[ Song of the Week ] Genesis – “Keep It Dark”

From the album Abacab (1981)

A quirky and uplifting song with an equally quirky video. This is actually one of a few songs in the Genesis catalogue about aliens, in this case what happens to someone who has been abducted and brought to a peaceful utopia, but upon being returned to Earth, is unable to share the wonderful experiences they had in that other world.

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Expressions

As I have mentioned in the past, the Japanese artist “rt0no” is one of my favorites. I am absolutely taken by their character designs, and this is a great model sheet of expressions and a few poses for their light-haired Victorian girl (though there is also one of a boy included at the end of the post). The design seems to be the perfect bridge between realism and stylized.

[ Anime A to Z ] ~X~ Xenosaga The Animation

play the game trilogy instead…

If I’m being completely honest, the only reason Xenosaga The Animation makes the list is because I needed something that started with the letter “X”, and I’ve already used the best ones I could think of for the letter (from what I’ve seen so far) the previous times I did this list.

Xenosaga The Animation is a decent adaptation of the first game in the series, with a few plot points from the second and third installments mixed in for good measure. The major downfall of the series is that it’s only twelve episodes, which is not even close to enough time to tell the story from the original video game properly, so the narrative is rushed and has no explanations. This animated adaptation is also disappointingly generic sci-fi when compared to the source. It lacks any of the memorable music from the game, as a completely new (and sadly, also generic) score by a different composer was done for the series.

Yet somehow, despite how generic most of Xenosaga The Animation is, it did get a really pretty ending theme song, and in North America anyway, it’s a way to hear the original Japanese character voices from the game. (The English dub didn’t get that continuity, unfortunately, as the anime dub cast is completely different from the game dub cast.)

So while I unfortunately can’t really recommend this series at all, I include it in my anime list only because the video game series it is derived from is one of the best I’ve ever played, and I recommend that as the best way to experience Xenosaga.

New Albums in my collection: April 2019

>> The Cranberries: In The End
Swan song for the Irish band, which had begun recording demos before Dolores O’Riordan’s passing. With O’Riordan’s family’s blessing, the rest of the band completed the songs which had been started, sending The Cranberries off and honoring their departed singer and lyricist.

>> Henry Jackman: Ralph Breaks the Internet
Score for the Disney film.

>> King’s X: Out of the Silent Planet
>> King’s X: Gretchen Goes to Nebraska
>> King’s X: Faith Hope Love
>> King’s X: King’s X
>> King’s X: Dogman

Long overdue physical copies of the power-prog trio’s first five albums are at last mine, thanks to a budget-priced box set. I’ve been a King’s X fan for quite a while now, thanks to a good friend of mine, and I saw them put on a great live show for the XV album tour about a decade ago.

>> Mike & The Mechanics: Out of the Blue
Artists covering themselves is sort of an odd trend, and Mike Rutherford’s band (originally a solo splinter from Genesis but now his main focus) is the latest to join in. Sort of a “reverse” live album, the current lineup of the band records new studio versions of many of Mike’s earlier hits first recorded by the original Mechanics lineup (or to put it another way, studio versions of what they currently play live on tour), after three new songs open the album. Also included in the deluxe edition, which comes as a hardback photobook, is an EP of acoustic versions of two new-Mechanics and four old-Mechanics tracks .

>> Pet Shop Boys: Inner Sanctum
A 2018 concert recording from the Super tour at London’s Royal Opera House. The show’s full audio is included as a 2CD set with the concert film on blu-ray. The setlist is a nice mix of new songs and old ones with new arrangements (or remixes, as it were).

Girls und Blumen: Student Council Edition

Another nice spring image with some more of the Girls und Panzer cast, this time the Student Council (and hall monitor Sodoko).

Yukari may be my favorite of the Anglerfish Team, but giving her a formidable challenge for my favorite overall character from the series is the student council president, Anzu Kadotani. A tiny girl with twintails and a very laid-back personality make her fun to watch.

Yuzu, Momo (back), Midoriko (aka Sodoko) (front), and Anzu