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!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Conflict resolution through chichi ninja revolution

Is a neighboring country terrorizing your citizens with rocket attacks, countless air strikes and illegal territory occupation? Call the chichi ninja revolution squad who will solve all of your problems with their unique all-natural techniques. Just make sure you don't let The Zohan get too close to them...

The song used in the video is 「悲しみパトリオットGirl」, a 井上みゆ performance of a TONAKAI composition. The game came out during last year's C75 (so late December 2008) but the song has yet to emerge in full version form. Since this is far more of a serious composition than what we'd expect from team Love Bullets, it will probably make it on the unannounced-but-inferable "2008 2nd Experience" GWAVE compilation due out June 2009, rather than on a third LoveBullets album.

By the way, LOVE BULLETS II came out yesterday in Japan. Even though it's been covered to death on this blog, stay tuned for two more articles to wrap things up!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Don't wait for the next fripSide NAO Project! song

Don't hold your breath, because you're just going to pass out and die a useless death. Singer Nao and composer Satoshi "sat" Yaginuma (don't you dare write his name in kanji!) have parted ways on March 15 2009, with nao leaving a dark and gloomy suicide note-like message plastered on the official fripSide website for good terrorizing measure. Just kidding, it's more of an articulate death threat to her numerous fans-gone-stalkers. The cited reason for the breakup is the cliché "artistic differences" excuse, but we'd like to think something more ominous happened.

Now nao can get by on her good looks alone but the same can't really be said of Mr. Sat (no offense man). He is, however, a rather prolific composer (whether he's a also good one is up to your judgment) so of course he quickly regrouped and hacked up a teaser page to make sure we know he intends to keep the fripSide brand alive and strong despite nao "graduating" her way out of the stagnating duo. Again, don't wait for that page to load! Way to piss all over GUI conventions, I'll never look at a progress bar the same way.

That said, Sat and Nao pumped out quite a few denpa tunes that [editorial] did profoundly irritate me at first given how much of a SHORT CIRCUIT ripoff I perceived them to be, but eventually found their way into my heart. In particular, the song "Happy Generation" is full of taurine-powered energy and still hasn't gotten old, despite having listened to it a few hundred times. [/editorial] They even performed these songs live a few times and thus helped further the denpa cause in their own way. So in honor of the fallen sound unit, here are a couple of Youtube videos that will take office of a belated elegy on this solemn day.

First we have their second-to-last song ever released, 「やっぱり世界はあたし☆れじぇんど!!」 which ironically came out on their first single in August 2008 (talk about a short-lived career). The last one they released was 「ないしょ思春期」 (October 2008) which was too slow and boring for me to bother talking about (but judge for yourself). In stark contrast, you'll notice that this one is chock full of energy, with an unrelenting tempo that's backed by strong bursts of generously distorted electric guitar. If those multiple HAI HAIs and overall singing style don't remind you of KOTOKO (especially the fast parts), you might want to check your ears. It's painfully obvious what they were going after.

Then we have 「あっせんぶる☆LOVEさんぶる」, which most people like to think of as their flagship song, since it's the first one that was made public. It not only opens the "RABBIT SYNDROME" album (January 2008) but also closes it with a "hype" version that contains quite an extended 8-bit intro. It's a lot more tame than what's on the previous video, sure, but this strong progression in such a short span of time only adds insult to injury for those of us looking forward to more material from them.

And finally here's a digest of all songs featured on said "RABBIT SYNDROME" album. Gotta admit I'm sad to see NAO Project! fall apart like that. They weren't the most creative sound unit, but they were still a lot of fun to listen to. Here's hoping that mr. Sat doesn't completely ditch denpa with his future project.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Love Bullets II & ULTRA☆U2: Full tracklists, samples and special guests

GWAVE are about to deliver a solid knockout punch to the denpa and moe song scene this March 27th when they release two brand new albums that should become instant classics. U's reputation already speaks for itself as she has constantly released quality albums over the past 5 years, but team Love Bullet's popular new series has taken everyone by surprise, especially considering the short 3 months gap between the two volumes.

