Random Curiosity

heidi. – Yokan PV (Kaichou wa Maid-sama! ED)


I wouldn’t have known that the ending theme to Kaichou wa Maid-sama was performed by a visual kei rock band had I not seen this PV, so that sort of goes to show how much an artist’s appearance really matters to me. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not into the visual kei look whatsoever despite how the flamboyant fad caught on since the 1980s, but that doesn’t prevent me from enjoying heidi‘s seventh single and major debut release “Yokan” either. When I first heard this song three months ago with the badass Usui Takumi-centered ending sequence, the lead in to the first verse immediately caught my attention. (Well that, and the shirtless Usui that came with it.) I still didn’t think much of the song after that, but it gradually grew on me more and more over the weeks. What I found most impressive was their vocalist Yoshihiko’s range, which you can sort of get a feel for in this song before he starts singing his lungs out. One of the other two songs on this single, “Kodama”, gives off a better impression of his singing ability when he’s not doing that, which to me sounds a lot better in comparison. In any case, this single was released back on May 26th and along with the limited edition is the PV you see above. Enjoy.

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June 19, 2010 at 11:52 pm Comments (23)

Asou Natsuko – Everyday sunshine line! PV (Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou ED)


With Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou concluded, I figured I’d better post about the PV of its ending theme now if I’m going to do it at all. So without further ado, here’s actress/singer Asou Natsuko‘s latest single, “Everyday sunshine line!”, which was been available ever since May 12th. For this bubbly song that Daimaou viewers are surely familiar with now, the music video with Natsuko riding through the city with a bunch of balloons is befitting, though not all that interesting either. Regardless, Natsuko is a fairly new and young 19-year-old artist whose singing career only really started around this time last year. This is only her fourth single, but she’s sort of made a mark on the anime scene by having her second one, “Programming for non-fiction”, featured as the opening theme to Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou and third one, “Perfect-area complete!”, as the same for Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu. Those familiar with either of those two series should recognize her voice fairly easily, but I was actually surprised to find out that I knew of her well before her major music debut.

… More after the jump, including a second Negima-related video.

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June 19, 2010 at 11:02 pm Comments (11)

ON/OFF – Butterfly PV (Durarara!! ED2)


If you’re unfamiliar with ON/OFF, you might be surprised to learn that it’s actually a duo comprised of identical twin brothers, Sakamoto Kazuya and Naoya (left-to-right in the video preview picture). Being identical twins, their voices naturally sound the same, making it somewhat difficult to discern that there are actually two vocalists rather than a backtrack sung by the same person. Admittedly, I was quite oblivious about that fact when I first heard their second single “Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi” as the opening theme of Vampire Knight back in 2008. In any case, their third single “Rinne -Rondo-” was subsequently featured as the opening theme of the Vampire Knight Guilty sequel the same year. I took an almost immediate liking to both songs when I first heard them, which made it pretty easy for me to get into the second Durarara ending sequence we have here.

As for the duo itself, they’re still a fairly new group having only debuted back in 2007 with the song “Eien no Setsuna”, which became the ending theme of the television drama of Fuuma no Kojirou. What’s notable about that though is that they both had recurring roles in the show itself as well. For those wondering, Naoya is the slightly older one of the two and while they don’t quite look identical in this PV (Kazuya’s eyes look bigger), they do a lot more in the profile shots on their official website. The single for Butterfly was released today (6/9) and featured this PV in the limited edition.

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June 9, 2010 at 10:43 pm Comments (14)

ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D – Complication PV (Durarara!! OP2)


With the full version of the second Durarara opening theme having been leaked over a week in advance, I’ve been listening to a it fair bit like I mentioned back when episode 19 aired. I even threw it up on the sidebar for a while for those who were interested. Well today is the official release of the single and along with the limited edition is the PV for it you see above. It’s not a bad one either, but the best part of it is still the song itself. As good as the TV size version is already, the full version has a longer lead in and rap portions which together make the song sound so much better. I just don’t seem to get sick of it regardless of how much I’ve listened to it. It’s likely because the song switches the tempo up at various parts, offering a bit of everything, before coming on strong every time it gets back to the chorus. If you haven’t listened to it already and watch the series, then I really recommend doing so!

