Merry Christmas everyone!
School is finally over for the semester, and that means another Comiket! But first of all… apologies for the lack of posts recently. Its been my hardest school semester yet, but at the same time the most rewarding. I’ve been keeping up with watching the Grisaia episodes of course, but I haven’t had the time to write about any of them since episode 3. The season is nearly over, so I’ll recap with my impressions of season 1 overall sometime later.
KanColle has grown immensely in popularity over the past year and as a result, many doujin groups have started to make arrangements based on KanColle themes. I haven’t heard that many, but foxfactory’s FlagshipS was fairly promising so I’m looking forward to hearing of KanColle. However, I don’t think I’ll get the same connection with the music just because I’m not familiar with either the original themes or the characters of the game. In that sense, I’ll stick with the Touhou albums for the most part.
Anyways, lets see what exciting new albums there are!
Genre – Electronic, Trance
Site | XFDAnother Comiket, another ENS album. There’s honestly not much to really say about ENS anymore. I think it’ll be more of the same from them with this album. MAYBE there will be one or two tracks that I will like from the album, but that’s a pretty big MAYBE. I think I’ll probably just stop listening to their albums after this comiket. It’s a shame, cause once in a while there’s a gem in their albums.
Oh, and there’s also an instrumental album of their last album like usual.
Genre – Heavy Metal
Site | XFD I can’t say I’m too excited this one. SHELLING AND TORPEDOING will be an arrangement album based off of the very popular Kantai Collection. I’m not too familiar with the game’s themes, and I’ve only heard one Kancolle album so far (by foxfactory). The crossfade sounds like Taka’s usual heavy metal; perhaps not too different from Loudness Wars.
Site | XFDAn interesting album from Unchiku Company. If I recall correctly, they usually make orchestral arrangements. Their last album was okay to me, but nowhere near the level of foxfactory’s arrangements. This album will be a piano arrangement album, supposedly featuring a duo. The crossfade sounded decent, so I’ll be looking forward to listening to the whole album. I’m not expecting Yoshida Mirai or Marasy quality of course.
Genre – Electronic, eurotrance
Site | XFDHalozy isn’t quite what it used to be, with its style changing drastically after Future Love. However, these two tracks from the crossfade were interesting enough for me to want to listen to the whole album:
Track 6 was an interesting one, with nice vocals and background piano and guitar to back it up. Definitely not typical Halozy stuff. Looking at the album’s website, it seems like Crouka was the one who arranged this! I loved Crouka’s works back when he arranged for ENS.
Track 10 was another interesting one. It’s quite and eerie arrangement of Retrospective Kyoto. It kind of reminds me of the eerie tracks from t=node’s works. I have no idea who the arranger of this track is.
Genre – Trance, Progressive
Site | XFDWow! This is some really refreshing stuff. Reminds me of the era of great Trance music years ago. Definitely an album to look out for this Comiket.
AcuticLogics is a collaboration between AcuticNotes and Digital Logics. They had an album called PUELLABYTE, which was released during C86. I’ll be listening to that album when I get the chance as well.
Genre – Piano
Site | XFDA KanColle piano arrange album! I’m not very familiar with KanColle themes, but the crossfade was pretty good! Those who like Marasy or piano arrangements will surely like this album.
This will probably be a good album to familiarize myself with some KanColle themes as Piano arrangements usually don’t stray too far from the original themes.
[TAMUSIC] – 東方四重奏 Cherry Blossom
Genre – Classical (Strings + Piano)
Site | XFDNormally I’m not too big on TAMUSIC’s classical arrangements but the crossfade sounded pretty good. Typical of their usual works, but maybe this album will get me to like their arrangements more.
Genre – Violin Rock
Site | XFDHmm… not bad. The arrangements sound decent but the sound quality is mediocre (or at least similar to their other works). Might be worth checking out I suppose.
Genre – Metal
Site | XFDI’ll check it out if I run out of things I listen to. Not really my kind of metal.
