Weekly Anime Music Releases – May 20

This week had a lot of insert songs from shows we really don’t care too much about. Given that it’s the tail end of the spring anime season (time sure flies, huh?), there’s not a whole lot left to go before the shows all close out. So aside from a few odds and ends, the only major release is Hiroyuki Sawano’s work on Owari no Seraph. Granted, the reaction will depend on what you think about Sawano. So here’s a look at what’s coming out this week:

Anime OP/ED Singles

Owari no Seraph OP-ED

Owari no Seraph

Album Name: X.U.
Artist: scaPEGoat / SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]
Purchase at: CDJapan
Well, when you have Hiroyuki Sawano in the composer’s chair for an opening or ending theme, you can safely expect some electronica moving rhythmically along followed by a loud outburst. True to form, that’s what you get from Owari no Seraph‘s OP theme. The most damning thing about it is how boring it is and I’d give it a pass. The ending theme is a bit better and it reminds you of Aldnoah.Zero‘s ending theme. But it’s still not all that good and I wouldn’t bother too much with this release, Sawano or no.

Houkago no Pleides OP

Wish Upon the Pleiades

Album Name: Stella-rium
Artist: Kano
Purchase at: CDJapan
The Houkago no Pleiades OP theme is probably the type of theme you would expect if you looked at the character designs and anime screenshots. Make no mistake: the song, Stella-rium, doesn’t deviate much from the energetic J-pop opener and pretty much stays the course through and through. That said, Kano’s vocals do sound cute even if this is a paint by the numbers J-pop song, so the worst you’d probably feel is unoffended.

Yamada-kun 7 Witches OP

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Album Name: Kuchizuke Diamond
Artist: WEAVER
Purchase at: CDJapan
Well, the piano chords that open up the opening theme to Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is pretty energetic, and WEAVER’s voice follows suit quite nicely. But it hardly stands out as something you’ve never heard before since it stays the course for the sort of boy band J-pop songs that have been released over the years. Again, nothing special, but nothing offensive either. Just a bit boring maybe.

Blood Blockade Battlefront ED

Blood Blockade Battlefront

Album Name: Sugar Song and Bitter Step
Artist: UNISON SQUARE GARDEN
Purchase at: CDJapan
Having actually watched Blood Blockade Battlefront, I’d say the ending theme isn’t all too that impressive from the musical standpoint, but there’s no doubt that it’s pretty fun watching the visuals be paired along with this song as the characters strut about doing their stuff. You do need the context to get into it, but it’s not too bad all around. Nothing compared to the far better opening though.

Weekly Anime Music – May 13

It’s a depressing anime music release date when all you’re getting are a bunch of opening and ending singles with scarcely a soundtrack to get excited about. Worse yet, they all seem to be the same people or a group of seiyuu releasing the same thing over and over again. That doesn’t do much to stir my attention, but the fans get what they want, so that’s not a bad thing is it? So for this week’s releases, Kalafina might be the sole highlight, but there’s quite a few things for you all to chew upon this week:

Anime Openings and Ending Themes

Fate Stay Night ED Theme Kalafina

Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works]

Album Name: ring your bell
Artist: Kalafina
Purchase at: CDJapan
Is there anything to be said about Kalafina that hasn’t been said before? I guess we could say that we’ve been treated to the same song and dance before and that we’ve heard pretty much the same thing over. Kalafina’s branding has been tied to these soaring vocals with a melancholy tilt and they’re hardly inspiring or enthralling. I’d say give this single a pass unless you’re a really hardcore fan.

Gunslinger Stratos Mirai

Gunslinger Stratos

Album Name: MIRAI
Artist: GARNiDELiA
Purchase at: CDJapan
Garnidelia, the group made up of singers Maria and producer toku continue to roll out singles left and right. What’s not certain is whether they’ve worn out their welcome, but signs point to them still releasing decent fare. The ED theme to Gunslinger Stratos is soft and pleasant, what with the backing piano and instruments. So for fans of Garnidelia, there’s nothing to fear here since this effort was pretty solid all around!

