Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Anime music’

“Take the plunge, do not waiver”

“Take the plunge, do not waiver”  Inspirational lyrics (translated) from the militaristic opening theme song for Knights of Sidonia !  I needed inspiration as I binge-watched this anime series on July 5th.  It is a “Made for NETFLIX” series, and it is wonderful. I am happy that I found an anime series that I liked … and it is NOT several years old.  I’m re-watching again as I type this.  I will share the trailer here.

Note to my friends: When I drafted this post I originally included the theme songs. These have been removed from YouTube by RECORD INDUSTRY WEASELS.  Sorry.  I will re-post in the comments if they ever become available again. 

Marathon-watching a series is a good way to watch an anime.  It is fun to stay up all night — not intentionally — but when the series is good, you always want to watch just one more episode.  By then, you are close to finishing.  You cannot leave until the climactic final episode is seen!  You could view “NOS” as a six-hour movie, just skip the opening and closing credits/theme songs.  The themes are part of the fun however.  When an opening theme is good, it fires you up for another episode!

The story is set over a thousand years in the future.  Humans have abandoned Earth, after it was destroyed by gigantic aliens known as “Gauna”.  These monsters look like giant fleas the size of a city.  Oddly, they also mimic the form of other things, such as a spaceship or a human.  This series is based on a well-respected manga of the same name, however in the anime, not a lot is explained about who/what the Guana are. Actually a lot of things were not explained, but it is still fun! 

Humanity has left Earth in massive spaceships created from the remains of our planet.  This anime follows the spaceship “Sidonia” which apparently was the lifeboat which preserves Japan’s culture.  There is a lot of Japanese cultural references made here.   (One negative reviewer on Netflix complained that there were not any black people aboard Sidonia. Weird.)

Other aspects of the future:  Human cloning and asexual reproduction are possible.  You know how many characters all look the same in anime?  Well, here you have clones, so following the characters may be very difficult at first.  There are also some that are “bi-gender”–  not male or female … until they choose a mate.  I actually found a way to tell the bi-genders from the female characters:  If they had big boobs that bobbled around delightfully – they were female.

Also, human bioengineering was utilized to produce human photosynthesis.  These future humans do not have to eat, but they often have to take off their clothes and sunbathe.  Fortunately they only show the women doing this.  Also, they are all light-skinned Japanese.  (Another negative Netflix reviewer complained that the series was in Japanese only, and that they “did not read” so they could not watch it.  WRONG! You can watch the English dub option, and there is also a Spanish dub available if you habla.)

you were up

Anyway, these giant “Guana” are always trying to destroy Sidonia.  The main spaceship is protected by anthro-morphic spaceship jetfighters called the ”Gardes”.  Young people in the surviving human population are screened and drafted as Garde pilots at a young age — if they are capable of piloting them.  The story follows the exploits of Nagate Tanikaze, a gifted Garde pilot.  Nagate was actually raised in an “underground” layer of Sidonia.   Growing up with his grandfather, he encountered few other humans in these hidden labyrinths. He trains himself in an old Guardian pilot simulator every day, eventually mastering it. After his grandfather’s death he is found by the people above and is eventually selected as a Guardian pilot. The Sidonia’s Captain hopes he will defend Sidonia from Gauna attacks using all the combat expertise he learned.  Nagate is bullied by some of the other pilots, because he is not bio-engineered — and cannot photosynthesize.  Is there a “harem” for our lovable-loser-anime-male-main-character?  Yes, a great looking female pilot (Hoshijiro-san)  falls in love with him, and another bi-gender girl (Izana-chan) also loves him secretly, and another trainee (Yuhata-chan) adores him on a professional level.  Does he do anything about it?  Well how do all of these anime hero-protagonists behave?  It is the battles that are the main drama in this series.  Someone always gets killed.

Characters

Characters: Click to view larger.

Oh, and there is a talking bear.  Unbelievably, ANOTHER negative Netflix reviewer complained that “the talking bear did not make any sense.”

Do not let these negative reviews sway you.  I will let you see the rest for yourself .  NOS is the only “NETFLIX original series” that I have ever enjoyed fully.  I have seen some of the other “made for Netflix” series.  Meh. While I finished some of them, I felt like I wasted my time with ___.  (You can fill in the names of those other made-for-Netflix shows.)

Starlight?  No this was Sunlight.

