Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Tuesday Tunes – Congratulations on Kouhaku, Mizuki Nana!

Posted on: November 24, 2009

Mizuki Nana, as seen on the cover of the Astrogation single.Today’s tunes are inspired by my love for Mizuki Nana as a singer, with a nod to Kouhaku Uta Gassen for acknowledging that Mizuki Nana isn’t just for otaku anymore – though they definitely make up a strong core of her audience. She sure has come a long way from her early appearances a decade ago, though. Let’s take a musical journey through the many genres, styles, and songs of my favorite Japanese singer!

My first encounter with Mizuki Nana was via the popular visual novel series Memories Off, where she played the main character of Memories Off 2nd and sang the songs for the next couple of games. The music from that series is written by well-known composer Shikura Chiyomaru, who isn’t the greatest musician but does very well in the anisong world. The music didn’t hook me immediately, but I spent some time with the Memories Off 2nd soundtrack in my alarm clock, and I eventually became hooked.

Then came Bistro Cupid 2, a much much stranger game that I played mostly to get to the ending song. I’m only half joking about this…

Then in 2004, a little series known as Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha started airing in Japan, which led to some interesting dichotomies. Mizuki Nana’s voice acting tends to be meek and cutesy, which fits many of her characters, like Hinata in Naruto and Fate in Nanoha – and while her music matched for a while, in time they started taking the restraints off of her and letting her go full-out with her voice. Compare the first season to one of the later seasons:

Nanoha started propelling Mizuki Nana on the road to superstardom, boosted by a new songwriting/composing studio in Elements Garden. These days she’s the singing equivalent of Wolverine – people will stick her into anything possible in order to drum up guaranteed sales from singles and character albums, and even the Animelo concert series has come to lean on her heavily – by my count, she was on stage for 5 duets and ensembles, while she had 3 solo acts. The thing is – she can fill up an arena on her own, and there’s good reason. She’s really damn good.

So anyway, there you have it. 5 examples of Mizuki Nana’s gorgeous singing voice.

Okay, 6. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go dig out my CDs and bask in the music while waiting for Kouhaku in a month.

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