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June 2, 2010 at 7:36 pm Comments (20)

Tamura Yukari – Oshiete A to Z PV (B Gata H Kei OP)


It’s not quite Yamada bobbing up and down and trying to seduce Kosuda like there’s no tomorrow, but we have Tamura Yukari doing laundry, watering the lawn, and just looking pretty. I don’t think I’ll ever quite understand what Japanese promo/music video directors are thinking, but they can’t be thinking that hard if this is what they come up with more often than not. On the plus side, Yukarin’s legs are pretty well accented in those anime-length skirts/dresses she’s wearing (i.e. super short ones), which isn’t an easy thing to do considering how she’s only 157cm tall (~5’2″).

More after the jump, including some old school Yamato Nadeshiko…

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May 27, 2010 at 9:40 pm Comments (7)

Girls Dead Monster – Little Braver PV (Angel Beats!)


Oh how nice it is to finally have a face to go with the singing voice we’ve been hearing in Angel Beats. Posted on the official site yesterday was a PV of the real life Girls Dead Monster performing “Little Braver” from their third single, slated to be released on June 9th. The song features Yui‘s singing counterpart LiSA on vocals, whom we’ve already heard in the show with her version of “My Soul, Your Beats!” back in episode four and “Thousand Enemies” in episode five. I haven’t talked about the music releases in my weekly coverage of the series, but the first one was titled “Crow Song” and featured marina, Iwasawa’s singing counterpart, whereas the second one was the aforementioned “Thousand Enemies”. Each single features three completely different songs by Garudemo, which is pretty impressive considering how they’re unlikely to all be used in the actual show.

Instead, it’s just P.A. Works and Maeda Jun‘s way of showing up another Yui in some other production by a bunch of guys hailing from Kyoto, who haven’t been putting out much in the music department. An obvious exaggeration, considering how Houkago Tea Time’s OP/ED themes topped out at #1 and #2 on the weekly Oricon charts respectively, but Angel Beats has animated many more performances so far — and really good ones to boot. In any case, “Little Braver” is a surprisingly good song from the very first listen, so I’m hoping we’ll see a performance of it at some point in an episode. If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out the other two singles as well. The OP/ED single featuring Lia and Tada Aoi on the other hand is scheduled to be released in only four more days (May 26th), so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for that too.

Note: All Girls Dead Monster songs and both the OP/ED themes are written, composed, and produced by Maeda Jun specifically for Angel Beats.

* Thanks to Silverwolf X for the heads-up on the PV.

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May 22, 2010 at 5:57 am Comments (43)

sphere – REALOVE:REALIFE PV (Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou OP)


Covering as many series as I am this season, I’m finding that I barely have time to check out promotional videos on top of that, let alone blog about them. However, there are actually a good handful of them out for various opening/ending themes of anime series this season, so I thought I’d slip in a few here and there over the next week or so. First up is the sphere’s opening theme in Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, “REALOVE:REALIFE”, simply because this seiyuu group is composed of four of my favorite female ones — Tomatsu Haruka (20), Kotobuki Minako (19), Takagaki Ayahi (24), and Toyosaki Aki (23) (left-to-right in the pic above).

… More after the jump.

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May 14, 2010 at 9:38 pm Comments (31)

Nakagawa Shoko – RAY OF LIGHT PV (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood ED5)

 

Have the new Fullmetal Alchemist opening and ending themes caught on with you yet? Well if not, here’s the PV for Nakagawa Shoko‘s latest addition to the series’ ending themes. There’s not much in the way of cosplay from “Shokotan” like she’s known for, but the PV still showcases her visual appeal pretty nicely (i.e. cuteness). As for the song itself, it’s grown on me over the course of the week and I really like the lead in to it, which works well from the anime’s standpoint. Enjoy!

