Weekly Anime Music Releases – April 22

And as if to put the past couple weeks to shame, the barrage of new anime music releases begins. Here’s a look at what’s coming out this week:

Anime Openings and Ending Themes

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Sound! Euphonium

Album Name: DREAM SOLISTER
Artist: TRUE
Purchase at: CDJapan
It’s interesting to hear the differences between the lackadaisical atmosphere of the show and compare it to the much more dynamic opening theme for Sound! Euphonium. I mean, the song isn’t really anything special since TRUE delivers a by-the-numbers J-pop song, but at least there’s some energy to be had whereas the show’s main character seems listless, lacking for an energy that would make this anime more captivating.

Blood Blockade Battlefront OP

Blood Blockade Battlefront

Album Name: Hello, world!/Colony
Artist: BUMP OF CHICKEN
Purchase at: CDJapan
Although this anime season’s opening themes aren’t much to speak of, you really can’t go wrong with Blood Blockade Battlefront‘s opening theme by Bump of Chicken. Strange band name aside, they’ve done a lot of good works where the rock isn’t so harsh and grating. If you’re a fan of the softer side of rock, I’d recommend giving this group and, by extension, this single a listen.

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid OP

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid

Album Name: Angel Blossom
Artist: Nana Mizuki
Purchase at: CDJapan
This might just be the nostalgia fan in me talking, but I’ve always enjoyed the work that Nana Mizuki has put into the Nanoha series. They might not necessarily be her most stellar work, but I could at least call it pretty competent. And I’m hoping for more of the same here.
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Weekly Anime Music Releases – April 15

We’re still seeing only a trickle of new anime music releases for April 15. In fact, aside from the opening and ending singles, a huge chunk are soundtrack albums from earlier in the year, or even from shows from last year. So aside from Gundam Reconguista in G, there’s just not a while lot to excite me in the least. Either way, here’s a look at what’s coming out this week:

Anime Openings and Ending Themes

Choucho High School DxD

High School DxD BorN
Senran Kagura ESTIVAL VERSUS -Mizugi Darake no Zenyasai-

Album Name: BLESS YoUr NAME
Artist: ChouCho
Purchase at: CDJapan
I’ve always enjoyed ChouCho’s voice. She has a very pleasant quality that allows you to just relax and soak in her vocals, so that you really don’t feel much pressure and can be free as a result. I especially liked her performance on Gargantia‘s ED theme, “Sora to kimi to message” for being a quiet jaunt that’s beautiful to listen to, making it one of the standout OP/ED themes from 2013.

Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE Revolutions OP

Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji LOVE Revolutions

Album Name: Shine
Artist: Mamoru Miyano
Purchase at: CDJapan
Does Mamoru Miyano have a sexy, bishie voice? That’s the only explanation I get for why he gets so much work as a singing seiyuu on so many shoujo anime shows. Well, for what it’s worth, he is capable of delivering a decent effort, but whether that effort will actually be memorable is a whole new other issue. Count me in among the more pessimistic crowd.

Anime Soundtracks and Albums

Gundam Reconguista in G OST

Gundam Reconguista in G

Album Name: Gundam Reconguista in G ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
Artist: Yuugo Kanno
Purchase at: CDJapan
Yuugo Kanno’s music has always been solid and his work prior to Gundam Reconguista in G was the very solid soundtrack to Psycho-PASS. While I’ve watched bits and pieces of Gundam Reconguista in G, nothing in the music has really impressed so far, a problem, especially if we haven’t encountered that one really good Kanno track in the album.

noiaminA fan Best

noitaminA Anime

Album Name: noitaminA FAN BEST
Artist: Various
Purchase at: CDJapan
This album as a concept is a very good one, especially when you look at the track list and feel happy that democracy doesn’t yield tastes that are too bad. In looking through what’s on offer on this album, you see things like Nodame Cantabile‘s “Allegro Cantabile” as well as some exciting stuff from the Guilty Crown anime series. So given the strength of the music alone, this album looks like a clear winner even if you might consider it cheating for joining together so many hopeful pieces.

