Friday, April 29, 2011

SuperPhillip's Favorite Anime Themes - Round Four

We've reached the end of another week here at SuperPhillip Central. To celebrate, let's dig out the favorite anime themes to cap off the week in style. This time around we're listening to music from Samurai Champloo, Fooly Cooly, and Ghost in the Shell.

Volume 16: Battlecry [feat. Shing02] (Samurai Champloo)

Samurai Champloo came from some of the fine folks who worked on the Cowboy Bebop anime. In the case of this one, it was much more upbeat. It took place in feudal Japan where samurais were a dime a dozen. Fortunately, Mugen and Jinn weren't a dime a dozen at all. In fact, they could kick the butt of nearly anyone that got in their way. When a coin toss goes the way of Fuu, a troublesome girl, both Mugen and Jinn (two warriors destined for battle) agree to tag along with her to find the man who smells of sunflowers. It's a basic description for the premise, yes, but it gets the job done. What was unique about this anime was that the music was almost entirely hip-hop.

Volume 17: Advice (FLCL)

Advice is a song performed by the Pillows, a band formed in 1989 in Japan. The group has an expansive discography, and it was from the anime, FLCL (or Fooly Cooly) that I was introduced to them. I've been a fan ever since. The production team behind FLCL asked of the Pillows to provide three past albums as part of the soundtrack for the short six-episode anime. The band agreed, and musical history was made. As for the anime, it seemed this is what anime producers make when they're in a foul mood. Well, hope these guys have more bad days in the future!

Volume 18: Red Green Wild Pokémon Battle (Pokémon)

Pokémon was such a giant hit for me. I played the original games, I collected the cards, I drew comics, and I watched the anime. Pokémon was a phenomenon, and for newer generations it continues to be one. You're never too old to play Pokémon in my opinion. It's such an addicting franchise. Regardless, I got bored with the anime after all the recycled Team Rocket jokes, plotlines, and material, so I skipped out after the Kanto region episodes. This theme from Pokémon Red and Green (or Red and Blue as it is here in the West) is the Wild Pokémon battle theme. Watch Ash has he tries to catch 'em all, gives away his Pokémon, and then tries to catch 'em all all over again.

Volume 19: Zero Signal (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society)

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society was a one-off movie in the GitS: SAC (what a mouthful) franchise. I personally haven't watched it yet. I'm waiting for adult swim to maybe show it. Nonetheless, this song seriously rocks. It starts off with female vocals followed by a stirring beat. Then comes the hardcore rock which seriously kicks ass. The ending rock arrangement is perfect, and shows that stuff is about to go down if it hasn't already. While the anime itself is confusing to me (I'm a simple superhero after all), I do respect the creators and especially Mrs. Kanno and her great talents.

Volume 20: Heaven's Not Enough (Wolf's Rain)

Coming as the first track from the second Wolf's Rain OST, Heaven's Not Enough is performed by Steve Conte, a performer who Yoko Kanno would use often and many times in her productions. Wolf's Rain has a group of wolves who can shapeshift into human beings in an instant, longing for a mystical land known as paradise. Whether or not they reach their destination is something I'll leave for you to find out. Produced by the same team that came up with Cowboy Bebop, this anime was a departure from the jazz stylings of Bebop. The score was more symphonic in tone and featured some heart-tugging themes including this one.

That's all she wrote for this round of anime themes. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the next five excellent anime themes to be heard on a date that is to be determined.

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