ULTRA☆U2, as the name suggests, is U's second proper album, but don't forget about her multiple singles, the FrontWing compilation album which clocks in at a massive 48:30 or her 2005 debut "mini-album" Ultra:U that weighs a respectable 31:48. This follow-up is being billed by GWAVE as the "revival of a series", so there's bound to be more U music that follows this release. As is the case with 99% of her previous albums, she composes all of her songs and writes all the lyrics. Now that's dedication!

The big news (or sad news if you are one of his detractors) is that sire 小池雅也 (KOIKE Masaya) has contributed quite a few guitar solos and accompaniements to the album, giving a deeper significance to the "revival" theme previously discussed, as he originally gave her guitar lessons back when she started composing songs. All that's left is for him to act as her "band master" when she finally pulls her first live concert... which will come out on region-free DVD of course... *le sigh*

KOIKE-aniki contributed solos to tracks 2, 3 and 7 and completely remixed track #5, so look forward to that! Click the links for short version MP3s, but note that the love-go-round sample is NOT the remixed one!

1. GO GO☆ら~びゅ
2. i save your place!
3. 恋のサイエンス
4. Hi-Fi day
5. love-go-round すぺしゃるばーじょん(REMIX)
6. 情熱よFly away
7. コトノハ ~my leaf of words~

Team LoveBullets consists of 井上みゆ (INOUE Miyu) on vocals and 磯村カイ (ISOMURA Kai) on everything else. The first album was reviewed here recently, so no need to redo the introduction. With the full tracklist release comes two new downloadable songs, namely the energy-packed "Dragon Girl" and the (unfortunately) slow "Call my name", which has this blogger slightly disappointed, no matter how fitting the theme song may be given the game it was written for.

Kai-san did say on his blog that they were shooting for more variety on this new album, looks like this is what he was talking about. "Dragon Girl" on the other hand, should deliver exactly what fans of the first album were hungry for. As expected, Famishin makes a return as a guest composer, but they're not specifying which track(s) he wrote. Here's the track listing as well as short version download links. Hopefully one of these songs will get a PV like 「マジカワ」 did.

◇Love BulletsⅡ◆◆
1. Reload your love-bullets!
2. ドラゴンガール
3. ハイテンション・デート
4. Call my name
5. PrincessSweets
6. ぼくらはねがう ねがいのかぎり
7. Like a cosmic heart
8. Love BulletsⅡ

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

MOSAIC.WAV announce 4th album, live tour

After a prolific 2008 that saw our favorite denpa trio blow up in more ways than one, 2009 has been off to a slow start so far. But this no-show was simply a guise until they could drop the megaton announcement that we were all expecting: FOURTH ORIGINAL ALBUM! Details so far are very sparse, it was first teased on February 28th, then formally announced March 1st and that's it! The usual "more details to follow" PR pitch is a given here.

There is however some accompanying artwork that is actually quite revealing (BOOBIES!). For one thing, the file is named jacket-l.jpg which more or less confirms it will be used as cover artwork. Just as interesting is the fact that it is stored in the 11superluminal folder which follows SHAM STUDIO's directory naming scheme for all of their previous albums/singles. Now the prefix lumin is latin for "light", that much I know. But this title is likely a reference to Faster-Than-Light communication which, by way of Einstein's theory of relativity, is more or less equivalent to time travel. Now look at that cover... get it? Remember our MOSAIC.WAV interview where they said they'd like to do a song featuring all of their old character creations together? Touché, Kayamori-san and mi~ko. Touch-the-fuck-é.

A live tour has also been announced along with 4th album. Although the dates and locations have also yet to be released, it can be safely assumed that they will be revisiting known locales such as Akihabara (duh), Shibuya, Osaka, Kawasaki and more. They could very well also be playing this year's Animelo Festival, but that won't be known until this summer. Now while you shouldn't count on them traveling to hockey-fever-stricken Canada or Obama-swoon USA anytime soon, a little bird told me that they won't completely ignore their international fans. It won't be much, but something is in the works has been worked on, it's just a matter of time before it's out there!

