I sure put this sucker off for a while, eh? Since the first preview clip of it was made available, my relationship with Virgin’s high! (enough laziness, I’m actually including the damn exclamation mark from now on) has been fairly less than healthy. I think the fact that my reaction to the Sky Girls opening video was a post titled “Virgin’s high short version up, song frankly terrible” tells that story pretty nicely – but now that the single’s out, have my opinions about the song changed?
MELL– Virgin’s high! (2007, Geneon)
1. Virgin’s high!
3. Virgin’s high! -instrumental-
4. kicks! -instrumental-
Before I get to Virgin’s high! the song, I’d like to note that Sky Girls, the anime it’s attached to, is utter garbage. Based off an OVA which was itself only created to cash in on a hot line of trading figures (‘Mecha Musume’ – look the line up if you’re into moe girls, military hardware and weird combinations of the two), Sky Girls is nothing but cliché after horrible cliché driven home with all the understated subtlety of a nuclear explosion.
With that as background, it’s only natural that Maiko Iuchi approached the prospect of writing the opening theme for Sky Girls with that same level of beauty and grace. Opening with a tired barrage of hair-metal guitars and godawful Engrish (“Please call me maiden sky girls, rising crazy?” is an actual quote), Virgin’s high! starts off as just about the ugliest-sounding song I’ve has ever produced. The awful guitars do thankfully go away from time to time, but there’s no changing the fact that I can’t name a single official I’ve track with an intro that sucks anywhere near as much as the one for Virgin’s high! does.
And it’s just when those guitars go away that something amazing happens. For no apparent reason, Virgin’s high! stops trying to be Red fraction about 3 minutes in and instead focuses on MELL’s rarely heard-from cute side. It’s only some 30 seconds before the endlessly bland array of power chords comes back in full force, unfortunately, but those 30 seconds of synth-fueled bliss are nearly enough to redeem the single. MELL makes as convincing a denpa singer as any of the other I’ve girls (and she’s certainly far better-suited for it than Eiko), so it’s unfortunate that her cute songs are so few and far between. Even more unfortunate is that Virgin’s high! spends so much time trying to be hard when its only good part comes from an abrupt (and all-too-brief) style change, but with any luck it might just be an indicator that MELL’s next single will be a little less Red fraction and a little more FLY TO THE TOP.*
And, well, after Virgin’s high! there’s kicks!. It isn’t bad, but being damned with faint praise is just about all it deserves. The beat isn’t bad and the verse sections aren’t either, but the chorus is absolutely dreadful. Oh, and the random Engrish thrown in amongst the predominantly-Japanese lyrics makes me wish I wasn’t fluent in English myself. Why? Well, I figure if I wasn’t so intimately familiar with the language sentences like “my name is pain” might not make me want to hurt myself so. And if I didn’t want to hurt myself while listening to MELL, then that would very much be a good thing. Alas, such is not the case. “My name is pain” is an absolutely horrible line, and the fact that it’s rhymed with “rain” makes me want to take up a sign, fly over to Japan and start protesting MELL’s continued insistence on writing her own lyrics.
Overall, Virgin’s high! has its one moment of brilliance and brief flirtations with tolerability throughout the rest of it, but its overwhelming flaws coupled with an unimpressive B-side makes this one MELL’s worst single to date by a very wide margin. Which is a shame, but that’s how it goes.
(* for those unfamiliar, FLY TO THE TOP is a MELL song from 2002 notable for being approximately the cutest thing she’s ever done. You can hear it on the I’ve Girls compilation album ‘Disintegration’, and she also performs it live on the I’ve at Budokan DVD.)