Innocent Starter, guys? Really? Innocent Starter?!? Hau hau indeed (though I hate that catchphrase)…
Every bracket so far has had interesting results (by “interesting”, I mean results that make me shake my head when I read them again and again). Let’s see what’s cooking in the two polls in this group.
A Cruel Angel’s Thesis (Neon Genesis Evangelion OP)
lol jazzy calypso. That being said, this is one of the more recognizable opening/ending songs in anime fandom given how influential it’s anime is. Also liked the choral interlude between the first and second stanza, as Toshimichi Ootsuki showed how it was done before Kajiura picked up that mantle, and ran with it. But you can still hear the age in this song.
Afro Gunsou (Keroro Gunsou ED 1)
Yet another example to show how Disco is not dead, and it’s a pretty good effort, throwing some talkbox into that groovy mix as well. And the animation associated with it is fun to listen to as well. That being said, this is dated in another way that would likely make a lot of people be turned off from it. Ow.
Which Do I Want to Win: Push
Which Do I Think Will Win: A Cruel Angel’s Thesis
Why? Nostalgia bias and song style. While Keroro Gunsou is long running, it’s not as popular as the behemoth that is Evangelion.
Sister’s Noise (To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S OP 1)
Synthpop power here with fripSide’s contribution to the tournament. It’s pumps. But it’s also actually a little monotonous that it loses that power for me.
Allegro Cantabile (Nodame Cantabile OP)
Suemitsu and the Suemith’s probably only contribution on this tournament, which is kinda sad because his piano-driven rock is entertaining to listen to in general. You can hear the joy in his playing when he reaches the chorus.
Which Do I Want to Win: Allegro Cantabile
Which Do I Think Will Win: Allegro Cantabile
Why? Song style and quality. I doubt that Nodame Cantibile is as well-known as the To Aru franchise. Fortunately, that’s not why we’re voting for songs though, right? Right?
Connect (Puella Magi Madoka Magica OP)
Honestly, if the song wasn’t tied to Madoka, I’m not sure that it would go far at all, since it becomes a monotonous pop song after a while. But it’s not bad. Just there’s other stuff better than it out here, though it will be carried a lot by the power of it’s associated franchise.
Grey Wednesday (Mawaru Penguindrum ED 3 and insert song)
Spoilers in the video. I think.
There’s a certain honesty in Triple H’s tracks. That is, there is a sort of “what you hear is what you get” feeling from the voices, so when the song starts off a little weak, it’s plain to see, but when they hit the chorus with the piano accompaniment, it becomes very strong and pure. This cover does ARB proud in this case, to the point where I prefer it to the original somewhat.
Which Do I Want to Win: Grey Wednesday
Which Do I Think Will Win: Connect
Why? Familiarity/recency bias, pretty much. Even though “Grey Wednesday” is a far better song.
Ai Oboite Imasu ka (Macross: Do You Remember Love insert song)
It’s 80s pop. But it’s 80s pop associated with a climactic moment in one of the more well-known franchises at that time with Macross. Though I doubt that it will matter a lot in this case. It’s still 80s pop that’s not bad, if a bit too long.
Space Lion (Cowboy Bebop insert song)
From what I saw from a comment or two, some people were not inclined to vote for a song because it was an instrumental piece instead of a song with lyrics. Which I think is stupid. That being said, this by itself is a pretty good song, if a bit long, in keeping things interesting with the sax solo leading to a tribal-like chant, and both tie into each other at the end.
Which Do I Want to Win: Space Lion
Which Do I Think Will Win: Ai Oboite Imasu Ka
Why? Nostalgia bias. Though it’s not without trying, I guess.
God knows (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya insert song)
It’s really hard for me to take bias out of the song for me, as that moment in the anime was a pretty epic one and a triumph of sakuga at that. With the song itself, it’s a little repetitive, but it’s hard not to like that guitar riffs that flow in and out of the rock song, or Aya Hirano’s emotion that comes out in the song.
Haruka Kanata (Naruto OP 2)
I think when people think of Naruto‘s music, this is the song that everyone always seems to use. It’s hard not to feel pumped by Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s energy throughout, though the yelling at the end of the chorus can drive people away.
Which Do I Want to Win: God knows
Which Do I Think Will Win: God knows
Why? Nostalgia bias. This is a pretty even matchup song-wise ( and it helps that both songs are the same genre), but “Haruka Kanata” never had a well-animated scene of the band playing the song that Haruhi did. And that’s what kills it for it.
READY!! (The IDOLM@STER OP 1)
Very enthusiastic. Very enthusiastic. Enough that I’m easily caught in the blaring horns and feeling ready myself to start something. Still trying to figure out what to start, exactly. Otherwise a fun, energetic pop song.
Pre-Parade (Toradora OP 1)
This is supposed to be another fun pop song filled with Engrish (still bugged by the “+ + dakedo -” line). For me, it ends up being an earworm in the bad, annoying sense. I like how they attempt to put a little spin on the traditional anime song, but bias-wise, it was a little underwhelming for me when I first heard the song, and still do now (to put it in a better sense, it’s something like someone trying to be actively cute that you can see the inauthenticity).
Which Do I Want to Win: READY!!
Which Do I Think Will Win: Pre-Parade
Why? Nostalgia bias. Because I remember how popular “Pre-Parade” was back then.
Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume (Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita ED)
It’s kind of hard to classify this piece besides maybe a guitar driven jog through zany? Given the songs that Masumi Itou tends to be associated with in anime, this more up-tempo and chaotic than most pieces that she sings on, to the point that it can be a little overwhelming.
Canta Per Me (Noir insert song)
This is not the song I’d use for Noir in this bracket (the ED with more Akino Arai, or the ‘get down’ techno-powered battle theme “Salva Nos” would probably be my choices), but this is a pretty solid string and guitar-driven piece that has a flowing melody, and a nice opera-style duet with the vocals presents itself. The only think is that it can be a bit repetitive.
Which Do I Want to Win: Canta Per Me
Which Do I Think Will Win: Canta Per Me
Why? A little nostalgia bias. Probably a little more simplicity. Noir‘s OST from Yuki Kajiura was one of the better things going for it, and “Canta Per Me” continued in that regard. I think the “Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume” does too much. It succeeds, but it can be a little cacophonous.
TRY UNITE! (Rinne no Lagrange OP 1)
Immediately hearing this, it was another song where it felt that disco was not dead, especially when you factor in the opening animation (forgive the subbing logo here) to it. But it’s more a driving pop song, and I like the musical approach to the song. Also, groovy.
Brave Song (Angel Beats! ED)
For me, while everyone loved the OP, this was the song that resounded with me more as I was grabbed by Aoi Tada’s voice essentially holding the song up until the chorus hits. The background music provides a nice accompaniment to her voice, and I do enjoy when everything hits together.
Which Do I Want to Win: TRY UNITE!
Which Do I Think Will Win: Brave Song
Why? Familiarity. I think both songs are pretty good, but “Brave Song” has the added benefit of being tied to a more well known show. It also helps that said show is part of the oeuvre of
Jun Maeda that guy who used to do “Sad Girl in X” stuffs.
Until next time.