Just got the single for Monochrome, the first insert song/battle theme for Bones’ anime Star Driver, sung by Haruka Tomatsu (who voiced the character Sakana-chan, or “Fish Girl”), and I’ve got to say it’s a good enough listen. It was a neat little battle theme during the first arc, with its symphonic sounds exuding the necessary sense of urgency fit for a fight song. Though it is a bit disappointing that they turned it into a more Jpop-sounding song in the full version, but at least they kept the original song used in the show. The latter version was superior in more ways than one, anyway. After a while I just can’t help but compare it to the main battle theme used in Star Driver’s spiritual cousin, Kunihiko Ikuhara’s Revolutionary Girl Utena, though. Now I do like Monochrome, but I have to say I found Zettai Unmei Mokushiroku as the definitively superior fight song (even if it was only an introduction of sorts). It sounded fresh, and it never really got old no matter how many times it was used. The lyrics were very strange at that, which gives it a feeling of weird depth–like it held much deeper meanings or something (though they probably didn’t). All the battle songs in Utena had really strange lyrics, come to think of it. Maybe that’s part of why I love that show so much.
Speaking of music, I’ve found more enjoyment listening to this record, Club Jazz Digs Lupin III, which is a cover album dedicated to the classic anime Lupin III. The record was mostly filled with different covers of Yuji Ohno’s legendary OP theme for the show, but they all had their own personal touches to distinguish one from the other. As an added bonus, the band Soil & Pimp Sessions contributed their own version of the song (the first one in the list). I first came across them in Manglobe’s 2008 offering Michiko e Hatchin, as they did the OP, and I liked what I heard. So it was a nice surprise to see they included the full version of the OP theme, Paraiso, in their latest (?) album, 6. It’s good to know that Lupin remains relevant today, being the original “cool and jazzy” anime and all. Cowboy Bebop itself had some definite Lupin influences. If you give Spike a beard and a cowboy hat, he’d be Jigen.
That got kinda long. Well, anyway, it seems that I’ve neglected manga for a long while now, so I decided to look back into a little something I’ve read some time back.
Nasu (Kuroda Iou, Afternoon Comics, Kodansha)
Actually, I chose to read it again after a few months since I’ve forgotten what it was I understood from it. My memory needed refreshing. The manga itself didn’t have any bold catchy hooks, no fancy gimmicks, and no flashy tricks. However, what it had was a defining unifying element which is present through all three volumes: the eggplant. Kuroda manages to weave little episodes here and there which revolve around or at least involve the plant in some way, and that’s part of what makes the manga a good read. From the past to the present down all the way to the future, the eggplant remains a fixture throughout the characters’ many different episodes. Some things just never die.
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