Weekly Anime Music Releases – February 11

Valentine’s Day approaches, signalling the discontentment of many singles and a deluge of anime singles. Granted, most of them aren’t too great and once again, the veterans like JAM Project and angela lead the way. So nothing for the cult of the new to dig in, which is just as well. That just means an opportunity to conserve the cash flow. So with that, here’s the list:

Anime OP/ED Singles

Durarara ED Theme

Durarara!! X2

Album Name: NEVER SAY NEVER
Artist: THREE LIGHTS DOWN KINGS
Purchase at: CDJapan
Durarara!!‘s ending theme rushes at you like a wild storm, using a distorted voice backed by some rocking tunes. This is a bit of a departure from the more mellow R&B stuff that you’ve heard from the first season’s ending themes, but if nothing else, at least this flies out in your face and leaves you some of idea of the sort of lingering thoughts the anime wants to internalize. I’m not sure that this is as good as the other themes we’ve heard out of Durarara, but if you don’t mind that reckless sort of energy and warbled vocals, I suppose you can’t go too wrong here.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso ED2

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Album Name: Orange
Artist: Seven Oops
Purchase at: CDJapan
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, also known as Your Lie in April, has generally done well in the music department, though I’ve been hearing a bit of a blowback in that the second opening and ending themes are nowhere in the same ballpark as the first. I suppose a band that goes by Seven Oops doesn’t really inspire much confidence, but the song isn’t half bad, if just a bit on the generic side. The piano is mellow and the vocalist has a sense of clarity in her delivery. Granted, it’s not as good as the first ending theme, since the crime of being generic may just be a bit too much for people to bear, and that’s just as well since you’re not missing much by skipping over this album.

Fafner OPED Songs

Soukyuu no Fafner EXODUS

Album Name: Exist
Artist: Angela
Purchase at: CDJapan
Fair or not, whenever I look at the characters in Soukyuu no Fafner EXODUS, all I can think of is Gundam SEED, and that’s never a flattering comparison. This sort of disdain is a bit of a shame since angela isn’t that bad a singer and in EXODUS, she delivers a solid effort that includes good intonation, a few sharp cries that aren’t too grating. The ending theme is pretty poignant, with a backing violin that helps to bring out the emotions. So of the albums getting released, this one’s on a higher tier than the others because angela’s vocals are actually a step above most everyone else’s. [Read more…]

Weekly Anime Music Releases – February 4

February comes, and with that, we’re about 6 weeks away from spring. But that doesn’t mean much in the quality of the releases since most of the OP/ED themes are pretty poor. The albums are something to think about though, what with Hiroyuki Sawano plying his trade and a very awesome collection of Higurashi no Naku koro ni vocal music. Of the anime music releases, that is, far and away, the biggest highlight and is definitely worth getting. So with that, here’s the list:

Anime OP/ED Singles

AldnoahZero OP Theme

ALDNOAH.ZERO

Album Name: &Z
Artist: Hiroyuki Sawano, mizuki, Yu “Masshoi” Yamauchi, Toshino Tanabe, Hiroshi Iimuro, Yasuo Sano, Tetsuro Toyama
Purchase at: CDJapan
Starting with his work on ALDNOAH.ZERO, Hiroyuki Sawano has been digging his toes deeper into the opening and ending theme pool. From the first run of ALDNOAH.ZERO, we got “A/Z” which featured mizuki performing the ending theme to the anime. And now, we have “&Z”, which is now the opening theme and also features mizuki on vocals. Given his compositional talents, this song is an easy step up compared to most other opening and ending themes and should be checked out, regardless of whether you’re a Sawano fan or not. Obviously, keep this on a higher priority if you enjoy his works.

Durarara x2 OP

Durarara!! X2

Album Name: HEADHUNT
Artist: Okamoto’s
Purchase at: CDJapan
The Durarara!! franchise has always had some interesting music to throw at anime fans and this incarnation of the franchise, Durarara!! X2 is no exception, pulling in the talents of the rock band, the Okamoto’s to perform the anime’s opening theme, “Headhunt”. The group had prior anime work, namely, performing the 18th ending theme for Naruto: Shippuden after forming as a band in 2010. The group’s members all adopted the name Okamoto in honor of the artist Taro Okamoto. In this latest single, “Headhunt”, don’t expect any type of rock that would deviate from convention, but it’s pleasant music all around.

