Members of the vocal group Kalafina are considering splitting up, according to a report published Tuesday by the Sports Hochi newspaper. The report indicates that information on the group's future state comes from an interview the newspaper conducted with another music producer from Kalafina's management office, Space Craft Produce.
In December, the Sports Nippon newspaper reported that composer Yuki Kajiura would leave Space Craft Produce in February after 25 years of being affiliated with the office. According to the newspaper, Kajiura decided to leave after a dispute with a female executive over musical direction. That executive had replaced Kajiura's previous music producer during preparations for Kalafina's Nippon Budokan concert in September 2016.
According to Sports Nippon, the combination of Kajiura and Kalafina was expected to earn up to 2 billion yen for their activities in 2017. The departure of Kajiura and breakup of Kalafina would result in a significant revenue shortfall for the agency. Several officials have indicated that Kajiura will continue to work as an independent agent moving forward and has hired lawyers to discuss the rights to her music.
Kalafina has no future solo performances or CD releases scheduled at the moment, according to officials interviewed by Sports Hochi. Their weekly radio show Kalafina Kurabu is also scheduled to end its run at the end of the month after nearly eight years on the air. Members have reportedly been undecided on whether or not they will extend their contracts and remain with the agency.
Kalafina was originally formed as a two-person unit with members Wakana Ootaki and Keiko Kubota in 2008 to perform the theme song to the Kara no Kyoukai anime film series. The two were later joined by Hikaru Masai and Maya Toyoshima, but Maya left the group not long after joining. To date, they have released 21 CD singles and 11 CD albums, and dozens of their songs have been featured as anime theme songs or insert songs.
The group held its tenth anniversary concert at the Nippon Budokan on January 23. They also performed at the Songful Days joint concert with May'n and Minori Chihara on March 3. A film documenting the preparations for their tenth anniversary concert, titled Kalafina 10th Anniversary Film: Yume ga Tsumugu Kagayaki no Harmony, will open in theaters on March 30 for a limited two-week run.
Kalafina 10th Anniversary Film: Yume ga Tsumugu Kagayaki no Harmony Trailer
Update 1 March 14
In a notice delivered to members of the Kalafina official fan club, Harmony, Space Craft Produce released a clarification statement regarding Japanese media reports of Kalafina's future activities.
The statement indicates that one member of the group has submitted her intention to leave Space Craft Produce, which the agency has accepted, while two members will continue their activities in the agency. It does not specifically indicate that the two remaining members will continue their activities as Kalafina.
Space Craft Produce is also working to ensure that fans will continue to be able to enjoy songs by composer Yuki Kajiura following her departure from the agency.
Update 2 March 14
The Sports Hochi newspaper reported on Wednesday that Kalafina member Keiko Kubota will leave the Space Craft Produce agency at the end of March. Keiko, a bass singer who is one of the founding members of the vocal group, has reportedly been unhappy with the absence of composer Yuki Kajiura and thus decided to leave the agency.
Kalafina had been scheduled to release a new CD and begin touring in the fall, according to the report. Those plans have now been suspended. Space Craft Produce announced in a statement on Tuesday night that members Wakana Ootaki and Hikaru Masai will remain active and that plans are being made which will allow fans to continue to enjoy the group's music.
In late December, a trademark application was filed by an individual named Keiko Kubota for rights to the name Kalafina as it applies to music performances and recordings. The application was gazetted on January 16 by the Japan Patent Office, and objecting parties can file an opposition within two months of that date. Attorneys Sumiko Shimosaka and Yuusuke Uchikoshi are indicated as legal representatives of the applicant.