Ketchup Mania were a J-rock band that combined two typical tricks of the Japanese musical scene -- an energetic pop-punk attack and cute girly vocals. The group has been around for a decade and found some recognition in the late 2000s, but ultimately split into several new acts due to musical differences.
Ketchup Mania began in 1999, then consisting of Hiro (vocals), Dai (guitar) and Fanfan (bass), supported by another guitarist, Maashii. The band was initially named "Plutonium," but since there was another group by that name in the neighborhood, they changed their moniker, commemorating a small accident with a pack of ketchup. The group started playing live shows straight away. In 2000, Katoosan joined the band as a permanent guitarist, and Ketchup Mania proceeded to release their first demo tape. Soon they won the monthly grand prix at a local FM radio with their song "Hime no Omoi," which allowed them to open for Love Psychedelico, Cymbals, and Ereki Hachimachi at the station's event. Their first EP, Strong Music Story, was released by Twister in 2001, but that was followed by the departure of both bassist Fanfan and guitarist Dai, although the latter returned. Ketchup Mania scored number one at another music program, Break Gate, and in 2003, the band, which finally picked a permanent drummer in Wani, got a deal with Groovie Drunker; the label handled the two EPs they recorded that year.
In 2005, Ketchup Mania moved to Tokyo, where they added bassist Yosei and signed with Universal (after one more EP at Groovie Drunker in 2005). Their major debut, the appropriately titled Greetings from Tokyo, was released in 2006, and their tune "Your World" was used in the anime series Itaden Jump the same year. Ketchup Mania switched labels again, this time to Toy's Factory, and redoubled their activity, kicking out two albums, U-R-G-E and L.O.V.E., in 2007, and another, Flag, in 2008, as well as debuting stateside: they played Anican in 2007 and South by Southwest in 2008. The band split in 2009, with Hiro forming the Cat Loves Strawberries, Yosei Na-No, and Dai and Wani joining in Kill Kills. ~ Alexey Eremenko, Rovi