Hey everyone, kevo’ here again. I hope you all liked my last post here on zzeroparticle’s blog. Today I’m writing in again but contributing more of zzeroparticle’s more usual fare. I wrote a review of B Gata H Kei at about the same time, so I thought I would go ahead and review the OP/ED single separately. You can read my anime review here. Without further ado, enjoy the post.
|Album Title:||Oshiete A to Z|
|Anime Title:||B Gata H Kei|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||April 28, 2010|
|1. Oshiete A to Z||Yukari Tamura||4:04|
|2. Hadashi no Princess||Yukari Tamura||4:30|
|3. Namida no Loop||Yukari Tamura||5:01|
Review: When it comes to anime voice actor pop idols, starlet Yukari Tamura is the gold standard of the bunch. She hosts a radio show, tweets cute things day in day out, sings at Animelo every year, and constantly appears absolutely adorable and girly. Her voice is very distinctive for anime watchers and listeners alike, and Yukarin is a master of singing in character because the stability and natural sing-songiness of her acting voice. She’s been at this business for more than ten years now and has accumulated more fans than Jesus and a bigger discography than Sting, but don’t tell her that; she’s forever 17 years old after all.
Oshiete A to Z is Yukarin’s 18th single and it sounds pretty much like what she’s been doing her whole career. It’s cute to a fault, bubbly, and set to a catchy melody with sugary lyrics. The titular track (the opening theme) is an upbeat, lightly suggestive song that uses Yukarin’s relatively high register and distinctively lightly whiny voice well. It’s very simple — the same general melody comprises most of the song and it’s accompanied by a basic drumline and occasional guitar riffs and brass instrumental that’s common in contemporary anime pop. It functions well as an opening theme, the careless whimsy feel of the track fits the show and the OP animation does its job. As a commercial single, I expect more from Yukarin.
Hadashi no Princess is a ballad with a lot more feeling to it. The structure of the song is clever, with deliberating and fragile verses contrasting the bolder chorus sections. The song conveys a slight feeling of loneliness with its mood and lyrics but still delivers a happy, confident attitude. The allusion to Cinderella is cute, but I thought the guitar solo in the middle was a bit out of place. Instrumental breakdowns have their place in anime pop, but it’s probably not here. Namida no Loop is another airy ballad, but not as sophisticated as Hadashi no Princess. This track didn’t trike me as anything special or memorable in particular. It’s really repetitive — as if the first verse was on a loop. Oh I get it haha!
Overall, the single is decent. These songs are stereotypically Yukarin’s style: highly relying on melody, the melody being driven by Yukarin’s voice, and bland arrangement. There’s very little diversity in her work and I’ll take that as a good thing. Yukarin is very good at the niche of what she does and rarely strays outside (her misjudged experiments with jazz in her studio albums are a notable exception). It’s not her best work but it’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination. Catchy little pieces like this are what anime pop is all about and I for one accept and appreciate that fact.
Opening – Oshiete A to Z
Ending – Hadashi no Princess