30 March 2013

Animelo Summer Live 2013 - FLAG NINE announced


One of the biggest annual anime music festivals, Animelo Summer Live, has been announced through Anisama's official site. As one of the most quickly growing manifestations, with new performers added each year, this time the festivities will last 3 days, August 23rd, 24th and 25th. Saitama Super Arena will be the host this year as well.

Here is the current list of artists that will perform:

August 23rd

- ALI PROJECT
- Minori Chihara
- ChouCho
- ZAQ
- May'n
- nano.RIPE

August 24th

- Minami Kuribayashi
- T-Pistonz + KMC
- angela
- Sumire Kamisaka
- GRANRODEO

August 25th

- Yukari Tamura
- Tominaga TOMMY Hiroaki
- Maon Kurosaki
- Nana Mizuki
- Miyano Mamori



29 March 2013

Faylan - PRISM


                                                                       Mirai Nikki ED (Track no. 2)
                                                                      Gundam AGE ED 3 (Track no. 6)
                                                                       Mirai Nikki OP 3 (Track no. 7)
                                                                      Hagure Yuusha no Estetica OP (Track no. 10)
                                                                      Mirai Nikki OP 2 (Track no. 11)

Tracklist:


1. prism flower
2. Blood teller
3. Sokyuu no Hikari
4. RED love
5. crime of love
6. WHITE justice
7. HAPPY END
8. moment
9. Sousei no Thanatos
10. Realization
11. Dead END
12. RED decision
13. promise you...


1. prism flower

The lead track begins pretty foreboding and awesome, like an Ali Project song, but just as one starts to think that Faylan is on the wrong side of anisong, it turns into one of her usual rockier songs. This time is more hard synths than actual guitars (or any other instrument), but I don't mind because it's very catchy and powerful. Though her voice is just a tiny bit annoying with the fail-western theme, it's still a good song to open an album.
Rating: 9

2. Blood teller

I'm surprised this song would be on this album, since it's from way back 2011 and I was expecting God Fate instead - but it's one hell of an awesome song and my favourite from Faylan, so I don't mind at all. Exactly like the title predicts, her voice is dark and deep, like a Blood teller should be, switching from the western/country in prism flower. There's not much instruments in this song that would make variety, but the guitar alone does its job perfectly.
Note to self: Don't listen to Blood teller while writing reviews. Had to replay it twice.
Rating: 10

3. Sokyuu no Hikari

Straying from the songs that were simple in composition, this track is full-blown J-rock (and even heavy metal in some parts). I like the fact that she retains the power of her voice from the previous song, especially in the chorus, sometimes even sounding really monster-like and scary with the overdone filters. This is not tied to an anime, which is the main source of her great songs, so it proves Faylan can hold her own ground as a rock vocalist without the help of tie-ins.
Rating: 10

4. RED love

A bit of a slower track, but the chain of rock-heavy songs still continues. More genres are mixed in here, so the chorus again sounds like Ali Project. Her vocals aren't something special here, but the attention is more on the instrumentation, which is a mix of both a little guitars and a little more synths and electronica. Also, expect a series of sudden jumps and changes that come with the mix of genres, because on the second minute the whole thing suddenly slows down, like someone stopped time, and continues in that matter.
Rating: 8

5. crime of love

An excerpt from prism flower is the first thing that's heard, but it's remixed and the line "life is a flower" is replaced with "crime of love". Probably the first real ballad on the album, and it finally provides a rest from the uptempo songs. The arrangement is in an unusual jazzy, laid-back style with many strings in the background. And as for Faylan's vocals, they show another, gentler and elegant side completely opposite of the gritty, violent tone of her rock songs, that I love.
Rating: 8.5

6. WHITE justice

Guitars take a back seat here, as the composition is classic anisong/game, with synths, quite dramatically used violins and piano. In the upbeat tempo, her harder voice is back but it has flexibility to fit in the slower parts of the song. A big plus to this track is that it can turn from anisong to a touching ballad in a second, and I'm pretty sure that I hear something identical to the Chrono Trigger music from the Middle Ages (thus, instant tears).
Rating: 10

7. HAPPY END

This song is quirky, weird and very different from the other songs in this album by the measure of its gentleness. It is rich in terms of arrangement with strings that are really heavily used here, several sequences of acoustic guitars and even bells. One of the rare truly happy songs in Faylan's discography, the track with its ambiental tempo reminds of a fairy tale on its end, amplified by the repeated "aishiteru" (I love you).
Rating: 9

8. moment

Uniquely, an electronic song without any guitars or rock composition whatsoever, being replaced by the saxophones and 8-bit music. I can't really imagine Faylan singing this 100% J-pop song effectively with her bouncy voice, which is probably the reason she's under filters the whole song and there's nothing more than whispering and vague chanting. Interesting for a few listens, but I don't see myself listening to this often.
Rating: 7

9. Sousei no Thanatos

This isn't tied to an anime? Because with the title and the arrangement it could really be an opening to something called Sousei no Thanatos. The track has a more traditional feeling to it, with a choir backing the vocals and acoustic guitars actually doing the stronger parts of the song instead of electric ones. I can't really discern everything because there's probably like 15-20 different instruments in the composition, but that adds to its effect. You know that something is unique when you're forced to figure out a hybrid term of a harpsichord and a flute.
Rating: 8.5

10. Realization

The song sounds like it's crawling out of a deep well, but it then picks up in a dance-rock melody... with gothic vampire bells O__o (they do remain the song, but in the very background). This can probably become one of my favourites in the album because most of the song has the "epic", dramatic quality that makes you sing along, exactly like in Blood teller. Of course, several eargasms were lived through during the 5 minutes of the song's duration.
Rating: 10

11. Dead END

The sequence of the tracks in the album makes a circle, returning to the very dark sound several first songs had. What sets this one different from the others is actually the significant feeling of depth and hard guitars like in a Maon Kurosaki song - specifically, very like Under/Shaft. Faylan's voice is powerful, but it's somehow ruined by the parts in which she recites some Engrish where her speech sounds like her mouth are full of some gooey matter which she can't get rid of in any of her songs.
Rating: 9

12. RED decision

Is there a colour theme here? WHITE justice, RED love, and then RED decision lol
Anyways, the track has her collaborating once again with an unknown producer of gothic music / AliPro fan. The arrangement is epic fantasy-like with the organ, bells and many aerial stunts probably performed by whoever plays the violin in her band.
Some James Bond cadences also appear in the middle eight (the part after the second chorus) which always seems to be the most important part of her songs.
Rating: 9

13. promise you...

 A very simple and relaxing ballad is chosen to close the album, as it's almost always only Faylan's voice and the piano. String plucking from WHITE justice is back here (Yay!) and it reminds of classical music a lot. Aside from the unexpected and uncalled for changes in tempo and rhythm, the track is a beautiful end to a nice album. ^__^
Rating: 8


I've had a great time listening to Faylan's newest piece of work, and what is most important, I was always engaged and never felt bored. Even though not all songs are perfect and there are some misfits, the pure epicness makes up for it. My overall rating is: 9

Favourite songs: Blood teller, prism flower, WHITE justice, Realization

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27 March 2013

KOKIA - Kioku no Hikari

                                                                         Space Battleship Yamato 2199 ED

Tracklist:

1. Kioku no Hikari
2. Where to go my love (single ver.)


1. Kioku no Hikari

I was kind of worried about the quality of this single, because Kokia had three releases in the last two months, but on the contrary, it completely blew me away. The whole thing sounds exactly like something only Yuki Kaijura's magical talent at songwriting could of composed. Even her voice sounded like Kalafina O__o
Aside from that, the song is in the same spirit as her previous single, ie. epic, fantasy RPG-like music, and it's pretty long, with 6 minutes, but doesn't get boring even for a moment.
Rating: 10

2. Where to go my love (single ver.)

If the previous song was epic, then this must be anti-epic. It sounds like a usual pop-ballad, except it's really slow. Fortunately, the instrumentals save the track, being very relaxing and calm, especially at the first few minutes, with only a piano and some strings. Unless you don't listen to this song 5-10 times, the distinction between verses and the chorus is almost nonexistent, and you'll either listen it as a piece of classical music, or a boring, dull song. When summed up, definitely not on the same level as the A-side.
Rating: 6

Wow, the spring anime season hasn't even started yet, and we've already got a piece of great music on our hands (at least the A-side, if not the second track). If all songs will be good like this, then I can't wait for the episodes to start rolling. My overall rating for this release is: 8


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26 March 2013

Aimer - RE:I AM

                                                                             Mobile Suit Gundam UC theme

Tracklist:


1. RE:I AM
2. Hoshi no Kieta Yoru ni
3. Kyokara Omoi de
4. RE:I AM (Instrumental)
5. Hoshi no Kieta Yoru ni (Instrumental)


1. RE:I AM

The track starts off as a great sounding rock ballad, but it turns out that most of the song is actually a usual arrangement with piano and acoustic guitars. Still, the song is pretty enjoyable, and Aimer's voice has a very nice, dry colour, with perfect control of it. Many musicians today don't know the line between a song being too slow to be engaging, or hitting the right spot, which Aimer did.
Rating: 9

2. Hoshi no Kieta Yoru ni

Making a step away from the rockyness of the previous song, this time it is more of an alternative atmosphere. The song is whispy and calm, but I am simply amazed by its complexity and layers. If you listen carefully, a bell which is constantly repeating the same tones is present through the whole track, making it a bit hypnotic but awesome at the same time. Aimer's voice is layered, not in the pure form like it was in the previous song, fitting the arrangement.
Rating: 10

3. Kyokara Omoi de

Out of the three, this one is probably the simplest, though its composition makes it feel heavy in a way, because of the deep, strong piano and the marching drums. Every song in this single seems to have a surprise in it, and this time it's a choir following the main vocals. Although it's not quite as interesting, this also makes a good ballad.
Rating: 8

I'm very glad I discovered an artist like Aimer, because the songs in this single were outstanding, and so is her voice. Do you know she did a cover of Lady Gaga's Poker Face in excellent English?
My overall rating for this release is: 9


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livetune feat. Hatsune Miku - Re:dial

                                                       "Mikupedia" official song (Track no. 1)
                                                        Google Chrome CM (Track no. 2)
                                                        Project Diva - F OP (Track no. 10)
                                                      "Mememe no Kurage" theme song (Track no. 14) 


Tracklist:

1. Re:dial
2. Tell Your World
3. Packaged
4. Finder
5. Light Song
6. Strobe Nights
7. Yellow (Re:Dialed)
8. Magnetic
9. Fly Out
10. Weekender Girl
11. Heart Beat
12. D.E.N.P.A. (Re:edit)
13. our music(kz's The Begining of The End remix)
14. Last Night, Good Night (Re:Dialed)
15. Tell Your World -English Version-


1. Re:dial

The album is opened with a classic upbeat, synthy and happy sound, like most Vocaloid songs. It's quite easy to listen to, although it's very safe and unoriginal. For the promotional song, livetune could of tried harder, and this is outshadowed by some other songs present on the album. Could of been done a bit better.
Rating: 6

2. Tell Your World

A piano is a somewhat unusual addition to the mostly electronic sounds present, but it mixes greatly with the dance arrangement, making it very catchy. Tell Your World sounds like anisong very much at some parts, but it's a small wonder, looking at the fact that it was performed on Animelo Summer Live. I'd much rather put this as the album's leading song, seeing as it's way better.
Rating: 10

3. Packaged

Some variety appears after the upbeat tempos of the previous song, and this is our first slower track. There is a series of creative usage of synths, and Miku's voice sounds more natural, especially at the high tones, but other than that, it kind of felt like a drag, and not very outstanding.
Rating: 7

4. Finder

I'm surprised to see Miku's voice in such a human range in another slow song. Aside from that, only some bells in the song's beginning distinguish it from the generic Vocaloid melodies. The album flops from a great, engaging start to some really boring songs.
Rating: 4

5. Light Song

Several weird repetitions of the line "Light Song" introduce us to the track, but it's actually an uplifting, kiddish track. For some reason, even though it's not made in particular for that, it reminds me of Christmas, as it is also relaxing and restful.
Rating: 8

6. Strobe Nights

Probably the most unusual song on the album, it begins deep, and mysterious, with only Miku and one line of synths, but then turns into the usual J-pop/Vocaloid fare we heard before. It's hard reviewing when almost every song is a copy of the one before it...
Rating: 5


7. Yellow (Re:Dialed)

Featuring also the generic arrangement, this also mixes with some piano and dubstep, so it's a bit more interesting and quirky. Finally something refreshing and more upbeat than the boredom we have been able to listen to in most of the previous tracks.
Rating: 7

8. Magnetic

Well this needs to be heard if you want to get it completely, but I'll try to describe it - This reminds of a slightly retarded, glitchy computer, with the electronic sounds being all over the place. But even so, it's only accomplishment is that it is not completely tiring to listen to. Again, not very impressed.
Rating: 5

