Yumekui Merry ED Single – Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi – Review

Album Title: Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi / Merry Nightmare
Anime Title: Yumekui Merry
Artist: Ayane Sakura, IOSYS
Catalog Number: PCCG-70099
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: Jan 26, 2011
Purchase at: CDJapan

Track Title Artist Time
1. Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi Ayane Sakura 4:00
2. Yume no Kaerimichi Ayane Sakura 4:33
3. Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi (Instrumental) Ayane Sakura 4:00
4. Yume no Kaerimichi (Instrumental) Ayane Sakura 4:31

Review: If you know about IOSYS, then it’s probably due to their catchy Touhou doujin compilation pieces, set to humourous flash animations that started their life by setting 2ch afire. More recently, IOSYS have dabbled in anisongs, producing one of the ED sequences for the Penguin Musume Heart ONA, and, more recently, composing the OP and ED music (as well as contributing to some of the character songs) for J.C. Staff’s Yumekui Merry. The ED song, “Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi” is particularly catchy, and while it has a couple of minor issues, it’s a very solid and somewhat typical piece from IOSYS.

IOSYS thrives on repetition, and “Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi” is packed with it. A very short synth intro breaks out into a shortened version of the main chorus, and Yumekui Merry’s lead seiyuu, Ayane Sakura, starts singing immediately. The verse begins, significantly toned down compared with what went before it, but it has a rather suave feel, as its cool, distorted bassline supports a playful melody. Sakura is at home here, because she doesn’t have to extend her voice so much. Unfortunately, it’s with the chorus, when much more intensity is required, that her shortcomings as a singer become noticeable.

What saves “Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi” is that IOSYS’s composition is interesting enough that you don’t have to focus on Sakura’s singing, and you can very quietly ignore her limitations. In fact, I almost don’t see the point in harping on it, because it’s a minor issue in the overall song. IOSYS include a high-pitched disco-y synth solo after the first chorus, and the second verse in particular is filled with playful effects and variations, such as an absence of percussion in one line, followed by a full, intense dance club-esque beat in the next, just as one of many little examples. It’s a quirky song that, despite the repetitiveness of its main chorus theme, manages to keep itself from getting stale. If you like this style of electronic J-pop it’s a very solid entry… the only weakness is Sakura’s singing.

Unfortunately, the second song, “Yume no Kaerimichi” is incredibly flat and uninspired. Unlike “Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi”, this B-side is directionless… it just bounces along and there’s hardly enough in the way of variation to stay interesting. What variation there is, effects such as wind-chime shimmers and reverbs and the like, come off as really tacky. One’s attention inevitably falls onto Sakura’s singing voice, and the blandness of the composition just makes her problems stand out. I’m not sure if this is what her singing voice really sounds like, or she’s trying too hard to stay in character and sing as Merry would, but she never sounds comfortable or natural here. It well and truly overstays its welcome, steadfast in its refusal to evolve or go somewhere, and by the time it fades out at the end, you just want it to be over.

Rating: Not good

Yumekui Merry ED Single – Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi

About the author

Sorrow-kun Guest Contributor & Editor-in-Chief of The Nihon Review.

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7 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. It hit me as I read this review that I couldn’t even remember what the ending of Yumekui Merry sounds like. It then occurred to me that that probably just goes hand in hand with the whole ‘not good’ thing.

  2. Yi says:

    I like IOSYS when they did all those cute Touhou stuff. This single is so-so though.

  3. Aftershok says:

    I could never get myself to like the show, too tropey and generic, perhaps. Similar sentiments about the ED. And is it just me or is the ED animation really boring and cheap-looking? Maybe those petals are very difficult to animate or something, but the overall effect feels very lazy.

  4. Sorrow-kun says:

    @Arianna Sterling
    It’s not the ED song that I really have an issue with, it’s more the B-side. The ED song itself if OK if you’re into that sort of thing.

    @Yi
    IOSYS is OK, but in all honesty, the only one of their Touhou doujin animations I like is “Marisa stole the precious thing”.

    @Aftershok
    I don’t mind the show itself, but if it could just figure out what it wanted to be, it’d be a lot better. You’re the first person I’ve seen complain about the ED sequence. That’s about the most lovingly rendered bellybutton I’ve ever seen in anime.

  5. This song has been bugging me for awhile (as you probably noted if you saw my musing over twitter) and that’s because the song’s introduction reminds me a lot of Cardcaptor Sakura’s “Platinum.” Now, the melodic match isn’t a perfect fit, but the similarities are there.

    IOSYS frankly hasn’t been too impressive as of late since their anime remixes are blarghh and I’ve tired of their Touhou gimmickery. The videos that have reached meme status, Marisa Stole and that one remix of Necrofantasia remain my favorites; out of their non-Flash works, Dead Girls Bebop is still my #1. Yumekui’s ED has some interesting stuff going on, but it’s largely forgettable.

  6. Mushyrulez says:

    Eh, the show itself is the most traditionally traditional anime I’ve ever seen (which isn’t saying a lot, but still), but at least the OP was pretty good.

    I thought the ED was pretty good, so I was surprised when you gave the album a Not Good; then I listened to the other song, which I can’t even get the melody into my head anymore.

    Oh well.

  7. Rhythmroo says:

    @zzeroparticle
    “…and I’ve tired of their Touhou gimmickery”
    Ditto.

    I have absolutely no clue what emotion was supposed to be emitting from this song with the mediocre at best singing and unattractive music in the back.

    @IOSYS
    Come on IOSYS, th’heck was that? Are they paying you to write garbage or were you short on time? Be honest with me; I know you can do better. Don’t be that songwriter that composes garbage for pay. DONT.

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