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Favorite Anime Songs Part I: Openings and Endings

Favorite Anime Songs Part I: Openings and Endings

A great anime has a great opening and ending theme! The opening song fires you up about watching the episode, and a good end-theme makes you want to watch more. (Just one more episode tonight … please!!!) I am going to present a list of SOME of my favorite anime series opening themes and ending theses. This is not a list of my favorite all-time, and they are not ranked in order.  Some are the entire song.  They make great MP3s!  Also, for some of these I have included only the anime openings/endings as they are seen in the anime (some with credits, some without). I have also included “full versions” of some songs, especially when they are worthwhile. Thanks go to the original YouTubers for posting. Also, thanks to all their lawyers, the lawyers of the original artists, the YouTube lawyers, and any other lawyers who may become involved.

KINOS JOURNEY:  One of my all-time favorites. I never wanted it to end. The continuing story of a girl, her talking motorcycle, and not making any judgments. The opening is “All The Way” by Mikuni Shimokawa. The ending is “The Beautiful World” by Ai Maeda. I’ve included the full songs; both are hauntingly beautiful, just like the series.

CHOBITS: One of my favorite all-time series! “Let Me Be With You” was a great opening theme, and is on the great album “In April” by Round Table featuring Nino. There are actually two end themes. The first is the “Reason For Being”. What the hey, I am also including the Rie Tanaka music video “Ningyo Hime” for the second ending. Both end songs are great.

RUROUNI KENSHIN: Really takes me back. Is this the best anime series ever? The opening theme “Freckles” always fires me up. You can also find the English version on the YouTube links. The later seasons also had different openings and endings. The second ending was always my favorite. Enjoy the full song “Namida wa Shiite Iru” by Mayo Suzukaze.

STRAWBERRY PANIC: What can one say about this landmark series? Here is the full opening song “Shoujo Meiro De Tsukamaete” by Aki Misato. There were different end themes. It was a tough decision , so I went with the more colorful one. “Ichigo Tsumi Monogatan” by actresses Mai Nakahara and Ai Shimizu.

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL: I’ve included this one for variety.  The anime was a great idea, but not fully pulled off.  It is very interesting to see that they were not afraid to use that ancient Buddhist symbol for this anime series. … and what was that cat drinking? I like the opening much better than the ending, but it is here for completeness sake.

BAMBOO BLADE: A very cute anime about a girl’s high school Kendo team. Often overlooked, it had great Jpop/disco opening and ending themes. (And I HATED disco!). I have included the “full versions” of “Bamboo Beat” and “Star Rise” here.

SAMURAI 7: I’ve saved the best for last. This is my answer when I am asked “What was your favorite anime?”. The opening and ending are both great. The opening is “Unlimited” by Aikawa Nanese. WOW! WOW!! WOW!!! It always energies me. The haunting end theme “Fuhen” is by Rin. So sad, but so beautiful.

NOW I WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN!

It took varying lengths of time (four to sixteen years) for the starlight from this star cluster to reach my world.

“Clean up on isle three … Strange person on isle five”

Nino went shopping!

Would you like to make your next trip to the grocery store just that much more interesting?

Download this song to your cell phone music player!  (If you want, I can even buy you the song, and send it to you.)  The song is “Book End Bossa” by the Japanese electronica-pop group Round Table featuring Nino.  This song is from their great 2003 album “April” which plumbed various musical styles of the 1970s.  If you are looking for something in the Shibuya-kei genre, I highly recommend it.

Anime fans will recognize this song as the interlude and “walking around town” music from the groundbreaking anime series “Chobits” (2002).  Chi and Hideki would go out shopping for Hideki’s “Yummis” etc. to this music.  I got to thinking that this would be great for the grocery store.

The song is in the  bossa nova style, and it is one of  the band’s more unique tunes.  Notice that although the song is by a Japanese pop group, there is no Japanese language.   There is only  the “ba-ba-ba-ba-da-ba ba ba”  which is understandable in any language.

Here’s what you do:

1. Load the song in your phone.

2. Make sure that you have good headphones (this is key).

3. Make sure you have a shopping cart with smooth wheels (also very important).

4. Go to the grocery store (does not work at Wal-Mart or HomeDepot)

5. Cruise up and down the isles.  When the song gets to the Vox organ part you will feel as if you are in a romantic comedy movie montage – trust me!

Hope you have a good time at the grocery store.  Hopefully you will be inspired to check out more of Round Table featuring Nino, as well as the wonderful “Chobits” anime series.  Even Netflix has it on streaming!

This starlight took more than 10 years to reach my world!

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