BGC Music Review
The music of Bubblegum Crisis is one of the things that keeps it at an exceptional level of popularity so long after it was first released in Japan. BGC's music has a fine mix of superb vocals and excellent BGM. In fact, many of the vocals only really become as interesting as they are in the last half, so what people already hear and love in the videos is not even the best that the soundtracks have to offer.
Beginning with the series' theme song, Konya Wa Hurricane, BGC has created a stream of memorable tunes. There are songs such as Mad Machine, Lonely Angel, Chase the Dream, Rock Me, and Say Yes! that even those who have never seen BGC could name without even trying very hard. Some of the even better songs are never heard in the actual animation or music videos. Lovely Rival, Midnight Star, and Starlight are just a few of the songs that some diehard BGC fans have not and may never hear.
The vocal tracks for BGC are done mainly by the seiyuu, or voice actresses, from the series. The only song sung by a male is Mister Dandy, a song that never reaches the level of charm that the other BGC music usually hits. Two singers that were popular in Japan at the time of BGC were Tsubokura Yuiko and Ueda Yuki. The former sings the themes from episodes four through six while the latter sang the version of Lonely Angel that appears in the animation. One interesting observation that was made on the BGC DYN List is that Ueda Yuki sounds as though she was chosen to sing Lonely Angel not only because she has a melodic voice not unlike that of Sakakibara Yoshiko, Sylia Stingray's seiyuu, but also because the song seems to sound as though it was written from Sylia's point of view.
And in coming to the seiyuu singers, of course anyone can name the songs done by Priss Asagiri's seiyuu, Oomori Kinuko. Less popular are those done by Tachikawa Ryouko, Priss' somewhat less talented Crash! seiyuu. Sakakibara Yoshiko has a perfect voice for slow, romantic tunes, and the song Silent Moon is one of the best from BGC (episode eight soundtrack, does not appear in the video). Tomizawa Michie, Linna's seiyuu, also one great song and three others that, while not bad, are not on a par with the first. It is when Hiramatsu Akiko sings that things go notably downhill. Not only can she hardly carry a tune of her own, but the songs given to her are dull, stereotypical of 'cute' characters, and use far too many keyboards and synthesizers. Her only solo song worth listening to is First Impression from the episode eight soundtrack.
Finally, Hashimoto Maiko, seiyuu for Reika Chang/Vision from episode seven, performs two beautiful songs. The first, Say Yes!, is a pop song that brings the feeling of the video forth easily with its energy. The second is Never the End, a ballad done so well that it is impossible not to listen to it over and over again once one has been exposed to the song in its entirity.
Where the songs decline in quality is for the sixth soundtrack. For such a landmark episode in the series, it probably had the worst soundtrack of the group. With is a little dull, Kiss Seventeen Girl is just plain awful, and My Heart is Neutral is lame, at best. The worst of them all is Jumping Heart, the Knight Sabers' group song for the episode. It redefines the word 'unworthy.' The only song from that episode that is worth a good, long listen is Rock Me. The episode seven soundtrack fares only a little better with the two songs sung by Hashimoto Maiko. Unfortunately, the worst song from BGC, Yes, Do It!, also comes in this soundtrack. If ever there were one BGC song that should have not been made, it would be that song.
The sad thing about BGC music is that it was so perfect until the 'cute' craze came along. The sixth, seventh, and eighth soundtracks are filled with terrible songs performed by the fairly talentless (so far as singing goes) Hiramatsu Akiko. Interestingly, she does rather well in Knight Sabers' songs such as Lonely Angel. It must just be the 'cute' thing that brings down the level of her abilities.
Of all the soundtracks, the fifth is my favorite. It has the best BGM, IMHO, and some of the better vocals. It also has my personal favorite Knight Sabers' song, Mysterious Night. It seems to be harder to get than the others, at least by my experience, but the BGM track entitled Fleeting Dream Broken to Bits, during which Sylvie's death occurs in the video, is worth the effort it takes to get the soundtrack.
There does not seem to be a way to obtain the original video-version of Lonely Angel, for those curious. It is a fine song, possibly better in its original version than when the Knight Sabers redo it, but it does not come on the Tinsel City soundtrack of the vocal collections. The soundtracks themselves can cost an absolutely blasphemous amount of money, but Anime Nation sells the vocal collection and best collection for only fourteen dollars, ninety-five cents apiece. They're bootlegs, but they seem to be good enough bootlegs (I have the Best Collection bootleg and it sounds and looks fine).