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!

Friday, 29 May 2009

Monstrous fripSide Anthology includes unreleased Project! songs

Megalomania. Delusions of grandeur. Malignant narcissism.

Call it what you will, but the sheer gigantism of fripSide's upcoming 「nao complete anthology 2002-2009 -my graduation-」 is both an exercise in self-excess and blatant fan exploitation. Slated for release on July 17th 2009, the 10-disc anthology bears a weighty 19,740円 price tag (over 200$ USD) that basically represents 20$ per disc. When you consider the fact that their target audience (?) most likely already owns the greater majority of their songs in one form or another, this just begs the question: who the fuck's gonna buy this?

But that said, this anthology paradoxically represents the proper way to actually put a goddamn collection together. CDs have tons of space and are meant to be filled to the brink, not populated by a song or two. Take that I've Sound and your crappy, denpa-ignoring 「Departed to the Future」 boxset. At least fripSide aren't ashamed of their eroge past, as they included the full-length album 「Rabbit Syndrome」 in its entirety, clearly acknowledging it as an integral part of their lengthy existence, not a dark chapter best forgotten.

But therein lies the biggest fallacy of this so-called Complete Anthology: it's not complete by any means. It is missing (among others) the whole 「やっぱり世界はあたし☆れじぇんど!!」 single which was released in Summer 2008. I'd assume they somehow weren't able to obtain the publishing rights, but that's still quite the omission, given how much of a progression these songs represented over the previous ones. But at least 5 unpublished Project! songs will be available on the ninth disc. Four of them are out there in Bonus Disc format, but Red Data Girl does sound as though it's completely unreleased.

In related news, SAT said that this anthology officially marks the end of the fripSide Nao era and that the second phase is well under way. Sounds awfully Death Star-ish, but I still wish him the best, especially if more Project! songs are to be worked on. Hey, Rita's on board now, isn't she? Despite her septuagenarian pseudonym, she's got quite a few kickers under her belt, especially one that asks the fundamental question: What are little girls made of?

Monday, 25 May 2009

Chibi-tech does Contra ReBirth; 電波の世界 writes about it

It's been far, far too long since we last reported on Supreme Maid Warrior Chibi-Tech and his fearless endeavors to make this world a chiptune-ier place. You'll recall his tell-all interview that was published last year, which still gets this blog tons of hits each and every day, to the tune of pairs... no, half-dozens!! Oh right, it's been up there as a featured link for the past eight months. Mental note: get off my ass and create new featured articles icons.

That said, yours truly has kept touch with The Man, The Legend since then, but save for a New York City concert which I should have reported on by all means, I was bound in blood not to reveal the nature of his most recent projects. Flash forward to May 12th 2009, when Konami of Japan stunned the unsuspecting masses with the release of Contra ReBirth for the WiiWare. I was sorta "in the know" about this little project, because Chibi had previously told me his new employer was none other than... *drumrolls* M2 of Japan. And... it so happens that Mr. Tech himself is listed in the staff credits right alongside the legendary SAKIMOTO Hitoshi, who made such musical masterpieces as Radiant Silvergun, Gradius V, Final Fantasy Tactics et j'en passe!

The cat's out of the bag, so we can freely discuss this topic now. Chibi's involvement in the game was actually limited to the "voice unit" section, since he started working there just as the game was in the final stages of production. Nevertheless, rumors are that the next in the "ReBirth" line of Konami remixed games is none other than Salamander ReBirth. Since he previously contributed a track to the Psyvariar tribute album (which also featured Kplecraft, Blasterhead and more), then it isn't too far-fetched to believe that this is what the 8-bit wonderboy is working on as we speak. Speculation, how I love thee!

So uhhh, where's the review of the game itself? You'll have to head over to underdog game news site Siliconera, where the article was just published today. I figured a piece like this would get more exposure over there, but I'll always have this blog for in-depth Toromi features and delirious hockey/denpa comparisons. For what it's worth, an extensive Brandish: The Dark Revenant article was also written for Siliconera in mind, so check that out if you're into hardcore dungeon crawlers.

