October 22nd, 2018


Wagakki Disney 2

Today was mostly a day of not getting a PS4 to work. ...Okay, I don't think that's entirely true, but it is one of the more memorable aspects of the day. The trouble comes from the fact that we still have a cathode ray tube TV, so we had to deal with converters and things to connect the HDMI console to our old-fashioned AV TV. And the HDMI converter did a weird thing that removed all the color and had the picture at portrait orientation instead of landscape. It took us a while to figure out how to fix that, and we did! but by that time, we didn't have a big solid chunk of time to start a video game with, so we decided to save video game exploits for later. Hopefully tomorrow.

In the meantime, the time has come! and we finally heard from one of our editors, which means it's time to start working on stuff again. Technically we could wait until the book arrives, but since we have other projects we've been ignoring, we should probably get started soon, so we don't have to spend all day every day on things.

But first! we listened to our new Wagakki Disney 2 CD! And frankly, after the Koe no Ouji-sama business, we should have known that it wasn't going to be as good as the first one. But it had a few tracks that were amazing! The problem with this one, as opposed to the first one, is that, in addition to the traditional Japanese instruments, this one has synthesized Western instruments. Like there were some violins and things like that that sounded not quite like real violins. So a lot of the tracks are more of a Western-sounding, or at least a more modern-sounding, arrangement with the main melodies being played on Japanese instruments, while the previous CD sounded like it was all done on traditional Japanese instruments, whether the arrangement was in a more traditional style or not (and in more cases it sounded like a Japanese style).

But like I said, there were a few tracks that were really really good, and of course they were the ones that sounded all Japanese, with one exception that I'll get to. The first one that really wowed us was Under the Sea, because they used taiko drums (or what sounded like taiko drums, anyway), and it didn't sound synthesized or anything, just a really cool Japanese-instrument arrangement of a calypso-style song written by a New York white dude. The Siamese Cat Song sounded mostly unsynthesized, too, and, I mean, of course it was written to sound like it was from the far east originally, but now we have far eastern musicians playing it, so... It just sounded really cool.

My favorite, I think, was Part of That World, but there were some mixed feelings. It started out, and it was just koto and shinobue (a kind of flute), and it was so beautiful. We were like, "See? You don't need a whole wagakki band, just a couple of instruments." Then as it kept going, a piano joined in on the accompaniment, and we were like, "Gosh darn it!" But the piano part was really pretty, too! So it was a really gorgeous arrangement despite having the western instruments, and I think it's my favorite even if it, too, seems to have missed the point of the CD. But then again, what do I know about Japanese music? Maybe I'm the one who's missing the point.

Today I'm thankful for getting our PS4 a day early (so now we get to play with it on the day we were expecting to get it, instead of taking that day to set it up), getting to listen to our shiny new CD, having one more review written, the beautiful arrangement of Part of That World, and the super fun arrangement of Under the Sea.