Kira Himuro “Afraid No.7” (Review)

Kira Himuro‘s entry in the GALACTI9★SONG Series delivers Lagrange Point’s staple – high quality vocals and fancy instrumentals.

Title: GALACTI9★SONG Series #5 
Label: Rejet/Pythagoras Production 
Release date: 17/04/2019 
Genre: J-Pop/Rock


1 - Afraid No.7
2 - パルコ (Kira ver.)
3 - Afraid No.7 (off vocal)
4 - パルコ (off vocal)

Track by track analysis:

1 – Afraid No.7

This song mixes the best of both worlds: powerful rock sound with the excitement and flair of synths. This unique blend of overdriven and acoustic guitar melodies with electronica – mainly putting atmospheric synths and turntablism in the spotlight -, sounds really close to a softer twist to the nu-metal genre, however still preserving the genre’s typical progressions and chorus instrumentalization.

It is through Afraid No.7 that we best understand what makes Lagrange Point so appealing: their duality. While Shy is in charge of the delicate, quiet and melancholic bits we find in the group’s trademark sound, Kira is the one that brings the passion and power to the mix. The synergy between both sides has made it possible for any of their fans to instantly identify their music. Due to this, when listening to this song, some fans might miss the other half of the duo. Regardless, the instrumental does not go over the top with rock nor with electronica, maintaining a nice balance between both. On the vocal side, Genki Okawa displayed a control, giving a confident, technical performance for this song. 5/5

2 – パルコ (Kira ver.)

Contrasting with the previous track is パルコ (Parco). This ballad, with a sound and vibe that is commonly found in Marginal #4’s repertoire, is the only song that is common to all releases in the GALACTI9★SONG CD series. A delicate piano and strings melodies set the tone for this gentle ballad. Slow paced, bass-drum drums, melancholic guitar riffs and a noticeable bass line add the final touches to this instrumental. A nice touch – that might go unnoticed – is the rhodes piano melody play in the verses, enhancing the song’s melancholic tone. The pacing is deliberately slow, leaving the way open for vocals to shine. Genki Okawa‘s performance is powerful yet incredibly balanced to the point that this song doesn’t fall too much on being over melancholic or bland. Solid performance. 4.5/5

Final rating:

As it has been a trend in Marginal #4’s GALACTI9★SONG Series, Kira Himuro‘s entry has a unique flair, capturing the character’s charismatic and quiet side in a unique way.

Afraid No.7 is the kind of song that you can immediately – if you’re familiar – tell it is from or for Lagrange Point. Rock driven instrumentalization with power and gentleness in equal measures, created a fancy and exciting sound that instantly captures the listeners’ attention.

His take on Parco is rather interesting. Up until now we have listened to 4 other takes on this song. Some focused on R&B riffing, others in sheer power whereas there were others that tapped in their performer side and tackled songs with a high level of emotion. Genki Okawa‘s performance might fall in the gentle, emotional batch of performances but his delivery is unique. There is longing in his performance but not the heavily heartbroken kind that we found in some of the previous entries. It is a balanced performance – both in quality as well as emotions added to it – that makes this song sound, yet again, like a different experience.

We already had high expectations for this release, especially taking into account that Marginal #4‘s (the franchise) most consistent and unique group has been Lagrange Point. We expected a strong performance as well and Okawa delivered. You can tell, especially if you’ve been following the duo’s career from the start, that he has vastly improved his singing skills to match those needed for pop music more a complete opposite of what he is classically trained and known for – musical acting. In the past couple of Lagrange Point releases he was already showing glimpses of another growth spurt in the making and this solo release was the perfect outlet to materialize those. He is in total control of his vocals, proving to be a reliable and confident performer.

All in all, Kira Himuro‘s entry did not disappoint. As a matter of fact, a unique, balanced song and strong vocals make this release rank among the best entries in this series.

GALACTI9★SONG Series #5 is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.