Back in 2005, the Japanese doujin game group FLAT created a bullet-hell game called eXceed: Gun Bullet Children in the same vein as Touhou Project. It covered a lot of the typical bases – cute girls, vampires vs. the church, and lots and lots of shooting and bright colors. While primarily underground, the game spawned two sequels that became much more popular – eXceed 2nd – VAMPIRE in 2006 and eXceed 3rd – JADE PENETRATE in 2007. However FLAT eventually decided to pass the torch and handed its copyrights over to Tennen-Sozai.
Now you’re up to date with exactly what the eXceed series is and where it came from. However, that’s just one portion of the tale. Tennen-Sozai eventually made remakes of both eXceed 2nd and 3rd, making improvements and expanding the lengths of the original games. Thus were rebirthed the titles eXceed 2nd – VAMPIRE REX and eXceed 3rd – JADE PENETRATE – BLACK PACKAGE, and with these re-released and updated games came recomposed soundtracks that featured re-tooled tunes taken from their original version.
Find out more about the soundtracks after the jump! (more…)
I really missed the boat on this one. I was turned on to KOKIA through her work on our 2011 soundtrack of the year, Final Fantasy XIII-2. She was responsible for singing “Noel’s Theme,” and when I saw that she had recently put out a collection of music featuring her work from other games and anime titles, I wanted to check it out.
As it turns out, KOKIA has been around for awhile, singing on one of my favorite arrangement albums, Genso Suikoden II ~Orrizonte~, Demon’s Souls, and other titles over the years that I already knew and loved. Are her various contributions collected here as impressive?
Find out after the jump. (more…)
It was early this January that I stood pressed between a kind security guard and countless dedicated fans, pausing from my photographic duties to really take in the Earthbound Papas performance at MAGFest X. Fans and musicians alike had gathered across great distances to witness beloved anthems from gaming classics performed, transforming themes that had been shrilly sung by sound chips into guitar solos and rock ballads. It was an extremely emotional performance for many of the audience members, and yet despite the uniqueness of the experience I found myself feeling a very surprising sensation: nostalgia. I remembered another important musical event from years past, when I had made a similar trek from New York to Baltimore to see a different Japanese rock act perform, one by the name of L’Arc~en~Ciel.
Hit the jump for impressions and photos from their recent appearance in New York City.
Although it has been a few days since Anime Expo has concluded, it is clear what impact a certain virtual idol has had on the West. Hatsune Miku, a Vocaloid software developed by Crypton has risen to the levels of super-stardom with a multitude of artists utilizing her mesmerizing voice, figure lines, and concerts in Japan which thus brings her to Los Angeles for her first international experience.
With concert tickets sold out in 4 days, it was a packed house of leek-shaped glowsticks at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles as everyone anticipated this groundbreaking concert. I had the opportunity to attend this concert and not being a fan I was certainly curious to know if this concert would change my opinion of Hatsune Miku and her virtual diva friends.
Did the concert deliver? Am I now a convert? Hit the jump and find out! (more…)
It’s been awhile since we covered the work of Kalafina. For those who don’t remember, the group is a trio of vocalists with none other than Yuki Kajiura as their music producer, and their beautiful harmonies and Gothic musical styling have made them a favorite of anime fans, as they’ve recording some very high profile opening and closing themes.
We were fortunate enough the see them perform live at the 20th Anime Expo this past weekend. They performed a small set at the intimate Club Nokia in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Our last look at Kalafina was at Anime Boston a couple years back, so join us as we get reacquainted. (more…)
While I still have a large list of soundtracks I have in mind for Soundtrack of the Month, I wanted to take the special occasion of OSV’s third birthday to once again visit the work of the legendary Joe Hisaishi. Yes, it’s been three years to the day since we featured Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (my personal favorite Ghibli film) as our introductory Soundtrack of the Month.
Just what is La Folia: Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess, and why haven’t you heard of it? As it turns out, the Ghibli Museum in Japan is home to a small theater where shorts by the studio are shown exclusively to guests. Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess is one such short that started airing in November 2010 that I had the pleasure of seeing on a recent visit to Japan, and I was immediately impressed not only by the film, but by its classical soundtrack.
