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Hammergirl Advice

Advice and Site Awards for fans from Anime Pictures & Anime Wallpaper @ Anime Cubed's very own resident Hammergirl!

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Dear Hammergirl:

First let me say, I like your outfit, but I can't help from thinking it's Sailor Moon inspired. Is it? Not that I mind, I really like Sailor Moon.

Anyway, here's the real question. I just started college, and I've been listening to all of my anime music, and my roomates say they don't know how I can listen to "all that japanese and crap". It's not that their music is bad or anything, and they're nice guys. I'm just not sure how i can get them to see that it's really good stuff.

signed, Guardian of Castle IO

Dear Guardian:

Why, thank you for the compliment! *blush* Actually, I shop at the same store that Noritaka Suzuki does - he's the artist behind 'Ja Ja Uma Quartette' (called 'Wild Cardz' in the US). I tell ya, that Jo Diamond has some fashion sense! Hmm, Maybe I should have Leona do a column on her..

Where was I? Oh yes, anime music. There are some very fundamental differences between American and anime music, many of which are the reasons many people like and hate it. To wit:

Anime music often has a strong, clear female lead singer. Unlike many US songs, anime music has very powerful, talented singers. I'm not saying American singers aren't talented, it's just that singers for your favorite OPs and EDs strive to have very bell-like, clear voices - which is something the syllabic Japanese language caters to.

Anime music is very positive. I'd say about 99% of anime music is about one of three things - love, hope, and/or courage. It is very, very upbeat - in fact, it has been said that the current (past 10 years) trend of anime music is what would happen if 80's pop music never became 90's alternative music. If you added techno,fast beats, and clearer voices to many famous 80's singers in the US, you'd be really close to anime music today. (For example, look at 'A-Teens: The Abba Generation', the Swedish kids doing a present day tribute to Abba. Very, very similar to anime music, in form and function.)

Anime music veers away from 'guitar band' stylings. Most anime music isn't lead guitar, base guitar, drums, vocals - this would take away from the vocals themselves. That makes it sound more 'techno-like', or in extreme cases such as Utena and various Miyazaki songs, 'operatic'.

Anime music is 'representative'. Most anime music represents something very concrete, that you've seen before. For example, when you listen to Hayashibara's 'Give a Reason', you think Slayers - and with it comes the heart-pounding action, comedy, and feel-goodness. Yoko Kanno's 'I Don't Need a Promise' and 'Miracle of the Sea' (from 'Vision of Escaflowne' and 'Lodoss War TV', respectively) are both waltzes that fill you up with the love and hope present in the main relationships of each show. (You should see Al - those songs make him almost cry. Don't tell him I told you, though - he'd get all mad. *smile*)

For these reasons, anime music is very different from contemporary American music. Being on a college campus, I'm sure there are dozens and dozens of people who share your interest in it. As for your current roommates, explain to them that that music is just as popular as theirs, just not to them, and that everyone has their own tastes. It isn't 'crap', it's just different. You might want to play some instrumentals, and see what they think. (I suggest CLAMP shows such as Rayearth, and the action BGMs from Outlaw Star). If they still don't like it, their loss. Also, remember - you are new to college, and it is a very different world than living at home. As a first year, you probably didn't get to pick your roommates - and I am sure there are plenty of good anime fans out there. In upcoming years, you might want to look into getting yourself into an apartment of people as crazy as you are.

Just make sure they clean up after themselves. I swear, David and Petunia make such a mess..