Girl Band ZONE Breaks Up

ZONE, the band composed of four girls, Miyu Nagase, Mizuho Saito, Maiko Sakae, and Takayo Ookoshi, has officially come to an end after more than eleven years of making music.  The announcement was made by vocalist Maiko Sakae on the official website for RunTime Entertainment, saying that the band is no more and cited reasons including Miyu Nagase’s trouble with the record label which led to her losing her contract.  At this point, the band was down to only 2 members after Mizuho Saito and Takayo Ookoshi left the group.

Fans of ZONE will probably know them best for songs like “secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~” which was more recently featured in the Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai, but also could be found in anime such as Today, in Class 5-2 as well as a cover by another all-girl band, Scandal.  Anime fans can also find ZONE in the opening theme in “True Blue” as well as an ending theme, both of which were for a more recent version of Astro Boy.

Cuteness Contained – Yuru Yuri and Nisemonogatari Music Reviews

Today’s reviews include anime music from two shows: Yuru Yuri and Nisemonogatari.  The first review covers the opening theme of the first season of Yuru Yuri while the second review covers Nisemonogatari, which also includes touching upon the very enjoyable “Platinum Disco.”  Both albums feature works that are sung by the anime’s respective seiyuu, with the former including the likes of Yuka Ootsubo, Rumi Okubo, Shiori Mikami, and Minami Tsuda who play roles on Yuru Yuri.  For Nisemonogatari, you have music from Satoru Kousaki and anime music sung by Yuka Iguchi.

Sometimes, the moe slice of life genre is all about being over-the-top silly and fun, and the rambunctious nature of shows like Yuru Yuri reinforce that.  The energy can be reinforced through the OP and ED themes and of those, we find Yuri Yura Rarara Yuru Yuri Dai Jiken, the OP to the first season of Yuru Yuri is a stellar example of a silly, but ultimately very fun opening theme.  Check out what kevo has to say about it in his review.

A show that was slightly off the beaten path, but featured plenty of cute moments comes in the much-heralded Nisemonogatari, the sequel to Bakemonogatari.  Whereas Bakemonogatari showered us with the cuteness of Kana Hanazawa’s performance on “Renai Circulation,” Nisemonogatari’s cuteness overload comes in the form of “Platinum Disco,” with Nisemonogatari’s soundtrack included.  Although the voice of Yuka Iguchi might not compare as strongly to that of Kana Hanazawa, there’s no doubt that the moe moments are still there, especially when they’re coupled with the dance movements on the OP theme’s video.  Satoru Kousaki’s minimalist fare is a mixed bag however, and that kind of drags the album down on the whole.  Come check out what Aftershok has to say about the album!

Also, let us know what you thought of them in the comments!

Win an Anime CD! Listen to Shirokuma Cafe’s “Grizzly-san no G★ROCK” ED Theme

Polar Bear Cafe, also known as Shirokuma Cafe, has had its moments of hilarity and lameness.  The anime’s premise is all about seeing animals act like people and the results are mixed.  But if there’s any character that has succeeded at being awesome, it would have to be Shirokuma Cafe’s Grizzly.  His ending song runs true to form with his exaggerated sense of aggressiveness and is definitely a departure from all of the seiyuu idol pop that has been coming out as of late.  So when you get the chance, give our review of Shirokuma Cafe’s second ending theme, “Grizzly-san no G★ROCK” a read and give the single a listen!

Also, Anime Instrumentality is giving away an anime CD.  Just check this team blog post for all the details on how to fill out your entry and win!  Looking forward to seeing the submissions and good luck.

Yuki Kajiura August 31 Live Concert Streamed

If you were at Anime Expo and can’t seem to get enough of Yuki Kajiura’s concert presence, August 31 should give you an opportunity to catch her in person. On August 31, at 7pm Japan time, Yuki Kajiura will be set to perform live. While this might normally not be worth mentioning because it will take place in Japan, the promising news is that people living outside Japan have the opportunity to view it as it’s streaming live!

To watch Yuki Kajiura live, head over to the concert event’s Ustream page. Information on ticketing can also be found on Ustream. Do keep in mind that tickets will cost 1,000 yen and you have to have a Ustream account or log in through Facebook.  Thankfully, this is not region-locked and if you have purchased your Ustream ticket, you get the bonus of being able to view archived footage of the event.  So set your clocks, purchase those tickets, and look forward to another magical, musical evening with Kajiura.

Source: Canta Per Me

Tsuritama’s Soundtrack Reels Our Reviewer In. Plus, How Anime Impacts its OP/ED Themes

Two new articles have graced our anime music blog in the past week, one of which is an editorial that goes in-depth into 3 anime series that add meaning to their opening/ending themes. While the usage of OP/ED themes have commonly been used to set the tone for an anime, in some cases, the reverse is true as the anime make the instrumentals and lyrics in their respective opening and ending theme much more meaningful, tying the anime song together with the anime in a way that renders it unforgettable and better as a result. Definitely give it a read as it goes on to talk about Natsume Yuujinchou, Steins;Gate, and the perennial favorite, Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

The second post is a review of Tsuritama’s soundtrack. We did cover Tsuritama’s soundtrack release a few weeks ago and we’re happy to report that it’s soundtrack is very much wistful and enjoyable. If you’re looking for music that’s calm, mellow, and slightly eccentric, look no further than the Kuricorder Quartet’s compositions for this anime.

