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The Mike Toole Show - The Musical Suspects

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Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 12:42 pm Reply with quote
The only anime where I notice the music is stuff by Yoko Kanno, well almost. Every once in awhile there's other good stuff, like E7 and maybe random OP and ED song, notably nobunagun OP and there was this show that I don't even remember the title about this girl playing shogi, it had this crazy rock song as an ED song that really didn't fit the anime, that was awesome.

But most of the original anime song that are tied to the story are usually so… unremarkable, there usually just another J-pop song, without anything interesting about them. And a lot of them really compromise on the actual music to account for the lyric, which personally I never cared for since there always lacking any interesting meaning. So you end up with a soulless song with shallow lyric.

I like stuff that have character just learning music because that usually mean they'll license good song, like kids on the slopes, that's usually pretty good. I haven't seen Beck so I'm not sure which road they took, but I don't know any aspiring musician that just jump right into making original composition, especially not good one.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:02 pm Reply with quote
show that I don't even remember the title about this girl playing shogi

Shion no Ou.
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Anime isn't real? Nooo...Anime isn't real? Nooo...

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:23 pm Reply with quote
I loved K-ON. Maybe I was a bit put off by the lack of music playing in the show but I think the girls endless procrastination is part of the charm of the humor and well frankly a lot of music practice is sitting there working in fundamentals as much as it is playing a piece.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:28 pm Reply with quote
K-ON was an absolute flatline for me. I didn't dislike it or even find it boring, I just didn't care about anything it did, with the mild exception of it being funny when it did the running gag in where Yui would sit down to study and it would smash cut to her playing her guitar with the Shin-chan face on.

I'm never going to "get" this one. Oh, well.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:37 pm Reply with quote
With that Sleater-Kinney comparison, all I can think of now is to have Tucker/Brownstein/Weiss do a completely subversive dub of Super Sonico.

As for the topic at hand, I'd say that I enjoy anime about music but that several series that are considered "about music" are only nominally so. I haven't seen Beck, but I could see myself enjoying it if it's what you say it is; when music is used as a major component/theme of a series and exists as an expression of character and character arcs, only then will I accept that a series is actually "about music."

Nodame Cantabile and Kids on the Slope are both quite noteworthy series which paint music as a pure form of emotional connection. The use of music in both of those series is also strong enough to compare the two in how they handle their respective romances with regards to the music that defines those stories. Nodame Cantabile is a fun and light-hearted odd couple story that plays by the rules and is headed exactly where you expect and want it to end up, similar to the monolithic and familiar keyword-classical music of that series. Kids on the Slope is a story about confused first crushes, misunderstandings and sometimes-heartbreak that is similarly supported by the urgency and improvisation of jazz. If the music of a show reaches deep into what that story is about then, by all means, call it a show about music.

However, the problem with Sonico and definitely with K-On is that the music feels like the byproduct of an elevator pitch. Sonico exists as a cute design with cute friends, pushed over the top with a hook that just happened to be "plays music as well." K-On feels very much the same – dull and endless cutesy rigmarole barely kept together by a hook that the characters "play music as well." It feels like such an afterthought when it comes to these sorts of shows which seem calculated for marketability (though it is arguable that no one saw K-On's absurd success coming). You can only get so far in an elevator pitch by describing the attractiveness and inoffensiveness of your character/s – there needs to be something for them to do as well. Unfortunately for music, one of those things is "play music." The studio gets its show made and they push out a few soulless collections of notes meant to be played in order to just be done with that part of the creative process. Sprinkle across the series at regular intervals, ship the album, calculate sales. These are not series about music.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Well I just finished watching [email protected] and Wake Up Girls anime on CR. I have to say Wake Up Girls is my favorite out of all the idol and music-themed anime. I like the way the dark side of the idol industry was shown, I found the storyline to be somewhat cool from other idol anime.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 2:56 pm Reply with quote
K-ON was certainly a guilty pleasure of mine though it was not until halfway through the second season that I realised I was a fan. The majority of the music in the show I would say is completely forgettable though, it was the stupidly sweet character interactions that got me, same thing happened with Kimi Ni Todoke.

I have not yet watched Beck but I would say my favourite "music" anime is NANA. Less about learning music but the songs were very good and while melodramatic I appreciated it's focus on the less savoury aspects of the music industry, something I do not think any other anime has done (DMC did it in a comedic sense).

NANA (punk) is by far the best female character in a music anime, I will say that much so it is shame K-ON's lasting role in discussion can be summed up as the "best girl" argument.

Last edited by 12skippy21 on Sun May 18, 2014 2:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 2:57 pm Reply with quote
I've seen a bit of Nodame Cantabile and plan to watch more, but Beck is one that I plan on checking out in the next month.

I love music anime. I tend to connect with the characters as I am a lover of muic as well.

