Ah, so this is late but it wasn’t my fault. It was all Amazon.jp’s. They placed me under international express shipping since there was no other option I could choose so I was supposed to expect this within 2-5 days but instead, I had to wait two weeks! RWARGH!
Well, whatever. I’ll spare sharing all the rest of my tormenting wait (like my 40-minute trip to the FedEx station and back. Seriously, why the hell is it so far away from my house?! D8< *more irrational ranting*) and just give a quick review on this wonderful CD. Ah, CD~ *huggles it to herself* <33
Ok, before I get into anything, let me just say that listening to the songs as mp3s as opposed to listening to them on original CD format (through the computer/CD player/etc) is a very different experience altogether. So that’s why even though the songs were already up for download two days after the release, I wanted to wait for my own copy before giving a review. It’s NOT the same, yo! It’s NOT! D8
…Eh, that’s how the critical musician within me rolls. *is a
lazy, good-for-nothing pianist* Besides, I was right. The songs do sound so much better on CD than on the iPod. *shrugs* :P
So, the new songs! (I’m listening to it as I type this, btw, ahaha~ *enjoying* :D)
Track 3 ~ Happy Xmas (Amu with Ran, Miki, Suu):
OMG~…omgomgomg! KANAE-SAAAAAAANNNNNNN~~~~~~!!!!!!!!!!1one KYAAAAAAAAA~~!!!! XDDDD
…Y’know, she’s really moving her way up there to “Kanae-sama” on my list of goddess seiyuu. <3
Now this song. It’s such a sweet, lovely song. And it’s a Christmas song! My birthday! So I get double the Kanae Ito love this year! Two songs sung just for me on Christmas! (Ok, now we’re getting a little delusional, lol) xD;
Erhem, but anyways…compared to the DS OP/ED single, this one’s more relaxed, laid-back and makes me feel so warm inside. <333 Makes me think of setting up the tree while drinking hot chocolate and watching the snow fall outside or something.
Overall, it really captures the gentle side of Amu that we only occasionally get to see in the anime and manga (of course, this includes being deredere while Ikuto isn’t looking, ahaha~). Which is fine because the less often we get to see that different cute side of her, the more fond we are of it when we actually do get see it. hehe ^^
Ack, but my train of Kanae-san love has to derail for a moment so I can address the ongoing “comparison” of Nana-sama’s performance with Kanae-san’s.
First of all…ok, this might just be my incredibly huge bias getting to my head (yes, I’m sure it is…and I’m in a rather bitchy mood so I apologize) but what the hell are you comparing them for? Sure, Nana-sama’s (and therefore, Utau’s) singing is the powerhouse behind Shugo Chara!’s music but to put Amu’s singing on a completely lower level just because she doesn’t (can’t) live up to Utau’s idol status, I must remind, is stupid.
Utau’s songs are obviously going to be better, there’s no denying that. That’s how her character and image was made. She’s older and more mature, she’s worked towards singing all her life, her VA is NANA MIZUKI for cryin’ out loud! so of course she’s going to reign supreme.
But Kanae Ito is not aiming to be the next Nana Mizuki. Amu is not aiming to steal the spotlight from Utau. They just sing because they like to sing, nothing more. If you have that kind of “better than” thinking barring your mind, then you’re never going to appreciate the hard work and effort of a seiyuu (and hence, you royally suck, no apologies here :P).
Also, Utau’s and Amu’s styles are too different to compare anyway. It’s almost as bad as…actually, scratch that. It is as bad as putting the two side to side and having to make a decision on who you think is better. You just can’t pick one over the other because they’re just too different from each other. Their similar incredible stubbornness aside, Utau is celebrity perfection with a bitchy attitude and a dark past to back up that strong will of hers while Amu is an imperfect, ambiguous, wishy-washy maturing girl with her own traits and qualities that can only make her, Amu, so distinct and so extraordinary from the rest. We love Utau because she is Utau. We love Amu because she is Amu. Utau is not greater or less than Amu and Amu is not less or greater than Utau.
Yes, I’m well aware that I might be shoving my opinion down your throats so I’m sorry for that but I still think the comparison is wrong and shouldn’t be done. That’s all. Moving on.
Track 4 ~ Ii Koto Ari Sou (Ran, Miki, Suu):
Chara-only song. Aww, cute~! <D
Very upbeat and…well, cute. Haha, I especially like the part where they went “Jan! Ken! Pon!” to decide who would choose what they were going to do that day (or something like that).
I listen to this to get myself up and in a good mood in the morning and during times when I just feel I need to hear something cheery and casual. I mean, those emotional songs and/or rock songs are great and all but I seriously can’t take it if they were the only things to listen to all the time. I like variety.
