The Perfect Soundtrack to a 90s Child


To anyone born in the ’90s, do you remember growing up playing Nintendo? Or maybe you watched Cartoon Network’s Toonami, which was heavily dominated by anime classics like Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z. Maybe you weren’t quite that nerdy. Maybe, instead, you were the cool kid in elementary school and had the largest collection of tamagotchis in your class.

If any of this sounds remotely familiar to you, then you unintentionally spent your formative years being dominated by flashing lights, 8 to 16 bit sound, and exported Japanese culture. It is this series of cultural heights that Anamanaguchi perfectly captures in their album Endless Fantasy. The album’s single, also sharing the name Endless Fantasy, starts out drenched in a modern day ’90s nostalgia as the video cuts to various cultural highlights from the decade culminating in a pikachu and a Mario mushroom.

Misty 90s Children
“Remember me? Judging by the internet, I was all of your first crushes.”

The music itself similarly builds throughout the song, ultimately reaching a crescendo full of Nintendo sounds hearkening back to the early days of Mario. The sounds themselves, instead of being mixed in as effects by a DJ, are instead played live by guitarists and bassists who use sound chips from an NES and a gameboy to synthesize their sounds. Whereas Anamanaguchi uses this chiptune effect to recall a sort of ’90s revelry, the sound can also be put to much darker sounding tunes fit only for torture dungeons or scary dance clubs – although sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference anyway.

Where the video for Endless Fantasy was amazing both due to it’s own merits – and the merits of sending a piece of pizza into space – the video for the other single Meow blows me away entirely. Perhaps it is the way Anamanaguchi manages to completely blend the song with the video, to create a living video game like experience; maybe it is the humor the band provides in exposing all the old social archetypes of the age; or maybe it is the nostalgia that the images conjure up in me for elementary school arcade birthday parties that make me love this song. Whatever the reason, Meow makes me want to dance like .gif… Which, in all fairness, is how I normally dance anyway.

For anyone not quite convinced of the nerd credentials of a Anamanaguchi, know that the band also provided the soundtrack for the video game adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel. To be fair to the group, aside from simple video games a large amount of inspiration for their sound also comes from pop music like Weezer and the Beach Boys. In that case, it is really no surprise that their material is so catchy.

I hope the music puts you in as good a mood as it did me.

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