Since i’ve watched pilot episodes of Arashi’s oldest and youngest member’s newly airing dramas, i guess i can now weigh in on the theme songs, I seek and Daylight, respectively… particularly on the song suitability for the show.
When i first sampled the radio rip versions of the upcoming double-A side single (coming out on May 18), both dramas have yet to air. And based on melody alone, i felt that they should’ve swapped the ending songs. However, i thought it’s only fair to assert this opinion once i’ve gotten a better understanding of the shows — i read only a bit about the projects, just enough to get a gist of each title, so despite knowing that Ohno’s drama (Sekai Ichi Muzukashii Koi) is a romantic comedy and Jun’s (99.9 ~Keiji Senmon Bengoshi~) a legal drama, i had no idea about their mood or tone — and the lyrics. Now that i did, my stance stands.
In terms of show’s direction, SekaMuzu is clear-cut. It is about Samejima Reiji’s (Ohno) persistent-yet-mortifying efforts to woo Shibayama Misaki (Haru), for which a change of his petty mindset and aloof disposition is needed. Meanwhile, i have yet to figure out where 99.9 is going. That number signifies the conviction rate of Japan’s criminal justice system, which doesn’t mean its common law system is near perfection. As a defense lawyer, Miyama Hiroto (Jun) strives neither to appeal for leniency nor to get not guilty verdict, but to unearth the real truth behind a case, which may very well lie behind that 0.1%. Episode 1 is centered around case(s) of the week hence the procedural approach. While amused by Miyama-sensei’s unique way of investigating and reconstructing crime scenes, i am more interested in the characters than their work styles. Competency is highly appreciated, but a driving force is essential to keep me going — be it a deeper mystery, a hidden agenda, or a personal quest of any sort. Until i spot that central premise (also why Miyama has a penchant for touching his ears), the story is so-so.
Back to the theme music!
The lyrics may not correspond with the tie-in drama’s theme — ideally they should — but they ought to at least capture the essence regardless how vague it is, so i expected I seek‘s to be somewhat romantic and Daylight‘s fairly hopeful. We need to wait until the release date for the official full version, but from what i’ve perused thus far, that’s certainly the case. I just didn’t expect the rom-com OST to be progressive dance number while the criminal law drama has the symphonic tune. Content-wise, I seek would be at odds with 99.9’s genre, but i suppose its intensity and friskiness would match the cheekiness of 99.9 whereasDaylight‘s crescendoing fervor shall befit the moodiness of SekaMuzu more nicely.
It’s been two weeks since i first listened to the title tracks. I’ve warmed up to I seek and looped Daylight on end by now. It took me a while to find the former’s highlights; it sounds like the group’s typical uptempo album track, backed by layers of dynamic instruments section. The melody in the verses and pre-chorus is pretty good, but the chorus lacks that oomph factor. Only the “mada mada mada koi ga nai nai~” part is catchy. Hints of Bittersweet and specks of Sakura can be heard, and i do enjoy the high energy and playful air.
The other half of the double-A side, however, took no time to do things to me. A few seconds into the piano loop, i was already hooked. Then comes the verses, whose melody and harmony i love. By the time the chorus hits, i was sold through and through. The silvery rap is the cherry on top. I hardly like a song on first listen and am honestly surprised by how much i was diggin’ Daylight even before the one-half version finished playing. Everything about this song is on point, from the piano intro to the brass coda. Even the Sakurap style is right up my alley — euphonious, not too deep, decently long. Not to mention the rapping overlapping with the other four singing, the style i am partial to (see also: Pikanchi double, Kaze no mukou e, Sora takaku, 5×10) simply because the contrast is really beautiful. Boy, is it an utter bliss! Like the name suggests, Daylight gives off bright and heartwarming beats. It’s setting up to be my all-time favorite single(s) from these five.
These being said, after watching the second episode of SekaMuzu, i begin to feel thatI seek is an appropriate closing music for the drama. I can see myself getting used to Daylight for 99.9. It’s a matter of time, i guess =)