Sakamichi no Apollon: Kids on the Slope Episode 4

Would a death metal song have the same edge to it if it were performed by octogenarians? Would a country-western tune have the same appeal if an Arabic man sang it?

That’s the thing about music. People will happily eat gourmet French food cooked by a British master chef. A beautiful portrait of Italy by an Argentinean painter is no inherently inferior to one done by a Florentine. Music, though, is as much a product of who is playing it as what’s being played. The who behind music irreversibly colors the what. A samba sung by a rap artist instantly loses its authenticity, as does a Bach symphony performed by jazz musicians. It’s this selectivity of origin that has defined the ebb and flow of the musical landscape throughout history.

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The Music For Spring 2012′s Anime Season – Thoughts Thus Far

Intro by zzeroparticle: Normally, I write these things prior to the start of a new anime season. What could be more fun than mindlessly speculating over what such and such composer would deliver upon given the content of an anime? Well, the timing was bad and I never actually got around to completing it, so you’ll have to content yourself with my thoughts of the music from actually watching the anime in question. This might be for the best since the opinions given are informed (slanted though they be, given my musical tastes).

Anyway, as far as TV shows are actually concerned, there’s much to look forward to as far as this spring season goes, both in the quality of the shows and the quality of the BGM, so let’s dive in! (No coverage on opening or ending themes as usual, I’m afraid.) [Read more…]

Monday Melodic Musings: Contrasting Gunslinger Girl’s Main Themes

In most instances, when you have a second season to an anime, chances are they’ll use the same voice actors, the same animation studio, and, of course, the same composer. That’s not quite what happened with Gunslinger Girl. Whereas the first season was animated by Madhouse Studios and scored by maestro Toshihiko Sahashi, Artland animated Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino-. Its soundtrack was composed by Kou Otani.

Now, before we go any further, let me preface this discussion by saying that Gunslinger Girl and I have quite the history. Back in the halcyon days of my anime fandom, I never pursued the medium as intensely as I do now; anime was an on-again, off-again activity. But when a friend introduced me to that anime, the narrative was absolutely enthralling and the emotions it stirred within me was something I had not believed was possible from a cartoon. That spark led me to delve further into the medium and, needless to say, I’m pretty happy with where that’s taken me. [Read more…]

Heralding our 4th Year, Some Musings, Some Polling


Thankfully, there are no such things as term limits here, so we can assert our power over the anime music space with impunity, indefinitely. As long as the quality of anime music continues to stay its course, we’ll be here for a long time to come. After all, the quality of anime may go through cycles, but we’ve yet to encounter any similar sorts of trends in anime music, which has remained remarkably consistent.

From the post title, yes, we are entering our 4th year. Also known as the length of time most people will take to graduate from undergrad. Or how long Pep Guardiola has coached FC Barcelona. Or the lifespan of the almighty Didelphis virginiana when raised in captivity. These inane comparisons only further the idea that four years is a weird spot to be in as far as festivities are concerned. 1 year is a fine milestone. 2-year milestones are also worth celebrating since it’s the only even prime. 3-year anniversaries are worthy because it means you’ve gone through endless trials by fire and have a very good chance at avoiding blog death (as opposed to dying in a blogging accident or something). 5 years is also a fine number and makes it a great moment to dig into our history. But 4? What can we celebrate with 4? Well, there’s never a bad time to reaffirm what we’re all about. [Read more…]

Sakamichi no Apollon: Kids on the Slope Episode 3

I definitely haven’t been loath to willingly, even happily, adjust my expectations when it comes to this show’s music, but, after this episode, rather than accommodating any expectations, I’m beginning to feel that it just isn’t living up to them.

What made Sakamichi no Apollon feel so special in the first two episodes was how intimately the music reflected the characters. The music was an integral part of the narrative, an active member of the story rather than an unavoidable outcome of it, and that was very much the heartbeat of the show.
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