I think it was sometime early in the pandemic. Korean boyband group NCT 127 released their third album titled Neo Zone. With a weird I-hate-this-no-wait-I-love-this-now title track Kick It, I think to date it’s probably my second favourite album from these guys, with Regulate still coming on top and it’s fighting with We Are Superhuman for the spot.
At around the same time, I just caught up to the latest raw of Tensei Shitara Suraimu Datta Ken‘s manga, also known as That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime or That One Slime Isekai and I was craving for more of Rimuru (the main character) to the point where I started reading the Light Novel of it. It’s surprisingly good, and is to date the only Light Novel that I’ve read.
This two event happened around the same time and therefore they have become intertwined in my head. The oh so wonderful song that came in this album have became synonymous with the super OP Raphael and magical monster town building and magicule infusion and naming process and demon lord seeds and basically I was totally in that world for like a few month with this album as a back sound.
Neo Zone (not the repackaged version) is “divided” into two part with an interlude in the middle. It starts with one of the two highlight of the album, Elevator (127F). It’s a chill song that starts with elevator-music-esque melodies that continues chugging along. The melodies along with the the synth feels like I’m walking along on a summer afternoon with friends in a middle sized city, walking through the commercial district, a peppy and excited beat follows them along. It is followed then by a boss battle.
No kidding the intro to Kick It feels like an encounter song from Final Fantasy or Pokémon that listening to it feels like I got ambushed by an enemy. Here in relation to the song I feel like I’m Rimuru and I have just encountered the Ogres, Benimaru, Shuna, Shion, Souei, Hakurou, and Kurobe after taking a fun stroll in the Jura Forest. In particular after around 2:38 where they go to the bridge(?) to build up the last chorus, it feels like the moment when they finally became Rimuru’s follower and then the last part is when they all fight the Orcs (I skipped the lizardmen because Gabiru is dumb).
Boom and Pandora’s Box are both really nice filler songs. I mean, they’re good, I like them, but I don’t remember them that much. Day Dream however is a different story because it does feel like a day dream. Now it’s been a while since I’ve read the LN, so this is more of going by vibe, but this song’s dream (heh) like sequence reminds me of the many time during that few month I was listening to this a lot where I would imagine myself being Rimuru or having Rimuru’s power and naming things and being a demon lord and what I would do.
There was a particular story that I was making in my head about how I would have this teleportation circle at one of the hidden corner at the place I was staying in during the pandemic that I could transport myself to where my friends are back in Jakarta and also I would have wings and I was leading a nation of monsters yes I was pretty chunni… two years ago… I never quit.
Interlude: Neo Zone serve as a pallette cleanser because after the sweet soft song that was Day Dream you get the yo-what-fuck-what song of the album, Mad Dog. This song goes have a very weird discordant drop and weird chord progression (I think) that it didn’t really click to me what’s the deal about this song was. The song also have this industrial(?) synth that was kinda like the replacement for a bassline that had weird funky melody. I like the song it’s very weird. It’s kinda like The Storm Dragon, Veldora, I guess in that regards.
Following that was Sit Down! which I think is much closer to your typical hip-hop song, although there was this harmonies part before the chorus that I really really like because it’s so out of place but it gives everything else much more oomph because it was so angelic compared to the rather…. I wouldn’t call it demonic, but just a lot more rough and tough parts that is the rest of the song. Eyu Eyu!
Love Me Now also feels like filler.
Now we come to my favourite song of the album. Love Song. This entire thing was written because it made the feeling of being there at the start of the pandemic, not really knowing what’s going on in life, currently in my third semester, lot of hopes and dreams still being clung on with the hope that the pandemic will end next semester and we can go back to uni again. I was doing the laundry earlier and this song just brought me back like “man, I wanna reread the entirety of the Slime Isekai Light Novel.”
Now, I don’t really know how to describe the song. It’s in the same genre as Elevator (127F), but a lot peppier and a lot more movement happens during the song. It starts off with this beat that that seemingly pulls you into it’s world, showing you around the many things that is beautiful about you and why I love you, leading to a pre-chorus that feels like a preamble to a confession, and then a chorus that feels like a confession. Like a love song (heh), it feels like the sensation of telling someone who you love with no fear of rejection. I like it. I don’t know what the lyrics says, because honestly my enjoyment of the song have mostly been completely devoid of what the lyrics mean. I should probably go and look it up, but hey I can give that as a gift to future me.
Why does this song resonate a lot with me, and why does it link so well with Slime Isekai? I don’t know, but my current hypothesis is that it’s because they’re both tap into a deep desire and fantasy that I wish I have, which was “I wish I had a love song so true like this” and “I wish I had friends like Rimuru”.
Both of which are very much power fantasies to me.