Probably the only part of me where I’m not critical about music is the music itself (I know, very weird). Because I can like everything if I give it a try and I listen to whatever fits my mood. I might not like or prefer certain things but that doesn’t mean I hate it. In all honesty, how can you hate music? It’s either you like it or you don’t. But you can never hate it if you choose not to listen to it. :P
Ah, that went way off topic but eh, w/e.
Track 5 ~ Kimi no Birthday (Amu)
Ok, somebody get me a new radio or whatever ma-jiggy so I can set this song to go off on my birthday. Ah, a wonderful way to start of a birthday! Waking up to Kanae-san’s voice saying happy birthday to me~ <DDDD
Aha, but other than the same opinion on how it’s cute, upbeat, so on and so on, “Kimi no Birthday” is a friendship song from Amu to Rima. Friendship! How many friendships song does the world have? Not enough! Therefore, I want a song where ALL the girls sing together! How that and friendship can relate to each other? Sing about their shared tsundere-ness, duh! *yaps some more* Pretty clear on what I think about another Character Album, eh? xDDD;;;
Back to the song, waaahhh~ *mentions for the millionth time how much she adores Kanae Ito* I really love it when a song captures the personality of the singer so well, especially if the song was made especially for said singer. While “Happy Xmas” was to bring out Amu’s gentle side, “Kimi no Birthday” shows just how much Amu has changed from being an introverted, pessimistic lone wolf with no friends to a more outgoing, amiable young girl who is supportive of just…everyone. And that is why I love her so. And that is why I love this song so. It tells so much. <33 More than enough because the cake Amu made for Rima’s birthday (by herself) screamed the world for me. Not that I’m complaining about getting more though. Never. 8D
Haha, I bet if Rima ever found out that Amu sung a birthday song for her, she’d be so thrilled that she’d go and do something totally out of her character…well, then again, I don’t think lunging herself to hug-tackle Amu would be so OOC but aww! That’d be cute! Cuz the person Rima likes more than anyone else in the world is Amu
and yes, I believe it will stay that way even when she realizes she’s in love with Nagihiko, ahaha andand to get something from the person you like the most…who wouldn’t be happy? <3
Can we have an Amu and Rima duet now? Can we? Can we, huh?! I want a promo image card or whatever for it, too! *so greedy* 8DD
Track 9 ~ Heartful Song
Ahh…the highly anticipated “Heartful Song” we’ve been waiting for since…I dunno, last year? xD;
Well, my excitement kind of simmered down during the wait cuz I knew we were going to get it eventually and just because I wasn’t jumping from Jersey to Poland (or wherever) for joy when it was available for download doesn’t mean I like it less than the first time I heard it on TV…er, computer. No no no.
Hmm, I just found myself playing it on repeat two times at the most. Yes, no more than just two times. One, because I have this weird habit of giving a “equal ear” to all the new songs I upload to my iPod. So if I upload 5 new songs and want to listen to one of them, I have to listen to the other 4 as well to keep it fair. I know, very weird. 8P Two, because…I simply have no favorites. I love everything about this CD and no song can outshine the rest because I just love them all. Not to say that I always like things equally, no (that’s impossible, even for me), but I just don’t choose when it comes to music. You either give me everything or give me nothing at all (if it’s the latter, I’ll just take everything for myself, haha). :)
On the song…it’s so beautiful. After reading the translated lyrics, I loved it even more because just as how the melodies in Amu’s songs reflect her character, the lyrics in Utau’s does the same. Both “Meikyuu Butterfly” and “BLACK DIAMOND” described Utau’s situation pretty well when she was still considered a “villain”. “Meikyuu Butterfly” gave her the desirable yet fleeting image of a dream (hence, “butterfly” because butterflies are beautiful but short-lived) that can parallel children’s dreams and how they let go of them so easily because they don’t want their hopes to be crushed while “meikyuu” (“labyrinth”) portrayed her uncertainty at her actions.
I continue to search for my own story
Until the blindfold that conceals my fate is removed
Basically, around episode 13-ish, Utau was still warring with herself on what she was doing. She didn’t want use her singing to make people suffer but she did it anyway in order to move forward and to look for the Embryo (and to beat Amu, yadayada). Even so, Utau was lost in her own respect (lol that sounds weird).
“BLACK DIAMOND”, on the other hand, didn’t so much reflect herself but seemed more like a spell to lure kids out of their houses at night and to suck their hearts clean of their eggs. Basically, a Pied Piper method kind of thing. :/
…Ok, back up. I lied. It really did reflect Utau’s thoughts and newly found determination after X-Dia fell into her hands. Here:
Come on, what are you singing? What do you believe in?
