Boom Boom Satellites Ends Their Career with Kiznaiver opening

Boom Boom Satellites
The Boom Boom Satellites burst on the anime music scene with “Shut Up and Explode”, a song that packed the kind of energy that would help the song stay true to its title. The song, used as the opening theme to Xam’d: Lost Memories, basically put them on the map, and they’d go on to do other anime works including “Broken Mirror”, used in Gundam Unicorn.

So there’s a measure of regret when they announced that their song, “Lay Your Hands On Me”, used as the opening to the anime Kiznaiver, would prove to be their last. The reason for that is that vocalist/guitarist Michiyuki Kawashima experienced a brain tumor relapse. As a result, he’s suffering from partial paralysis and can no longer perform. This development had forced Boom Boom Satellites to cancel their concerts in Osaka and Tokyo last November.

Still, they’ve had a rich, 20-year career, as they’ve entertained fans in both Japan and the US where they made appearances at major US conventions like the NY Anime Festival back in 2010. Their compositional credits in the anime realm includes “Back In Black”, which serves as the main theme for the upcoming anime adaptation of Ninja Slayer.

So even though their performances will fade into the waves of time, there’s never a better moment to relive their best-known work, even now, “Shut Up and Explode” where the refrains of “Run Away” will forever burn into my memories:

Anison Singer Aimer Collaborates with Taka from ONE OK ROCK and Ling Tosite Sigure’s TK

Aimer
Since her debut on NO.6’s opening theme, it’s safe to say that Aimer’s stock has been soaring pretty high. Her music career has propelled her forward, giving her opportunities to work with composer Hiroyuki Sawano on Gundam Unicorn’s signature song, “RE:IAM” and then Yoko Kanno herself on the emotional “Dare ka, Umi Wo” from Terror in Resonance where she earned high praise for her ability to convey the desperation and glass-like fragility.

And the collaboration offers don’t seem to stop coming either. One of her next projects has her working with vocalist Taka from ONE OK ROCK. This particular project will be pretty meaningful for her because she has expressed an interest in collaborating with ONE OK ROCK in the past. Together, the two will perform on the song titled “insane dream”, featuring Aimer’s thick voice alongside Taka’s vocals.

If you’re curious about how that collaboration will go, here’s a sneak peek of the song on Youtube:

But Taka’s not the only artist that will work with Aimer on this single. There’s also TK from the prog. rock band Ling Tosite Sigure who helped Aimer produce the song titled “us”. Although this has been announced, there’s really no preview of the song to be had anywhere. But given Ling Tosite Sigure’s oeuvre, it should prove to be a unique track.

Finally, later this year, Aimer will be working with Yojirou Noda from the pretty popular band RADWIMPS! I hadn’t heard of this particular group until about a month ago, but when I sampled their music, it was pleasant and easygoing. RADWIMPS’s music packs quite a bit of atmosphere in their music and I figure that meshes well with Makoto Shinkai’s works. Whether Aimer will also see time on a Makoto Shinkai anime is anyone’s guess though.

Makoto Shinkai’s Kimi no Na wa (Your Name) Film Features Soundtrack by RADWIMPS

Kimi no Na Wa Your Name
If there’s any certainty in the anime industry, it’s that any work by Makoto Shinkai will have dazzling visuals accompanied by a solid soundtrack. Ever since I first listened to Voices of a Distant Star, I enjoyed Tenmon’s short, sweet music. That appreciation reached a high point with 5 cm/sec, which featured the famous “One More Time, One More Chance” melody and insert song that captured love over long gaps of time and space really nicely. His subsequent work for Garden of Words did not feature Tenmon, but KASHIWA Daisuke did a stellar job on the score as well.

So after Garden of Words, Makoto Shinkai’s next work is titled Kimi no Na wa (Your Name). Unlike a tale of two long-distance lovers, this film’s premise revolves around a body swap, where a city boy finds himself in a country girl’s body, and vice versa. But while this premise isn’t exactly something to look forward to (not like it’s a premise that hasn’t been done before), what I did enjoy was RADWIMPS’ work on the soundtrack. You can hear one of their songs, “Zen Zen Zense” in the trailer below:

Talk about an energetic soft rock track! With the guitars going off in the background, the whole tone of RADWIMPS’ music reminds me of something you’d get out of all the soft rock groups they used in Honey and Clover, which makes me wonder if this anime will also turn into a coming-of-age anime. RADWIMPS do pretty much all of the music for Kimi no Na wa. Based on the trailer, I can say that Shinkai’s got a lot of solid collaborators in the music department and this work will be no exception. The band’s leader, Yojiro Noda, had met Shinkai two years ago and subsequently became involved with this film early on.

That said, RADWIMPS has made quite a name for themselves. Two of their singles, “Order Made” and “Dada” managed to hit number one on Oricon’s single charts. They are pretty popular in Japan, and even if I’ve not heard of them, their stuff is pretty eclectic. At least, if this video is of any indication because the Kimi na wa trailer was much more conservative. It’s pleasant though!

Fans of RADWIMPS should totally link me to your favorite works via YouTube. Mostly as a way for me to get up to speed on who they are and what they do.

