Am I late jumping on the train or what? I’m sure those of you who are clued into the anime circuit remembered the hype of the cute 4th opening to Bakemonogatari – Renai Circulation by Hanazawa Kana.
And I’m pretty sure those of you who remember the song also associate it with the viral dance meme. However, what interested me wasn’t the various dance covers (often featuring awkward lumbering otaku pretending to be Japanese schoolgirls) but the vocal covers. It’s not too hard to wave your arms and jump up and down like a bear on hot coals, but to sing the cutesy melody and chatter away adorably at the equally cutesy rap section… I was curious to see who could pull it off.
Unfortunately, sifting through YouTube for vocal covers of a popular anime song is akin to thrifting – you have to go through a bunch of garbage before finding a few gems.
Luckily for you, Yoruko has endured the countless wannabe-J-Pop idols shrieking in her Sony MDR-NC7′s so you can just sit back and enjoy these three wonderful Renai Circulation song covers of varying nature.
HAN0N1viBritannia’s karaoke version
Props for actually doing the full version, most cover singers are usually too lazy and stop at TV-size. Her voice quality is like a softer rendition of Hanazawa’s, and while she isn’t a particularly strong singer and tends to mumble a bit, her adorable lisp has character. I just want to give that voice a tight hug :)
Osamurai-san & acane_madder’s acoustic version
Osamurai-san plays the guitar and harmonica in this, with acane_madder on vocals and piano. acane’s pitched this down a little and given the song a gentler, wispier tone. I’m a sucker for acoustic renditions and I honestly didn’t think one of Renai would have worked, but this cover convinced me otherwise. The rap section was done beautifully, and the instrumentation is great.
Male a capella version
This earns the gold medal due to sheer epicness. A male university a capella group covering this? So many things could have gone wrong, but they didn’t. The high voices are solid, and having the bass singers take the rap and chorus was an amusing spin on things. Also loved their vocal adaptation of the instrumentals. And you can’t forget their hilarious attempts to dance along. Viva otakus with good harmony!
Pandora Radio Special CD Vol.2
Alice character song ~ Kinjirareta Asobi (CV: Kawasumi Ayako)
(released August 26th, 2009)
1. オープニング [Opening]
2. ひと口食べて値段を当てろ!クイズ牛肉ハウマッチ! [Hito kuchi tabete nedan wo atero! Quiz gyuuniku how much!]
3. 禁じられた遊び [Kinjirareta Asobi]
4. 結果発表 [Kekka Happyou]
5. エンディング [Ending]
6. おまけ～罰ゲーム [Omake ~ Bachi Game]
The second Pandora Hearts radio CD. Contains the character song for Alice sung by her seiyuu, Kawasumi Ayako. Hm, this is a nice way to kick off the Kawasumi Ayako reviews :)
When I first saw Kinjirareta Asobi, I was expecting something dark…not only because of the music style in Pandora Hearts, but also because the song title is the same as a certain ALI PROJECT song. Instead we have a slow, floaty piano & orchestral number. Kawasumi’s singing doesn’t sound very much like Alice – in fact, despite her acting versatility, she sounds the same in every character song she’s done in terms of voice tone. However, her singing is rather pretty here, so I’ll forgive that. The vocals aren’t very dynamic in this song – it pretty much stays in one calm, ethereal state (I want to hear Ceui cover this now…). I keep thinking of Alice and Jack caught in some dreamlike waltz when I hear this. The lyrics are about Alice waiting for someone and wondering why she was born and Kawasumi does indeed capture Alice’s loneliness and and yearning for her memories well. I almost thought this song would feature the “other” (darker) Alice persona (that’s all I can say without giving a spoiler), but I’m glad it featured the more naive, innocent Alice. Kinjirareta Asobi is wonderful follow up to MinaJun’s swear to…, and shows the contrasting inner personalities of the two – Oz’s tumultuous emotions and Alice’s soft melancholy. While Minagawa’s vocals were more impressive, Kinjirareta’s soothing arrangement seals the deal for me.
Overall Grade: A-
…definitely NOT the best of both…er, all worlds.
I’m talking about the ending theme for the anime Needless. Despite its nearly mentally scarring yuri fanservice video which pretty much had shit to do with the series, the ending song itself is a lot to gripe about.
Recipe for an fanservice-filled trying-too-hard-to-be-a-kickass-shounen-anime ending song:
1 Kitamura Eri
1 Makino Yui
1 Goto Saori
1 Chihara Minori
Ahahaha Madhouse, nice one. You almost got me there with the lineup.
WAIT WAIT WAIT…aren’t these seiyuu supposedly GOOD at singing…?
Individually, these girls do have rather nice voices, with Kitamura Eri and Chihara Minori erring on the sharper-sounding side, while Makino Yui and Goto Saori have softer, cutesier, ’rounder’ tones.
