Kurayami Monogatari

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Akiko Shikata – Utau Oka ~Ar=Ciel Ar=Dor~ October 7, 2010

Filed under: Akiko Shikata — solarblade @ 4:43 am

Track Listing

  1. Utau Oka ~Ar=Ciel Ar=Dor~
  2. Resshi Kouki ~Raikoku no Tenshi~
  3. Shelanoir no Mori
  4. Infelious Rhaplanca. Ten no Inori ~Rhaplanca~/Chi no Aganai ~Maoh~
  5. Afezeria HARVESTASYA.
  6. Ec Tisia ~Tarifa~

1. Utau Oka ~Ar=Ciel Ar=Dor~

I always wonder what’s it like to review something Akiko does that isn’t exactly a part of her official discography and with Utau Oka, I see that I miss quite a bit.  While this mini-album is kind of confusing to listen to because it’s in the whole style or the Ar tonelico series so I can never determine if Akiko is singing in JPN or in Hymmnos…Then again I feel the same way with some of KOKIA’s works as well so it’s not much of a surprise, but I love Akiko’s vocals since they radiate in the song and even with the BKGD vocals, it’s pretty strong!  Very moving piece and opens things pretty beautifully.

2. Resshi Kouki ~Raikoku no Tenshi~

When we get into the 2nd song, I’m kind of like in awe at how pretty Resshi Kouki sounds all around.  I know I’ve heard that the multiple harmonizations are all her and IMO, it’s a nifty way to do songs for sure.  After the rather long opening, the style of the song changes into a more electronic style with dance beats and Akiko’s airy vocals providing the vocals and it’s pretty ^_^.  Unfortunately that stays for a bit before it gets very dramatic and powerful.  It’s angsty and I like the way it just went through it all before quickly calming itself down and returning to the electronica style.  It’s pretty nifty of a song and I like it ALOT!

3. Shelanoir no Mori

Compared to that last song, Shelanoir no Mori really calms things down for a bit and I quite like it.  It’s quite the light and eccentric little tune and since Akiko’s vocals are higher and more squeakier it’s a bit of a different sound, but it’s not bad really, just hard to get used to.  At least it isn’t the chaos that was “EXEC_EP=NOVA/.”  That was just a little too bizarre for me.  Still it’s calm, light and puts the mood down after such an explosion with “Resshi Kouki”.

4. Infelious Rhaplanca. Ten no Inori ~Rhaplanca~/Chi no Aganai ~Maoh~

Yup, the one with the longest title is also the longest song off the mini-album.  Infelious Rhaplanca. begins with a very strong opening from Akiko (who I didn’t know could go so low) but still wow nonetheless.  Then the this rather child-like arrangement comes in as well with Akiko in her higher and airy sound and it sounds so mysterious to listen to.  It seems like there’s different passages as well since the melody changes quite a bit which is cool to hear as well.  After the quietness, I’m guessing Chi no Aganai comes in as the more upbeat and folkish sounding part and this was one of the better parts of the songs since there’s flutes and strings and the like.  I was definitely impressed by this song, even though I have no clue what she’s saying…Hymmnos I guess…

5. Afezeria HARVESTASYA.

I wonder if this song has anything to do with “Utau Oka ~EXEC_HARVESTASYA/.~ from Akiko’s 2nd major album, “RAKA”.  I really don’t know but whatever this song is interesting nonetheless.  It starts up with some winding up an orgel and Akiko singing a little bit before bagpipes enter the song.  Wait, BAGPIPES?!?…I don’t know why, but this little Irish-y tune kind of knocked me off my seat since it’s so off the wall.  After the song does go into dramatic mode and the chorus of Akiko’s take over and the comes quiet again.  It’s different (I’ve said that tons of times huh?).  Interesting song and it moves all over the place, but it’s good.

6. Ec Tisia ~Tarifa~

Ending the mini-album Ec Tisia begins with Akiko ad-libbing by herself and the background vocals.  It seems that it’s going to be one of the simplest songs since there’s really only acoustic guitar providing music under low-lying drums come in at the end and it’s great to hear male vocals backing Akiko up as well.  Still I was surprised that arrangement-wise it was simple, but vocally it was very complex and actually amazing!

