Malkeionbu Week 57: Bad End
For our readers who aren’t making head or tail of what happens in this post, three of us (mshaydown, ottocycle and azn86.jedi) have participated in this little game where anime music tracks are nominated under a certain theme and voted upon here.
This week’s theme is “Bad End”, and this week’s tracks (which can be found here) seem to be composed of two types, with one being the execution, and the other being the aftermath of said bad ends.
Me (mshaydown) and ottocycle have decided to combine our writeups into a single post so we will be writing our opinions and votes under each song title but with our usernames emblazoned in bold bright colours on the left. This is another post where we experiment with the content to be posted on this here aniblog.
1. Gundam Seed Destiny – Stellar no Kizu
mshaydown: This invariably reminds me of the scene where Stellar perished by EVIL’s hands – definitely a bad end. Quite liked how they sneaked Stellar’s theme into the 2nd half of the song too +1
ottocycle: I like how it starts gingerly, like there’s something wrong afoot in some grand plan to come. And then come the consequences which make the stakeholders pay pretty dearly. I think there is some hint of hope and salvation at the end…? Gotta say that it’s pretty fitting IMO. +2
2. GUNxSWORD – He reduces to memories
mshaydown: woooo-ooo-ooo-wuuu-aaaah….wuuuu-ehhh-aahhhhh…wuu-ehhh-ahhh…WOOOOO-OHHHH-OHHH-UHHHH-aaaAAAAAaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-AAAAAA. These lyrics crack me up and it really sounds like there’s autotune at work here. However, the tune is sound and I guess there’s enoguh despair in it to fit this week’s theme +1
ottocycle: You know, when the HP bar on your RPG character empties in one turn from some unexpected cheapshot from a mad boss? This is what I’d hear playing aside after the game’s own death theme stops. Have had this nomination in mind for a long time now. 😛
3. Suzuka – Tooi hi no kizuato ~ piano
mshaydown: This song takes me back to the scene where Honoka is gazing at the night sky after she broke up with/got rejected by the main character so in a way you could say that this is a “bad end” for her. I believe a scene would be required for Tooi hi no kizuato to have the full effect but I remember listening to it back when Suzuka hadn’t finished airing and it was pretty good on its own already.
ottocycle: And the first brooding track of the week. Started off pretty strong right off with the main tune, though that dropped off a bit and then ending well enough to cover for the lacklustre middle. But in terms of melancholy it doesn’t really match up to…
4. Gintama – When Did Our Paths Start Separating…
mshaydown: This track makes me think of someone picking at the guitar while sitting on his porch in the evening. Maybe it needs a scene for me to get the idea.
ottocycle: Chalk one more to those wistful (and some might say angsty) scene music where it is communicated to the audience that the characters could have done better in some kind of hopeless situation prior. +1 for having the biggest dash of melancholy.
5. ARIA the Natural – Kakaribi no Nocturne
mshaydown: The aria soundtracks have always been good for their relaxing music but I’d never have thought something like this track would be a part of them. The piano and violin duet manages to convey a very strong feeling of sadness which made this piece jump right out at me as I was listening to this week’s noms. +2
ottocycle: By far my favourite track in its originating OST disc. Very subdued rendition of this here Bad End, I can see it fitting a parting scene or something, lots of slight sadness, but no shocking developments or outright despair. +1 for being the most pleasant track of the week even though it’s a not-so-bad end.
6. School Days – Kanashimi no Mukou he
mshaydown: I’ve never touched school days but I swear I’ve heard this before. Neither the instrumentals nor the singer are amazing but somehow or other, strong emotions are successfully conveyed to the listener (me at least). Could do without the silly repetitive drums.+1
ottocycle: OMG the opening notes reminded me of Tamashii no Refrain, and then it sorta became one of them Utawarerumono-ish songs whose name escapes me right now, probably because of the beats. Having never watched NICE BOAT for context, I can’t get it. Still a nice song though, really love the vocals. +2
7. Tsubasa Chronicles – Broken Sword of Justice
mshaydown: Reminds me of break the sword of justice (for obvious reasons) which already had an awesome melody. Broken Sword of Justice is a slower, poignant reflection and because it receives the legendary touch of kajiura yuki’s violin work, makes for a good listen +1
ottocycle: I was afraid this would brood and brood on, but thankfully the track managed to blossom (is this even the right word to use?) into full-blown despair which made quite an impression on me, though I’d have to withhold the points on this one due to the dull first half.
8. ROD TV – yomishigumi kyoku ~ ningen no te ga mada sawarenai ~ nanika ga machi ni yattekuru ~ chiseika sensou
mshaydown: Star wars KOTOR…when darth etc is abusing his evil subordinates in his beeg battleship in space, this bgm plays. oh wait, ROD is not star wars? Joking aside, the similarities between this and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCX6MkSmANg put me off the song completely.
ottocycle: Unnerving, calculating, but needlessly meandering. The start of this track tells me that something isn’t right (in what is ostensibly Gotham City if I may add) as well, but then it runs off with it for four minutes, and the final payoff isn’t worth the long anticipation period IMO.
9. End of Evangelion – Komm, susser Tod
mshaydown: please no
ottocycle: The lyrics fit, I guess. But without context this boppy tune fails to subvert what it wants to in my head. Probably the same would happen if I listened to “Kyou no hi wa Sayonara” without watching Eva 2.0?
10. Shigurui – Ikko ~Ending Theme~
mshaydown: This is the type of music that plays when the words GAME OVER are splayed on the screen in big red bleeding letters and the game is trying its very best to bore you into pressing that button. Wasn’t able to appreciate unfortunately.
ottocycle: A pity this only came in at the end when I’ve gotten used to the comparatively brooding tunes which came prior. I wasn’t able to catch whatever that this track was trying to do as I lack context too. Foreboding, mayhaps?
mshaydown: This week was challenging to find nominations for as bad ends don’t usually happen very often in anime (unless you count the endings that were crap) but the malkeionbu community stepped up to the challenge and presented us with a reasonably varied selection of tracks. It was interesting to hear the differing interpretations of a bad end through these songs which made this week more entertaining to write about than usual. The aria track was the standout for me this time which is surprising even to me.
ottocycle: I thought there were too many of the brooding tracks this week, probably they were able to influence my mood while listening to them. I was feeling more and more down as each track passed, which is probably testament to the composers’ ability to manipulate moods in their music. That said, the flip side was that this week’s selection wasn’t all too enjoyable to listen to though.