Mr.Children remained relatively quiet the first half of 2005 with energy focused on a new upcoming album. The only activity done was on February 28, 2005 when Kazutoshi Sakurai appeared at Golden Circle vol.7 and sung Mr.Children's 'Love is blindness'. It wasn't until June 29, 2005 when they released their 27th single 'Yojiken - Four Dimensions', that Mr.Children resurfaced. The single became a monster hit selling 569,000 copies its first week. As a quad a-side single, all four songs had a commercial tie in: 'Mirai' promoted Pocari Sweat (ポカリスエット), 'and I love you' promoted Cup Noodle "NO BORDER" (カップヌードル "NO BORDER"), 'Running High' became the theme song for the Japanese movie 'Fly Daddy Fly' (フライ,ダディ,フライ), and "Yooidon" (ヨーイドン, "Yooidon"?) was used as a promotional song for Fuji TV's educational program Ponkikkiizu, Gachagachapon (ポンキッキーズ, ガチャガチャポン!). Even though it was a single, it was classified as an album by the Recording Industry Association of Japan. Mr.Children kept themselves busy during the summer and attended Kazutoshi Sakurai's 3-day festival ap bank fes '05 from July 16, 2005 through July 18, 2005, followed by SETSTOCK '05 at Kokuei Bihoku Kyuuryou park on July 23, 2005 and HIGHER GROUND 2005 at Umi no Nakamichi Kaihinkouen Outdoor Theater on July 30, 2005. Three months later on September 21, 2005, 'I ♥ U', Mr.Children's newest original album, was released. Long time friend and director Tange Kouki became inspired by the song 'Fastener' while the group was still working on the album and created a short film titled 'Fastener' after the name of the song. As repayment for the inspiration he deigned the lyrics booklet that accompanied the album. By the end of the year the album managed to sell 1,068,773 copies and was the eighth best selling album for 2005. (Oricon) Two months later 'DOME TOUR 2005 "I ♥ U"' began, running from November 12, 2005 through December 27, 2005. During the tour Kazutoshi likened the song 'Sensui' to Mr.Children by announcing to fans "The last word of this song is our desire now" (Oricon).
Directed by Tange Kouki, the short film 'Fastener' was inspired by Mr.Children's
song of the same name. It is a story about a boy who becomes an 'adult' after his first kiss.
The beginning of 2006 was another quiet year for Mr.Children due work on a new album. One month after the end of the dome tour, Mr.Children went back into the recording studio to work on 3 new songs (Oricon). Their 28th single 'Houkiboshi' was released on July 5, 2006 and used for Toyota's "Tobira wo akeyou" (トビラを開けよう) commercial and as the theme song to NTV's '2006 FIFA World Cup' broadcasting. Due to the groups involvement with ap bank fes. '06, there were no magazine or radio promotions, and only 3 live performances were done to promote the single. It became their lowest selling since 1999's 'I'LL BE' single. Ten days following the release of 'Houkiboshi', Mr.Children participated in their annual festival, ap bank fes. '06, where they played for the first time a new song titled 'Irodori'. While singing the song, emotions took over Kazutoshi Sakurai: "Tears seemed to flow and I couldn't sing neatly" (R&R Newsmaker - April 2007 issue). A month later Mr.Children were special guests at The Mujintou fes. 2006 on August 27, 2006, followed by performances at ROCK ROCK hello! On September 2, 2006, and two Sakurai only performances at LuckyRaccoonNight vol.1 on November 18, 2006 and November 25, 2006, and RED RIBBON LIVE on November 28, 2006. As a group they announced a joint ZEPP tour with Japanese rockers the pillows, titled 'Mr.Children & the pillows new big bang tour ~This is Hybrid Innocent~'. The tour was held from September 26, 2006 through October 11, 2006. On November 15, 2006, the group released their second and 29th single 'Shirushi', which was used as the theme song for the controversial Japanese drama Jyūyonsai no Haha (14才の母) about a 14 year old girl who becomes pregnant. Also included on the single was a remake of 'Kurumi'; originally released in 2003, it was re-recorded as a new song and released as ‘Kurumi - for the film Koufuku na shokutaku’. The single was a massive hit and eventually sold 740,080 copies and granted the group their 26th consecutive #1 single (Oricon). The year ended with Mr.Children announcing on December 31, 2006 a new album and a new tour.
