Darker than BLACK Ryuusei no Gemini OP – Tsukiakari no Michishirube – Review

tsukiakari no michishirube

Album Title: Tsukiakari no Michishirube
Anime Title: Darker Than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini
Artist: Stereopony
Catalog Number: SRCL-7145
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: November 4, 2009
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

Track Title Artist Time
1. Tsukiakari no Michishirube Stereopony 3:58
2. Daidai Iro Stereopony 3:29
3. Fuzz Stereopony 2:13
4. Tsukiakari no Michishirube Stereopony 3:58

Review: Animation-wise, Darker Than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini has one of my favorite openings of all time. Somehow, the beautiful moving scenery and the relaxing pace of the animation attracted me towards it because of its stark contrast with the dark ambiance of the anime itself. When paired with the very catchy chorus of “Tsukiakari no Michishirube,” the whole opening leaves a very good initial impression. However, upon closer inspection, many things suddenly seem missing.

The first is the lack of originality. When I hear the song, the artist I associate it with is The Brilliant Green. Stereopony seems to have chosen to jump on the pop/rock bandwagon without adding some sense of individuality.

The second problem is the sheer lack of vocal strength. This problem was overlooked when paired with the brilliant animation and when the song only lasted 1:31 minutes in the TV size, but becomes glaringly obvious once you listen to the full song without any distractions. Many times in the chorus of “Tsukiakari no Michishirube,” Aimi’s voice becomes wispy during the higher notes while she sounds very uncomfortable with her low notes in “Daidai Iro.”

There is also minimal expression of the lyrics. My understanding of the lyrics of “Tsukiakari no Michishirube” is that it depicts a girl powerless in the passage of time, but still desperately wanting to chase her own dreams. While there are hints of such yearnings in the first stanza of the song, it is lost almost completely as the song progresses. Even in the last stanza where a more optimistic view is expressed in the lyrics, the vocals do not deliver such conviction.

The fourth and final problem I noticed is that the B-sides are simply not memorable. While they are in no way unpleasant, they just don’t leave any impression. I find myself incapable of recalling a tune even after listening to it repeated times. The most disappointing track is probably “Fuzz,” since it is essentially, just fuzz.  That is, it’s mostly made up of loose bits stitched lightly together in a hasty and haphazard way without any intended message whatsoever.

That said, there are definitely good things about this album. It is definitely a single meant for the general masses, since all the songs flow well and are very pleasant to listen to leisurely, especially with “Tsukiakari no Michishirube.” The wonderful way the melody is written and its light delivery will appeal to all, and you will probably find yourself humming the tune to yourself without even noticing it. Credit must be given to Stereopony for creating a single which really can bring a smile to listeners’ face. This is one single which is definitely worth listening to at least once, but may not hold well under closer inspection.

I certainly hope that it is only a matter of time before Stereopony finds her own niche. I, for one, definitely am praying that the next single will display a little more variety and individuality.

Rating: So-so

Darker than BLACK Ryuusei no Gemini Opening – Tsukiakari no Michishirube

Jen

I have been a contributor to Anime Instrumentality since late 2009 (blimey...). Being a lousy musician trained in cello, keyboard and voice, I feel obliged to censure the other amateurs who have the cheek to release their rubbish to the world, and to affirm those who actually deserve their salary. Nothing gives me more joy than listening to good music, though I admit that writing scathing reviews on bad ones comes close.

0 thoughts on “Darker than BLACK Ryuusei no Gemini OP – Tsukiakari no Michishirube – Review

  • November 22, 2009 at 7:42 pm
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    I didn’t find the OP inspiring either. It isn’t necessarily a bad song. But it isn’t really good either. Good enough to stay on my playlist though. The tune is alright. Maybe if it had difficult vocals.

    Reply
  • November 22, 2009 at 8:01 pm
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    Well put. For some reason, I never really liked Stereopony as much as other similar genre jpop artists, like YUI or Nana Mizuki. I found Stereopony to be too average.

    Reply
  • November 22, 2009 at 11:44 pm
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    I agree with it not being memorable, but I enjoy listening to it with the OP every episode mainly due to the animation. DtB has such good animation work, plus it’s pro seeing that anti-tank rifle in the intro.

    Reply
  • November 23, 2009 at 6:54 am
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    @ xau
    I hope Aimi can improve on her singing a little too. At least her high notes should be stronger… >.< @ Yi Thanks! I think Stereopony desperately needs to tell us listeners just what are they focusing on. Right now, I just see them jumping between everything mediocre… @ Reltair I absolutely love the opening too. This song just seem to fit the image so well, and fits Suou so well. Everytime I hear it, I can almost imagine it coming from Suou herself. Though actually, my first thoughts on seeing the rifle was… ‘how can it be soooo long?!’

    Reply
  • November 25, 2009 at 4:44 am
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    My sentiment exactly, the song fits so well with the OP animation but when listened alone it is a bit too generic and lack satisfactory ending. Nevertheless, I find it to be a nice song to play while driving a car.

    Reply
  • November 29, 2009 at 12:05 am
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    I still seem to be in favour of season 1’s run of the mill Visual Kei J-rock OP theme.

    Reply
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