Posted by: 愛撫 | 10/05/11

MELL returns!

Remember Hellgate: London? Of course you don’t. Made by the former Diablo developers who weren’t making the far more well-received Torchlight, the game had a moderate amount of hype mostly sunken by a really stupid tiered membership system and the fact that, apparently, the game just wasn’t very good. Well, fast-forward a few years after the game’s release and subsequent server shutdown, and Korean company HanBitSoft decided to pick up the rights to it and resurrect the game as a free-to-play MMORPG.

What does all this have to do with MELL, though? Well, the I’ve Sound queen is making her return with none other than the Kazuya Takase-produced theme song to the Japanese port of HanBitSoft’s resurrected Hellgate. Called Start of the Strongest  ~我今、最下層にて~ (Waga ima, Saikasou ni te) Japanese players of the game can be treated to the sweet sounds of MELL as the game starts up – while, most likely, the North American servers are stuck with a generic bit of opening music like every other Korean MMO’s localized version has.

Allegedly you can read more at the HanBitSoft site, but the site would appear to be down for the moment. Those interested in the game itself would be well-served to check out the English site, and with any luck the Japanese page will be back up shortly.

As reported on Aibublog’s sister site La Clef, KOTOKO has indeed left I’ve, yet mysteriously her upcoming album’s production credits seem incredibly familiar. Of the album’s 13 tracks, all originals, 7.5 are I’ve tracks, with that .5 going out to a song that Maiko Iuchi composed and somebody else arranged. Definitely interesting news, and makes Hiraku Uchuu Pocket seem a bit more worthy of continued news coverage even though she was supposed to have split with the group. There’s also a preview of the song TR∀NSFORM available on the album’s website, and while it’s sounding good so far, it’s sure to disappoint anyone who was hoping KOTOKO was going to be trying something new, as Takase’s production is pretty unmistakeably Takase.

Posted by: 愛撫 | 08/01/11

KOTOKO leaving I’ve, for real this time.

In a move that could’ve been predicted by absolutely no-one, KOTOKO has, indeed, split from I’ve. The announcement was made on the site for her upcoming fifth album – which will be released neither on Lantis nor Geneon Universal, but instead on unaffiliated record label Warner Home Video.

While I’ve creator Kazuya Takase is still amongst the credited arrangers, the majority are of a new, trendier sort. Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai artist and sometime trance producer Hanasoumen P, Touhou doujin-music circle Alstroemeria Records’ founder masayoshi minoshima, VOCALOID arranger DECO*27, Livetune’s kz and anime-music producer Shinya Saito round out the list of producers seen so far – it’s definitely an all-star lineup they’ve got, although a similarly stacked roster didn’t exactly help IKU’s album.

So… KOTOKO’s gone now. What’s going on with I’ve?

Posted by: 愛撫 | 07/31/11

Outer and KOTOKO news! Hooray!

Outer is in the house tonight, everybody just have a good time! Everything you could possibly want to know about that upcoming Comiket-exclusive Outer mini album is now conveniently available on the previously-useless Outer Official Web Site, and since I’m so nice I’ll go and summarize everything you need to know about this upcoming release right here.

The title will simply be “Outer”, and the album will come bundled with a DVD containing a music video for Nekonade Distortion‘s profanely-titled theme song Bullshit!! Hard problem!! as well as an Outer T-shirt. Or maybe the T-shirt’s sold separately, the site isn’t terribly clear on this matter. As for the album’s tracklist, here it is (new songs in bold):

  1. Ha!!!ppiness (Niizumi wa Mahou Shoujo OP)
  2. Synthetic Organism (Hatsujou Carte ~Hiiro no Ryoujoku Niku Omocha~ image song)
  3. BARE END (original song) – lyrics: KOTOKO, composition & arrangement: Kazuya Takase
  4. L.A.M. -Laze and Meditation- (Korashime ~Kyouiku-teki Shidou~ ED)
  5. Leave me hell alone (DEVOTE2 ~Ikenai Houkago~ OP)
  6. Dirty Boots (Sonic Youth cover)
  7. easy prey (original song) – lyrics: KOTOKO, composition: Kazuya Takase, arrangement: Takeshi Ozaki
  8. Bullshit!! Hard problem!! (Nekonade Distortion OP)

The album will be released exclusively at Comiket 80, which will be taking place from August 12 to 14 of this year.

In KOTOKO news, it’s been announced that her blog, which had resided at her homepage for quite some time, will be moving to a new space on Japan’s Ameba service as of tomorrow. She’s yet to officially make the move, but there’s a profile set up for her as well as a lovely banner image that shows the I’ve star leaning on something of a completely indeterminable origin. Any guesses as to what the hell that is are welcome.

Finally, KOTOKO’s upcoming album remains untitled no longer – Hiraku Uchuu Pocket (ヒラく宇宙ポケット) is due to come out October 5, and whether or not this will be released on Lantis or Geneon Universal remains to be seen – however, Geneon seems more likely as KOTOKO has released a few singles since her last release on the label and it’s rather unlikely that they would want those songs to remain orphaned as single-only tracks. Either way, a new album from KOTOKO is a good thing no matter who’s putting it out, and I’m looking forward to this one.

As the major debut from I’ve’s newest unit, Larval Stage Planning, as well as the first official I’ve release on their new label, Kimi + Nazo + Watashi de JUMP!! has a lot to live up to. Is this a promising debut, or does it seem like maybe I’ve would have been better off sticking with Geneon? Read on to find out!

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