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Galileo Galilei's favourite anime

Monday 12th December 2011

Tom Smith asks Galileo Galileo to name their favourite anime

Galileo Galilei

The last 18 months couldn’t have gone better for Hokkaido’s Galileo Galilei. Barely out of school, the four-piece indie unit wowed judges at the Senkou Roit music festival, a teenage talent contest for unsigned musicians, and not only won the competition but nailed a record deal with major label SME Records!

Since then, Galileo Galilei’s fame has rocketed to astronomical levels. Their major debut single ‘Natsu Sora’ (Summer Sky) ranked up over one million downloads and featured in the Japanese baseball anime Big Windup!, while their debut album ‘Parade’ rocked the top five of Japan’s weekly Oricon chart and received an international release. Their connection with anime also continued with another of their songs, ‘Aoi Shiori’ (Blue Bookmark) becoming the fitting theme to the bitter-sweet series AnoHana, as well as the their next single ‘Asu E’ opening Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, which began airing on Japanese TV last month.

They even have a full-length film inspired by and named after one of their very first songs; ‘Kanseitou’ (Control Tower), which received its European premier at this year’s Raindance Film Festival in London. So, with so much success in the charts, as well as on screen, I thought it was time to see which anime series the band would love to have their music a part of.

High School! KimengumiVocalist and lead songwriter Yuki Ozaki’s first choice is High School! Kimengumi, originally shown in the mid-80s. This comedic look at high school life focuses on a group of misfits who form a ‘Funny Face Club’, and was originally based on the manga of the same name from Motoei Shinzawa. The anime and manga have been re-run and reprinted a number of times since and is highly regarded amongst Japanese. It’s even grabbed the attention of industry folk across the pond, with Michael Gombos, director of Asian marketing for American comic publisher Dark Horse calling it the funniest manga he’d ever read.

Strawberry MarshmallowThe school theme continues with Strawberry Marshmallow, a series which follows the cute and funny adventures of four primary school girls and their older-sister figure. It’s also peppered with subtle nods to musicians, such as one character’s dog who suspiciously shares the same name as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ former guitarist John Frusciante. It’s also been suggested that the series title is a reference to a single from Tamio Okuda, who is also a former guitarist (of Unicorn fame).

CobraRetro space-opera fun awaits in Ozaki’s third selection, Cobra. The series began life in 1978 and has spawned countless spin offs, including the film Space Adventure Cobra which was released by Manga Entertainment on UK DVD for a limited time.

Dokonjyou GaeruThe fourth choice predates Cobra by 8 years; Dokonjyou Gaeru (‘Gutsy Frog’). Returning to the school setting, this comedy’s premise hangs on the clumsy Hiroshi who manages to accidently squish a frog. The frog magically comes back to life as a print on Hiroshi’s shirt – and proceeds to add commentary on Hiroshi’s every move thereafter.

The Adventures of Hutch the HoneybeeOzaki’s final series that he would have loved to have been a part of is The Adventures of Hutch the Honeybee, also from the 70s. Don’t let its happy-go-lucky name fool you, the story follows a young bee searching for his missing mother. However, behind its cute presentation is a cruel script which leads to several lead characters dying – and a generation of Japanese children emotionally scarred. Lucky, then, they remade it in 1989 so a whole new generation of kiddies could weep.

“I choose these titles because we like them! They are all very famous, legendary Japanese animation”, states Yuki Ozaki.

Parade, Galileo Galilei’s debut album is out now in the UK.


Digimon: Digital Monsters Season 2

was £39.99
By popular demand, the anime fan-favourite released for the first time on DVD!

Four years after Tai, Mimi and the rest of the Digidestined brought peace to the digital world and found their way back home, the Digimon Emperor - a new villain - threatens the world and its Digital Monsters. With some the original kids off to junior high, a new generation is chosen to defend and save the world from evil.

Davis, Yolei, Cody, and Ken join T.K and Kari to form the new Digidestined team. Together they journey back to the Digital World to battle the Digimon Emperor and free all the Digital Monsters from his control.



Naruto Music: 7!!

Tom Smith on the newest numero-enchanted musicians
It may sound odd to English ears, but 7!!’s choice of pronunciation makes sense (well, a tiny bit of sense) when put into the context of where the band grew up; Okinawa. It’s an area that’s closer to Taiwan than mainland Japan, and one that’s had a heavy US military presence since the Second World War. These factors, among plenty of others, have had an affect on the cultural evolution of the islands, and one of the most evident examples can be found in local popular music scene.

Bleach music: Fumika

Tom Smith on Bleach’s most powerful voice
What does the anime series Bleach, Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys and grainy mobile phone videos all have in common? For 25-year-old singer Fumika Mitsui, they mark the point where her wildest dreams came true.

Sword Art Online Music: Eir Aoi

Tom Smith on a singer’s internet fame
INNOCENCE, at the time of writing, has been Eir Aoi’s biggest selling, awarding her a peak position of six in the weekly Oricon chart.

Attack on Titan: How Will It End?

The second part, and what comes after...
This is the burning question for Attack on Titan fans, and it’s certainly not answered in the second volume of the anime series. Rather, Volume 2 shows a world which is still in the process of expanding, bringing on a great many vivid new characters – and arguably the most vivid of all isn’t even a human, but a sexy woman Titan who stomps all over the series.

Tokyo Night Life

Japan Underground's Tom Smith on how to rock and roll all nite in Tokyo
I wanted to see bands playing live music, experience local pubs and bar culture, and not get back to my hotel until it was light. Now, my nights in the city are as busy, if not busier, than my days. Here’s a quick look at some of the Tokyo hotspots worth hitting for music fans.

The Anime Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition

Jasper Sharp reviews the biggest anime book in the world
The ever-expanding volume of anime released in Japan, which includes theatrical one-offs, TV serials and videos, is truly mindboggling, and the authors have really done an amazing job in cataloguing titles emerging on new media platforms such as the internet and mobile phones.

Giovanni's Island

Jonathan Clements on this season’s classy anime feature
Ever willing to poke around in the interstices of history for children’s stories of the war, the Japanese animation industry alights here on the true story of Hiroshi Tokuno, on whose life story this film is partly based.
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