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Archive for the ‘Tuesday Tunes’ Category

Have you guys gone and watched Nichijou/My Ordinary Life yet? I haven’t! But I recently noticed the credits for its opening song, “Hyadain no ka-ka-kata*omoi” (“Hyadain’s un-un-unrequited*love”). Maeyamada Ken’ichi, also known as Hyadain, has been one of my favorite remixers for years, and it was a big surprise to see his music featured in an anime.

From this quirky op, you can see lots of Hyadain’s musical trademarks – chiptune sensibilities, and a whole lot of backing himself up with falsetto. Check after the jump for more of his work, from cute and harmless Dragon Quest remixes to slightly risque love songs to Mega Man.

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Stolen from her blog. I liked that one.

This isn't the most appealing picture of her, but I like it anyway.

This is Takagaki Ayahi. She got her first starring role in 2007’s Venus Versus Virus and after a few well-received roles (like Isurugi Noe in True Tears, a personal favorite), her career really took off after she joined the seiyuu idol group Sphere in 2009. Along with young stars Tomatsu Haruka (Kannagi), Toyosaki Aki (Yui, K-On!) and Kotobuki Minako (Tsumugi, K-On!), the four of them have gotten pretty popular as seiyuu and singers. You may have heard Sphere’s music while watching recent shows like Sora no Manimani, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, or Asobi ni Ikuyo.

But in my mind, Sphere isn’t long for this world, because Takagaki Ayahi is due to bust out and leave her less-talented group members in the dust. Why do I think this?

I’m glad you asked.

Amusingly, Seiya has pointed out that this isn’t just any version of “Oh Happy Day” – it’s the exact version that appeared in Whoopi Goldberg’s immortal hit, Sister Act 2. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.

More of her music after the jump, along with my favorite game, “spot the anchor”!

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Last week, Lantis went ahead and released a Love Live! trailer that actually shows you what the song sounds like outside of the instrumentals. Is it cute? Eh… I guess. Is it catchy? It’s okay, I guess.

Is it so bad that it only sold 434 copies? …Yeah, kind of, especially in the animation and originality departments. You make the call.

It’s been five years after the first iDOLM@STER game took over arcades, which led to two highly successful Xbox 360 games, 4 portable versions, and a whole ton of concerts and CD releases. Last weekend, Namco Bandai announced the newest installment of the famous music-producing simulation: The iDOLM@STER 2.

Interestingly, the sequel is going straight to console this time, skipping the coin-op business entirely and jumping straight into the world of console sales and super-profitable DLC. The character designs and rendering engine have been updated and characters from the PSP version have replaced old favorites; most notably, though, the trailer includes the all-new song “The World is All One,” which has successfully wormed itself into my brain.

Oh, and extra love for the Namco 30th anniversary bumper. I could watch that all day.

Today’s target for Tuesday Tunes is the talented Kuribayashi Minami, who was recently announced as yet another guest at Anime Expo by MangaGamer. She rose to fame as the voice of Haruka in the (in)famous visual novel Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (also known as Rumbling Hearts in the States), and purely through the power of her voice she’s become  a star in the anisong world. More on her career, and more great songs from her, after the jump.

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The theme song for the Japanese 25th anniversary of Disney on Ice is Korean pop star BoA’s funk-heavy dance tune “Woo Weekend.” The above video really reminds me of the pop videos that you see during the commercial breaks on the Disney channel, which is kind of a career throwback for BoA after her more mature, club-oriented American album. I heard a lot of that last album around here – it made it big in the San Francisco club circuit, and because of that, BoA performed at last year’s Pride parade.

That’s not really why I find this song notable, though. I find it notable because it’s a Japanese Disney song written by a good friend of mine, Yoko. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Disney fan or a BoA fan or Avex fan or whatever – I strongly believe that you should pick up this single because Yoko’s awesome. Click past the jump for proof.

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Above is the main reason I’m excited for a new season of Code Geass. I’ve always had an obsession with Spanish guitar, and between composer Nakagawa Koutarou and singer/songwriter Sakai Mikio, they’ve delivered the goods on guitar since 2001’s s-CRY-ed.

