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  • polymetrica 4:18 pm on October 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Annabel, bermei.inazawa, Chata, , Gazelle, Hanatan, Katakiri Rekka, M3, , , , Shibayan, , , Usa   

    Things I Am Excited About 【Fall 2009 M3(24)】 

    Click to go to the M3 Homepage.

    M3 is a one-day, biannual, music-only convention held in Yokohama, Japan, and its name stands for “Music + Media-Mix Market”. It’s kind of like Tokyo’s Comiket but for doujin music artists only. The Fall M3 event for 2009 will be held on October 11th, and is the 24th iteration of the event. This post will briefly highlight only the circle releases I am watching for (22 releases in total are profiled here). Click on the banners for a link to the site, all of which include demos unless otherwise stated. Info is listed BELOW the banner.

    Entries are loosely ordered by genre:
    1. Original, xx-based (ie. Story-based, Light Novel-based, etc)
    2. Original, Pop / Original, Pop-rock
    3. Original
    4. Touhou Arrange
    5. Cover
    ★★ entries are the ones I am most excited about.

    Copy and paste the stars or genre titles into CTRL+F to find them.

    I know the doujin music scene is a pretty uncommon/obscure subject in most anime-related blogs, but if you have an interest in finding out more and discovering new artists and such, M3 is seriously the best place to start foraying into this niche-ish sector. Hopefully this post will be helpful for doing that too.

    Official M3 Circle List: http://www.m3net.jp/m3_24/circles.html
    M3 Circle Releases List at BLACK ANGEL: http://blackangel.main.jp/event.php

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    • Hrie~!! 8:53 am on October 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      A music version of Comiket? I’d hate to sound like a weeaboo or something but the Japanese have it all, no? OTL

  • polymetrica 10:00 pm on August 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Gazelle, , , , , ,   

    【Vocaloid Composer】supercell (ryo) 

    Long overdue post spotlighting this popular group. supercell is probably the most well-known Vocaloid-based group out there, and also the most successful in turning from amateur to professional. When ryo used 119’s illustration in his video for MELT in 2008, he borrowed it without asking, but when he later got permission to use the image, supercell was formed as a group. The group consists of ryo doing the lyric writing and song composing, and the other members, ranging from pros to amateurs, doing illustrations, website design, and package design. ryo is the creator and leader of the group.

    The current members are:
    ryo (music)
    三輪士郎 (MIWA Shirow) (illustration, logo – professional)
    huke (illustration – professional)
    redjuice (illustration, website design)
    SUGA (illustration)
    mac (illustration and videos)
    宇佐義大 (USA Yoshiki) at wooserdesign (package design, binding, printing)
    丙8郎 (hei8ro, support in illustration and photography)
    guitar (support in illustration)
    crow (support in ???)
    golv (support in ???)

    supercell’s first and most popular song is メルト (MELT), posted on nicovideo on December 7th in 2007, and has had more than 4 million hits and 144,000+ mylists since. It is 3rd in nicovideo’s all-time mylist rankings. supercell’s other songs, 恋は戦争 (Love is War), World is Mine, Black★Rock Shooter, and 初めての恋が終わる時 (The Time My First Love Ended) almost all have more than 1 million hits as well (the only exclusion being The Time My First Love Ended). As well, almost all these songs have remained on every iteration of the Weekly Vocaloid Rankings since they were posted on nicovideo.

    supercell 1st album cover. (Illust: 三輪士郎)

    After Black★Rock Shooter, they released an album with new, unposted songs at Comiket 74 in 2008 along with an included artbook that had many new and old illustrations based on the songs. They were also able to release the same album commercially on March 4th 2009 under Sony Music. This album reached 2nd on the Oricon daily charts and 4th on the weekly charts, and in June 2009 supercell’s album was awarded the monthly Gold Disc by the Recording Industry Association of Japan. The limited edition of the album came with the same artbook from their C74 release. The last song that supercell posted on nicovideo was The Time My First Love Ended, on December 12th 2008.

    supercell released their first major single on August 12th 2009, featuring the ending theme song from Bakemonogatari named 君の知らない物語 (The Story You Don’t Know), and got 5th place in the daily Oricon single rankings. This single also marked the first time that supercell did not use Hatsune Miku for vocals, and instead used a (human) vocalist named nagi, who was famous for her singing on nicovideo under the name of Gazelle. The single also included two songs done for the (upcoming) anime movie CENCOROLL.

    supercell’s music style is usually pop or rock with vocals done by Hatsune Miku (they haven’t used the other vocaloids for their songs yet), with the occasional techno. Piano solos a la MELT have become a characterstic of ryo’s compositions, and the main melody is usually repeated throughout. What makes supercell stand out the most, though, is that the personality and character design they create for Miku (or their songs’ protagonists) are always different, which makes it very easy to tell the songs apart and makes it much more memorable. In terms of lyrics, ryo says that he likes to write them according to his initial instincts and without hesitation, and doesn’t like to “add decorations” to make them less “embarassing” to sing. (This is from a section of the Japanese wikipedia entry, quoted from supercell’s interview with Oricon. Translated wiki excerpt is below this entry.)