Of course, this newfound job also means one thing: MoeNES, as we know it, will probably never get released. I'll try to poke the guy (no, not in that way) about the future of the Denpa/Moe/Chiptune album that may tragically never be. In the meantime, you could always check out two "newly" released MP3s that showed up on his blog soon after his February 28th appearance at NYC's The Tank. And that beautiful 「ub1P☆ib2P」 cover art is what we call, in this artistic denpa milieu, "a mandichan". Yup, more salt in the wound. God damn it chibi-tech... you're such a tease!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

New LoveBullets OP 「O.SHI.E.TEトゥルー☆はぁと」

Someone at mana really likes denpa theme songs and who could blame them, really? Their first product, 2007's 萌ドラ "moe drama" CD series School Hearts used fripSide's boisterous 「HAPPYジェネレーション」 as an opener to each disc. Then in late 2008, they awoke I've Sound from their Short Circuit slumber and reunited the powerful "KOTOKO to KAORI" duo; the result was 「Crash Course ~恋の特別レッスン~」 for the game メアメアメア. Now their third title ANGEL MAGISTER is coming out on July 24th and lookie here -- they commissioned team LoveBullets to compose the opening track!

Titled 「O.SHI.E.TEトゥルー☆はぁと」, this is certainly one of the most turbulent tunes the pair has released so far. One could say that there are some distinct ARM/IOSYS similarities in there, but Miyu-san's voice is unmistakable. In our interview, Isomura-sensei said that if everything goes as planned, a third volume of their LoveBullets series should see the day. Don't forget that they have another unreleased song in 「シスターまじっく!」, so they've got at least two tracks figured out so far.

Speaking of team LoveBullets, the opening video to LOVERSOUL's 「姫さまはプリンセス」 came out a short while ago. It features the song "CALL MY NAME", the full version of which is the fourth track on GWAVE Super Feature's vol.13 「LOVE BULLETS II」. The smooth song is definitely a bit of a departure for the normally-hyperactive duo, but as the previous video showed, they've yet to neglect the genre that made them popular in the first place.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Under the Scope: In-depth とろ美 profile

Welcome to the first edition of Under the Scope! We'll try our best to pick one denpa-related artist every month and dig up as much dirt share as much information as possible. The title of this column references the fact that denpa artists are but a microcosm of the grand universe of JPop, hence the scope part. We begin with "Mortar Beauty" とろ美, surely one of the most mysterious artists out there, even to her Japanese fans.

とろ美 (Toromi, real name unknown), was born in Tokyo at an unspecified point in time. Her professional career as a voice actress dates back to 2002 and includes many different jobs such as game narration, anime performances and even writing comic books, however this article will focus on her activities as a musician. But for the sake of perspective, it is necessary to take a closer look at her breakthrough performance.

He first listed role is that of Mii, one of the many characters in Petit Ferret's extremely popular yet ultimately one trick pony ぽぽたん (Popotan) adult PC game, which spawned the nauseating Caramelldansen internet meme. Both the opening and ending themes were written and performed by UNDER17 and Toromi clearly developed an affinity with the soaring duo, as she was chosen to perform the insert song 「みいタンの魔法でポン!」, which was penned by Momoi and composed by Koike-aniki. The game was later ported to PS2 but unfortunately for Toromi, Momoi took over the role of Mii in the anime series. Every other voice actor was replaced, so there was no speculation that their relation had turned sour. Besides, Toromi had already found herself a new occupation: she would also become a singer.

She kept composing songs, including a few more for the Popotan series, but those all ended up on compilation or bonus discs. Her first release eventually came out at the Summer 2006 Comiket (C70), in the form of an eponymous 2-song single CD on which Toromi assumed all composition duties. It presumably sold very well, since she hit the following C71 with not one, but two mini-albums. The first one was 「たちつてとろ美ちゃん Ver1.2」 which featured four songs, again all self-composed and performed. Much more interestingly, she also offered a split mini-album with none other than 井上みゆ (INOUE Miyu). The surprising part was how evenly the pair split the duties: Miyu sang Toromi's lyrics and vice-versa, but better yet they sing together on two of the four tracks! Here's a sampler MP3. Unfortunately, this CD 「みゅ~とろん」 has become very rare (until a recent repress) and also marked the last time they worked together, on disc at least.

Toromi wasted no time in 2007 and hit the Spring edition of M3 with yet another mini-album, this time entirely composed by the talented ピクセルビー (Pixelbee). Given the occasion, they decided to name this effort 「トロピクセル」 (ToroPixel). It was hailed as a "dream combination" and certainly gave the hard-working Toromi a significant popularity boost amongst the insatiable moe/denpa-hungry scene. But M3 releases are sometimes considered "previews" of greater things to come, so Toromi stepped up her game for C72 (Summer 2007). 「T:DRIVE」 was released to much acclaim and remains to this day her most popular work, if only because its sales were in part fueled by the fact that this compilation contained some exclusive C:DRIVE theme songs (hence the title), so eroge fans were sure to snap this one up. Pixelbee was still behind the scenes, but she also enlisted the help of many other musicians. One of them was ロドリゲスのぶ who composed 「恋するメディスン3錠半」, an image song that's arguably one of the better-known Toromi tracks out there.

