Perhaps this paragraph is more of a disclaimer rather than an introduction. No, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru is not one of my favorite series, although I’m actually facing the exact same issue our protagonists do: I cannot put my emotions into words and when I do, things happen… and by things, I mostly mean misunderstandings. (´-ε-｀)
It’s not that I dislike Oregairu as a whole, it’s just that Hikigaya-kun is reminding me of my schoolyears, which is something I don’t really appreciate (yes, I don’t appreciate remembering them nor him reminding them to me…). But again, it’s not like I have a grudge against it or anything; I don’t fail to appreciate the music -or the anime itself- because of my bias.
The Opening Theme. A gentle emotional explosion. “Megumi no Ame” by Yanagi Nagi
As it seems, I tend to start my paragraphs with statements. So, let this not be an exception. Allow me to start with a bold statement. When I first listened to the S01 OP, I didn’t really value its meaning. But it’s the best OP Oregairu has to offer. All Oregairu openings have this profile that goes hand in hand with drama and melancholy, accompanied by an upbeat dynamism that sources from the arrangement. However, this time round, we have a more profound version of melancholia and slice of life with a glimpse of determination and optimism.
If any of you followed Yanagi Nagi, you may know that she writes her own lyrics, which is one of the reasons why I find her musicianship refreshing. And although it’s always nice to read them, I found that they were slightly too literal and pragmatic in “Megumi no Ame”.
OP3 is characterized by the use of mid and high registers and this shallow quality of Yanagi Nagi’s vocal timbre that is mostly utilizing her higher notes. It’s like approximating a shy singing style that turns into something more outgoing as the song progresses. This development suits the emotional spectrum of this slice of life so well. Although it does sound like it’s the third opening of an anime -no, it’s not a bad thing; it just means that it doesn’t have as big of an impact as the first OPs usually do- it makes a sweet and suitable introduction to the anime. Nevertheless, I’d like to listen to the full version of “Megumi no Ame” to fully appreciate it.
OST first impressions. by Ishihama Kakeru, Takahashi Kuniyuki
The soundtracks of the previous seasons appear to follow one direction and explore it quite thoroughly rather than covering a broad range of emotions or settings. We have a number of influences, mainly from classical and early 20th century music, featuring some nice bluesy, ragtime elements. As for the instruments, we have smaller, softer and rounder sounds that mainly include piano and acoustic guitar. Their gentle and mellow timbre is what strengthens the dissonants within the tracks and makes their progress so engaging. The soundtrack is no exception as the music focuses on this melancholic yet light (almost delightful) feeling that could make a great “music for studying” playlist. The quality is very good and the work put into it is evident. Both composers belong to MONACA, a group of creators who have worked on titles like Naruto, IDOLM@STER, Working and The Fate Series among others.
*NOTE: I could not find a photo of Ishihama Kakeru I could use.
The Ending Theme. Obligatory seiyuu time. “Diamond no Jundo” by Hayami Saori, Touyama Nao
This ending theme definitely screams ‘anime!’. I always find opening or ending themes composed for the seiyuu more fitting. It’s a good way to spend another minute and a half listening to the characters.
Composing for the characters (not about them, which is a lame way to describe tie-ups) makes you feel that the music is more ‘in tune’ with the premise and the setting. That being said, although it isn’t a bad ending, it’s just so cliché.
I don’t think I would search for and listen to it in my spare time but it surely is a good way to wrap up each episode with a nostalgic vibe.
- I mean… the OP is good (?), I don’t like it and I find it weak. It’s not for me.
- The ED is a cliché song that acts as an extension of the anime. It’s good for what it is.
- The OST has some quality tracks so far that work well with the setting and story.