Gun’s & Roses (Baccano! OP)
A pretty nice jazz number. I do think the song loses its impact when not associated with the character montage that’s present in the opening animation, which helped to further jazz up the song. I can listen to this song with no problem, but for those strange people who don’t like wordless songs, this might be a slog.
Yuusha-oh Tanjou! (GaoGaiGar OP)
Hotblooded is the name of the game with Masaaki Endou at the helm of this anison. Wish they’d use the Grand Glorious Gathering version of the song here, since that one has the epic backing choir to match the intensity of the song. While I like the song, it burns away far too quickly.
Which Do I Want to Win: Gun’s & Roses
Which Do I Think Will Win: Gun’s & Roses
Why? Recency bias and song quality. “Yuusha-oh Tanjou!” is not as well put together as Baccano!’s OP, though it tries.
Cloud Age Symphony (Last Exile OP)
Any song that starts with a didgeridoo and bagpipes is a plus in my book. The problem is that the song doesn’t really do anything than that, as Shuntaro Okino drops the ball in making the song more than a mellow atmospheric electronica piece. And it becomes boring quickly. I understand nostalgia plays a role here in voting probably, but still.
Kimi no Shinwa (Aquarion EVOL OP)
Another Yoko Kanno composed, AKINO (+ bless4) sung song that is interesting. Compared to other works from Kanno’s oeuvre, this song doesn’t really do much that’s interesting to me, even as it jumps to different keys and thematic elements. A nice marching pace suffuses through the song though.
Which Do I Want to Win: Kimi no Shinwa
Which Do I Think Will Win: Cloud Age Symphony
Why? Nostalgia bias. Pure and simple.
JoJo ~Sono Chi no Sadame~ (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure OP)
Enjoy the epic singing at Tommy Tominaga’s low register in this song, which suffuses the song with a general sense of ruggedness. That compared with a nice rocking tone with interesting melodies, and this is an entertaining song for me. Especially the “Sono Chi no Sadame…. JoooooJoooooooooo!” at the climaxes of the song.
One Reason (Deadman Wonderland OP)
Interesting melody here. Also kind of interesting… English as well. A rock tune that would not be out-of-place in an alternative rock radio channel’s regular rotation. Not sure how well it will translate here in this type of competition though.
Which Do I Want to Win: JoJo ~Sono Chi no Sadame~
Which Do I Think Will Win: JoJo ~Sono Chi no Sadame~
Why? Epic is as epic does, thankfully.
Ichiban no Takaramono (Angel Beats! ED 2)
If you’ve watched the show, as I’m sure more people have than Beck, this was the ending theme acting as the background music for one of the more “poignant” (depending on your interpretation) parts of the show. LiSA does her best here, and I like the main melody of the song, but the instrumentation ends up lacking soul (Maybe if there were more actual strings in the schmaltzy moments, or something like that.). That mismatch from vocals and background music turn makes me pass on the song, though other people likely won’t. This also ends up sounding really fitting for a Jun Maeda-type show, and this is not something I use in a good manner.
HIt in the USA (Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad OP)
This song from Beat Crusaders also has a little bit of artificialness in the studio version, but seems like it would be pretty solid live. It’s a short and to the point rock song here. No muss, no fuss.
Which Do I Want to Win: Hit in the USA
Which Do I Think Will Win: Hit in the USA
Why? Song style/quality.
only my railgun (To Aru no Kagaku no Railgun OP 1)
Given the many elements in the song, it sounds kind of bare-bones for fripside’s style of synthpop, and the song gets kind of repetitive here. Nevertheless, it’s a solid song.
Feel so moon (Space Brothers OP 1)
This song loses some of its impact when it’s not associated with the opening animation sequence, especially the opening portion of the song in tune with a rocket launch. It’s still a rocking tune without that vision though, and I love how the style of the song changes when the song hit the chorus of the song.
Which Do I Want to Win: Feel so moon
Which Do I Think Will Win: only my railgun
Why? Popularity, and maybe song style. I believe Railgun is more well-known than Space Brothers here. That, and the fact that “Feel so moon” feels like it could be cut short several times during the course of the song and still work, yet keeps going on might hurt it.
Never (Kaiba OP)
“Never” is a very interesting song, as it presents itself as a slow electropop song that I could have imagined hearing in the 90s, especially once the main percussion kicks in under the triplet of notes that provide the underlying harmony. A very atmospheric piece, in a good way. Once again, the English lyrics can distract from the song itself, event though Seira Kagami’s voice fits nicely with this track.
Driver’s High (GTO OP 1)
TV Version here:
This is a nostalgic song for me, as the opening animation sequence associated with this rock song from L’arc en Ciel is a very striking and memorable piece of work. The song itself is not bad as well, given hyde’s vocals driving this glockenspiel and organ-tinged rock song. The main guitar riff always stands out in my mind, as well as hyde’s singing of the chorus climbing to the climax that’s “I’m in the coolest driver’s high”.
Which Do I Want to Win: Driver’s High
Which Do I Think Will Win: Never
Why? Recency bias (sort of). Or so I’d like to think so. But “Driver’s High” does sound a little dated.
Platinum (Card Captor Sakura OP 3)
This the song that really represents the show to me, probably in terms of the importance the music conveys, as well as the epic combination of Yoko Kanno’s composition with Maaya Sakamoto’s voice present here. It lends itself to a sort of quiet majesty, if that makes sense.
Hanamaru Sensation (Kodomo no Jikan ED 1)
This is another that I think loses some impact without the backing animation behind it, though I think that also makes it annoying for some. That being said, this is a nice quick rock song, which might suffer a little from the lyrics definitely sounding a little too cutesy. I do enjoy the background music here.
Which Do I Want to Win: Platinum
Which Do I Think Will Win: Platinum
Why? Song style and song quality. It has to take a special song to beat “Platinum” in this tournament, as the above noted combination is at the top of their game here.
Cautionary Warning (The Legend of Black Heaven OP)
The guitar riff that saved the world, if you happened to watch the show this song opens. Taken from one of John Sykes’ albums, this song is a hard rock song that gets in quickly, but takes a while to get out, and sort of leaves a mess in there.
~Inori~ You Raise Me Up (Romeo X Juliet OP)
This is a bias alert in a negative sense. I’m not a fan of “You Raise Me Up” in general, as it can be a very overwrought song (Josh Groban’s version comes to mind here), and for me, it’s also the case here, as the instrumentation sounds too epic for me here. Lena Park does a good job of trying to match the BGM’s effort, but I think it’s a little too much for her in this case.
Which Do I Want to Win: Cautionary Warning
Which Do I Think Will Win: Cautionary Warning
Why? Song style. While messy, it is simple, unlike “Inori”.
Remember to vote for what you like. See you next time.