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Macross 82-99: Artist Recommendation

I’m actually a big fan of future funk/vaporwave music. Macross 82-99 is one of my faves in the genre, so of course, I had to share them this time. But, I also wanted to change it up a bit from all the Korean stuff I usually share. If you’re not familiar with this type of music, here’s a great Reddit page (“subreddit”) to start you out: https://www.reddit.com/r/futurefunk/wiki/origins .

I’m probably drawn to this genre due to its dreamy tones, a sound I’ve previously mentioned of loving with the case of Neon Bunny.  My personal favorites from their album CHAM! are “I Miss You (feat. Roman)” and “Miss Macross”. It’s because these songs have the most Japanese sound influences. (My inner weeb trash is showing. OTL) This type of music might be your cup of tea or not, but it’s definitely something worth checking out if you’re a music junky.

Bandcamp: https://macross82-99.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/macross-82-99

Aimee (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

p.s. this will also be my last post now that the semester has ended

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지코 (ZICO) – BERMUDA TRIANGLE (Feat. Crush, DEAN): Song Recommendation

It’s Zico, Crush, and DEAN. There’s nothing really left to say. It’s guaranteed to be a great song because these three made the song. They’re an ultimate trio in my books because Zico, Crush, and DEAN are some of the bests artists in the k-hiphop scene right now. The only other thing worth crying about is how the song isn’t up on Spotify yet.

Aimee

Neon Bunny: Artist Recommendation

Ok, this time I had to also share another fav of mine. I’m straying from the k-pop scene to share share you some Neon Bunny, a Korean indie artist. Her electrobeats had my falling in love with her stuff first listen, and her voice is so dreamy too. And I fall so easily for dreamy sounding things. I’m not a music expert or anything, but you’ll definitely be missing out on a musical experience if you don’t check out her stuff. And if you share the same dreamy music tastes like me, you’ll 100% enjoy at least one song by her.




Love Aimee.

Wonder Girls: Artist Recommendation

The Wonder Girls made their return during the summer with their single “Why So Lonely”. Even though the song is slightly past its time of hype making my rec way overdue, I can confidently say there is no wrong time to listen to the Wonder Girls. This girl group will hold a special place in my heart because they’re the ones that got me into the wonderful world of k-pop. They’re like a classic girl group alongside Girls’ Generation.

So I’m just gonna dedicate the rest of this post to spamming the glory that is the Wonder Girls…I’m not sorry at all.





They are such a throwback group. Some of these songs are oooooold. Plus they do use lots of retro concepts.

Aimee ♥♥♥

Top 10 Anime Endings of 2016

10. Pikachu no Uta by Ikue Ohtani

Show: Pokemon XYZ

Studio: Toei Animation

There’s no deep meanings here. No leaps in animation. No special effects. Just pure, unadulterated cuteness. It’s Pikachu singing alonside a colony of pikachus. They’re cute, the song’s cute, and Ikue Ohtani’s voice as Pikachu (and no doubt the other pikachus gathered) is a delight to listen to. The song is catchy and I’ve had it stuck in my head for days. It’s just…It’s adorable. It made it on this list through sheer cuteness alone. Oh, and there’s a giant ketchup bottle which is apparently a call back to an old episode from the first season, so kudos to Toei for contiuity.

9. Hide & Seek by Kenichi Suzumura

Show: Handa-kun

Studio: Diomedia

Handa is a socially inept mess and this song really drives that point home. The song is about someone (very likely Handa) that just doesn’t want to draw attention to himself. He doesn’t want people to look at him, preferring to keep to himself, hiding from the eyes and stares of others. Unfortunately for Handa, he unknowingly becomes the most popular guy in school and is constantly drawing attention to himself without meaning to. The song is also very upbeat, with a catchy tune and Suzumura’s well suited voice providing the vocals. The characters’ movements perfectly match the infectious guitar beats, and as the series progresses, more and more characters are shown walking behind Handa, once again driving home how he’s unknowingly amassed a huge following despite his anti-social tendencies. But when he eventually overcomes his social anxieties, it makes that smile he flashes at the end even more rewarding to see.

8. You Only Live Once by Wataru Hatano

Show: Yuri!!! on Ice

Studio: Mappa

You Only Live Once is an upbeat, techno song that’s as happy and carefree as it sounds. The singer describes someone that’s bright and breathtakingly beautiful, using words and phrases to that same effect. The video makes use of Instagram, a social media app. I’ve never seen an anime’s opener or closer use a form of social media as it’s main focal point, but the way that it’s used here is very creative and well done and I hope to see other anime try something similar to this in the near future. The pictures are also a lot of fun to look at, as it gives the viewer a look at the skaters’ more casual sides outside of the rink. The way that Yuri gracefully runs around the beach with fireworks in hand also indicates that he may be the breathtakingly beautiful person the singer is referring to. Regardless, both the song and the video are a lot of fun to watch and listen to and I never grow tired of seeing it wrap up the show.

