Sithu Aye - Senpai III review




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Band: Sithu Aye
Album: Senpai III
Release date: January 2021


01. Choices On A Piece Of Paper
02. Differing Paths
03. A Future With No Colour
04. Hanako's Shoujo Manga Spinoff!
05. Mari's New Day
06. Reina: A Rival's Reprise
07. Time To Decide!
08. Winter And Entrance Exams
09. Graduation
10. Anime As Leaders II: The Joy Of Moe


I... I'm out of my element here... Uhh... "Sithu Ayy Lmao" I guess...

I don't watch a lot of anime, partly because a large deal of it doesn't interest me, as I don't really feel as inclined to check out cartoons from this one specific country, and also because I'll go mad if one more person insists I watch Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. Just because I watched a bunch of Miyazaki, Takahata, Otomo* or Oshii films, and I constantly ask my weeb friends who they think would win if Orochimaru fought Kisame, and I am promise I'll start either Berserk or Serial Experiments: Lain this year, I still don't feel as big of a kinship to the anime culture. I have vague impressions of what terms like "baka", "senpai", "yandere", "tsundere" or "shonen" mean. I still misspelled this album's name as "Sempai III" way too many times.

Now that I got it out there that I definitely absolutely in no way shape or form am I an anime fan, I also haven't paid much attention to this scene of guitarists that Sithu Aye is part of, but I did try to make some amends to it last year when I reviewed Plini's album. I'm not gonna get in the same "what genre is this really" discussions that I got in those, because I assume you already read all my reviews, including the ones I deleted and the ones that are behind a paywall. But both Plini and Sithu Aye are in the same box of instrumental guitar driven music that etches on the borders on metal just hard enough to give us a reason to feature them on a metal website.

I think Senpai III is even less metal than Impulse Voices. But I guess that makes a lot of sense for an album inspired by this "high school" brand of anime. But it's a lot more fleshed out than the previous two Senpai EPs, and it doesn't just have to do with this being expanded to full length runtimes, but the production is a lot more expansive, with all of its aspects and the performances all credited to Sithu, and a flow that actually seems to create and sustain a certain dramatic momentum. It all makes more sense when you know that Sithu also released a novella along with this album. I'm not gonna read it. But you can kinda tell that these two probably work pretty well together, even if reading the novella probably takes a longer time than this album's runtime.

As a whole, it sounds pretty good, with a mood that doesn't take itself too seriously even if the means of achieving that mood are darn serious. The production and performances are fantastic, and those are pretty impossible not to be appreciated even if one finds the jovial nature of the album unappealing. I'm a bit split on this, since it reminds me of having to disconsider the opinions of people with anime profile pics, but you take it away from this album, and it's still such a fun and emotional listen.



*When I saw that I watched a bunch of Otomo films I mean just Akira.


 



Written on 17.01.2021 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 116 users
18.01.2021 - 04:25
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Anime culture is always welcome, be it on music or whatever else.
The music, tho... Kinda sounds like Demetori. Perhaps a bit better but just a bit. Nothing too groundbreaking
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Rose is red, violet is blue. Flag is win, Baba is you.
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18.01.2021 - 07:28
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
SSUS about to be right miffed at this.
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"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
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18.01.2021 - 12:06
musclassia
I've not heard much by c2 aye apart from Set Course For Andromeda, but that's up with the best instru-prog I've heard, so I will make sure to give this a try, even though I'm guessing the tone will be a bit different if it's so anime-inspired
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18.01.2021 - 14:12
DeliciousDishes
annoying
Oh god listening to a bit of this transported me back ~12 years to myself playing too much BlazBlue and listening to the soundtrack on youtube. It kind of has the same problems as a lot of this anime rock music stuff, in that it's probably really talented and competent, but god it just sounds so stale and lifeless to me. But then again if I ever dreamt about playing any of these songs, I would wake up cause I'd find that too unrealistic.

As for Berserk, read it and don't watch. The manga is beautiful and more so the later in the series, while the shows are ok to really bad. Also reading is just faster tbh and a lot of the best moments are unadapted. JoJo is fun but you really don't need to if you're not an anime fan in general. Lain can put you to sleep but it's worth it just cause how crazy it is and to suck up the mood. Also a cyberpunk story that's not just bladerunner.
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You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
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18.01.2021 - 14:17
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by DeliciousDishes on 18.01.2021 at 14:12

As for Berserk, read it and don't watch. The manga is beautiful and more so the later in the series, while the shows are ok to really bad. Also reading is just faster tbh and a lot of the best moments are unadapted. JoJo is fun but you really don't need to if you're not an anime fan in general. Lain can put you to sleep but it's worth it just cause how crazy it is and to suck up the mood. Also a cyberpunk story that's not just bladerunner.

Noted
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Jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

2021 goodies
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19.01.2021 - 00:09
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Awww. I thought this was quite endearing. It's a charming sound that reminds me of some rocking old anime intros but this can definitely be enjoyed by people who don't know/like anime at all.
It's uplifting prog that doesn't try too hard with its complex sound. It sounds very natural.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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19.01.2021 - 03:49
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by Troy Killjoy on 18.01.2021 at 07:28

SSUS about to be right miffed at this.

I am right miffed

Radu actually proposed that I review this, but my past experiences with Sithu Aye place him just on the unremarkable side of this djenty instrumental guitar prog thing, so I figured I'd stick to MSA prep. Maybe this album will change my mind when I finally get around to listening to it in November. Besides that, I don't want to be known as nothing more than "the MS reviewer who watches anime"; I'll just stick to Babymetal and Houkago Grind Time and Maximum The Hormone and my Liz and the Blue Bird avatar and the Urusei Yatsura quote in my signature and taking every available opportunity to point out that K-On! is a better show than Metalocalypse.

And on that subject, why is it that I must tell Radu how necessary it is to watch Serial Experiments Lain? It's Weird enough that I feel our roles have been reversed.
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"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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19.01.2021 - 04:30
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Obligatory Death To Weebs comment.
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14:22 - Marcel Hubregtse
I do your mum
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19.01.2021 - 08:41
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Troy Killjoy on 18.01.2021 at 07:28

SSUS about to be right miffed at this.

The first time I read think I thought you said "milked"
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Jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

2021 goodies
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22.01.2021 - 15:40
TheBigRossowski
Dudeist Priest
Written by Mr. Doctor on 19.01.2021 at 00:09

Awww. I thought this was quite endearing. It's a charming sound that reminds me of some rocking old anime intros but this can definitely be enjoyed by people who don't know/like anime at all.
It's uplifting prog that doesn't try too hard with its complex sound. It sounds very natural.


After listening several times, I would agree. Though it's no "Set Course for Andromeda" in terms of heaviness, it's still very well written. With the explosion of streaming services it's become extremely easy to track similar artists and compare them in the hundreds.

Minus a few of the tracks (specifically # 4 Hanako's), I found it overall very endearing. This coupled with the fact that he made a novella that ties into the album conceptually is pretty awesome.
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That rug really tied the room together, did it not?
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26.01.2021 - 14:01
musclassia
Honestly, the anime aspects aren't as in your face as I expected, I wouldn't even think of it too much of the time outside of the album name, although there are clearly songs/segments where it comes through. This is just more beautiful instrumental prog by probably the best person doing it atm (yes, I know Plini exists, it's a tough one but I do prefer Sithu Aye when he's at his best, like on "Reina: A Rival's Reprise")
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