Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

TV Cuts VS Full Versions

February 19, 2009 Editorial

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.)

Theoretically Similar Posts:


  1. L.B. on February 19, 2009 8:46 pm

    I can actually find examples of both but I usually prefer to the full versions. Good example: ‘Love Destiny’ by Yui Horie… love the full version so much that the TV sized version just isn’t enough for me. Any theme by Yuki Kaijura also tends to fall into this category but that’s just because I adore her music.

    On the other hand, the opening theme to ‘Lucky Star’ is so much better as just the 90 second version. It gets tiresome after four minutes.

  2. Kiriska on February 19, 2009 10:54 pm

    Yeah, for songs that I don’t mind both versions of, I usually stick with the full versions. Lucky Star’s theme is an interesting example though because I actually don’t mind listening to the full song, especially if I’m working and not really paying attention, but if I’m singing, god forbid it’s the full four minutes (though actually, I can’t sing that song anyway, so maybe it’s not such a good example).

    But Yuki Kaijura would be. I like listening to the full versions of most of her songs, but they’re very tiring to sing, so I guess sometimes my preference just depends on what I’m doing or why I’m listening to that song. “Cruel Angel Thesis” is another song that’s pretty tiring to sing…

  3. Omisyth on February 20, 2009 1:05 pm

    I tend to like the ful versions of any song (just because it’s longer) and even if I don’t at first, the more re-listens I have, the more the song appeals to me.

    There are other things to consider, though, since animation for an OP can really affect your opinion of a song. If the two don’t work well together, you may find yourself disliking a song that you would normally like.

    But it’s all just speculation on my part and music’s too hard to analyse in any case.

  4. Kiriska on February 20, 2009 2:41 pm

    Hm, it’s definitely true that most songs sound better after a few listens; I guess I’ll see what happens after a few more weeks of listening to the full “trust you,” but “resonance” still sounds pretty awkward to me and it’s been a few months.

    I generally find that animation only really affects me in a positive manner — if it really fits with the song, awesome. If it doesn’t and the song’s still all right, it doesn’t bother me so much. I think I’d be hard-pressed to find a really terrible animation sequence though; usually, they’re just boring at worst.

  5. RP on February 26, 2009 1:03 am

    I think it really does depend on the song. In this case, I think the Gundam folks actually picked a primo cut of the song. The piano sets the mood of the song, but it really is the beat that drives the song and keeps it from feeling like the same old, same old ballad.

    Unfortunately, I think this song falls into the trap that I noticed a lot of j-pop and ani-songs do, in that it lasts too long. It’s not like they’re creating a rock opus here, they’re following a pretty basic verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus format, but I’ve noticed that songs either add an extra, unnecessary verse in there somewhere, or extend the bridge or final chorus too long. In this case, Trust You extends both the bridge and final chorus too long. It would’ve been a better, more powerful song had they kept it to 4 minutes or so. But I’m nitpicking as it’s not gonna keep me from listening to it non-stop when it comes out. =)

    But back to my original point, an example of a song that I thought was just as good if not better extended was the ED from last year’s Gundam, Friends. I thought they wrote that song almost perfectly, and the bridge to final chorus transition, with the sound cut and guitar scrape was perfect.

    Animation definitely has an impact too though. OP/ED scenes always bring in more emotion than the typically lame music videos =)

  6. Kiriska on February 26, 2009 1:26 am

    I agree that “trust you” really should have been shorter. The bridge and final chorus really didn’t sit too well with me. You’re right though, as disappointed as I am with the full song, I can’t stop listening to both it and the TV cut, hahaha…

    It’s been a while since I’ve heard the TV cut of “Friends,” so it’s obvious that I like the full version better. :D