Next up on the InuYasha series is the second opening single, ‘I am / innocence’, performed by avex artist hitomi, not to be confused with Hitomi Yaida (and also not to be confused for ayumi hamasaki’s ‘I am…’, as my young, naive, innocent self believed initially).
hitomi also happens to be one of my favorite singers ever, begging for a question here: how does this single fare compared to a lot of her other stuff? Her first double A-side single, hitomi keeps InuYasha’s upbeat opening momentum, but is this single one of grand self-discovery or is it just not innocent of being bad?
With its introductory riff and vocal, we are thrust into running motion of “I am” and its hyper mix of drums, bass, electric guitar, and piano, topped with background ‘ooh’s and ‘ah’s to set the mood. Verses drop the tempo down before it builds up to hit the chorus, and it’s at the chorus that gets things going. ‘I am’ sounds so hopeful, and it has that feeling of wind hitting your face on a sunny day. hitomi’s vocal is so much better suited for tracks like this (her older stuff has a slight grating feeling to them), and she is able to portray the emotion needed for the song. The instrumental break close to the end revs up the engines, giving the song a hard rock edge… but it still feels like everything blends so nicely. A perfect opener for InuYasha, I am undoubtedly in love with every fiber of this song. ⬛
“innocence” lowers the mood for a mid-tempo almost-ballad track, but this song never fails to follow the feel that was introduced to us with ‘I am’. Introduced by a beautiful piano, then following an anthemic-like march-like beat that somehow complements the piano melody, hitomi’s vocals become on display. With moments of acoustic guitar and an high-pitched organ-like melody, and hints of record scratches and a subtle drum beat, all these sounds blend so nicely together before we hit the power of the chorus that feels loud and important. Clocking in at almost 5 and 1/2 minutes, ‘innocence’ may feel long but the same melodies feel so fresh a second time round. There’s no guilt here; ‘innocence’ is a lovely feeling. ⬛
To end off the single is “I am [w.w. mix]” which takes away the instrumental of the original and incorporates a synthier, more electronic-like route for the song. There’s no guitar here, just a mere repetitive synth noise that’s joined by string instrumental and twinkles that give it a more space-like vibe. It’s an interesting song, but it does not beat the original. The original honestly gives this remix way more than a run for its money. I’m probably not going to listen to this version ever again. It certainly was a choice, and a very left-field choice for such a great original, but again, remixes aren’t usually very great. I am not fond of this whatsoever. ⬛
A fantastic single from hitomi!
Minus the remix version of ‘I am’, ‘I am / innocence’ is a great single for new hitomi fans and for InuYasha fans alike. A vast improvement over CHANGE THE WORLD, ‘I am’ makes for a great opening (and is one of my favorite anime openings to date). ‘innocence’ is also a great midtempo ballad. I recommend this single, though I would avoid listening to the remix if you don’t want to be disappointed by the end of it. This single is innocent of ever being bad; it’s only guilty of being self-loving and worthy of being loved.
MUST-LISTEN: I am, innocence