Wataru Hatano new single “Kakusei no Air” (覚醒のAir) is already out. The single featured as the opening theme for music/shoujo anime by Rejet/Elements Garden “Dance with Devils” managed to impress a lot of his fans and non fans – both with the quality of the single and its energy. Let’s check it for ourselves.
Single: Kakusei no Air (覚醒のAir) Label: Avex Release date: 14/10/15 Genre: J-Rock/Alternative
1 - 覚醒のAir 2 - Synchronic 3 - The Late Show
Track by track analysis:
1 – 覚醒のAir
Taking on a completely different approach to his rock sound, Hatano completely embraced symphonic metal with this unconventional collaboration with ELEMENTS GARDEN (widly known for their electronic instrumentals). With heavy drums, a powerful bassline and fast paced aggressive guitar riffs blended with orchestral elements (strings, choir and piano). Listening to this powerful instrumental it’s easy to say that this, by itself, should win an award of some kind. Thank you ELEMENTS GARDEN for not ruining for once a song by such a skilled vocalist. Hatano shines brightly in his rock singles but the symphonic metal really shone a different light for him and one that fits him like a glove. Hatano simply destroys everything with his low, piercing vocals. Song of the year? Probably. 5/5
2 – Synchronic
If you thought that you’ve had your fill of complete changes then you were wrong. Hatano also gave his first steps in heavy industrial rock. With an instrumental focused on the dancefloor almost sounding that it came right from the early 90’s with its synthetic drums, dirty synths and a piano, Synchronic doesn’t disappoint: drums and funky guitars are added to the mix making this instrumental incredibly addictive and classic. Hatano has his vocals slightly processed but nothing that overwhelming or weird. This song might sound completely weird and out-of-place, especially when we take into account that the previous track was symphonic metal inspired, but this sounds like a heavy dancefloor anthem right from the first verse and pre-chorus and will grab your attention, making you beg for more. 5/5
3 – The Late Show
On a more upbeat and funny note “The Late Show” goes slightly back to Hatano‘s early bright pop tracks. With a song as diversified as this one – it’s pop, it’s jazz, it’s everything – we’re presented with a fun track, but certainly not the type of track Hatano delivers in order to show his vocal skills. This sounds more like a fun way to present his fans with a track that will certainly make a lot of them join its craziness. On our side: the track is musically weak, and a complete let down in comparison with the previous two tracks. 3.5/5
We still haven’t fully digested how impressive 覚醒のAir is. This is the kind of surprise that every fan loves to be presented with. Hatano putting his rock sound aside and embracing symphonic metal and even deliver a performance worthy of a powerhouse title? Hell yes, this is quite possibly the best change/improvement a seiyuu has done this year. Adding to this was his jump right into industrial rock – heavy dancefloor driven if we might add. The first two tracks really managed to impress right from the bat while “The Last Show” didn’t even seem to belong in this release at all. All in all this release is one of the best Hatano has released so far.
Fierce, powerful, energetic, addictive and all the other things that come to your mind might fit into the description of this hidden gem in the midst of all the October/November releases.
“Kakusei no Air” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.