Alongside Kissin’ My Lips, Snow Man’s new double a-side single includes Stories, which acts as the opening theme for anime Black Clover. Johnny’s Entertainment has a long history with anime, as does pretty much all of J-pop. Before even listening to Stories, you probably have a sense for how it might sound. And, you’d be right. Big chorus, big energy and big guitars.
While Stories may not be some reinvention of what an anime theme can be, it stands as a great example of the sub-genre’s charm. It’s also a great match for Snow Man, who are more about energy and performance than robust vocal delivery. Nearly the entire track is delivered in unison, imbuing the group with the heft of a big pop army. This approach fits well with the song’s equally imposing guitars. Stories opens with a gigantic riff – the kind that summons you out of bed to go fight monsters or harness magic or whatever this anime might be about.
Moody, atmospheric verses give way to an exciting pre-chorus, fueled by punchy percussion. But, Stories’ main draw is its megawatt chorus, which surges with theatrical bombast. I feel like I’ve heard this melody a million times before, but it never gets old. The refrain sweeps you right off your feet, offering a shot of adrenaline. I love when Johnny’s groups tackle a more rock-oriented sound, so Stories is right up my alley.