The success of T:DRIVE would be hard to follow-up, not only in terms of song quality, but quantity. 「PROTOROTYPE」 was distributed in low numbers at C73 since it only contained three short songs. Along with an original new track, it featured two themes used in MeroMeroCute and C:DRIVE games, so it probably sold alright with the two games' respective fans. Truth be told however, 「T:DRIVE」 was still selling like hot cakes at C73 and thanks to it, she started multiplying radio and internet TV roles as well as played a number of concerts that year.

Thus began 2008 for Toromi. Some of her first appearances looked painfully awkward, but she quickly loosened up and started assuming the role of a sidekick on the popular "MATT the MAD WORLD" Akihabara TV program on Stickam, a position which she still occupies to this day. But let's focus on the music. The aforementioned Caramelldansen "internet phenomenon" was in full swing and since Toromi was sorta related to it (being that it originates from a game in which she played a major part) and that Spring M3 was around the corner, what better idea than put out a single based around this popular new "dance"? Marketing strategies aside, 「とろ★ウマ」 contained three new songs and not one, but TWO versions of Caramelldansen, both composed by her longtime friend あいかわらずな. Surely the album must have sold well, but in retrospect it was a pretty tacky move. Or is this thing still popular?

The あいかわらずな and とろ美 pair reunited for Comiket 74 (Summer 2008) for what can be considered Toromi's first full-length album. Indeed, the nine songs on 「トロヅクシ」 totalize 33 minutes of intense denpa/moe songs, sometimes with obvious punk rock influences to boot! The highlight is probably "Baby Star Hunter", which is heavy on the "picopico". There is also somewhat of a ballad on there in the form of 「コミルカラフ」. An interesting fact is that hardcore Toromi fans perform their ヲタ芸 (otagei) dance regardless of which song she plays, something that she is in favor of (!) unlike some other idols who shall remain nameless.

December 2008's Comiket 75 marked the release of the most recent Toromi album to date, since she opted to skip out of the May 2009 M3 event. 「エトロジィ」 is another album that's on the longer side of things, with 6 tracks included for good measure. There are no gimmick tracks like the previous mini-album, except maybe for the dubiously-named 「レンアイコンセント」 which can be read either as "Love Consent" or "Love-making electrical outlet" which takes its full meaning when you consider the type of illustrations she usually draws for her albums. Oh Toromi-chan, please never change. There is a very nice sampler video on Niconico, but you can also check out individual trials on the official website. You'll quickly notice that this album is a bit more laid back than previous efforts, perhaps this is a hint of things to come.

Which all brings up to current events. Although she "skipped" the latest M3 in terms of new music, all signs point to a new mini-album for C76, but this probably won't be announced until July. She was still at M3 in some capacity, as two of her older songs were included on C:DRIVE's 『Memorial Song Collection 2006-2009』 compilation (also featuring MOSAIC.WAV). Plus she was there in person to sell her previous albums and greet her fans. Recently she performed at the DENPA SONG NIGHT event, which tells you a lot about her style and fans. She's also cosplayed and performed as Hatsune Miku a few times. Clearly the best way to stay on top of all things Toromi is to consult her diary on a daily basis. Yup, that was certainly two creepy things to say in one sentence. We aim to please!


Hopefully this article helped shed some light on an otherwise very mysterious artist that even denpa fans have barely ever heard of, it at all. In time, her previous albums should get reviewed on this blog, but either way you'll definitely be reading more about her on this blog in the near future...

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

ave;new project website update, CHUtastic new song

Just a quick heads up, the ave;new project website was recently given one hell of a facelift! So far it only offers a mad doreCHU rant (about world domination through sugary songs) and a nice (but non-widescreen) wallpaper but short samples are sure to follow. Actually in this case, doreCHU is more likely to go ahead with an 8-10 minute non-stop mix like he did for his recent "new;fable" Hatsune Miku album. Also if you look closely, there's a ??? link on the menu bar... hmmm, intriguing!

But at least one of the songs can be sampled out there, even in full version if want to look for it. The above video shows the opening sequence for the Twin Angel 2 OVA, which ties-up with a Pachinko game. The OVA (and its opening song 「エンジェルらいくに☆LOVEりたいっ!!」) actually came out late last year, despite the slot machines only having shipped recently, but that's not for me to comment on. Except that I'm kicking myself right now for not having caught the ave;new project song back then but oh well, can't win them all!