|to the beginning
|Kalafina, Yuki Kajiura
|April 18, 2012
|01. to the beginning
|02. the whole sky
|03. to the beginning (instrumental)
The new Fate/Zero opening theme is in every sense an authentic Kalafina song. It radiates the same energy as “Magia“, “oblivious”, or any of the myriad anime songs they’ve sung over the past few years. “to the beginning” starts with a pseudo-Gregorian Dog Latin chant, a feature found in many of Kajiura Yuki’s compositions, before diving into an energetic violin and drum intro. The drumwork is subtle, but effective, keeping the song upbeat and giving it a pop feel. It’s what makes Kalafina stand out — their songs are catchy and rhythmic despite their neo-gothic motif. The chorus is a fantastic release of energy that I enjoyed greatly. Kalafina are so talented in putting tension into lyrics and getting the most out of every note in the song. This isn’t a seiyuupop opening theme, that’s for sure.
“to the beginning” ferries the adventurous and whimsical nature of the struggle for the Holy Grail. The conflict that pits mage against mage, hero against hero is the most apparent, easily noticeable part of the anime, but Fate/Zero is as much about about inner conflict as it is about outer conflict. “to the beginning” is a fast-paced and bold track that emulates the pulsating action found in the anime, but the reflective lyrics and tense delivery hint at its more emotional aspects, making it a beautiful song that functions perfectly as an opening theme. I believe the best parts of the song are left out of the OP itself; you can only fit so much in 90 seconds, after all. The refrain near the end of the full song (around 2:15) is a great variation on the melody and builds into a spectacularly energetic final stanza.
“the whole sky” is the B-side to this single, and it’s not actually featured in the anime. The opening is really cool, transitioning into the guitar and violin breakdown we love so much. The song has a very distinct instrumental presence — a few orchestral bars serve as the transitions between different phases of the song. “the whole sky” is very bold and decently creative, fitting the Kalafina mold like a glove.
Overall, this single is sure to please any Kalafina fan out there. Both tracks are comprehensive demonstrations of everything we love about them, and very representative of the Kalafina style as a whole.
Rating: Very Good
Opening — to the beginning