2007 started off with the release of 'FAKE'. It was the groups 30th single, first limited release single at 400,000 copies, and used to promote the movie 'Dororo'. Around the same time, Mr.Children's previous hit 'HERO', which was released in 2002, was picked to be used as the entrance music for the 2007 Hanshin baseball season. On March 14, 2007, Mr.Children's latest album, 'HOME', was released. The album celebrated the groups 15th anniversary, and spent two weeks at #1, making it the group's time in almost 13 years to have an album chart for two consecutive weeks at #1 (Oricon). The main promotional song for the labum, 'Irodori', was used to promote the Olympus E-410. The group had come to a standstill while they were recording the song 'Houkiboshi' and new album. It was producer Kobayashi Takeshi who said to the group, "Let's make an album that pays attention to the world with a message" (R&R Newsmaker - April 2007 issue). The album was also close to the group, as it was more personal and talked about family. While writing the lyrics to the song 'Anmari oboetenai ya', a song inspired by his father, Sakurai started to cry. "I had such a feeling also when working on 'Shirushi' and 'Kurumi'" (R&R Newsmaker - April 2007 issue). According to Sakurai, the title of the album was originally suggested to have a second word attached to it thus creating an album title such as "Home Made" or "Home Ground". With the title of the album he wanted fans to think of it as having been made by hand, thus the use of the word 'home'. However after discussions they choose to name it just 'Home' as they concluded that by adding an additional word it would be limiting the idea they had in mind (MSNMUSIC Interview).
For the cover of 'HOME', designer Chie Morimoto created the genealogy
of a real family to express the “connections” not visible to the eye.
Three days after the release of Home, Mr.Children won the awards Best Video of the Year and Best Group Video for the single 'Shirushi' at the Space Shower Music Awards '07. With the release of the album two tours were announced. The first half titled '', lasted from May 4, 2007 through June 23, 2007 and included long time friend and producer Kobyashi Takashi as part of the live band since the group debuted. The rest of the tour's live band only included musicians who had also worked on the 'HOME' album (Oricon). On May 5, 2007 after the second concert, Hideya Suzuki injured his hand after accidentally touching a ventilator. He injured his left index finger, which required 4 stitches, resulting in the Sapporo performances scheduled for May 12, 2007 and May 13, 2007 to be canceled and rescheduled. The tour reached a publicity high, when the group performed in front of 15,000 fans at the Yokohama Arena on June 7, 2007 (Oricon). Ten days into the tour, a new compilation album was released. 'B-SIDE' was released on May 10, 2007, exactly 15 years after their first release. The album was suggested by Sakurai during the recording of 'HOME' in the summer of 2006, as he felt the b-side songs also made the group become who they are today. Before the start of the next tour, Mr.Children performed at ap bank fes '07. Due to a typhoon, the first two days were canceled and only the final day went on. The second HOME tour, title '' took place from August 4, 2007 through September 30, 2007. The tours became a huge hit and became the most attended Japan tour in 2007 at 550,000 fans. Mr.Children's 31st single, 'Tabidachi no uta', was released on October 31, 2007 and used as a theme song for the Japanese movie Koizora (恋空). The promotional photo shoot done for the single was taken at Haneda Airport Station of Tokyo International Airport (FATHER&MOTHER No.50). The song is about seperation and was being worked on by Sakurai before being requested to be used for the movie. When Sakurai read the script for the movie he was astonished by the similarities between the song and the movie (Oricon). The single debuted with 238,380 its first week, becoming the lowest first week sales since 1999's 'I'll Be' single. In the solo arena Sakurai's Bank Band announced the release of 'Soushi Souai 2', the band's second album, 5 years after the original 'Soushi Souai' was released.
