This is HIMEKA’s third single, which was released on May 26, 2010. The single reached #78 on the Oricon Weekly Chart and sold 1,177 copies. The A-side was used as the ending theme for the anime series Senkou no Night Raid.
I think the color scheme used in these covers is very pretty. However, I also think HIMEKA has forgotten how to smile. She lost it after the 明日へのキズナ covers. /shrug
HIMEKA, why are you so awesome? Seriously. I’ve been a big fan of HIMEKA ever since she debuted in May of 2009, and with 未来へ・・・my fandom for her is as strong as ever. The first of her A-sides that’s also a ballad, 未来へ・・・is a fairly long song at just about 6 minutes, but the heartfelt lyrics, in combination HIMEKA’s powerful voice, make this a genuinely gorgeous song. I think Japanese ballads, especially the romantic ones, have a tendency to come across as cheesy at times, but here, the guitars, strings, and piano are used such that they really showcase HIMEKA’s earnest performance. I truly love this song, and think it’s HIMEKA’s best single yet.
It’s not difficult to hear the influence of anime while listening to Winding Road. It’s got that “adventure”-y feel, and since HIMEKA is an anime singer, she sounds right at home. As always, I was impressed, while listening to this song, by the power in HIMEKA’s performance and her ability to control her voice. She sounded pitch-perfect is what I’m trying to say. The song itself was pretty fair; I felt it had a nice melody, especially in the chorus, but it kept that typical anime sound throughout and I wasn’t as impressed as I was by, say, 空は教えてくれる from her last single. All in all I’d say this song was a good fit for HIMEKA as an anison singer but it didn’t bring anything new to the table.
Summary: The thing I find most remarkable about HIMEKA as a singer is her consistency; honestly, there isn’t one song of hers that sounds anything less than great, or that sounds like she didn’t give it her all. This single in particular marks a new step in HIMEKA’s career, in that it features a ballad as its A-side, and what a ballad it is. HIMEKA can now add versatility to her repertoire. The B-side, while not groundbreaking, reaffirms what I had known so far as HIMEKA being a knowledgeable and practiced anime singer. I am a true believer in what HIMEKA can do, and I look forward to all of her future releases and endeavors.
Single Grade: A
未来へ・・・| Winding Road