If you follow Seishun Gakuen’s Canadian sister group, Seishun Youth Academy, you probably know that they have helped bring Seishun Gakuen’s music to listeners worldwide with Seishun☆Wasshoi making its way to Itunes, Google Play Music, and Spotify earlier this year! But they’re not stopping there! Seishun Gakuen’s first album, Chikara no Kagiri has also been released!
When they first announce this, I was absolutely thrilled. Chikara no Kagiri was the first Seishun Gakuen album I got my hands on, and honestly, it’s probably one of my top favorite idol albums I own. This album was originally released on December 31, 2013, and contains a whopping thirty-two songs spread out among two CDs.
With a tracklist that long, you’d probably guess this to be a “best of” album… and it kinda is…
To get a better sense of what I mean, it is important to consider the history of the group.
Before there was Seishun Gakuen, there was Seishun Joshi Gakuen and SHUN & Fun’sd. Being affiliated under NoMake Co. Ltd, the two groups had plenty of crossover, but it wasn’t until 2010 that the two would merge under the new name Seishun Gakuen.
Chikara no Kagiri would be the first nationwide released album to contain many of the Seishun Joshi Gakuen and SHUN & Fun’sd songs that previously either did not have recorded versions available to the public or were hard to obtain due to the availability of the print.
Referring to it as a “best of” album wouldn’t do it justice. It’s more of a “catch up” album.
But anyways, onto the purpose of this post…
For those who have not had the chance to listen to this album, a whole thirty-two songs can seem a bit daunting! However, I definitely recommend listening to the entire album all the way through the first time!
Here are my top picks from the album that you should be sure to give a listen to (in order of the tracklist, of course… Brita is way better at “top ___s” than I am, and besides, choosing my favorite SHUN song would be like a mother choosing a favorite child)!
Tasuki Relay (タスキリレー)
This is the song that starts off the entire album, and it never fails to get me fired up to start my day and run the relay that is life! The intro to the song is great. The vocals are clean and SHUN’s accompaniment throughout the song adds an additional layer of contrast. It is this contrast that embodies what I love about Seishun Gakuen’s sound. I also really like the guitar instrumentals in this song. It gives it a bit of a rock vibe. This is one of my favorite songs to see live, and whenever I listen to it outside of a live setting, I can’t help but to picture the “42.195km” hand singing they do in that portion of the choreo.
Seishun, Aitakute!! (青春、逢いたくて!!)
Sick bass lick in the intro and throughout the song. Nuff’ said.
I really love the chorus and the rappish breakdown in this song.
The song overall has a really catchy sound, and the instrumentals really make it!
Seishun Joshi Gakuen (青春女子学園)
WARNING: EXTREMELY CATCHY SONG WITH EXTREMELY SELF-AWARE LYRICS.
This song is literally the embodiment of everything Seishun Joshi Gakuen is.
Wait! What about the 3rd article of the Seishun Joshi Gakuen School Regulations?!
POWER of Smile
How has Goose House not done a cover of this song?! This has some serious potential to be a campfire song anthem… but the kind you play before you get to the emotionally heavier stuff. “Thank you! That was POWER of Smile!
Now here’s Wonderwall!”
Here’s your summer song! Complete with summer imagery and a surprise bridge that transports you from the roasting rays of the sun on the beach and into a yukata at a matsuri under the cool, summer night sky.
Yume no Kakera (夢のカケラ)
One of those feel good songs that will fill you with determination as you sway your head side to side and tap the object closest to you to the rhythm of the music.
Isso, Kono Mama… (いっそ、このまま…)
Just sit back and let SHUN work his magic.
This was always one of my favorite songs he performed alongside Hoshino Mana (ex- Stella☆Beats) when Fresh Vegetables still existed (RIP FREVEGE- WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU).
Chikara no Kagiri!!! (力の限り!!!)
CHIKARA NO KAGIRI!!!! You’ve finally reached the flagship song of this album and arguably THE BEST song SHUN has ever composed! The transition from such a song as slow as Isso, Konomama to a song as hype as Chikara no Kagiri never fails to stir this fire in my chest. No matter where I am listening to the song I just want to run in a giant circle and reach my hand up to give imaginary SHUN a painful high five as I come around.
LIVE REALLY IS A SPORTS!