9. Fly Out

Livetune seems to abandon his usual composition in this song (finally), and puts out something that looks like Egoist or Supercell released it. This is a much better ballad than some others here, and it's very simplistic one, with only Miku and one melody.
Rating: 8

10. Weekender Girl

Completely immersed in American pop, I can almost imagine a spoiled, bratty girl alike to Miku in "The World is Mine". The dubstep sequences really work here, and livetune should stick to it more, as it makes the song much more original, even if it is a slower ballad.
Rating: 9

11. Heart Beat

Moving away from the cuteness, this song has a composition similar to house and club music. The rhythm, of course and the drum machine here imitate the heart beats, and for some reason, I'm reminded of "Electric Love" with the singing Miku does.
Rating: 8

12. D.E.N.P.A. (Re:edit)

Only drums start the song, and as it progresses, more and more instruments are added, alike to trance music, until we get to a rock arrangement merged with some synths. Although, this is more of an instrumental song, since the vocals are seldom heard, but the cleverly used guitars make up for it.
Rating: 6


13. our music(kz's The Begining of The End remix)

I am aware that this is a remix, but it's remarkably long track, being seven and a half minutes long! Unfortunately, this song brings back the boring arrangement which is worsened by the repetitiveness of it. I'd really avoid this song on the album, since there is absolutely nothing that it offers.
Rating: 2

14. Last Night, Good Night

One of  the rare songs on this album that is really touching and calm, but it eventually gains momentum until guitars are added and it is more of a rock ballad. This song though, doesn't stand out because of the arrangement, but because of a greatly skilled composition of Miku's voice, making vibratos that sound much like human.
Rating: 8

15. Tell Your World -English Version-

This song intrigued me when I first looked at the title, because Japanese Vocaloids don't cope too well with the English language. My predictions were right, and the singing is barely understandable, with the words sounding like a random, chopped up pile. Wasn't the goal of the track for English fans to actually understand it?
Rating: 1

There are some jewels here and there, but most of the album is a borefest. Probably the only song I would listen to again is "Tell Your World", but only the Japanese version. My overall rating for the album is: 6

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24 March 2013

Weekly News - Utada Hikaru Returns, Nanoha Gets 3rd Film, And More

                            
                                            - Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha anime gets 3rd film -

The anime division of the retailer HMV reported on Saturday that production on a third film in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha anime franchise has been green-lit. The announcement was made at the end of the "Lyrical Party V" event marking the release of the second film, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha the Movie 2nd A's, on Japanese Blu-ray Disc and DVD


                                                       
                                                           - New Mega Man project in the works -
  
CAPCOM made a series of announcements for its Mega Man franchise at PAX East's World of CAPCOM Panel, which celebrated Mega Man's 25th anniversary. CAPCOM hinted at a new project to answer the call of fans, but stated that they still are working "behind the scenes" before they can announce anything officially. Other announcements included the sale of Mega Man 4 (the NES game) on 3DS Virtual Console on April 25, Mega Man 5 on May 16, and Mega Man 6 in June.


                                               
                                               - Anime Central to host voice actress Yuu Asakawa -

The organizers of the Anime Central convention announced on Friday that Japanese voice actress and singer Yuu Asakawa will be a guest at the convention. Anime Central notes one of Asakawa's hobbies is English and fans can follow her English twitter account @Julia320. Asakawa is the sample voice for Vocaloid Megurine Luka, and she's voiced numerous characters during her anime voice acting career.


                                             
                                               - Final Fantasy X and X - 2 HD to get Western release -

Square Enix opened a website on Friday revealing that the Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 HD-remastered games will get a Western release on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. The website reveals that it will post an announcement trailer on Monday, and it is currently hosting screenshots from the Final Fantasy X HD game.

                                         
                                                 
                                             - Utada Hikaru returns as a radio personality -

Utada Hikaru will return to the entertainment business after three years away — not as a singer, but as a radio personality. She announced on Friday that she will begin hosting a monthly radio program called Kuma Power Hour with Utada Hikaru on the InterFM station on April 16. The program will run on the third Tuesday of every month in Tokyo and Yokohama's Kanto region.



                                 - Sailor Moon makes the cover of a fashion magazine -

The characters of Naoko Takeuchi's magical girl manga Sailor Moon made the Vol. 3 cover of the fashion magazine TOKYOViVi on Friday. Sailor Moon's Usagi and Chibi-Usagi share the cover with model Lena Fujii. Sailor Moon artwork also adorn the table of contents and reader questionnaire pages. According to the magazine's official blog, the current issue's art director is Chinatsu Wakatsuki, a singer who happens to be a fan of the original manga.



source: animenewsnetwork.com

22 March 2013

Kalafina - Consolation

                                                                   Fate/Zero OP 2 (Track no. 11)
                                         Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Eternal Story OP (Track no. 12)

Tracklist:


1. al fine
2. Consolation
3. moonfesta
4. Door
5. Mirai
6. Hanataba
7. Signal
8. Obbligato
9. Kichigo no Shigemi ni
10. manten
11. to the beginning
12. Hikari Furu
13. Yume no Daichi


1. al fine

This song opens the album with a very eerie and scary feeling. Even though it is only a prelude and there is barely any singing to go along with the violins, it does replicate what most of the album will sound like.
Rating: 10

2. Consolation

Picking up the grim atmosphere, the track is rocky and powerful, something along the line of a darker "Magia", having an identical arrangement. With it's excellent guitar usage, this can't really be classified as a ballad, but the vocals are certainly on that level, save the creepy chanting at the very end of the song. Something like this is exactly what is expected from Kalafina, and they deliver it flawlessly.
Rating: 10

3. moonfesta

More medieval-sounding melodies come next, and they are packaged in a very interesting arrangement reminiscent of a Renaissance festival. The instrumentation is simple, containing only flutes and an acoustic guitar, which creates a cheery and bright character of the song. Although it's a sudden change from the previous songs, it's quite unique and original.
Rating: 9

4. Door

Maybe this song was actually set to begin after the prelude, because it does sound like it directly continues from it. However, there is more of a melancholic, sad feeling to this instead of a darker one, accompanied by a piano and some strings. It can easily be used as some kind of lullaby, because the vocals are touching and more solo-oriented instead of the group composition.
Rating: 9.5

5. Mirai

Somewhat alike moonfesta, this song is upbeat and encouraging, with the violin successfully conveying the optimistic sound of it. My first time ever hearing gothic-like chants used in a happy arrangement would be now, but it was done tastefully, and I was interested in listening to it.
Rating: 8

6. Hanataba

Kalafina's composer, Yuki Kaijura is very inventive with the composing of their songs, because this one opens with an accordion, which is very unusual for a pop-oriented song like this. It can get very powerful throughout the song, and I've never heard something akin to that sound so good.
Rating: 9

7. Signal

We are returned to the serious tone the first part of the album had, with a difference that this song is much scarier than Consolation. The members of Kalafina are rarely ever put under filters, because of their fantastic singing capability, but here it greatly adds to the effectiveness and the march-like tempo. Possibly, this can get my favourite song in this album.
Rating: 10

8. Obbligato

I definitely wouldn't recommend you to listen to the first minute of this song if you are all alone at night. The chanting gets insanely bizarre, but before it can get any further, it turns into possibly the most mainstream-sounding rock song Kalafina has ever made, except the end, where it returns to its roots. This song is a great mix of different genres though, so it stands out a lot in the album.
Rating: 10

9. Kichigo no Shigemi ni

As a rest from the heart-attack inducing songs, we get another slower song with a piano, and this time, the chello, which sound great and very deep, suiting the vocals.
A bit calmer and safer this time around, this is another good ballad in the album.
Rating: 9

10. manten

I almost thought this is going to be a creepy song, again, but the violins and the guitars kick in quickly, making it more of a usual anime arrangement. The focus of this track is somewhat in showcasing the group's voices, which it does quite good. It can remind of some older songs from them in some parts, which is a big plus.
Rating: 8

11. to the beginning

Like the previous song, this one also features the usual anime arrangement, but here it's understandable, since it was used for Fate/Zero. It is very touching, but dynamic at the same time, which makes it one of the better anime songs Kalafina has done.
Rating: 8.5


12. Hikari Furu

The simple arrangement contrasts the powerful voices they have, which makes them stand out even more than they already do. With the calm and relaxing incentive this song has, the guitars sometimes feel out of place, but it's still a good song, fitting to an anime Madoka Magica is.
Rating: 8

13. Yume no Daichi

This album closes with a mix of moonfesta and Mirai, since it's faster and uplifting, but the medieval instruments join here as well. For me, the song represents the waking up from the nightmare, which is the darker songs, so it makes a good closure and theme, amplified by the finale that reminds of classical music.
Rating: 10

This being my first album from Kalafina I've listened, I have to say that I'm pretty impressed by the infinite capability and creativity they have. My overall rating for this album is: 10 - RECOMMENDED

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21 March 2013

SPYAIR - Sakura Mitsutsuki

                                                                                            Gintama OP 13

Tracklist:


1. Sakura Mitsutsuki
2. Turning Point
3. Sakura Mitsutsuki (Instrumental)
4. Turning Point (Instrumental)


1. Sakura Mitsutsuki

We're off with a plain and somewhat underwhelming start, but as the song gains momentum, it actually becomes a very good rock track. This type of song is very usual for shounen anime like Gintama, so the originality part can be overlooked because of a more secure approach. Still, this song is satisfying and easy for listening. All it takes, like most Japanese songs, is time to warm up to it.
Rating: 8

2. Turning Point

Unlike "Sakura Mitsutsuki", this song in fact scores points on uniqueness, being a mix of synths, guitars and hip hop, which makes it an interesting experience. Ike, SPYAIR's vocalist sounds remarkable when rapping, so I hope I get to hear more songs of them in which he does that.
Rating: 9

The A-side of this single is enough for simply promoting it, but the real treasure is what lies under. My overall rating for this release is: 8.5

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19 March 2013

Yuikaori - Shiny Blue

                                                      Madou Monogatari (PS Vita) OP


Tracklist:


1. Shiny Blue
2. Hatsukoi Meizu (First Love's Maze)
3. Shiny Blue (off vocal ver.)
4. Hatsukoi Meizu (off vocal ver.)


1. Shiny Blue

This would be your typical cute and idol-ish song. Somehow, I really don't want people to associate anime and game music with groups like Yuikaori, because all they do is voice act moe characters through the whole song and imitate AKB48/Morning Musume/Your idol of choice. Well, at least the upbeat technopop arrangement caught my attention for a little bit, even if they have zero singing ability.
Rating: 5

2. Hatsukoi Meizu

Sugar, spice and everything nice. More cute is thrown in here, but with the slower tempo, it actually works. The synths are used more creatively paired with acoustic guitars, and this is something better that I'd listen to (although the vocals are still in character song mode >.>).
Rating: 7

I'll definitely be off listening to something completely different than this, but if cute is your style, go for it. My overall rating is: 6

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18 March 2013

HARUKI - Houkyou no Messiah

                                                           Robotics ; Notes OP 2

Tracklist:


1. Houkyou no Messiah*
2. BELOVED
3. Yuki no Hana (Snow Flower)
4. Houkyou no Messiah - Chinese Short Version (Limited Edition only)
5. Houkyou no Messiah - Anime Short Version (Limited Edition only)
6. Houkyou no Messiah (instrumental)


1. Houkyou no Messiah

The song sounds a bit sluggish at first, but it soon turns into a full-blown rock melody. Also, it has some strange electro-sounding clippings through the whole track, making it sound like something out of "I've sound" and/or Mami Kawada (obviously, a big plus). This is my first time listening to HARUKI, but she has a great, dramatic voice for these kind of songs.
Rating: 9

2. BELOVED

Usual "Chinese" instruments and a slower, laid-back arrangement give an aural and relaxing feeling to this song that gives us a rest after "Houkyou no Messiah". Her voice returns greatly here, too, but unfortunately not as expressive and a bit blunt.
Still, this is also a song worth listening to.
Rating: 7.5

3. Yuki no Hana

This is another slower song, but with the instruments used in a way that reminds of classical music, which was a great idea. But, strangely, the electro sounds from the first song are also present here, rendering them completely excessive. Could of been done a bit better.
Rating: 6

HARUKI, the artist of this single is nowhere to be found on the Internet, unfortunately, because I would certainly enjoy some more tracks like the first one. My overall rating for this release is: 7.5

*Note: I was unable to translate the phrase "Houkyou" (咆筺), so if it's a term from the anime Robotics ; Notes, or you know the meaning of it, please let me know below in the comments.

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17 March 2013

Weekly News - Pikachu 3DS, Dragon Ball Movie Footage, And More

                                           - Ark IX anime previewed in 2nd video -

The official YouTube channel for the Flying Dog production company began streaming the second promotional video for Ark IX, the new action novel series and anime by Kentaro Yasui on Saturday. The videos features the theme song "Nevereverland" by Nano. Confirmed voice cast members are Yuuki Ono and Hisako Kanemoto.



