Archive for the ‘Ikimono Gakari’ Category


Ikimono Gakari- Arigatou

2010年 5月 23日


What was the point of this single? Let’s review:

  • No b-side
  • it’s a ballad
  • sounds like every other Ikimono Gakari single
  • relies on the same instrumental and melodious fall backs
  • boring
  • forgettable (except not really, because you can listen to any other ballad on the planet and get the same effect)

I don’t usually like to bash artists or bands, especially since Ikimono Gakari is one of the more talented groups out there. However, this is an entirely pointless single. Now, like all Ikimono Gakari songs, this one is well produced and has a cute instrumental break in the middle. Nevertheless, this is hardly an original song. We’ve heard this familiar formula not only from Ikimono Gakari, but from several other artists. This song is not a standout and cannot survive on its own as a-side (let alone without a b-side). /rant . -_-”

Overall: better luck next time.

Rating: 5/10


  1. Arigatou
  2. Arigatou -instrumental-

Ikimono Gakari- Nostalgia

2010年 3月 3日

Yeah so this entire single should have probably been released around Xmas time, and this cover only confirms that xD. I like it though.

After all that Jesus-y stuff I’m ready review something a little more sublime.

Nostalgia is one of my new favorite Ikimono Gakari ballads. The strings suspend a long note to lead into the song, which helped build the excitement of the song. Although this song presents the typical instrumentals of an Ikimono Gakari ballad (strings, piano, slight electric guitar), it’s the melody that really caught my attention. I loved the way Kiyoe leads into the chorus by making her phrasing shorter. Although I didn’t feel nostalgic listening to the song, it was still great work.

Next is a much more energetic song, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (the girl who leaped through time). Heh no offense but the intro melody reminded me of an upbeat 80s or 90s song xD. Fortunately the verses bring us back to Ikimono Gakari’s more modern style. Nothing about this song was particularly stunning, but it was probably a good break for those of you who are tired with Ikimono Gakari’s constant release of ballads. Also, that harmonic is back.

Saving the best for last, this single includes a new version of the previous a-side, YELL. Labeled as the “chorus version,” most of the song is identical to the original version. Things change around that amazing bridge that gives the song that hopeful feeling. Yup, we get a full chorus this time and the effect is felt to the fullest. All of a sudden the song picks up a power it never had before. The chorus did a phenomenal job harmonizing with Kiyoe. Not only do they enhance the bridge, but they also carry through the final chorus. This song is just heavenly.

Overall: Amazing single from Ikimono Gakari. Although Nostalgia was good and all, the chorus version of YELL is what stole the show.

Rating: 9.5/10

Track list:

  1. “Nostalgia” (ノスタルジア)
  2. “Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo” (時をかける少女, Girl Who Leapt Through Time)
  3. “Yell -with chorus” (YELL-合唱付-)
  4. “Nostalgia: Instrumental”

Best of 2009: B-sides and other stuff

2010年 1月 3日

Here’s the 3rd part to my 5-part “Best of 2009” installment! This time I’m focusing on B-sides and album-only tracks.  There are a couple more bonus categories I didn’t know where else to put (best collaboration and such). Again, nothing is in any particular order.

  • Gunjou no Tani (acoustic ver.)- alan (Gunjou no Tani)
  • SYOUKUBENI (shot in one take)– Dir en grey (Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami)
  • mute– Mihimaru GT (Torokechau Dandy)
  • Pied Piper– Plastic Tree (Sanatorium)
  • I– salyu (extension)
  • KISSES– stephanie. (Pride ~a part of me~)

  • Shiroki Yuu Utsu- the GazettE (DIM)
  • suki– Rie fu (Urban Romantic)
  • Akizakura (cosmos)– Ikimono Gakari (Hajimari no Uta)
  • Driving– Koda Kumi (Trick)
  • Drella– alice nine. (Vandalize)
  • COPY THAT– Namie Amuro (Past<Future)

There were a number of new artists this year… but as the title suggests I’ve only considered the artists who had the strongest debuts (I chose 5). I don’t consider artists like alan to be “new artists” since her work was well known way before her debut album. Artists like Mao Denda (who apparently released stuff about 9 years ago) are eligible because they made themselves known in 2009.  It’s a bit confusing, but it makes sense in my mind ._.

