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Mikuni Shimokawa vs. Maaya Sakamoto


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Full_Metal1923



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 312
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:24 pm Reply with quote
The matter of Yoko Kanno vs. Yuki Kajiura is what inspired this topic. As I believe both Mikuni Shimokawa and Maaya Sakamoto are incredibly talented singers with a great deal of enjoyable music. Now they may not be as acclaimed as Yoko Kanno or Yuki Kajiura for what they do but I think it's a rather equal match up that deserves a bit of discussion.

What makes this more intriguing is that they were born only 12 days a part.

Mikuni Shimokawa - 1980-03-19
Maaya Sakamoto - 1980-03-31

And they both have been featured in many different anime. Let's take a look at their works for a better indication of what they've done.

Mikuni Shimokawa

Dragon Drive (TV) : Theme Song Performance
Full Metal Panic! (TV) : Theme Song Performance
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (OAV) : Theme Song Performance
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (TV) : Theme Song Performance
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (TV) : Theme Song Performance
Grenadier (TV) : Theme Song Performance (OP 1/ED 1)
Happy Happy Clover (TV) : Theme Song Performance (ED)
Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island (OAV) : Theme Song Performance (ED)
Kino's Journey (TV) : Theme Song Performance (OP)
Kino's Travels - the Beautiful World: Byouki no Kuni -For You- (movie) : Theme Song Performance (ED)
Kino's Travels -life goes on.- (movie) : Theme Song Performance (OP)
Saiyuki (TV) : Theme Song Performance (ED 2)

Maaya Sakamoto

Arjuna (TV) : Theme Song Performance
Brain Powered (TV) : Theme Song Performance ("Light of Love")
Cardcaptor Sakura (TV) : Theme Song Performance (OP3)
Clamp School (TV) : Theme Song Performance (ED2)
El Hazard: The Alternative World (TV) : Theme Song Performance (ED2)
Escaflowne: The Movie : Theme Song Performance (ED)
Omishi Magical Theater Risky Safety (TV) : Theme Song Performance
RahXephon (TV) : Theme Song Performance (OP)
RahXephon OVA : Theme Song Performance (OP)
Rahxephon: Pluralitas Concentio (movie) : Theme Song Performance (ED)
Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight (TV) : Theme Song Vocals (OP)
Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE (TV) : Theme Song Lyrics (ED2), Theme Song Performance (ED)
Vision of Escaflowne (TV) : Theme Song Performance (OP)
Wolf's Rain (OAV) : Theme Song Performance (ED)
Wolf's Rain (TV) : Theme Song Performance (ED)

Note: I'm focusing only on anime roles because Maaya Sakamoto has done a lot more outsside of anime than Mikuni Shimokawa, however the majority of that work is voice acting anyways thus it doesn't relate to this thread's main objective.

From the first time I heard Mikuni Shimokawa's "Tomorrow" I fell in love and after hearing the rest of her songs from the Full Metal Panic! series (excluding the Second Raid), she's quite possibly my favourite J-Pop singer and is my favourite female singer at the moment. Songs like "Tomorrow" and "Karenai Hana" are great songs that are soothing to the ears and uplifting to the spirit.

Recently, I heard a couple of songs from Maaya Sakamoto. Among those being "Hemisphere RahXephon", "Tune the Rainbow - RahXephon" and "Gravity - Wolf's Rain". The songs were good and the combination of Yoko Kanno and Maaya Sakamoto is very fitting, "Hemisphere" has become one of those songs that kind of surprised me.

So here I am, listening to two great artists and I couldn't help wonder how their other works are in comparison. That's where you guys come in. Even though I think it's a worthwhile discussion, there is an underlying reason for this. To see how others feel about their music specifically that outisde of what I've heard. And how they measure up against each other as a whole. Comparing styles vocals etc. And I guess who's the more pretty of the two. Razz

I'd also like to add that I still prefer Mikuni Shimokawa right now but theat may not last for long.

So who do you prefer in this legnedary battle of Japanese Pop royalty?

Mikuni Shimokawa vs. Maaya Sakamoto

Hehe, just having some fun there.
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frentymon
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Joined: 27 Nov 2005
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Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:18 pm Reply with quote
Mikuni, by a longshot.

Why? Firstly because I'm biased toward Mikuni, second because I've heard a lot more of Mikuni's songs, third because nothing stands out to me about Maaya's voice (I haven't heard nearly enough of her songs - I've only heard 2 - to call her "overrated", but from what I heard I'm not sure why she's such an acclaimed singer besides working with Kanno). Both have a good range, Maaya's being slightly better I think, but what attracts me to Mikuni's voice is its softness. No matter what octave she sings in she always has this certain soft timbre to her voice that makes it a really pleasant listen. That and her voice always blends incredibly well with her arrangements, regardless of whether its on the acoustic or synthetic side. On the contrary, Maaya never stood out to me from any other good singer. I love her voice acting though; she was stellar as Haruhi Fujoika from Ohran.

For the record, I've heard every Mikuni song you've listed (which I assume is from the Encyclopedia). The only Maaya songs I've heard are Loop (Tsubasa Chronicle), and Hemisphere (Rahxephon).
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jetz



Joined: 31 Jan 2007
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Location: Manila, Philippines
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:33 am Reply with quote
I'm on the other side of the fence, frentymon. The only Mikuni Shimokawa song I've heard is her Saiyuki song. That's why I'm definitely a Maaya Sakamoto fan. Her voice is just so sweet and contemporary. Her songs are the type of songs I would like to listen to.

