Seiou Gakuen Live

Did I mention I really like Manabi Straight?

What prompted me towards this entry isn’t the mysterious episode 10 sub, but my friend’s little concert in celebration of his first CD release. In America, indie musicians are not exactly rare and one thing I found out in the past few years is that an exorbitant amount of indie music are categorically pop–in the sense that what you’ll find playing on the radio is often not unlike what you’ll find in indie club venues. For my friend Dean, it’s more than that however. Well, he explains it better than I can. [/shameless plug]

But what’s interesting is that it really doesn’t take a whole lot to be “good” live. Sure, that’s not to downplay the countless hours that goes into the hard work everyone puts in, but everyone puts in a lot of hours in something like that; far majority of the serious musicians do it, first and foremost, because they love to do it, and it’s their calling in life.

When you see them perform live, rather than some constrained studio recording or even a candid YouTube video, their passion speaks much louder; their playing much more expressive; and like how a typical face-to-face conversation is 40% body language, a live performance is easily an extra 40% more enjoyable, if not more.

Much like Suzumiya Haruhi’s performance in ep 12, Manabi’s performance highlights the climax to the series. It’s like seeing Kotoko’s backup dancers splitting her costume asunder during her Winter Tour shows, except you’re a measly 10 meters from it. It’s like going uphill on a rollercoaster, and anticipating what comes next; and then enjoying what does come.

Megumi Hayashibara sang the OP/ED to Manabi Straight (resurrecting words from the legacy of Ritsuko Okazaki (we miss you!)); she also recently released a new solo album. Hearing her familiar voice now pitched in a matured arrangement is pleasant, to say the least, but the live disc that came with it had caught only a little bit of that “extra 40%.” Still, that was probably worth the price of admission alone. Feel Well and Watashi ni Happy Birthday was ;_;

What else can I throw into this post that’s remotely related to Manabi Straight? Yui Horie‘s performance itself was fairly standard studio fare, so I’m not sure what to say about that in this context. However watching the video sequence is something else. Part of it is the rollercoaster effect, but you can feel some of the love and detail to attention (like the guitar pedalboard). Maybe it’s the animator’s”extra 40%”coming in?

Anyways; it’s a pity that not more of it is subbed timely. I hope people get around to watch the last two episodes, when that happens. Or check the raw like I did :)

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