Posted by: 愛撫 | 05/21/08

Single review: KOTOKO – Special Life!

This single sucks.

KOTOKO – Special Life! (2008, Geneon)


1. Special Life!

2. capriccio ~心はいつも曇りのち晴れ~ (Kokoro wa Itsumo Komori Nochi Hare)

3. Special Life! (Instrumental ver.)

4. capriccio ~心はいつも曇りのち晴れ~ (Instrumental ver.)

The review:

I’ve written this review before. “I’ve releases an uninspiring pile of shit as a single, my faith in the universe dwindles as Maiko Iuchi continues to have a completely undeserved musical career, love is over.”

And it wasn’t supposed to be like this: KOTOKO and C.G mix’s last few collaborations have been nothing but a joy to listen to (excepting perhaps the middling ‘Sociometry’, which still at the very least was better than the A-side it got stuck with), and Kamen no Maid Guy seemed like the exact sort of ridiculous comedy that another theme like Shichitenhakki*Shijoushugi would compliment oh so very well – but something, somewhere, went horribly wrong. Instead of a hyperactive rush of energy like the aforementioned Shichitenhakki, we get something that sounds more like a particularly horrible Outer outtake (think something along the lines of Ha!!!ppiness). Except KOTOKO probably would’ve had fun with the Outer song – here she sounds unusually forced, voice seemingly worn ragged from too many SHORT CIRCUIT II shows and incapable of doing anything much beyond simply shouting in an incredibly unappealing manner. And C.G mix, that usually-reliable provider of happiness and light in the nondescript, hopelessly bland landscape of I’ve Sound’s Geneon singles, does nothing to help – he might even be more worn out than KOTOKO, if the murky mixing that inexplicably makes the shouted hook softer than the verse sections is any indication of the man’s state. Bringing the focus towards guitars (never his strong point, as anyone who’s heard his solo album would know) and largely ignoring the passable synth riff that runs throughout the song, he continues an unfortunate I’ve producer trend (see: Kazuya Takase) by accentuating his weaknesses and playing down his strengths. It’s painful to hear, and makes Special Life! a glaring dark spot on an otherwise brilliant body of work.

But, as I said, I’ve written this review before. There’s nothing new about Special Life! aside from C.G mix being the one to fuck up instead of, say, Takase, SORMA or Iuchi. It’s bland, it’s uninteresting, and it’s attached to an anime series that’s not going to get Geneon out of the massive rut that they’re in. I wish I could analyze for you all what precisely makes the song so horribly dull, but if you go beneath the surface there’s just nothing there. Nothing but a quick cash-grab that probably won’t even make that much cash: and that’s the I’ve Sound way.

(I would say something about the Maiko Iuchi-produced B-side “capriccio”, but I think “Maiko Iuchi-produced B-side” pretty much says everything that needs saying by itself.)



  1. I should say that this single is sort of “expectable”… The Special Life radio rip that was posted here says it. It’s like reading a one-liner story or phrase that you already know what will be the outcome. There’s no thrill on it much specially on Capriccio. I thought Iuchi will do something to improve on her compositions/arrangements but it was expectedly sort of… dull – like what you said.

    It looks like I’ve Sound is not in their greatest shape to produce. Nakazawa was great on single/album songs but I didn’t like his recent eroge song composition Ha!!!ppiness.

  2. “It’s bland, it’s uninteresting, and it’s attached to an anime series that’s not going to get Geneon out of the massive rut that they’re in.”
    Pretty much says it all. There is so little inspiration from the anime that Geneon is producing that the coupling song sounds that much better than the A-side, which isn’t saying much. So little inspiration that they couldn’t think of anything for the PV outside of “fly KOTOKO down to Saipan and try to make her look cute.”

  3. Maybe they didn’t want to produce this single…

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