The Fourth Avenue Cafe

October 10, 2008

  Kuuseki ni mitsumerareta,
  Taikutsu na kyuujitsu ni wa,
  Owaru koto naku ga anata,
  Nagaretsudzukete iru
 
One of my favourite songs from the anime series Rurouni Kenshin is The Fourth Avenue Cafe, and this song still remains one of my top favourites despite I’m listening to it lesser these days. Of all the ending themes in this series, this 4th ending song has the shortest span in terms of appearance as it is only shown for a meager 4 episodes! Hey, I kinda noticed that the number 4 here seems to have some sort of role. The name has that number, it makes its appearance after 3 different ending themes and it appears for less than 5 episodes. Coincidence?
 
  Wakatteite mo kidzukanai furishite,
  Oborete ita yo itsudemo,
  Dareka no koto omotteru,
  Yokogao demo suteki datta kara
 
I have got that feeling that all the anime songs sung by L’arc~en~Ciel will not have any karaoke or instrumental versions of it. Okay, so maybe I have not heard nor even know every anime songs that they sing but the ones that I have seems to lack those versions. Why why why don’t they do one? I suppose they have their reasons. Will the song sound much horrible without the lead singer’s voice? I doubt it.
 
  Kisetsu wa odayaka ni owari wo tsugeta ne,
  Irodorareta kioku ni yosete,
  Sayonara ai wo kureta ano hi wa,
  Kono hitomi ni yurameite ita
 
At that time I was really looking high and low for this song but I just couldn’t find it. One reason why I wanted to sing this song so badly was because my voice seems to fit this song quite nicely. Not to say that I sound exactly like the singer but it’s easy on my vocal chords. The pitch of this music suits me, especially the verses. So perhaps the chorus lines will be a little challenging since there is a line which has me needing to go to a slightly higher pitch, but even that is manageable. Most of the time, that is. But even with that small hurdle, it’s not a big thing.
 
  Ato? Dore gurai darou soba ni ite kureru no wa,
  Sou omoi nagara toki wo kizande ita yo
 
So far, this is the only anime song which I can play from start to finish on my guitar. Well, at least with the few simple chords in hand, I’m able to strum and sing by myself if I don’t feel like doing a duet. Of course by playing with only a guitar, it does feel and sound a little ’empty’. And I kinda noticed that when I’m in this mode, my tone goes a little off. Perhaps I really do need a karaoke version. Or is it the singer’s voice covered up my flaw?
 
  Yosete wa kaeshiteku oh nami no you ni,
  Kono kokoro wa sarawarete,
  Kyou no machi wa ai mo kawarazu omoimegurase,
  Sorezore ni egaite yuku oh
 
As for the original song itself, there are some cool acoustic guitar pluckings which I tried to follow (but failed miserably) other than the electrical guitar solo. As the song progresses, the tone of the music it gives you a feel that you’re in the Great Depression Era in the early 30’s. That’s because of that jazzy and steamy trumpet playing style (or was it some other horn instrument) and the other fanfares throughout the song, which projects such an image, especially during the bridge. Though there are some piano play but it’s not as obvious nor does it stand out. The only time it does is when the song is at the end, when once all that lively music reaches the end, the music comes to a near halt, leaving listeners with a slow piano solo and the singer’s seemingly breathy voice to end it all.
 

  Sayonara ai wo kureta ano hito wa,
  Tooi sora ni koikogarete,
  Kono hitomi ni yurameite ita
 
Besides, this whole song has that feel that you’re in during those olden times. Most probably it’s the way the song was sung and not the lyrics. Speaking of which, the lyrics does indicate something close to nostalgia and the boring uncertainty which makes the singer yearn for his lover. But as long as I’m singing this song, the only nostalgia for me is thinking back while I was watching this anime series and being awed by this awesome tune. Although, it was just for a short period of time.

 

  Utsuriyuku machi nami ni,
  Tameiki wa koboreta wo…
 
Rurouni Kenshin

DAME!

May 9, 2008

  Machi chuu doko demo uso bakari,
  Hayku nen mae kara shouchi da yo,
  Ima sara aki kankeru kurai,
  Dare demo dekiru
 
Fans of the series Rurouni Kenshin AKA Samurai X should’ve recognize those opening lines as the 1st verse for the 7th ending theme song of the anime, DAME! Since this is quite a heavy rock song, at times I feel that it doesn’t suit the feudal era of the series. But because of all the action in it, sometimes it does feel quite suitable.
 
