2019/10/31

Song Collection: Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger


As I mentioned in the sibling post to this, I intended to review two song collections this month that had nothing to do with each other. I failed big time while doing the mental gymnastics as I realized that both Seiun Kamen Machineman and Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger share a writer AND major actor. Whoops.

(Seriously, though, check that post out...I won't spoil it, but it got an extreme reaction out of me)

So...Zyuranger, huh? Easily the most memorable suits in Super Sentai history from a show that's almost as memorable. How much futher have the returns diminished by the time you get down to the song collection? Let's find out!

For this post I'll be listening to my copy of the Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Complete Song Collection from 1997. I briefly talked about that disc here in the past.


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01. Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger / Kenta Sato

It may be completely random...and completely a ripoff of the theme to Total Recall, but damn is the intro to this theme song cool.

Really, for as lousy as the Jetman theme song is (fight me), this makes up for it tenfold. Kenta Sato, (Riki, Red Turbo from Kosoku Sentai Turboranger) is back for NO reason. He isn't in Zyuranger at all...just dropped in to sing this great theme song.

The music is majestic, modern, random, and really just kinda weird. The full size version of the song makes so little sense, yet they were able to chop it down into a perfectly cohesive TV Size theme for airing. Kenji Yamamoto, the man behind the music, has since been exposed as something of a rampant plagiarist (to the point where he was abruptly fired from Dragonball Kai when that was a thing). That isn't to say he didn't manage to create these great bizarre mashups that take sudden directional changes. The Zyuranger theme is one of his more mild ones, but is definitely another example.

Overall, I love this theme song. It's gooood.

02. Dolla! ~Majo Bandora no theme~ / Machiko Soga

I hate this song. I hate how it was used in the series. I hate the cheesy beat.

You know what I hate the most about it? It is THE most irritating earworm of all time. Try to forget it. Try to think of anything else for that matter.

Jokes aside, yeah...I can't say I care much for this one. It's definitely the best singing effort by Machiko Soga. Credit where credit's due, she actually sings this song. She has a handful of other songs recorded during her career, but they're largely her character talking to a beat. She's legit singing here and doing a really good job.

03. Kibo no Tsurugi / Toyomi Hiraishi

A really good, fast-paced action song. You'd think this song would have been a fight scene staple in the series, but nope! One appearance in episode 40. What gives? We got the Bandora theme more than that... *sigh*

04. Daizyujin no uta / Ju-Project

So... I'm going to try to defend this song.

Super Sentai Mecha theme songs are these action-packed songs to close out the big fight of each episode. They're the songs that you're humming to yourself as you march down the toy aisle to pick up that DX Bandai mecha.

So what the hell is with this one? It's the most the unmemorable snooze-fest. Worse...it's a *march* song. Those lame motivational songs that used to creep into song collections. I talked about this style of song in a previous song collection post, but this song has me so bored that I can't be bothered to remember which...

As plain-oatmeal-served-in-a-styrofoam-bowl bland as this song is, I don't mind it. The build-up to the "Gattai! Dino Mission!" is pretty cool.

05. Tyrannoranger • [Akaki yuushi] / Toyomi Hiraishi

Another really good action song that never got it's due in the series...and I mean never. This song literally never made it into the series. The over-the-top synths are really cool. It kinda feels like a eaaaarly proto-version of the Shushutorian theme in that respect. Except the Shushutorian song is untouchably good.

I don't know if this suits our boy The Gekster too well, but as an action song it's really cool.

06. Yumemiru otome no chikara kobu / Sayuri Saito

This is the Pteraranger theme song. I like it quite a bit. It's a bit janky and, again, it doesn't really fit a 170,000,000 year old woman too well, but I digress. It's bubbly and catchy...in a fun way...not in a cruel way like the Bandora theme.

07. Shippo Piki Piki / Kenta Sato

Oof. If they had to give Kenta Sato another song...why did it have to be this one?

This song has a weird honkytonk vibe to it, which doesn't jive all that well with Sato's voice. He does a great job singing it, but he was built to be an action singer. The Turboranger song collection has a number of great songs by Sato...a number of great *sensible* songs. This one is just weird...and kinda boring.

08. Boken shite Rappapiya! / Pythagoras

The series ending song, and a divisive one. Between this post and my Machineman post, this is my third major dissenting opinion. I...really like this song.

Before you close click off my site forever, just hear me out. I will acknowledge that my previous assessment of the Jetman theme song is ONLY limited to the opening theme and that the ending theme song, Kokoro wa tamago, is god-tier.

With that out of the way, I really dig this fun little jam. Is it a weird song to have close out every episodes of a series that frequently ended shows on incredibly desperate cliffhangers? Absolutely, but maybe it's a nice comedown. If you're marathoning the series it's probably annoying, I imagine. I just think it's a fun song with a nice groove. Who's to say we can't have nice things?

Daizyujin lays in a spreading fire with a blade against his neck as Dai Satan joyously observes the situation from the sky....... *Boken shite Rappapiya starts playing*


09. Pop Up Night / Takeshi Ike

Another action song not sung by Kenta Sato. This one is a little weird since it has these funky little character breakdowns. I appreciate how Geki only says "Totsugeki!" at one point.

Definitely an oddball song, but it's a fun little jam with a really slick synth beat scattered in.

10. Dragon Caesar no uta / Funky Y.K.

The other mecha theme song from the series, and the vastly superior one. Now I never pinned Burai or Dragon Caesar as funky character...the opposite, in fact...they are both quite tragic. Who cares! Since we're in the land of mismatched character songs, why not go a little nutty for our final song?

