ChäoS;HEAd ED Single – First Sight – Review

Album Title: First Sight
Anime Title: ChäoS;HEAd
Artist: Seira Kagami; Ryohei Yamamoto
Catalog Number: VPCC-82260
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: Nov 21, 2008

Track Title Artist Time
1. First Sight Seira Kagami; Ryohei Yamamoto 6:06
2. Super Special Seira Kagami 5:42
3. First Sight -exclusive edit- Seira Kagami; Ryohei Yamamoto 6:33

Review: I’ve heard a gamut of reactions to ChäoS;HEAd’s ED ranging from “super special awesome without the awesome” to “campy” to flat-out “terrible” and I can’t disagree either. No matter how you slice it, the melody is a jarring transition from the “what on earth just happened” moments that the series seems to sprinkle around liberally and the engrish lyrics rival Spice and Wolf’s ED “Ringo Biyori ~The Wolf Whistling Song” in terms of sheer ridiculousness. But for all the badness that this track carries with it, I still can’t bring myself to totally pan it because of the sheer amusement value I derive out of listening to it as I ponder what was on the anime producers’ minds when they decided to select this track for the ED.

But before we get to “Super Special,” there’s still “First Sight” to go through and for an A-side track, I can’t say this song particularly inspires any confidence. “First Sight’s” mood is best described as being celebratory and you can certainly hear the Seira Kagami’s happiness channeled through the melody, but unfortunately, the delivery is overshadowed by the lyrics and the presentation. While it’s not a habit of mine to pay close attention to the lyrics, this song is one of the few instances where the engrish was so bad that there wasn’t a way I could not not pay attention to it. From what I could decipher of it, “First Sight” appears to be a love song about a woman who becomes infatuated with a man at first sight. While such a theme is fairly commonplace, the song itself feels silly and nonsensical due to several factors. The already campy melody is often overshadowed by an overly dominating beat and Ryouhei Yamamoto’s contributions to the song are reminiscent of a fading boy-band member’s performance. Finally, the backup singers really destroy any amount of seriousness that this song possesses, making it a song you’re better off skipping unless you enjoy intentionally listening to bad music.

As you proceed on to “Super Special,” the first thing that comes to mind when listening to it is how at odds this song is within the context of ChäoS;HEAd. For those of you who’ve seen the series, you’ll know that the atmosphere tends to be dark and mysterious with a touch of the deranged, which makes the pleasant-sounding melody just slightly jarring. Evaluated on its own, the song isn’t half bad because it does capture Takumi Nishijou’s need to be loved and soothed. However, the song does suffer from the heavy synth beat that’s slightly distracting and draws most of the attention away from Seira Kagami’s performance. Furthermore, the lyrics consist almost entirely of incoherent thoughts. Really, how are you supposed to explain the transition from:

Big sign of ”Love & Peace”
When there’s enough bombs to blow the earth.

to:

”all-A kids only”
Prioritize Money they own

Like the previous track, the lyrics are difficult to ignore because of how silly they are and you just can’t help but be amused by the mangling of the English language that seems to result from some Japanese lyricist watching a random MTV segment and snatching phrases at random. The effect is unintentionally humorous and, combined with the effects they shovel into the piece, has the effect of making the entire song feel kitschy. And unfortunately, we get to sit through close to six minutes of kitsch, which, given the song’s tendency towards repetitiveness, makes you wonder why anyone would intentionally make a song so long. It doesn’t help that the last 42 seconds of it (yes that long!) is nothing more than a repetitive synth harmony followed by a dull beat. While there are plenty of songs that end in this manner, the pointless display of fluff just takes the pain a bit too far.

In judging both songs, one can pretty much throw out a bevy of mocking internet slang and be pretty much spot-on. Objectively, these songs are terrible and there’s no good reason one should like them. But as Roger Ebert once wrote: “I cannot recommend the movie, but… why the hell can’t I? Just because it’s godawful? What kind of reason is that for staying away from a movie? godawful and boring, that would be a reason.” and that argument definitely flies for this album. The music is indeed godawful, but for those of you who can look at bad art and still derive a smidgen of enjoyment out of it (perverse or otherwise), should definitely give this album a shot.

Rating: Bad

Ending – Super Special

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.

7 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. Sorrow-kun says:

    Culture experts might know this story better than I do, since I can only remember vague bits and pieces of it. But there was apparently this prominent manager during the earlier parts of the previous century who had a dancer who couldn’t sing or dance for quids. She was panned by critics, but he said something along the lines of, he pitied the people who couldn’t appreciate her act, since they missed the brilliance.

    I’m not the biggest camp fan (I loathed Snakes on a Plane), but every now and then something comes along that I just go smitten for. I mean, come on. “You’re always super special”. That’s awesome right there!

  2. Panther says:

    Lol I was not paying much attention to the lyrics in Super Special, or something. But I like the beat of the song and the pace, pretty catchy.

  3. kanzeon says:

    I also don’t care about the lyrics but now that you mentioned it, lol it was bad. But actually, I found the beat to be catchy when I first heard it, but I dropped the series now.

  4. Sorrow-kun says:

    @Panther: I dare say there’s a smidgen of Daft Punk’s upbeat house style in the song’s rhythm and melody.

  5. @Kanzeon: Well, I think the series has been interesting so far, but the last few batches of mystery anime have been underwhelming in their resolution. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

    Yeah, I won’t deny the melody is pretty catchy; it just needs something more compelling because a fair share of catchy melodies have become forgettable. Except “Super Special” will probably become unforgettable due to the lyrics. I do wonder whether the humor/disjointedness present in the song is intentional or not.

  6. catow says:

    /facepalm.

  7. waitwut says:

    @kanzeon: Wait, you dropped the series because you didn’t like the ED?

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