Weekly Anime Music Releases – March 30

With the new anime season flying in, the amount of anime music releases is slowly petering out. But fear not. Within the span of a few weeks, we’ll be deluged by more OP/ED singles from more shows than we care to count. I like to use this time to enjoy the tranquility. Maybe even review an OST or two. So with that, here’s what we can expect out of the week of March 30:

Anime Soundtracks and Albums

Cinderella Girls

THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS

Album Name: HE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS ANIMATION PROJECT ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
Artist: Hidekazu Tanaka
Purchase at: CDJapan
I can’t really claim to be a big fan of the idolm@ster franchise, nor am I one of those haters either. I just haven’t gotten around to seeing much of the series or gotten a chance to grow close to any of the characters in any meaningful way. But I know there are quite a few people who adore it, go to live shows, and all that good stuff, so that’ why I’m including it here. I’m not sure of Hidekazu Tanaka’s pedigree, but a quick look over his composer credits reveals a lot of very very catchy pop music. Being able to write catchy pop music hooks doesn’t necessarily make for great soundtrack composition skills, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. And I’d be curious to know whether anyone has given this OST a shot.

One Piece Arrange

One Piece

Album Name: ONE PIECE Arrange Collection CLASSIC
Artist: Kazuhiko Sawaguchi, Yasunori Iwasaki
Purchase at: CDJapan
One Piece’s soundtrack isn’t something that I’d immediately jump into, but from what I’ve heard, it’s pretty decent. And so, we have this arrange album consisting of some of the better-known One Piece themes all assembled and arranged by Kazuhiko Sawaguchi and Yasunori Iwasaki. I’m a big fan of arrange albums in general, just to see how they use some of those old themes, and would like to see what sort of creativity shines through. [Read more…]

Weekly Anime Music Releases – March 23

A lot of weeks experience a deluge of singles which can be a pain in the neck to keep track of. But for some reason or other, possibly because we’re reaching the end of a season, this week is more of a soundtrack release push. There’s a lot out there for me to sample, but I am particularly excited about this upcoming Michiru Ooshima release. So with that, here’s what we can expect out of the week of March 16:

Anime Soundtracks and Albums

KonoSuba OST

KONOSUBA -God’s blessing on this wonderful world!

Album Name: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Syukufuku wo! Original Soundtrack
Artist: Masato Coda, Tomoya Sonoda, Ryosei Sato
Purchase at: CDJapan
This is a show that I’ve been hearing a lot about, especially with how it’s been one of the more engaging anime comedies to have come out in recent times. But because I’ve been out of the loop, I haven’t heard much talk about the show’s music. A lot of the background music comes courtesy of Masato Coda, who’s more of a video game composer, but in looking at the credits, it looks like they’ve got quite a mix of orchestral instruments and more traditional fare. The other performers do pique my interest though, so I might wind up giving this one a go.

Undefeated Bahamut

Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle

Album Name: UNDEFEATED BAHAMUT CHRONICLE ORIGINAL SOUND TRACKS
Artist: Akito Matsuda, Tsukasa Yatoki, Jun Sasaki
Purchase at: CDJapan
A look at the album cover isn’t too inspiring and the name Akito Matsuda isn’t exactly a household name either. Except that this is the same guy who penned the soundtrack to Hibike! Euphonium and has numerous OST credits as Nijine. That alone is enough to make me curious about how this one will go. While the show doesn’t look like anything up my alley, I am cautiously optimistic that Matsuda can once again deliver with the goods here. [Read more…]

Weekly Anime Music Releases – March 16

Well, we’re back, with a new set of anime music releases. Compared to our previous posts under this category, instead of trying to capture everything that’s released — frankly, that’s a lot of music to keep track of — we’ll go with a list of CDs that we think are notable. At least, for those of you who, like me, are still avid CD collectors. There’s some quality stuff to be had, so here’s what we can expect out of the week of March 16:

Anime OP/ED Singles

Erased OP Single

ERASED

Album Name: Re:Re:
Artist: ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION
Purchase at: CDJapan
ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION’s entry for ERASED isn’t necessarily a new composition, but they’ve added some slight tweaks to it. Personally, I enjoy the song. It’s definitely leagues above the crappiness that was the ending theme, Sayuri and Yuki Kajiura’s “Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na”, anyway and I’d definitely recommend giving this one a look.
[Read more…]

Weekly Anime Music Releases – June 3

A short list of anime music including Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]’s ED Theme by Aimer. Kajiura fans should rejoice as well since another FictionJunction album will soon surface. So sit down and take a look at what came out on the week of June 3:

Anime OP/ED Singles

FateStayNight UBW

Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]

Album Name: Brave Shine
Artist: Aimer
Purchase at: CDJapan
Aimer’s music doesn’t inspire so much as impart mysterious vibes that can be utterly captivating in the way that only she can deliver upon them. And that’s what makes “Brave Shine” a very intriguing proposition. There’s an underlying tension that makes the ending theme to Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] so palatable that I definitely look forward to how the full single turns out.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO OP

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!