                               - Pikachu Yellow 3DS XL heads to America on March 24 -

The Pokémon Company confirmed on Thursday that the limited-edition yellow Pikachu Nintendo 3DS XL is heading to North America on March 24. It will come with a 4GB SD memory card for US$199.99. March 24 is also the release date for the Nintendo 3DS adventure game Pokémon: Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. This variant of the 3DS debuted in Japan last September.


                                                 
                         - A Certain Scientific Railgun S ad previews new fripSide song -

A commercial for Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S (A Certain Scientific Railgun S) anime began airing in Japan. The ad previews "sister's noise," the opening theme that the musical unit fripSide is performing for the new anime. This second season of A Certain Scientific Railgun will premiere on April 12, and the official website for the series revealed on Monday that the series will air on AT-X before it airs on TV Tokyo




                                        - 2013 Dragon Ball film's footage revealed -

The May issue of Shueisha's V Jump magazine is revealing more of the Super Saiyan God design from this month's Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods film on Thursday. Some of the voice cast members are Masako Nozawa, Shoko Nakagawa and Kaori Matsumoto. 
The film will open in Japan on March 30.



                                 - Manga reading site JManga to end service in May -

JManga, a platform for reading legal manga online, emailed subscribers on Thursday to announce that it will be concluding its retail and viewing services on May 30th 2013. Members with unused JManga Paid Points as of March 13 will be issued Amazon Gift Cards. JManga will process refunds between March 21 and March 25.

                                       

                                         - Disgaea D2 opening animation streamed -

Nippon Ichi Software began streaming the opening animation sequence for its strategy RPG Disgaea Dimension 2: A Brighter Darkness on Wednesday. Minori Chihara, the voice of the demon Barbara, also performs the opening theme song "Cradle Over", featured in the video. The PlayStation 3 game will ship in Japan next week, and NIS America plans to offer it in North America and Europe this fall.


13 March 2013

99RadioService - Star

                                                                                     Chihayafuru 2 OP


Tracklist:


1. STAR
2. カモミール (Chamomile)
3. STAR -instrumental-
4. カモミール -instrumental-


1. STAR

The song opens with a  nice piano solo, and then slides into a mix of piano and acoustic guitars. It's cheery and pleasant for listening, and though it's not that original, it makes up with the vocalist's great voice and the uplifting arrangement. Great OP for an anime like Chihayafuru.
Rating: 8

2. カモミール

Although it's named Chamomile, which reminds of a ballad, this track has a rock and roll feeling to it, with metal guitars and a stronger voice. It's very upbeat and refreshing, maybe even more so than "STAR", and the catchy chorus makes me want to listen to this even more.
Rating: 9

99RadioService is new to the anison scene, but if they keep up their quality by releasing more stuff like this, they'll become popular very soon. My overall rating for this release is: 8.5.

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12 March 2013

nano.RIPE - Kagefumi

                                                     Hanasaku Iroha Movie ED

Tracklist:

1. Kagefumi (Following the Sign)
2. Kaerimichi (Return Trip)
3. Yumeji -Acoustic- (Dreaming)


1. Kagefumi

That voice... it's perfect for prison torture >__> Even though it gets better through the rest of the track, it's way too nasal. The composition, although a bit dragging and making the song feel longer, saves the song with a pop-rock arrangement.Not that bad for an ED!
Rating: 7.5

2. Kaerimichi

We begin with a very quiet and mysterious start, but the acoustic guitars join in and make it a typical J-pop ballad. It's very plain and dull, so it is probably just a filler song to a relatively good A-side.
Rating: 4

3. Yumeji -Acoustic-

Now, the acoustic arrangement returns, but this time faster and more upbeat. I haven't heard the non-acoustic version of Yumeji, but this is much more engaging than the previous song, so naturally I enjoyed it more.
Rating: 7

An average group puts out an average single. It's nothing new or special, but fans of nano.RIPE will appreciate this. My overall rating is: 6.2

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11 March 2013

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon Theme Song Collection -THEME OF HORIZON-

                                               Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon I & II OST

Tracklist
1.Tooshi Douka - Vocal Version / Minori Chihara
2.TERMINATED / Minori Chihara
3.ZONE//ALONE / Minori Chihara
4.Kasoku no Yanejou
5.Te wo Nobashi Wa ni Sasou
6.Nenshou Kairou
7.Shounetsu Ryouiki
8.Save you from anything
9.Ikou ze Minna
10.Jud.
11.Stardust Melodia / Ceui
12.Pieces / AiRI
13.Kanashimi wa Dare no Negai Demo Nai / Aira Yuuki
14.Sora no Uta / Masami Okui
15.Tooshi Douka - Dance Version / Aoi Yoshimi(CV.Chiwa Saito)


1. Tooshi Douka - Vocal Version

The album opens with a purely vocal track which nevertheless sounds beautiful. Despite her singing in anison music, Minori seems to have a great potential in Enka as well. Her voice makes me want to wake up to this every morning, and it's a shame this prelude is so short.
Rating: 10

2. TERMINATED

In contrast to the vocal-only track, the prelude jumps into an aggressive arrangement of strings and synths, which is an usual one, but used here to its full potential. Minori's voice retains its power from the previous track, but being a bit deeper here to fit the dramatic and intense atmosphere. As a result, we get a great OP song to the anime.
Rating: 9

3. ZONE//ALONE

This song has a weird start, which reminds me of dubstep, but the rest of it is in the same style as TERMINATED. That said, it sounds very similar and somewhat boring right before the final chorus. Still, it's not a bad song, and I can see myself listening to it.
Rating: 7

4. Kasoku no Yanejou

I'm not sure who sings this, because the vocals are vocoded, but it sounds very much like a Perfume song, except it has some acoustic guitars added to the dominant electro-house sound. One of the more uplifting tracks on this album, it's happy and cheerful all the way.
Rating: 8

5. Te wo Nobashi Wa ni Sasou

The track has a very similar arrangement and overall feeling to the previous track, except its more upbeat, and much like American pop music, to which the still vocoded voice singing in English contributes. It's not original, being like a part 2 to "Kasoku no Yanejou", but it does its job well.
Rating: 6.5

6. Nenshou Kairou

Continuing from the sudden end of the previous song, we are thrown in completely different, dramatic and impressive battle music. The choir which is spread through the composition builds a sense of danger and urgency, perfectly reflecting the image of a battlefield. Certainly a strong melody to use in an anime during a battle.
Rating: 8

7. Shounetsu Ryouiki

"Shounetsu Ryouiki" is another battle music track, but with its arrangement richer with a saxophone, trumpets, and more strings. The chorus here sounds straight out of a Yousei Teikoku song, making a fairy-tale like feeling. In general, I liked this song better, because of the more complex arrangement.
Rating: 9

8. Save you from anything

Unfortunately, the flow of the album returns to the usual pop sound some previous songs had, featuring acoustic and metal guitars, and some synths again. Somewhat boring, this track failed to get a good reaction from me, with nothing special to say about it.
Rating: 4

9. Ikou ze Minna

Something much sadder and sentimental breaks the chain of similar songs. It's a really unique and powerful ballad, and being one of the songs I liked the most in this album, it's a shame its not a vocal track, which would make it even more impressionable.
Rating: 8

10. Jud.

The strings return, but this time not conveying an ongoing battle, but moreover a sense of victory after one, being optimistic and joyful. It combines elements from the American-sounding tracks and "Ikouze Minna", which makes it enjoyable to listen to.
Rating: 6

11. Stardust Melodia

Strings are used again, but in a slow manner, with some bells complementing them. This is a usual ballad, where Ceui is trying to achieve the impression some other songs have, but the arrangement fails to follow her voice, being empty and bland.
Again, not a bad song, but not something new either.
Rating: 7

12. Pieces

"Pieces" is definitely one of my favourite songs I heard while watching the anime. Airi's voice is really cute here, but doesn't overdo it, fitting the rock style of this song.
The mood created by this song is happy, but has a tinge of melancholy in it, which makes it very special to me.
Rating: 10

13. Kanashimi wa Dare no Negai Demo Nai

Piano and bells which open the song give a mysterious and calm feeling that left me expecting a better track than it really is, a mediocre electro-anison track (don't get me wrong, I have nothing against electro songs, just this one). Accordingly, this song would be better off as an instrumental one, than a full one with vocals.
Rating: 3

14. Sora no Uta

A total borefest. Masami Okui, a veteran in anime music, should know better than to sing a generic cute-ish song. Although her vocals don't fail to deliver, as usual, the rest of the song failed to grab my attention even a little.
Rating: 5

15. Tooshi Douka - Dance Version

Closing the album,  despite the name "Dance Version", this Tooshi Douka is more of a house remix. Still having the relaxing, calm incentive, it's too bad Minori didn't do the vocals here, too, but the vocalist does a decent job on her own.
Rating: 7

Although there were a few fail songs in this soundtrack, I was very impressed by the most. My overall rating for this album is: 7.2.

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10 March 2013

Kanako Ito - Topology

                                                            Robotics ; Notes ED 2


Tracklist:

1. Topology
2. Kizuna no Kessho (Crystal Bond)
3. Topology (Anime ver.)
4. Topology (off vocal)
5. Kizuna no Kessho (off vocal)


1. Topology

A very peaceful, relaxing piano is used in the whole song, which makes it really easy to listen to, while at the choruses the track turns into a powerful ballad. Kanako's voice sounds a bit strange and nasal at first, especially at the verses, but you get used to it, and it doesn't really ruin the experience. This song brings nothing new to the scene, but it's still an enjoyable one.
Rating: 7

2. Kizuna no Kessho

The two should definitely switch names, because this associates more with "Topology" than "Crystal Bonds". As the verses have the same feeling to them like the previous song, you shouldn't be fooled, because this track becomes an upbeat rocky one very quickly. Though it's nothing special either, my favourite part is at the bridge of the song, where the synths and guitars just get crazy and all over the place.
Rating: 8


Summed up, this is nothing all too original, but the single is definitely worth listening to, and I think it deserves a place on my iPod. My overall rating is: 7.5

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Weekly News - 3rd Madoka Magica Movie, Most Anticipated Spring Anime, And More

                           

                            - Ken Akamatsu to start new manga this summer-

Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei reported in an article posted on Sunday that manga creator Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina, Negima) plans to launch a new manga series this summer. In its interview with Akamatsu, Nikkei noted that Negima, which ended last March after nine years, has 19 million copies in circulation. Nikkei then mentioned that Akamatsu has a new series starting this summer.


                               - Aoi Eir and Luna Haruna to perform at Sakura Con -

Aniplex of America is currently streaming a second greeting video from Eir Aoi and Luna Haruna. In the video, the artists give fans advice on how to best enjoy their upcoming concert at Sakura-Con. Aoi asks fans to shout "Ei Ei Ru!" and Haruna suggests concert goers to bring something green to the concert. The performance will mark both artists' first trip to the United States, and they will perform on March 30.



                                         - Most anticipated 2013 spring anime poll -

On Thursday, the Japanese Internet service provider BIGLOBE posted the results of its unofficial survey on the most anticipated anime series for the upcoming Spring season. The top 5 anime were:

5. Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love 2000%

4. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W

3. The "Hentai" Prince and the Stony Cat.

2. Oreimo

1. A Certain Scientific Railgun S


             
                               - Hatsune Miku gets 7-inch Android tablet in Japan -

The Japanese company RWC will release a Hatsune Miku-themed Android tablet beginning on April 15. The seven-inch tablet will feature case artwork and wallpaper artwork by Vocaloid illustrator Takumi Torigoe and other artists. It comes pre-loaded with an original navigation app narrated by Hatsune Miku, which will be newly voiced by Fujita. The tablet will also include 50 original illustrations, and will cost 39,800 yen (about US$425).


                                         
                                         - 3rd Madoka Magica film to open in fall -

The April issue of Nikkei Entertainment! magazine reported on Monday that Puella Magi Madoka Magica New Feature: Rebellion, the third Madoka Magica film, will open in Japan this fall. The fashion magazine Smart had reported last month that the film will open this summer. However, the editors of that magazine later said that they made an error.

                        


9 March 2013

supercell - The Bravery

                                                                    Magi ED 2


Tracklist:

1. The Bravery
2. She is my senior
3. Aozora
4. The Bravery (TV Edit)
5. The Bravery -Instrumental-
6. Aozora -Instrumental-
7. The Bravery (TV Edit) -Instrumental-


1. The Bravery

Acoustic guitars open the song, which then moves in an uplifting rock arrangement. Even with it being pretty fast and upbeat, the track fails to grab my attention, except in the places where Koeda (or Chelly?) is struggling to hit the higher tones, which she can't do well even if her life depended on it. Supercell reflected the feeling of bravery well, but it was too damn boring to be even noticed.
Rating: 5


2. She is my senior

Everything that I said about The Bravery can also be applied to this song, except the vocals are even more annoying, being "cute" (failing in it, that is). No variation in the arrangement is to be seen, so I lost about 3 minutes for nothing. The only thing good about it, actually, is that it is short.
Rating: 2.5

3. Aozora

Both the composer and the vocalist magnificently send the message that they've both completely given up. Ryo ran out of creativity and just slapped a few random chords on a mix of She is my senior and The Bravery, while Koeda squeaks at us in the refrain that she doesn't want to be listened to. I don't think anyone would return to this for a second time.
Rating: 0

While EGOIST had a relatively good single, it seems that Ryo spent all his inventiveness and couldn't come up with anything new for supercell. I'll ignore this release as an accidental mistake. My overall rating is: 3.2.

