Attention please! We are looking for a new writer!

電波の世界 started in December 2007 and while our passion for the genre has only increased over the years, it's been difficult to find time for new articles and features. That's why we (denpanosekai and mandichan) are looking for an enthusiastic new writer! Here are some typical articles and tasks:

※ album previews and reviews
※ event reports (comiket, M3, live, etc.)
※ artist spotlights and interviews
※ denpa watchlist renewal
※ a new theme would be nice!

Do you want to make a difference and contribute to the original and leading source for English denpa news worldwide? Please contact denpanosekai [at] gmail [dot] com today!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

C75 items for new ミツメ書房 circle

Remember our short profile on 額縁あいこ and his stupendous MOSAIC.WAV fan art? Last time we heard from him, he was gearing up for a full original manga creation slated for a December release. Well he has finally gotten a proper circle together (ミツメ書房 or 3-Eyed Books) and will be participating at Comiket 75, just without said manga. On the other hand, the group will offer three unique items. The most prominent one, which is as good as sold out on the first day, is a set of four Touhou "metal badges" (what we call pins) out of 60 possible designs which will run for 500円.

But aiko-san and his friends are versatile artists and have been producing their own (fucked up) music for some time. Aiko himself will be offering a 17 track discography CD that also includes some live performances. You can check out some of his past music, but I think the songs have been re-recorded for this album. His lovely cosplaying friend risuko (who also sings for the eclectic H∞B) will have her own solo single, complete with a "comiket anniversary" song that is ubiquitous for the occasion. Careful guys, she's a self-proclaimed 腐女子 (right click -> Rikaichan -> laugh your ass off). Both albums also go for 500円.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

「NAOKO-THUNDER VERNIER II」 English translation

I'm not much of an X-mas person but I'll throw you guys a bone. Truth be told, I enjoy translating MOSAIC.WAV lyrics a lot so this is as much a gift to myself as it is to fans everywhere in the world... enjoy my (crappy) video!

That said, I really wish there was still an alternative to YouTube like Stage6. My videos are simple MP3 tracks playing on top of static images, but they still end up looking like shit. Furthermore, I'd really like to translate some of the better MOSAIC.WAV eroge themes and keep the fantastic MOSAIC.MOV animations with them, but of course YouTube won't host "adult" material. If you have a suggestion, let me know!

Note: 何を根こそぎ無かったことにしようか was absolute hell to translate so I dumbed it down considerably. You should have seen the double-take on my Japanese housemate's face when I showed her the expression. She had no idea what it meant. Way to confuse everyone with your cryptic lyrics, mi~ko!!!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

New MOSAIC.WAV mini-album 「こどもざいく・やみもざいく」

2008 was a phenomenal year for MOSAIC.WAV, but they're going for the throat one last time with the recent announcement of a completely original concept mini-album that will be available at Comiket 75 exclusively. 「こどもざいく・やみもざいく」 will be pressed in extremely low quantities and is sure to become one of their rarest releases, alongside the first Naoko bonus CD. The official description follows: "From nursery rhymes to death metal self-covers, this denpa mini-album is crammed with surprises!". Two samples have been made available:
  1. ひとりでできるかな (MP3 sample)
  2. おなかいっぱい
  3. おとなのねばねばスイーツ(Instrumental)
  4. 恋の死亡フラグ(Remake) 
  5. 地獄のヤンデロイド(Remake) (MP3 sample)
  6. あなたのせなかにfunny beat kiss.(Remake)
I like what I hear (especially the metal remake), the new characters are totally sweet, but I'll save my opinions of the actual music for the eventual review. For sure, this concept album ties in with some of the characters that mi~ko has been pushing on her blog for some time. I think however that this release could have benefited from an animated PV as a bonus.

Of somewhat major surprise to hardcore MOSAIC.WAV fans such as LoveChu, this album will not be released through their common channels such as Russel or Lantis (well that last one only handles their anime singles). This news comes despite Russel having just recently handled the brilliant second うじゅ single, which I assume did moderately well in sales. In fact, Russel does not even seem to have a listing or booth for C75, so it's really unclear whether or not said single will be available for the occasion. As you can imagine, this has generated a lot of rumors, none of which mi~ko will comment on...

