ARIA the ORIGINATION OP/ED Single – Spirale – Review

Album Title: Spirale
Anime Title: ARIA the ORIGINATION
Artist: Yui Makino; Mina Kubota; Rieko Itou; Yasufumi Sakurai
Catalog Number: VTCL-35016
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: Jan 22, 2008

Track Title Artist Time
1. Spirale Yui Makino 5:41
2. Yokogao -acoustic version- Yui Makino 4:54
3. Spirale (instrumental) Mina Kubota 5:41
4. Yokogao -acoustic version- (instrumental) Rieko Itou; Yasufumi Sakurai 4:51

Review: Call it a heavy ARIA bias if you will, but that’s really the only excuse I can come up with for enjoying “Spirale,” the opening to ARIA the ORIGINATION. From my experience, Yui Makino’s songs tend to be fairly one-dimensional because every Yui Makino song that I’ve heard has this tendency to sound the same with very minor differences to set them apart. While this lack of diversity is problematic if you evaluate Yui Makino’s musical career, if you look at this album entirely within the context of ARIA the ORIGINATION, “Spirale’s” soothing quality fits the thematic elements of the series perfectly. Without the context of the series in mind, this album might have been forgettable, but through Makino’s performance, “Spirale” is absolutely spot-on when it comes to representing the mood and spirit of ARIA the ORIGINATION.

“Spirale’s” opening has a serene, almost ethereal quality to it from its opening notes which evoke a laid-back scene that feels almost directionless through the melody. The image that the listener gets as the song progresses is of the listener drifting along with the river’s current without a specific destination in mind, an effect that is enhanced further through the background instruments that flows beautifully like water. 0:58 is where the song actually begins to acquaint the listener with a direction as it builds up the refrain before starting the second verse. Though there are a few moments that feel as though the singer is nostalgic, the overall feel of it seems forward-looking. Throughout it all, Yui Makino’s voice continues to be soothing and expressive as it conveys a sense that the future will turn out well and that one shouldn’t worry excessively.

“Yokogao –acoustic version-” is a bit more somber from the start with the melancholy violin melody. The piano in the background sets a subdued mood as Yui Makino vacillates between lamenting and trying to move on in life. In spite of the subdued setting, Yui Makino still manages to be expressive with her singing which works to hold the listener’s attention. For a B-side track, this song fares rather well in that it offers a different enough mood and tone compared to the first track while still maintaining a consistent level of quality.

Taken as a whole, the difference between the two tracks isn’t that stylistically different which does little in the way of persuading me that Yui Makino is capable of performing a diverse set of music. Then again, seeing how some artists have experimented with different styles of singing and have had rather mixed results (see: Nana Mizuki), maybe Makino’s decision to stick to one consistent style isn’t such a bad idea. It certainly shows here since both tracks on this album succeed at being fairly enjoyable and more so if you’re familiar with ARIA the ORIGINATION.

Rating: Good

Opening – Spirale

About the author

zzeroparticle Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

5 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. 53RG10 says:

    I’ve been a Makino Yui fan since I heard her in “Amurita”. Her soft soothing voice is just what I need to hear when relaxing and taking it slow.

    Both “Spirale” and “Yokogao -acoustic version-” are very good songs, but, just like you said, both are typically what Makino Yui sings, and if not for the feel of ARIA the ORIGINATION, people would just pass on it…

    By the way, if you want to hear a different side to Makino Yui, try that first Amuri in Star Ocean Character Album. She may be in character while singing, but it’s a nice taste of what she can do.

  2. Omisyth says:

    Sorry this is completely unrelated, but thought you might like to know the Natsume Yuujinchou Soundtrack’s just been released, due to your reaction to the OP/ED. It’s great IMO, so you might like to do a review of it.

  3. Amazingly enough, I’m working on it. Should have it up within the next 24 hours or so.

    Thanks Omisyth!

  4. Sakabadger says:

    Just a note: Mina Kubota did the music/arrangement for Spirale while Yokogao -acoustic version- was handled by Rieko Itou (music/arrangement) and Yasufumi Sakurai (arrangement).

  5. Awesome! Thanks for the info, Saka :p

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