Shadow’s J-Music Cravings 02/01/13

I haven’t really watched anime for a while now. Although I’m always planning to get back into the game, it never really happens. When I’m not distracted, one thing that I still follow is the pop/rock music scene in Japan.

The way I consume music feels a bit wasteful. I find a recently released tune I love, listen to it on repeat for a few days on end, and then toss it aside for something new. It doesn’t mean I stopped listening, it just means I’m out obsessing over a different new tune and the former one joins the “old favorites” category I go back to only once in a while.

So here are some of my current music obsessions, I’ll try to highlight some lesser known groups (no Kyary Pamyu Pamyu here!):

Sakanaction – Music

Sakanaction is probably the only band whose releases I look forward to nowadays. They are a popular, pleasing fusing of rock and techno, with catchy hooks or choruses that grab you and don’t let go. Their newest release “Music” is no different, carrying a simple melody, but one that’s catchy and addicting (especially at the end). I’ve been listening to it endlessly on repeat the past few days. The video is bland (nothing like Bach no Senritsu o Yoru ni Kiita Sei Desu.) and below expectations considering their past work.

avengers in sci-fi – Yang 2

Wikipedia lists avengers in sci-fi as a band specializing in “spacey dance rock,” which is exactly how Google Translate described their music too, so I’m not sure if that’s exactly accurate. They are also a band they combines rock and techno to form upbeat, catchy tunes. Yang 2 is a strong demonstration of that.

KEYTALK - sympathy

KEYTALK is more a pure pop rock band without the techno you hear from the other groups I’ve mentioned. I would say their sound isn’t tremendously unique, but I particularly like it. My search for music coming out of Japan usually leads to a lot of uninteresting, generic pop/rock bands, so I’m surprised when one manages to stay in my continual graces.

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Deep Hibernation Update

It sure has been a while.

Anime Fascination’s second birthday passed quietly. I can’t say for sure if any more posts are coming, but it would seem a waste for me to just say it’s over. So we’ll see I guess. The post ideas are still on paper at least.

I find just enough time for anime, but that doesn’t leave much time for writing, except for the occasional tweet. This fall season has been a bit of a disappointment, but that does mean there are less shows to follow. As of now the watch list consists of Mawaru Penguindrum, Guilty Crown, and Mirai Nikki.

Mawaru Penguindrum has been a winding road with strong character development, adorable penguins, and a story that I look forward to concluding (unless they pull the “it was all a dream” crap). Guilty Crown is like a summer movie to me, lots of shallow action but little of substance. Mirai Nikki is just a good adrenaline rush.

-Regards until the next post,


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Summer Anime 2011: A Main Course Sized Appetizer?

Typically I find the Winter and Summer cycles of anime are nothing compared the Fall and Spring cycles. There are fewer quality shows and fewer shows overall. For example, last summer I only found High School of the Dead and Occult Academy worth watching, and both of those shows were pretty flawed. However, this Summer season is certainly atypical, with a huge palate of promising shows. It almost feels like Spring season all over again. This is a quick run down of what I’ve marked as worthy. Continue reading

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A Visual Feast of Erio Touwa’s Adorability [Warning: Image Heavy]

The one word I can use to describe Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko is CUTE. Erio, Ryouko, and even Meme are some of the most adorable characters I’ve seen in a while.

Erio carries the show. She’s sincere, earnest, and occasionally fiery. The marine blue hair, eyes and nails are irresistible. You can see some of Meme in her (the smiles especially), although she isn’t nearly as lecherous as her mother, Erio may have a small mischievous streak (it might just be that smile of hers throwing me off though).

Her character design reminds me a lot of the female protagonists in JC Staff’s action shows like Aria of the Scarlet Ammo, Index, or Shakugan no Shana, but without the tsundere and terminology baggage those shows carry.

Given she’s one of my favorite characters this season, and in every episode she has at least one really adorable shot, I’ve compiled an Erio image collection from the first six episodes. I haven’t really figured out what to post about lately, but maybe this will make up for some of the inactivity. You can catch the images after the break. Enjoy!
Continue reading

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Hanasaku Iroha and the Value of Anime Realism

It’s been a while and it’s good to be back for a check-in.

For one reason or another, I didn’t really get into Winter’s anime offerings, with the shows I initially liked all being fantasy focused (Madoka, Gosick, Fractale). What was missing was a show with something I’ve been craving lately: realism, but with a dash of good fictional narrative. This is what Hanasaku Iroha succeeds with.

There’s something to be said for the value of realism. I know anime is an animated medium, but lately I’ve yawned at all the outlandish shows being presented this season. Now I know that this is entertainment, so some escapism is called for, yet I’m growing tired of seeing “girl falling from sky,” circus prison extravaganza, medieval fighting between cat and dog humanoids, and the like. I’m much more receptive to an entertaining story within a foundation that is very believable and almost seems like it comes straight out a real-life experience. Continue reading

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Shadow’s Tweet Digest #2

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, I’ve actually been following and watching the new Spring Season, but just haven’t found time to put some thoughts down except for Twitter. I’ve decided to collect them here:

About Spring Anime Season 2011:

Hanasaku Iroha is my favorite show so far. It’s an excellent combination of beautiful animation, believable (yet interesting) story, and strong cast.

Sket Dance is a decent shounen, and I say decent because of my instant like of characters named Hime (maybe I’ll touch on that in a post later).

Denpa Onna Futon Girl is a less disorienting, more appealing version of Arakawa. It’s should be fun to follow this odd relationship.

C seems ok, except not a whole lot makes sense. It seems they combined Yu-gi-oh, Pokemon, and some other battle show where people can create swords from thin air to create some incoherent battle system.

Deadman Wonderland was ok, but didn’t exactly exclaim “pay attention to me because I’m quality!” It feels like a series of dangerous stunts will be used as arcs for character growth or something, and the paper thin back story doesn’t help the show any. Continue reading

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OP / ED Highlights of Winter Season 2011

Just dropping by to name some of my favorite OP/EDs of the 2011 Winter season. I also have to say that the season has been surprisingly strong for a transition season between Fall and Spring, with several shows that I like, but will probably never get to watching (this will be detailed later).

About the only thing I see keep track of (with lessening frequency) are the OP/ED songs each season to see if there’s some new catchy Jpop around. I’m not much of a musician or a music writer, so the commentaries will be short. With that let’s begin: Continue reading

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