Ana•mana•guchi. The polysyllabic tongue-twister of a name, like a toddler attempting Japanese, is on the lips of a swelling army of fans and admirers after several thousand helped propel the DIY, 8-bit electronic group into the pantheon of Kickstarter breakout bands. Anamanaguchi’s Kickstarter, which closed yesterday (June 2) drew 7,253 supporters to the tune of $277,399 (out of $50,000 requested), making it the second-most successful music project in the site’s history after Amanda Palmer’s $1.2 million blowout last May.
“We passed our funding goal in the first 12 hours and were completely astounded,” says Peter Berkman, lead songwriter and guitarist for the band. “We set the goal at a level that we thought we would be able to hit, but it was a 30-day campaign. We weren’t expecting things to take off so quickly.”
The unsigned band chose the crowdfunding site as a springboard for its new album Endless Fantasy — which debuted last week at No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart with 4,000 copies sold — but it had all the hallmarks of a successful self-release on any platform. Since the release of its first EP in 2006, Anamanaguchi has built a passionate core group of fans in the genre commonly known as “chiptune,” which is a kind of musical extension of videogame, comic book and Internet culture. In 2009, the band was tapped to create the soundtrack for the “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” videogame; and in 2011 one of its songs, which typically utilize a Nintendo Entertainment System or Gameboy in addition to traditional instruments, was chosen as the theme music for Chris Hardwick’s popular podcast “The Nerdist.”
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