This time, VIEWS CORPORATION (headed by this very serious gentleman) will handle the distribution of KodoYami along with a bunch of not-as-interesting items. Notice the inflated tag price for the album, ¥2000 instead of the average ¥1200 for previous singles, but fans will eat it up regardless and this is possibly a direct product of the global slump we're going through. I've noticed many other C75 items are more expensive than usual; otaku freaks aren't immune to the recession!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Akiba-kei tops 2008 list of popular Japanese words

Well, there you have it folks. MOSAIC.WAV, IOSYS (despite being based in Hokkaido-ken), 桃井はるこ, DENPA party, the NicoVideo MAD community and so many others (eroge studios, maid cafes, anime and manga creators) have left such a marked impression on their Japanese peers this year that publishing authority 自由国民者 has ranked the term "Akiba-kei" #8 out of the top 60 most popular words/terms of 2008.

8. Akiba-kei (アキバ系): “Akiba-kei” (lit. “Akihabara style”) refers to the geek culture of Tokyo’s Akihabara district, the otaku capital of the world. Synonymous with “otaku,” the expression generally applies to young men who frequent Akihabara and harbor a deep interest in idols, erotic PC games, model figurines and manga, although it can refer to geeky women as well.

The always interesting Pink Tentacle blog did a fantastic translation of the list that you should check out in any case. I'm particularly fond of the whole おバカキャラ trend; bring on more of them, I say. This is awesome news in and of itself, but with the way these things go, the term could just as well find itself on the list of "top annoying words of 2009"... oh well, glory be to akiba-kei and may 2009 prove just as profitable and eclectic.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

New 榊原ゆい single, additional news

The January 2009 issue of BugBug Magazine will include an entirely new OVA of 15美少女漂流記 featuring opening and ending themes by 榊原ゆい. If you recognize the artwork, that's because it's from ゑむ先生 who also works for DigitalCute (MusuMaker).

15美少女漂流記 is a recurring story published in the BugBug magazines and interactive DVD series. It explores the lives of 15 girls who have drifted off to an island... and the crazy things they do there. Unfortunately at this point, there is no PV or short version of the song for us to check out. The single comes out December 24th on LOVE×TRAX☆Records, here is the tracklist:
  1. Love♥Island
  2. chance
  3. Love♥Island (Instrumental)
  4. chance (Instrumental)
If you haven't been keeping up with the busy idol, you may also have missed her recent ~IDOL☆REVOLUTION~ PV. Furthermore, Sakakibara wrote and performed the opening song of Nintendo DS game "Steal Princess", which came out in Japan on July 24th 2008 and is strongly rumored to land in the US in Q2 2009 (courtesy of Atlus USA). Maybe with the right kind of influential pressuring, the publisher will get the idea and leave the theme song in?

Monday, 15 December 2008

Upcoming mi~ko eroge reminders

No, no, don't worry, you haven't stumbled upon the reincarnation of Heisei Democracy. I still only talk about eroge when they have denpa intros. However, since mi~ko has been doing more and more voice work for these "games" in the past couple of months, I figure fans will be interested to hear her voice put to... other uses. Amidst the flurry of new MOSAIC.WAV songs and with Comiket 75 rapidly approaching, she did her share of promotion with the following items.

First we have the Everyone's Song 1 month reminder (yeah, I'm way late). In this drama track, she takes on her role of Bakyura who reminds everyone of the upcoming music competition. Not much else to say about it other than it features a feisty mi~ko who gets upset quite easily over a bumbling Donzumari!

Much more interestingly are the two Musumaker demos. One is a trial version of the game proper and it clocks in at a massive 847MB. The other is a demo of the STG (Shooting Game) mini-game, coming in at a much more palatable 80MB. Both can be obtained from the Musumaker download page.

The STG demo is the most fun of the two and it should be easy to pick up and play regardless of your Japanese skills. Shoot with Z and bomb with X. Hold shoot for beam or tap for spread. While this is no Touhou game, it can get pretty hardcore. Perhaps the most frustrating moment is as the boss approaches: you can easily lose all three of your lives there. Unfortunately the demo does not record scores permanently, but that's understandable.

As for the regular demo, it actually features quite a bit of gameplay. You'll first come across nekomimi-mode mi~ko on February 24, after which her shop opens up. Its inventory is seriously limited in the demo, but it'll give you a good idea of what you can buy. One thing is sure: for a first game, DigitalCute are doing one hell of a job!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

New U single 「GWAVE 5th Anniversary Festa! 」

GWAVE are feeling particularly festive this year, understandably so since 2008 marks their 5th year of business. Being the good sport that she is, U strapped on her guitar and whipped out two brand new songs, one of which is the official 5th year anthem and the other a celebration of comiket reaching a milestone 75th event. The single includes karaoke versions of both songs, here's the tracklist:
  1. はーてにゃ?(Comiket 75 celebration song)
  2. love-go-round (GWAVE 5th Anniversary song) (MP3 Sample)
It's a little disappointing that U's new song 「GO GO☆ら~びゅ」 wasn't also included, but all signs point to her getting another compilation album in mid-2009... so we'll just have to patiently wait. For the occasion, limited represses of U's 「Ultra:U」 & 「U☆MYSTAR」 albums will be available. Furthermore, GWAVE are warning C75 attendees that the "celebration single" was also pressed in ridiculously low quantity, so please RUSH OUR BOOTH AND GIVE US YOUR MONIES NAO.

