Weekly Anime Music Releases – February 18

With the Winter anime season really knee-deep in all that it has to offer, the number of anime music releases is resembling a missile barrage. And I’m not saying that just because Kantai Collection‘s OP theme is going to be released this week either. Be sure to look out for that as well as Akame ga Kill‘s soundtrack, featuring the work of composer Taku Iwasaki. There are other things too, but you’ll have to go through the list to find out exactly what can catch your eye:

Anime OP/ED Singles

KanColle OP Theme

Kantai Collection -KanColle-

Album Name: Miiro
Artist: AKINO from bless4
Purchase at: CDJapan
KanColle‘s release is probably one of the high-profile releases to be coming out this month given how it’s pretty much taken over the doujin scene out in Japan. So it’s to be expected that the KanColle fandom will be up in full force over this single, especially when it features the famous AKINO who sang the opening theme to Aquarion EVOL. My stock on it isn’t so high though since she seems to perform better with Yoko Kanno, but this just might wind up turning a few heads.

KanColle ED Theme
Album Name: Fubuki
Artist: Shiena Nishizawa
Purchase at: CDJapan
This week will see not just the OP theme, but also the ED theme to the Kantai Collection -KanColle- anime. Note that this will pretty much be Shiena Nishizawa’s entry into anison and she’s backed up by a composition that thunders forth with interesting sections where she’ll have some tough passages to navigate. I can say I like this a lot better than the OP theme though, so it’s at least decently worth checking out, especially since the lyrics are by micco, who has done a lot of good work for the laid-back band Marble.

Aldnoah Zero ED Theme Eir Aoi

ALDNOAH.ZERO

Album Name: GENESIS
Artist: Eir Aoi
Purchase at: CDJapan
The adventures of Inaho and Slaine are ended with “GENESIS,” the latest single by singer Eir Aoi, who has had a pretty illustrious career performing music to shows ranging from Fate/Zero to Kill la Kill. Compared to a lot of other anison artists, I’m not really too hyped about her and can’t really say I rate her too highly. With that said, she generally delivers a decent effort, where decent is mostly a sort of loudness that really lacks much nuance in her interaction with the lyrics. For those of us who care about music, we’ll just write it off as a damned shame. [Read more…]

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 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.

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