Album Name: Harumodoki
Artist: yanaginagi
Purchase at: CDJapan
And like clockwork, you have a release from the ear-pleasing yanaginagi, whose works performed since working for ryo of supercell have been mixed. With that said, her vocals remain pretty consistent in terms of their quality, but I’m not really having much hope for the composition or melody if it weren’t composed by the folks at ROUND TABLE. This one’s definitely a wait and see.
[Read more…]

Weekly Anime Music Releases – May 27

A long list of anime music including Nisekoi’s Rally Go Round by LiSA. Sit down and take a look at what came out on the week of May 27:

Anime OP/ED Singles

Nisekoi LISA

NISEKOI: -False Love-

Album Name: Rally Go Round
Artist: LiSA
Purchase at: CDJapan
I’ve never really hid my disdain for LiSA’s music since power pop was never my style and she seems to have the unfortunate tendency to get in my face without really transmitting anything too meaningful. Other artists like Nana Mizuki do a much better job, and if I wanted to listen to that type of music, I’d listen to her over LiSA

Houkago no Pleiades ED

Wish Upon the Pleiades

Album Name: Koko kara, Kanata kara
Artist: fragments
Purchase at: CDJapan
Given what you’ve seen out of the show, it’s not surprising to hear that “Koro Kara, Kanata Kara” is full of the sugary sweet seiyuu goodness. The song doesn’t go out of its way to inspire, but then again, it doesn’t really have to. The cuteness factor is what fans are going after anyway, and the song is pretty mellow and relaxing.
[Read more…]

Weekly Anime Music Releases – May 20

This week had a lot of insert songs from shows we really don’t care too much about. Given that it’s the tail end of the spring anime season (time sure flies, huh?), there’s not a whole lot left to go before the shows all close out. So aside from a few odds and ends, the only major release is Hiroyuki Sawano’s work on Owari no Seraph. Granted, the reaction will depend on what you think about Sawano. So here’s a look at what’s coming out this week:

Anime OP/ED Singles

Owari no Seraph OP-ED

Owari no Seraph

Album Name: X.U.
Artist: scaPEGoat / SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]
Purchase at: CDJapan
Well, when you have Hiroyuki Sawano in the composer’s chair for an opening or ending theme, you can safely expect some electronica moving rhythmically along followed by a loud outburst. True to form, that’s what you get from Owari no Seraph‘s OP theme. The most damning thing about it is how boring it is and I’d give it a pass. The ending theme is a bit better and it reminds you of Aldnoah.Zero‘s ending theme. But it’s still not all that good and I wouldn’t bother too much with this release, Sawano or no.

Houkago no Pleides OP

Wish Upon the Pleiades

Album Name: Stella-rium
Artist: Kano
Purchase at: CDJapan
The Houkago no Pleiades OP theme is probably the type of theme you would expect if you looked at the character designs and anime screenshots. Make no mistake: the song, Stella-rium, doesn’t deviate much from the energetic J-pop opener and pretty much stays the course through and through. That said, Kano’s vocals do sound cute even if this is a paint by the numbers J-pop song, so the worst you’d probably feel is unoffended.

Yamada-kun 7 Witches OP

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Album Name: Kuchizuke Diamond
Artist: WEAVER
Purchase at: CDJapan
Well, the piano chords that open up the opening theme to Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is pretty energetic, and WEAVER’s voice follows suit quite nicely. But it hardly stands out as something you’ve never heard before since it stays the course for the sort of boy band J-pop songs that have been released over the years. Again, nothing special, but nothing offensive either. Just a bit boring maybe.

Blood Blockade Battlefront ED

Blood Blockade Battlefront

Album Name: Sugar Song and Bitter Step
Artist: UNISON SQUARE GARDEN
Purchase at: CDJapan
Having actually watched Blood Blockade Battlefront, I’d say the ending theme isn’t all too that impressive from the musical standpoint, but there’s no doubt that it’s pretty fun watching the visuals be paired along with this song as the characters strut about doing their stuff. You do need the context to get into it, but it’s not too bad all around. Nothing compared to the far better opening though.

Weekly Anime Music – May 13

It’s a depressing anime music release date when all you’re getting are a bunch of opening and ending singles with scarcely a soundtrack to get excited about. Worse yet, they all seem to be the same people or a group of seiyuu releasing the same thing over and over again. That doesn’t do much to stir my attention, but the fans get what they want, so that’s not a bad thing is it? So for this week’s releases, Kalafina might be the sole highlight, but there’s quite a few things for you all to chew upon this week:

Anime Openings and Ending Themes

Fate Stay Night ED Theme Kalafina

Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]

Album Name: ring your bell
Artist: Kalafina
Purchase at: CDJapan
Is there anything to be said about Kalafina that hasn’t been said before? I guess we could say that we’ve been treated to the same song and dance before and that we’ve heard pretty much the same thing over. Kalafina’s branding has been tied to these soaring vocals with a melancholy tilt and they’re hardly inspiring or enthralling. I’d say give this single a pass unless you’re a really hardcore fan.