Sure, the second season of Code Geass was an exercise in shark-jumping until there were no sharks left to jump. But let me tell you: if Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito has songs like Mikio’s “Callin’,” “Picaresque,” and “Tabidachi no Kane ga Naru,” I don’t care if the story has rocket emperors, God flying around in a spaceship, or Lelouch’s ghost flying around and killing of all the younglings.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4E0LhNM37A]

Sadly, sine the Black Knights have zero reason to show up in the new series, I don’t think we’ll be hearing their guitary goodness anymore. That’s okay, though, because hot damn, is “Black Knights” a good track. Sunrise better deliver!

Hell, I’ll even accept Sakai’s randomly happy stuff, like the Planetes ending:

But oh man, if they don’t bring back Nakagawa and by extension Sakai, I’m going to scream bloody murder…

It’s a slow news cycle in Japan thanks to the Golden Week holiday, which means it’s time to take a good hard look at some of the music that’s been released for this season, both good and bad. Above is our first topic: the guitar-heavy opening for Ichiban Ushiro no Daimao, “Realove: Realife” by seiyuu idol group Sphere. It’s a decent tune with the kind of heavy action tempo that I wish the show would demonstrate too, but the TV size hides the group’s shortcomings with this song – if you listen to the full version, I highly recommend listening closely for Toyosaki Aki’s solo, where she proves that while she can carry a tune alright, she can’t sing at the same volume as the other 3 in her group. She sounds like a 5-year-old in a punk band, and it’s hilarious.

I have a soft spot for the Heroman ending by FLOW, “Calling.” This shouldn’t be any surprise to people who have ridden in my car, since I own all of their albums and can’t wait for Fanime to confirm them as guests (oops, did I say that out loud?). The band specializes in light, catchy rock that just makes your day better, and this one is no different. Even the horrendously egregious Engrish in the background can’t bring me down when I listen to this one.

And then we have the surprise star of this season, Sawashiro Miyuki’s whimsically dancy “Title Nante Jibun de Kangaenasai na” (“Think of  a title yourself”). It’s a string of vicious insults sung in Miyukichi’s smoothest tones and set to something resembling ragtime, and I can’t help but love it. The animation that goes with it is just as crazy and weird as the show itself, and I wonder when I’ll be able to buy the single, because this is too fun not to own.

Go after the jump if you’re brave, because that’s where I’ll be posting some of the most execrable “music” from this season (hint: it’s sung by seiyuu who did it on the cheap, and these seiyuu don’t have any business singing for themselves. There’s a reason some characters have a speaking voice and a singing voice).

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Last weekend, as my friends and I belted out our favorite otaku hits, I read all of the lyrics to current favorite “Only My Railgun” for the first time. While I usually try to ignore the lyrics to anime songs (trust me, you’re better off not knowing the lyrics to 90% of all Japanese songs, the lyrics are unbelievably inane), I couldn’t help but do a double take at the random English lines in the song.

I thought I was hardened to that kind of thing, but this one was just too heinous to ignore: “Looking! The blitz loop this planet to search way. Only my railgun can shoot it.” I mean, really? That doesn’t even mean anything when you translate it back to Japanese. What is a blitz loop? Is it a verb? Do you have to be 18 or over to blitz loop a planet? It brought up all kinds of questions that had no answers.

Anyway, that got me to compile a list of some of the most hilariously bad Engrish in anime music that I could think of, and over two decades of fandom dredged a few hits out of my brain, like “I believe in drastic my soul.” See my all-time top five after the jump. Feel free to chime in with your own favorites, too!

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What happens when you take JAM Project and their old-school anime sensibilities away from the vaunted Super Robot Wars series? A whole lot of fan service rushes in to fill the vacuum. You get Mizuki Nana playing a busty fairy princess, and watch an opening sequence that’s so shamelessly fan service-oriented that one of the girls fondles herself and looks enviously at the other girls. Why, back in my day of playing Super Robot Wars, the opening song was called “Rocks” and consisted of a lot of shouting the words “SUPER ROBOT” over and over again. And we were happy with these things! Check after the jump for what I’m used to out of the Super Robot Wars series, and not this seiyuu idol stuff!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to play my newly arrived copy of Mugen no Frontier Exceed in a corner where no one can see me, so as to hide my shame.

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