Anyway, the point is, we decided to finally listen to the CD last night. We also listened to it twice during work today, where we learned that Linda Linda is a very dangerous song to listen to when you're trying to do stuff that involves thinking. It's really hard to concentrate when you're singing, but how were we supposed to resist? The chorus has two parts, and one of my favorite things is to sing harmony! And since the lyrics are just "linda linda linda linda linda," it would be harder not to already know them.
Before we started the CD, we were looking at the cover and wondering where Shizuo was, and then we realized he was the guy in the kimono. We knew from discussing the CD with lyschan that all the songs were covers, so that's how we knew Shizuo sang an enka, and that's how we figured out the concept to this CD (we think), and why the one reviewer at CD Japan didn't think the songs matched the characters. Enka is a kind of Japanese ballad style of music...like a folk song ballad. They were really popular in the seventies, I think. That's when folk music was popular here, too, wasn't it? Anyway, it's very much not the type of thing you would expect to hear from a character like Shizuo...or is it?
The joke about enka is this: at least in all the anime and manga, what happens is everybody goes out to karaoke, and there's someone who never gets up to sing. So everybody bugs them to get up and sing something, and they're like, "I don't know any songs!" and the friends are like, "Oh come on, you have to know something!" "Well, I know some enka..." And apparently that's exactly what happened with Shizuo. At least, that's our guess. It has some flaws, though--how would they convince Shizuo to sing before he snaps and kills them all? But the point is, it feels like this CD is "what would these characters sing if they went to karaoke?" And in that sense, the songs seem to fit the characters very well. If you're looking for a character putting their feelings/personality to music, then it would feel a little more mismatched.
Maybe Shizuo really likes enka, in which case it wouldn't be too unthinkable that he'd get up and sing something. Or they got his brother to ask him. (They should have invited his brother to sing, too. I love Daisuke Kishio.)
The really funny thing (to us) about it is that when Shizuo's song (Tsugaru Kaikyo Fuyu Keshiki) started, we were like, "Yup. This is definitely enka." And then it went on a little longer, and we were like, "Wait...I think I've heard this song before." Further investigation tells us it's the same song Fate sang when he was dragged to karaoke in Negima!. We had to track it down to see if there was an official translation, in which case we might want to use it for the lyrics, and in our search we ended up listening to some clips. As it turns out, Akamatsu-sensei changed the lyrics; our guess would be to avoid copyright problems. But that's just another example of someone who never sings karaoke getting up and singing an enka.
It was also really funny because Daisuke Ono (voice of Shizuo) still rolled his Rs, which is a total Japanese hoodlum type speech thing. We're a little bit in love with Daisuke Ono right now.
Next was Mikado's song (Gakuen Tengoku), which turned out to be another instance of, "I have definitely heard this song before!" I mean, we'd talked about the songs being covers, but we didn't think it would make any difference to us, because we only ever listen to anime music. But we practically knew the lyrics, this song was so familiar. And it was fast, but we could totally sing along even though we've never listened to the CD before. I seemed to have memories of singing along to an anime theme song, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was. So we looked it up later and found out it was a theme song to FushigiBoshi no FutagoHime Gyu!. Oh man, that show was so great and so cute. If we were rich, maybe we would buy the DVDs right now.
It was also really weird, because lately we've only heard Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Mikado) as tough guy characters who sound absolutely nothing like Mikado, and now here he is singing this super adorable song. You guys need to all watch more anime so you can understand what we're going through here. It's bizarre! And awesome!
...And I think that's pretty much all I have to say about the CD. Except that Yuichi Nakamura (Kadota) makes us want to revive our When Seiyuu Go Bad webpage. And Celty's song was pretty fun, as well as another example of something that seems like she would sing it at karaoke but not as a "this is who I am" kind of song. It was about how she was going to go tell her cheating boyfriend's mother to yell at him for her. And maybe we should look up Izaya's song, because the picture of him to go with it has him dressed as a prince on a white horse.
Today I'm thankful for fun Durarara!! CDs, the super cute stickers the CD came with, Wikipedia pages on Japanese voice actors, not having bruised my ribs, and getting to have kettle corn for a snack.