7. Fighter by Bump of Chicken

Show: March Comes in Like a Lion

Studio: Studio SHAFT

The title Fighter fits this song perfectly. Rei is a teen suffering from depression, and the show has him attempting to overcome his past regrets with the help of his found family, three sisters that offer him a place of reprieve against his otherwise gloomy days. Likewise, this song is about finding light within the darkest times. It starts out with a scared, unsure tone and a story of pain and loss before reaching a more hopeful tone once it reaches the chorus, now carrying with it words that reflect warmth and happiness. Its tone is similar to the opening with the way its hopeful message overcomes its earlier, sombre tone, and the way the visuals match up to the song, with Rei jumping out of the river and overcoming his past at the very end, is once again brilliantly executed.

6. Mashi Mashi by NICO Touches the Wall

Show: Haikyuu!! Season 3

Studio: Production IG

This is yet another song that has a “Never Give Up” kind of motto formed at its core. It’s an encouraging song that inspires the listener to take charge, hold on to their beliefs and not second guess themselves. Coupled with these empowering words is a bombastic beat and the kind of “la la la’s” that one can’t help but sing along with. It’s a shake your head to the beat kind of song, and it’s carried by the high energy displayed by the band’s lead singer. While the video features still images, there’s somehow still so much movement present and you can see so much of each character’s personality based on their pose and expressions. Seriously, the posing here is great and incredibly dynamic, which matches up to an equally dynamic, fun song. Good luck trying to get that beat out of your head.

5. Pipo Password by Teddyloid feat. Bonjour Suzuki

Show: Space Patrol Luluco

Studio: Studio Trigger

Despite all the crazy goings on, what Space Patrol Luluco is really about is a young teenage girl experiencing her first love. Pipo Password is a sweet, bouncy love song told from Luluco’s perspective as she tries to convey her love to her crush, Nova. Bonjour Suzuki’s sweet, soft voice delivers this equally sweet song really well, and the mixes and beats supplied by Teddyloid add a unique tone that makes the song stand out from your typical J-pop love song. The song is accompanied by adorable cutout images of Luluco as she traipses around real life Japan, adding even more unique flavor to an already stand out ending theme. It’s an adorable song that really succeeds in making the viewer want to root for Luluco.

4. FLIP FLAP FLIP FLAP by To-MAS feat.Chima

Show: Flip Flappers

Studio: 3Hz

Flip Flappers is a fantastical adventure and this ending theme further explores that. At the start, we see a confident Papika leading a nervous Cocona. The lyrics state that the singer is nervous and unsure, and the accompanying images reflect this. But then we reach the chorus, with Papika and Cocona wearing wide smiles and running hand in hand, the singer also seems to be less scared and more willing to go on adventures to new, exciting worlds. It’s a flighty song with an adventurous spirit to it despite its soothing tone. Chima’s voice has just the right amount of softness to it that sounds almost fluffy and the accompanying tune has a nice, storybook, almost Disney-like, feel to it. The fairy tale-inspired images shown in the background are also quite lovely and act as a great way to further reinforce the mood that both the lyrics and the animations of Papika and Cocona in the lower screen are trying to invoke.

3. All Off by Refrain Boy

Show: Mob Psyho 100

Studio: Studio Bones

This is one of those ending themes that highlight a secondary character instead of the protagonist. The song clues the audience in on Reigen’s hidden depths; that he isn’t just some over confident conman. The singer talks about overcoming past failures and regrets with the same kind of confidence Reigen exudes. The vocals, likewise, manage to deliver these lines confidently, making the lyrics have a larger impact. Much like the opening, the ending also makes a call back to Mob’s internal countdown, albeit much more subtly,  when it mentions “Whether it be 0 or 100; 10 or 100 – we’re searching for an answer!” And then it’s made clear who these empowering words are directed towards: Mob. Much like the opening theme, this entire song is meant to act as words of encouragement for the protagonist, and the fact that it’s implied to be from Reigen’s perspective makes this ending theme all the more heartwarming.