Testament of Sister Devil

Shinmai Maou no Testament

Album Name: Blade of Hope
Artist: sweet ARMS
Purchase at: CDJapan
Shinmai Maou no Testament, known in English as The Testament of Sister New Devil, is as junky a title as you might expect and probably won’t inspire too many people to give this particular album a look. And that’s just as well since sweet ARMS is a seiyuu group made up of Iori Nomizu, Kaori Sadohara, Misato, and Misuzu Togashi. We’ve never been too hot about seiyuu groups who sing for shows unless their vocal talents are worth looking at. And from where we stand, there isn’t anything for us to care too much about here. [Read more…]

Weekly Anime Releases – January 28

Finally, we get to the end of January. The last week. With the Winter 2015 anime season gone fully under way, many of the opening and ending themes are starting to turn into a deluge. In this iteration, we’ve got the likes of music from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure as well as long-running fare like Fairy Tail and Kuroko no Basket. But don’t underestimate the soundtrack front either, since we’re getting heavy hitters like Mushishi. Terraformars is a bit more in the air, but Shusei Murai’s done good work, so it’s at least worth checking out, even if you didn’t love the anime. With that, here’s the list:

Anime OP/ED Singles

Saekano OP Theme

Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend-

Album Name: Kimi-iro Signal
Artist: Luna Haruna
Purchase at: CDJapan
To be honest, it’s been interesting to see Luna Haruna’s career trajectory and how she went from an amateur fashion model to becoming a full-fledged anison artist with her first effort on Fate/Zero‘s ending theme. Her latest work is for Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend-‘s opening theme, but I can’t really speak much to it, mostly because the premise puts me off and Luna Haruna isn’t a huge must-see in my book. She does manage to make a splash and is continually able to find work, so that’s got to count for something.

Saekano ED Theme
Album Name: Colorful.
Artist: Miku Sawai
Purchase at: CDJapan
Hot on the heels of Luna Haruna’s OP theme for Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend- comes Miku Sawai’s ending theme for the same anime. Miku Sawai has been a relative newcomer, with most of her works coming in the form of ending themes and her debut work being “Nakimushi” for the Kimi to Boku anime. Given her status and small portfolio size, I’m not sure she’s really popped on people’s radars just yet and with her role on a relatively unhyped show this season, looks like she’ll have to wait to really get that big break she’s been looking for. [Read more…]

Weekly Anime Releases – January 21

The third week of January has brought on more anime music, mostly opening and ending themes associated with new shows. Cross Ange continues to bring on new material and you’ve got a few more hits from anison artists like ZAQ. On the soundtrack front, we’ve got two CDs hitting the shelves soon: the classical music anime Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (which we’ve blogged to some degree) and the less-spectacular Girl Friend BETA soundtrack. Anyway, you’ll be able to find the releases below.

Anime OP/ED Singles

Cross Ange-Shinjitsu no Mokushiroku

Cross Ange

Album Name: Shinjitsu no Mokushiroku
Artist: Yoko Takahashi
Purchase at: CDJapan
Yoko Takahashi is an interesting case since she’s not a name that many people will know of, but she has a vast body of work throughout the years, including a very very heavy hitter in “Cruel Angel’s Thesis” for the Evangelion anime. So once again, she reprises her singing role on “Shinjitsu no Mokushiroku”, which is set to be the opening song to the second season of Cross Ange. With composer Toshiyuki Omori to back her up, it’s hard to think that the results will be anything but solid.

Junketsu no Maria-ZAQ

Junketsu no Maria

Album Name: Philosophy of Dear World
Artist: ZAQ
Purchase at: CDJapan
Junketsu no Maria is an interesting title in that you don’t see too many series that revolve around the Hundred Years war. Either way, this show focuses on a witch who disrupts some of the events that take place during the period and draws the attention of the Heavens. As for the single, you’re seeing yet another performance from ZAQ, who entered my radar when she did the opening theme to Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!. And incidentally, “Sparkling Daydream” was also her first single where she was the performing artist. Since then, she’s gone on to do songs for HIGH SCHOOL DxD so her latest effort might be worthwhile.

