Wagakki Band’s Traditional-Modern Musical Blend Showcased in Anime Expo Concert

WagakkiBand
The concept of blending traditional instruments and sounds with modern musical genres isn’t a new concept; one need only look at examples like the Yoshida Brothers rocking out on shamisen to see it done well. Wagakki Band takes that musical fusion to a new level through its sheer size: a group of 8 musicians including shigin singer Yuuko Suzuhana, Machiya on guitar, Beni Ninagawa on shamisen, Kiyoshi Ibukuro working the koto, Asa on bass, the energetic Daisuke Kaminaga playing the shakuhachi (Japanese recorder/flute), and Wasabi and Kurona on drums. Their hopes, spelled out during their press conference, was to connect with audiences across different cultures.

Lofty sentiments to be sure, but the Wagakki Band is capable of delivering upon that promise. In the course of doing some pre-concert research on the band, I came across their video for “Senbonzakura”. Wagakki Band takes the Vocaloid source material, gives it a rock backdrop, and sends it off with Yuuko Suzuhana’s vocals. The song itself is enjoyable and the band’s manic energy goes a long way to showcase their passion for their medium.

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Anime Music on the AIRS Ep. 8 – Travel Music

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As usual, we’d like to have the Anime Music on the AIRS radio show have themes that make some modicum of sense. Last time, we had a summer-riffic blast. Now, we turn to anime music that captures travel: whether it’s something like a full-fledged adventure, merely wandering about, short, but fast excursions, or whatever else strikes up your fancy. While there are some heavy tracks within, most are lighter fare. But then again, traveling is supposed to be exciting and fun!

Anime Music on the AIRS ep. 8

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Index:
0:53 – Twelve Kingdoms – Juuni, Genmu Kyoku – Ryo Kunihiko
6:14 – Madlax – Galza – Yuki Kajiura
10:00 – Cowboy Bebop – Road to the West – Yoko Kanno
13:33 – Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan – Fleeing the Hot Desert, Team Dai Gurren Can Continue – Taku Iwasaki
16:45 – Initial D – Night of Fire – Niko
22:38 – Sketchbook ~Full Colors~ – Kaze Sagashi – Natsumi Kiyoura
27:26 – Victorian Romance Emma – Silhouette of a Breeze – Ryo Kunihiko
31:11 – Allison and Lillia – Sora he – Shusei Murai
34:24 – Final Fantasy Unlimited – Ai’s Theme – Shiro Hamaguchi
37:12 – Pokemon Heroes – Search for the Girl – Shinji Miyazaki
41:30 – FLCL – Ride on Shooting Star – The Pillows

To carry on with our themes, let’s depart from the previous moods like summer’s joy and traveling’s optimism and let’s sink to the lower depths with some despair. So yeah, anything that dulls the happiness and makes you lose all traces of hope.

Also, if you have other themes you’d like me to place on the docket, feel free to throw your suggestions our way.

As always, if you enjoy these video and would like to help us out, consider contributing to our Patreon campaign. With your support, we’ll be able to increase our output even more and expand our reach in ways that are outside our capabilities at the moment.

IA’s Vocaloid Concert at Anime Expo Makes a Strong Case for Virtual Idols

IA
It’s been 4 years since Anime Expo attendees have been treated to the Vocaloid concert that was Mikunopolis. In that time, 1st Place Co. introduced a new Vocaloid named IA to the Vocaloid3 engine using the voice of one of my favorite J-pop artists: Lia, the vocalist behind such works as Clannad ~After Story~‘s “Toki wo Kizamu Uta” and Angel Beats‘ “My Soul, Your Beats”. Given my interest in Lia as an artist, you’d think this development would spur me to check out the Vocaloid scene in greater depth, but my interest in the Vocaloid scene never really budged from its initial levels of indifference. To me, the concept of the virtual idol was interesting, but not sufficiently interesting enough that I’d actively pay attention and seek out more Vocaloid music.

So another Anime Expo, another Vocaloid concert. Or so I thought. What I could not fathom was just how much things have improved since 4 years ago. 4 years is an awfully long time to get things right and for me to be more comfortable with the thought of a programmed hologram performing on stage. Between the technological progress with the holographic projection and my comfort level with virtual idol performances, IA’s concert was a blast. From the beginning of the concert, where images of galaxies, stars, and planets flew by until it settled upon Los Angeles, to the end of the concert, where IA dazzled us with her dance moves to convey her sweet and spunky personality, I found myself completely engrossed by what took place. [Read more…]

Anime Music on the AIRS Ep. 7 – Summer Music

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In our bid to have our Anime Music on the AIRS radio show stay seasonally relevant, we turn to anime music that touches upon the themes that we so closely associate with summer: the warm days, the sound of waves pelting the shore relentlessly, the laziness that hot weather seemingly brings, and, of course, the friendships that become all the tighter as a result of shared memories. Because of the theme, the selections might be a bit more uniform, but we hope you enjoy this recording and that you’re able to relax to it.

Anime Music on the AIRS ep. 7

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Index:
0:53 – Seto no Hanayome – Romantic Summer – Haruko Momoi and Sakura Nogawa
5:41 – Fruit of Grisaia – Orange Sunshine – Fujita Junpei (requested by wavedash)
8:15 – My-HiME – Summer, Sky, Sea Breeze – Yuki Kajiura
11:43 – Yokohama Kidaishi Kikou ~Quiet Country Cafe~ – Café Alpha – Main Theme – Choro Club (requested by Llamapox)
15:49 – Cross Game – Summer Rain – Kobukuro
21:49 – Air – Natsukage – Jun Maeda (requested by Anon~)
25:31 – Natsume Yuujinchou – Yuruyaka Na Aze Michi De – Makoto Yoshimori (requested by Camilla)
30:55 – Someday’s Dreamers – Hot Frenzy – Takfumi Haketa
34:03 – Birdy the Mighty DECODE – Let’s Go Together – Afromania
38:29 – 5 Centimeters Per Second – Kanae no Kimochi – Tenmon (requested by Kaikyaku)

Apologies for being a week late since I was off traveling around, but now that I’m back, the schedule should be back to normal.

So now that we’re back to normal, we’ll look to push out another episode next week! Two weeks of AIRS can’t be a bad thing, so feel free to start requesting tracks to be played in future shows and we’ll get in as many as we can! To continue with the concept of summer, we’ll focus on music that evokes a feeling as though you’re traveling.

Also, if you have other themes you’d like me to place on the docket, feel free to throw your suggestions our way.

As always, if you enjoy these video and would like to help us out, consider contributing to our Patreon campaign. With your support, we’ll be able to increase our output even more and expand our reach in ways that are outside our capabilities at the moment.

NISEKOI: -False Love- OP Single – Rally Go Round – Review

Nisekoi LISA

Album Title: Rally Go Round
Anime Title: NISEKOI: -False Love-
Artist: LiSA
Catalog Number: SVWC-70085
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: May 27, 2015
Purchase at: CDJapan, iTunes

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