If Burai could spend a little bit more time outside of his mood room, I'm sure he would be a fan of this kind of music. There. I made the song fit the character.

Love the song, though. It may have gone the polar opposite of the Daizyujin theme to the point of absurd levity, but it's certainly more enjoyable.

11. Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger [No Chorus Karaoke]

12. Dolla! ~Majo Bandora no theme~ [No Chorus Karaoke]

13. Kibo no Tsurugi [Original Karaoke]

14. Daizyujin no uta [Original Karaoke]

15. Tyrannoranger • [Akaki yuushi] [Original Karaoke]

16. Yumemiru otome no chikara kobu [Original Karaoke]

17. Shippo Piki Piki [Original Karaoke]

18. Boken shite Rappapiya! [No Chorus Karaoke]

19. Dragon Caesar no uta [Original Karaoke]

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I'll give this Song Collection a solid B-. It's memorability has definitely diminished further than any other aspect of the show, but it isn't bad.

Honestly, I somewhat selected this series as my random other review for the month because I remember really disliking this song collection. It really isn't too bad out of context...the songs just have less than nothing to do with the show. The theme song absolutely works, and the Daizyujin theme in all of it's bland glory is a match, but the rest just miss the target big time...even if they are still enjoyable.

If you want a similar series that has songs that match up better, may I recommend the Gingaman Song Collection? Sure, I haven't written about...yet.......

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I'm out. Be sure to check out my Machineman post and the CD Collection for more.

Bye!

-CC

Seiun Kamen Machineman Song Collection
Dai Sentai Goggle V Song Collection

Song Collection: Seiun Kamen Machineman


Welcome to another round of Song Collection reviews by CCLemon99. This time around I wanted to go random--two series that had ZERO connection. So I threw two darts at my mental dart board and landed on Seiun Kamen Machineman and Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. That's right...two series that have *nothing* in common...

...until you realize that Noboru Sugimura wrote for both series. Well, at least the song collections have nothing in common...

...until you realize that not only does Machiko Soga have a role in both series, but she has a song on each of these song collections.

The topic today is "Series that have a song by Machiko Soga and had Noboru Sugimura as a writer...!".

For this review I'll be using my copy of Seiun Kamen Machineman Song & Music Collection from 2015. I briefly covered this set on this page.


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Disc One

01. Seiun Kamen Machineman / MoJo, Columbia Yurikago-kai

The series theme song. It's impossible for me to listen to this tune with fresh ears, but I like to try to imagine what this sounds like to the uninitiated. For 1984 this slick jazz theme song to a Tokusatsu series is something of a novelty. I'm going to say it, though...it's easily the best of the three theme songs of the year (Yes, three. Dragon Road was released in 1982...not my problem if Toei didn't bother to release the ZX special until January, 1984).

Uchuu Keiji Shaider comes up in second since it's a perfectly serviceable theme song. I may get some extreme hate for this, but the Bioman theme song is trash. Miyauchi is great and the guitar work is excellent, but good lord is it a dull song...with a flippin' xylophone! In 1984...not 1974!

So what makes the Machineman theme song so good? MOJO was certainly on a hot streak with his work on Goggle V and Dynaman, but that isn't the answer. Legendary composer Yuji Ohno had a deep hand in both the song and music collection for the series. A brass-heavy sound is something usually reserved for some pretentious anime series (and, well, Lupin III, of course). To hear this kind of jazz in something as goofy as Machineman is almost so wrong that it's right.

This theme song is way too good for the series. MOJO's vocals on Yuuji Ohno's skilled guidance is just perfect.

02. Denko Action Machineman / MOJO, Koorogi '73

The standard, upbeat action song that every song collection needs to kick off with. Again, MOJO and Ohno are an awesome pairing. Sometimes Koorogi' 73 can be a little intrusive with their backing vocals, but they're very minimally used here.

03. Ooinaru hito Machineman / MOJO, Koorogi '73

A really well-done disco jam. Koorogi '73 is a little more prevalent on this one, but it works well for this type of song. The only thing wonky about the whole affair is the lyrics. A lot of "Zigzag-Zigzag.....Smash/Flash/Dash!" and the like. Hahaa.

04. Uchuu kara kita daigakusei / Yumi Ishii, Koorogi '73

A weird little song that sucks. The music is great, so skip to track 14. The juvenile singing by Ishii is just shrill and annoying. I enjoy the janky pianos and lone horn.

05. Ball Boy no uta / Machiko Soga, Columbia Yurikago-kai

The nice thing I can say is that Machiko Soga has a nice and extremely consistent voice. It's alright. Every 80s song collection has a song like this for the Director of Levity Assistance and Marketing (annoying robot friend/assistant), so whatever. Again, it's alright.

06. OH! Child / MOJO

This song is spectacular.

If I had to name a song where I think MOJO is at his absolute best, it's this one. Not even the Segata Sanshiro theme can touch this. Seriously, this song is one of the greatest Tokusatsu image songs ever. The music is delightful...Koorogi '73 was swapped out with the house background ladies...and again, MOJO just crushes it like no other time.

I give this song a coveted Angel Mark.

07. Fighting Explosion [Instrumental]

This sort of thing used to be more common prior to this, but here is a random instrumental track that landed in the song collection. I wouldn't even say that this is the last since Winspector had a not-song as well.

This is a nice little track with, you guessed it, some excellent brass.

08. Hashire! Dolphin / Koorogi '73, Columbia Yurikago-kai

Something of a corny action track, but it's really good. The music is excellent and weirdly pitting the two gangs of background singers together in one song sounds pretty good. I'm impressed at how decent this song.

