The Anime Music Tournament 2013 Bracket Guts – Round 1 – Polls 1-8 “Analysis”

By TheBigN

Do these two polls have Guts? I’m hoping they do, as Fate’s bracket definitely had some pretty damn good songs like that. 
secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~ (10 years after ver.) – (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai ED)

I really think this is a song for me that is strongly fed by the presentation of the ED animation associated with the work. Then the actual show itself, as this song sort of provided a nostalgic, sad and hopeful tone to the end of the song. As for the song itself, it’s a solid slow poppy song, though I’m not really all that fond of the bridge of the song.

FLY [SMALL CIRCLE OF FRIENDS] – (Samurai Champloo  ED 4)

For people who haven’t watched the series, this is a one time ending that came with one of the best and funniest episodes of the series (number 23).  So this is also a song that resonates in my memories as something entertaining. And it’s a more entertaining song for me in this poll, but it’s definitely more niche given it’s almost 80s hip-hop vibe, and how it’s solely a rap here. Really enjoy Tsutchie’s flow here though.

Which Do I Want to Win: FLY
Which Do I Think Will Win: secret base
Why? Familiarity, recency bias and song style. I believe “FLY” is the better of the two songs here. But “secret base” has the newer series, the more accessible genre, and the “Feels” associated with the show. It’s going to be hard to stop this one in later rounds.


Beautiful World – (Rebuild of Evangelion 1.0 ED)

Damn it, let’s just hear May’n over sing this one then. :/

We’ve already covered the Acoustica remix in the last poll, but here is the original, more electronic pop piece, and with less flowing Utada Hikaru than the remix does. It has a nice popping beat, but if these two songs went up against the other, I’d probably still go for the remix regardless. And I think which version people prefer gives a good idea of the style of music that most people generally prefer ()

oblivious – (Kara no Kyoukai ED 1)

Doing this one live.

This the first time that we got to hear the trio that is Kalafina, and at first it really felt like just an extension of Yuki Kajiura’s Fiction Junction work. And while that was true given that two of the singers were affiliated in that project before, I think this song (behind a pulsing beat) gave us a hint that things might be taken in a more interesting direction. It doesn’t help that it makes me bob my head to it.

Which Do I Want to Win: oblivious
Which Do I Think Will Win: oblivious
Why? Familiarity, in a negative way? I’m not sure that it helps that Beautiful World was already on this bracket before. And in a (personally thought to be) better version than this one. I’m hoping people aren’t voting for so much monotony (this when we’ve already been on our fifth Kalafina song, I think?) 😛


Lion (Macross Frontier OP 3)

This is a power pop duet where both May’n and Megumi Nakajima hold their own with the futuristic style that Yoko Kanno throws at them. I’m always reminded of the well controlled desperation that suffused that the piece, both in terms of the story that the music tried to tell, as well as how it was affiliated with the ending of the series. And thanks to Kanno, it’s a pretty grooving desperation at that, especially that nice guitar riff at the end.

Rain (Kotonoha no Niwa ED)

Man, the movie has only just come out here in the US, and the ending song is already out here? I do enjoy how Motohiro Hata sings his way through those many syllables that litter the lyrics of the song. This is a song that I could hear in an adult contemporary radio station… 5-10 years back? It’s a good song, but a little repetitive.

Which Do I Want to Win: Lion
Which Do I Think Will Win: Lion
Why? Familiarity and maybe originality? Rain isn’t really a memorable song, for all the good vibes I get from it. Maybe that would change if I watched the movie.


Puzzle (Welcome To The NHK OP 1)

Kind of surprised that we’re getting a lot of Round Table featuring NINO here. That’s not a bad thing, as noted in this piano and horn-driven piece. But even though it sounds different from what I usually hear from them, this song is merely okay for me.

Juuni Genmukyouku (Twelve Kingdoms OP)

And now for something completely different, as we have a purely instrumental piece that starts out as very traditional-East Asian-sounding piece from Ryo Kunihiko, and then becomes a sea-faring tale of adventure! Or at least that was the impression when I first listened to the track years ago. It’s definitely interesting.

Which Do I Want to Win: Juuni Genmukyouku
Which Do I Think Will Win: Juuni Genmukyouku
Why? Originality. It’s definitely a song that’s off the beaten path compared to standard fare here. And I think it’s entertaining enough for people to enjoy it.


Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni OP)

This is the first time I’ve heard the song in some years, and I almost forgot the interesting warped chanting before the song gets into a grimy-sounding I’ve Sound piece in a title track attempting to set a dark mood for it’s namesake show. And it worked, and still works today. It still gets repetitive though.

Prologue, Twilight (Daicon IV background music)

Here. Have the actual video?

This is nostalgic, and influential in terms of really introducing many people to the collective group known as Electric Light Orchestra.  As well as a little known group of animators known as GAINAX. 😛

Joking aside, this is a rocking new wave song, and it’s hard not to enjoy jamming to it with the choral punctuations at the end of every stanza, as well as the strings and piano also helping to drive the synth there. But it’s so not “Anime” (although otaku adopt it as a song of their own) that it’s not even funny.

Which Do I Want to Win: Twilight
Which Do I Think Will Win: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
Why? Familiarity, song style, and that anime feeling. Also, lol 80s, though like “Odin” from the Fate bracket, “Twilight” good 80s.