If this is your first time hearing about GWAVE or U, consider reading this introductory article.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

3rd ALBATROSICKS album is called...「e」

Yup, just E. No wait, sorry! 「e」... HUGE difference. ALBATROSICKS have just put up a teaser page for their third album, which only consists of 5 tracks this time around. This is understandable, as they released a mammoth of a full-length at Comiket 74 this past August, not to mention that the members are still heavily involved with IOSYS and the occasional anime theme song.

On the other hand, restricting the mini-album to 5 tracks will hopefully force them to distill the included songs into memorable ones (and exclude their frequent duds) given the short margin for error. According to quim_underconstruction↓, the EP will lean heavily on the ピコピコ side ot things which makes this writer VERY happy. Flash expert Master Joe said that he designed the jacket while thinking about the "calm winter" that's on its way. Obviously the dude has never been to Canada, where winters are more likely to inspire new Cannibal Corpse artwork. Here is the tracklist:
  1. プラチナロマンスニュースタ (MP3 sample)
  2. Eternal Voyage (MP3 sample)
  3. Reset! (MP3 sample)
  4. いつかメロン王子様が (MP3 sample)
  5. White Myth (MP3 sample)
The sample for "Platinum Romance New Star" reveals a refined ALBATROSICKS sound that is equal parts fastidious and (intentionally) uncouth, given the abrasive percussion that Dr.ARM populated the song with. "Eternal Voyage" starts out very complex, brings in an eclectic acoustic guitar early on and uses picopico for just about every transition. Exciting stuff!

Update 12/23/08: All samples are up. Tune in later for a full review!

Friday, 12 December 2008

うじゅ gets her own manga; かやぴ does リスク

I called it a while ago, but ya know, it's not like it wasn't written in the sky to begin with. Uju is getting serialized by none other than GANGAN, a monthly shounen magazine published by Square Enix! We're one step closer to MOSAIC.WAV writing music for the next Final Fantasy game (wait, mi~ko did have a minor role in FF12). Some high-resolution scans of the manga are available, looking good, very good! They are also offering several コラムイラスト short stories but WARNING! you'll have to switch to IE to use SE's bogus viewing applet. The GANGAN magazine in question comes out today.

As a small present to her blog's peanut gallery, mi~ko recently uploaded a video of Kayamori-san improvising a classy arrangement of Magical Hacker☆くるくるリスク on piano. Check it out! Who said denpa musicians were talentless hacks... eh?

Oh and by the way...

Wednesday, 10 December 2008



Today marks the release of the second MOSAIC.WAV-composed Naoko-san manga theme song! The lucky bastards who get to buy the special edition of the "2nd Impact" will be rewarded with a bonus CD containing said theme song as well as a karaoke version, but no crazy/drama track like they did for the first edition of the manga. For the rest of us lowly commoners, we may feast over a 1:40-long short version of the song.

The bonus CD was first announced on November 28th with the tantalizing but cryptic description of a "Shooting Game inspired song" appearing on the manga's official webpage at Dengeki Comic. They sure weren't lying to us! The song is less of a Naoko-san bonus item than it is a freakin' Gradius homage, which mi~ko herself considers the most famous STG series ever. Whereas the 「天狗流三段構えアプローチ」 single clearly illustrated Kayamori's prog-rock influences, this song explores his video game past. Of course, the song is drenched in pure MOSAIC.WAV creativity, energy and allegro thrash/punk beats that hit at a sharp 160BPM.

