Monthly Review: Makoto Furukawa’s “Place your bets”, XlamV’s “Climb and more

Makoto Furukawa arrived to steal the show, break his personal records and impress us all, XlamV confirmed they are THE 2D group to watch in 2023 after releasing “Climb”. Tetsuya Kakihara brings out a fantastic set of songs in “Waratte ite…” and more. This and more in this article – and video – of MONTHLY REVIEW July 2023.

This month’s episode is all about the music released in July 2023.

Groovy, stylish, and filled with music perfect for this summer, July 2023 arrived with a strong lineup spearheaded by Makoto Furukawa’s long-awaited jazzy new single “Place your bets”.

For those fans of dance music with a chill, groovy vibe, XlamV finally released its 1st EP “Climb” and ended up making quite a big impression.

Tetsuya Kakihara was set on putting a smile across your face with the mini-album “Waratte ite…”. He ended up delivering so much more that makes it well worth checking the CD out.

And standing out this month were:

  • Makoto Furukawa “Place your bets”,
  • XlamV “Climb”, and
  • Tetsuya Kakihara “Waratte ite…”.

In the video version of this article – which covers many more CDs and features your comments as well – I bring my impressions about a couple of CDs I recently reviewed.

Make sure to watch the episode!

Makoto Furukawa “Place your bets”

Makoto Furukawa "Place Your Bets"

Celebrating his 5th anniversary as a solo artist, Makoto Furukawa returned to his jazz and rock roots to deliver the outstanding new single “Place your bets“.

“Place your bets” – the single – is a concise summary of everything Furukawa has done so far and, at the same time, a single with a hopeful tone, a tone of “continuation”, that makes me look excitedly forward to future CD releases in his career.

XlamV “Climb”

XlamV "Climb"

After a perfect build-up with consecutive digital single releases leading up to the release of its 1st EP, XlamV finally released “Climb“.

And while most of the songs in this release were by no means new, alongside the chill “Awasora“, everything fits together. It feels right. From the cohesive performances to the harmonies within the group and the stylish instrumentals, XlamV has nailed every single thing.

If you haven’t checked this EP yet, I thoroughly welcome you to do so and understand why XlamV is, by far, the biggest surprise of 2023.

Tetsuya Kakihara “Waratte ite…”

Tetsuya Kakihara "Waratte ite..."
Regular edition

This time around, the concept for Tetsuya Kakihara‘s “Waratte ite…” is to make his fans or listeners happy, feel good, loved, and appreciated.

And he accomplishes that across a set of 6 songs that bring chants, choirs, unusual compositions that defy traditional patterns or formulas, groovy tunes, and ballads that will bring chills down your spine.

When “Waratte ite…” wraps up, you’re not only left with a big smile on your face but also a couple of tears and goosebumps all over.

And while this CD may go under the radar for many people, if you are reading this right now, why not give it a listen?


As the name says, Monthly Review is a monthly feature in which I find yet another excuse to talk about male seiyuu music and 2D groups.

This is a feature in which I get on camera – unscripted (and usually looking a bit tired lol) – covering the most impressive/buzzworthy releases in any given month – and hidden gems that not many people may end up paying attention to -, counting on your participation as well in all 4 corners:

  • Best of the month (3 best/buzzworthy/gems of every given month as picked by me + 3 suggested by THTFHQ readers
  • Monthly Choice (3 CD suggestions by me – regardless of when the CDs were released – and 3 suggestions by THTFHQ readers)
  • Music in the Horizon (a look at next month’s releases – it mixes my and your comments on upcoming releases by male seiyuu artists, bands, units, or 2D groups)
  • Ask Vanessa (ask me anything about male seiyuu or 2D music, if you don’t ask, it turns into a “Soma Saito” corner)

Do you want to participate in MONTHLY REVIEW?

This show is a collaborative work between you and me, sharing our love for male seiyuu and 2D music projects. Don’t be shy to participate.

And don’t worry about not having perfect English writing or the sort, we all make mistakes and even I am not a native speaker – and typos are really my bread and butter here on the website – so don’t let that stop you from participating, should you want to!

As always, several times during the month, the survey to participate in next month’s episode is shared on THTFHQ’s social media (Facebook and Twitter) and on THTFHQ’s YouTube channel‘s community tab (make sure to subscribe to not miss the notification, or lurk if you don’t want to subscribe).

You can participate as many times as you want, I only ask that you avoid submitting the same answers in the various entries you make in this feature.

The goal is to feature as many CDs as possible, not to talk only about 1 or 2 CDs.

Please remember that these episodes are much more enjoyable with your insights. Every month I share a survey on social media for you to leave your impressions on new music.

Although only 3 people are chosen for each corner (less if there were fewer submissions), know I read them all. I read everything and keep being impressed by your musical sensibility!

THTFHQ’s community is filled with talented individuals, fans of good music, and voice acting. You geek as hard – or even more – about both things as I do!

If the links are not working, CLICK HERE to check the video.

Vanessa Silva
Vanessa Silva
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder, content creator, and music reviewer. Basically, the only person managing everything at The Hand That Feeds HQ. Stumbling upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" in 2011 was the start of this journey. If music is thought-provoking or deep, you may find her writing almost essays (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). She's the producer and host of the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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