Single review: “Kyoukai no Kanata” by Minori Chihara

Minori Chihara (affectionately referred to as ‘Minorin’ by her fans) is a Japanese singer and seiyuu signed to Lantis. Kyoukai no Kanata is her 18th single.

Release date: 30th of October, 2013

Track list:
1. Kyoukai no Kanata
3. Kyoukai no Kanata (Off Vocal) [Anime Edition]
3. Fountain of mind [Regular and Limited Edition]
4. NO LINE (Off Vocal) [Anime Edition]

1. Kyoukai no Kanata
Minori’s final single of the era begins with peaceful, composed vocals alongside a setting of acoustic guitar and piano, before gradually quickening in pace and becoming a positive song full of promise. We are presented with a conventional anison song, possessing similar dynamics as the preceding A-side of this era (namely, Kono Sekai wa Bokura wo Matteita) with the controlled use of drums, as well as moderate string presence. Minori offers a range of vocal qualities in this song, employing a spirited, compelling articulation, or performing the lyrics in a playful, high-pitched manner. The bridge is simply made up of a lively piano tune crossfading into some electric guitar backed by strings, which I think is not enough to match the rest of the song. It is finished off with the same line that started it, as the last syllable is dragged out and another one of her A-sides gains my overall approval.

A brief introduction of quick electric guitar chords, filtered vocals and a steady drum beat leads to a forceful and loud instrumental, soon being silenced by Minori over a gentle electric guitar background. Immediately following a few seconds of that, however, we begin to hear the same forceful and loud rock instruments returning with the pounding of the drums. Minori sings with the charisma and confidence required for any bold, brazen rock track, successfully establishing her presence within the song. The arrangement is relentless and unchanging, remaining powerful from start to finish. The middle eight section unfolds with a short sequence of guitar chords, which is followed by a heavily distorted Minori repeating one sentence four times underneath a filtered Minori singing a simple melody. A fierce and daring guitar solo finishes off the middle eight, leading to the final chorus and ending with various chants and that familiar short sequence of electric guitar chords.

This is quite an impressive single from Minori. To the B-side, although it probably is/will be criticised for the vocals, I personally think they are quite fitting for such an intense rock song. The flaws, however, are: I feel like this needs a third song (fulfilled by Fountain of mind in the other editions), and Kyoukai no Kanata just feels a bit too similar in dynamics to Kono Sekai wa Bokura wo Matteita for me (I prefer the latter, by the way). In my humble opinion, this does not transcend her preceding single (which is like a great big YAYYY to me), but, like I said, it is still impressive.

Rating: 4/5


11 thoughts on “Single review: “Kyoukai no Kanata” by Minori Chihara

  1. I like this review, I think it’s (one of?) your best so far. I don’t agree with all of it, but it’s written well and was enjoyable to read ^_^

    …although it probably is/will be criticised for the vocals…

    *criticises vocals*
    No actually, I found her vocals on No Line tolerable. I was happy enough with the song, and it was fairly rock which is a tick in my books. Not that I’m really going to listen to it though haha.

    You pointed out that Kyoukai no Kanata and Kono Sekai wa Bokura wo Matteita sound similar. In fact, there’s a line at 0:44 (and maybe other places), which is pretty much taken from Kono Sekai wa Bokura wo Matteita.

    Yeah so keep it up woo!

    • Thank you very much for the compliment :)

      Haha, nice to know that you can tolerate her vocals. By the way, I read the reviews in Japanese Melodia and Hybrid Universe, and the following explains why I said I think NO LINE is/will be criticised:

      Japanese Melodia: “…and even the vocals seem worse and untrained after hearing the short version so many times.”
      Hybrid Universe: “… the only downside were her vocals during the chorus and later on in verses…”

      Just thought I’d mention that ^.^

      Oh, so they are similar, and I’m not going crazy! :D

      Woooo! ヽ(*・ω・)ノ

      • Haha, nice to know that you can tolerate her vocals.

        I like X-DAY too! It makes me think of a Yuki Nagato character song, and her voice is deeper than usual.

        Okay, so when I listened to NO LINE again, I can kinda see what the other two are trying to say. But, um, tbh I think she sounds much like she normally does. Yeaaaaaah my opinion of her is pre-tty low >.<

      • X-DAY is one of my faves from D-Formation. *o*

        “But, um, tbh I think she sounds much like she normally does.” Lol, I guess so :\

        Maybe you should, errr, listen to Sing All Love or Contact for more acceptable vocals. xD Hopefully something will improve your opinion of her!

      • Another one who makes the review and likes Kyoukai no Kanata :D
        Apparently we thought similar about NO LINE. But as he said Sing all Love for me is one of her best albums as it has a lot of impressive tunes and great vocals. Now I just need wait to receive my copy of her new album to see how good is it.

      • But as *she* says?

        Well I’ll give Sing All Love a shot sometime. Maybe. But tbh I’ve listened to 2 Minorin albums so far and haven’t liked what I’ve heard, so I don’t really think that going to older stuff will improve my opinion of her vocals in any way.

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