09. Bokura no Machineman / MOJO, Columbia Yurikago-kai

This has the markings of a bland song, but it's just really good. The kids singing (which is Columbia Yurikago-kai...sometimes I just assume everyone knows these things, but now you know), is pretty aggressive. The song is really good outside of that. It's chill.

10. Ore no na wa Machineman / MOJO

The series ending song. I would say that this is MOJO's weakest outing of the set, but I guess this can be considered his warm-up track...or cool-down track. Whatever. He isn't bad, he just sounds a little bit uninspired.

This is an incredibly smooth groove, though. I love it as a song. Not a Tokusatsu song...a song -full stop-.

11. Seiun Kamen Machineman [Original Karaoke]

12. Denko Action Machineman [Original Karaoke]

13. Ooinaru hito Machineman [Original Karaoke]

14. Uchuu kara kita daigakusei [Original Karaoke]

15. Ball Boy no uta [Original Karaoke]

16. OH! Child [Original Karaoke]

17. Hashire! Dolphin [Original Karaoke]

18. Bokura no Machineman [Original Karaoke]

19. Ore no na wa Machineman [Original Karaoke]

20. Seiun Kamen Machineman [TV Size Karaoke]

21. Ore no na wa Machineman [TV Size Karaoke]

22. Seiun Kamen Machineman [No Chorus Version] / MOJO

Now this is a treat.

This is the series theme song minus the Columbia Yurikago-kai (the brats). Normally I can tune out the kids, but they kinda step on MOJO's toes in this song. Especially the "Are wa! Are wa! Are wa bokura no Machineman!". It really transforms the song once the kids scram.

23. Ball Boy no uta [No Chorus Version] / Machiko Soga

Pretty much the same as the previous track. This is Machiko Soga without the kids. Honestly, this one just sounds weird without the kids. The weird gap after "Ball Boy!" is just odd. It could be weird because I'm just used to the normal version.

24. Denko Action Machineman [TV Size]

I didn't skip over this track for one very good reason. Why does it exist? I think I may have missed something.

25. Seiun Kamen Machineman (2015 Version) / MOJO

A newly recorded version of the theme song featuring all the same elements. MOJO is here, and a little more soulful. The kids are back...and so is Yuji Ohno. I dig it. There are very few changes over the original version. I guess it's a celebration of consistency.

Disc Two

01. Seiun Kamen Machineman [TV Size] / MOJO, Columbia Yurikago-kai

OK, so the second disc of this set is largely devoted to the background music of Machineman. I'll talk about this set in better detail in my conclusion, but this song was one of the things I was looking forward to the most upon release.

They don't do it this way anymore, but back until the mid-80s, the TV Size version was an entirely different recording track. Eventually the TV Size track became an edited down version of the full size theme. For series like Machineman, there are some pretty big variations between the TV Size and full versions. The intro is much more fleshed out in the TV Size version...like completely different. The full version has an abrupt start, but there is this cool little bass build-up here.

I know it's extra nerdy, but I love the intro of the TV Size version.

02~20 Series BGM

21. Ore no na wa Machineman [TV Size] / MOJO

Like the opening theme song, this TV Size version has some substantial differences. MOJO's singing sounds...different. The outro is also quite different for very little reason. I guess to avoid sounding somewhat abrupt.

22~25 Series BGM

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The Machineman song collection, for several years, was one of those song collections that sturggled to exist. It has so, so much going for it and yet it was virtually buried for twenty years. If you were an mp3 scenester back in the day, you could score these songs...but they were terrible rips from the Drama vinyl. Yeah, that the only way they existed until 2003...vinyl and cassette. It was a major, major score when most of the songs were released on CD in 2003, but it was only a cruel taste of the forbidden fruit.

I don't think I've been more excited about a CD release from Columbia this decade. My original write-up of the set was one written on a giddy high of the excitement of finally...FINALLY getting all of these songs, their Karaoke tracks, AND BGM in one efficient package.

The songs are amazingly underrated and the BGM is simply too good for the series. It took over thirty years to get a proper release, but here we are.

I can't recommend this set enough.

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It way nice to talk about Machineman's wonderfully auditory side once again. Be sure to also check out my Zyuranger post as well as my CD Collection page for more song collection reviews.

Later!

-CC

Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Song Collection
Dai Sentai Goggle V Song Collection

2019/09/29

Song Collection: Dai Sentai Goggle V


It's the second half of my CCLemon99 Song Collection Double Feature for September. If you haven't checked it out yet, I've also reviewed the strangely normal song collection for THE⭐ULTRAMAN. The theme this month? There is no theme...but now that I think about it... The Goggle V logo has a star right in it...maybe I subconsciously brought these otherwise unrelated series together this way?

I've always maintained that this song collection was woefully underrated. Sure, it has it's duds, but it isn't a overrated stinker of a song collection like Chodenshi Bioman (someday...someday you'll get my thoughts on that one). Maybe this one needs an advocate. When was the last time you thought about Goggle V? How many times in this review will I write Google instead of Goggle?

For this review I'll be listening to my copy of the Dai Sentai Goggle V Complete Song Collection from 1996. It has some nice little goodies at the end. I talked about this disc previously on this page.


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01. Dai Sentai Goggle V / MOJO, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

MOJO's second Sentai theme song and is my second favorite of the trio that he ended up doing. The energy is awesome and it's a genuinely fun song, but it feels like a giant leap backwards in style. The Sunvulcan theme was exciting and a big move into the new 80s style. Goggle Five's theme song just feels like a weird step back into the 70s...and somehow it sounds remarkably similar to the Sunvulcan theme song. This is such a confusing theme song. I like it, but it's whack at the same time. It also doesn't help that the final version of the song is kinda messed up. More on that later...

