid examples of the music used in the 00’s era of anime. This type of sound is vindicative of that time and place I watched these shows. It’s hard not to be nostalgic for a sound that was so distinct. Hell, a claim can be made that Death Note’s soundtrack is a reason why the orchestral genre is so prevalent in shows today. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed listening. Have a great Monday.


About Kefka
Writer for NeoParadigm City. Aspiring Jpop gravure idol. Look out Shakira.

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