Kill Me Baby OST + Goshiki Agiri being sensual.

Holy cow. Normally I wouldn’t dedicate a single post upon listening to an anime OST unless it was damn good (e.g. Baccano, Bamboo Blade, Cowboy Bebop) or simply sounded like a normal concept album that I’d actually pick up and listen to, and not some kind of string of musics that were obviously written for a section of an episode.

My ears nearly exploded when I heard Koutei Oudan Kousoku Tetsudou (track 10). It was a mind-bending, psychedelic, free jazz song crushed into a minute, written to sound like a song that a Japanese Alan Pasqua that couldn’t catch the train fast enough and had dropped his favorite pastry in the process, thus making him miss the opportunity to play in the Mahavishnu Orchestra resulting in a bad mood, would have written. For some reason I don’t recognize the track at all. Which is a probably a big indicator that I haven’t finished the series. I should promptly get on that, but there’s so much other things to do. Like play Skyrim and Vindictus.

The rest of the OST is unfortunately very much OST-like, and just sounds like the sound engineer dicking around with a chaos pad, sine waves, moderate amounts of experimental Polka beats, and a little bit of bossa nova for good measure. It’s all appropriate for what the show was and somewhat entertaining to listen to, but it ain’t some magical score that elevates a show to higher tiers of awesome. It also has a track that suddenly gets all Andy McKee on us. What.

Additionally, the Goshiki Agiri character album has a prime example of the silly voice within an anime getting a song completely not befitting of it’s primary function. Maybe it’s just me being a faggot for the very heavy usage of traditional Japanese scales combined with dat moé pop sheen music production, along with Takabe Ai’s Agiri voice. But dammit, “Teenage High School Ninja Girl” is such an earworm of a song. It’s a very potent mixture if you can appreciate a joke song coincidentally being written by professional musicians. Go find the FLAC files for it because the placebo effect of realizing it’s 31MB for a 4 minute song will probably help. The lyrics sound inane, but who cares? It’s like Agiri whispering into your ears. It’s very pleasant to listen to, as well as highly arousing. (YMMV)

And have a Sonya tripping over herself in a moé fashion because all maids do it so they can sue you for logistical, geographical and philosophical harassment.

The ED is also good. Go memorize that dance and perform it live at AnimeExpo 2012; you’ll be youtube superstars.

Kill Me Baby OST + Goshiki Agiri being sensual.

Another Miku concert I almost missed.

Now now, Miku.. I say another one, but really, I missed one I wasn’t able to watch to begin with anyway. Your people didn’t want others to record the show. And there was no livestream. Stop looking like a copyrighted series that I’m currently watching.

Aside from acting like a faggot just now, there’s another Hatsune Miku concert going on. HATSUNE MIKU LIVE PARTY from Singapore happens this Friday at 19:00, for us west coasters in the US that ends up as 3am. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure if it’s going to be any different. Perhaps the setlist will have a few new songs. It’s interesting to note that I have another Vocaloid related post right behind this one, highlighting the composer NantokaP (kiichi). Maybe I’ll have my wish granted. This I’m sure won’t happen because I’ve checked the view counts on nicovideo and they’re paltry compared to the songs that make the live concert setlists.

So is there a reason to watch this one? It’s already cheaper than the previous livestream. I remember paying around $18 USD last time, and now it’s $11. The cost of a lunch from where ever. I think I can skip food to watch a lithe Miku dance in front of me with the support of a damn good live band. If it’s the same guys as seen from the AX2011 and the original 39s-Giving Day showing, then you can bet your ass (or other equally valuable asset) I’m watching it.

Besides, I already laid down the 11 quid to watch the livestream. Can’t go back now.

***

I’ll also take this time to reference the image above. It’s a Hatsune Miku drawn in the style that has been used in Denpa Onna to Seishuun Otoko and more recently Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai. If you’ve crawled danbooru for a while and other anime related imageboards, you’ll probably know the artist Buriki. I first took note of the artist when I found his Touhou fanart — most notably the one where Nitori and Cirno do a hit-and-run skirt flip on Sakuya. (Since when is a skirt flip not hit-and-run? If you’re not running away, it’s just revealing girls’ panties. Oh, technicalities.) It’s been thanks to the adaptations of his art that there’s a noticeable difference in character art.

Lips. They’re drawing lips on the characters. Normally they’re drawn only when there’s a need to draw attention to the lips, or it’s a close-up. Even then, a lot of anime simply don’t draw the lips. Sometimes a character is lucky enough for it to be a focal point of their design (e.g. Mamimi from FLCL). It seems a little silly to give some praise for such a minor detail. However small it is, people took note to realize these character designs looked significantly different from the modern crop of anime. So to that, I salute the original artist and character designers for both series.

Sometimes I can’t tell if my standards are falling, or it’s just me getting hooked on an art gimmick. Maybe it’s both.

