It’s a day early, but today’s post is a welcome guest review from Okazu Superhero, Guest Reviewer, supporter, fan and friend, Eric P. The occasion for the Guest Review today is a good one – I will be giving a keynote speech tonight at the ArtsCAP’s Electronic Media Bootcamp in Asbury Park, NJ. Because my schedule will remain a tad overbusy until the end of this week, I make no promises about reviews for a few days. In the meantime, please offer a warm welcome once again to Eric!
A holiday-themed review would be considered overdue at this point, but — better later than never, perhaps? Anyway, one may assume taking the Catholic schoolgirls of Maria Sama ga Miteru and putting them together to do a Christmas album would make an obvious and fitting combination. By and large, one would be correct.
I never saw any point in collecting the MariMite Drama CD’s because I can’t fully appreciate what I don’t understand listening to, unless it’s J-Pop or J-Rock. So when I heard of there was a MariMite Christmas album, I figured I should at least get this. I went in half-expecting to hear holiday music backed up with broken English (every time I hear or say those two words I can’t help but think of the song). It turns out that their English is actually pretty good, but if you’re really listening then of course some of the pronunciations may be off. But that’s really a nitpick that can’t be helped, and the seiyuu still sing with their own natural grace, so that it is easy to overlook.
Their voices go so well together, almost like an angelic chorus, with a melodic flow. It only makes sense that most of their songs are classic Christmas songs like “Joy to the World”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “Silent Night” and “Angels We Have Heard on High”. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” with its danceable beat would almost feel out of place on this list, but it seems meant to be the one fun break before the seiyuu return to the softer tunes. The only other non-religious song is “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” serving as the album’s appropriate sign-off.
Since the credits on the album are in Japanese, and it’s been a while since I watched the series, I can’t really tell which specific characters sing which songs. I would imagine that Yumi and Sachiko lead most of them, or perhaps it could be Shimako since that’s her picture on the cover. Inside is a booklet containing the lyrics along with a square-card version of the cover image. This card offers us in plain English best wishes throughout the coming year, making it seem like Shimako is praying as much for us.
The only downside is you can get so into the music but it’s over before you know it. The whole thing is literally just 20 minutes long, with 6 songs. They really could have added more to make a fuller-length album so it wouldn’t have to end so soon, but it’s still a very fine CD made up of lovely music nonetheless. You may not be a fan of Christmas songs, and I for one have been fed up with them over the years, but it helps to be even a casual MariMite fan to appreciate this ensemble’s rendition. Some time by the next holiday season, assuming this CD stays in print that long, feel free to add this to your collection (you too, Erica!). And here’s to looking forward to Right Stuf’s future release of the 4th season of Maria Watches Over Us.
Overall-9 (minus 1 point just for the short length)
Thanks Eric! I’ll be passing on this, because there is *more* than enough Christmas music in my house and as a non-celebrant, I feel happier avoiding it as much as possible, sung by popular voice actresses or not. ;-)