Amagami SS ED3 Single – Anata Shika Mienai / Sae Nakata

Album Title: Anata Shika Mienai / Sae Nakata
Anime Title: Amagami SS
Artist: Hiromi Konno, Toshiyuki Oomori
Catalog Number: PCCG-01093
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: September 15, 2010
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia


Disc 1

Track Title Artist Time
1. Anata Shika Mienai Hiromi Konno 3:22
2. KEEPING SMILE Hiromi Konno 3:38
3. Anata Shika Mienai (Instrumental) 3:22
4. KEEPING SMILE (Instrumental) 3:35

Disc 2

Track Title Artist Time
1. A little bird on my hand Toshiyuki Oomori 1:37
2. Walking along, shining along Toshiyuki Oomori 1:34
3. Character monologue Hiromi Konno 3:22

Review: She loves you, yeah? Yeah? Yeah? I mean, she says so after all, so it must be true. With a love expressed through a song like “Anata Shika Mienai,” rather than feel glad, an overwhelming feeling of disgust permeates the listening experience. Disgust at the awful, drawn-out, obnoxious phrasing. Disgust at Hiromi Konno’s inability to sing. Are we on Bizzaro World? Well, here’s your Bizzaro World version of “Renai Circulation.”

“Anata Shika Mienai’s” strong opener, with the trumpet leading, accompanied by a catchy rhythm, is undone once Konno’s waifish voice enters the picture. Her delivery feels all wrong from beginning to end. When she tries to convey the extent of her longing feelings when she sings the repeating “Nareru hazu ne…,” the only effect it had was in irritating me.

The chief problem lies in Hiromi Konno’s voice, which lacks a solid presence and occasionally sounds vacuous. While one can attribute that to Sae Nakata’s shy demeanor (Konno voices Nakata), even then, the vocals feel far too wispy. There’s no hook to draw me in, but plenty that’s repelling, like the way the song sounds like it’s sung by someone completely tone deaf. It’s especially noticeable when she sustains a note and instead of feeling the love, I become really annoyed by her… well, it’s the equivalent of screeching at a lower pitch while trying to express lovey-dovey emotions. Maybe the best way to describe it is someone whining happily. Or maybe just stoned. All I know is that if I heard someone serenading to me in that fashion, I’d be on the first flight out of town.

Yes, I know she’s trying to be cute. No, it doesn’t work. Not here, and not in “KEEPING SMILE,” which reaches deep into the generic end of the J-pop spectrum, resulting in a song that’s dull at best and obnoxious at worst. There’s a level of effusive daintiness that Hiromi Konno cannot reach through her singing voice because it sounds too whiny and waifish. Best to leave that to the competent Kana Hanazawa.

Also included are two pieces by Amagami’s composer, Toshiyuki Oomori. Both tracks are decent; the first, “A little bird on my hand” is soft and plain, with the oboe playing a soft air that radiates a quaint tone, but is nothing all too memorable. That track is followed by “Walking along, shining along,” which packs enough pep and energy, but like the preceding track, it doesn’t stand out either. Though I haven’t listened to Oomori’s works all too much, I’m convinced that his strength lies in composing melancholy fare rather than upbeat music. At least, the melancholy pieces on the Tsukihime soundtrack made the biggest impression on me.

Chikorita’s review of this same album notes that Hiromi Konno’s track record for singing is far from stellar, so I’ll take his word for it and not bother with any of her other works. Also, I will say that listening to this song along with the ending animation makes it slightly more tolerable, but only because it gives one a visual target to direct their annoyance towards.

Rating: Bad

Amagami SS ED3 – Anata Shika Mienai

About the author

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.

15 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. chikorita157 says:

    Pretty much what I had said about the album. The vocal songs did not sound good, it’s like taking a chalk on a chalkboard and dragging it in a manner that it would screech. Even though Hiromi Konno lacks singing skills what so ever, I can even compare it to the likes of Girl’s Dead Monster. The only difference is that Girls Dead Monster is higher profile than Hiromi Konno and you have the somewhat dull guitar playing after the intro and the horrible singing from LiSA…

    Its one of those songs that work only well with animation… Both of them got away with it, but the song standalone… its a failure.

  2. Sorrow-kun says:

    So, she can’t sing. So what? It’s still cute as a button.

