August 12, 2006

Momoi CD, Otakon loot, and other things

momo-i quality ~Best of Momoi~, Halko Momoi's first independent album, has arrived. Somewhat disappointingly, the "photobook" is not a real separate book but actually a hybrid built into the first edition album jewel case. The case is a hardcover book format, with adorable Momoi baby and school pictures (with commentary) as well as a collage of recording studio photos attached to the inside cover. There is an additional booklet neatly sandwiched between some pages of the photobook, containing lyrics accompanied by photos of Angel Momoi and Demon Momoi in various stages of DBZ-style battle before finally reconciling their differences on the last page. The disc is a fine black with the text "momo-i quality" printed in a futuristic silver font.

Lyrics booklet:
Momoi booklet 1

Momoi booklet 2

Inside Disc:
Momoi booklet 3

A separately packed B2 (20"x28*) promotional poster is included.
Momoi poster

Although momo-i quality is a compilation album of past songs, upon listening it actually feels quite new since most of the songs previously released have been remixed. Here are the tracks I've picked out that have not been previously released:

Opening - dreaming more! more! - is an instrumental intro remix loosely based on Motto Yume Miyou and was composed by Momoi herself.

LOVE.EXE -momo-i quality version- features more complex instrumentals this time, arranged professionally by Shinya Saitou. The vocals have also been significantly stripped of distracting effects, and the overall result is a much cleaner song that maintains the catchiness of the original.

Far and away ~party night~ -new mix- is my current favorite on this album and a wonderful remix of Feria's theme song from Prism Ark: Prism Heart II. Slow clear vocals set to a good tune always always tend to sit well with me. The arranger is Haraddy.

Akihabalove -summery summer version- A very impressive remix by Halko Momoi, who according to the credits also played composer/arranger on this one. I find the background instrumentals a lot more varied and interesting than the pure synth sound by Perfume. As for whether she does a better job of singing, I think her pronouncing of "dekiruyo" is a thousand times cuter than Nocchi. I will not say more at the risk of starting a Perfume vs. Momoi holy war.

As for Motto, Yume, Miyou!! -now I feel...version-: although it is "new" in name, it appears to be the exact same song as bright future next step version. If someone can correct me on this and point out any subtle differences that I may have missed, please let me know.

Overall, given the new tracks and the extras, this album is solid in terms of content and a good buy for any Momoi fan, especially since many of the singles featured in this CD are no longer available for purchase.

But aside from Momoi stuff, my mail today also contained a few other goodies which had probably been sitting in CDJapan's offices for months before I finally relieved them of their misery and let them ship everything together:
August CDs
Clockwise from the top-left corner: momo-i quality, Mami Kawada's Seed, two Kimiko Koyama albums, To Heart 2 Soundtrack and Character Songs, Marinarina and Zoku Marinarina.

And lastly, because I forgot to post about it...I returned last week from Otakon. The trip was fairly productive, and I managed to cram in most of the presentations I wanted to see, excluding 4chan because fuck that idiotic line and the powertripping staffers who tried to herd it.

Out of the video showings, I most significantly came away with newfound appreciation of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, which I previously dismissed as retarded magical girl pedobait (I was ESPECIALLY put off by this genre ever since the steaming turd that was Magical Canan - which I forced myself to watch solely for Rokku character designs and Mizuki Nana voice - who by the way probably realized this show was shit and mailed in an absolutely dismal performance that I still haven't completely forgiven for someone of her caliber). Now realize the error of my judgmental ways. In the 4 episodes of "A's" that I saw, I learned that Nanoha is not a panty flashing girly girl moe show but actually about powerful mages wielding awesome steam-releasing pump-action cartridge-loaded rocket-powered polo-playing jackhammers scored to a John Williamsesque full orchestra soundtrack (HELL YEAH). Goldenboy was also pretty good and I will probably be tracking it down eventually. Out of all films, my favorite showing without question was Osamu Tezuka's Cleopatra, a terrible low-budget and unsubbed 18+ movie which was simultaneously the best and worst thing ever.

Industry-wise, I attended about 12 industry panels during my trip. Notable guests I met include Madhouse founder Masao Maruyama and director/character designer Kazuto Nakazawa, two great guests who both had CRIMINALLY low attendance (like 20-30). Interestingly enough, Masao Maruyama went to see Nobuteru Yuki's panel, and sat down directly next to me - I scored an early autograph this way. I had to miss most of the J-Rock panels due to scheduling reasons, although I did get into the MUCC/Nana Kitade concert thanks to some incredible luck. Out of everything, Ayako Kawasumi was probably my favorite for obvious reasons, and I'm still kicking myself today for forgetting to bring my iRiver with me to record it. During the autographing session, she signed my Maritan book and was particularly amused that I even knew about it.

Here is the Otakon haul, limited not by my funds but by the size of my backpack (Sunday in dealer's room was AWESOME. My budget was only $200 but I filled up wayyy before that):
Otakon stash

As you can see, a couple of good things up there..such as two Aria figure collections, new YURIA album Honey Bee, an issue of HM3 (seiyuu photobook magazine), oh and the crown jewel + ultimate goal of the trip:
Otakon stash
Otakon stash
Two autographed items by Ayako Kawasumi! :) I'm quite the happy camper.

By the way, Ayako is much MUCH cuter than any pictures would have you believe. She's just not very photogenic.

Posted by Paranda at August 12, 2006 7:33 PM


I liked how the MH logo was used to hide the faces of young Halko's classmates (who probably would be hard to track down to get a photo release from). Very create solution to a rights problem.

I had the same feeling that you did about the album--it feels more polished than previous versions of the same songs. It's not just different remixes, either. Since the tempo/feeling on some of the songs has been altered, she would have had to re-record her singing parts.

I get the feeling that Halko is a very hard worker.

P.S. "simultaneously the best and worst thing ever" made me laugh out loud :-) Even though I don't know what you mean, I think I know what you mean.

Posted by: Marty Pfeiffer at August 13, 2006 12:27 AM

Wonderful >_<// anyway does the mp3p on the poster is Iriver h320?

Posted by: Longhorn at August 14, 2006 11:21 AM

Does the mp3p on the poster is Iriver h350?
(Sorry previous comment is mistake.;;)

Posted by: Longhorn at August 14, 2006 11:24 AM

Good eye. It is indeed an iriver H340.

Posted by: Paranda at August 14, 2006 2:27 PM

Hey, Cool - My envy is that of a thousand Otaku's

The is the only Blog in my life ever worth reading

Thats saying something!

Posted by: Zap at April 11, 2007 9:58 AM

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