02. Goggle V Action! / Yoshiko Hidaka, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

A weird disco song that really doesn't line up with the title it was given. I like it, but 1982 was the last year that something like this would have been acceptable. The music is definitely the star here. I don't know anything about Yoshiko Hidaka outside of her more famous tune later on this disc, but nothing here really compelled me to look her up further.

03. Neppu Shadow / MOJO, Norinobu Sugai, Koorogi '73

Awesome song. I wouldn't even know how to accurately describe it. Disco...scatting? Listening to this, just remember that MOJO is the same dude who did the Segata Sanshiro theme song. Yeah...it's such a weird contrast.

04. Flash! Goggle V / MOJO

The build on the intro of this song is just so great. Whenever I hear this one I get fond memories of my early Youtube days. Before the dumpster fire that it became...

Yeah, this is a great song. It's fast-paced and a decent action song. I'd say that this one would be more fitting of the Goggle V Action! name, but then we wouldn't get the "Flaaash-Flash!". Love this one.

05. Goggle V no March -We are Goggle V- / MOJO, Norinobu Sugai, Koorogi '73

I typically hate songs with "March" in the title, but this one is actually a lot of fun. MOJO and Koorogi '73 are a great match here. The music is pretty interesting as well. Maybe the disco beat saves it from being a dud. I like it.

06. Electric Magic Comboy / Yoshimi Niikura, Columbia Yurikago-kai

Oof. Yeah, this song sucks bad. I don't have anything else to add. Ugh.

07. Dancing Goggle V / MOJO

Alright, we're back on form here. This is another great MOJO action track. I almost wrote "don't let the name fool you" but then I remembered that this is Goggle V we're talking about. Fighting style? Gymnastics!

08. Shutsugeki! Goggle Robo / MOJO, Koorogi '73

By this point I think the Sentai mecha theme song was officially a thing. This one has an awesome and quite memorable intro, but it's a smidge flat throughout. It's a great theme, but I kinda prefer pretty much every mecha theme that followed this forever and ever.

I think my number one gripe with this one may be Koorogi '73. They're pretty unnecessary here... Maybe I'd like this one more if it were a solo MOJO effort.

09. Moeru otoko Goggle Red / MOJO

Speaking of great MOJO solo efforts, this song rules. It may not be the most exciting song, but I am a sucker for the theme song for any Sentai leader.

10. Hanasaku Goggle Pink / Yoshiko Hidaka

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not the biggest fan of Hidaka, but this song is actually pretty decent. It's a bit choppy and somewhat old-school sounding for '82. It's kinda like the theme song from a revenge woman film.

The horn is what sells it, though. It's undeniable.

11. Stop The Battle / MOJO, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

Speaking of undeniable horns...

This is the series ending song. I can never tell if I love or mildly dislike this song. It has some really good ingredients, but it just doesn't gel right for me. The bass isn't mixed in as well as it could be. Koorogi '73's humming is obnoxious, but they have value elsewhere in the song. It's good, but it isn't great. I know a lot of people love this one...but I only like it.

12. Dai Sentai Goggle V [Original Karaoke]

13. Goggle V Action! [Original Karaoke]

14. Neppu Shadow [Original Karaoke]

15. Flash! Goggle V [Original Karaoke]

16. Goggle V no March -We are Goggle V- [Original Karaoke]

17. Moeru otoko Goggle Red [Original Karaoke]

18. Hanasaku Goggle Pink [Original Karaoke]

19. Stop The Battle [Original Karaoke]

20. Hanasaku Goggle Pink ~Megumi Okawa Version~ / Megumi Okawa

Ehhh. The slooooooooow and terrible cover by Megumi Okawa. She can't sing. I know this is meant to be the sad version, but it's just sad in an unintended way.

21. Dai Sentai Goggle V ~Alternate Version~ / MOJO, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

OK, so this Alternate version of the theme song... I wrote about it in the past. The synth intro actually matches the synth outro that is still present on the normal version. Did you ever notice that the intro/outro don't match in the normal version? I did a supercut of what I feel is the best version of the theme song. (Matching intro/outro, omission of the "Goggle V, Go Go" in this Alternate version) and usually just listen to that one when I need a Goggle V theme fix.

It's nice that this was included so that I could make the CCLemon99 edit of the theme. Hehe

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Like I mentioned in the intro...I am quite fond of this song collection. I can't imagine it has too many fans, but what isn't to like about it? MOJO is on point and there is only one truly awful song. If you haven't given this one a go, I definitely recommend it. I always kinda feel bad for it since it's attached to a weird series.

One day I'll have to give my Dynaman disc a whirl for the site. It's practically the MOJO sequel to this one...so how does it stack up? That's for another time...

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That's all for now. THE⭐ULTRAMAN is waiting for you right now...so be sure to check it out.

Bye!

-CC

Song Collection: THE⭐ULTRAMAN


Welcome to another CCLemon99 Song Collection Review Double Feature. In my continued efforts to build up my library of song collection reviews I am bringing you two new reviews today. As there is zero theme this month, Dai Sentai Goggle V is the other brand new review that is live right now.

So why did I pick THE⭐ULTRAMAN as my Ultraman debut for the Song Collection series? No idea. It's the first of many oddities in the Ultra series until things kinda leveled out following the unfortunate passing of Noboru Tsuburaya. THE⭐ULTRAMAN was a fifty-episode animated Ultra series featuring Ultraman Jonias. You've probably seen the suit and wondered where the hell he fit in...well now you know.

