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By N6JLV
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Anamanaguchi is a New York based chiptune punk band comprising Peter Berkman, James DeVito, Ary Warnaar, and Luke Silas. Self described as playing "loud, fast music with a hacked NES from 1985," Anamanaguchi began mostly underground, but gained more attention with the rise of YouTube and their involvement with the Scott Pilgrim video game, among other projects.


Discography

  • Power Supply EP (2006, free)
  • Dawn Metropolis (2009)
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game - Original Videogame Soundtrack (2010)
  • Summer 2010 singles (free)
    • "Airbrushed"
    • "My Skateboard Will Go On"
    • "Aurora (Meet Me in the Stars)"
    • "Airbrushed (RAC Remix)"
    • "Mess"
  • Endless Fantasy (2013)
  • Capsule Silence XXIV (2016)
  • [USA] (2019)

Videography

On March 28th, 2016 the group posted a link on twitter to a download of "Capsule Silence XXIV", which was set up via a now-deleted twitter rant to be an unfinished build for a game based on their music that the band leaked out of disgust for (fictional) development studio NHX being unable to properly manage the project. In reality, it was an interactive medium designed to experience their newer album, which also allowed players to download one of the songs at the end of each playthrough.


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Tropes used by Anamanaguchi include:

  • Bilingual Bonus: The Japanese text in the "Meow" video, about half the time. The other half it's just English letters swapped out for katakana.
  • Call-Back: The intro for the "Air On Line" music video features the "Endless Fantasy" pizza-cam in orbit... surrounded by hundreds of other camera platforms.
  • Chiptune: Mixed with punk/indie rock and dance pop.
  • Darker and Edgier: While [USA] features the same compositional complexity and energy we've come to expect from the band, the tone is considerably more melancholy than any of their past music.
  • Eagleland: Invoked to a point with [USA]. According to the band itself, the album was meant to explore their identity as a band beyond their prominent Japanese influences, of which included — but was not limited to — their highly Nintendo-inspired chiptune sound. This effectively means that [USA] isn't specifically about the USA, but rather the perception of it as it's attached onto them.
    Ary: I remember looking at fliers for shows and they list what countries the artist is from at the end of it. It felt sometimes borderline comical. What did it have to do with the music? [...] That's where the name came from, [USA]. Is it important or is it not important that you can put this tag on us? Is it interesting or is it not interesting? Why is it interesting or why is it not interesting?
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: Their live shows are awesome, if you don't suffer from epilepsy.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: They use a gameboy and NES to make music. It's Justified though since they are in the Chiptune genre and that's pretty much what Chiptune is all about.
  • The Faceless: In the "Pop It" music video, everybody's face is covered either with a balloon or paper mask.
  • Fan Disservice: The "Pop It" video has a cute girl dancing in a sailor outfit with suggestively-placed balloons. It also features a group of masked men and women getting a little too close to her for comfort, and that her own face is concealed makes the fact that we can't see her expressions dubious.
  • Genre Mashup: Punk Rock mixed with Indie Rock mixed with Power Pop mixed with Chiptune.
  • Indecipherable Lyricsinvoked: Many of the tracks in [USA] feature deliberately gibberish lyrics, but the album's visualizer plays with it in "Speak to You [Memory Messengers]", whose lyrics are either "And all I try to do is try to speak to you" or "The more I do it, time moves me too". The visuals use both.
  • Instrumentals: Very few of their songs have singing in them, and the ones that do are done by guest vocalists.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The final track of Endless Fantasy is "(T-T)b". No, we're not sure how to pronounce it, either.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Japan Air" sung by Meesh is a bouncy, cheerful Pop Punk song featuring a Genki Girl who sings with a cutesy voice (made even more so by pitching up the vocals) where she's happily recounting her and the listener having fun in the snow. Then there's the last verse that's easily missed, not helped by the song having a guitar solo right after.
    Girl: And can you see it, That I'm falling through the snow without you here? I thought I'd never be alone, until you went away.
  • Meaningful Name: "Anamanaguchi" is a mishmash of "Armani, Prada, Gucci", where the members interned during design school.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Endless Fantasy brought 16 bit consoles into the mix, particularly the use of the Sega Genesis synths, as well as many effects and production that gave some tracks a more dance pop feel, and using vocalists on two of their tracks. That being said, most tracks still have the classic chiptune and punk formula, albeit with production tricks outside of strict limitations of the Gameboy.
    • [USA] features the band playing their signature sound through a much more experimental and varied gamut of song styles and structures, with some smatterings of Progressive Rock, ambient, and modern Electronic Dance Music thrown in. The overall result is noticeably more cinematic and somewhat wistful in tone than previous projects.
  • Power Pop: Their music has strong influences drawn from this.
  • The Reveal: For the first few days after the release of the "Pop It" music video, the guest singer was labelled as "ft. ______彡☆", and considering that her face is covered up in the entire video, added some mystery to who she was. Later on Twitter, it was revealed to be Meesh, who also did vocals for Japan Air.
  • Shout Out:
  • Speaking Simlish: Fairly prevalent in [USA]'. just for starters, half of the lyrics to "B S X" are just random vowels, and the lyrics to the title track and "Air On Line" are random syllables.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "T-Tb" at the end of Endless Fantasy closes with a spoken monologue sampled from this video by Hamish Patterson, aka "The Illusion".
  • The Stinger: "Meow" has a post credits scene where internet celebrity and 4chan creator moot has a brief cameo.
  • Sugar Bowl: Frequent in their very upbeat, nostalgic retro-flavored music and associated designs and videos. Except for "Meow", which is somewhat nightmarish.

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