Seiyuu Digest kicks off with this issue, covering one of the most impactful units in the seiyuu industry, 2014’s monster rookies, Lagrange Point.
Note: This article was updated in May 2021.
What is Lagrange Point?
Lagrange Point is a duo part of the Pythagoras Production franchise (best known as Marginal #4 franchise), with their music being distributed by Rejet.
The duo, consisting of Shy (CV: Toshiyuki Toyonaga) and Kira (CV: Genki Okawa), was announced as part of the franchise in 2014 as the veteran group that would steer/teach the “new kids on the block” Marginal #4 on how to be stars.
The group was readily featured in Marginal#4‘s PSvita game Idol of Supernova (released in 2014) and made their live debut in August 2014 with a performance during Rejet’s 24 hours broadcast 夏祭り～アリノママデ～ 2014 (Natsu Matsuri ari no mama de 2014).
The event was the first of its kind in Japan. For 24 hours, Rejet broadcasted special videos, promotional videos, drama CDs, Marginal #4‘s songs, and Lagrange Point‘s debut single previews. Among those contents, there was even time to promote and announce new projects.
In the following video, Toyonaga and Genki sit to talk about their debut, their overview of the single, broken things, and finally perform the single CATASTROPHE live.
Over the years, the group has shown a lot of quality on both the vocal and performances end.
From their theatrical performances to insanely difficult singing parts and even pretty intense choreographies, this duo has managed to pull everything thrown at them.
The cast: musical theatre experience trumps
Lagrange Point consist of Toshiyuki Toyonaga and Genki Okawa.
Toshiyuki Toyonaga is well-known for being a vocal powerhouse as well as one of the most sought-after voice actors for 2D music projects. Fellow seiyuu as well as fans dub him as the best singer among male seiyuu and it is more than justified.
Over the years, Toyonaga has showcased his singing chops for both musical theatre, his solo career – that, at the time Lagrange Point had debuted, was relatively fresh (his solo debut was in 2014) – as well as character songs.
As soon as 2D idol projects started to turn into a trend – around 2015 -, fans started to hear more and more of Toyonaga. The seiyuu industry knew his talent as a singer and it was no wonder he was being invited to participate in 2D music projects.
Rejet was the first company to bet on him for 2D idol projects and is one with which Toyonaga still, from time to time, gets roles in new 2D music projects.
His performances as part of Lagrange Point in 2014 opened the doors for Toyonaga to establish himself as a reference for all seiyuu wanting to showcase their singing skills however, he set the bar incredibly high in terms of quality as well as versatility.
Toyonaga has one of the widest vocal ranges among male seiyuu, covering his natural tenor range (and higher, sometimes pretty close to female range) as well as baritone without any difficulties.
In his skillset, Toyonaga has a natural vibrato, insane control over “head voice”, crystal clear falsetto, and has impressive active listening skills that enable him to harmonize on the spot with any seiyuu he’s put together within a group.
When you have Toyonaga in a 2D group, you know he will – intentionally or unintentionally – steal the spotlight with his emotional and dramatic performances and refined singing skills.
Rejet knew about his talent at the time of the casting but I believe they were not aware of how lucky they were by casting a vocal chameleon that has never delivered a weak or bad performance in his life. Talk about hitting the jackpot.
Traditionally a stage actor with plenty of experience in musical acting, Genki Okawa was an unknown name when he was cast as Kira in the Pythagoras Production franchise.
Those aware of his perfectionism and complete dedication to his craft knew that Okawa was arriving to shake things up. At the same time he was trying to join the seiyuu industry – to diversify his repertoire as well as for genuine passion for the industry -, and this proved to be a good project to start with.
So, the wide majority of people in 2014 didn’t know what to expect of him.
Genki Okawa has grown quite a lot as a singer – making the famous and quite difficult transition between musical singing and pop singing -, being now on a pretty high level complementary to Toyonaga’s power vocals.