Honestly, I've always been intrigued by this song collection for one major reason. Battle Fever J was the first Sentai Song Collection to not be lead by Isao Sasaki. He did pop in to drop two songs for Skyrider in 1980, but in 1979 he was the lead singer of this new, weird Ultraman anime. It did make way for MOJO and Ichiro Mizuki to get their hands on Super Sentai, so it all worked out in the end.

Anyway... I'll be listening to Disc 3 from my copy of the Ultraman Complete Song Box for the purpose of this review. I reviewed the set previously here, but only summed this song collection up in two paragraphs.


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01. THE⭐ULTRAMAN / Isao Sasaki, Columbia Yurikago-kai

I've always loved this theme song...

While it may be a weird disco jam, it's still one of those incredible earworms that you need for a series theme song. Listening to it gives you a wistful feel for Tokusatsu theme songs of old. Legit, I think this may be the last classic theme song. I had to stop myself from saying Tokusatsu theme song. Honestly, it's good enough to be one though.

I would peg this firmly beneath the Skyrider themes, but better than Battle Fever J's disjointed mess of a theme. The only complaint I have with this one is it's painfully short length. It doesn't even make it to two and a half minutes.

02. Ai no yuushatachi / Isao Sasaki

This is the series ending song. The first ending song to an Ultra series, in fact. An opulent sounding ballad that is somewhat reminiscent of the ending song to JAKQ Dengekitai.

03. THE⭐ULTRAMAN Disco Fever [Instrumental]

The name pretty much says it all. It's a disco instrumental track with the theme song melody woven in. I dig it. Unlike the Disco Rider medleys, this one is synthless. It's lead by a guitar and some crazy drumming. It's kinda hard to describe, but it's a chill track.

04. Ultraman Sanka / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

A very soft Ultra ballad. I want to sleep.

I will say this...it's definitely a rare side of Sasaki. He is legit singing in this one. I mean, the anison hamminess isn't here, he's putting his skills down on this song. Ballads are a great talent test for any singer I suppose. They may not be your cup of tea, but you'll get an appreciate for the singer's effort.

Even if he is singing "Ultraman Joe"...

05. Ultra no Hoshi / Columbia Yurikago-kai

...on the other hand you get ballads featuring the Children Choirs. Meh, this one is alright...but it's pretty generic.

06. Matsumi no uta / Mitsuko Horie

As chipper of a song as you can imagine. This is the type of song that Mitsuko Horie was created for in the 70s. I like it.

She was always a good singer, but she definitely honed it in a little better following her more recent Himitsu Sentai Goranger/Kamen Rider Stronger efforts.

07. Super Murdock / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

I love this one. Such a chill jam for the big ship of the series. It has a smidge of majesty dropped in at random, but this is just a cool jam from start to finish. Comparing this to some of the previous big ship themes will give you whiplash.

08. Warera kagaku keibitai / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

Ehhh...this song is a little bit boring. Sasaki is just average in effort, but the male chorus is just bland. The blatant key changes are fun at least.

09. Robot Pig no uta / Junpei Takiguchi

Awesome...AWESOME title to a lame song. This song is a folksy sounding mid-tempo jam. Ehh, it's alright. This type of song literally did not make it into the 1980s.

10. Ashita ni... / Kei Tomiyama

Hey, a character song. This is Choichiro's theme song sung by his seiyuu, Kei Tomiyama. It's a decent ballad, to be honest. He's isn't a bad singer. I honestly thing he sounds like a weird cross between Masato Shimon and Hiroshi Miyauchi. He can mostly hold a tune!

11. Kaijuu Requiem / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

Something of a downer to end on, but the title kinda gives that away. Sasaki goes deep on this one as well. Again, I think the nasally voice that you hear in like 98% of his songs is an act. There is no doubt that he is a talented dude, but this song collection has his range on full display.

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While this may be the song collection to an anime series, it is structured as if it were a Tokusatsu song collection. It may not be as fun as some of the previous Sasaki-led efforts like Himitsu Sentai Goranger or JAKQ Denkegitai, but it's just as good to listen to. I genuinely think the late 70s had better variety, which works in Sasaki's favor. Goranger had too many folk songs and JAKQ's songs were all a little too similar. This is fun, though.

Give this one a try. It might not be for everyone, but the OP/ED themes and Super Murdock theme are undeniably get tunes.

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That's all for now. More to come in the future and there is also more available on the CD Collection page.

Later!

-CC

2019/08/30

The CD Collection--Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack


Welcome to a CCLemon99 CD Collection review. It's been awhile since I've taken a look at a CD release...and I definitely have an interesting one here. This is my look at the Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack. It isn't the only thing I've posted today, though. I also had a listen to the related/unrelated Tokusou Robo Janperson Song Collection.

I can't say that I'm a fan of Tokusatsu GaGaGa. I know it's meme status, but this type of parody with edge type thing never attracts me. This type of endeavor always screams "Hey you, dork. This is for you! You'll like that we acknowledged these tropes that we noticed too!". Feh. I didn't really care when Toei did it with Akibaranger, either. Being the consummate Tokusatsu music collector, however, has forced my hand at snapping up the Original Soundtrack.

All of that out of the way, let's dig into this CD!


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NHK Drama 10 Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack
OMR-0018
2019.02.27

As I mentioned above, I've never seen the series. I love obscure Tokusatsu music collections, though. Do you know anybody else that owns the soundtrack to Evolver? I don't. I try to snap up these obscure releases when they come out. Funny story... I didn't preorder this one, but I ordered it like a week after it was released. Amazon kept giving me shipping updates ("Your item will ship within the next month") over and over. Yeah, after six months of waiting I found someone in Wisconsin, of all places, that was selling a sealed copy. Weird. I have it, though. If you plan on ordering from Amazon, it says it's available but I think that claim is dubious.


