Kurayami Monogatari

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GENERATION 4: What happened here? May 19, 2015

Filed under: ~Teh Pokemon: 4th Gen~ — solarblade @ 7:45 pm

Yeah, it’s been a while hasn’t it?  I’m going to try to finish up Gen 4 before the end of the week so let’s get started with this batch (which works because all of them are evolutions of previous Pokemon.  Before you wonder, I’ll do the ORAS Megas but they’ll be put into the Gen 6 section.

075: Weavile

weavile

First in this lineup, we have Weavile which is the evolution of Sneasel by leveling it up at night while holding the Razor Claw item.  Now, I love Sneasel and is one of my favorites that came from Johto.  Once I say Weavile though, it’s OK, but nothing too impressive besides being faster and stronger.  The headdress thing is a little strange too, but it’s not bad (the same feeling I had for Mismagius).

076: Magnezone

magnezone

Next up is Magnezone (the evolution for Magneton).  Once again I ended up feeling like Magneton was OK and this was just added fluff, but I do like its design overall and I did use one in Pokemon Y at the Elite Four so not all is lost on Magnezone.  Though I find it funny that the games nowadays HAVE to have a place for it (and Probopass) because their method of evolution is leveling up in an area where there’s high magnetism: Mt. Coronet in Sinnoh, Chargestone Cave in Unova, Route 13 in Kalos, and New Mauville in ORAS).

077: Lickilicky

lickylicky

I will never understand why some of these Pokemon in Sinnoh got such odd evolution as in the case of Lickilicky.  Evolving it by teaching it the move Rollout and leveling up, I never thought much of this guy.  Sure, I do love Lickitung (plus I caught a Shiny one in Y), but I have no interest to evolving it to this thing that has a wi-fi symbol on its body.  I know it’s stronger, but just not interesting.

078: Rhyperior

rhyperior

Another strange decision, I guess Rhydon wasn’t enough of a powerhouse already and gave it an evoluton (by trading with the held item Protector on).  Though I do think of interest, it does have a move unique only to Rhyperiors and that’s Rock Wrecker.  I still think it was just adding more power on to it, but Rhyperior isn’t a terrible design, just an odd choice.

079: Tangrowth

tangrowth

Like Lickitung, Tangela (a one-stage Pokemon) also for some reason got an evolution of Tangrowth (obtained by teaching it Ancient Power and leveling it up).  Yeah same feelings applied here, I don’t think Tangela necessarily needed an evoluton and the ending result is more or less nothing spectacular.

080: Electivire

electrivire

At this point I’ve started to notice that most of these evolutions are of from the Kanto Pokemon, though before the game was out we only really knew of Electivire (evolves by trading it with the held item, Electirizer).  I actually love this design a lot and makes a lot of sense after trading Electabuzz.  The cable antennae are a bit odd at first, but I grew to love it and much prefer this over most of the other evolutions we got in this generation.

081: Magmortar

magmortar

I thought by far in 4th Gen, Magmortar had the worst look.  I mean it doesn’t even look like its previous forms (Magby & Magmar) and looks more like a denied DBZ character.  I don’t think it needed the weird arm cannons and while I know it’s a rival to Electabuzz, I think they could’ve done better here.  Also its obtained similarly to the previous Pokemon by trading it while it’s holding the item, Magmarizer.  Ick…

082: Togekiss

togekiss

Finally an evolution not based on something previous in Kanto.  Though like most of the others, I didn’t feel like Togetic needed an evolution (by the way, gained by giving it the Shiny Stone).  I’m not sure what they were going for with Togekiss.  It looks like a plane and a bird, but it looks a little plump there.  I suppose it’s cute, but I think Sugumori’s artwork here is making it look awkward…

083: Yanmega

yanmega

Even Yanma gets an evolution?  It turned something that I thought was really cute and gave it a demonic evolution in Yanmega, which I’m not complaining about, but damn does that look scary.  Just like Tangrowth, you can get one of these by teaching it Ancient Power and leveling it up.  Neat evolution and definitely say dragonfly (even though it doesn’t gain the Dragon type sadly).

084: Leafeon, 085: Glaceon

leafeonglaceon

Seems we get another batch of Eevee evolutions in Gen 4 covering Grass and Ice types respectively.  I personally like Leafeon’s design much more than Glaceon (but I feel like the latter looks mad basic for some reason).  Though what’s odd about the two is the way to get them.  You have to go to a Moss Rock or an Icy Rock (which are placed in different places in Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, and ORAS Hoenn).  Overall. not bad and great additions to a growing evolutionary lineup.

