Weekly Anime Music Releases – January 7

The coming New Year means a new anime season will be underway and that means more music for the rest of us. In this first week of January, things are going at a much slower pace in terms of releases in that we only have a paltry 3 CD releases to focus on. The expectation, of course, is that once more of the newer anime gets released, we’ll see more of the OP/ED singles get their chance to be heard. As for soundtracks, those aren’t expected to show up later into the month. So without any further ado, here are the releases you can look forward to:

Anime OP/ED Singles

Parasyte-Let Me Hear

Parasyte -the maxim-

Album Name: Let Me Hear
Artist: Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas
Purchase at: CDJapan
No, I’m not sure what prompted this band to name themselves after a Hunter S. Thompson novel, I do know they’ve been around for awhile, having done theme music for the second season of Kaiji as well as the more recent Hunter x Hunter anime. Their latest work on Parasyte -the maxim- features an opening theme that is about as despairing as the anime’s subject matter and should be a delight for the fans who really enjoy their J-Rock.

Seikentsukai no World Break-Hi no Ito Rinne no Gemini

Seiken Tsukai no World Break

Album Name: Hi no Ito Rinne no GEMINI
Artist: petit milady
Purchase at: CDJapan
One of the newer anime to be released in 2015, Seiken Tsukai no World Break will fall into the category of anime that takes place in high school where the characters have superpowers and will go forth to do battle against whatever enemies threaten the school. As for the single, there isn’t too much to work off of since this seiyuu idol duo of Aoi Yuuki and Ayana Taketatsu hasn’t been around as a unit for too long so it’s hard to figure out how well the two singers complement each other. Because of that, this single is probably targeted more towards seiyuu idol fans than anyone else out there.

tsukimonogatari-border-claris

Tsukimonogatari

Album Name: border
Artist: ClariS
Purchase at: CDJapan
Once again, the main highlight for this week’s set of releases is ClariS’s single for the Tsukimonogatari anime that’s set to have aired on December 31. ClariS will be singing the ending song for the anime, though it’s going to be interesting since the duo had reportedly broken up as Alice was looking to continue her studies, leaving only Clara as the remaining member. It also needs to be said that ClariS hasn’t done anything too amazing. Their debut single with Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga nai‘s OP Single – irony received a decent amount of acclaim, but as time wore on, Connect, their single for Puella Magi Madoka Magica‘s OP was viewed as being more pedestrian. While this release for Tsukimonogatari might bring a return to form, based on their work, it’s highly doubtful that’ll come to pass.

Ghibli Music News: Wind Rises Soundtrack Review Published, When Marnie Was There Gets English Theme Song

Wind Rises Anime Movie

Wind Rises Soundtrack Review

We’ve recently reviewed The Wind Rises soundtrack which features Joe Hisaishi‘s compositions for Hayao Miyazaki’s final anime film about Japan’s aircraft pioneer, Jiro Horikoshi. As we’ve noted in the review, much of Hisaishi’s music is firmly focused on Jiro’s journey, starting from his time as a little boy with a love for airplanes, to his life as an engineer, designing aircraft like the Mitsubishi A6M Zero which would be used in World War II.

One thing that stands out is just how beautiful Hisaishi’s music is. There are times where he’ll create the lightness that comes with flying airplanes. In other times, he’ll weave musical flourishes that capture the grandiosity of Jiro’s vision. Finally, the tragic relationship between Jiro and his wife Naoko materializes through many of the melancholy pieces on the Wind Rises Soundtrack. So give our review a read and let us know whether you think this is an excellent way to see out the collaboration between Joe Hisaishi and Hayao Miyazaki.

Priscilla Ahn Marnie Ghibli

Ghibli Film When Marnie Was There‘s Priscilla Ahn Theme Song

Studio Ghibli announced that they would be working on a new movie titled When Marnie Was There, an adaptation of a novel by Joan Robinson which features 2 female leads, Anna and Marnie. When this announcement came, people wondered who would be chosen to perform the theme song and that honor goes to American artist Priscilla Ahn, who will perform “Fine on the Outside,” a song she wrote when she was in high school.