His strength from day 1 lied in his ability to dance and singing without any difficulties as such, Lagrange Point quickly stood out for their fancy performances with quite the energetic and dramatic choreographies, something that other 2D groups didn’t have when the cast had to perform live.
His chemistry with Toyonaga – with whom he’d worked in the Prince of Tennis musicals – was also key to make the group sound natural from day 1.
As with all Pythagoras Production units, Lagrange Point has behind them an interesting pair: MIKOTO and Daisuke Iwasaki. MIKOTO is a seasoned veteran in the music industry having produced/arranged/composed music for several artists and seiyuu artists (or seiyuu unit projects) over more than a decade.
Daisuke Iwasaki has shown his talent not only as Rejet‘s CEO but also as the resident lyricist for most of the music projects the company has produced and managed.
Even though his lyrics tend to be a bit nonsensical at times – at least when it comes to the English parts -, he’s managed to write several catchy and even emotional lyrics over the years.
The music journey
The impressive debut
It would be an understatement to say that Lagrange Point’s debut was impressive.
In 2014, with very few 2D projects – and thus, groups – active in the industry (Utapri franchise, Pythagoras Production, THE IDOLM@STER SideM, DYNAMIC CHORD franchise), therefore it was relatively easy to make a good, lasting impression. However, there was more to that impression that Lagrange Point left.
They were one of the very first 2D units taking the stage as a 3D unit that could flawlessly sing and dance on stage.
It was something natural to the musical theatre-trained Toyonaga and Okawa and people started to point out how good they sounded and looked on stage.
It was a whole new level of live performance that impressed and put Lagrange Point on a pedestal for quite some time in terms of the minimum standard for a 2D group: dance and singing on point.
Some people will say “but what about the Utapri franchise?” Part of the cast refused to dance in a live setting so while they were impressing everyone with their catchy songs, they seriously lacked in the performance side.
“But what about the SideM franchise?” While the SideM franchise has been about seiyuu with genuine singing + instrument playing skills giving their all as characters that aim at being idols, the few groups that had to dance + sing back in 2014 were seriously lacking a balance or natural approach to both.
Marginal #4, also in the Pythagoras Production franchise, had a bit of singing and dancing skills but seriously lacked consistency with their live performances standing out for a wide variety of crazy reasons that ranged from forgotten lyrics to voice cracks (due to unproperly warmed up vocal cords), as well as the discrepancy between singing and dancing skills.
Thus, Lagrange Point arrived to even the field and, in a way, set a new bar of what should be expected of seiyuu part of 2D groups that have to perform live.
All projects I mentioned above have since improved a lot and, in some cases, the groups have cranked up their quality and achieved a perfect balance in both dance + singing skills (for example SideM’s DRAMATIC STARS and S.E.M.).
Lagrange Point heavily contributed for that rise in the quality of all 2D groups on a live setting.
Lagrange Point made their debut in 2014 with the stellar single “CATASTROPHE“.
This was a single that showed the group was embracing a captivating rock sound with pop lyrics on top. They mixed uptempo songs with ballads in a way that worked seriously well for them.
Their versatility showed in all songs, tackling different music genres and tempos, adjusting their emotional range and delivery to match the quality of the instrumentals.
That was a monster debut by a 2D group that was pretty much being treated as a 3D act by Rejet – from their presentation to the small showcase – and fans were loving every second of it.
So, Lagrange Point made a stellar debut. At that time I said that:
” (…) a seiyuu unit with good chemistry, a lot of untapped talent, and will to grow, Lagrange Point seem to be on the path to becoming one of the most successful seiyuu units in the music industry and show that Rejet’s on a roll with both their seiyuu units doing amazing feats. (…)”
It’s kind of interesting going back and reading that enthusiasm that I had about Lagrange Point and their talents – I still believe they are one of the best 2D units – but little did I know that Rejet would eventually do their now already well-known mismanagement of the units in the Pythagoras Production franchise and thus, Lagrange Point never got to be as popular and successful as I’d imagined.