086: Gliscor

gliscor

Even Gligar gets an evolution with Gliscor (which you can get by leveling in the night while holding the Razor Fang).  I remember him mostly because Ash has one in the Anime.  Very cool Pokemon for sure and has the cool looks going on!

087: Mamoswine

mamoswine

As the evolved form from Piloswine (after teaching it Ancient Power and leveling it up), Mamoswine while based on a mammoth (I think) didn’t exactly interest me either.  I do know that it is one of the few rideable Pokemon in X/Y so I suppose that’s a thing…

088: Porygon-Z

porygonz

Talk about a Pokemon that is so mundane to obtain.  I mean you already have to trade it over once to get Porygon2 while it’s holding an item, but doing it again for Porygon-Z is just adding salt to the wound.  It’s kind of goofy looking with its eyes and the triangular body too.  I liked Porygon2’s duck look, but I’m not sure where GameFreak was wanting to take this design.

089: Gallade

gallade

Hey we finally get an answer to why male Ralts end up as Gardevoir.  I suppose the whole gender situation came front and GameFreak decided to branch out and let Kirlia (depending on male or female) split paths.  The male Kirlia (which still looks too feminine) now evolves into Gallade by use of a Dawn Stone.  It also changes its typing to Psychic/Fighting (sharing it with the Medicham line).  One of the cooler designs by far!

Though in ORAS to compensate that Gardevoir got a Mega Evolution in X/Y, Gallade also gained one and it looks pretty badass and makes for an epic knight!

090: Probopass

probopass

Yup, Nosepass…and it gets an evolution that reminds me too much of Mr. Potato Head with a big ass moustache.  It evolves the same way Magneton does (by a location where there’s a lot of magnetism around) it’s such a strange look and to be fair, it does get the added typing of Steel so that’s good I suppose lol.

091: Dusknoir

dusknoir

Another Pokemon that I didn’t expect an evolution for, Dusclops (traded while holding the Reaper Cloth) now evolves into Dusknoir and it looks badass XD.  At first I thought the face was the middle, but that’s I guess a fake face to scare people off.  Definitely a cool Pokemon overall and another awesome Ghost type.

092: Froslass

froslass

As the final Pokemon of this post, we have Froslass which is a split evolution from Snorunt (Strange, since Glalie totally doesn’t look like this).  Only female Snorunts can evolve to Froslass by a Dawn Stone.  Personally, it’s one of my favorite Pokemon of all time, having a unique typing of Ice/Ghost.  Plus it just wrecks things nicely (plus I own a Shiny Froslass) so it’s definitely badass.  Strange by giving a split evolution (like Gallade) but both really hit it out of the park.

NEXT TIME: LEGENDARIES (OH SO MANY)

 

Cupitron – Battery May 13, 2015

Filed under: Cupitron — solarblade @ 2:57 am

battery

Track Listing

  1. Battery
  2. WARP WARP (Regular only)
  3. Pi Po Pa Talk (Regular only)
  4. Denshi Keisanki no Yume (Limited only)
  5. Battery (Instrumental)
  6. WARP WARP (Instrumental)
  7. Pi Po Pa Talk (Instrumental)
  8. Denshi Keisanki no Yume (Instrumental)

1. Battery

Seems like the trio is returning with Battery and I think they finally got a good sound going for them that didn’t sound so off like with “Unicorn Parade”.  This song is still pretty much covered by a whole lot of auto-tune, synths, and everything you’d expect from a futuristic group.  It’s very cool and the arrangement is pretty damn enticing.  Not bad for their 2nd A-side to be honest.

2. WARP WARP

While I didn’t care too much for the B-sides off their last single, I was hoping for something more for this single.  Like “Battery”, WARP WARP is pretty futuristic sounding too and a lot less cute sounding which is nice!  While it’s hard to tell which of the three is singing which part, the tune is pretty adventurous and makes me think of space travel.  I quite liked this song to be honest…one of the better techno songs of late.

3. Pi Pa Po Talk

Though, I have to say that I was expecting one of the songs to be along more of their cute side and this one sounds like it.  Actually the tune ironically reminds me of something early Perfume would have LOVED to have sung.  I do love how much the arrangement sounds as it gives much more life than the previous tracks did.

