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Snippets: The sad final week of January: Cancellation of games, and Kawada Mami quits.

This is a sad week for the otaku indeed. The cancellation of several game titles like the mobile Black Bullet and Vita Rail Wars by 5pb were shocking and sudden. But what was perhaps the worst news of the lot was that Kawada Mami, the last singer of I've Sound, has called it quits, and announced that her final live concert will be in May. This will be a depressing edition of snippets indeed.

So let's start with Black Bullet. The light novel has 7 volumes to date , and was made into an anime in 2014, with 13 episodes covering the first 4 volumes. Reviews were not very good, but they were not horrible either. The fight scenes were in fact quite good. A mobile app was then being developed following the anime, however, this week, the project was killed with just a very short announcement. you can see it here Cyberspace was as usual, set alight by this. Fans were shouting comments like, I cannot believe the entire app was just wiped! Sadness is just flowing in my head, and other more realistic answers like If the anime was already cancelled, the app being killed is no shock. A check into light novel sales revealed that only volume 1 exceeded sales of 3000. All other volumes are below that. A dismal record to be sure. And there are even rumours that the writer is dead, since no volumes have been released since. A sad end to a series that had the potential to be huge.

Rail Wars, similarly, was a light novel made into an anime in 2014. 8 volumes have been published so far. While the novel is still doing well, 5pb cancelled the title, due to be released on the Vita, for "being behind schedule and other circumstances". This was after the title was already postponed once in December. In both cases the explanation given was simply brief and does not really explain much. There will certainly be many more angry fans if Japan continues this trend of silence. 

Any otaku will have heard of I'VE Sound, that monolith of electrical music. Originating from icy and distant Hokkaido, the sound unit started out in the music wasteland of adult PC games. Singers usually do not start there as there is stigma attached and no singer has broken into mainstream anime or games from that industry. There have been seiyuus, but they have used fake names, though they were found out in the end by fans. I'VE is the first to break through that glass ceiling, and have so far produced thousands of songs for various ,mainstream anime and game titles. I'VE has several singers, but over the years they have either gone independent, like KOTOKO, or retired. The latest to quit is singer-songwriter Kawada Mami, famous for her Onegai series, A Certain Magical Index and  Shakugan no Shana songs, amongst many others. Her final concert is in May. If you are a fan, book your tickets now. 

That ends this depressing edition of Snippets. I hope to write on the remarkable I'VE sound and its remarkable climb into mainstream market in the near future.

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