2016/10/14

The CD Collection--Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger Ongaku Ninpocho Maki no 1~5 [+Bonuses]


Welcome to the never-ending series of posts where I cover the never-ending supply of never-ending Tokusatsu CDs that I own! I've made threats to cover this one in the past...and here we are. For no rhyme or reason I am going to review the full set of Hurricaneger CDs in this month's CD Collection post!

Am I a Hurricaneger fan? No. Not even a little bit. The word "Shinobi" usually grabs my attention, but I just couldn't get into this lousy show. The cast has this polished haminess not seen since Fiveman, the effects were the worst yet, and the stories were just thoroughly uninteresting. Harsh, I know...but this is the series where I felt a genuine decline in Super Sentai occurred. This is the series that could have switched the genre to anime and nobody would have noticed. From here on out, Super Sentai didn't need to have live actors...it could have been done in animation...

So were there any positives? Sure, I guess. I liked the Shurikenger identities (the guest stars it brought in) and the music isn't half-bad. Granted, I don't consider myself too much of an expert in anything beyond Gaoranger...but I'm willing to let Hurricaneger music enter my playlists at times.


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Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger Ongaku Ninpocho Maki no 1 Original Soundtrack
COCX-31853
2002.05.18

I suppose I can start this one off by talking a little bit about the composer. The music for Hurricaneger was composed by Kazunori Miyake. He doesn't have a ton of Tokusatsu credits to his name with this one being his first. He went on to do the music for Kamen Rider Blade, Gekiranger, and Goseiger. I don't really have an opinion on his work. It's...serviceable. Maybe if there was more of it I would have a better feel, but he was given the reigns to some pretty bland shows (and Gekiranger).

The music itself on this disc is pretty standard. You have your TV size theme songs, short versions of the atrocious Shinobi Koi and kinda cool Senpuujin theme. The actual music is halfway decent, but it's a little bit paint-by-numbers. It's all rather predictable, but still a good listen.


I guess the last thing I can say about this disc is probably it's biggest failing. The drama. It's unskippable and highlights just how much I hate the Hurricaneger cast. Remember how I said this show could have been an anime and nobody would have known the difference? 85% of their acting is with their shrill voices. The worst part about it? This isn't the only disc in this set have this unskippable crap. I did myself a favor and ran all of the tainted music from this set through audacity and removed all of the drama audio from every track.

Time to buckle down for some more shit...


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Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger Ongaku Ninpocho Maki no 2 Hit Kyokushuuhen
COCX-31914
2002.07.20

This disc is the closest the series has to a song collection. Everything on this disc is the full-size version of most of the IN songs from the show. There is more of that unskippable drama before some of the tracks, which is a shame.

Of the seven IN songs on this disc, I would say that Senpuujin, Suisan!,  Kaze yo, Mizu yo, Daichi yo, Gouraiger~ima, furikaeru toki~, and WIND & THUNDER are all good.


Terrible songs include Shinobi Koi (nails on a chalkboard), Kuno ichi ichi ichi uchuu ichi (Nails.On.A.Chalkboard--seriously, is there something wrong with Azusa Yamamoto or is acting like she has brain damage her thing?) and Shinobu kazekan koka. Those ones aren't mildly bad...they're impressively bad.

On top of those seven songs, there are full-size versions of the theme songs and Instrumental versions of Shinobi Koi (ugh--this is the third time we've gotten this song in just the first two CDs), Senpuujin, Suisan!, and WIND & THUNDER.

Please, please, please make the drama go away...


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Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger Ongaku Ninpocho Maki no 3 saishuu ogi Original Soundtrack
COCX-39144
2002.09.21

I should mention by now that the way the Hurricaneger CDs are presented was to become the norm from 2002-2014. Disc 1 is the music collection, Disc 2 is the song collection, Disc 3 is additional music along with the Summer movie music, Disc 4 and 5 were released in a set with all of the remaining scraps. Maybe that's what compelled me to review this set (seriously...I have no idea what prompted me to review this). Ninninger scaled things back quite a bit. The first music collection was released in July rather than May with the second, third, and fourth all release in a set when the series was almost over. Strange.,,

As I mentioned above, this is the second wave of background music from the series as well as the soundtrack to the Summer movie Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger Shushutto The Movie. Right off the bat we get a neat SE (Sound Effect) Mix of the TV Size opening theme song. I like when they release high quality versions of the opening theme song with all of the sound effects they play in the series.


