Sophia (stylized as SOPHIA) was a Japanese rock band formed in 1994 by vocalist Mitsuru Matsuoka, guitarist Kazutaka Toyota, bassist Yoshio Kuroyanagi, drummer Yoshitomo Akamatsu and keyboardist Keiichi Miyako. Currently signed to Avex Trax since 2011, they made their major debut in 1995 on Toy's Factory. They changed over to Toshiba EMI in 2004, and Universal Music Japan in 2009.
Their album Alive was named one of the top albums from 1989-1998 in a 2004 issue of the music magazine Band Yarouze. Their single "-Boku wa Koko ni Iru-" was used as the 2nd ending theme for the anime Kaleido Star. Keyboardist Miyako announced on March 21, 2010 that he was diagnosed with lymphoma, and on April 10 the band went on a hiatus. Sophia, as a quartet, was a guest of honor at Anime Expo in Los Angeles from July 1–4, 2010, having their first concert in the US on the 3rd. The group ended the hiatus on August 13, 2011 at the Nippon Budokan.
Sophia is often considered a visual kei band, despite the fact that for nearly their entire career their appearance has been very tame compared to most others in the movement. On October 23, 2011, the band performed at V-Rock Festival 2011. Their song "Machi" was covered by Doremidan on the compilation Crush! -90's V-Rock Best Hit Cover Songs-, which was released on January 26, 2011 and features current visual kei bands covering songs from bands that were important to the '90s visual kei movement. "Gokigen Tori ~Crawler is Crazy~" was covered by Annie's Black on its sequel, Crush! 2 -90's V-Rock Best Hit Cover Songs-, that was released on November 23, 2011. "Eternal Flame" was covered by Makoto for Crash! 3 - 90's V-Rock Best Hit Cover Love Songs-, which was released on June 27, 2012 and features current visual kei bands covering love songs by visual kei bands of the 90's.
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