Rosario to Vampire Capu2 OP/ED – Trickster – Review

Album Title: Trickster
Anime Title: Rosario to Vampire Capu2
Artist: Nana Mizuki
Catalog Number: KICM-1251
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: Oct. 1, 2008

Track Title Artist Time
1. Trickster Nana Mizuki 3:49
2. DISCOTHEQUE Nana Mizuki 3:59
3. Trinity Cross Nana Mizuki 4:26

Review: My earliest exposure to Nana Mizuki’s music had been through the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series in which she performs the OP as well as several insert songs within the series. Those particular songs stand out as being some of my favorite OP songs due to their intensity that is conveyed through Mizuki’s vocal talents. So while I can’t really call myself a devoted fan, to say that I only merely enjoy her music is a bit of an understatement.

When I caught wind that she would be doing the OP and ED for Rosario to Vampire Capu2, I was looking forwards to listening to her songs once again. After giving the album a good listen, I came out with two conclusions. Firstly, the first and third tracks are decent listens (the third moreso than the first), though they are hardly Mizuki at her best. Secondly, you should listen to “DISCOTHEQUE” while watching the OP to see how Gonzo syncs the music to the animation, with the thought that in spite of the excellent work on Gonzo’s part, “DISCOTHEQUE” isn’t particularly good, with or without the accompanying animation.

“Trickster” starts off well with Mizuki jumping right in as the song starts a buildup through the guitar and percussion in the background before finally getting into the core of the song’s melody around the 30-second mark. The level of energy increases, though not as much as one might expect from a Mizuki song. While her voice is as solid as usual, she just doesn’t seem to convey the amount of intensity that she usually does, which makes this song feel somewhat muted. However, do keep an ear out for the segment between 1:59 – 2:23, which is absolutely superb as you hear the awesome guitar work pumps its dose of energy into the song. Aside from that moment, the rest of the song just falls into a realm that’s above average. The ending isn’t too great either as the song quiets down and trails off without providing a real sort of closure. “Trickster” isn’t a bad piece, but Mizuki’s done a lot better that the gap between this and her best works is considerable.

The first thing that came to mind when I heard the opening notes of “DISCOTHEQUE” was the music to Chicago (the film starring Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Renee Zellweger). It’s not an area in which I’ve heard Mizuki sing and as I listened to the song, it became clear that this type of music doesn’t play to Mizuki’s strengths. Part of the problem comes from the jarring shifts in the tone and atmosphere of the music which jumps from a Chicago-flavored jazzy feel over to generic J-pop fare (think Koda Kumi’s “Real Emotion” here) and back on multiple occasions. The structure of the music is really what’s at fault here as it can’t seem to settle on what sort of genre it wants to be a part of, so it tries to be an amalgam, and an unsuccessful one at that. Like the previous track, the highlight of this piece is the instrumental solo, which occurs around 2:56 where the saxophone is allowed to play a short motive before Mizuki comes back in. Aside from that promising moment, I’d skip this track.

“Trinity Cross” is probably the closest track on this album to your usual Mizuki fare. The opening somewhat reminds me of Nanoha StrikerS’s “SECRET AMBITION” without the same amount of intensity and emotion, but there’s a lot more of it present here than in the preceding pieces. “Trinity Cross’s” melody channels Mizuki’s style rather well as it showcases her vocal range while maintaining a good amount of intensity, especially when she hits some of the higher registers. There’s also a calming transition starting around 3:09 that feels beautiful for the short period of time that it lasts until the intense melody is reintroduced before it concludes forcefully and resolutely. All in all, the action and energy that this piece evokes makes this song the best track on this album.

What initially drew me to Nana Mizuki’s music was forcefulness of the emotions she poured forth and the sheer intensity that she puts into her music, both of which are in very short supply in this album. There’s nothing wrong with an artist going outside the styles that they’re good at so that they can experiment around a bit, but in this instance, the experiment didn’t yield particularly great results. Nana Mizuki has released far superior albums, so if you’ve the urge to listen to her music and you don’t want to listen to her more mediocre fare, you should give this album a pass.

Rating: Decent

Track 2 – DISCOTHEQUE

Track 3 – Trinity Cross

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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.

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