Takanori ‘Manicure’ Revolution

Taiko-drumming, dancing ninja. Tactfully sheer pants. Slow motion. Anime-theme-song god almighty T.M.Revolution, as my good friend and fellow blogger sakurayume would say, can truly do no wrong. Not only has the PV for part one of his latest double A-side Naked Arms/Sword Summit been released, I have even been able to find an HD version that will actually play stereo.

I don’t know what it is, but lately Jrock and Visual Kei PVs (and now apparently badass Jpop as well) have become really monochromatic. Perhaps it’s the promotional-video version of the custom of only ever wearing black and white (guilty as charged). Whatever it is, it makes everything look cool.

My only complaint about the Naked Arms PV is that I didn’t feel like it went anywhere. Finally T.M. just spontaneously combusted and returned to whatever divine realm he came from, and left the ninja to disrobe mysteriously off screen. Despite that, both the PV and the song were both satisfying and powerful. I am highly anticipating hearing Sword Summit (although out of the two it interested me the least when I heard the previews), and of course putting it all together as a complete single, which is where, when it comes down to it, the magic happens.

Finally, it’s not a T.M. PV without the extended manicure fan-service. Yes, T.M., you have the best nails in Japan.

Also check out the actual OP clip for the game Sengoku Basara 3 in which this plays:

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It’s Morphin’ Time

Yes, I know everyone who follows me on Twitter thinks that I’ve been being mischievous all day. After posting that faux KAT-TUN banner I just know we’re going to have trust issues. The purpose of this post is to inform you all, if you’re reading this, that all of my Tweets from this afternoon were entirely genuine. This is my new favorite song…

Ah ah ah, wait, wait, not yet….

A little backstory: I was killing time when I had no time to kill, watching a bunch of completely random VK videos that I found on this website through this PV bot that I follow on Twitter. (First of all, I was appalled at my own snobbishness. I think the sheer weight of my sighs stopped half the videos 53 seconds in…). This is how I used to discover most of the music I listen to, after all, so it’s not the uncommon to find me immersed in the endless oceans of Visual Kei PVs. In fact, sometimes I end up doing it without even thinking about it. Usually when I have something important to do, like composing important emails or writing business plans, or reorganizing my Netflix queue, I just sort of “come-to” on Youtube, clicking through suggested videos and playlists of the low-budget PVs of the lesser minions of avex’s ‘happy family’- well, if avex’s family is happy, then these guys must be the black sheep. The importance of how exactly I ended up there is always determined by the quality of the videos I discovered. On a scale of 1-5 (1 being the lowest) the quality of the discoveries made in the forty minutes I spent between writing non-diatonic chord progressions in the key of G and making dinner would have to be….wait for it. 5.

First of all, I thought it was from the ’80s. I had no idea PVs made in the ’90s were such poor quality… I mean, this is really…So yeah, anyway. The actual quality of the PV aside, it’s the content that we care about anyway. And I would watch this ten times in a row even if they took it back in time and remade it in 1948.

The artist is Chisato [千聖], the guitarist for ’90s VK band Penicillin. I’m not much of a Penicillin fan, and that’s my excuse for how I’ve been in the dark for so long. Initially, I heard Wake Up!, which was ok, but then scrolled down a little bit, and, like a young beggar on a cold night in the middle of the desert clinking two pieces of a jeweled scarab together, I parted the sands and there it was- the diamond in the rough. Chisato’s Cyber Rose.

Electronica that should only have existed in the 1980’s. Latin influences. The type of soaring melodies that laid the foundation for anime theme songs as a whole– the kind of melodies that, if we were Power Rangers, we would Mighty Morph and fight badly to-, and one of those voices that we stopped hearing after GACKT made the tenor go out of style in the year 2000.

The steady beat of the song could potentially be annoying after two minutes, but the chorus is killer, and I was totally digging the random (intentional?) Fur Elise clip that just sort of happens. The construction of the song is awesome, the licks are totally catchy, and the whole thing is just exuding raw character. The acoustic salsa-esque guitar solo steals the whole show…well, it might, were it not for the fact that Chisato is wearing a cowboy hat, which is so ’90s Jrock, isn’t it?

Cybernetic Axeman. I couldn't have put it better myself.

Thanks to Dreamsprite.