I apologize for the long delay of this review. I went through some payment problems 1 and here’s how it went in the nutshell: pre-ordered my CDs through HMV instead of the usual CD Japan this time 2 my debit card was held by my bank, the bank approved the payment transaction; sent email to HMV support to use the same card; HMV support staff refuses to use the same card and asked me to use another card; 3 canceled my pre-order and re-ordered the same CDs through CD Japan and used EMS delivery. 4 Three days later, I finally received them.
So, as you can see at the above packaging, CD Japan takes very good care of the products they delivered to their customers. They treat every purchased item as a gift to you, which is indeed very nice. They did the same thing as my previous Summer Time CD, which I only purchased Type A. I decided to order both types this time.
Fact is, you don’t really need to purchase the CDs if you only cared more about the songs than the visuals and the extra freebies. However, whether you purchase the CDs or purchase the digital versions from iTunes, Spotify, etc., if you don’t live or currently located in Japan, your purchases don’t count on the Oricon Charts. 5
But, speaking of rankings, their third single ranked at the following:
- Oricon Charts Daily Ranking: #8 on the first release day (2/6/2019)
- Oricon Charts Weekly Ranking: #11 after the first week of its release
- Billboard (Japan) Weekly Ranking: #10 after the first week of its release
For the weekly rankings, this was the first time that a MADKID single ended the week on the Top 20. Not just that, if we’re talking on a much larger scale (in this case, Billboard), this is also the first time that a MADKID single ended the week on the Top 10. Congrats for the huge rise and recognition, boys!
The differences between Type A and Type B
As mentioned in my previous CD review, it’s not just about the songs that I wanted to get the CDs for when they’re already available in iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play. It’s primarily the extras that come with that you won’t see digitally on the audio subscription services. During the MADKID FACTION/MADKI党 single release campaign blog post, YOU-TA did mention that even in Japan, CD sales are decreasing because of the popularity and the convenient accesses of audio streaming sites by the general public, whether if they’re region-locked in Japan or open around the world.
In the case of Type A, it’s the RISE music video, the MV’s BTS, 6 and the footage of their last one-man live (Never going back) back on April 28, 2018. It’s a monumental one-man live for the guys because this was their first one-man live as a mainstream J-Pop male dance and vocal group. Hopefully, for their next release (single or album?), we would also get to see their first three-city live tour GIANT KILLING, and in the future, their upcoming four-city live tour, Circus.
Aside from Type A having that special incentive DVD extra included, the only other differences between Type A and Type B are shown above the mini-gallery. Type B gets to have a back image of the main characters in the new winter anime The Rising of the Shield Hero.
For their third single, the format is similar to the Summer Time CD release last year: three tracks, with the third track composed and arranged solely by LIN, but the lyrics still remained as LIN and YUKI. Going a little in-depth.
#1 – RISE
Because MADKID was chosen to provide the opening theme for the new anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero, there seemed to be a change of pace in their usual musical styles by going on the “traditional” rock-style track to appease their bigger market yet: the anime/manga otaku community around the world, no niche in particular. 7 I personally hope that MADKID gained a lot more Axcels outside Japan and I hope that these fans stick with MADKID and the Axcels right after RISE and not just stick with them because of Shield Hero and then abandon them right after the series is over.
Sometime last week, I translated (roughly?) the RISE lyrics. You can find it on the Letters @ AXCEL STYLE site. It’s not the most perfect translation out there, however, translating, in general, is difficult, even if it’s with your native language. It’s like translating a math word problem into numbers and formulas and translating a programming algorithm problem into an actual code base. 8 But with that being said, I made my translation to have the exact same intent as the lyrics themselves.
If you’ve read the Shield Hero light novels or even the manga companion, 9 you already know the premise of the series. If you’ve never heard of it and started watching the anime, hopefully, you’re finally getting what the premise is about. But, speaking as an Axcel for almost a year now, the lyrics are also relatable in real life.
After all, we’ve known MADKID as a self-produced dance and vocal group, represented by a smaller management agency, but on contract with Japan’s oldest and one of the highly prestigious record labels in Nippon Columbia. The boys produce everything by themselves from the writing, composing, and arranging their songs, create their own choreography, create the concepts of the songs they produce, and a whole lot more. From the beginning, many of the songs, at least those officially released as major singles, tell a story, almost a biography, of themselves as a group.
Never going back gave us MADKID’s prelude to being a legit dance and vocal group in mainstream J-Pop, ascending themselves from the indies scene to a much more open scene. The song reminds us that they have come this far and they’re not turning back anytime now.
Summer Time gave us a more chill and refreshing break from the huge rush that we got from Never going back. We still have to be mindful that every rush of excitement needs a cooldown period. MADKID so far isn’t quite known for the mellow and chill concepts, and Summer Time is a reminder to us that, even if it’s not summer, we all need to take a break and revisit the ones we’ve left behind and enjoy the times while we are alive.