Three new songs make an appearance on this disc. Well, kinda three... We get the "No Fade" version of the ending song Ima kaze no naka de (which I intentionally haven't talked about yet), Hi-Dee-Ho Shurikenger, and Hurricane ONDO. Hurricane ONDO is a nice little song by the lovely Hiroko Asakawa while Hi-Dee-Ho Shurikenger is honked...err...sung by Hideaki Takatori. You can tell which of the two I prefer... On top of the new songs, there is also a really good short instrumental version of Kaze yo, Mizu yo, Daichi yo. Really good because it replaces the worst part of that song with a guitar.

The music on this disc is actually pretty boring. Was there a reason we needed a violin version of the ending song at this point in the series? There are some neat new mecha BGM tracks that tie into the Senpuujin and Gourai Senpuujin songs, but otherwise this is all rather drab.

The worst drama yet. I hate Shurikenger's cheesedick voice. HAAAII ARR U REDDDYYYY DREEEMS COOM TROOOO BERRRY ANGRIIII IT'S MEEE NINJA AV NINJAJSANIDASJDNJBJF. Die...and stay dead. I hate you, Shurikenger...


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Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger Ongaku Ninpocho Kyukyoku ogi Box Maki no 4, 5 menkyokaiden ETERNAL EDITION 
COCX-30990-91
2002.11.21

Sold as a set, discs 4 and 5 came in the fancy gold-flecked box you see above to house all five CDs from this series. Pretty neat, huh? You'd have to be pretty hard core to commit to owning these two CDs. It would almost certainly mean that you also own the other three CDs.


On top of the handy box to store all of the CDs, you get a full booklet and two cool puzzles that reveal a new photo every time you make a move. Do I smell a future video...?


Disc 4: The first part of this "loose-end" collection has a glorious secret to tell. It's drama free! That's right! We don't have to listen to the cast scream their way through this disc! Thank...GOD! To make matters better, all of the music on this one is pretty damn good with some variations of previous tracks released.


It may be a scrap collection, but nestled within is Instrumental versions of the opening theme song, Gouraiger~ima, furikaeru toki~, Hi-Dee-Ho! Shurikenger (Meh), and the ending theme song. There is also a track of the music from the Bandai Toy Commercials to finish the disc of. A pretty solid listen, though it feels a little bit incoherent as a whole even though BGM is usually paired with it's corresponding instrumental version song.


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Disc 5: This disc starts with no real build-up. It gets right into it...so really you could consider this an extension of the fourth disc. The first track, in fact, is a short vocal song called Shiawase Shaking Hands by Nao Nagasawa and Azusa Yamamoto. It's pretty terrible, but it was featured in an episode, so it was important that it be included.


The music on this disc is similar to the previous disc--a lot of loose ends and variations of previous works. Again, this set is pretty good. There is a full size instrumental version of Kaze yo, Mizu yo, Daichi yo and an alternate instrumental version of Senpuujin, Suisan!. You gotta love their thoroughness. I really want to say that after listening to all five of these discs that there wasn't a single scrap of music left unreleased. All five are brimmed with content...maybe some of that content should have been left unheard (the drama bits...).


The last track on the fifth disc is the cast version of Hurricaneger, Sanjou!. Well......they can't all be winners. Hahaa.


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Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger Shudaika
CODC-2027
2002.02.21

Does it make sense now? THIS is why I didn't talk about either of the theme songs during my reviews of any of the CDs above. To get the full experience for both of these songs, you have to turn to the single.

This is the last Super Sentai CD to be released on an 8cm Disc. Sure, it comes in a jewel case, but who cares! It's an 8cm Disc!

The opening song, Hurricaneger Sanjou! is sung by Hideaki Takatori. His obnoxious singing style makes him the worst singer in Toei's current line-up (YOFFY get's second prize...bite me, I think he sucks). The weird thing is, Hideaki Takatori almost seems like Hironobu Kageyama's direct replacement...and yet here they are on the same single.


I probably should say something about the opening song itself. Everything I said about the Jetman theme song applies to this one. This song belongs in the early 90s. After a very long string of great theme songs that progressed and adapted with time, this is a gigantic leap backwards. Like a full decade back. It's definitely not the worst theme song, but it sure is annoying as all hell after just one listen.

