Review | pioniX “Xtory -Ketsu-“

pioniX wrap up their participation in the Neo X Lied series with the outstanding power ballad “Ready to fly“.

infinit0 consists of Rei Sukigawa (CV: Hinata Tadokoro) and Roa Mikaze (CV: Mizuki Chiba). The duo is signed with the fictional label, Tsukipro.

TOBARI is a rock duo comprised of Shio Amagi (CV: Yoshiki Nakajima) and Kuroi Hashiba (CV: Tetsuei Sumiya). The duo is signed to the fictional label, SUNPRO (home to the pop-rock duo, ZIX).

infinit0 and TOBARI joined hands and work as a group in the Neo X Lied series as pioniX.

Title: Xtory -Ketsu-
Release date: 26/02/2021
Label: Movic
Genre: Rock


1 - Ready to fly
2 - DRAMA「conclusion -結-」 
3 - Ready to fly -off vocal-

Track analysis:

1 – Ready to fly

A dramatic piano melody slowly paints the soundscape for “Ready to fly“.

The intro will certainly stand out for its wide soundstage, piano at center stage as TOBARI and infinit0’s members are split between the left and right monitors, tackling those initial seconds into the song with a lot of emotion on top of a stripped-down instrumental.

Slowly, acoustic guitars join in alongside slow-paced snare-driven drums, a deep bassline, and electric guitars to create the stage for pioniX to show what they are made of.

The song might have given away a ballad vibe in the intro but only in the chorus do you know that you’re in for a power ballad by pioniX, their first one.

The verses are slow paced, with drums being quite prominent in this section, as acoustic guitars strum their way into the chorus.

The chorus is inspirational while being incredibly powerful. That happens much due to the fact that the first chorus brings strings to the spotlight and the 2nd one delivers a spine-chilling guitar solo that will tug at your heartstrings.

The outro is chilling. It creates once again that wide soundstage you got from the intro, however, adding the whole rock band ensemble into the mix, elevating this song into certified power ballad territory in my books.

That outro carries a lot of emotion into the last chorus, with Hinata Tadokoro’s soulful vocals dealing quite the blow in that section, leading to a powerful performance by Yoshiki Nakajima, Tetsuei Sumiya, and Mizuki Chiba.

pioniX were not shy about baring their hearts for this performance.

They are no strangers to ballads. pioniX performed a ballad in the previous entry in the Neo X Lied series – Xtory -Ten- – and did quite the number to their listeners’ emotions.

In “Ready to fly“, they outdid themselves and, although genuinely simple at its core, their performances feel more emotional – without even having a look at or paying attention to the lyrics – in comparison to “Kimi e“. The instrumental took on a power ballad route, something that also helped crank up the intensity in those emotions then if you add the lyrics, you get that blow.

As far as power ballads with an acoustic touch go, pioniX nailed the vibe and the delivery. They went for it and what you get is exactly one of the highlights – so far – in 2021.

Masterful performance.

Xtory -Ketsu- is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Xtory -Ketsu- / pioniX

Xtory -Ketsu- is available for streaming on Spotify.

Do not support piracy. Remember to support pioniX by streaming via official outlets.


pioniX deliver a masterful performance with their 4th entry in the Neo X Lied series. "Ready to fly" explores power ballad territory, doing so while bringing into the mix, acoustic elements. The focus was on creating a spine-chilling instrumental with a vast soundstage that slowly tightens around the listener by the time the chorus kicks in. You go from distance to familiarity. Sadness into hopefulness in "Ready to fly". When it comes to the performances, pioniX went for an outstanding performance, their best as a unit so far. Soulful, raw and emotional, all 4 members were on top of their game for this song. A must listen and already a candidate for best song released in 2021.


Ready to fly
Vanessa Silva
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).





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