Bakemonogatari OP Single – staple stable – Review

bakemonogatari_OP

Album Title: staple stable
Anime Title: Bakemonogatari
Artist: Chiwa Saito; Hiroshi Kamiya; meg rock
Catalog Number: ANZB-9451 (Included with DVD)
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: September 30, 2009
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

Track Title Artist Time
1. staple stable Chiwa Saito; meg rock (Megumi Hinata) 4:36
2. staple stable (instrumental) meg rock 4:37
3. Atogatari Kanzenban Chiwa Saito; Hiroshi Kamiya 41:32

Review: Even though a significant amount of time has passed since I’ve seen any Bakemonogatari episodes, there’s something about Chiwa Saito’s “staple stable” that continues to resonate with me on a subconscious level. Maybe I’m also afflicted by this whole “Senjougahara fascination” business as everyone else, but in listening to this song, I just can’t help but fall into a state of bliss as memories of the anime series flood back, especially that of episode 12 where Chiwa Saito/Senjougahara was at her best as she brings us what is quite possibly the most memorable anime moment of the year.

I preface this review with all that because there are a lot of things that this song isn’t. First of all, it’s not one that is ambitious since it’s just a bit too simple. Meg rock’s compositions doesn’t surprise us in any way as “staple stable” uses a guitar playing a steady rhythm to create a backdrop for Chiwa Saito’s voice to work with. So dazzling or complex it isn’t. Secondly, Chiwa Saito isn’t exactly the best singer out there. As you listen to her performance, there are a few notes that just seem a little out of tune either because she’s unable to that low or instances where she comes across a high note and doesn’t hit it straight away, opting instead to glissando into it. Yet, these issues don’t bother me as much here, and I think that a lot of that has to do with the entirety of the presentation, which demonstrates that in some cases, the quality of the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

A lot of what makes “staple stable” so enjoyable is Chiwa Saito’s performance. Up until this point, the only singing I’ve heard her do is when she sings as one of her pre-teen roles (her performance of “Faraway Dream” as Rebecca Miyamoto comes to mind), so to hear Saito bring out her mature, soothing voice into play was a pleasant surprise. Her tone is subtle, delivering deft steps in tandem with the background guitars so that both the vocals and the instruments complement each other perfectly. Furthermore, the lyrics add a lot to the song because they nail down Senjougahara’s awkwardness around Araragi by blending in a dab of anxiety about expressing the extant of her feelings to him atop the current of happiness that she feels as a result of finding someone so selfless. In short, it’s a song that fits Senjougahara’s tsundere personality to a T.

That the melody is also catchy only helps its cause and even when looping this track, somehow, I just don’t get bored of it. The memories of that show is certainly a factor; the offbeat, yet enjoyable animation is part of it too. But even without those elements to back it up, “staple stable” still stands up well in its own right as not only do we come to appreciate Senjougahara all the more, we are exposed to a side of Chiwa Saito that we don’t see often enough. I hope that this is but the start of a new direction for her, both as a seiyuu and a singer.

Rating: Very Good

staple stable

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.

10 thoughts on “Bakemonogatari OP Single – staple stable – Review

  • December 4, 2009 at 11:15 pm
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    I have been on the fence about watching this anime, but after listening to the OP, this is going to be on my to-watch list. It’s a great song. I like Chiwa Saito quite a bit too. I think she did some songs for Nanoha.

    Reply
  • December 5, 2009 at 5:55 am
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    The song is nice and easy to enjoy but it is not outstanding in any way until I watch the anime’s OP. After that, I find myself humming its melody every now and then.

    Reply
  • December 5, 2009 at 7:01 am
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    There is just no way for me to divorce this song from the show, and due to that, I simply love it (much as I loved the show). It is an infinitely listenable, catchy, force of a song. Much as you said in your review, listening to it immediately brings about images and scenes of Senjougahara and Araragi.

    Hearing it here again I’m reminded what a pleasant surprise it was to discover Bakemonogatari this year, and how much I look forward to the 14th (and 15th) episodes being released, just so I could enjoy the music, animation, and characters again.

    I’m not sure you can be a fan of the anime and not a fan of the song as well. I highly recommend both to everyone.

    Reply
  • December 5, 2009 at 4:01 pm
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    @Yi
    She played Subaru in StrikerS didn’t she? Yeah, I dropped that show about 7 episodes in since it was so dull compared to A’s and the original series. And yes, I’d definitely recommend Bakemonogatari. Your mileage may vary depending on how you view the director’s quirks, but most of the people who I’ve shown it to and who get it really like it. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that episode 12 is just really awesome. Best episode of the year even.

    @Canne
    The OP definitely gives it flavor and personality. I’m always struck by how they managed to put those staplers in those… erm.. positions. Very catchy piece overall.

    @Karisu
    I’m in that same boat too since I found myself unable to skip it when I watch it because of just how much this song identifies with those two. The last two Tsubasa Cat episodes have taken their time and I’m impatient waiting for what Horie Yui serves up for her version. Some Renai Circulation would be fine too.

    Ditto to your last paragraph.

    Reply
  • December 5, 2009 at 9:29 pm
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    It sounds lighthearted and calm to me; I like it!

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen Bakemonogatari, but I wouldn’t have recognized this song as the OP. The ED, “Kimi No Shiranai Monogatari”, is way more memorable for me, but that might be because I’ve had it on loop at random times.

    Reply
  • December 6, 2009 at 11:29 am
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    @Reltair
    The lyrics tell a slightly different story, but you can definitely still hear the happiness in it. Also “Kimi No Shiranai Monogatari” wins out for ED of the year.

    Reply
  • December 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm
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    This is probably one of the most artful openings I’ve seen in addition to Eden of the East with it’s crazy cool paper end-tro. So cool.

    Reply
  • December 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm
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    @FaS
    Definitely. Anything by SHAFT is bound to be artsy and creative (shows like Maria+Holic and the two ef series definitely come to mind). That they’re able to pair it with good music is awesome too!

    Reply
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