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, 26 February 2011

The Best Denpa Songs of 2010 (JPN and NA picks)

It's that time of the year again! Although late February might horribly unpunctual for a review of last year's best denpa offerings, keep in mind that a good 30-40% of the eligible material comes out during the Winter Comiket. Also, we're actually a month ahead of last year's Best of 2009 overview, which was published in March. Furthermore, the Japanese Top Denpa Songs of 2010 list was just published on February 15th 2011, with the following top 10 songs (all links point to youtube videos)
  1. 寺ズッキュン!愛の了法寺! (とろ美 + あゆ (IOSYS)) (257 votes, 21.9%)
  2. 妹プリ~ズ!(竹達彩奈) (252 votes, 21.4%)
  3. イチャイチャ☆りちゅある!! (ave;new feat.佐倉紗織&白沢理恵) (178 votes, 15.1%)
  4. 恋愛満塁ホームラン~ほぼイキかけました~ (あゆ) IOSYS (70 votes, 6.0%)
  5. はっぴぃ にゅう にゃあ (芹沢文乃(伊藤かな恵) + 梅ノ森千世(井口裕香) + 霧谷希(竹達彩奈)) (56 votes, 4.8%)
  6. 超越↑↑恋してナイしょ☆メア!! (あべにゅうぷろじぇくと feat.佐倉紗織&井上みゆ) (44 votes, 3.7%)
  7. 侵略ノススメ☆ (ULTRA-PRISM With イカ娘(金元寿子)) (43 votes, 3.7%)
  8. 正解はひとつ!じゃない!! (三森すずこ,徳井青空,佐々木未来,橘田いずみ) (34 votes, 2.9%)
  9. 愛妻家でりでりっく (Little Non) (32 votes, 2.7%)
  10. キグルミ惑星 (高垣彩陽) (30 votes, 2.6%)

These are some great picks overall, with quite a few surprises. We're stunned that Ayu's "Baseball Song" ranked so high, given that her splendid 「*antipasto*」 CD seemed to be largely ignored this year. Plus, it's actually a 2009 song but we'll let that one slide. It's possible that her fans passed the word about voting her all the way up, not that she doesn't deserve a fourth place! Little Non also definitely earned that ninth place, sure wish they'd release more songs like that one... oh wait, RIP Little Non! Finally, the website ran a Best of 2000-2009 list, but the results seem a little unfair given the paltry ~400 total votes, so we'll let you dissect that one on your own.

Now, the moment you've all been waiting for... The Official Denpa no Sekai 2010 Sampler!
Please note that these songs are not ranked, and make sure to switch to 720p!!!

Singer: ななひら
Composer:   azuma
Album: ゴキゲン77゚↑
Released:   C78
denpanosekai: Nanahira's summer album came as a surprise and was chock-full of quality denpa gems. This pick represents all of her best features: relentless cadence, unequivocal passion and a heart-melting voice!
mandichan: Could be Nanahira's best song yet? I love the grand storytelling feeling. It's a common story setup, but pulled off flawlessly. Although the song is from the sister's point of view, the title said from the grumpy brother's point of view is cute. The whole album was great, but this one was definitely my favorite.

Singers: ave;new projecto feat. 佐倉紗織 + 白沢理恵
Composer:   doreCHU
denpanosekai: It's not a "Best of 20XX" sampler list without an ave;new projecto song! This song is doreCHU's current apex, but I am positively convinced he can reach for an even greater apogee in 2011. Long live the projecto!!!
mandichan: One of ave;new's most addicting songs to date. Saori and Rie team test their speed and singing together in beautifully controlled chaos. ave;new are experts at keeping things fresh while sticking with their trademark sound.