The choice of Priscilla Ahn’s music is a bit of a surprise since the song will be entirely in English. However odd this may be, it isn’t without precedent. When Studio Ghibli released Whisper of the Heart, they used Olivia Newton-John’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” albeit with both English and Japanese lyrics. Many of the pieces used in The Secret World of Arrietty also featured English-language lyrics written by Cecile Corbel.

Given the grand tradition of Ghibli theme songs, however, we are very much looking forward to what Priscilla Ahn delivers upon and how well it’ll mesh with the movie itself.

Oddball Anime Music Combo – Norio Wakamoto Sings Madoka’s Credens Justitiam

Never one to pass up on an opportunity for silliness, this was one anime song cover we just had to share. Norio Wakamoto and Madoka together in perfect harmony is something that’ll be most dissonant, but enjoyable because of it.

If you’ve been keeping track of the anime fandom for any stretch of time, you’re probably no stranger to the effect that Puella Magi Madoka Magica has had. The anime, combined with Yuki Kajiura’s appropriately foreboding soundtrack, brought about a memorable experience that’s often talked about as a most excellent twist on the magical girl genre.

So to say that we love the music is a bit of an understatement, especially when tracks like “Sis puella magica!” draw us in with their melancholia, foreshadowing the fate of the magical girls in Madoka. But before the show even gets to its depressing stage, the anime serves up some more heroic tracks, none of which stand out more than Mami’s theme, “Credens Justitiam.”

In the original “Credens Justitiam,” you had a song delivered by the lilting chorus provided by Kalafina, which provided the song with a soaring quality that spoke of lofty ideals, giving it a sense of grace, and, of course, beauty. Here, we have longtime anime seiyuu Norio Wakamoto giving his rendition of “Credens Justitiam.” Wakamoto, known for voicing characters as The Emperor Charles Zi Britannia in Code Geass, Oda Nobunaga in Sengoku Basara, and the narrator in Hayate the Combat Butler.

His delivery contrasts with the original’s aspirational qualities, instead, coming off as being rather silly as his trademark deep voice rolls the “rr” sounds in the song and the way he harmonizes. Needless to say, it’s a novel and hilarious twist on a well-known song that’s become part of the anime music/Yuki Kajiura canon that’ll succeed at the very least in bringing a few chuckles or grimaces, especially when he narrates about magical girls halfway though this song or simply roars/groans all the way to the finish.

L’Arc~en~Ciel Live in US Theaters March 22

larcenciel2014lvj-front
Since L’Arc~en~Ciel started their music careers back in 1991 in Osaka, Japan, they’ve rocked on to stardom with numerous anime opening themes. Their discography includes hits such as the opening theme to DNA², “Blurry Eyes,” but they’re better known for songs like “Ready Steady Go,” which served as the opening theme to the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime series.

The band is made up of hyde on vocals, the guitarist ken, tetsuya, who plays the bass, and yukihiro on drums. In addition to performing the above-mentioned opening themes, they’ve also performed live at many overseas venues. Their first performance in North America was at the anime convention, Otakon, in 2004. They also did a New York show at Madison Square Garden on March 25th, 2012.

With this anime history in tow and their impact on worldwide audiences, it’s fitting that L’Arc~en~Ciel reach out to as many of its fans as possible. So on March 22, 2014, L’Arc~en~Ciel will be broadcasting its concert around the world, where fans can watch the event at select locations in movie theaters of certain cities. Below, you can find a list of cities that will be hosting the event:

Flier_back_final

City/Theater/Time:
1. Los Angeles, CA – Century City 15 – 3:00 (PST)
2. Orange, CA – Orange 30 – 3:00 (PST)
3. San Diego, CA – Mission Valley 20 – 3:00 (PST)
4. San Francisco, CA – Bay Street 16 – 3:00 (PST)
5. Seattle, WA – Pacific Place 11 – 3:00 (PST)
6. Chicago, IL – River East 21 – 5:00 (CST)
7. Houston, TX – Willowbrook 24 – 5:00 (CST)
8. Baltimore, MD – Columbia Mall 14 – 6:00 (EST)
9. Boston, MA – Burlington 10 – 6:00 (EST)
10. New York, NY – Empire 25 – 6:00 (EST)

Tickets are being sold for $20 and if you live within easy reach of these theaters, you can go ahead and buy them on Fandango. As a note, everyone who attends will receive original post cards. If you’re one of the first 50 people to attend, you will get limited edition glow sticks. You can find more information about the concert by going to the main L’Arc~en~Ciel concert broadcast website.