[Pizuya’s Cell] – 秘封蓮続体 -Merry Acceleration-
Genre – Electric Dancerock
Site | XFD
Electric Dancerock… Hmm. Okay, whatever you say, Pizuya! This sounds pretty similar to his latest albums of the same genre. So I say if you like his last album of the same genre, you’d probably like this.
Personally, I like Pizuya’s older metal works and current piano works more.
[Pizuya’s Cell] – 幽闃のアナタと遼遠の淵に
Genre – Rock? Pop? With some electronic?
Site | XFD
Another KanColle album, but this time by Pizuya! Yeah, I’m not sure how to classify the genre. The crossfade sounds okay, but I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll listen to. Probably not.
[Pizuya’s Cell] – 露地奥の仙界神子
Genre – Piano (with some strings here and there)
Site | XFD
Here we go! Pizuya’s good stuff. His latest two piano arrangement album, CHITEI NO SOUAN KOZASHIKI, and 酔妃蓮と習事十三ヶ条 were fantastic! Those two albums were piano arrangements of practically every theme from Subterannean Animism and Unidentified Fantastic Object respectively. Pizuya seems to be continuing the trend with this Comiket, this time featuring Ten Desires! I’m really looking forward to this one.
Genre – Uplifting Trance
Site | XFDMore trance, yay! Two of these tracks have Nago, the other half of Digital Logics (DGLG). Again, another nice album to check out.
Genre – Nutrance, Disco
Site | XFDTo be honest, I didn’t enjoy Shibyan’s works back when I first started listening to Touhou music. I did like a few tracks here and there from various albums though. It was only earlier this month that I decided to give Shibayan a try again and it made me wonder just why didn’t I like his works before? RETRO FUTURE GIRLS, Magico Catastrofe, and Musou Materialise have all been fantastic thus far.
Andrastea is no different! Shibayan keeps his usual nutrance/disco style that the touhou scene has come to love. However… with one new addition: Tsubaki Ichimatsu from Poplica/Syrufit (examples: liberate me, Reach for Tomorrow, Sayou Naraba). After two years of inactivity, she’s finally back! She doesn’t have the cutesy voice that 3L and Nachi can produce, but her vocals fit in line with the likes of Yana and others. That being said, the other vocal tracks with 3L, Nachi, and Milka all sound fantastic. I wish Yana was featured on this album though, as Desert Years is one of my favorite arrangements by Shibayan.
I really think that this album will be one of the best albums of C87, if not the best.
Genre – instrumental
Site | XFDThe other candidate for best album of C87! FGS’s last album from C85, nukumori claire, was merely okay but this time he returns with arrangements from Subterranean Animism!
The quality of these arrangements reminds me of the quality from Tokikake Aeolia, my favorite album by FGS. I’m really looking forward to this one, as Subterranean animism has basically become my favorite Touhou OST along with MoF.
Be sure to check this one out if you like FGS, instrumental arrangements, or Subterranean Animism! !
Genre – Trance, Electronic, Dubstep, Electro, Club
Site | XFDThe third candidate for best album of C87!
I’m just kidding. PC2 doesn’t sound as bad as the first, based on the crossfade. The style is pretty similar to that of Flashlight, so if you liked that, then you’ll probably like this. The album art is very pretty though.
The intro track really turned me off, but luckily track #2 with Nachi Sakaue actually sounded pretty good. The third track with Mei Ayakura was okay, but I’d have to listen to the full track. Next up is a track by Camelia… and it was disappointing. I’m kinda hoping that he’ll pull off something similar to Eccentricity from Cloud 9 again in the future. I don’t have anything else to say about the other tracks aside from Ayame’s being consistently decent.
Yep. Probably another mediocre Alstroemeria Records album incoming. At least it’ll be fun to listen to with some friends? Maybe.
Genre – Varies
Site | XFDHmm… I kind of like this album’s crossfade. It’s got pretty good variety of tracks in it, with the first few being trance and some of the later tracks having vocals. Overall a pretty good listen minus the vocals on the third track.