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April 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm Comments (27)

fripSide – LEVEL5 -judgelight- PV (To Aru Kagaku no Railgun OP2)

 

I haven’t been posting about PVs as much as I would’ve liked recently, but here’s the latest from fripSide. Unlike their PV for the first opening theme of Railgun, this one doesn’t have much of anything in reference to the anime. As for the song itself, I admittedly fell five plus weeks behind on the series for obvious reasons, so I actually didn’t hear it until late last week. Because of that, it’s still somewhat new to me. For initial impressions, I’d say I like the sound of their new song, but took a much more immediate liking to “only my railgun”. With fripSide’s music though, I figure “LEVEL5 -judgelight-” will grow on me the more I listen to it, which is what happened with “late in autumn”, the second track on the “only my railgun” single.

Anyway, the more I hear it, the more Nanjou Yoshino‘s singing as the new vocalist of fripSide seems well-suited for their upbeat, fast-paced music. I still find this surprising because I can’t really picture that voice behind Oosawa Maria in CANAAN nor Tsukishima Koko in Da Capo II, both of whom she voiced. For those wondering, the guy coming out of the bag in the PV is Japanese entertainer/comedian Esper Itou. Why he’s featured in their music video I don’t know, so maybe someone can fill me in on that.

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February 19, 2010 at 9:59 pm Comments (19)

HIMEKA – Hatenaki Michi PV (Letter Bee ED)

 

If you’ve been following my Letter Bee (Tegami Bachi) posts, there’s probably little need for me to go into how much I’ve been looking forward to the full version of the ending theme. Likewise with an introduction for HIMEKA, the French Canadian girl living out the anisong/otaku dream in Japan. As mentioned in my post a couple of weeks ago, the single for Hatenaki Michi (“Endless Road”) was released on November 25th. Back then, I also brought up how devoted fans were banding together to prevent her music from becoming “available” online. Because of that, I was debating whether or not I should even post the PV.

…More after the jump!

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December 12, 2009 at 4:58 am Comments (10)

Lil’B – Tsunaida Te PV (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood ED3)

 

Much like the single for the third FMA ending theme (released 09-11-11), its PV has been out for quite a while now. I had seen it several weeks ago after Omni pointed it out to me, but posting about it kind of slipped my mind until now. As such, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you have already come across it, so this is more for those who haven’t or would simply like to hear me out. (We have readers like that right…? >_>)

Titled “Tsunaida Te” 「つないだ手」 (Held/Connected Hands), the song is performed by a relatively new female duo that debuted last year under DefSTAR Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment. Featuring MIE as the vocals and AILA as the rap, Lil’B is actually short for “Little Betrayal”, a name that’s supposed to mean they’re “a playful and mischievous surprise in the world”. Hidden group name meanings aside, the PV doesn’t feature MIE nor AILA as it’s one of those scenario-type music videos. Instead, it stars the cute fashion model/actress Sasaki Nozomi. While this could easily become a full-blown discussion about Nozomi, I’ll stop myself there with the “cute” remark and let you comment on that regard. Anyway, unlike supercell’s Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari PV, this one is pretty easy to follow, which saves me from having to summarize it in some way. As for the song itself, I originally didn’t think much of it when I heard it back in episode 27 and still sort of prefer Fukuhara Miho’s “LET IT OUT”, but it makes for a good solemn song in comparison.

