Name: Sano (she/her)
Home Country:
United States

Social Media —
Twitter: @alice9archive@prismonoart
Instagram: @prismonoart


A | Your 9kumi Origin Story

How did you first come across ALICE NINE.?

Back in 2007, I found out about visual kei through social media (Gaiaonline and other Japanese culture inspired websites). In early 2008, I continued to familiarize myself with as many Jrock bands as I could and fell in love with Alice Nine!

What was your initial impression of the band, and/or of the individual members?

Visual kei was beyond anything I’d seen before, but Alice Nine’s concept was even more unique compared to other Jrock bands and quickly made them my favorite band as a result! I loved Shou’s unique vocal color, Hiroto’s enthusiasm for his craft, Saga’s sarcastic humor and sense of style, Nao’s charisma and positivity, and Tora’s witty personality.

What turned you into a fan? Was it a song, a release, an experience of some kind…?

The first song and MV I’d ever encountered by them was Blue Planet, so my first introduction was exciting and really showed off the personalities of the members. The song was so light hearted and fun that it made me want to dance along with them!

B | The Way You Hear ALICE NINE.

What about ALICE NINE.’s sound do you like or admire most?

They aren’t afraid to experiment with different styles, genres, concepts, and subject matter. They also stray from the norm and have such a unique and diverse discography that you never get tired of hearing!

What are some things that give ALICE NINE. a certain je ne sais quoi?

The way they implement jazz, pop, indie, and even some r&b genres into their music to create the most unique compositions when paired with the Jrock style we love.

What are some of your favourite songs?

Birth in the death, Mugen -Electric Eden-, Waterfall, Siva&Diva, and FUNERAL!

Is there a release that you really connect to in particular, or that you have a very strong personal memory about?

The entire GEMINI album was a pivotal point in my life. It was and still is my all-time favorite A9 album and really left such an imprint in my mind.

Is there a song that you associate a really good memory to? Please share that good memory with us!

Cosmic World! It’s probably the MV I’ve watched the most and was the song I learned to practice singing with out of any other. I also used it a lot when studying Japanese! I used to draw a lot of fanart of Shou from that MV because I adored is look for it 😍

Create a 3-song single (or playlist if you prefer). Why did you put those 3 songs together?

Birth in the death, Mugen, and FUNERAL. I think they all encapsulate my relationship with Alice Nine and how, even in periods where I may not have kept up with them as much in the past, they would always come back to welcome me back with open arms in a sort of “Rebirth.”

Have you ever had the chance to attend a live (either in person or via livestream in real-time)? What was your experience like? Please tell us about the first time, or some very memorable moments.

I unfortunately haven’t seen them live!

Speaking of lives, are there some live-only versions or arrangements of their songs that you love in particular?

I absolutely adore the acoustic version of Kiss Twice, Kiss Me Deadly!

When you listen to the songs without distraction, how do you experience them? Do you get mental images, colours, sensations, emotions…?

I have synesthesia, so listening to A9 is always an experience of vibrant colors, shapes, and overall senses. Reds, purples, and golds are always the colors my mind gravitates towards when I listen to them.

Let’s talk lyrics: if you understand them in Japanese or have read translations, what are some of your favourite song lyrics? Do you have any favourite lines or imagery in the ALICE NINE. discography?

“The garden in the box was at full bloom, like the flowers in Eden.” from birth in the death! Such beautiful yet simplistic lyrics that left an imprint on me at a young age and influence much of the art I create as an adult.

C | The Way You See ALICE NINE.

What about ALICE NINE.’s visual aesthetic do you like or admire most?

I’ve always loved that they played with a mixture between visual kei and modern aesthetics. A lot of Vkei bands gravitate toward similar visual representation (which I love as well), but A9’s unique approach to their costumes and makeup have always set them apart from the rest.

Do you have a favourite visual, look, or release era? What did you like most about it?

GEMINI reigns supreme for me! I’ve always been REALLY enjoying the GRACE era and especially loved the costumes and styling for the MV!

What are some of your favourite MVs?

GEMINI, Cosmic World, Rainbows, Blue Planet, Yuri wa Aoku Saite, and Subete E.

Let’s talk cover art: what are some of your favourite single or album covers in their discography? Is there one that takes the #1 spot?

Zekkeishoku, Wonderland With Black, and Alice in Wonderland! I love the color schemes and unique imagery for Zekkeishoku and Alice in Wonderland. For Wonderland with Black, blue is my favorite color and I adore the cosmic vibes!

Do you have a favourite photoshoot from a magazine, for instance? Which one, and why?

The entirety of the A9: THE BOOK photobook shoots are filled with masterpieces. I adored Shou’s aquatic themed solo photos the most and it’s actually been the inspiration in much of my artwork for my career!

Out of all the goods that ALICE NINE. have released over the years, do you have any favourites? These could be goods that you’ve actually bought or goods that you’ve simply admired from afar.

I’m always a sucker for the image fans/pickets as well as all the beautiful photobooks they’ve released over the years! I also have a few autographed albums and books from Shou that I’m very honored to own 💙

D | ALICE NINE.’s Impact and Influence

Has ALICE NINE. ever inspired you to try, do, or make something? Tell us about the point of inspiration and what you did as a result.

The entirety of A9 actually inspired me to create my alice9archive Twitter account! They’ve also inspired me to pursue a career as an artist as I used to sketch portraits of them back in the mid 2000s.

Have you ever recommended ALICE NINE.’s music to someone who was not already a fan? How did it go?

I have! I’ve recommended them to my sister, mom, and my best friend. They all love them!

As a fan, do you keep to yourself, or do you interact with other fans? Have you made friends with other 9kumis? Have you ever participated in a fan project, whether to share information with other fans or to make something to give to the band?

I have a bit of social anxiety, so I don’t talk to very many 9kumis on a regular basis and tend to quietly support the guys. But when I was younger, I used to run a fan Tumblr blog and interacted with so many people! This would be my first proper fan project.

Have you ever sent a comment, message, or even been able to speak to one or more of the band members? What was the experience like and how did you decide what to say?

Yes! I’ve shown my fanart to them multiple times and had both Shou and Hiroto like my art which was a mindblowing experience. I would love to have a conversation with them someday!

At this point in your life as an ALICE NINE. fan, what does the band mean to you?

Acceptance of my youth and embracing my inner child fully without any regrets or shame.

E | Freeform Section

Sano submitted 3 pieces of Fanart to display here, all of which you can find on her Twitter and Instagram.

Alice in Wonderland

Shou Izayoi