Instead of linking YouTube videos (which routinely get taken down), I’ll post a picture of the cover art of the song. This week I’ll cover Sword Art Online’s OP/ED, Tari Tari’s OP/ED and Hyouka’s second OP. Next week will be filled with new songs as I’m a bit busy this week.
crossing field by LiSA (Sword Art Online Opening)
Alright, to be honest, I just don’t like this song at all. I liked the short TV version more and that’s never a good thing. No offense, but I feel LiSA is not the best singer in the industry and I question why Aniplex USA brings her music into America when there’s so many other talented people that are signed with different companies owned by Sony Music that could really use the exposure. I’ve listed to a lot of LiSA’s songs: Fate/Zero’s ‘oath sign’ opening theme which also suffered from “the TV size version was better” and her work on Angel Beats! None of her songs are anything better than a ‘meh’: her most notable song has to be Ichiban no Takaramono, which was used on the episode with Yui. Weirdly (and slightly off topic), Yui’s seiyuu is Eri Kitamura and she’s quite the vocalist which is why I’m kinda confused as to why Yui has someone else provide vocals when her own seiyuu can pretty much do it. Anyways, I didn’t like her version of Ichiban: sure someone can argue it wasn’t synthesized or auto-tuned (it was neither of those) and definitely sounded raw and heartfelt, but that scene where the song was being played really ruined it for me. Not to spoil that scene, but something really sad happened and this song by LiSA really ruined the sadness of it all. Now, crossing field is better but lacks that oomph that takes off after the song finishes where it leaves off in the TV version. The song was really slow and almost boring after the song finished from the TV version. Which leads me to the next SAO song..
Yume Sekai by Haruka Tomatsu (Sword Art Online Ending)
Now this is a damn good song. Very soothing which fits because it’s an ending theme, and the vocals are perfectly in tune with the music. By far, the ending makes mince meat out of the more commercialized and bland opening. I think casting Tomatsu as Kirito’s girlfriend Asuna was a smart decision because she really is a great vocalist (just listen to the Ano Hana ED) and the lyrics are more representative of the series than the opening. Perhaps I’m more nicer for slower and softer songs, but the ending to Sword Art Online is one of the best songs to come out of Spring.
Dreamer by AiRI (Tari Tari Opening)
From bleh (SAO OP), to yay (SAO ED) and now back to bleh. Yet another song that kinda slips after the TV size version finishes. Slightly better than crossing field, but this song is eclipsed by the wonderful ending (all of the versions, guys included). Decent is all I can say about this song.
Shiokaze no Harmony by Shirahamazaka Choir Club – Asami Seto (Konatsu), Ayahi Takagaki (Wakana), Saori Hayami (Sawa), Nobunaga Shimazaki (Taichi) and Natsuki Hanae (Wien)
The ‘harmony’ in the title needs to be emphasized because oh my god this is just a wonderful group song that shines mainly because of the fact that EVERYONE’s participating. Not just the girls, but the guys as well. Lately, I find it annoying that some shows are all female-based or even worse: feature male characters as the main characters and not use them at all. Seriously, why do that? That’s a waste in my opinion. Here, I appreciate that Tari Tari treats the male characters as equals. Now I hope Taichi and Wien get some development just as great as Wakana did recently.
Mikansei Stride by Saori Kodama (Hyouka 2nd Opening)
I like this song a lot. It feels really smooth and from what I’m seeing, the artist is more of a songwriter than a vocalist: she wrote the lyrics for the ending theme of season 4 of Natsume Yuujinchou, which now that I’ve listened to Mikansei Stride have some similarities. Nevertheless, this song is very catchy and really stays consistent. I like this song more than Yasashisa no Riyuu from the first opening.