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8 March 2013

P. Graffitti - Matataku Hoshi no Moto de

                                                                       Magi OP 2

Tracklist:

1. Matataku Hoshi no Moto de
2. Gokujo Landing
3. Mukaiawase
4. Matataku Hoshi no Moto de <Anime ver.>


1. Matataku Hoshi no Moto de

Off with a powerful intro, the song is a mix of rock and anison, with some bells and strings. Moreover, that creates an optimistic and uplifting atmosphere, tied with a catchy melody. We don't often see J-Rock groups do something outside their own style, but this was an excellent song, which I greatly enjoyed listening to.
Rating: 9

2. Gokujo Landing

This track has a more oriental sound and is richer with different instruments that the previous one, but still has the same happy atmosphere. As it plays, the song gets faster and faster, with even some 8-bit electronic sounds thrown in. The vocals don't fail to deliver here, either, so I think i'll keep listening to this even after the review.
Rating: 7

3. Mukaiawase

Switching from the Turkish style native to Magi, we get a more traditional Japanese arrangement. It's really relaxing and refreshing, but a bit too long, being almost six minutes. Though the song itself is good, P. Graffitti's vocalist sounds bland and unmemorable here.
Rating: 7

I enjoyed listening to this single, so I hope Magi will get some more good opening themes like this. My overall rating for this release is: 7.7.

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Nothing's Carved In Stone - Out Of Control

                                                            PSYCHO-PASS OP 2

Tracklist:

1. Out Of Control
2. Crystal Beat
3. Raining Ash


1. Out Of Control

The beginning of the track sounds very much like it's taken straight from Kotoko's
Re-sublimity, with the weird, surreal synths and upbeat drums. Of course, the great arrangement was ruined by the vocalist of Nothing's Carved In Stone, who feels the need to sing only in Engrish and nothing else. The vocals were very annoying, and even worsened by the filters. I can't shake the feeling this would of  been a good instrumental song...
Rating: 6

2. Crystal Beat

A very aggressive guitar opens the song, which raises the hopes of a harder rock track, but it then returns to the generic melody most of Out Of Control had. The vocals were a bit better here, but I am still not impressed, as the song left no effect on me after listening to it.
Rating: 4

3. Raining Ash

Very different from the previous two tracks, this one is simplistic and laid-back. With all the cool chanting throughout the song, and recognizable English, this is probably the only song in the single I'd want to listen to again.
Rating: 7

I had an encounter with Nothing's Carved In Stone before, when i heard Zetsuen no Tempest's opening theme. I wasn't impressed then, and likewise I am not impressed now, at all. Who hired these people, I wonder? My overall rating is: 5.7.

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7 March 2013

PIKO - Hitokoe 42701340

                                                         Vocaloid cover album

Tracklist:

1. Tears In
2. Jinsei Reset Button
3. Mozaic Role
4. Senbonzakura
5. Setsuna Trip
6. Uta Catastrophe
7. Shiroi Yuki no Princess wa   (Only in Limited Edition)
8. Kotoba Meteor  (Only in Limited Edition)
9. Ama no Jaku  (Only in Limited Edition)
10. Invisible  (Only in Limited Edition)


1. Tears In

Despite this being a cover album, DECO*27 still found the time to compose this awesome song! It is hard rock, and very catchy. Also, Piko shows much of his vocal ability through the whole track, which adds to the overall upbeat sound. I hope DECO*27 and Piko will collaborate in the future, too!
Rating: 9.5

2. Jinsei Reset Button

The song opens with very fast synths, immediately moving into a more rock-oriented sound. Piko's voice isn't bad in this song, but in some parts where he is under filters, the arrangement sounds like a metal song and Piko doesn't sound like himself at all. I'll grow to like this in time, probably.
Rating: 7

3. Mozaic Role

After two good songs, this one is not memorable at all. He sounds even better than in "Tears In", especially in the refrain, but it doesn't leave a good impression paired with a very plain track like this. Not particularly bad, but not quite good, either.
Rating: 5

4. Senbonzakura

If i had to choose a favourite Vocaloid song, it would probably be this one. I am aware that for every utaite the same track should change a bit, but Piko went a bit too much, and took away the louder guitars, replacing them with more piano. Even with that, his voice is underwhelming, especially in the refrain. Too bad a song like this wasn't used to its full potential.
Rating: 6

5. Setsuna Trip

For a change, we get a beautiful strings and bells introduction instead of the guitars, although the rest of the song isn't like that. However, this song has a much better usage of the bass guitar than the others. Piko changed his voice to a more girl-ish one in this song, and even gotten really cute at one moment, which shows the excellent range he has.
Rating: 8

6. Uta Catastrophe

Like the previous song, this one starts with a traditional, Japanese sound and moves into a pop-rock sound. Uta Catastrophe also shares much of the arrangement with Senbonzakura and Setsuna Trip. Piko's voice here was average overall, but the parts where it was vocoded were somewhat annoying. Likewise, this didn't feel like a separate song, but more of a mix of the previous two.
Rating: 3.5

7. Shiroi Yuki no Princess wa

We return to the guitar arrangement we had in the first part of the album. The song starts a bit melancholic, but then makes a 180 turn in the refrains, where it becomes uplifting and cutesy. Here, Piko's vocals are more feminine than usual, which make him sound truly like a female singer. Overall, the song is quite good, featuring several impressive guitar solos.
Rating: 8

8. Kotoba Meteor

Contrary to Shiroi Yuki no Princess wa, this track gets an aggressive and dark start. The arrangement paired with his voice, which sounds masculine here, produces a classic J-Rock atmosphere and sound. In general, this is a much better direction for Piko to go in, since he sounds much more comfortable and powerful with serious songs.
Rating: 9

9. Ama no Jaku

I felt something was really different in this version of Ama no Jaku, and it turns out to be the pitch, which was lowered to fit a male voice. Now, i have no idea why Piko did this, because he can sing perfectly fine in a high pitch, but this sounds as good. His voice sounds especially *cough*sexy*cough* here xD. There are some weird moments where the vocals go all over the place, and it sounds like an editing error, so don't turn up your volume too high, just in case.
Rating: 10

10. Invisible

The introduction is like an old recording, with all the sound chipping and such, so i expected we'd get something else than... rock, again. For the last song on the album, his voice switches between a feminine and a more masculine one, with some odd screaming at the last few tones O.o. Somewhat bland, like Mozaic Role.
Rating: 5

Piko is a fantastic vocalist, but every singer should have a few different songs from their usual style in a discography. The selection of songs contained too much of the same, but at least the new song was excellent. Also, he should definitely try voice acting. My overall rating for this album is: 7.1.

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6 March 2013

Namikawa Daisuke - Mawaru Chikyu Rondo


Hetalia THE BEAUTIFUL WORLD OP

Tracklist:

1. 主題歌「まわる地球ロンド」  イタリア
2. 劇中歌「サンタさんにお願い♪」 シーランド
3. 劇中BGM「ヘタリアの美しき世界」
4. 劇中BGM「Tel un minuscule printemps...」
5. 主題歌「まわる地球ロンド」 (instrumental)


1. 主題歌「まわる地球ロンド」  イタリア

This starts with a dialogue, instead of singing, so it reminds me more of Italy's character song instead of a real OP. Accordingly, it has some cute Italian thrown in. It's not my type of song, as its overly sugary and sounds like the music i used to listen to as a little kid, but it is definitely in the spirit of Hetalia.
Rating: 6

2. 劇中歌「サンタさんにお願い♪」 シーランド

Now we get a very simple opening, with some bells and wooden instruments in a Christmas-related theme. Like the previous track, its like a character song, but now its sung by the voice actor of Sealand, not Italy. It's more enjoyable than the previous, but it is very short, being 2 and a half minutes.
Rating: 6.5

3. 劇中BGM「ヘタリアの美しき世界」

Very differently from the previous two songs, the arrangement is much like classical music, with some trumpets, violins and bells. This song is purely instrumental and lasts only a minute, which is understandable, since it is from the Hetalia movie soundtrack. I liked the overall upbeat and happy sound.
Rating: 9


4.  劇中BGM「Tel un minuscule printemps...」

A Vocaloid seems to be lost in the wrong single, as the vocals which open the song are poor and untrained. Also, the song seems to be in French, fitting the arrangement consisted purely of a piano. Around the middle of the track, the music completely stops, and changes to an accordion instead of a piano. Not very interesting and somewhat annoying to listen to.
Rating: 4

It's good that they threw in Hetalia movie soundtracks, because if not, the single would of been just a mediocre character song. My overall rating is: 6.4

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4 March 2013

Hyadain - 23 Ji 40 Pun

                                                                  Bakuman III OP

Tracklist:
1. 23 Ji 40 Pun
2. Pare
3. Piano
4. 23 Ji 40 Pun (Instrumental)
5. Pare (Instrumental)
6. Piano (Instrumental)


1. 23 Ji 40 Pun

This is rocky, but quite laid back. Yet, the arrangement doesn't do anything much for me, as its literally only guitars, which can get a bit boring. The vocals are good, except for the... rather weird, repetitive chants at the middle of the song O.o. Not that bad, but doesn't stand out at all.
Rating: 6.5 (out of 10)

2. Pare

More upbeat and and harder guitars, so this should be better, right?
...Nope. This is definitily one of the more annoying anison songs out there. Hyadain's voice just isn't suited for this kind of song, and his monologues in Engrish make me think he is a wannabe gang member. Very unpleasant to listen overall, as i couldn't wait for it to finish playing.
Rating: 3

3. Piano

The title stands for the arrangement, with this featuring just a piano and his voice. Which is good or bad, depending on the melody itself, and this is definitely boring, if not bad. Take out the Japanese lyrics and replace it with Korean, and you get one of those album fillers when you've got nothing good for an album except a title song. Perfect for putting a person to sleep, though.
Rating: 4

A very mediocre single. The title song was plain, and Hyadain's voice isn't suited for fast songs at all, so i hope he won't try anything like "Pare" again. My overall rating is: 4.5.

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3 March 2013

Weekly News - Fairy Tail Ends, Dragon Ball Exhibit, and more

                               - Fairy Tail's anime TV run to end on 30th March -

Kodansha's TV Magazine announced on Friday that the TV broadcast of Fairy Tail's anime is going to end on March 30th, but the manga will still continue with its releases. However, Mashima posted a statement to fans on his official Twitter feed on Saturday:

"Until the time comes, I cannot say something I've always wanted to say, even on Twitter. Please be patient and wait until the time comes for me to announce some good news."

               
                     - Hello Kitty and NicoNico fuse to make crossover chocolates -
   
NicoNico and Sanrio are collaborating  to release "Hello Kitty x NicoNico Stuffed Tirol" chocolates starting on March 28. A box will contain nine Tirol chocolates, each with an individually designed wrapper featuring both Hello Kitty's and NicoNico's mascots, such as Nico Nico TV-chan. Three kinds of chocolate will be available, milk chocolate, coffee nougat and biscuit, at a price of 360 yen.


                    - Devil Survivor 2 screening reveals livetune opening, 3DS game -

The advance screening event for Devil Survivor 2 The Animation (an adaptation of a Shin Megami Tensei game) revealed on  Saturday that the musician and composer livetune is contributing the anime's opening theme song, while the Japanese hip hop group Song Riders is performing the ending theme song. The event also revealed that a Devil Survivor 2 game will be sold for the Nintendo 3DS system this summer.


                              - "World of Dragon Ball" exhibit will open in March -

To celebrate the opening of the Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods film on March 30, an "Akira Toriyama: The World of Dragon Ball" exhibition will be held in the eighth floor hall of the Nihonbashi Takashimaya store in Tokyo from March 27 to April 15.
The event will display 300 different items related to Akira Toriyama's work on the Dragon Ball series, such as cel art, original color illustrations, and similar production materials. There are seven different areas of the exhibition, in homage to the story's seven dragon balls.


                  - New Haruhi Suzumiya English vocabulary guides to be released -

Chukei, a Kadokawa Group Publishing company, revealed advertising for its new book that teaches English grammar with Haruhi Suzumiya characters. In this book, teacher Kensaku Harada uses actual text from The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya novel and its translation to help students master English grammar. Original illustrator Noizi Ito drew new art of the character Nagato with eyeglasses for both the book's cover and the poster bundled with the book.