4. Denshi Keisanki no Yume

The limited edition does come with a different B-side (sad there wasn’t two though).  Denshi Keisanki no Yume sounds like a bit like “WARP WARP” which is OK, but the vocals are actually a bit more alive here so I’m more invested to follow it.  It’s a pretty cool song and probably my favorite of the single!

Wow, with how little I was interested in “Unicorn Parade”, I was pleasantly surprised they picked themselves up for their 2nd single, Battery.  All four songs are pretty awesome sounding technopop songs and whoever produced the single, totally worked wonders here.  I can’t wait to see their 3rd single!

 

You Kikkawa – Hana

Filed under: You Kikkawa — solarblade @ 2:18 am

hana

Track Listing

  1. Hana
  2. Hana (Instrumental)

1. Hana

Lord Kikka!!, why would you go and make a 17 minute song and proclaim it’s the longest idol song out there?!?  Yeah, 17 minutes, but split into 3 parts.  It begins with the 1st movement, “Hinageshi no You ni” which has a pretty cool opening but turns into a happier pop tune before going into an interesting “Bohemian Rhapsody”-like section which was pretty humourous yet fun to listen to before jumping back into its poppy nature.  Then we get some spoken dialogue before we enter the ballad of the tune, “Anemone no ne”. I do think it’s the weakest area of the song, but it’s also the nicest her voice sounds.  I don’t seem to recall much of this section though so oh well.  Finally after another round of dialogue, we enter the final movement, “Cosmos e no Inori” and this is the area where a lot of Kikka’s current sound lies so it’s more familiar than the other two.  Giving it the electro boost is pretty cool and really suits amongst her other A-sides she released so far in the era.  I’m loving the part where acoustic guitar joins alongside the blazing synths as well.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting Kikka to even announce something like this but it felt like a 3-song single because of how different each movement sound.  I personally love Cosmos e no Inori a lot because it continues her streak of really great sounding electro songs.  Hinageshi no You ni is pretty neat to and throwing so many ideas caught my attention early on.  Though I have to say, Anemone no ne was kind of the weak link since I barely remembered that…Interesting single, though I hope by album’s release these 3 songs split and become their own track.

 

Nana Mizuki – Angel Blossom

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 1:53 am

angelblossom

Track Listing

  1. Angel Blossom
  2. Lazy Syndrome
  3. Ashita graffiti

1. Angel Blossom

Wow, not even a few seconds and it feels like things were already moving on with Angel Blossom.  Listening onwards, the song does sound like something that we’ve heard from Nana multiple times before with such dramatic strings and bright vocals.  With the sheer amount of similar songs of this nature, it was hard to find myself remembering the melody out of this one.  At least it’s an easier listen than “Eden” was so I guess you can say it was an upgrade.

2. Lazy Syndrome

Let’s hope the B-sides are better!  Starting with Lazy Syndrome, the tune has a more rock-laced arrangement that almost made me think of Stereopony for some reason which is great because I also tend to enjoy Nana’s rock tunes.  It’s a very intricate tune and Nana.  This was definitely the preferred song off the single, how odd.

3. Ashita graffiti

I was thinking the 2nd B-side would’ve been a ballad considering the tune translated is “Tomorrow graffiti”, though I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually the opposite.  It’s a fusion of rock and synths together and would’ve fit back on “SUPERNAL LIBERTY”.   Though the chorus kind of became a strange mix of typical anison chords and bright happy sounds.  Overall, the song is OK, still not as exciting as “Lazy Syndrome” however.

As Nana’s 3rd single of the era, Angel Blossom is a slightly better single than “Eden” was, but not by too much.  Angel Blossom is more of the familiar same that we’ve known Nana to do for so long so it’s OK, very safe of a song.  At least both of the B-sides were a lot more memorable and not as generic as the last singles were.  Is it album time yet?

 

AAA – GAME OVER? May 1, 2015

Filed under: AAA — solarblade @ 5:55 pm

gameover

Track Listing

  1. GAME OVER?
  2. GAME OVER? (Instrumental)

1. GAME OVER?

I thought they were going to continue to release something mediocre, but with GAME OVER? things feel quite well here.  Taking a sort of dance vibe and mixing with some 8bit sounds and ideas, this track is quite exciting to listen to and just gives me a fun vibe.  Though the random spurts of English throughout is really strange to me and there’s not much of Misako or Chiaki as well (wonder if one of the next singles (not “Ashita no Hikari”) well be a girls-only production.  Either way not too bad.

