ToraDora Character Song: Death of the Character CD
Greetings readers! Sorry for the long delay, but midterm exams and whatnot had me swamped for the past couple weeks. In any case, I will start anew with a review of the latest piece of ToraDora! merch: a character album. Although I originally thought that I wouldn’t be talking too much about music when I first reviewed “silky heart” and “Orange” from ToraDora! I guess it’s one of the things I can write about without feeling like I’m beating a dead horse considering all the anime blogs out there. I’ve also always had a thing for character CDs. Some of my favorite songs from anime usually come from these. Moving on, here is what I thought of the songs track by track.
The CD kicks off with an electronic song called “Flask Ration,” which sounds more like a WoW item than a song from a romantic comedy. Featuring the voices of the three heroines, it sounds a lot like “Pre-parade.” complete with the distorted electronic background voices. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I really like “Pre-parade.” It makes me think that “Orange” wasn’t nearly as popular, so they realized that fans preferred more poppy tunes from the ToraDora! characters. While it’s pretty standard J-Pop, I still enjoyed it, although it’s nowhere near as good as “Pre-parade” or “Ka Ra Ku Ri.”
The next three songs where Ryuji, Taiga, and Yuri-sensei’s songs. I found it interesting that the teacher’s song was so high up on the list considering shw wasn’t that major or popular of a character. Perhaps being voiced by the popular Tanaka Rie pushed her up a couple notches. All three are decent rock songs. Ryuj’s is probably the best of the three, but this may be because deeper vocies are more suited for rock. It’s a pretty mellow song, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Taiga’s song on the other hand was not as good. As I mentioned in my post about K-On!, there are very few Japanese women who can do rock well. Kugimiya Rie is definitely not one of them. Her voice is a bit too squeaky for the genre. As for the instrumentals, it remineds me of “Lost my Music” from Haruhi, but Ka bit more poppy to match Kugimiya’s voice and Taiga’s character. Tanaka Rie’s song really matches the character with it’s slow lamenting pace. While her voice works well for the song, I have a feeling that she wouldn’t be able to pull it off in a live setting. This may be more because I remember her for softer tones like Maria’s songs from Hayate no Gotoku. It’s not the strongest song on the disk, but definitely better than Taiga’s.
The CD moves on to the more major minor characters starting with Kitamura’s song. It has a salsa feel, and is appropriate for his character, complete with random boistorous laughs. I’m not really into this kind of music, and never liked Kitamura much, so I don’t have much else to say. Moving on. The next song, is Minori’s song. It’s typical pop rock, with a simple, rhythmic, power chord progression. I found it interesting as the calm instruments contrasted with the upbeat, higher pitched vocals. Was it a clever way of showing the duality of Minori’s personality? Maybe, maybe not, I’ll have to wait until translations come out to be certain. Ami’s song “Yes!” was the high point of the album, and probably my favorite song from the show period. It’s got a bit of an R&B feel that resembles Utada Hikaru at times. It was really the only song on the album where everything fit together perfectly. The character, instrumental, and vocals all match each other, and I have no complaints. The final character song is Yasuko’s which is a bit too jazzy and cheesy for my taste. Maybe I was getting bored of the CD by this point, but I couldn’t finish this song, and skipped to the final three songs.
First is “Holy Night,” the song that Taiga and Ami sang together at the Christmas episode. It’s basically a longer version of what they sang during the episode. If you liked it then, you will like it now. The last two are remixes of “Pre-parade” and “Orange,” cutely names “postparade mix” and “citrus mix” respectively. the “Pre-parade” remix is just a more electronic sounding version. They also change the background instrumentals at times, adding an electronic guitar at times. It really doesn’t sound that different, expecially since the vocals sound exactly the same. the “Orange” remix is essentially the same as well except with audible instruments. It works, but is not necessarily better or worse than the original.
Overall it was a satisfying CD. One thing that bothers me is that there is only one CD. Not too long ago, I remember one CD per character, if not more. Shows like Lucky Star and Hayate no Gotoku both had over a dozen character CDs, and Haruhi Suzumiya even had CDs for characters who appeared in only one episode. I really saw the potential for ToraDora! to come out with multiple CDs, considering the talented and popular vocie cast. Perhaps the anime bubble has burst, and these goods are no longer profitable. It’s a shame though as I really do enjoy character songs.
That’s all for this week. I have finally gotten into the groove of this season’s shows, and while I do enjoy what I’m watching, I’m already ready to move on to new things. I’ll probably write a midseason report before the next round of midterms come around to sodomize me again. Curse you quarter system!! Now that summer’s approaching, more than ever, stay cool readers.