“Familia” (sumika) | Album Review

Alright so since MyAnimeList is down for maintenance for like a few more days or years or so, I really just can’t continue with a particular post I’m writing right now. Therefore, here’s a short album review in the meantime. However I’ll still have fun with this review, even though this could be considered “filler”. 🙂


A lot of people around the anime community, including myself, are really enjoying this particular anime in the current Spring 2018 season called Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii. A romance comedy by A-1 Pictures essentially about a group of friends who work in an average office environment and enjoy their mutual otaku-related interests together such as cosplay, video games, watching anime and reading manga. The sweet romance between each couple and the surprisingly really relatable comedic jokes and gags, it’s a show I’d suggest for every person that’s a big fan of anime or Japanese culture in general.

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One of my favorite things about that show is the opening, “Fiction”, by the rock/pop band sumika.

A super catchy, upbeat and fun opening to listen to, I really do have a hard time not skipping it every episode. It also sounds kinda “old-timey” (i think that’s the correct word) and sort of gives it a modern twist with the poppy vibe it gives off.

And because of this band, I decided to dive deeper and see what else this great-sounding band has to offer. But first, let me go over some background info about sumika.

sumika was formed in May 2013 in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, with vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kataoka Kenta, guitarist Kuroda Junnosuke and drummer Arai Tomoyuki as the starting lineup. This particular group was at first two “forms” of a band, with “sumika” being the normal band group while “sumika [camp session]” is what the group is called when performing at live, acoustic sessions.

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In October 2013, sumika debuted with their first mini-album, Shinsekai Orichalcum, and later released many other mini-albums a few years after and in 2015, keyboardist Ogawa Takayuki would join sumika as a full member after his previous band disbanded. A few singles and mini-albums later, sumika would release a full album, Familia, in July of 2017.

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Style

The musical style of Familia, I would say is a combination of light rock and sort-of feel good, happy tunes, judging by the various kinds of songs featured in this album. Some songs such as “春風” straight up sounds like a rock song with the inclusion of the electric guitar and the tone of voice Kenta sings in; while there can be pretty chillax tracks like “ここから見える景色”, thanks to the acoustic guitar and fun piano tunes it gives off.

There are also some really somber, yet really nice songs from this album such as “Summer Vacation”.

Vocals/Instruments

As for vocals, the main vocalist is Kenta and my god, his voice is just really nice to listen to. He has a fairly deep voice but he can really hit those high notes extremely well. Plus, he has a pretty good amount of energy when he sings, and definitely complements the music behind him. One of my favorite examples of that is in the song, “アネモネ”.

But Kenta can sing in a much less energetic voice and have more soothing and chillax vocals such as with one of my favorite songs from this album, “Someday”.

As for the instruments in this album, it generally consists of guitar (either acoustic or electric), keyboard, and drums. I actually didn’t realize that nobody played the bass in this band since usually with rock bands (or bands in general), there is a bassist. But in sumika’s case, having no bass still makes great music.

I think a really nice song to show you the instruments and the style of music sumika makes with them is one of their popular songs, “Lovers”. The fun vibe coming out of the piano and guitar playing, as well as how old-timey it sounds (similar to the Wotaku OP), in this song is definitely a perfect example of what this band is like.

Conclusion

I’m skipping the “Theme/Mood” section of this review since I couldn’t find any English translations for any of the songs, plus I kinda already discussed the mood of these songs earlier in this post.

Overall, if you like the opening to Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii and/or enjoy a combination of pop and rock music, I feel like you’d really enjoy this album. The fast-paced rock music in some tracks alongside more fun and light-hearted songs, the amazing vocal performance of Kenta, as well as how catchy a lot of these songs are, this is a solid musical album. I am really glad I discovered sumika.


Sorry if this review seemed rushed, life’s been pretty hectic for me as the school year is winding down but when I find a time where I can relax for a second, the next post will be of better quality 😛

But really, sumika is a great band and I would totally suggest to take a listen to them! Their latest mini-album, Fiction e.p, is also superb.

Thanks for reading!! 😀

-al

 

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