    As of now, supercell can probably be classified as a professional group, as they have had increasingly more mainstream releases in not only music, but also figures and other anime-related things, the newest being the Black★Rock Shooter anime pilot DVD release (which may develop into a full series) being animated by Ordet and directed by YAMAMOTO Yutaka (aka Yamakan of Lucky☆Star fame).

    Official site: http://www.supercell.jp/
    supercell member blog: http://www.supercell.sc/index.html
    supercell interview at Oricon: http://rn.oricon.co.jp/special/20080805_02.html (Japanese)
    ryo’s nicovideo Mylist: http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/3291521
    ryo playlist at Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=FF5DC29263C4C9C3
    ryo at Twitter: http://twitter.com/ryo_9987

    Wiki excerpt translation: On writing lyrics, ryo says that he “doesn’t edit” and “writes according to the first immediate ideas that float into his mind”, and when told that some people find this manner of writing odd, he says that because “when people sing, they usually think something like “Oh, these lyrics are too embarassing to sing, let’s go with some different ones instead” and end up putting in excess decorations in”, “and because a robot is singing my lyrics, I don’t think that it’s necessary to change my lyrics to make them less embarassing, and so I write them without a second thought.” (Original JPN Wiki entry)

     
    • lelangir 6:01 am on August 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      One thing I’m wondering is, do Ryo’s compositions get performed by real people or is it all through samples? I’d think Bakemonogatari’s ED is performed by real people, but I wouldn’t know for his other vocaloid songs. Composing drum music for a drum machine seems awfully difficult if you’re not a drummer. Is he a drummer? O_o

      • polymetrica 3:02 pm on August 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        This is an extremely good question, thanks for asking! From what I’ve looked up, the drums (and probably other intruments) in most of his songs are synthesized by a software instrument called Omnisphere that he uses. ryo is a pianist, so all the piano parts were performed by him. The bass and guitar in his songs on supercell’s first album were performed by real people, as are all the instruments used in Bakemonogatari’s ED.

        Composing music for an instrument you don’t play is probably pretty difficult indeed, so I’m thinking that he got help in some way with writing the parts for live players, especially since supercell is releasing a book of sheet music for bands to perform to. I’m not very familiar with how music is produced or composed, so this is all I can tell you.

  • polymetrica 7:16 pm on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Gazelle, , , , ,   

    【CD】君の知らない物語 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari) by supercell 

    As if I don’t already have enough posts about this CD’s title song. Anyways, I finally received my copy of the CD today after preordering it last month.

    Click to enlarge. (illust: 三輪士郎)

    Click to enlarge. (illust: 三輪士郎)

    The version I got was the first press edition with an extra DVD and a sticker that you can put on your cap. The CD comes with 5 tracks, three of which have vocals and two are instrumentals.

    CD Track List:
    01. 君の知らない物語 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari)
    02. LOVE & ROLL
    03. theme of “CENCOROLL” instrumental track
    04. 君の知らない物語 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari) -TV Edit-
    05. 君の知らない物語 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari) -Instrumental-

    All the songs are composed by ryo of supercell, and the vocals are done by nagi. nagi is basically the reason I bought this CD at all because her voice is too great. My favourite track is probably the title track even though it sounded kind of generic to me at first, but the lyrics are great. LOVE & ROLL, the main vocal theme for CENCOROLL, is a very welcome change from ryo’s usual style, and I love the main melody, but it seems to repeat a lot and makes the song sound a little long. Nevertheless, still a good song that I like, and it has interesting lyrics as well.

    The cover illustration is done by MIWA Shirow and the sticker illustrations were done by redjuice. I was kind of disappointed with the sticker because I actually thought that there would be 8 stickers, one for each illustration. But alas, it was only one sticker with 8 cropped pictures on it.

    The package design was done by wooserdesign, which is good and clean. I’m not used to buying singles, but I was a tiny bit disappointed that there weren’t any liner notes from the staff/vocalist. (Or are liner notes for albums only?) The paper insert (not a booklet) is only one piece of folded glossy paper with the cover illustration, credits, lyrics, and back cover, with a two-sided advertisement insert inside promoting Bakemonogatari DVD vol.1 and CENCOROLL. The CD case is pretty high quality, though, and isn’t exactly the ultra-fragile jewel cases I’m used to seeing.

