Reporting Live: Chelsy promoting their single “SistAr” at Tower Records Nagoya Parco (June 6, 2015)

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Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, ☆ai love music☆ now has over 2,000 views for this year! I want to thank all those who have read and supported the blog! I really appreciate and love you guys! 😀 😀 ❤ ❤

Today’s Reporting Live is brought to you by the Japanese pop-rock band Chelsy. The group was founded in 2011 after vocalist and guitarist MIO, drummer AMI, and bassist SHIZUKA passed an audition hosted by Sony Music and Honey Bee Records. This audition was also supervised by YUI’s producer. The band started to perform all over Japan the following year, first under the name MIO band and then Chelsy. However, the band hit a snag when MIO announced retirement by the summer of 2012.

To fill in MIO’s position, the company hired keyboardist ARISA. However, she only stayed in the group for ten months as she left show business on May 2013. By that time, MIO had returned to the band as the lead vocalist and guitarist.

From their beginnings to early 2013, the band mostly performed at various types of events. They even hosted a free live concert to capture more fans. By the spring of 2013, Chelsy finally got to release their first CD, a single named “I’LL BE ON MY WAY”, that was only sold at Shibuya’s Tower Records for a limited time. It was later in the year that they released their major debut single, “I will/Animation”, under the label Being. “I will” was used as an insert song for the anime series AO–HARU–RIDE.

Chelsy arrived to Nagoya to promote their third single, “SistAr”, at Tower Records Nagoya Parco. After checking out the store’s site and the band’s Youtube channel, I decided to check them out after my part-time job on Saturdays. I thought, Hey, why not check them out? They seem cool! while watching the “SistAr” music video.

I got to the event space right as MIO started to strum the first notes for their opening song. I can’t find the setlist for that day anywhere online. However, they played a few songs and did a couple talks within a thirty minute period. The atmosphere at the live was pretty much chilled as MIO played and sang, SHIZUKA supported MIO with the bass, and AMI just drummed soothing beats with a cajón. The weather was also perfect that day, making the whole event splendid.

After the band performed their last song, MIO announced that they would be starting the meet and sign event soon for anyone who bought a CD. I quickly bought a CD and jumped into the queuing line.  It took only ten minutes to line everyone up and prepare for the event.

The meet and sign event was pretty relaxed. As I approached the table, I first talked to MIO, then AMI, and finally SHIZUKA. I just chatted with the girls about how I enjoyed their live, where I am from, and thanking them for coming to Nagoya. It ended with them singing the CD and shaking my hand. It sounded short but actually, I was able to talked to each girl for a minute or so. I just forgot all the little details of the conversations.

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If you are into girl artists or bands like YUI, LoVendoЯ, or Scandal and/or you like pop-rock music, Chelsy is a band you must check out. Their song “SistAr” showcases MIO’s versatile vocals, SHIZUKA’s neat bass skills, and AMI’s on-point drumming. It is a song that is quiet mellow but upbeat at the same time, which will bring a jovial feeling to the listener’s state of mind.

Also, check out their super-cute announcement for Akihabara Expo 2015:

Make sure to check them out at Akihabara Expo 2015 this December in the Los Angeles area! 😀

The Wing Beneath My Wings

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Do you remember a time when you reached rock bottom in your life? We had that moment where we felt like we couldn’t do anything to change our situation or we felt down about a certain thing. However, we always have someone to pick us up, whether it be a close relative or a complete stranger. To me, one of these inspiring individuals is Scott Dinsmore.

Scott Dinsmore is a person who made an impact on people’s goals and self-awareness. Founder of the organization Live Your Legend, Scott always wants people to reflect on themselves in order to find an enriching purpose. He travels around the world to empowered others to find the work that each would love to do. He also gave a TED Talk a couple of years ago, talking about how he turn his un-success to success with his three-step mainframe.

Scott’s mission made an impact on my life too. I came across “Live Your Legend” last year by taking the “Should I Quit My Job?” self-assessment. I was in an unlucky strut exactly one year ago at a job that didn’t seem to be self-achieving for me. I had co-workers who would love to criticize than help, no one to really turn to for help, and I became more depressed and lonely at work as my co-worker distanced themselves from me and lived in their own cliches. By Christmas time, I was really down in the dumps as I was lacking self-esteem and courage.

