Do you know who Tōru Kitajima is? How about TK? Maybe you’ve heard of the band Ling tosite Sigure? Ah, I’m sure that name had many otakus nodding their heads! Ling tosite Sigure are quite a famous band in the anisong world. What you may NOT know is that one of their three vocalists, whose stage name is TK, actually has quite a solo career as well! And within his solo work, he has done quite a few anime songs - his most famous being “Unravel” from Tokyo Ghoul.
Today we are going to take a look at who TK is, and some more of the music he has produced for the otaku world. If you didn’t know his name before today, you’ll definitely remember it now!
A Breakthrough as a Soloist
TK was born Tōru Kitajima in Tokyo, Japan, though he never goes by that name when performing. Instead, he uses simply TK or TK from Ling tosite Sigure to identify himself. Since the formation of Ling tosite Sigure in 2002, TK has served as the main vocalist, lead guitarist, and songwriter for the band. 9 years later in 2011, TK began his solo career. Since branching out from Ling tosite Sigure, TK has released four albums. He has also collaborated with a number of other J-rock artists, including the Boom Boom Satellites and Aimer - and of course, with Ling tosite Sigure, too!
As a soloist, TK has also had a lot of chances to work on the production of music, with countless songs to his name in the past decade. He has also been able to be experimental with his music, releasing a lot of different versions and rewrites of his songs (like an acoustic version of “Unravel”). All the while, he has remained actively a part of Ling tosite Sigure, too. It’s clear that TK is really passionate about the music he makes, and he’s working hard to produce as much of it as he can!
The Impact of Tokyo Ghoul
TK “Unravel” from Tokyo Ghoul (Opening 1)
We already mentioned that TK is the talent behind “Unravel” from Tokyo Ghoul, a song that was actually nominated for the best theme song at the Newtype Anime Awards back in 2015. But while that might be where TK’s anisong career began, it’s certainly not where it ended. Let’s have a look at some of his other stuff; maybe you will even recognise a song you’ve rocked out to before!
After the success of “Unravel,” TK released another single called “Signal.” This song served as the opening for 91 Days. Fast-forward a few years to 2018, and TK was back to working on Tokyo Ghoul. His single “Katharsis” was the opening song for Tokyo Ghoul:re, the new season of the hit anime. That same year, TK landed a very rare honour. He was the voice behind “P.S Red I,” which is the main theme for the Japanese release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse! It was released the following year in 2019. That movie has become synonymous with its great music, and TK was able to leave his mark on the Japanese soundtrack. It’s definitely worth a listen to if you haven’t heard it yet and loved the rest of the music in the Western releases of the film, as his style fits right in.
TK “Signal” from 91 Days (Full Ver.)
TK’s anisong career may not be very long yet, but it’s only been a few years. And let’s face it, the songs he had produced have been awesome! Here’s hoping for some great new TK anime openings in the future.
TK “P.S RED I” from Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
Not only has TK had a successful music career with Ling tosite Sigure, he has also found a lot of success as a solo artist. His distinct sound sets him apart from other bands, so it’s easy to know when an anime opening comes on that it’s probably TK behind the vocals. We hope we have helped you recognise his name and his voice for the next time you hear it, as well as discover more of his awesome music! Happy listening!
What TK song is your favourite? Do you love one of his anisong hits? Is there another anisong band or solo artist you would like to learn more about? Don’t forget to leave a comment!