|Kannagi Character Karaoke CD – “Nagi Uta”
|Miyuki Sawashiro; Takanori Hoshino; Tetsuya Kakihara;
Hiro Shimono; Haruka Tomatsu; Risa Hayamizu; Kana Hanazawa;
Shirige Tai; Satoru Kousaki; Eri Takenashi
|March 25, 2009
|1. Ichiban Boushi
|2. I Believe You Forever
|3. Kimi to Run Away
|4. Amore Seishun
|5. Hello Daizu no Uta
|6. Jun♥Ai (Pure Love) Generation
|7. Delicate ni Love・Me・Please
|8. Shirigeya no Theme
|9. Ichiban Boushi (Karaoke Version)
|10. I Beleive You Forever (Karaoke version)
|11. Kimi to Run Away (Karaoke Version)
|12. Amore Seishun (Karaoke Version)
|13. Hello Daizu no Uta (Karaoke Version)
|14. Jun♥Ai (Pure Love) Generation (Karaoke Version)
|15. Delicate ni Love・Me・Please (Karaoke Version)
|16. Shirigeya no Theme (Karaoke Version)
|17. Kimi to Run Away (Jitaku de Hitori Zesshou Version)
Review: It’s no understatement to declare that Fall 2008’s most hilarious moments were heavily concentrated in the tenth episode of Kannagi. As you may recall, Nagi, Jin, the rest of the art club, Tsugumi, and Zange try to strengthen their friendship bonds by spending time at a karaoke box. By this time, the series has already set up the romantic polygons and the viewer is expected to be familiar with each character’s personality traits for this episode’s humor to shine. As such, half of the fun comes from watching these characters’ personalities bounce off of one another and the other half comes from hearing the characters struggle through having to sing karaoke (Takako’s the exception here).
So after over 3 months of waiting, we’re finally treated to the compilation CD of the karaoke episode. Here, the quality of the music is a bit higher than what we got from the episode itself and oddly enough, I see that as negative since flaws like Tsugumi’s shy delivery and Zange’s oblivious off-tune belting are part of what makes the karaoke attempt feel genuine and charming. Add to that the fact that the humor isn’t quite as strong without the accompanying character interactions and you’ve got an album that is only worth listening to if you’re either looking to experience a cleaned up karaoke episode or if you want to be able to enjoy listening to Kannagi’s VA’s performances.
The album starts out with a fairly generic, but enjoyable J-pop song titled “Ichiban Boushi” that is performed by Tsugumi’s VA, Miyuki Sawashiro. As I hinted above, this performance is far more polished than the one in the episode because Sawashiro’s delivery is devoid of Tsugumi’s shyness and mistakes that made the performance endearing in the first place. The same can be said for Jin’s song, “Amore Seishun” in that while it is unrefined and does go off tune a few times, his VA’s rendition on this CD is far too confident. I would have liked to hear all of the mistakes, including Jin stumbling a few times and shyly lowering his volume when the attendant comes in, to capture the genuine karaoke experience and his low-key personality.
If you recall watching that episode, Daitetsu, voiced by Takanori Hoshino, completely blows “I Believe You Forever” out of the water. Part of what makes his performance so compelling is in the way Hoshino’s voice comes out. The timbre is extremely warm, which makes for a good match with the song’s subject because his delivery is so comforting and confident. That Hoshino can switch tones from a friendly, oafish character to a wonderful pop singer was unexpected and I’d love to hear more of his work if they exist.
I Believe You Forever:
After that, we come to Akiba’s song, and there’s really not much to say here other than the fact that he goes into full otaku mode by singing with a lot of passion, but not much else. Likewise, Zange’s performance on “Delicate ni Love・Me・Please” is fairly mundane once you remove all of her flourishes and mistakes as well as her personality because this song lacks her forceful attitude in trying to get Jin to come over to her side.
The character-based humor comes in through Nagi’s and Takako’s performances. Nagi’s 30-second ditty, “Hello Daizu no Uta,” is hilarious because the way Haruka Tomatsu sings feels like she’s having fun with the song in spite of its campiness. The segments where she stresses the “Mame kue, mame!” and “Souzetsu na…iroke” in a melodramatic fashion highlights the humor and absurdity of the whole karaoke experience rather well. Takako’s song is one that will make you laugh uncontrollably or give you nightmares depending on your initial reaction to her performance since her antics were absolutely unforgettable. “Jun♥Ai (Pure Love) Generation” parodies the generic magical girl anime themes with its sugary sweet melody and lyrics, but to reap the full benefit of this track, you need to remember that Takako is a high school senior and she doesn’t hold back in complementing that song with cutesy facial expressions and exaggerated poses all of it done disturbingly well. Those moves are fitting for a magical girl in say… elementary school, but to see them performed by a high school senior leads to a sort of horror where one has no choice but to laugh at the absurdity. Needless to say, I loved it!
Hello Daizu no Uta:
Jun♥Ai (Pure Love) Generation:
After going through all of the characters, we finally reach the famed “Shirigeya no Theme” which is funny on its own because it provides a humorous take on the Japanese company structure which does everything from getting its employees to partake in morning exercises to teaching them a rousing company anthem to instill them with company spirit. It’s a strange concept for this Western viewer, which adds to the novelty factor since the the Shirige Tai are pretty enthusiastic about their supermarket chain to the point that it tickles my funny bone. The way the chorus section effusively sings the chorus part of the song combined with the marching band background music makes this song an uplifting, if hilarious way, to finish out the album.
Shirigeya no Theme:
At the end of the day, this album isn’t really about listening to quality music as much as it’s about the levity borne from listening to the characters suffer through having to karaoke and picturing in your mind how the characters look while singing. As I mentioned, though the tracks are more polished than the raw karaoke version, the singing isn’t exactly stellar, but then again, issuing a high quality album of a karaoke episode isn’t the point here. So as you listen to this album, it’s obvious that this album caters to fans of the show. Still, those who enjoyed the episode’s silliness are better off just watching it because the music alone doesn’t carry the same comedic weight without the character interactions. Getting this album is an entirely optional affair though since the TV episode will give you a much more enjoyable experience overall.