However, with Scott’s advice and his monthly challenge that asked to find my “passions” by keeping a blog, I was able to start up this blog again. I resumed blogging in order to find my voice and passion in the words I jotted down. I found my courage once more as I gained confidence through the blog posts I wrote and the support I received. I was able to speak in real life without being a coward or afraid what people think about me, a big problem I still face and has always faced.

Sadly, Scott passed away in an accident about two weeks ago while doing what he loved to do. You probably noticed that up to this moment, I have used the present tense to talk about Scott. That is because I believe that Scott is still living inside of everyone’s heart. His ideas and passion will continue to live on as everyone continues to search their genuine ardor in the world. His zeal and dreams will never die out as long as there is a need for them.

I picked “The Wing Beneath My Wings” to pay tribute to Scott as he was simply the strength I needed to pull me up and over the lowest points of my life and to help me to fly once more. Whenever I think of Scott, I always have the chorus’ lyrics in mind:

“Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.”

Thanks Scott for becoming my hero by encourage me to fly again!

A Blast From the Past: The Year of Anime Music [Part 3]

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I want to first say a BIG thanks to all who read my blog posts! I just hit 1,000 viewers this weekend and I couldn’t be happier. Thanks again! ❤

I also want to say I am very sorry for the delay of the “A Blast From the Past: The Year of Anime Music”. I haven’t forgotten this series, just life got busy. I am so sorry! 😦

If you want to read, here is the links for Part 1 and Part 2.


“Tenchi Muyo!” by Sonia (from the series Tenchi Muyo!)

Along with Sailor Moon and Gundam Wing, Tenchi Muyo! is another 90s’ classic that I really enjoy. Maybe because I really like the storyline with the whole “Tenchi, you are now a prince of some other planet and you have to fight” scenario . Of course, I also love how it blends in comedy with the idea that a bunch of girls are livingwith this peculiar high school student and fighting each other for his affections.

My favorite chsonia-tenchimuyoaracter in the series is Sasami. She was the innocent one of the bunch who didn’t really have to argue or fight for Tenchi’s attention. She just did it naturally, becoming his friend through normal conversations. Even though she is tremendously cute, Sasami has a tragic past. I won’t spoil the details in this blog post. You can watch the OVA episode that explains it all at this Youtube link. Nevertheless, the character gained enough popularity to have her own spin-off show, Magical Girl Pretty Sammy/Magical Project S. Impressive, right?

What makes “Tenchi Muyo” memorable is the amount of passion the male vocalist displays throughout the song. This passion helps his vocals to be really clear, strong, and a perfect match to the synthesized dance-flavored instrumental. I never really get tired of this song because it always keeps on being invigorating and presents something new every time I listen to it.

The other reason why this song is so great is because there is a flawless English version, sung by SONIA themselves. Tenchi Muyo! was one the first anime series that had a really good English dub cast and staff that did a wonderful job in dubbing the original songs into English. Sharyn Scott’s “I’m a Pioneer” is a great example of this. Although, the English version of “Up-Walk the Galaxy” might be the direct opposite as it contains some cheesy lyrics.

If you haven’t heard “Tenchi Muyo” before, you should check out the video below. It’s an anison/anime song classic that is still lively and amazing with its vocal, how the lyrics correspond with the show’s theme, and its approach to dance music.

The b-side of the “Tenchi Muyo!” single features the song “Modern Girl”, a great cover of the Sheena Easton hit. This 90s’ update features a mix of Japanese and English lyrics, the female half of the duo (which is a rarity because the guy usually sings lead on their songs), and a mixture of cuteness and zeal, which is what SONIA is best known for. It’s a great listen!


“Itoshii Hito no Tame ni” by Akemi Sato (from the series Fushigi Yuugi)

Living on the hype of magical girls series of the ’90s, Fushigi Yuugi was one of many that redefined the genre. Most of the magical girl series at that time featured either a team of super-powered heroines and/or magical items. Fushigi Yuugi featured none of that. Instead, it has a girl who became a priestess in story who could make wishes with the help from the god Suzuku. It seems at a glance that the main heroine isn’t powerful due to her ability. But
because of the nature of this ability, she is deemed important because others, including her best friend, want to use this ability for Earth-threatening causes.

