The awards just keep rolling in for Demon Slayer. Since the release of the 2019 anime adaptation of Koyoharu Gotouge’s Demon Slayer manga, it’s quickly become one of the most popular new-gen anime. The series has won numerous awards and continues to break new records. Its opening theme is no exception to this.
LiSA’s song, “Gurenge”, used as the opening theme for season one of Demon Slayer, has been recognized as the most profitable song of 2020 in Japan. The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers, and Publishers (JASRAC) announced that the song won the 39th JASRAC Awards’ Gold Award. The JASRAC Awards, presented annually, are given “to the copyright holders whose musical works represent a large share of the royalty distribution”.
Sources of royalty shares include commercials, streaming platforms, CD sales, and more. “Gurenge” released digitally on April 22, 2019, and on CD on July 3 of the same year. It continued to top charts in Japan in 2020.
According to JASRAC, the song has “gained popularity through music distribution services, recording more than 200 million times streamed in October 2020”. Additionally, the song had the highest distribution amount for karaoke. Kayoko Kusano was the composer for “Gurenge”, who also received the Gold Award from JASRAC.
In response to her win, LiSA says “I am very honored that this song has been loved for so long. I received the passionate love of many people involved from the original manga to the TV anime”.
After “Gurenge” led Billboard Japan’s Hot Animation of the Year chart, LiSA was interviewed by Billboard about the single’s success. In the interview, LiSA says “It makes me happy that so many people are enjoying my songs along with the works of anime”. Also, she says, when writing the song, “I tried placing myself in the shoes of the protagonists”.
LiSA’s follow-up song “Homura”, used in the film Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, also broke streaming records for Billboard Japan. It managed to get 14,333,542 playbacks on Billboard Japan Streaming Songs chart in just one week. Furthermore, it won the “Song of the Year” award at the 62nd Japan Record Awards.
Demon Slayer is by no means LiSA’s first experience with writing anime openings. The singer has also written OPs for a number of popular titles, including Fate/Zero, Sword Art Online and Angel Beats. She also performed the third ending song for My Hero Academia.