  • MiChi
  • Kana Nishino
  • Kizuki Minami
  • Lil’ B

Those where my three “main” categories. Here are the other ones (basically I was just too lazy to make graphics for categories with only one or two winners).

Best Collaboration: Ima Demo Aitai Yo– Yuna Ito feat. Spontania

Best Revival: UnsraW
Best appearance on anime: Again– YUI
Best Instrumental/Interlude: —anten.– Plastic Tree, Tenyou ~Interlude~– alan, INTRODUCTION FOR TRICK– Koda Kumi
Best Remix: romantic (strings ver.)– Rie fu, Days 8-bits of tears YMCK remix– Ayumi Hamasaki


Best of 2009: Albums

2010年 1月 1日

Best albums of 2009 (not necessarily in order) from left to right

  1. alan- Voice of Earth
  2. Yuna Ito- Dream
  3. Ayumi Hamasaki- NEXT LEVEL
  4. the GazettE- DIM
  5. alice nine.- Vandalize
  6. Namie Amuro- Past<Future
  7. Nothing’s Carved in Stone- Parallel Lives
  8. rie fu- Urban Romantic
  9. Mai Fukui- My Song for You
  10. Girugamesh- Now
  11. Younha- Growing Season (Honorary Korean Masterpiece)

Honorable Mentions

Ikimono Gakari- Hajimari no Uta
Koda Kumi- Trick
Ayaka Hirahara- My Classics


Ikimono Gakari- Nakumonka

2009年 12月 2日

Hahaha this cover is really cute xD. Yeah a little bit on the weird side… but who else could pull of a pink bunny costume but her?

Ehh for me Nakumonka was kind of average. It’s another ballad, but not as good as YELL, their previous release. It’s a pretty typical Ikimono Gakari ballad with light guitars and tons of strings. It’s a nice listen, but nothing too special. What I did enjoy, however, was the bridge; the electric guitar is much more pronounced in its solo. The bridge and final chorus definitely hold the most power of the song. Unfortunately, Nakumonka follows the regular ballad format, so it feels like you’ve already heard the song before you even finish it. It’s beautiful yet average… paradox?

Next we have Orion. What’s this fascination with “Orion?” Brown Eyed Girls are doing the same thing too. Orion opens with harmonica (sadly, I’m not much  a fan of this instrument), but it’s pretty much absent for the song. Orion is another ballad (two ballads on the same single??) and a little more laid-back than Nakumonka. I love the detail of the guitar work during the verses too. This song has a particular folksy feel to it, and we all know that kind of song works with Ikimono Gakari.

Overall: Both are nice songs… but neither is strong enough to stand as an A-side. Sorry =/. Nevertheless, I still await the new album this December!

Rating: 7/10

Track list:

  1. Nakumonka
  2. Orion
  3. Nakumonka -instrumental-


[single]Ikimono Gakari- YELL

2009年 10月 6日

“YELL” is Ikimono Gakari’s 15th single, released on September 23, 2009. It is used in the drama “Boku no Imouto” (My Little Sister).

Yell began in a completely different direction than what I had expected. I was anticipating some sort of wild  song with blaring brass and heavy guitars.   Yell however, uses techniques usually employed in ballads. The song opens with a melancholy piano motif. Kiyoe’s vocals are calm and plaintive. Listening to the chorus  I can easily picture this song as a theme for a drama. The song takes a bit of a different direction at the bridge. The strings set the stage for a major key, and they are soon followed by an upbeat section with Kiyoe and background vocals. The harmonies were perfect. The bridge is a nice respite from  the sad (albeit beautiful) theme of the song.

Joyful takes a course I was expecting in Yell. I don’t like Joyful as much though. The song features rapid piano chords, guitar motives,  and bubbly voice from Kioye. The song uses a lot  of synth elements, especially during the chorus. Although I didn’t like Joyful as much as I did Yell, it’s still a solid song and a nice distinction from the title track.

Overall: A very strong single from Ikimono Gakari. It shows the breadth and musicianship of Ikimono Gakari nicely, and I can’t wait for more of their releases.

If you liked this, try these by Ikimono Gakari: Tayumu Koto na Kinagare no Naka de, Boogie Woogie

Rating: 8.5/10


1. Yell

2. Joyful (じょいふる)

3. Yell: Instrumental

4. Joyful: Instrumental