Monthly Review: Sir Vanity nails it with “midnight sun”, TRIGGER goes all out and more

Sir Vanity dominates March 2023 with “midnight sun”, TRIGGER stands out in “BLACK or White”, UMake upgrades its sound and more.

The 14th 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 by male seiyuu artists, bands, units or 2D groups)
  • Ask Vanessa (ask me anything about male seiyuu or 2D music, if don’t ask, it turns into a “Soma Saito” corner)

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

March 2023 welcomed some heavy hitters in the 2D music scene as well as rock bands fronted by male seiyuu. These are coincidently both featuring vocals by Yoshiki Nakajima.

And standing out this month were:

  • Sir Vanity’s near-perfect “midnight sun”,
  • TRIGGER’ stood out in the middle of the compilation album “BLACK or WHITE”‘s funky – and explicit – “BE AUTHENTIC”,
  • UMake’s feel-good music, and
  • Loulou*di’s pitch-black darkness in “ARK”.

Sir Vanity’s “midnight sun”

Sir Vanity "midnight sun"

It is undeniable that Sir Vanity has been on a good spell in the past couple of CD releases.

The rock band fronted by Yoshiki Nakajima and Yuichiro Umehara brought a robust, varied, and rich rock sound. As such, you can pick influences from indie-rock, funk, and acid-jazz throughout this release.

And what you get is a unique set of songs with some performances that will leave you in awe.



At the same time, UMake, pop-rock band fronted by Kent Ito and Yoshiki Nakajima released a new full-length album, “ATMOSPHERE“.

Although far from being perfect, this album continuously shows that this duo has been maturing their sound. There are nods at past releases while keeping their focus on their future.

This resulted in a set of cozy, feel-good semi-acoustic pop-rock tunes. At the same time, there are the occasional rock tunes as well as a fast-paced hip-hop tune. The latter features some of the most intricate performances the duo has delivered so far.


The IDOLiSH7 franchise released “BLACK or WHITE” and what fans got was a live show in CD format. Packed with a prologue, intermissions, and epilogue parts, listening to this album feels like watching a live festival with artists coming and going from the stage.

Among the 4 new songs – one from each of the franchise’s groups, IDOLiSH7, TRIGGER, Re:vale and ZOOL -, TRIGGER’s “BE AUTHENTIC” stands out for being the most ambitious song out of them all, boasting a groovy sound while being incredibly sexy throughout.

This matured, funky sound is not common for the group but is slowly leaving its mark, being an essential part of their maturity as a group.

Loulou*di “ARK”

Loulou*di "ARK"

And Loulou*di, as expected, went darker and darker for its new album release. “ARK” is full of despair, devoid of life, and is all about destruction.

The songs you will come across on this CD are dark and depressive, with “Dying Matter” standing out among the carefully crafted set of tracks. There’s something genius about this album that I still can’t quite put my finger on it. In a way, I believe this is one of the most complex albums released by the talented trio.

These and more thoughts/comments can be found in the almost 1-hour-ish episode that just dropped on the channel. Check the links on this article as well if you haven’t subscribed to the channel.

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!

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.

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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