Most amazing Mumei fanart yet

  STOP THE PRESS RIGHT NOW. Because while Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is a show that anyone looking for good storytelling with gorgeous art direction should watch, the fanart by illustrators like WLOP is taking character design to a whole new level. The original art by this amazing Hong Kong-based artist is available on Deviant Art. He/she is also producing a webcomic called Ghostblade that’s been in production … Continue reading Most amazing Mumei fanart yet

Want solid JPOP covers? Head down to the Goose house.

The geese of Goose house: (from left) Shuhei Watanabe, Migiwa Takezawa, Shuhei Kudo, Kei Takebuchi, Johnny Saito, Sayaka, and Manami.
The geese of Goose house: (from left) Shuhei Watanabe, Migiwa Takezawa, Shuhei Kudo, Kei Takebuchi, Johnny Saito, Sayaka, and Manami.

YouTube is full of amazing musical talents, and the English world has no lack of them, especially those who play cover songs that sometimes – and not rarely – display skills and musical arrangements that far surpass the original.

So wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Japanese equivalent? SOLIDEMO tried to do it a few years ago, when they were first signed to avex.

While there’s no doubt that these gentlemen have talent, these covers tended to feel stifled and lacking in individuality – a kind of conformity with eerily matching behaviors and attitudes that reflect a very typical Japanese approach.

Goose house, fortunately, took the risk with a different approach.

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ゲスの極み乙女。- Girl at the Height of Rudeness

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(From left: ChanMARI on keyboard; Hona Ikoka on drums; Kawatani Enon on lead vocals, guitar and synthesizer; and Kyuujitsu Kachou on bass)

It’s quite easy to tell when a band enjoys performing together. There’s an energy and synergy that doesn’t compete and overwhelm, and makes the listener completely at ease.

As strange as their name sounds, the band Gesu no Kiwami Otome (literally Girl at the Height of Rudeness) exudes that air of confidence and assurance outwards as well as among the band. Formed by the frontman of indigo la End, Kawatani Enon was said to form the band with musicians he genuinely enjoyed performing with.

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In honor of Edogawa Ranpo: Reviewing cases #1-3 of Game of Laplace

Ranpo Kitan Game of Laplace

There is no doubt in my mind that the creators of Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace (「乱歩奇譚 Game of Laplace」Ranpo’s Stories of Mystery: Game of Laplace) wanted to honor the works of Edogawa Ranpo, a thriller novelist and Japan’s answer to Arthur Conan Doyle and G.K. Chesterton (responsible for Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown respectively – although I believe the comparison should be more of the former). I personally am a fan of Edogawa myself: one of my prized books in my possession is a single collection of short stories translated into English, called Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imaginationwhere I also read The Human Chair. I also have another book called The Edogawa Ranpo Reader, which contains both fiction and non-fiction essays. And anyone who’s familiar with Meitantei Conan (「名探偵コナン」Detective Conan) would’ve already known who he is.

… Yeah I know you’re not here to read all that back-story. But four episodes and three cases in, I have a few thoughts and observations I’d like to share.

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New release line-up: Moumoon, amazarashi, & the Pelican Fanclub (seriously?)

There’s a pretty awesome lineup of new releases in the music scene over the next month, and that I’m personally excited for. amazarashi Enjoy this video while you can. We know it ain’t gonna last for long. Amazarashi’s second hit in the anime scene this year, this time as an opening theme for Ranpo Kitan Game of Laplace (「乱歩奇譚 Game of Laplace」), which premiered on July 2. … Continue reading New release line-up: Moumoon, amazarashi, & the Pelican Fanclub (seriously?)

“I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying” – or can I?

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Kaoru x Hajime

A 25-year-old hardworking salary-lady gets married to an otaku two years younger. Right at the start, both are already questioning whether their marriage would work, since they’re not able to guarantee each other’s happiness.

But it all works out somehow. Despite the husband scrapping by as a blogger and his chain-smoking, beer-guzzling wife being unfamiliar (or should the word be “unimpressed”?) with the world of otaku (not to mention having a brother-in-law like hers…), they live as a married couple one day at a time.

The plot for I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying (「旦那が何を言っているかわからない件」Danna ga nani o itteiru ka wakaranai ken) is already unique on its own. Originally a four-panel manga series created by Cool-kyō Shinja, it somehow made its way into a 13-episode series, with each episode lasting barely three minutes.

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Sakura Fujiwara – better than YUI.

Let’s conduct a blind test here. The following Soundcloud track is just a sample (1:40). but for now, switch your lights off (or close your curtains), lean back in your good chair, hit that link, and close your eyes.

That, my reader, is Sakura Fujiwara, a young girl from Fukuoka who’s just barely 19. This track comes from her debut album full bloom that was released in March 2014.

I hope you haven’t cheated and gone off to look for her pictures (because shame on you for spoiling the fun). But imagine the sort of person with the rich alto tone (she reminded me of Brooke Fraser in her early days).

Now this is who she is:

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Kenshi Yonezu – the new Yojiro Noda?

It’s probably unfair to compare this young twenty-something with RADWIMPS’ frontman. After all, even though they looked somewhat similar, they do have some differences: RADWIMPS is more rock-inclined; Kenshi Yonezu (米津玄師 YONEZU Kenshi) falls within the alternative rock-pop band. RADWIMPS started as a full-fledged band. Kenosha Yonezu started as a vocaloid artist under the moniker HACHI.

I didn’t pay a lot of attention to this gentleman who originally hails from Tokushima prefecture in the Shikoku islands when Flowerwall was released earlier this month. Or maybe the preview on iTunes and Recochoku didn’t do the song justice. I didn’t watch the MV.

But instead, I came across one of his older videos from his debut album DIORAMA. The video was a compilation of short preview tracks from DIORAMA (released in 2012), and the first song was called Machi (「街」street). It was that song that caught my full attention.

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