Let’s talk about Hayashibara Megumi

I often reference my “All roads lead to H!P” post wherein I describe how Hello!Project was and continues to be my gateway into all things Jpop. While admittedly this statement may be slightly exagerated, it does hold up for my latest purchase from CDJapan, pictured below.

The CD case for this single is a true work of art.

Now, you may be wondering what does Hayashibara Megumi’s Shuuketsu no Sadame have to do with H!P? Well as it happens, I was watching a H!P related OPV (Original Promotional Video) and while the video itself was a bit mediocre, the background music was epically enticing. A bit of research and I found out the name of the song and the artist and was purchasing it off of CDJapan not a few minutes later. Let that be a message to the content companies of the world who look with misplaced apprehension at the internet and see it as the ultimate harbinger of evil. Don’t fear the internet, embrace it. It’s the easiest promotional tool at your disposal.

In any case this single was my introduction to Hayashibara Megumi. She’s quite a well-known anime-seiyuu (236 roles credited to her name according to generasia) and as with many other seiyuu’s she regularly releases singles tied in with various anime series. This single, Shuuketsu no Sadame, was used as an image song for the anime Shin Seiki Evangelion. This in itself is quite a new experience for me. Usually I watch the anime first and then I buy the music. With this single I had never seen an episode of the anime in question (though I was vaguely aware of it) yet that formed no impetus for my purchase of it.

And what a roaringly good single it is. Epic is probably the best word to decribe it. From the opening chants I was hooked. This song exemplifies why I love Jpop. It manages to make me feel such a range of different emotions without me even understanding any of the lyrics or even really knowing what the song is about. I know that seems slightly absurd, but that’s just how I roll. The value of lyrics in Western music was already quite low to me and when I found Jpop I discovered that I didn’t even need it at all to enjoy a song. And while the coupling song Kyou no Hi wa Sayonara (Maternal ver.) is quite jarringly different from the main song and not really my cup of tea, with such a good main song, I really don’t mind.

I also wish to give a shoutout to the CD case. It really is beautifully crafted. It folds open twice and has some really nice Evangelion related artwork on the back. While the music of course remains the main focus, I did want to point out how well executed the CD case design was.

All in all this is a definite purchase. Even if you’re not a fan of the anime (as I said, I have never seen an episode), I think anyone with even a mild interest in Jpop will really enjoy this.

As usual it’s available from CDJapan. Do check it out.