2008 started with the announcement of two new songs. The first titled 'Shounen' was to be used as the theme song to the Japanese Drama Battery. The second song, GIFT, was set to be used as the NHK Peking Olympic Broadcast theme song in August. In FATHER&MOTHER No.50, it was announced that work on a new album had already started and compositions were already done, with the group mentioning the hopeful release of the album by early 2009 at the latest. Mr.Children once again kept themselves busy during the summer by attending Kazutoshi Sakurai's 3-day festival ap bank fes '08 from July 19, 2008 through July 21, 2008. The group also attended HIGHER GROUND 2008 on July 26, 2008, SETSTOCK '08 on July 27, 2008, and RISING SUN ROCK FESTIVAL 2008 in EZO on August 16, 2008. In May, Mr.Children have announced 3 months of releases starting in July. The first single GIFT, was released on July 30, 2008, followed by the fan anticipated HOME -in the field- Tour DVD on August 6, 2008, and finally the second single of 2008, HANABI, on September 9, 2008. On the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards in Japan, U2's Bono presented Kazutoshi Sakurai and Mr.Children producer Kobayashi Takeshi, with the 'Rock The World' award for their work with ap bank. When introducing Sakurai and Kobayashi, Bono said "I am honored for my message to be passed on here. It is a prize suitable for the party who keeps reciting a wonderful message that all can resonate through rock named the 'Rock The World Award' that I introduce."
"I think this award could be won thanks to the endorsement of ap bank by all artists.
Thank you very much really."
- Sakurai Kazutoshi accepting the 'Rock The World' award.
In September, Mr.Children announced their first ever digital single titled 'Hana no nioi' to be released on Chaku uta October 1, 2008 and Chaku uta full on November 1, 2008. The song will be the theme song to the movie 'Watashi wa Kai ni naritai' (I Want to Be a Shellfish). The story is based on the novel by Tetsutaro Kato and tells the story of a post-World War 2 war crimes trial drama about a man who is (unjustly) sentenced to death as a war criminal. On October 1st, Mr.Children updated their official website with their 15th original album 'SUPERMARKET FANTASY'. The album was be released on December 10, 2008 and contained a total of 14 tracks. The album will also came with a first press version that will included the promotional videos for 'Tabidachi no uta', 'GIFT', 'HANABI', 'Hana no nioi', and Esora. The group also announced a new tour titled 'Mr.Children Tour 2009 ~End of confidence songs~' which ran from February 14, 2009 to May 31, 2009.
Fifteen different ideas were submitted for the cover art of 'SUPERMARKET FANTASY'
by Chie Morimoto before the band decided on this cover. The name of the album was also not
decided by the band, but was created by Chie.
Mr.Children ended 2008 by appearing on the 59th 'Kouhaku Uta Gassen' on December 31, 2008. It was the first time the group ever appeared on the show.
Notes for 1987 - 1992:
Information on the early history of Mr.Children can be found in hundreds of Japanese web sites on the artists, in addition to the various radio and TV interviews they have done, of which, as of this writing the last time they discussed their early history was on the 3/16/07 airing of the TV show MUSIC STATION. 'Mr.Children 1992-1995' also contained information about their pre-major debut days. Most information written here comes from the booklets unless noted by a different source in parenthesis.
Notes for 1992 - onward:
Information for these years posted come from Mr.Children's two BEST OF albums: Mr.Children 1992-1995' and 'Mr.Children 1996-2000' that each contained a history booklet to correlate with the years each album covered. Both albums can be purchased at various online store including but not limited to Amazon.co.jp, Yesasia.com, CDJapan.co.jp, and HMV.co.jp. Addtional information also comes from the magazines and websites discussed in the year including but not limited to the May 2007 issue of PATi PATi and the April 2007 special Mr.Children issue from KADOKAWA. Additional references can be found by viewing the news section of this site