Le Eden de la Grisaia Opening Theme

Le Eden de la Grisaia

Album Name: Setsuna no Kajitsu
Artist: Maon Kurosaki
Purchase at: CDJapan
Ever since I heard Maon Kurosaki sing the music to Highschool of the Dead, I was definitely captivated by the energy she proffered and the way she navigate made me believe in her ability to deliver as a singer. So with those preconceptions in mind, hearing her efforts on Grisaia carries a sort of urgency that’s at odds with what’s on screen. But the biggest takeaway is that it’s very much a competent effort, even if it’s not eye-opening.
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Kantai Collection (KanColle) Music Reviews

KanColle Anime
For a series that should have been at least as good as Strike Witches, Kantai Collection, also known as KanColle, has severely underperformed in pretty much all but one aspect: the music. We’ve finally been able to review all of the aspects of KanColle‘s music and have been won over not only by the ending theme, but also completely floored by just how good the anime’s soundtrack is.

Granted, not everything was sunshine and rainbows. When we looked at KanColle‘s opening theme, Miiro, and saw that it was sung by the formidable AKINO of bless4, we braced ourselves for powerful power-pop that would have us enthralled by AKINO’s enthralling singing on top of a catchy melody. Unfortunately, that did not come to pass and it remains the weakest component of KanColle‘s music.

But when you looked at KanColle‘s ending theme, Fubuki, the song created a bit of confusion since Shiena Nishizawa’s energetic performance made it more suitable for an opening theme. Which is to say it was energetic, catchy, and emphatic! Definitely a solid debut for Nishizawa and we hope to see more of her performances since her delivery, while nothing jaw-dropping, is pretty competent.

But the anime’s crown jewel by far is none other than KanColle‘s soundtrack itself. Composed by Natsumi Kameoka, KanColle‘s soundtrack is thrilling, mixing in some of the most glorious orchestral pieces I’ve heard lately. It does everything right, from the wonderful character-centric themes, to pleasant depictions of the setting and of day to day life, to even battle music that packs quite a punch. It’s not necessarily the kind of fare you’d expect out of a show meant to please fans of a popular web game, but in hiring Natsumi Kameoka and having her compose the score, they really hit it out of the park. KanColle‘s soundtrack is a real treasure, one that commands your attention if you enjoy orchestral anime music at all.

Weekly Anime Music Releases – May 8

All the anime music releases seem to have been slowed down for this week. This Wednesday is also Constitution Day in Japan, so that’s probably why the releases have been moved over to Friday. In any case, it’s a smaller amount of releases and that certainly helps to make my workload a whole heck of a lot easier. So here’s the anime music you’re getting from this week:

Anime Openings and Ending Themes

Ore Monogatari OP

Ore Monogatari!!

Album Name: Miraikei Answer
Artist: Trustrick
Purchase at: CDJapan
The duo of Sayaka Kanda and Billy are back again. After releasing “Flying Fafnir” for Juuou Mujin no Fafnir‘s OP, they’ve gone ahead and released this latest single with the opening theme to Ore Monogatari!!. The song isn’t much to speak of since it’s pretty much standard J-pop, but the show is cute and worth checking out if you’re a fan of cheesy romances.

Nyaruko-san OVA

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san F

Album Name: Haiyore Once Nyagain
Artist: Kitto Engage
Purchase at: CDJapan
Call them whatever you want, but I’ll always find the opening songs by the Haiyore! Nyaruko-san seiyuu to be absolutely hilarious. Their modus operandi always seems to be creating raucous singing that’s fun with the memetic repetition that you don’t mind that it’s not, by all accounts great music. But since we’re dealing with anime music, we should be thankful that we don’t need to take this medium toooooo seriously.

Anime Soundtracks and Albums

Nyaruko-san Mini Album

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san

Album Name: Haiyore! Nyaruko-san Best Selection Mini Album Jasenkyokutachi
Artist: Kana Asumi, Miyu Matsuki, Yuka Otsubo, Ryoka Yuzuki, Eri Kitamura, Wataru Hatano, Rie Kugimiya, Mariko Kouda, Aya Hisakawa
Purchase at: CDJapan
And if the above album doesn’t do enough to satiate your love for Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, then this album certainly will. After all, it contains most of the music from the previous anime seasons, starting off with the infamous “UUUUU! NYAN! Let’s NYAN!” theme that everyone loves so much. Shrill singing it may be, but once again, fun wins the day!

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