Monthly Whisper #1- Seiyuu Ballads

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Monthly Whisper makes its first appearance and what a better way to kick off this month than with some ballads that are everlasting and so beautiful. Ballads aren’t that much appreciated by many people but when it comes to my opinion it’s probably the easiest and fastest way to step into the seiyuu world. With this being the first of many, I hope that all of you like my choices and get more interested in the artists that’ll mention. So let’s get started.

                 Tomoaki Maeno

Album for you…
Release date October 30, 2009
Track 約束の場所 (Yakusoku no basho)

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Starting off with a nice, beautiful and calm ballad that is perfect we have for you…, a delightful track with an instrumental piece that is good on itself but when adding Tomoaki‘s vocal performance we end up with one of the best ballads ever sang by a seiyuu. By the way this track was composed by Jin Nakamura that also works with Mamoru Miyano and you know when we talk about him it is a “sure fire winner” in the department of melodic songs. I remind you that the instrumental piece of this track is pretty simple, revolving around the piano and the vocal work but, besides being that simple, it didn’t prevent  約束の場所 from being a “must” for those of you who actually have been curious about this specific seiyuu’s music work and I believe that after listening to this song you’ll probably want more and more but the thing is, Tomoaki hasn’t released any other solo work, despite him singing songs related to his anime characters but it’s not the same. In a way it is a shame that he doesn’t, but we can always listen to the little work he has done and this ballad is more than enough proof that it is impossible to be indifferent to his talent with an angelic yet deep and addictive voice such as his.

                 Elekiter Round φ

Album 零ERφ (Zero)
Release date October 20, 2010
Track キセキ (Kiseki)

We could not miss a ballad from the famous duo of Satoshi Hino and Shinnosuke Tachibana, both of them are famous in the seiyuu industry as well as in the music department. When they debuted their tracks were a little heavier rock than what they are now, but that didn’t unable them to have some pretty powerful ballads and  キセキ (Kiseki) is a good example of that.零ERφ 2 This track kicks off with an oriental yet traditional instrumental with a shakuhashi but mixing it with contemporary elements, making this ballad a little different from what we usually listen to, not disregarding the fact that this ballad is a really astonishing one. Satoshi is the first one to sing with his deep but also very melodic voice making a smooth intro, Tachibana starts to sing after that with impressive tenor skills. When we talk about seiyuu units we’ll notice that there are members that have different characteristics and the same applies to them, while Tachibana can catch higher pitched notes, Satoshi catches the lower ones, needless to say that because of that they create an harmony that makes anyone who listens to them delighted. The chorus will give you goosebumps, especially when their voices blend in making such a harmony, even then we can still tell their voices apart and also notice that each of them have some highlights on their own way without overwhelming each other.

                  MARGINAL#4

Album MARGINAL#4 THE BEST「STAR CLUSTER」
Release date April 23, 2014
Track 「もう涙を隠さないで」 (Mō namida o kakusanaide)

615bi8S4AoLNow we have a ballad that is from a seiyuu unit that has been gaining popularity ever since its debut and as some of you may already know this unit consists of Naozumi TakahashiKENN, Toshiki Masuda and Yuto Suzuki, all of these seiyuu are already known and already have some previous experience in the music business. When we listen to 「もう涙を隠さないで」the first thing you’ll realize is that this track was without a doubt created to bring out the very best of each one of them, therefore we can only expect their best, let’s not forget that the instrumental is really beautiful. Naozumi is the first one to sing with a crystal clear voice that dazzles anyone, needless to say that his experience as a solo artist completely shows up in his vocal work. Once again this balad has an amazing piano and clarinet creating the best stage to the showdown their vocal work.  The chorus turns out to be a perfect harmony between both the singers and the instrumental piece. All of this because their voices all blend in well and the instrumental looks like it was especially “tailored” for them. In this ballad we have each member taking turns singing, showing us their talents and experience. KENN and Yuto are singing together throughout the chorus and their voices sure do blend well, Masuda and Naozumi are also singing together but in this case the highlight goes to more experienced one, still Masuda also is singing well but just not on pair with Naozumi, especially when we listen to those high notes that only Naozumi can catch.  Overall「もう涙を隠さないで」is an extremely slow ballad completely built around the piano with slow paced drumming that gives more and more emotion to the whole instrumental, also we cannot forget that the overall vocal performance was really of starlight material. Flawless from start to finish.

               LAGRANGE POINT

Album Black Swan
Release date October 15, 2014
Track Never Sorrow

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LAGRANGE POINT is a seiyuu unit consisting of Genki Okawa and Toshiyuki Toyonaga. In this unit we have Toyonaga and his amazing and effortless vibrato and high notes that amaze everyone and Genki is solid singer but still if we compare him to Toyonaga, the result is a bit unfair. Despite that let’s not forget that Genki does a great job in balancing the unit, vocal wise. Never Sorrow kicks off with melodic guitars, the drums that build up their way when Toyonaga starts to sing. This ballad certainly is amazing and I’ll explain why. This track isn’t your typical ballad where we have a slow instrumental, but we also have powerful guitars and other elements that make Never Sorrow distinct from the others out there. I’ll warn you that this is a power ballad, which means it has melodic guitars and drums, and a chorus where every single instrument alongside the vocals, explode as a climax. So this is not like the other ballads that I’ve mentioned before. The whole song is amazing but the climax is the chorus in which Toyonaga and Genki passed with flying colors – it was beautifully done, conveying well the emotions for this track. The whole song has an extreme amount of emotions that only power ballads like this one have. The instrumental of this song isn’t fast paced or highly elaborated but it certainly does get catchy because of its raw emotion, I mean this is probably an all-time favorite for many people I can assure you of that.

 

                 OLDCODEX

Album The Misfit Go
Release date May 22, 2013
Track 美しい背骨 (Utsukushī sebone)

CoverTo complete this month’s Monthly Whisper we have yet another power ballad and this time performed by OLDCODEX. Starting off with the guitars we have  美しい背骨, the last one on this list. Tatsuhisa shows us his potential as a vocalist and also that OLDCODEX is a band with its distinct genre, it’s not all days that you get to listen to a power “punk-rock” ballad. Let’s be honest, when we think about a punk-rock band we’re not expecting it to have ballads in its repertoire but the thing is, that’s when we can actually see for a fact that the band isn´t just “noise” like some bands out there with the same genre and that makes a difference – that sensibility to write and perform a ballad are commendable. The main elements that give this track a slower tempo are the drums and bass that are a trademark for OLDCODEX. Of course this track can be a little too much for those of you who don’t like punk-rock, but I think it is always good to try to listen to new genres.

This is the end of this Monthly Whisper. I leave you with some pretty good tracks for those of you that are first-timers in the seiyuu world and want to listen to the work of your favorite seiyuu or you simply have curiosity on the subject. I hope that you all enjoyed it and until next month.

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