30 March 2013

Animelo Summer Live 2013 - FLAG NINE announced


One of the biggest annual anime music festivals, Animelo Summer Live, has been announced through Anisama's official site. As one of the most quickly growing manifestations, with new performers added each year, this time the festivities will last 3 days, August 23rd, 24th and 25th. Saitama Super Arena will be the host this year as well.

Here is the current list of artists that will perform:

August 23rd

- ALI PROJECT
- Minori Chihara
- ChouCho
- ZAQ
- May'n
- nano.RIPE

August 24th

- Minami Kuribayashi
- T-Pistonz + KMC
- angela
- Sumire Kamisaka
- GRANRODEO

August 25th

- Yukari Tamura
- Tominaga TOMMY Hiroaki
- Maon Kurosaki
- Nana Mizuki
- Miyano Mamori



29 March 2013

Faylan - PRISM


                                                                       Mirai Nikki ED (Track no. 2)
                                                                      Gundam AGE ED 3 (Track no. 6)
                                                                       Mirai Nikki OP 3 (Track no. 7)
                                                                      Hagure Yuusha no Estetica OP (Track no. 10)
                                                                      Mirai Nikki OP 2 (Track no. 11)

Tracklist:


1. prism flower
2. Blood teller
3. Sokyuu no Hikari
4. RED love
5. crime of love
6. WHITE justice
7. HAPPY END
8. moment
9. Sousei no Thanatos
10. Realization
11. Dead END
12. RED decision
13. promise you...


1. prism flower

The lead track begins pretty foreboding and awesome, like an Ali Project song, but just as one starts to think that Faylan is on the wrong side of anisong, it turns into one of her usual rockier songs. This time is more hard synths than actual guitars (or any other instrument), but I don't mind because it's very catchy and powerful. Though her voice is just a tiny bit annoying with the fail-western theme, it's still a good song to open an album.
Rating: 9

2. Blood teller

I'm surprised this song would be on this album, since it's from way back 2011 and I was expecting God Fate instead - but it's one hell of an awesome song and my favourite from Faylan, so I don't mind at all. Exactly like the title predicts, her voice is dark and deep, like a Blood teller should be, switching from the western/country in prism flower. There's not much instruments in this song that would make variety, but the guitar alone does its job perfectly.
Note to self: Don't listen to Blood teller while writing reviews. Had to replay it twice.
Rating: 10

3. Sokyuu no Hikari

Straying from the songs that were simple in composition, this track is full-blown J-rock (and even heavy metal in some parts). I like the fact that she retains the power of her voice from the previous song, especially in the chorus, sometimes even sounding really monster-like and scary with the overdone filters. This is not tied to an anime, which is the main source of her great songs, so it proves Faylan can hold her own ground as a rock vocalist without the help of tie-ins.
Rating: 10

4. RED love

A bit of a slower track, but the chain of rock-heavy songs still continues. More genres are mixed in here, so the chorus again sounds like Ali Project. Her vocals aren't something special here, but the attention is more on the instrumentation, which is a mix of both a little guitars and a little more synths and electronica. Also, expect a series of sudden jumps and changes that come with the mix of genres, because on the second minute the whole thing suddenly slows down, like someone stopped time, and continues in that matter.
Rating: 8

5. crime of love

An excerpt from prism flower is the first thing that's heard, but it's remixed and the line "life is a flower" is replaced with "crime of love". Probably the first real ballad on the album, and it finally provides a rest from the uptempo songs. The arrangement is in an unusual jazzy, laid-back style with many strings in the background. And as for Faylan's vocals, they show another, gentler and elegant side completely opposite of the gritty, violent tone of her rock songs, that I love.
Rating: 8.5

6. WHITE justice

Guitars take a back seat here, as the composition is classic anisong/game, with synths, quite dramatically used violins and piano. In the upbeat tempo, her harder voice is back but it has flexibility to fit in the slower parts of the song. A big plus to this track is that it can turn from anisong to a touching ballad in a second, and I'm pretty sure that I hear something identical to the Chrono Trigger music from the Middle Ages (thus, instant tears).
Rating: 10

7. HAPPY END

This song is quirky, weird and very different from the other songs in this album by the measure of its gentleness. It is rich in terms of arrangement with strings that are really heavily used here, several sequences of acoustic guitars and even bells. One of the rare truly happy songs in Faylan's discography, the track with its ambiental tempo reminds of a fairy tale on its end, amplified by the repeated "aishiteru" (I love you).
Rating: 9

8. moment

Uniquely, an electronic song without any guitars or rock composition whatsoever, being replaced by the saxophones and 8-bit music. I can't really imagine Faylan singing this 100% J-pop song effectively with her bouncy voice, which is probably the reason she's under filters the whole song and there's nothing more than whispering and vague chanting. Interesting for a few listens, but I don't see myself listening to this often.
Rating: 7

9. Sousei no Thanatos

This isn't tied to an anime? Because with the title and the arrangement it could really be an opening to something called Sousei no Thanatos. The track has a more traditional feeling to it, with a choir backing the vocals and acoustic guitars actually doing the stronger parts of the song instead of electric ones. I can't really discern everything because there's probably like 15-20 different instruments in the composition, but that adds to its effect. You know that something is unique when you're forced to figure out a hybrid term of a harpsichord and a flute.
Rating: 8.5

10. Realization

The song sounds like it's crawling out of a deep well, but it then picks up in a dance-rock melody... with gothic vampire bells O__o (they do remain the song, but in the very background). This can probably become one of my favourites in the album because most of the song has the "epic", dramatic quality that makes you sing along, exactly like in Blood teller. Of course, several eargasms were lived through during the 5 minutes of the song's duration.
Rating: 10

11. Dead END

The sequence of the tracks in the album makes a circle, returning to the very dark sound several first songs had. What sets this one different from the others is actually the significant feeling of depth and hard guitars like in a Maon Kurosaki song - specifically, very like Under/Shaft. Faylan's voice is powerful, but it's somehow ruined by the parts in which she recites some Engrish where her speech sounds like her mouth are full of some gooey matter which she can't get rid of in any of her songs.
Rating: 9

12. RED decision

Is there a colour theme here? WHITE justice, RED love, and then RED decision lol
Anyways, the track has her collaborating once again with an unknown producer of gothic music / AliPro fan. The arrangement is epic fantasy-like with the organ, bells and many aerial stunts probably performed by whoever plays the violin in her band.
Some James Bond cadences also appear in the middle eight (the part after the second chorus) which always seems to be the most important part of her songs.
Rating: 9

13. promise you...

 A very simple and relaxing ballad is chosen to close the album, as it's almost always only Faylan's voice and the piano. String plucking from WHITE justice is back here (Yay!) and it reminds of classical music a lot. Aside from the unexpected and uncalled for changes in tempo and rhythm, the track is a beautiful end to a nice album. ^__^
Rating: 8


I've had a great time listening to Faylan's newest piece of work, and what is most important, I was always engaged and never felt bored. Even though not all songs are perfect and there are some misfits, the pure epicness makes up for it. My overall rating is: 9

Favourite songs: Blood teller, prism flower, WHITE justice, Realization

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27 March 2013

KOKIA - Kioku no Hikari

                                                                         Space Battleship Yamato 2199 ED

Tracklist:

1. Kioku no Hikari
2. Where to go my love (single ver.)


1. Kioku no Hikari

I was kind of worried about the quality of this single, because Kokia had three releases in the last two months, but on the contrary, it completely blew me away. The whole thing sounds exactly like something only Yuki Kaijura's magical talent at songwriting could of composed. Even her voice sounded like Kalafina O__o
Aside from that, the song is in the same spirit as her previous single, ie. epic, fantasy RPG-like music, and it's pretty long, with 6 minutes, but doesn't get boring even for a moment.
Rating: 10

2. Where to go my love (single ver.)

If the previous song was epic, then this must be anti-epic. It sounds like a usual pop-ballad, except it's really slow. Fortunately, the instrumentals save the track, being very relaxing and calm, especially at the first few minutes, with only a piano and some strings. Unless you don't listen to this song 5-10 times, the distinction between verses and the chorus is almost nonexistent, and you'll either listen it as a piece of classical music, or a boring, dull song. When summed up, definitely not on the same level as the A-side.
Rating: 6

Wow, the spring anime season hasn't even started yet, and we've already got a piece of great music on our hands (at least the A-side, if not the second track). If all songs will be good like this, then I can't wait for the episodes to start rolling. My overall rating for this release is: 8


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26 March 2013

Aimer - RE:I AM

                                                                             Mobile Suit Gundam UC theme

Tracklist:


1. RE:I AM
2. Hoshi no Kieta Yoru ni
3. Kyokara Omoi de
4. RE:I AM (Instrumental)
5. Hoshi no Kieta Yoru ni (Instrumental)


1. RE:I AM

The track starts off as a great sounding rock ballad, but it turns out that most of the song is actually a usual arrangement with piano and acoustic guitars. Still, the song is pretty enjoyable, and Aimer's voice has a very nice, dry colour, with perfect control of it. Many musicians today don't know the line between a song being too slow to be engaging, or hitting the right spot, which Aimer did.
Rating: 9

2. Hoshi no Kieta Yoru ni

Making a step away from the rockyness of the previous song, this time it is more of an alternative atmosphere. The song is whispy and calm, but I am simply amazed by its complexity and layers. If you listen carefully, a bell which is constantly repeating the same tones is present through the whole track, making it a bit hypnotic but awesome at the same time. Aimer's voice is layered, not in the pure form like it was in the previous song, fitting the arrangement.
Rating: 10

3. Kyokara Omoi de

Out of the three, this one is probably the simplest, though its composition makes it feel heavy in a way, because of the deep, strong piano and the marching drums. Every song in this single seems to have a surprise in it, and this time it's a choir following the main vocals. Although it's not quite as interesting, this also makes a good ballad.
Rating: 8

I'm very glad I discovered an artist like Aimer, because the songs in this single were outstanding, and so is her voice. Do you know she did a cover of Lady Gaga's Poker Face in excellent English?
My overall rating for this release is: 9


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livetune feat. Hatsune Miku - Re:dial

                                                       "Mikupedia" official song (Track no. 1)
                                                        Google Chrome CM (Track no. 2)
                                                        Project Diva - F OP (Track no. 10)
                                                      "Mememe no Kurage" theme song (Track no. 14) 


Tracklist:

1. Re:dial
2. Tell Your World
3. Packaged
4. Finder
5. Light Song
6. Strobe Nights
7. Yellow (Re:Dialed)
8. Magnetic
9. Fly Out
10. Weekender Girl
11. Heart Beat
12. D.E.N.P.A. (Re:edit)
13. our music(kz's The Begining of The End remix)
14. Last Night, Good Night (Re:Dialed)
15. Tell Your World -English Version-


1. Re:dial

The album is opened with a classic upbeat, synthy and happy sound, like most Vocaloid songs. It's quite easy to listen to, although it's very safe and unoriginal. For the promotional song, livetune could of tried harder, and this is outshadowed by some other songs present on the album. Could of been done a bit better.
Rating: 6

2. Tell Your World

A piano is a somewhat unusual addition to the mostly electronic sounds present, but it mixes greatly with the dance arrangement, making it very catchy. Tell Your World sounds like anisong very much at some parts, but it's a small wonder, looking at the fact that it was performed on Animelo Summer Live. I'd much rather put this as the album's leading song, seeing as it's way better.
Rating: 10

3. Packaged

Some variety appears after the upbeat tempos of the previous song, and this is our first slower track. There is a series of creative usage of synths, and Miku's voice sounds more natural, especially at the high tones, but other than that, it kind of felt like a drag, and not very outstanding.
Rating: 7

4. Finder

I'm surprised to see Miku's voice in such a human range in another slow song. Aside from that, only some bells in the song's beginning distinguish it from the generic Vocaloid melodies. The album flops from a great, engaging start to some really boring songs.
Rating: 4

5. Light Song

Several weird repetitions of the line "Light Song" introduce us to the track, but it's actually an uplifting, kiddish track. For some reason, even though it's not made in particular for that, it reminds me of Christmas, as it is also relaxing and restful.
Rating: 8

6. Strobe Nights

Probably the most unusual song on the album, it begins deep, and mysterious, with only Miku and one line of synths, but then turns into the usual J-pop/Vocaloid fare we heard before. It's hard reviewing when almost every song is a copy of the one before it...
Rating: 5


7. Yellow (Re:Dialed)

Featuring also the generic arrangement, this also mixes with some piano and dubstep, so it's a bit more interesting and quirky. Finally something refreshing and more upbeat than the boredom we have been able to listen to in most of the previous tracks.
Rating: 7

8. Magnetic

Well this needs to be heard if you want to get it completely, but I'll try to describe it - This reminds of a slightly retarded, glitchy computer, with the electronic sounds being all over the place. But even so, it's only accomplishment is that it is not completely tiring to listen to. Again, not very impressed.
Rating: 5

