Utada Hikaru – Movin’ on Without You

Release Date: February 7, 1999

Tracklist:

8cm Version

  1. Movin’ on without you
  2. B&C
  3. Movin’ on without you (Original Karaoke)

12cm Version

  1. Movin’ on without you
  2. B&C
  3. Movin’ on without you (Tribal Mix)

1. Movin’ on without you
I sense a strong American influence in this song. VERY strong influence. If the lyrics were in English instead of Japanese, I would have though it’d be from AT 40 or something like that. Movin’ on without you has an infectious beat, just like Automatic before it. Hikki’s vocals are okay here, but not her strongest or best. The chorus is catchy, but that’s all that stands out to me.
2. B&C
B&C starts off all bubble gumm-y; it freaked me out for a while. It’s more ballad-y than the rest of Hikki’s songs (up to this point chronologically). The melody is rather bland though, and she seems to have pitch problems. Not the best of Hikki’s songs, I must say. Probably never listening to it again. The one thing that saves this is the chorus’ melody.

Overall Rating:
2.5/5

Utada Hikaru – Automatic

Release Date: December 9, 1998

Tracklist:

8cm Version

  1. Automatic
  2. Time Will Tell
  3. Automatic (original karaoke)

12cm Version

  1. Automatic
  2. Time Will Tell
  3. Time Will Tell (Dub Mix)

1. Automatic
The song that smashed the Oricon charts, and basically MADE Utada Hikaru. Automatic begins with English lyrics, backed up with a heavy R&B beat the Japanese had never heard before. The verse pops in, and the Japanese mixed in with English carries us through into the chorus. Automatic has an addicting chorus, with the ‘catch phrase’ “It’s automatic”. I swear, those two words can run through your head and drive you nuts (in a good way). It’s nice to hear Hikki’s ‘kiddy’ voice, considering she was 15 when she sang AND wrote this song. I usually don’t listen to R&B, but this may prove to be an exception, someday.

2. Time Will Tell
This B-side begins with some humming, with some R&B mixed in with synth, and for a second, acoustic strings. Hikki’s voice is even more kiddy here (a nice change after listening to Ultra Blue 3 days straight). It does sound like she’s straining on some of the higher notes though, and the pitch is slightly off (maybe it’s just her voice though). An uninteresting song overall. It really pales in contrast from Automatic.

Overall Rating:
4/5

Time Will Tell ruined the single for me, but Automatic is starting to get addicting. I can get used to old school Hikki.

An attempt at organizing and some new things

This is Taelin’s attempt at organizing Kuma Korner.

Starting now, I will review in chronological order, so it is easier to find stuff later on. Plus, it looks neater! Also, I will review the singles first before the album, no matter how badly I want to do the whole damn thing in one post because I have an attention spam of 3 year old.

On a nicer note, I will also be adding some new features to this site (sorry, no flashy thingys though). A new category: “Spotlighted!” will be coming soon! Whether it is a character in an anime/drama/movie etc, a song, an artist/actor or something completely random, when it is “Spotlighted!”, I will give my thoughts on that one subject. In normal English, I will ramble on and on about something no one really cares about.

That’s all the updates for now!

Hiatus

Sorry for not posting for awhile, but my violin exam and piano festival are coming up, so I won’t be posting for a while.

~Taelin

ayaka – Okaeri

Release Date: May 14, 2008

Tracklist

1. Okaeri
2. Meiro
3. Te wo Tsunagou (2007.12.20 Nippon Budoukan LIVE ver.)
4. Okaeri (Instrumental)
5. Meiro (Instrumental)

1. Okaeri

This song reminds me of her other song,”I believe”. It’s got a simple melody, with drums accompaniment in the verses. There are layers of her voice in the later parts of the verse and chorus. After listening to it for the second time, I hear some strings too. The guitar makes an appearance too, with a pretty awesome solo near the end. I can hear ayaka switching back and forth from her chest to head voice, and vice versa. It’s obvious she’s had voice training! Okaeri doesn’t really stick out to me though, but the overall feel to it makes you feel like you’re flying over a beautiful scenery.

2. Meiro

I love the guitars at the beginning. This songs sounds kind of hip hop-ish, with the edgy tone to the melody. I can imagine this would be a very difficult song to karaoke to, because of its style and technique. It hasn’t caught on to me yet, but maybe I’ll be able to love it in the future.

Overall Rating:
3/5

Vampire Knight (Ep. 1-5)

I think I first came across this anime when I saw the schedule for Spring 2008, so I decided to look into it. I checked out some blogging site, and they said it was really good, so I went on Crunchyroll to watch the show. Yes, I was too lazy to download the episodes.

As I type right now, I am an avid Vampire Knight fan! The story is really enchanting, telling the tale of the vampires in a different light than I have seen before. The mood is dark, sad, and funny all at the same time. The comedy aspect doesn’t seem forced too, which is a hard thing to do when writing about such a dark topic.

I love the art in this anime; it’s so nicely drawn! By the way, the person above is Cross Yuuki. She’s the main character in this anime. She’s a typical shoujo heroine, but I really love the way she’s drawn. Maybe I’m just starving from lack of animes to watch, but still!

The opening sequence is stunningly beautiful and cryptic at the same time. Especially the opening theme song, “Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi” by ON/OFF. It fits the mood and theme of this anime perfectly. As I type, I have it on constant loop right now!

I got so addicted to Vampire Knight, I decided to read the manga too. Now I’m waiting for both the next episode AND chapter to come out. Man, this is so agonizing!

Overall Rating:
5/5

[Jdrama] Last Friends – Ep. 3

Sousuke has gone from freaking me out, to a complete creep that knows no limits. Seriously, you burn yourself with cigarettes just to keep your girlfriend within your grasp?! Pulling on her hair is just so…evil too. Maybe later, I’ll be able to sympathize with him, but for now, he’s on my most wanted list!

Takeru has finally gotten some history in this drama now! I suspect the woman who phoned him was his step mother (or something like that) who sexually harassed, or raped him when he was a kid. It’s nice to know that Takeru gets some narratives too, apart from Michiru and Ruka.

Overall Rating:
5/5