I also feel the need to gush about the animation for this ending theme, because HOLY COW. This ending theme was entirely animated by Miyo Sato, a fresh university graduate. It was done through a process called glass painting animation that you can read more about here. There’s just so much attention to detail with the way that Reigen moves and how the camera moves around to give the audience a proper perspective on how Reigen views his surroundings. With the knowledge that this song is meant to be an encouraging song directed at Reigen’s pupil, that final shot of Mob, growing from a grade school student to a middle school student in a flash is an even more heart warming sight.

2. Akane Sasu by Aimer

Show: Natsume Yuujinchou Go

Studio: Studio Shuka

Natsume Yuujinchou’s endings always seem to follow the same pattern. Each season tends to switch between summer and winter themes, the accompanying animation is done in water color style, and the songs all had the kind of relaxing warmth that permeates each episode of this long running, beloved series. This season’s ending theme made some slight departures to that typical formula. It’s the first to have a fall theme. The song describes the changing scenery, of leaves falling and red skies. Aimer’s powerful vocals are also quite different from the softer vocals of endings past, but that doesn’t make this song any less relaxing to listen to. The song’s tune is soft and loud where it needs to be, as is Aimer’s voice, and the way that her vocals slowly increase in volume when it hits the chorus make the accompanying bittersweet lyrics hit the listener even harder, especially if that particular episode was one of the more tear jerking inducing ones.

There are two videos for this particular ending theme. The first is a simple slideshow that features leaves and flowers that further invoke the theme of fall, played in the first four episodes. The second, used from episode 5 on wards, is more in line with the type of ending themes the series is known for. What’s especially impactful about it is the way it shows the two divided worlds that Natsume lives in, showing his youkai friends first and his human friends second. I included both, however, due to copyright issues, I was only able to find a piano version of the second version of the ending theme, but I’d still recommend watching the video with Aimer’s vocals attached, as it syncs quite well with the animation, particularly the part where she bids farewell in the chorus and the camera zooms past Natsume and up into the red sky and ends with a final shot of Natsume’s foster parents. It’s a beautiful, bittersweet song, but it certainly doesn’t lack the kind of warmth the series is known for and it does a good job of closing each episode, regardless of whether the episode ended on heartwarming note or a bittersweet one.

1. Sore wa Chiisa na Hikari no yo na by Sayuri

Show: Erased (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi)

Studio: A-1 Pictures

This ending theme is a treat for the eyes and ears. The pitch of Sayuri’s voice fits well with the tone that the song is trying to emit and the guitar riffs add a mysterious flavor to the song, making it a perfect fit for a time travel crime drama. The accompanying animation is absolutely gorgeous, with cleverly hidden clues and symbols that foreshadow later events in the story. Literally any cap could be taken from this ending theme, and it could act as a standalone art piece. The way that lighting, colors, and perspectives are used add more depth to each scene, particularly the framing for most scenes that have the characters’ facial features hidden from view…with one notable exception The song is told from Satoru’s perspective, expressing his regrets in his inability to save Kayo in the past and doing nothing to aid her when she was in pain even before her gruesome murder. But in the end, he makes a determined promise to save both her and their futures.

Top 10 Anime Openings of 2016

10.  Coolest by CustomiZ

Show: Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto

Studio: Studio Deen

This opening is ridiculously over the top, just like the protagonist of the series. It’s loud, fun, and silly, and does a great job of preparing the audience for a comedic show.  The video only features protagonist Sakamoto doing ridiculous poses and looking “cool”, “cooler”, and “coolest”. It matches the brand of humor the show is known for, and since Sakamoto is the central character and driving force of the series, it makes sense for him to be the focus of this opening. It may not have any deep meaning, but this opening is sure as heck a lot of fun to watch and listen to, and when you hear the singers yell those random English phrases, you just can’t help but want to shout along with them.

9. S.O.S. by Weaver

Show: Poco’s Udon World

Studio: LIDEN FILMS

Sweet and heartwarming, this is another opening theme that captures the tone of its show perfectly. The song features a bubbly, electronic beat accompanied by the washed out water color style that Poco’s Udon World is known for. The song is about wanting to cheer someone up and to have them smiling genuine smiles again. The singer states that he will never abandon the other person and desperately wants to cheer them up again. The singer’s thoughts are quite similar to the kind of effects Poco has on protagonist Souta. Souta, who is now in his 30’s and struggling to find his purpose in life, is slowly starting to come to terms with both his father’s death and his own personal demons with the help of Poco, whose adorable smile and boundless energy is absolutely infectious. The opening theme also features some nice looking backgrounds and those final few shots of Poco are just too cute for words.

