You ever have one of those moments when you first listen to a song and you KNOW it's your jam? Be it you stumble on it yourself or someone introduce you an awesome artist of extraordinary calibre be it just this one song you're listening to. This is the most recent example of it for me. It's one of those songs that you can never tire from listening to; you crank up the volume every time you hear it, imitate the instruments and sing out your heart. Euphoric moments like these don't come too often in my opinion and I'll tell you what, it's a bloody good song.
For a series left on my backlog for too long, I didn't realize how much I wanted this song.
Title : Kokuhaku | Artist : Angela Aki | Series : Space Brothers
(sorry don't have facebook and I couldn't find a way to embed the video!! it's the best one I can find on the net that isn't a terrible mirrored version only at 360p on youtube)
So what makes a great OP/ED for me? Well there are a couple of things I look for, especially for a "baka gaijin" like myself. For starters, I love me some piano, if it's got some then I'm probably all in. Sometimes if someone's voice is like honey in my ears (Minori Chihara for example) then I'm all down to listening to some powerful or strong vocals from certain artists. Accessibility is a major factor as well, by that; I mean how easy it is for me to reproduce the music and sounds. Oh, and the level of "Engrish" in a song can sometimes be what pushes an OP/ED from okay, to freaking great, but that's always going to be subjective from one person to another. Songs sung by character/s (or more accurately the voice actor singing as their character in the song) from the show are enticing as well, especially if you like the character. Oh and how catchy the song is (probably the same as accessibility), you can't go wrong if it's cute and poppy or if it's just got a killer chorus you can't shake off.
Start with some gentle strumming on a guitar with some calm accompanying piano that somehow meld together into a lovely melody. If that didn't seduce you into a comatose state, hear her voice! My god it's so soothing and personal. I instantly conjure a painting of her caressing the microphone in its stand while she sings. Transition the song with some drums, thrust the volume higher and create some momentum in the pace of the song and her voice transforms into this powerful force. Suddenly you feel this wrench in your heart because you swiftly realise how remarkable this song really is! The song feels astonishingly natural as it goes through the tones of the track. Oh and the English is more or less spot on, it means I can sing along normally without sounding weird!! When I thought the song has reached its peak I couldn't be any more wrong. Splice the second vocal track of her repeating the lyrics, because the producer knows that she has got a killer voice. It's my legal high listening to this voice. 1 minute 30 seconds of absolute bliss and harmony with Angela Aki.
You know a lot of the times the most simple and slower scenes can be the ones oozing with lovely artistic flair. Space ship flying upwards, assume it's ascending to space with an enlarged faded copy parallel to it. An incredible romantic song is playing alongside this sequence. So I'm going to interpret this in two ways, one is the power of imagination, the other is someone inhibition/courage.
Let's start with the imagination one; it's a lot simpler really. As the spaceship undergoes its mechanical process, we see it eventually reaching space. Yet when you think all there is left is the pod, abruptly burst out what seems to be an endearing cardboard spaceship! How touching since the series is about two brothers promising each other that they would be go to space when they were kids. Where reality couldn't hold you back from the realms of your mind, bushes become jungles, the living room floor is now lava and this cardboard box I've taped together is now a spaceship. The sheer innocence of a child wondrous mind is what makes every day so exciting for them and when you see them popping out with their tissue box boots, you can't help but smile.
Lastly is the inhibition theme. It's that situation where you want to say the words to that one person and yet you can't find the physical ability to do so. The spaceship is carrying those feelings, emotions and words yet it can't reach its destination with all this extra weight and rocket. You can't stop thinking about what you're doing, looking back or how it should be? I feel that is represented by the backdrop copy of the spaceship. Notice when the song really hit that overdrive button with the lyrics "May I love you?" (Hopefully translated correctly) is when the rocket disconnects itself from the burden of its extra weight and the shadow of the spaceship is faded out. That's the moment you feel that someone has just released all their inhibition, we suddenly gain momentum throwing caution to the wind as we lose layer after layer. Eventually you're able to reach deep down inside to say what you've holding on to. Which in a way is then correlates to the cardboard spaceship, the real you not this cold hard exterior of a rocket that you might keep for appearance sake. I think I'm in love with this song.
Day 108: I've finally buried the bodies out in a desert which no one seems to pass. My hands burn with wooden splinters from all the hours of shovelling in the Mexican sun, though now I think about it I should have done it at night. Oh well it's another day gone and this time I can sleep peacefully.