Rock Band FLOW to Perform at Anime Fest in Dallas

FLOW BandFLOW, a 5-man J-rock band have been around since 1998. This group, made up of the two brothers KEIGO and KOHSHI on vocals, guitarist TAKE, bassist GOT’S, and the drummer IWASAKI, has done many works for anime such as the opening themes to shows like Naruto, Eureka Seven: Psalm of Planets, Code Geass, and Samurai Flamenco. If these are anime songs that have really rocked your world, you will want to check out the performance that FLOW will be putting on at Anime Fest, an anime convention in Dallas, TX. So if any of you are going to be in Dallas between August 15th – 18th in 2014, that’s a concert you can look forward to.

For those of you who might not recognize their name up front or might not be familiar with their works, here is a sampling of what they’ve done previously. They’re probably got their way into the anime fan’s consciousness back when they released the song “Go!!!” which was used as the opening theme to the Naruto anime. Take a look:

From there, they went to do a couple songs for the Eureka Seven franchise. “Days” was one of those songs that got really popular when the anime was airing and FLOW went on to do another opening theme titled “Bravelue” for Eureka Seven AO. Here’s their work “Days”:

But out of all the songs they’ve written for anime, perhaps none of them is more iconic than Code Geass’s “Colors”. There’s something about that iconic JIBUNN WOOO opening lyric that really resonates with people and made the whole Code Geass experience that much more memorable. Definitely a song that most people are likely to be familiar with. After all, that energy is really infectious and one that stands tall in terms of what people are likely to remember from the show:

So with all the songs they’ve done, past and present, their concert appearance at Anime Fest should prove to be an entertaining one.

A Journey Through Space with Yamato and Majestic Prince

Space+Battleship+Yamato+2199+yamato2199overture
Space Battleship Yamato and Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince have much in common beyond just orchestral music and anime that are set in space. So for those who haven’t looked at our reviews for awhile, we’d like to present our two latest soundtrack reviews that you can look forward to! So with that, here’s a snippet of what we thought about Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince and Space Battleship Yamato 2199.

The first of our reviews is none other than Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince. The latest anime work by Toshiyuki Watanabe, anime fans can definitely count on the rich orchestrals that make Majestic Prince such an exciting listen because of how consistent the album is in general, making this one a worthy mecha album. Definitely check out our review to hear the samples and if this is what you’re looking for, go ahead and grab it off of CDJapan.

The next CD that we wound up reviewing is the almighty soundtrack to Space Battleship Yamato 2199, which incorporates a lot of retro elements like disjointed melodic snippets and discordant passages that were present on Hiroshi Miyagawa’s score for the original. The music for Yamato 2199 also incorporates some new music by Hiroshi Miyagawa’s son, Akira Miyagawa, but if there’s anything that’s tried and true, composer Akira Miyagawa retains the old, classic music that made the original Yamato such a memorable experience. So yes, for old fans, you can definitely hear Isao Sasaki belt out his rendition of the Yamato opening which captures the awesome space odyssey feel and the anthems will really come off as being inspiring. Unfortunately, some of the more repetitive and uninteresting tracks weigh this album down and so, it’s not quite as consistent as it could be. Again, check out the samples and if you think it works for you, this is also another album you can get off of CDJapan.

Anime Pianist TehIshter Brings Anime Piano Concert to Los Angeles


It looks like Singapore won’t be the only place to receive an anime piano concert. Looks like the next stop for Youtube anime pianist TehIshter will be Los Angeles!

