Sunday, November 29, 2009

Takagaki Ayahi and Hayami Saori Sing Together Like Angels

My two favorite seiyuu/singers singing together.

Hayami Saori 早見沙織 (left) and Takagaki Ayahi 高垣彩陽 (right) sing the ED to episode 9 of the fitfully amusing ecchi comedy/drama Sora no Otoshimo, an episode that was broadcast Sunday night in Japan.

I have written before about the singing of both Hayamin and Ayahi. I hoped that they would get a chance to sing together, since they both have roles in SoraOto: Hayamin as wish-fulfilling "angeloid" Ikaros, and Ayahi as hilariously vicious student council president Mikako.

The song is the melodic ballad Hatsukoi ("first love"). This is exactly the kind of delicate music that can suit them both. Ayahi is an opera-trained graduate of a music college, Hayamin a natural singer who has studied jazz singing. Ayahi has vocal strength and control, and both musical understanding and emotional grasp. Hayamin has her own sweet musicality and emotion, and a subtle flow that makes hers among the most beautiful voices I know of anywhere.

Have a listen:

Ayahi's is the first voice you hear, doing a couple of lines that are answered by a couple from Hayamin. The two voices match perfectly, and both singers know how to blend. These are two of a small handful of seiyuu/singers who are skillful enough to be compared with actual professional singers -- at least as we hear them on studio recordings.

This may or may not be the kind of music you like, but it is a great showcase for the talents of these two, with a comparatively unobtrusive accompaniment that lets you hear the voices.

The track should be included on the ED collection CD, which will be available starting 29 December from CDJapan, among other places.

Hatsukoi was written and first performed by Murashita Kouzou (stream) in 1983. Then in the year 2000, it was sung by Imai Yuka (stream) as the OP of the final episode of the anime Boys Be....

Hayamin has now sung with two members of Sphere: Tomatsu Haruka (in Basquash, as part of the group "Eclipse") and now Ayahi.

Hayamin and Yoshida Hitomi, singing as "Blue Drops," do a great job on the OP and ED to SoraOto. I would love to see Hayamin team up with Ayahi on a more permanent basis.


bmk said...

I like the song. It sounds really sweet and melodic. The two of them sound nice together, although I seem to hear a little more of Hayamin than Ayahime. Still nice though.

I could never get into Sora no Otoshimono. The first episode really killed any chance of me following it. Haven't seen an episode since. Has it gotten any better since ep1?

Panther said...

I have yet to watch the episode and listen to the ED, but I had no idea Takagaki was a music grad. I look forward to this ED. :D

Also good to know the ED collection actually has a release date, been waiting for info all over.

Anonymous said...

I liked the ed. Probably my favorite song out of the bunch so far.

hashi said...

@bmk -- Ayahi makes her timbre very close to Hayamin's here. When they're singing together, I think Hayamin is usually in front, but they each get four lines solo.

SoraOto gets better. It has a bit of seriousness, and it can be hilarious from time to time, but it's just okay.

@Panther -- I wrote a piece about Ayahi outlining her background, etc., as far as I know it. I believe she graduated from a two-year music college, majoring in operatic singing. There's a video there giving a brief sample of her opera voice.

totoum said...

I actually had them both mixed up for a couple episodes.
I had Ayashi as the angeloid and Saori as the prez in my mind,I think it's because Ikarus kinda reminded me of Ein from phantom (voiced by Ayashi) at first with all her emotionless "yes master" lines.

hashi said...

@totoum -- Lol. I can see that. There is something similar about their basic voices. But I think Ayahi has more range at this point in her career (age 23 vs. age 18). She can do Ein, Mikako, and also Nina in Regios. But Hayamin has so far been kept to one general kind of voice: Momoka, Kou, Musubi, Saki, Ikaros.

In this song, when Ayahi finishes the initial two lines and Hayamin comes in, it takes a few words for me to hear the different quality of her voice, they are so similar in tone. That's what helps them blend so well, though, too.

Nakayoo said...

I love this song. It's really sweet and melodic. And as you said, the voices mix really well.
I haven't watched the series, but i'll try to get to it when i've watched my current series! ^^

hashi said...

@Nakayoo -- This song is a lot more to my taste than the series. But the series does do something interesting with its EDs, having a different song and a different animation after every episode. Including the now-famous "flocks of flying panties" ED animation after ep2.

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