Monthly Review: Soma Saito does it again with “Rakuen”, Makoto Furukawa, Sir Vanity impress and more

June 2022 was a fantastic month filled with interesting music releases. Soma Saito bids goodbye to an era in his solo career with “Rakuen”, Makoto Furukawa sweeps everyone off their feet with a dual single in “Ibara Rinbukyoku”, Sir Vanity’s “Ray” is a banger, and more.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The 6th episode of the new video feature on The Hand That Feeds HQ’s YouTube channel is out!

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 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)
  • Ask Vanessa* (ask me anything about male seiyuu or 2D music)

*Title subject to change, if you have suggestions for a title for this section, do leave those in the comments

This month’s episode is all about the music released in June 2022.

June 2022 changed things up and was slightly busier with many high-profile solo artists releasing music and some of the most popular 2D music projects being quite active.

Almost on par with the quality of the music released in February 2022, this month has plenty of awesome CDs for you to check.

Sir Vanity Ray cover

Sir Vanity released its first full-length album “Ray” and impressed.

The rock band fronted by Yuichiro Umehara and Yoshiki Nakajima was nothing short of amazing with its emotional sound, a good bunch of solo tracks, and plenty of cool tunes to headbang along with.

On top of it all, Satoru Kuwabara was delivering a tasteful and punchy combo of bassline and piano melodies across all songs that will, for sure, make this album sound like something refreshing in comparison to other rock bands fronted by seiyuu.


TRIGGER is unrecognizable in sound for “SUISAI“.

The sexy pop idol group from the IDOLiSH7 franchise went the ballads route to deliver 2 spine-chilling performances in which fragility is strength and love is the remedy for all things.

From R&B riffing by Soma Saito to Takuya Sato leading the way in the ad-libs and Wataru Hatano delivering stellar performances across the board, this is a must-listen single, albeit one that sounds like nothing the group previously released.

ZOOL is back to its origins with a rock-rap sound that is addictive, powerful, and gritty.

In “Survivor“, listeners find a group with a new outlook, with new ambitions, and back to their passionate sound after stumbling and falling with its 1st album “einsatZ“.

This is a new beginning for ZOOL and it sounds as better than ever with their harmonies and completely in-sync performances.

Lil Happy

aoppella!?’s “A” (read: Ace) – is yet another top album release this month, encapsulating 1 year of activities for the franchise in the best way possible.

Groovy performances – some borderline sexy – and clear, beautiful ones fill this album in which Lil Happy and FYA’M’s members showcase just how impressive they are on the vocal end.


Artist version

Makoto Furukawa went for double charms – and concepts – for his new single “Ibara Rinbukyoku“.

Still clinging in a way to the whole cinderella/fairytale concept (from 2020’s album “from fairytale“), Furukawa tells a tale that will make you go through an emotional rollercoaster.

Be ready to be mesmerized with longing in the anime version and experience decadence and intimacy in the artist version.

Soma Saito appeared out of nowhere to celebrate his 5th anniversary as a solo artist with the digital single “Rakuen“.

Although the title implies something “happy” and “celebratory”, Saito went the dark, solemn and emotional route for this single, delivering a haunting performance that sounds like “Genjitsu“, “Waltz” and “Epilogue” were mashed together.

This is the end of an era, the start of a new one. Come listen to Saito burying the fantastic “in bloom” + “my beautiful valentine” era and moving on to a new one with this release.

These and more thoughts/comments can be found in the almost 1-hour-ish episode that just dropped on the channel and that you can find in this article as well.

Thanks to everyone that participated with amazing comments. And remember, although only 3 were chosen for each corner (less if there were fewer submissions from you), do know I’ve read them all. I read everything and keep being impressed by your musical sensibility!

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

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 so 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, in the 2nd week of every month, the survey to participate in next month’s episode will be shared on THTFHQ’s social media (Facebook and Twitter) and on THTFHQ’s YouTube channel‘s community section (make sure to subscribe to not miss the notification, or lurk if you don’t want to subscribe).

You can participate as many times 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.

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

For media, PR, and business enquiries, please email me at:

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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