Given the nature of the Pokemon, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a sleep-inducing bracket on initial glance. Thankfully, this is not the case, as the two polls here keep things lively in a good way.
Tabi no Tochuu (Spice and Wolf OP)
Bias alert: This is one of my favorite standalone opening songs. From the lilting waltz-like tone (the time signature helps with that), to the beautifully haunting chorus sung by Kiyoura Natsumi and whoever the backup singers are, Not to mention it’s a little off the beaten path on what a “usual” anime OP/ED is, and in a good way. It’s going to be a hard song to beat.
Every Heart (Inuyasha ED4)
And this song isn’t going to be one to take it down. It’s not a bad song by BoA in any sense, but it doesn’t do much out of its realm other than being a pretty good pop song.
Which Do I Want to Win: Tabi no Tochuu
Which Do I Think Will Win: Tabi no Tochuu
Why? Song quality. I also want to say Tabi no Tochuu’s adventurousness also helps it out in this vote.
Hare Hare Yukai (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya ED)
If you watched Haruhi and say you’ve never did the dance to this song, you are considered a liar until proven otherwise to me. For a show that was considered the zeitgeist of anime at that time, the ending sort of was the cherry on top for the show. But listening to the song by itself, it’s really not that great of a song by itself. We’ll see if nostalgia carries it here.
βios (Guilty Crown insert song)
You can’t say that this song did not try hard, with its electronica rock laced with tribal chanting, and I enjoy how the song was constructed. Wish the voices meshed a little better, but they are strong as well (maybe not the guy’s voice). But it isn’t a song I need to listen to frequently. The song also gives me a whiff of “U & Cloud” from another of Sawano’s OSTs, and Blue Exorcist‘s track works much better than this one for me.
Which Do I Want to Win: Push.
Which Do I Think Will Win: Hare Hare Yukai
Why? Nostalgia bias until proven otherwise. You can dance to “βios” as well, but probably not as smoothly. 😛
Sakura Nagashi (Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo ED)
Another Rebuild of Evangelion movie, another Utada Hikaru song. This one is more subdued than “Beautiful World” and it’s iterations, and the ballad probably ends up suffering a little for that. When the song and her vocals crescendo to a climax, it feels like too little, too late. Like the emotion in Utada’s voice, but think that it would not have hurt to have a little more.
Hyadain no Kakakata☆Kataomoi-C (Nichijou OP 1)
Hyadain is a crazy man, if his song naming sense has something to do with the rest with him, as well as in his propensity to sign in a pretty good female voice as well. From a little bit of chiptune, to the scatting in the middle of stanza, and the energetic chorus, this song is a little chaotic, but not bad enough that it loses the general theme of the song. But it might lose the general interest of the voters.
Which Do I Want to Win: Hyadain no Kakakata☆Kataomoi-C
Which Do I Think Will Win: Sakura Nagashi
Why? Accessibilty (also in terms of the work, but that shouldn’t matter, right? :D). Hyadain’s work can lose people easily, and while “Sakura Nagashi” doesn’t blow me away, it’s steady enough that it goes where it needs to just fine.
Forces (Berserk ED and insert song)
Bias alert: This is an awesome Susumu Hirasawa song for me. This is something like an electronic war song, and it’s driving beat with the synthesized bagpipes (?) work surprisingly well with the idea conveyed with the Band of the Hawk’s journeys. When the chorus hits, you it’s hard not to feel the intensity of battle with it. As a side note, this song also reminds me of how awesome and silly the OP for Berserk is, now that I remember it.
Macross (Super Dimensional Fortress Macross OP)
The song starts off with a nice sense of urgency, then gets all late-70s early-80s pop on me, and not in a nice way as the transition seems a little off. Otherwise innocuous. 😛
Which Do I Want to Win: Forces
Which Do I Think Will Win: Forces
Why? Song style and emotion lead the way for me, and it’s hard for me not to chant “Hai Yai Forces” with the chorus.
Duvet (Serial Experiments Lain OP)
Alternative rock from Bôa (not relation to “Every Heart” performers here) that was a nice change of pace from the usual type of song that graces an opening/ending for anime when the show came out. This is anything unusual nowadays, but the nostalgia bug again might work well for this song.
Date a Live (Date a Live OP)
Pretty good sense of urgency in this pop rock song. But the song doesn’t do much more than that, which makes it fairly standard, and unfortunately doesn’t make the song stand out in any way.
Which Do I Want to Win: Duvet
Which Do I Think Will Win: Duvet
Why? Nostalgia bias and originality. “Duvet” still does some interesting things in the instrumental break that work well for it.
Ai no Melody (Gin-iro no Kami no Agito ED)
KOKIA with a pretty solid adult contemporary-ish song, if a little bit too long. I really do enjoy the harmony of voices on the chorus of the song.
la divina tragedia ~Makyoku~ (Umineko no Naku Koro Ni ED)
OH DESIRE! This is still pretty fun to listen to as you have what sounds like an old man essentially singing epic metal with a choir almost out of JA Saezer’s playbook here. But after a while, this sort of wears think.
Which Do I Want to Win: Ai no Melody
Which Do I Think Will Win: la divina tragedia ~Makyoku~
Why? Oh. Desire. But then again, KOKIA’s voice isn’t grating on the ears.
Eternal Blaze (Magical Girl Lyrica Nanoha A’s OP)
This song I feel really helps convey both Nana Mizuki’s powerful voice in some aspects, as well as the sense of urgency that suffused the second season after introducing a new set of adversaries for Nanoha, Fate, and the rest to face off against. A nice driving pop song, and by the best of the Nanoha openings and endings from the TV shows in my opinion.
Torukia (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GiG insert song)
As with most Yoko Kanno songs, we get interesting elements put together in entertaining ways, as we have the lyrics sung as if a chant through a strong electronica vibe that laces throughout the song, even as strings seem to take over as the main part of the song. When everything seems to comes together in the last fourth of the song, you have a nice whiff of desperation tinged throughout everything.
Which Do I Want to Win: Eternal Blaze
Which Do I Think Will Win: Torukia
Why? Yoko Kanno. If Nana Mizuki was singing under a track produced by Yoko Kanno, it would be awesome. Instead, while the background to “Eternal Blaze” is not bad at all, “Torukia”‘s setup kind of spanks it hard.
Blue (Cowboy Bebop ED 3, episode 26 ED)
“Where’s your Messiah?” indeed. The reason why I add the episode number is the fact that it essentially is what closes out one of the more influential shows in anime, and with a bang as well. With Mai Yamane’s voice belting out the climax of the song with the child chorus behind her, the song makes a very triumphant posture. And it’s hard not to agree when listening to it.
OS-Uchuujin (Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko OP)
This is “well done” denpa music, but I’ve heard better songs in that genre of music compared to this. The deliberate off notes at the end of every line gets irritating after a while, even though it fits the song so well. Technically, you have to applaud how the song’s constructed, but it’s not easy to listen to the song at all.
Which Do I Want to Win: Blue
Which Do I Think Will Win: Blue
Why? Accessibility. Nostalgia bias. Yoko Kanno. Giving props to an annoying song doesn’t make it any less annoying to listen to. And while there might be some Yoko Kanno fatigue, I wouldn’t want “Blue” to be the song that receives a brunt of it.
Until next time.