Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Macross Frontier ~Itsuwari No Utahime~ ED and insert songs album - CM Ranka

Having lavished plenty of attention on Sherly Nome (aka May'n) and her insert album for the Macross Frontier movie Itsuwari No Utahime, it would be wrong of me not to do likewise to Megumi Nakajima's turn as Ranka Lee in her own CM Ranka ED and insert song album - Not least because Ranka is far more awesome than Sheryl. Fact.

Anyhow, compared to the magnificence of Universal Bunny, CM Ranka immediately looks a little on the light side, with only one track of any decent length with the rest of the mini-album made up of the insert songs referred to already. Still, it's better than nothing, right?

Of course it is, especially given that the full-length track in question is Sou da yo. I've never been too hot on Ranka/Megumi Nakajima doing ballads and slower songs, but this really is quite beautiful, with a very obvious Yoko Kanno feel to it that keeps the track moving without ever losing its pace or underlying emotion. It's exactly the kind of track you might expect to hear at the end of an anime movie, so it certainly seems to fit its purpose.

From here, we jump into a series of short but sweet little efforts - Starlight Nattou is a rather sparse and childish little track (deliberately so, I'm sure) that doesn't particularly do much for me. Dynam Chougoukin on the other hand is a wonderful example of what you can do with just ninety seconds musically - It's upbeat, it's fun, it's funky, and to be quite honest this track should be the opening or ending theme of an anime produced by SHAFT... You just know they'd love to use this tune on Natsu no Arashi or Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

Kaitaku Juuki on the other hand is the kind of military sing-along that I suppose was inevitable, although talking of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei I did find myself wanting to sing the lyrics to that particular series' drawing song to it. Kaminari... pikari! Then there's Daruma Seminar, which feels more like a football chant with added Casio keyboard effects and a girl with a great voice to sex it up - God knows where that one will fit into the movie.

No Ranka Lee album is complete without Ninjin Loves you yeah!, and of course this track is present here in what sounds like an identical form to that found on the original Macross Frontier OSTs unless I'm missing something. Is it wrong that I know all of the lyrics to this song?

Family Mart Cosmos is, of course, a cheesy advertisement offering which plays up Megumi Nakajima's sexy yet innocent voice to the full - Not the kind of thing you'll be listening to on repeat (unless there's something rather wrong with you), but again I imagine it does the job which it is intended for in terms of the film.

Last but certainly not least for this mini-album Koi no Dogfight (Chotto dake) - Another fantastic and upbeat effort that could easily claim a place as the opening theme to any anime series it put its mind to. Okay, maybe the vocoder use was a little gratuitous (while also making me think of Toradora's Pre-Parade, in a good way) but I can live with that, and I'm expecting... nay, hoping... that this appears as a full track at some point, as it's clearly be crafted with more than a place as an insert song in mind given the way it fades out.

Overall, I have to hold my hands up and say that this is no Universal Bunny as its track listing and track lengths suggest, but it's still a must for Macross Frontier and Ranka Lee fans - The three new stand-out tracks (no matter how short) are worth plenty in my book in their own right.

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