8. Kami Iro Awase by binaria

Show: Danganronpa 3: Despair Arc

Studio: Lerche

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING VIDEO AND COMMENTS WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE DANGANRONPA FRANCHISE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Against a deceptively soothing song and warm pastel colors lies a sinister message and literal despair-inducing subliminal messages. The lyrics foreshadow class 77’s eventual fall to despair from beginning to end starting with it’s very first lyrics “Hello Despair”; and it’s final words: “The darkness gently leads you by the hand”. This hits even harder when the second version of the opening was aired and the pastel colors turn dark with all of the students of class 77 now bearing red eyes (sans Chiaki). The visuals of this opening are fairly minimalist, but it works and does a good job of reflecting Ryouta’s brainwashing video in the show proper. Of particular note is the scene where Junko literally has class 77 in the palm of her hands before she blows them away and they all literally fall to despair because of Junko’s actions. Adding the red eye symbol that mirror’s Monokuma’s onto Izuru was also a nice touch. And while heartbreaking, the way that Hajime seems to be flickering from existence in the second version of the opening to reflect how he’s lost his original personality was also a nice add-on. There are so many things I could talk about in regards to the foreshadowing and symbolism to this opening, but sadly, I just don’t have the time. But the song, despite it’s despair inducing message, is a nice listen. Annabel and Nagi Yanagi’s voices blend really well and the song has an overall relaxing tone to it. The way that their voices mix together in the chorus especially is almost trance-like, and given the many subliminal messages that the opening video has hidden, it was probably done on purpose.

7. Answer by Bump of Chicken

Show: March Comes in Like a Lion

Studio: studio SHAFT

As the song’s title implies, Answer’s lyrics translates to finding, well, the right answer. As to what exactly, it’s never really specified. But whatever it is, both the singer and Rei seem to have a difficult time looking for it. The singer wistfully wonders if he can ever find the answer and finds it difficult to move without that knowledge. Likewise, Rei has difficulty moving as he struggles against murky dark waters, representing the depression he suffers from. The song starts out lost and confused, much like Rei at the start of the series, but by the end, it gains a more hopeful tone. The gentle chimes that resound through the chorus add a bit more lightheartedness as the song’s heavy atmosphere dissipates and the way it’s represented in the video, with Rei’s happier memories appearing in a golden light, match up with the song perfectly.

I couldn’t find a proper player to link, so only way you’ll probably be able to ind this (by legal means) is by watching an actual episode.

6. Signal by TK

Show: 91 Days

Studio: Studio Shuka

91 Days is a story of revenge wrought with violence and crime. But as is the case for most narratives that focus on revenge, the end result is never worth it. Signal’s lyrics reflect protagonist Angelo’s conflicting feelings on whether to go on with his plans for revenge, especially once he becomes closer to his target. Despite his anger, he’s lonely, he’s been alone for such a long time. But abandoning all those years of planning and hatred isn’t easy, and even when he knows it’s wrong, he still wants to see his plan through. The song’s emotional impact is delivered well by TK, who sings the song with enough raw emotion to deliver an angst-filled message to the viewer even with a language barrier in place. The opening theme also reuses some footage from the show proper, a rarity in anime, but it manages to fit well with the song’s lyrics and further reinforce Angelo’s justified hatred when images of his family’s murder flash by. The final shot of a younger Angelo, scared and infuriated hiding inside a closet before it shifts to his older, angrier self is especially powerful in getting the message of lingering hatred across.

5. Re: Re: by Asian Kung Fu Generation

Show: Erased (Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi)

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Re:Re is a song about past regrets, which fits the narrative of Erased perfectly. The video contains a narrative of its own, starting with protagonist Satorou’s happy childhood before fast forwarding to the tragedies that befall his adult self in the future due to one single regret. The use of film strips representing Satorou’s memories is a clever touch and the way that adult Satorou struggles before he reverts to his child self holding a more determined pose perfectly portrays his newfound resolve to correct his past mistakes after he goes back in time. The opening’s animation contains brilliant timing alongside the accompanying song, which features J-rock vibes and a fluidity that stands out from typical anime openings with the way that the entire song is arranged, particularly the fact that it doesn’t seem to have a clear cut chorus. But it works well, it sounds great, it looks great, and it fits this show like glove.

