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Posts Tagged ‘music

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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Heh.

Nice try, girls, but no dice.

Do you know what Love Live! is? Yeah, I bet you don’t. It’s a collaboration between Dengeki G’s magazine (Sister Princess), Lantis (a music label that includes Chihara Minori and Kuribayashi Minami), and Sunrise (Gundam) that seems aimed squarely at the iDOLM@STER crowd. The formula seems simple: take some relatively talented voice actresses and have them sing over cutely animated idols, then profit off of all the CDs and games.

At some point, though, the train to ludicrous guaranteed profits got derailed. Do you want to know how many copies the Love Live single “Bokura no Live, Kimira to no Life” sold in its first week after the August 25th release?

434. That is not a typo. Four hundred and thirty-four copies in its first week, good for 167th on the charts. Check after the jump on some of the reasons it failed so spectacularly.

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Krauser-samaaaaaa

Go to DMC! Go to DMC!

Well, it’s about time. Viz Pictures has announced that a release plan for the 2008 Detroit Metal City movie. DMC is the live action adaptation of Wakasugi Kiminori’s comedy manga about a simple country boy named Negishi Soichi, who fronts a death metal band as the demonic Johannes Krauser II (pictured above). Their current schedule is not yet solid, but a DVD release is coming this fall, which will most likely be accompanied by a limited theater release, a la 20th Century Boys and Death Note.

I saw the movie while I was in Japan back in August 2008, and it was hilarious. I’ve fallen out of love with the manga in recent years because it got too crazy and aggressive over time, turning the main character into an unlikeable font of schizophrenic rage; as a 100-minute movie, it felt just right as a cheesy, funny look at a man struggling between what he likes and what he’s good at. Matsuyama Ken’ichi’s (L from Death Note) portrayal of Negishi mixes comedic buffoonery with just enough tragedy to keep you sympathetic. Plus, you can’t hate a movie that gives you the pleasure of hearing Gene Simmons say “Kill him, Metal Buffalo!” It’s just not possible.

Hit the jump for the official movie trailer and a bonus music video from the original promotional campaign.

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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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Oh hey, I’m allowed to announce this now.

May’n and Nakajima Megumi, who both broke out in the sci-fi musical hit Macross Frontier, are coming to Anime Expo and will be holding a concert at the famed Nokia theater in downtown LA.

You can see them both above. May’n is an amazing performer, while Nakajima Megumi is a much less polished product – but hey, she’s there to be cute, and she’s pretty good at that.

I am probably going to get tickets. No, I do not accept bribes.

Here, have another video that will convince you of how cool this is.

Excuse me while I fend off requests.

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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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You know, as much as I enjoyed the movies, I can’t get excited about this trailer for the latest Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann music video collection. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Parallel Works was nifty and all, but at this point, I want someone to wake me up when Gainax decides to make something new. 5250 yen for 7 music videos, no matter how nifty they are, feels like franchise milking of the worst sort, the kind that leads to ten years of Evangelion rereleases and miscellaneous pieces of merchandise for a series instead of spending all that effort to create something new.

Maybe I’m wrong, and they’re just using the money from these releases to pay for their next big hit. I really hope that’s the case.

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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