With one year between releases, STYLE FIVE are back with their second single titled Future Fish, featured as the ending theme for swimming anime hit FREE!, but this time for its second season: FREE!- Eternal Summer. Nobunaga Shimazaki, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Daisuke Hirakawa, Tsubasa Yonaga and Miyano Mamoru are the main cast in the series and have formed in 2013 the seiyuu unit STYLE FIVE. Their first single “SPLASH FREE” was a major hit, being well received by both the fans and the critics alike. Now it’s time to know if they’ve lived up to the expectations created with that release.
More details regarding the single:
Single: Future Fish Release date: 06/08/14 Label: Lantis Genre. J-pop
|2||NEO BLUE BREATHING|
|3||FUTURE FISH (Off Vocal)|
|4||NEO BLUE BREATHING (Off Vocal)|
Track by track analysis:
1- FUTURE FISH
This is the ending theme of FREE!- Eternal Summer. We kick off with the guitars that quickly give place to the unit’s members time to sing in unison, making it somewhat difficult to distinguish between members. The guitar will shine throughout the whole track alongside with the synths and the bass. Taking into account their previous single SPLASH FREE, addictive from start to finish, the hype behind this one was big but fell short in the end. The problem lays is their singing, not because they don’t know how to sing, because they do, but because we don’t have a moment in the track in which we can appreciate their vocal work individually or in pairs without the whole members making the background vocals ending up overwhelming the listener. 3.5/5
2- NEO BLUE BREATHING
Starting in a different way and with different voices, NEO BLUE BREATHING turns out to be a more daring song, with a bassline that reminds us of Style Five‘s sound in their first single. With a different lineup than the previous track we found three fifths of the group represented by Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Miyano Mamoru and Nobunaga Shimazaki (besides the fact that he rarely appears on it besides in the first verses – then he is majorly overlapped by the auto-tuned parts in the track and the main focus put on Mamoru and Tatsuhisa) that give the song a different touch. On another note, this track sounds way better in terms of not being overcrowded like in the previous song. The synths and the synthetic drums give that danceable vibe that was missing in “FUTURE FISH“, with Shimazaki on the helm of the vocal distortions/auto-tuned parts and background vocal work we have a perfect blend in this track between the soft, sweet vocals provided by Mamoru and Tatsuhisa’s usual rough, lower vocals. The outro is mesmerizing with Mamoru’s chilling high notes alongside Tatsuhisa’s gentler vocals. This is without a doubt the best song of the single. 5/5
In this single we had a little of inconsistency because we have like night and day in here. FUTURE FISH was a little bit of a let down because it broke the momentum Style Five brought from their previous single, and as the title track and the ending theme for the series it really is a shame that the track fails completely to impress. The vocal parts were kind of sloppy and way too much overcrowded, it’s obvious that the unit is relatively big (5 people) but it doesn’t mean that everyone has to sing in they way they performed that track. When we start listening to the song, the first thing that comes to mind is that if each of them had had their proper time to shine in their own way then this track could’ve turned out better, and truth be told that might have been the case. On the other side we have the powerful NEO BLUE BREATHING which is the complete polar opposite of FUTURE FISH, namely because part of the group is not featured in here, the lowest and the highest vocals were put aside in this one (a.k.a Daisuke Hirakawa and Tsubasa Yonaga) which, for some, it might sound like a bad choice, but trust me, when you listen to this song it’s really not the case, who is in charge of STYLE FIVE certainly wanted to use their big names to draw a little bit of attention and compensate for the previous miss with the title track. It’s already known for the fans that Miyano Mamoru and Tatsuhisa Suzuki have previously sang together and they sound amazingly good, that, on itself, is a selling point in this single. On the other side the addition of Nobunaga Shimazaki made the perfect blend in this track that it’ll surprise most of the fans. FUTURE FISH was an overall nice single to listen to despite the first song that’ll kind of let some fans down, but let’s hope that in the future they don’t make the same mistake and make a single with a spoiled fish.
FUTURE FISH is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.