Monday, November 05, 2007

Well, i could go on about what's going on in Pakistan because that's a situation that's on the verge of out of control... but hell - what am i really going to say - it's not like there's anything positive to point out - and all this negativity is bothersome somedays. So instead i'm going to post positive things. Hmmm... I like Clannad, though Bamboo Blade is probably the surprise positive for me this season (haven't seen enough Ghost Hound to cement a judgment but it has a good feel). Weather's been nice. The NE/Indy game was pretty good - almost as much fun to watch as the Horns game. Shiner Black Lager has a Pale Moon Ale thing going - which works for me. Might have some sense of movement re work this week - i'm hearing happy noises.
Still - the Pakistanis seem like they want to make a region that's already a mess even more so - so I think i'll just focus on Dango and not really worry about it.

While i'm on the subject - one of my favorite things about anime today is that it's become edgy - the way comic books changed when guys like Miller started pissing off Lonestar by pushing boundaries with more adult story lines (it wasnt that long ago that the mainstream distributors wouldnt carry a comic that wasnt built for the 12 yr old crowd - you younguns prolly dont remember the stink over Epic). So what you have now is an environment where the bands, as fellow artists, are recognizing the somewhat more intersting nature of anime in japan (with stuff like the fairly well exposed Lain series hopefully you understand what i mean - if not, just nod your head). So now anime is an avenue for japanese bands to nail some broad exposure (having a song leading a popular anime is almost a guarantee to making the japanese pop charts) - and the avant-garde artists that're driving the genre are happy go have them along for the ride.

For example - i give you Kojima Mayumi's song Poltergeist used by Ghost Hound in their op (i linked the OP above)
They rock. I mean damn - what a perfect smoky mysterious open... if these guys came to town I'd go see them - and this is austin, we get guys like the New Pornographers and Ted Leo rolling through without very many noticing pretty regularly... (though, that's not really fair, since i dont go see bands terribly often... perhaps i should say 'i'd make jake go see them with me' since that's probably more accurate)

L'Arc en Ciel's 'Daybreak's Bell' for Gundam topped the charts the first week it was available in japan - though that might not be fair since they're pretty old hands in the japan chart-rock scene. I'm not a Gundam person to be honest - but damn if it isn't one of the prettiest damned cartoons i've ever seen.

A couple of other examples showing different genres -
Tears Infection by Kaori - from Myself Yourself (freakin youtube and their copyright crap... i've fixed this twice) - which is better for the way they use it in the OP... but it's always interesting to watch the culture cross the pond...
and of course this season's OP for ShanaJOINT by Mami Kawada.

Some artists really belong in the old 'make a song for a cartoon' genre - and they've built a career on it... and honestly there'll always be a place for them Kotoko's OP for Hayate no Gotoku for example (though you really do begin to recognize their voices after a while...)
So as you can tell from Kotoko's resume - i'm not going to pretend all anime is edgy - but whats interesting is that the japanese music industry has noted that some of these shows sport target demographic markets - and they can sell records. Example a new manufactured band - Buono! - a young girl idol group with music for Shugo Chara - with a target demographic of 12 yr old girls (this thing will suck all your body's insulin out through your eyes - it MUST be for coming of age girls...). Then again... when you see the band doing their live 'tiffany at the mall' performance... - you'll note the somewhat disturbing nature of the actual fanbase for acts like these (give the guys credit... they're REALLY into it... - odd, if 20-something american girls go nuts like this over a boyband its just fine... but guys just dont act like this over here...). One of these 'we made a popular song for a popular anime' bands rolled through during SXSW last time - Oreskaband (and yes, they play their own instruments) - who's Pinocchio ended Naruto for a while.

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