Members of the Selective Hearing staff list their favourite things from the entertainment world for the month of March.
NOTE: Yup, late again.
Looking back at March, A LOT of new music came out so much that it was challenging to keep up. Hence the delays in a lot of the reviews that I write. However, with so much new content to sift through, I have narrowed my favourites to the following.
FANTASTICS from EXILE TRIBE – Santa Monica Lollipop
Many of the EXILE affiliated groups are mix and match sound-a-likes to me these days. I can’t tell them apart anymore from the parent group. FANTASTICS are an exception as they tend to release some decent old-school-sounding EXILE-type stuff.
Santa Monica Lollipop is an example of that goodness. So colour me surprised when I saw there was a full-length video for this song on YouTube rather than the standard short clip. Thanks much, Rhythm Zone, for not being in the dark ages like many Japanese agencies are with YouTube.
Furui Riho – Green Light
I stumbled upon this album while browsing through the new releases in the R&B section of Apple music. Green Light has such a great groove throughout that I had gone through this nine-track album several times before I realized it.
Green Light reminded me of the early 2000s when there was an abundance of good Japanese R&B to be found. So it’s nice to see a bit of resurgence of the genre with artists such as Furui Riho and Kaze Fujii.
Jay Park feat. IU – GANADARA
Jay Park’s collaboration with IU is some good shit. Of course, I’m on board with anything IU these days, so getting down with this song was a no-brainer. But, even with that heavy bias, the song is a sweet but funky piece of Hip-Pop with a hilarious music video.
(G)I-DLE – I Never Die
I had a hard time picking between this album and Brave Girls’ Thank You for my favourite of March. Brave Girl’s latest release is 100% up my alley regarding dance-pop. However, (G)I-DLE is the more interesting sonically.
Emerging from the loss of (arguably) their most popular member (G)I-DLE came out with an ass-kicking album. The lead single TOMBOY shows that they are a force to be reckoned with despite being one member down.
It is highly recommended you listen to the entire thing as it’s another quality release from (G)I-DLE.
Gran Turismo 7
The highly anticipated next edition of Polyphony Digital’s racing series finally hit the PS5 in early March, and it’s just as difficult as I remember the game being.
Yes, there is a lot of grinding to do to get the cars, but that’s how you get better at driving. I’m pretty early in the game, so I’m far from getting every ride from the cafe. Since this is a racing game, it’s a pick up and play for a while kind of deal, and there’s no hurry to “finish” it.
I’m not too fond of some of the changes made with the current patch, as it means more grinding to make money. And also, spending real-life money to get some of the rare cars feels like a money grab.
Even with those minor flaws, I still have fun playing it.
This was the game I wanted to get a PS5 for, and so far, I’m enjoying my time wandering a deserted Shibuya. Having been to Tokyo many times, I can recognize many different places in the district as I walk around killing weird monsters with my funky powers.
The side missions are kind of dumb. But at least you get free money and XP for finishing them, and it takes quite a while to get used to what magic spells work best on certain enemies. (Hint: Fire seems to blast through everything) But once you have that down, you can easily mow down through lesser monsters. Mid to boss-level monsters are a bit more challenging but not so much that you want to turn off the game in frustration.
I’m only four chapters in as of this writing since I’ve been doing all the side quests and relic hunting to level up my dude. But so far, it’s a trippy game. I don’t think I’ll finish this one as quickly as I did for Ghost of Tsushima or the Yakuza games, but I’ll eventually get it over with once I’m done fucking around.
March was a crazy month. Not only did Tapas go on a release spree, several of the more exciting series happened to launch during March, and vtubers went crazy as Nijisanji launched their latest group Noctyx and Hololive celebrated all of their various streamers with the massive Link Your Wish festival.
Let’s jump right in!
Two of the most fascinating series launched in March were The Princess after the Revolution and My S Class Hunters. The former is a romance shoujo isekai with an interesting twist – instead of someone from planet Earth getting reincarnated into another world, it is someone from a fantasy world getting reverse reincarnated here. The latter is considered one of the three “big shonen” web novels, so many fans of the original work highly anticipated its release.
A list of other series is below:
This part is so massive it has to be split into two sections, one for Nijisanji and the other for Hololive. Each section will also include selected clips or official videos where appropriate.
Link Your Wish, a massive two-day concert celebrating the largest vtuber agency in the world (Hololive), was something all fans eagerly anticipated not just because it was paired with Hololive Super Expo but also because it would be the first Hololive concert featuring all the international streamers as well.
Not to be outdone, Nijisanji also had several significant streams to match.
First, the newest wave of streamers, Noctyx, had their first whole month of streaming in March, prompting several exciting collaborations with each other and the other waves.
Several Nijisanji members were also featured on Ironmouse’s channel (one of the most-watched vtubers in the west), prompting some of the most memorable outside collaborations as of late.
Saving the best for last, there was a chain of several in-person collaborations that were eagerly anticipated by fans, with each in-person stream featuring a surprise guest.
Musically, there were several great standout releases during March. As there were a number of them, they will be listed below: