I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sayaka Sasaki -- FEEL X ALIVE

I've already written about a few theme songs from this past season's crop of anime, one which is an earworm for an ultimately unsatisfying show and an opening and an ending theme for a program which turned out to be my favourite for the spring quarter.

Over the past few years, I've been noticing these slice-of-life anime whose characters and stories are driven by one big passion which has driven them forward. It could be Japanese home cooking for the girls from "Koufuku Graffiti"(幸腹グラフィティ)or the love of tanks in "Girls und Panzer" (ガールズ&パンツァー). Then there is this one that I've just finished titled "Bakuon!!" (ばくおん!!) in which all of the main characters are obsessed with motorcycles.

When it comes to powered vehicles, my interest has solely been whether someone can drive me home if the party gets a little late at night. My anime buddy, on the other hand, has quite the knowledge and liking for all sorts of cars to the extent that I think automobiles may just be his 2nd-biggest passion, next to anime, of course. I have even smaller information about motorbikes aside from the fact that a couple of other buddies regularly ride them and my grandfather used to putter around on an ancient Kawasaki in rural Wakayama Prefecture decades ago.

Still, I quite enjoyed "Bakuon!!" since it had that heart and it was obvious that the characters loved to ride and talk about their mechanical conveyances. And as this is a music blog, I have also started taking a liking to the opening theme by Sayaka Sasaki(佐咲紗花), "FEEL X ALIVE". Overall, the song is just the usual upbeat anison to happily introduce viewers to the characters' world of baiku, but I have to say that I love the intro with that thrumming bass and a guitar that sounds like the wonderful sounds of 80s City Pop.

As the video points out, "FEEL X ALIVE" came out as Sasaki's 12th single in April 2016. Written by Sasaki and composed by Shota Horie(堀江晶太), the song peaked at No. 46. According to the J-Wiki article on her, the Akita Prefecture-born singer and songwriter debuted in 2010, and she has come out as a huge fan of anime and anison, so her dream has indeed come true. There is also the link to the English article on Wikipedia.

I gotta say, though, that hearing the full version of the song does put a good amount of melodic caffeine into one. My anime buddy has also taken up the electric guitar recently so perhaps he may want to give "FEEL X ALIVE" a try someday.

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