Eizo Sakamoto – vocals (1996–2006)
Syu – guitar (2003–2006)
Masaki – bass (1997–2006)
Katsuji – drums (1997–2006)
Mie – lead vocals in Animetal Lady (1997–1998, 2002)
Kouichi Seiyama – keyboards (1997–1998, 2002)
Marty Friedman – lead guitar on one track on Animetal Lady Marathon II (2002)
Nov – vocals on "Ai o Torimodose!!" (2001)
Mitsuo Takeuchi – vocals on "Galactic Gale Baxinger" (2001)
She-Ja – guitar (1997–2001)
Yasuhiro Umezawa – drums (1997–1998)
Shinki – drums on "Yuuki no Akashi" (1998)
Munetaka Higuchi – drums on Animetal Summer and "Sentimetal" (1997)
Take-Shit – bass on This is Animetal (1997)
Animetal (アニメタル, Animetaru?) was a Japanese novelty heavy metal band who specialized in metal covers of theme songs from classic and modern Japanese anime and tokusatsu television series.
They were comprised of several luminaries of the Japanese metal scene, most notably vocalist Eizo Sakamoto, who has been involved off and on with Anthem (one of the first Japanese heavy metal bands to achieve name recognition outside of Japan in the 1980s alongside Loudness) as well as participating in various other projects including the pop-rock group Nerima, the JAM Project, and a successful solo career where he also plays lead guitar as well as vocals.
Their music can be classified as high-energy melodic thrash metal, power and speed metal with a very high level of musical virtuosity, especially on the guitarists' (initially Shi-Ja for the first four albums, then Syu from Animetal Marathon V to the present) and bassist's (band constant Masaki) parts. Masaki, in particular from Animetal Marathon IV onward, has shown an intensely active and aggressive approach to his instrument with fluid soloing, manic slapping and popping, energetic fills, and crashing chords for punctuation. The albums are structured as nearly seamless barrages of short songs woven into well-structured medleys that sound as though the band simply enters the studio and lays down virtually the entire album from start to finish in one go, with occasional overdubs and breaks in the action here and there.
Part of the band's nostalgic factor is their incorporation of popular rock/metal instrumentals into some of the songs. For instance, their version of "Choujuu Sentai Liveman" is played to the tune of Judas Priest's "Breaking the Law."
The lyrics are almost entirely in Japanese with occasional lines of "Engrish", which may partly account for why they are virtually unknown outside of Japan, aside from the fact they admittedly are playing to a very small niche market. For a short time, they incorporated Pink Lady vocalist Mie into the band, hence the name change to "Animetal Lady", and recorded two albums with her distinctive and melodic vocals that are much more commercially accessible (almost what one would call pop-metal) than the rest of the Animetal discography.
While they're known more for their covers, the band has a few original songs, including the ballad Towa no Mirai from the Rurouni Kenshin soundtrack.
As of 2006, the band is currently on indefinite hiatus. Sakamoto has since begun a similar project called Eizo Japan.