Kurayami Monogatari

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Kalafina – Hyakka Ryouran August 24, 2017

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 3:43 am

hyakkaryouran

Track Listing

  1. Hyakka Ryouran
  2. Kantankatan
  3. Tombo
  4. Hyakka Ryouran ~instrumental~
  5. Kantankatan ~instrumental~
  6. Tombo ~instrumental~
  7. Hyakka Ryouran -TV Size-

1. Hyakka Ryouran

Opening the single up, Hyakka Ryouran to me finally feels like Kajiura is up for some kind of experimentation whereas the previous singles in this era felt more or less safe for her.  Actually, the song’s darker rock vibe reminds me of songs like “consolation” and “Magia”.  I love the arrangement and it just sounds like Kalafina back to their awesomeness and mysterious auras.  This is definitely a song that really sticks out for them in a great way!

2. Kantankatan

The first of the B-sides, Kantankatan takes the trio down a slower path with a strings/piano/acoustic guitar ballad.  To be fair, I feel like I haven’t heard the trio tackle a style like this.  I’m liking the harmonies in the song for sure, but I feel like because of the arrangement, it does kind of feel sluggish to me, maybe a bit boring?  I don’t know there’s just not much for me to remember it for.

3. Tombo

Though the other B-side is something Kalafina always seem to do and nowadays, the feeling is cutting short because there’s just not much to say when it comes to bare-boned ballads.  So for short, nice harmonies, melody is forgetful due to it is only really come in the form of piano and it’s a sleeper…

 

 

As Kalafina’s 3rd single of the era, Hyakka Ryouran might be my favorite A-side they’ve done for quite a WHILE so I appreciate the effort in this track especially!  However, I can’t say the same for the rest of the single.  Kantankatan does have an interesting arrangement but the way it flows just kind of feels slow to me and Tombo…is basic Kalafina…there’s SOOOO many other similar ballads in comparison too…

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Ciao Bella Cinquetti – High Tension! Wagga Jinsei!/Wadachi August 23, 2017

Filed under: THE Possible — solarblade @ 4:38 am

hightension

Track Listing

  1. High Tension! Wagga Jinsei!
  2. Wadachi
  3. High Tension! Wagga Jinsei! (Nanchatte Samba mix) (Limiteds only)
  4. High Tension! Wagga Jinsei! (Instrumental)
  5. Wadachi (Instrumental)

1. High Tension! Wagga Jinsei!

With a title as such, High Tension! Wagga Jinsei! was going to of course be the more idol-like track here with a fast beat and a lot of synths and funny enough finger snapping!  There’s something a bit different to past endeavors which felt more straightforward.  I’m liking all the different areas of the song and while I hear a lot of Hashimon, the remaining members seem to get some feature as well.  Decent A-side!

2. Wadachi

The other A-side included, Wadachi is a bit of a 180 for the quartet from going to an upbeat and fun vibe to something more pop/rock and serious.  This is what reminds me of stuff during their “1116” album where a lot of there songs were kind of more mellow and rockin’ at times.  I like the tune itself since it is CBC being all musician-like and what to me feels trying to pull away from the

3. High Tension! Wagga Jinsei! (Nanchatte Samba mix)

Though in Regular editions, it comes with a remix of the leading A-side!  Obviously comparing from the original cut, this remix has a LOT more synths involved.  Now, I did follow that the song would take a (fake Samba) vibe and the only times it gets close to Samba is the chorus where it has whistles and a faster beat.  I kind of like this remix, suits the tune nicely!

 

 

As the first single to kick off a new era for Ciao Bella Cinquetti, I feel like they started off quite strongly with this double A-side release!  I feel like both High Tension! Wagga Jinsei! & Wadachi both represented what works with the group and neither song disappointed me.  Hell, even the remix was decent!  I’m curious to see where they go (also with Berikyuu graduated, makes me wonder when CBC will since they’re about the same age (a little younger though)).

