Nichijou OST Disc 1 – Hangari Made It Te Rekodingu Shi Ta – Review

Album Title: Hangari Made It Te Rekodingu Shi Ta BGM &
Rajio Bangumi ‘Nichijou No Rajio’ No Daiji…
Anime Title: Nichijou
Artist: Nomi Yuji, Hyadain, Various
Catalog Number: KABA-9001
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: June 6, 2011
Purchase at: CDJapan

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Track Title Artist Time
01. Nichijou No Taitoru Kyoku Nomi Yuuji 0:19
02. Nonbiri Seikatsu Nomi Yuuji 1:35
03. Ooki Sugiru Shokku Nomi Yuuji 1:45
04. Fukkatsu No Yukko Nomi Yuuji 1:41
05. O Namida Choudai Nomi Yuuji 2:03
06. Choushiduku Yukko Nomi Yuuji 1:25
07. Kore Ha Ochi Desu Nomi Yuuji 1:18
08. Shinonome Kenkyuujo No Mainichi Nomi Yuuji 1:40
09. Nonbiri To Kaisou Shi Te Miru Nomi Yuuji 1:52
10. Komikaru Ni Sekkyou Nomi Yuuji 1:46
11. Sabishiku Te Sukoshi Setsunai Toki Nomi Yuuji 2:06
12. Nichijou No Sakusen Kaishi Nomi Yuuji 1:24
13. Happi Shinonome Kenkyuujo Nomi Yuuji 1:29
14. Nichijou No Bokka Teki Ongaku Nomi Yuuji 1:49
15. Nichijou No Yuuga Nomi Yuuji 1:57
16. Nichijou 0 Wa Endingu Tema – Sasaki Sayaka Nomi Yuuji 2:33
17. Nichijou No Toukou Nomi Yuuji 1:09
18. Kigen No Yoi Hakase Nomi Yuuji 1:36
19. Nakanojou No Tema Nomi Yuuji 1:39
20. Kawairashii Dokidoki Kan Nomi Yuuji 1:34
21. Igo Sakka Bu No Nichijou Nomi Yuuji 1:37
22. Na No No Neji Mawashi Rapusodi Hyadain 4:16
23. Nichijou No Rajio Daijesuto Various 19:23

A car without tires is merely an aesthetic novelty. Tires put the power from the engine to the asphalt, steer the car in the proper direction, and protect and grip in dangerous conditions. On a car, tires are essential, simply indispensable.

But, they are also one of the most egregious examples of uni-taskers in today’s spectrum of ubiquitous technology. Tires excel at a single, solitary objective and are frankly meaningless to use in any other application, but perhaps the most beautiful part about them is that they were never intended to.

In that vein, the tracks that comprise the Nichijou OST Disc 1 are the tires of the soundtrack world. Nichijou and its soundtrack are so utterly dependent on the other to succeed that each cannot reasonably stand as a complete product on its own, the way four tires and a bare-wheeled car cannot be considered whole. The soundtrack is so boldly obvious in its snippety shortness, oblique quirkiness and bald-faced irony that it leaves little room for itself to say much else, and, indeed, it seems its greatest asset is that it never really was supposed to.

At the end of the day, though, the story is that, due to their short length, most of the tunes here need to be crutched up with some familiarity with the show to be truly appreciated, and that, in my mind, is a telltale sign of a weak score.

It leaves me oddly conflicted, then, that I simply adore this soundtrack to death.

While my general rule is to favor soundtracks that can stand on their own merits as well as augment the show they’re featured in, this score does the latter so well that its dubious value as a standalone proposition does not bother me at all.

Nonbiri Seikatsu

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From the very first full-length track, “Nonbiri Seikatsu,” the disc does not pull any punches on what it plans to be: a tongue-in-cheek, audaciously simplistic, slightly repetitive, densely harmonized frolic with little in the way of true tension or denouement.

What’s striking, though, is that, despite the entire soundtrack being rather tonally homogenous, every track sounds profoundly distinct. The reason behind this is the simply incredible use of voice; what you’ll begin to notice is that, within the individual tracks, there’s not much variation in the melody, harmony, or rhythm. In that sense, they’re very repetitive. Rather, where these tracks really shine is in that often ignored fourth dimension of music: texture. Basically, meticulous detail is paid to which instruments are playing the melody in each repetition as opposed to what they’re playing. The double reeds, specifically the bassoon, are particularly well used. What many first-year composition students are taught is that if you are writing for 10 different instruments, you aren’t writing for 10 different voices, you’re writing for as many voices as there are combinations of instruments. A flute playing a melody with a trumpet sounds totally different from a trombone playing the same thing with an oboe which is totally different from a viola playing with a bassoon playing with a tuba. From a technical standpoint, this may be this soundtrack’s single greatest merit.

Fukkatsu No Yukko

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Consider “Fukkatsu No Yukko,” a lighthearted march with a steady heartbeat in the snare drum. The melodies themselves don’t vary much, but note how repetitions of lines are passed between instruments. The opening line by itself features clarinet, strings, and bassoon, and later sections are passed between the flute, muted trumpet, and finally, the two combined. It’s not one of the more exciting tracks, but is a paragon of the strong suits of the disc.

Nonbiri to Kaishou Shi Te Miru

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Numbers such as “Nonbiri To Kaisou Shi Te Miru” prove that the disc isn’t all just fanfare and bubbles as they attempt something a bit more melancholy and thoughtful, and nearly pulls it off. The gentle orgel melody backed by the strings is echoed beautifully by the piano, and it really is almost touching.

