Belle herself, voice actress Kaho Nakamura, sings in Millennium Parade’s song U in Mamoru Hosoda’s latest masterpiece Belle. The film opened at the Cannes festival on July 15th, where it received a 14 minute standing ovation! It opened in Tokyo the following day, immediately taking the number one spot at the box office. The second track here is a song from the film just posted online yesterday by Toho Studios, and the third is one of the trailers. It made me smile to see the Beast to this Beauty was a dragon this time around. While I don’t know the opening date for North America, I do know it will be in the hands of G-Kids, who I trust when they say it will be coming soon to theaters here. After all, it has to play before we run out of December in order to qualify for the next Oscar nominations; and considering the reception it received at Cannes I would say Hosoda is an even more serious contender to bring home a bunch of Oscars than he was when his last film Mirai was nominated for both the Oscars and the Golden Globe Awards.

Wagakki Band continue to create amazing music using their blend of traditional Japanese instruments (the literal translation of the word Wagakki) and modern rock tools. The first track is Aria of Life, their theme song for the Anime series Mars Red, while the second, Starlight, is the theme for the Japanese TV drama “Ichikei no Karasu”. Their music certainly lends itself to TV and Movie production with its unique sound, so they have been getting a lot of work in between recording albums and doing world tours.

This stuff is golden! After a 2 year wait, we are finally at the ragged edge of having a Live Action version of Cowboy Bebop! And we didn’t have to do anything to get more, because Netflix already verified the second season was funded and green lit!

But for those who have forgotten what this means, a song or two to bring it front and center again! The songs in this set were done as part of Seatbelt’s 2020 Virtual Sessions, not one of the previous year’s postings. But they were all composed by Yoko Kanno, they were all part of the original movie and TV show, they were all performed by Seatbelt! And even scarier, watching how they did their musical collaborations while in Lock-down, you get a much better understanding of just how world class this collection of singers and musicians is! And for those who didn’t already know her, the one in the space suit helmet is Yoko Kanno herself!

To start us off, the Lock Down version of Space Lion:

Then two different versions of the Real Folk Blues, one with the original Seatbelts mix, and one where Yoko Kanno gets to run rampant all over the musical arrangement. Both versions are totally amazing!

Yoko Kanno is doing the soundtrack for the Live Action version of Cowboy Bebop, and produced SEATBELTS doing this Virtual Session of the shows original theme song TANK! That wasn’t SEARBELT’S only recent virtual session, they also did Space Lion from the same show, LION, The Real Folk Blues, Don’t bother none, and the list goes on. Having the iconic compositions of Yoko Kanno (with possibly some new tunes when the show finally comes onto the small screen) and the Jazz presentation of Seatbelts in the new incarnation of Cowboy Bebop is just one of the reasons I can’t wait for this program to finally air.

Yoko Kanno is one of the most amazing composers and band leaders ever, and it is always a treat to discover someone new singing her praises by playing her music (and yes, I do mean that literally). Back in 2009 a band called Platina Jazz got together to create covers of the best Jazz music in Anime, so I figure at least half of their music has to be created by her. Let me show off a few of their tunes so you can get an idea of who they are.

Starting off with the single most recognizable tune from Anime Jazz, Yoko Kanno’s TANK:

Then there is Inner Universe from Ghost In The Shell : Stand Alone Complex, another track composed and originally preformed by Yoko Kanno!

And another killer classic from Cowboy Bebop, Knock A Little Harder: