Weekly ED: “Wa-Cycle”

“Wa-Cycle” by Itoki Hana

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Weekly OP: “Kyoumen no Nami”

Welcome to another Monday and to another RABUJOI Weekly OP. Today we bring you the opening to Houseki no Kuni, one of the most beautiful, bizarre, and powerful shows of the season.

Fittingly, it’s a lovely sequence, starting underwater with Phos waking up, excitedly getting on with their day, then being shattered into pieces that eventually form the elegant logo. We also get a good look at Cinnabar and the other Gems. The animation is silky smooth and, well, lustrous.

The opening theme is “Kyōmen no Nami” (鏡面の波 – “The Waves on the Mirror’s Surface”) by YURiKA. A simple piano arpeggio runs throughout the song, and is the only instrument at the very beginning and very end of the theme, going from hushed to lush then hushed again, closing with Phos getting to their feet.

Weekly ED: “More One Night”

We began the week with a duet by Minase Inori and Kubo Yurika; might as well close with one too, eh?

This number is arguably even more catchy than the OP, as long as you’re on board with the inherent cutesiness the vocalist bring to the table. For some reason I love what I’d describe as their “bored harmonization” inserted throughout the song.

This song is called “More One Night”, which sounds like it should be “One More Night”, but isn’t.

In a nice touch, the black-and-white visuals are hand-drawn by the source’s mangaka herself, one Tsukumizu.

Weekly OP: “Ugoku Ugoku”

Whenever you have a show that sometimes goes to dark places, it’s nice to have an upbeat/hopeful opening to start things off. Girls’ Last Trip is on one level fundamentally depressing, what with there seemingly being only a handful of people left in a sprawling, once-advanced civilization that may have simply grown too far too fast and imploded. And yet, these two girls are alive, and plan to stay that way, with each other’s help. That the girls’ seiyus Minase Inori and Kubo Yurika provide vocals further demonstrates an underlying thread of hope and perseverance.

Weekly ED: “Keshin no Kemono”

Is it Friday already? You know it is (unless you’re in a different timezone and it’s already Saturday).

In any case, here’s one of the many catchy ending themes we’ve been treated to this Fall. Like Fate/Zero, we see the various warriors in their “regular lives” before entering the Zodiac War.

It’s set to a song called “Keshin no Kemono” (“化身の獣” directly translated as “Beast Incarnate”) by a group called Do As Infinity, featuring tight, precise instrumentation and some nice crisp vocals that are allowed to shine with few effects; just a light reverb.

When it first starts, I feel like I’m getting ready to play Sonic CD!

Enjoy the weekend, everybody.

Weekly OP: “Saturday Night Question”

It’s Monday morning, not Saturday night, but I thought I’d get this week started right with one of the best OPs of the new Fall 2017 Season, a quickly but tightly produced sequence set to a very catchy, upbeat, hopeful song, “Saturday Night Question”, sung by none other than Ranka Lee herself, Nakajima Megumi! Enjoy…at least until it’s taken down!

More importantly, watch the show…it’s quite good, aided in no small part by substituting a 30-year-old woman who quit her cushy job by choice for the usual teenage boy who occupies the MC role in this kind of show.

Monday OP: “Underground River” from Made in Abyss

This piece of music (by series composer Kevin Penkin) is played at the start of the first episode of Made in Abyss in lieu of the standard OP, during an otherwise soundless montage of Riko and Nat heading home to Orth with Reg on Nat’s back.

“Underground River” and the montage that accompanies it, were all I needed to see and hear become absolutely hooked on Made in Abyss, albeit five weeks later than most others.

It perfectly encapsulates the show’s spirit of youthful adventure, as well as the excitement and bittersweet yearning that go hand in hand upon striking out into the big world, from the home you’ve always known.

(The vocals also remind me of Sohn.)

So far I think MIA is hands-down the best series of the Summer, excelling equally in story, characters, animation, and yes, music. I only wish this piece was the weekly OP (though the actual one isn’t bad either).

ED of the Week – ReLIFE 12 – “Summer Festival”

The summer I spent with you, is like a faraway dream
the fireworks display that disappeared into the sky

That’s pretty much the perfect refrain for ReLIFE, which ends with Hishiro likening Kaizaki to those vanishing fireworks, in addition to decribing similar moments between Kariu and Oga. I can see why the producers dusted off a sixteen-year-old single to bridge the gap between the 12th and 13th episodes.

Also, Whiteberry is singing about a Summer festival, so of course they’re donning yukata while playing. How badass is that?

DISCLAIMER: RABUJOI is not responsible for any ear bleeding caused by this song.

Here’s a more contemporary version of the song, covered by the vocaloid Hatsune Miku (based on the voice of Fujita Saki, AKA Inami from Working!!).

This version was used in the ED of Watamote Episode 6, but I never watched that show:

I like both, but I think the original has more charm.