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))


Unknown said...

My opininon on the list and comments:

イチャイチャ☆りちゅある!! is indeed a very good one, but do note that it is _not_ an ave;new project song. How ironic for the best and craziest ave;new denpa song of the year. Unfortunately, it does seem that "project" is a japanese word for "writing endlessly the same song" (see also Ali and Jam). The only thing I really liked from ave;new project is 生意気☆いちごミルク・DAYO!!, which is probably the only song they did which does not sound exactly like every other one.

As for Honey I Scream!, I do love it, but I have to disagree with denpanodekai's point of view here.
As both a fan of hardcore and of denpason, I should love with passion everything this combination outputs. However, I feel like on most of their song together, their both tone down their own strong musical personality. When I hoped for an amazing combination of hardcore and denpa, what I got with their album was... well, electropop for the most part.
If what we call hardcore is hardcore techno, I think denpa is hardcore pop. No wonder denpa and hardcore fandoms have so great an intersection. But Honey I scream (the album) is just not hardcore enough in either direction.
My favourite songs from t+pazo ft. Rizna are Kick ur Luv (of course) and Distorted Lovesong, which was released on... Hardcore Syndrome 4, an hardcore compilation, and on which Rizna wonderful lovesong offers a so delicious contrast with t+paz's hard sound.
Well, I would have prefered, and by far, an A+C+T song there, either Do Love Me or 5分で分かる(ry.
In the end, I don't think any fan of denpa should scoff at such an hardcore song in your selection, as denpa as a musical genre and as a philosophy likes to associate with multiple horizon. Remeber the enka song on Touhou Unfufufu, album that we all love for its subtitle, "NO電波、NOライフ".

Love Wars~愛の宣戦布告~ is a hard choice, given how high quality doubleeleven's output is (though somewhat formulaic I must say). Let's hope 2011 brings even more. Yes, I do like Upper Cut!!

侵略ノススメ☆ was indeed very fit for Ika Musume. I do prefer みらくる☆ちゃんす, however. I'm sad it missed the 2010 top by some short days, hope we'll see them again in 2011!

As for the miko+ARM situation, I rather like much more there はたてでバッコイ殺人事件, which is everything we love from these two; I like that they are writing original songs, but I have yet to see something on par with 魔理沙は(ry or 患部で(ry in ALBATROSICKS's output.

As for those who didn't make it in the top, though I would have liked to see U higher, I'm most saddened by the omission of ヒャダイン, though they are both present in mandichan's Honourable Mentions. 前山田健一 might not use the D-word to describe its works, but his work on Mitsudomoe still account for the best denpa songs of the year. And as mandichan noted, that's not just one 90 secondes opening: even the second tracks of his singles are completely nuts. The charasongs he wrote are wonderful as well (ABCよりDEFっす is... hardcore, and Chikubi's CD is hilarious).
AND, his instrumentals versions are marvelous as well, with multiple melodies overflowing from his talented synths.
AND, let's not forget his ワシャシャシャ SMILEx3, which is surely in the competition for the best denpason sung by a male.
AND, his More-More Lovers for Aso Natsuko, which was used for the ending of MM, does sound pretty denpa-ish to me too.

mandichan said...

Wow, thanks for the in depth comment!

I know what you mean that ave;new project songs can sound similar. But I guess because I love that kind of song, I just don't get tired of it! Haha. 生意気☆いちごミルク・DAYO!! is one of my favorites too though.

For Honey I Scream, I did see many fans of t+pazo complaining about him pairing with Rizuna and finding the denpa sound annoying. I'm glad you don't agree on that part! I bet you liked their collaborations on Ultra Cute!? much better too. Those had a more hardcore sound, I think.

