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Music Monday – Yura yura to the music

October 7, 2013, by , posted in Music

How many of you have heard of the term ‘yura yura’ even if you don’t understand what it means? I know I’ve heard it at least once, which was why that note of familiarity upon seeing a title of yet another SoundHound search sparked an adventure in seeing how many songs with this title are out there~

Do you even need me to say it? Today we will be exploring songs that are named (or in some cases, mostly contain) the term ‘yura yura’, often interpreted as ‘swaying’, however it can also mean ‘rolling, swinging, wobbling, shake, waver, rock, tremble, vibration, flicker’, thus it’s no wonder that this phrase is so widely used. If you’re a Naruto fan, this would likely be familiar to you and is probably the most well known Yura yura (Wavering), performed by Hearts Grow and used in, you guessed it, Naruto.

Which theme was it used for? It was the ninth opening, and Heart Grow’s second single. I love the energy through it with the notes of nostalgia. The song as a whole is very positive though and I can see why they would choose such a song for a series such as Naruto (I wonder what message the lyrics would send fans though~). The animation they used for this opening was also interesting to me too, but your mileage may vary — you don’t see silhouettes used that often, or otherwise there are unusual takes on them. Content was a bit disappointing to me though ultimately — how well do YOU think it really matches the song?

In any case, moving on to the second order of business, another ‘yura yura’ that may be well known depending on how well you know the Inuyasha series. Yura yura (Swing swing) is performed by Every Little Thing, and was used not for the TV series itself, but was the opening to the second movie, though I forget how exactly. Have it for the sake of my nostalgia — to me this song is just fun and cheery… and speaks of another life of course. ;)

It’s interesting to see the types of songs which we get with just this simple title ‘yura yura’ and far these songs stretch back in history. Of course, this is to be expected, but each is unique in what they cover and how they cover it, it’s quite an adventure. If you’re into Every Little Thing and want more Inuyasha though, you could check out Ruben’s post.

So finally onto the last ‘yura yura’ I will cover — this is perhaps a little less well known to an anime-centric community like us, but BENI’s Yura yura (Swaying) is also a favourite with many. I do agree that it’s rather catchy, but since hearing this song either in a Japanese restaurant or other related place, I have become rather fond of the Jazztronik Remix. Who would have thunk? Unfortunately it’s not on YouTube though.

Previously debuting as Beni Arashiro but now known as BENI, it’s clear she has an extremely very versatile and clear voice, and while I’m not particularly into RnB which seems to be more up her alley, she does have some interesting tracks out there, and as a bonus also sings in English and for English-speaking audiences since she’s a halfu (American and Japanese). :) Might be worth checking out.

To keep this post getting too long, we’ll stop there, but there are quite a lot more tracks out there with this interesting term in it. Here’s some of the slightly more obscure ones (relatively, you know), but still worth a listen if you are inclined to, since I’ve already distilled them from the others, kekeke → Yura yura by EeL, Yura yura by Auncia, Yura yura ~AM 3:00~ by KEN THE 390 (mahoutsukainote Remix), Yura yura night by doku, Yura yura odore by ar.

nadeko

Music Monday: >Based SHAFT

September 23, 2013, by , posted in Music

Each of their shows is filled with character development, engaging dialogue, thought provoking themes, deep plot, intelligent humor, symbolism (meanwhile at shaft).

This seasons Monogatari series second season is no exception. If you guys remember Bakemonogatari – Nadeko Snake ark and the ever so famous OP – Renai Circulation, then you will be pleased to hear the in this seasons monogatari Nadeko has her own ark and a new OP to match it!

Here is a link to Renai Circulation (RC), and here is the new OP called Mousou Express (ME):

Doki Doki

I would like to compare the two. In RC we can see that Nadeko is all cheerful and looking forward to seeing her beloved Koyomi-oniichan, she is trying hard with her studies and going forward in her life in a skipping pace. In ME its the exact opposite. To be honest Shaft just reused some parts form RC but played them backwards, but it does convey a message. She has regressed, she has fallen into a dark state of boredom a slight depression. She can’t be bothered studying or working hard; “excuses and reasons are just to bothersome, because its fate there is no helping it” – she sings. She just wants everything everything everything everything. Her childish and selfish side has shown itself and that is what this ark is all about (kinda, no spoilers).

Have fun watching, this series is available via official free stream on daisuki.net

Music Weekday – Anime clu–er, bands.

September 19, 2013, by , posted in Music

Well, it has almost reached the end of the week, so it’s hardly a Monday, but what does it matter? We can have music any day of the week. Today I want to take a small look at anime bands. But do I mean bands in anime, or do I perhaps mean bands that have formed because of anime. Let’s take a look at the former.

Girls Dead Monster in Angel Beats, ENOZ in Suzumiya Haruhi, Egoist in Guilty Crown, Houkago Tea Time in K-ON!, Bad Luck in Gravitation and of course the little jazz band in Sakamichi no Apollon. Well, I suppose I would get injured severely if I didn’t mention BECK as well. In any case, as you can see, bands in anime are fairly common. There’s one I’ve left off that list though (amidst many others, no doubt), and you wouldn’t know of it anyway unless you read or watch SKET Dance… and of course you would then only know their songs if you also watched the anime.

