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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Song of the Week! 4 June 2016

Requested by chatbox user lunafreya, today we're set to venture into Anime territory once again, with our feature presentation of the one song that started the Anime adventures of one of Sanrio's earliest characters!

 Oto Melody (オトメロディー) Onegai My Melody
Allx3 (85)x2 (110)x5 (308)x7 (496)
 Taiko 8

At this point in time, chances are that everyone in the industrialized areas of this world have been aware at least once of the stationery/school tools/other merchandise goods that have been spawn from the 1960 'kawaii design' company Sanrio, most probably due to Hello Kitty-related goods. While it's true that to this day the white bow-wearing cat is still the company's most popular character around the world, some of the other characters spawn from Sanrio have also had their share of media-related glory! This one is the story of their second character ever made.

Released at the end of the year 1975, My Melody (メロディー) is a white bunny wearing a pink hoodie with a flower pendant, whose popularity is at its highest peak among the Asian nations. Her birthday is set on January 18th (hey, that's mine as well!) and her merchandise, while mainly catered to young girls, ended up being enjoyed by women of all ages for the character's cutesy looks. In the wave of the character's popularity, it was picked up by Studio Comet in order to produce four animated series of 52 episodes each that ran from 2005 to 2009.

The first of the Anime series, Onegai My Melody (おねがいマイメロディ, lit. 'Please My Melody'), is partially set on My Melody's native world (Mary Land), a land that is formed by the humans' dreams. The show's plot is set in motion when the freshly-escapee couple of Kirara and Baku stumble upon the Melody Key, an ancient artifact that is able to grant any wishes with the power of darkness, generating Black Notes in the process if the wish's realization was deemed satisfying by the holder. Upon knowing its powers, Kirara starts making wishes of any kind, unaware of the fact that the gathering of a hundred of Black Notes will resurrect the Spirit of Dark Power, an evil entity whose only purpose is to crush the humans' world and dreams. Troubled by the clouding menace, the king of Mary Land sends My Melody on Earth to gather a counter-energy source with the Melody Tact, seeking the power of 100 Pink Notes with the help of the new-found human friend Uta Yumeno.

The Anime series' popularity in Japan has made possible the creation of additional media later in the years before the show's ending run, such as two Nintendo DS games, the theathrical short Onegai My Melody: Yū & Ai and the March 2013 novel Onegai My Melody High School~, expanding on the previous series' world. Onegai My Melody characters also made their way into their own merchandise brands and other Sanrio-related media, most notably with My Melody appearing in the still-broadcasted The Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends animated series.

For the four Onegai My Melody series, all of the Anime seasons' music has been composed and arranged by PRISM Japan artist Cher Watanabe (渡部チェル), with his first opening theme for the series -Oto Melody- being sung by Hiroshi Yamada (山田ひろし) and performed by Mikako Takahashi (高橋美佳子) from former Japanese game developer Interchannel, Inc.

This arcade-exclusive Anime songs shows up with an unique Oni blend of continous cluster formations and shards of 5-note cluster trickery in the mix, which in many aspects can be seen as a slightly easier version of the challenge staple supplied by the then-Namco Original L・O・V・E (which incidentally has seen its arcade debut on the same arcade model of Oto Melody's!).

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