Show Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood ED3 「つないだ手」 by Lil B ▼

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December 1, 2009 at 11:03 pm Comments (6)

BIGBANG – Koe wo Kikasete PV (Ohitori-sama OP)

 

It’s funny the things you can inadvertently come across on the Internet when you’re trying to blog an episode of anime and looking for some new PVs at the same time. While this is completely unrelated to anime and has no precedence here, I found the song interesting enough to post about it. It’s titled “Koe wo Kikasete” (Let Me Hear Your Voice) and is the opening theme of the currently airing Japanese drama Ohitori-sama. Now if you’re somewhat unfamiliar with Asian music, the unexpected part is that BIGBANG is actually a five-member boyband from Korea. This isn’t the first time Korean artists have ventured into the Japanese market, nor will it be the last, but I’ve been pretty detached from the non-anime-related music scene for the past while. As it turns out, they’re another one of YG Entertainment‘s money-making creations and a pretty popular one too. For a detailed rundown of the group, I’ll refer you to their wiki page.

What I wanted to point out though is that I found this song surprisingly good for a very odd reason. It doesn’t sound very Japanese at all. Neither does their pronunciation of the lyrics, which sounds a bit off to me at times. In short, it sounds like what it is — a Korean-ized Japanese song. But I’ll be damned, it’s really catchy and I’ve been looping it for the past while. I guess I’m not the only one that thinks so either, seeing as it topped out at #4 on the Oricon charts earlier this month. If you’re negatively swayed by the image of Asian boybands (or boybands in general), I suggest not watching the PV right away, simply clicking play, and letting your ears decide. I unintentionally did the same when I stumbled on the video and walked away for a bit, then heard the song playing from afar and thought, “Hmm, this song’s pretty good.” Anyway, you’ll probably notice that their rappers have pretty good English as well, something I find fairly common with Korean artists given how heavily influenced they are by western hip hop and R&B artists.

That said, I’m kind of tempted to go check out the Ohitori-sama drama now. Based on the synopsis, it sounds like something I’d enjoy too. This might not be a good thing from an anime blogging perspective though. I can feel my Jdrama senses tingling. Once you get caught up in the whole drama phase, it’s hard to get out of it for a while! Hmm, what to do…

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November 25, 2009 at 10:57 pm Comments (42)

angela – Alternative PV (Asura Cryin’ 2 OP)

 

The single for Asura Cryin’ 2′s opening theme “Alternative” was released two days ago. Along with the limited edition version came the PV for the song you see above. While Asura Cryin’ isn’t a series being covered here, I have been following it since the first season’s debut back in spring. It’s never a series I get terribly excited about, but the story has taken an interesting turn with all the first world / second world stuff going on now. Originally, I was a bit overwhelmed with the number of characters and student councils introduced early on, and a bit underwhelmed with no clear indication of where the story was going, but the insanely diverse cast that stars the likes of Irino Miyu (Saji Crossroad in Gundam 00, Zwei in Phantom), Tomatsu Haruka, Tanaka Rie, and Nonaka Ai kept me watching. I’ll refrain from potentially spoiling anything from here on, but thought I’d share one of the many songs the Japanese pop band angela performs for the series.

Comprised primarily of atsuko and KATSU (angela is the group name and not the vocalist’s), the group was formed in 1993 and started as street performers before debuting in 1999. However, it wasn’t until 2002 that they had a breakthrough via anime, which allowed their musical careers to really get going. In my case, I didn’t know of the group’s existence until last year when I heard their songs in Shikabane Hime, but was quickly hooked on their upbeat OP/ED songs “Beautiful fighter” and “My story” there. As such, when I learned that they were performing the songs for Asura Cryin’, checking out the series was a given. That said, I still don’t like “Alternative” as much as the aforementioned songs, nor season one’s opening “Spiral”, but it does sound pretty good when the pace picks up.

As for the PV itself, KATSU’s visual-kei-like style and flamboyant behaviour are still kind of creepy to me, but they actually make him look younger than atsuko. I’m not a big fan of the blond wig atsuko’s wearing, but there are parts where she doesn’t have it on. In any case, I’m pretty indifferent to their appearance and more into their music, which is kind of special since they write, compose, and perform it themselves, being former music school students and all. Included below is the opening sequence for the series, which those of you who aren’t watching it may want to check out.