Kaihou ~O-E-O~ (開放)
Couldn’t have picked a better song to end off with on disk one.
If you’ve ever been able to catch a Seishun Gakuen live, Kaihou is always the highlight of the setlist, and like the placement on this album, it always comes at the very end. It’s five minutes of pure moving around and touching the sweaty backs of your fellow wota. And the best part about it? EVERY LIVING BEING IN THE ROOM IS DRAGGED IN TO PARTICIPATE!
Anyways, great song! Please do not listen to it while you are driving! We are not responsible for what happens if you OOOO-EEEEEEE-OOOOOO your vehicle into a ditch on the side of the road.
Easily one of their most well known songs, and rightly so, it landed them a spot on the #2 Oricon Chart Daily. It’s a fantastic song and probably in my top three favorites. I will have to say, I prefer Tegami。 on this album over the 2017 version featured on Seishun☆Wasshoi. The vocals just sound richer and there are more voices contributing to this particular version.
Kimi ga Kureta Omoi (君がくれた想い)
Overall a fun song and definitely one to know if you were ever to see the group live!
Tobidase Ready Go!! (飛び出せReady go!!)
One, two, one, two, one, two, ready go!
Fion! Fion! I love the sound of this song. It’s super catchy!
Owaranai Kyoku～ Ijime to Jimonjitou Hen～ (終わらない歌～イジメと自問自答編～)
Among the positive messages their music communicates, this particular song has a strong anti-bullying message. The first two minutes and forty seconds of the song follows a dialogue between two of the members, one of them had noticed a boy in her class was constantly being bullied. In the beginning she did not have the courage to stick up for him and tried to ignore it out of fear of drawing attention to herself. She eventually goes on to say that she realized that neglecting the situation was just as bad as the act of bullying itself and so, she decided to take action.
It’s a great song with a wholesome message. Sure, it’s not one you’ll probably listen to often, but I really respect SHUN for making meaningful songs like these.
NO FRIKIN MAKE! Starting with this song, the remainder of the album is one awesome song after another! Ready to get hyped again after a slow song like Oawaranai Uta? No Make makes my top three favorite songs on this album. SHUN’s voice truly lends itself to this song’s sound!
Wait… that transition from No Make to Why Not? Was almost seamless- is this a different song? Yeah, it is! When I listen to this song I can’t help but furicopy to it. It’s a fantastic song.
This song gives me chills every time I listen to it. SHUN’s vocal range in this song is absolutely insane! Definitely makes my top three favorite songs (oops, pretty sure i’ve said that about more than three songs already…oh well!)
SHUN wrote this song in promotion of the Fukuoka Smart Driver project, which was a campaign that aimed to reduce traffic accidents in Fukuoka through the awareness and teachings of compassion for your fellow drivers. I absolutely love Smart Driver- great song, wonderful message.
I love the chill vibe to this song. If the beach and matsuri imagery in SUN☆VACATION doesn’t do anything for you, kick it back, close your eyes, and enjoy a fruity drink on some exotic island with SHUN. If you get the chance to see this song live, have your towel out and ready to be waved!
It is impossible for me to listen to this song without tearing up.
SHUN wrote this song during the time of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
The song’s message is that in times of tribulation, the comfort and warmth one needs can be found in those around you. The lyrics are absolutely beautiful and the range of SHUN’s vocals in this song are enough to send you into a symphony of sniffles and sobs.
Thank you for giving this a read! It really is a fantastic album and I hope you all will enjoy it as much as I do. SHUN is such a talented writer and composer and it makes me so happy that his songs are becoming more accessible for everyone everywhere to listen to.
Chikara no Kagiri is up for download and streaming on the following platforms:
Spotify, Google Play Music, Itunes, YouTube Music, LINE Music, and more!
Seishun Gakuen’s most recent album, Seishun☆Wasshoi, is also up for download and streaming on the following platforms: Spotify, Google Play Music, and Itunes!
Seishun Academy Official Twitter:
Seishun Youth Academy Official Twitter:
If you find yourself in the Vancouver area next weekend, March 2nd, 2019, be sure to come listen to many of these songs at Seishun Youth Academy’s FREE 1st Anniversary Live at the Biltmore Cabaret starting at 5 PM! Both SHUN and NoMake’s president will be there too! Info for the event can be found here!