Kurayami Monogatari

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Let’s Talk Pokemon Gen 7! July Update! pt. 2 July 19, 2016

Filed under: ~Video Game Writing~ — solarblade @ 3:37 pm

It seems like this month is just filled to the brim with news and I suppose I had to make another post about this as this is another batch (If you were looking for initial impressions for Salandit, Kiteruguma (Bewear), or Mimikyu, then look through the previous post!)

  • In the Japanese trailer, we see what might be the use for the new bracelets are and it seems it’s for a 5th moe potentially, we did see Litten, Popplio, and Rowlet use the moves and it seems it stretches to Rockruff.
  • Lapras, Sharpedo, and Tauros were added to Pokemon riding, although the first two might just be using Surf
  • An updated Pokemon-amie is back
  • An updated Hyper Training is back as well, and went on to say that Lvl. 100 Pokemon can still grow their stats.

Bewear

bewear.jpg

It wasn’t really long until we’d get the English names for the Pokemon announced from Corocoro, but this name, Bewear, is kind of hilarious in its own right, especially the whole Pedobear similarity going on.  What we found out is that the new ability Fluffy is being able to take half damage, however in return Fire moves do double damage…so a risk/reward kind of ability!

Mimikyu

mimikyu.jpg

On the other hand, the English name didn’t really change for this adorable thing!  Mimikyu‘s only new news is that its ability is Disguise helps it escape one attack, though it’s appearance changes (which is basically the body tilts over).  Still really adorable though!

Wimpod

wimpod.jpg

Then we got a surprise trailer this morning that included 4 new Pokemon (and Bewear & Mimikyu).  The first shown off is Wimpod and boy does it fit into its name quite correctly.  I liked that it’s actually Bug / Water (which it shares this typing with Surskit).  However it’s ability Wimp Out, makes it so that once it loses half of its HP, it runs away or switches with another Pokemon on your team…this could be a bad Pokemon to deal with, though it does give me hope that it evolves at some point!

Bounsweet

bounsweet.jpg

Did we fuse an Oddish with a Cherubi?  That’s what I feel with this Grass type Bounsweet which looks like its based of a lychee.  Of the four shown off, I actually think it has the least information about it beyond having its abilities being Leaf Guard or Oblivious.

Comfey

comfey.jpg

Reaching for the odd designs in the same vein of Klefki, Comfey is actually based off of the Lei which is pretty strange.  Though like the Florges line, I’m pretty surprised it’s not a Fairy / Grass type but is actually a pure Fairy type.  It does come with a choice of abilities between Flower Veil and the new ability Triage (Restorative moves get +1 priority).  It does sound like it’s the Chansey of the Generation where it heals Pokemon around Alola.

Mudsdale

mudsdale.jpg

A horse Pokemon based off a Clydesdale?  Either way, I have to say it looks pretty cool and being a pure Ground type, it’s going to stand out!  With a choice of Own Tempo and Stamina (Its defense goes up 1 whenever it gets hit).

OK, this time I hope to see you guys again in August!!!!

 

Kobushi Factory – Samba! Kobushi Janeiro/Bacchikoi Seishun!/Ora wa Ninkimono

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 1:40 am

sambakobushijaneiro

Track Listing

  1. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro
  2. Bacchikoi Seishun!
  3. Ora wa Ninkimono
  4. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro (Instrumental)
  5. Bacchikoi Seishun! (Instrumental)
  6. Ora wa Ninkimono (Instrumental)

1. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro

If you couldn’t guess the song and what it’s all about, it’s about the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics!  Hearing the song, it does remind me of a certain recent track by ANGERME, “Asekaite Carnival” as both are samba tracks. but this one lacks the weird inclusion of dubstep!  I really like the festive atmosphere and the heavier pulsing beats that filter through the song and the great brass playing.  Another thing that I found interesting is that when they say Rio, their member Rio Fujii is somewhat involved!  Overall, it’s a catchy song and fits the celebratory feel of the Olympics quite nicely!

2. Bacchikoi Seishun!

Next up is our baseball-themed A-side, Bacchikoi Seishun! and to be honest, it did slightly remind me of “Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin” with the kind of pop/rock sound alongside the members growling some of their lines.  I found myself growing into enjoying the song because initially, it was pretty weak and sounded like some of their previous things.  Though the song’s chorus is what saves it mostly (and Natsumi and Rio’s filtered lines).  Probably my least favorite of the single, but it grows on you.

