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.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Nana Mizuki -- Koi no Okehazama (恋の桶狭間)

OK, I'll have to be a bit honest here. There was that movie "Tim Burton's The Night Before Christmas" which is probably regarded as one of the more endearing fantasy movies for a generation. Normally, I liked Danny Elfman's scores for the 1989 "Batman", "Dick Tracy" and "Beetlejuice" but frankly I just found his songs for "Nightmare" to be repetitive and as the movie went on, I got more and more tempted to look at my watch.

I've got the same feelings for the "Symphogear"(シンフォギア)anime franchise. Actually I do like it better than "Nightmare" but only because of the battle scenes and those epic visual pronouncements of the super weaponry such as "MEGA DETH SYMPHONY" and "HORIZON†SPEAR"! Can you imagine any of the Marvel movies pulling that off? We'd end up with each movie a half-hour longer!😆

Getting back on to topic, I have tended to turn my mind off the songs that Hibiki and Tsubasa and the others have to sing to be effective in the fights against the Noise since they all strike me as being variations on the same rock anthem, although I did have some like for the opening theme "Synchrogazer". I realize that I may be putting a number of "Symphogear" fans' noses out of joint by saying this (including my anime buddy who has bought all of the soundtracks) but that's how I feel.

Noriyasu Agematsu(上松範康)of the music production brand Elements Garden came up with most of the songs, and although I haven't remembered too many of them, I actually did enjoy one tune since it was so atypical in the show. Plus, it was only featured for a mere matter of seconds during one of the lighter scenes in the first season of the show back in 2012.

The scene in question was when warriors Hibiki and Tsubasa along with Hibiki's buddy Miku go for a fun session at a karaoke box. Tsubasa, as played by seiyuu/singer Nana Mizuki(水樹奈々), suddenly opts for a visceral enka song. When I first saw this, it wasn't only the jaws of Hibiki and Miku which hit the floor. At the time, when I was still gathering knowledge about the various voice actors in the anime industry, one of the first seiyuu that I had started to know was Mizuki due to her prevalence in the various shows and her string of appearances on the Kohaku Utagassen. From those performances and her work in "Symphogear", I had assumed that the singer was a rock queen at heart.

Little did I know that Mizuki had been trained in enka and so "Koi no Okehazama"(恋の桶狭間...Okehazama of Love), the song her character performed in the karaoke box was my first realization of her prowess in the long-existing genre. Agematsu was also responsible for creating this one and I kinda regret that I haven't been able to find a full version online although one of the many "Symphogear" soundtracks that my anime buddy gave over to me has got it somewhere. It's got quite the muscular melody about a certain area in the city of Nagoya.

Although it's not Mizuki herself, I did manage to find someone performing the full version of "Koi no Okehazama" at karaoke although there's a bit of annoying noise (not the Noise) that pops up during the video. Since that revelation of Mizuki being an enka princess, she's popped up on some of the kayo programs from time to time to cover some of the oldies, and being an old-fashioned guy myself, I'm kinda hoping that she may actually release a true-blue enka single again.

My anime buddy has breathlessly told me that another "Symphogear" season will be premiering in less than 2 months. I will enjoy the show but I hope that the battle songs will have a bit more variation this time.

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