Comiket, for those who don’t know, is the largest convention for self-published and produced works in the world. Spanning three days, it is an enormous marketplace held in the Tokyo Big Sight convention center where people sell mainly art and crafts either inspired by anime or in the anime style. Among the goods being sold are tons of CDs produced by a thriving doujin music community. Of course, being in Japan over the summer, I made it part of my plans to check it out. While I couldn’t attend the first day because I was stuck in a cubicle, I did join up with some friends in the area for the second and third.
Anime Expo has this odd way of taking what should have been a manageable schedule and throwing enough wrinkles to make for a packed weekend. And no, I’m not just talking about the huge crowds or the never-ending parade of logistical problems either.
Everything I had going on, both for work and for fun, had me on my feet the entire time. If it wasn’t a press conference or an event that I was interested in covering, then it was simply reaching out to the anitweeps to meet up, say the hi and hellos, and catch up if I’ve met them previously or put a name to a face if I haven’t. And with all the people to see and things to do, Anime Expo was pretty good at keeping me busy and occupied. It’s certainly better than being bored out of my mind, which can be a danger when you account for my narrow interests in certain facets of the anime fandom. [Read more…]
As the July 4th weekend begins to roll around, the rumblings that signal a return into the breach of the North American anime fandom materialize. As usual, I’ll continue to seek out any musical offerings that sate my palate, with varying degrees of success. That said, this year looks more promising than last! Unlike last year, this year’s artists are somewhat relevant to my interests. We don’t have to deal with brand-new idol groups trying to get their footing and instead, get pros who’ve been on the scene long enough to provide serviceable music. There are even a few instrumentalists thrown around for good measure!
There’s nothing like a blog anniversary to give me a shot in the arm, a kick in the rear, and a punch in the nose, sending a jolt to my system that’ll have me increasing my output. I say this because last year was a down year when it came to reviews; we succeeded in writing just 16 reviews, most of which came during the month of May. We made up for that with a wider variety of content where we struck a chord talking about Asia’s Chord Progressions, filled people in on what composer Jun Maeda has done through the years, and went the N-list articles route by talking about some of our favorite waltzes.
Most of those articles and reviews came out in May, which suggests that blog anniversaries are indeed good for output! That said, May did coincide with my stint of NEETness, so you can pencil that in as a possible confounding variable. In terms of other disruptions, around late summer, the Animusic Tourney went into full swing, taking a good chunk of time away from reviewing and general musical musings.
So to be honest, I’m not sure what this year will hold. I can guarantee you that I’ll still be around, pecking away on my keyboard as I attempt to make a dent in the mountain of anime music that seems to come out every single year. Sometimes, the album will be such that inspiration comes easy and I can whip it out without sparing too much brain power. At other times, I’ll be grinding it out for 6 weeks before a review goes to print. Within the releases for this coming year, most will go untouched, but the ones that are on top of my radar will get a much-deserved treatment. Such is my work rate.
But in the pursuit of good music, we at Anime Instrumentality have this bad tendency to go after all the new crap, most of which is, admittedly, crap. So it’s worth taking the time to look back upon past works that are truly great and now’s a good time to do it as any. If there are albums we’re sure you readers would like to read more about, it would be those albums that transcend mere excellence so as to be masterpieces.
For this next month, my team and I would like to go unearth soundtracks from anime long gone and revel in the musical moments that have turned us into a gaggle of schoolgirls swooning and squealing over awesome music. After all, finding good anime music in an idol-poppin’, ambience-saturated arena is already difficult; finding masterpieces that move you in a way that stands the test of time is nigh impossible unless you’ve built up an internal database of OSTs that leave you in breathless wonder. So I hope you all look forward to Anime Instrumentality’s Masterpiece Month and can find some new avenues in which to explore in your musical journey.
So there’s an event circulating around the anime blogosphere called the Liebster Awards that’s designed to get people exposed to new blogs or blogs with a smaller number of readers by tagging other blogs and asking the writers a series of questions. Cloudy over at Cloudy’s Blog nominated not Anime Instrumentality (technically), but the Anime Music Tourney. In the interest of keeping things separate since the AniMusicTourney site should generally be used for all contest-related things, I’ll go ahead and answer Cloudy’s questions here. Without further ado: [Read more…]