|Anata Shika Mienai / Sae Nakata
|Hiromi Konno, Toshiyuki Oomori
|September 15, 2010
|1. Anata Shika Mienai
|2. KEEPING SMILE
|3. Anata Shika Mienai (Instrumental)
|4. KEEPING SMILE (Instrumental)
|1. A little bird on my hand
|2. Walking along, shining along
|3. Character monologue
Review: She loves you, yeah? Yeah? Yeah? I mean, she says so after all, so it must be true. With a love expressed through a song like “Anata Shika Mienai,” rather than feel glad, an overwhelming feeling of disgust permeates the listening experience. Disgust at the awful, drawn-out, obnoxious phrasing. Disgust at Hiromi Konno’s inability to sing. Are we on Bizzaro World? Well, here’s your Bizzaro World version of “Renai Circulation.”
“Anata Shika Mienai’s” strong opener, with the trumpet leading, accompanied by a catchy rhythm, is undone once Konno’s waifish voice enters the picture. Her delivery feels all wrong from beginning to end. When she tries to convey the extent of her longing feelings when she sings the repeating “Nareru hazu ne…,” the only effect it had was in irritating me.
The chief problem lies in Hiromi Konno’s voice, which lacks a solid presence and occasionally sounds vacuous. While one can attribute that to Sae Nakata’s shy demeanor (Konno voices Nakata), even then, the vocals feel far too wispy. There’s no hook to draw me in, but plenty that’s repelling, like the way the song sounds like it’s sung by someone completely tone deaf. It’s especially noticeable when she sustains a note and instead of feeling the love, I become really annoyed by her… well, it’s the equivalent of screeching at a lower pitch while trying to express lovey-dovey emotions. Maybe the best way to describe it is someone whining happily. Or maybe just stoned. All I know is that if I heard someone serenading to me in that fashion, I’d be on the first flight out of town.
Yes, I know she’s trying to be cute. No, it doesn’t work. Not here, and not in “KEEPING SMILE,” which reaches deep into the generic end of the J-pop spectrum, resulting in a song that’s dull at best and obnoxious at worst. There’s a level of effusive daintiness that Hiromi Konno cannot reach through her singing voice because it sounds too whiny and waifish. Best to leave that to the competent Kana Hanazawa.
Also included are two pieces by Amagami’s composer, Toshiyuki Oomori. Both tracks are decent; the first, “A little bird on my hand” is soft and plain, with the oboe playing a soft air that radiates a quaint tone, but is nothing all too memorable. That track is followed by “Walking along, shining along,” which packs enough pep and energy, but like the preceding track, it doesn’t stand out either. Though I haven’t listened to Oomori’s works all too much, I’m convinced that his strength lies in composing melancholy fare rather than upbeat music. At least, the melancholy pieces on the Tsukihime soundtrack made the biggest impression on me.
Chikorita’s review of this same album notes that Hiromi Konno’s track record for singing is far from stellar, so I’ll take his word for it and not bother with any of her other works. Also, I will say that listening to this song along with the ending animation makes it slightly more tolerable, but only because it gives one a visual target to direct their annoyance towards.
Amagami SS ED3 – Anata Shika Mienai