Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

Pokemon 7th Generation announced!…or is it still 6.5?….No, it’s 7th Generation!!! February 26, 2016

Filed under: ~Video Game Writing~ — solarblade @ 4:34 pm

pokemonsunmoon

So, this morning Pokemon had a 6-minute Nintendo Direct (a bit too short) and finally announced the next iteration to this series that’s celebrating its 20th Anniversary!  Not much really came out about the game unfortunately beyond concept art and some computer work for what could be the bird Pokemon of this new region (well maybe?).  Also, for those curious, I’m definitely getting Moon!

I suppose another thing that is pretty big is that the digital releases of the original Red / Blue / Green / Yellow WILL BE compatible with Pokemon Bank and have the Pokemon transfer to S/M (which is beyond strange because of the originals having no natures, abilities, and the special stat being one section as opposed to the two now, and ESPECIALLY Missingno.

The big question is will it still be a part of the Kalos arc because there was so many open plot lines and more included with all those Zygarde forms and the lack of Volcanion still!  But I figured with Magearna being a thing, it was bound to happen.  I just think that maybe it’ll be like G/S/C where Kalos makes a reappearance…but there’s one thing for certain…

I definitely want more Pokemon than what we got in X/Y…at least 100 would be OK…

I’ll come back with more information once Corocoro of next month releases!  HYPED!!!!!

 

Kanon Wakeshima – Love your enemies February 17, 2016

Filed under: Kanon Wakeshima — solarblade @ 3:23 am

loveyourenemies

Track Listing

  1. Love your enemies
  2. killy killy JOKER (re-mix ver.)
  3. world’s end, girl’s rondo (re-mix ver.)
  4. Love your enemies (instrumental)

1. Love your enemies

With an introduction that’s pretty dramatic,my attention was pulled in real quickly by the fast pace and liveliness Kanon was showing through the entire song on top of the return of her cello solos!  It’s definitely already much better than her last couple of A-sides with the amount of energy and spice Kanon spilled into the song.  It’s something that she really needed and it was pretty good, maybe her best since she redebuted onto her new label.

2. killy killy JOKER (re-mix ver.)

Though I was surprised to see the remainder of the single are just remixes of past A-sides of the “Tsukinami” era.  I was curious because remixes are few and far between in her discography.  The song opens up with a really haunting and creepy introduction with Kanon’s wispy vocals.  Though the song turns into a electronic beat-fest that almost falters into noise-pop a little, but it’s shortlived as it smooths out for Kanon to tackle the verses.  Though the chorus is just a rave party that hits VERY hard…interesting idea and I could get behind it a bit!

3. world’s end, girl’s rondo (re-mix ver.)

The other remix is for world’s end, girl’s rondo and it begins quite nicely with a smooth techno vibe and Kanon’s voice sounding a bit VOCALOID in execution.  While it isn’t as black and white with its direction like the “killy killy JOKER” remix, this is pretty cool and I could definitely enjoy this a LOT more in the long run as there’s a lot of tricks going on.

 

 

Wow, I was coming into this single thinking it would’ve been a bland single after how slightly disappointed I was with both “RIGHT LIGHT RISE” and “Kimi wa Soliel”.  Love your enemies is by far the best of the 3 A-sides she’s released so far and really is showing that Kanon can still do great music if she did it right and use her talents to fill in the otherwise anison gaps she has now.  The remixes were surprising, but definitely better than other artists who do them a lot.  Now I’m curious if there’s an album on the rise soon or what!