4. Hikari Are by Burn Out Syndromes

Show: Haikyuu!! Season 3

Studio: Production IG

There’s a looming mountain as the underdogs, our protagonists, walk into view, exhausted but determined. Hikari Are, which in English, literally translates to “Let there be light”, is oddly enough, a love song at its core. But it’s a love song laced with determination and that ever popular sports motto of never giving up. Coupled with some stunning animation and powerfully sung vocals, the end result is the best sports opening theme I’ve seen EVER. PERIOD. Speaking of stunning animation, the imagery and symbolism are brilliantly executed, from the large mountain transforming into an eagle, to the way that Hinata’s spike is compared to a crow’s dive, to the shot featuring a pack of crows fighting against a single, large eagle as the opposing teams walk into the court, to that final shot of the shining championship trophy as the words “Let there be light” ring out one last time; it effectively builds up the kind of hype you want to get from a sports show and the uses of symbolism is absolutely on point. Kudos to you once again, Production IG.

3. Lay Your Hands on Me by Boom Boom Satellites

Show: Kiznaiver

Studio: Studio Trigger

This opening theme features a nice, relaxing tune in surprisingly good English.  As a show that focuses on developing relationships,  the lyrics manages to convey this message, with the singer stating that he wants to “fly” into the other person’s heart and pleading for them to stay by their side and grant them affection. The lyrics, while somewhat flighty, could also be the voice of protagonist Katsuhira, who acts as an emotionless blank slate and subconsciously seeks out human affection. What helps carry this opening theme, in addition to its infectious tune, is its lovely accompanying animation. Besides the main characters, the opening doesn’t give away any plot details, but at its core, this show is a character drama and we see enough of the main characters’ personalities each time they appear on screen.

2. History Maker by Dean Fujioka

Show: Yuri!!! on Ice

Studio: MAPPA

Despite being entirely in English, this song reflects Yuri’s own thoughts.  How he wants to improve, to get better, to become great, to make history. The song offers a techno mashup that pairs surprisingly well with the orchestral instruments in the background that give off the type of tone one would expect from your typical ice skating background music. The rotoscoping is also incredibly well done, which acts as a preview for the many well animated ice skating sequences the show has to over. Later opening themes add in backgrounds as the characters skate by, a nice touch that makes an already stunning piece of animation look even nicer to watch and inspires the viewer to never skip it, as later opening sequences will continue to add in more details. Brilliant animation that pairs off with an inspiring song that adds to the show’s narrative would have easily made this ong my top pick for this year…But a song that aired the previous season had already won my heart over.

1. 99 by Mob Choir

Show: Mob Psycho 100

Studio: Studio Bones

I’ve already gushed about the animation in this opening sequence in an older post, so this time I’ll focus more on the song. It’s yet another song that inspires greatness and encourages being different, “who you want to be”. In a way, it’s a song that encourages the show’s protagonist, Mob, who is very much different from his peers. It’s a song that really matches the show’s tone, much like how ONE’s previous show, One Punch Man‘s opening was very much a song that fit the show. The added effect of the singer counting down in between was also a nice call back to Mob’s own internal countdown from whenever his emotions reach 100%. The opening video is also incredibly well animated and each scene transition is done in fun and creative ways. As amazing as History Maker sounds and looks, 99 succeeds in both sound and story telling, making it my number one pick for this year.

Red Velvet – Dumb Dumb: Song Recommendation

Hooray for more aesthetically pleasing videos and a song that’s so popping! Brought to you by the same Red Velvet who sang “Russian Roulette” (which I recommended earlier). Just trust me when I say that when you reach the end of the song you’re bound to be singing “Dumb Dumb Dumb Dumb Dumb Dumb~” repeatedly. That line really sticks in your head. And I really love the red doll-like costumes. It’s such a great cosplay idea that’s been sitting in the back of my creative pool which I have yet to dive into when time allows.

But enough about my useless thoughts.
Here’s the rest of that album that kicks butt:

Aimee ♥♥♥

f(x) – 4 Walls: Song Recommendation

Guys, why is sharing Korean songs the only thing I really post? It’s like I don’t know how to do anything else or that this is the only stuff I surround myself with. Which I can’t say is a bad thing because the music I listen to is pretty good, if I do say so myself.

So today, it’s no different OTL. I’m just bringing back an old favorite of mine to share because of the aesthetically pleasing music video and how the song literally resonates with my soul. Everything is soft and magical, and I really love the clothes styling. (Plus there’s a beautiful horse in the video!)

Here’s a live performance to share more pastel/70s clothing aesthetics:

I really think the song fits perfectly for mellow-ish fall vibes since the autumn season is the start of all the magical end of the year stuff. And this song is 100% magical in my eyes since I’m still jamming to it now.

And here’s the rest of the album (it’s too good to miss out on):

Aimee ♥♥♥

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