Since the airing of Macross Δ in the Spring and Summer of 2016, I’ve become a huge fan of the music of Walkure. There is a great variety in the styles and sounds of each different song and in a world filled with more music anime, idol shows, and idol groups than you can count, Walkure stands out among the crowd in my opinion as one of the best. They’re a group that is starting to gain global appeal and recognition, with JUNNA, singing voice of Mikumo Guynemer, and Minori Suzuki, voice actor for Freyja Wion, attending and performing at the “Anisong World Matsuri” at Anime Expo 2017, and their recent “Walkure ga Tomaranai” live performance is an amazing example of one of the strongest idol groups in anime right now. Across two full-length albums and one mini-album, there is a whole slew of amazing Walkure music to behold with even more hopefully coming in the future. So, whether you’re going to see the two leading ladies of Walkure perform live at this year’s Anime Expo, a fairweather fan who has watched the anime but not really checked out the music otherwise, or a hardcore fan, Welcome to Walkure World and let’s enjoy the ride!
Part 1: The Essentials
Just with discussing anything else, there are always a few essential options that need to be discussed first. There are a few Walkure songs that have become iconic in establishing Walkure’s identity and reputation: the cream of the crop that rise to the occasion and leave a lasting impression on fans and casuals of the series alike. There are tons of instantly recognizable songs from Walkure, so I’ve decided to narrow it down to the three “big ticket” numbers from the Macross Δ idols.
Koi Halation THE WAR (Click the title for the full song)
(There are actually two different versions of Koi Halation THE WAR included on Walkure Attack. For this series, we will be using the full group version, as opposed to the w/o Freyja version)
Koi Halation THE WAR is the first glimpse into the music of Walkure we gain during the anime of Macross Δ. The song features a slow, soft, and subtle lead-in with the muted echoes of “Welcome to Walkure World” accompanied by the soft synth strings slowly building and becoming more pronounced. A final full-volume call of “Welcome to Walkure World” signals the song’s true start as the guitar and drums break in and the tempo picks up. The verses are soft and floaty but with a driving pace as the instrumentation begins to build up around them. The song finally explodes into chorus with each voice coming together and harmonizing for a rhythmic and melodic chorus. Koi Halation THE WAR makes frequent use of shifts in the pacing of vocals and interspersing verses, changing the rhythm and giving it a sound that is unique from virtually any other Walkure song. The entire track has a feel that is very much its own, being very much unlike the rest of their discography and making it stand out among the rest. Each voice of Walkure is given its own short chance to shine, giving the song a very great introductory feel as a pre-cursor to arguably the most well-known Walkure song featured just a few minutes later within the anime’s first episode.
Ikenai Borderline (Click the title for the full song)
If there is one song that it seems like every fan of Macross Δ knows whether they’re hardcore or casual, that song is usually Ikenai Borderline. Borderline is used at the end of the anime’s first episode, and several other times throughout, during the first major battle involving Hayate, the protagonist of Δ. From its easily recognizable synth intro to the iconic “Giri giri ai” signalling the start of the song’s chorus, it is an instantly recognizable track for fans of the franchise. The iconic intro opens with a dull synth melody building into an explosion of brass, synth, and heavy percussion, signalling the hypefest that is about to ensue. Moody and melodic verses carry the next segment of the song as Borderline focuses more on the harmony of the voices of Walkure and highlighting the group’s stronger voices. As the familiar cry of “Giri giri ai” sounds, the song explodes into its chorus as the instrumentation grows to bombastic levels and the vocals inspire karaoke singers all across the fandom to join in. It is a chorus line that is a symbol of the series as a whole, serving as one of the most recognizable and memorable moments throughout the entire series. For being the song that really put Walkure “on the map” so to speak, Ikenai Borderline does not relent and stands as one of the greatest songs the group has released to date.
Bokura no Senjou (Click the title to hear the full song)
While not being as instantly recognizable as Ikenai Borderline or as powerful in its tempo and strength, Bokura no Senjou represents a different side of Walkure’s power as a group. Bokura no Senjou represents the side of Walkure that is more calculated and orchestra-oriented in its execution. Bokura no Senjou is used several times throughout the anime and is arguably as iconic a track, if not more, within the show as Ikenai Borderline. The song’s grandiose tone and nature is put on display immediately from the opening moments, as an orchestra leads the song in with synth building up around it. The orchestra focus puts a softer, more nuanced feel on the track as the vocals pick up and flow along with the instrumental. The heavily string-oriented feel carries throughout the song as it moves into its chorus, exploding into a fast-paced, bombastic orchestrated masterpiece that carries with a sense of “belonging” or “claiming what’s ours” to me. The entire track has a very triumphant and confident feel, giving a very pronounced sound that accomplishes that goal with flair. Bokura no Senjou stands to this day among my very favorite Walkure songs for good reason as it is a perfect example of what Walkure accomplishes at their fullest, combining both nuance and fast-paced energy into a memorable and spectacular finished product.
We’ve already spent a lot of time today talking about some of the most memorable tracks that Walkure has to offer. These tracks have inspired an entire fandom to look deeper and crave even more Walkure in their lives and, as such, we’re just getting started. There’s a lot of amazing music within Walkure’s discography to look at that covers a lot of different styles and tones and we’re going to be looking at a lot of it over these next few pieces, so practice your handsigns because we’re taking a trip into a Walkure world.