As their 4th single in their line of Anniversay celebrations, GAME OVER? is actually my favorite so far.  The tune is really upbeat and the whole 8bit style mixed in with their hi-octane dance arrangement is a great thing to see, sad there’s none of the girls here, but it’s pretty good overall.

 

Perfume – Relax In The City/Pick Me Up April 29, 2015

Filed under: Perfume — solarblade @ 2:10 am

relaxinthecity

Track Listing

  1. Relax In The City
  2. Pick Me Up
  3. Toumei Ningen
  4. Relax In The City -Original Instrumental-
  5. Pick Me Up -Original Instrumental-
  6. Toumei Ningen -Original Instrumental-

1. Relax In The City

As the leading A-side, Relax In The City at first came off kind of like a Kyarypamyupamyu (or a reject from “JPN”).  The almost cutesy arrangement and the vocal melody kind of seem like the song would’ve fit some children’s show.  Though, I can’t help but have myself intrigued by Nakata’s arrangement once again as it really does sound dreamy and youthful.  There’s really not much else I want to say about the song, but considering some of the other songs they’ve released for the era, this one doesn’t stick out to me.

2. Pick Me Up

Though, I can say that the other A-side was definitely something that impressed me.  I was missing energy from the group and while they did show that with “DISPLAY” from their last single, this song was cool for sure.  Add some acoustic guitar moments, solo lines from the trio and the edgy arrangement and you got a great track at hand.  I feel like this is the direction Perfume should take rather than the cuter route of songs (“Sweet Refrain”, “Hold Your Hand” and similar songs of recent times).

3. Toumei Ningen

Then we get the lone B-side of the single and Toumei Ningen was the wild card of the single since we had no preview or PV of it.  I feel like the group’s vocals are not even really processed as much as the other two, but the arrangement is still quite the bouncer which is definitely a winner but some of the melody eerily reminds me of “Pick Me Up”.  Though I can’t help but feel this one was a bit too short and lacked Perfume themselves.  I do love Nakata’s arrangement and the trance-y bits were quite awesome, but that took front row over the group.  Still a nice song into their discography.

It feels like it’s been forever since “Cling Cling”, but I have to say they did OK with their return single.  Relax In The City might not be my cup of tea, but it’s nice for the fans that have been digging the lighter side, but for me Pick Me Up was the song of the single for sure.  It left a nice adventuring feel and has such a great club feel too!  Toumei Ningen is nice, a bit short and underused the members, but it’s still good.  Overall, I think I’m ready for an album!

 

Kanon Wakeshima – RIGHT LIGHT RISE April 25, 2015

Filed under: Kanon Wakeshima — solarblade @ 10:24 pm

rightlightrise

Track Listing

  1. RIGHT LIGHT RISE
  2. Mayday!
  3. RIGHT LIGHT RISE (instrumental)
  4. Mayday! (instrumental)

1. RIGHT LIGHT RISE

Uhhhh, why does this song sound like it opens up with a mariachi band?  Yeah, I wasn’t expecting the song to open up that way, but after that it becomes more of what I was expecting from Kanon (though it’s a bit of a pop/rock anison track).  I do like the sound of the song and Kanon’s voice is nice…it just shows that Kanon is moving further away from her cello skills it seems.  Eh, it’s OK…but really is a switch for her.

2. Mayday!

The B-side of the single, Mayday! is a bit more edgy with gritty guitars and yet has a slightly darker tinge in comparison to “RIGHT LIGHT RISE”.  I actually dug this song more than the A-side because I always thought Kanon sung these songs better as she can emote those feelings much better.  Very cool B-side!

Let’s be honest, I was ready to see Kanon go back for another long hiatus, but she quickly announced a new single so shortly after her 3rd album, “Tsukinami”.  RIGHT LIGHT RISE sadly is probably the most generic A-side she’s released yet.  The guitarwork is OK, but Kanon could’ve been replaced by any other artist who’d probably do it better justice.  Mayday! though was the better song, something more along the vein of what we’re used to.  With another A-side announced, seems like Warner has finally got her to be more active!

 

 
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