|Album Title:||Million Clouds|
|Artist:||Frida Sundemo, Maaya Sakamoto, Yoko Kanno, Taeko Onuki|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||July 27, 2016|
|01. Million Clouds||Maaya Sakamoto||4:59|
|02. Romashka||Maaya Sakamoto||4:34|
|03. DIVE feat. GONTITI||Maaya Sakamoto||5:00|
|04. Million Clouds ~Piano Ver.~||Maaya Sakamoto||3:20|
|05. Hajimari no Umi ~Live Ver.~||Maaya Sakamoto||4:06|
Review: Amanchu!‘s opening theme, “Million Clouds”, lacks any sort of pretension. Its simplicity shines from the get-go, and before I knew it, I was whisked away by Maaya Sakamoto’s warm and gentle delivery.
And what a wonderful feeling it is to be swept along in such a manner! Initially, the sentiments settle in softly and tenderly like a wispy breeze. Then, both vocals and instrumentals pick up to unveil a quiet exuberance during the chorus. The upbeat mood that follows beckons one onward to adventure by instilling an insatiable urge to see what’s around the next corner. The excitement continues to grow through the rhythm, but “Million Clouds” never overextends its bounds. Rather, the varied experiences coalesce in a sweet and wistful broth that lingers on beautifully.
As “Million Clouds” drifts off, “Romashka” makes for a good contrast through its energy and boundless optimism. Those looking for emotional depth won’t find much here. But when Maaya’s delivery packs a zest and euphoria, the feeling of happiness apparent in every measure is good enough to leave you feeling satisfied.
Amanchu!‘s composers, Gontiti, also come in, providing their trademark soothing acoustic guitar work in an arrangement of “DIVE”. The result is a softer, mellower song that retains the joys and simmering yearning feelings that made it such a delight.
After a pedestrian performance of “Million Clouds” on solo piano, we’re treated to a live performance of Tamayura: More Aggressive‘s OP theme, “Hajimari no Umi”. Without having heard the studio version, I found myself enthralled with its quiet, yet lively atmosphere. Maaya Sakamoto’s light touches complement the guitar accompaniment and her delivery bounces along, propelled by the song’s simple joys that make it a wonderful way in which to close out the single.
Throughout the album, Maaya Sakamoto’s clear, expressive delivery allows the positive feelings generated by each song in Million Clouds to fill the air. Its oeuvre is strongly in favor of simplicity, but its execution is flawless. Maaya Sakamoto doesn’t put a foot wrong and the resulting mishmash of mellowness, warmth, and euphoria gently bubbles forth, nudging you forward so that you may discover and experience the world on your terms.
Amanchu! OP Single – Million Clouds[audio: 01 – Million Clouds.mp3]