K-ON! OP Single – Cagayake! GIRLS – Review

Album Title: Cagayake! GIRLS
Anime Title: K-ON!
Artist: Sakurakou K-ON Bu: Aki Toyasaki, Youko Hisaka,
Satomi Satou, Minako Kotobuki
Catalog Number: PCCG-70037
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: April 22, 2009

Track Title Artist Time
1. Cagayake! GIRLS Sakurakou K-ON Bu 4:10
2. Happy!? Sorry!! Sakurakou K-ON Bu 3:48
3. Cagayake! GIRLS (Instrumental) 4:11
4. Happy!? Sorry!! (Instrumental) 3:46

Review: Let me preface this review by saying that though I highlighted a few major flaws in the songs on this album, I did find them catchy and enjoyable for what they’re worth and that the final rating at the bottom reflects that in general, this album isn’t bad in the least. So with that out of the way, “Cagayake! GIRLS” continues the trend set by other shows in the four schoolgirls, one slice of life comedy anime genre by delivering an upbeat song to bring out the excitement that the characters experience in their day to day lives. In doing so, the first track on this album will invite comparisons to songs like “Sketch Switch” and “Hatena de Wasshoi” from Hidamari Sketch and Hidamari Sketch X365 respectively. By comparing Hidamari Sketch’s OPs to K-ON!’s, it shouldn’t take long for the latter’s faults to become apparent.

“Cagayake! GIRLS” starts out with a harsh-sounding set of chords that help establish a rhythm that the singers can work off of while capturing the listener’s attention. The song’s tone changes quickly as the melody takes a more energetic, genki-filled approach (if I may use the term) once Aki Toyosaki (Yui) makes her entrance. As soon as the song gets under way, the tempo moves quickly and Toyosaki gives off a passable performance since she is able to capture the sort of excitement that her character Yui Hirasawa derives from going to school as she experiences this newfound lifestyle.

The choice of words here was quite deliberate since “passable” is about as good as it gets. Where this song falls short of its potential is in Toyosaki’s performance because it feels just a touch restrained. This song’s sheer energy that one can pick up from the background instruments does demand a similar amount of energy and expressiveness from the singer and Toyosaki doesn’t quite deliver the full range of what this song requires to really become effective. Because of this, when you compare it to a song like “Sketch Switch,” “Cagayake! GIRLS” isn’t quite as effective in conveying the earnestness and excitement found in high school life.

In addition to Toyosaki’s somewhat reticent delivery, one should also watch for a few points at which the song descends into cheesiness. The segment that I’m referring to is around 2:34 right when they finish up the second verse and each singer makes their in-character introductions by enthusiastically shouting their characters’ names which comes across as a bit of a distraction rather than something that’s cute and charming which was probably the intended goal. The interlude that comes afterward also feels slightly off, but at least it segues into the end in a manner that makes sense melodically by transitioning back to the main key before wrapping things up nicely.

“Happy!? Sorry!!” makes for a stark contrast to “Cagayake! GIRLS” by delivering a funky, hardcore rock atmosphere right from the get go. Everything, from the background instruments to Aki Toyasaki performance, seems a bit harsher, but the presentation is done rather well with Toyasaki carrying the melody while the other singers back her up after each line. There are a few points in which this song reminds me of “Yellow Vacation” from Pani Poni Dash, like the short motive from 1:05 to 1:08 that gets repeated a few times as well as the chorus section which is delivered well through the way the lyrics are sung in that dismissive sort of way. Be on the lookout for some weird segments like the one from 2:15-2:22 where the singers shout phrases, the part around 2:26-2:33 where the music stutters, and the abrupt shift around 2:45. In spite of these oddities, the tone and mood of the piece makes for an enjoyable change of pace even if it’s not a song that I’ll listen to repeatedly.

While there’s no denying that both songs are listenable in their own right, I can’t help but feel that neither of these tracks have staying power since there’s nothing about them to make either one stand out. Tokasaki’s delivery in the first track does enough to bring forth “Cagayake! GIRLS’” energy, but not enough to make it memorable and “Happy!? Sorry!!,” while different from a lot of B-side tracks through its funky rock vibe, doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to long-term enjoyment. So go ahead and give these a listen and enjoy them if they’re the kind of pieces that are up your alley. Just don’t expect anything profound or compelling that you’ll look back to even six months down the line.

Rating: Decent

Opening – Cagayake! GIRLS

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.

12 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. lelangir says:

    I…don’t hear any resemblance to Hatena de Wasshoi, which includes:

    -a lot of brass
    -more synth than Cageyake
    -whistles
    -is sung in turns by various seiyuu (unlike Cageyake)
    -less emphasis on guitar/bass

    However, they have similar guitar parts which are there more for percussion than harmony, not an uncommon feature.

    I was never a Beatles fan, so I don’t know why people say Cageyaki is very Beatles-esque. At any rate, it’s a completely forgettable song.

  2. @lelangir
    No melodic comparisons were intended. I was mostly commenting on the general atmosphere of the piece, that is, the “genki-filled” thingamajig that I mentioned earlier. Apologies if I wasn’t clear with regard to that.

  3. Omisyth says:

    I flat-out disliked the vocal portions of Cagayake!; her voice was too high and squeaky for me, which is surprising due to the fact I still like Lucky Star’s opening w/ vocals. As such, I’m thankful for the instrumental.

    I kind of liked the interlude you mentioned, was a nice change of pace from the rest of the song.

  4. @Omisyth
    I wonder… is it fair to label “Cagayake!” a teeny bopper-type song? At least, “Cagayake’s” presentation is the sort of thing that comes to mind when I think of that term, which, I can see why it’d be annoying to some people.

  5. taka says:

    Wait wait…I AM a Beatles fan and don’t think this sounds or even vaguely reminds me of them. So…yeah what?

    My favorite parts actually come in the first verse especially the “ribbon” alliteration and the multi tracking at that point.

  6. Minnie says:

    Forgettable, awful voice, and the volume of the instruments in comparison to the voice make me hate this song. HOWEVER, I will give it credit for being catchy for a bit. I actually like this song better after I listen to it again though. That’s good enough I suppose. :)

  7. @taka
    Yeah, that ribbon alliteration was pretty awesome, almost like the

    honnou ni juujun chuujitsu honrou mo juujuu shouchi

    in the ED sequence.

    @Minnie
    Would it be fair to describe her performance as being a bit nasally? I’m trying to figure out a good adjective for that and that’s the best I’ve come up with.

  8. taka says:

    Yknow I was gonna mention that but I had no idea how to describe that alliteration.

  9. @taka
    Yeah, beats me as to what that’s called. Same rhyme structure perhaps? :P

  10. tai says:

    The character introductions do reek of cheese, but I really love the silent pauses and the hang-time key change right afterwords. I didn’t like the OP edit that much, but because of the bridge I’m really liking the full version much more.

  11. kyumiki says:

    can me give me the chords of Cagayake Girls? e-mail me please…and the fuwa fuwa jikan, also dont say lazy please?? not ecen one of those?? D: i beg you!!!

  12. k-on boys says:

    i think the OP n ED songs were very good.i love it.not all people has the same taste.anyway, i try to find these songs chords but couldn’t find it..so,if anyone out there who knows where to find these chords,pls let us know.tq.

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