A Blast From the Past: The Year of Anime Music [Part 2]

animeseries1996-pt2

Here is Part Two of my monthly series of anime theme songs from 1995. In case you are new to this blog or missed it, don’t forget to check out the first part here!

Please enjoy!


Hayashibara Megumi – “Nostalgic Lover” (from “Uchuu no Kishi Tekkaman Blade II”)

megumihayashibara-nl

The 90s were all about this woman! You literally could not watch an anime series that did not have Hayashibara Megumi as some sort of character. Being immensely popular in the voice acting world, Hayashibara also enjoyed a successful music career, singing various theme songs to memorable anime series. I think anyone who grew up watching 90’s anime would say that the first Japanese voice actor.actress they ever learned about was Hayashibara Megumi and was first introduced to either “Lively Motion” or “Successful Mission”. That’s how I knew about this fabulous woman.

“Nostalgic Lover” is an example of one the finest works in Megumi’s enormous discography. The song was actually a character song for the anime series “Uchuu no Kishi Tekkaman Blade II”, playing the character Aki. It is a breath-taking song as it is full of emotions. Hayashibara approaches the song is at first, she starts off slowly and then builds up her emotions as if she was anger during the pre-chorus. Then finally at the chorus, she almost goes back to the same level of softness from the stanzas. However, it is now filled with even more romantic feelings. I really love to sing this at karaoke because of the song’s emotional setting.

Another thing what makes this song lovely is the instrumentation. Set up as a light pop-rock song, “Nostalgic Lover” relies more on the electric guitars with the electronic keyboards, bass, and chorus playing secondary. The alluring part of “Nostalgic Lover” is the musical break between the second and last choruses. During this time, the keyboards comes in first, playing a soothing chordal progression. The chorus comes in afterwards, repeating the same pattern, while the electric guitar follows. It is when the three musical elements come together that the musical break is simply breathtaking..

If you haven’t heard of Hayashibara Megumi,  “Nostalgic Lover” is a good place to start. The video below also links to her other songs so you could literally have a listening party!


Meu – “Rashiku Ikimasho” (from “Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS”)

meu rashiku ikimasho

Ahhh, “”Rashiku” Ikimasho”. Actually, any Sailor Moon song is always on the top of anison/anime song lists because I loooooooooooooove Sailor Moon. I also loooooooooooooove the song featured today. The ending to the fourth season of the super popular girls’ series “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon”, “”Rashiku” Ikimasho” is a fun, poppy song that fits the character of Sailor Chibi Moon perfectly. Just look at the lyrics[1], the song captures her feelings perfectly as she tries to find friendship and her first love with an important character to the series’ storyline, Helios/Pegasus.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, imagine an elementary school-aged girl who is experiencing their first love. This is that kind of the song.

The song opens up with a brief musical introduction that features a staccato-ed chordal melody on distorted electric piano higher pitched, airy synthesizer. After the bass guitar slides for a fleeting moment, Meu comes in with full power to sing the chorus. Actually, Meu has perfect vocals for this song as they are soft, orotund, and high-pitched but not shrilly. The song continues in the same fashion to the end.

Although the song features a limited number of instruments (a horns section, synthesizer, bass, and a distorted keyboard), keeps the same vocal style, and has a melody that doesn’t change a lot, the song is never boring. It’s actually the exact opposite and a step up from the previous ending. (Sorry to the fans of “Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute”, it isn’t one of my favorite Sailor Moon ballads as the vocals and melody aren’t alluring). It’s really upbeat!  That is because by the time this song was produced, club music was really prominent all over Japan thanks to a music producer named Komuro Tetsuya.  And, Mizuno Masao and Hayashi Yuzo wanted to captured a piece of that dance music craze when composing “”Rashiku” Ikimasho”. I bet their motto for this song was something on the lines of “short and simple”, just like everyday dance music was back then.

“”Rashiku” Ikimasho” is a likable song that features Meu’s light vocals, lyrics that reminds you of the adventures with a first love, and short and simple instrumentation that you can dance to. It is one of my favorite songs in the Sailor Moon musical world, hopefully it can be yours too.


References

[1] “Miss Dream.” Miss Dream. 2015. Web. 28 June 2015. <https://missdream.org/sailor-moon-lyrics/rashiku-ikimasho&gt;.

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3 thoughts on “A Blast From the Past: The Year of Anime Music [Part 2]

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