|Album Title:||secret base ~Kimi Ga Kureta Mono~|
|Anime Title:||Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai|
|Artist:||Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, Saori Hayami, Norihiko Machida|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||April 27, 2011|
|01. Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~ (10 years after Ver.)||Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, Saori Hayami||5:53|
|02. Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~ (Memento mori Ver.)||Ai Kayano, Haruka Tomatsu, Saori Hayami||4:41|
|03. Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~ (10 years after Ver.) Off Vocal Version||Norihiko Machida||5:53|
|04. Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~ (10 years after Ver.) Off Vocal Version||Norihiko Machida||4:38|
Review: The weight of the drama and the emotions that run through each episode of Ano Hana is already fairly substantial as the anime hits upon the memories of the past which lay entrenched in the characters’ minds. But what allows these sentiments to persist beyond their usual lifeline lies in the seamless transition from the episode’s contents to the ending theme, which features Ai Kayano’s, Haruka Tomatsu’s, and Hayami Saori’s sonorous rendition of “Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~.” Though this wouldn’t be the first time “Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~” is used as an anime’s ending theme, its implementation in Ano Hana is very nearly flawless.
Much of the credit for what makes this song shine goes to the three seiyuu whose voices each contribute their own flavor, whether they sing individually or together. Ai Kayano’s is soft and cute. Though she is initially tentative in her approach, her intonation expresses the extent to which she yearns for that bygone era. Haruka Tomatsu, with her fuller voice, builds the song’s foundation by kneading this desire further as she reminisces. The tempo at which she proceeds is fitting, mimicking the slow pace one takes while walking down memory lane. Hayami Saori picks up where Tomatsu leaves off and of the three, hers is packed with the most sorrow as she indicates through her intonation that, as much as she cherishes that memory, there’s no going back; life must go on. Ai Kayano’s sighs later on in the song reinforce this feeling of resignation, and as each of the singers take their turn to shine their light upon a fragment of their memories, the song builds up to that heartrending chorus.
The chorus melds the seiyuu’s voices wonderfully. Their plaintive delivery, heavy with heartache, reflects the extent to which they cling to those cherished memories, so much so that it prevents them from moving on. I really love how the nostalgia they convey bubbles forth so effortlessly, enveloping me in its warmth along with the singers’ side serving of mournfulness that sublimely conveys their regrets. Through it, the melancholy buds bloom in a brilliant display, thereby tying the song’s sentiments to that of the anime’s.
Since ZONE came out with “Secret Base ~Kimi ga Kureta mono~” back in 2001, the song has been covered numerous times. Scandal released their take on it in November 2010 and, as I alluded to it in the intro paragraph, the seiyuu from Today, in Class 5-2 sang that song for the show’s ending theme. Of those covers, only Ano Hana’s version is able to match the original’s emotional expressiveness pound for pound. While Scandal’s version falls short through their bold, husky delivery (an inappropriate interpretation if there ever was one) and Today, in Class 5-2’s skimps on the emotional impact because of how quickly it proceeds, Ano Hana’s version does what all good EDs do: it ladens us with each episode’s sentiments, allowing the emotions to linger on, long after the episode has ended.
Ano Hana ED – secret base ~The Gift You Gave To Me~ (10 years after Ver.)