Anime, Japanese

(SunSet) Swish! New Bleach Single Wins! (Sakurabito Single Review)

June 5, 2010 | | 2 Comments Share thison Facebook (SunSet) Swish! New Bleach Single Wins! (Sakurabito Single Review)on Twitter

In attempting to almost systematically bury myself in opening and ending theme singles for the ever-popular TV anime Bleach, I’ve found myself swaying back and forth between enjoying and loathing the music. Rarely have I had a sense of apathy about what I’m hearing.

One theme I heard, by veteran male-led J-pop/rock (soft rock) group SunSet Swish, really resonated with me. I wasn’t expecting it at all. The song, “Sakurabito,” roughly translates as “Sakura’s Man” … it’s difficult to say if Sakura refers to a lady or literally to cherry blossoms. In any case, it’s the show’s 21st ending theme (they often do two ending themes per season), covering specifically episodes 243 through 255. In other words, it’s a pretty recent single. The single itself was released in January 2010.

For more details on Sakurabito and the B-Sides that appear on the single, be sure to follow the jump!

This is SunSet Swish’s 11th single (catalog number SECL-835). I might go check out some of the others. This is the first time I heard the group, and I gotta say, I was impressed. The male vocalist has a smooth voice, like DEEN (see Tales of Destiny). Though DEEN had a baritone voice, the singer of SunSet Swish is closer to the tenor range and can really hit the higher notes, yet all the while not sounding at all effeminate. Very impressive.

“Sakurabito” is, without question, the best song on the single. The other tracks, “It’s A Beautiful Day” and “Utahime” (Songstress), are both relaxing mid-tempo soft rock pieces. I definitely enjoyed the tracks, but they didn’t stand out in the way that Sakurabito did.

(On a side note, when I saw the tracklist to this single, I was really hoping “It’s A Beautiful Day” would be a cover of the U2 song, if only because covering U2 would be a strange and difficult task. No such luck!)

What makes this rock “soft” compared to your typical J-Rock group? A lot of piano, and less craziness on the drums. Keep it light, keep it smooth, and maybe add some string ensembles when appropriate. That’s the formula, and it works great on Sakurabito.

Anyone have some favorite picks from the many Bleach singles out there? Or perhaps another piece from SunSet Swish that we should check out? We’re certainly open to giving them a listen!

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