 

GENERATION 7: Alola forms, Hawaii flavored Pokémon? July 29, 2017

Filed under: ~Teh Pokemon: 7th Gen~ — solarblade @ 6:55 am

Here we are with right now the final post for Generation 7 (at least until we figure what’s going to be included in Ultra Sun/Moon & the unknown Switch title.  We’re going to talk about the Alolan forms of Pokémon (ironically was left to certain Kanto Pokémon) so shall we begin?

019: Rattata, 020: Raticate

a-rattara.jpga-raticate.jpg

We begin with the Raticate line which as you can see changed colors from a predominant purple fur color to a black color and Raticate is a bit fatter as well xD.  They also changed from Normal to a Dark/Normal type.  It’s a bit better for them, but not so much that they’re must-haves!  Though I do give it props that Rattata will only evolve to this only at nights.

025: Raichu

a-raichu

Now, on this list not every Pokémon in a evolution line gained an Alolan form.  For example, Raichu here was the only one to get an Alola form (Pichu didn’t get anything and Pikachu either, though it did get Hat forms, w/e they are right?).  Back to Raichu, it managed to gain a new type making it a Electric/Psychic type (a first for the series).  Unlike many others in this list though, Raichu evolves in the same way Kanto Raichu does (by a Thunder Stone that is).

027: Sandshrew, 028: Sandslash

a-sandshrewa-sandslash

The next ones up were of the Sandslash line which actually went from being a Ground type to an Ice type (Ice/Steel in the case for Sandslash).  While the typing overall is much worse off for these two (because Ice is bad defensively already and the 4x weakness to Fire in Slash’s case, I feel like I love the aesthetics more than I like their gameplay now.  Though I seriously love both of their designs strangely.  Sandshrew though now evolves only by use of the new Alolan Ice Stone.

037: Vulpix, 038: Ninetales

a-vulpixa-ninetales

I suppose in Alola, Sandshrew & Vulpix are a bit in a rival as they both got them Ice treatment in the game.  Though interestingly enough, I think Ninetales got the longer stick in the end by having its type changed into Ice/Ghost.  At least the meta is a bit more forgiving letting Ninetales be a bit more of a Special Attacker.  I also like its design, but I feel like I like the original designs more!  If it wasn’t obvious though, Ice Stone, just saying…

050:Diglett, 051: Dugtrio

a-digletta-dugtrio

You think changing a Pokémon’s design would make sense and while the change to Dugtrio’s typing makes sense when you really do research the fact that the design’s addition is hair to make it from Ground to Ground/Steel is bizarre yet unique. Granted, I do think it got boosted with the new typing and does a smidge better in-game, I just can’t get the Hanson reference out of my head xD

052: Meowth. 053: Persian

a-meowtha-persian.jpg

I’m pretty much OK with changing a Pokémon’s design for the sake of it, but I don’t think changing Meowth’s color and blowing up Persian’s head is quite enough to make me care about it.  Though I do approve of changing its typing to Dark and making it’s evolution friendship-based interesting, I think I cared the least about this line out of the Alolan forms.

074: Geodude, 075: Graveler, 076: Golem

a-geodudea-gravelera-golem.jpg

As the last Alolan Pokémon to be revealed for Su/Mo, the Golem line was also another group of PKMN that I wasn’t expecting to get new forms.  Though I was pleasantly surprised by it by adding the Electric type to its already known Rock type giving it some nice coverage and some Special power (even if it’s more of a physical attacker/defensive tank).  Not quite sure of Golem turning into a launcher, but I suppose it makes sense in a way.

088: Grimer, 089: Muk

a-grimera-muk

Yeah, I’m not surprised that the Muk line got new forms, but I wasn’t expecting that it would be a positive thing they exist for Alola.  The Muk line also gained a new type changing it to a Poison/Dark type to give it some push like the Drapion line does.  An interesting thing is that the colors on Muk changes (though in the game it is a little awkward with it changing and stopping).  Otherwise, it’s a nice upgrade, but still not a Pokémon I’d really use.

103: Exeggutor

a-exeggutor

Probably the most unusual of the new forms we have Exeggutor (which strangely enough to see that Exeggcute did not get anything).  The original was a Grass/Psychic type but here after absorbing the heavy amount of sunlight (though really a Leaf Stone), it evolves into this towering Grass/Dragon type (which to me still doesn’t make a whole lotta sense to me).  Besides the fact it became a meme real quick and how absurdly tall it is, I find it a nice addition and does a lot for the line!

105: Marowak

a-marowak

Last, but not least we have Marowak (strange as it seems that it ends a little after 100 Pokémon (when Kanto has 151, going by Pokedex number).  I will say that Cubone not getting the form as well is odd, but once again makes sense once you read the little blurb about Marowak here who went from a Ground type to a wholly new set of Fire/Ghost (sharing with the Chandelure line).  I REALLY like the firedancer motif it has and the undead feeling just feels right.  While it’s still not quite as awesome as Chandelure, this was a great addition.

 

WOO, ALOLA DONE~~~~FOR NOW??

 

Nana Mizuki – TESTAMENT

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 2:58 am

testament

Track Listing

  1. TESTAMENT
  2. ACROSS
  3. Phantasm

1. TESTAMENT

Going from the intro, I was definitely ready for another Senkizessho Symphogear theme and it does not disappoint!  The song is just like most of the others keeping up with the dramatics and even mixture of synths & orchestral sounds on top of Nana’s explosive performance that really gives this song its atmosphere and character.  It’s got me excited for Nana again (then again these themes all tend to do that to me).  It’s just that fantastic of a song!

2. ACROSS

The first B-side, ACROSS is what I would consider the same styling as “Destiny’s Prelude” with a lil more focus on guitarwork, but beyond that, the song has a standard anison sound to it that doesn’t phase me much, especially coming after “TESTAMENT”.  It’s nothing special, but it’s not a terrible track, just one that doesn’t really end up feeling original to me.

3. Phantasm

The other B-side, Phantasm I thought was going to be somewhat dark of a song, but instead we got a bouncy piano-laced pop track.  Of the 6 songs she’s released, I think Phantasm has the lightest instrumentation which is a nice change of pace and Nana doesn’t seem to really do these songs.  The chorus does somewhat lose me because it goes back to sounding a bit anison, but it comes back to this really original feel.  I think I’ll end up enjoying this with more listens.

 

 

The other single Nana released, I felt like TESTAMENT did a better job overall of grabbing my attention.  I already knew that the leading song was going to be an easy favorite given her track record with Symphogear songs.  I also actually enjoyed Phantasm by changing things up and giving listeners a lighter affair.  The only one that didn’t do much for me was ACROSS and that’s mostly because it felt generic and overdone even for her.  I’m wondering if there’s going to be a “MUSEUM III” after this…

 

Nana Mizuki – Destiny’s Prelude

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 2:30 am

destinysprelude

Track Listing

  1. Destiny’s Prelude
  2. Invisible Heat
  3. Poison Lily

1. Destiny’s Prelude

It feels like if you have heard one of Nana’s anison themes then you heard about 90% of them is true for Destiny’s Prelude which feels like another track that was an extra from “HYBRID UNIVERSE” what with the dramaticism and strings/piano use in the arrangement.  I can’t say too much because at least like most of those anison songs, Nana manages to bring a powerful performance and make its own.  Overall, it’s good…one of the better ones in her massive discography.

2. Invisible Heat

I fell like if you compare this B-side to “Destiny’s Prelude”, you won’t get too much difference besides the track leaning more towards some light EDM/beats.  I think I actually might enjoy this a bit more than the leading track, but it’s mainly because it’s more towards the style of music I enjoy.  Though it’s not quite up there with her best tracks, but it might be one of the better B-sides.

