For "I've" meaning "I have", see Contraction (grammar).
I've Sound, or simply called I've (アイブ, Aibu), is a Japanese techno/trance music production group based in Sapporo, Hokkaidō, Japan. Led by Kazuya Takase, it features the talents of seasoned "sound creators" and many different female vocalists, known as utahime (歌姫) to their fans.
They have created the theme songs for many Japanese adult games, most famously the opening "Tori no Uta" to the visual novel Air by Key. More recently, they have been creating the theme songs to anime series. Among anime fans, I've Sound is well known for providing the theme songs to such series as Black Lagoon, the Please! franchise (Please Teacher! and Please Twins!), the Shakugan no Shana series, Starship Operators, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, the Hayate the Combat Butler series, Nanatsuiro Drops, and A Certain Magical Index.
I've was founded in 1998 by members of the six-member Takase Fight. During this time they produced music for tsushin karaoke and adult game brands based in Hokkaidō. They also made two tracks for the Dancemania series, "If You Were Here" by Jennifer and "Is This The Way You Kill A Love" by Gina, both featured in Dance Dance Revolution.
They first assumed the name "I've" while working on the eroge Lips: egao no yukue in the autumn of 1998. Although production for the game was later cancelled, they were able to establish ties with Visual Art's, a computer game and software maker that most of I've's subsequent works are released under.
The first game I've produced music for was Hakidame: Trash, produced by Zero (a brand of Visual Art's), released in February 1999, where they were credited as I've Sound. The game featured the songs "Fuck Me" and "Utsukushiku Ikitai".
I've's big break came when the popular PC game Kanon by Key was released in 1999, featuring the theme songs "Last Regrets" and "Kaze no Tadoritsuku Basho", both arranged by I've. This gained them a burst of fame among eroge gamers. These songs were later used as insert songs during Kanon's 2002 anime adaptation, and later as the main opening and ending themes in that anime's 2006 remake.
They released their first compilation album, Regret in December 1999.
In 2002, I've was hired to produce the music for their first anime series, Please Teacher!, which helped to further spread their name among otaku, and exposed them internationally.
In April 2004, Kotoko, one of I've's vocalists who worked on Please Teacher, made her major debut with the album Hane. This was followed by Mami Kawada's major debut single "Radiance" single in February 2005, and Eiko Shimamiya's Ulysses album the same year in April. Mell and sound creator C.G mix made their major releases in 2006 (Red Fraction single and In Your Life album respectively). Most recently, Kaori Utatsuki also joined the ranks in August 2007 with the single Shining Stars Bless.
I've held their first concert on October 15, 2005 at Nippon Budokan.
In the weeks before the concert approached they launched a web radio I've Talk Jam, hosted by SHIHO with Kazuya Takase and Tomoyuki Nakazawa as regulars, and had a different I've vocalist appear as guest for each show. It ended after nine shows, shortly before the Budokan concert took place.
I've Sound provided their first live-action theme for the movie Real Onigokko, with Kotoko singing the theme song of the same name. They later provided the main themes for the live-action adaptation of the visual novel Higurashi no Naku Koro ni which was released in 2008, with Eiko Shimamiya performing the opening theme "Wheel of Fortune (Unmei no Wa)" as well as the ending theme "Diorama".
In 2009 a new singer called Airi Kirishima entered in the band, and one year later, Nami Maisaki and Rin Asami started their careers as I've singers. The three girls formed the band Larval Stage Planning, which debuted in 2011 under the record label Lantis, singing the opening theme of the second season of Baka and Test.
Eiko Shimamiya, who had been part of the group since the start, decided to leave I've in 2011. Kotoko, the singer who had been the most successful of the group, left some months later.
In 2012, Mami Kawada released her fourth album, Square the Circle including her last singles used as theme songs for the anime A Certain Magical Index and the third season of Shakugan no Shana. Larval Stage Planning released their second single, which was used as the opening song for High School DxD. In August 2012, a new volume of the Girls compilation series was released, and MAKO, a vocalist who had been a guest singer of the group twelve years before, made a surprising return.
In 2013 and after having suffered an unknown disease, MELL left I've Sound and released a compilation album of her most successful songs. Kaori Utatsuki released "Going on", her second mini album and also annonunced her retirement. Larval Stage Planning released "Sympathy" the opening theme song for the second season of High School DxD, and also announced that they were preparing their first album.
Current sound creators:
Kazuya Takase (高瀬一矢) - the founder of I've Sound,
Maiko Iuchi (井内舞子) - also known as Miu Uetsu (羽越実有),
Takeshi Ozaki (尾崎武士),
Tomoyuki Nakazawa (中沢伴行),
Former sound creators:
Atsuhiko Nakatsubo (中坪淳彦), better known as FISH TONE,
Mami Kawada (川田まみ),
Larval Stage Planning
Airi Kirishima (桐島愛里),
AKI (also known as Y.Aki),
Eiko Shimamiya (島みやえい子) - also known as Eiko, Peko, 島宮えい子 (before 2006),
Kaori Utatsuki (詩月カオリ),
Nami Maisaki (舞崎なみ),
Rin Asami (朝見琳),
ASAHINA Bros. + JULI,
Asame Miyazaki (宮崎麻芽) - Kotoko under a different name.,
Asuka Katagiri (片桐明日香) - Chisato Suzumori under a different name.,
Fuuran (風蘭) - Lia under a different name.,
Hiromi Satō (佐藤裕美),
Inosuke Tsutsumi (堤伊之助) - since Inosuke Tsutsumi is a fictitious person, the singer's real identity is unknown, but there are unconfirmed rumors that he is actually Kazuya Takase.,
Mihi (美妃, occasionally mistaken for Miki),
Orihime (織姫) - Mell under a different name.,
Outer - Kotoko under a different name.,
Usagi Tachibana (橘うさぎ) - Miki under a different name.,
Yumi Matsuzawa (松澤由美),
Fukuko Tsujiuchi (辻内富久子) - artist manager,
Haruhiko "Harry" Yoshida (吉田春彦) - live band member for I've concerts, drums,
Hiroyuki Kobayashi (小林拡幸) - tour driver/at large,
Michihito Terayama (寺山亨史) - artist manager,
Naoki Itagaki (板垣直基),
Yasutaka Ipposhi (一法師康孝) Executive Producer of I've Sound.