ERASED ED Single – Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na – Review

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Album Title: Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na
Anime Title: ERASED AKA Boku dake ga Inai Machi
Artist: Yuki Kajiura, Sayuri
Catalog Number: BVCL-700
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: February 24, 2016
Purchase at: CDJapan

Track Title Artist Time
01. Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na Sayuri 4:32
02. Raise de Aou Sayuri 4:40

Review: The introduction to “Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na” drips with familiarity. So much so that its melody is practically telegraphed. For old hands, the melody might remind you of Final Fantasy V‘s “Dear Friends”. For those who are a bit younger (but not too young!), it might remind you of Macross Frontier‘s “Aimo”. “Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na”‘s rhythm might have a bit more oomph, but its introduction retains the aforementioned tracks’ musical flavorings.

It’s a curious observation to be sure, and probably the only thing that jumped out at me as I listened to “Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na”. Otherwise, the ending theme to Boku dake ga Inai Machi is blase. That Yuki Kajiura, who composed this song, could have done better here is a huge understatement.

Kajiura’s music and Sayuri’s vocals go together about as well as orange juice and toothpaste, which is to say, the flavors clash violently. Sayuri’s shrill voice isn’t exactly pleasant to begin with, but her deficiencies really become apparent during the higher registers. During those moments, her voice is raspy as she belts out the lyrics.

Furthermore, the fact that she’s trying to compete against the background instrumentals leads to a clash where she often loses; her vocals are often drowned out by the heavy percussion and synth. Sayuri then leaves the chorus exhausted. Her subsequent delivery in the second stanza is a struggle as her lack of voice control manifests through deep gulps of air that are too audible and distract from the song’s atmosphere. Maybe it’s just something the sound engineer couldn’t fix.

The B-side, “Raise de Aou” is a slight improvement, possibly because Sayuri’s role as both composer and vocalist on this song means the overall package fits her vocal idiom better. But even that’s still relative: issues like her ability to seamlessly shift over to the higher registers remain. The major difference here is that the melody is palatable. So while her voice still sounds strained at times, it’s toned down noticeably. Overall, this song is easier to listen to, mostly because the instrumentals don’t clash with her vocals to the extent that they did on the A-side.

As I watched Boku dake ga Inai Machi, I was enthralled by its mystery/thriller vibes. The progression of the anime, with the protagonist’s harried sense of urgency stemming from a wish to alter his timestream as well as the continual cliffhangers, had me hoping for an ending theme that captured the despairing feelings as well as “Magia” did for the Madoka series. Alas, the musical Kajiura/Sayuri combination isn’t fruitful here. It’s probably best for each to go their own way and for Kajiura to stick with Kalafina over the longer term.

Rating: So-so

ERASED ED – Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na

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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.

6 thoughts on “ERASED ED Single – Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na – Review

  • March 9, 2016 at 3:06 pm
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    Ah, Yuki Kajiura…. What happened?

    Though I love her music, I agree that it doesn’t go with Sayuri’s voice at all. Though I will give a little leeway on the voice control issues since she is only 19, it is still very similar to a stereotypical j-pop voice. I personally cannot stand those kinds of voices, so hearing Sayuri wasn’t exactly the best. Plus, like you said, she’s having to compete with the background. Though I do like the beginning (it reminds me a little of FictionJunction YUUKA’s “blessing”, which is also composed by Kajiura), it all breaks down when the synths and violin come in during the chorus. Despite our criticisms, the reception that I’ve seen from this has been more towards positive (albeit still mixed), with some comments I’ve seen stating that it “is one of the best songs Yuki has composed in a while.” I’d still take nearly any other project she’s done, even with some of Kalafina’s less-than-great recent songs (I’m looking at you, believe (Fate/stay night ED1)).

    As for the B-side, it’s fine. The composition is better most likely due to the fact that Sayuri composed it, and she knows her voice better than Kajiura does.

    Reply
    • March 10, 2016 at 6:45 am
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      Wait, people actually like this single? Or was that just a way of trying to brush off the lack of quality and preserve their love for Kajiura? To say it’s one of the better Kajiura songs to come out in recent times does express the low bar she’s set lately though…

      Reply
  • March 13, 2016 at 8:15 pm
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    I enjoyed the ED cut well enough, but hearing the full version it definitely goes from ehh to yikes! I immediately recognized Sayuri’s raw voice from last year’s Ranpo Kitan ED “Mikazuki”. I don’t hate it (her voice) and actually find it a good match with the anime’s tone–an ending song as heavy and dark-sounding as “Magia” would feel overbearing for this show–but I definitely can see other listeners finding it grating and unpleasant. I actually didn’t notice this song was a Kajiura composition until I read this article. I haven’t really listened to her more recent stuff so I can’t compare.

    Reply
  • May 6, 2016 at 7:35 am
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    Some people generally liked the ending theme for its uniqueness (especially considering Kajiura was being criticized for being repetitive with her compositions). Personally, I found Sayuri’s interpretation, despite her not-so-palatable singing voice, to deliver this emotional punch, and I did like the song.

    But I can see why people won’t like it.

    Reply
    • May 6, 2016 at 11:43 pm
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      I kinda miss the time she did the Chrono Crusade ending theme. Good Kajiura that didn’t sound like Kajiura. At least, that’s the way to do it right with me. 😛 Experimental, this might’ve been, but I didn’t enjoy it. Glad others can find some enjoyment out of this!

      Reply
  • September 21, 2016 at 3:49 pm
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    Completely disagree. I think this track has excellent composition coupled with Sayuri’s vocals that really give this strong, hard-hitting feeling. I especially love the drum beat in this song, as it really goes well in packing the punch the song needs. I adored “Mikazuki” from last year’s Ranpo Kitan, and while this song isn’t as good, I really enjoyed it.

    But I’m far from any anime music snob, nor do I know crap about composition.

    Reply

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