9. Fly Out

Livetune seems to abandon his usual composition in this song (finally), and puts out something that looks like Egoist or Supercell released it. This is a much better ballad than some others here, and it's very simplistic one, with only Miku and one melody.
Rating: 8

10. Weekender Girl

Completely immersed in American pop, I can almost imagine a spoiled, bratty girl alike to Miku in "The World is Mine". The dubstep sequences really work here, and livetune should stick to it more, as it makes the song much more original, even if it is a slower ballad.
Rating: 9

11. Heart Beat

Moving away from the cuteness, this song has a composition similar to house and club music. The rhythm, of course and the drum machine here imitate the heart beats, and for some reason, I'm reminded of "Electric Love" with the singing Miku does.
Rating: 8

12. D.E.N.P.A. (Re:edit)

Only drums start the song, and as it progresses, more and more instruments are added, alike to trance music, until we get to a rock arrangement merged with some synths. Although, this is more of an instrumental song, since the vocals are seldom heard, but the cleverly used guitars make up for it.
Rating: 6


13. our music(kz's The Begining of The End remix)

I am aware that this is a remix, but it's remarkably long track, being seven and a half minutes long! Unfortunately, this song brings back the boring arrangement which is worsened by the repetitiveness of it. I'd really avoid this song on the album, since there is absolutely nothing that it offers.
Rating: 2

14. Last Night, Good Night

One of  the rare songs on this album that is really touching and calm, but it eventually gains momentum until guitars are added and it is more of a rock ballad. This song though, doesn't stand out because of the arrangement, but because of a greatly skilled composition of Miku's voice, making vibratos that sound much like human.
Rating: 8

15. Tell Your World -English Version-

This song intrigued me when I first looked at the title, because Japanese Vocaloids don't cope too well with the English language. My predictions were right, and the singing is barely understandable, with the words sounding like a random, chopped up pile. Wasn't the goal of the track for English fans to actually understand it?
Rating: 1

There are some jewels here and there, but most of the album is a borefest. Probably the only song I would listen to again is "Tell Your World", but only the Japanese version. My overall rating for the album is: 6

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24 March 2013

Weekly News - Utada Hikaru Returns, Nanoha Gets 3rd Film, And More

                            
                                            - Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha anime gets 3rd film -

The anime division of the retailer HMV reported on Saturday that production on a third film in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha anime franchise has been green-lit. The announcement was made at the end of the "Lyrical Party V" event marking the release of the second film, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha the Movie 2nd A's, on Japanese Blu-ray Disc and DVD


                                                       
                                                           - New Mega Man project in the works -
  
CAPCOM made a series of announcements for its Mega Man franchise at PAX East's World of CAPCOM Panel, which celebrated Mega Man's 25th anniversary. CAPCOM hinted at a new project to answer the call of fans, but stated that they still are working "behind the scenes" before they can announce anything officially. Other announcements included the sale of Mega Man 4 (the NES game) on 3DS Virtual Console on April 25, Mega Man 5 on May 16, and Mega Man 6 in June.


                                               
                                               - Anime Central to host voice actress Yuu Asakawa -

The organizers of the Anime Central convention announced on Friday that Japanese voice actress and singer Yuu Asakawa will be a guest at the convention. Anime Central notes one of Asakawa's hobbies is English and fans can follow her English twitter account @Julia320. Asakawa is the sample voice for Vocaloid Megurine Luka, and she's voiced numerous characters during her anime voice acting career.


                                             
                                               - Final Fantasy X and X - 2 HD to get Western release -

Square Enix opened a website on Friday revealing that the Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 HD-remastered games will get a Western release on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. The website reveals that it will post an announcement trailer on Monday, and it is currently hosting screenshots from the Final Fantasy X HD game.

                                         
                                                 
                                             - Utada Hikaru returns as a radio personality -

Utada Hikaru will return to the entertainment business after three years away — not as a singer, but as a radio personality. She announced on Friday that she will begin hosting a monthly radio program called Kuma Power Hour with Utada Hikaru on the InterFM station on April 16. The program will run on the third Tuesday of every month in Tokyo and Yokohama's Kanto region.



                                 - Sailor Moon makes the cover of a fashion magazine -

The characters of Naoko Takeuchi's magical girl manga Sailor Moon made the Vol. 3 cover of the fashion magazine TOKYOViVi on Friday. Sailor Moon's Usagi and Chibi-Usagi share the cover with model Lena Fujii. Sailor Moon artwork also adorn the table of contents and reader questionnaire pages. According to the magazine's official blog, the current issue's art director is Chinatsu Wakatsuki, a singer who happens to be a fan of the original manga.



source: animenewsnetwork.com

22 March 2013

Kalafina - Consolation

                                                                   Fate/Zero OP 2 (Track no. 11)
                                         Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Eternal Story OP (Track no. 12)

Tracklist:


1. al fine
2. Consolation
3. moonfesta
4. Door
5. Mirai
6. Hanataba
7. Signal
8. Obbligato
9. Kichigo no Shigemi ni
10. manten
11. to the beginning
12. Hikari Furu
13. Yume no Daichi


1. al fine

This song opens the album with a very eerie and scary feeling. Even though it is only a prelude and there is barely any singing to go along with the violins, it does replicate what most of the album will sound like.
Rating: 10

2. Consolation

Picking up the grim atmosphere, the track is rocky and powerful, something along the line of a darker "Magia", having an identical arrangement. With it's excellent guitar usage, this can't really be classified as a ballad, but the vocals are certainly on that level, save the creepy chanting at the very end of the song. Something like this is exactly what is expected from Kalafina, and they deliver it flawlessly.
Rating: 10

3. moonfesta

More medieval-sounding melodies come next, and they are packaged in a very interesting arrangement reminiscent of a Renaissance festival. The instrumentation is simple, containing only flutes and an acoustic guitar, which creates a cheery and bright character of the song. Although it's a sudden change from the previous songs, it's quite unique and original.
Rating: 9

4. Door

Maybe this song was actually set to begin after the prelude, because it does sound like it directly continues from it. However, there is more of a melancholic, sad feeling to this instead of a darker one, accompanied by a piano and some strings. It can easily be used as some kind of lullaby, because the vocals are touching and more solo-oriented instead of the group composition.
Rating: 9.5

5. Mirai

Somewhat alike moonfesta, this song is upbeat and encouraging, with the violin successfully conveying the optimistic sound of it. My first time ever hearing gothic-like chants used in a happy arrangement would be now, but it was done tastefully, and I was interested in listening to it.
Rating: 8

6. Hanataba

Kalafina's composer, Yuki Kaijura is very inventive with the composing of their songs, because this one opens with an accordion, which is very unusual for a pop-oriented song like this. It can get very powerful throughout the song, and I've never heard something akin to that sound so good.
Rating: 9

7. Signal

We are returned to the serious tone the first part of the album had, with a difference that this song is much scarier than Consolation. The members of Kalafina are rarely ever put under filters, because of their fantastic singing capability, but here it greatly adds to the effectiveness and the march-like tempo. Possibly, this can get my favourite song in this album.
Rating: 10

8. Obbligato

I definitely wouldn't recommend you to listen to the first minute of this song if you are all alone at night. The chanting gets insanely bizarre, but before it can get any further, it turns into possibly the most mainstream-sounding rock song Kalafina has ever made, except the end, where it returns to its roots. This song is a great mix of different genres though, so it stands out a lot in the album.
Rating: 10

9. Kichigo no Shigemi ni

As a rest from the heart-attack inducing songs, we get another slower song with a piano, and this time, the chello, which sound great and very deep, suiting the vocals.
A bit calmer and safer this time around, this is another good ballad in the album.
Rating: 9

10. manten

I almost thought this is going to be a creepy song, again, but the violins and the guitars kick in quickly, making it more of a usual anime arrangement. The focus of this track is somewhat in showcasing the group's voices, which it does quite good. It can remind of some older songs from them in some parts, which is a big plus.
Rating: 8

11. to the beginning

Like the previous song, this one also features the usual anime arrangement, but here it's understandable, since it was used for Fate/Zero. It is very touching, but dynamic at the same time, which makes it one of the better anime songs Kalafina has done.
Rating: 8.5


12. Hikari Furu

The simple arrangement contrasts the powerful voices they have, which makes them stand out even more than they already do. With the calm and relaxing incentive this song has, the guitars sometimes feel out of place, but it's still a good song, fitting to an anime Madoka Magica is.
Rating: 8

13. Yume no Daichi

This album closes with a mix of moonfesta and Mirai, since it's faster and uplifting, but the medieval instruments join here as well. For me, the song represents the waking up from the nightmare, which is the darker songs, so it makes a good closure and theme, amplified by the finale that reminds of classical music.
Rating: 10

This being my first album from Kalafina I've listened, I have to say that I'm pretty impressed by the infinite capability and creativity they have. My overall rating for this album is: 10 - RECOMMENDED

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21 March 2013

SPYAIR - Sakura Mitsutsuki

                                                                                            Gintama OP 13

Tracklist:


1. Sakura Mitsutsuki
2. Turning Point
3. Sakura Mitsutsuki (Instrumental)
4. Turning Point (Instrumental)


1. Sakura Mitsutsuki

We're off with a plain and somewhat underwhelming start, but as the song gains momentum, it actually becomes a very good rock track. This type of song is very usual for shounen anime like Gintama, so the originality part can be overlooked because of a more secure approach. Still, this song is satisfying and easy for listening. All it takes, like most Japanese songs, is time to warm up to it.
Rating: 8

2. Turning Point

Unlike "Sakura Mitsutsuki", this song in fact scores points on uniqueness, being a mix of synths, guitars and hip hop, which makes it an interesting experience. Ike, SPYAIR's vocalist sounds remarkable when rapping, so I hope I get to hear more songs of them in which he does that.
Rating: 9

The A-side of this single is enough for simply promoting it, but the real treasure is what lies under. My overall rating for this release is: 8.5

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19 March 2013

Yuikaori - Shiny Blue

                                                      Madou Monogatari (PS Vita) OP


Tracklist:


1. Shiny Blue
2. Hatsukoi Meizu (First Love's Maze)
3. Shiny Blue (off vocal ver.)
4. Hatsukoi Meizu (off vocal ver.)


1. Shiny Blue

This would be your typical cute and idol-ish song. Somehow, I really don't want people to associate anime and game music with groups like Yuikaori, because all they do is voice act moe characters through the whole song and imitate AKB48/Morning Musume/Your idol of choice. Well, at least the upbeat technopop arrangement caught my attention for a little bit, even if they have zero singing ability.
Rating: 5

2. Hatsukoi Meizu

Sugar, spice and everything nice. More cute is thrown in here, but with the slower tempo, it actually works. The synths are used more creatively paired with acoustic guitars, and this is something better that I'd listen to (although the vocals are still in character song mode >.>).
Rating: 7

I'll definitely be off listening to something completely different than this, but if cute is your style, go for it. My overall rating is: 6

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18 March 2013

HARUKI - Houkyou no Messiah

                                                           Robotics ; Notes OP 2

Tracklist:


1. Houkyou no Messiah*
2. BELOVED
3. Yuki no Hana (Snow Flower)
4. Houkyou no Messiah - Chinese Short Version (Limited Edition only)
5. Houkyou no Messiah - Anime Short Version (Limited Edition only)
6. Houkyou no Messiah (instrumental)


1. Houkyou no Messiah

The song sounds a bit sluggish at first, but it soon turns into a full-blown rock melody. Also, it has some strange electro-sounding clippings through the whole track, making it sound like something out of "I've sound" and/or Mami Kawada (obviously, a big plus). This is my first time listening to HARUKI, but she has a great, dramatic voice for these kind of songs.
Rating: 9

2. BELOVED

Usual "Chinese" instruments and a slower, laid-back arrangement give an aural and relaxing feeling to this song that gives us a rest after "Houkyou no Messiah". Her voice returns greatly here, too, but unfortunately not as expressive and a bit blunt.
Still, this is also a song worth listening to.
Rating: 7.5

3. Yuki no Hana

This is another slower song, but with the instruments used in a way that reminds of classical music, which was a great idea. But, strangely, the electro sounds from the first song are also present here, rendering them completely excessive. Could of been done a bit better.
Rating: 6

HARUKI, the artist of this single is nowhere to be found on the Internet, unfortunately, because I would certainly enjoy some more tracks like the first one. My overall rating for this release is: 7.5

*Note: I was unable to translate the phrase "Houkyou" (咆筺), so if it's a term from the anime Robotics ; Notes, or you know the meaning of it, please let me know below in the comments.

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17 March 2013

Weekly News - Pikachu 3DS, Dragon Ball Movie Footage, And More

                                           - Ark IX anime previewed in 2nd video -

The official YouTube channel for the Flying Dog production company began streaming the second promotional video for Ark IX, the new action novel series and anime by Kentaro Yasui on Saturday. The videos features the theme song "Nevereverland" by Nano. Confirmed voice cast members are Yuuki Ono and Hisako Kanemoto.



