Fri 18 Dec 2009
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Five ending themes
Four pretty maids
Three liquid kisses
Two mahjong tiles
and Mio saying ‘moe moe kyun’
Twelve Moments in Anime 2009 #8: kevo’s Top Five Ending Themes of 2009
I believe in the original Christmas carol 12 Days of Christmas, the fifth day is the line is rhythmically different in that it’s basically yelling “FIVE GOLLLDDEENNN RINNGGSS”. I always found this rather weird, why five? Why was it in there? But then again, the song would be quite boring otherwise, it would kinda sound like a shopping list or something. That is, if you were shopping at a slave and animal auction in pirate bay.
…Speaking of music, let’s take that obligatory journey back though the last twelve months and look at all the cool anime ending themes that we have been treated to. It’s been quite a good year for anime themes, so I’m pretty excited to write this post, even now as I type; even though I know exactly how this posts ends. Why only ending themes kevo’? Because I feel like it, that’s why. The list is in no particular order, so feel free to debate.
“Orange” – Toradora! ED 2 by Kugimiya Rie, Horie Yui, and Kitamura Eri
Orange is a charmingly written, and almost cleverly unassuming little theme that really left an impression on me as I was trucking through the second half of Toradora!. The lead in, sometimes starting as early as 20 or 30 seconds into the end of the episode, is bold yet not overwhelming, setting up for a sweet little animation that tells a simple story of Ryuuji making an orange cake for the girls. The story works well the the lyrics of the song, beautifully written to be simplistic, straightforward, but with a few layers underneath (I translated this song once to the best of my ability to practice Japanese. I did ok, learned some kanji and vocab I guess). Mix well with excellent voice work from three well accomplished seiyuu-singers, bake at 450 F, and you’re good to go. Check out the full version if you can, by the way. It’s awesome.
“Kimi ga Shiranai Monogatari” – Bakemonogatari ED by supercell
Let’s take this chance to get the giant elephant in the room out of the way. Kimi ga Shiranai Monogatari is probably the most well known anime song this year. The iconic piano intro has become synonymous with Bakemonogatari, this season’s mouth-stapling sensation that you need to be living under a rock to not be watching. I’m not a huge fan of the animation, but it gets things done. Lyrically it is well made, backing up critical motifs of the anime. The single hit 5th on the Oricon chart and it deserved every single sale. The single version has a beautiful section that just gives me goosebumps every time. Absolutely sublime, start to finish.
Don’t Say “Lazy” – K-ON! ED by Toyosaki Aki, Hisaka Yoko, Kotobuki Minako, and Sato Satomi
If Kimi ga Shiranai Monogatari was the ED of the year, then it took over the role Don’t Say “Lazy” was destined for. Like the release of the Tickle Me Elmo, people anticipated K-ON! as if it were Santa Claus coming to town giving everyone an automated handjob machine. As the premiere drew near, more and more details about the show were released, including this little thing.
Don’t Say “Lazy” added fuel to they massive hype for this show, and for good reason. This ending theme is just freaking cool. Even if never manifested, the theme showed a cool, stylistically edgy side of the band that was very interesting to experience. Mio is acts aggressively, Ritsu seems slightly bored, and everyone seems rather melancholy. For all the good music we’ve seen in the various character albums and supplemental CD’s, the K-ON! anime itself should have had some more actual music dammit. All we get are Fuwa Fuwa Time in super short form like twice. If we had more concert sequences and a variety of songs expected out of an anime about rock music, I think K-ON! would have left a much less sour taste in our mouths.
“Hoshikuzu no Surround” – Sora no Manimani ED by CooRie
I’m not usually a huge fan of CooRie, but I liked this song a lot. Sora no Manimani is one of those shows literally no one cares about, and there’s not too much going on. The story isn’t very grand or ambitious; it’s a simple tale of a high school astronomy club and the tribulations the group goes though, and typical things that go on in a high school. And it’s absolutely fantastic. The characters are so real and so well developed that you are almost grabbed into the show emotionally, if you allow such a thing, of course. Hoshikuzu no Surround is a mellow little melody that conveys the feelings of the show well. As it blooms into the chorus, the camera pans to the night sky with all the constellations. It’s just a neat little trip of how magical seemingly mundane things are sometime.
Kimi ni Mune Kyun -Maria+Holic ED by Kobayashi Yuu, Sanada Asami, and Inoue Marina
Shinbou ending themes, oh my. Fun little pseudo 8-bit chiptune arrangement behind three starlets of seiyuu pop (ok, two of them and Yuu Kobayashi) …( ok, just Inoue Marina is good but hey). Every episode’s ED animation is a little different but its always funny and creative.
Honorable Mention: Aggressive Zone – NEEDLESS ED 1 by Kitamura Eri, Makino Yui, Gotou Saori, and Endo Aya
kissing lolis what more do you want
In case you were wondering, by no stretch of the imagination am I alone in this arduous twelve day endavor. Check out other people’s 12 moments of anime 2009!