Review Summary: Your own person story arc score.
Consider Endless Fantasy
your very own personal story arc score. Think back to your favorite anime/retro video game montage, and then imagine that music, sense of accomplishment, and hope propelling you forever forward. It may sound cheesy, but such is the embodiment of Anamanaguchi's latest work. If you find yourself attaching feelings and ideals to the music you listen to, with a healthy dose of sudden life clarity thrown in for good measure, this album is for you.
Taking classic videogame sounds and melding them with 80's style synth sensibilities could have been a reciepe for disaster, but such is not the case here. Soaring synth lines merge with recognizable (and in some cases downright nostalgic) bleeps and bloops, married with the occasional electric guitar riff. The tracks come off as anthemic and supremely uplifting, and in some instances sound as if parts are taken directly from the early house and trance scenes. Although having 22 tracks may seem a bit steep of a listening curve, the albums flow ensures that listeners aren't bombarded with endless, fast paced, chiptune. The group leads the audience realistically, emulating both life's cute and more somber moments; this is not one constant peak, but a well thought out ebb and flow.
The majority of Endless Fantasy
is without vocals, but when they do arise you begin to wonder why the band hasn't gone in a more vocal direction before this; those found on "Japan Air" are simply fantastic. Anamanaguchi again take a very hopeful approach here, with the young female voice proclaiming her desire to just "run away, and just spend time with you"
. The entire song feels alive and youthful (just in case the schoolgirlish giggling didn't tip you off), like a chibi version of an 80's action flick, guy and girl riding off into the sunset on the back of a motorcycle. And though these moments may sound utterly unbearable for the more serious minded, you really just need to hear the album for yourself to decide.
I've not given a lot of chiptune music a chance, preferring to steer clear of the genre and those who insist on playing it incessantly. Though I don't believe Anamanaguchi's latest album is going to change my overall feelings, it definitely shows some of the genre's potential and variation (chip-pop would even be an appropriate tag here). Refusing to become lazy and rely on nostalgia to carry the album, Anamanaguchi builds a technical wonder filled with emotion and surprisingly well thought out song structure. The 22 track run time may seem daunting, but the songs never stray from the aforementioned ebb and flow of the album, with each also managing to maintain its own identity (though don't ask me what the track names are alluding to). There's a lot to love about Endless Fantasy
, and a lot of replay-ability if you enjoy dissecting the little pieces that make up such songs as these. Though it may not be for everyone this is one chiptune album that deserves attention, as well as it's own genre.