The ED of Nichijou, “Zzz”, is one of my favorites of the season, with its combination of what I find to be “adorable” animation of Yuuko and Nano with no noticeable outlines walking and skipping to a general pop song that’s easy on the ears, along with an imaginary dream-like world along the way. However, the song isn’t one that easily stays on the ears by itself. At least until episode 7, where they decide remove most of the instrumentals, and just let Sayaka Sasaki‘s voice do the talking:
Suddenly, the music makes the imagery becomes a lot more adorable to me, and the song’s a cappella version becomes that more special and awesome to me as it takes a more jazzy tune.
In general when I listen to music, I tend to listen to the music itself first, and the lyrics second, so the voice in itself becomes just another instrument in the song for better or worse. When the voice itself becomes the main instrument, then obviously I have to take more notice to importance of what’s being vocalized as well. And it only becomes more awesome when more voices join in to create interesting harmonies that are warmer than usual, and are more amazing to me since it’s one person or a group of people who create a fun piece of music literally just by themselves without any help. That’s the draw of a capella pieces for me in general, but I usually don’t expect to hear them in anime songs, making them special occurrences for me. Another example for me focuses on the ED for Rental Magica, “Aruiteikou”, where the single for the song includes an a cappella rendition that turns the original, a more R&B-ish song, to something more soulful:
Or in the case of the final ED of Hatenkou Yuugi, “Take You As You Are”, where the break at around 2:40 in the song becomes a brief a cappella rendition of the refrain before leading back to the original refrain:
That segment keeps the song from being too repetitive, and it adds a nice little twist that makes the song more fun to listen to. Though Kanako Itou’s voice always helps with that.
Basically, it would be nice if anime songs messed with a cappella more often. Surely there are enough people who sing well enough that they can stand on their own just fine. 😛