The series ending song, Ima Kaze no Naka de, is very good by contrast. It may feature a Hironobu Kageyama past his expiration date (do not consume past 1998) but he does a halfway decent job. Man...the more I think about it, the more I think they were trying to remake the Jetman single with this one. Maybe this song isn't as slick as Gaoranger's Heal'n You, but it's a pretty good ballad despite the clear loss of control in Kageyama's voice. I kinda prefer the "No Fade" version on the third Disc over the single version, though.

Karaoke tracks of both theme songs finish out this disc.


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Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger Cho Ninpo CD
TV-Kun Magazine Promotional
2002.09 Issue

Ugh. Why do I do this to myself? I could have just ended this post without admitting that I own this piece of crap.

Alright, I'm just kidding. This CD isn't too bad. You want to know why? It's a drama CD. It isn't a bunch of snippets peppered throughout the BGM you want to hear. This CD features some great sound design and is actually the first appearance of the song Hurricane ONDO. The Hurricane ONDO on this disc is actually different from the version that appears on the third disc since only the first half is vocal. The second half is Karaoke. It's pretty interesting...


Oh, and there are two separate chances to hear Nao Nagasawa absolutely fail her way through trying to sing Hurricane ONDO...once in the first track and again at the very end.


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Recommended Pick: Ten years ago I picked up the box set with all five CDs in it for a whopping ¥900. You might think that's absurd, but the prices are almost as low today. That said, you can get the first disc for ¥1. Go for it. It has all of the BGM that matters and the Senpuujin theme (albeit the short version). Yeah...I guess that's my recommended pick this time around.

Honestly the best content, in my opinion, is on the 4+5 set. You'd have to pay a bit more for it...but I think that's where it's at. My recommended pick is more for someone new to collecting or the casual listener. I don't think a collection of variations and random music warrants a recommendation even if I personally favor it. So yeah, check out the first disc.

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Well, I just knocked an entire series off of my list. It's pretty rare for me to be able to talk about the songs, music, and theme single in just one post. I gotta say, it's a good feeling.

Be sure to check out my CD Collection page for more like this. My final CD Collection post of 2016 will be a batch of random CDs that were released this year. Expect to see that Goranger Music Collection, Ninninger Song Collection, Radirangers, Kamen Rider Amazons, Legend Hero 90's, Super Sentai TV Size Collection... and whatever else I remember between now and then. Next time, however, I will be talking about Ohranger! Stay tuned...

Bye for now!

-CC

P.S. I made a video for the inserts from the Eternal Edition Box Set. Check it out here...


P.S.2 Here are some additional photos that I couldn't quite fit above...







2016/10/01

M•U•S•K -- The Exclusive Anison Club


It's been awhile since I've written something music-related that has nothing to do with my CD Collection. There isn't a whole lot to write about outside of CDs these days, but I have a few Tokusatsu Music related articles in the pipeline (including a Top 7...maybe next month). This is one that I briefly mentioned in my last post without getting too much into it. It's finally time for me to put together an official list of what I stupidly call...M•U•S•K!

What is M•U•S•K? It is another lame CCLemon99-ism to describe an anison singer who has sung at least one theme song from a Metal Hero, Ultraman, Sentai, and Kamen Rider feature and/or series. It's an incredibly difficult feat, so the list is fairly short. There are some near-hits, and some of the singers here have made it in by the skin of their teeth.

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In The Club...

Ichiro Mizuki 


M-Jikuu Senshi Spielban OP, ED1, ED2 • Chojinki Metalder ED
U-Ultraman Monogatari ED • Ultraman Orb OP
S-Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai ED • Juken Sentai Gekiranger ED
K-Kamen Rider V3 ED1 • Kamen Rider X OP, ED • Kamen Rider Stronger OP, ED2, ED3 • Kamen Rider (1979) OP, OP2, ED1, ED2 • Kamen Rider Super 1 ED2

-Not only is Ichiro Mizuki the most prolific member of the club, but he is also the first name you would think of when asked to name someone who would be in the club. Until very recently, though, his status was pretty murky. Until Ultraman Orb in 2016 his only true Ultraman entry was the ending theme song to the 1984 feature Ultraman Monogatari (as pointed out to me by this helpful chap). Ichiro Mizuki also sang the opening and ending theme songs to Andromelos...which technically could fall under Ultraman, but really doesn't have to. He's in the club...so there.