Genre – Varies
Site | XFD Surprisingly pretty decent. I liked some of the tracks from the crossfade, especially the arrangements of The Gensokyo that the gods loved and Fall of Fall (Okay, maybe I’m just a MoF addict). There are tons of different vocalists in this album, with a few guest arrangements as well. I’m sure there will be something that most people will like in this album.
Genre – Easy Listening, Jazz, Instrumental
Site | XFDMOAR SUBTERRANEAN ANIMISN! Yay! Pretty good overall. I really liked the arrangements of Heartfelt Fancy and Last Remote. The Cafe de Touhou series has always been consistently good overall but because each track is arranged by a different person, the style of the individual tracks can be a bit inconsistent.
Genre – Easy Listening, Instrumental
Site | XFDNot much to say about this album. It’s similar to the other Kutsurogi Times but with a bit of a different style from the previous ones. Still a very relaxing album to wind down and listen to.
Genre – Orchestral, Piano, Classical
Site | XFDThe real third and final candidate for my top album of C87. Yuki Mizuhashi returns once again with fantastic orchestral arrangements. This time, he has chosen the arrange themes from Ghostly Field Club! It’s a seldom arranged soundtrack but it does have some unique themes in it.
Overall the tracks were great but the one that stood out to me right away was Yuki’s arrangement of Mary the Magician. It’s a piano and strings arrangement and has just the right amount of eeriness that every arrangement of it should have!
[Marasy]Yep, there are two new Marasy albums too! But I can’t find any information on them other than the album arts, so I’ll just have to make do with that.
Knowing Marasy, it’ll be his usual piano arrangements that are consistently good and won’t disappoint. His last album was deserving of a 5/5 for its high quality piano arrangements that don’t sound like they were transcribed straight from the original themes.
Genre – Jazz, Instrumental
Site | XFDxi-on was originally a touhou rock circle, but it seems like they are starting to expand a bit more! I wasn’t actually aware of this until this comiket. Maybe when xi-on stopped their “Touhou Shisou” series, they started trying new genres?Their last album, BANQUET, was an orchestral arrangement album rather than rock.
The album surprisingly features live instruments from various people! The tracks in the crossfade seemed promising and perhaps I’ll listen more to his previous works. Scarlet consists of themes from EoSD and personally I enjoyed tracks 3, 6 and 7 from the crossfade.
Sorry… no games section this Comiket! I haven’t looked into any games this time around, and only really focused on the music. To recap: there seems to be a good amount of interesting albums this comiket from both old and familiar circles and others from circles that I haven’t heard of.
It’s not surprising that there are much more KanColle albums now than before, but I honestly would have rather seen more Touhou albums. Many of the “newer” touhou OSTs (lets say from Ten Desires onwards) don’t quite get as much exposure as they should, compared to the older OSTs. But I think if we give it some time, circles will get around to arranging the new OSTs. It seems like circles have been getting around to arranging Subterranean Animism more nowadays (ex. Foxfactory, foxtail-grass studios, pizuya’s cell, DDBY etc). Pizuya’s Cell’s piano albums have been working their way up from MoF onwards so if the trend continues, the next piano album will be arrangements of Double Dealing Character or another spinoff game/ost.
As said during the previews, the three albums that I am looking most forward to are: Shibayan’s Andrastea, foxtail-grass studios’ Hoshikuzu Atelier, and foxfactory’s しっとりと、ときに華やかに. Those are three circles that have always been consistently good the past three years and releasing albums that I would consider to be 5/5s or at minimum, 4.5/5.
So be sure to look out for those three albums, along with other albums from the consistently good circles. Enjoy the music with some friends and family, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
As a little side note… Forest306’s webpage is different from the last time that I visited a while ago. It now says “I’ll be taking a trip for a little while”. But da… it’s been two years! That’s no “little while”! Finish your soul search and come back to us! I’m sure a lot of people would love to hear your acoustic guitar touhou arranges again. I’m not the only one who wants a Navigation il Mare 2… right?