Posted by amun on 28 September 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:
Summer is ending. Depending where you are in the world, the leaves may be turning, days may be getting shorter, and we bid adieu to many new friends we made this season (I’ll miss you Momo Chiyoda!).

To help pass the time before the fall season starts fresh, us esteemed writers have brought you a perfect playlist to help transition from the summer doldrums to fall’s great (sequel) expectations.

And – since we’re writers – we explain why we like these tunes, then let you have listen. Enjoy!

Wooper: [Vinland Saga] “Torches” by Aimer

The ED Queen returned this season with another anime original song, this time for Vinland Saga. I love Aimer’s voice, as it’s a bit huskier than most spritely J-pop vocalists can manage, and that dramatic quality makes it pair well with strings. In addition to a string section, “Torches” busts out a mandolin and backing percussion that approximates the clacking and pounding of Norse drums (most easily heard during the first chorus). As a result, the song is alternately rustic and intense, as though it could be sung either around a campfire or aboard an 11th century longboat. Aimer’s chanted background vocals near the end of each chorus certainly help set the latter mood. Lyrically, the song is filled with metaphors for Thorfinn’s character (a storm-battered torch, a fallen flag) and healing words directed at the deep wounds he carries. There’s a direct reference to Vinland during the extended final chorus, as well: “For the sake of the golden sparkling scene before my eyelids / And the days of blessings that finally came.” As much as Thorfinn has endured thus far, the placement of “Torches” at the end of each episode promises a place of rest at the end of his journey.

 

Lenlo: [Dr. Stone] “LIFE” by Rude-α

I’ll be frank, I am not normally one for rap, at least so far as the American scene goes. But the Japanese languages lends such a unique cadence and flow to the words to my ears. Sandwich that between what is more traditional rock, and LIFE is now reminding me of an old classic I will forever love, Feel Good Inc. So different, yet so similar in structure. Meanwhile as far as the lyrics go, LIFE is a celebration of exactly what the title says. Describing someone whose passion is unending, burning like a wildfire. Living everyday like its their last, always striving to know more. Perpetually questioning things around them. Their head in the starts, regardless of those who stand against them. Basically, LIFE describes Senku our protagonist and his passion for Science. Yet in a broader scope, it describes every member of the Kingdom of Science. Moving beyond the song for a second, you can see all of this is the straightforward, but telling visuals of the ED. Flashing over humanity, our achievements and the shows cast itself. Suffice to say, LIFE is not a complicated ED by any stretch. But Dr.STONE is a rather simple series at heart, and I think it fits it perfectly because of that.

 

Mario: [LORD EL-MELLOI II] “Hibari” by ASCA

Such a melodic song might not seem like a good fit for Lord El-Melloi II the show at first, but the quiet melancholic tune gets me everytime. ASCA is known mostly for her songs in Sword Art Online and The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, here she shines again with an equally great delivery. The focus of this ED is about Gray and her quest to find her own purpose of life, which align to her whole character arc in this series. I also enjoy the visual presentation of the ED, in which they use montages of her in the mainframes through the passages of time and friends around her. An understated but heartfelt ED by all means.

Honorable mention: any Carole & Tuesday songs, especially this one

 

 

Amun: [Fire Force] “Inferno” by Mrs. GREEN APPLE

I was inspired to write something about the songs from the season when I realized I had watched every single Fire Force OP. Something about the combination of the opening animation with the upbeat but quirky track by Mrs. GREEN APPLE has brought me back 12 times so far – and I’m sure many more in the future. The animation is superlative, the lyrics fitting, but what makes this a special symbiosis is how the song’s buildup is misdirected and contorted into something a little unexpected – I think that mirrors this anime perfectly. It’s as if the anime’s strange sense of timing somehow infected the songwriter and brought about this collaboration. And with the amazing visuals and catchy track, I hope “Inferno” inspires you to watch Fire Force, if you’re not already (and please forgive the silly cat character)!

7 Responses

  1. Avatar Lenlo says:

    So after a lot of chatting with the other writers, let me make this clear: LIFE is not as good as Feel Good Inc. One is a veritable masterpiece, the other is an anime OP. However I do feel the juxtaposition of rap to rock/song is still there. A pale shade, but the format and seeming intent behind the song is very similar.

    So yeah. Please don’t take that as me saying LIFE is as good as Feel Good Inc. I am just comparing their structures.

  2. Avatar Animosh says:

    Nice idea, though it may be easier in some seasons than others (this season has quite a few catchy songs, but many do not).

    Anyway, I’m going to agree with Mario here: of the OPs and EDs this season, Hibari is also my favorite – and I think it actually fits the show really well. Although the song is about Gray, its melancholic nature suits Waver very well too, being stuck longing for a past that he can never reclaim and all.

    I’ll also give a shout-out to Mafuyu’s song in Given (see https://youtu.be/thsSPWRDQWc), which gives us one of the most memorable anime performances in recent memory. Carole & Tuesday has plenty of catchy songs too (although I think their very first song is still their best one), but where C&T struggles to give its viewers any kind of dramatic payoff, Given nails it with a performance that is the culmination of the character development slowly built up over the previous episodes. It’s Mafuyu’s emotional turmoil turned into sound waves, and that’s exactly what music series should aim for.

    PS: I will never forgive Tamaki! For a series about fire, there is a severe lack of her burning to death. I agree it’s a pretty fun (and very good-looking) show otherwise, though, and I actually think the ED is even catchier than the OP.

  3. …I like Cop crafts catchy open
    …and vinlands energetically screamo one…

    …fite me…

  4. Avatar Konstantinos Travlos says:

    This season me and wife are watching Cop Craft (dub). Yes the animation and art is terrible. But we both enjoy the show a lot, as the protagonist characters give a good vibe. And the Opening and Ending songs are really good ones.

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