The rest of his catalog makes him a pretty obvious member of the club. It is a little peculiar that he didn't perform a Sentai theme song until 2001 (he had some songs on the Battle Fever J and Sun Vulcan song collections, but no themes) but they did him right by giving him the ending song for Gekiranger.

Hironobu Kageyama


M-Tetsuwan Tantei Robotack OP
U-Ultraman vs Kamen Rider ED • Ultraman Dyna ED2 (w/LAZY) • Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna OP
S-Dengeki Sentai Changeman OP, ED • Hikari Sentai Maskman OP, ED, Movie OP • Chojin Sentai Jetman OP, ED • Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger ED
K-Kamen Rider SD ED • Ultraman vs Kamen Rider ED

-Another obvious member of the club, but is he really? You really have to dig deep in Kageyama's catalog to find his membership credentials. His Super Sentai, Anime, and Video Game work make him this massive presence among modern anison singers.

-For Kamen Rider you have to go to the 1992(CD)/1993(OVA) Kamen Rider SD OVA. He provided the ending theme song. It's enough to put him in the club, but man...couldn't he have done the ending song to Kamen Rider J or something instead? I know that Rider really wasn't a thing when he was with Columbia (and when Columbia provided music for Rider). He kinda fell through the cracks. For extra credit I suppose you can count the Tsuburaya-produced Ultraman vs Kamen Rider. I file that one under Ultraman, though.

Speaking of Ultraman, Kageyama's Ultra-cred is pretty solid. The most popular theme song of his is the second ending song that he did with LAZY. Technically it's a LAZY song...but why not count it? Kageyama is a singing it, no?

Kageyama really didn't have much to do with Metal Hero outside of a handful of songs for Janperson and a duet with Masaaki Endo in Robotack...which he also provided the theme song to.

Shinichi Ishihara


M-Jukou B-Fighter OP, ED
U-Ultraman USA ED
S-Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five OP
K-Kamen Rider AGITĪ© OP1, OP2, ED3 • Kamen Rider 555 ED1

-The only credit that really comes into question when it comes to Shinichi Ishihara's qualifications are Ultraman. Sure, he HAS done some Columbia-cover versions of Ultraman theme songs, but his only true theme song was the ending theme to the 1987/1989 Ultraman USA feature. It's good enough to get him into the club!

The rest of his catalog is pretty obvious. It was kinda weird that it took them as long as it did to give him a Sentai theme song (he still managed to get one before Ichiro Mizuki, though). He does have the very rare distinction of being the only singer to have a theme song in both Columbia and avex eras of Kamen Rider (another CCLemon99ism...forget Showa and Heisei...Riders are either Columbia or avex in my book).

Isao Sasaki


M-Chojinki Metalder OP
U-The☆Ultraman OP
S-Himitsu Sentai Goranger OP, ED1, ED2 • JAKQ Dengekitai OP/ED • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger ED, Movie 2 ED
K-Kamen Rider (1979) Movie OP

-Yet another member of the club who barely made it in. Isao Sasaki's Rider theme song is his version of the song Kagayake! 8nin Rider. It's kinda of a strange credit since the more memorable version of the song was sung by Ichiro Mizuki. The Mizuki version was used as Skyrider's second ending theme...but the Sasaki version seemingly only existed to be the theme for the 8 Rider movie.

His Metal Hero and Ultraman credits are sparse, but they are opening theme songs to full-blown TV series. I absolutely love both of them...

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Honorable Mentions...

Akira Kushida 


M-Uchuu Keiji Gavan OP, ED, 2012 Movie • Uchuu Keiji Sharivan OP, ED • Uchuu Keiji Shaider OP, ED • Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya OP, ED • Kidou Keiji Jiban OP, ED
U-N/A
S-Taiyo Sentai Sunvulcan OP, ED1, ED2 • Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger ED • Boukenger vs Super Sentai ED
K-10gou Tanjo! Kamen Rider zenin shugo!! OP • Heisei Rider tai Showa Rider Kamen Rider Taisen feat Super Sentai TM

-I have to put Kushida at the top of this list as he is someone who could join the club tomorrow if Tsuburaya threw a damn theme song his way. The most difficult credit to obtain on this list is Metal Hero for obvious reasons...but Ultraman also seems to be a tough nut to crack. Come on, Tsuburaya...make this happen! He hasn't even done an IN song!

