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Archive for the ‘Tuesday Tunes’ Category

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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As long as there's no Kageyama' I'm okay.

For lovers of anime music, the Animelo concert series led by JAM Project is like watching the Dream Team year after year, as all of the best . But having been there once for the 2008 concert, let me tell you that I have no urge to stand out in the August heat in Tokyo for one more minute in my life. It was a great concert, but unless it decides to move to a less humid time of year or a cooler climate, I’m not going back.

So, while their announcement of a November concert in Shanghai doesn’t affect me directly, it gives me hope that within a couple of years, we can see something like it in the US. It’d be a pretty tough sell to try and fly that many acts over the Pacific unless they’re 100% sure they’re going to sell out, but its very existence means that JAM Project’s international tour, which touched American shores at Otakon in 2008, was successful enough to make international ventures viable to Japanese promoters. So, I’m hoping that the Shanghai concert sells out overwhelmingly, and that in 2011 or 2012, the Animelo concerts will come to my neck of the woods. Hit the break to see some of the great performances and anime all-stars that have graced this concert series over the last six years.

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Is it anime? Nope. Is it awesome? Hell yeah. The Muppets Studio has always been great at producing amusing musical vignettes, and in this day and age they haven’t let up. Check out some of the other musical endeavors they’ve put on YouTube after the jump, including an amazing rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody and a Swedish take on French opera.

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Anime song mega-label Lantis has posted the full 344-second “Yasashii Boukyaku” (“Gentle Oblivion”) as its latest promotional video on YouTube, and I’m surprised at the fan reaction to it being so divided. It’s a melancholy and mournful tune, very fitting for the upcoming Vanishment of Haruhi Suzumiya movie and its sad-girl-in-snow pace. The movie is a mere week away, and hopefully the American arm of Bandai will be survive long enough to release the movie for us – it’s a good novel, and should be more than enough to make up for that train wreck that tried to pass for a second season.

What do you think?

You think they're trying hard to sell this one?

Image from Akiba Blog.

The latest Mizuki Nana single from the Nanoha movie, “Phantom Minds,” has hit #1 in the charts – but that really doesn’t mean much. As houkoholic at seiyuu3 points out, her 21st single isn’t even the #1 best-seller among Mizuki Nana singles. It’s just not a market where CDs sell, and the sales rose to the top of a weak field. So, not that impressive as a milestone, her 30,000+ attendance concert at Saitama Super Arena was more astounding.

But what this does give me is an excuse to provide you readers with more music from her latest single, as well as some of her more amazing insert songs from the Nanoha series.

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