3. Poison Lily

Breaking a bit of the monotony, Poison Lily changes things up by being more of a pop/rock track in comparison to the previous tracks.  Nana’s rock songs have been quite hit’n’misses for me, but I think this one suits her because as much as I want to not say it, it feels like a theme for an anime like Gintama, Bleach, or even Naruto.  Still, I appreciate the track a lot and ranks out even “Invisible Heat”.

 

 

Seems like once again Nana decided to drop two singles simultaneously (like with “SCARLET KNIGHT” & “POP MASTER” a couple years ago).  The first single, Destiny’s Prelude overall is more or less familiar to her fans and kind of runs the safe route.  None of the songs are terrible, but I feel like it’s been stuff we’ve heard before.  Poison Lily though did a good job on leaving an impression on me by being a rock song.  Invisible Heat is a synthy anison track at the end of the day and Destiny’s Prelude is just full strings anison.  I’m hoping “TESTAMENT” is the better single here though…

 

Tsubaki Factory – Shuukatsu Sensation/Waratte/Hana Moyou July 19, 2017

Filed under: Tsubaki Factory — solarblade @ 4:35 am

shuukatsusensation

Track Listing

  1. Shuukatsu Sensation
  2. Waratte
  3. Hana Moyou
  4. Shuukatsu Sensation (Instrumental)
  5. Waratte (Instrumental)
  6. Hana Moyou (Instrumental)

1. Shuukatsu Sensation

I was curious to see what a title like Shuukatsu Sensation would bring us for Tsubaki and I was immediately caught to the song’s main hook of ~yoroshiku onegai itashimasu~ and just the whole groove of it all.  It’s got a lot of funk thanks to both Takui & DANCE MAN and the whole thing just stood out to me.  I really love the chorus too and working in tangent with the hook, it’s just an entertaining track.  Surprised that only Yumeno & Mizuho got the only solos, but I’m quite content with it.  Overall, this is a fantastic song and is right up there with “Hatsukoi Sunrise” in favorites from the group.

2. Waratte

The 2nd A-side to be revealed, Waratte chooses the path towards being a funky 80’s-esque kind of track.  I do feel like Waratte in comparison to “Shuukatsu Sensation” is a lot more brighter and poppy to fit the group’s more cute side.  It also helps that all the members get a solo somewhere in the song.  It’s a pretty decent song and I like its upbeat tempo and funky sound as well!

3. Hana Moyou

Not strange that Hana Moyou would be the last to be revealed, but it had been under wraps until a couple weeks before the single’s release.  Of the three songs, I’m somewhat conflicted with this the most.  I do love that of the three tracks, this one goes straight up EDM with the sawtooth synths almost giving it a Momusu feel of recent times and the guitars helped that feeling for sure.  Though my only bother is the chorus because mainly of the first half of it, being spoken dialogue to a moment of segment finishing that feels a little jagged and absurd.  Otherwise, I really do enjoy this one and I’m loving that all the girls are getting lines throughout!

 

 

I didn’t know if they could 1-up their debut single, but hell Tsubaki Factory managed to do it pretty swiftly with their second major offering!  I definitely felt they found a sweet spot in what they wanted music-wise and it worked.  Shuukatsu Senastion & Waratte are just great H!P songs and it suits them quite well.  Hana Moyou while good does have that kink I mentioned but I don’t think it was enough to deter my enjoyment of it otherwise.  With Kiki currently on hiatus (due back hernia), I am wondering what’s next for the group because they’ve been getting steadily better and better with each new release!

