|Album Title:||Wareta Ringo / Yuki ni Saku Hana|
|Anime Title:||Shinsekai Yori (From the New World)|
|Artist:||Chikara Ozaki, Shigeo Komori, Risa Taneda, Kana Hanazawa|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||January 25, 2013|
|Purchase at:||CDJapan, Play-Asia|
|01. Wareta Ringo||Risa Taneda||4:13|
|02. Yuki ni Saku Hana||Kana Hanazawa||4:56|
|03. Wareta Ringo (Instrumental)||Chikara Ozaki||4:12|
|04. Yuki ni Saku Hana (Instrumental)||Shigeo Komori||4:53|
Review: Shinsekai Yori presents a world as a facade that hides a bloodthirsty history, one that, when uncovered, turns the show’s characters’ world upside down. As their perception of reality falls apart in light of a truth that is revealed little by little, the characters have no choice but to persevere in the face of this knowledge. Given the turmoil and desperation that they experience, Risa Taneda’s performance of “Wareta Ringo,” Shinsekai Yori’s first ending song, is an appropriate reflection of the tense emotions that arise in the course of their plight.
With the opening guitar stutters, a sobering, almost tragic soundscape settles in and is further intensified by the backing vocals which lend an air of sadness through their ethereal quality which contrasts with Risa Taneda’s stirring delivery. Although Taneda’s voice comes in strongly, there’s a subtle sense of desperation that lurks around and the despondent tone persists in spite of her attempts to hide it through her resolute singing during the stanzas, which, in totality, meshes well with what her character experiences in the anime. And as the song continues, the second stanza remains steadfast; she continues on with aplomb after the chorus with nary a pause, soldiering on past the pain.
And that chorus! Taneda’s delivery is captivating as the R&B feel of her singing bonds with the instrumentation. As she holds out each end note, there’s an effortlessness in her performance that transforms the lingering air of sadness into a more tragic aura to sweep listeners along. Even if her voice never falters, the backing vocals succeed in grasping the extent of the pain poignantly in a way that captures the overarching mood of the anime, leaving that lasting imprint after each episode ends.
With such a strong first track, Kana Hanazawa’s performance for the second ending theme, “Yuki ni Saku Hana,” would unfortunately not be able to match the one in “Wareta Ringo” in emotional depth for one main reason: its safe tack makes little effort in stretching Kana Hanazawa’s limited vocal talents. While Shigeo Komori is able to extract a competent effort out of Kana Hanazawa’s singing without imposing a higher level of ability than what Hanazawa is capable of doing, the song’s repetitive structure makes it somewhat boring and its tone is overly conventional, making it less memorable overall.
That said, Kana Hanazawa, to her credit, is able to craft a somber atmosphere during the stanzas while unleashing heartfelt pleas near the end of the chorus to make it the song’s highlight. Her intonation is also much more mature; it’s nice to see her tackle something that’s far from the sort of catchy, bubbly pop music that she’s normally associated with. So although the song won’t eclipse her efforts on the ear-wormy “Renai Circulation,” it’s still decent enough to pass muster even if its enjoyment is dwarfed by the entrancing “Wareta Ringo.”
Rating: Very Good
Shinsekai Yori ED 1 – Wareta Ringo