Who would have thought that a mere magic-themed anime set in a high-school with a pair of siblings as the protagonists -let’s not forget the brother/sister complex- would have so much going for it. And it all comes down to the music. Yes, again.
The Opening Theme. That’s ASCA alright. “Howling” by ASCA
First things first. If you were to make me listen to this song without telling me that it’s the third opening of Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei, I would not have a hard time guessing what it was. Fine, that sounded like I’m full of myself. At least I would be able to tell that it’s shounen, that it has action, that it’s a season 2 OP and that it’s ASCA singing. Yeah, her characteristic style is evident. She does that thing with her pronunciation that she uses in her songs, especially at the endings of the music phrases, kind of like a trademark. She has an unexpectedly bright -or should I say crystal- chest voice and a soft head voice that give her tracks that little extra something.
And now, for my obligatory extra bit of info:
ASCA has done quite a few tie-ups, right? Apart from Darwin’s Game and Shironeko Project, the rest were either the second OPs/EDs or the OPs/EDs of sequels. So, I noticed that ASCA has been featured as a tie-up artist in anime that have also featured LiSA. You know, like Sword Art Online, the Fate series and well, this one too. And I thought: they make a nice pair, don’t they?
OST first impressions. by Iwasaki Taku
It’s as if the soundtrack makes it more grandiose than it should be, doesn’t it? It’s as if the opening and ending themes are more honest than the soundtrack. It just seems so edgy. Perhaps it’s because of the setting itself. Or perhaps, it’s because the tracks have too little in common with one another. It’s as if there’s too much going on in the soundtrack itself that makes it less likely for the viewers to notice it while watching the show. Still, the tracks fulfill their purpose. So de facto, it makes it a successful soundtrack, right? There are only a few tracks that stood out for me from the first season and those few are the ones that I liked. I’m looking forward to this season’s approach. I’m looking forward to finding out what tracks will be reused. And I’m looking forward to listening to the new OST additions.
The Ending Theme. A new voice. “Namonai Hana” by Satou Miki
What a sweet sentimental ballad. Who would have thought that Satou Miki is an artist who just made her debut. Yes, you read that right. Her first CD release is also a tie-up with one of the most popular anime series this season. Although she has only released three songs so far, I see potential in her. I also see a trait.
Her songs are unmistakably J-pop. However, her influences from western music are evident. Not to mention that the mainstream melodic lines and the harmonic progressions found in J-pop have a nice balance with the western pop music clichés. And her ‘silky’ voice combined with some modern enka undertones complement her music.
- Catchy OP that works well with the otaku-y character of the anime
- ‘Out there’ soundtrack that features a lot of interesting and contradicting ideas, making it overzealous
- ED: A sweet sentimental ballad that is also the debut single of Satou Miki