Soon after the release of “CATASTROPHE“, Rejet announced that Lagrange Point was going to release “BLACK SWAN“, single that, to this day (I’m re-reviewing/updating this feature in 2021) is still their best work to date.
This was the single that solidified their stance as one of the best 2D units in the industry, despite their – now – lack of popularity.
Black Swan impressed everyone when it was released in October 2014. After all the hype created around them thanks to the stellar debut with “Catastrophe“, people were expecting a lot from them for their second single.
What we all got was something even more impressive. Lagrange Point‘s romantic rock started to take shape with this release.
The title track is a refined piece that has in its core Tchaikovsky‘s Swan Lake Op.20-Suite, Iii. Danse Des Petits Cygnes – a beautiful and unexpected addition to the song. The whole ambient during the very first seconds into the song transported listeners to a different setting. The refinement of the XVI century balls was captured flawlessly.
But if that wasn’t enough to impress everyone, the rest of the instrumental sure did the trick. Mixing rock with classical music is no easy feat but MIKOTO sure handled this song in the perfect way.
The classical vibe blended with the high voltage guitar riffs and powerful drums in what is a thoroughly exciting performance.
But perhaps their most iconic songs is “Never Sorrow“. The emotional baggage that song carries easily puts that song on the pedestal of best seiyuu unit song. It’s not easy to create a song as complete as this one.
If we talk about this song we need to mention about the guitar work and vocal performances. That long guitar lick during the intro was more than enough to let everyone know what they were in for.
The solemn pace let every single emotion sink in, making the more powerful than expected. Then the guitar solo sounded like it was crying, longing for someone, adding the finishing touches to the emotional blow. Okawa and Toyonaga‘s vocal performances took this song to greater heights.
If there is something that a power-ballad needs it’s powerful, emotional performances and both of them went all-in with it. Even though Okawa was an okay singer at that time, his performance in Never Sorrow caught me by surprise in a good way.
Given how high the bar had been raised for them, it was important for Okawa to match it and Toyonaga‘s powerful performances. He nailed it with a consistent, emotional performance that impressed everyone.
Never Sorrow was an instant favorite, as well as the best song released that year by a seiyuu unit. The rest of the single might not have been as fantastic as the first too songs but thankfully they didn’t completely hinder the experience.
Lagrange Point were now riding on a lot of momentum with two hit singles over their shoulders.
2015 is, indeed, Lagrange Point‘s year. Making good use of their momentum and adding some more with each new release made during the year, they were simply unstoppable. As much as other units wanted to stand out, it was impossible not to be overshadowed by this talented duo.
Ai, Dokusai -SAMURAI- was released in January 2015 and presented a completely revamped sonority. Shamisen and guitars were together for the first time for this Japanese-centric release. Lagrange Point‘s sound was fiercer than ever.
The instrumentals were exciting and completely different from what was being released during that year. Edgy guitar riffs and shamisen turned out to be a fantastic mix because the title track was an instant hit. At that time we reviewed the single.
“(…)Ai, Dokusai -SAMURAI- features a clash of timeless titans: the rocking guitars and the traditional Japanese shamisen. An exotic mix that, if used with smarts, will make any song shine way more than your traditional rock track. (…)”
The vocal performances were surprisingly high quality and showcased the versatility within this unit. Perfect harmonies, melodic, energetic performances wowed everyone. Okawa improved a lot in just a couple of months, displaying solid mid-tones and even tackling rap for the title track.
Other highlight in this release was the smooth sounding Shoot Out, a song with a completely different vibe. New wave synths took their place for that song, adding an industrial pop-rock vibe to the whole piece.
Akatsuki gata ni, shoyu was the group’s first jazz incursion.