 

Kobushi Factory – Sakura Night Fever/Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin/Osu! Kobushi Tamashii February 16, 2016

Filed under: Kobushi Factory — solarblade @ 4:29 pm

sakuranightfever

Track Listing

  1. Sakura Night Fever
  2. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin
  3. Osu! Kobushi Tamashii
  4. Sakura Night Fever (Instrumental)
  5. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin (Instrumental)
  6. Osu! Kobushi Tamashii (Instrumental)

1. Sakura Night Fever

I was kind of surprised to see H!P change their normal strategy with singles as the main A-side is actually a cover (most H!P singles had that as the 3rd A-side).  Anyways, Kobushi Factory kicks this single off with Sakura Night Fever which is a cover of a KAN song back in 2015 (not exactly a long stretch of time considering H!P as a whole had performed it last year as well).  I have to say that this version trumps KAN’s version as there’s just a lot more energy and the arrangement is sped up slightly to give a stronger beat.  It’s a pretty fun song for the group and hearing Minami and Rena get most focus (on top of Natsumi’s ending line) is quite decent!  Great way to kick off 2016 for the group!

2. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin

Coming into the next track, I was quite curious because famed producer Hyadain was involved in the song.  The song itself is pretty funky with a lot of horns and a slightly unique arrangement.  The thing that bothers me a LOT about this song is the excessive grunting going on because it’s kind of throwing certain girls into a very unfortunate place (especially Rei!).  I don’t know why it’s bothering me now and not back in their last single of all things.  It’s a bit too repetitive too and the dependence on the growling is just ehhhhh.  Can’t win them all sadly.

3. Osu! Kobushi Tamashii

Now, the 3rd A-side is a bit more intuitive with the grunting as it shows more emotional value than in the previous track, but we also don’t have as much of it which is awesome!  I do love the equality for the members here, all having solo lines throughout.  It’s a pretty interesting song as it suppose to have an Ouendan kind of feel and it’s just catchy and there are some parts that remind me of songs like “Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku” so it’s got that going for it…very cool song!

 

 

When it comes to Kobushi’s 2nd major single, I have to say it’s slightly less enjoyable?  I don’t know, but I definitely didn’t care for Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin from the repetition to the overabundance of growls in the song.  However, both Sakura Night Fever and Osu! Kobushi Tamashii were the highlights of the single and I personally think they were better than their debut.  So I suppose it’s even to their last single huh?  Either way, I can’t wait to see what’s next!

 

Pokemon! Gen 7 or 6.5??? February 15, 2016

Filed under: ~Video Game Writing~ — solarblade @ 7:08 am

So with the recent announcement of Magearna, I thought it was time to really sit down and talk about the things that have happened after the release of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (and yes I’m still planning to make a post about the Megas from that game soon!)

So while there hasn’t been too much information about whether things will focus on a new generation or the long-awaited 3rd game to close the 6th Gen and really there’s been things pulling from both sides of the coin that I like to talk about!  *mostly Pokemon based*…so shall we get started?

Volcanion

Volcanion

You know, it’s been over 2 years since X & Y released and we still don’t have a legitimate version of the final event Pokemon (though it has been announced to be the focus of the next movie that’s going to be released in the year).  Though I’m sure that it’ll have an alternate forme (like Hoopa and Diancie), I’m just wondering what’ll be of this ‘mon as it’s still a pretty awesome looking beast of a Pokemon…this was what initially made me think of a Pokemon Z…but then…

Ash’s Greninja / AZ’s Floette

ashgreninjaazfloette

Maybe I should start with AZ’s Floette…we haven’t even had an event for this guy yet and he’s able to be owned in the games and there’s event text based around it in both X/Y and OR/AS so it’s lack of being shown off yet is quite curious and even it’s signature move is seen and can be used in Metronome so it’s a VERY strange situation.

As for the Greninja, this is more of the curiosity if it’s supposed to warrant a new thing for the Pokemon games (although I could live with this being a Mega Greninja as well).  It just seems strange for a different design chosen for the anime have that much importance (makes me also wonder what will come out of this.  Honestly these two things are just kind of in the grey and made no difference on if a new gen or an updated gen will happen!

Zygarde Formes

zygarde-cellzygarde-corezygarde-10zygarde-complete

The thing that REALLY makes me think there’ll be a Z version is definitely the upgrades that Zygarde has on top of his normal look (which is actually Zygarde at half power and turns into that GUNDAM-like monstrosity on the bottom right.  I kind of figured that the fact this legendary has 4 new formes (5 if the blue-hexagonal core form counts) exists there has to be focus on it and I mean HEAVILY focused on.  So this was what led me to believe the next game is Z or something like what B2/W2 did.