Madoka Magica Movie Features ClariS’s Song Luminous

ClariS, the girl duo made up of singers Clara and Alice have once again reprised their roles as singers for the Puella Magi Madoka Magica franchise.  This time, they will be performing a theme for the Madoka movie slated to be released this October.  Instead of performing the Madoka OP song “Connect,” their new song will be titled “Luminous” and has been revealed through the latest trailer to show off the movie.

The Madoka movie itself looks to summarize the TV series and will be set as a trilogy.  Much of the main staff for the movie will be retained; Akiyuki Shinbo will still be the director and Yuki Kajiura will continue composing music like she did for Madoka’s soundtrack.  For those looking for a preview of what to expect from the movie, check out the trailer which includes ClariS’s new song, which will be formally released on October 10.

Former Supercell Singer Nagi Yanagi to Appear at Singapore Anime Convention

Nagi Yanagi has been recently announced as a guest at Singapore’s A Certain Magical Event (abbreviated A.C.M.E.).  This will be A.C.M.E.’s fourth iteration and will be held this coming weekend, August 25, 2012 at the Singapore Expo, Garnet Room.  The announcement of Nagi Yanagi has come more or less at the last minute, but needless to say, there’s much excitement to be had.

Nagi Yanagi has gotten her start as a singer for doujin music, but her biggest splash came as a result of Bakemonogatari’s ending theme, “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari,” where she partnered alongside supercell composer, Ryo.  Her other works include songs like “Hero” and “Sayonara Memories,” both of which have been very popular.  After leaving supercell, she’s gone on to sing songs for anime like Ano Natsu de Matteru and Jormungand.

In any case, she will be performing a live concert at the convention.  For people looking for more information, check out A.C.M.E.’s Facebook page for more details and further announcements.

An Anime Music Retrospective: 2011 Tunes and a Chiaki Ishikawa Concert Report

2011’s anime music offered a lot of interesting melodies with composers like Hiroyuki Sawano and Yoshihisa Hirano topping the charts with anime like Guilty Crown, Ao no Exorcist, and Hunter x Hunter.  If you’re looking to see what managed to top our list of the best 15 anime soundtracks from 2011, check our anime music retrospective post, complete with plenty of samples for you to listen to so that you can figure out whether this is right up your alley.

In addition to that, we had a post recently by Arthur, who attended a Chiaki Ishikawa concert where she sang a lot of the music from when she was in the anime music group See-Saw.  No Chiaki Ishikawa concert would be complete without Bokurano’s OP theme, “Uninstall” however, and they did give that song an airing.  So if you’re interested in his thoughts on Chiaki Ishikawa’s concert as well as a concert where he got to see famed composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, head over and give his post a read.

ClariS Girl Duo’s Moyashimon OP Single, Wake Up, Released Wednesday

The J-pop duo known as ClariS has been active on the anime music scene for some time, starting with Ore no Imouto’s OP single, “Irony.”  Their latest single, Wake Up, is the opening theme to the summer 2012 anime, Moyashimon Returns, which is the sequel to the original Moyashimon anime and continues the story of Sawaki Tadayasu and his college friends as they experience life at an agricultural university and learn about microbes through the eccentric Professor Itsuki.  The single itself is set to be released this Wednesday, August 15 and can be ordered through CDJapan.  This will be ClariS’s sixth single for the duo of Clara and Alice who became recognized on Nico Nico Douga for performing covers of anime songs like “Only My Railgun,” the OP song for To Aru Kagaku no Railgun.

For those looking for a preview of ClariS’s “Wake Up,” be sure to check out the video below:

Simoun’s Soundtrack’s Orchestral Flair and Hisaishi and Touhou Blendings

Toshihiko Sahashi’s discography over the years is probably strongest around 2003-2006, where his releases included the Gunslinger Girl soundtrack and the subject of today’s review, the magnificent Simoun soundtrack which features an orchestral score complete with a main theme that is likely to engross the listener.  In fact, looking at how well it channels the themes of war and loss, this may very well be Sahashi’s best work and our writer, Yu, feels it’s deserving of a masterpiece rating.

We also updated recently with a single track drawn from a combination of Joe Hisaishi’s music and music from the Touhou shooter franchise.  Do check it out if you’re curious to see how the wonderful main theme from Howl’s Moving Castle blends in so well with Cirno’s theme, all of it set to an orchestral sound sample that turns out really nicely.  Definitely do check out this combination, titled “Cirno’s Moving Castle” by kaztora.

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