3. Ora wa Ninkimono

It seems that Kobushi has also fallen into covering different songs, unlike doing Sharam Q and KAN, this time they’re doing a cover of a classic Crayon Shin-chan from 1993!  Kind of was surprised that the group covered such a song, but I really like the energy and spaz moments that come from each of the 8 members.  It’s energetic and surprisingly REALLY catchy! (and let’s be honestly much more vocally there than the original >.>)

Kobushi’s 3rd major single to me is kind of lower than their last single, but definitely not in the league of being poor or bad, it’s still quite strong overall!  I do think that Samba! Kobushi Janeiro & Ora wa Ninkimono were the memorable songs here as they give us new sides of the group we haven’t seen yet and they tackled them both nicely!  Especially that Crayon Shin-chan cover, that was pretty awesome!  As for Bacchikoi Seishun! it’s more or less what we’ve come to expect from the group, so it doesn’t totally stand out to me, but its PV made up for that luckily!  So…where’s our album and more importantly where’s “TEKI”?

 

PUFFY – Puffy People Yama July 11, 2016

Filed under: PUFFY — solarblade @ 5:06 am

pafipipoyama

Track Listing

  1. Puffy People Yama
  2. COLORFUL WAVE SURFERS
  3. COCO Hawaii
  4. Puffy People Yama -instrumental-
  5. COLORFUL WAVE SURFERS -instrumental-
  6. COCO Hawaii -instrumental-

1. Puffy People Yama

I wasn’t sure what PUFFY were up to as they came back from their hiatus and Puffy People Yama is an interesting track the fuses their pop/rock punk sound with some traditional Japanese instrumentation which is pretty exciting.  Add on the rapping section and I was just bouncing along to the track and it was just so fun and upbeat and brings back Ami and Yumi to where they were just bringing the energy.

2. COLORFUL WAVE SURFERS

Hey! I was curious to see this appear on the single as it was released digitally before the single.  Though I was kind of hoping for some rad beach-rock song or some reason but it feels a little more controlled than the A-side which is actually surprising.  I mean, the track is still decent and true to the duo, but I found the quirky sound of the leading track to still be better.

3. COCO Hawaii

Which is bizarre because the other track on the single has a beach-like feel to it.  The whole island-vibe is underlined by piano and some drums, but the tune makes me want to frolic across the beach and just have a good time!  It’s a good track overall and like “Party People Yama” makes me think the duo had a second wind!

 

 

PUFFY to me was pretty missed when they announced the hiatus after “Tomodachi no Wao!” and then came back with “Datsu Dystopia” and then a big space before this single.  While I don’t know where they are in singles for a new album because of the long stretch of time between the singles, I feel like Party People Yama is their best single in a long time.  Both the leading track and COCO Hawaii are really nice songs and don’t ask for too much beyond giving an energetic performance.  COLORFUL WAVE SURFERS was one of the more safer songs they put out, but altogether made a good single!  I just wonder when we’ll get the next album!

 

Kyarypamyupamyu – Into Darkness

Filed under: Kyarypamyupamyu — solarblade @ 4:46 am

intodarkness

Track Listing

  1. Into Darkness

1. Into Darkness

While I know that it’s more of a Nakata and J.J. Abrams track (as that’s the artists are), I feel like it’s also Kyary’s because she’s the one singing here.  Anyways, Into Darkness was an interesting step for Nakata due to the arrangement having a more foreboding and chilling sound than any of his other works (at the time).  That said, this darker electro sound was also quite something we would’ve expected Kyarypamyupamyu to be involved in as it’s WAY different to stuff we get.  Anyways, Kyary only sings in two short verses in the song which is a bummer because those are far and beyond the best parts of the track.  Rest of the track is mostly Nakata’s arrangement and a robotic voice repeating the title of the track.  Not bad, but I think there could’ve been more to the track.

 

 

So as this digital single was released right after Kyarypamyupamyu’s “Nanda Collection”, this song at the time was something unheard of from her fans (although “Fashion Monster” is probably the closest she had gotten at the time.  Into Darkness is an interesting rarity here with its tie-in to the Star Trek: Into Darkness movie that was out.  Honestly I kind of wish she and Nakata did something like this again, but ever since, her sound has kept up her cutesy side for the most part >.<

 

Kou Shibasaki – Yasei no Doumei

Filed under: Kou Shibasaki — solarblade @ 4:28 am

yasei no doumei

Track Listing

  1. Yasei no Doumei
  2. Memento Diary
  3. Ai to Smile Ai to Smile
  4. Yasei no Doumei (Instrumental)
  5. Memento Diary (Instrumental)
  6. Ai to Smile Ai to Smile (Instrumental)

1. Yasei no Doumei

When I saw that Shiina Ringo was involved with Kou’s next A-side, I was pretty excited because Shiina’s sound is so unique and brings great things to songs.  With Yasei no Doumei, I was quite surprised with the almost Tokyo Jihen-like feel I got, but it has Kou’s soft vocals filtered throughout.  Then the chorus hits and it’s a strange mix of major and minor chords that it just excites me all over.  While it might not be as exciting as “Love Searchlight” was, it’s pretty decent and nice to have in her discography.