Mi~ko's participation is nothing short of splendid, but you'll have to listen to the previous naoko-san song to know what I mean. She clearly took into consideration the popularity of the previous song and went for some of the same vocal patterns that made it so unique. The result is a track that, while completely different musically, is definitely part of a "series" that will hopefully spawn a third offering. The final thing to look at would be the lyrics. In our MOSAIC.WAV interview, Kayamori said that the first Naoko song was his favorite in terms of lyrical contents, because of its themes of growing up into adulthood. This one looks like it's more on the hilarious side of things... but I have a feeling you guys will find out soon enough!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

CD検討: Saori@destiny 「JAPANESE CHAOS」

Saori@destiny has slowly but surely been getting a lot of attention lately, possibly due to her me-too traits that borrow deeply from Perfume, not to mention a producer/manager that clearly graduated from 中田大学. That's University of Nakata, a famous music school in downtown Shibuya... if you catch my drift. That said, despite some mixed results with her first couple of singles, expectations have been riding for her debut album 「JAPANESE CHAOS」. First of all, the title is totally cool, you'll have to agree. It also helps that she's now going by the "Troublemaker of Techno-pop" moniker, which is equally as rad.

Question is, will she be able to live up to those expectations and better yet, her new title? Saori and her manager OONISHI Terukado (大西輝門) clearly considered the issue and did the right thing by enlisting the help of street-savvy DENPA and 8-bit freakazoid higedriver as guest producers. To tell the truth, this announce was the clincher in my case (and I suspect, the rest of the 電波の世界 readership), the impetus that instantly roped me in and which has kept me anxiously looking forward to this release as much as capsule and SUZUKI Ami's new efforts. So how does the end result stack up to my tower of expectations?

1. Shangri-La
Saori@destiny does not mess around with intros and goes straight to the point with an energetic track which, unbeknownst to the first-time listener, actually ties together a lot of the musical themes that will make recurrent appearances throughout the course of this album. Unique to the song however are some clearly Latino rhythms and textures which give the opening track a bit of a foreign flavor. At the same time, the namesake of the album is unarguably put to work right away in the form of orchestrated chaos which is essentially composed of clearly-defined standard JPop material distorted and tweaked to a level that sits perfectly between underground denpa and mainstream techno. On top of that, Saori delivers some rather engaging vocals that blend in very well. Off to a very good start, aren't we?

2. サヨナラリヴァイバル
This is an older song that was part of her previous single released in May 2008. If you've never heard the song before, the first thing you should immediately notice is the slight drop in creativity compared to the explosive opening track. "Sayonara Revival" is definitely your run-of-the-mill sugar-coated JPop that's both overproduced yet charming enough to be considered a lovely little song. It follows a strict pattern that is definitely catchy but grows a bit tiring towards the end. On the other hand, it features Saori's vocals more prominently than the previous track, which can be a redeeming factor if you're not into turbo-charged musical arrangements. All in all, a great song if you're not already sick of hearing it from the "sakura" single.

3. My Boy (new vocal styling mix)
Well as the title so bluntly suggests, this is yet another version of her debut single song "my boy" with brand new overdubs. Said debut single had four, count them, FOUR different versions of the song, which pretty much all came out sounding the same in the end. The inclusion of this track seems to suggest that they were running out of new material as the deadline approached, or that they just got lazy and said "Screw it, they'll buy it anyway". You'd have to be a die-hard fan to tell what the "new vocal styling" brings to the mix. The song isn't terrible, just a tad slow and uninspired for my liking.

4. chemical soda
The higedriver-powered song finally surfaces! This is a rather poppy song reminescent of Perfume's old material (notably Computer City) but the 8-bit arrangement really shines here, simple though it may be. This is actually the most bass-heavy song so far, thanks to the booming deep (emulated) NES tones that are both nostalgia-inducing and incredibly versatile. The end result is a joyous little denpa song that's a real treat to listen to, so indulge all you want.

5. My Way
Here we go with another new, higedriver-produced track that is a bit lower on the tempo scale than it should be, but delivers just as well. Actually, the Famicom sounds are pushed further towards the back line and the more prominent instrument here is the percussion section, which really drives up the perky factor. I like the "mystical"-sounding arrangement that gives the song a bit of a "Butterfly" déjà vu feeling, sure, but nonetheless propels it really far up on my increasingly-snobbish scale (hey, MOSAIC.WAV have totally spoiled me with good music). Yet another highlight of this album! If you haven't been counting, we're now at 4 out of 5.

6. パーフェクト・ワンダーガール
We're now back into the realm of straight techno-pop that made Saori@destiny "famous" in the first place. The title is a bit on the pretentious side, but I know it's all in good fun. Unless we're talking about IOSYS, MOSAIC.WAV or some capsule songs, I've learned to do away with lyrical content of Japanese songs when comes the time to review them. Sure, it's an excellent way to further your knowledge of the Japanese language, but it's totally not as though understanding the lyrics is essential to the listening experience. Back to the song at hand, "Perfect Wonder Girl" is again very reminiscent of the earlier Perfume songs and even capsule, when they still wrote songs with a smile on their face. Very bouncy, danceable stuff that'll lift your spirits right up whether you're feeling blue or not.

7. sakura
Three new songs in a row? Of course we have to throw in an older song now, this is a Japanese album after all. After the happy-go-lucky previous track, we are grounded back to earth with this song that fails to stand out in every aspect. Don't get me wrong, it could be a lot worse, but after you're heard the song once, you shouldn't get the urge to listen to it again for some time. It's not only bland musically, it also sells Saori@destiny's voice quite short as it consists of the same old patterns constantly copy/pasted for nearly 4 whole minutes. Oh well, can't win them all.

8. 0の魔法とヒステリックスナイパー
This is a bit more like it; back to the realm of musical chaos and ridiculous(-ly awesome) song titles we go. But just how chaotic is this? Not that much, all things told; it does sound very much like a Perfume song but the percussion section has some interesting psychotic rolls and overall the direction is just as interesting as it is unpredictable; it's like the song itself doesn't know if it wants to be serious or goofy, so it goes for a bit of both and then hoards the leftovers.

9. ヒカリ・シンドローム
"Light Syndrome" opens a bit too calmly for my taste, but it turns out this is just a smooth introduction for a deliciously percussion-heavy upper mid-tempo techno track that incorporates a lot of classical Japanese music elements. Considering what's coming up, this track is a great way to display the versatility of Saori@destiny's voice and the direction in which her producer is taking her. Yet another successful new song.

10. サヨナラリヴァイバル(DENPA rmx)
Here we are, my most expected track of the album! Boy does it not disappoint. Saori's voice has been chipmunk'ed to the max, and the rest of the song has been force fed a gallon of Rockstar energy drink. It doesn't get anymore hyperactive than this, I can totally picture the song being played over and over at DENPA's wild all-night ragers. This is sadly their only participation in this album. Although it is definitely over-the-top and fans of Saori@destiny's more "pure" work won't appreciate it as much as the rest of us (or maybe see it as a nice bonus track), it is actually thanks to the decision of including a track like this that Saori definitely lives up to her "Troublemaker of Techno-pop" label.

When it's all said and done, this is one wicked good album that certainly meets the initial expectations but doesn't smash them to pieces; not that it was expected to. A glaring omission is "Destiny's War", one of the three original songs from the "sakura" single which would actually fit the chaos theme perfectly as it is quite powerful and actually deserving of the "techno-pop" label. Sure would have been more appropriate than "My Boy" or "sakura" itself, in any case. At any rate, this poor decision doesn't make or break the album, the new songs do. Judging on this factor alone, the album is a success and I urge fans of JPop looking for something (intentionally) rough around the edges to check out 「JAPANESE CHAOS」 as soon as possible. Here's to a long and flourishing career for Saori@destiny!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Blip Festival 2008 Reminder

North America's largest chiptune event is nearly upon us! While the artist lineup has been announced over a month ago, the schedule was made final just recently. Here's a recap of the artists which will perform from December 4th to 7th.

Live musical performances from the international chipmusic underground's finest global representatives, including:
Anamanaguchi, Animal Style, Bit Shifter, Bubblyfish, Cheap Dinosaurs, Cow'p, Dubmood, Glomag, Graffiti Monsters, IAYD, Ikuma, Jellica, Lissajou, Low-Gain, M-.-n, Meneo, minusbaby, Mr. Spastic, nordloef, noteNdo, Nullsleep, Role Model, Sidabitball, Starscream, Stu, Sulumi, Syphus, Tonylight, Trash80, Unicorn Dream Attack, USK, and zabutom.

Live motion graphics from the highest-caliber low-res visualists on the planet, including:
The C-Men, Entter, NO CARRIER, noteNdo, Paris Treantafeles, and VBLANK.

Just as interestingly, there are a number of workshops being offered on Saturday, including a one hour crash course on FamiTracker, one of the most popular chiptune authoring software out there (available completely free of charge). Sunday will also see the screening of the "Reformat the Planet" DVD which was previously discussed on here. It will also be available for sale during the four-day event.

Yours truly will be in attendance on Saturday night, even though I shouldn't! I do have a JLPT exam the following Sunday, after all... It has occupied my thoughts day in, day out (or should I say sleepless nights). I'm a little bit disappointed to miss out on the workshops and USK's performance (Sunday @ 10PM) but them's the breaks.