さあ。。。 let's conjecture BEGIN! The tracklist hasn't been released either, but we can easily figure out some of them, can't we now? As inferred, one of the new songs (likely the title track) will most definitely feature a plethora of new & old characters such as Tera-tan, Magical Hacker☆くるくるリスク, SPAM-Mailing girl and the pandamimi-wearing ramen delivery girl who, as far as I know, remains nameless. She probably does have a name, given mi~ko's extreme fondness of the Chinese language which she considers very 萌え (moe). That reminds me, I once joked that they should do an English song and she didn't flat-out reject the idea... think that's another possibility?

Now for more tangible possibilities, let's look at the songs which were released between their last original album (2006's Future-Fiction: AKIBA-POP!!) and this year's Super Luminal. First of all, SHAM STUDIO left a very clear note on the album's place-holder page: the CD will ONLY feature songs that are either brand new OR haven't already been released as singles. This of course rules out both of the fantastic うじゅ songs that came out late last year, not that licensing issues would have allowed this to happen either way. Unfortunately this also means that the brutal Gradius-tribute/second Naoko image song is bound to shine by its absence for the same reasons. The following however are all but confirmed:
Actually there are a lot more unreleased songs in MOSAIC.WAV's extensive repertoire that could be prime candidates but will likely be overlooked simply for being too old. This means I might as well give up on my dreams to one day listen to full versions of 2007's 「シリーシンフォニー」 and 「いつもあなたに恋してる」, the latter of which was composed by the elusive TOM-01. み~こ has a complete list of those unreleased songs up on her personal page. The nerd in me screams for a complete eroge collection, but I know very well they've had to give up many of these songs when they were sold to game companies. Enough for today! Now we play the waiting game...

Friday, 6 March 2009

New KOTOKO eroge OP is anything but 「fickle」

Due to I've Sound's ongoing decennial celebration (which is currently drawing some less-than-enthusiastic criticism from its own fanbase), KOTOKO's latest eroge opening theme has all but slipped under everyone's radar. Composed by the oft-maligned 井内舞子 (IUCHI Maiko, who went by her alias UETSU Miyu until late 2006), 「fickle」 does not live up to its title (luckily for us!). Instead of being inconsistent, it is a fairly stable and enjoyable piece of music that does not break any new ground but instead brings us back to the better moments of the SHORT CIRCUIT series. Download it now and see for yourself.

It opens with a short guitar riff that is suspiciously similar to MELL's engrisherrific 「RED FRACTION」 and could presage another OUTER failure, but quickly moves into its own thump-heavy entity that is neither hesitant nor ostentatious. The rhythm is pulsating, the guitars create an enticing melody and of course KOTOKO delivers an engaging set of vocals that display the emotion and passion that our favorite singing starlet is usually known for. Do we have a winner yet? Well kind of like the Hurricanes taking the Stanley Cup in 2006, it's not what you'd expect, but it gets the job done.

Between denpa-rock tracks such as this one and last year's 「bumpy-Jumpy!」, (the spectacular) 「Crash Course 〜恋の特別レッスン〜」, 「Stars Biscuit」 and the previously-reviewed 「Swift Love ~健全男子に物申す~」 and 「I need magic ~解けないマジ☆キュン♪~」, we may yet get our damned SHORT CIRCUIT III sometime in late 2009. Think about it for a moment: GWAVE are just exploding onto the scene with U and 井上みゆ, ave;new have a brand new 「A LA MODE」 volume just around the corner and MOSAIC.WAV are strengthening their hold on the genre with the release of their 4th album. This leaves I've Sound out in the cold with the odd eroge OP; they just HAVE to do something major soon if they wish to stay in the race, out of respect for their fans and to honor their "Pioneers of Denpa" title that was rightfully earned when they released 「恋愛Chu!」 back in early 2001.

Coincidentally, game studio SELEN also lists I've Sound as BGM composer for the game 「はらみこ」. This is interesting because they have not traditionally dabbled in game music, strictly their opening/ending themes, but correct me if I'm wrong. Also can someone help me translate the game's title? It either means "Skirt Steak Girls" or "Pregnant Virgin Maidens". On second thought, don't help... this is as good as it gets!