There was still that romantic, longing vibe that is on every single Lagrange Point song but it was a nice change of pace that showed everyone that they could, if they wanted, change their sound and still be as amazing as they were with their trademark pop-rock sound.
A couple of months later, more precisely in April, Lagrange Point released their first-ever Best of album LagJuliet. The album included all previous singles as well as two new tracks, LUV EXODUS and Nan-Boo-No-Mon-Ja-E.
LUV EXODUS showed a different side to their sound. It was sexy and fierce at the same time and it still had their romantic vibe lingering in the lyrics.
“(…) Bringing an alternative (new wave music) into Lagrange Point‘s repertoire, LUV EXODUS is breath of fresh air and a big surprise in this release. It’s a mid-tempo track more focused on the bass and the synths – the guitars go to the background for the majority of the song only coming forward in the chorus to add even more emotion to the strong vocal performances. The vocal performances live up to this new approach to Lagrange‘s sound. (…)”
Nan-Boo-No-Mon-Ja-E had a 50s touch that made the song standout in their repertoire.
For a change, the duo was performing a fun, upbeat song and they sounded great. It was not their typical song but their take was spot on as well as tasteful.
One month later, the group was back at it with yet another single. Beautiful Phantom was an unexpected release. After the Best Of, fans were expecting another rock-driven release what they got was quite different.
Beautiful Phantom had an undeniable French touch that either impressed or put off the listener. The reactions were rather mixed among fans with some praising their change of sound while others wanted their exciting songs back.
I found Beautiful Phantom not only a laidback romantic title track that was a breath of fresh air for them but also one step forward to improving their sound and polishing their skills. If the title track wasn’t enough to impress, their performance in Red Buzzer Beat made my jaw drop.
It was sexy and playful, taking the listener to the classy ambient of a jazz club. Their vocals were put to test and the results were more than satisfying.
Okawa and Toyonaga showed everyone their versatile vocals and impressive chemistry in what was one of their best performances. It was also the first time we were dazed with Okawa‘s performance.
Up until then he was a steady, talented singing partner for Toyonaga but with this release we started to see him with a different light. He had polished his vocals to the point that he could, with ease, use falsetto and perform his parts in such a melodic and smooth way that made us beg for more.
Ai no Fata Morgana was an odd ball that brought a sitar, Latin percussion and synths into the mix. The song leaned towards a radio friendly sound with it’s danceable instrumental and exotic touches.
Toyonaga showcased his smooth, melodic vocals whereas Okawa brought vibrato to the table and polished mid-tones. It was an exciting song that was completely different from anything they had released at that time. For more about this single refer our review.
To end that year in the best fashion, Lagrange Point released the mouthful “Ai to iu Kotoba o nikumu hibi ga towa ni Tsudzuite mo ore o Yurushite kure“.
Daisuke Iwasaki‘s naming sense was all over the place with this single’s title and it was even made fun of by Toyonaga when it was announced at Rejet‘s summer event in that same year.
Putting aside the horrendous naming sense, the title track was easily one of the best songs released that year and that is because of the sexy bass line and synths that led the way for it.
The waltz touch in the pre-chorus was such a nice touch that brought back those Black Swan vibes that everyone loved.
The dramatic choir was an even better touch to this song and by the time the song came to an end we could only beg for one more listen time and time again.
It was classy, powerful, romantic and emotional, all at the same time.
On another note, 六十九夜 (SixNineNight) was a jazzy tune that brought Toyonaga and Okawa‘s melodic vocals to the table.
This was an unexpected twist on what was an eclectic release but it was exciting, classy and so much like what we had longed to hear them embrace that we couldn’t ignore it. It was a memorable single that solidified their stance as the best seiyuu unit at that time.
Lagrange Point went on a momentum run for over 2 years until something unexpected happened. The best 2D unit was close to being irrelevant thanks to one simple release. “Prisoner” was released in February.