Momoiro Clover Z American Concert Tour Includes New York, Los Angeles, and Hawaii

Momoclo_Koko_Natsu_Promo
Momoiro Clover Z, the wonderful gaggle of idol pop stars that includes Kanako Momota, Shiori Tamai, Ayaka Sasaki, Momoka Ariyasu, and Reni Takagi, have announced that they will tour North America this year. The tour, dubbed the Crossing America Ultra Live, will consist of 4 performances total and will take place in New York, Los Angeles, and Hawaii. This announcement came at the tail end of their Japanese concert tour that’s quickly coming to a close.

This concert tour won’t mark Momoiro Clover Z’s first appearance in North America. Last year, they performed in concert at Anime Expo alongside Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons who represented the glam rock band KISS. The two made for an oddball performance as they sang “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina”, a collaboration worth of a 2015 MTV Video Music Award.

But anime fans will want to seek them out for their theme song performances, many of which are pretty memorable. “Mugen no Ai” from Bodacious Space Pirates proved to be pretty popular and it was hard to find people who didn’t like the deliciously obnoxious blend of traditional Japanese fare mixed with high-speed shoujo rap in “Nippon Egao Hyakkei” from Joshiraku. In addition to those songs, they’ll also perform a version of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal: Season III opening theme.

Koji Wada, Singer for Digimon’s Butter-fly Dies at 42

Koji Wada
Koji Wada’s “Butter-fly”, used as the theme song to many a Digimon anime has become an iconic part of the franchise. Starting with the song’s debut of the original Digimon Adventure way back in 1999. Since then, “Butter-fly” has featured prominently in such Digimon franchise productions as Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Tamers, Digimon Frontier, Digimon: Data Squad, Digimon Xros Wars and the Digimon Adventure tri movies. Because of his work on the Digimon franchise, Koji Wada was able to perform for fans in as faraway places as Brazil and Chile.

Unfortunately, all that came to an end last week when Koji Wada died of cancer in his upper pharynx. He had been battling with cancer continuously since 2003, which caused him to take time off in 2011 when chemotherapy and surgery could not banish the cancer for good. He was still young, just 42 years old.

To celebrate his work, his agency, Solid Vox will hold a Koji Wada Farewell Event for his fans in Tokyo later this month. In addition to his work on Digimon Adventure, he performed “Honoo no Overdrive” for Transformers: Robots in Disguise in 2000 and also released 2 albums: All of My Mind and Kazakami no Oka Kara.

For those who want to listen to the clarity and passion of his performance of Digimon Adventure’s “Butter-fly” can listen to it here:

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!

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.

Kalafina Sings the Ending Theme to Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works

Kalafina Kajiura
Kalafina, the group of singers founded by anime composer Yuki Kajiura and include members Hikaru, Keiko, and Wakana, will be performing the ending theme to the Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works anime. This won’t be the first time the group has collaborated with UFOtable, the animation studio behind the Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works. The group had worked with them on the Kara no Kyoukai anime, performing such songs as “oblivious,” “fairytale,” and “Seventh Heaven” as well as singing “to the beginning,” the opening theme to Fate/Zero.

For Kalafina, the release of “Ring Your Bell” will be the 17th single that the group has released. In addition to working with UFOtable, the group has gone on to do a variety of theme songs for a variety of anime. For example, they gave a spirited, folksy delivery on Sora no Woto‘s “Hikari no Senritsu” and the grimmer delivery on Puella Magi Madoka Magica‘s “Magia.” More recently, they’ve sung the opening theme song to Aldnoah.Zero, titled “heavenly blue.”

So what can we expect from this storied group? Probably a bit more in the way of melancholia since that’s what they’re best known for. Many of their songs have a lamenting tone in which they harmonize well together to deliver a memorable experience. While their sound is pretty unique, they’ve been singing this kind of music for awhile now and it might be getting tiresome for those who want Kalafina to expand to new territories. But for those who love that sense of familiarity that the group brings to the fore, you can look forward to the release of their latest single.

So for Kalafina fans, you can look forward to the latest single, which is due to be released on May 13, 2015. In the meantime, you can look forward to the latest addition to the Fate/Stay Night franchise, which is set to air in the spring anime season.

Remembering Origa, an Anime Singer

origa-stars
For many of those who’ve heard Origa sing, it was like love at first sight. There was a beautiful clarity to the way she sang, her voice always carrying this soaring, otherworldly quality that was absolutely entrancing. Alas, her voice has been silenced and she died at the young age of 44 on January 17, 2015 from lung cancer.

Given just how much of an impact she’s had within the world of anime music, we thought it was fitting that we pay Origa a tribute for all the beautiful music that she given us. The post certainly touches upon some of her most well-known material, most notably from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and its various sequels. But she’s done more than just that and you’ll find her wonderful voice present on slightly more obscure anime series like Fantastic Children and movies like Princess Arete. She’s also performed songs found in video games like Aion ~The Tower Of Eternity~ and FINAL FANTASY XIII-2, but her reputation will lie most prominently based on the works she did for anime. [Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: