Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Profile: Oceanlane

Oceanlane is a composed mainly of Hajime and Kay, who share both guitar and vocal duties. Having known each other since their middle school days, they started Oceanlane in April of 2001. A year later, they were joined by their drummer and bassist (no names given), and they began playing shows around the Tokyo Area.

In 2003, using thier own funds, they released a limited edition EP titled "Everlasting Season." It was sold mostly via online through an emo mailorder site named "STM", earning the duo fans in the underground music scene.

2003 was a busy year for Oceanlane, as they recorded their first full-length album with Ho Lee Kwan and Masaya of Everlast at Soundcre Studio in Saitama, Japan. Later that year, they opened for the post-hardcore band Elliot during the band's Japan Tour. November was supposed to be the release of their first album but it was pushed back for a later release date. A limited maxi-single, "Sign" was released in December of the same year, and Oceanlane was chosen to open for The All American Rejects tour at the Shinjuku Liquid Room.

February of the following year their album "On My Way Back Home" from Handicraft Recordings was released, and it became #1 on DISK UNION Indie Chart, #2 on TOWER RECORDS SHIBUYA's Indie Chart & #1 on their Longseller Chart.

To date, Oceanlane has opened for acts such as Last Days of April, The Get Up Kids and The Stills, to name a few. In November of 2004 they went on their first national tour in support of their 3-song maxi "Out of Reason." In April 2005, Oceanlane toured with Jimmy Ear World for all the dates of the groups Japan tour.

"On My Way Back Home" reissued as a limited special edition in July 2005, and they played an acoustic show with Copeland in Tokyo, at Nishiazabu Super Deluxe. The first of their periodical tour series, "Lighting Up Our Cities Vol.1" also began during this month, and they toured with Copeland and Brandston, with their Tokyo shows all sold out. Their long awaited dream finally came true when they performed on "FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL '05" (RED MARQUEE Stage).

August 2005, they began the recording of their second full-length album, "Kiss and Kill". Producer Pelle Gunnerfeldt (THE HIVES, LAST DAYS OF APRIL, REFUSED, STARMARKET), also the guitarist for the group Fireside --- came all the way from Sweden and worked with them on the board. The back tracks were recorded in Tokyo, while the vocals were done in Okinawa.

The album was released in November 2005.

The duo sings mostly in English, possibly given the fact that Hajime lived in L.A. until the 5th grade and still goes back and forth between Japan and the U.S. Kay, on the other hand is half-British on his father's side, and went to an English highschool. Hajime is mostly influenced by west coast punk/hardcore, emo, indie rock scenes, while Kay finds his from British rock.

(text edited & condensed by me, source here)

Review: Yoroshiku Master

Manga-ka: Tsukaba Sakura
Volumes: One (Three chapters plus a one-shot)
Can be found at/Scanlated by: DragonVoice

17-year-old Sagara Kurumi is about to spend Christmas alone. As she contemplates on her fate, she bumps into a young man on busy street. To her surprise, an elastic bond immediately encases her wrist, connecting her to the boy. He --- Kaito --- seems happy about it, and even calls her master! Kaito then proceeds to explain that she is his Santa, and he can do everything she tells him too. Kurumi couldn't believe it at first, and she thought Kaito was crazy, but seems to be like the real thing.

I have never been fond of "master-servant" type of stories, as they always seem to have a dark mood, and it's often always the girl who is the servant.

Yoroshiku Master isn't like that at all. The way Kaito and Kurumi act kind of reminds me of Haruhi and Tamaki of Ouran High (when they're not fighting anyway), and there is also a physical resemblance between the two couples. Kaito is very fond of Kurumi, and Kurumi has feelings for Kaito as well, but tries to deny it.

In Chapter 3, the ghost of Kaito's grandfather (who was also a reindeer) appears and tells Kaito not to get carried away by his feelings, as these feelings were placed there because of the Santa-reindeer relationship. Kaito argues (all while smiling, ala-Fye) that what he feels is real, and if it isn't, then he will make it real. Kurumi overhears this, and begins to think that maybe, Kaito was the real thing after all.

Oh yeah, Kaito's grandfather is one beautiful guy! Bishie alert!

I enjoyed this story, though I feel that there's not much attention given to the growing feeling between the two. I supposed that's because there wasn't any actual revelations done between Kaito and Kurumi, even though we as readers would become aware of Kaito's feelings. Still, it's a pretty good read. The artwork is beautiful, and there are plenty of sweet moments between Kaito and Kurumi to satisfy my romantic cravings.

Cross-post: Akussa-Anatis