m.o.v.e. – My favorite J-pop/rock/whatever music group.

In an earlier post, I talked about my favorite anime/manga, Initial D.  I wasn’t able to talk so much about the music, so I figured that I might as well start here.  Initial D’s intro songs were sung by a group called m.o.v.e., which consisted of..  yuri (Yuri Masuda (益田 祐里 Masuda Yuri?)) on vocals and motsu (Mototaka Segawa (瀬川 素公 Segawa Mototaka?)) on the rapping. t-kimura (Takashi Kimura (木村 貴志 Kimura Takashi?)) (producer) left the band in 2008, but still functions as a producer.  Their history is quite long running and they’ve established quite a close relationship with the anime world.  Here’s a very limited sample of their work.

Songs featured in Anime:

Featured in Games:

And recently, with the release of Initial D 4th stage, they finally got their chance to be in Initial D.  Here’s their music video for the song “Raimei – out of kontrol”.

Over the years, m.o.v.e. has continually redefined themselves and now, they stand as one of the longest running J-pop groups in existence.  Listen to their stuff, it’s what I listen to when I write.


Twitchy’s Anime Rocking Chair – Azumanga Daioh!

Opening this entry causes the sound of a creaky rocking chair to fill the space you’re reading this in.  Yes, there’s a rocking chair at tea ‘n more.  Serious.  

I’m gonna keep this one simple and sweet.   For you see, the anime I’m reminiscing about is also short and sweet.  Swort?  Sheet?  Ehhhhh…

Yep.  Azumanga Daioh.  Chiyo-chan’s high school misadventures.  There you go, I just summed up the premise of the series in 5 words or less.

Azumanga Daioh followed Chiyo-chan, a genius girl who got skipped ahead to high school.  As you would imagine, skipping a few grades can leave the person a tad naive about the world.  Fortunately, Chiyo makes friends with a group of girls that are the quirkiest in the school.

From the left: Ayumu “Osaka” Kasuga, Chiyo Mihama, Koyomi “Yomi” Mizuhara, Tomo “Wildcat” Takino, Sakaki, and Kagura.

What made this anime/manga series special is that there was no overarching plot.  These girls didn’t have to save the world, fight monsters, or pilot a giant robot.  They were simply going to school.  And having weird dreams.  With talking cats voiced by Norio Wakamoto.  And dealing with perverted teachers.  It was surreal and delicious.

Every girl had their own personality quirk to them that made them stand out.  Osaka’s a spacey airhead who’s got a VERY skewed view on life, Chiyo’s still trying to figure out just how to be a high school girl while skipping middle school, Yomi’s obsessed with her weight and annoyed with her best friend, Tomo.  Tomo is….energetic.  Sakaki’s popularity is shadowed by the fact that she’s obsessed with cute things.  Kagura’s occupied with her one-sided rivalry with Sakaki.  The teachers…are just as crazy as the students are.

Each episode had the girls encountering some new situation, and would deal with the situation the only way they knew how.  By being themselves.  For better or worse.  The series was brilliant in its execution.  It portrayed Japanese high school life as not dramatic…but as simple and fun as…well, high school.

I picked up the box set some time ago, and you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t get it.  Go.  Now.  Or Sakaki’s cat will bite you.

Azumanga Daioh was one of the first anime  series I watched when I first got into college.  Man…has it been that long?

Crossing Over – Nadeko Sengoku and the Internet.

The Internet’s always been good at corrupting things.  Look above you.  Isn’t she adorable?  She’s Nadeko Sengoku of Bakemonogatari, the SHAFT deconstruction of the harem anime genre.  This is the theme song that plays during her story arc, Renai Circulation.

For those of you who’ve seen Bakemonogatari, you know as well as I do that the opening does NOT reflect the mood of her episodes.  Far from it.  Let’s have some fun with some parodies that have come from the land of the rising sun and our own backyard (presumably).

1. Massacre Circulation – Kira ponders the meaning of life, death, swimming, and MATSUDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

2.  Izaya Orihara – Renai Circulation

3. Snoop Dogg featuring Nate Dogg – Weed Circulation

4. Norio Wakamoto – Renai Circulation (It probably isn’t actually him, but it sure as hell sounds like him.)

5. Nadeko vs. Tsukihi – Renai Circulation / Platinum Disco Mashup (Nadeko and Tsukihi get their themes mashed up)

6. Renai Slamulation – Space Jam X Bakemonogatari.