CODE GEASS: Boukoku no Akito – PV

[flv:CODE_GEASS_Boukoku_no_Akito_PV.mp4 550 310]

The spin-off to CODE GEASS, “Akito the Exiled” (literally, “Akito of the Ruined Country”), is finally gaining some steam on the production side of things with a 90-second promo video — three and a half years after the second season finished airing. Along with it came the starring cast announcment: Irino Miyu as Hyuuga Akito and Sakamoto Maaya as Reira Markale (official English spelling pending).

The side story takes place in 2017, around the time Lelouch took on the alter-ego “Zero” and built up his “Black Knights” rebellion army (i.e. season one). The setting is Europe, where the Euro Universe (E.U.) allied nations are being invaded by the overwhelming force of the Britannia Empire. On the verge of defeat, the E.U. army forms a special division known as “W-0”, which a young pilot named Hyuuga Akito is a member of. Coming to the E.U.’s aid is a former Britannia aristocrat named Reira Markale, who commands the “Wyvern” Knightmare corps comprised of Japanese teenagers. They recklessly plunge into a battlefied where the survival rate is extremely low to fight for their freedom and have a country they can return to that feels like “home”. Thus begins their fight against the adult world.

The premise has been more or less laid out (translated above), but it’s still relatively unclear on whether Boukoku no Akito will be a full TV series, an OVA, or a film. What we do know is that it will be screened in theaters this summer and that it will be directed by Akane Kazuki (Tenkuu no Escaflowne, Noein: Mou Hitori no Kimi e) and once again feature original character designs by CLAMP. Judging from the screening date, we’ll likely see this long-awaited spin-off in either summer or fall of this year.

Update: A movie project for the original “Hangyaku no Lelouch” story has also been announced.

Aoi Eir – MEMORIA PV (Fate/Zero ED)

It feels like it’s been forever since I last posted about a music video, but the ending theme for the upcoming Fate/Zero anime caught my attention in all the promo videos and made me want to share the clip that recently showed up on new female artist Aoi Eir’s website. (For whatever reason, they don’t want to reveal her face just yet.)

I found myself rewatching the Fate/Zero character clips just to hear parts of the chorus, so it’s nice to finally hear more of the song. The full version’s floating around the Internet airwaves ahead of its October 19th release date too, having been played over the radio. I’ve included it below for your listening pleasure (and to get it stuck in your head like it is mine). Judging from the season poll, Fate/Zero is one of the most anticipated new shows this fall, so it looks like I’m not the only one who’s going to be hearing a lot of this song.

* Streaming video after the jump.
* Updated with full version of PV.

Music Japan – Shinseiki Anisong Special 4

Last year, some of you may recall that I posted live performances by May’n and Nakagawa Shoko from NHK’s Music Japan program. Those were actually a part of the third “New Century Anime Song Special”, and just over a week ago on January 16th, the fourth half-hour special was aired. The filming of the live event at NHK Hall actually took place back on November 22nd and featured more songs than were televised; however, of the ones shown, there was a special collaboration between Mizuki Nana and May’n that I caught wind of just a couple of weeks ago. All it took was mention of a rare duet of Macross Frontier’s “Diamond Crevasse” ending theme to get me eagerly anticipating this special, which also featured a bunch of good anime songs from both past and present. This includes the last live performance by Angel Beats’ Girls Dead Monster, where both marina (Iwasawa) and LiSA (Yui) took to the stage together. If you’re like me and enjoy seeing anime songs that you’ve heard from your favorite series performed live, then be sure to check out the videos after the break.

Kuriyama Chiaki – Cold Finger Girl PV (LEVEL E OP)

[flv:Kuriyama_Chiaki_Cold_Finger_Girl_PV.mp4 550 310]

LEVEL E may have just premiered a couple of days ago, but the opening theme by Battle Royale/Kill Bill: Vol. 1 actress/model/singer Kuriyama Chiaki, “Cold Finger Girl”, already has a music video airing on television ahead of the single’s January 26th release date. Admittedly, I’m still not that accustomed to seeing Chiaki sing, as the first and only other song of hers I’ve heard is “Ryuusei no Namida” from the first episode of Gundam Unicorn. Much like the music video for that song (included at the bottom of the Unicorn post), this one starts off similarly with her “making love to the camera” before she goes off on some sort of a heist. It’s not exactly the most exciting thing, but as far as Japanese music videos go, it’s a lot better than some other ones I’ve seen. As for the song itself, I’m still pretty indifferent about it one way or another, except for how it showed a different style of music Chiaki can sing. It does seem to fit the craziness that goes on in the sci-fi comedy it’s featured in though. Enjoy.

Kurosaki Maon – Magic∞world PV (To Aru Majutsu no Index II ED)

[flv:Kurosaki_Maon_Magic_world_PV.mp4 550 310]

In what could probably be summed up with the phrase, “There’s no way my anime song singer is this cute”, Kurosaki Maon manages to appease a wide variety of fans with the PV for her first single, “Magic world”. In addition to featuring an overly geeky glasses look with her rooftop dance performance, Maon sneaks in brief cosplays of Index and Uiharu Kazari from To Aru Majutsu no Index, Kousaka Kirino from Oreimo, Shana from Shakugan no Shana, and Miyamoto Rei from HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD. Now how’s that for a PV for an anime song?

Of those, the last one is especially meaningful, considering she made her singing debut with her “H.O.T.D.” album that is comprised of all twelve ending themes for that fan-service/horror series. Even after getting signed by Geneon Universal, Maon is still a member of the Dear Stage live bar in Akihabara. As you can probably imagine, this means she’s also a fan of anime herself, with her favorite works including Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru, SEKIREI, Fushigi Yuugi, Strawberry Panic, Double Cast, Air, Kanon, Negima, Ayashi no Ceres, and Rozen Maiden. Quite a diverse taste if I do say so myself, which is always cool to see in an anime fan regardless of whether or not their songs get featured in the shows themselves.

