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!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The long awaited Funta self cover album is coming!

U is one of the most loved, and most elusive, denpa artists of all time. Also known as "U-tama" to her fans, or "UCO" when performing as a part of the band Funta (Pronounced "Fanta"), she has not only made countless memorable songs for her own projects, but also by creating behind the scenes for other artists. Over the years, as U she has released eroge theme songs and original numbers sporadically. In her band Funta she teams up with 吉見 (Yoshimi) who provides guitar, bass, and keyboard, as well as splits composition / arranging duties with UCO. They had their major debut back in 1998, then reappeared with some lovely new singles in 2003 before once again quieting down. However, even if they stopped releasing songs of their own, Funta continued composing, arranging, and writing lyrics for a wide range of singers, seiyuu, anime, and idols. Hardcore U fans of course kept an eye on all these releases, but couldn't help but hope to someday hear her sing these songs on her own. And finally, that day has come!

funta-stic!! is the name of the album we've all been waiting for. To celebrate their 15th anniversary, Funta is releasing an album covering many of the songs they've contributed to over the past decade. What's the tracklist gonna be like? Let's take a peek.

1. マイペースでいきましょう - 七森中☆ごらく部

Self cover version credits: Lyrics: Funta3, Composition: Funta , Arrangement : ARM(IOSYS)
Original version credits: Lyrics: Funta3, Composition / Arrangement : Funta7
The anime Yuru Yuri has been a huge success, including it's seiyuu music group, 七森中☆ごらく部. They pulled out no stops in getting great musicians to work on their music, including members of IOSYS and of course, Funta. This is just one of the many great songs she contributed to the series. For her self cover version, ARM will handle the arrangement, making this a truly exciting collaboration.

2. オレンジ - 逢坂大河(CV:釘宮理恵)・櫛枝実乃梨(CV:堀江由衣)・川嶋亜美(CV:喜多村英梨)

Self cover version credits: Lyrics: 渡邊亜希子, Composition: Funta3, Arrangement : Funta7
Original credits: Lyrics: 渡邊亜希子, Composition: Funta3, Arrangement : 橋本由香利
"Orange" is the ED theme to the popular anime ToraDora. Curious about what the new arrangement will sound like.

3.ミリオン☆ラブ - ゆうな(CV:中原麻衣)

Self cover version credits: Lyrics/Composition: Funta, Arrangement : 小池雅也(ULTRA-PRISM)
Original version credits: Lyrics/Composition/Arrangement: Funta
Another anime song, "Million Love" comes to us with the self cover version arranged by no other than "Aniki" Koike Masaya!

4. あなたも知らない恋の果て - 椎名へきる

Self cover version credits: Lyrics: UCO, Composition: UCO+吉見, Arrangement: Funta7
Original version credits: Lyrics: UCO、Composition:  UCO+吉見, Arrangement : 明石昌夫
The original comes to us from an artist known as 椎名へきる (Shiina Hekiru), a singer / seiyuu. This one is quite beautiful and serious, and will probably take on a quite different tone when it's covered, but only time will tell.

5. メリー - (天海春香(CV:中村繪里子)・如月千早(CV:今井麻美)・高槻やよい(CV:仁後真耶子)・菊地真(CV:平田宏美)・星井美希(CV:長谷川明子)

Self cover version credits: Lyrics: Yura, Composition: Funta, Arrangement: RegaSound
Original version credits: Lyrics: yura, Composition / Arrangement:Funta
Funta also brought us the composition on this fun Idolm@ster Christmas tune to be covered on the new album.

6. モテ期のうた - アイドリング!!!

Self cover version credits: Lyrics: 酒井健作, Composition: Funta, Arrangement : 水谷広実
Original version credits: Lyrics: 酒井健作, Composition/ Arrangement : Funta
Funta is no stranger to working on songs for アイドリング!!!, and I'm curious to hear the difference between her solo version and the original.

7.口移しのチョコレート - AKB48(多田愛佳・柏木由紀・平嶋夏海)

Self cover version credits: Lyrics: 秋元康,  Composition: Funta7,  Arrangement : 藤澤健至
Original version credits: Lyrics: 秋元康、Composition / Arrangement: Funta
I bet you weren't expecting to see AKB48 on DnS! But in fact, they have worked with Funta several times.

8. Sweet Duet - エイラ・イルマタル・ユーティライネン(大橋歩夕) & サーニャ・V・リトヴャク(門脇舞以)

Self cover version credits: Lyrics: 三浦誠司,  Composition:  Funta7,  Arrangement : 佐藤準
Original version credits: Lyrics:  三浦誠司,  Composition / Arrangement : Funta7
We return to the anime songs with this insert song from the non-pantsu anime "Strike Witches".

9. レッツラブでいきましょう♪ - 七森中☆ごらく部

Self cover credits: Lyrics: Funta7,  Composition:  Funta3, Arrangement : 草野よしひろ
Original version credits: Lyrics:  Funta7, Composition:  Funta3, Arrangement : Funta7
Another Yuru Yuri song, this one the coupling song from the 2nd season's OP single.

10. バニラソルト - 堀江由衣

Self cover version credits: Lyrics: SATOMI, Composition , Arrangement: Funta7
Original version credits: Lyrics: Satomi, Composition: Funta7, Arrangement: 中塚武
Famous seiyuu Horie Yui sang this popular ED theme for the anime ToraDora.

11. サイコー☆ラヴリィディ - Funta(?)

