『君の名は』”Your Name” Original Soundtrack review

For the longest time, I wondered why RADWIMPS’ music was never featured in any series. Since Order Made in 2006, they have released and marketed their music by conventional means, i.e. album/digital sales. The only notable effort  to break out of its mold was when vocalist Yojiro Noda embarked on a solo side project as illion and star in a live-action movie earlier this year.

But when the band announced its involvement in Your Name (Kimi no Na Wa 「君の名は」), the realisation hit me that this was RADWIMPS we’re talking about. If they wanted to write music for a show, they don’t just contribute a song as a main theme. They compose the whole thing. They become the composers and literally set the direction and tone for the entire run.

RADWIMPS as composers. And for an animated film by Makoto Shinkai (5 Centimetres Per Second; The Garden of Words) of all people. Of course. It all makes perfect sense. Continue reading “『君の名は』”Your Name” Original Soundtrack review”

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.

Continue reading “In honor of Edogawa Ranpo: Reviewing cases #1-3 of Game of Laplace”

Young Juvenile Youth – Animation EP

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Finding Japanese artists in the electronica genre is like finding a pearl in an oyster that got mixed up with other pearl-less oysters.

So when I come across such a rare find, the satisfaction cannot be expressed by words alone. It feels like I’ve got my hands on a real gem.

Young Juvenile Youth is a fresh face and a breath of fresh air, and has the sort of elusiveness that drives me nuts. Beyond the first two EPs it release on vinyl in 2014, nothing is known about this group. YJY is fronted by Yuki, who is clearly bilingual in Japanese and English, and writes all the songs as well as designed her first EP covers. Then there is Jemapur who composes and produces the tracks.

Continue reading “Young Juvenile Youth – Animation EP”

TRIPLANE 「nonno」

I hesitated whether to talk about this album, hence I’ve delayed this for the longest time. It’s not that it’s a bad record. Based on the track videos in the Youtube link above, it has a lot of decent easy listening rock tunes. TRIPLANE formed in Sapporo in 2002, and it’s no coincidence that they’re named after the fixed-wing aircraft with three vertically stacked wings. Since … Continue reading TRIPLANE 「nonno」