Kannagi Character Karaoke CD – "Nagi Uta" – Review

Album Title: Kannagi Character Karaoke CD – “Nagi Uta”
Anime Title: Kannagi
Artist: Miyuki Sawashiro; Takanori Hoshino; Tetsuya Kakihara;
Hiro Shimono; Haruka Tomatsu; Risa Hayamizu; Kana Hanazawa;
Shirige Tai; Satoru Kousaki; Eri Takenashi
Catalog Number: ANZB-3630
Release Type: Character CD
Release Date: March 25, 2009

Track Title Artist Time
1. Ichiban Boushi Miyuki Sawashiro 1:58
2. I Believe You Forever Takanori Hoshino 1:45
3. Kimi to Run Away Tetsuya Kakihara 1:45
4. Amore Seishun Hiro Shimono 2:45
5. Hello Daizu no Uta Haruka Tomatsu 0:36
6. Jun♥Ai (Pure Love) Generation Kana Hanazawa 1:10
7. Delicate ni Love・Me・Please Akihiko Matsumoto 1:33
8. Shirigeya no Theme Shirige Tai 1:33
9. Ichiban Boushi (Karaoke Version) Satoru Kousaki 1:58
10. I Beleive You Forever (Karaoke version) Satoru Kousaki 1:45
11. Kimi to Run Away (Karaoke Version) Satoru Kousaki 1:45
12. Amore Seishun (Karaoke Version) Satoru Kousaki 2:45
13. Hello Daizu no Uta (Karaoke Version) Eri Takenashi 0:36
14. Jun♥Ai (Pure Love) Generation (Karaoke Version) Satoru Kousaki 1:10
15. Delicate ni Love・Me・Please (Karaoke Version) Satoru Kousaki 1:33
16. Shirigeya no Theme (Karaoke Version) Satoru Kousaki 1:37
17. Kimi to Run Away (Jitaku de Hitori Zesshou Version) Tetsuya Kakihara 1:42

Review: It’s no understatement to declare that Fall 2008’s most hilarious moments were heavily concentrated in the tenth episode of Kannagi. As you may recall, Nagi, Jin, the rest of the art club, Tsugumi, and Zange try to strengthen their friendship bonds by spending time at a karaoke box. By this time, the series has already set up the romantic polygons and the viewer is expected to be familiar with each character’s personality traits for this episode’s humor to shine. As such, half of the fun comes from watching these characters’ personalities bounce off of one another and the other half comes from hearing the characters struggle through having to sing karaoke (Takako’s the exception here).

So after over 3 months of waiting, we’re finally treated to the compilation CD of the karaoke episode. Here, the quality of the music is a bit higher than what we got from the episode itself and oddly enough, I see that as negative since flaws like Tsugumi’s shy delivery and Zange’s oblivious off-tune belting are part of what makes the karaoke attempt feel genuine and charming. Add to that the fact that the humor isn’t quite as strong without the accompanying character interactions and you’ve got an album that is only worth listening to if you’re either looking to experience a cleaned up karaoke episode or if you want to be able to enjoy listening to Kannagi’s VA’s performances.

The album starts out with a fairly generic, but enjoyable J-pop song titled “Ichiban Boushi” that is performed by Tsugumi’s VA, Miyuki Sawashiro. As I hinted above, this performance is far more polished than the one in the episode because Sawashiro’s delivery is devoid of Tsugumi’s shyness and mistakes that made the performance endearing in the first place. The same can be said for Jin’s song, “Amore Seishun” in that while it is unrefined and does go off tune a few times, his VA’s rendition on this CD is far too confident. I would have liked to hear all of the mistakes, including Jin stumbling a few times and shyly lowering his volume when the attendant comes in, to capture the genuine karaoke experience and his low-key personality.

Ichiban Boushi:

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If you recall watching that episode, Daitetsu, voiced by Takanori Hoshino, completely blows “I Believe You Forever” out of the water. Part of what makes his performance so compelling is in the way Hoshino’s voice comes out. The timbre is extremely warm, which makes for a good match with the song’s subject because his delivery is so comforting and confident. That Hoshino can switch tones from a friendly, oafish character to a wonderful pop singer was unexpected and I’d love to hear more of his work if they exist.

I Believe You Forever:

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After that, we come to Akiba’s song, and there’s really not much to say here other than the fact that he goes into full otaku mode by singing with a lot of passion, but not much else. Likewise, Zange’s performance on “Delicate ni Love・Me・Please” is fairly mundane once you remove all of her flourishes and mistakes as well as her personality because this song lacks her forceful attitude in trying to get Jin to come over to her side.