Choro Club Returns to Compose Aria the Avvenire Music

Aria the Avvenire
ARIA the Avvenire might be a continuation of the ARIA franchise or it might be a series of flashbacks involving the ARIA characters. Whatever it is, I’m looking forward to reliving the anime series that stirred my heart as I watched the characters start off as gondolier novices to become full-fledged professionals.

But if there’s anything I’m looking forward to even more in ARIA the Avvenire, it would be the return of the Choro Club and Takeshi Senoo to work on the soundtrack. Below, you can find the short trailer of Avvenire confirming that much, though they use the track “AQUA” from ARIA the Animation instead of any new composition. Still, it’s a nice way to bring out the nostalgia surrounding the anime.

The ARIA soundtracks are some of the best anime music I’ve ever heard. And if you’ve read my review for the ARIA boxed CD set, you’ll find that I regard it as more or less a masterpiece. So I’m hoping for more laid-back music in this go-around in a way where I can say it’s the same, but different. One thing that the Choro Club and Takeshi Senoo have done well is in melding the new tracks from subsequent seasons while maintaining the integrity of the common musical thread that runs throughout the entirety of the series.

So, once again, here’s hoping for a sterling effort all around from the Choro Club and Takeshi Senoo. If they can at least preserve the wonder and the charming atmosphere of the ARIA series, that’s about all I can ask for. But if they can amaze me with some new tracks and themes, then I’m prepared to be blown away by their excellence.

Platina Jazz’s Rasmus Faber Composes Asterisk War Anime Soundtrack

Asterisk War
At Anime Boston and Sakura-Con this past weekend, Aniplex announced that they would do an anime adaptation of Asterisk War, a work based on a Japanese light novel series written by Yuu Miyazaki. The anime follows a boy named Amagiri Ayato who participates in a battle for supremacy and is set to air Fall 2015.

But the most important revelation (to us, anyway) is that Asterisk War‘s soundtrack will be composed by Rasmus Faber. Rasmus Faber’s anime work has been confined mostly to excellent jazz arrangements of anime themes through his Platina Jazz albums. He’s arranged themes as varied as Dragonball Z‘s song “Cha-La Head-Cha-La” and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind‘s theme, but for Asterisk War, Rasmus Faber goes back to his roots as a house artist. Check out the trailer for the anime below, which features some of his music:

From the video, you can definitely hear the electronica playing a prominent role in the combat sequences, giving the scenes a feeling of intensity while also fitting the anime’s futuristic setting. But those heavy beats are also accompanied by some synth strings which give those scenes a sort of grandeur and excitement you wouldn’t normally get from pure electronica alone.

While that snippet provides a small taste of what’s to come, Rasmus Faber’s excellent credentials as a musician gives me hope that, in spite of the anime’s trashy setting, Asterisk War will sound good musically. At least, that should be the case if the anime’s director, veteran Manabu Ono does a good job in utilizing his music. And from our side, we wish Mr. Faber well in his original anime music debut!

Weekly Anime Music Releases – April 8

Seeing that we’re barely a week into the Spring 2015 anime season, this week’s anime music releases is fairly light indeed. In terms of openings and ending singles, all we’re getting are CDs from franchises that are already well-established and don’t actually need good quality to move discs. And the same can be said for the albums too. I think Nisekoi might be the only major franchise handing anything out this week in terms of albums. Either way, here’s a look at what’s coming out this week:

Anime Openings and Ending Themes

Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE Revolutions ED

Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji LOVE Revolutions

Album Name: Maji LOVE☆Revolutions
Artist: ST☆RISH, Mamoru Miyano, Kenichi Suzumura, Takuma Terashima, Junichi Suwabe, Hiro Shimono, Kisho Taniyama, Kosuke Toriumi
Purchase at: CDJapan
The theme songs for Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ isn’t anything more than comical, even if they have a decent group of male idol seiyuu to back them up. But like the next track, this isn’t a franchise that I’ll go out of my way to uncover, so I might as well dignify this single by saying as little as possible.

Kuroko no Basket 3 OP

Kuroko no Basket 3

Album Name: ZERO
Artist: Kensho Ono
Purchase at: CDJapan
There’s really not a whole lot here to praise or hold in disdain since I simply don’t care for the inevitable rock that comes out of the Kuroko no Basket franchise. As they say, it’s all about the apathy and I’m most certainly apathetic to this release since I know little about artist Kensho Ono and I’m not too inclined to learn more.

Anime Soundtracks and Albums

Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins

Album Name: The Seven Deadly Sins Original soundtrack 2
Artist: Hiroyuki Sawano, Takafumi Wada
Purchase at: CDJapan
Hiroyuki Sawano is brash and bold and Takafumi Wada is a relative newcomer whose previous roles has been as a music programmer. Given Sawano’s idiom, the soundtrack to The Seven Deadly Sins is probably going to be like the loud Hollywood sound that’s become virtually commonplace at this point. While I don’t hold Sawano in as high a regard anymore, I do sometimes sit and hope that whatever he’s working on next will have the nuance needed to prevent it from being overwhelming dreck.

Nisekoi Best Songs

Nisekoi

Album Name: NISEKOI BEST SONGS
Artist: Nao Toyama, Kana Hanazawa, Mikako Komatsu, Kana Asumi, Yumi Uchiyama, ClariS
Purchase at: CDJapan
There’s not much to say here that hasn’t already been said. This album represents a collection of music from the anime series Nisekoi, which is only something you’ll watch if you’re fond of a little cockblocking and getting into spirited debates over which girl is better. Anyway, this album is a good fit for the Nisekoi fan, mostly because it has the theme songs as well as a few character songs to gush over. That said, it’s not my kind of thing and I’d rather find some good music relief elsewhere.

Anime Music Events at Anime Boston

Anime Boston
Sakura-Con isn’t the only anime convention to be happening this weekend. Up in Boston, at the Hynes Convention Center and the Sheraton Boston Hotel, Anime Boston will be opening its doors to anime fans in the Northeast!

This year, Anime Boston has quite the lineup, but for fans of anime music, the main highlight this year is the power-pop artist, LiSA, who has made quite a name for herself.

LiSA

LiSA first started in the anime scene as a singer on Jun Maeda’s anime Angel Beats. In that anime, she was assigned the singing role for a character, Yui, who became the lead singer of the fictional band Girls Dead Monster. In that capacity, she sang the insert song, “Thousand Enemies”, which showcased her vocal strengths.

From there, she would go on to perform many songs for popular anime, including “Oath Sign” for Fate/Zero and the ever-popular “Crossing Field” for Sword Art Online.

LiSA’s appearance at Anime Boston will include a concert which will take place in the Hynes auditorium on Friday evening. The concert seating is set to begin at 7:30pm with the actual concert starting at 8:00pm and ending at 9:30pm.

For those who haven’t caught her performance live, LiSA is a formidable singer, with vocals that work very well with her power pop style of singing and an ability to engage the audience by getting them involved in her music. It helps that she has plenty of energy to work with.

This won’t be her first time doing a concert in the US since she previously sang at Anime Expo. Those qualities that make her such a great performer were on full display there. If you want to get a (somewhat blurry) view of LiSA in action, check out some of this footage from her concert at Anime Expo:

Finally, those who are interested can meet LiSA on Saturday at the Constitution Ballroom around 12:30. She’ll be signing autographs later on at the Autograph 1 area at 2pm.

Music Events at Sakura-Con

Sakura Con
Sakura-Con, the annual anime convention held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington will take place this weekend, April 3 to April 5. For those of you who are looking forward to the convention activities and would like to explore the musical options available to you this year, here’s what you can look forward to:

GARNiDELiA

Of the groups out in concert for this year’s Sakura-Con, we have GARNiDELiA, a duo made up of music composer toku and singer MARiA formed in 2010. While the two have had extensive experience with anime songs, they’re probably best known for their debut single, ambiguous, which was used as the opening theme to Kill la Kill. More recently, they’ve done work on Mekakucity Actors, followed by the opening theme to the irregular at magic high school, and then their third single, “BLAZING”, used in Gundam Reconguista in G.

