Baka to Test to Shokanjuu – Perfect-area Complete! – Review

Album Title: Perfect-area Complete!
Anime Title: Baka to Test to Shokanjuu
Artist: Asou Natsuko, Maeyamada Kenichi
Catalog Number: LACM-4686
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: January 27, 2010
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

Track Title Artist Time
1. Perfect-area Complete! Asou Natsuko 4:03
2. Dream into Action! Asou Natsuko 4:05
3. Perfect-area Complete! (instrumental) Maeyamada Kenichi 4:03
4. Dream into Action! (instrumental) Maeyamada Kenichi 4:02

Review: While the saying goes that one should never judge a book by its cover, it is hard to remain neutral when one comes across a cover like Perfect-area Complete!’s. On the surface, it looks like something not far from an Aya Hirano spectacle. Vocal wise, I expected something along the lines of Savage Genius.

The first guess was quite close in terms of music style and energy level. However, Aya Hirano never fails to transform that energy into something that sounds oddly forced, while Asou Natsuko’s sound feels truly cheerful and makes listeners want to move along to the music. Her voice is almost an exact replica of Yoko Ishida’s; that is, it doesn’t really have anything special to boast of but is nonetheless steady and strong throughout and will never fail to bring a smile to one’s face, which translates into one very entertaining and light single.

The way she expresses herself through her cheerful voice and her ability to easily keep up with such a fast tempo while the instrumentals, like short whistle blasts and violin pizzicato, definitely make this song stand out from the many ‘cutesy’ songs out there. This last bit can be heard in the more peaceful bridge from 3:08, where you can really appreciate the cute instrumentals and how connected Asou Natsuko’s voice fits the song.

The second song, “Dream into Action,” though inferior to the first, is still an enjoyable listen. Here, Asou Natsuko brings across the calmer side of her voice to fit the slower pace. The reduced reliance on instrumentals does make this song sound relatively uniform, though for a B-side, I have no major complaints.

While these kinds of songs are not usually to my taste, I am absolutely not ashamed to admit I honestly loved this single. And of the more recent releases, Perfect-area Complete! ranks really high among my favorite singles!

Rating: Good

Baka to Test to Shokanjuu OP – Perfect-area Complete!

About the author

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.

9 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. chikorita157 says:

    Seriously, everything is better than Aya Hirano… ever since Super Driver… Ugh…

  2. Fabrice says:

    I really like this song, it suits the Anime well =)
    Nice beat and ye im actually thinking of getting the single tbh ^^
    The ending is <3
    ima yorisuteki ni my life my life my life ^^

    Great review!

  3. Yi says:

    Is there some widespread hate against Aya Hirano?
    Anyways, it’s a nice song. Very bubbly and energetic. These are usually not my thing either, but I don’t dislike it.

  4. Jen says:

    @chikorita157
    I’d say this single seems better than almost every single one of the cute-cute singles out there. But then, most of those kind of songs are sang by seiyuus to begin with. The lower standard may be due to that….

    @Fabrice
    I honestly ahve no idea what the anime is about, but then that goes with almost every single I listen to. But his one is really something special. So light and fun.

    @Yi
    I’ve heard Hirano’s stuff a few times and the way she expresses music really isn’t very impressive. She always gives me the impression of trying to pull of something that is not herself and forcing her voice into the unnatural side. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

  5. Taka says:

    I’ve been following Natsuko Asou since she did the Mazinger Z ED and i’ve enjoyed a bunch of her stuff. My favorite so far would probably be “Programming for Non-fiction” the OP for Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahō. Mostly for the composition of the song rather than her vocals though. Perfect Area is probably a close 2nd tho.

  6. Reltair says:

    The song fits the mood of the anime superbly! ^^;

  7. kevo says:

    This was one of my favorite OPs last season. Combined with the OP animation, it made Bakatest a fun show to watch.

  8. renaye says:

    cute song~ well i’m pretty happy that i’m not the only one that thinks aya hirano is sounding not natural in her songs!

  9. Canne says:

    I think the song is fun and a perfect candidate to listen when driving at night. (so I won’t get sleepy and drive into a tree and die a horrible death >_<)

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