Back in 2013, TehIshter teamed up with longtime anime piano arranger AnimeNZ to perform a concert called Attack on Piano, held all the way out in Singapore. The concert brought in a lot of anime fans and was generally regarded to be a big success. Although our staffer wasn’t able to confirm that this would be anything more than a one-shot deal, TehIshter posted on his Facebook page on January 3rd confirming that there would be more concerts down the line and that the first one will take place in Los Angeles where TehIshter started playing the piano.

As of now, there’s little information about venue, time, or even ticketing information. The only information we have is that the concert will be held sometime in the spring of 2014. So with that, we’ll be keeping our eyes and ears out for further announcements and will keep you all updated!

Attack on Titan’s Guren no Yumiya Set to Jazz

Given how popular Attack on Titan has been in 2013, there’s been a lot of fan works related to not only the series, but also the music. One notable example of music-related works has been the many arrangements of Attack on Titan’s OP theme, titled “Guren no Yumiya.” For example, you could hear this get a piano treatment at AnimeNZ and TehIshter’s concert called Attack on Piano concert.

While there are other examples, few of them match the fineries of this jazzy arrangement which sees the keyboards bearing most of the melody. It’s certainly light and stays mostly faithful throughout. Will this ever turn into anything on the level of a Platina Jazz? Well, the artists do have other works on their Youtube channel so you can definitely check those out to decide for yourself!

Weekly Anime Music Releases: Space Brothers Soundtrack, AiRI, and more!

Another week brings us a new spate of music for people to look forward to, seeing that it’s Wednesday. Well, this Wednesday’s batch is much smaller than last week’s, but there are quite a few gems to look forward to make your listening experience really enjoyable.

  • First off, for some, imagination is greater than reality, and that turns out to be the name of AiRI’s single where she sings the ending theme to Gundam Build Fighters. “Imagination > Reality” looks to be entertaining as you more or less get a power pop song to blaze away and nab at your attention. And if you’re not familiar with AiRI, you might know her from the ending themes to Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere.
  • Tomohisa Sako sings of a colorful world in his latest single, “Colorful World”, which serves as the ending theme to the Meganebu anime, a high school club that revolves around people who wear glasses.
  • DATE TIME, by the group known as Mineral★Miracle★Muse, but is mostly made up of seiyuu like Haruka Tomatsu, M・A・O, and Erii Yamazaki also will see their CD released today. “DATE TIME” serves as the first ending theme to the “Samurai Flamenco” anime and that only means you can expect another single for this anime down the line.
  • Finally, we’ve really been looking to the release of Toshiyuki Watanabe’s compositions for the long-running Space Brothers anime. Much of the work takes on an orchestral bent that is epic and really carries you through much of the anime’s action. For those who might not know, this soundtrack came pretty close to winning a spot in our Anime Soundtrack of the Year polls and is very much worth checking out.

Official Puella Magi Madoka Magica Soundtrack Release Date Confirmed for Christmas

Madoka Magica
Perhaps you’ve really enjoyed watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica and that you really enjoyed listening to the Madoka soundtrack. Maybe watching through the movies really helped remind you of certain scenes where the music made a huge impact and that you really want to relive those moments once more. Well, for fans who’ve really liked Yuki Kajiura’s compositions for the Madoka Magica anime, wait no longer! After seeing only releases in the vein of DVD/Blu-ray enclosures, we’ve finally got a release date for the official soundtrack! The Puella Magi Madoka Magica soundtrack will be released on December 25th. So yes, that means it’ll be out on Christmas Day and can be pre-ordered at CDJapan if you want this awesome CD set.

In terms of the CD’s contents, you can expect to see many of the songs found in the anime. Tracks like “Sis Puella Magica” makes appearances as does Bach’s “Ave Maria”. And, of course, the soundtrack would not be complete without Kalafina’s “Magia” making an appearance. So if re-living Madoka’s journey or Homura’s struggles is right up your alley, definitely think about getting this CD and let the nostalgia take you into the diabolical worlds that the magical girls must endure until the cycle can be broken for good.

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