The band in SKET Dance is called The Sketchbook and its members consist of the members of SKET Dance, a school club that aims to help out people in need. The story shares lots with Gintama, but that’s another story and one not related to music.

Really, there’s two real-life bands coming out of SKET Dance though. One is called SKET Rock and consists of four of the seiyuus from the series, chosen by voting by viewers (their songs are not quite my cup of tea, I’ll admit). The second is the band mentioned previously, The Sketchbook, which has taken off into a band in their own right and were formed by audition to perform the songs initially for a concert to happen in the anime, and it’s OPs and EDs, but they are still out there making their own music now. There’s something quite addictive about their music somehow… perhaps it’s their energy…

The above is one of their songs, Michi. Their music only ever involves the instruments the trio play, guitar and guitar and drums (I know, I oversimplify) along with the obvious of vocals, but they are able to move from energetic and fun songs to more gentle yet cheerful songs. The trio are well synced and clearly very talented. Their music videos usually feature some quite gorgeous visuals and….. I can’t stop staring at her legs I mean what……

Anyway, the vocalist’s voice does at some points seem a little flat in some songs to me, he surely does have a very versatile voice and the three are a great pick, especially seeing some of the different people who come to audition! (There’s a video on YouTube somewhere, I guarantee.) I do wish the other two would also sing more too sometimes though – some harmony would really make this even more magical!

Music Monday – Addictive, Old, Favourites.

September 9, 2013, by , posted in Music

We’ve all seen the Code Geass posts and references many times throughout the years this site has been up, but nonetheless of all the songs that we associate with Code Geass, who would pick out Kaidoku Funou, otherwise translated as “Impossible to Decipher”, which was the second opening theme song to Code Geass?

I have no idea why I have fond memories of this song, we first became acquainted in my HSC year when I preferred to watch anime than study (anime such as Bakemonogatari and Darker than Black, mind you – good, good times). Somehow this song became one of those tracks that I continuously played on a loop in order to force my rebellious brain into focusing on studying, rather than the however many other things it wanted to do. How? Why?

The song touched a note in me the first minute I heard it, when I’m usually the type to skip over opening theme songs unless they grab me in those first opening bars. This is the reason I know barely any Bakemonogatari theme songs and I only know the first Darker than Black opening theme song. What an impatient kid I was. Maybe I liked the pessimistic note of the song when I was in those days where parents barked down my neck to study when the impending doom that was the HSC loomed over me, but looking back on it again, there’s simply something quite addictive about that guitar opening that leads into the song.

Interestingly enough, this song doesn’t bring back bad memories now though. I still think of that wonderful opening sequence as I listen to it and try to sing along with Jinn’s lyrics. Although it seems easy, it’s actually a lot more difficult than it seems, though perhaps there’s also the fact that my voice isn’t too suited for it… It’s a testament to the song itself however, as what attracts is not the animation – as it isn’t anything particularly special (in fact almost all of the scenes used are simply reused) – but the song itself is compelling.

I’m not typically into rock music because it hurts my head, but this song is just something else for me. Do you guys have addictive old favourites too?

Music Monday – When you’re sitting in a resturant…

September 2, 2013, by , posted in Music

While sitting in a Japanese restaurant after enjoying some katsu curry with several fellow Anime@UTS-ians this afternoon, I heard the slow and delicate plucking of a guitar and a soft, clear voice, rising and falling in a gentle and yet somehow addictive tune over their sound system. It was comforting and pleasant to listen to, and despite the slow pace of the song and what seemed like a slight melancholic note, surprisingly uplifting. Have I ever mentioned I like songs that are uplifting?

In any case, after a few tries with SoundHound, eventually all was revealed. The song was called ‘Hana’ by Kana Uemura, from the album ‘Shiawase no Hako wo Hiraku Kagi’ (aka ‘The Key to Open the Box of Happiness’). Although I was determined to listen to it again, I wasn’t able to find the song anywhere although I scoured the internet for videos (there is this streaming link I discovered), however I did find this little gem:

If I thought ‘Hana’ sounded familiar to me somehow (and I still can’t figure out why), this song stirred even more memories and I immediately thought to myself ‘Studio Ghibli!’. Yes, what is it but the theme song to Kiki’s Delivery Service.

(And of course, we’ve all heard about Hayao Miyazaki retiring from doing feature length films. Listen to the song in farewell, won’t ya? We’ll all miss this great man who brought us such spectacular films.)

Although Uemura’s voice reminds me in some ways of YUI, there are moments like in ‘Yasashisa ni tsutsumareta nara’ where her voice really stands out. It is a clear and honest sound and the guitar she uses compliments her nicely, even though she also sings to loud and fun big band style music now and then… though I can’t seem to find that song again either!

In doing all that searching though, now I think I have a second favourite song of hers, ‘Milk Tea’. I think Uemura has shown herself to be pretty versatile and I’m loving it~