The last ten years of the pillows' career have been like a game of "Chutes & Ladders," filled with many ups (Thank you my twilight, MY FOOT, PIED PIPER) and some downs (PENALTY LIFE, Good Dreams, Ooparts). Here we are within the 21st year of their lengthy and legendary careers, and a new album from Sawao Yamanaka, Yoshiaki Manabe and Shinichiro Sato has landed in our hands for our eager ears. This LP is Horn Again, an album that proves once again why the pillows are the best rock band from Japan.
Many highs and lows in the music world, but a great amount of artists this year had their shiniest moments thanks to their risks and successful undertakings. Let's take a look at this year's best and brightest albums, starting from number twenty and ending in this section at eleven.
When it comes to The50Kaitenz their mixture of punk rock and comedy is no match for any band, so when it first heard that the Osaka trio was teaming up with cult favorite director Noboru Iguchi (The Machine Girl, Robogeisha) the pairing sounded like a match made in Heaven. Like a blend of The Three Stooges, Help! and Detroit Metal City both the director and its stars manage to create one heck of a funny blend of comedy and punk rock with Rock 'N' Roll Magic.
With the otaku generation taking over at least the male demographic, it would've been no time at all for the light novel and anime industry to pamper over to the female population. This fall the folks at AIC have adapted Tsukasa Fushimi's light novel series Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (or Oreimo for short), which is translated as "My little sister can't be this cute." What could've been a funny series has instead transformed itself into kind of a bore-fest.
In a wonderful turn of events, a little over a week ago, my girlfriend turns to me and says that she would like to help me buy a game. After I awoke from the shock-induced coma, I instantly knew which game I was interested in checking out. We went to the store and like a little boy in a toy store I pointed and jumped at Kirby’s Epic Yarn. I have since played through the entire game and it has been a serious contender for one of my favorite games of this year.
2010 has been the year of the anime world turning to the Americas for inspiration. Highschool of the Dead looked to George A. Romero for its zombified gore and glory, and Occult Academy took a nod from Sam Raimi's style of things that go bump and chuckle in the night. This month the folks over at GAINAX (FLCL, Evangelion) are up at bat, with their spin on gross-out and overtly-sexual humor in the vein of Ren & Stimpy: Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt. It comes as no surprise that the same studio that brought us Kare Kano and Gunbuster manage to hit this one out of the park.