Anime Soundtracks and Albums

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso soundtrack

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Album Name: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso ORIGINAL SONG & SOUNDTRACK
Artist: Masaru Yokoyama
Purchase at: CDJapan
Oh Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. If there’s anything to be said about this show, it’s that the classical music portion of the anime is absolutely fantastic, featuring the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, and Saint-Saens. There were many moments throughout where I was enthralled with the onscreen performances and the musical selection, and if you want to learn more, head over to the Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso posts on the blog. Now, if we look at the music outside of the classical side, you’ll find the steady hand of Masaru Yokoyama at the wheel. His work for the boobalicious Queen’s Blade is solid and enjoyable, a surprise if you look into that show just a bit more.

Garnidelia Album 1

KILL la KILL & The irregular at magic high school & Gundam Reconguista in G

Album Name: Linkage Ring
Artist: GARNiDELiA
Purchase at: CDJapan
“Linkage Ring” marks the first full-length album by the artist GARNiDELiA, who, as you can see above, has performed music to such series as KILL la KILL and Gundam Reconguista in G. After looking a bit more into the work she’s done, I’d have to say that her voice doesn’t deviate too much from standard fare J-pop that really makes her stand out since her voice sounds pretty similar to other artists that do the bellowing pop sound (think Nana Mizuki). The music that they have her performing isn’t too bad though, so people looking to get all of her music in one place might get some mileage out of this album.

Girl Friend Beta OST

Girl Friend BETA

Album Name: Girl Friend BETA Original Soundtrack
Artist: Kenji Kawai
Purchase at: CDJapan
One of the more puzzling aspects of the anime soundtrack business is how Kenji Kawai is able to still get jobs. His compositions have been pretty mediocre, often hitting the atmospheric tone to work well within the situational context of the anime, but leave much to be desired when listened to on a standalone basis. The anime that Kawai is scoring for, Girl Friend BETA, is hardly a compelling offering given that its source material lies in a mobile dating sim featuring lots of girls with varied personalities. I think I’ll give this album a pass.

Weekly Anime Music Releases – January 14

We’re already two weeks into January and already, the offerings look a lot more substantial. With the Fall 2014 anime season coming to an end, we’re starting to see the Winter 2015 anime season kick into high gear. So that means more opening and ending themes from new anime. But more importantly, it means that we’re starting to see soundtrack releases come down the pipeline. The pipeline is still a bit limited, but hey, something is better than nothing. So here are the anime music releases you can expect for the week of January 14:

Anime OP/ED Singles

Eden-Nana Mizuki

Cross Ange & Dog Days”

Album Name: Eden
Artist: Nana Mizuki
Purchase at: CDJapan
If there’s a standout artist that people will have their eyes on, it’ll probably be none other than Nana Mizuki. Nana Mizuki’s been a long standby on the anime music front, having done excellent work on the White Album opening as well as her work on Nanoha. Lately, she’s also been teaming up with the J-Rock star, T.M. Revolution to perform both openings to Valvrave the Liberator, most notably with Preserved Roses and Kakumei Dualism, neither of which were especially acclaimed by our reviewers. Nevertheless, given that this is Nana Mizuki that we’re talking about, this single should sell pretty well, especially when it tacks on the Cross Ange ending theme and insert song, the Dog Days” opening theme, and even the Animelo mix TV-CM Song!

Flying Fafnir-Trustrick

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir

Album Name: FLYING FAFNIR
Artist: TRUSTRICK
Purchase at: CDJapan
You have more or less a new band who will be performing the opening theme song for Juuou Mujin no Fafnir, which is adapted from a light novel by Tsukasa where the plot revolves around a boy who is thrown into a school where there are girls who have dragon powers. In other words, typical light novel fare. Either way, there aren’t too many high expectations riding on this single, but the group might be of interest. TRUSTRICK is made up of singer Sayaka Kanda and guitarist Billy. They’ve released their debut album “Eternity” on June 25, 2014 and as a note, Sayaka Kanda is the daughter of pop singer Seiko Matsuda and actor Masaki Kanda and has also voice Anna in the Japanese dub of Frozen.

Kamisama no Kamisama - Kamisama Kiss

Kamisama Kiss@

Album Name: Kamisama no Kamisama/Ototoi Oide
Artist: Hanae
Purchase at: CDJapan
No, I can’t claim to know much about the singer, who’s an unknown factor and whose other notable work has been for, surprise, surprise, the first season of Kamisama Kiss where she sang the theme song “Kamisama Hajimemashita.” And the little I know of the anime, Kamisama Kiss, is that it’s definitely a shoujo manga about a girl who is homeless, but finds a place to live at a shrine populated by Tomoe, a youkai, and Onikiri and Kotetsu, his attendants. The girl, Nanami, will become a god and grow closer to Tomoe.

