Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu ED Single – Hikari no Fillment – Review

Album Title: Hikari no Fillment
Anime Title: Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu or
Legend of the Legendary Heroes
Artist: Ayahi Takagaki
Catalog Number: SMCL-224
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: November 17, 2010
Purchase at: CDJapan


Tracklist

Track Title Artist Time
1. Hikari no Fillment Ayahi Takagaki 4:51
2. Be With You Ayahi Takagaki 4:30
3. Oh Happy Day Ayahi Takagaki 3:53

Review: In my opinion, seiyuu have been way too active on the music scene lately, and I strongly suspect that that is the reason why there was a near dry spell in terms of good OP/ED singles in recent months. Takagaki is one exception since she sells based on her skill as a singer rather than for voicing a marketable character. Her latest single proves to be a rather enjoyable one, but I feel that it still does not utilize the unique qualities of her voice to make this single stand out.

“Hikari no Fillment” reminds me of music that originates from eufonius, which generally does light and somewhat ethereal music, though the changes in melody are often a bit abrupt. Similarly in this song, the individual stanzas flow well enough, but the melody changes rather haphazardly from stanza to stanza without much continuity. Takagaki’s expression is also somewhat limited and her attempt at opening the song with some light chanting also falls flat by presenting something that sounds plain kiddy instead of surreal.

The song I find the most impressive in this single is the B-side, “Be With You.” Takagaki is a trained soprano and generally sounds her best when she’s singing at a higher register. “Be With You” rightfully makes use of her smooth and relaxed delivery of the high notes. Also, because the song includes both fast and slow segments, Takagaki can better vary her expression within the song. All in all, this track was much more heartfelt and natural.

“Be With You” is actually what I had been hoping for when I first found out Takagaki is releasing singles as a solo artist because it’s an example of a song that showcases her talent and differentiates her from other seiyuu singers. Unfortunately, from her two single releases thus far, this element is still sorely lacking.

Moving on to the second B-side, Takagaki presents her rendition of “Oh Happy Day.” Having never heard the original, I can’t really judge how good it is in comparison to other artists’. Basing my verdict on solely her performance, it is delivered confidently, and does show off her amazing range. While it does not leave that much of an impression, it was an enjoyable listen.

This single really highlights the fact that, with a proper composer and perhaps a bit more versatility on her side, Takagaki could potentially deliver something phenomenal. It hasn’t happened yet, but I shall patiently wait for that day to come.

Rating: Good

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.

7 thoughts on “Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu ED Single – Hikari no Fillment – Review

  • November 29, 2010 at 6:14 pm
    Permalink

    You know, for a show with such a ….bad title, the songs aren’t half-bad.

    Reply
  • November 29, 2010 at 11:00 pm
    Permalink

    The original Oh Happy Day gospel arrangement is by the Edwin Hawkins Singers but I’m almost positive that the version Takagaki was singing is this one from Sister Act 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLY7yI1xV-M

    To which I say, she’s no Ryan Toby (it’s hard to beat that whistle register) but particularly the 2nd half of the song is weak since they didn’t use a full choir.

    Hikari no Filament caught my ear when I first heard it on Denyuuden but as usual I just don’t think Ayahi sounds that great with the J-pop songs. Last seasons Kimi ga iru Basho from Occult Academy was the best I’ve heard so far and it utilized her soprano range well but god help you if you make me listen to her singing a solo as part of Sphere.

    Reply
  • November 30, 2010 at 12:01 am
    Permalink

    Did I see the words “Produced by eufonius” during the opening sequence? Or is that a reference to something else altogether?

    Anyways, this was pretty spot-on. Assuming that eufonius didn’t do any work on this track, the music does sound pretty much like something they’d do with that lightness. The problem is that the passages are kind of jointed and I don’t know whether this is reflected in the TV Size version, but I’m not really feeling any development placed in the music. Which means we’re in vanilla J-pop territory.

    Guess I’ll have to check the B-sides if I want any decent amount of mileage out of this album then?

    Reply
  • November 30, 2010 at 3:38 am
    Permalink

    @ Valence
    Haha I won’t disagree with the title being silly. But then again, good songs coming from absolutely horrible animes aren’t that uncommon

    @Taka
    Heard the version in the link and was amazed by the guy’s whistle register. I actually thought Takagaki’s version added that note in, like it did with the previous single’s ‘You Raise Me Up’.

    I agree Takagaki definitely isn’t too good with generic J-pop, but those like the first two songs here suit her quite well. Personally, I enjoyed this single more than her first, cause her expression is better, and she’s much more confident.

    @zzeroparticle
    Oh, really? I never really read the ending credits. Well, given how similar to eufonius this track sounds, I won’t be awfully surprised if it was produced by eufonius after all. The A-side gets better after a few listens, but the abrupt switching of stanzas just irks me. The B-sides, especially Be With You are much more worth it in my opinion.

    Reply
  • November 30, 2010 at 4:20 am
    Permalink

    I feel the same way about seiyuu entering the music industry. Some have been successes, while others not so much. But I like this ED. It’s nice and dreamy.

    Reply
  • December 1, 2010 at 12:00 am
    Permalink

    @zzero & Jen
    Yeah zzero wasn’t mistaken, the credits do say it. With riya on the lyrics, and Kikuchi on the composition/arrangement (as usual).

    Takagaki has a powerful voice for a seiyuu indeed (apparently having a background in opera), and seems like her agents are calling in the big names to write stuff for her these days. (Last I heard, KOKIA and Elements Garden’s Fujita Junpei were among them, so yeah)

    While I find her stuff to have a headstart in listenability compared to other seiyuu, I normally find that she hasn’t reached the heights of win she got to ever since that Hanamaru Kindergarten ED2 song which I still find to be her best original work yet. This ED song counts as among one of her better ones though IMO.

    As for a fairer yardstick to measure her ability by, here’s her rendition of the classic “You Raise Me Up”, one of the B-sides to the Occult Academy ED single.
    Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8P9_MSOVgM

    Reply
  • December 1, 2010 at 3:14 am
    Permalink

    @ Yi
    To me, few have been successes. There are so many nowadays only those particularly good or different ones stand out. Everything else just gets forgotten straightaway, since it has neither good singing nor music to speak of.

    @ ottocycle
    Yea, the reason I went digging for her stuff was cause she was trained in opera, and I assumed that means that she definitely can sing well. But from her recent stuff, I don’t really feel anything ‘opera-ish’ from her. More on the choral side.

    ‘You Raise Me Up was quite nice, but I feel that her expression wasn’t quite there yet. Oh, her character album for Gundam 00 (written by KOKIA) was excellent tho.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: