Sunday, September 8, 2013

From Past to Present: Mar:Bell to MAA

 Welcome to a new feature for Muddy Cult that we're going to try out. In this series, we'll attempt to clear up some mysteries about artists that have faded from the spotlight.  Is there someone you've been looking for and can't find any information on? Have you been searching for a certain musician who seems to have dropped off the face of the planet? Whether it's merely a band change or a move to salaryman status, we're sure that fans would like to know.

Does anyone remember the hide Memorial Summit from May 2008? Out of the many bands that played, there was a virtually unknown band with a female vocalist among them. It wasn't just her vocals that made her stand out. She seemed lost and withdrawn, crouching or clutching her skirt as she sang. Her gothic clothes, tattoos and teary expression furthered this thought.

The band was Mar:Bell. Their first and only album, Sister, was released roughly two weeks later. This led to the vocalist, Mar, appearing in several magazines such as Cure. During the summer, they played at various lives and travelled to the United States for an anime convention. There were two pvs released, but the band was unable to follow up with any further releases. They simply faded into oblivion.

Band: Mar:Bell (マーベル)
Members: Mar, Tsunoda Takanori, AZUSA, yu-ya
Genre: Indies, shoegaze, jrock
Country: Japan
Years Active: 2006-2010
Status: Disbanded
Notable traits: Female vocalist
Recommended Songs: Sicilian Kiss; Sorrow; Miss All Birthday; Saihate no Tou

Have you ever wondered what happened to them? While the other members may have faded into the real world, Mar didn't go quietly. In 2010, Mar changed her name to MAA and debuted as a pop solo artist. Her first solo release was the single Ghost Enemy. There was a huge difference between Mar:Bell and her solo work. The rock sound was gone to be replaced with an electro-pop, dance sound.

Her first single was followed up with another, Ballerina Brain System, two months later. Neither of the singles hit the Oricon charts as they were released as rental-only. In December 2010, MAA released her first mini-album, Monkey Kingdom. It didn't earn her much success, only hitting #158 on the Oricon weekly charts before dropping off after the first week.

She did a few collaborations in late 2010 and early 2011, but didn't return with a release of her own until July 2011. Okay was her first song to be used as an ending theme for a show, Happy Music, although this didn't help it much. It failed to chart despite being her first non-rental single. She followed the release of this single with her first full album, BubbleMan Engine, in October of 2011.

MAA disappeared from releasing from October 2011 until January 2013. In January, she releaseed the single, Feel it!/Blue (Chikyuu). It was her first major label single after getting picked up by Warner Music Japan. Both tracks were used as theme songs for CR Cyber Blue, a Pachinko machine game. Once again, the single failed to chart on the Oricon weekly.

She disappeared once more after this release. It's unknown whether MAA will continue her solo work or debut a new band. Her ameblo blog was deleted, but she prompty created a more fashion oriented one. Now using her real name, Maria is still active on twitter, instagram and facebook. She has created her own clothing brand, Gitch. If nothing else, perhaps we'll see her emerge in the world of fashion to make a name for herself.

Artist: MAA
Real Name: Maria Mie Edwards
Genre: Jpop
Country: Japan
Years Active: 2010-
Status: Active
Notable traits: Electropop sound
Recommended Songs: Ghost Enemy; Okay; Nightmare; FREE ウィルス ZONE


Whether we continue with these will be dependent upon responses from our readers. If you like what you read, drop us a comment or an email to let us know your thoughts. You can reach me at and Miko at We're both available if you'd like to request a review of music, movies or anime.

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