Both toku and MARiA have been pretty excited to make their appearance at Sakura-Con, based on the video they released fairly recently, especially since it’ll be their first time in the United States:

Kanako Ito

But perhaps the singer Kanako Ito will be an even hotter persona to check out, especially since some of her singing works have garnered high praise. She first appeared on my radar when she sang the opening theme to Chaos;Head, which wasn’t a great show, but the opening was pretty decent. Her best work, at least one that her fans will enjoy most, is probably the opening theme to the Steins;Gate anime, titled “Hacking to the Gate”, which featured her harsh-sounding vocals.

Both Kanako Ito and GARNiDELiA will be performing in concert at Sakura-Con. Those at the convention can catch them on Saturday in the evening on the Main Stage. The concert is set to start at 6:30pm. Either way, hope you look forward to hearing them live!

Weekly Anime Music Releases – April 1

This week’s anime music releases contains a light dash of anime soundtracks, mostly in the realms of Toshio Masuda’s music for Kamisama Hajimemashita‘s second season and a smattering of artists for Mekakucity Actors that includes some well-known artists like Teddyloid and ANANT-GARDE EYES. But that’s to be expected since we’re in an anime music doldrums. The last season just ended after all and the new season hasn’t shown much of its true colors yet. So we’ll have to see how that goes. With that light load in mind, here’s a look at what’s coming out this week:

Anime Openings and Ending Themes

Tamayura Movie Theme Song

Tamayura ~Sotsugyou Shashin~

Album Name: Kore kara
Artist: Maaya Sakamoto
Purchase at: CDJapan
When Maaya Sakamoto performed the opening theme for the Tamayura OVA, I absolutely loved her cover and was hoping to see more of her. And with the release of the Tamayura movie, it looks like we will! The anime focuses on four girls, one of whom is very interested in photography and you all get to see them explore life, mature, and come closer to achieving their dreams. All signs indicate that this movie will be more of the same, and that should give us a beautiful serene song from Maaya Sakamoto.

Nanoha Vivid ED Theme

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid

Album Name: Suki datte Ienakute
Artist: Yukari Tamura
Purchase at: CDJapan
I do like Yukari Tamura’s voice as Nanoha in the Nanoha series, so her appearance here is likely going to be a treat. While she doesn’t hold quite a candle to the vocal prowess that Nana Mizuki can deliver, she does a good job of singing in character, so there’s much to like here, assuming all the past Nanoha shows are of any indication. Or so we hope.

Anime Soundtracks and Albums

Kamisama Hajimemashita2 OST

Kamisama Hajimemashita◎

Album Name: Kamisama Hajimemashita◎ Original Soundtrack Otodamashu
Artist: Toshio Masuda
Purchase at: CDJapan
There’s not a whole lot that needs to be said about Toshio Masuda’s skills as a composer seeing just how well he’s been able to deliver on soundtracks for shows like Mushishi. His works carry a sort of atmosphere that’s just really absorbing and he’s also capable of drumming up some good melodies for shounen anime like Naruto. While I haven’t seen Kamisama Hajimemashita, I do have a lot of faith in Masuda bringing out yet another solid effort, and that means you shouldn’t take him lightly when he decides to write music for shoujo anime.

Unlimited Fafnir OST

Unlimited Fafnir

Album Name: Unlimited Fafnir Original Soundtrack -Dragons High-
Artist: R・O・N
Purchase at: CDJapan
The simple fact is that I’m not really too familiar with Unlimited Fafnir and I’m not really too interested in exploring it. Ditto goes towards the soundtrack, which is composed by R・O・N, whose real name is Ryuta Iida. This guy has worked in anime before, having written the music for Shinrei Tantei Yakumo and Togainu no Chi, but again, these are some low-rated shows, so I wouldn’t expect a whole lot to come out of their soundtracks.