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“Itoshii Hito no Tame ni” plays on the show’s mystical and ancient sentiments pretty well. The songs doesn’t show its true colors as a love song until the chorus. By that time, the song picks up speed as it goes from a slow, mysterious chant to a rock-driven, emotion-filled melody. The dramatic point comes at the end when this intensity is mixed with the arcane line “Mugen e to hirake Fushigi Yuugi”. This helps the song to go out with a bang. which might make listeners a bit surprised and confused, rather than silently fading away.

“Itoshii Hito no Tame ni” will be one of those anime songs that will always turn up on at a retro anime party or an Anime radio station as it’s a lovable classic. It isn’t one of my favorite Fushigi Yuugi songs, that goes to “STAR” and “Chijou no Seiza“. However, “Itoshii Hito no Tame ni” is a type of song that I can amicably listen on my iTunes playlist from time to time.

Bonus Round: “Tokimeki no Doukasen” by Yukari Kanno

Because this the type of song where you just wanted to go “meow” when thinking of love.

Reporting Live: GIRLS4EVER promoting their single “Down the Line” at Tower Records Kintetsu Passe (May 30, 2015)

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I finally can finish writing up all the in-store live events for May! I swear May was one of my busiest month in terms of attending events.

Nevertheless, the last in-store event of May was for the idol group GIRLS4EVER at the Tower Records in Nagoya’s Kintetsu Passe. The group is made up of four members; the sweet Airi, the “hip” Rico, the beautiful Japanese and French Sakura, and cute and energetic Aika. The group is fairly new as they made their debut at a live event in Akibahara last year. That same year, they also released their debut single, “The Girl of Fate /  LOVE&TRAIN”.

For this time around, the group was doing in-store lives to promote their new single “Down the Line”, which was released at the end of April 2015. I checked out their new single via Youtube after I discovered that they were coming to Tower Records. I was on the fence about going as I thought “Hey, they don’t seem so bad. Maybe I should check them out” one day and then “I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t go” the other. A Facebook friend of mine named Peter, who this post is dedicated to, helped me get out from this rut as he recommended me to go.

I went to the store fifteen minutes before the live was scheduled to start. I got a spot near the stage pretty easily as there wasn’t a lot of people in the event space. But, as I put my stuff down and settled in, I noticed that there was an array of cameras all around me.

Wait, that isn’t normal!

Why is the guy next to me holding a professional camera?

The common sense rule of idol events is that there is NO picture-taking whatsoever.

These were the thoughts that were running though my head. I was so confused. Luckily, the host of the event explained a few minutes later that it was ok to take photos. Relieved, I whipped out my iPhone and stood to the side to get ready to take a lot of photos.

I don’t remember the set list very well. I do remember they sang “Down the Line” and “Keekyuu de Ikou ~Koi no Romance Seat~”. They probably sang a couple more songs and had at least three talk times. I am not really sure because it was four months ago. It also seems that there isn’t any reports about the event anywhere on the web. Sorry, guys. 😦

After the live, I decided to buy two singles so I could shake the girls’ hands and take a photo with one of the members.  During the in-between time, I joined the line for the handshake event. I was one of the first people to get into the line. The first person who I came up to was Airi. Our conversation was basically thanking each other for today, where I was from, and other little things. It was a very quiet and short conversation. After Airi, I went to Aika next and boy, did things change. Aika is verrrrrrrrrrrrrry energetic and chatting. She asked where I was from. And, when I said I was from America/United States, she tried to speak English. Although, she told me in Japanese that she wasn’t very good. She was very cute and so bubbly. Too bad I had to go to the next girl, I would have like to stayed and talked to her forever because she is such a chatterbox.

Next girl I approached was the hip leader Rico. She was coolm and collected as we talked about basic things. Our conversation was very short too; maybe because I didn’t have much interest in Rico (and also Airi). Then finally, I was reached the final member, Sakura. I first said my “hello”s and “thank you”s. Then, she told me that she is part French and knows some English and French. I told her that I can’t speak any French. 😦 We ended up having a short conversation in English before I had to leave the line.

After going through the handshake line, I went to the side of the event area and waited a bit for the next event to start. After a while, the event manager announced that they were ready for the two-shot/photo-taking event. Since I only had two tickets, I could take a picture with one girl.  It was between Sakura and Aika, which one should I choose?

