The driving force behind Kalafina is anime soundtrack composer Yuki Kajiura, who picked several talented (and beautiful) female singers to perform her dance-pop and operatic pop tunes. Kalafina were initially tied to the anime adaptation of the Kara No Kyoukai novels, with which Kajiura was involved around 2008, when she invited Wakana Ootaki and Keiko Kubota from FictionJunction to sing the themes from the series. The idea caught on, as the debut single "Oblivious" released by Kalafina in 2008 charted in the Top Ten, its success prompting Sony Music Japan to hold a 30,000-participant contest in May 2008 to select two more members for Kalafina, the lucky winners being Hikaru and Maya -- the latter only sticking around for one single, "sprinter/ARIA" (rumor had it that she had to focus on graduating from high school), and officially dropped from the band in 2009. Transcending their status as a Kara No Kyoukai theme band, Kalafina recorded the song "Lacrimosa" (2009), which was used as a theme for another series, Kuroshitsuji (the song being penned by Kajiura, of course), and in 2009 they released their debut studio album, Seventh Heaven, promoting it at the annual Anime Boston convention. The single "Storia," scheduled for July 2009, is to serve as a theme for an NHK historical show. ~ Alexey Eremenko
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