By TheBigN(yan Nyan)
So the awaited third “OST” for Macross Frontier has come out, and as the vocal tracks really stand out from the superb background music for me, I’m elated. I haven’t even really begun to go through the entire album, so I haven’t listened to the epicness that apparently is the Nyan Nyan Service Medley. Nor for the time being will I probably do a review of the entire work or make a mixtape of the best of the best, though I should. I’m happy that they’ve included some intrumental versions of some songs like “Anata no Oto” as well as some more odds and ends from the show that I wanted to hear in the first two OSTs. But for me, the best part of the album is the fact that there are seven standalone versions of “Aimo” across the two CD set.
While I admit that the song got overplayed to hell (or rather, one version of the song specifically, IMO), it was the hook that kept me watching at the start (though “Welcome to My Fanclub’s Night” was probably the hook for me on Sheryl’s side). The melody worked for me in ways that other songs hadn’t, and while they never extended the original melody like I had wanted, more was done with the song than I would expect. This makes sense, as you could say it was the driving force for the show main conflict, among other things, and I guess that’s why we see seven versions. So obviously what comes out of this is a vital question: Which one is the best one (if you like it)?
- Aimo is the one that starts it all, coming from what seems just like a melody Ranka learned from her mother into something extremely important by the end of the show. It’s a simple love song that sounds sorta melancholy to me, but when we get into the chorus, I melt. Echoing omo’s desire to hear Origa do a cover of this, and I really wanted an extension of this original melody. One minute and thiry seconds isn’t enough I say! D:
- Aimo O.C. aka the Evil Ranka version of the song. Beefed up to almost 5 minutes and turned from a song of peace and love to a song of war and conquest from the variation created for the movie that our main trio stars in, it’s epic, driving, and worked to pump up Frontier like no-one’s business. I wish Megumi Nakajima’s voice could have a been little stronger here, or at least more agressive to match the music, but she does a decent job here.
- Aimo ~Tori no Hito was an expansion by Sheryl Nome of Ranka’s melody into a fuller version for said movie coving the Legend of the Bird Man. This version is more orchestral, dramatic, and moving from the orignal, though I’m not really too much of a fan of the middle portion, since I feel the tone which suddenly seems more happy and nature-y doesn’t mesh well with the original theme. However, as the orchestra carries off from Ranka’s “sora da yo” at the end, it still moves me. ;_;
- Aimo ~ Koi no Uta is the love song prototype of Ranka’s version, sung by Ranka’s mother, Ranshe Mei (voiced by Maaya Sakamoto) in Gablish(?). Of the new versions, this was the one that I wanted to hear the most, and here it’s just Maaya standalone. Which would be epically awesome and great if there weren’t special effects present to drown out her vocals, and that pisses me off at what could have been. Also a little disappointed that in this case, Ranshe’s voice here is deliberately ethereal in this version, since I love how strong her was when she came out of nowhere during the show, which I’ll get to later.
- Sheyrl no Aimo is… Sheryl’s take on Aimo. And if you know Sheryl, you know the emotion and passion she throws into her work, so you can see that here in this solo rendition of the song, making a love song into a love song. While it’s hot in more than one way, I feel like May’n sings it harder than she needs to, and that coupled with the frequent noticeable breaths taken to get the awesome sound out ends up making the performance a little overdone. At the same time, again, if you could let Sheryl go at it by herself without anything adding to it, why not Ranshe? 😦
- Brera to Ko Ranka no Aimo comes from when Ranka and Brera were kids. Clocking in at the shortest time at a half a minute, the main thing here is Brera’s harmonica accompanying Ranka’s vocals. Since Ranka is a kid here, her voice hasn’t developed yet, so her singing is not too powerful. But you can still sense the joy in her singing with Brera’s harmonica, so yay. It makes me long for a solo harmonica version of the song now though.
- Haha to Ko Ranka no Aimo made me take notice in episode 14, which was the point. Instruments play the chorus when all of a sudden, Ranshe comes in, not necessarily forcefully, but in a way that makes people take notice. And Maaya’s “ru-rei rureia” in this verson sent a thrill up my leg, to say the least. Ranka then takes over the original melody, with both mother and daughter sing the chorus and Ranka finishing up by herself. This was totally unexpected when I first heard it in the show, and I really like the result. Even though Megumi Nakajima has more solo singing time, you can totally see the difference in skill between her and Maaya. While that’s not necessarily fair, I think it also did a good job highlighting how lonely Ranka felt at the time, and how the loving vocal embrace of her mother helped things out. And I so wish that Maaya’s version on the OST reflected this version of Ranshe. ;_;
Obviously I’m really just waxing poetic about my favorite vocal song(s) of the series, but why the hell not? I need to fanboy out every once in a while. If you’ve stuck this far, my favorite of the seven is probably the Mother/Daughter duo, with the original being a close second. For those that care about that sort of thing, do you have a favorite song from this list? From the show in general? And yes, I’m obsessed.