|Album Title:||Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na|
|Anime Title:||ERASED AKA Boku dake ga Inai Machi|
|Artist:||Yuki Kajiura, Sayuri|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||February 24, 2016|
|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.
ERASED ED – Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na