Sora no Woto OP – Hikari no Senritsu – Review

Album Title: Hikari no Senritsu
Anime Title: Sora no Woto
Artist: Kalafina, Yuki Kajiura
Catalog Number: SECL-838
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: January 20, 2010
Purchase at: CDJapan

Track Title Artist Time
1. Hikari no Senritsu Kalafina 6:14
2. Sapphire Kalafina 3:50
3. Hikari no Senritsu (Instrumental) Yuki Kajiura 6:12

Review: As someone who has been following Kalafina since their debut, I was actually a little hesitant about this single. Those who have been paying close attention to Kalafina may find that their earlier works such as “Fairytale” and “Oblivious” are truly ingenious in terms of composition but recent works like “Lacrimosa” and “Progressive” tend to disappoint. Especially after the “Progressive” fiasco, I wondered what could possibly redeem them.

If your thoughts tally with mine, fear not! Hikaru no Senritsu reaffirms that Kalafina is still going down the right track! However, there are two possible interpretations on this single.

From the point of view of someone new to Kalafina, or simply a die-hard fan of Yuki Kajiura, this single offers something wondrous to listeners. The folk feel of “Hikari no Senritsu” really brings out the best in the vocalists’ voice. This song makes me reminisce on why I fell in love with Hikaru’s voice from “Natsu no Ringo” and “Gloria:” its sweetness and purity.  Hikaru’s performance is the most outstanding point of this track, since the light quality of her voice fits the folk-ish style perfectly. Another great point in this track is the call and answer sequence between Keiko and Hikaru from 3:20 to 3:40, which is expertly executed and draws one into the music.

As with any Yuki Kajiura single, it is impossible to not mention the instrumental track. From the instrumental version of “Hikari no Senritsu,” listeners really get to appreciate the vocalists, since they breathe life into the piece. Another noteworthy point is the elaborate flute solo, where we hear things we seldom associate with flutes, such as trills which make that segment one of the best parts of this single. The instrumental is a great listen on its own, but without the vocalists, one just cannot feel the vibrancy and life pulsing from it.

However, the second take on this single is that though the music sounds good, nothing sounds original. It does not take a genius to spot the resemblance between “Storia” and “Hikari no Seiritsu.” The main disappointment was “Sapphire,” since it sounds like a simple arrangement of some of Kalafina’s earlier ballads. It is worrying since one can’t help but wonder if Yuki Kajiura is out of ideas for this group.

In “Sapphire,” Wakana’s higher notes are also substantially weaker than what we expect from her. However, people who listen to a lot of FictionJunction or Kalafina will notice that Wakana’s expression is definitely improving. Though she belts out the chorus of “Hikari no Senritsu” in her usual ‘lamentation’ style, we hear definite efforts from her to express herself more in the second stanza.

Even when both views are taken into account, the fact remains that this is a solid single through and through. Perhaps to those who are familiar with Kalafina, it leaves much to be desired. However, to those who have yet to hear their beautiful songs, start now!

Rating: Good

Sora no Woro OP – Hikari no Senritsu

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.

18 thoughts on “Sora no Woto OP – Hikari no Senritsu – Review

  • January 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm
    Permalink

    lol. So maybe it’s because I don’t know Kalafina well that I love this song? It’s amazing. So long and journey-like and mystical, I listened to it on repeat for hours.

    Reply
  • January 24, 2010 at 11:14 pm
    Permalink

    I was sort of curious about “Progressive” and checked it out. Not the worst stuff I’ve heard ever, but yeah, I can see why you would call it a fiasco. It just doesn’t sync well, to put it lightly.

    @digiboy
    I think she dinged points for this album mostly from “Sapphire.” I recall hearing you say that you weren’t quite fond of it either :p

    Reply
  • January 25, 2010 at 6:53 am
    Permalink

    @ digitalboy
    It’s hard not to love this song. I don’t deny that I am very fond of it too. However, sometimes enjoyable songs are not very impressive (closely-related yes, but not rigidly proportional), and I mostly rate on how impressive it is.

    @ zzeroparticle
    I’m very mean to “Progressive” because I had very high expectations for it. After all, the previous attempt at rock: “Mata Kaze ga Tsuyoku Natta” was excellent. But in “Progressive”, everything feels half-hearted. Can’t help thinking about whether YK is making an attempt at Rock at all. Hikaru’s vocals there was also a complete fail. Man, I can just go on and on about this. xD

    Reply
  • January 26, 2010 at 12:07 am
    Permalink

    Hikari no Senritsu is the first song I’ve heard from Kalafina, and I love it! It’s pleasing to the ears and has a light-hearted feeling to it that matches with the visuals of the OP. Listening to this makes me want to travel around and visit small European towns.

    Reply
  • January 26, 2010 at 1:50 am
    Permalink

    @ Reltair
    Haha you made the right choice to start listening to Kalafina. =D Their stuff are doubtless superior to many of the other things available in J-pop nowadays.

    Reply
  • January 26, 2010 at 5:51 pm
    Permalink

    hmmm, all the Kalafina songs are beginning to sound the same…

    Reply
  • January 26, 2010 at 9:43 pm
    Permalink

    @ mei
    That’s the case with most of Yuki Kajiura’s work in my opinion, not limited to Kalafina. However, compared to her other works with soundtracks or FictionJunction, Kalafina is showing a lot more promise.

    Reply
  • January 27, 2010 at 3:17 am
    Permalink

    I did not realize that Yuki Kajiura and Kalafina did Sora no Woto’s music. This changes everything… Now I must watch this anime.

    Reply
  • January 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm
    Permalink

    @Yi
    Well, not exactly. Kajiura does compose the music for the OP theme, but Michiru Ooshima is in charge of the score. You may know Ooshima for composing music to works such as the first FMA series.

    Still, Sora no Woto has been enjoyable so far, and may turn into quite an enjoyable gem of a show :p

    Reply
  • January 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm
    Permalink

    we had great stuff from nanase hikaru-san last year (Requiem for the phantom, Canaan) :)
    could this be the year of Ooshima-san? this ost so far hints at going towards the level of Xam’d…let’s all hope for the best

    Reply
  • January 27, 2010 at 9:11 pm
    Permalink

    I like the song because its folk-feel vaguely reminds me of newage/world genre which I use to listen a lot a few years back.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2010 at 3:07 am
    Permalink

    @zzeroparticle: Thanks for the info. I had just assumed that she did the score as well since she did the OP.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    Permalink

    @mei
    Ooshima has always been consistent if nothing else. I’d bet favorably on a soundtrack that’s on par with Xam’d as well.

    @Yi
    Sure, no problem!

    Reply
  • January 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm
    Permalink

    @ zzeroparticle
    I definitely must check out some of Ooshima work when I have the time. =D

    Reply
  • January 30, 2010 at 1:27 am
    Permalink

    Oo exactly my thoughts, the singles after the Kara no Kyoukai songs from Kalafina have been a little disappointing, but it only took me 2 listen to like Hikari no Senritsu.

    Looks like I might give the Sora no Oto a try, with Ooshima doing the music (Boune no Xamdou’s music totally lived up to my expectation) and having a great OP.

    Reply
  • Pingback: Anime Instrumentality | Kalafina Named as Guest of Honor for Anime Expo

  • Pingback: 2010′s Anime Music in Review – Intros/Outros Edition

  • Pingback: Anime Festival Asia 2011 – Day 3 – Concert Report

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: