The opening theme for the new series of Attack on Titan is to be performed by Japan’s biggest rock band.
X Japan have collaborated with L’Arc-en-Ciel and Vamps frontman Hyde to record the song “Red Swan”. The track will get its world premiere on 10th July at the Anime Expo in Los Angeles, where the news was announced. There the opening episode will be aired with subtitles, with a dubbed version airing the following day. The series itself will begin broadcasting in Japan on 23rd July.
The news will see two of the biggest pop culture phenomena in Japan combining. The horror series Attack on Titan is one of the best-selling manga in history, selling 74 million print copies as of May 2018. The series will continue to follow the adventures of Erin Yeager and his comrades in the Survey Corps as they attempt to find a way to stop the gigantic man-eating Titans that threaten humanity.
X Japan are often seen as the biggest rock band in Japan. The pioneers of the visual kei movement, the group were once dubbed by The Times as “the world’s unluckiest band”, due to a combination of suicides of two members of the band, illness which threatened to stop the band’s frontman Yoshiki from ever playing the drums again, and the band splitting for 10 years due to their singer Toshi being brainwashed by a cult. The unluckiness even extended to their recent performance at the Coachella festival in April, where they ended up having to perform at the exact same time as headline act Beyoncé. The group have not released an album since 1996, so this new track may be seen as an indication that their long-awaited sixth album may be released sooner rather than later. Regarding anime, X Japan’s music has been used in film versions of Clamp’s X and Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha.
Hyde meanwhile is best known as lead singer and guitarist for rock band L’Arc-en-Ciel, and for the duo Vamps. L’Arc-en-Ciel have provided several themes for anime, including Rurouni Kenshin, Fullmetal Alchemist (the original TV series and the Conqueror of Shamballa film), Moribito and Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Vamps meanwhile have provided music for Bakuman.
Attack on Titan Series Three will be streamed on Crunchyroll (subtitled) and Funimation (dubbed).