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|Genres||Pop, rock, trance|
Avex Trax (2006–2007)
|Past members||Riyu Kosaka|
BeForU were a Japanese pop group that performed music primarily for the Bemani series of rhythm games. BeForU debuted in 2000 with their song "Dive", which was notable as being the first Japanese pop song in the Dance Dance Revolution series. BeForU was produced by Naoki Maeda, one of the lead Konami musical producers. In 2006, the group made their major label debut under Avex Trax.
First generation (2000)
- Riyu Kosaka (小坂りゆ, Kosaya Riyu, born January 17, 1985)
- Noria Shiraishi (白石紀亜, Shiraishi Noria, born September 12, 1981) - graduated December 30, 2007.
- Yoma Komatsu (小松代真, Komatsu Yoma, born December 30, 1975) - left December 12, 2007.
- Shiyuna Maehara (前原しゆな, Maehara Shiyuna, born November 30, 1979) - left in 2004
Second generation (2004)
- Miharu Arisawa (有沢みはる, Arisawa Miharu, born September 4, 1989) - left December 12, 2007.
- Lisa Sotohana (外花りさ, Sotohana Risa, born January 28, 1988) - graduated December 30, 2007.
- Sayaka Minami (南さやか, Minami Sayaka, born December 24, 1983) - left in April, 2008
Third generation (2008)
- Megumi Fukushita (福下恵美, Fukushita Megumi, born April 24, 1984)
- Ayano Tachibana (立花彩野, Tachibana Ayano, born March 8, 1988)
- Hiromi Nishiuchi (西内裕美, Nishiuchi Hiromi, born February 14, 1989)
The first generation
BeForU began as a competition for a new J-pop group singing for Konami and their bemani series of video games, namely Dance Dance Revolution. The four winners were chosen for their talent, ability and emphasis. They were Riyu Kosaka at age 15, Noria Shiraishi at age 19, Yoma Komatsu at age 26, and Shiyuna Maehara at 21. Their first single "Dive" was promoted widely throughout the J-Pop community and was featured in the film Wasabi. "Dive" made its first appearance on DDR Extra Mix, and its official debut on DDR 5th Mix.
"BeForU" is a play on words and was the winning result of a contest to name the group. The group name is both a reference to the Dance Dance Revolution song "B4U" from 4th Mix and a play on the words "before you." In another play on words, when BeForU originally formed, they had four members. In DDR -Max- 6th Mix, BeForU released another song entitled "Firefly". Riyu also performed two solos which were then released on her first solo single, "true...". By DDR -Max 2- 7th Mix, Shiyuna was the only member of the group that had not received a solo in any Bemani game. As a group, they released another song entitled "Break Down!", that was later re-arranged for Guitar Freaks and DrumMania. Yoma debuted as a soloist with her song ever snow, her only solo song at her time she was in the group. Their eponymous first album BeForU was released on November 28, 2003. In 2004, Shiyuna left BeForU group to pursue other venues. She was the only BeForU member without any solos.
New members and Avex label
After Shiyuna's departure in 2004, BeForU had another contest for two new members. Somewhere along the line, there was a tie for either first or second place, so the grand total became six instead of five. The additions were Miharu Arisawa, Sayaka Minami, and Risa Sotohana. These girls would form the second generation of BeForU known as BeForU NEXT. This new generation of BeForU debuted with their single "KI・SE・KI", released on November 18, 2004. This song was released as a CD-single and was featured in DDR Festival, both released on the same day. BeForU released a new album, BeForU II, on February 14, 2006. They also performed live for the first time, which was released later that year, on DVD as BeForU FIRST LIVE at ZeppTokyo 2006.
From that point, there were no releases on CD until a Bemani secret live event in which Riyu Kosaka and Noria revealed that they had signed onto the Avex label and would subsequently release a single each. In the following month, BeForU soon followed and released the single "Red Rocket Rising" on November 1, 2006. On December 22, 2006, BeForU released Get set Go!! BeForU Astronauts Set, which contained the song Get set GO!!. Their single "Strike Party!!!" followed, and was released on January 17, 2007. "Strike Party!!!" is featured during the ending credits of the 3rd season of the anime MAJOR. They also released an EP called 6Notes on March 3 that was under their Be+Wings Records label. Each of the 6 songs is a solo by each member. This CD was only available at live events and on their website and as of February 29, 2008, is no longer available.
BeForU's third album, BeForU III: Breaking Into the Probability Changes was released on March 14, 2007 under the Avex label. Following this, BeForU returned to Zepp Tokyo and performed live for BeForU LIVE 2007 at Zepp Tokyo and a DVD was released later. The next single released by the group was "Yoru Hanabi", released on July 11, 2007. Following its release, the group was quiet for the rest of that year, though Riyu continued to release solo singles.
On December 12, 2007 Riyu announced on her blog that due to illness, Miharu Arisawa would retire from the group. Similarly, Yoma Komatsu had chosen to depart for personal reasons. Their departures were effective immediately, and as such, these two members would be unable to perform at a scheduled concert on December 30, where a "graduation" took place for Noria and Risa Sotohana. These two members planned to move on to solo careers.
Third generation and Indefinite hiatus
On February 15, 2008, the Be+Wings site was reopened and it was announced that three new members would be joining the group. The new members are Ayano Tachibana, Hiromi Nishiuchi and Megumi Fukushita. A new song entitled "Kimi to Sora to Zutto" was announced at Riyu's Carnival and the 3rd Generation performed it, without Sayaka due to illness. Sayaka later announced that her recuperating was not going well, and that she had left the group.
The debut of the third generation, as well as Riyu's solo concert was filmed and released on DVD as BeForU/Four Piece Riyu Kosaka/Live 2008. The first official single from the group followed on September 10, 2008, but not on the Avex label. Instead, it released on their new label, Gambit (Sheeps Eyes). This single, "Shangri-La" was a cover of a Denki Groove song of the same name. Their next album, also titled Shangri-La but written in katakana (シャングリラ) this time, followed on October 8, 2008. There have been no recent news or updates about the group since 2009 and their website no longer exists. There has also been no mention of BeForU on members' blogs. It is assumed that BeForU was disbanded shortly after the release of シャングリラ.
As of November 21, 2008, BeForU songs have been cut from Beatmania IIDX 16: Empress and as of December 26, 2008 the majority of BeForU songs were cut from Dance Dance Revolution X. Solo songs have been removed in some places as well. Some BeForU songs have been revived in Dance Dance Revolution X2 and Beatmania IIDX 18: Resort Anthem.
- BeForU II
- BeForU III
- Shangri-La (シャングリラ)
- Beforu -Official Website
- [https://web.archive.org/web/20110710234114/http://reader.feedshow.com/show_items-feed=c182719caa262e83fedc1a8368e34d4b Archived 2011-07-10 at the Wayback Machine 小坂りゆのメッセージ ブログ[FeedShow RSS reader]]