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.

Qualidea Code Anime Reveals Theme Song Performers LiSA, GARNiDELiA, and ClariS

Qualidea Code
Qualidea Code‘s biggest splash isn’t going to come from its plot, which centers around kids who fight against the UNKNOWN (creative name, huh?) alien threat. Rather, the biggest news is the list of performers who will be performing the theme songs for the anime.

At AnimeJapan 2016, the people behind Qualidea Code announced that lisa will perform the opening theme song, ClariS will perform the first ending theme song, and GARNiDELiA. None of these three artists are new to the world of anison. LiSA received her big break performing songs from Angel Beats before moving on to the opening to Sword Art Online. ClariS, a two-girl group, performed the opening themes to Ore no Imouto and Madoka and GARNiDELiA worked on Kill la Kill and Mahouka. A video of the announcement can be seen below:

Now, if you’ve read any of my reviews of their work, you’ll know these are artists I don’t particularly hold in high regard. LiSA is too loud and burst-y for my tastes since I like my music to have some semblance of a dynamic range. ClariS is autotuned to hell and back and I don’t find any of the songs they’re made to sing to be all that enjoyable. Finally, GARNiDELiA plays it by the J-pop book and doesn’t stand out much from other artists.

The only point that got my attention from the Qualidea Code anime announcement is that the soundtrack will be composed by Taku Iwasaki. Iwasaki’s hasn’t been overwhelmingly consistent lately, what with his wild bouts of experimentation, but at least it’s a steady hand at the helm. Small blessings.

Amanchu’s Soundtrack Composed and Performed by Gontiti

Amanchu
Amanchu!, an anime that derives its story from Kozue Amano’s manga of the same name, is one of my top picks for Summer 2016’s anime releases. The anime, which focuses on teenagers who form a scuba diving group, possesses a gentle atmosphere that makes it a spiritual successor to the equally wonderful ARIA franchise, a work also done by Kozue Amano. And to top it off, Amanchu!‘s soundtrack will be composed and performed by GONTITI, a group also known for their gentle, laid-back melodies.

I first became aware of GONTITI through their work on Yokohama Kaidasishi Kikou, and was immediately drawn into their light acoustic guitar melodies that captured the relaxing atmosphere that the anime projected. One of my favorite pieces of theirs is “Dance of the Evening Calm” which is a nice and light Spanish-flavored piece from YKK and showcases the type of sound you’re in for when you watch Amanchu!

GONTITI, the duo made up of Masahiko “Gonzalez” Mikami and Masahide “Titi” Matsumura, have since gone on to work on other another anime OVA in TO-Y. Beyond that, their involvement with anime is still pretty sparse.

Still, I’m excited to see what comes out of Amanchu!’s soundtrack. Already, the early signs look favorable with the promo video that was released a few days ago. GONTITI’s acoustic guitar work is just a little more alive, a little more serene, and all that comes together to make the whole presentation just a bit more special. To see what I mean, I’ve embedded Amanchu!’s PV below.

You can expect the anime to be released sometime in July.

Previewing “And you thought there is Never a girl online?” Anime’s Theme Songs

Never A Girl Online
And you thought there is Never a girl online?, also known as Netoge no Yome wa Onna no Ko ja nai to Omotta?, is an anime about a high school guy who had a bad experience when he confessed his feelings for a girl online only to find out that the girl was really a guy. The show will be airing on April 7 in the 2016 Spring anime season. To ramp up for that release, the animation production studio Project No.9 has released a promotional video that features the anime’s opening theme, a song titled “1st Love Story” by Luce Twinkle Wink☆. The promotional video, including the opening theme, can be seen below:

Based on the video’s contents, Luce Twinkle Wink☆, comes across as a seiyuu group formed solely for the purpose of performing the theme song for And you thought there is Never a girl online?. It’s a cutesy J-pop idol song with plenty of energy thrown in and even if it’s not going to leave a lasting mark, it fits in with the show’s idiom.

The ending theme gets a bit of a bump from Yoshino Nanjou, who performs the song “Zero Ichi Kiseki” (Zero One Miracle). No preview has been released, so we won’t get to see what that’s like. However, Nanjou’s credentials as a singer are pretty solid. Her first singing role was on Soul Link The Animation, where she performed “Amenochi Hare”. On top of that, she’s also written the lyrics for the group fripside of Toaru Kagaku no Railgun fame and sang as the character Eli Ayase who is the student council President and performs in the school idol group μ’s from the Love Live anime. I’ve generally enjoyed her voice on the Love Live songs (since that’s her work in which I’m most familiar), even if I don’t necessarily enjoy the melodies themselves, so I’m curious to see how she’ll do here. For those looking for the single, it’ll be shipped out on May 25, 2016.

Preview of Joker Game’s Anime Themes

Joker Game
Joker Game, the anime sourced from Kōji Yanagi’s novel, takes place just prior to World War II where Japan’s army creates the “D Agency” to serve as its intelligence unit. Unlike Japan’s militaristic stance during this period, D Agency, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Yūki requires that the unit lives according to its mission statement of: “Don’t kill, don’t get killed, don’t get captured.” The anime is set to air on April 5, 2016.

With an airing date coming in less than a month, Production I.G., the studio in charge of animation production for Joker Game, has been releasing a series of trailers for the anime. In addition to that, they’ve also released the videos for both Joker Game‘s opening and ending themes. The opening theme is a song titled “Reason Triangle” by Quadrangle, a fairly unknown band. The ending theme, “Double”, is performed by Magic of Life, a group that’s also done work on Yowamushi Pedal’s second season. For those interested, the Youtube videos of the opening and ending themes can be found below.

Opening Theme: “Reason Triangle” by Quadrangle

Ending Theme: “Double” by Magic of Life

As you can hear from these previews, the opening theme is pretty snazzy, with a nice rhythm and a good amount of energy even if the melody repeats itself a bit much. “Reason Triangle” is par for what you’d expect from J-rock themes and at least the execution seems to be decent overall. As for “Double”, the introduction is marked by a combination of percussion and electric guitars which segue to decent vocals that feel pretty expressive compared to other songs of its ilk. All together, these songs come across as being competent if not exceptional, but they should serve Joker Game well.

With all that said, I’m less enthralled with knowing that the composer for the series will be none other than Kenji Kawai. The show’s contents already look to be kinda shounen-y and having Kawai on staff means I’ll be skipping this one.

Previewing the Kill la Kill Soundtrack by Hiroyuki Sawano


「キルラキル」オリジナルサウンドトラックPV (HD) by AnimeSlovenija

Just recently, we reported on how Kill la Kill’s soundtrack will be released around Christmas. Well, now that the release date is about a month away, we’ve actually gotten a chance to preview the music which you can check out through the video above.

As is usual with Hiroyuki Sawano, you get that big Hollywood type sound that is bombastic and overblown, which works for the action-packed anime. And then there are also the vocals, many of which remind listeners of some of the tracks from Attack on Titan’s soundtrack.

So take a look above and see if the music from Kill la Kill is up to your liking and if it is, definitely pre-order it, which you can do from CDJapan if your goal is to get this soundtrack around its Christmas release date. It’ll be worth it if you’re finding yourself enthralled by Sawano’s music for this anime.

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