I was relatively late to the party for something like this new tournament. Music is something that I hope most people enjoy listening to, and definitely there have been more than a handful of anime that I decided to pick up due to music associated with it, from openings and endings to background music. So I feel like I should have been paying attention to something like this from the get-go, or at least from the nominations stage. Others have said that I have “questionable” taste in music (:)), so at least my potential nominations might have made things interesting, although an analysis of the results of the nominations point out that such a decision might have been moot. This is too good to pass up though, so I’ve participated in the Prediction Challenge, and I wanted to put in my two cents on the songs that are on the ballot as the tournament goes, especially as there’s a fair bit that I haven’t heard before (which is always exciting). This will be pretty tongue in cheek and probably not up to how I usually write on the blog, but it’s good to be reactionary than thoughtful sometimes. And it will probably make me put more effort on this blog than I’ve been doing in the past two years combined. Whether or not that’s a good thing is anybody’s guess.
Without further ado, the first round of polls is here, with streaming music and everything :
Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari (Bakemonogatari ED)
This is how I usually see supercell. A little rock, a little pop, a little jazz all tied up in a nice little piano and vocal bow. It’s not a bad combination, but it’s not something I really go for all the same. Combined with the ending animation done by Gekidan Inu Curry like it was for Bakemonogatari, it made for a nice little unconventional surprise when it first came out. Listening to the song isolated though goes back into my middling acceptance of Ryo’s musical styles.
ROCK OVER JAPAN (Mawaru Penguindrum insert song):
There’s hot blood in there. I can feel it!
Then I found out that’s it’s in the original version of this song by the band ARB, which stands for Alexander’s Ragtime Band, which is a pretty awesome name. And that version actually rocks.
That being said, I feel like this cover does a good job with what it has, in a J-pop kind of way. The trio of female vocals definitely enjoy what they’re doing, and the music is peppy. But Triple-H doesn’t come close to the power of the original.
Which do I want to win? Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari
Which do I think will win? Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari
PopulariFamiliarity. And depth? Of the two shows in my limited stretch of the Internet woods, Bakemonogatari and it’s related set of works get more play than Mawaru Penguindrum. And there’s more “there” in “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari”, be it the passion in Nagi Yanagi or Ryo’s occasionally overwrought piano (it only seems overwrought because I feel like I hear that same thing in every one of his works for supercell) than in “ROCK OVER JAPAN”.
The Everlasting Guilty Crown (Guilty Crown OP 2):
To be honest, this song loses me at the chorus, which makes me feel like the Chelly isn’t putting as much effort in it than I would expect in this driving “electronic-y?”piece. And I feel like the her range doesn’t fit the song as well as it could, which could be feeding into that ‘disaffected’ feel I get. Given the importance that EGOIST plays in the show (at least within the first couple of episodes – I haven’t watched since the first arc, and I feel like I should get back on that), it’s a little disappointing.
staple stable (Bakemonogatari OP 1):
The second song from this series in this poll, this song acts as Hitagi’s personal theme and to me also owed a lot in my impression of the piece from the stapler-filled OP sequence that accompanied it. Pulled away from that sequence, the song (outer than the instrumentation in the chorus sensation; I love emphatic downbeats like that), doesn’t really stand well by itself, and Chiwa Saito doesn’t help with that. It ends up sounding like some “generic anime J-pop”, whatever that means.
Which do I want to win? staple stable
Which do I think will win? stable stable
PopulariFamiliarity. And love the alliterative title.
Nippon Egao Hyakkei (Joshiraku ED)
It’s by Momoiro Clover Z, in which my limited listening of their works always tells me that the singers are having fun, no matter what the song’s about, or the style of music associated with it (this one is shamisen-tinged Eurobeat?). This song is no different, especially with the emphasized spoken words in the verses, the refrain (those laughs), and nice shamisen solos imparted within.
♥Lonely in Gorgeous♥ (Paradise Kiss OP)
Enjoyed what I saw of Paradise Kiss (never saw the end, though). And this synthpop song. Then I remember seeing the above video for the first time. I still don’t know what to make of this (and I think that was the point). Maybe you do. If faced with either of the two non-Bakemonogatari pics, I would choose this song over those to. But…
Which do I want to win? Nippon Egao Hyakkei
Which do I think will win? ♥Lonely in Gorgeous♥
Why? Familiarity. Joshiraku seems niche enough that a lot of people never took a chance on it (including myself, but this hopefully will be rectified shortly). And while both songs sort of off the beaten path in terms of what you usually listen to as anime OPs/EDs, for people who like “stability”, I think Tommy February6’s effort will make them more comfortable.
futuristic imagination (Eden of The East ED)
A nicely constructed song all around, and probably the most “accessible” song of these choices in this group of polls given the style of music and the show it’s connected. Yumi Uchimura’s voice really “makes” this song, appropriately matching the rocking pace of this song. And it’s inventive in the liberties the melody takes with the rhythms and themes of the song as it moves.
One Winged Icarus (H2O; Footprints In The Sand OP)
This where one of my biases comes in. As soon as that lilting, “Celtic/Irish/whatever-ish-tinged” theme occurs at the end of Yui Sakakibara’s first lines, I get hooked. It provides that little touch that separates it from most poppy anime songs out there, and most any song in anime that provides that element is one that I can get behind. It also helps that Sakakibara’s range really works well with this song. This is a song that I can always get behind. That being said:
Which do I want to win? One Winged Icarus
Which do I think will win? futuristic imagination
Why? Familiarity and song quality, not to mention mainstream appeal. Eden of The East was a popular work from what I saw at the time, while H2O was not a show on many people’s radars (doubt that being a visual novel adaptation helps it’s cause.) And while I like “One Winged Icarus” better as something to listen to (this is one that I can put on repeat and not have a problem with it), as a song “futuristic imagination” leaves it in the dust in a good way. And it’s hard to feel sour about that.
Until next time. And again, don’t forget to vote for what you like.