Saturday, July 09, 2011

Orange Range - "Asterisk" (Bleach opening theme #1)

I've been amusing myself today by looking up full song versions of some anime theme songs. Another thing that I enjoy about anime is that there is a lot of really good music used in these shows. Most of it is, of course, in Japanese, so I've also been trying to find subtitled videos so I can see the English translation and at least get an idea of what the song is about.
So hey, blog fodder!

Bleach has been running for about 15 seasons now, as far as I know, and has changed theme music many times. However, it doesn't change music specifically with the seasons. I haven't ever been able to figure out exactly why it changes when it does. Sometimes it seems the new music indicates a shift in the story arc, sometimes it doesn't.
Also, the theme music of most anime that I am aware of uses shortened versions of previously released songs. Bleach, for example, generally uses 90-second versions for the opening theme and 60-second versions for the ending theme. The opening is always a different song from the ending.
"Asterisk" was a 2005 hit by the Okinawan band Orange Range. Their music is sort of alt-rock with some rap thrown in (to the best of my knowledge). It went to #1 on the Japanese charts and stayed in the top 20 for 22 weeks. It was used as the Bleach opening theme for episodes 1-25.
Here's the opening theme version for comparison.

This is my favorite of all the Bleach opening themes so far, although I haven't heard full versions of them all yet. Here's the full version, official video with English subtitles.

I expect that this will give me something else to blog about now and then, and I'll try to find subtitled versions whenever I post one of these.

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