Singer: ココボク
Album: ココボク MUSIC PARTY
Released:   C79
denpanosekai: Been a fan of koko/boku for a long time. Her angelic-yet-infernal voice leaves no one indifferent, so it was with great pleasure that I found out about her first original album. This first song just happens to sum up her Music Party very well, but it could have been any other!
mandichan: It's really hard to choose a favorite from this album. Koko's voice is one of the wildest out there, and this song showcases it in its natural habitat: having fun and being cute! Also, unlike most of Innocent Key's albums which only have a few denpa songs, this one is almost 100% saturated.

TitleHoney I Scream!
Singer: リズナ
Composer:   t+pazolite
Album: Honey I Scream!
Released:   C78
mandichan: We all know t+pazolite and Rizuna is a deadly combination, and this song is a great representative of their high energy and high contrast. I love the gentle and almost cartoony touches here and there in the arrangement.
denpanosekai: Denpa purists and JCore snobs will both scoff at this pick, but to hell with the lot of them. This song is pure madness both vocally and musically; you'll notice our sample mixes both the beginning and ending of this glorious track. The best thing is that this album was announced just a couple of months after we  published our extensive t+pazolite feat. リズナ article... as if we called it...

TitleLove Wars~愛の宣戦布告~
Singer: akari (doubleeleven UpperCut)
Composer:   山下航生
Album: Do you like Upper Cut???
Released:   M3 2010 Spring
denpanosekai: This new unit released twelve new songs in 2010, at a brisk pace of one per month. That's dedication! Not to mention they already have three concerts under their belt in 2011 alone. They may not be pushing the genre's boundaries yet, but at this time next year, they'll be big! Mark my words...
mandichan: doubleeleven UpperCut has some of the most energetic compositions out there. This song features great denpa staples like crazy fast talking and hyper chants. Take a listen whenever you need some energy!

Titleリプルリプル☆Twinkle Show!
Singer: のみこ
Album: リプルリプル☆Twinkle Show!
Released:   2010/5/26
mandichan: Probably the most overlooked album this year, 「Ripple☆RippleTwinkle Show!」 was a drama cd with のみこ in the lead role(s), but the real draw here is the music. Unfortunately, the drama tracks jacked up the price for a CD with just 2 real new nomico songs... but both of those songs were so good, it's worth it. The title track is everything you expect from nomico: cute, fun, and most of all addicting. She sings it with all the right sweetness, squeaks, and endearing "imperfections". 「 しすぎました。」, nomico's other new song, is even more denpa and hyper. It might catch you more on the first listen, but in the end I think 「リプル☆リプルTwinkle Show!」 is the better of the two, the urge to sing along while listening is almost impossible to overcome!

Singer: 月宮うさぎ (ULTRA-PRISM)
Composer:   小池雅也
Released:   2010/10/27
denpanosekai: As a proud owner of their (criminally underrated) debut album 「inspiration」, I was more than thrilled to see them grow so rapidly in 2010. When I visited Akihabara in late 2010, all the shops were playing this song on repeat. Too bad their new Rainbow Gate ending theme song seems to be ignored because it's associated to a mediocre anime. Regardless, let's hope for a second original album in 2011, you can do it aniki!
mandichan: ULTRA-PRISM really lucked out by having their anime debut song being the anthem for followers of the invader who came from the bottom of the sea! The chants worked perfectly for riling up the already hypnotized fans of cute lil' ika-musume. Hopefully it's a turning point in the career of this great duo.

Singer: miko+Resurrection (ALBATROSICKS)
Composer:   Dr. ARM
Album: PARAMOUNT FEVER!!!!!!!!!!11111
Released:   C78
mandichan: Listeners of mikoraji (miko's radio show) will get a kick out of all the inside jokes. Those unfamiliar will still be able to bask in the cuteness and perfection of the princess! Those who are moe for miko's "bad" singing (like me) will flip their lid over the version on the MERGE THE STRAWBERRY remix album too.
denpanosekai: Bad ass guitar solo!

