Category Archives: Seiyuu, Idol, Pop

Anisong World Matsuri 2018: Japan Kawaii Live

Anisong World Matsuri Japan Kawaii Live at Anime Expo 2018 is one of the three AWM shows at Anime Expo this year. It follows from last year’s AWM which stopped at AX, Bilibili Macro Link in Shanghai, and Otakon 2017. This year there is no Otakon stop, and AX gets 3 shows instead of just two.

With July Fourth landing on a Wednesday, JKL somehow gets pushed in to Saturday. Conveniently, Aqours solo AWM show can be put on that Wednesday since the group has to travel back to Japan for the final stop on the Aqours 3rd tour, the same week. Since JKL is going to employ a bunch of seiyuu (i☆Ris and Cinderella Girls), it made sense to have the show on a weekend so the troops can fly back Sunday.

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THE IDOLM@STER M@STER SPARKLE Series Review

I’m writing hot takes for all the songs from THE IDOLM@STER (Million Live!) M@STER SPARKLE series! The 8-CD series ended last month when the 8th and final disc shipped. I bought all of them in some form or way, but what I can say is it’s nice to not have to tag the rips since Mora does that for you when you buy it there… I listened to them a lot over the past 8 months or so, via a variety of headphones, IEMs, speakers, car speakers, what have you. I’m writing this post while streaming hires flacs from my phone to my home theater system. Welcome to the 21st century I guess. It’s an incredibly easy way to control the music lol.

General takeaways:

Sparkle is the third solo go around for Million Live, not including the two new members. This time, the OG 13 idols are omitted. There are some themes as follows:

  • More of the same. Some are better polished than before, YMMV.
  • Musical ~DIVERSITY~ in that specific genres or themes are being aped for character reasons – Nao’s and Noriko’s are the obvious examples. But really, guys.
  • Produced by Lantis artist:  Some tracks are pretty much specific Lantis act’s thing. Aside from SasakiP of nano.RIPE, at least. Those who went to see Lisani this year would have an idea what I mean. But there’s also a very fhana track in there.
  • Introductions – Being the first series for Theater Days, some songs do a more obvious job explaining the characters.
  • Playing to live performances. Some songs feels like they can go straight to a live, plug-n-play. Star Trip in particular, when you consider the acoustic guitar part.

The CD series started back in August 23, 2017. We are about 4 months away from its anniversary. So the first couple discs already sound very nostalgic, where as the last couple are still too fresh. My mind is still working on them.

The covers reflects a seasonal or holiday theme correlated to the month of that CD’s release. Check out this youtuber lol. Meanwhile I linked to the CD sample playlist off Youtube in each of the sparkle titles for your easy access.

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Spring 2018 Anime Selections

Here are some impressions, as per usual. On a personal note, I recently signed up for HiDive, and it doesn’t have Apple TV support, which is what I use to watch probably 75% of anime these days. It also doesn’t have Chromecast support, which is what I use to watch ~15% of anime these days (only usually because I’m at a friend’s house or Apple TV is having issues). The two technology platforms are kind of interchangeable, since I use both at home for various things. The rest of the time I watch either on my phone (because I’m on an airplane) or on my PC (because I happen to be in front of it), in that 10% remainder. It also means HiDive is kind of worthless to me right now.

The problem with HiDive is that it doesn’t support how I watch anime most of the time. If it takes less effort to me to XDCC some files and watch it on Apple TV via Plex, than load up the video I want on HiDive, cast my whole phone, then hit play, this competing product is just a waste of my time that happened to cost money. Would it be OK for me to subscribe and not use it? I guess so. For now, the only real way to watch stuff on HiDive, short of inside a browser, is that I can dial up a video on my phone and stream my phone Airplay/Chromecast-like, but this sucks if all you have is your phone, and not a second device to play with in your living room. It is very much a first world problem, but this entire blog is more or less a first-world-issues only site.

That’s not even mentioning all the bugs in the Android app. And how the web version is making the same mistakes that plagued FUNi’s website back when they were solo on the streaming. Anyways.

On a less ranty, but still ranting, note, I picked up the EN version of BanG Dream game, administered out of Singapore. It’s perfectly fine and provides an updated experience than my first run-ins with the original JP version so long ago. They fixed most of the tuning issue with stamina usage and event point system. The more fleshed out exchange system now has some balance with grinding up character training mats. There are more songs you have access to right out of the gate, if just the newer covers alone.

Playing it also reminds me what I didn’t like about the game, which is having to put up with songs you don’t like or don’t want to listen to during multiplayer. This is why I almost never choose Random for song selection, anyway. Oh, and the usual abusers in the game that coast or outright cheat.

Then again, I get why some people instant-disconnect after the song selection screen. I really don’t have to want to put up with one more listen of Shuwarin. I’ve not fallen that far yet but it’s getting close. It would be really great if the game lets you blacklist a few songs!

OK, enough sidebars. Here are the initial offering (which is bound to shrink as the MLB season wears on).

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Animelo Summer Live 2017

Today is September 12, as I write this, and I have finally fully physically recovered from my Anisama trip. And that is not counting some lingering bronchitis-type symptoms that could take up to 2 months to clear up. Sup, I am getting old, is what.

To be fair, going to Japan for 3-4 days and concert it up in the humidity and heat does take a lot out of you. I think the kids who run and mosh with their crazy jumps at the outdoor stage are something. This is not an activity that I can recommend middle-aged Americans who are not in their best physical shapes to do; namely, try not to go all out at idols and spent 6 hours going out some more at various anison and seiyuu singers. Not even counting the in-between time, which invariably means you’ll be walking around a bit, even if lounging back.

That said, Anisama is the Comiket of Japanese eventing, and it’s worse in terms of stamina in a way. My conviction grows stronger now on my second trip that this is both a festival and a trial. This time around the lineup is way more powerful than last year, and they pulled some items off my bucket list, such as You & Me duet between Motsu and Yukarin, and seeing the SOS-dan get back together. I don’t even think I had that latter act on my list because I did not expected it to be possible.

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Anime Expo 2017 Anime World Matsuri (June 30) Japan Kawaii Live

The long blog post title aside, I don’t have a whole lot to say actually. Actually let me cap the whole day, since that’s how I have been looking at this from the start.

There is more to the experience of seeing an IDOLM@STER live than the live alone. I think in this case we put together something that a lot of producers could enjoy. There was a call book thing, there was some goods sold, there is the offkai. There’s the line-up and socializing. I think people had a good time, at least based on the feedback. There were also things that can screw us up, like AX’s ticket pickup policy. But first things first.

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