ACT was included in the honorable mentions, at least :)

I might have liked Pinkish, the c/w song, more than みらくる☆ちゃんす. But my favorite from them is still Ika Musume. But I think they have the potential to top it :)

For Albatrosicks, my favorite was probably ドラム缶風呂型ドジっ娘コンピューターBUG. But it's not denpa-ish enough. But it's true that they haven't created anything wild to live up to IOSYS's best. はたてでバッコイ殺人事件 was a good one wasn't it! I'm a bit biased to like Albatrosicks so much due to mikoraji.

I would have loved to rank U higher. But I felt her best song wasn't actually a denpa song this time around. That's why she just made it to honorable mentions.

I tried to talk denpanosekai into including the Mitsudomoe songs, so you can take that one up with him! ;) I think the newest OP was my favorite yet, but it's 2011. I love the recorder solos.

Thanks for the good comment, I'm going to look up any songs you mentioned that I didn't hear yet!

電波の世界 said...

Yes indeed, thanks for the comments. It's refreshing to see people posting here instead of emailing me, which somehow became the norm.

It's true that the ave;new song is not a projecto one. For now let's just call it a voluntary slip of the fingers. I should really ask doreCHU why this song wasn't branded as such.

As mandichan wrote, I too have read extremely negative comments regarding the topazuna pair, not to mention some JCore dudes actually told me they disliked our in-depth article because it focused too much on "their shitty songs". By including this song, I'm sort of making a stand. I too think they're somehow holding back, but until they unlock their ultimate destructive form I'll take whatever they give us. The entire album hasn't left my iPod since August 2010 so that says a lot about our selection (which was unanimous BTW, much like Toromi and ちぃむdmp☆).

I'm having a lot of fun listening to ACT but they need to prove they aren't a one-trick-pony before we can think of including them on a top ten list. I thought they did deserve a mention so that's what happened. And finally, t+pazolite absolutely needs to team up with ゆきまめ once again 「ふにふに秘密の補習授業」 just might have been his best (pure) denpa song to date.

As for Hyadain and the Milky Holmes theme songs, yes you can sort of put the blame on me. As much as I love all these songs, we had to cut the video down to 10 entries and 15 minutes and trust me, that was more trouble than we thought. There's no way to please everybody and until we get enough readership to proceed about in a democratic manner, these "20XX Sampler" lists will be restricted to myself and mandi.

Again, thanks for your comments! If anyone else has recommendations for top denpa songs of 2010, let's hear them! Drop some links while you're at it!

Paranda said...

Can't speak to the others but for ave;new project, according to LoveLoveLovable the song is defined by the lyrics and not so much by the tune. A key requisite of avepro is that it is filled to the brim with "Sugar Love Power" in Saori's own words (answering someone who had a similar question on what makes ave;new vs ave;new project), so while イチャイチャ☆りちゅある!! is one of the catchiest ave;new songs to date, its almost certainly does not qualify as project.

It's also why they are able to label songs like はぁとピヨピヨ☆ラブにゅうにゅう!! under project. TBH the repetition is only noticeable on Twin Angel stuff. I'd make a guess that dRESS plays it safe with formula on stuff he knows is more public, but looking at their latest release, they definitely tried to show the variety in the ave;new project world. 生意気☆いちごミルク・DAYO!! as has been mentioned already, ふわっFuワッホー☆メイプルまじっく!! which I consider to be a "perfect song", and Doなる?ど~な☆CHU!! are all side by side on the same album for example.

mandichan said...

Thanks for the info, Paranda. You have surpassed me to become a true ave;new expert over the years!

True that ave;new does project does a lot to differentiate their songs, though the average listener may not appreciate it much, lol. Switching up singers and throwing in some really avant garde songs here and there definitely helps. Plus they are usually released pretty spaced out, with normal ave;new songs inbetween. They are probably usually asked by game companies etc just to use their signature sound, so they can usually only experiment on original songs I guess. I think this is especially true on Twin Angels songs, so they all fit together nicely. (But I looooove the Twin Angels songs. lol. Even among those I think there is enough variety.)