A History of UNDER17
UNDER17 (アンダーセブンティーン、アンセブ) or "Ansebu", was a Japanese music duo consisting of singer Haruko Momoi (桃井はるこ and guitarist Masaya Koike (小池雅也, nicknamed "Aniki" meaning "Big Brother").
The duo was officially founded around 2001 or early 2002, although the pair had worked many times before since the late 1990s. The band is known for its distinct cute vocals thanks to the unique style of singing thanks to Momoi, which itself was influenced by cult-anime and games from the era. The group has been an influential force in "moe song" and “denpa song” a category of music that focuses on cute female vocals and pop beats catering to a hardcore audience. According to Halko, the term "moe song" itself was coined by UNDER17, and on their second album, they boasted the label "World Famous Moe Artist."
During their existence, the band produced in total over 20 singles and 3 compilation albums, and their music was featured in animated TV series such as Popotan, DearS, and Genshiken. The three compilation albums being the definitive experience and easiest starting point for those new UNDER17 since they collect all the singles released in three albums. The third compilation album also includes a high-quality recording of their last iconic moment on stage in 2004.
Read more on the discography page --here--
On September 27, 2004, UNDER17 announced its breakup via a handwritten letter posted on their website. This came as a shock to many fans, as the band had been rapidly gaining popularity and only just began touring for the first time. Within the duo there was a conflict of interest regarding the future of the duo and the style of music that would be produced. Based off interviews I have read from Momoi in “Moe Manifesto” by Patrick W. Galbraith, she seems to imply that there was a beginning to feel the “mass-produced" sensation of mainstream music which defeated the purpose of the group. In these interviews she is very dedicated to preserving the importance of having genuine “moe” feelings and felt this ideal would be tarnished on their current path.
The band remained together briefly to finish their first and final tour, culminating in an emotional last performance on November 20, 2004 at Yokohama Blitz. The last song performed was 「天罰！エンジェルラビィ」 which featured an iconic and emotional double encore, and is included as the last track on their third and final album; そして伝説へ… The title of the album meaning “And so, Onwards to legend...”
From "UNDER17 FIRST LIVE TOUR FINAL" (2004)." This is their last performance of "天罰!エンジェルラヴィ" (before the reuniting tour) that featured the iconic double encore. This is off their album "BEST 3: そして伝説へ..." (2004)
The band reunited for one song on August 31, 2008 during the Animelo Summer Live. They performed 「天罰！エンジェルラビィ」 (Tenbatsu! Angel Rabbie) with the help of MOSAIC.WAV members. This performance culminated MOSAIC.WAV being another Akihabara-based denpa group likely influenced by the music of UNDER17 and other early moe music groups. This group has carried on the legacy of denpa music and are still producing music to this day!
(edited from Last.fm & Wikipedia entries)