Magearna

magearna

However!  Just in the past couple days, we received a pretty interesting surprise in the form of Magearna!  While there’s little information about it beyond being an important part of the movie alongside Volcanion, this guy is shrouded in mystery!  Some people have said that it does look a little like Diancie met with a Klink, it’s pretty neat and it seems that it’ll easily be a Steel type at the least, it just looks like it’ll connect somewhere.  Since it isn’t in the files of either X/Y or OR/AS (as well as the new Zygarde formes)…many people seem to have decided it’s a 7th Generation happening, but I feel like that isn’t the case as we still haven’t got Volcanion yet (which should’ve happened already before a new generation is set).  Still I can’t wait to learn more about it!

What do you guys think?  Are we in for the 2nd half of the 6th Generation or are we barging into a new generation entirely to celebrate the series’ 20th year???

 

VIXX – Depend on me

Filed under: VIXX — solarblade @ 4:56 am

dependonme

Track Listing

  1. Depend on me
  2. ECHO
  3. Goodbye your love
  4. Chained up -Japanese ver.-
  5. Error -Japanese ver.-
  6. Love Letter -Japanese ver.-
  7. Can’t say
  8. Spider (KOR)
  9. Hot Enough (KOR)
  10. Stop it girl (KOR)
  11. Heaven (KOR)
  12. Shadow (Limited Edition A bonus track)
  13. With Me (Limited Edition B bonus track)
  14. Can’t say (Korean ver.) (Regular Edition bonus track)

1. Depend on me

Not surprising that the group would open their album with the title track and at the same time, the promotional song!  Now VIXX and their leading songs are quite something and usually is the best part about their releases.  With Depend on me, I wasn’t expecting the song to have strings backing it up.  It’s a pretty strong arrangement and the group themselves sound just as great as they normally are.  I really do like N and Hyuk’s lines a lot but everyone sounds so good.  Another strong song in VIXX’s discography that’s for sure!

2. ECHO

Now, I can’t lie and say I’m slightly disappointed that there’s only 3 brand new tracks for the album, but it’s more than what “DARKEST ANGELS” provided (which was none).  ECHO begins with a kind of ethereal intro and smooth intro with the members before it opens to a more kind of funky dance track (a little similar to “Mukae ni Ikou”).  It’s a fun track for the group and the strings and bass are really reminding for past things.  Though while it’s something VIXX doesn’t do too much of, this song is pretty much sticking out in a nice way!

3. Goodbye your love

I was expecting a ballad to pop up as the last new track, but alas the tune is a bit more upbeat and positive than the previous two tracks.  Actually, there’s some pats that make me think of “Depend on me” but this has a lot more peppy feels and the vocals are also just a bit more bright. Of the 3 new tracks though, this one does feel out of place, but I’m not sure why.

4. Chained up -Japanese ver.-

So it’s no surprise that they would add songs from their most recent Korean album of the same name, but it’s shocking that they would make a Japanese version so soon of Chained up.  It’s not surprise that I LOVE this song so I was curious to what to expect in a different language and while the smoothness of the original is somewhat lost, it’s still a pretty epic song and a lot of the chorus remains just as hard and punchy too!  Yeah, loved this!

5. Error -Japanese ver.-

As the group’s first A-side in Japan, Error was a smart choice simply because how good it was in Korea and just mysterious and cool it was.  Like with “Chained up”, a lot of what made the original Korean version so amazing is somewhat muddled in the transition over (especially since more English is found alongside extra vocal stacking all over.  I mean beyond that it’s still Error at the end of the day and it was decent but I’d keep the original.

