Japanese Jams: New music releases from January 2020

Music has become a bigger part of my life recently for one very boring reason: I cannot focus at work without music playing in the background. It’s an office gig, so it’s a whole lot of running reports and staying seated. You figure I’m at a desk for 40 hours a week, so I’m listening to stuff in my headphones for a lot of that time…which means I get tired of the music on my phone pretty quickly. As a result, I end up searching for random new music to listen to online – I can only listen to Spice World so many times in a week, after all! 😉

To switch up my music routine a little bit, and to give myself a writing prompt for this blog I barely update, I thought it would be fun to check Bandcamp for new Japan release and write mini-reviews of things I found. I soon realized that it would be hard to actually figure out what music was ACTUALLY coming from Japan – apparently, every vaporwave artist who makes “chill anime beats” mixes lists their location as Japan, even though they’re probably over in Toronto or something. But, I did eventually findsome neat, actual Japanese music to listen to, so I thought I would share it with all of you!

Continue reading “Japanese Jams: New music releases from January 2020”

From French Pop to Horny Cowboy: 13 Genre-Spanning Tracks From the Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack

Have I mentioned how much I love Cowboy Bebop? I really love Cowboy Bebop. It was one of the first anime series I ever watched, and it was definitely the first one I really fell in love with. The characters are all fantastic, the animation is stunning, and that soundtrack…

Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts crafted such a magnificent OST. It’s one that critics and anime fans still gush over twenty years later. And for good reason! “Tank!” is a certified classic at this point, after all.

When it comes to the Bebop soundtrack, jazz is probably what comes to your mind first. It makes sense: songs like “Bad Dog No Biscuits,” “Space Lion,” and, obviously, “Tank!” definitely stand out. But it’s a disservice to the sheer diversity of this soundtrack to only focus on those jazz tracks. The entire soundtrack is filled with an eclectic assortment of genre-hopping jams. There ARE three soundtrack albums for the entire series, after all, plus one full soundtrack for the movie and multiple mini-albums.

Which is why I present to you – 13 of my favorite songs from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack that showcase just how expansive the soundtrack really is. Come, bask in the variety and worship Yoko Kanno’s majesty!

Continue reading “From French Pop to Horny Cowboy: 13 Genre-Spanning Tracks From the Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack”

Great opening, meh show: 7 times the opening was better than the actual anime

I wracked my brain for a really long time (like five whole minutes!) trying to think of a title that didn’t sound super clickbaity, but alas…

Anyways. To the point.

Have you ever watched an anime solely because you saw the opening and thought it looked awesome? If you’re like me, you check out an anime’s opening before you decide to commit to the show, just to get a feel for the tone and the style. I remember a few years ago I wasn’t sure if I wanted to watch Serial Experiments Lain, so I looked up the opening on YouTube and…yeah, I was sold. It captured the feel of the show while still keeping an air of mystery, and it didn’t have any of those “character running by the ocean” or “all the girls jump into the air and freeze frame” opening cliches. It was an awesome opener for an awesome show.

But what about when an opening is awesome but the show sucks?? Have you ever sat through an entire anime that you didn’t like just because the opening was a banger? Because I have. There are shows with absolutely amazing openings that duped me into thinking I was in for an enjoyable experience. Darling in the Franxx almost got me hooked with its sultry opening (I’m a sucker for when the OP/ED has characters mouthing along with the words), but I know better now than to trust the opening when I know I don’t like the show…

Here are a few times I thought an anime got a waaaaay cooler opening than it deserved. Most of these I didn’t end up finishing, but some of them fooled me with their pretty visuals and catchy songs. Curse you, J-Pop!!!
Continue reading “Great opening, meh show: 7 times the opening was better than the actual anime”