Hiroi Sekai
The vast world of Japan


Stargazing: Perfect Slumbers - Horie Yui

I need to get up in about 6 hours for work, but I'm nowhere near tired. How am I not concerned? I have today's song to offer me its overflowing therapeutic powers.

So let me quickly get this out of the way. Bakemonogatari was a series I thoroughly enjoyed while it was airing, combining unorthodox methods of trading dialogue between characters placed in insanely flat backdrops. The stories tied to strange monstrous curses were rather unique, and the threats they posed were very laid out and clear. As the series kept growing more and more to ridiculous popularity, the Monogatari series got "edgier". It went from a simple hurdle/leapfrog solution to showcasing more drawn out enigmas with enough fanservice peppered in between. I'll admit, even at the point of Nisemonogatari, I was feeling the decline of interest in the overall series, and after the "Second Series" came to a close, I cemented that fact in my mind. The character quirks no longer felt unique, the dialogue felt more masturbatory than creative, and I'd probably end up jumping off a bridge if I saw one more broken neck or shameless fanservice shot.

But that's talking about my end with the Monogatari series. Somewhere in between this journey, a story about a cursed cat was released in movie length. It's known colloquially as Nekomonogatari, and today's song is the opening from its Kuro segment. Horie Yui provides an amazingly gentle vocal line for 'Perfect Slumbers', and it's just another look at how expansive her impressive range is. Something I really do still like about the Monogatari series that is very prevalent in this opening animation is its creative use of flat textures. Flat vector shapes have the benefit of being generated mathematically, so animators gain an additional plane of play to warp symbols in fun ways. Watching a spotlight circle change into a spinning record or witnessing a character fade gracefully into silhouette just has an air of mysticism to it, no matter how many times I see it. There's a great reason why some of the best design companies in the world keep leaning towards minimalistic design.

You know what? I think I'm getting so excited about talking about this because I sometimes dream in vector shapes. Paired with this gorgeous song, I can see where it gained its title from.