Baka to Test to Shokanjuu – Perfect-area Complete! – Review

Album Title: Perfect-area Complete!
Anime Title: Baka to Test to Shokanjuu
Artist: Asou Natsuko, Maeyamada Kenichi
Catalog Number: LACM-4686
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: January 27, 2010
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

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Fantasy Comes Alive – Concert Report


Show »

Track Title Game/Anime
1. Break the Sword of Justice Tsubasa Chronicles
2. Time’s Scar Chrono Cross
3. Granado Espada Medley Granado Espada
4. Kyoudai Fullmetal Alchemist
5. Vampire Killer Castlevania
6.Vamo’alla Flamenco Final Fantasy IX
7. Succeeded Wish Valkyria Chronicles
8. Prime #101, Prime #07 Echochrome
9. Hikari no Senritsu Sora no Woto
10. Never Meant to Belong Bleach
11. Cruel Angel Thesis Neon Genesis Evangelion
12. Aimo ~Tori no Hito Macross Frontier
13. Life’s Merry-Go-Round Howl’s Moving Castle
14. My Neighbour Totoro My Neighbour Totoro
15. Tactics A2 Medley Final Fantasy Tactics
16. Main Theme Odin Sphere
17. Touch Romeo x Juliet
18. Penelo’s Theme Final Fantasy XII
19. Eyes on Me Final Fantasy VIII
20. Tetris Medley Tetris
21. Megaman Medley Megaman
Encore – A Song of Storm and Fire Tsubasa Chronicles
Encore – Cruel Angel Thesis Neon Genesis Evangelion
Encore – Succeeded Wish Valkyria Chronicles

Frankly, I did not have very high hopes for the Fantasy Comes Alive concert. I remember the disastrous experience of the Video Games Live performance where I heard more of fans cheering than proper music. A flip through the programme booklet revealed that it was not even a whole orchestra playing the pieces. As an orchestra freak, I was honestly very disappointed.

However, this was one of the times when I couldn’t be happier that I was wrong. With a repertoire from some of the most well-known games and anime (Final Fantasy, Neon Genesis Evangelion, My Neighbour Totoro and Fullmetal Alchemist, just to name a few), and a surprisingly excellent group of musicians from the local university, the performance was one that I will never forget. [Read more…]

Angel Beats! Insert Song – Crow Song – Review

Album Title: Crow Song
Anime Title: Angel Beats!
Artist: Jun Maeda; Girls Dead Monster: marina
Catalog Number: KSLA-0051
Release Type: Insert Song
Release Date: April 23, 2010
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

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Two Year Mark: Reflections, Inspirations, and an Unboxing!

Time has a weird way of sneaking up on you sometimes. It’s always moving at the same steady rate, but when you turn around to really keep tabs on it, it already seems to have skipped ahead a few months, leaving you to wonder what exactly you’ve achieved while time went on its merry jaunt.

You might be surprised or shocked by what you see since you can never really where you’ll end up. At least, that’s the impression I’ve gotten writing about anime music soundtracks for this site. When I started, there was no grand, cosmic imperative telling me that “THOU SHALT WRITE ABOUT ANIME MUSIC”; it was borne out of a desire to simply connect the music to the material so as to enrich the anime experience on a more personal level. Because of its subjective nature, there’s really not much concrete stuff to go off of in writing about why I liked or dislike a given song or album and I figured to make the best of it. Early on, I often wondered what the hell I was doing since this seemed like a trivial diversion at best. After all, shouldn’t I be concerned about securing my future through more concrete endeavors like trying to get a job promotion? Why burn my spare time doing this?

My simple answer is that I enjoy sharing the joys that I’ve gotten from listening to anime scores and either visualizing the fantastic scenes before me or just reminiscing fondly upon the series’ unforgettable moments. Soundtracks, particularly those for video games and anime, have been something that has always been with me. While I was younger, armed with a cassette tape, I’d play through Final Fantasy VI just to record the music. Once I got into anime, I’d also pay attention to the background music. I might not be eccentric enough to try to record it, but I suppose this blog is the present-day incarnation of that particular obsession. And I do hope that all of you have been able to glean something out of this effort.

Needless to say, I’ve gotten a lot more than I bargained for, given this blog’s modest beginnings. The opportunities that have popped up through channels like the Eminence Symphony Orchestra which then got me connected to Jayson Napolitano, Patrick Gann and the others at Original Sound Version are the more visible aspects of where Anime Instrumentality has taken me. No less important is the interaction with the anime fans, whether it’s here, on other people’s blogs, or elsewhere, and I’m constantly learning something new each day. Whether you’ve left a short comment calling my attention to a soundtrack that merits a look or introducing music that would otherwise not have reached my ears via MALKeionbu, it’s been a great experience all around. There were some tough times like when I had to balance working life with writing on this blog, but on the whole, it’s been gratifying. I look forward to seeing new faces and palling around with the familiar folks over this coming year.

Anniversaries give me a reason to add something new. Last year, we had the MALKeionbu set up so that it’s become a place for people to hang out and show to others some anime track that’s caught their ear. This year… well, I’m not completely sure, but the staff and I are working on something and with due time and effort, I do hope to see it materialize soon.

No, I’m not referring to the unboxing video that I made for ARIA the Box, but if you’re curious as to what was in the soundtrack collection holds, look no further:

Until then, I hope to see you around this corner of the anime fandom! Here’s to a wonderful, memorable year 3!

Anime Music in the Oddest Places – Bloomberg TV

Vacations allow me to get away from a lot of things and I primarily use that time to undergo urban detox by going camping. For the days when I’m not out in the wilderness, I spend that time watching TV in hotel rooms. It seems like the only time I ever touch the TV is when I’m on vacation. That suits me just fine since I make up for that by watching anime the rest of the year anyhow.

Taking a vacation doesn’t get me away from anime music. I’ll blast video game and anime tunes from my iPod when I drive or fly around the country, and that is to be expected. What is unexpected is hearing anime music come out of a 24-hour financial news station. While I was in Portland, I found myself tuning in to Bloomberg TV and more specifically, a show titled “Conversations with Judy Woodruff.” I was somewhat familiar with Judy Woodruff’s work as a journalist, but I was even more familiar with the theme used for her show. Give it a listen, and no, you don’t need to listen to it in its entirety unless you like Paul Volcker; the first 10 seconds will do.

Well, that was a surprise! Maybe some of you recognized it as a work composed by Ryo Kunihiko for the Victorian Romance Emma soundtrack:

The Season

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Now, I didn’t stick around long enough for the credits to roll (it was late and I was tired). All I know is that Charles Tomaras is the show’s sound mixer, which I guess means that he selects the music and puts it all together. Does this mean that either he, or someone on Woodruff’s staff, listens to anime music and might even be an anime fan? Is that person aware of where the melody comes from or was it chosen for the show because it sounds pretty? I’m sure a quick e-mail could answer all of that if I could find out who to contact and how to contact them (the Bloomberg website is labyrinthine in this regard).

Mundane reason or not, as long as Ryo Kunihiko gets a royalty check from Judy Woodruff’s show, that’s all I can really ask for.

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