Gunslinger Stratos Mirai

Gunslinger Stratos

Album Name: MIRAI
Artist: GARNiDELiA
Purchase at: CDJapan
Garnidelia, the group made up of singers Maria and producer toku continue to roll out singles left and right. What’s not certain is whether they’ve worn out their welcome, but signs point to them still releasing decent fare. The ED theme to Gunslinger Stratos is soft and pleasant, what with the backing piano and instruments. So for fans of Garnidelia, there’s nothing to fear here since this effort was pretty solid all around!

Le Eden de la Grisaia Opening Theme

Le Eden de la Grisaia

Album Name: Setsuna no Kajitsu
Artist: Maon Kurosaki
Purchase at: CDJapan
Ever since I heard Maon Kurosaki sing the music to Highschool of the Dead, I was definitely captivated by the energy she proffered and the way she navigate made me believe in her ability to deliver as a singer. So with those preconceptions in mind, hearing her efforts on Grisaia carries a sort of urgency that’s at odds with what’s on screen. But the biggest takeaway is that it’s very much a competent effort, even if it’s not eye-opening.
[Read more…]

Weekly Anime Music Releases – May 8

All the anime music releases seem to have been slowed down for this week. This Wednesday is also Constitution Day in Japan, so that’s probably why the releases have been moved over to Friday. In any case, it’s a smaller amount of releases and that certainly helps to make my workload a whole heck of a lot easier. So here’s the anime music you’re getting from this week:

Anime Openings and Ending Themes

Ore Monogatari OP

Ore Monogatari!!

Album Name: Miraikei Answer
Artist: Trustrick
Purchase at: CDJapan
The duo of Sayaka Kanda and Billy are back again. After releasing “Flying Fafnir” for Juuou Mujin no Fafnir‘s OP, they’ve gone ahead and released this latest single with the opening theme to Ore Monogatari!!. The song isn’t much to speak of since it’s pretty much standard J-pop, but the show is cute and worth checking out if you’re a fan of cheesy romances.

Nyaruko-san OVA

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san F

Album Name: Haiyore Once Nyagain
Artist: Kitto Engage
Purchase at: CDJapan
Call them whatever you want, but I’ll always find the opening songs by the Haiyore! Nyaruko-san seiyuu to be absolutely hilarious. Their modus operandi always seems to be creating raucous singing that’s fun with the memetic repetition that you don’t mind that it’s not, by all accounts great music. But since we’re dealing with anime music, we should be thankful that we don’t need to take this medium toooooo seriously.

Anime Soundtracks and Albums

Nyaruko-san Mini Album

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san

Album Name: Haiyore! Nyaruko-san Best Selection Mini Album Jasenkyokutachi
Artist: Kana Asumi, Miyu Matsuki, Yuka Otsubo, Ryoka Yuzuki, Eri Kitamura, Wataru Hatano, Rie Kugimiya, Mariko Kouda, Aya Hisakawa
Purchase at: CDJapan
And if the above album doesn’t do enough to satiate your love for Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, then this album certainly will. After all, it contains most of the music from the previous anime seasons, starting off with the infamous “UUUUU! NYAN! Let’s NYAN!” theme that everyone loves so much. Shrill singing it may be, but once again, fun wins the day!

Weekly Anime Music Releases – April 29

A torrent of anime music awaits us at the end of April and boy are there a lot of singles to really digest and ponder over. Not so much on the soundtrack side though where you get a small dose of Bahamut, but it’s still something to consider since Yoshihiro Ike isn’t much of a slouch. Here’s a look at what’s coming out this week:

Anime Openings and Ending Themes

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan OP

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan

Album Name: Fure Fure Mirai
Artist: Kitakou Bungeibu Joshikai
Purchase at: CDJapan
The first of the albums that we’re looking at comes from the well-worn Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya franchise featuring probably the best girl in the series, especially if you saw the movie. In terms of this single though, you’ll get to hear Minori Chihara and many of the side characters from the Haruhi franchise take it away. If you’ve liked their previous stuff, this disc becomes a no-brainer. Besides, it’s a lot of fun!

Kin-iro Mosaic 2 OP-ED

Hello!! KINMOZA

Album Name: Yumeiro Parade/My Best Friends
Artist: Rhodanthe*
Purchase at: CDJapan
So Rhodanthe* is really a group made up of voice actresses Asuka Nishi, Manami Tanaka, Risa Taneda, Yumi Uchiyama, and Nao Toyama and they’ve also performed the opening theme to the first season of the show. With cutesy vocals, a giant ska opening, and happy bouncy lyrics, this set captures the lives of young girls effectively and I can see people actually being drawn to this single. It’s certainly a lot better than many of the other seiyuu stuff out there.
[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

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