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, 23 April 2011

M3-2011春 round-up: odenpa☆studio, t+pazolite, HolicService

UPDATED 05/01/11: Added three new segments: Wisteria Magic, まめこ and 33.turbo!

ORIGINAL: Just like last fall, this spring edition of M3 is a little light on denpa (and related) contents. However, considering all of the events Japan has had to deal with in the recent past, the output is surprising. Do note that this list will mostly focus on the goods which will be available at M3 on May 1st 2011. As you may or may not know, Touhou-related music is mostly absent from M3; it gets its own convention a week later on May 8th when Reitaisai takes over the Tokyo Big Sight. That said, many albums originally slated for Reitaisai may also be sold at M3. If you wish to purchase any of the following albums, remember that is running an M3 group import until April 24th 12:00 PM (PST).

This time, we're giving our buddies おでんぱ☆スタジオ (odenpa☆studio) top billing! The guys and girls are working so hard and it shows. Each new release contains their finest material and they have shown no signs of slowing down. You also have to appreciate how diligent they are when it comes to releasing new stuff on time. Three new songs and a radio track are included on this fourth single 「ボクとまほうとあいすくりーむ☆」 which introduces a shota theme (but lolis are still an integral part). This time the denpa feeling is through the roof, especially on track #2 which is certainly BB.Lemon's bravest creation so far. As usual, they provide us with samplers of all tracks, so head on over to the new single's website and hear their evolution for yourself.

Our man t+pazolite knows how to please his fans... after summer 2010's terrific 「Honey I Scream!」 and the wacky 「Re;setup」, he's back with the motto "cute+hard=crazzzzyyyy!" That should tell you everything right there, but do go ahead and sample all five of his new tracks from 「cutie breaks EP」, two of which feature the lovely リズナ on vocals. As the name implies, this is a rather short album and it even got its own "sub-label" with the distribution code CHSEP-0001. The guy really shines on his concept albums so this EP might feel a little short in comparison, but it should tide us over until C80 rolls over. The artwork from うちゃコ is sublime and topazo really did a great job with his website this time!

Holic Service is BACK, BABY!!! Although the new album's titled「ニヒリズム!」(nihilism), don't be fooled. The theme is "Party X MoeDenpa X Parade" and it certainly comes true on the explosive tracks #2 and #4, sung by Chia (never heard of, GREAT DEBUT!) and なゆ (love this girl, nice choice!) respectively. Queen Gumi makes a couple appearances as a duet with さてぃっち. KuKuDoDo is certainly in top form and although this isn't exactly the proper follow-up to his delightful "Energy Reimen" series, we'll definitely take this! If you aren't familiar with KuKuDoDo or Holic Service... why? This article will get you up to speed, and this one covers pretty much the entire Birdtune catalog, on which KuKuDoDo frequently appears.

Another hard-working circle is Zero-Shaft. They've been plowing away at their own IDOLM@STER-inspired series iDOLST@GE for sometime and gave us「FirstSt@ge」at last year's M3. This year, they mix things up a bit with TWO new albums. The first one is the anisong cover album 「COVERST@GE」 that sounds fantastic and can be sampled here. Of course, the lovely ココ is one of the many featured singers but まめこ is also quite the moe generator.

As cool as anisong cover albums can be, they have another release which should be really high on this site's readers shopping list. For a mere 500 yen, they're offering 「ちびロリっ!」, a chibimoeloli album which has all of their singers doing their cutest voices. The first track alone should convince you: it has ななひら and the aforementioned まめこ as a duo! ひなうさ also appears as a singer and BBレモン of odenpa/melo9 fame is even a guest composer! WOW! If that wasn't enough, customers will also receive a FREE copy of 「おんなのこすいーつ」 as a bonus item!

We might not have written about 藤原鞠菜 that much over the years, but perhaps it is time we start giving her more attention. While she started her career in the early 2000s singing for the game industry, "Marinya" has mostly been associated to IOSYS as of late. Highlights include 2009's hilarious 「Club Ibuki in Break All」 and also the recent 「Daydream Syndrome」 anime single, which was performed live at the 2011 MegaPeer event (greatly pleasing this writer).

But Marinya is also capable of producing her own stuff under the circle Wisteria Magic, as evidenced by the stealthily-announced 「キミトマホウノヒビキ」 mini-album. Surprisingly, this one doesn't involve IOSYS at all: in fact it was fully composed by our good buddy 磯村カイ (ISOMURA Kai) of TONAKAI sound works! Yes, the Team Love Bullets dude who used to wish he would be a game programmer, but now writes music for some of the finest Japanese women.

