Oh my god! I’m actually writing a weekly wrap up post on a Saturday. And a Saturday of the appropriate week, no less. Is it true? can it be that I’ve finally caught up? It certainly seems it. So, before I get distracted and have to delay this until Sunday, let’s get my thoughts down here and close this out.
As stated in the reveal post, I first discovered Rip Slyme because of the anime series Gantz. Rip Slyme did the opening music, the really excellent song Super Shooter. The cut they use for the opening credits is good, but I was able to eventually find the full version.
It’s excellent, though I highly recommend not driving to it. I was driving on the highway at around 1 in the morning one night when it came on, and when I finally glanced at my speed, I found I was doing 85mph. I also would advise against driving while listening to Speed King off of FunFair. Same thing happens. Actually, there are a whole bunch of Rip Slyme songs that make you feel like you’re in a racing game. Until you’re familiar enough with their catalogue, I would recommend home listening so you know what to avoid.
In any case, after that song, I decided to research them a little more. I stumbled across the video for Galaxy, and decided that I was on the right track. It was not easy, but I acquired five of their albums (Five, Tokyo Classic, Time to Go, Masterpiece and the just releases Epoch) soon after. By the time they were becoming my go-to study music, I had added FunFair to my collection. From there, I’ve kept track of them and picked up albums as they came out. I took a bit of a hiatus after Star, not because I disliked the album, I just got distracted by other music. I picked up the two most recent albums just a couple of years ago, along with the first two to complete my collection.
Side note: I was pulled away and did not finish this post on Daturday, so, as predicted, it came in on Sunday. Well, I tried.
Part of the draw was that I watched a lot of anime in the late Nineties and through most of the Aughts. Like my normal TV watching, I was extremely picky about which ones I watched. I gave the staples like DragonBall and Inuyasha a shot, but I couldn’t get into them. The ones I ended up gravitating to were the ones that contained a whole story in one or two seasons. I especially liked the ones that were a little edgier. I loved Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, but I could also get in to lighter fare like Martian Successor Nadesico and Great Teacher Onizuka. Really, it came down to series that had a good story, but also had a defined beginning, middle and end. It reflected what I hated about most TV shows at the time. In most cases, especially sitcoms, each episode was pretty self contained, and a longer story was lacking. I’m sure this has something to do with my comics reading in earlier years. I like longer, more developed story arcs. If you can solve your issues in 20 minutes of screen time, I have trouble believing that it was that big of a problem. If your story takes 26 episodes to come to resolution, that I can get behind. There is far more time to get into the motivations of the characters and the nuances of the struggles that way.
Rip Slyme had a very similar sound to a lot of the music coming out of these beloved anime series, especially the downtempo trip-hop in Samurai Champloo. I gravitated to it easily. Even though I haven’t watched a lot of anime in the past five or so years, I still have fond memories of a lot of it, like favorite books that I read and enjoyed. Rip Slyme is a nice reminder of those stories, be they the whimsical fantasy of Fushigi Yugi or the supernatural macabre of Witch Hunter Robin.
But I don’t keep Rip Slyme around merely for the nostalgia. Mostly I keep them around because their music is unabashedly cheerful. You can’t be upset and listen to Rip Slyme. Try it. Next time you’re in a bad mood, listen to a bunch of Rip Slyme. One of two things will happen. You’ll either shut it off or let it change your mood. You can’t be depressed or angry and listen to this. It’s just not possible. Everyone needs some music like that, just in case. Everyone needs something infectiously happy that you can’t help being happy listening to. For the good times, it can keep you upbeat and positive, for the bad times it can help you get out of the hole. Rip Slyme is just one of those rare things in the world that is always bright and cheerful. Even their heavier stuff is like that. There’s no darkness to Rip Slyme.
Whether for the love of anime, my personal needs for nostalgia, or for their unapologetic cheer, Rip Slyme is a fun experience. I still have no idea what they’re saying ninety percent of the time (there’s a “baby” thrown in now and again, the mix it up with some random English words here and there), but I don’t think it really matters. Fun is kind of a universal language.