Yowamushi Pedal Character Song Album is a two-disc compilation of eight character song CDs that were released in Japan.
Yowamushi Pedal Character Song Album
Release Date: July 15, 2015
The tracklist takes the tracks from each of the eight character song CDs and keeps them broken out by what appeared on each disc. In other words, the tracks from the various CDs weren’t mixed around into a different order. The character song CDs were sequenced where you get one character singing a song, another character singing another song, and then the two characters singing a song together. There was one exception, where one of the discs has two songs sung as duets by two characters and also includes the theme for Love Hime, the in-series anime series that Sakamichi watches, as its third song.
The first disc opens with the tracks from the character song CD that featured Sakamichi and Makishima. “Ride On” is sung by Daiki Yamashita, the voice actor for Sakamichi, It took me a minute to realize that this was Sakamichi’s voice actor, because it look a little while until I could hear parts of the song where his singing voice has the same type of tone to it as the speaking voice. It’s an upbeat pop song, which makes sense for a character like Sakamichi.
“Long Way to Go” is sung by Showataro Morikubo, the voice actor for Makishima. Vocally, it was a lot easier to hear Makishima from the get-go. While this is also an upbeat song, it’s not quite as “poppy” as Sakamichi’s song. Even so, both songs were enjoyable to listen to.
The title of their joint song translates to, “A Little Bit More, A Little Bit More.” Musically, it kind of falls between the overtly upbeat pop of Sakamichi’s song and the more restrained tone of Makishima’s song. The voices actors’ voices actually work well together for this song.
This is followed by the tracks from the character song CD that featured Miki and Aya. “Top Of Tops!” is sung by Ayaka Suwa, the voice actress for Miki. While it’s an upbeat pop song, this one more prominently features a guitar compared to the previous three tracks on the disc. It’s a fun little song.
The title of the next song translates to, “Signpost,” and it’s sung by Megumi Han, the voice actress for Aya. After a slower start, the song picks up the tempo and features keyboard and drums. Megumi Han has a good singing voice, and it works well with this song.
“Yell!!” is the joint song sung between Miki and Aya, and it features some English lyrics, especially in the intro. Compared to the previous tracks on this disc, this song focuses more on an electronic sound for its music instead of the pop and rock sound of the previous ones. Unfortunately, I don’t think the actress’ voices work as well together on this song when compared to the other voices actors singing together on their joint songs. I also thought that “Yell!!” was the weakest track to appear on this release.
The next song’s title translates to, “World Of Silence,” and it’s sung by Kousuke Toriumi, the voice actor for Imaizumi. Musically, this song sounds a lot closer to some of the theme songs that have been used for the series. This was another case where I didn’t recognize that it was Imaizumi’s voice actor right at first, because the inflection and tone he uses for his singing is noticeably different from when he’s providing Imaizumi’s speaking voice. It’s a good song, though, and I appreciate it even more because it helps to make up for listening to “Yell!!” right before.
Hiroki Yasumoto, the voice actor for Kinjou sings the next song, whose title translates to, “Stone Road Snake.” I could easily tell it was Kinjou’s voice actor singing this one, because the sound of his singing voice sounds very similar to the sound of the character’s speaking voice. This is quite an upbeat track, and his voice works really well for it. You can hear an intensity to this song that you really hadn’t heard in any of the tracks up to this point.
“All For One” is the joint song between Imaizumi and Kinjou. Musically, it finds the middle ground between the sound of Imaizumi’s song and Kinjou’s song. It’s an upbeat track, but it doesn’t have the intensity of “Stone Road Snake.” I think that the two actors’ voices work well together on this song.
Jun Fukushima, the voice actor for Naruko sings the next song, whose title translates to, “Naniwa’s Speedman.” Not surprisingly, this song is an upbeat track and has a bit of a “flashy” feel to it, which is quite appropriate for a character who prides himself on being flashy. As soon as Jun Fukushima starts singing, you can tell that this is Naruko’s song, because you can easily hear the Naruko voice in the delivery. After listening to this, I found “Naniwa’s Speedman” to be an enjoyable song.
The next song’s title translates to, “Rampage Meat Warhead,” and it’s sung by Kentaro Ito, the voice actor for Tadokoro. Musically, the intensity picks up with this track, and it incorporates both a rock sound and some electronics. When you hear the actor’s deep voice, you can tell that this is Tadokoro’s song. I appreciated hearing the very different musical styles being used for these two characters’ solo songs, since it fits the dynamic that these characters have in the show.
The final track on the first disc translates to “The Title of Fastest and Strongest,” and it’s the joint song between Naruko and Tadokoro. It has the heavier guitar that Tadokoro’s song has, but it also incorporates the more “flashy” feel of Naruko’s song. The actors’ voices complement each other on this song, and it’s amusing to hear these two characters working together and singing a song together.