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As you see, I chose Aika because of her funny and bubbly personality. When I came up to take a picture with her, she kept on trying to speak English. She was such a goof. We also talked some more in Japanese as I also try to “teach” her some English. As we were waiting for the photo to dry and for her to sign it, Sakura kept on telling me in English that Aika can’t speak English well. And Aika playfully fought back, saying she could. Haha. I love these kinds of moments.

GIRLS4EVER is a typical idol group with ok vocals. However, their personalities make up for the lack of amazing vocal skills. These girls each have their own unique personality that makes this group special. I personality love Aika because of her chatty and bubbly self. But, I wouldn’t mind seeing all four girls again in the future as they are lovely group who loves to have fun.

Thanks Peter for recommending this event! ❤

Here is the music video for “Keekyuu de Ikou ~Koi no Romance Seat~”, the b-side of their second single, “Down the Line”:


Here are some more pictures from the event:
Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic

Painting the World “In Living Color”

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Woah, it’s been a month since I updated this blog! I am soooooooo sorry! Things became busy at work, the weather has been awful lately (and that’s affects my energy levels), and I been binge watching TV shows during my free time.

One of my latest obsessions is the provocative 90s’ American comedy show “In Living Color”. For five years, this sketch comedy show entertained viewers weekly with a diverse cast featuring various members of the Wayans family, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh, the hip dancing squad The Fly Girls, and other amazing people. Although “In Living Color” was broadcasted when I was an infant, it’s refreshing to see how now-famous stars looked before they got their big break.

The theme song of “In Living Color” is another masterpiece that the program shares. Have you ever listened to a TV theme song and thought “I wish they created a longer version of this” or “I wish there was an album/single version of this somewhere”? That is exactly I feel when I listen to the theme of this show. Playing the one minute and fifty seconds version of the intro doesn’t satisfy my musical taste buds! I need more!

The theme, ironically also called “In Living Color”, is performed by the hip-hop group Heavy D & the Boyz. Formed in the late 1980s, the band was composed of four members; the Jamaican-born rapper Heavy D, the DJ Eddie F, and the two dancers T-Roy and G-Wiz. They released their debut album, entitled “Living Large”, in 1987 with huge success. It has been ranked as one of the top ten rap albums of the 20th century.

The only song that I actually knew from the group, before I discovered “In Living Color”, was their 1991 hit “Now That We Found Love“. I came across the song when I was trying to find if the “In Living Color” theme was available for purchase on iTunes. I didn’t know that Heavy D performed “Now That We Found Love” until that point. Like, I have heard it a million times on the radio when I was young. But, I didn’t make the connect until that point. I honestly thought when I was younger that “Now That We Found Love” was one of those eurodance songs by artists like Real McCoy, Culture Beat, and 2 Unlimited.

However, the hip-hop driven “In Living Color” is completely different from new jack swing “Now That We Found Love”. Yes, “In Living Color” does feature some of the instrumentation found in a new jack swing song; sound effects, probably a Korg M1 keyboard, and a Kawai Drum Machine, However,  “In Living Color” leans more towards hip-hop as the instrumentation is bare and rough, only featuring the bare necessaries of a song. Instead, it features more of Heavy D’s rapping. The key point of the song is how Heavy D makes it more captivating by the way he shapes the phrases with his rhythm. The other key point is the deep male “In Living Color” and female  backing vocals. These parts, even though small, are important as they breathe life and enjoyment to the song.

“In Living Color” is a rejuvenating theme song from a hip-hop great that will sure enough bring back memories for many readers. Like the musical side of the song, pay attention to the lyrics with the video below. I feel like Heavy D presents a critical message, even though it’s a TV theme song. However, like the song, “In Living Color” was a show about breaking barriers (including the color one) through it’s entertaining and sincere sketches. I take the song’s message to heart as I feel it is very important in the world we live in. Especially at the verses:

“And how would you feel knowing predjudice was obsolete,
and all mankind danced to the ‘xact beat,
and at night it was safe to walk down the street?
(In Living Color)”

“Everybody here is equally kind
(In Living Color)
What’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine.
(In Living Color)
And how would you feel knowing everybody was your friend
From thin to thick, and through thick and thin
and egotistical trips were put to an end?”

What was your favorite “In Living Color” sketch? I like many however I think Jim Carrey’s parody of Snow’s “Informer” was one of the best sketches. Jim Carrey is a brilliant comedian who can carry a heck of a tune. He should of had a singing career! Don’t miss out of his Popeye impression too.