… More after the jump, including the “making of” video.

Hikasa Youko – LOVE Machine PV (Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin)

[flv:Seikimatsu_Occult_Gakuin_LOVE_Machine_PV.mp4 550 310]

Remember the third Anime no Chikara project last season that turned out to be a little bit of a surprise hit? Well, the first two volumes of DVD/BD releases have been available for some time now, and included with the first one is an anime PV of Hikasa Youko’s cover of Morning Musume’s 1999 hit song “LOVE Machine”. For those with a 3DTV, the Blu-ray release also included a 3D version of this little bonus, which is a part of the character cover songs included in each volume. The theme for the character songs in this series is covers of popular songs from the 1990s simply because the series takes place in 1999. Unfortunately, the later ones don’t feature PVs of the other characters’ songs, but the second volume does include the first of four mini side stories. The first one is titled “Welcome Tsucchii” and is more or less an animated short akin to what you’d expect from a picture drama, and shows Maya with Ami when they were kids and found a legendary snake known as a Tsuchinoko and made it their pet. It’s cute in the sense that we get to see more of Maya’s occult fascination when she was a kid, but doesn’t really add anything to the overall story. I actually prefer the video above with the characters all busting a move near the end of it and Fumiaki freaking out about Junichirou’s corpse’s head falling off. See the full post for some caps of the side story.

Kawada Mami – No buts! PV (To Aru Majutsu no Index II OP)

[flv:Kawada_Mami_No_buts_PV.mp4 550 310]

Show No buts! Lyrics ▼

Kawada Mami, member of I’ve Sound, is an artist who probably needs no introduction among anime fan circles, having produced singles for several highly popular and prolific series such as Shakugan no Shana, Hayate no Gotoku!, and of course, Toaru Majutsu no Index. Looking at that list, it seems like in the roughly five years since the release of her first single, SEED, she’s become J.C.Staff’s go-to-girl for songs for their higher budgeted and advertised, multi-seasonal shows. Being a rather big Mami fan myself, enjoying every song she’s put out for Shana and Index, I immediately went to listen to the single of No buts!, released last week (11/3) the first chance I got.

… More after the jump.

sphere – MOON SIGNAL PV (Otome Youkai Zakuro OP)

[flv:sphere_MOON_SIGNAL_PV.mp4 550 310]

I may not be covering the Otomoe Youkai Zakuro, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching the military/youkai mash-up series whenever I can make time for it. I mentioned back in the Fall 2010 Preview that the series came off a bit generic to me despite its all-star cast (both male and female); however, its shoujo-esque nature has made it a lot more entertaining to watch than I originally thought. An initial impression that hasn’t changed since then is the one I had about the opening theme, “MOON SIGNAL”, performed by seiyuu group sphere. The short clip of it featured in one of the fifteen second commercial message at the time had me looking forward to hearing more of their sixth single, which much like their previous ones, is very pop-like and well-suited for anime themes. It’s kind of hard to believe that the group was only formed back in April 2009 and has already had four of those six singles featured as opening themes (of which I’ve posted about two of the previous three), but it’s a welcome trend in my books since I tend to like their songs.

..More after the jump.

Nakagawa Shoko – Flying Humanoid PV (Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin OP)

[flv:Nakagawa_Shoko_Flying_Humanoid_PV.mp4 550 310]

Nakagawa Shoko’s latest single “Flying Humanoid” was released back on August 18th, whereas the music video for it you see above was aired on TV prior to that. The PV itself is a surprisingly pretty good one as far as Japanese music videos go, and I particularly like the use of CG in addition to Shoko and her band changing into samurai outfits near the end. Is it relevant? Not really, but it’s good for variety sake given how animated she is singing this song. The clocks are a nice touch too, since they’re reminiscent of Occult Gakuin’s opening sequence. As for the song itself, it’s grown on me a fair bit in the past two months while watching the series. Fullmetal Alchemist’s fifth ending theme “RAY OF LIGHT” was a nice slow song, but Shoko’s more upbeat music is always a good listen too. While the TV size version of Flying Humanoid is a good cut that got me into song, I must say I really like the full version a lot more. The main reason being, the TV size kind of ends abruptly and always leaves me wanting to hear more. In her live performance a couple of weeks ago on Music Japan (not on the same one as May’n), Shoko performed this shorter version. It featured a longer instrumental outro, but was otherwise a prime example of me hinging on hearing the next verse of the song. See below.

* Music Japan live performance video after the jump.

May’n – Ready Go! PV (Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi OP)

[flv:May’n_Ready_Go_PV.mp4 550 310]

This post has been sitting in my drafts for some time now, so I figured it’s about time to get it out. Not to mention, the PV for May’n’s latest single has been out for almost two months now on Victor Entertainment’s flying DOG YouTube channel, prior to the actual premiere of Ookami-san. In addition, the single itself came out on July 28th, so everyone who’s wanted to hear the full version of “Ready Go” probably has by now. What hasn’t been so readily available though is her live performance of the song on Music Japan’s anime song special back on August 1st. I say live performance, but in reality this looks like a prerecorded lip-synced one where May’n gets part of the lyrics and dance messed up at the 2:24 mark and recovers with the help of a quick camera change. Regardless, I love watching live performances of songs prerecorded or otherwise, so this Music Japan special was pretty cool to see. There were several other artists performing as well, some of which I may post performances of later on. For now, enjoy the latest from May’n if you haven’t seen it already. The PV in particular looks like it could be used for an iPod advertisement.

* Music Japan live performance video after the jump.