RISE may possibly be MADKID’s breakthrough single, being that it was chosen as an anime opening theme to a highly-anticipated anime series The Rising of the Shield Hero. Or maybe their next single (album?) may even become the breakthrough single. Most debuted artists don’t get breakthrough singles on their first year. Usually, this breakthrough will come as their second, third, fourth, or even the fifth release. Could RISE be the breakthrough single that we’ve been waiting for?
Let’s all wait and see.
#2 – Puzzle
The second follow-up track in the RISE single release is yet another sweet love song, Puzzle. The format of this single release is reminiscent of the format of Never going back with its second follow-up track, Stuck on U. This song, as well as Stuck on U 10 is a perfect anthem for couples and those in love and for Valentine’s Day.
If you think of puzzle pieces, they’re separate pieces, but they do come together to form one precious picture. When we deal with jigsaw puzzles, we have to figure out to see which pieces fit together. In the case of this song, two lovers fit together like two puzzle pieces, and with two together, they form something a lot larger and meaningful for both.
We’ve already heard LIN’s different rap styles from his side-collab singles with his friends Hylen (and others), where he can be mellow, hard, tender, and melodic. In Puzzle, those who aren’t familiar with LIN’s non-MADKID work, we finally get to hear one of his stylistic rap skills by spitting out melodic words without making it obvious that he was rapping all this time, and it really does complement with the mellow and romantic themes behind the song.
SHIN also had a longer part on this song on the second verse, with YOU-TA and KAZUKI splitting up the same two lines on the first verse. Based on interviews and on his blog entries, Puzzle seems to be more his theme. 11
I plan on translating this song also. I don’t know when, but I hope I’ll be able to do it.
#3 – 出ていってよ (Deteitteyo)
Deteitteyo is translated literally as “go out.” But, the intent behind these words isn’t really telling you to “go out.” The intent behind this phrase is to say farewell. In short, like the previous two singles, RISE‘s third track is yet another heartbreak song.
If you purchased and downloaded the single on (U.S.) iTunes or Apple Music, the title came out as Goodbye rather than the actual Japanese title. I tweeted LIN directly regarding the change. I wasn’t really expecting him to reply, but I just wanted him to be aware and wonder if the “Goodbye” title change from Deteitteyo was intentional.
In some ways, whether if it was intentional or not, the “Goodbye” title change made sense. After all, you’ll hear the word goodbye at the chorus more times than the word deteitteyo, which is only heard once throughout the entire song.
Because this song is yet another LIN-only joint, I don’t need to explain the concept and style of the song. LIN already explained that himself:
Like with Puzzle, I plan on translating this as well. I don’t know when.
Type A DVD Extra
I’m not going to go into detail with this one. It contains the music video (found on YouTube or even at the main page of this site), the BTS (behind the screen) documentary of the music video, and footage from last year’s Never going back one-man live. Maybe I’ll write a separate review on the DVD extra at a later time.
If you’re a brand-new MADKID fan and only downloaded the singles and interested in getting to know the group better, I recommend purchasing at least the Type A CD. You can order them online in various online stores. I listed some of them on the Exits section of the site. The reason why I recommend this, mainly because of the DVD extra that comes with it. The one-man live footage from last year would give you a fresh outlook on how MADKID performs in slightly larger scale live shows and the previous songs you (probably) have never heard of or discovered from YouTube or even in iTunes/Spotify/etc.
Will RISE become MADKID’s breakthrough single? We’ll find out once the release events and promotions of the single ends this weekend.
Also, MADKID’s upcoming live tour Circus will be coming in May as well. We’ve already gotten the pattern that in every end of a one-man live (or a tour of one-man lives), something huge and big will be announced. Whatever that something huge and big, we’ll have to wait.
- I’m not broke or anything, but there had been some issues…
- I was told that HMV adds some special extras artist-related, and I wanted those extras…
- which I refuse because I only have my debit card to use…
- The total costs for the CD Japan orders was, to my surprise, slightly cheaper than my previous HMV preorders with EMS delivery also.
- Yes, there’s Billboard, however, Oricon Charts matter more to the Japanese music industry.
- Behind the screen, not the prominent K-Pop group 防弾少年団 (Boudan Shounendan, or Bantan for short…) …
- Although I’ve been noticing through YouTube comments that those leaving immature comments happen to be male (most likely non-Asian) weeaboos who all feel that anime/manga and the Japanese language and culture is life, and yet they insult an actual Japanese dance and vocal group just because of how they look, how they dress, and how to present themselves. I don’t know if I should call this racism or cultural appropriation…
- I work as a web developer taking up full-stack web programming courses, so I know what I’m talking about…
- I prefer the light novels personally.
- and all their love ballads released on their indies album from 2016…
- What do you expect from MADKID’s Prince Charming?