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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Megumi Hayashibara -- I'll be there

It’s been a while since I wrote my last Megumi Hayashibara (林原 めぐみ) entry, and now I intend to redeem myself from this mistake covering one of my favourite songs from her, the beautiful “I’ll be there”.

Released in October 1996, “I’ll be there” was the coupling song to Hayashibara’s “Successful Mission” single. While the title track was used as the opening theme for Saber Marionette J (セイバーマリオネットJ), “I’ll be there” was the ending theme for the same anime.

Not only Saber Marionette is my favourite anime series, it also offered some of Megumi Hayashibara’s best songs. She sang both the opening and ending themes for Saber Marionette J (“Successful Mission” and “I’ll be there”) and Saber Marionette J to X (“Proof of Myself” and “Lively Motion”), two of the theme songs for the OVA Saber Marionette J Again (“hesitation” and a ballad version of “I’ll be there”), and also “Izayoi” (十六夜), a special and touching ending theme that aired in the last episode of the anime’s first season, making a lot of fans (including me) very emotional. Although I’m a big fan, I will not talk about the anime itself here, but I really recommend it, especially the first season.

Back to “I’ll Be There”, although not properly a ballad, it’s a song permeated by a sad feeling that’s enhanced not only by the beautiful melody, but also by the keyboard-driven arrangement. As for Megumi, she really shined in “I’ll be there”, and that’s probably because she was recording a lot of songs during the mid-to-late 90s, which helped her get better at singing. One last thing that I’d like to talk about is the guitar solo that fades with the song..., well, it represents one final moment of the mixture of pleasure and sadness that I usually feel while listening to “I’ll be there”. This song is one of the few that makes me dive deep into everything it can offer... lyrics, melody, arrangement and Megumi’s angelic voice. I can repeat the song anytime I want, but its final moments, accentuated by the aforementioned guitar solo, always makes me feel like I’m losing something important... it’s hard to explain, and maybe that’s because I’ve been in love with this song for long ten years, since I watched Saber Marionette J every afternoon on TV.

The “Successful Mission” single reached #7 on the Oricon charts, selling 139,120 copies. Fifteen years later, in June 2011, it was included in Megumi’s “VINTAGE WHITE” compilation. Lyrics for the song were written by Megumi herself, while music was composed by long collaborator Hidetoshi Sato (佐藤英敏). As for the arrangement, Keiji Soeda (添田啓二) was the responsible.

Here's a picture of my "VINTAGE WHITE" compilation.

1 comment:

  1. The song is well crafted especially I'll be there. Being a fan and guitarist. This is one of the best Japanese guitar solo out there. Trying to convert the lyrics into English. I can say this song relates to Anime show much.

    Fantastic creation of the outro guitar solo that it complements the harmonic and vocal arrangement of the song. Thumbs up whoever is the guitarist.


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