Plus I love Ouran High School Host Club Laughing
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Cloe
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Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 2728
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:08 am Reply with quote
Aye, another comparison between two Japanese artists who share the same initials? What is up with fandom?

I'm not *totally* sure where the comparison between these two in particular come from, and not any other two random anime soundtrack/j-pop artists, but what the hell. I'll join the "I'm sort of neutral" camp, I guess. On one hand, my initial instinct is to side with Maaya, since the only Mikuni songs I've heard are from Kino's Journey and Full Metal Panic!, while I've heard almost every Maaya Sakamoto song there is because of the Yoko Kanno connection. But on the other hand, Sakamoto's voice isn't really what makes her music so exceptional; it's more Kanno's talent in composition and arrangement. And I do love that opening theme to Kino's Journey. So, in the end, you'll get a good solid "meh" from me. Maaya gets props for her great voice-acting work, though. A good solid 10 years passed between Hitomi and Haruhi, and she's still as fantastic as ever.

Besides, my favorite Japanese vocalist will forever be Akino Arai. I've been listening to her soft, ethereal vocals for a decade now and I'm not showing any signs of slowing. Wink
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namelissis



Joined: 04 Feb 2007
Posts: 219
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:56 am Reply with quote
definitely MAAYA SAKAMOTO... Gosh, she has a swooning voice....,

Yes, I like all her songs in Tsubasa Chronicles.... And I dont think that her songs are overplayed.....

Loop---> so cute
Kazemachi Jet---> has a cute upbeat feel and I like the parts where I think she cant hit the high notes
Spica---> a music worth listening to...
high touch---> a break from her usual genre, more dancy kind...
then, Lastly that one from Escaflowne...---> like the musical arrangements!!!
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epixeltwin



Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 325
Location: Montreal, Qc, Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:59 am Reply with quote
I just love Mikuni Shimokawa, her voice is beautiful and all of those FMP songs just move me I don't know how... Tomorrow sure is good but my favorite ones are Minami Kaze and especially Sore Ga, Ai Deshou from Fumoffu

So yeah I say Mikuni..especially since I've hated the RahXephon songs so I'm not too hot about Maaya and Yoko Kanno even though they're so popular and blah blah blah. I don't care about trends at all, I only care about a good melody, and beautiful harmonies. Smile
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Full_Metal1923



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 312
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:43 am Reply with quote
I've heard a couple more songs from Mikuni Shimokawa.

The songs were: "True", "Alone" & "Mouichido Kimi Ni Aitai". She's still my favourite however I still haven't heard as much from Maaya Sakamoto. The only additional song I've heard from her since my last post was "Loop".
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banas



Joined: 16 Mar 2007
Posts: 116
Location: In a house in a country in Southeast Asia..
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:21 pm Reply with quote
i really like both of them. just a while ago i was listening to sakamoto's song..but i also like all the theme songs from full metal panic.. it's so hard to choose... Razz
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Aromatic Grass



Joined: 31 Dec 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 11:48 am Reply with quote
Mikuni Shimokawa is my choice out of the two. All of her songs really stand out in my mind, while when I think of Maaya Sakamoto, I think of RahXephon's "Hemisphere." I absolutely love her song "Gravity" from Wolf's Rain and her Tsubasa theme songs. I'm not a huge fan of the rest of her songs.

However, I like all of Mikuni Shimokawa's songs. My top three would be Kino's Journey's "All the Way," Full Metal Panic's "Tomorrow," and Grenadier's "Kohaku." Her style is consistent, but not to the point where all her songs sound the same. I'll admit that Maaya Sakamoto has more variety. But still.
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hEll_gUrl



Joined: 09 Nov 2007
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Location: Philippines
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:25 am Reply with quote
It's so hard to choose between the two! They both sang my top 2 fave anime songs. They both have beautiful voices. So, it's really confusing.
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Aromatic Grass



Joined: 31 Dec 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:51 am Reply with quote
Wow, did I really post that this year? That I'd choose Mikuni Shimokawa over Maaya Sakamoto? I'll change my choice to Maaya Sakamoto for her "Mameshiba" from Arjuna.
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Past



Joined: 14 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:01 am Reply with quote
This is a tough one but I'm going to have to go with Maaya Sakamoto, which I find ironic because I'm such a die-hard Yuki Kajiura fan and Maaya Sakamoto is so closely associated with the Yoko Kanno camp. I really love Mikuni's voice but aside from her Kino's Journey and FMP songs, I haven't heard many songs from her.
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san-san



Joined: 19 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:05 pm Reply with quote
Past wrote:
This is a tough one but I'm going to have to go with Maaya Sakamoto, which I find ironic because I'm such a die-hard Yuki Kajiura fan and Maaya Sakamoto is so closely associated with the Yoko Kanno camp. I really love Mikuni's voice but aside from her Kino's Journey and FMP songs, I haven't heard many songs from her.


Just because Maaya has worked with Kanno doesn't mean you should consider less of Maaya's ability becuase you're a Yuki Kajiura fan....Maaya should be judged by her own merits not who she's worked with. Besides both YK's have actually shared vocalists (Emily Curtis, Emily Bindiger, Donna Cumberbatch) so it's not like they can claim they have a big impact/controlling hand on a singer's career (admittedly, Kanno did carry Maaya a long way but Maaya has proved she can hold her own).
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Shouji



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:25 pm Reply with quote
Maaya Sakamoto by far.
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Qs1988



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:52 am Reply with quote
I'll cast my vote on Maaya Sakamoto too. Anyone heard High Touch from Tsubasa Chronicles? That song's quite nice too. Performed by Maaya Sakamoto of coz.
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