MM! OP Single – Help!! – Review

Album Title:

Help!!

Anime Title:

MM!

Artist:

Taketatsu Ayana, Hayami Saori

Catalog Number:

LASM-4082

Release Type:

OP/ED Single

Release Date:

October 27, 2010

Purchase at:

CDJapan

Track Title

Artist

Time

1. Help!! –Hell side-

Taketatsu Ayana

3:43

2. Help!! –Heaven Side-

Taketatsu Ayana, Hayami Saori

3:40

3. Hallelujah Study

Taketatsu Ayana, Hayami Saori

4:04

4. Help!! –Hell side- (Instrumental)

4:14

5. Help!! –Heaven Side- (Instrumental)

3:40

6. Hallelujah Study (Instrumental)

4:04

Review: For a show like MM!, I expected that the opening “Help!!” would deliver a masochistic listening experience to fall in line with its focus on its masochistic male lead. It succeeds, doing so through an ear-bleeding opener, courtesy of Taketsu Ayana’s awful singing. The addition of Hayami Saori’s voice into this disc balances out Ayana’s horribleness, but it can only do so much. This wouldn’t be the first time I was burned by Ayana’s singing either. Her work on K-ON! Character Single Nakano Azusa did not jibe well with me and the only song that was remotely listenable was “Let’s Go.” So with this release, I did not expect much and for better or for worse, I got what I expected.

“Help!! (Hell Side)” is the rock version of the song used as the opening song in the show. It starts off with a good and catchy intro, but falls apart shortly after Ayana starts singing 20 seconds in. Her vocal talents can render any song a big mess because her singing lacks of expression and polish, making it a dull listening experience, especially from 0:21 to 0:58 and 1:16 to 1:38 where she sounds really flat. If you don’t understand the lyrics, the song is supposed to be about Taro and the others needing help to solve their personal problems ranging from masochism and androphobia, but the irony is that I am going to need “help” myself after having to deal with Ayana’s sub-par singing.

“Help! (Heaven Side)” is a more energetic version of the opening song, this time, featuring Hayami Saori. From listening to her singing, she was pretty good. Unlike Ayana’s singing of Hell Side version, Saori’s voice has a calm smooth feeling and it did not annoy me. That’s not to say her inclusion automatically makes this song salvageable; it’s still messy in account of the electronica in some spots. For instance, at 1:06 to 1:15 and 2:04 to 2:22, the instrumentals either did not fit well with the vocals or felt awkward. Towards the end, the song feels like a mess around 2:50 to 3:01 where it becomes difficult to tell what they are saying. Nevertheless, the song was at least listenable compared to the “Hell Side” version despite its mediocrity.

“Hallelujah Study” on the other hand was a bit better than the first two songs, but it still suffered some of the problems of the previous songs. The first few seconds in sounded like a chaotic mess though thankfully, it turns into a calm and catchy song. Hayami Saori’s singing talent that she demonstrates with her performance of “Heaven Side of Help!!” is on display once more. As for Ayana, she does have a small part in this song and her singing did not affect its enjoyability overall since it was not rough.

After everyone listens to this single, I think they are going to need “help” since the majority of the single did not sound good. As much as I enjoy Ayana’s voice acting, her singing leaves much to be desired. More vocal training is required lest she continue to tread upon the path of horribleness that so many other seiyuu seem to have found themselves in.

Rating: Not Good

Help!! (Hell Side)

YouTube video

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