The second disc opens with “Over The Sky,” which is sung by Tsubasa Yonaga, the voice actor for Manami. Musically, this is another one that sounds like some of the opening theme songs for the anime series. Vocally, I could tell right away that this was Manami’s voice actor singing. This is a fun and upbeat song, with an almost carefree feel to it. Considering Manami’s personality, the sound of this song makes sense.
This is followed by “Sleeping Beauty,” which is sung by Tetsuya Kakihara, the voice actor for Toudou. Musically, this song sounds quite dramatic, which makes sense for Toudou, since he can be a dramatic character. It’s a little harder to tell by the voice that this is Toudou right at first, but it becomes blatantly clear when you hear him sing the words, “sleeping beauty.” This song may sound dramatic, but it’s still a fun and upbeat track.
Manami and Toudou’s joint song is, “Climber’s High.” Musically, this one tries to combine the musical styles of the two previous songs, although it seems to lean a little more toward the “carefree” sound of Manami’s song. This song works well for these voice actors, and their voices blend together perfectly.
“Beyond The Time” is sung by Tomoaki Maeno, the voice actor for Fukutomi. Vocally, you can tell immediately that it’s him, because like with Kinjou’s voice actor, his voice is very distinct. Musically, this song is a hard driving piece, which makes sense for a character who keeps declaring that he’s strong. His voice also works well with this kind of a song.
The next song is sung by Hiroyuki Yoshino, the voice actor for Arakita, and its title translates to, “Running Alone.” Musically, this one is an upbeat song that has a little more focus on the guitar, but it’s nowhere near as hard or as driving as “Beyond The Time.” It’s a little harder to tell that this is Arakita’s voice actor until you get to the chorus. At that point, you can clearly hear Arakita in the voice. This song has a nice blend of pop and rock to it, and I enjoyed it.
“Lonely Wolves” is the joint song between Fukutomi and Arakita. Musically, this is another song that almost sounds like it could have been used as an opening theme for the series. Unfortunately, the two voices actors’ voices don’t work together quite as well as most of the male pairings included on this release. Even with that, this is still an enjoyable song to listen to.
“Go Beyond the Line” is sung by Satoshi Hino, the voice actor for Shinkai. Musically, this is an upbeat and rocking number, although it’s not as hard or driving as Fukutomi’s solo song. Vocally, I have to admit that I had a hard time hearing that this was Shinkai’s voice actor singing, because his singing voice has a noticeably different tone to it compared to the speaking voice he uses for Shinkai. It’s not a bad song, though, even if I can’t really hear Shinkai here.
“Like a Long Lance” is sung by Atsushi Abe, the voice actor for Izumida. This song stands out the most from the tracks in the set, because it’s not really trying to be a rock song. Instead, it focuses much more on the electronics, and it almost sounds like something you might hear in a dance club. You can kind of hear Izumida when the actor is singing, but what makes it clear that this is Izumida’s song is the “abs, abs, abs” chant that shows up during it. This is one of the standout tracks on this release for me, due to just how different it sounds from the rest of the material. Even though it stands out, it does so in a good way.
“Blowing” is the joint song between Shinkai and Izumida. Musically, this song tries to blend together the driving guitar of Shinaki’s song with some of the electronics from Izumida’s song. This blending of sounds actually works. It also helps that the actors’ voices mesh together and that this meshing perfectly complements the musical sound of the song.
The next two songs, “Best Rival” and “Last Climb,” are duets performed by Showtaro Morikubo and Tetsuya Kakihara, the voice actors for Makishima and Toudou, respectively. “Best Rival” is an upbeat song, and musically, it’s a pop rock number that incorporates horns into its arrangement. This style works for these two characters, and the actors’ voices blend together perfectly and add a nice touch to this musical arrangement. “Last Climb” is a more aggressive rock sounding song, and once again, the actors’ voices blend together so well that it enhances the music of this song.
The final track on the disc is “Love Princess Pettanko,” the theme song for the in-series anime, Love Hime. The song is sung by Yukari Tamura, the voice actress for the lead character of Love Hime. I really love the 8-bit sound that this song has, especially in its intro. This is such an iconic song in Yowamushi Pedal, especially after it becomes the song that Sakamichi uses to help Tadokoro return to the rest of the team after he fell behind the pack. Of course, it continues its iconic status well past that particular scene. I thought this was a great way to wrap up this collection.
Overall, I enjoyed Yowamushi Pedal Character Song Album, although I admit that my main reason for getting this set was to get a physical copy of “Love Princess Pettanko.” I usually don’t go out of my way to get character songs, so I considered them to be a bonus when I got this release. Fortunately, the majority of the character songs on here are very enjoyable and are songs I’d be willing to listen to again. The main exception is “Yell!!,” the joint song between Miki and Aya. Outside of that, I would highly recommend this release to fans of Yowamushi Pedal who have an appreciation for character songs.
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