 

SAWA – Ijippari Mermaid July 14, 2017

Filed under: SAWA — solarblade @ 5:30 am

ijipparimermaid

Track Listing

  1. Ijippari Mermaid
  2. Koishite Hoshikute
  3. SetMeFree feat. Arisa Noto
  4. Colorful World
  5. Oboroge Dancing Interlude -KOTO Toui Kakekko-
  6. Oboroge Dancing
  7. Wanna Be a Wana feat. MIRI from Lime Berry
  8. CandyGirl Interlude -YANAKIKU Uchi Kubi no Ran-
  9. CandyGirl

1. Ijippari Mermaid

As the leading track of the mini-album, Ijippari Mermaid instantly gave me some new wave 80’s vibes with the upbeat synth melody and bass lines.  Just from that intro, the song really had me interested and I love this style for SAWA even if her vocals are still kind of here and there on pitch.  Still, the song is a good way to open this mini.

2. Koishite Hoshikute

It seems that this mini will continue with this 80’s theme, but this one feels a bit early 90’s pop too which is kind of unusual.  In some ways, I like the bubblegum pop I feel like this is trying to give, but some of the song feels jerky and SAWA once again doesn’t sound all that great (especially when shes trying to be melodic with backups).  It’s just not my thing.

3. SetMeFree feat. Arisa Noto

Oh wow, SAWA doing a duet with Nocchi? (she was a former Hello! Project member, namely Ongaku Gatas).  Listening from the track, the tune definitely feels chaotic and loud and almost a bit like a Kyarypamyupamyu song with the frantic arrangement and absurdly cute feeling I get.  It’s definitely different and reminds me of some songs SAWA did back in her indies days.  Still, the song is BUSY!!

4. Colorful World

As the 4th track, I’m starting to feel slightly exhausted from the mini-album.  Colorful World does fit in a similar style like “SetMeFree” with its overly produced synth track and SAWA’s nasally vocals.  Though this one actually left a bit of a mark on me with weird time signatures abound and SAWA manipulating those moments.  Once again, it’s a little busy sometimes, but I can see myself getting into this further

5. Oboroge Dancing Interlude -KOTO Toui Kakekko-

As one of two interludes on the mini, I was curious because her last ones in “Odore Balcony” were kind of inconsequential in the long run.  Sadly it seems like that’s the case here once again.  The music is pretty good, fitting the mini’s overall theme.  Though the vocals between SAWA & KOTO are just the two talking to each other, so it really flies over my head.

6. Oboroge Dancing

Why does the beginning of Oboroge Dancing remind me of a casino level in a Sonic game?  Eh, anyways, Oboroge Dancing straight up goes for a EDM arrangement here and it’s quick-paced and has a nice layer of bass to keep me tapping my feet.  It’s definitely the favorite off the mini as it has a nice balance between the music and SAWA’s vocals which while are pretty monotone, but she’s not hitting absurd notes.

7. Wanna Be a Wana feat. MIRI from Lime Berry

Another song that kind of tries to push SAWA’s experimentation out there.  Unlike the other EDM/80s songs, this one is a bit more stranger and has SAWA & MIRI rapping throughout.  I don’t know, this one is just a bit tragic and really doesn’t do much but make me cringe through its entirety.

8. CandyGirl Interlude -YANAKIKU Uchi Kubi no Ran-

This interlude is even shorter than the other interlude being at 30 seconds.  The arrangement sounds like it’s going for more of a Western vibe as I feel like I’ve heard this kind of sound in American Pop here recently.  Still a bit short and doesn’t leave much of an impression.

9. CandyGirl

As the final track, CandyGirl is continues the motif that had begun in the interlude.  I swear the opening section sounds like BTS’ “Save ME” for some strange reason.  Though like her other “cute” songs, it’s a bit unbearable due to SAWA’s nasally, squeaky voice.

 

 

SAWA is a strange one to me these days, while I do approve of her being active (and still being into dance music), her vocals still haven’t been really getting better and that’s not such a good thing here.  Ijippari Mermaid does have some good moments, but I don’t think it comes close to what “Odore Balcony” did, which is not much to be fair…can we get another “RingaRinga”