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The most japanese of all japanese bands


It happened little by little through the years, thanks to anime, manga, games, movies, music, food, the internet. Japanese culture is spread all over the world, gathering more fans every day. They even came up with a specific term to describe this rise in japanese culture's popularity: Cool Japan. Even people who know nothing about the country itself or doesn't take interest in anything japanese in particular at least know about ninjas and samurais. Yes, Japan is known for its technology, but it's equally known for its rich history and traditional culture.

So, what happens when this blend of modern and traditional japanese culture takes physical form? Or even better, musical form? What if we took everything that's cool about Japan and put it in a band? Eight extremely talented individuals made it look like that's exactly what happened when they created Wagakki Band. If you don't want to read the long and boring text I wrote, just think this band is as awesome as a rock band made by ninjas and samurais, and go with it. Wait, no, they are way better than that.

Wagakki Band has been rocking Japan for 2 years now, and they became a huge success with their perfect combination of traditional japanese instruments and a rock band. One interesting fact about the band is that, for their first album, they chose to take famous Vocaloid songs and cover them with their own arranges. This revisit to already existing songs created Vocalo Zanmai, an album full of treasures, with this new rendition of Senbonzakura being one of them, and in my opinion, this song should be Japan's new national anthem. Seriously, it's that good.

Polemic opinions aside, Wagakki Band just released their second album, Yasouemaki. Packing 15 tracks, it's like this second album expands everything that was awesome with its predecessor. Songs like Hoshi Tsuki Yo (Starry Night) and Hanafurumai (Flower Behavior) fill the air with the joy and energy of those traditional japanese festivals, while Ikusa (War) and Hangeki no Yaiba (Rebellion's Blade) sound a little more rockier. Those following Attack on Titan's live action version may be familiar with Hangeki no Yaiba, since it's the series theme.

One of the many impressive points about Yasouemaki is how varied it is, while retaining Wagakki Band's unique style. Every member, every instrument has its time to shine. At times, even Suzuhana Yuuko's voice gives its place to the guitarist Machiya's vocals, increasing even more the diversity of this album and this band as a whole. At one point, you are rocking with a song like HAGANE (Steel), then something epic and fantastic like Hanabi (Fireworks) comes along, and next a soothing melody like Tsuioku (Reminiscence) relax your soul. It's impossible to get bored while hearing Wagakki Band, and it really shows with this album.

I may be exaggerating when I say this, but here I go anyway. Wagakki Band is the coolest sounding and looking anything I came across in a really, really long time. Maybe ever. It's impossible to not be enthusiastic when you see people represent so well everything that's great about Japan. It's like Wagakki Band is as cool and beautiful as Japan should and deserve to be.

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About Rank57one of us since 9:33 PM on 07.05.2009

I wish I had something interesting to write here.