Mekakucity Actors

MEKAKUCITY ACTORS

Album Name: MEKAKUCITY M’s 1: MEKAKUCITY ACTORS VOCAL & SOUND COLLECTION
Artist: Jin, ANANT-GARDE EYES, TeddyLoid, Ishifuro, Ryosuke Nakanishi, sasakure.UK
Purchase at: CDJapan
Mekakucity Actors‘ soundtrack comes with a bevy of artists whose portfolio of work is pretty excellent. The first one on that list is ANANT-GARDE EYES, who composed a large chunk of the soundtrack for Angel Beats. Then you have Teddyloid, whose penchant for electronica is widely respected, especially after all that fame he garnered through Panty and Stocking‘s OST. Suffice to say, there’s a risk that too many cooks spoil the broth, but if you were checking out this album anyway, it’s probably going to be a diverse mix that’ll match your tastes quite nicely.

Weekly Anime Music Releases – March 25

March 25’s anime music continues to be a torrent of full-length albums or soundtrack releases. Gear up, because this week brings with it some pretty big guns. By far and away, the most exciting release is KanColle‘s soundtrack. While I thought the opening and ending themes were decent, the BGM takes it to a whole new level and makes it a very solid release that we’ll hopefully put into the review pipeline. A smattering of other composers also deliver, like Tsuneyoshi Saito for yet another edition of Fafner. Aside from that, we also have Yuki Hayashi delivering some solid tunes for Gundam Builders Try. So, with all that good music in tow, here’s a look at what’s coming out this week:

Anime Soundtracks and Albums

KimiUso Classical

Your Lie in April

Album Name: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso Twinkle Little Star
Artist: Yuna Shinohara, Taiji Koga, Eriko Kawachi
Purchase at: CDJapan
If you’ve been following our post series on Your Lie in April, you’ll find that we’ve been utterly absorbed by the anime’s approach to classical music. So now, if you want to sit down and be held in thrall by the many beautiful classical pieces that surface in the show, this album will be for you. You’ve got the likes of Chopin, Mozart, and Beethoven all popping their heads to deliver many a melodic delight that’ll have you coming back for more.

KanColle OST

Kantai Collection -KanColle-

Album Name: Kantai Collection -KanColle- Original Soundtrack “Kankyou”
Artist: Natsumi Kameoka
Purchase at: CDJapan
I don’t think anyone expected KanColle‘s OST to be so good. After all, the show’s premise is pretty silly, and the lack of character development only makes things worse. In a way, the OST saves KanColle from complete mediocrity. Natsumi Kameoka flexes her musical muscles and shows she’s capable of slinging orchestral melodies in a measured and confident manner. The strength that her compositions bring to light are very much the time to listen and this soundtrack is a strong contender for soundtrack of the year.

Fafner Exodus OST

Soukyuu no Fafner EXODUS

Album Name: Soukyuu no Fafner EXODUS Original Soundtrack vol.2
Artist: Tsuneyoshi Saito
Purchase at: CDJapan
What’s been said previously for volume 1 of the Fafner EXODUS soundtrack still holds true here. Once again, Tsuneyoshi Saito, with the backing of the Warsaw Philharmonic, will be unleashing yet another beautiful orchestral soundtrack. And for fans of piano concertos, rumor has it that the one on this disc is fairly solid and worth listening to.
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LiSA Sings “RallyGoRound” Opening Theme to Nisekoi Anime

LiSA RallyGoRoundSeason 2 of the Nisekoi anime will be airing in less than a month, but not every detail has been released just yet. In their latest announcement, anime music singer LiSA will be performing the opening theme to Nisekoi, titled “RallyGoRound” with LiSA announcing the news on her Twitter account.

For many fans, this announcement will be very well-received. LiSA has had a long history of performing music for anime, most notably as the singer for Yui, a character from Angel Beats, who was a part of a school band named Girls Dead Monster. Her power pop style and flashy flair have won many people over, especially in her delivery on “Oath Sign”, Fate/Zero‘s opening theme, and “Crossing Field”, the opening theme to Sword Art Online. In addition to all those singles, she has also shown up at conventions like Anime Expo where LiSA performed live in concert.

Her musical delivery tends along the brash and bold side, making her a great spectacle on stage, but she isn’t quite as solid on nuance. Nevertheless, her fanbase remains huge and should be pleased to hear her perform her 8th single. Those looking forward to getting LiSA’s latest single will have to wait until May 27 for a CD release of “RallyGoRound”. Until then, they can catch Nisekoi season 2 when it airs on April 10.

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