The character-based humor comes in through Nagi’s and Takako’s performances. Nagi’s 30-second ditty, “Hello Daizu no Uta,” is hilarious because the way Haruka Tomatsu sings feels like she’s having fun with the song in spite of its campiness. The segments where she stresses the “Mame kue, mame!” and “Souzetsu na…iroke” in a melodramatic fashion highlights the humor and absurdity of the whole karaoke experience rather well. Takako’s song is one that will make you laugh uncontrollably or give you nightmares depending on your initial reaction to her performance since her antics were absolutely unforgettable. “Jun♥Ai (Pure Love) Generation” parodies the generic magical girl anime themes with its sugary sweet melody and lyrics, but to reap the full benefit of this track, you need to remember that Takako is a high school senior and she doesn’t hold back in complementing that song with cutesy facial expressions and exaggerated poses all of it done disturbingly well. Those moves are fitting for a magical girl in say… elementary school, but to see them performed by a high school senior leads to a sort of horror where one has no choice but to laugh at the absurdity. Needless to say, I loved it!

Hello Daizu no Uta:

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Jun♥Ai (Pure Love) Generation:

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After going through all of the characters, we finally reach the famed “Shirigeya no Theme” which is funny on its own because it provides a humorous take on the Japanese company structure which does everything from getting its employees to partake in morning exercises to teaching them a rousing company anthem to instill them with company spirit. It’s a strange concept for this Western viewer, which adds to the novelty factor since the the Shirige Tai are pretty enthusiastic about their supermarket chain to the point that it tickles my funny bone. The way the chorus section effusively sings the chorus part of the song combined with the marching band background music makes this song an uplifting, if hilarious way, to finish out the album.

Shirigeya no Theme:

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At the end of the day, this album isn’t really about listening to quality music as much as it’s about the levity borne from listening to the characters suffer through having to karaoke and picturing in your mind how the characters look while singing. As I mentioned, though the tracks are more polished than the raw karaoke version, the singing isn’t exactly stellar, but then again, issuing a high quality album of a karaoke episode isn’t the point here. So as you listen to this album, it’s obvious that this album caters to fans of the show. Still, those who enjoyed the episode’s silliness are better off just watching it because the music alone doesn’t carry the same comedic weight without the character interactions. Getting this album is an entirely optional affair though since the TV episode will give you a much more enjoyable experience overall.

Rating: So-so

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.

0 thoughts on “Kannagi Character Karaoke CD – "Nagi Uta" – Review

  • April 5, 2009 at 7:00 am
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    nagi-sama/haruka sounds like a young boy… I don’t remember this from the anime series, and it turns me off slightly D=

    Reply
  • April 5, 2009 at 12:24 pm
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    lmao the two middle songs are hilarious. Nagi’s is truly epic.

    Reply
  • April 5, 2009 at 3:58 pm
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    Ah the songs aren’t full length too (I suppose people would probably not want to listen the full version anyway <_<).

    Reply
  • April 5, 2009 at 11:56 pm
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    @Kairu Ishimaru
    And easily the best song on the album too (at least if you’re looking for any degree of seriousness).

    @tai
    Took a look at the episode and yup, that’s the way she delivers it. I don’t mind though since it’s absolutely hilarious all the same, especially when the characters that go before her have built up a foundation of humor that she adds on to with her antics.

    @lelangir
    No doubt about it. I get into mad fits just conjuring up Nagi and Takako’s moments. As if the other characters’ antics weren’t enough, those two had to blow my expectations out of the water.

    @depthcharge101
    I’d probably listen to it once. This album takes a major hit simply because it’s not one that you’ll listen to repeatedly. That’s neither good nor bad, but more an effect of what this CD was aiming to do, that is, compile an episode.

    Reply
  • April 7, 2009 at 7:05 pm
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    @tai
    I can’t imagine -not- remembering that song. It was hilarious and part of one of the best episodes of the series (if not the best).

    Overall it’s a fun CD to listen to if you picture the animation in your head as you listen, but as zzeroparticle, it’s much more rewarding to just watch the episode again. It really would have made the CD better to keep all the flaws in tact.

    Reply
  • June 25, 2009 at 7:16 pm
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    Just a note for anyone who comes across this…

    Part of the joke (actually, most of the joke) in the Shirigeya song is that “shirige” means “butt hair”. Not exactly the best name for a supermarket…

    Edit: Yes, there is actually a supermarket called Super Shirige. With the exact kanji for “butt hair”. No, they don’t use that song as their theme song… Yet.

    Reply

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