Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sky Strings

Sky Girls episode 13: Stop feeding the fishPro tip: Stop feeding the fish

(Progress: 15/26)

Stripey pointed out the music behind Sky Girls. Indeed, it's been a while since I've seen a series whose incidental music goes beyond just that — incidental. Nodame Cantabile had music as its focus, but there was a time for music, and there was a time for dialog with music in the background, like most other shows.

A lot of the time, it's a simple matter of repetition (once or twice per episode is sufficient) and upping the volume. The balance can be shifted to favour music over speech, since (for me) the viewer is going to selectively amplify dialog. Consider it as a form of pre-emphasis to compensate for the inherent bias of the receiver.

Novelty helps, too. While it may not be as sweeping as Midway March, as performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra, it's been a while since I've heard a fanfare march anywhere, and Sky Girls delivers a pretty decent one. I find that it's worth sitting through something like the Sonic Diver launch sequence just to hear it.

The light march and the soaring, bittersweet strings in the segment that Stripey posted give off a World War II vibe. The image of that era and its planes, compared to a post-apocalyptic world with fighter jets and Sonic Divers, can be jarring. But as pieces that embody the military spirit in the former, and the human spirit in the latter, they are not unwelcome in the least.

The pensive piano figures heavily elsewhere, and is inevitably viewed in a positive light by me. It can indicate the dredging up of the muddy past, or the troubled mind beneath a stoic visage. While the pensive piano does not necessarily herald additional exploration of the world and the characters, for the time being I'll take comfort in the possibility that it may. And if, eleven episodes later, it doesn't, at least the music is pretty good.

Sky Girls episode 15: The seventeenth angelThe seventeenth angel

They appeared, they blew stuff up, humanity develops giant robots to counter them. I suppose that Sky Girls, like Evangelion, needs no justification for its antagonists.