Find out why I think it deserves to be Soundtrack of the Month after the jump! (more…)
Maybe you’ve seen the name Nicole Brady and just can’t remember where. Maybe you’ve never seen it. Therein lays the conundrum. Orchestration is a pretty thankless job; all the work they pour in to help elevate the music they work on often gets credited to the original composer, and even most fans don’t give the role much thought.
At GDC 2011, however, I was able to catch up with Nicole Brady, who worked extensively with the Eminence Symphony Orchestra when it was first established as well as being Hitoshi Sakimoto’s go-to orchestrator for projects like the Valkyria Chronicles series, Romeo x Juliet, and others.
Find out who she is and why what she does is so important after the jump! (more…)
Yeah, it’s old news. We covered the EXTRA Hyper Game Music Event pretty extensively in the past, and that’s where most of our coverage of this group has come from. Shortly after the release of the EXTRA – Official Compilation in 2007, the duo launched their first single, Erinyes, and unfortunately hasn’t done much since then.
If you were unaware, however, you may be interested to know who the members are and what this single is all about. Hit the jump for our review. (more…)
Ever heard of DystopiaGround? If you’re like me, probably not, but I’m sure a few of you out there have. In their own words, “This group of musicians is aiming at becoming the number 1 A-Pop artist in the universe.” I hadn’t realized that A-Pop had become its own genre, but I think you understand that this group creates the J-Pop and J-Rock tracks that you’d expect to hear as anime opening and ending themes.
While vocalist nao is the heart and soul of DystopiaGround, the body is provided by an assortment of composers, which now includes Kenji Ito. I was not only fascinated by the concept of this ‘A-Pop’ group, but more so that Kenji Ito, who most of us know for his orchestral and live instrument work, would be involved.
Join us as we take a look at DystopiaGround #003 featuring Kenji Ito and other artists. (more…)
When I recently traveled to the fine city of Los Angeles, I had the luck and fortune of doing what for many remains a dream or a wish, I got to meet my musical idol. In the late 80s, with my big brother at my side, I was introduced to the world of martial arts cinema through the movie Bloodsport. In its own right the movie remains a cult classic and is a fine piece of motion picture history, but what became the most memorable part of Bloodsport to me were the songs featured at key scenes.
Those songs were sung by Stan Bush, a man most famous for his works on Transformers: The Movie, singing such classics as “The Touch” which is widely recognized as the unofficial Transformers anthem. But to say that was his only claim to fame would be wrong, dead wrong. Over his nearly 30 year career as a musician, Stan has won an Emmy, been featured in movies, TV shows, and toured extensively. Recently, he also entered the world of video games by supplying music to Transformers: War of Cybertron from Activision. I sat down with The Man to discuss his long and wonderful career, and got an insight into his views on music, friend Vince DiCola, his partnership with Chikara Pro and his future plans.
Join us as we sip our coffees and stroll down memory lane in our interview with the legendary Stan Bush! (more…)
The results are in. This is one of the toughest processes any of us here at OSV have had to go through, but we’ve finally come to a list and ranking that we can all at least kind of agree upon. No, I’m kidding. Even though we each fought for our individual favorites, we all stand behind the results, and we hope we can turn you on to some new music that you may have missed this year in the process.
After the jump you will find the results from our 2nd Annual OSVOSTOTY Awards. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to bring up your own nominees if you feel we’ve left something out, and give us a little justification for why you think it belongs in the list of soundtracks to be remembered from 2010! Congratulations to all of the winners and to the nominees, and see you next year! (more…)
It’s that time of year again! With the start of a new year, we have all of 2010 to reflect upon, and we’re doing things a little differently this year. If you recall, last year OSV’s editors rattled off their individual top 5 picks for soundtrack of the year, with separate articles for doujin/arrange and chip music releases. This year, however, we’re streamlining things by putting all of our heads together here at OSV to come up with a comprehensive list of nominees and winners that we can all agree upon.
After the jump you’ll find our official OSVOSTOTY (Original Sound Version Original Soundtrack of the Year) Award nominees for 2010. These are soundtracks for games that were released in 2010, and are not listed any in particular order. Please feel free to chime in on our list of nominees, and watch for our picks for winner and runner-ups for each category in the coming weeks!
Hit the jump to see this year’s nominees. (more…)