Otome Youkai Zakuro OP Single – MOON SIGNAL – Review

Album Title: MOON SIGNAL
Anime Title: Otome Youkai Zakuro
Artist: sphere (Minako Kotobuki, Ayahi Takagki,
Haruka Tomatsu, Aki Toyosaki)
Catalog Number: LASM-4080
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: October 20, 2010
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

Track Title Artist Time
1. MOON SIGNAL sphere 4:12
2. Climax Whistle sphere 3:56
3. MOON SIGNAL (Instrumental) 4:12
4. Climax Whistle (Instrumental) 3:56

Review: It seems that good singing talent is getting rather young these day. While some seiyuu’s singing can be good or bad depending on the songs they sing and the degree of talent, others can take it to another level when they group together. Pl@net sphere (or just sphere) is a good example of a group that performs good and enjoyable songs, but nothing too memorable until their second year. Their recent single, “Now Loading… SKY!!,” released during the summer of this year is probably the first of theirs that struck me as being memorable. The song was catchy, cheerful, enjoyable and most importantly, it sounded great. Then came “MOON SIGNAL” and it simply blew away my expectations about the group.

“MOON SIGNAL” starts off with a resonating of notes that feel like petals falling off a cherry blossom tree. Shortly after, a powerful synth, along with the keyboard, takes over with the girls entering in. The girls’ performance in the song is full of energy and it feels cheerful. Even though there were some minor rough edges from Toyosaki Aki (such as 00:28 when she sings her phrases), it is not too apparent that there’s an adverse effect.

Given the show that it opens, most people may wonder what “MOON SIGNAL” has to do with a military and a bunch of fox girls? If you look closer, the song forges a connection between the fox girls and a group of soldiers. From the lyrics, the song emphasizes the traditions borne from the partnership and growing friendship between the girls and the military. They have to get along and work together in the changing environment and succeed at both. In addition, the animation flows well with the song, especially when Zakuro fights against the malevolent spirits while the other girls help her out.

The B-side, “Climax Whistle” is a more relaxed song compared to the last track. The song feels catchy and enjoyable, with a happy, easygoing tone that sounds like the girls are having fun. It might not be as exciting or energetic as “MOON SIGNAL,” but it is a decent listen all the same.

Overall, “MOON SIGNAL” is one of the better and memorable singles from sphere to date besides “Now Loading… SKY!!.” It is pretty rare to see good singing talent from seiyuu these days, especially in a group. What sphere has proven is that it is possible to combine diverse singing talents and eventually make something that is memorable. “MOON SIGNAL” is one of their best songs since it combines exciting instrumentals and energetic singing. Though far from a masterpiece, the quality that shines forth makes this album an easy recommendation.

Rating: Very Good

Otome Youkai Zakuro OP – MOON SIGNAL

chikorita157

Guest Contributor for Anime Instrumentality Blog... I have a strong preference for Japanese, Classical and Video Game Music. I am the author and owner of Chikorita157's Anime Blog.

8 thoughts on “Otome Youkai Zakuro OP Single – MOON SIGNAL – Review

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  • December 2, 2010 at 5:07 am
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    I agree that sphere is definitely a group worth keeping up with. Though rather than the group itself being good, I feel that it is due more to the singing abilities of Tomatsu Haruka and Takagaki Ayahi. (Kotobuki is alright but nothing too special, and I personally think Toyosaki should seriously leave the group… XD)

    Nonetheless, I enjoyed Moon Signal too, along with Realife; Realove. (That one stood out because very few seiyuu singers progress down the path of pop-rock)

    Reply
  • December 2, 2010 at 7:32 am
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    @Jen
    It’s probably evident in the various views of Toyosaki Aki’s music on this blog… there is no wonder Zzeroparticle isn’t into her music that much… In my opinion her singing is a mixed bag… good to decent on some of the major K-ON music, but could be a pile of bleh (K-ON!! 2 Yui Character Single, her songs in the K-ON!! Original Soundtrack)…

    Not too familiar with Takagaki Ayahi, but I liked Tomatsu Haruka’s… She improved a lot with the Sora no Woto ED, Girls Be Ambitious… Minako is decent from the solo single she recently released a few months ago.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2010 at 1:24 am
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    Finally got around to listening to it. It’s pretty energetic and by singing in a group, they do benefit from being able to hide each other’s mistakes (sup Toyosaki) while each of the performers brings something unique to the table to make a piece more vibrant. If there’s only one thing that I thought was kinda weird, it’s how the verses tended to be more low-key while the chorus section was really lively. I’d prefer a different sort of shift at least.

    The B-side is a bit more vanilla, but it’s got a good combo of energetic funk to make this one bouncy and fun. It won’t turn heads or anything, but it’s strong enough to stand on its own.

    Reply
  • December 26, 2010 at 11:47 pm
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    Does anyone know where I can get a score of this piece? For a band? Guitar/bass/drums/keyboard?

    Reply
  • January 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm
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    @Malt
    Not as of today… check the usual sources (Josh’s Anime Sheet Music and Ichigo’s Sheet Music) on a constant basis.

    Reply
  • January 13, 2011 at 8:31 am
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    I already checked those sites but they don’t seem to have it yet. Mayba I’ll wait incase it comes :) Thanks anyways!

    Reply
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