                               - Pikachu Yellow 3DS XL heads to America on March 24 -

The Pokémon Company confirmed on Thursday that the limited-edition yellow Pikachu Nintendo 3DS XL is heading to North America on March 24. It will come with a 4GB SD memory card for US$199.99. March 24 is also the release date for the Nintendo 3DS adventure game Pokémon: Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. This variant of the 3DS debuted in Japan last September.


                                                 
                         - A Certain Scientific Railgun S ad previews new fripSide song -

A commercial for Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S (A Certain Scientific Railgun S) anime began airing in Japan. The ad previews "sister's noise," the opening theme that the musical unit fripSide is performing for the new anime. This second season of A Certain Scientific Railgun will premiere on April 12, and the official website for the series revealed on Monday that the series will air on AT-X before it airs on TV Tokyo




                                        - 2013 Dragon Ball film's footage revealed -

The May issue of Shueisha's V Jump magazine is revealing more of the Super Saiyan God design from this month's Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods film on Thursday. Some of the voice cast members are Masako Nozawa, Shoko Nakagawa and Kaori Matsumoto. 
The film will open in Japan on March 30.



                                 - Manga reading site JManga to end service in May -

JManga, a platform for reading legal manga online, emailed subscribers on Thursday to announce that it will be concluding its retail and viewing services on May 30th 2013. Members with unused JManga Paid Points as of March 13 will be issued Amazon Gift Cards. JManga will process refunds between March 21 and March 25.

                                       

                                         - Disgaea D2 opening animation streamed -

Nippon Ichi Software began streaming the opening animation sequence for its strategy RPG Disgaea Dimension 2: A Brighter Darkness on Wednesday. Minori Chihara, the voice of the demon Barbara, also performs the opening theme song "Cradle Over", featured in the video. The PlayStation 3 game will ship in Japan next week, and NIS America plans to offer it in North America and Europe this fall.


13 March 2013

99RadioService - Star

                                                                                     Chihayafuru 2 OP


Tracklist:


1. STAR
2. カモミール (Chamomile)
3. STAR -instrumental-
4. カモミール -instrumental-


1. STAR

The song opens with a  nice piano solo, and then slides into a mix of piano and acoustic guitars. It's cheery and pleasant for listening, and though it's not that original, it makes up with the vocalist's great voice and the uplifting arrangement. Great OP for an anime like Chihayafuru.
Rating: 8

2. カモミール

Although it's named Chamomile, which reminds of a ballad, this track has a rock and roll feeling to it, with metal guitars and a stronger voice. It's very upbeat and refreshing, maybe even more so than "STAR", and the catchy chorus makes me want to listen to this even more.
Rating: 9

99RadioService is new to the anison scene, but if they keep up their quality by releasing more stuff like this, they'll become popular very soon. My overall rating for this release is: 8.5.

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12 March 2013

nano.RIPE - Kagefumi

                                                     Hanasaku Iroha Movie ED

Tracklist:

1. Kagefumi (Following the Sign)
2. Kaerimichi (Return Trip)
3. Yumeji -Acoustic- (Dreaming)


1. Kagefumi

That voice... it's perfect for prison torture >__> Even though it gets better through the rest of the track, it's way too nasal. The composition, although a bit dragging and making the song feel longer, saves the song with a pop-rock arrangement.Not that bad for an ED!
Rating: 7.5

2. Kaerimichi

We begin with a very quiet and mysterious start, but the acoustic guitars join in and make it a typical J-pop ballad. It's very plain and dull, so it is probably just a filler song to a relatively good A-side.
Rating: 4

3. Yumeji -Acoustic-

Now, the acoustic arrangement returns, but this time faster and more upbeat. I haven't heard the non-acoustic version of Yumeji, but this is much more engaging than the previous song, so naturally I enjoyed it more.
Rating: 7

An average group puts out an average single. It's nothing new or special, but fans of nano.RIPE will appreciate this. My overall rating is: 6.2

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11 March 2013

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon Theme Song Collection -THEME OF HORIZON-

                                               Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon I & II OST

Tracklist
1.Tooshi Douka - Vocal Version / Minori Chihara
2.TERMINATED / Minori Chihara
3.ZONE//ALONE / Minori Chihara
4.Kasoku no Yanejou
5.Te wo Nobashi Wa ni Sasou
6.Nenshou Kairou
7.Shounetsu Ryouiki
8.Save you from anything
9.Ikou ze Minna
10.Jud.
11.Stardust Melodia / Ceui
12.Pieces / AiRI
13.Kanashimi wa Dare no Negai Demo Nai / Aira Yuuki
14.Sora no Uta / Masami Okui
15.Tooshi Douka - Dance Version / Aoi Yoshimi(CV.Chiwa Saito)


1. Tooshi Douka - Vocal Version

The album opens with a purely vocal track which nevertheless sounds beautiful. Despite her singing in anison music, Minori seems to have a great potential in Enka as well. Her voice makes me want to wake up to this every morning, and it's a shame this prelude is so short.
Rating: 10

2. TERMINATED

In contrast to the vocal-only track, the prelude jumps into an aggressive arrangement of strings and synths, which is an usual one, but used here to its full potential. Minori's voice retains its power from the previous track, but being a bit deeper here to fit the dramatic and intense atmosphere. As a result, we get a great OP song to the anime.
Rating: 9

3. ZONE//ALONE

This song has a weird start, which reminds me of dubstep, but the rest of it is in the same style as TERMINATED. That said, it sounds very similar and somewhat boring right before the final chorus. Still, it's not a bad song, and I can see myself listening to it.
Rating: 7

4. Kasoku no Yanejou

I'm not sure who sings this, because the vocals are vocoded, but it sounds very much like a Perfume song, except it has some acoustic guitars added to the dominant electro-house sound. One of the more uplifting tracks on this album, it's happy and cheerful all the way.
Rating: 8

5. Te wo Nobashi Wa ni Sasou

The track has a very similar arrangement and overall feeling to the previous track, except its more upbeat, and much like American pop music, to which the still vocoded voice singing in English contributes. It's not original, being like a part 2 to "Kasoku no Yanejou", but it does its job well.
Rating: 6.5

6. Nenshou Kairou

Continuing from the sudden end of the previous song, we are thrown in completely different, dramatic and impressive battle music. The choir which is spread through the composition builds a sense of danger and urgency, perfectly reflecting the image of a battlefield. Certainly a strong melody to use in an anime during a battle.
Rating: 8

7. Shounetsu Ryouiki

"Shounetsu Ryouiki" is another battle music track, but with its arrangement richer with a saxophone, trumpets, and more strings. The chorus here sounds straight out of a Yousei Teikoku song, making a fairy-tale like feeling. In general, I liked this song better, because of the more complex arrangement.
Rating: 9

8. Save you from anything

Unfortunately, the flow of the album returns to the usual pop sound some previous songs had, featuring acoustic and metal guitars, and some synths again. Somewhat boring, this track failed to get a good reaction from me, with nothing special to say about it.
Rating: 4

9. Ikou ze Minna

Something much sadder and sentimental breaks the chain of similar songs. It's a really unique and powerful ballad, and being one of the songs I liked the most in this album, it's a shame its not a vocal track, which would make it even more impressionable.
Rating: 8

10. Jud.

The strings return, but this time not conveying an ongoing battle, but moreover a sense of victory after one, being optimistic and joyful. It combines elements from the American-sounding tracks and "Ikouze Minna", which makes it enjoyable to listen to.
Rating: 6

11. Stardust Melodia

Strings are used again, but in a slow manner, with some bells complementing them. This is a usual ballad, where Ceui is trying to achieve the impression some other songs have, but the arrangement fails to follow her voice, being empty and bland.
Again, not a bad song, but not something new either.
Rating: 7

12. Pieces

"Pieces" is definitely one of my favourite songs I heard while watching the anime. Airi's voice is really cute here, but doesn't overdo it, fitting the rock style of this song.
The mood created by this song is happy, but has a tinge of melancholy in it, which makes it very special to me.
Rating: 10

13. Kanashimi wa Dare no Negai Demo Nai

Piano and bells which open the song give a mysterious and calm feeling that left me expecting a better track than it really is, a mediocre electro-anison track (don't get me wrong, I have nothing against electro songs, just this one). Accordingly, this song would be better off as an instrumental one, than a full one with vocals.
Rating: 3

14. Sora no Uta

A total borefest. Masami Okui, a veteran in anime music, should know better than to sing a generic cute-ish song. Although her vocals don't fail to deliver, as usual, the rest of the song failed to grab my attention even a little.
Rating: 5

15. Tooshi Douka - Dance Version

Closing the album,  despite the name "Dance Version", this Tooshi Douka is more of a house remix. Still having the relaxing, calm incentive, it's too bad Minori didn't do the vocals here, too, but the vocalist does a decent job on her own.
Rating: 7

Although there were a few fail songs in this soundtrack, I was very impressed by the most. My overall rating for this album is: 7.2.

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10 March 2013

Kanako Ito - Topology

                                                            Robotics ; Notes ED 2


Tracklist:

1. Topology
2. Kizuna no Kessho (Crystal Bond)
3. Topology (Anime ver.)
4. Topology (off vocal)
5. Kizuna no Kessho (off vocal)


1. Topology

A very peaceful, relaxing piano is used in the whole song, which makes it really easy to listen to, while at the choruses the track turns into a powerful ballad. Kanako's voice sounds a bit strange and nasal at first, especially at the verses, but you get used to it, and it doesn't really ruin the experience. This song brings nothing new to the scene, but it's still an enjoyable one.
Rating: 7

2. Kizuna no Kessho

The two should definitely switch names, because this associates more with "Topology" than "Crystal Bonds". As the verses have the same feeling to them like the previous song, you shouldn't be fooled, because this track becomes an upbeat rocky one very quickly. Though it's nothing special either, my favourite part is at the bridge of the song, where the synths and guitars just get crazy and all over the place.
Rating: 8


Summed up, this is nothing all too original, but the single is definitely worth listening to, and I think it deserves a place on my iPod. My overall rating is: 7.5

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Weekly News - 3rd Madoka Magica Movie, Most Anticipated Spring Anime, And More

                           

                            - Ken Akamatsu to start new manga this summer-

Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei reported in an article posted on Sunday that manga creator Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina, Negima) plans to launch a new manga series this summer. In its interview with Akamatsu, Nikkei noted that Negima, which ended last March after nine years, has 19 million copies in circulation. Nikkei then mentioned that Akamatsu has a new series starting this summer.


                               - Aoi Eir and Luna Haruna to perform at Sakura Con -

Aniplex of America is currently streaming a second greeting video from Eir Aoi and Luna Haruna. In the video, the artists give fans advice on how to best enjoy their upcoming concert at Sakura-Con. Aoi asks fans to shout "Ei Ei Ru!" and Haruna suggests concert goers to bring something green to the concert. The performance will mark both artists' first trip to the United States, and they will perform on March 30.



                                         - Most anticipated 2013 spring anime poll -

On Thursday, the Japanese Internet service provider BIGLOBE posted the results of its unofficial survey on the most anticipated anime series for the upcoming Spring season. The top 5 anime were:

5. Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love 2000%

4. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W

3. The "Hentai" Prince and the Stony Cat.

2. Oreimo

1. A Certain Scientific Railgun S


             
                               - Hatsune Miku gets 7-inch Android tablet in Japan -

The Japanese company RWC will release a Hatsune Miku-themed Android tablet beginning on April 15. The seven-inch tablet will feature case artwork and wallpaper artwork by Vocaloid illustrator Takumi Torigoe and other artists. It comes pre-loaded with an original navigation app narrated by Hatsune Miku, which will be newly voiced by Fujita. The tablet will also include 50 original illustrations, and will cost 39,800 yen (about US$425).


                                         
                                         - 3rd Madoka Magica film to open in fall -

The April issue of Nikkei Entertainment! magazine reported on Monday that Puella Magi Madoka Magica New Feature: Rebellion, the third Madoka Magica film, will open in Japan this fall. The fashion magazine Smart had reported last month that the film will open this summer. However, the editors of that magazine later said that they made an error.

                        


9 March 2013

supercell - The Bravery

                                                                    Magi ED 2


Tracklist:

1. The Bravery
2. She is my senior
3. Aozora
4. The Bravery (TV Edit)
5. The Bravery -Instrumental-
6. Aozora -Instrumental-
7. The Bravery (TV Edit) -Instrumental-


1. The Bravery

Acoustic guitars open the song, which then moves in an uplifting rock arrangement. Even with it being pretty fast and upbeat, the track fails to grab my attention, except in the places where Koeda (or Chelly?) is struggling to hit the higher tones, which she can't do well even if her life depended on it. Supercell reflected the feeling of bravery well, but it was too damn boring to be even noticed.
Rating: 5


2. She is my senior

Everything that I said about The Bravery can also be applied to this song, except the vocals are even more annoying, being "cute" (failing in it, that is). No variation in the arrangement is to be seen, so I lost about 3 minutes for nothing. The only thing good about it, actually, is that it is short.
Rating: 2.5

3. Aozora

Both the composer and the vocalist magnificently send the message that they've both completely given up. Ryo ran out of creativity and just slapped a few random chords on a mix of She is my senior and The Bravery, while Koeda squeaks at us in the refrain that she doesn't want to be listened to. I don't think anyone would return to this for a second time.
Rating: 0

While EGOIST had a relatively good single, it seems that Ryo spent all his inventiveness and couldn't come up with anything new for supercell. I'll ignore this release as an accidental mistake. My overall rating is: 3.2.

