It took a while before I could write about my thoughts upon hearing the Voltes V: Legacy opening theme the first time.
This version was sung by Julie Ann San Jose, and from what I’ve seen and heard from her before, she’s a pretty good singer.
I’m commenting on GMA’s (or her) version as a fan of the original anime and as an anime fan myself. Not so hardcore, but I do watch anime from time to time and I love hearing the different OPs and EDs.
So in case you haven’t seen it, here’s GMA’s Voltes V: Legacy OP:
Yes, I got it from another account because GMA decided to make their video private. Hmm.
I’ve heard the OG so many times in my youth and have also watched a lot of covers of it, even from Pinoy otakus or anime fans.
GMA’s version, compared to this, is just OK. I mean, Julie Ann’s voice is good. I just had problems with the music itself — the instruments, or the lack of it.
It sounded like everything — and I mean EVERYTHING — was done in the computer. The drums are so meh. The brass line was obviously done via keyboards. And there’s no backing vocals or harmonies.
In effect, it sounded just like an ordinary song. Bordering to — forgive me for this — karaoke.
The thing is, the Voltes V OP is a battle song. It has to have a mix of splendor, angst, encouragement, and passion. And the instruments and harmonies bring that to the table. It’s a song to cheer on the Voltes V team, to let them know they are Earth’s heroes and that the whole of mankind is counting on them to win against the Boazanian empire and their monsters.
Compare GMA’s version to that of the OG singer, Mitsuko Horie:
Take note, she sang this decades after the anime was shown. Listen to the percussions, the strings and horns, and the back-up vocals. Add those to her powerful voice, and you got a powerful song, something close to an anthem.
GMA’s version doesn’t do justice to the actual lyrics as well.
Though the storm should blow
Though the wave should rage
Let’s row out to the sea of battle
Let’s jump into the maelstrom of battle
And the chorus:
On Voltes Five,
we stake everything
Let’s do it till the last of strength
The earth’s dawn
is already near.
It’s like we’re fighting for our lives but there’s not motivation given through the song.
Or maybe I’m just a tad nitpicky because I’ve been listening to Linked Horizon too much, hehe! But I mean, how can you not be impressed with this:
I know it’s kinda orchestral rock already. But the way it’s composed, performed, and sung, you can feel that it encapsulates all the feelings you can get from the anime. Patriotism, excitement, fear, stress (hahaha, stress talaga).
That mix of feelings that I felt when I watched the original anime when I was a kid — it was missing when I listened to Julie Ann’s version.
Still, the Voltes V: Legacy OP can be improved. Just get a full orchestra and a real band, and have a good composer/arranger on board. Would be helpful if it’s one who’s passionate about the anime and the project itself.
Not too late to redeem yourself, GMA. Please be open to critiques and suggestions from the anime fans.
Disclaimer: I’m not a professional musician. And not a VV purist as well. I just love the anime and am hyped up for the series. I do hope this will be good.
Cover photo from Voltes V: Legacy Facebook Page