|sphere (Minako Kotobuki, Ayahi Takagaki,
Haruka Tomatsu, Aki Toyosaki)
|May 11, 2011
|2. Neo Eden
|3. Hazy (Instrumental)
|4. Neo Eden (Instrumental)
Review: Sphere’s work during the past year has grown on me and each subsequent single has become more enjoyable than the last as the group has delivered some memorable, diverse experiences. Asobi ni Iku yo!’s “Now Loading… Sky!,” gives a carefree feeling that nails the mood you’d expect from a harem of catgirls wanting to have fun. In contrast, Otome Youkai Zakuro “MOON SIGNAL,” through the steady rhythm, brings to mind the intensity of a group of fox girls doing battle against spirits with the help of the military. It certainly helps that the strength of Ayahi Takagaki’s, Haruka Tomatsu’s and Minako Kotobuki’s performances have continued to improve, making me anticipate Hazy’s offerings all the more.
“Hazy” catches your attention right away and for Sphere’s fans, it feels gentler and more nostalgic compared to their previous singles. The song develops through the guitars and bass to bring about heartwarming feelings which grow ever more strongly. Each singer’s part adds to this overall mood; Ayahi’s lush delivery and Aki’s higher-pitched vocals capture that memory long past. The song continues this flow, allowing Haruka Tomatsu and Minako Kotobuki to shower it with more warmth through the transition to the chorus, which evokes the sort of wistful happiness borne through friendship through a blending of the melancholy feelings that lie in the past and the cheerfulness and optimism at what the future holds.
The B-side, “Neo Eden” fires a rhythmic burst in the introduction, and suggests that what will come after will be far more brash and wild than what just transpired in “Hazy.” And these expectations are right on the mark; as the song proceeds, we are treated to an aural display that combines electronica, guitar and bass to bring forth a dance/J-pop song filled with a raucous sort of energy. The excitement streams forth even more wildly during the chorus, which captures that feeling of boundless euphoria through a lively delivery that never really lets up, as the girls succeed in imparting their joy unto the audience.
While “MOON SIGNAL” is still one of Sphere’s most memorable works, Hazy is a great addition to their discography. Through this single, they have demonstrated their ability to adapt their singing to capture whatever mood the song requires while maintaining a high level of appeal. Their efforts show that not all seiyuu-singing attempts are doomed as they’ve maintained a solid degree of consistency that’ll have me checking out their subsequent releases.
Rating: Very Good
Hanasaku Iroha ED 1 – Hazy