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8 March 2013

P. Graffitti - Matataku Hoshi no Moto de

                                                                       Magi OP 2

Tracklist:

1. Matataku Hoshi no Moto de
2. Gokujo Landing
3. Mukaiawase
4. Matataku Hoshi no Moto de <Anime ver.>


1. Matataku Hoshi no Moto de

Off with a powerful intro, the song is a mix of rock and anison, with some bells and strings. Moreover, that creates an optimistic and uplifting atmosphere, tied with a catchy melody. We don't often see J-Rock groups do something outside their own style, but this was an excellent song, which I greatly enjoyed listening to.
Rating: 9

2. Gokujo Landing

This track has a more oriental sound and is richer with different instruments that the previous one, but still has the same happy atmosphere. As it plays, the song gets faster and faster, with even some 8-bit electronic sounds thrown in. The vocals don't fail to deliver here, either, so I think i'll keep listening to this even after the review.
Rating: 7

3. Mukaiawase

Switching from the Turkish style native to Magi, we get a more traditional Japanese arrangement. It's really relaxing and refreshing, but a bit too long, being almost six minutes. Though the song itself is good, P. Graffitti's vocalist sounds bland and unmemorable here.
Rating: 7

I enjoyed listening to this single, so I hope Magi will get some more good opening themes like this. My overall rating for this release is: 7.7.

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Nothing's Carved In Stone - Out Of Control

                                                            PSYCHO-PASS OP 2

Tracklist:

1. Out Of Control
2. Crystal Beat
3. Raining Ash


1. Out Of Control

The beginning of the track sounds very much like it's taken straight from Kotoko's
Re-sublimity, with the weird, surreal synths and upbeat drums. Of course, the great arrangement was ruined by the vocalist of Nothing's Carved In Stone, who feels the need to sing only in Engrish and nothing else. The vocals were very annoying, and even worsened by the filters. I can't shake the feeling this would of  been a good instrumental song...
Rating: 6

2. Crystal Beat

A very aggressive guitar opens the song, which raises the hopes of a harder rock track, but it then returns to the generic melody most of Out Of Control had. The vocals were a bit better here, but I am still not impressed, as the song left no effect on me after listening to it.
Rating: 4

3. Raining Ash

Very different from the previous two tracks, this one is simplistic and laid-back. With all the cool chanting throughout the song, and recognizable English, this is probably the only song in the single I'd want to listen to again.
Rating: 7

I had an encounter with Nothing's Carved In Stone before, when i heard Zetsuen no Tempest's opening theme. I wasn't impressed then, and likewise I am not impressed now, at all. Who hired these people, I wonder? My overall rating is: 5.7.

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7 March 2013

PIKO - Hitokoe 42701340

                                                         Vocaloid cover album

Tracklist:

1. Tears In
2. Jinsei Reset Button
3. Mozaic Role
4. Senbonzakura
5. Setsuna Trip
6. Uta Catastrophe
7. Shiroi Yuki no Princess wa   (Only in Limited Edition)
8. Kotoba Meteor  (Only in Limited Edition)
9. Ama no Jaku  (Only in Limited Edition)
10. Invisible  (Only in Limited Edition)


1. Tears In

Despite this being a cover album, DECO*27 still found the time to compose this awesome song! It is hard rock, and very catchy. Also, Piko shows much of his vocal ability through the whole track, which adds to the overall upbeat sound. I hope DECO*27 and Piko will collaborate in the future, too!
Rating: 9.5

2. Jinsei Reset Button

The song opens with very fast synths, immediately moving into a more rock-oriented sound. Piko's voice isn't bad in this song, but in some parts where he is under filters, the arrangement sounds like a metal song and Piko doesn't sound like himself at all. I'll grow to like this in time, probably.
Rating: 7

3. Mozaic Role

After two good songs, this one is not memorable at all. He sounds even better than in "Tears In", especially in the refrain, but it doesn't leave a good impression paired with a very plain track like this. Not particularly bad, but not quite good, either.
Rating: 5

4. Senbonzakura

If i had to choose a favourite Vocaloid song, it would probably be this one. I am aware that for every utaite the same track should change a bit, but Piko went a bit too much, and took away the louder guitars, replacing them with more piano. Even with that, his voice is underwhelming, especially in the refrain. Too bad a song like this wasn't used to its full potential.
Rating: 6

5. Setsuna Trip

For a change, we get a beautiful strings and bells introduction instead of the guitars, although the rest of the song isn't like that. However, this song has a much better usage of the bass guitar than the others. Piko changed his voice to a more girl-ish one in this song, and even gotten really cute at one moment, which shows the excellent range he has.
Rating: 8

6. Uta Catastrophe

Like the previous song, this one starts with a traditional, Japanese sound and moves into a pop-rock sound. Uta Catastrophe also shares much of the arrangement with Senbonzakura and Setsuna Trip. Piko's voice here was average overall, but the parts where it was vocoded were somewhat annoying. Likewise, this didn't feel like a separate song, but more of a mix of the previous two.
Rating: 3.5

7. Shiroi Yuki no Princess wa

We return to the guitar arrangement we had in the first part of the album. The song starts a bit melancholic, but then makes a 180 turn in the refrains, where it becomes uplifting and cutesy. Here, Piko's vocals are more feminine than usual, which make him sound truly like a female singer. Overall, the song is quite good, featuring several impressive guitar solos.
Rating: 8

8. Kotoba Meteor

Contrary to Shiroi Yuki no Princess wa, this track gets an aggressive and dark start. The arrangement paired with his voice, which sounds masculine here, produces a classic J-Rock atmosphere and sound. In general, this is a much better direction for Piko to go in, since he sounds much more comfortable and powerful with serious songs.
Rating: 9

9. Ama no Jaku

I felt something was really different in this version of Ama no Jaku, and it turns out to be the pitch, which was lowered to fit a male voice. Now, i have no idea why Piko did this, because he can sing perfectly fine in a high pitch, but this sounds as good. His voice sounds especially *cough*sexy*cough* here xD. There are some weird moments where the vocals go all over the place, and it sounds like an editing error, so don't turn up your volume too high, just in case.
Rating: 10

10. Invisible

The introduction is like an old recording, with all the sound chipping and such, so i expected we'd get something else than... rock, again. For the last song on the album, his voice switches between a feminine and a more masculine one, with some odd screaming at the last few tones O.o. Somewhat bland, like Mozaic Role.
Rating: 5

Piko is a fantastic vocalist, but every singer should have a few different songs from their usual style in a discography. The selection of songs contained too much of the same, but at least the new song was excellent. Also, he should definitely try voice acting. My overall rating for this album is: 7.1.

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6 March 2013

Namikawa Daisuke - Mawaru Chikyu Rondo


Hetalia THE BEAUTIFUL WORLD OP

Tracklist:

1. 主題歌「まわる地球ロンド」  イタリア
2. 劇中歌「サンタさんにお願い♪」 シーランド
3. 劇中BGM「ヘタリアの美しき世界」
4. 劇中BGM「Tel un minuscule printemps...」
5. 主題歌「まわる地球ロンド」 (instrumental)


1. 主題歌「まわる地球ロンド」  イタリア

This starts with a dialogue, instead of singing, so it reminds me more of Italy's character song instead of a real OP. Accordingly, it has some cute Italian thrown in. It's not my type of song, as its overly sugary and sounds like the music i used to listen to as a little kid, but it is definitely in the spirit of Hetalia.
Rating: 6

2. 劇中歌「サンタさんにお願い♪」 シーランド

Now we get a very simple opening, with some bells and wooden instruments in a Christmas-related theme. Like the previous track, its like a character song, but now its sung by the voice actor of Sealand, not Italy. It's more enjoyable than the previous, but it is very short, being 2 and a half minutes.
Rating: 6.5

3. 劇中BGM「ヘタリアの美しき世界」

Very differently from the previous two songs, the arrangement is much like classical music, with some trumpets, violins and bells. This song is purely instrumental and lasts only a minute, which is understandable, since it is from the Hetalia movie soundtrack. I liked the overall upbeat and happy sound.
Rating: 9


4.  劇中BGM「Tel un minuscule printemps...」

A Vocaloid seems to be lost in the wrong single, as the vocals which open the song are poor and untrained. Also, the song seems to be in French, fitting the arrangement consisted purely of a piano. Around the middle of the track, the music completely stops, and changes to an accordion instead of a piano. Not very interesting and somewhat annoying to listen to.
Rating: 4

It's good that they threw in Hetalia movie soundtracks, because if not, the single would of been just a mediocre character song. My overall rating is: 6.4

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4 March 2013

Hyadain - 23 Ji 40 Pun

                                                                  Bakuman III OP

Tracklist:
1. 23 Ji 40 Pun
2. Pare
3. Piano
4. 23 Ji 40 Pun (Instrumental)
5. Pare (Instrumental)
6. Piano (Instrumental)


1. 23 Ji 40 Pun

This is rocky, but quite laid back. Yet, the arrangement doesn't do anything much for me, as its literally only guitars, which can get a bit boring. The vocals are good, except for the... rather weird, repetitive chants at the middle of the song O.o. Not that bad, but doesn't stand out at all.
Rating: 6.5 (out of 10)

2. Pare

More upbeat and and harder guitars, so this should be better, right?
...Nope. This is definitily one of the more annoying anison songs out there. Hyadain's voice just isn't suited for this kind of song, and his monologues in Engrish make me think he is a wannabe gang member. Very unpleasant to listen overall, as i couldn't wait for it to finish playing.
Rating: 3

3. Piano

The title stands for the arrangement, with this featuring just a piano and his voice. Which is good or bad, depending on the melody itself, and this is definitely boring, if not bad. Take out the Japanese lyrics and replace it with Korean, and you get one of those album fillers when you've got nothing good for an album except a title song. Perfect for putting a person to sleep, though.
Rating: 4

A very mediocre single. The title song was plain, and Hyadain's voice isn't suited for fast songs at all, so i hope he won't try anything like "Pare" again. My overall rating is: 4.5.

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3 March 2013

Weekly News - Fairy Tail Ends, Dragon Ball Exhibit, and more

                               - Fairy Tail's anime TV run to end on 30th March -

Kodansha's TV Magazine announced on Friday that the TV broadcast of Fairy Tail's anime is going to end on March 30th, but the manga will still continue with its releases. However, Mashima posted a statement to fans on his official Twitter feed on Saturday:

"Until the time comes, I cannot say something I've always wanted to say, even on Twitter. Please be patient and wait until the time comes for me to announce some good news."

               
                     - Hello Kitty and NicoNico fuse to make crossover chocolates -
   
NicoNico and Sanrio are collaborating  to release "Hello Kitty x NicoNico Stuffed Tirol" chocolates starting on March 28. A box will contain nine Tirol chocolates, each with an individually designed wrapper featuring both Hello Kitty's and NicoNico's mascots, such as Nico Nico TV-chan. Three kinds of chocolate will be available, milk chocolate, coffee nougat and biscuit, at a price of 360 yen.


                    - Devil Survivor 2 screening reveals livetune opening, 3DS game -

The advance screening event for Devil Survivor 2 The Animation (an adaptation of a Shin Megami Tensei game) revealed on  Saturday that the musician and composer livetune is contributing the anime's opening theme song, while the Japanese hip hop group Song Riders is performing the ending theme song. The event also revealed that a Devil Survivor 2 game will be sold for the Nintendo 3DS system this summer.


                              - "World of Dragon Ball" exhibit will open in March -

To celebrate the opening of the Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods film on March 30, an "Akira Toriyama: The World of Dragon Ball" exhibition will be held in the eighth floor hall of the Nihonbashi Takashimaya store in Tokyo from March 27 to April 15.
The event will display 300 different items related to Akira Toriyama's work on the Dragon Ball series, such as cel art, original color illustrations, and similar production materials. There are seven different areas of the exhibition, in homage to the story's seven dragon balls.


                  - New Haruhi Suzumiya English vocabulary guides to be released -

Chukei, a Kadokawa Group Publishing company, revealed advertising for its new book that teaches English grammar with Haruhi Suzumiya characters. In this book, teacher Kensaku Harada uses actual text from The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya novel and its translation to help students master English grammar. Original illustrator Noizi Ito drew new art of the character Nagato with eyeglasses for both the book's cover and the poster bundled with the book.