Listen to this new album... do it!!! Reminds you of anything? That's right, it's strikingly similar to the Team Love Bullets of olde. Let's not turn this into a TLB discussion, but let's just say it's very refreshing to hear Kai go back to the more frivolous sound that made him a household name in the first place. As for Marinya, there's no denying she's extremely comfortable singing over this kind of soundtrack and it enhances her versatility. It's pretty cool they opted to go for a full 6 tracks as opposed to one of those annoying singles. There's a very good balance of hot-blooded and adorable songs! Hoping for more in the future!

We love 2-dimension for their quality albums and we love まめこ for her ambrosial voice, so it's pretty cool to see both of them work together on her debut album「Jewel」. Although this is not a denpa album at all (more like powerful rock meets glitter pop), it's still worth a quick mention on this site. After all, the main composer Kenji has been involved in many of ForestPireo's albums, as well as on the first 天然ジェミニ album, so he's definitely relevant to our interests. As for まめこ AKA SugarBunny*, well we've praised her on many occasions, but suffice to say that she is one of the hottest ZeroShaft girls, as well as the lovely うさ子 in the one-off Valentine's Day unit "チョコっと★ましゅまるん".

Last but certainly not least on this list is 33.turbo's latest effort, a mini-album with four brand new original songs going by the name 「ホイップライフ」. What's always been cool about 33.turbo is that the circle member have never dropped the "denpa style" qualifier and that scores major points with this site. The first two tracks are balls-to-the-wall fast with delectable vocals. The third seems to be a statement on the post-earthquake shopping panic, not unlike Hyadain's own contribution. Although 「愛の買占め」 sounds sad, it's pretty cool to see small doujin circles using music to make a point, in their own way. What does the fourth track sound like? Nobody knows! Buy the CD to find out more!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Japan Firsthand: Osaka (大阪) Photojournal

Just a couple more cities to go and this photojournal will come to an end! Writeups for M3 and Reitaisai (take 2) are still in the cards, don't worry. For now, let's look at Osaka, the third largest city of Japan. MOSAIC.WAV regularly play here and the Den Den Town is quite large and comparable to Akihabara. We ran into tons of hilarious Engrish signs and ate delicious food. Hotels in Osaka are extremely cheap and quite clean! It's also a great hub to other "nearby" cities such as Kobe and Kyoto. Siliconera recently had a feature on the Osaka gaming industry which may be interesting to some readers.

Still to come: Hiroshima and Tokyo! All pictures by CRIMExTHINK (click for larger resolution)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Unboxening: MOSAIC.WAV「吟遊Planet☆AKIBA-POP」 "Extravagantly Extra-Equipped" Limited Edition

MOSAIC.WAV 5thアルバム『吟遊Planet☆AKIBA-POP』

Hey, listen! Did you forget that MOSAIC.WAV just recently released their killer 5th album 「吟遊Planet☆AKIBA-POP」, along with an "Extravagantly Extra-Equipped" Limited Edition available for international mail order? Let the following video refresh your memory and lighten your wallet.

It's pretty nice that this massive limited edition comes packed in such a nice tight box. If you're running low on space (like me) then you'll be glad to know that everything fits neatly inside. You can put it up on a desk without a prop, it'll stand on its own. The booklet is full-colour and contains all sorts of things: lyrics, interviews, production notes, comics, artwork and a nice discography section. To see more pictures, refer to DJKnuxCore's excellent unboxening pictorial.

We'll try and have a complete review of the album in the days to come. It is definitely their most varied effort as they explore new soundscapes and the exciting new possibilities that come with them. Thanks again to Sham Studio and MOSAIC.WAV for this exquisite boxset, as well as allowing their international fans to order from the store.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Japan Firsthand: Kyoto (京都) Photojournal

Unfortunately we could not spend a lot of time in Kyoto, besides everything closes so damn early there. The City Of A Thousand Shrines does not disappoint, but make sure you show up early in the morning, not late afternoon. Most of our time was spent at beautiful Fushimi Inari-Taisha as you'll see from the pictures. Make sure you bring a good pair of shoes if you plan on visiting this shrine. Incidentally, late afternoon is a perfect time to visit as the sun sets and blends in with the thousands of torii gates.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Japan Firsthand: Yokohama (横浜市) Photojournal

In this third touristic photojournal, we'll take a look at Yokohama. The second largest city in Japan is home to the Landmark Tower, the biggest Chinatown in Asia and of course our buddy Satsuki Ga Tenkomori, who happens to live there. All pictures by CRIMExTHINK (click for larger resolution)