|Chiwa Saito; Hiroshi Kamiya; meg rock
|ANZB-9451 (Included with DVD)
|September 30, 2009
|1. staple stable
|Chiwa Saito; meg rock (Megumi Hinata)
|2. staple stable (instrumental)
|3. Atogatari Kanzenban
|Chiwa Saito; Hiroshi Kamiya
Review: Even though a significant amount of time has passed since I’ve seen any Bakemonogatari episodes, there’s something about Chiwa Saito’s “staple stable” that continues to resonate with me on a subconscious level. Maybe I’m also afflicted by this whole “Senjougahara fascination” business as everyone else, but in listening to this song, I just can’t help but fall into a state of bliss as memories of the anime series flood back, especially that of episode 12 where Chiwa Saito/Senjougahara was at her best as she brings us what is quite possibly the most memorable anime moment of the year.
I preface this review with all that because there are a lot of things that this song isn’t. First of all, it’s not one that is ambitious since it’s just a bit too simple. Meg rock’s compositions doesn’t surprise us in any way as “staple stable” uses a guitar playing a steady rhythm to create a backdrop for Chiwa Saito’s voice to work with. So dazzling or complex it isn’t. Secondly, Chiwa Saito isn’t exactly the best singer out there. As you listen to her performance, there are a few notes that just seem a little out of tune either because she’s unable to that low or instances where she comes across a high note and doesn’t hit it straight away, opting instead to glissando into it. Yet, these issues don’t bother me as much here, and I think that a lot of that has to do with the entirety of the presentation, which demonstrates that in some cases, the quality of the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.
A lot of what makes “staple stable” so enjoyable is Chiwa Saito’s performance. Up until this point, the only singing I’ve heard her do is when she sings as one of her pre-teen roles (her performance of “Faraway Dream” as Rebecca Miyamoto comes to mind), so to hear Saito bring out her mature, soothing voice into play was a pleasant surprise. Her tone is subtle, delivering deft steps in tandem with the background guitars so that both the vocals and the instruments complement each other perfectly. Furthermore, the lyrics add a lot to the song because they nail down Senjougahara’s awkwardness around Araragi by blending in a dab of anxiety about expressing the extant of her feelings to him atop the current of happiness that she feels as a result of finding someone so selfless. In short, it’s a song that fits Senjougahara’s tsundere personality to a T.
That the melody is also catchy only helps its cause and even when looping this track, somehow, I just don’t get bored of it. The memories of that show is certainly a factor; the offbeat, yet enjoyable animation is part of it too. But even without those elements to back it up, “staple stable” still stands up well in its own right as not only do we come to appreciate Senjougahara all the more, we are exposed to a side of Chiwa Saito that we don’t see often enough. I hope that this is but the start of a new direction for her, both as a seiyuu and a singer.
Rating: Very Good