Singers: 桃箱・愛原圭織 (ちぃむdmp☆)
Composer:   塚越雄一朗
Album: 電波っぽいのっ!
Released:   C79
mandichan: Truly a blissful combo of voices, it's hard to go wrong with anything on their amazing debut album. The gentle sounding classical instruments mixed with the usual crazy denpa noise makes a sweet and dainty maid image.
denpanosekai: We went with the "maid song" but yeah, any track was fair game! However, this one might just be the most debilitating moe song ever made. This enchanting duo knows exactly how to hit the sweet spot!

Singers: とろ美 + あゆ (IOSYS)
Composer:   ARM
Album: 寺ズッキュン!愛の了法寺!
Released:   C78
mandichan: Lives up to the expectations of such a true dream team collaboration. Immediately addictive and a great sense of humor. I'm so glad the success of this song is helping Toromi get the recognition she deserves.
denpanosekai: Same here! Toromi has been working her tiny butt off for years, it's great to see this sudden surge of interest in her songs and albums, not to mention the international coverage she's been getting since becoming Ryohoji's mascot. Her C79 album was splendid and features even more collaborations with ARM! Her IOSYS track would also have been a potential candidate for this list (check out this live performance!).

Honourable Mentions
denpanosekai's picks
健康ランド (KuKuDoDo feat. 初音ミク)
勉強したくない (ひなうち)
sweetCHU kiss (Stein Gar Coo)
ないしょのダンス (おでんぱ☆スタジオ)
はきゅん☆ご主人様ぁ!のいずれか (久猫あむ)
Do love me! (ACT)
ずっと、妹 (33.turbo)
De;Laytion of snow (DystopiaGround)
陣取場取!まるたけえべす (MOSAIC.WAV)
スターソルジャー -魂の16連射- (高橋名人)

mandichan's picks
the first, the last (U)
ケロ⑨destiny あうあうmix (silver forest)
ハッピー☆バレンタイン (melo9)
呪文はプリ☆まじ (榊原ゆい)
EXEC_HYMM_BATTLESPHERE/.#Saki extracting (片霧烈火)
正解はひとつ!じゃない!! (ミルキィホームズ)
雨上がりのミライ (ミルキィホームズ)
みっつ数えて大集合! (みつば(高垣彩陽)、ふたば(明坂聡美)、ひとは(戸松遥))
つよいするどいしょうがくせい (みつば(高垣彩陽)、ふたば(明坂聡美)、ひとは(戸松遥))

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Details on 5th MOSAIC.WAV album「吟遊Planet☆AKIBA-POP」

[Update March 2nd 2011] The store is now open for international orders! Get your "Extravagantly Extra-Equipped" Edition NOW!

[original story] Since there has been so much activity from smaller and newer players in the World of Denpa, we haven't been covering MOSAIC.WAV as much for the past couple months. Don't get us wrong: King Kayamori and Queen mi~ko still reign over the Kingdom of Akiba-Pop and we are still their loyal, ever-loving subjects. Very soon, March 9th 2011 to be precise, they will release their long-promoted fifth album 「吟遊Planet☆AKIBA-POP」(Ginyu Planet☆AKIBA-POP), which we first heard about nearly a year ago. There were some delays and a couple pretty cool singles in between, but this time it's for real. Here's the tracklist:
  1. Thing! Think! Ting! (new)
  2. 印度 a 主義 (インド ア イズム) (new)
  3. もののあはれ (new)
  4. おいしい魔法のサシスセソ (mp3)
  5. NAOKO-THUNDER VERNIER II ~幼女期の終わり~ (mp3)
  6. きみにおねがい!セキュリティ (mp3) (youtube)
  7. たべごろ☆1/2ふるーつ (mp3) (youtube)
  8. 悠久想春歌 (new)
  9. 脳・内・再・醒~ecphoric dance~ (mp3) (youtube)
  10. Next Stage! ⇒ "Hyperluminal" (new)
  11. パペピプPOLIDAY (new)
  12. 天体上∇吟遊サテライト (new)
  13. FLY-ALONE (mp3) (nicovideo)

There are a number of interesting facts to note from this tracklist alone. First, you'll notice there are SEVEN new songs on this new album, which is far more generous than the 2-3 new tracks we usually get on a new album. On the other hand, they haven't composed that many eroge songs since 2009's 「Superluminal Ж AKIBA-POP」, so they did need to create more new songs to pad out this record. Second, you'll also notice that none of the new songs have samples, clearly they want to keep them as surprises (good on them).

