By Andy Hanley
Ask the average viewer what makes a good anime series into something truly great, and they’d probably cite animation quality, visual style or something along those lines. As a result, one aspect of such productions which is often overlooked is the role that the soundtrack and incidental music which accompanies a series can play when it comes to elevating a story to greatness.
At least part of the reason that anime soundtracks tend to be overlooked is the simple fact that many of them are decidedly “by the numbers” affairs, and as such there are only a handful of composers who the average fan will even know by name, let alone have any kind of opinion of. While Yoko Kanno remains perhaps the best example of a composer with an impressive body of work within anime, recent years have seen a true rise to stardom for another equally talented individual in the form of Hiroyuki Sawano, whose compositions have come to grace a number of notable recent anime series.
Although Sawano’s work in TV, anime and movies dates back to 2006, it wasn’t until 2011 that his work in anime will have come to the attention of most fans; a year in which his music graced both the adaptation of popular manga Blue Exorcist and, perhaps more notably, Production I.G’s original work Guilty Crown. Continue Reading
We're back with another edition of the Anime Limited Newswire to wrap up the month of March. Yes, it's April tomorrow. This year is flying by!
~ Good news to kick things off! We've managed to get ahead of things on the production side of things we're happy to confirm we've been able to bring the release date of the DVD version of Wings Of Honneamise forward. It will be available this from this coming Monday (6th April). Yes you did read that correctly. The Collector's Edition Blu-ray/DVD combi version will be available from 27th April as we've been previously advertising. You can pre-order both versions from Amazon UK HERE and through our web shop HERE.
This news has been updated in the Release Schedule accordingly at the conclusion of this update. Continue Reading
For those of you who are fans of the franchise, Hakuoki, you'll be happy to hear that there's a smartphone game being launched in the UK for iOS and Android smartphones! (We're working with our partners in Japan to help spread the word of this release.) Read on below for all the details.
Glasgow, UK March 31, 2015 - Hakuoki, one of the most popular Otome games released in Japan, is coming to the UK for the first time from March 31st, 2015. It will be available for iOS devices through Apple’s AppStore and for Android devices through the Google Play store.
Hakuoki, by Idea Factory, was first designed and released in its native Japan back in 2008 and became the forerunner in Otome games. It’s popularity quickly saw it adapted into anime, manga and films as well as its release to English speaking fans.
About Otome Games
Otome games are designed primarily for a female audience, commonly as a form of visual novel game allowing players to take control of various protagonists. The player helps shape their character’s stories through different scenarios and multiple conclusions. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond
Like all true legends, Arslan’s story has been told before – several times, in prose novels, manga strips and anime, involving a succession of top creators and artists. It’s a medieval-style saga about a young (fourteen year-old!) prince in exile, Arslan, gathering allies in a bid to drum up an army and free his land. But that simple premise is developed on multiple levels, with modern resonances. It’s not schematic good-versus-evil. The prince’s enemies may be violent religious zealots, but then the prince’s own father is a tyrant and slave-owner. It’s a clash of civilisations where neither side is straightforwardly good, and individuals must choose their own paths, straight or crooked. There are brawny massed battles – just look at the trailer – but as much examination of minds and hearts.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan is a fantasy which stays in touching distance with the real world. Arslan’s homeland is modelled on Persia (now Iran). It’s the kind of story where the fantasy is trimmed right back – the world may be imaginary and open-ended, and there may be sorcerers and monsters, but they play a very limited role behind the human actors. Two obvious comparisons to Arslan are America’s Game of Thrones and Japan’s Berserk, though the Arslan books predate both; judging by their adaptations, they aren’t as consumed by sensational sex and violence. Which is not to say Arslan is soft. This is still a medieval realm, and torture and slaughter exist beside the pageantry and finery. Continue Reading
By Anthony Thomas
I can still remember the first time I saw UNISON SQUARE GARDEN live – they made me miss lunch. It was Rock in Japan festival, a three-day extravaganza that took place in a 470-acre public park about an hour-and-a-half north-east of Tokyo. There were six stages, over 150 acts, and unlike Japan’s more famous festivals such as Fuji Rock or Summer Sonic, there wasn’t a single foreign band on the line-up. It’s a great place to go for fans of Japanese music, who don’t particularly want to see Mumford and Sons or the likes of Muse, again.
There was a gap between Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and ONE OK ROCK on the main stage, the perfect time to tear myself away and sample some much-needed festival grub. From the get-go, the line-up had been great but relentless. There was [Champagne] at 10:30, OKAMOTO’S from 11:05, followed by stage hopping to catch a bit of Coldrain, PUFFY and BiS before Kyary began. No time for food, no time for beer, until now. Except, I didn’t end up with either.
On a stage directly behind the JD bar, the crowd were going wild. Taking a look to see what the fuss was about, I noticed a shaggy-haired bass player bouncing around on stage as if possessed by a spirit on a sugar rush. It was mesmerising to watch, the contrast between his performance, and the audience, who were more concerned with following every word of the soft lyrics. It turned out the band was UNISON SQUARE GARDEN, and they were in the middle of performing their big hit of the moment, Linear Blue wo Kikinagara, a track made popular as the ending theme to Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Beginning. You can see a sample of the bassist going crazy in the video to the single behind this link. Continue Reading