HAPPY SINGLES AWARENESS DAY!

For the past couple of weeks, those of us producing the OP/ED a Days have been concentrating on those song which celebrate having someone in your life; what that can bring you, and what it can cost. We've had some great picks, but for the day itself I felt something a little more outlandish special needed to be done. Thus, through the miracle of loophole-abuse, I present the ED for Heroic Age: Azurite. All three of them. I'm going to take to perhaps unusual step here of posting the English lyrics (the incomplete official version of them anyway), for reference:

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Although I have known you for a long time, I never dreamed these feelings would sprout, and I would fall in love with you,

Casually going home, as I look at the stars in the night sky, I take the long way on purpose, and lean on your shoulder as we walk.

You tell me you think we can overcome, anything as long as we stay together, I think as I look into your forthright eyes, that I love you.

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I didn't realise until I met you, that I was this strong, I have found something I wish to protect, and you're the one who's shown me what it is,

Just being with you makes even, my ordinary days shine brightly, your voice and smile, I want to protect them forever,

On nights we can't see each other, because we're far apart, I look at the stars in the sky, (negai wo kakeru douka onaji, kimochi de ite hoshii to),

Although I have known you for a long time, I never dreamed these feelings would sprout, and I would fall in love with you,

You tell me you think we can overcome, anything as long as we stay together, I think as I look into your forthright eyes, that I love you,

On nights we can't see each other, because we're far apart, I look at the stars in the sky, I want to believe passionately, in the feelings I have for you, and continue to protect them.

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Sadly that half of one verse remains impossible to find an official translation for, the best I can find is from an interpretation that differs from the above:

Making a wish on them, praying that you will, always feel the same way I do for you...

Title: Azurite | Show: Heroic Age | Artist: Tae Urakabe

The first version serves as the main ED for the entire series, and is a reasonably slow and gentle song about coming to love someone and having your life change because of it, but still with a certain bounce to the melody. The vocalist's voice is relaxing and the instruments, predominantly the guitar and piano, work together well to provide a cheerful feel overall.

Title: Azurite: ~for luster star Dhianeila~ | Show: Heroic Age Ep 15 | Artist: Yui Ishikawa

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The second version of the song has an expanded title and the vocals being sung by the voice actress for the (arguably) main character: Dhianeila. Notably, the opening bars have changed and the pace is immediately slower, the guitar no longer features and instead percussion is used to accentuate the lead-in to the singer. The sung lyrics are more prominent and the lengthy pause before the first choral line really accentuates the extra stress being placed upon the words. This version is more emotional and impactful than the regular version, fittingly so given the scene which features it within the anime; the aftermath of a tense battle and a display of character development. The idea that the song is now being sung by Dhianeila herself adds new depth to the lyrics and works very very well.

Title: Azurite ~True Grace~ | Show: Heroic Age Ep 26 | Artist: Tae Urakabe

And now we come to the third version of this song, and my true pick for today. Once again the opening bars have changed and the song is slower still. Most significantly though, is the complete lack of any instruments except the accompanying piano, making the solitary focus the singer. In one of my previous picks I complimented the addition of extra instruments over the regular version as adding depth to the song and reinforcing the effect; here I will say the inverse of that. The song is made so much more powerful through its simplicity, allowing the feelings of the lyrics to be delivered directly through the incredible emotion they are sung with. This song plays over the final scene of the show, the culmination of everything, and it elevates the climax into something worth remembering; the events of the show up until that point place new meaning upon the lyrics and imbue them with even more emotion, only to change again as the scene plays out. I consider the use of it in conjunction with that scene the definitive version, but as it would involve rather significant spoilers I've used just the track here, and will include the actual scene in my review of the series (currently in progress, this will be updated with a link when finished).

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I love this song. I hope to one day find someone who elicits the same emotions from me as listening to this does, whom I will spend time with and have that time do the sentiment of this song justice.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. If you're lucky enough to have someone, today's as good a day as any to demonstrate, and perhaps even remind yourself, that you appreciate them.