|Album Title:||Special CD Vol. 1|
|Artist:||Kana Asumi, Saki Fujita, Eri Kitamura, Jun Fukuyama, Daisuke Ono, Hiroshi Kamiya|
|Catalog Number:||ANZX-9961 (packaged with DVD)|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||Nov 2, 2011|
|1. COOLISH WALK||Kana Asumi, Saki Fujita, Eri Kitamura||4:11|
|2. Itsumo no You ni LOVE & PEACE!!||Jun Fukuyama, Daisuke Ono, Hiroshi Kamiya||4:36|
|3. COOLISH WALK -off vocal version-||Kana Asumi, Saki Fujita, Eri Kitamura||4:11|
|4. Itsumo no You ni LOVE & PEACE!! -off vocal version-||Jun Fukuyama, Daisuke Ono, Hiroshi Kamiya||4:33|
Review: One of the (many) things that made the first season of Working! so much fun was its incredibly infectious OP song, a melodic, poppy J-ska (which is remarkable of itself) tune lead by the seiyuu talent of Asumi Kana, Fujita Saki and Kitamura Eri, who play the three main female characters. “Someone Else” worked so well because it was catchy, without being predictable. Even the ED song was a mild curveball, taking advantage of Working!’s vast and impressive seiyuu cast and the fact that it had multiple male characters of varying importance (another rarity of the genre), and using the vocals of the three main male seiyuu, Fukuyama Jun, Ono Daisuke and Kamiya Hiroshi, who just happen to be three of the best male seiyuu in the business right now. “Coolish Walk” just can’t compare with the instantly memorable pop hit that was “Someone Else”, but is it a good song in its own right? Not really.
Not that “Coolish Walk” is terrible, but it’s way too cutesy, even for J-pop standards. Its opening vignette is filled with onomatopoeia which sets the tone for the track, and the first verse that follows uses combinations of “pan pan pan”, “mon mon mon” and “wow wow” as key components of its structure. While I can see people going for this because it is well sung and fairly sensibly arranged, its inherent tackiness is a significant barrier. The pre-chorus is the the highlight of the song for its breezy feel and the way it lets the harmonies of the vocalists take over, but it leads into a chorus which is fairly predictable and standard fare.
The issue with “Coolish Walk” is that, other than its cutesiness and the repeated onomatopoeia, there’s nothing about it that makes it distinct. Fortunately this is an issue that “Itsumo no Youni LOVE & PEACE!!” manages to avoid, if barely. Somehow managing to exist as both a tongue-in-cheek parody of and homage to 70s disco music, Working’!’s ED song carries itself fairly well during the verses, seemingly aware that it shouldn’t take itself too seriously. The problem is that the chorus is a whole heap of nothing, particularly the vocal line which just meanders and gives way to the rather unremarkable music underneath. When you have access to vocal talent as good as Fukuyama, Ono and Kamiya, you should make the most of it and give them something a little more challenging to work with. Kamiya in particular almost sounds like he’s trying too hard to make something interesting of his contribution to the chorus. And while this is an aside to the song itself, I’m still trying to figure out what Yamada Aoi is doing with that tambourine during the ED sequence.
Working’! as an anime has been just as good, and in some ways even better than its predecessor, but the theme songs have not been one of those ways. Working! has a seiyuu cast that I rate very highly, so it makes a lot of sense to utilize them for this OP ED Single. And while they’ve tried their best with the material they’ve been given, honestly it’s not very inspiring stuff.