    The DVD I haven’t watched yet since it’s Region 2, but I watched the videos from it on the web.

    DVD Track List:

    • 「君の知らない物語」 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari) MUSIC VIDEO
    • 「君の知らない物語」 (Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari) CM SPOT

    The LIVE ACTION PV is a terrible disappointment since I was really hoping for something animated or at least related to Bakemonogatari in some way. It’s basically a juvenile story about a high school love triangle. The CM spot video is really short and reuses footage from episode 1 of Bakemonogatari.

    All in all, I’m not exactly regretting that I got the first press edition, but since the DVD bonus was mediocre, I recommend getting the regular edition, even though the one (big) sticker is pretty cool. I’m happy that I got the CD at all since CDs with nagi’s vocals are so hard to find, so jumping on this mass-produced single is a good opportunity if you are either a supercell or nagi fan. I don’t really think that there’s much here for Bakemonogatari fans unless they really like the song or really want to collect the sticker.

    Picspam under the cut. Click to enlarge.

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  • polymetrica 10:48 pm on July 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dixie Flatline, , Gazelle, , , , , ,   

    Things I Am Excited About 【July Ep1】 

    Series on post on random, possibly outdated stuff I care about. (ideally the items would be USUALLY new but you know what!!)

    Illustrators

    I can already imagine a delicious voice for this guy.

    I can already imagine a delicious voice for this guy...

    • エナミカツミ (ENAMI KATSUMI), one of my absolute favourite character designer/artists ever, is doing the character designs and artwork for Ys 7!!! Words cannot express my joy, except it is a little dulled because I am unable to obtain a copy of the game. Anyways, this is incredibly old news but I accidentally reminded myself this month, so there you go. The game is being released on September 17th for the PSP.

    • 吉田明彦 (YOSHIDA Akihiko), the guy whose artwork drove me so insane it actually made me WANT to play Final Fantasy, is doing the character designs and artwork direction for the new DS FF spinoff, 光の四戦士-ファイナルファンタジー外伝 (Hikari no 4 Senshi – Final Fantasy Gaiden). I guess that another reason that the DS is awesome is because all its main-ish Final Fantasy games are powered by Yoshida Akihiko.

    Music

    • The sample for the second vocal track in supercell (x nagi)’s 君の知らない物語 single has been released! It’s called LOVE & ROLL, and is CENCOROLL‘s theme song, and the vocals are again by nagi. Really upbeat (mmmm bass), and quite a lot of random English! A pretty awesome departure from ryo’s usual style, and I look foward to the full version.

    • Finally stalked Mitsuda Yasunori (Not adding kanji because we all know him I guess?!) again last night to find out that the vocal arrange of his famous Chrono Trigger overworld theme, 風の憧憬 (Yearnings of the Wind) has its sample up! It is sung by 清水翔太 (SHIMIZU Shota) and will be retitled as 風のように (Like the Wind). Hope more of his works become even more known to the world! It’s so awesome.

    • Dixie Flatline, the Vocaloid composer of Juvenile and and Gemini fame has uploaded a new song titled Just Be Friends (Nicovideo link) featuring Megurine Luka for vocals and ゆのみ (yunomi, of magnet fame) for artwork/PV! Not only is it incredibly loopable, but it is also (deservedly) dominating the nicovideo rankings. Also that PV is so cute. Reminds me of Honey and Clover for some reason! That is a good thing I believe.
     
  • polymetrica 12:31 pm on July 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Gazelle, ,   

    Bakemonogatari ED 

    Been literally been waiting 3 weeks or so to hear the song ever since they announced that ガゼル (gazelle), a super great alas retired 歌ってみた artist from niconico, was going to sing it!! Anyways, the song is written by ryo of supercell, and sang by nagi, gazelle’s new artist name. The title of the song is 君の知らない物語 (Your Strange Story).

    Here’s the video with the ED.

    What pisses me off the most is that nagi is not mentioned anywhere in the ED credits nor on the 君の知らない物語 single website except in the paragraph! All they go on about is ryo ryo ryo ryo ryo WHY. I mean, I guess he is the composer and all but what if someone is wondering who sang it?! It’s obviously not ryo who did the vocals as he is male!

    Anyways, now it’s time to start counting down to the release of the single (August 12th) with lyrics and the full version \o/ Not exactly too fond of the song itself because it sounds like his other stuff, but the vocals…!!!!

     
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