Dirty synths, dubstep melodies (a first for among Pythagoras Production‘s units) and dance beats led the way for this single that lacked the quality and excitement of previous ones. They washed out their sound and almost ditched their guitars for the trendy electronic-pop.
What really happened during this time? Rejet decided to add a new unit to their Pythagoras Production project.
Marginal #4 had suffered (the UFO era) from Lagrange Point‘s debut and Lagrange Point suffered with Unicorn Jr.‘s debut. MIKOTO had too much on his hands to compose and arrange and Daisuke Iwasaki wanted his new seiyuu units to impress, which led to lower quality releases for each veteran unit every time a new unit was added.
In 2016 Unicorn Jr. were starting to make a name for themselves and Lagrange Point took a blow as a result of being almost impossible for MIKOTO to focus on 3 completely different units in the same project.
“Prisoner” was an uninteresting release with two good tracks in Last Chance and Prisoner but everything went down the drain, all that momentum was lost when people listened to Crystal Switch and Mousou VISIONIST, this last one being the worst track in their repertoire.
Crystal Switch was an uninspired ballad that lacked emotion and Mousou VISIONIST was a mess.
As if it wasn’t enough, Rejet had announced that all units under Pythagoras Production would be shuffled into special units – which downgraded, even more, the music that was being released in this franchise.
In the aftermath of the bland Prisoner, Lagrange Point‘s second Best Of LagJuliet II was released. The Best Of was released in May and was supposed to sum up 2015 and 2016’s releases.
破竹の愛 (Hachiku no ai) helmed this release and impressed with its explosive instrumental. That song alone made us forget how badly they had performed just a couple of months before.
The Shuffle series
Rejet announced on Rejet Fes 2016 that Pythagoras Production units would, for the first time, shuffle and create new, temporary groups. Each new unit would be performing two singles before everyone went back to their original groups.
Toyonaga was to perform with NEBULAS, unit that counted with Naozumi Takahashi (Marginal #4) and Chiharu Sawashiro (Unicorn Jr.). Nebulas gathered Rejet‘s best singers in one place and what we got was basically a feast for our ears.
With Toyonaga‘s versatility and total control over his vocals, Naozumi‘s daring mid-tones and sexiness plus Chiharu‘s melodic, husky vocals, it’s impossible to not be at awe just at the vocal tracks.
The instrumental pieces were rich and whole, standing out without even being annoying.
Okawa was shuffled to Wonder Corona!, unit that counted with Toshiki Masuda (Marginal #4) and Shouta Aoi (Unicorn Jr.).
This unit had its highs and lows, their debut single Viva la chu, released back in April, was surprisingly good despite the contrasting voice colors between members.
Then they released Samajera in July, a single that fell a bit short but was still an entertaining listen. Okawa changed completely his singing style for this song, surprising everyone along the way.
A Best Of was then released in 2017 with all songs released during 2016.
2017: Back on track
It seems that taking some time off was beneficial for Lagrange Point. With the end of the shuffle units and the announcement of an anime adaptation, it was time for Lagrange Point to make their big comeback.
Kakumei(Revolution)XX marked their comeback after almost one year away from the spotlight.
This is one of the most exciting songs to ever grace their repertoire.
Kakumei(Revolution)XX brought all the big guns to the table with a powerful song that really captured the essence of their debut sound – that exciting mix of hardrock and pop that impressed everyone on a first listen.
Everything about this song was thrilling and you could see Lagrange Point rising from the ashes, ready to dazzle everyone once again.
In 2017, the Pythagoras Production franchise got it’s very first anime series adaptation, Marginal#4: Kiss kara Tsukuru Big Bang.
In this series, Marginal #4, Lagrange Point and Unicorn Jr. – and even the members on a solo capacity – released and featured songs as the opening and ending themes.
Lagrange Point contributed to the series with 3 songs “Shinobu – Just A Zetcho (HEAVEN) –“, “Kakumei（Revolution）XX“, “Kiss kara Tsukuru Big Bang” and “U“.