UPDATE: I misreported the time as 3pm PST, when it’s actually 3am for those in PST. The concert starts at 19:00 this Friday (11/11) in Singapore. It has been corrected in the post.

Another Miku concert I almost missed.

Music Spotlight: Not your usual Miku.


niconico link: sm14639636

Before you’ve reached even this far down this post, I assume you’ve listened, or are reading this while listening to the above music. I hope you’ve reached the same conclusion as me: “Sure sounds a lot like Radiohead.” Even if you don’t make the same connection, it’s not the usual upbeat Vocaloid music.

So is it really that different from any similar Vocaloid music? It’s a sound I hear all the time in the rock space of music: shoegazing and what not. But I hardly ever get to hear it in the Vocaloid community. It’s detached from the usual cheery stuff. All of the Vocaloid music I had been listening to are generally of the lighter-hearted and cheery sounding music. It’s meant to energize — even if the lyrics are to be interpreted as scary or anything other than optimistic. More importantly to me, the song I’m linking to is a Vocaloid being used for a focused sound: sinister and moody. The effectiveness of a voice among it’s own kind of instruments — synthesized — is incredibly powerful. The sounds of synthesizers amplify Miku’s ability to reach eerie tones, something I normally thought was reserved for the analog and living.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Vocaloid stuff. I’ve been around the stuff for a while, but it wasn’t until the last month or two that I decided to invest time into looking for Vocaloid music.  I gravitate towards the stuff that’s not very catchy nor flashy. I’ve found that I really like the music that uses the Vocaloid music banks — which we all recognize as characters (e.g. Miku, Luka, Rin, Len, Kaito) — as another instrument.

Yes, the previous statement sounds obvious, but there’s a fairly distinct and detectable difference between Vocaloid composers. On one hand, there are those who prefer writing lyric centric songs and have the kind of melody and backing that’s intended for the voice to stand out. In most cases, this is what people do. It is an easier way to write music for Vocaloid, and in no way do I dislike it. There’s plenty of songs that I’ve heard that are very good that take this route. Songs like Ura-Omote Lovers by wowoka and World Is Mine by Ryo are driven by the voice and lyrics, which should already be emphasized by the mix.

Then there’s the ones that feel like they’re written with instruments before Vocaloid is taken into account. To some, the order of things is writing the instrumentation first, then implement the voice, and later, back and forth tweaking to compliment the ranges and mood within the song. Often these songs have to be imaginative about structure and implement flourishes within the song to keep it interesting. Sometimes you can hear the vocals being mixed into the music at low volume, as if to the hide the lyrics. The melody might not be as catchy, but it fits right in with the rest of the instruments — never feeling like it’s stepping over heads just to be heard, nor is it way in the back to fly under the radar. Kiichi, a.k.a. NantokaP, is the kind that does this. Should be no surprise since he’s done BGM for games such as Corpse Party. Admittedly, while I’ve been addicted to his music, I’m not sure it would fit in a Hatsune Miku live concert. Wouldn’t complain if it showed up.

Keep an eye out for kiichi’s music. The caliber of his compositions are nothing to sneeze at, unless you’re near allergens and can’t help it. Speaking of which, kiichi wrote Fluticasone, a great song featuring Luka. Straight from wikipedia, fluticasone is a synthetic glutocorticoid that acts as an anti-inflammatory. The more common variant is fluticasone propionate, which is used to treat asthma and hay fever.

.. What a derail.

I suggest using this link to get an mp3. Just in case you folks want to download it.

Music Spotlight: Not your usual Miku.

Miku hungers. (No, it’s not that stupid hotdog commercial.)

I was hungry and decided to celebrate this with a song. Both music and art done by one of my favorite artists, Nagian. A cute song that will either make you hungry, d’awww at Miku, or be angry for some absurd and irrational reason.

I’ll have to go hunting for roasted sweet potato someday.

Because we all know they roam the grassy plains of where ever they are, waiting to be impaled with throwing spears.

Miku hungers. (No, it’s not that stupid hotdog commercial.)

Mawaru Penguindrum 1 & 2

It’s a fresh anime! So it’s now time to look at new anime like everyone else has been doing. Do I have a unique outlook? Probably not. Give me page views, please.

Very clean and solid animation, thanks to Brains Base doing the production, so in terms of visual appeal it’s alright. I do remember there being a show of questionably and wildly variable quality done by Brains Base. (Looking at you Akikan.) It seems they’ve also smartly avoided unnecessary expenditures by drawing other humans as mere sign icons. Quite reinforces that clean look — I like it. It remains looking like a regular anime, but with a strong enough style that sets itself apart. As long as the show doesn’t try to ride solely on it’s initial inertia, I think it’ll do fine.

Wait. Nothing about the blushing girl?

Mawaru Penguindrum 1 & 2