During the Fall 2010 Anime Season, I have taken a brief look of some the opening and ending songs I heard from the shows I were watching. Since I only covered a few shows last winter like Madoka Magica, Hourou Musuko and Fractale (Gosick is left out since the ending theme single came out in the spring), I decided not to focus on it. However, I have published a full review on Madoka Magica’s opening song, “Connect” at Anime Instrumentality and you should check it out!
For the Spring 2011 Season, there was a good number of opening and ending songs I liked. Out of the songs that released and listened to during spring, I liked “secret base ~kimi ga kureta mono~” (Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, Saori Hayami), “Scarlet Knight” (Nana Mizuki), “Hazy” (sphere), “Scarlet Ballet” (May’n), and “Spread Wings” (Aki Misato). For each song, I will share my thoughts about them briefly. (Image Source)
1. secret base ~kimi ga kureta mono~ (Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, Saori Hayami) – Ano Hana Ending
When I first heard this song while watching the first episode of AnoHana, I instantly fell in love with it. The song itself felt very heartwarming, nostalgic and emotional, which fit well with the overall theme of the show. I also liked how the three voice actresses conveyed this feeling with their version of the original song. It’s based on a famous cover song from ZONE that released in 2001. Although I never heard the original version, I feel that it will exceed this although both of these songs will give the same feeling.
2. Scarlet Knight (Nana Mizuki) – Dog Days Opening
Even though the overall premise of Dog Days is very lighthearted with only small hints of conflict, the opening, “Scarlet Knight” is probably the best part of the show. The song itself feels like an adventure shown through the use of bass, strings and other instruments. Most of the song’s energy comes from Nana Mizuki that builds throughout the song and makes her performance give a very enjoyable experience.
Needless to say, this was my first time listening to her music. I haven’t noticed that she also made the opening for all the seasons of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha including the movie. I subsequently took a listen of those and I liked what I have heard, especially “Phantom Minds.”
3. Hazy (sphere) – Hanasaku Iroha Ending #1
I’m not going to say much since I have been working on a review for this single and don’t want to spoil it. All I have to say is that the girls’ performance of the song is stellar just like their previous works and the song was heartwarming. Hence, “Hazy” has become one of my favorite sphere songs to date besides “Moon Signal.”
4. Scarlet Ballet (May’n) – Hidan no Aria Opening
Since I haven’t heard most of her songs from Macross Frontier because I don’t have any interest in mecha, “Ready Go!” was the first time I have experienced her singing. While I enjoyed it, this wasn’t her best song since her performance felt unusual. On the other hand, “Scarlet Ballet” gave a more present experience since her singing was smoother and richer. I also liked the use of the strings along with the synth and other instruments. While the gunshots effects were gimmicky, this is the most enjoyable song from May’n I have heard so far.
5. Spread Wings. (Aki Misato) – Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai Opening
I know, Oretachi was a disappointing mess because of all the confusion in the plot and the unnecessary fanservice, but it had a nice opening song. I like the song because the instrumentals and Aki Misato’s singing went well together. Like Nana Mizuki, I found myself enjoying some of her other songs, most notably the openings for Strawberry Panic.
Other Notable Tracks in Spring 2011
Morning Arch (Kawano Marina) – A Channel Opening
Presenter (Yui Horie) – Dog Days Ending – “Presenter” is a very catchy and cute song that fits Princess Millhiore’s personality. While I enjoyed this song, it paled in comparison to “Scarlet Knight,” which had a more heroic feeling and Nana’s performance of the opening song was better.
Unity (Lisa Komine) – Gosick Ending #2 – Unlike “Resuscitated Hope,” “Unity” was more emotional since it conveyed the dramatic second half of the show. Even though the song was good, I still felt that the former was better.
PARANoiA (Aki Misato) – Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai Ending #1 – “PARANoiA” nicely carries the faux fantasy world while giving a rather sweet feeling from Aki Misato’s vocals.