A few weeks ago, “trust you” by Yuna Ito debuted as Gundam 00 S2‘s second ending theme. I’ve always considered Yuna Ito to be a good artist — her voice is very pretty and most of her melodies are nice to listen to. I liked the work she did for the two live action NANA movies, but I had yet to hear a song of hers that really struck me as being amazing. “trust you” was definitely a first love kind of thing, though I do think that the context of 00’s ending animation, as well as the themes of the series itself, helped a lot with that. It’s a very thoughtful package; both the song and the animation have a nostalgic, peaceful, and contemplative feel to them. It’s the best kind of ending theme: one that makes you reflect on the series in a serious kind of way. It’s especially appropriate for Gundam, even if I don’t really think 00 specifically deserves something so appropriate.
I found myself listening to the song pretty often and counting the days until the single’s release. That’s the wonderful marketing ploy of it all. Anime themes are always singles, and they always debut on air a month or two before the single’s due to release. That’s a month or two that you have to sit around with a minute to minute and a half teaser of a beautiful song. It drove me nuts. I actually really love the TV cut version of “trust you” though; it’s easy to tell where things are abbreviated, but I thought it was pieced together very well. It’s obvious that the intro is probably longer and it feels like the first verse extends directly into final chorus.
Well, the single’s still not due out until March 4th, but the PV released a day or two ago, so I got ahold of a PV rip. Finally! A full length version of the song! …Why doesn’t it sound as nearly good as the TV Cut?
The piano intro is pretty, but I felt like it was too long now. The vocals start around :30, but they really could have started around :20. The first verse and chorus are pretty much the same right down to the “hanasanaide.” It then eases into the same piano melody and begins the second verse, which just doesn’t sound as polished as the first. There are more phrases were it seems like she’s trying to fit too many syllables into a short space. It’s particular noticable right before the second chorus: “tsunagatteru to, Im always by your side” just doesn’t sound as elegant to me as “mata aeru to, I’m waiting for your love.”
The bridge comes after that, and I really don’t like the bridge. The melody of the vocals don’t really seem to fit at all for one reason or another. Following the bridge, chorus is repeated again, but as we get to the fourth “I love you, I trust you,” she changes the pitch of the “you” in both lines and it sounds very awkward, like it’s incomplete, like there should be something else that comes with that note. The final lines of the chorus are then sung, and it’s really not so bad, but in contrast to the intro, I almost felt like there should have been more piano at the end. It’s still a decent song, but the full length version really disappointed me.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. I had similar feelings towards the full version of T.M. Revolution’s “resonance,” the first opening of SOUL EATER, where, again, the second verse just didn’t feel nearly as cohesive as the first and the bridge felt kind of awkward, though I don’t think it was as disappoint as “trust you.”
Sometimes the opposite happens: I’ll love the full version and the TV cut seems like an unskillfully chopped up version of a wonderful song. This was the case for me regarding “Life is like a boat,” by Rie fu, Bleach‘s first ending, as well as “READY STEADY GO” by L’Arc~en~Ciel, Fullmetal Alchemist‘s second opening. For both those cases though, I heard the full version before I heard the TV cut because I got into the series later. So is it just because I like the version I heard first better?
But for the vast majority of songs, both the TV cut and the full version sound fine to me regardless of which I heard first. I don’t have a problem with any of the TV cuts of Death Note‘s themes, and I love the full versions just as much. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei‘s themes are all brilliant, TV cut, full version, or otherwise. I didn’t have a problem with the TV cuts of “Daybreak’s bell” or “Ash Like Snow” by L’Arc~en~Ciel and the brilliant green respectively, the first and second openings of Gundam 00’s first season, even though I heard (and loved) both full versions before I started the series.
So what is it with these few songs? Just random chance that for a few songs, I’ll just stick to the version I heard first? It makes more sense for the full versions that sound better because I realize that the people responsible for mixing the TV cuts can’t be expected to create a perfect representation of the original song each and every time, but what’s up with the full versions that just aren’t as awesome? I guess in those cases, the TV cut creators should get a pat on the back for making an okay song better. Or does animation play a bigger factor than I realize? I love the accompanying animation for both “trust you” and “resonance” so maybe that’s a reason? But even listening to the song without the animation, I feel like the TV cuts are better than the full versions. And besides, I love the animations that accompany a lot of other themes too.
What do you guys think? Are you usually more drawn to TV cuts or full versions? Which happens more often? Why do you think that is?
I still look forward to the “trust you” single’s official release on the 4th because it’ll gain me a new karaoke track, but this isn’t the first time I’ve wished for a karaoke track for the TV cut version as well. (Well, okay, the first time I’ve wished this wasn’t because I liked the TV cut better; it was because the full version of Aya Hirano’s “Hare Hare Yukai” is just too damn long to sing and dance to simultaneously.)