While this isn’t really considered Akiko’s official release since it’s an Ar tonelico release, it’s really good and makes me wonder if Akiko could bring this complexity of her arrangements here to her official releases.  My only problem for people to this mini is that unless you don’t know what Hymmnos is, then you’ll have 0 ideas of what she’s saying…then again I still need to work on that too since I have the same amount.  Seeing though as it made #7 on the Daily Oricon charts…I’m surprised but this is definitely a good release *RECOMMENDED*


3 Responses to “Akiko Shikata – Utau Oka ~Ar=Ciel Ar=Dor~”

  1. aquagon Says:

    To just add something, the styles found here are pretty common through most of Shikata’s releases, considering she does all the composing, arrangement and choral arrangement in most of the songs she does.

    Also, I’d advise you to seek the translations for the songs, given that even if you learnt everything that has been released about Hymmnos so far, you wouldn’t been able to understand the lyrics from just listening, given the great number of unknown words that were added in this album, and that it uses the Ar Ciela and Risshizentsukuyomi dialects, which are pretty much indecipherable at this point.

    That said, here is a brief rundown of what each song is:

    1) Utau Oka ~Ar=Ciel Ar=Dor~: A remix of the opening song from Ar tonelico 3 (Harmonics TILIA). Tells the story of Ar Ciel from its creation up to the creation of the three towers.

    2) Resshikouki ~Raikoku no Tenshi~: Tells the story of a demigod sent by Listea/Koudeinomikoto (the Ar Ciel god of weapons and war) to destroy the kingdom of El Nemesys. At the end, he fell in love and saved the princess of El Nemesys, Liarsha, but after the destruction of her kingdom, Liarsha killed him and committed suicide, so they both could be together in death.

    3) Shelanoir no Mori: A story about the Ar Ciel goddess of the plants, Shelanoir, the destruction of rebirth of her forest, and her friendship with a Teru boy called Ryugg.

    4) Infelious Rhaplanca. Ten no Inori ~Rhaplanca~/Chi no Aganai ~Maoh~: Basically is the finale of the Rhaplanca myths, which tells how she sacrificed herself to create the land of Metafalss, and how Maoh continued living in order to fulfill her wishes. As a side note, you can hear an arrangement of METHOD_IMPLANTA/. during the start of the song.

    5) Afezeria HARVESTASYA: It does have to do with Utau Oka ~EXEC_HARVESTASYA/.~, but just because they are two different takes on the same legend. In this one, Harvestasya had to go and save her beloved, Myu, from the Goddess of love and depravation, Datenkou/Salapator. You can also hear an arrangement of the main melody of Utau Oka ~Harmonics EOLIA~ and EXEC_HARVESTASYA/. near the end.

    6) Ec Tisia ~Tarifa~: It doesn’t really tell an story, given how it’s the final battle song for Ar tonelico 3, and it just shows the feelings of hope and doubt the will of Ar Ciel has towards the humans. As a side note, the stringed instrument used here isn’t a guitar, but it’s actually a Bouzouki. And as you might know, there is another version of this song, called simply Ec Tisia, which is longer and more complex, and serves as the ending theme for Ar tonelico 3.

    • solarblade Says:

      LOL, for the way it rolls it’s like trying to understand a Sound Horizon album XD. Lots of storylines strung through the songs, but hahaha the language is prolly the thing that gets to me since most of the time I don’t understand it…even if it was in JPN…I think Akiko’s vocals are like syrup and u just have to know what it is lol

      By the way it looks, this seems to be more of a best-of kind of thing…or maybe just tying up the missing knots in the series…not sure.

      • aquagon Says:

        Yeah, the words she sings are somewhat hard to make out sometimes, and it turns into true hell when trying to listen to some of her foreign language songs (particularly the ones that have unpublished lyric lines).

        As for the album, it actually is other way of expanding the setting of Ar Ciel, according to what director Tsuchiya said. After all, Ar tonelico is not just limited to the games.

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