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.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Renka -- Adazakura (徒桜)

The current trend in anime has been to provide shows of varying lengths. The 30-minute programs are still the standard but in recent years, we've also been getting tinier versions ranging from 2-10 minutes.

One of the more interesting short anime that I came across starting from late last year has been "Nobunaga no Shinobi"(信長の忍び...Nobunaga's Ninja)with the Crunchyroll English title of "Ninja Girl and Samurai Master". Hovering around 5 minutes per episode, it's probably the closest to old-fashioned scatterbrain comedy that I've ever seen in anime (yes, I'm actually comparing it to an ancient Hollywood genre that had Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn). Perhaps the size of the show had something to do with it, but the humour in medieval Japan has been pretty rapid-fire, and I think the animators even put it in the old Japanese equivalent of a drummer's rim shot whenever the tsukkomi comes and the scene changes over.

I've also liked the first opening theme for "Nobunaga no Shinobi", "Adazakura" (Ephemeral Cherry Blossoms) by Renka(蓮花), because of her high and creamy vocals and also due to the melody which just seems to soar over the ground like a warrior going into battle on horseback. It seems a bit incongruous with the nutty nature of the show but it works very well for me regardless.

(cover by GUMI)

And the full version of "Adazakura" is even more enjoyable with a bit more of the rock mixed in with the ethereal piano. Renka took care of the lyrics while Kazuya of the band Universe provided the melody. The song was released in November 2016 as a digital single but also in December as a CD at the Winter Comiket according to Wikipedia.

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