Show Asura Cryin 2 OP 「オルタナティブ」 by angela ▼

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November 20, 2009 at 8:32 pm Comments (31)

Sakakibara Yui – Nyanderful! PV (Nyan Koi! OP)

 

I’ve been on the lookout for this PV for the past two weeks — basically ever since the single was released (09-10-21). After seeing Sakakibara Yui with nekomimi on the CD cover, I just knew it was going to be some crazy cute & sexy overload and I was not wrong in believing so! Yui is no stranger to cosplaying, plus she’s ridiculously cute to boot, so her PVs are usually ones to look forward to. I know the same can’t be said about a lot of Japanese PVs, but Yui’s all about choreographed dancing and even baring her midriff at times. She’s definitely got the physique for it. While she doesn’t show any midriff here at the neko-maid diner, we are treated to an amazingly cute cat-like dance. Like seriously, OH, MY, GOD, cuteness explosion. She even winks and does pouty faces here and there to tease us. To spice things up, there’s a short dance intermission partway through, which is absolutely scandalous with the way she flicks her skirt… and tail! Ranka Lee Nyan Nyan CM, eat your heart out!

As for the song itself, I’m going to take a random stab and say it was written specifically for the anime. The title alone would make anyone think as such. In addition, the statue of Neko Jizou-sama appears in the PV, with its head falling off and everything. If you’re not familiar with Yui’s music, it has a unique, almost childish sound to them because of her singing voice. Surprisingly though, her natural speaking voice sounds absolutely nothing like it. It’s actually a lot lower than you’d imagine, in a kind of sexy sultry way. Pretty dangerous combination when she can do both cute and sexy impeccably if you ask me, but I’ve seen both and can confirm her “deadliness”. That said, I’ve been listening to the full version of this song for the past couple of weeks and just find it so god damn catchy. It totally reeks of cuteness, but when you picture Yui behind the voice, it somehow puts things into a different perspective. (i.e. Hot) Did I manage to get anyone to fall for her? Sakakibara Yui is Nyanderful-TASTIC!

P.S. For those who don’t know, she happens to be a seiyuu too. Probably one of the cutest ones out there.

Show Nyan Koi! OP 「にゃんだふる!」 by Sakakibara Yui ▼

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November 3, 2009 at 7:03 am Comments (18)

ELISA – Dear My Friend -Mada Minu Mirai he- PV (To Aru Kagaku no Railgun ED1)

 

Also available ahead of its scheduled release (09-11-04) is ELISA‘s ending theme for Railgun. Compared to her previous single earlier this year, “Wonder Wind” (Hayate no Gotoku!! 2nd Season OP1), “Dear My Friend -Towards an Unseen Future-” didn’t take nearly as long to grow on me. Here, her voice sounds slightly lower during the verses, which I find is better in a way. While I’ve liked ELISA’s angelic-like voice since I first heard it in the ef series, it was never a really powerful sounding voice to me. It just never had the “fullness” of say, Mizuki Nana’s voice. Given ELISA’s softer voice, that may simply not be her style, but her singing during the verses (0:16-0:52, 1:36-2:13) already gave me the impression of a more powerful voice. I find it’s a lot less transparent and unassuming then, so I’d personally like to hear more songs like this one. It’s minor, but I somehow picked up on that during my endless repeats of this song. It could just be me though and the fact that I prefer the sound of the somewhat slower verses. (I’m no musician so yeah… -_-;) As for the PV itself, we have ELISA cycling by the beach in a summer dress. Not like we need anything more than that, but the bright sunny setting also suits the upbeat lyrics.

Show To Aru Kagaku no Railgun ED1 「Dear My Friend -まだ見ぬ未来へ-」 by ELISA ▼

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November 3, 2009 at 4:33 am Comments (10)

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