The artist behind this soundtrack is Akio Izutsu. This is his lone Tokusatsu series composition, but hardly his first overall. His TV soundtrack resume is enormous for someone that has only been at it for just over a decade. I don't recognize a single title, but damn...

I guess I should start with the bad news. This CD doesn't contain the series theme opening song GaGaGaGaGaGaGa by Golden Bomber. That song is available on a separate CD single, which I may cover in the future. Considering the nature of this independent release, I guess the labels couldn't come to an agreement. On the upside, this CD is packed. Clocking in at a whopping seventy-six minutes, it would probably mean that something would have to be cut to make space for the OP. I guess it made more sense to omit it in the end...

The music... Hey, you know what? This CD is actually really good. Toei, Tsuburaya, and Toho have infinite money poured into soundtracks that are increasingly sounding similar by the year. Sometimes it takes a scrappy independent production to have a unique soundtrack. Granted, a lot of the time soundtracks of this nature sound exactly what they are...one guy playing 90% of the instruments. It's the level of care that the composer puts in that makes the difference. Izutsu really put in the effort... His credits on this include...

Electric Bass, Guitars, Mandolin, Ukelele, Melodion, Percussion, Whistle, Voice, Keyboards (and other instrumental programming)



There are only a handful of other credited artists that cover the orchestral bits, but most of this album is Izutsu. It's all very good considering that this was for a very limited-run series. Like any Tokusatsu soundtrack, it has it's pieces for every situation. There are also two vocal songs. Maybe I should talk about those...

04. Kyuukyuuki Emerjason no theme / Kenichi Suzumura

This is half of the reason I am also reviewing the Janperson Song Collection today. Check it here.

The show-within-a-show in Tokusatsu GaGaGa is Kyuukyuuki Emerjason. Aesthetically, Emerjason is a a thinly-veiled homage to Tokusou Robo Janperson, Toei's Metal Hero series for 1993. They even got weird little details down like the look of the 3" CD Single sleeve and the near-nonsensical portmanteau of a name.

The only thing that isn't a clear send-up to Janperson is this theme song. It isn't bad, but it could have emulated the 90s style to make the connection just a little bit better. Remember in the movie Zebraman when they showed a clip of the fictitious 1970s Zebraman series?

It definitely embodies the spirit of a Tokusatsu theme song, just not a 90s one. That said...I do dig it.

15. ♥Ni shot! MAX Power! / Natsumi Kawaida

I guess context is important. I dread songs like this... If there is one upside, Natsumi Kawaida does does the irritating singing voice very well...and I mean that in a good way. Sheesh, that was the most backhanded compliment ever.

Anyway...

I guess it's also worth mentioning the presentation. Yes, this is absolutely an independently released album. Can you tell? The only thing official in the artwork is the show's basic manga-esque logo and backdrop. You won't find a single photo anywhere on this disc. Even a small image on the back cover would've given some the appearance some life, but I guess in the world of digital music the CD release is superfluous.

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The best way to describe this soundtrack is that it's a very easy listen. It's surprisingly dense for what is mostly a one-man show. It's over an hour of some solid tunes with two songs from the series thrown in for good measure.

I definitely recommend this CD purchase if you can find it. It's a quality album of some extremely competent soundtrack music.

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That's it for this CD review. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you soon!

-CC

Song Collection: Tokusou Robo Janperson


Welcome to another double-feature! This time around I am doing something a little bit different. As you probably noted by clicking on this link, you are about to read my review of the Tokusou Robo Janperson Song Collection. Instead of a related song collection, I am also taking a listen to the Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack. What's the relation? Check it out over there.

This post actually does serve another great purpose. I've previously reviewed the song collections from Winspector, Solbrain, Exceedraft, and Blue SWAT. The gap between the last two? Consider it filled! Even better...I actually dig this one. 

For this review I'll be listening via my trusty Super Hero Chronicle Metal Hero Shudaika Sonyuuka Daizenshuu III. I previously took a look at the entire CD series in this woefully incomplete post. I'm running out of things to review from this set...finally...!

Janpserson is the center of the universe

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01. Tokusou Robo Janperson / Susumu Ooya

This is a killer theme song. The tragedy behind some of the more underrated Tokusatsu series is that their theme songs tend to go under the radar.

Susumu Ooya is a perfect fit for this somewhat glum, yet energetic series opener. The guitar work is killer from beginning to end with the perfect amount of brass lashings in the background. As a Tokusatsu theme song, this is about as wonderfully standard as it should be. Hopeful, yet drab. Really, I wouldn't change a thing here. Even the Children's Choir is delightfully ignorable.

02. Ore wa Gunman ~Gun Gibson no Theme~ / Hironobu Kageyama

Like any classic Tokusatsu series, a bad guy is created in the image of our hero. I feel that more often than not we see that baddie becoming the sidekick. Yeah, well Gun Gibson is no exception.

We're kicking off the image songs with the theme to Gun Gibson. This upbeat theme song is the very first Metal Hero song by Hironobu Kageyama. Hard to believe it, but it was definitely overdue to have our boy Kageyama join the Metal Hero anison club. He delivers his excellent vocals in the fun action song. Really, I dig this song.

