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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, March 17, 2015

Hanae -- Kamisama no Kamisama (神様の神様)




About a couple of years ago in late 2012, I saw an anime with the title of "Kamisama Hajimemashita"(神様はじめました...Kamisama Kiss)which was adapted from the manga about a high school student, Nanami Momozono(桃園奈々生), who ends up as the land god for a shrine and as a partner of sorts with the former god's familiar, Tomoe(巴衛). Because of the spiritual hocus-pocus and the according language, it was somewhat difficult for me to follow but I enjoyed it because of the bickering give-and-take between Nanami and Tomoe. To bring in a couple of old American sitcoms, I was reminded of "I Dream of Jeannie" and "Moonlighting". I also ended up featuring the opening and ending themes, "Kamisama Hajimemashita" and "Kamisama Onegai"(神様お願い), both by Hanae(ハナエ).




Well, cue forward to January 2015. It doesn't happen too often but if the anime became popular and there was enough material in the source manga, a 2nd season does happen. And it did for "Kamisama Hajimemashita". So my anime buddy and I have been watching this new season for the past several weeks. The bickering has continued (despite that kiss between the two main characters at the end of Season 1) but the scope has expanded so that the couple with the help of new friends and old has been spending more time in the fantasy world.

In a way, I had been hoping that the new opening theme to Season 2 would be the old opening theme from Season 1, but that would be even rarer than a Season 2 happening, period. However, it is Hanae doing both opening and ending themes with the former being "Kamisama no Kamisama" (God of a God). For the first half of this new season, I wasn't quite sure about this new opening theme since it was very different in tone from the somewhat Japaneseque AOR beat of the original opener. But I can say now that it has grown on me. In fact, after another all-day session with my friend yesterday which included another couple of episodes from the show, the flittery flutes of "Kamisama no Kamisama" and Hanae's "...spinning around the world..." lyric kept playing over and over in my head last night as I tried to get some shuteye.

There's more of a traveling pace to "Kamisama no Kamisama" which befits the overall feeling of Season 2 although the melody still retains that Japaneseque flavour. And the opening credits which focused far more on Nanami's plight in Season 1 seem to have opened up to include Tomoe and the rest of the characters having a bit more fun, including a dance scene.

Another common point is that Shuichi Mabe(真部脩一who had taken care of the writing and composition for the Season 1 opening theme was behind this song for Season 2.  For Hanae, this was her 7th single from January 2015 and it got as high as No. 25. The interesting thing I found out about Mabe was that he is the bassist for the band Sotaisei Riron(相対性理論...Theory of Relativity), the same unit that has another whispery-voiced singer as the lead vocalist, Etsuko Yakushimaru(やくしまるえつこ), who has also provided anison.

So, the take-away here is that we're all happy with our songs. However, I was surprised and delighted to hear the seiyuu for Nanami, Suzuko Mimori(三森すずこ), sing "Kamisama Hajimemashita" during a montage scene for one episode.




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