Music Events at Sakura-Con

Sakura Con
Sakura-Con, the annual anime convention held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington will take place this weekend, April 3 to April 5. For those of you who are looking forward to the convention activities and would like to explore the musical options available to you this year, here’s what you can look forward to:

GARNiDELiA

Of the groups out in concert for this year’s Sakura-Con, we have GARNiDELiA, a duo made up of music composer toku and singer MARiA formed in 2010. While the two have had extensive experience with anime songs, they’re probably best known for their debut single, ambiguous, which was used as the opening theme to Kill la Kill. More recently, they’ve done work on Mekakucity Actors, followed by the opening theme to the irregular at magic high school, and then their third single, “BLAZING”, used in Gundam Reconguista in G.

Both toku and MARiA have been pretty excited to make their appearance at Sakura-Con, based on the video they released fairly recently, especially since it’ll be their first time in the United States:

Kanako Ito

But perhaps the singer Kanako Ito will be an even hotter persona to check out, especially since some of her singing works have garnered high praise. She first appeared on my radar when she sang the opening theme to Chaos;Head, which wasn’t a great show, but the opening was pretty decent. Her best work, at least one that her fans will enjoy most, is probably the opening theme to the Steins;Gate anime, titled “Hacking to the Gate”, which featured her harsh-sounding vocals.

Both Kanako Ito and GARNiDELiA will be performing in concert at Sakura-Con. Those at the convention can catch them on Saturday in the evening on the Main Stage. The concert is set to start at 6:30pm. Either way, hope you look forward to hearing them live!

Weekly Anime Music Releases – March 04

This week’s set of anime music releases are much more tilted towards albums and soundtracks rather than the usual coterie of opening and ending singles. I mean, there are still quite a few, but it’s just not as numerous as the sort of barrage you find halfway through an anime season. Thank goodness for that I suppose.

So with that in mind, this week is a pretty action-packed week. We have the likes of LiSA and Konomi Suzuki coming out with releases. In the soundtrack realm, Log Horizon 2‘s OST will definitely be worth a look. Finally, we have some old stars in Yui Horie to sing up Dog Days” and StylipS bringing us something from Gundam Build Fighters Try. Here’s a look at what’s coming:

Anime OP/ED Singles

Gundam Build Fighters Try

Gundam Build Fighters Try

Album Name: Mayomayo Compass wa Iranai
Artist: StylipS
Purchase at: CDJapan
StylipS feels like one of those cutesy all-girl bands that you come to know and love because they feature some of the more enjoyable anison singers this side of sphere. Their body of work has been pretty formidable, what with the likes of “Miracle Rush” from Saki Achiga-hen, as well as “Prism Sympathy” from Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya. StylipS, which is made up of voice actresses Arisa Noto, Maho Matsunaga, Moe Toyota, and Miku Itou certainly don’t seem to lack for energy, even if the music can get a bit static after awhile. Either way, they perform the 2nd ED theme to Gundam Build Fighters Try where they’ll deliver some more of their infectious energy once more.

Dog Days 2 ED

DOG DAYS”

Album Name: Stay With Me
Artist: Yui Horie
Purchase at: CDJapan
Yui Horie has performed a lot of anime music over the years. My first exposure to her voice was when she sang some of the insert songs on the Love Hina anime before moving on to the popular “Scramble” from School Rumble. The last instance in which I was exposed to her clear voice was on Bakemonogatari‘s “Super Sweet Nightmare,” which didn’t really gather too much in the way of plaudits but did well with other people. I suspect “Stay with me,” the ED theme to Dog Days” will go the same way. And for her loyal fans, I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.

Seven Deadly Sins Takigawa

The Seven Deadly Sins

Album Name: Season
Artist: Alisa Takigawa
Purchase at: CDJapan
Alisa Takigawa isn’t exactly a household name, whether it’s in the anime world or out. And that’s a bit a shame since her voice does show a bit of promise in “Season,” the second ending theme to the Seven Deadly Sins anime. There’s a certain strength in her voice that makes her worth a look even if it’s not exactly the kind of song that would really grab at your attention. But at least it’s about on par with a lot of other anime songs out there.
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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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