03. Seigi no tame ni / Susumu Ooya

This is easily my favorite song from the collection. Ooya's vocals are great, but this song REALLY rocks. It has a slight tinge of "this was the rejected theme song" as it has some similarities to the OP. While the theme plays it a tad safer, the somewhat desolate mood mirrors that of this song. The layering is incredible. I appreciate how dense everything sound from the oscillating feature of the guitar and to the very slight backing vocals. Seigi no tame ni is such a well-balanced and perfect song. 

For Justice!

04. Kimi wa nemure soshite utae / Hironobu Kageyama

Our next track is a ballad by Kageyama. I actually dig this song quite a bit thanks to it's interesting structure. It has it's slow bits, but it definitely picks up at the right times. There are even little bits of synth thrown in to keep things more lively. 

Kageyama can't sing songs like this any more...but we can certainly look to the past and appreciate gems like this.

05. Omae ga iru kara ~JP & Gun Gibson yuujo no theme~ / Hironobu Kageyama

Another Gun Gibson song by Kageyama...? OK!

Well, it's the theme of their friendship. It's an oddly specific premise, but here we are. Great song, though. The horns will be stuck in your head all day. The horns are just one element, though. Everything just flows along at a great, fluid pace. It has a bit of feeling of a Space Sheriff image song...

06. Hello JP! / Susumu Ooya

Another ballad, but this one is by Ooya. Like Kimi wa nemure soshite utae, this song is a perfectly balanced ballad with highs and lows. Even if the structure is similar to the previous ballad, this is a totally different song. 

07. Murasaki ookami densetsu / Hironobu Kageyama

To finish out the image songs, we get a more traditional power ballad. Really, this is such a beautiful tune. I really don't like to rail on the guy, but Kageyama used to be this amazingly diverse singer. The only thing he doesn't do on this song collection is rap...and there is proof that he can do that pretty well (better on the studio version, I promise). He was such a great singer...until he kinda switched to just yelling.

Amazing ballad. It's really too good for a show about a purple robot.

08. Asayake no Lullaby / Susumu Ooya

The series ending song. I didn't care for it as a kid, but I actually really like it now. The selling point of this is the eerie-sounding reverb when Ooya sings Janperson's name. It's a basic song, and probably the weakest on the set, but I really like it.

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This song collection was woefully short thanks to the Forte curse. Eight songs including the themes is way too brief. The lack of character songs is welcome and the two singers featured, Ooya and Kageyama, do a fantastic job. Kageyama is still in top form in 1993 and Susumu Ooya, in my opinion, isn't a bad singer at all. Beyond Janperson he has a handful of decent Dragonball Z songs under his belt before disappearing. 

If I could change one thing, it would probably be the tracklisting. Ending the image/insert songs with Seigi no tame ni would've been a great change of pace before slipping into Asayake no Lullaby

Short and sweet. I definitely enjoy this song collection and recommend it!

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Thanks for checking out my latest song collection review. Be sure to check out my review of the oddly rare Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack

Bye!

-CC

2019/07/31

Song Collection: Ninja Sentai Kakuranger


Welcome to the second in two new song collections for the day/month. The theme of the month is 1994...for better or for worse. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the month the song collections from the Blue SWAT and Kakuranger were released...let's take a look at them!

For this review I'll be using my copy of the Kakuranger Complete Song Collection from 1998. Normally the CDs in this CD series feature one half vocal and one half Karaoke songs. This one is very unusual, hence the longer review.



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01. Secret Kakuranger / Tou Chi Chen

Does anybody else hear a little bit of Motown Philly in this one?

Ah yes, the glorious theme to my beloved Kakuranger. It's easily my favorite theme song from a Ninja-themed Super Sentai (by default, honestly, since I can't remember how the Ninninger theme goes...or Shinkenger for that matter...and listening to the Hurricaneger theme song is a fate worse than reconstructive dental surgery). 

I rarely talk about lyrics, but this one always gets me as one of the more amusing Super Sentai theme songs. It is totally on the same level with the accompanying music track and the series itself. You want your theme song to represent the series...this song does it just a little bit better than most. 

02. Kiai hyakuhatsu! Kakuranger!! / Nobuhiko Kashihara

A catchy action song that I think was criminally underutilized in the series. The intro is incredibly memorable from the first time it blasted on screen in episode sixteen (everything Kakuranger is seared into my memory--no regrets). The weird thing is, this version of the song never made it on air. Skip down to track fifteen for more on that.

The slick instrumentals on top of Nobuhiko Kashihara's janky vocals make for a surprisingly good pairing. The "Super Henge! Doron Changer!" is incredibly well-placed too. Love this one!

03. Into Danger Kakuranger / Takayuki Miyauchi

...but not as much as this one! The very next episode (seventeen) we got another great taste of the Kakuranger song collection in the series. Saizo launches his attack on Yokai Amikiri and this awesome fight song bursts in. The combination of fast-paced music and smooooth Takayuki Miyauchi vocals make for one of the best action song in years, truthfully.

04. Tsuruhime! Tsuyosawa me ni mo utsukushii / Mari Sasaki

You know, I never really got into this one. I really like Tsuruhime, and she tended to get some of the better plotlines/episodes, but her theme is kind of a snorer. Mari Sasaki does a great job on the singing end, but I prefer her Ohranger song over this. The music here is just generic. It's probably the first good Sentai Heroine song since Fiveman's Kung Fu Dance, but that's hardly an accomplishment.

05. Hisatsu Fighter Crash!! / Nobuhiko Kashihara

The title may be a little coy on the subject matter, but this is one of the forgotten Mecha theme songs. Yeah, for some reason the first set of mecha in the series to have a song released are the Jusho Fighters. This one swings from lame to great quite a bit. It's a tad on the jazzier side with the focus being the bass of all things. Of the three mecha themes (sorry Tsubasamaru, none for you) I would probably peg this as the weakest...but it's still decent!

