Song of the Day – “First Vision,” Yoko Kanno

I’m kicking off a new themed day, Motivational Monday.  Every Monday’s song that isn’t involved in a list will be one to set the tempo of the the week – could be any genre or style, but generally speaking something that feels almost inspirational, that fits the tone for the weeks and (hopefully) sets me off on a good week.

For those of you unfamiliar with Yoko Kanno’s work, you’re really missing out.  Similar to Micheal Kamen for having a varied style and doing a lot of movies, the music I’ve heard from her, either through “Escaflowne” or with Seatbelts for the “Cowboy Bebop,” trumps a lot of stuff I hear on the radio.  She has a knack of knowing what style fits project she’s working on – The best example I can recommend is “Cowboy Bebop, whose episode titles are mostly famous song titles, and whose music ranges from classical to pop to even a little metal.

This is the opening number to “Escaflowne: The Movie,” based off of the anime series that’s a little sci-fi, a little fantasy, and a little mech.  I saw the first few episodes (sadly, have yet to watch the series all of the way through) when they aired on Fox Kids (back when Fox was still running Cartoons) – it only ran for a few episodes before getting replaced.  Giant robots, dragons and swords, in a setting similar to the early days in “Highlander?”  Count me in!

I bought the deluxe box set when the movie was finally released, and while the movie itself is a recommendation, the soundtrack is the real gem.  It’s rare for me to say this about any CD, but it’s even rarer to say it about a soundtrack:  From start to finish, I could play this without skipping any tracks.  (I usually skip the first track and set it on repeat, however – That track is the beginning of the credits for the film, and I prefer keeping it in movie order.)

This song, to me, feels a lot like waking up: those first few moments the sun cracks over the horizon, as you gather your wit and build up your energy, then let it burst, as you get ready for your day.  This is similar to how I’d describe the opening sequence to the movie:  A slow build of anticipation as you take in the scenery and setting, then a quick battle to capture the legendary dragon armor that the movie is titled after.

Or you could just watch the sequence below…  (Warning:  NSFW, It’s gory so not safe for kids.  Apologies for no captions and it being in Japanese.)



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