You’ll become trash if you keep hesitating
Break free from everything in the distorted night sky
Black diamond, black diamond
“You’ll become trash”…wow. Talk about overflowing confidence and one hell of a PMS arc (pffthaha, no strike out xD; ). To sum it up, Utau was pretty much desperate as she was determined and it was evident in the intensity of the song. That’s why she threw Eru and all her regrets away. Because she wanted to win, she was willing to grab onto anything, do anything, just to stay on top. Wow, Utau I’m glad you got over that issue. Otherwise, you would’ve gone more messed up. -.-;
Ah (yea, I really am quite bitchy today, aren’t I?
When are you not? xD; )…and finally, “Heartful Song” is her expression on how she became “the brand new me”, how she wanted to be more honest with herself and wash away all the bad things that had been holding her true self back. Just read the lyrics. It’s all there. |3
Of course, “anata ni todokimasu youni” was directed at Ikuto. In fact, this whole song is directed at Ikuto because like hell she knew where he was at the time so what better way to tell him she’s changed then through singing, lololol.
Seriously, though. *serious face* Utau can sing for herself because she wants to now but Ikuto will always be at least some part of her inspiration because Ikuto will always be there for his little sis. And aww, that’s just so sweet. <3
Like “Blue Moon” (I just realized I didn’t mention it yet but here it is, haha), only that was more bittersweet and based on her lamenting love and pain over how she can’t be with him because he is her brother and all. Aww, poor Utau…anyways, she’s only allowed one more month of being “huuhuu~” about it so hurry up and get over your bro-con so you can get together with Kuukai and start writing songs about him instead. *absolutely hates it when people are hung up too long over their old loves* kahahaha xDDDD;;;
Bonus Track ~ Yume no Tsubomi
Aww…this just made me aww. It was short but…AWW! xDDD
Chibi Utau singing! To Ikuto’s violin! Kyaaa~! *fangirlfangirlfangirl* XDDD
Uh, yea. It was just a very sweet song and I don’t think it’s meant to be anything more than that. Just a song the siblings learned and picked up when they were kids. Cuz as much as I believe that the Ikuto and Utau are brilliant musicians, c’mon, let’s be a little more realistic. I doubt Utau was constantly thinking about writing lyrics when she was still just 5 years old (I can be wrong but I still don’t think so) and Ikuto has already composed a piece all by himself at the age of 8 (guesstimating on the ages here). Yea, I do think Ikuto is a genius but…not that early! ^^;
So naw…I’m hoping this song was something that was passed on to them from their parents instead. Helps bring their rather shattered family a little closer together.
And with that, so ends my review…
I still haven’t gone over the cover art yet! xD;
Um…it’s gorgeous…I dunno, I have a feeling that Pony Canyon must have been browsing through SC! fanart, saw that particular one (that I can’t find but it’s pretty much everywhere) where Amu and Utau had their arms linked together and decided to use that idea. :P
Well, I still like it. They’re both so pretty
and their skin is so super shiny xD; and I love how their black outfits contrasts with the ultra-decorated, multi-colored background. The Charas were cute, too. Complaint, though: How come Eru and Iru aren’t there? D:
And last but not least, the promo card:
…ehhh…ok, I like it. But I don’t love it. Utau does look pretty but not…as herself…much. o.O;
I blame this all on the Doki! producers! Dx Oh wait, this came out before Doki! but still! I think it’s largely because of how they always abuse the “shiny blushes” so that’s probably why it looks so odd to me. I dunno, I’m usually not so critical with official artwork (kinda like how I am with music) but this just came off as very odd. Maybe because I’m so use to seeing Utau’s tsuntsun frown? ^^;
And yes, I am finally, finally done! Woot! *throws stuff everywhere*
All I have left to say is…I want another Character Album. With current/teenage Utau singing a longer version of “Yume no Tsubomi”, a longer version for Amu’s “Yuuki no Uta” (WANT! 8DDD), and that possible new single Utau mentioned in that recent episode (hey! New opening showed new hairdo and new outfit! That equals new song! GAWR!). And the rest of the girls singing, too. Not sure what I think about the boys singing (oh lord, I’d die laughing if I think about it xD; ), but I definitely want to hear Sayuri Yahagi singing~ x333
Hmm, ok, that’s all. Now I have to go catch up on reading other people’s posts (I’m so behind, gomen~ T_T) and doing these other 4 posts I have lined up (got another big merchandise one, too). *sigh* I’m hungry. :(