BeForU is an all female J-Pop group who performed music primarily for the Bemani series of rhythm games. BeForU debuted in 2000 with their song "DIVE," which was notable as being the first J-POP song in the Dance Dance Revolution series. BeForU was produced by Naoki Maeda, one of the lead Konami musical producers. In 2006, the group made their major label debut under Avex tracks. As of November 21, 2008, BeForU songs have been cut from beatmaniaIIDX 16 EMPRESS and as of December 26, 2008 the majority of BeForU songs were cut from Dance Dance Revolution X. Solo songs have been removed in some places as well. For example, Love Love Shine and Love Love Sugar are no longer found in DDR, and all BeForU songs have been cut from beatmaniaIIDX 16 EMPRESS, Pop'n Music 17 The Movie, Dance Dance Revolution X and GuitarFreaks/Drummania V6 Blazing, to be released later this year, respectively, due to the change of the labeling company.
The Original BeForU
Konami Media Entertainment
BeForU Official Site
BeForU began as a competition for a new J-Pop group singing for Konami and their bemani series of video games, namely Dance Dance Revolution. The four winners were chosen for their talent, ability and emphasis. They were Riyu Kosaka at age 15, Noria Shiraishi at age 19, Yoma Komatsu at age 26, and Shiyuna Maehara at 21. Their first single DIVE was promoted widely throughout the J-Pop community. DIVE made its first appearance on DDR Extra Mix, and its official debut on DDR 5th Mix.
"BeForU" is a play on words and was the winning result of a contest to name the group. The group name is both a reference to the Dance Dance Revolution song "B4U" from 4th Mix and a play on the words "before you." In another play on words, when BeForU originally formed, they had four members.
In DDR -Max- 6th Mix, BeForU released another song called Firefly. Riyu also performed two solos which were then released on her first single, true....
By DDR -Max 2- 7th Mix, Shiyuna was the only member of the group that had not received a solo in any BEMANI game. As a group, they released another song entitled BRE?K DOWN!, that was later re-arranged for Guitar Freaks and DrumMania. Yoma debuted as a soloist with her song ever snow, her only solo to be featured in any game to date.
Their eponymous first album BeForU was released on November 28, 2003. Riyu released her first solo album, entitled Begin on June 11, 2004, which featured covers of many BEMANI songs. In early 2004, Shiyuna left BeForU group to pursue other venues. She was the only BeForU member without any solos.
The New Beginning - BeForU NEXT
Konami Media Entertainment
BeForU's Official Web Site,
BeForU at avex
After Shiyuna's departure in 2004, BeForU had another contest for two new members. Somewhere along the line, there was a tie for either first or second place, so the grand total became six instead of five. The additions were Miharu Arisawa, Sayaka Minami, and Risa Sotohana. These girls would form the second generation of BeForU known as BeForU NEXT. (Note that BeForU NEXT refers exclusively to Arisawa, Minami and Sotohana).
The new BeForU debuted with their single KI?SE?KI. This song was released as a CD-single and was featured in DDR Festival, both released on the same day. The CD was packaged with a DVD featuring a message (commentary about KI?SE?KI) from Naoki Maeda, the group founder/producer, and each of the girls (Mainly Noria and Risa). It also shows them playing the games with their own songs included. (e.g., Candy ?) Himawari, sung by Riyu Kosaka, also shows herself playing her own song.
In 2006, BeForU released a new album, BeForU II. They also performed live for the first time, which was released later that year, on DVD as BeForU FIRST LIVE at ZeppTokyo 2006. Riyu Kosaka, Noria Shiraishi, and Yoma Komatsu formed a group similar to BeForU NEXT called BeForU Orimen. At BeForU's 2006 and 2007 Live at Zepp Tokyo, they performed their song ????? (Chikara Power).
From that point, there were no releases on CD until a Bemani secret live event in which Riyu Kosaka and Noria revealed that they had signed onto the avex label and would subsequently release a single each. In the following month, BeForU soon followed and released the single Red Rocket Rising on , 2006.
On , 2006, BeForU released Get set GO!! ?BeForU Astronauts Set?, which contained the song Get set GO!!. Their single Strike Party!!! followed, and was released on , 2007. Strike Party!!! is featured during the ending credits of the 3rd season of the anime MAJOR.
They also released an EP called 6Notes on March 3 that was under their Be+Wings Records label. Each of the 6 songs is a solo by each member. This CD was only available at live events and on their website and as of , 2008, is no longer available.
BeForU's third album, BeForU III: Breaking Into the Probability Changes was released on , 2007 under the Avex label. Following this, BeForU returned to Zepp Tokyo and performed live for BeForU LIVE 2007 and a DVD was released later.
The next single released by the group was Yoru Hanabi (??? Night Fireworks). Following its release, the group was quiet for the rest of 2007, though Riyu continued to release solo singles.
On , 2007 Riyu announced on her blog that due to illness, Miharu Arisawa would retire from the group. Similarly, Yoma Komatsu had chosen to depart for personal reasons. Their departures were effective immediately, and as such, these two members would be unable to perform at a scheduled concert on December 30, where a "graduation" took place for Noria and Risa Sotohana. These two members planned to move on to solo careers.
The Third Generation
BeForU Web Site
On February 15, 2008,the Be+Wings site was reopened and it was announced that 3 new members would be joining the group. The new members are Ayano Tachibana, Hiromi Nishiuchi and Megumi Fukushita.A new song was announced at Riyu's Carnival and the 3rd Generation performed their new song, without Sayaka due to illness.. Sayaka later announced that her recuperating was not going well, and that she had left the group.
The debut of the third generation, as well as Riyu's solo concert was filmed and released on DVD as BeForU / Four Piece Riyu Kosaka / Live 2008. The first official single from the group followed on , 2008, but not on the Avex label. Instead, it released on their new label, Gambit (Sheeps Eyes). This single, Shangri-La was a cover of Denki Groove's popular original. Their next album, also titled ?????? (Shangri-La) but written in katakana this time, followed on , 2008.
Yoma Komatsu (????) - Known as ?? (Left group in 2007)
Noria Shiraishi (????) - Known as Noria (Left group in 2007)
Riyu Kosaka (????)
Shiyuna Maehara (?????) (Left group in 2004)
Also, the following members are referred to as BeForU NEXT, and are first featured in Drummania/GuitarFreaks V. The three girls to replace Shiyuna Maehara:
Risa Sotohana (????) - Also known as Lisa Sotohana due to the phonetical similarities between r and l in the Japanese language (Left group in 2007)
Miharu Arisawa (?????) (Left group in 2007)
Sayaka Minami (????) (Left group in 2008)
Also, the following members joined the group in 2008:
Ayano Tachibana (????)
Hiromi Nishiuchi (????)
Megumi Fukushita (????)
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