Do you remember a few years ago when One Punch Man first aired and everyone was obsessed with the intense opening song “THE HERO! ~Ikareru Kobushi ni Honō wo Tsukero~”? Understandably, too, because that song really slapped! The band that brought you that number is JAM Project. “JAM” is an acronym standing for Japan Animationsong Makers. That’s right — JAM Project declares that they are anison artists right in their name! From their conception over twenty years ago, that was their goal. And they have more than achieved it, with a huge discography of anime and game music under their belts.
Flash-forward to now, and JAM Project is still hard at work putting out new anison music! Next season, the opening for Getter Robo Arc is “Bloodlines ~Unmei no Kettou,” JAM Project’s latest song. But we are getting ahead of ourselves! Let’s have a quick look at this anison band’s incredible career.
One Punch Man opening “THE HERO! ~Ikareru Kobushi ni Honō wo Tsukero~” by JAM Project
JAM Project was born in 2000 by veteran anison singer Ichirou Mizuki’s desire to bring back the style of older, more energetic, and powerful anime songs. The style for anime openings had changed a lot from what it used to be, and he wanted to bring that old magic back to the new audiences. Alongside Hironobu Kageyama and Masaaki Endou, also veterans in the genre, JAM Project was born. While many of the members would change over the next two decades, these three originals are still a part of the band today. JAM Project’s first big partnership began just a year later with the game series Super Robot Wars, which they would go on to produce a lot of music for in the coming years, and helped solidify them in the world of otaku music.
Ichirou Mizuki had already gained fame for his work on Kamen Rider, Space Captain Harlock, and more (he’s done music for more than 40 series now!). Kageyama was famous for his work on Dragon Ball Z, and Endou for doing covers of other famous anime songs. Two more people were added to this already star-studded trio, Masami Okui (Slayers, One Piece, Revolutionary Girl Utena) and Yoshiki Fukuyama (Macross 7). All those big names in one band created with the purpose of making anime music set JAM Project off to the best possible start for a new group.
Nothing Can Stop Them!
“The Age of Dragon Knights” 20th Anniversary Album by JAM Project
By 2005, JAM Project already had connections to another anime series they would work on for years to come, Garo. The band performed nearly every song for the series, both anime and live-action. Just 8 years after JAM Project’s formation, they were performing internationally at anime conventions in America, Europe, and even the Middle East. JAM Project’s goal of creating anime songs that made people feel nostalgic for the “good old days” or anime music was clearly working as their success just kept growing.
2015 was when JAM Project performed "THE HERO! ~Ikareru Kobushi ni Honō wo Tsukero~" for the opening of One Punch man, which gained them all new fans. One Punch Man was quite a different style of anime from Garo, Super Robot Wars, and most of JAM Project’s other big series. And of course, a new audience and new fans mean even more success. The music video for "THE HERO! ~Ikareru Kobushi ni Honō wo Tsukero~" gained more than 50 thousand views on YouTube.
2020 was a rough year for most, and JAM Project was no exception. It was the band’s 20th anniversary, but sadly their huge anniversary tour had to be cancelled due to COVID. JAM Project still released a special album called “The Age of Dragon Knights,” working alongside other huge names in the anison industry like GRANRODEO, Flow, and Yuki Kajiura. Despite this, the future of the band was uncertain when everything had to be put on hold.
But luckily for fans, a new documentary called “Get Over - JAM Project the Movie” was released, showing everyone that JAM Project was not ready to throw in the towel just yet. After a small break from making any music, the band returned to the anison scene with plans to continue making music for the foreseeable future. They have even announced a new tour, starting this autumn. We will be looking forward to hearing their song for Getter Robo Arc, “Bloodlines ~Unmei no Kettou.”
JAM Project has contributed so much to the anime and game world in the last twenty years. It certainly would have been a shame if they had been another victim of the COVID pandemic and stopped their amazing career. Luckily for anison fans everywhere, that isn’t going to be the case! We have our fingers crossed that the next decade of hits from JAM Project will be just as successful as the last two were, and we will be looking forward to where the future takes them. After all, many things only get better with age, and JAM Project seems to be following suit.
Are you a JAM Project fan? What’s your favourite song by them? Did you know much about them before this article? Are you going to listen to more of their music now? Let us know in the comments!