2. Memento Diary

Talking about that past A-side, I feel like the first B-side, Memento Diary kind of walks along the same genre and sounds.  I do like the ethereal feel mixed with the guitar flickering and once again drawn in by Kou’s vocals.  The chorus is a bit more rockin’ although a bit short to say the least.  I kind of dug the song, it’s pretty interesting.

3. Ai to Smile Ai to Smile

I wasn’t sure what to make of the 2nd B-side here especially with the intro that has all kinds of weird bells and whistles trying to make a melody.  Though once the acoustic guitar and Kou join in, the song becomes a lot more pleasant and just has this certain walk in the park kind of groove going on.  It’s a quirky and cute song and it turned out well!

 

 

As I hadn’t reviewed this, the 3rd single of the era, Yasei no Doumei feels rather experimental yet so true to Kou’s sound.  Yasei no Doumei is pretty interesting and the whole shifting between chords caught my attention the most.  Memento Diary feels a little bit like “Love Searchlight” and some of the material that was on “CIRCLE CYCLE” with a little synth but a little pop/rock too!  Ai to Smile Ai to Smile though was my favorite here with it’s sunny atmosphere and cute vibes (even if there’s weird things going on with the melody).  Overall great single!

 

Nana Mizuki – STARTING NOW!

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 2:42 am

startingnow

Track Listing

  1. STARTING NOW!
  2. Antiphona
  3. Rensou Hanabi

1. STARTING NOW!

Kicking the single off, STARTING NOW! surprisingly changes things up by moving away from the synth and dramatic anison songs and we’re given a fun and bright pop/rock tune (which is many of her B-sides ironically in the past).  I do love the chorus and synth usage is used a bit there too!  It just feels like Nana has a whole lot of fun doing this song and I can’t blame her because it’s just refreshing and catchy in one package!

2. Antiphona

Though if you were looking for the style that Nana has been doing for a long while, Antiphona might fill that void on this single.  While it’s not overly dramatic and Nana isn’t going hardcore, this song is pretty much in the middle of the road for me.  I think it’s simply from the slower tempo, but I think it’s just alright for the moment!

3. Rensou Hanabi

As the 2nd B-side, Rensou Hanabi might be the longest track off the single (at over 5 minutes), it’s also kind of the forgettable song here.  It takes the slightly similar style that “STARTING NOW!” has but lowers it a bit and makes it more of a mid-tempo pop/rock track.  It could really use a boost of energy and a fire on its butt to just make it at least be memorable but this song is just meh for me.

 

 

Being the first single after her “SMASHING ANTHEMS” album, STARTING NOW! is an OK single for me.  Of course the leading track was the highlight here being upbeat and bright for the summer months.  Antiphona and Rensou Hanabi are on the lower end of things but they aren’t terrible, just kind of there for the single…

 

VIXX – Hana Kaze

Filed under: VIXX — solarblade @ 2:21 am

hanakaze

Track Listing

  1. Hana Kaze
  2. MOONLIGHT
  3. Hana Kaze (Instrumental)
  4. MOONLIGHT (Instrumental)

1. Hana Kaze

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting VIXX to release a ballad as an A-side this early in their Japanese careers.  Though this does means that the group gets to showcase their vocals in a much more broader light in a song like this.  The song’s arrangement though is pretty basic as things go with piano/strings/percussion.  Though I’m noticing a pattern with the group where Leo & Ken sing mostly in choruses as N, Hyuk, and Hong Bin sing the verses.  Actually, I’m a little surprised there’s no Ravi involved here (and if he is, his voice blends to other voices).  Still, I’m not quite as impressed with this when compared to both of their previous A-sides.

2. MOONLIGHT

Though not much could be really said for the B-side.  I will say, that the song has a little more pop vibes than “Hana Kaze” to say the least.  I’m really liking the vocals here a bit more as well hearing N and Hyuk flow so smoothly and then the chorus with Leo & Ken is also quite moving and even Ravi has a rap section in the track!  This actually the preferred song from the single!

I wasn’t expecting VIXX to come back and release more Japanese singles after their “Depend on me” album but here we are with Hana Kaze.  Honestly, I really wasn’t expecting a ballad (since the group excels at dark and edgy motifs) and in the end I found the leading track to be almost generic in many ways.  Though I would give credit to MOONLIGHT for at least trying to do something different and ending up being the better song…wonder what’ll be next…

 

 
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