Listening To: Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun Original Soundtrack

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Although I had planned a review of another album today, I had listened to the soundtrack of the romantic comedy anime Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun (Eng; My Little Monster) and I just had to talk about it. Now I watched the anime as it came out, and while it’s not one of my all time favourites, it certainly had a very strong and solid comedy element which I more than appreciated. It also, to my surprise, had an amazing musical score.

Certain tracks feature synthetic melodies while others are comprised of mainly orchestral symphonies. To call it diverse would not give it much justice. It seems that the soundtrack itself covers the emotional spectrum –  the album seems to tick off emotions; from melancholy to unbridled optimism. If anything, theres a track for any occasion, making it perfect for the anime – as although its primarily a comedy-romance, it does touch on the darker and somber aspects of life and love.

I find that the tracks consisting of guitar and/or piano leads were more defined and better suited to the overall theme of the show. Although it may be preference talking, I believe that they were considerably much more emotive and at a higher level than other tracks that focused their sounds on other instruments. Another worthy mention goes to the highly enjoyable tracks with a peppy, almost cocky tone, as well as those that were comprised of positive notes and rhythms. In saying that though, the more pensive tracks don’t, by any means, fail to please.

At the end of the day, the Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun Original Soundtrack is an absolute delight to listen to. With a range of sounds and emotions to accommodate the daily lives of anyone, it came as a wonder to me that it’s not better known within the anime community. If you’re willing to take the chance and take a listen, I have very little doubt in my mind that you would be disappointed with this underrated gem of an OST.

Songs to look out for:

  • Tetsukazu no Kanjou 
  • Monster March
  • Yamaguchi-Sanchi no Kenji-Kun
  • Appare Sanningumi!
  • TEBASAKI
  • Memento 

Listening To: Suzumiya Haruhi no Gensou

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The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūutsu) was one of the first anime I ever watched to completion – and one that I still adore to this day. I recall completing a few of my art assignments in school on Haruhi, learning the dance sequence of Hare Hare Yukai (which I can still perform) and attempting to learn the opening song. I was beyond words when I learnt there was a concerto version of the music of the anime – and even more so when there was a CD of it available.

Suzumiya Haruhi no Gensou, or the Symphony of Haruhi Suzumiya, is an incredible concerto rendition of music from the anime performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. It was definitely interesting – fond memories were stirred up from the unfamiliar classical harmonies.  I must admit, whilst I have an appreciation for the classical genre, the renditions felt slightly unfamiliar – in a way too polished.

Don’t take it the wrong way; it was by no means terrible. In fact it was the opposite. The orchestra excellently executed the pieces with a sense of flair. But there was a lack of feeling, a lack of relation in the performance – It was technically perfect, not emotionally. In the DVD version, there were a few nods to the anime (which were admittedly pleasing) and Aya Hirano, voice of  Haruhi herself and Lead Singer, even performed the vocals for a few tracks (And mind you, she was amazing although I prefer the original tracks). It was things such as these that made the performance more believable and definitely more enjoyable for viewers of the anime.

As a whole, this special edition of the music from the anime was fantastic and nostalgic, albeit slightly disappointing. Hearing some of my favourite tracks in a classical tone was interesting to say the least, if not wholly uplifting. Although I believe its aimed towards fans of the anime, I recommend to give Suzumiya Haruhi no Gensou a listen if you’re interested in classical orchestra music.

Songs to look out for:

  • Koi no Mikuru Densetsu
  • The Usual Scenery ~ The Days Are Becoming Fervently Splendorous
  • Bouken Desho Desho
  • Lost My Music
  • SOS Brigade! ~ Something is Odd
  • God Knows