Monday, 5 April 2010

Nakagawa Shoko Sings the Greatest Hits of Anime... Again and Again

In my secret double life as a music journalist, I occasionally come across things that cross over with the ever-vibrant world of anime, so anyone going crazy with excitement over the news that otaku idol Nakagawa Shoko has released yet another collection of anime cover versions might want to check my review of said album over on The Japan Times' web site. Given The Japan Times' word limits, there's a lot more I could have said about it, but suffice to say most of the songs are from mainstream anime of the 1990s, with a few from the 80s or more recently (all of which sound like 90s anime songs anyway). This is a good thing, in that 90s anime music pre-dates the sickness of moé that swept the nation after the world ended in 2000 and we all started living in an endlessly looped Ouroboros vision of ourselves, but if the fact that it's re-digesting a slightly different period of recent history is the best that can be said about it, then I hardly think one can call that a ringing endorsement.

Obviously Nakagawa Shoko has no particular duty to be in any way different to how she currently presents herself, and the choice of songs is actually pretty reassuring in the way it shies away from really obvious courting of the moé demographic and generally just fixes on songs that Nakagawa herself would have probably watched as a kid. But then, this is probably because Nakagawa's audience isn't really otaku anyway. She's a proper pop star, so the audience she needs to sell her product to is the wider ranging, casually nostalgic anime fans, who would probably vomit into their own scorn at the idea of being held in the same category as real otaku.

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