|Album Title:||Sora to Kimi to Message|
|Anime Title:||Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (Suisei no Gargantia)|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||May 15, 2013|
|Purchase at:||CDJapan, Play-Asia|
|01. Sora to Kimi no Message||ChouCho||4:41|
|03. Sora to Kimi no Message (off vocal)||ChouCho||4:41|
|04. Cocoon (off vocal)||ChouCho||4:09|
Review: ChouCho’s vocals carry few surprises that would leave a profound impression upon listeners because her delivery is plain and, in most other contexts, unremarkable. However, there’s something to be said for basic competence and a consistency in her performance which, when put together, feels like a rarity, making her enjoyable effort stand out even more.
So with the release of “Sora to Kimi to Message,” ChouCho’s voice wafts in gently, with a dab of euphoria that sets the stage for the song’s wonderful sentiments. As the guitars continue to strum that calming, pleasant foundation, ChouCho proceeds on towards the chorus as her voice nestles within the instrumentals to forge a good partnership where neither component eclipses the other. Her intonation possesses a quiet anticipation for the host of possibilities and discoveries which slowly open up to unveil breathtaking new vistas – all these hopes and expectations that have built up over the course of the verses then become realized once the song goes into the chorus.
Here, ChouCho never goes all out; the way in which she expresses her happiness bears a touch of restraint, fitting, if the idea is to instill the representation of a more personal monologue versus something shared effusively, with abandon. In this vein of the personal, the song becomes appealing in its authenticity. Nothing is masked; there are no fronts being put up; nothing comes off as being forced. What’s expressed is pure and natural. The result may not be flashy, but the sentiments are simple and effective.
The B-side, “Cocoon,” starts off on a more energetic foot, but not so much that it would make for too sharp a contrast with “Sora to Kimi to Message,” even if it serves as a double-edged sword. The pleasant atmosphere that pervaded the A-side continues, as does the restraint, suggesting of someone who’s hopeful in being able to break free and show her true colors. But as much as the optimism continues to grace the song, one aspect to be wary of is how similar both songs are to each other. Separated on their own, that’s not a huge problem. But when the songs start to bleed into each other, being unable to distinctly differentiate one from the other does become a bit problematic from the standpoint of a singer who’s looking to improve as an artist and stretch her abilities.
Oh well. If nothing else, ChouCho’s pair of performances are at least appealing. Yes, I have a tendency to prefer performances that showcase a wide range of vocal expressions or nail its emotive content deep into my soul, and in that preference, craft can often be lost in the mix. Here though, ChouCho’s performance for the Gargantia anime’s ED theme is a stellar example of how a work so ordinary in its presentation, but done competently, can carry its endearing message effortlessly to become one of my favorite themes from this anime season. Now about expanding upon that foundation to become a better artist…
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet OP Single – Sora to Kimo to Message