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Perfume: Ready for Prime Time

Perfume started life as an electronica oriented art-rock band back when they lived in Shibuya, and they have evolved wonderfully in the past decade. They have a tasty new tune to share, and although the versions available for posting online are short, they illustrate the power the full version brings to the table.

Mugenmirai, in English Flash, is the theme song of CHIHAYAFURU, a movie about the card game that is at the core of so many Asian games, and of the spirit of competition it brings. It can look a little confusing to western eyes at first, until you look at the cards and realize they are not the standard 52 card deck. Each card is actually a fragment of a poem; if you can see the poem hidden within the hand you have been dealt, you only have to remove all the cards that are not part of it from your hand before your opponent does the same with theirs. If you rethink anything, if you hesitate, if you even take a breath before acting, you have lost; only the swiftest and smartest have a chance at winning this game.

And don’t think this is a team sport. The huge crowd bent down on the gymnasium floor may be broken into two groups, each wearing their school colors, but the similarity ends there. You start out going up against members of the opposing school, but when you have thinned them out you play against your classmates, until a single person is victorious. There is no team in this sport, only a winner and a few thousand losers.

The second track is a visual variation of that same song, and since I went that far, throwing in a trailer for the movie seemed only fair. The songs were posted on February 14th, soundtrack will be released on March 14th, and the movie itself comes out on Saturday March 17th (if I am reading the information correctly).

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