Anime Soundtracks and Albums

Appleseed Alpha OST

Appleseed Alpha

Album Name: Appleseed Alpha Original Soundtrack
Artist: Various
Purchase at: CDJapan
What’s to say? The Appleseed franchise has been known for its cyberpunk mecha feel which carries over to its soundtrack quite nicely. Based on some of the previous soundtracks, you’ll hear a lot of electronica, all from a wide array of composers that it makes the listening experience varied. Either way, this will all feature music from the movie that aired last June and for those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s one of the most beautifully animated works yet, which is saying a lot when you’re talking about the Appleseed franchise.

Psycho Pass-Ling tosite sigure

Psycho Pass

Album Name: Best of Tornado
Artist: Ling tosite sigure
Purchase at: CDJapan
Ling tosite sigure’s theme songs for the Psycho Pass anime series have proven to be very popular, what with “abnormalize” really doing well with those who saw the first season and “Enigmatic Feeling” roaring in for the second season. Best of Tornado is essentially their compilation album and will include the two opening songs from Psycho Pass.

Sora no Method OST

Sora no Method

Album Name: “Sora no Method” Original Soundtrack Kiriyakochou Ongaku Sanpo
Artist: Tatsuya Kato
Purchase at: CDJapan
You know, Tatsuya Katou seems to get a lot of work these days. I’m never quite sure why. The stuff he does isn’t melodic by any stretch, and more often than not, his music serves as a background role than anything that would stand out on its own. So why anyone would listen to his music on a standalone basis is curious indeed. Anyway, he did compose the soundtrack to the Sora no Method anime which focuses on a miracle that happens in a town when a UFO appears above Kiriya Lake and a girl finds her wishes fulfilled.

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.

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.

Weekly Anime Music Releases: Supercell, Yuka Iguchi, Aqua Timez, and more!

As we approach Thanksgiving, there are always new CDs to check out given the weekly release schedule for most anime music. So for those who are looking forward to catching some of the opening or ending themes from this anime season, here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Yuka Iguchi, the singer behind such works as Nisemonogatari’s “Platinum Disco,” has a new single out. This one is titled “rainbow heart ♡ rainbow dream ☆/Strike my soul” and can be heard as the ending theme to the Strike the Blood anime series.
  • Aqua Timez, the band that’s been around since the early days of Bleach, also have a new single, this one, for Magi’s second season. In this instance, what we have is the ending theme to the anime series, titled Eden.
  • Ore no nounai sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love-comedy wo Zenryoku de Jama shiteiru is quite the mouthful to say and more or less confirms its status as a light novel. Well, this particular single features the work of two singers, Kaori Sadohara and Saeko Zougou who, together, form the group known as TWO-FORMULA. Its title is Taiyou to Tsuki no CROSS for those interested in checking it out and it serves as the ending theme to the long-titled anime series.
  • You’ve also heard of the seiyuu idol group Sphere, I hope? If not, it’s the group that has K-ON singers Aki Toyosaki and Minkao Kotobuki, but also features Ayahi Takagaki and Haruka Tomatsu. This quartet has been busy working on Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita and sing “Sticking Places” from the anime.
  • Finally, what’s an anime music release without the likes of Supercell to top out the list, with an album no less? ZIGAEXPERIENTIA is the latest Supercell album, featuring the likes of koeda’s performances from anime such as Guilty Crown, Magi, and even the re-broadcast of Katanagatari. The days of yanaginagi have long flown by, but fans of ryo’s music should have a lot to look forward if the goal is to get all of his music in one convenient spot.

There are a few more noteworthy ones, so keep an eye out for those in the next post.

Kill la Kill’s Soundtrack to be out at Christmas

Kill la Kill OST Soundtrack
For those of you who are looking for some stocking stuffers for this holiday season, the soundtrack to the Kill la Kill anime will be released this Christmas!

If you haven’t checked out Kill la Kill, it’s an anime by Studio Trigger, also the same group who was behind Little Witch Academia. Many of the staffers were former Gainax staffers, so it’s not hard to see the artwork influence comes from.

The story revolves around Ryuko Matoi and is pretty action-packed. On top of that, the music is also quite a treat as it’s composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, the man behind the music for the recent Attack on Titan. So check it out when you can and if you find yourself enthralled by the music, keep your ears open for its release on Christmas this year!

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