Like the post from the Naota bracket, I post here with one half of brackets completed, and the other half close to finishing. As were nearing the end of the first round, hopefully things will become a little easier to work on. As for now, here’s some more interesting pieces to listen to.
Libera me from hell (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann insert song)
For a song that merges (J-?)rap and opera, this combination comes off pretty strongly, despite losing that emphasis if you pay attention to the lyrics as their being spoken. What makes this song work for me is how the simple melody at the start of the song, which riffs on the triumphant Gurren-dan theme, builds into something pretty epic at the end. It was a pretty awesome job for Taku Iwasaki, and “ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWAH” is still something that’s hard to beat out.
Shoujo S (BLEACH OP 10)
A pretty solid rock song, if a bit repetitive. The chorus has a way of sticking in your mind in a good way. But it’s not a strong song in general.
Which Did I Want to Win: Libera me from hell
Which Did I Think Would Win: Libera me from hell
Why? Familiarity. ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWAH
Normalize (Psycho Pass OP 1)
A hard rock song that seems to hop all over the place while maintaining a coherent main theme. That whisper falsetto does get annoying to listen to pretty quickly even though the song tries to interesting things with the theme.
Stone Cold (Sacred Seven OP 1)
*insert dated Steve Austin joke here* A FictionJunction song that sorta kinda goes through the motions And when a song does that, I’m not really partial to it, but when the upbeat chorus hits, I’m almost a fan of the song again.
Which Did I Want to Win: Stone Cold
Which Did I Think Would Win: abnormalize
Why? Popularity. Psycho Pass is riding high here, and I think that it has to take a beast of a song to take anything from it out. “Stone Cold” is not one of those items, though it’s a solid song.
Sayonara no Tsubasa ~ the end of triangle~ (Macross Frontier: The Wings of Goodbye insert song)
Another duet with May’n and Megumi Nakajima behind Yoko Kanno fast-paced instrumentation that seems to incorporate various themes from the soundtrack into the song. But after hearing something like “Gekkou Symphonia” last bracket, and hearing the duo’s songs from the original series, this song is a little bit of a let down.
Sousei no aquarion – acapella version (Aquarion OP, acapella version)
I’m more of a fan of the original, more upbeat version of this song, as the composition of the vocals comes off a little awkward. Hearing the actual lyrics in English (of which AKINO and bless4 is fluent) makes the song sound a little too cheesy. Too Glee, and I’m not necessarily a fan.
Which Did I Want to Win: Push. Underwhelming Kanno vs Kanno.
Which Did I Think Would Win: Sayonara no Tsubasa – the end of triangle-
Why? Song quality? A capella has to be good to work, and I don’t think this was quite as good as it could have been.
Hemisphere (Rahxephon OP)
Another classic Yoko Kanno – Maaya Sakamoto combination for me, as the urgency set up when the main beat kicks in to the chorus is something that I never get tired of. And while to me this is a good song, the B-side, “Music”, is an even better one for me:
The way the song builds up is something magical. But I digress.
Paranoid Android (Ergo Proxy ED)
It’s Radiohead! When I first heard this as the ending song years ago, it was a pleasant surprise, and it really fit the tone of the show to me at the time. This might be why it’s one of my favorite songs from the band, especially when the song hits it’s climax after Thom Yorke screams “WHY DON’T YOU REMEMBER MY NAME?”
Which Did I Want to Win: Hemisphere
Which Did I Think Would Win: Hemisphere
Why? It’s hard for me to find a reason here why Hemisphere wins, as both songs are good in their own ways. I guess I’d say “song quality”, maybe?
to the beginning (Fate/Zero OP 2)
Kalafina’s harmonizing melodies really hit the spot here for me, especially when the chorus of the song hits with the dueling vocals backed by a pulsing guitar. That being said, the music itself feels like it could have been executed better, however.
Musouka (Utawarerumono OP)
This to me is a way to spice up a generic pop song, as the “traditional” flavor added in bits and pieces to the song makes it a very interesting song to listen. Suara’s voice also fits the song well, as the general tone to me comes off as a little teasing, but in a good way.
Which Do I Want to Win: Push, actually. I really like both songs, and wouldn’t mind either passing here.
Which Do I Think Will Win: to the beginning
Why? Familiarity and popularity. Throw in a little recency bias there.
Sky’s the Limit (Persona 4: The Animation OP 1)
This comes off as a little New Jack Swing-y jazzy pop piece with a lot of pep, which is something different in a nice way for me. But that Engrish-y style of speaking is hard for me to forget. It’s better than the ending though, so I appreciate that.
Tenshi no Yubikiri (Kare Kano OP)
This is a little dated pop song as well as a little repetitive, but the melody set in place by synths, that bass and Fukuda Mai’s voice makes it always listenable to me, even years after first listening to it. I still wonder why the hell it ends like it does though, as if someone prematurely stops the song.
Which Do I Want to Win: Tenshi no Yubikiri
Which Do I Think Will Win: Tenshi no Yubikiri
Why? Song quality. Melody wins out over recency, I hope. Granted, not sure it will win over popularity, however.
Sousei no Aquarion (Aquarion OP 1)
Wondering why we have the a capella version of the song in this tournament while this one is better in my opinion. I always enjoy the punctuated chorus with the percussion providing great backing to AKINO’s vocals. Kanno does great setting things up here.
Nowhere (MADLAX insert song)
This was the “battle theme” of MADLAX from what I remember, as it was usually used when action was going down. It also was one of my favorite pieces from the FictionJunction section, as while Yuuka Nanri has choppy vocals and may a little bit too much electronica going down, the main chorus and main backing melody, as well as the middle section (which seems like something that would set up Kalafina in the future) are what work for me.
Which Do I Want to Win: Nowhere
Which Do I Think Will Win: Sousei no Aquarion
Kanno > Kajiura Recency bias? I think overall song quality is better here.
Fantasy (Un-Go ED)
From a piano driven melody, to distorted vocals, to a flamenco-like element suffusing to the song, to a more electronic, pulsing choral theme, “Fantasy” builds in to something pretty solid. But that female voice kinda throws a wrench into the works for me.
kiri (Ergo Proxy OP)
Unlike “Paranoid Android”, this was not a song that really entranced me, though this is the type of song that (with better-sounding English) probably could on alternative radio here in the US somewhere. A solid song, but that’s it.
Which Do I Want to Win: Fantasy
Which Do I Think Will Win: Fantasy
Why? Song quality. I like that “Fantasy” attempts to do something different here.