06. Hashire! Nekomaru / Goji Tsuno, Pythagoras

The only song on this song collection that is legit bad. I don't know which is worse, the vocals or the shrill music. How could they do this to poor Nekomaru? When I did my video on the Pladera Nekomaru toy, I steered clear (ha!) of this song entirely and went with BGM instead. 

The only merciful thing about this song is how it appeared in the series. It briefly showed up only being sung by the Kakuranger cast without music. It's easily the best version of the song...ugh.

07. Hoshi yo, nijimu na! / Takayuki Miyauchi

Another great Takayuki Miyauchi jam--and one that got primo airtime, essentially closing out the first half of the series, to ensure it's memorability. It's a smooth song that I suppose serves as the series' ballad. It's an incredibly upbeat ballad, but it serves the same purpose. 

It's worth noting once again that this specific version of the song wasn't used in the series... The version used appears later on the disc.

08. Kuro no kikoshi / X10

The infamous Junior/Gasha Dokuro theme song. It showed up a couple of times in the series including a Bandora-song-style extended performance in episode twenty-three. I definitely prefer the time Junior was once playing a suspiciously flawless rendition of 1999 SECRET OBJECT in episode fifteen, but if Columbia was going to create an in-house knock-off of Seikima-II through this song, they did a fine job.

Ohh...and if the singer, X10, sounds a little familiar in this track, just imagine him singing "TENSHIN DAAAA! KIRYOKU DAAAA!" and he may sound just a little more familiar.

09. Ninja de iko!! De-Den no Den / Takayuki Miyauchi

Another great Takayuki Miyauchi action song. Like a lot of insert songs from this series it appeared only once, left a decent impression and scuttled off into the black hole. Like a ninja...

10. Ninja! Matenro Kids / Tou Chi Chen

The series ending song. For a decade of absolutely awesome ending songs, this one has it's own little thing to make it memorable. It's rap...or rappish at least. Besides the ending video (which is how an ending song dance SHOULD be done, assholes) it actually made some really appropriate appearances in the show proper.

The full-sized version of the song is a treat. While it's great in it's TV Size form (and accompanying video) the full-sized version really goes in some weird places and still manages to sound coherent. Even better, the super-rare instrumental is extra delightful.

11. Detazo! Kakure Daishogun!! / Hironobu Kageyama

After the song collection was released, a single containing the theme songs of the two main mecha were released. I talked about it previously on this page.

The theme song for Kakure Daishogun by Hironobu Kageyama is clearly the highlighted mecha theme of the series. I may have been kinda hard on it in the past, but I do enjoy it's overall energy and hype. It's a tad out of place here for Kakuranger, though. This could be the theme song to Ohrangerrobo if you reworked the lyrics.

Generic sound aside, having a mecha theme song by Hironobu Kageyama is like getting an anison stamp of approval in the 90s. 

12. Muteki Shogun, tadaima sanjo! / Takayuki Miyauchi

This one has kinda grown on me a little bit. It's still a really strange mecha theme song, but at least it has the kind of majestic stoicism that Muteki Shogun embodies. Honestly, I can't think of a better theme song for Muteki Shogun. The two theme songs on this single definitely fit the mecha that they represent perfectly...right down to the singers.

13. Secret Kakuranger  -Original Karaoke-

14. Ninja! Matenro Kids  -Original Karaoke-

15. Kiai hyakuhatsu! Kakuranger!! -Serifunashi Version- / Nobuhiko Kashihara

This version is actually what was heard in episode sixteen. The biggest difference is that the "Super Henge! Doron Changer!" vocals were removed from this version. It sounds a little weird without them since there is a slight pause to fit those little chants in. Ah well.

16. Tsuruhime! Tsuyosawa me ni mo utsukushii -Karaoke Short Version-

Just like the title says. They were super-stingy here...why not give us the Karaoke version of the FULL song? Why a short version??

17. Hoshi yo, nijimu na! -Vocal Betsu Version / Takayuki Miyauchi

This is the version that ended up on the air. Like the alternate version of Kiai hyakuhatsu! Kakuranger!!, the differences are verrrrrry subtle. There are some additional backing vocals added in over select lyrics. 

18. Detazo! Kakure Daishogun!! -One Chorus- / Hironobu Kageyama

A rather pointless inclusion to this disc. Instead of giving us the Karaoke version of the song, which was previously released elsewhere, we are given this truncated version of a song that is already on this disc. .....K.....

19. Muteki Shogun, tadaima sanjo! -One Chorus- / Takayuki Miyauchi

Same as the previous track. Why??

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After a string of somewhat lackluster Super Sentai song collections, Kakuranger was a return to form that really continued on through the rest of the decade. Subsequent song collections like Carranger though GoGo Five were good due to the sheer number of songs, but series like Kakuranger and Ohranger were concise--ten or so solid songs with a single dud dropped in. Kakuranger's song collection is almost a secret, though. You have a dude you've never heard of singing the theme songs with the fluff in the middle done by some well-established singers.

Massive thumbs up to this song collection, even if the CD itself is kinda questionable. Is it nice to have the slightly different versions of the two songs that had variants on-air? Yes, definitely. Should we be denied the Karaoke versions in exchange? No. What's up with the useless One Chorus versions? The shorter Tsuruhime theme Karaoke? Ugh. Poor treatment of a gem of a song collection.

Overall I have to give this song collection a massive big thumbs up.

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Thanks for dropping in for this post. It's been awhile, but I'm enjoying building up this new series I started. You can check out some of the others on my CD Collection page.

See ya!