Single review: “The♡World’s♡End” by Yui Horie

CD only cover

Yui Horie is a Japanese pop artist and well-known idol seiyuu. She is sometimes affectionately nicknamed “Hocchan” by her Japanese fans. The♡World’s♡End is her 19th single.

Release date: 12th of March, 2014

Track list:
1. The♡World’s♡End
2. Han’eikyuu-teki ni Aishite yo♡
3. The♡World’s♡End (off vocal ver.)
4. Han’eikyuu-teki ni Aishite yo♡ (off vocal ver.)

1. The♡World’s♡End
A gentle, almost fragile introduction comprised of vocals and a delicate xylophone tune suddenly erupts into a convulsion of la la’s, sharply-strummed strings stuck in an infinite looping melody, and a beat that’s quite quick yet quite vague at the same time. The composition is maintained while Yui sings an identical vocal melody as the very beginning of the song, and she then promptly sings a set of several lines in rapid-fire action, serving as the chorus. Unfortunately, the aforementioned part of the song is either badly mixed, or purposefully made to sound mostly like background music with understated main vocals, yet I cannot comprehend the reasons for the latter. Soon after, however, the composition is changed up with a marching band-esque beat, as well as quirky brass and woodwind instruments, but still retaining the sharply-strummed strings. From there, a playful pre-chorus leads into a now slightly jazz/swing-influenced chorus. For the bridge, it is first another set of lines sung in rapid-fire action, but then the flow of the song is slowed down and toned down with whispery background vocals behind bells and the familiar marching band-esque beat right after. Yui finishes the song by repeating the chorus twice, and the song closes with the now-recognizable combination of la la’s, strings and a beat that can be described the same way this whole song can be described: quite quick yet quick vague at the same time.

2. Han’eikyuu-teki ni Aishite yo♡
The B-side follows suit and opens with another (extended) gentle, almost fragile introduction comprised of vocals, only this time accompanied with piano instead of a xylophone. Almost a minute into the track, beautiful strings make their entrance to accompany the pre-existing elements, but are stopped short for a sample of Yui’s voice acting skills. Suddenly, the song bursts into a bright, high-spirited instrumental segment, and as badly transitioned it is, it’s a good change from the ballad-like nature of the passage that opened the song. Handclaps rightfully accompany an undeniably catchy verse; the chorus is made up of the same bright, high-spirited instrumental from earlier, now combined with the lines sung just before the spoken section of the song towards the beginning. Thankfully, the song does not change much as we progress through, with the exception of the bridge in which Yui sings alongside a piano accompaniment, transitioning into an odd section of echoing filtered spoken lines. The instrumental, much to my delight, crescendos into the final chorus, before ending with a few notes from a lone right-side electric guitar. Overall, I think that anything NOT sounding playful and upbeat should have been cut, and that definitely includes the opening passage of piano, strings and vocals. I think it’s best not to juxtapose two different styles in this case. Either way, however, this one is the better song of the single.

Ironically, as the follow-UP single to Golden Time, The♡World’s♡End is a step DOWN. The A-side, while being the second opening theme for the anime Golden Time, is a confusing mess of many different emotions, moods and instruments. And the B-side, tied as the second ending theme for the same anime, can be spoken of in almost the same way, but to a lesser extent. To my disdain, most of the single felt vague and had no definite sound. I mean, I know I asked for more variety in my review of her previous single, but this is just a bit ridiculous.

Rating: 2/5

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