|Album Title:||Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi / Merry Nightmare|
|Anime Title:||Yumekui Merry|
|Artist:||Ayane Sakura, IOSYS|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||Jan 26, 2011|
|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