The TV anime series Little Witch Academia has already become a smash hit. The story, which has been written specially for the TV series, starts with the episode of Atsuko ‘Akko’ Kagari enrolling at Luna Nova Magical Academy.
YURiKA, who sang the anime’s opening theme song Shiny Ray, has embarked on a new challenge in her career; she wants to become an anison (anime song) singer. The song, which will be released on the February 22, will be her major debut.
The ending theme song If You Follow the Stars (Hoshi wo Megureba) was sung by singer-songwriter Yuiko Ohara, who also sang the main theme song Magic Parade in the movie Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade as her major debut song. This ending song will also be released on February 22.
YURiKA has a flowing and relaxed voice while Ohara’s is nostalgic and cozy. The two singers who spice up the anime’s opening and ending, talk about their feelings toward the story.
[Interview and Composition by Ayaka Kawamata]
‘Little Witch Academia’
A refreshing song that makes us anticipate a new beginning, and a song that envelopes everything gently.
── First of all, I’d like to ask how you felt when you realised that you were going to sing the theme song of Little Witch Academia. The opening song Shiny Ray is your major debut song, isn’t it, YURiKA?
‘I’d been longing to become an anison singer for ages and the dream has finally come true, and even better, with Little Witch Academia! I understand how badly Akko wants to become a witch, and that’s why I’m truly glad to sing this theme song.’
── In what way do you empathize with Akko?
‘I’ve fantasised about becoming an anison singer since I was in elementary school, listening to Genesis of Aquarion on a TV commercial. The song made a massive impact on me. I especially love the lyrics ‘all this time these twelve thousand years I know, I love you’, as well as the beautiful voice. I, therefore, understand how Akko was deeply moved by Shiny Chariot’s stage performance. I feel that Akko and I are standing on the starting line together.’
── This is the second time you to sing for Little Witch Academia following its movie The Enchanted Parade, isn’t it, Ohara?
‘I couldn’t believe when I heard that the’ll let me sing the theme song again for the TV series of Little Witch Academia. I was like “is that really okay?” I even couldn’t tell my family and friends until the press release, just in case. I was overcome with excitement.’
── Why didn’t you tell anyone the news?
‘Well, I could’ve told my family about it. However, I’m always jinxed when I tell good news. I have bad experiences with it, like when I failed an audition after telling someone that I was short-listed. I was worried that if I told such good news to someone, I would end up losing the job.’
── You wrote the lyrics and composed the music for If You Follow the Stars yourself. What are your inspirations?
‘I wanted to create a song that tells the audience “you did a good job and can have a good rest”, as the anime is aired at midnight. The melody will hopefully relax them after watching the exciting story depicting the girls’ friendship and their struggles to become witches.’
── Although your song was written and composed by someone else, did you have any involvement with it, YURiKA?
‘At the start, the song only had its melody but no lyrics. I sang about 30 versions of lyrics when I was recording the song. One of them was chosen afterwards. I feel that, despite the fact that the base of the song was created by others, I was there during the process of developing the song.’
── 30 versions? It must have taken so long to finish!
‘It was hard and took ages, though I enjoyed the process because I liked singing while imagining what the writers’ thoughts were when they wrote the lyrics. When we decided the lyrics, I felt that I was responsible for the people who made the effort to create the song, as well as being one of the staff who were involved in realizing the song.’
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