6. Love Letter -Japanese ver.-

The other transitioned track from Korea to Japan, Love Letter is a bit of an older song from the guys (coming from their “hyde” mini-album).  Though it seems like this takes the route as ballad of the album as it’s full of piano and strings.  Of all the newly translated songs, I think Love Letter had the smoothest change between the 3, but this song is a by-the-books ballad with some cheesy electric guitar moments thrown in.  It’s a good song though and while its representation is strange here, it did its job rather nicely and YES, this is the first time it has appeared because the version on “DARKEST ANGELS” is still in Korean.

7. Can’t say

Then we get the 2nd A-side released (which was an original track for the group, luckily).  I still wasn’t totally sold on the song because it was a bit different from what I was expecting from VIXX.  The song itself does remind me of “Goodbye your love” with the brighter atmosphere but this includes more natural instruments (especially drums).  I do love the vocals a lot more than I did.  A different approach from VIXX and I ended up liking it more and more even if it sounds almost like some older J-pop songs.

8. Spider (KOR)

The next four songs are ripped straight from their “Chained up” album in Korea without making a language transition.  I really like the introduction as it gives a darker vibe as most of VIXX’s best songs turn out to be.  I do love the bass lines here and the group is just sounding good together.  I actually ended up loving the song and while the boys have a certain placement in songs, I don’t mind at all.  It was a standout on the album (although a LOT of that album was pretty much stand out).

9. Hot Enough (KOR)

The next song up takes things in a more R&B kind of setting with that laidback focus and smooth vocals going on all around.  While I’m not into the genre as much anymore, there’s something so sensual about the song and I’m loving the sections with Ravi as there’s just a low-lying string going around.  While I wasn’t impressed with this as much as “Spider” or “Chained up” it still was a nice surprise…for this album, it is strange.

10. Stop it girl (KOR)

Next up, we slow things down a smidge more with Stop it girl which is also like “Hot Enough” in the sense that it’s also R&B.  This sounds very Western though and while I don’t have anything wrong with the vocals, I feel like I’ve heard this ind of song numerous times before so it kind of just goes over my head.

11. Heaven (KOR)

I’m surprised to hear Ravi open up the next track, but the song is definitely in a much upbeat form than the previous tracks.  It kind of gives me the same vibe that “G.R.8.U” did with the kind of silly, but cute vibe the song gives off alongside the shared mood from the members (plus hearing Ravi spell out the title is kind of catchy).  Even though this is near the end of the album, I kind of enjoyed it.

12. Shadow

So at the end of the album, depending on what version you buy, you end up with a different closing track.  However, the limited editions end with a track composed between Leo and Ravi.  First is the song from Leo and while he is also essentially the voice of the group (or sometimes looked as the leader), Shadow is at least not a ballad luckily (which is something Leo ends up releasing as it is).  It does begin with a short excerpt from Ravi (who raps on later on).  It’s a rather cool song despite being a solo track, but won me over quickly.

13. With Me

With Ravi’s composed song, With Me also begins with some Ravi, but quickly is joined by what I think is Hong Bin, N, and Leo although I can’t be too sure.  Still, it’s a pretty cool chill track and kind of gives me this somber, but sad track which is pretty cool and nice of the group.  While I do enjoy “Shadow” a bit more, this is quite nice as well!

14. Can’t say (Korean ver.)

On Regular editions though, things end with a Korean take of their 2nd single and it already made an appearance on their “Chained up” album.  Nothing has changed in arrangement, but the song is a little more smoother and fitting for the group which is rather no surprise there.  I guess since its turned into a lead track, I feel like this song doesn’t quite stack up against the greats from VIXX, but it’s not poor.

Tracks Recommended

  • Depend on me
  • Shadow
  • Spider (KOR)
  • Chained up -Japanese ver.-
  • With Me

Song of Avoidance

  • Stop it girl (KOR)

So here we are with VIXX’s actual debut album in Japan (I personally don’t count “DARKEST ANGELS” as it was just a best album of their Korean works).  Depend on me even though isn’t what I’d either call a full-on debut as there’s only 3 new songs, the majority of this release was actually quite well-produced and showcases the strengths between the 6 members!  I hope we get to see more VIXX in Japan as the K-pop wave is in a really slow place currently.