Notice the “nearly” and “almost,” though, because this album’s most critical shortcoming lies in its insubstantiality. No track ever amounts to anything to really chew on. Instead of songs, they seem more like short previews of something much greater; curious vignettes of a much greater landscape. Granted, the album in its entirety is delightful, but it’s the difference between stuffing yourself with fancy hors d’oeuvres and enjoying a gourmet full-course meal. It’s less about the quality of the material than it is the pacing of it, something the disc doesn’t do all that well.

Happi Shinonome Kenkyuujo

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And it’s a shame, really, because tracks like “Happi Shinonome Kenkyuujo” push all the right buttons. It’s great fun, offering a near-perfect blend of quirkiness and depth. The use of texture is one of the best on the disc, and the orchestration in general is exemplary. But it’s so fleeting and short that it seems to end just as it feels like it’s truly beginning. It’s over as soon as it almost amounts to saying something.

Nichijou no Yuuga

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Though this means no number ever overstays its welcome, it also means that there’s potential in pretty much every track that’s never quite realized. As much as I want to acclaim “Nichijou no Yuuga,” as much as I loved “Nichijou No Toukou” or “Nakanojou No Tema,” as much as I can say that “Kigen No Yoi Hakase” is the best song on the disc, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this soundtrack because it fails to be musically substantial.

Nichijou No Toukou

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Nakanojou No Tema

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Kigen No Yoi Hakase

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But, boy, do I love this soundtrack.

Rating: Very Good

About the author

Aftershok A huge jazz nerd and unabashed fan of alternative rock, I joined Anime Instrumentality in December 2010. I tend to get very passionate when it comes to music and try my best to understand how it works. An enormous fan of The Pillows, among my favorite anime composers include Ko Otani and Yoko Kanno. My tastes in anime vary wildly, but I try to be as thoughtful about my viewing as I am about my listening. I play the saxophone.

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8 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. random says:

    I was disappointed when this OST came out and I saw that all the tracks were less than two minutes long.

    So I too was surprised that I found myself enjoying it so much. It really is a fun soundtrack.

  2. chronolynx says:

    Wrong. I couldn’t make it through 3 episodes of Nichijou, but I still really like the soundtrack. Best part of the show.

  3. Mushyrulez says:

    What does orgel mean, again? :| (google’d but not sure which definition is right)

    I have to say, though – your tire analogy was nice. Nichijou is just vignettes (I think my English teacher may have just suffered a minor heart attack) of everyday life, after all – why should its soundtrack be anything different? Aren’t soundtracks written for the anime, rather than to stand alone? And the Nichijou soundtrack is definitely one of my all-time favourite anime soundtracks (note: that’s not saying a lot).

    Really, as you said, that feeling that you get, that felt ‘so fleeting and short that it seems to end just as it feels like it’s truly beginning’ – isn’t that what you got from the anime? 26 episodes and -bang-, we’re never going to see another episode of Nichijou again.

    If soundtracks could tell stories, I’d know what this soundtrack would tell – the story of everyday life.

  4. Aftershok says:

    @random
    It’s really just a matter of whether not you end up enjoying it, regardless of length.

    @chrono
    Ah, yes, you know you have succeeded in life when you can write an entire review of nuanced opinion and careful reasoning that can be cast aside with “Wrong.” I just think the soundtrack would be better enjoyed with the show.

    @Mush
    I would just like to say, thank you, because comments like yours are what motivate me to sit in front of the word processor and grind out reviews.

    The orgel is the word that the Japanese use for “music box,” which is, according to Wikipedia, “adopted from the Dutch/German word originally meaning ‘organ’.” The instrument marked “orgel” on my very Japanese Yamaha keyboard sounded just like the instrument used in the track, so I just called it that. Didn’t know the word didn’t exist in English. This is the same keyboard that puts flutes and saxophones under “Brass” and puts the banjo under the “Ethnic” category. Sorry for the confusion.

    As for your point, you are absolutely right, and I admit that that is a profound way to interpret the tracks. I just had not thought about it that way. Kudos to you.

    But regarding how fleeting and short the anime supposedly was, let me say that some of those jokes ran waaay longer than they should have, haha.

  5. Shinster says:

    Nonbiri Seikatsu’s intro reminds me so much of Ragdoll blaster for the iPhone. I, too, like this OST and think it’s really fun. I haven’t seen Nichijou so my opinion may be wrong but I can’t help but think the tracks belong to a silent movie where everything is playful and slightly over-exaggerated….kind of like a holiday clay-mation movie, a commercial, or a track for the menu in a video game. Still fun to listen to!

  6. PeterV says:

    I’m a big fan of Nomi Yuji’s work, so it’s no surprise I like this music a bunch. If you want to hear a more complete score of his, do watch Mimi o Sumaseba or Neko no Ongaeshi. Both are by Ghibli, and while the latter is an amusing romp, the former is IMO amazing.

    • @PeterV
      I’d also like to add that Neko no Ongaeshi’s soundtrack is utterly amazing! For that matter, a lot of people have said Whisper of the Heart is easily a top 5 Ghibli film, which really has me looking forward to it once I find the time!

      • J39M says:

        I echo your endorsement for the score to “The Cat Returns;” it’s wonderful! There is no shortage of thematic material and the whole thing unfurls itself almost operatically. It really, really adds to the film. Perhaps the most exciting part is the not-at-all subtle callback to the “Song of the Baron” theme from “Whisper of the Heart” (if you haven’t heard it already, the theme appears in the ending to “The Abduction to the Seraglio” and features heavily in the opening + ending to “I’m Home, I’m Home Now!”).

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