Their selection of "old" songs is really interesting. First of all, #4 「おいしい魔法のサシスセソ」 finally gets a full-length release, four years after its initial release in early 2007. Written by big-bro 小池雅也, this is a ridiculously hyper-active song that brings back the feeling of their first three albums. In fact it might even sound out of place on here (especially for new fans), but you certainly won't hear me complain. #5 is the absolutely brutal 「NAOKO-THUNDER VERNIER II」 which mi~ko told me was a bit of a Gradius homage. I uploaded an English translation video back in December 2008, but unfortunately Youtube pulled the plug on the denpanosekai account last year and I don't have a backup of that video... such a shame.

#6 is the downright hilarious "semen-security" song. That youtube video is censored but still NSFW... and totally worth seeing! As for the song itself, you can find complete impressions on November 2008 report. Yet another tune that totally deserved a full version. #7 and #8 are the OP and ED theme songs to 2008's Musumaker, which we also extensively covered when the single was released at C74. Both tracks are a bit on the soft side but since the single is all but out of press, fans will appreciate the opportunity to revisit these songs.

The last of the "old" songs is just six months old. 「脳・内・再・醒~ecphoric dance~」 came out in September 2010, on a single which included two more songs that likely won't be featured anywhere else. Speaking of which, there's at least one game song which still hasn't been featured on an album. We're talking about 「オコサマオトナナオサナナナ」 which came out in November 2008, almost at the same time as that "semen-security" song. It was an interesting song that featured mi~ko doing three different voices, but somehow it didn't make the cut. Too bad!

So now you're completely sold, hyped, hooked and you can't wait to drop some mad cash to acquire this piece of denpa history, right? You're in luck, CDJapan has both the regular (34$) and limited (40$) editions for sale. Better act fast on that limited edition however, it's sure to sell out in no time. What's included in the limited edition? Aside from the long case and different artwork (both on disc and cover), there's also a packed-in light novel, titled 「吟遊サテライト」. But wait, there's more!

REAL fans will want to order the ultra-limited "gorgeous edition" set which includes:

Wow... a MOSAIC.WAV LP record! How about that! That booklet is equally interesting, as it is said to contain interviews, photography and unique illustrations. The data disc has ultra-high quality versions of all new tracks, while the vinyl holds all six "old" songs. Extremely interesting... but can you afford the 6,800円 asking price? If so, head on over to the official MOSAIC.WAV eSTORE and order away. Since they don't ship outside Japan, just use and tell them sent you!

As a final bit of related information, the second MOSAIC.WAV live tour will hit Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo in April 2011. Head over to the official site for ticket information!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Japan Firsthand: Comiket 79 Part 2 - Photo Journal

Most blogs stick to publishing pictures of amateur cosplayers. That's cool and all, but since everyone and their mom/dog has got that part covered, we decided to go after the "pro" cosplayers. Plus we were having a lot of fun in the business section and ran into a bunch of awesome people such as Toromi and doreCHU, so we just stuck by that area for most of our "free" time. All pictures by CRIMExTHINK (click for larger resolution).

