Over time the Gundam franchise evolved to match what’s appealing and interesting to the youth of Japan. Or Asia. Youth in Asia. Nice Boat.
Sorry, just couldn’t stop myself there.
Uh, while I was somewhat of a fan of good o’ The Brilliant Green in its hay days, the band’s return last year was a big question mark. I think quickly, though, they’ve shown much of their old selves. It’s still a little too early to make a prudent call, but it’s never too early to exclaim “wow I like this” when, well, I like their Gundam 00 single.
But that bothered me. A Buriguri song in a Gundam anime? Yes I know much of the two’s demographics overlap. But so what? That’s like hearing Radiohead on Avatar or something. Well, that’s probably too much of an exaggeration.
And while L’arc en Ciel has anime tie-ins on a regular basis, their last song on Gundam 00 was also a little odd and unfitting. Not that it was bad (and in fact, I like both songs as well as the animation) but something just doesn’t seem right.
It begs the question: what does seem right? I made a reference to a classic KOTOKO song, Onegai Teacher OP, in the title, because I thought that song fit as an example. In fact, I love Second Flight (Onegai Twins) even more, and the overall package that the opening animation for the show was superb and it is something that I just don’t see much at all in recent shows.
And even so, Gundam opening and ending songs have consistently set some kind of landmark–good ones and bad–for anime that came before and anime that follow. I think See-Saw still rakes in the big bucks from their SEED works, and anison people like Chihiro Yonekura got a lot of popularity from her classics in 8th MS Team. If we broaden it to Sunrise “real” mecha shows then the list will probably double with people of more mainstream impact as well, like KOKIA, among some long list of other musical achievers.
I thought about Gundam specifically. Perhaps it felt odd only because I had a preconception of what Gundam is suppose to be like, and the grungy style of alternative rock didn’t go with it? It’s not to say there aren’t other Gundam theme songs that were “out there” or anything, but they somewhat fit the show. Older songs fit the older Gundam shows; fruity songs like Turn-A-Turn fit fruity Gundam anime like Turn-A; Nami Tamaki‘s dance beats did wonders for SEED. So why is Ash Like Snow giving me any problems? It’s hardly the worse or even the most unfitting song-to-show.
Perhaps I’m just not taking Gundam 00 seriously enough? Or maybe music marketing is just being too aggressive? Sigh.