~Yo! Back for the fourth Music Monday in a row! Geez…there must be some kind of conspiracy or perhaps a plan involved with all of this. Or maybe you’re just lucky to have me do this. Lucky lucky.
Over the last few Music Mondays, I’ve done OPs of different kinds. And while I tend to like OPs alot, that’s not saying I don’t appreciate a good ED. So this week, I’ve decided to run with some endings but with a twist. Well, do you wanna know what it is? Do you, do you wanna?
I once had a friend who was very much into Paradise Kiss and really wanted me to read/watch it. And while fashion and modelling is all cool and interesting, it never is really about fashion and modelling in manga/anime. Its like saying Gravitation was about singing and writing novels, it just doesn’t turn out that way. Ai Yazawa is a mangaka who is really hard to ignore, especially if you’re a fan of her latest work Nana, and Paradise Kiss came just before that and (apparently) had just as intriguing characters. I’d heard a bajillion things about George Koizumi before I’d even known what series he was from. But I never actually read or watched the series.
One thing I did know about the series was its ED. Taking Do You Want To by Franz Ferdinand, a Scottish indie rock band made of pure awesomeness, Paradise Kiss does something that very few anime do, and even fewer do well: ENGLISH.
I’ve always thought it to be a weird decision to use English in an anime. Its kind of like if I suddenly started using French mi-chemin à travers une phrase. Its just awkward, for both sides, because you butcher both languages. So the use of English has to somewhat considered and done well for it to really work. And using Franz works for Paradise Kiss, because it brings a je nais se quoi to the anime that fits well within it style. At least I assume it does, having not watched the anime.
Another anime I felt did really well with English in their ED was good old Hellsing. For those of you that don’t know, Hellsing is about vampires (and other creatures of the night) set in England, the home of English. Its one of those anime that needed to get its English right, and its also one of the few anime I can watch in dub, purely because English is MEANT to work in it (and they kind of get the accents right). But Shine is just a really good way to end an anime. Apart from being somewhat ironic (Shine/Vampires? Yeah. Remember when vampires used to die in sunlight? I do), its just a nice slow way to end an anime on an emotional high. Which is what an ED should do, it should end an episode, offering time to reflect and be like “Wow…that was a good episode.” One of my big issues with EDs, particularly in shounen, is that they can be kind of obtrusive or somewhat inappropriate (like a really slow, sad song at the end of action packed cliffhanger). And its hard to pick an ED because of that, because the endings to anime more varied than their beginnings, which makes Shine a perfect choice for Hellsing. And the fact that its a song by Mr. Big, who did one of my favourite early 90s contemporary rock songs, oh that’s just the icing on the cake.
With that said, it is somewhat of a lazy approach to take an English band and make them do a song for you. Some Japanese people get it right (at least most of the time), just look at Yoko Kanno.