If you’ve talked to me online lately and brought up some of the more recent shows that I’ve watched, you should be able to catch on to the fact that I really enjoyed the heck out of Steins;Gate. Without straying too far away from this site’s musical forte, allow me to say that time travel stories are never the easiest to write. It can be very difficult to avoid plot holes, but Steins;Gate managed to execute its premise well, and I enjoyed the characters and the story thoroughly.
So, not surprisingly, this jazz arrangement of Steins;Gate‘s opening theme caught my ear. While I slightly prefer BGM arrangements because of how rare they are, OP/ED arrangements still earn my favor if done well. And this jazz arrangement certainly fits that criterion. Give it a listen after the jump!
Steins;Gate OP: Hacking to the Gate (Jazz: piano & bass)
Now, I’m hardly a fan of Kanako Itou’s vocals on the original. While the visuals and the chaotic rhythms and synth work well to bring out the sci-fi component of the show, Itou’s delivery is adequate in its expression of the series’ loneliness and despair but doesn’t do much beyond that.
The jazz arrangement captures the song’s sentiments well, though. Its introduction feels heavy as the bass and piano chords hammer out a melancholy atmosphere, and the piano follows that up with a bluesy rendition of the melody all the way up to the chorus. Given what I’ve heard so far, I didn’t expect the chorus to go all-out in hammering the distraught emotions home like the original did, and my predictions were largely spot-on; the pianist delivered an ear-pleasing passage that, while not emphatic, still retained the despair or the original in a way that resembles a plea for help.
The bridge is fairly simple in the way it moves along whimsically, but I do like how you can catch snippets of the chorus in the improvisation before it segues back into the chorus and ends it there.