|Album Title:||Little Busters!/Alicemagic ~TV animation ver.~|
|Anime Title:||Little Busters!|
|Artist:||Jun Maeda, Shinji Orito, Mintjam, Rita|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||October 31, 2012|
|Purchase at:||CDJapan, Play-Asia|
|01. Little Busters! ~TV animation ver.~||Rita||4:36|
|02. Alicemagic ~TV animation ver.~||Rita||4:36|
|03. Little Busters! (TV Size)||Rita||1:39|
|04. Alicemagic (TV Size)||Rita||1:35|
|05. Little Busters! (Instrumental)||Jun Maeda||4:36|
|06. Alicemagic (Instrumental)||Shinji Orito||4:35|
Review: If there’s anything Rita’s performance in this single reveals, it’s a chronic level of underutilization in the realms of anime OP/ED singles, especially when she’s paired with the right composer. Strong evidence for her vocal qualities like her expressiveness can be found in “Little Busters!,” the opening song to the anime of the same name. But as good as her voice is, she needs a good composer to back her up; one need not look any further than “Alicemagic” to find an example of a forgettable track from a lesser Key Sounds Label composer. This doesn’t change the fact that the Little Busters!/Alicemagic single is a worthwhile listen, if only because the former track’s quality overpowers the latter by leaps and bounds.
What can I say? I have loved “Little Busters!” since I first heard it in 2009. What drew me to it was the energy that it delivers, which stands in contrast to much of Jun Maeda’s soft, poignant fare, typified in works like Clannad ~After Story~’s “Toki wo Kizamu no Uta” or even Angel Beat’s “Brave Song.” But what’s undeniable, however, is its emotional impact, which is on par with those aforementioned works.
Where “Little Busters!” succeeds is the way its emotions are conveyed and developed. The piece gradually discards the lingering feelings of loneliness until it manifests in a wave of unbridled enthusiasm during the catchy chorus where the song shines brilliantly. The repetition in the melody, sung to lines like “takaku tobe takaku sora e/ takaku kere takaku koe wo age” and “kimi no koe wasurenai namida mo wasurenai,” really help to make the chorus a memorable one as the lines become ingrained in listeners’ heads. Much credit goes to Mintjam’s ability to combine the guitar and keyboard in a way that complements the song’s emotional content, but more credit goes to Rita for being able to imbue the song with hope and joy. Her delivery is emphatic and the message is one of persistence as her encouraging tones reach forth and beckon the listener to soldier on and surpass even the most improbable of odds to find that patch of happiness. Through her singing, the pains and sorrows seem inconsequential in the face of the greater rewards sure to come as the bonds of friendship usher one onward!
With such a rousing track to kick things off, it’s a shame that Shinji Orito’s composition on “Alicemagic” result in such a plain song. Although the opening guitar initially ropes the listener with its energy, the riff lacks a unique character to set it apart. From there, the song goes through some routine motions: it opens with a faintly nostalgic air that tries to build up to something special, except it never fully materializes. The chorus, too, isn’t anything to talk about since its restraint works more to reduce Rita’s efficacy as a singer more than anything else. There’s little here to keep the listener rapt in attention and after a while, my attention just drifted off, a telling sign that this song doesn’t have the cachet to stand out amongst other excellent Key tracks and confirming my bias against Shinji Orito all the more.
For Rita, “Alicemagic” is an inoffensive track that neither helps nor hurts her prospects for an anisong career, but I do hope that her performance on “Little Busters!” will elevate her career. She has shown herself capable of singing emphatically and after her frustrations in not being able to move into the anisong sphere until now, it’s a long time coming. “Little Busters!” represents her best foot forward. Let’s see if that’s but the first of many steps to come.
Little Busters OP – Little Busters!
Little Busters ED – Alicemagic