  Ai wa nagusame no,
  Dougu nanka nai n da shi
 
Sung by You Izumi, just like the powerful song itself, one needs to have a powerful voice in order to sing it. Yeah, get prepare to scream and shout from the top of your lungs. Actually, there isn’t any screaming nor shouting in the sense that you have to go wild and crazy while belting out this song. Probably because of the loud voice needed, it may sound like so at first.
 
  Dame dame dame de dame na hito ne,
  Ittai nani wo yatteru no,
  Un ja nai tsuki ja nai,
  Motto jitsu ryoku misete
 
When I sing this song, at first it started out great and perfect so much so I think I really do sound very close to the singer herself (yeah right). As the song progresses and the more ‘energy’ I need to sing it, towards the end of the song, I kinda notice that I’m close to being out of breath and it’s like I’m struggling to even say my lines. Especially the bridge part, where I totally need to use up my lung power for those powerful lines but even so, due to my lack of breath, I went slightly out of tune. Till today, I’m still having that problems. Maybe I need bigger lungs.
 
  Dame dame dame ne onna wa mou,
  Sonna otoko ja kanji nai,
  Itsudatte kurakura toki sou na hodo,
  Otoko ni natte choudai
 
Even the chorus wasn’t kind to my voice, especially the last few lines. Okay, so perhaps this part I need to do a little shouting to get it right. In a way, the last few lines of the chorus sounded like it went to a little higher pitch, but in all that shouting it flew past by me and I wouldn’t notice a thing if I didn’t do some post-singing analysis.
 
  Dame dame dame de dame na hito ne,
  Ittai nani wo yatteru no,
  Kono tsugi wa tsuyoi toko,
  Motto kicchiri misete
 
The lyrics of the song sound like as though the singer herself is taking out her frustrations on her ‘useless’ lover (assuming that’s who she’s referring to). Yeah, since ‘dame’ means no in Japanese, it could also means an incapable person, hence a useless person. On the other hand instead of just paying lip service and criticizing, the lyrics also has the singer telling what her love should at least do. Yeah, you should show her how strong you are buddy. Not in physical terms but more on the maturity and emotional level. Isn’t that what most girls look for?
 
  Dame dame dame ne onna wa mou,
  Sonna otoko ja horenai yo,
  Itsudatte kurakura toki sou na hodo,
  Otoko ni natte choudai
 
Perhaps I need to persevere and practice even harder. There’s a danger that I may lose my voice first. Even though at the back of my head I knew that this song isn’t that suitable for my voice, but what to do. I really kinda like this song when I first heard it years ago and I still do. Hopefully all that screaming and shouting will one day bear some fruit… Hopefully.
 
Rurouni Kenshin

1/3 Junjou Na Kanjou

May 19, 2006

  Nagaku nemureani yoru ga kimi e to omoi,
  Sore wa koi nan desu to sasayaku yo
 
That isn’t exactly the opening lines of 1/3 Junjou Na Kanjou, one of the many ending songs from the anime Rurouni Kenshin. This is actually the first 2 lines of the first verse as the song starts of with lines from the chorus accompanied with a solo electric guitar picking.
 
  Tomedonaku katari nakeru yureru todou wa,
  Binetsu majiri no tameiki e to kawaru
 
Sang by Siam Shade, this is another one of those typical rock songs. You know, the electric guitar pickings and playing style, the drum beats, the ‘rock’ voice. Yup, your usual recipe for a typical rock song.
 
  Give me smile and shine days, kimi no smile de,
  Itetsuku yoru samusa no mo good koraerareru
 
For me, I wouldn’t say that this is a really tough song to sing, though I don’t sound exactly or perfect (what do you expect). Plus, this is one of the oldest songs, meaning that I’ve been singing it for years already (not every day lah, but on and off). So I should be quite familiar with it.
 
  Kowareru hodo aishite mo, Sanbun no ichi mo tsutawaranai,
  Junjou na kanjou wa karamawari, I love you sae ienaide iru my heart…
 
I’ve noticed throughout the times, that the part where the singer drags and sustains his voice during the lines ‘My Heart…’, in the beginning I’ve always seemed out of breath and gasping for air. But now, like no sweat only. Like pro some more (yeah, right!). But the most important thing is that after all this time, I still find it quite enjoyable to sing. That’s right. Keep it on…
 
  My heart…

Rurouni Kenshin

October 17, 2005

Besides the great animation and storyline, what I also liked about Rurouni Kenshin is its numerous bgms (background musics). From time to time, I never got bored of listening to those bgms. And each bgms are well placed to precisely suit and match the various moods and situations in the anime. Ahh… that’s what I call music to my ears. Let me here ’em again once more!