Innocent Starter (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha OP)

Thank goodness that the better opening related to the Nanoha series is nominated here as well. Though Nana Mizuki sells the song well, it still lacks originality from other pop stuff that’s out there.

Anna ni Issho Datta no ni (Gundam Seed ED)

See-Saw sighting! This song might be harder to get into as it can be a little overwrought especially when the strings are involved, but Chiaki Ishikawa vocals make the song work behind Yuki Kajiura’s background music here.

Which Do I Want to Win: Anna ni Issho Datta no ni
Which Do I Think Will Win: Anna ni Issho Datta no ni
Why? Originality, at the least. “Innocent Starter” does not really do much that separates it from a generic pop song besides Nana Mizuki’s voice, but “Anna ni Issho Datta no ni” goes for broke here, and largely succeeds.


Renai Circulation (Bakemonogatari OP 4)

It’s a manly tuba and a jumpy guitar driving a “moe” rap song. What more do you want then that. It helps that Kana Hanazawa actually has pretty good rapping flow here. This is a catchy novelty song, and that means that things can go one way or another depending how much people can tolerate the song. But for me, the beat is where it’s at, and I think it will be hard for this song to be beat by many songs, honestly.

Akai Coat (Arakawa Under The Bridge x Bridge ED)

Suneohair song #2 on the polls here. And it’s a pretty good driving rock song, though it sort of loses that power in the bridge versus the instrumental break. Sometimes a guitar and a bongo is all you really need in a song, with the occasional castanet. Too bad it goes up against “Renai Circulation”

Which Do I Want to Win: Renai Circulation
Which Do I Think Will Win: Renai Circulation
Why? Manly Tuba > Bongos and Castanet. That’s how the world works. In another bracket, would definitely vote for “Akai Coat”, but still not tired of HanaKana’s voice yet.


One More Time, One More Chance (5 centimeters per second ED)

This is a good rock song with a solid buildup to a climactic chorus. That being said, it gets repetitive after a while, and I also remembered how that felt when actually watching this associated with the movie at the end, as the music. Kept. Driving. The. Chorus. Home. So it can be a tedious thing.

Shangri-La (Soukyuu no Fafner OP)

This is not the best angela OP/ED that could have been used in this tournament, but it’s a decent Flamenco-laced intro to one of the more unique (and nasally?) vocals out there, especially with her vocal exercises around syllables that’s pretty much unparalleled among other singers. But, I think it can also be a little off-putting.

Which Do I Want to Win: Shangri-La
Which Do I Think Will Win: One More Time, One More Chance
Why? Too much originality? I think? Not really sure here.

Until next time.

6 Responses to “The Anime Music Tournament 2013 Bracket Guts – Round 1 – Polls 1-8 “Analysis””

  1. 1 omo August 27, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    I agree with most of your analysis again, although calling Secret Base “recency bias” is kind of misleading, don’t you think? I think Secret Base has this much power partly has to do with how old that song is.

    Along those lines, all the “lol 80s” songs we have are all really good, because these songs in some ways can stand the test of time. That’s something I can’t say for easily 90% or more of the songs in this contest.

    Lastly, God knows how many times I’ve listened to Renai Circulation, and I’m still not sick of it.

    • 2 TheBigN August 27, 2013 at 11:50 pm

      With Secret Base though, I’m not sure how many people have heard the original version in the first place. It took me wikipedia to remember that I heard it before as the ending to Kyou no Go no Ni, so hey. 😛

  2. 3 Taka August 28, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Ah that explains everything, it’s a cover of a Zone song. I had no idea since I don’t know Zone beyond the fact that the animators for Haruhi probably used one of their concerts for reference in the band episode…and band name. I was like “why do people like this secret base song so much? It’s okay but nothing special” now I know.

    May’n does the song a disservice by making it more staccato than it already is but what really irks me about this version of beautiful world is the time signature. I’m not certain (because I’m not used to picking this stuff out) but i think it is 2/4 whereas most techno is written in 4/4. The beat is certainly driving but without some overlying polyrhythm it is just too slow to actually be a dance beat. Like imagining myself dancing to this song is pretty hard In the remix it’s still 2/4 time but they add an additional guitar track that has a different signature 6/8 or some like.

    Chiaki Ishikawa’s dance moves have not evolved much since her days in See-Saw.

    What’s your favorite Angela song? My favorite is My Story from Shikibane Hime Aka.

    • 4 TheBigN August 28, 2013 at 11:37 am

      Asu e no Brilliant Road, of which I prefer the Second Genesis version:

    • 5 omo August 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      You guys are whippersnappers.

      Secret Base was a huge deal back when. Zone might be a typical one-hit wonder type group, but that song was probably their most popular and extremely nostalgic. And by “huge deal” i mean they were actually mainstream. Of course if you weren’t following JPOP 10+ years ago, it’s probably a mystery.

      It’s like anything Utada Hikaru really.

      • 6 Taka September 3, 2013 at 2:29 am

        Certainly anything before Kingdom Hearts came out.

        I didn’t get in touch with Japanese pop culture until 2006 so yeah, prior to that I was pure casual enjoying my DBZs, Naruto’s and Bleach’s. I watched Lain and Eureka Seven on youtube the first time.

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