The rest of his credits are pretty obvious. Even though Dragon Road was used once, the song is kinda immortal. It was made even more immortal a few years back when a 2014 version (featuring the terrible Rider Girls) was used for one of those idiotic Rider crapfest films. I guess Akira Kushida can be considered Columbia and avex...but should it count if it's for a ruined version of the same song? Nah...

Masato Shimon


M-N/A
U-Ultraseven Hawaii Dub OP
S-Seijuu Sentai Gingaman OP, ED
K-Kamen Rider OP2, ED1, ED2, ED3 • Kamen Rider V3 ED2 • Kamen Rider Amazon OP, ED • Kamen Rider Stronger ED1

-His prolific work on Rider isn't enough to earn him a spot in the club. Fun fact about the Kamen Rider Stronger ending he performed... It was used for the first two episodes before it was replaced with the same song with Ichiro Mizuki singing the lead. There is a lot to say about Kamen Rider Stronger's theme song weirdness...but that's for another day...

Shimon's work on Ultraman is limited to his weird dub of the Ultraseven theme song that was meant for the Hawaiian English dub. His Super Sentai credit is actually uncredited. As he formally retired in 1993, he was forced to sing the Gingaman themes under the credit Ryo Kisami. Seeing as Shimon is done with the business and Metal Hero isn't a thing anymore, His membership is virtually impossible. Forever S•U•K...

Takayuki Miyauchi


M-Tokkei Winspector OP, ED • Tokkyushirei Solbrain OP, ED • Tokusou Exceedraft OP, ED
U-N/A
S-Chodenshi Bioman OP, ED • Boukenger vs Super Sentai ED
K-Kamen Rider BLACK RX OP, ED

-Another singer you probably expected to be on the list thanks to his prolific career. Takayuki Miyauchi *did* have a Columbia cover of Ultraman Tiga's ending theme song Brave Love, TIGA (w/Ichiro Mizuki) as well as a cover of Ultraman Gaia's theme song (w/Masaaki Endo). The only official Ultraman credit Miyauchi has is being part of the sea of people that made up the Ultra Choir in 1991's Ultraman charity song Love For Children.

Tatsuya Maeda


M-Blue SWAT OP, ED
U-Ultraman Powered OP, ED • Ultraman Chotoshi Gekidan OP • Ultraman Dyna OP • Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna OP
S-N/A
K-N/A

-Credit where it's due...Tatsuya Maeda has the two most difficult credits to obtain. He even did an IN song for Super Sentai (Carranger). It's not enough to make it into the club, though. He still needs those Sentai and Rider themes...

Rika Matsumoto


M-N/A
U-Ultraman Neos ED
S-N/A
K-Kamen Rider Ryuki OP

-Unless you're a Pokemon fan, you may be thinking "Who??" on this one. Rika Matsumoto is a prolific seiyu who managed to sneak in a rare Tokusatsu credit here and there earlier in her career. You may remember her as the voice of Arthur G6 in Fiveman (she subsequently sang his theme song as well). I know her mostly as the voice of Dora Reiga in episode 33 of Zyuranger (one of my favorite episodes).

She may not have many Tokusatsu singing credits to her name, but she did songs for three out of four of the categories...two of which were themes. Not bad...

Mitsuko Horie


M-N/A
U-N/A
S-Himitsu Sentai Goranger OP • Gaoranger vs Super Sentai ED
K-Kamen Rider Stronger ED1, ED2

-It's kinda obvious why there aren't any female singers in the club. Like I said before, that Metal Hero credit is the toughest to get. For someone who has been there through it all, Mitsuko Horie probably should have been tossed some songs...the Blue SWAT ending theme......something! She seemed largely into Anime songs in the 80s and 90s, so I guess it wasn't meant to be.

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It's a tough club to get into, but a few have made it! Are you really surprised at who made it in, though? I think the more surprising thing is those who haven't made it in. You would think Akira Kushida would be there, right? Takayuki Miyauchi...??

So what did you think about this post? Did I miss anyone? Do you think I have too much time on my hands to think up such things (this post may seem well-researched, but I pulled 95% of it from memory)? Let me know either in the comments below or on Twitter.

I'll be back soon with a brand new entry in the CD Collection. Hint: Box Set. One that blows.

-CC