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Thursday, November 08, 2007


Two of the hardest things in the world to simultaneously be a geek about are heavy metal music and Japanese cartoons (aka "anime"), both fields of interest whose adherents are frequently viewed as unnecessary to the gene pool and in sore need of outright extermination. Usually the two camps have little or nothing in common, but now there can be rejoicing across the land as two great tastes prove to be great together in the form of Japanese metal band Animetal.

Essentially a seriously kickass speed metal band, the gimmick here is that the band does almost nothing but badass covers of current and classic anime TV theme songs, and holy shit can they shred! Sure, it's a novelty act, but they're really fucking excellent musicians, and the fact that they devote their considerable talent to metaling-up cartoon songs is hilarious, to say nothing of the fact that they have no problem with looking like completely faggy retards, bargain basement Kiss impersonators, and even refugees from a CATS roadshow when onstage, taking nothing seriously about themselves except for the musicianship.

And as if that wasn't loony enough, they even featured Mitsuyo Nemoto as "Animetal Lady" on vocals requiring a female voice. "And just who the fuck is Mitsuyo Nemoto?" I hear you ask. Well she's best known to us American fans of trash TV as Mie, half of the utterly manufactured Japanese pop duo Pink Lady, a huge hit in their own homeland, but a Hiroshima-level bomb when imported to the States to star in the infamous PINK LADY AND JEFF with Jeff Altman.

That show got the axe after a mere six weeks back in 1980, but its anti-magic lives on in the hearts and minds of schlockologists everywhere.

But back to Animetal: a band that combines quality metal, themesongs from cartoons about giant robots and superheroes, topped off with the involvement of a member of Pink fucking Lady?!!? That's a kitschstorm of a magnitude I would never have imagined in a million years, and the simple fact that it actually works is nothing short of miraculous.

If you're a fan of anime you know that many of the songs in the canon feature mostly Japanese lyrics with a smattering of "Engrish" thrown in, an effect that frequently stops the uninitiated in their tracks, sometimes providing moments of unintentional and often head-scratching hilarity ("You Wa Shock," anyone?), and the trend continues in Animetal's work to great effect. Their live version of the CUTIE HONEY theme takes that thirty-some-odd-year-old chestnut and grafts a pair of balls onto Japan's number one superheroine's signature tune, and while that song was always upbeat and peppy, it's a real shock to hear it actually rock.

Cutie Honey: Japan's answer to Wonder Woman, finally blessed with a kickass version of her theme song.

And the band even lends their slant to the GATCHAMAN theme , kicking an already awesome tune up by several notches. There are several examples of their work findable on YouTube and I strongly urge you give them a look. TRUST YER BUNCHE!!!

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