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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.

Music Weekday

October 4, 2011, by , posted in Features

All good things come to an end.

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Naruto #500

July 10, 2010, by , posted in Blog

Naruto’s upto its 500th chapter. Geez…that’s a long time. So before I get all nostalgic about Naruto and how far its come in the last 10 or so years, I’d like to take a look at chapter 500 and why it was good.

This chapter, like the last few previous to it, is set within Naruto’s inner self. For some reason, Naruto’s inner self is just a blank white area, which isn’t very visually appealing. Similarly, the chapter is very discourse heavy and unfortunately doesn’t give the art enough room to really show off. This means that the art is very dependent on Kishimoto’s composition of frames and he does this by focusing on Naruto and Kushina’s faces.

I particularly like the way he draws Kushina’s face, showing a range of emotion throughout this chapter. He makes you care about a character that’s only been around for 3 chapters and you get a real sense of her personality in this chapter.

But why is Naruto good again? Because its getting back to characters we care about. The characters of Naruto have always been its strength. Over the last few arcs, the series has introduced too many new characters and ignoring the plethora of characters that we grew to love pre-time skip. Even though we’ve know very little about Kushina and Minato, they’re so ingrained into what Naruto is and it just works. And now Kishimoto’s taking it back to the start, back to the Nine-Tails and hopefully answering more questions than he raises.

Weekly Weeaboo

May 9, 2010, by , posted in Blog

A little late this week, sorry. Too many assignments to do. -_-

Bleach #402

Wtf is he going on about?

I’ve always liked Bleach’s incantations. Its like Naruto’s handseals for jutsu or the long start up for Dragonball. Sure the incantations don’t make sense, but you know the longer and more detailed the incantation, the better it is. They even assign a number as to how good the kidou is.

Anyway, this chapter had a nice playoff of power between Urahara and Aizen, though the dialogue was a miss for me. The whole “I’m in control” “No, I’m in control” style of dialogue, particularly with Aizen’s “I’m a god” way of talking doesn’t sit right. Maybe it works better in Japanese. Who knows. But its nice to see Urahara still use his tricks when he’s fighting serious.

Naruto #493

Real deep. Speaks to my soul.

How much soul-searching, character developing, jutsu/power training can Naruto go through? Like really? Hopefully it doesn’t end like the Team Gai fight in Shippuuden “To beat our clones, we just have to get stronger!”

It also seems like everyone in Naruto has a sad, tragic story in their past. All the tragic stories end up meaning nothing if there’s too many of them. Get to something important or progress the storyline please.

Full Metal Alchemist to end

, by , posted in Blog

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So Full Metal Alchemist is going to be ending soon. FMA has been a consistently good shounen manga since 2001 and garnered TWO anime series based off of it (one because people complained the first was so shitty). FMA was the third most popular manga in Japan last year, behind One Piece and NANA and just ahead of Naruto, so its ending is significant to alot of people, particular in the downturn of manga sales in recent years.

But does having a foreseeable ending make FMA better? If we were to compare it to something similar, like say LOST (an American TV Show, for those who didn’t know -_-), a few similarities can be made. After the third season of LOST, the series had begun to stagnate and many felt it wasn’t going anywhere. But then they announced the series would end in 2010 and began writing the series with the ending in mind and the series became watchable again. While I haven’t read or watched FMA yet, I have heard that it does seem to be going somewhere right now and its making a fair few of my friends excited.

Currently Naruto doesn’t look to be ending anytime soon, with Naruto back in some kind of training and no foreseeable showdown between Naruto or Sasuke coming soon (which should be the way to end the series). I think Naruto is kind of flailing right now, there’s only so much character development you can have with a single character, particularly in training phases. Bleach is a little unpredictable right now, as all the major players have arrived on the scene and the series could end soon, but thus far there’s been no indication or hint of that happening. In fact, I have a feeling Kubo will extend it further with some kind of Aizen shenanigans. And from what I’ve heard, One Piece similarly doesn’t seem to be ending.

One of my favourite shounen series was Eyeshield #21. The series had very good pacing and character development, which was largely helped because there was an end goal, the Christmas Bowl, which had to eventually occur in the series. Its also one of the reason tournament style shounen series do so well (Yu Yu Hakushu, Flame of Recca and even Dragonball Z at times). They force story progression down an albeit limited path, but it doesn’t really feel like it stagnates at any point.

So does a shounen series need an ending to be great? I think so. We can say that Naruto, One Piece and Bleach were great at times, but we can’t say the series was great. In two months time though, I think we’ll be able to say FMA was one of the best series ever made.