The songs were released in the compilation album “KISS Kara Tsukuru Big Bang“.
The group participated in the franchise’s live show Marginal#4: Kiss kara Tsukuru Big Bang」Presents Pythagoras Production LIVE “Big Bang Fes.
They performed 5 groups songs and participated in 3 All Star songs. For all their performances, the duo brought a lot of energy and quality, being the highlight of the live show.
Over a year later, Lagrange Point made their comeback with the outstanding single “Singularity“.
“Singularity” is a single that can easily be ranked among the group’s best releases. The title track is slow-paced, slightly alluring thus capturing the listener’s attention in a heartbeat. It was a nice change of pace from their characteristically romantic vibe in Lagrange Point‘s songs.
“Vertigo” is the best b-side track to ever grace Lagrange Point‘s repertoire. The long intro without any fancy theatrics instantly tells the listener that this is going to be an emotional ride.
All in all, “Singularity” – the single – is an emotional rollercoaster that doesn’t need anything fancy to impress the listener.
2019: GALACTI9★SONG solo CD series
2019 would be the year in which fans of Lagrange Point would get solo CDs by Shy and Kira.
Shy (CV: Toshiyuki Toyonaga) delivered a stellar performance in “Portrait“.
This entry is all about ballads and emotional, yet simplistic, performances and instrumentals.
“Portrait” is a sweet, melancholic ballad blending elements of rock, pop, and R&B that create a soundscape that the listener won’t ever tire of. The performance was kept to a minimum – no massive high notes or spine-chilling crescendos in the climax, nothing. The tone and pacing were always the same, almost as if you are listening to a lullaby, however with a melancholic twist.
The b-side track “Parco” is rather interesting because his emotions were pretty much contained the whole time. It was melancholy that the song wanted to showcase not heartbreak as some of the previous takes on this song made it sound like.
Kira (CV: Genki Okawa) delivered a balanced performance with a really unique take on the vocals in “Afraid No.7“.
“Afraid No.7” is the kind of song that you can immediately – if you’re familiar – tell it is from or for Lagrange Point. Rock-driven instrumentalization with power and gentleness in equal measures created a fancy and exciting sound that instantly captures the listeners’ attention.
His take on “Parco” is rather interesting. Genki Okawa‘s performance might fall in the gentle, emotional batch of performances but his delivery is unique.
Later in the same year, Lagrange Point held their first fan meeting event “Dear Princess“. The event counted with live performances by Lagrange Point and Unicorn Jr. (guests) as well as live reading.
2020: The return of the shuffle units
2020 was a slow year for the Pythagoras Production franchise and as such, the franchise announced the return of the shuffle units.
“Pythagoras Production ONE DREAM” series kicked off in 2020, with the franchise’s shuffle units tacking 2 CDs each.
Toyonaga was back with NEBULAS, unit that counts as well with Naozumi Takahashi (Marginal #4) and Chiharu Sawashiro (Unicorn Jr.).
Genki Okawa was back with the members of Wonder Corona! – Toshiki Masuda (Marginal #4) and Shouta Aoi (Unicorn Jr.) – however, the group changed a bit.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the group’s name “WONDER CORONA!” was not the most sensitive choice and thus Rejet changed the group’s name to W/C.
Aside from that, the group still had the same sound and quality as in their first CD releases.
To perfectly wrap up the ONE DREAM shuffle unit CD series, Rejet released the compilation album “Pythagoras Production ONE DREAM BEST“.
Aside from W/C, NEBULAS and MY▼MILKY▼WAY’s songs, this album included a new song titled “FOOOOOOOOOLISH!!!“.
By the end of 2020, Lagrange Point met their fans via the special fan meeting event FAN SPACE SHIP for Lagjuliet & UNICORN MATE.
Unicorn Jr. guested in this event that included live performances, talk and variety corners.
And that’s all for now! Be on the lookout for the next SEIYUU DIGEST.