    Unfortunately this song is always going to suffer from comparisons with “Renai Circulation”. It’s not Hiromi Konno’s fault that Kana Hanazawa is awesome at everything she does.

  3. Taka says:

    Oh god why did you submit yourself to this torture. I will agree with the comments though she’s freakin cute.

  4. Rhythmroo says:

    What the heck? The only entertaining part of that video was the drumming. The singing was… ugh, I’m going to have to pass on any unnecessary criticism. I’ll be waiting for your next post.

  5. @chikorita157
    Oh, I don’t know about GiDeMo being of a higher profile than Hiromi Konno. The artists for GiDeMo were virtually indie performers when they were first sought out by the Angel Beats crew, so neither of them were exactly popular. Konno is arguably better-known, but that’s because she’s done voice work on shows that people may recognize.

    But yeah, I liked the sync work done with the ED animated sequence. That’s about all the positive I can say about it for now.

    @Sorrow-kun
    I dunno about the cute bits. If you’re talking about the animation, then sure, I can meet you halfway on that. The singing is the main point of focus though and well… she doesn’t do a good job. Syncing well with the ED can only absolve the song of bad singing only so far I’m afraid.

    @Taka
    “Because it’s there.” I don’t know who said that quote exactly, but that’s more or less my reason. Yeah, a bit too lazy to google it.

    Her antics need a boost to match Sengoku Nadeko though :p

    @Rhythmroo
    There’s no such thing as unnecessary criticism! But yeah, I’ve got some better albums I’m intent on giving a listen, so perhaps we’ll wash out this torture soon!

  6. Jen says:

    When I saw that you reviewed this album form the homepage, I was just telling myself if you had a positive review, it probably means I should stop giving my verdict of songs within the first minute. This was one of those songs I heard the first 15 seconds or so and just gave up. It was so bad I didn’t know whether to laugh at the singer’s atrocious skill or to cry cause it was so painful to listen to.

  7. Yi says:

    Trying too hard to be cute… This might actually be good with a different person.

  8. mrwan says:

    Ohh…its like listening to an 50 year old trying to sound cute. Or one of those really bad Bollywood singers. Music is fine but can use a bit of variation. Overall…could be better.

  9. zzeroparticle says:

    @Jen
    Haha, I’d say in normal circumstances, that any song should be listened to the whole way through before judging, but you’d be totally forgiven if you were to let this one drop out because yeah… it’s pretty bad. I remember choking on my drink when I first heard Konno’s voice.

    @Yi
    Perhaps. I’d pick Kana Hanazawa!

    @mrwan
    Bollywood singers eh? Can’t ever say I’ve had exposure to any of those, but if the main catch if 50-year olds trying to sound cute… that’s not too far off the mark. Though you saying it could be better.. that’s probably the understatement of the year!

  10. Reltair says:

    When I first heard her voice in the anime, it was an “oh, god no…” moment.

  11. chikorita157 says:

    @Reltair
    She is still pretty bad… I also have to say that Taketatsu Ayana lacks singing talent based on what I heard from the MM! OP… It was horrible like the Azusa Character Image Song Single… Not looking for listening to the whole thing in the future…

  12. zzeroparticle says:

    @Reltair
    When someone showed it to me, yeah, no love gained there since that was just utterly awful in every way imaginable.

    @chikorita157
    I haven’t been wowed by an OP or ED since… dare I say Angel Beats? Well, I should be getting to watching some of the new season’s stuff, so who knows, maybe some diamonds in the rough are in store. Or not…

  13. lelangir says:

    AH. MY EARS. ZE EARPLUGS DO NAHSSING.

  14. gerrymon says:

    While I agree this song is so-so, I disagree about Konno Hiromi can’t sing well~ I’m pretty surprised when I know Nakata Sae VA/seiyuu is her, because it’s totally contrast with Kogami Akira (Lucky Star). And in Misoji Misaki album (Lucky Star)her voice aren’t that bad~ It’s pretty amazing she can change her voice like that~

  15. zzeroparticle says:

    @gerrymon
    I was somewhat aware of her capacity to change voices since prior to writing this, I did do a bit of spot research regarding the previous works she’s done. I’m convinced that she can be a decent singer, but her vocal capacities won’t reach the point of greatness. Especially if she puts out mediocre work such as this. So while her VA talents aren’t in doubt, her singing ability is.

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