At the start of the winter 2015 anime season, I wasn’t looking forward to watching many new shows. I ended up trying out 9 first episodes and have 8 of those series currently marked as “watching”, despite being a few weeks behind on some of them. One I recently caught up on was Yuri Kuma Arashi, directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara with animation production by Silver Link.
On Saturday, I went to Burlingame (near the San Francisco international airport) for AOD 2015. I had been to two previous AODs that were held in different San Francisco locations – this year’s event took place at the Hyatt Regency, same as in 2014. Registration was pretty seamless for me since I had pre-registered on the con’s website a few days before.
On Sunday, I began writing on a side blog that will focus on sports fiction (anime, manga, films, comics, etc.) and I’ve made a couple news-related posts on it so far. My intention is to cover smaller items that I likely wouldn’t bother fleshing out on here as well as profiling various sports series and other media. I also created a preliminary page to keep track of sports-related panels that have been presented at fandom conventions over the years since there’s been a growth in those, paralleling the popularity of simulcasted sports anime.
I’m still early on in this project so feel free to make suggestions on possible improvements.
At Anime Expo 2011, I bought a book called Anime Poster Art for a discounted price of $5 from Akadot/DMP’s dealers hall booth. I looked through it at the time, intending to write something about it, but I didn’t get around to doing so.
Four years later, I found that two similar poster-focused books from the same cocoro books imprint – Japanese Movie Posters and Silver Screen Samurai – had cheap listings on digital storefronts such as Amazon’s Kindle store. I decided to buy both to go along the physical copy of Anime Poster Art that I still own.
Seeing the above tweet by Spiritsnare last night sent me into a whirlwind of thinking about bygone and still surviving aniblogs that started in the previous decade (2000-2009). While memories were swirling around in my head, I realized that this May will be my ninth anniversary of blogging on a semi-regular basis – not as long as AWO has been podcasting (December 2005) but it feels like long in Internet time.
I’m watching a handful of new anime this winter season and the one that has impressed me the most so far has been Wit Studio’s The Rolling Girls. Its visuals are very colorful and its vocal songs (OP/ED & inserts) are catchy, too. The thing that caught my attention when I looked more closely at the credits is that those songs so far are all covers of tracks by ’80s & ’90s Japanese band The Blue Hearts.
The Blue Hearts’ most recognizable song in the West is likely their 1987 hit “Linda Linda” since it has been featured in other media after its debut including the 2005 film Linda Linda Linda (here’s an English trailer), wherein a high school girls’ band plays covers of Blue Hearts songs. That movie was released on DVD stateside by Viz Pictures in 2007 but I think it’s currently out-of-print.
Back to Rolling Girls: covers of the following Blue Hearts tracks have aired so far, sung by the show’s four main voice actresses: (UPDATED 4/1)
– “Hito ni Yasashiku” (人にやさしく, 1987) as main opening theme, episode 1 ending theme
– “Tsuki no Bakugekiki” (月の爆撃機, 1993) as episode 2-3, 5-7 & 9-12 ending theme
– “1000 Violins” (1000のバイオリン, 1993) as episode 1 insert song
– “Eiyuu ni Akogarete” (英雄にあこがれて, 1987) as episode 2 insert song
– “Nō Tenki” (脳天気, 1993) as episode 4 ending theme
– “Nagaremono” (ながれもの, 1988) as episode 5 insert song
– “Train-Train” (1988) as episode 6 insert song
– “Sha La La” (シャララ, 1988) as episode 6 & 9 insert song (instrumentals)
– “Neon Sign” (ネオンサイン, 1991) as episode 10 insert song (instrumentals)
– “Aozora” (青空, 1989) as episode 11 & 12 insert song (instrumentals)
– “Yūgure” (夕暮れ, 1993) as episode 11 insert song
– “Owaranai Uta” (終わらない歌, 1987) as episode 12 insert song
Also: “STONES” (“Some Girls” by Rolling Stones?) as episode 8 insert song
There’s a song collection CD with an April release date that claims to feature five cover songs from the show so there should be at least three more debuting in future episodes.
Rolling Girls isn’t unique in using voice actors’ covers of older Japanese songs – the ending theme for Maria Holic season 1 was a cover of YMO’s “Kimi ni Mune Kyun” and Penguindrum had many covers of ARB songs including “Rock Over Japan” (aka the SEIZON SENRYAKU theme).