Native Hip Hop/Spoken Word artist, BazilleDX reflects on his anime inspired album, Shiroban, and gives a track by track explanation of how each song relates to his favorite anime, Bomberman Jetters.
In between finishing my last exams’ finals/papers period of undergrad, I created and released a project called the Shirobon EP. It was something I had thought about for a minute and was glad to release so quickly, but something feels missing: an explanation. Here it is, every track explained to the best that I can. Bomberman Jetters has to be my most favorite anime ever. Call me a nerd for it, but see the articulation of my spirit and hopefully it makes less generalizable sense in that way. All love.
Track 1: “Purple Lights”
Purple Lights” starts of the project, not necessarily referencing anything about the Bomberman Jetters anime specifically, but referencing how art has impacted my life – for better or for worse. I’m an addict to this stuff, music, anime, animation, hip hop, poetry, so much. It’s my passion, and often that has unfortunately come up as a downside for me in certain areas of my life. While I do love this stuff, I also just wanted to recognize how things can kind of end up a little negative when going too overboard and in indulging so much. Nevertheless, “Purple Lights” is sort of a proud warning: things are about to get weird. “I’m Shirobon in human form and that’s why I’m single.”
Track 2: “Bomber Star”
“Bomber Star” refers to Bomberman Jetter’s 2nd episode “The Fifth Jetters”. The vocals you hear in the beginning are of Shout recognizing that Shirobon is a “Bomberman”. Given this, she gets excited and says “How many Bomber Stars do you have? 6? 7?” Shirobon kind of shyly and embarrassingly says, “Only one.” This scene reminded me of when I began rapping and making music. “How many mixtapes do you have?” “How many albums do you have?” When I went through life only having 1 project out, I pushed for more and more and more and haven’t stopped since, because “I remember when I really only had one lonely Bomber Star.”
Track 3: “Jetter Dream”
“Jetter Dream” comes from the same episode, where Shout and Shirobon meet (due to a vehicle crash). Shout is the current leader of the Jetters, and Shirobon is a young aspiring member. A funny little interaction occurs (check the episode) and it all reminded me of my entrance into hip hop. I was really young, my voice wasn’t what it is today (both in terms of biological development as well as confident vocal presence), and overall I’m sure many older guys/gals around me saw it all as a longshot. But being a “Rapper”/”Jetter” was my dream, and I couldn’t help but to chase after that.
Track 4: “Octopus Dumplings”
“Octopus Dumplings” comes from Bomberman Jetters episode 36 “A Close Look At The Jetters”. After a long day of work Shirobon and Rui sit exhausted at the table, suddenly realizing they haven’t eaten supper yet. From the kitchen, Shout’s father (owner of the restaurant) places two bowls in front of them, and Shirobon grows excited about the octopus dumplings he’ll soon be eating. Rui is sort of let down, receiving none, and Shirobon insists that Rui take some of his. They go through the whole “No, it’s fine!” routine and the song continues. Through balancing trying to “survive” and trying not to fall victim to chasing “beggar’s gold” I aspire to be giving as much as I can be. My dream is to one day break free from the system that holds me so tightly, and to become more like Shirobon, who shows that kindness, generosity, and respect are what makes a person.
Track 5: “Shirobon’s Defeat”
If you listen closely, you’ll see that “Shirobon’s Defeat” is the only track that I get all “rappy rap” and braggy throughout the entire project. I hate lacks of substance, but I enjoy it at the same time. This was Shirobon’s defeat in episode 13 “Shirobon’s Defeat”. Through letting ego get in the way, you can feel like nothing can touch you, and then something touches you. Nobody is safe, nobody is untouchable.
Track 6: “How Did I Get Here”
“How Did I Get Here” comes from probably one of the funniest moments in the series. Episode 33 “Lein Goes Boom!” shows a fourth wall-breaking Shirobon questioning the recent plot-rushes in the anime, questioning “How did we get here?” as everyone tries to brush issues under the rug. This made me think about how it feels sometimes to be in my position in life. To garner appreciation and gratitude for where I am. “How did I get here?” It’s a funny story.
Track 7: “No Hook”
“No Hook” involves a subtle vocal sample of Shirobon growing confused and upset about fighting “water with fire” in a sense. He’s upsettedly confused, just like how I am in certain places. Yeah, you can hear the song for more on that lol. Basically, the flame is not continued in this mixture for some reason, the two just aren’t flowing together – thus, no hook can really work for the attempted pairing.
Track 8: “Pretty Bomber”
“Pretty Bomber” deals with that feeling of “gahh”. “When did I return to high school?” ugh, kind of a cringey feeling sometimes. I remember writing raps about this girl I liked, and then she saw it and never spoke to me again hahaha. Yes, development and that one specific aspect of growing pain is a comedic one; it makes me smile. I’m sure Shirobon could show you these kinds of embarrassing instances throughout the series. Outside of the anime, in the video game Shirobon encounters many struggles in trying to be with the character known as Pretty Bomber.
Track 9: “Purple Shadows”
“Purple Shadows” deals with much of the same issues “Purple Lights” did, but with a different tone. Where “Purple Lights” takes on a more prideful attitude, “Purple Shadows” shows a bit more hopelessness, yet still fights back in a sluggish attitude on this issue. Again, it’s been a bumpy ride through all of this. During the semester, as I was getting through the second half of the Bomberman Jetters series, I thought to myself, “Is this embarrassing? Am I one of those people that others always make fun of by making these my weekend activities?” Nah, but here’s the sacrifices made to have fun in this world sometimes.
Track 10: “Splash Water Bomb”
“Splash Water Bomb” closes out on a cliff-hanger. Here, I have gathered all of my experiences and trials, and I am ready to “fight water with fire” (or is it thunder? eh? watch the series, seriously). The Glamorous Mermaid Bomber whips out her “Splash Water Bomb” as she does in episodes 17 and 18, and I prepare once again. Life is a hard thing to go with or against. It’s a battle. Whether it be going back into the whole dating thing again, or to finish up college, or to prepare for the next step, it’s all about preparing that response bomb to fight back with (not aggressively or anything, but you know). This song has to be my favorite, because it’s me in so many senses (like “Purple Lights” which I specifically chose to be the opening track). “She plays the devil surrounded by Christ crosses. I play the sinner in spirit and throat lozenge.”
Anywho, I hope that this sort of clears up or makes sense of anything. The anime Bomberman Jetters touched my heart and my soul so much, I couldn’t help but to pay tribute to it like this. I hope y’all enjoy it.