5/1/17 – Anamanaguchi “Endless Fantasy” (2013)

I first heard of Anamanaguchi off their single from this album, Meow, and the accompanying music video. I instantly liked it but it also felt really sugary and cheesy, and that’s been my experience with this album. I had to let go of my resistance to enjoy this simple fun and embrace it. Anamanaguchi plays a mix of Chiptune, Synth-Pop, and EDM Pop. Their music is bright, colorful, fun, playful, and full of energy. I was lucky enough to see them live and it was a blast, and even had a mild fanboy moment when I complimented the band after the show.

The band takes a lot of inspiration from J-Pop and NES/SNES-era video games, as well as samples from them. It rides the line between the two really, never feeling like just a Indie video game soundtrack, or generic J-Pop. It’s also quite a long album, lasting over 70 minutes. Although the songs are varied and tons of fun, it wears on me sometimes, so for me it’s best in bursts. To be fair to the band though, this isn’t a genre I visit often, and basically only do because of this band.

The title track Endless Fantasy opens the album wonderfully, I think a great starter to this album. The chirping chorus fits perfectly and never feels overbearing like it might if a different band utilized it, and that describes a lot of their songs. Planet is another favorite, i really like the clean tone on the main melody. Interlude (Gymnopedie No. 1) is a trippy version of one of my favorite songs by Erik Satie. It says it in the title but on first listen I was pleasantly caught off guard by this inclusion. EVERYTHING EXPLODES has some gorgeous cascading synths that I wish were present all over this album.

Meow is the band at it’s best: blood pumping pure energy filled with blindingly bright synths, bubble popping sounds, and an incessant “meow!” sample. It builds up again and again to to an amazingly epic conclusion that is probably my favorite moment on the whole album. The music video for it is just hilarious, it encapsulates their aesthetic perfectly. The video (and Endless Fantasy) is pizza, lasers, video games, parties, racing, Tim and Eric, and of course – cats.