…so you think the creators would be wise enough to hire someone to write a song that plays to each of their vocal strengths…? Or in some cases, with a flock of good singers, the end result will be good no matter what you throw at them…?
Just stick these four lovely women in a generic anison mixer, crank the pitch up too many notches, cook the music long enough so it comes out burnt and uninspired, and sprinkle some annoying moe yells…
and voila! Bon appetit!
Needless Girls+ – aggressive zone
I guess you can still hear it’s them…and maybe it’s mean to be some glorified charasong but…Jesus Christ. I know people can turn Miley Cyrus into some decent pop singer by giving her a decent song, but it never ceases to amaze me how good singers can sound so bad with the wrong songs…
And the worst part about “aggressive zone” is that the chorus is so damn catchy and it might end up on my mp3 player in my bunch of mindless music (though it can’t quite beat the horrible vocal of Gotou Yuuko’s “Special Days”)…it’s already wormed its way into my brain…ARGH. D:
P.S. I wanted to write a separate post for this, but decided I was too lazy.
After my rant about the song, you can go view the horrific ED sequence to make both your eyes AND ears bleed!
AND after that, you must watch this EPIC PARODY…words fail me. But then again, it’s also because it’s almost 6 AM and I’ve stayed up all night trying to write a lab report without much success 0rz ||
Pandora Radio Special CD Vol.1
Oz Vessalius character song ~ swear to… (CV: Minagawa Junko)
(released July 29th, 2009)
1. オープニング [Opening]
2. グルメ・ブラックジャック1 [Blackjack Gourmet 1]
3. swear to…
4. グルメ・ブラックジャック2 [Blackjack Gourmet 2]
5. 結果発表～エンディング [Kekka Happyou ~ Ending]
6. おまけ～罰ゲーム [Omake ~ Bachi Game]
The first Pandora Hearts radio CD. Contains the character song for Oz Vessalius, sung by his seiyuu, Minagawa Junko. For these types of CDs, I will list all tracks, as usual, but I will only review the songs, since I am not fluent enough in Japanese to understand the radio clips.
If there’s one gripe I have about character songs in general, it’s the use of electronic accompaniment. The techno blips in the beginning of swear to…made me facepalm a bit. I expected dark strings or something with a music box, but I guess imitating the OST’s style wasn’t in the creator’s mind. The background, despite its messiness during the chorus, did eventually grow on me – the bass is rather nice. The real star here is Minagawa, of course. Minagawa sounds really convincing as a young male even while singing. Her voice is great too – charasongs usually aim for character personality, but it’s rare to find one that gets both the character and musically passable vocal performance. Unfortunately, I suspect she might have been pitch edited/auto-tuned in the low notes in the chorus, but it didn’t really bother me. The melody is wonderful – low-key, melancholy for the verses, building up emotion in the prechorus, and totally letting loose in the chorus. It’s overdone charasong fare, but it works. The lyrics are great too – they’re about Oz’s inner feelings…a side you usually don’t see in the series since he always pretends to be happy. They’re about his fears of losing those close to him, his hurt and loneliness…okay, it’s a cliche emo song, but I love it when character songs show a different side from what you usually see in the anime. (The CD scans say the lyrics were written by Aa…is it the same Aa of savage genius? :D) All in all, swear to…could have had cleaner composition but the melody and Minagawa’s performance makes it an enjoyable listen.
Overall Grade: B+
Happy February 29th, everyone…
Let us celebrate this special day that only swings around once every 4 years! (Wow, when the next one arrives, I’ll be getting ready to go to graduate school…yipes.) Let’s dance, drink loads of (root) beer, and sing J-Pop all night long! (I wish.)
Speaking of singing, I can’t get Reverse by Saiga Mitsuki out of my head – her “manly” voice never ceases to amaze me. I found out it was used as an insert in Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte episode 2.5. Saiga Mitsuki voices an singer named Kyosuke and there’s a music video shown of the song (it comes in 1/4 into the episode…I think).
I didn’t take any screenshots while watching, so I’ll have to make do with this pic of Kyosuke from SoulTaker, of which Komugi was a spin-off. He looks less fierce in Komugi, though.
I’ve been aching to learn to sing it but figuring out lyrics by ear is a pain, and a Google search yields no results either, so I finally watched the video and copied them down. The meaning of the song is surprisingly depressing in comparison to what you hear.
Romaji lyrics + fansubbers’ translation after the jump.
Yes, you heard me correctly. We get to see our little Len-kun in concert! *cue fangirl screams*
Well…not really. Almost, though.
You can enjoy our favorite La Corda bishounen in all his singing and violin-playing glory…in the song Tsuki no Kakera.
All courtesy of Taniyama Kishou (Tsukimori’s seiyuu) & Muroya Kouichirou (Tsukimori’s violinist).