When Shibuya and Akihabara meet…

…what do you think you’ll get?

Evidently, an anime theme song cover album featuring a range of artists from Akihabara idols to DJs straight out of the heart of Shibuya’s club scene. Announced at the beginning of this month, I ❤ TOKYO ~FOR ANIME MUSIC LOVERS~ is a novel little compilation disc that seeks to unite these two very different districts of Japan’s capital prefecture. Music news site BARKS wrote it up thusly (excuse the rough translation, please):

When it comes to the new culture of Japan, anime and idols have established themselves on a global scale. Alongside that “holy land” known as Akihabara, there’s Japan’s representative home of fashion and trends, Shibuya. These two places, known throughout the world today as sources of culture, will come together in a concept compilation album set to be released.

Sounds interesting, right? The list of confirmed artists had me at a glance: BiS, RAM RIDER, Nomoto Karia… someone clearly put this together with me in mind! (Or maybe not. If they did, I think there’d be a whole lot more A-bee involved.) Of course, so many mismatched artists in one place creates an admittedly messy impression at first. So, then, how does it work?

The focus of this album’s concept, I think, is its collaborative aspect. Artists are selected from the compilation’s two participating “teams,” so to speak — one from the producing side and the other from its pool of vocalists — and are then given the song they’ll be responsible for. This results in unconventional, once-in-a-lifetime pairings like RAM RIDER and waitressing fantasy idols Afilia Saga East, who are then handed Neon Genesis Evangelion‘s “Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis” to do with what they will for an even stranger result.

Knowing RAM RIDER’s love of the Evangelion franchise, I’m almost positive his take on the classic will be nothing short of an epic, but how will it fare with twelve Kasai Tomomis on vocals? As well, multi-faceted as the girls may be, rebel idol unit BiS takes a decidedly rock-oriented route in everything they do… yet it was revealed through their official site that they’ve been partnered with laidback house DJ Takizawa Kentaro. Word from their staff Twitter is that we should be looking forward to “a different BiS than usual.” I have no doubt about that one.

As of now, most of the album’s details remain unrevealed. I’m not a huge anime buff, so I’m not holding my breath on the tracklisting, and I’m sure I’ll be ambivalent towards most of the pairs once they’re all decided. If there weren’t artists I love and care about involved, I don’t think I’d bother. Still, this is the best twist on the cover compilation formula I’ve seen yet, and I admire the creativity it took to join these two highly distinct types of artists who might have never intersected otherwise. I know I’ll be waiting on October 5th to see how it all turned out.

On a more listener-to-listener level, too, I look forward to anime and idol lovers discovering these truly talented producers. Even some dance music fans might find themselves interested in the idols taking part — who knows? Afilia East Saga’s “Knee-High Egoist” has become a vaguely unpleasant earworm for me already, if it counts for anything…

With that said, to the readers who’ve encountered my thoughts from the idol-related end of the blogosphere and have yet to figure me or my tastes out, let this post be your guide. In the immortal words of Nakata Yasutaka’s sample bank: welcome to my world.

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One response

  1. Pingback: A Look At Afilia Saga East and an Akihabara Aesthetic | International Wota

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