Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Is A Wonderful Introduction To Japanese Pop

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Given that Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE lets you spend upwards of 50 hours crawling through dungeons with heroes and heroines who also happen to be singers and performers, you might find yourself captivated by the music. I mean, the limited edition even comes with a CD that has Kiria’s “Reincarnation,” Tsubasa’s “Feel,” Yashiro’s “Black Rain,” Tsubasa and Eleonora’s “Dream Catcher,” Tiki’s “Beastie Game,” and the Kiria version of “Dia Sweet Witch.” That’s only a small sampling of the tracks found within the game, as the Japanese vocal collection has 18 songs performed by the cast on it. (“Fire Emblem ~Drama’s Light~” is my favorite.) While the game is certainly an enjoyable experience, it’s also a wonderful introduction to Japanese pop music. Especially since many of the voice actors and actresses moonlight as pop stars.

 

 

Tsubasa, voiced by Inori Minase, is a wonderful woman to start with. In addition to her role as the heroine here, she’s also the voice of XBlaze Code: Embryo and BlazBlue’s Mei Amanohokosaka. and Ar Nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star’s Casty Rienoit. She’s been singing since December 2015, and her first single is “Yume no Tsubomi.” Most recently, she’s released “Harmony Ribbon.” She hasn’t released a full album you can buy yet.

 

If you like her voice, you might enjoy other poppy sopranos. Maybe consider listening to Kyrary Pamyu Pamyu’s “Ponponpon,” “Invader Invader,” or “Mottai-Nightland.” Her songs are definitely energetic. AKB48’s “Koisuru Fortune Cookie,” “Aitakatta Oedo,” or “Sugar Rush” could be solid picks too. Or, if you want to go traditional, you can’t go wrong with Yuna Ito and “Endless Story,” “Urban Mermaid,” and “Stuck on You.”

 

 

Kiria undoubtedly is one of the strongest voices in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, so it should come as no surprise that her voice actress, Yoshino Nanjo, is actually in a band. In addition to voicing characters like Eli in Love Live!, Lisette in Stella Glow and Little Queen in Tales of Graces f, Nanjo is the lead singer for fripSide. She joined the band in 2009, replacing their former lead singer, and has been with them ever since. In fact, you may already recognize some of fripSide’s other singles! “Only My Railgun,” “Level 5 –judgelight-,“ and “future gazer” were all used as opening theme songs for A Certain Scientific Railgun. The group has even released two albums that are full of songs that appeared in PC games, appropriately known as fripSide PC Game Compilation Volumes 01 and 02.

 

Since Nanjo has more of a rock sound to her songs, people who like her voice might enjoy Japanese pop singers with a bit of an edge. It might be a good idea to start with Ayumi Hamasaki, in particular listening to songs like “Bold & Delicious,” “Step You,” and “Sunrise ~Love is All~.” Shiina Ringo is another amazing artist, and you might want to listen to her “Koko de Kiss Shite,” “Ringo no Uta,” or “Season Sayonara” (from Tokyo Jihen).

 

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Of the female voice actresses appearing in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, Mamori’s Kaori Fukuhara is the only other one to have some sort of singing career in addition to her acting. While you might also recognize her as Pearl Fey from Phoenix Wright and Tsukasa Hiiragi from Lucky Star, she performed “Phantom Pain” on Bohemian Quarter’s Blister Pack Voices. That album itself is a project from Goro Matsui, a songwriter who’s written songs for Megumi Ogata and Shizuka Kudo.

 

Since Mamori’s songs are a bit more traditional than the other songs in the game, you may want to listen to some enka music. You might want to try listening to Keisuke Yamauchi’s “Koi no Tehon,” or Yuko Nakazawa’s “Karasu no Nyoubou.” From there, you might want to move on to Nana Mizuki. Like Mamori, she started out by being trained as an Enka singer and has since moved on to more popular music. I recommend “Angel Blossom,” Vitalization,” “Omoi,” and “Eternal Blaze.”

 

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Finally, there’s Yashiro, who’s voiced by Yoshimasa Hosoya. In addition to also voicing Yamato Ishida in Digimon Adventure tri, Shiraishi Kuranosuke in The Prince of Tennis, and Daryun in Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, he’s half of a pop duo. He and Toshiki Masuda make up MaxBoys. The group released one album, I Wish, in 2012. “I Wish,” the title track, “Miracle of Love,” and “Sakura” were some of their most notable songs.

 

Yashiro could be a great way to get into Japanese boy bands and rock stars. Exile is a more traditional Japanese group, and “24karats Gold Soul,” “No Limit,” and “Song for You” are all great songs. Maybe check out a few Uverworld songs, like “Just Melody” or “Nanokame no Ketsui.” I can’t let this section go by without recommending Miyavi (“Kimi ni Negai Wo,” “Girls be Ambitious,” “Real?”) and Gackt (“Vanilla,” “Redemption,” “Arrow”).

 

Really, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is an opportunity. This is a chance to expand your musical horizons. The songs used in the game are incredibly catchy pieces, allowing players to sample pop, rock, and even enka tracks. It’s a good chance to see what you’ve enjoyed here and branch off to perhaps add more variety to your regular library.

 

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is immediately available for the Nintendo Wii U.

Jenni Lada
Jenni has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, CheatCC, Michibiku, and PlayStation LifeStyle.

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