I've never been particularly interested in K-ON, but I'll check it out eventually since you've enjoyed it.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 3:06 pm Reply with quote
For a classical music themed one which isn't Nodame Cantabile, the original La Corda d'Oro series is pretty good especially considering it's based on an otome game. (Blue Sky, the one airing at the moment is based on a later game in the series and it's kinda boring). Although spoiler[the female lead is gifted a magic violin at the beginning of the series] she still struggles to be anywhere near good as the people from the music school who she's competing with, and it's as much about her learning about music and growing as it is about the romance.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 3:22 pm Reply with quote
Beck is one of my all-time favorite anime, with a big reason being the music in the show. The type of music Mongolian Chop Squad plays is right down my alley and I still listen to the Beck OSTs all the time. The other reason of course being that it's an excellent coming of age story for Yukio. It's great to watch him grow from this meak, bullied boy into a confident, young musician.

I enjoyed the first K-ON, but by the time the second season came out I guess I just grew tired of it. I tried watching the first 2 episodes but just couldn't get back into the series. I'll probably try to check out the movie eventually, but don't know if I'll ever get through the 2nd season.

And even though I'm not the biggest fan of most J-Pop music, I still greatly enjoyed both The [email protected] and Love Live. Eagerly waiting for the [email protected] movie to come out.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 3:23 pm Reply with quote
All that talk about music animes and no Kids on the Slope? For shame.

Don't really care for music animes, but that because I listen mostly to punk, which doesn't really fit into the cute girls doing cute things mold. Also, because the truth behind the music industry kinda sucks

K-on, well, K-on is quite enjoyable and also quite terrible, I know people like the gush about the details in the animation, but I thought how the character designs, both their movements and still frames, looked unnatural and wrong. Even those four random screencaps look like a turn off to me. It's a cotton candy show, nothing but sugar and air. Although the music is good. 'Don't Say Lazy' -- probly one of my top ten favorite songs. And we can't forget Mugi and Dem Eyebrows (best part of the show, and I'll fight anyone that says otherwise). Actually haven't watched season 2 yet. Probly should get around to that
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 3:25 pm Reply with quote
Anime about music is always a watch for me.
Beck is one of my top ten favorites.
I was surprised how much I liked K-On, and I too was oddly entertained by Super Sonico, I seriously thought it would be a one and done for me. I own it all, and have rewatched parts of it.

Slightly different, but Legend of Black Heaven had its moments, but could have benefited being six episodes instead of twelve.

Which brings to mind Detroit Metal City, which for its run time might rate the highest on my laugh/enjoyment meter. Despite the lead's reluctance, he takes metal seriously, getting annoyed with how lame his replacement's performance is.
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 4:10 pm Reply with quote
I love K-On! and I watch it regularly; Hidemari Sketch has its own gaggle of art girls but that series has no real progression in their art - the writer Sae's already publishing, Yuno's already proficient as a drawer and Miyako is Miyako. All the girls of K-On! progress and change, even Asuza lightens up a bit but the one we follow is Yui, from her intro as clueless freshman ditz to the focused band leader in her senior year. The show doesn't focus on it but once she starts writing the lyrics in their senior year, once she finds out that it's something that can be done by people other than Mio, they're all done by her.

She stole the series right from the start with her capping line in the first episode - she's listens to them play, claps and really enjoys it. But: "You guys ... aren't very good, are you?"

There's a lot of time skips throughout the first season and the show has caveat that all live performances actively rock {which is a plot point with Asuza} and most practice is implied in favor of snacking and having tea - because it's a school club and not a professional band. Most people don't get that idea for some reason. "Why isn't the show about their rise to stardom?" Because they're not very good? Still, the show itself plays with the idea as the openers are based on Afternoon Tea Time as the high school club band lead by Yui while the closers feature the successful band "K-On" led by Mio.

There's more but since this is supposed to be a light and fluffy slice of life series, I'll just keep it superficial. I'm just not very good at it.

Beck? Saw it, hated it. The guy's a member of the band because he can sing in English but the songs he sing aren't typical for the group or the song that gets the band "famous". On top of that, the climax episode of the series, covering The Beatles "I've got a feeling" for an entire episode while the band reunites on stage, came out of nowhere {Yui got Pete Townsend's windmill move from Ritsu and her love of Keith Moon and "Da Whou". She has at least one concert video which she watches regularly and at some point, Yui got her hands on it. Told you I wasn't very good at it}. Pick a style, pick a singer and stick with it. The band should have split, and stayed split, long before episode 10.

NANA? Saw it, didn't care for it. She lost her bass player to another band who got famous with him.

Bass player. The bassist. The guy on bass. That guy, the one that usually doesn't get any attention. And? Or maybe so?

AKB0048? Saw it, didn't appear in the article.

Actually haven't watched season 2 yet. Probly should get around to that.

Yes, yes you should. Season 2 got the money while the first season looks cheap with a number of off model scenes and designs.

Last edited by Animegomaniac on Sun May 18, 2014 4:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 4:10 pm Reply with quote
I liked K-On when I was getting back into Anime after a long cas of burn-out it was one of the series that reignited my passion for Anime.

I thought Sonico was a pleasant surprise in that it bothered to have characterization on top of fan service and yes it was charming.

Also while it's not about an actual band in that everyone plays instruments Love Live could be seen as an example of an "music show" for lack of a better term wich I enjoy and also have my two favorites in the group .
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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 6:03 pm Reply with quote
Beck is in my top ten list of Animes. I always suggest it to people to watch. To be honest the only reason i read this Column was because of the picture of BECK.
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