Ashes Unfit for Giant Robots? What Goes with a Shooting Star?

Kugirie ftw~

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.

12 Responses to “Ashes Unfit for Giant Robots? What Goes with a Shooting Star?”

  • wildarmsheero

    Why the hell are you still watching that show :argh:

  • omo

    Because it’s entertaining? :D

    Sorry, if you diss Gundam because of what you think it should be and not what it isn’t suppose to be then you loooooose.

  • wildarmsheero

    >> Because it’s entertaining? :D

    The way your mind works is an absolute mystery. I tried to derive entertainment from it– I really did! But it was oh so yawn. Gay anime sucks :B

  • JustABoi

    Those techno-pop era’s gone. Now ROCK is the IN thing! I love Seed/Destiny and their songs. Now Gundam 00 rulez along with their songs (Wana is okay but not great)!!!

  • tj han

    I still watch 00 as well, but I actually think it is inferior to Seed. At least Seed was something I could saw my anime n00bie friends and have them interested. On the bright side, 00’s songs are far better than Seed and Destiny’s. Though 00’s mecha designs are by far nicer than Seed’s.

    But on topic, I’ve never thought of Brilliant Green as alternative rock. I thought they were mainstream poprock. So far I’ve liked all but the 2nd ED of 00, cos I hate techno/lame (Nami Tamaki), am ambivalent towards TM Revolution, and don’t like Seesaw. At least Seed gave us Takahashi Hitomi.

  • DarkMirage

    I think that’s what Sunrise is trying to go for. It’s supposed to feel different from songs like Believe and Invoke, because G00 itself is (trying to be) something new, for better or for worse.

    I think the songs are generally fine, but OP2 does feel out of place.

  • IKnight

    Picking up on DarkMirage’s suggestion that the song feels different because the anime should feel different, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gundam 00 turns out to partly be about being mismatched to a task. Much as I love them, Celestial Being are hilariously unfit to organise a binge in a brewery, let alone an armed intervention.

  • omo

    IKnight: LOL. truth.

    I think, yeah, DM’s got what I was trying to suggest. But who knows, so far 00 has been not exactly surprising or original.

    Buriguri is mainstream rock only because indie is the new alternative. Categorically speaking buriguri is alt rock. TMR is more normal rock, if you want to use the same fast and loose labels I used the past 10-20 years. The meaning of these words change anyways.

  • wildarmsheero

    Know what we need? Some Shibuya-Kei in our anime. I know the movement is long over, but some good music came out of it. I want some hot Pizzicato Five song as an anime intro before I die.

  • omo

    I think Moyashimon’s ending is exactly what you’re looking for?

  • wildarmsheero

    More like its op, maybe. Ed is pretty rock-ish.

    I guess the Honey and Clover ops were Shibuya-kei-ish, too

  • omo

    I guess… Shibuya-kei always got a pop-rock component to it. I think Polysics is a much more stereotypical kind of thing tho.

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