Review: Endless Fantasy

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Back in January, I learned that Anamanaguchi was creating a new album, titled Endless Fantasy, on the same day that I saw the music video for the first single “Meow”. Right before I saw the video, my thoughts were, “Oh cool, a new Anamanaguchi album is coming out. I’ve enjoyed everything they’ve put out.” And then came the video. It was like staring into the eyes of drunk Jesus. It was like opening Pandora’s Box, if Pandora’s Box contained the Internet. My first thought after finishing “Meow” was, “Christ. If that’s the first song, what’s the rest of the album going to be like? Does it get even crazier than this?”

Now that Endless Fantasy has come out, we know the rest of the album is more subtle than “Meow” – not to say it’s a subtle album, just that it’s not completely batshit crazy. In reality it’s, simply put, another chiptune album. More explicitly put, it’s a very good chiptune album. Starting with the title track, the LP is a wave of electronic pleasure, one which you can easily lose yourself in it’s crests and troughs. Anamanaguchi has a rare penchant for being able to create music that is eminently danceable and simultaneously effortlessly calming.

I’m comfortable calling Anamanaguchi the first memewave band. “Meow” is the biggest argument for this title, but evidence is sprinkled amongst the album. Songs are given titles like “SPF 420” and “EVERYTHING EXPLODES”, followed immediately by “Interlude (STILL SPLODIN’ THO)”. I feel like there’s a definitely possibility that Anamanaguchi has written a tweet consisting only of “STILL SPLODIN THO”. If they haven’t, it’s still the archetypical Anamanaguchi tweet. This is a work of a post-ironic society, of blog-artists under the tutelage of Tao Lin. I haven’t seen anything except the cover art to back this up, but I feel like the title Endless Fantasy is a nod and a heckle towards the Final Fantasy video game series, which have been “Final” ever since the first one was released in 1987. We’re all in on the joke now, but Anamanaguchi is pointing out that Final Fantasy isn’t final – they’ll never stop making them, it’s endless. And really, nothing is final. Everything is endless.

Everything Anamanaguchi has put out prior to this, save the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game soundtrack, has been EP length, clocking in less than 30 minutes, but Endless Fantasy sticks around for 76 minutes. This length doesn’t negatively affect the album’s listenability, but it doesn’t really do it any favors either. It doesn’t feel like a sprawling epic, just a lot of good songs.

8/10 – Endless Fantasy, along with the experience Anamanaguchi is trying to provide you, is summed up in a single line on the last song. “Your natural state is enlightenment, everything else you’ve ever been told about yourself is a lie.” Most of us, with our jobs and our schooling and our responsibilities, don’t feel very enlightened day-to-day. Anamanaguchi is here, just trying to nudge us back to our natural selves.

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