Warning!! Tons of BIIIIG pictures after the jump.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Japan Firsthand: Comiket 79 Part 1 - Rants & Reviews

So, Comiket 79. That happened. Click images for larger resolution. CDs from left-to-right, top-to-bottom:

Row 1
  • ココ 「ココボクMUSICPARTY」: 11 brand new songs featuring the hyperactive ココ, no way in hell I was gonna pass this up! I actually picked it up at とらのあな, which had it on sale one day before it was released at Comiket. The Innocent Key website has samples for each song. さつきがてんこもり is one of the guest composers, therefore it's a must-buy! Lots of denpa and wacky pop. ココ goes waaaay over-the-top with her voice on this one... and we finally get official confirmation that ココ=ボク.
  • t+pazolite 「RESetup;」: I picked this up from とぱぞ himself and just had to tell him that I loooove his songs, especially when リズナ is involved. Although this new CD only has her singing three songs, it's an absolute rager. There's no doubt about it, this guy has a gift when it comes to fucked up hardcore-denpa music (not to mention he's probably the only one out there). I also got to see him perform live at the MegaPeer event, where he tore shit up in front of about 25 screaming fans. Intense!!!
  • ヒゲドライバー 「3UP」: This didn't actually come out at C79, but it was released in late November 2010 so it's still very new. While checking out the booth babes in the business area, I spotted this dude walking around with an Higedriver sign. Since I love his unique brand of Chiptune Rock (and wasn't aware about a third CD) I had to ask what was up. An interesting Engrish conversation ensued with the president of LOiD Records, who was thrilled to learn that a gaijin knew about his label and the release of 「コスモドライバー∞UP」.
  • ALBATROSICKS 「MERGE THE STRAWBERRY!」: I own all of the ALBATROSICKS albums released so far, so I felt like I had to get this one too. It includes 5 remixed tunes from each of their five previous albums, as well as a bonus track which features a seemingly drunk MIKO screaming her ass off. Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure she handed me the CD herself but she wasn't all dolled up I couldn't really tell. She did have a similar voice. Quim was there too, unfortunately his attempt at making an English joke failed hard (sorry dude). This is a decent CD for the price, especially for the REDALiCE and DJ Command remixes. The others are kind of boring though.
  • とろ美 「とろみ仕立て」: YAYYYYY I MET TOROMI. Mandi was right, she is incredibly small in person. She was dressed up as とろ弁天, her Ryohoji character. It was definitely cool to see in person, especially since I didn't have time to visit the shrine. She was very excited to meet me and I made sure to thank her for her years of lovely denpa music. This new album is by far her best, not to mention it has two tracks composed by ARM! This brings their total collaborations to four (in 2010 alone). The artwork is fantastic and I still can't believe she does everything herself. What a girl!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

ACT 「Do love me!」 live video & pictures, new radio show

We gave ACT (Ayu from IOSYS, Coda from COOL&CREATE and t+pazolite from C.H.S) a bit of a belated introduction in December 2010, two months after they released their debut mini-album 「A.C.T」. Then they went quiet until IOSYS announced ACT would perform at quim's X-Mas party on December 25th 2010. Missed the event didn't you? The good doctors felt our collective pain so they uploaded this video to provide some relief.

Pretty sweet right? But doesn't it look as though this crowd wasn't completely into it? Well, that's the impression they are giving me, after having witnessed ACT perform unannounced at the MegaPeer event on January 8th 2010. Instead of a couple dozen folks cheering the sound unit, it was a couple hundred rabid fans screaming out the entire lyrics from start to finish. They performed 「Do love me!」once again and definitely blew everyone away with their imposing stage presence. Pics or it didn't happen, I know!

shit was off the hook

あゆ pulled a number of ridiculous moves

t+pazolite singing, how often does that happen?

Oh, and if you're into wicked long podcasts by your favourite artists, then surely this 61 minute-long ACT radio show will tickle your fancy. This got me thinking: from the get-go, ACT always seemed more like a side-project than a full-time band. Judging by the crowd's reaction at both events, the CD must have sold very well. And as much as t+pazolite feat. リズナ feels like a gift from above, he works great with あゆ as well. All this to say that I wasn't expecting much more than a lone CD from this collaboration, but now it seems that 2011 could hold some surprises from them. Could a full-length album be in the works?