I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Naomi Tamura -- Hikari to Kage wo Dakishimeta Mama (光と影を抱きしめたまま)

Yesterday, I finally got to see the first few episodes of the anime that my friend and others have been raving about for years. From those early episodes of "Magic Knight Rayearth", the adventure of three Tokyo high school girls being shanghai'ed into a quest in another dimension was charming enough with the usual mix of zany humour and stalwart camaraderie, but my anime buddy assured me that things became very serious and bitter for Hikari, Umi and Fuu. Afterwards, he played the theme songs for the series, one of which I've already written about, "Yuzurenai Onegai"(ゆずれないお願い)by Naomi Tamura(田村直美).

I also bought Tamura's second contribution to "Rayearth" solely on her powerful vocals rather than on the merits of the anime itself. My buddy told me that "Hikari to Kage wo Dakishimeta Mama" (Still Embracing Light and Dark) was used in the opening credits for just the final 7 episodes of the second season which was rather too bad since I think this theme song is just as great as the first opening theme. Moreover, the somewhat more leisurely and regal "Hikari to Kage" seems to synch in better with the feeling of going on a quest than the pop/rock of "Yuzurenai Onegai".

For further superficial comparison, the official music video for "Hikari to Kage" has a different primary colour of blue when compared to the gold in the video for "Yuzurenai Onegai". No matter the colour differences, it was the same duo of Tamura and Hiroto Ishikawa(石川寛門)behind the creation of this song as well as the previous theme. Released in October 1995, it went as high as No. 8 on the Oricon weeklies and was also in Tamura's 3rd album, "Monster of Pop" which came out in March 1996 and peaked at No. 3.

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