 

FLOW – Steppin’ out February 3, 2016

Filed under: FLOW — solarblade @ 4:17 am

steppinout

Track Listing

  1. Steppin’ out
  2. Aoki Hoshi
  3. Niji no Sora -Beautiful Sky mix-
  4. Steppin’ out -TV size-
  5. Steppin’ out -Instrumental-

1. Steppin’ out

I feel like when FLOW steps into the use of synths in their music, it’s a mix of what could come out of it.  I wasn’t expecting the song to be a lot more lighter than I expected but as an anime theme, it suits the Durarara!! series and is it strange that it reminds me of “Tokonatsu Endless” in some ways?  I like the feel of the song and well the section with KEIGO and the arrangement shifting to a more waltz-like section was just so out of nowhere but funny!  It’s definitely something different for the band and quite unique amongst their A-sides so it definitely left its mark on me in a great way!

2. Aoki Hoshi

The B-side Aoki Hoshi is a little more of the synth style, but it’s a lot more relaxed of a song that I was expecting from FLOW (again).  It’s got a lot more of a soothing and smooth arrangement with both singers slightly laid upon some auto-tune and filters.  The chorus sounds good as it includes some ~whoaaas~ from the band.  This actually isn’t a bad song and one of their better light songs out there.  Personally, it would sound great as a closing to a live performance.

3. Niji no Sora -Beautiful Sky mix-

It’s been a while, but we’ve got a remix, this time of their previous A-side, Niji no Sora.  Unlike the bright nature of the original, this remix actually changes the tune to a ballad with a piano leading the brigade.  I do fully appreciate the fact that KOHSHI and KEIGO resung the track to suit the slower tempo and general emotional pace it has.  I still do LOVE the original, but this alternate take is quite decent and it’s pretty rare to see FLOW do a full-on ballad like this!

 

 

As the 2nd and last single before their next album, “#10” releases, Steppin’ out is a pretty bizarre single for the band.  I was expecting the normal to come out of this due to the anime tie-in, but Steppin’ out is quite different and original for the band to tackle as well as Aoki Hoshi and I thought the ballad remix of Niji no Sora was quite decent as well.  I’m curious to see what the album will bring us though.

 

LADYBABY – Age-Age Money ~Ochingin Daisakusen~

Filed under: LADYBABY — solarblade @ 3:30 am

ageagemoney

Track Listing

  1. Age-Age Money ~Ochingin Daisakusen~
  2. Beard-chan Robot

1. Age-Age Money ~Ochinin Daisakusen~

A song about the economy and wanting to be paid more, only LADYBABY could think of something like this for an A-side!  Kind of taken a page from their last A-side, “Nippon Manju”, Age-Age Money isn’t quite as brash and heavy-hitting, but I’m loving the song a lot more for some reason.  I think it’s because Rei and Rie actually sing in the song and they both sound great.  Ladybeard though is up to his shenanigans and he still gives off such a cool devilish side to this Kawaiicore genre.  Plus, that chorus is AMAZING!!!

2. Beard-chan Robot

As for the B-side, Beard-chan Robot is surprisingly darker than any of their previous songs and I appreciate that as it gives Ladybeard a little more time up front but the ladies to take up more in the chorus.  As for the arrangement, it’s a lot more darer and ghoulish in comparison to the rockin’ A-side.  Though the chorus takes things into a more idol-like gravitas which is cool and all, but I think I wanted more of the darker tones more than anything, still not bad for a B-side!

 

 

As LADYBABY’s 2nd single, I definitely think they have something good going on with this trio and their assault to music.  Age-Age Money was surprisingly catchy and suited both areas of genres mixing it up, a perfect blend to say the least while Beard-chan Robot was more experimental and slightly putting a wedge in the genres.  Honestly, this is a nice follow-up to their debut.  Can’t wait for their next single!