Charlotte OP/ED Single – Bravely You/Yake Ochinai Tsubasa – Review

Album Title: Bravely You/Yake Ochinai Tsubasa
Anime Title: Charlotte
Artist: Jun Maeda, Lia, Aoi Tada
Catalog Number: KSLA-0104
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: August 26, 2015
Purchase at: CDJapan

Track Title Artist Time
01. Bravely You Lia 5:29
02. Yake Ochinai Tsubasa Tada Aoi 5:16
03. Bravely You (TV Size) Lia 1:33
04. Yake Ochinai Tsubasa (TV Size) Tada Aoi 1:36
05. Bravely You (Inst) Lia 5:29
06. Yake Ochinai Tsubasa (Inst) Tada Aoi 5:14

Review: Listening to Charlotte‘s opening theme, “Bravely You”, vacillated between being a puzzle and a chore. Its charged rocking introduction treads a ground not commonly seen in the partnership between composer Jun Maeda and the singer Lia. Nothing wrong with trying out something new, at least, if “Bravely You” wasn’t so frustrating to listen to.

“Bravely You” might simply be Maeda’s compositions for Angel Beats‘ Girls Dead Monster taken too far. Those compositions, including Crow Song and Thousand Enemies, weren’t the pinnacle of what Maeda can do with music. But back then, the vocalists on those songs were virtual unknowns; no one expected much out of them anyway.

When he’s paired with longtime singer partner Lia, the expectations rise considerably. Her reputation dates back to the mesmerizing “Tori no Uta” from Air before collaborating with Maeda. Once the two began working together, they’ve brought forth such classics as the emphatic chorus in Angel Beats‘ “My Soul, Your Beats” and the heartfelt performance of Clannad ~After Story~‘s “Toki wo Kizamu Uta”.

Unfortunately, “Bravely You’s” overall package never lives up to what’s come before. The song charges forward with much energy but falls flat when Lia jumps in. Her initial urgent delivery transitions over to a monotonous echoing section and, later on, a dull recitation of the lyrics which offer little in the way of intricacy or passion. Furthermore, “Bravely You’s” structure is nonexistent. Maeda’s composition shifts in all sorts of odd directions, so much so that it’s hard to make heads or tails of what he’s trying to do. “Bravely You’s” musical fabric becomes a haphazard melodic stitch which, combined with Lia’s delivery, results in a piece that is bland at best, vexing at worst. Not the kind of brilliance you’d expect from a Maeda x Lia collaboration.

In a sharp contrast, the other A-side, “Yake Ochinai Tsubasa,” is far simpler than “Bravely You’s” incoherency. Aoi Tada’s delivery is reminiscent of her work on Angel Beats‘ “Brave Song” in that there’s a sense of optimism that serves as the song’s foundation, even if it’s less subtle in its execution this time around. But where it falls in its subtlety, it succeeds in being enjoyable. The bubbly opening is a welcome respite and Maeda’s simple structure makes it a cinch for him to convey the mood of the piece. In “Yake Ochinai Tsubasa,” I had little difficulty conjuring the ephemeral loneliness that Aoi Tada mentions and I enjoyed how the song builds up its optimism for a brighter future through its intense chorus. Sometimes, Maeda just needs to realize that less is more as Aoi Tada’s heartfelt delivery made “Yake Ochinai Tsubasa” a pleasant experience.

In most cases, Jun Maeda collaborating with Lia is cause for much fanfare, but in “Bravely You’s” instance, the lack of passion, much less its lack of poetry becomes the song’s undoing, turning it into an insufferable listening experience. It is in “Yake Ochinai Tsubasa” where the simplicity shines. Enough to leave a lingering tenderness behind even if it doesn’t completely eclipse the blandness that came before.

Rating: Not Good

Charlotte OP – Bravely You

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Charlotte ED- Yake Ochinai Tsubasa

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zzeroparticle

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.

9 thoughts on “Charlotte OP/ED Single – Bravely You/Yake Ochinai Tsubasa – Review

  • November 17, 2015 at 9:29 pm
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    The ED was far better but with both Bravely You and pretty much all of the insert songs present in Charlotte I ended up questioning whether or not I was just flat out tired of Jun Maeda’s style or if it was because Charlotte as a whole left a bad taste in my mouth. I still like My Soul, Your Beats despite not entirely liking Angel Beats! though so I’m still not sure…

    Reply
    • November 29, 2015 at 11:14 am
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      That’s two of us. Thought Angel Beats was kind of lame but My Soul, Your Beats is a solid Maeda track. We’ll have to see how the next track in this partnership fares.

      Reply
  • December 5, 2015 at 6:20 pm
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    lol I didnt even bother with the anime this time around. it felt more like a vehicle to sell charlotte music merchandise if anything. story be damned and all that

    honestly the worst part about this CD is the mix, it clips horribly especially the ones with Lia, most noticeably the chorus sections. so people are really better off buying the ost unless they need the tv/instrumental versions…

    Reply
    • December 5, 2015 at 11:51 pm
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      Are you suggesting that maybe, just maybe the OST is worth checking out? It wasn’t really on my radar, but if it’s good, I might take the time to go through it.

      Reply
      • December 7, 2015 at 9:04 am
        Permalink

        Oh no the OST definitely isn’t worth checking out, unlike the angel beats OST which actually had quite a few noteworthy arrangements. spare your precious review time for something else I say.

        I would really only recommend the OST if you want a better sound mix for the openers/closers, and that 君の文字 finale song. Yeah, to be honest I’m kinda disappointed in Maeda’s offerings so far, but from the looks of it the guy is juggling way too many projects at once.

      • December 8, 2015 at 12:30 am
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        Welp, that’s too bad. I’m kinda bingeing on older stuff anyhow and that’s pretty much where my next few reviews will come from. No need for forgettable fare if I can help it!

  • May 28, 2016 at 7:12 am
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    Haro-haro’s album is awesome af though. If you have heard it, what do you think of haro-haro’s version of the OP and ED?

    Reply

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