Jason checks out Manga 2.5, a new service offering fully-voiced and kind-of-animated manga series including Detective Loki and Otogi Soushi.
|Best OP Themes▲▼||Rating▲▼||Comment▲▼|
|Air (TV)||Good||(#3!) "Tori no Uta" by Lia
Wonderful vocals backed up by a strong synthetic background. The whole song is a very relaxing listen and really enhances the series as a whole, especially with the wonderful OP animation to back it up. It starts with a wonderful acoustic piano lead in, and is able to stretch out to 6:00 without becoming repetitive.
|BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (TV)||Good||(#31) "Hit in the USA" by Beat Crusaders|
|Boogiepop Phantom (TV)||Very good||(#6!) "Yuudachi" by Suga Shikao
Great vocals by Suga backed up by a funky beat and feel make for a great song. Even with its many voices and deceitful tempo, it is a very relaxing listen, as is many other Suga songs. A heavy song that still maintains a relaxing feel is not often come across. This song is great.
|Chobits (TV)||Good||(#28) "Let Me Be With You" by ROUND TABLE feat. Nino|
|Chrono Crusade (TV)||Good||(#25) "Tsubasa wa Pleasure Line" by Kuribayashi Minami|
|Cowboy Bebop (TV)||Excellent||(#13) "Tank!" by The Seatbelts|
|Eureka Seven (TV)||Good||(#21) "Days" by FLOW|
|Fate/stay night (TV)||Very good||(#40) "disillusion" by Tainaka Sachi|
|Full Metal Panic! (TV)||Very good||(#24) "Tomorrow" by Shimokawa Mikuni|
|Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (TV)||Excellent||(#29) "Minami Kaze" by Shimokawa Mikuni|
|Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (TV)||Excellent||(#14) "Sore ga Ai Deshou" by Shimokawa Mikuni|
|Fullmetal Alchemist (TV)||Very good||(#32) "Melissa" by Porno Graffiti|
|Futakoi (TV)||Good||(#23) "Habataku Mirai" by eufonius|
|Futakoi Alternative (TV)||Good||(#30) "New World" by Yumi|
|Genshiken (TV)||Very good||(#39) "My Pace Daioh" by manzo|
|GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka (TV)||Excellent||(#31) "Hitori no Yoru" by Porno Grafitti|
|GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka (live-action TV)||Excellent||(#11) "Poison" by Sorimachi Takashi|
|Haibane Renmei (TV)||Very good||(#7!) "Free Bird" by Kou Ootani|
|Honey and Clover (TV)||Excellent||(#20) "Dramatic" by YUKI|
|Kanon (TV 1/2002)||Very good||(#19.5) "Fluorescence" by Fujiwara Miho|
|Kino's Journey (TV)||Masterpiece||(#4!) "All the Way" by Shimokawa Mikuni
So, what makes for a great Shimokawa Mikuni song anyway?
Ah, it'd be:
1) Acoustic guitar as the main source of background support
2) Singing at the higher octave, without interference, bringing in a sense of innocence.
"All the way" has both of these. It is a somewhat light song which features acoustic guitar and great vocals by Shimokawa. Her voice is able to blend in at the lower octave and stand out at the higher octave. Acoustic guitar suits her voice perfectly, and the synthetic sounds blend in wonderfully as well.
|Kujibiki Unbalance (OAV)||Not really good||(#15) "Kujibiki Unbalance" by UNDER17|
|Last Exile (TV)||Decent||(#26) "Cloud Age Symphony" by Okino Shuntaro|
|Looking Up At The Half-Moon (TV)||Very good||(#35) "Aoi Koufuku" by Nobuko|
|(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV)||Masterpiece||(#18) "Bouken Deshou Deshou" by Hirano Aya|
|Midori Days (TV)||Very good||(#36) "Sentimental" by CooRie|
|My-HiME (TV)||Excellent||(#19) "Shining Days" by Kuribayashi Minami|
|Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV)||Good||(#22) "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" by Takahashi Youko|
|RahXephon (TV)||Excellent||(#8!) "Hemisphere" by Sakamoto Maaya|
|REC (TV)||Very good||(#17) "Cheer~Makka na kimochi~" by Kanako Sakai|
|Renkin 3-kyuu Magical? Pokahn (TV)||Decent||(#10!) "Senketsu no Chikai" by Yousei Teikoku|
|Rumbling Hearts (TV)||Masterpiece||(#33) "Precious Memories" by Kuribayashi Minami|
|School Rumble (TV)||Excellent||(#9!) "Scramble" by UNSCANDAL feat. Horie Yui|
|School Rumble: 2nd Semester (TV)||Very good||(#37) "Sentimental Generation" by Tokitou Ami|
|Scrapped Princess (TV)||Excellent||(#12) "Little Wing" by JAM Project|
|Shakugan no Shana (TV)||Excellent||(#1!) "Hishoku no Sora" by Kawada Mami
Now whose idea was it to switch up the synthesizers in the second verse? Cause it was a damned good idea. Besides that, everything blends perfectly. Beat, vocals, synthesizers, the lead, guitar, piano, synth bass...And the very beginning fits perfectly with the OP animation; you can just imagine a clock winding at an uncontrollable speed.
|Shuffle! (TV)||Very good||(#38) "You" by YURIA|
|Speed Grapher (TV)||Good||(#25) "Girls on Film" by Duran Duran|
|Suzuka (TV)||Very good||(#34) "Start Line" by COACH|
|Texhnolyze (TV)||Good||(#27) "Guardian Angel" by Juno Reactor|
|(The) Twelve Kingdoms (TV)||Masterpiece||(#2!) "Juuni Genmukyoku" by Ryou Kunihiko
The whole song in itself is like an adventure and "walks" you through a journey in the world of Twelve Kingdoms. You start off with a light intro that makes you feel like you are floating in the clouds in the beautiful, expansive sky. It proceeds to continue to a fast virtuoso, indicating the initial uneasiness upon arriving in such an unfamiliar world. As you warm up to this new world, you realize its beauty, with a relaxing melody featuring the shamisen. Of course, you work your way up to being the ruler of one of the kingdoms in this new world, and you engage in an epic clash against one of the other kingdoms, with a powerful fanfare to end. The TV Size version skips the second two portions of the theme and jumps right to the fanfare, but is still a very pleasurable listen.
|Utawarerumono (TV)||Excellent||(#16) "Musouka" by Suara|
|When They Cry - Higurashi (TV)||Masterpiece||(#5!) "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni" by Shimamiya Eiko
Synthesizers on full blast! Creepy yet wonderful vocals backed up by the contrasting synthetic background which makes the song even creepier. Lyrics are also more inspired than most songs as well, and are sung in just the right tone and pitch. Of course, the best part is the instrumental only segment toward the end, which is tonal and melodic and provides a constrast to the rest of the song. And then you realize that it has recurred in the song many times, supporting the vocals which make the chorus really creepy. Although, creepy is good in this case.
|Zettai Shonen (TV)||Excellent||(#40) "Hikari no Silhouette" by CooRie|