Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works ED2 Single – Ring Your Bell – Review

Album Title: Ring Your Bell
Anime Title: Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works
Artist: Kalafina
Catalog Number: SECL-1695
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: May 13, 2015
Purchase at: CDJapan, iTunes

Track Title Artist Time
01. ring your bell Kalafina 5:17
02. Koibito no Mukashigatari no Yuugure no Kalafina 5:06
03. ring your bell (in the silence) Kalafina 1:36
04. ring your bell ~TV size~ Kalafina 1:32

Review: Kalafina’s departure from their usual repertoire of dark, brooding songs is sufficient to be a breath of fresh air. Their latest single, Ring Your Bell, is lofty and cheery, fitting within that pleasant change of pace that I’ve been wanting to hear for a good long while. The guitar introduction and the driving rhythm instill the song with a hopeful energy, one that becomes more apparent in the way the piece swells. Hikaru’s lead-in, with her light lilts, strengthen that optimism and the song rides that tone all the way to the chorus and beyond.

It’s in the chorus where hope turns into full-blown aspiration. The intensity increases, bringing lofty sentiments to the fore, culminating in the titular line “Ring your bell and raise your song”, where the trio of Kalafina soars in their delivery. Although the stanzas revert back to the steady optimism, their spirited sentiments materialize once more during the bridge, maintaining the emphatic flair that pulls the listener along until the piece closes out on that impassioned lilt.

In a contrast to the A-side’s sentiments, the B-side, “Koibito no Mukashigatari no Yuugure no” returns to Kalafina’s standard repertoire with its dark and foreboding aura delivered through Wakana’s solo. The vibes it carries are more strained, the delivery suspenseful, accompanied by hints of suffering. But when so many of their songs fall into this mold, each subsequent Kalafina entry becomes less memorable. “Koibito no Mukashigatari no Yuugure no” falls by the wayside as a result. Its distortions and heavy rhythms along with its ponderous, tortured chorus do less to help the song stand out than it does to feed into the notion that this song was just lazily conceived. Par for a B-side, I suppose.

In the broadest sense, “Ring your bell” is less about pushing new bounds or rocking listeners’ socks off than it is about deviating from Kalafina’s normal melancholy fare. Because of that, its soaring chorus and air of optimism are enough to help it carry the day, and that difference alone will be enough for people to take notice.

Rating: Good

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works ED2 Single – Ring Your Bell

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Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

4 thoughts on “Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works ED2 Single – Ring Your Bell – Review

  • June 3, 2015 at 7:53 am
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    I’m not sure I agree with you on this one. Maybe, if we only take the anime tie-ins into consideration, Kalafina has been only releasing “dark” songs lately, but if we think about their whole repertoire, they have also released cheery ones (Hikari no Senritsu, storia, Mirai, Moonfesta…). And RYB isn’t even THAT cheery either, I sense a subtle melancholy in the strings and kajiurago bridge. I sort of like RYB, but it’s far from being refreshing in any sense, not even because it differs itself from the latest anime tie-ins (which were terrible, by the way)

    Reply
    • June 3, 2015 at 7:28 pm
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      What I mean is that RYB’s refreshingness comes from the fact that it’s the cheeriest thing they’ve released in quite some time. The songs you’ve listed off, while cheerier, date to 2012, which in anime and music terms, might as well be a few lifetimes ago 😛

      Reply
      • June 3, 2015 at 9:15 pm
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        I did think that was the case, but even so, I still disagree. Firstly, because Kimi no Gin no Niwa was released in 2013 (almost 2014), which isn’t that long ago. Besides, KnGnN sounds even fresher than RYB IMO, with a pleasing accordion leading the way. Secondly, for me, coming up with a “less-dark” song that still sounds extremely Kajiura-like is far too little to represent any sort of refreshingness. IDK, just because she released two songs that are extremely similar in many ways (structure-wise, especially) and then decided to release one that was fairly different from them, but still sounds exactly like anything else from Kalafina does nothing for me. I’m not expecting anything groundbreaking from her, but another KnGnN would be more than enough. Maybe I’m just tired of hoping for something vaguelly different from her. Still, I do like RYB to some extent and I like your review, it’s just that something inside me can’t agree with the “breath of fresh air” part ;X

        On a side note, I know you don’t cover game soundtracks, but I was curious to know if you have listened to Sawano’s XenobladeX soundtrack and what would your thoughts be about it.

      • June 3, 2015 at 9:40 pm
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        True. Breath of fresh air is pretty relative with Kajiura these days 😡

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