If you’re not familiar with Ziyoou-vachi, otherwise known in international waters as QUEEN BEE, then here’s one way to get introduced to them. The rock quartet, known for their eccentric yet ever-changing musical styles and image (which they themselves call “fashion punk”), had already marked 2019 as their biggest year, entering the mainstream in the forms of anime music (notably as an ED for Tokyo Ghoul:re).
In their most recent effort, they tackle anime once again with a fiery title track, one that introduces every episode of the anime ‘Dororo’ for its Winter 2019 season. With Dororo having been one of the more popular anime of the year, this single has propelled Ziyoou-vachi to newer heights; this begs the question then: is this single actually fire or is it a burn-out?
When that first sound hits, you know you’re in for a ride. “Kaen“, the first OP of 2019 anime ‘Dororo’, is an exercise in what really makes an anime opening for a shounen anime so fun. From the silence of the first portion to its running vocally-charged bridge into the chorus, “Kaen” is structured to build up hype before it hits you with a wild guitar riff meshed with traditional Japanese beats. To add to the appeal of the song is Avu-chan’s spitfire raps in both of their voices, giving the song an added edge. The frantic instrumental turns this song inside out, almost like the frantic flickers of flame. Undoubtedly, this is fire. ⬛
Romanization: Saiminjutsu (Acoustic Version.)
Translation: Hypnotize (Acoustic Version.)
The second song on the single is an acoustic version of one of their catchy title tracks, also known as ‘Saiminjutsu’. If you’re familiar with the original, it’s a swingy and sassy groove track that turns itself inside out as it goes. Here, for “Saiminjutsu (Acoustic Version.)“, all the wackiness of its original is thrown out the window for a steadier, mellow feel. This version still maintains its catchiness with its whistly instrumental, and it still remains very Ziyoou-vachi QUEEN BEE as Avu-chan adds in wacky noises on top of the overlaying guitar. While not as fun and entertaining as its original, it is an enjoyable piece and you’d still likely get hypnotized, only this time by its soothing strums. ⬛
Romanization: Ayaya Koyaya
The last song on the single is a re-worked version of one of their wilder tracks on their major debut album ‘Kujaku’, known as ‘Tsugeguchi’, or ‘Tattletale’ in English. What makes “Ayaya Koyaya” so different from its original counterpart is its toned-down vibe, lacking the wild-child feel of the original. Here, it’s more of a haunting portrayal, with Avu-chan taking it down a notch vocally for a delivery that still feels quintessential Ziyoou-vachi / QUEEN BEE. It’s ever silent, staccato-like instrumental before chaos gives goosebumps and makes for a delightfully dark atmosphere. Oooh, I’m getting the tingles! ⬛
No, really. This single is fire. Do you need more of an overview?
Well if you do, Ziyoou-vachi / QUEEN BEE delivered with this effort, burning into the mainstream with a title track and two reworkings of older songs. I will say, the reworkings were treats to behold, yet the originals still slap harder. However, it really has to be the title track that really gets this fire going, and I don’t see myself burning out too soon listening to it.