Saito Kazuyoshi and Chibi Maruko-chan
is the collaboration I didn't know I needed!
The singer-songwriter brings smiles to faces with Itsumo no Fuukei, the 12th ending theme of the iconic anime series. This delightfully upbeat and folksy rock ditty lifts spirits with plucky beats and a jovial rhythm. Notably, the lyrics about a town's everyday scenery are by late Chibi Maruko-chan creator Momoko Sakura, who especially had Saito in mind when she wrote the song. Saito's light melody and whimsical, energizing arrangement really suit the lyrics and the timeless everyday charm of the anime series.
The single's side tracks build on the wistful, nostalgic feel with two slower and melancholic guitar numbers. Auto Reverse -Saigo no Koi- is a classic lingering ballad of longing and fleeting moments with a last love. A tie-in collaboration for a novel by Takasaki Takuma, this new song sounds old and familiar in a good way.
Meanwhile, You Belong to Me is an old song made new, a remake of Jo Stafford's classic 1952 ballad. Saito, who penned his own Japanese version based on the English, captures the evocative essence of the original song with his succinct lyrics, while also bringing a different tone to his interpretation. The original You Belong to Me has the alluring and romanticized aura of a woman asserting her pining for a man who is out wandering the world but still belongs to her. Saito's plaintive stripped-down remake, however, amplifies the lonely sentiments. With its country blues twang, the stirring song dwells on weeping guitar chords and the singer's signature scratchy and expressive voice. It's an unexpected choice for remake, but I love it!