Lyrics: Funta3, Composition / Arrangement : Funta7 Appears to be a brand new song! Correct me if I'm wrong!

That wraps up the tracklist! Keep your eyes peeled for this release on 3/20/13!! and don't forget to.....

Preorder now!!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Exclusive かたほとり Interview (ポヤッチオ / プチリズム / SHAKING PINK)

Many people are familiar with the splendid プチリズム series as well as the new doujin supergroup SHAKING PINK, but what about the man behind the scenes? かたほとり has been composing all kinds of silly sweet songs since 2008, including a surprising number of vocaloid hits. But in recent years there's been a gradual shift to cute female vocals and that's where doujin circle ポヤッチオ is headed these days. We got a hold of busy かたほとり and managed to squeeze out some interesting answers out of him.

If you are new to the "Katahotori Sound", please enjoy this medley video!

- When did you start composing music? Please share your learning experience.

It all started with some electronic organ classes back in elementary school. Then when I became a high school student, I was immediately attracted to PC and video game music. I would attempt to play my favourite songs and learn composition structure along the way, eventually leading to my own original compositions. Other than this rudimentary musical education, I taught myself everything else over the years.

- What elements of moe, denpa and vocaloid songs attracted you as opposed to other genres?

It's unlikely that moe songs, denpa songs and the like could have become popular in just any generation - there are surprisingly many new cutting-edge expressions and manners of speech being used now. When I hear them I get excited... I believe this is the charm that defines moe and denpa music.

- The "Katahotori Sound" is very distinct, with uptempo songs and heavy slapping bass.
Your latest song 「女の子の美学」 is a great example of this style. Where does this influence come from?

These elements, especially the heavy slapping bass, come from a techno sound variation of video game music. This is a genre that heavily influenced me as I was growing up and composing my own music. In particular, I like to refer to Namco and SEGA soundtracks of the 80s and 90s, especially those from composers such as 林克洋 (HAYASHI Katsuhiro) and of course 細江慎治 (HOSOE Shinji). For instance, here are two particularly inspiring soundtracks:

Metal Hawk (NAMCO, 1988)
Galaxy Force (SEGA, 1988)

- How does your creative approach vary when composing original songs versus arranging touhou material?

There are countless people making endless Touhou arrangements from the same source material. I try to think in a way that redefines the image of the original songs as much as I can so that I don't come up with the same stuff. In that sense, it feels like an original, but it's quite relaxing to just be able to compose without thinking about anything too hard.

- The プチリズム series is five volumes strong, did you ever expect this success?

When I started getting into the doujin scene, I quickly realized that most denpa and moe songs came from either Touhou arrange albums or commercial releases (game or anime OPs). In fact there were very few all-original doujin albums focusing exclusively on said genres. I thought to myself "where there's a will, there's a way" and came up with a concept to try and tackle this niche market. Thus プチリズム was born. At first, I didn't think it would turn out to be such a long-running series, but I'm definitely glad we kept going and reached out to so many people.

- Congratulations on getting ななひら, ココ and 桃箱 to join ポヤッチオ.

Nanahira-san, Momobako-san and Koko-san participated in Poyacchio's CDs from the start, but on paper Poyacchio was my group until the end. When the three of them became members, they already understood what sort of group we were -- if their fans bought Poyacchio's CDs and were able to listen to their songs, then I believe that they could feel at ease.

- SHAKING PINK is an amazing doujin supergroup. How did it all come together?

In one way or another, all three members of SHAKING PINK have been associated with ポヤッチオ since the very beginning. We started talking about this project in early 2012 and released the first single in August 2012. All three girls have instantly recognizable voices yet I feel they come together perfectly. They also happen to have very strong individualistic personalities, which helps in creating a unique experience for listeners and fans. Our belief is that 「SHAKING PINK have suddenly invaded us!」 and we'll keep working under this motto.

- Impressively, there's already a CD and live appearance after half a year of existence.
Can you give us a small preview of things to come?

Performing a live concert right after releasing the CD was great timing, we were very happy to receive an invitation from the organizers. The SHAKING PINK girls greatly enjoyed this first live performance, so I'm pretty confident you will see them on stage again. As for future endeavours, there will definitely be more albums as well as collaborations with other circles. Maybe some commercial activities, who knows!

- What is the story behind the lyrics to your mysterious song 「DENPA NO SEKAI」?

「DENPA NO SEKAI」 is a Touhou arrange song that has a theme of living in an imaginary world above the network. As you have guessed, the title was chosen after I became aware of the always pleasant "Denpa no Sekai" website, heh!

- What are some of your hobbies outside of creating music?

I still enjoy watching anime and playing video games, that hasn't changed. However these days, composing songs and managing doujin activities is really taking up most of my free time! I wish could squeeze in a couple more hobbies, but my priority is music.

- What do the names かたほとり and ポヤッチオ mean?

I took the name "Katahotori" from part of the name of a writer I liked a long time ago but it doesn't really have any deep meaning. "Poyacchio" comes from a fortune telling game in an old arcade I used to go to as a kid. The name comes from the result screen's "good luck nickname." In Japan, there is also a popular game called "doki doki poyacchio," and as I recall I have memory of taking it from that same root as that. There is no direct correlation between our "poyacchio" and "doki doki poyacchio"!

- Thank you for your time and we will keep on supporting your efforts in the future.

Not at all, the pleasure's all mine. Poyacchio is going to try a few new things from here on.
Basically I just want to make some fun music. Thank you for your support!

Poyacchio Representative - Katahotori