In the summer of 2003, Square released three singles through Avex, corresponding to the three main characters of Final Fantasy X-2: Yuna, Rikku, and Paine. The YuRiPa (or YRP in America) trio went “solo” for these three singles: the Japanese voice actors for the characters got a shot at performing two songs. Each song is actually a vocal rendition from an OST track, with a lot of arrangement packed into them. In fact, this is the closest thing to a full-fledged arrangement of the X-2 OST, and I personally like the instrumental tracks quite a bit.
Anyway, each single came with a 4-track CD and a 3-track DVD, packaged in a double-wide fluorescent case with an insert that unfolds to reveal lyrics and a CG picture of the character from the opening FMV sequence of the game. The CDs (like all Avex CDs now) are “copy-protected,” which apparently means trying to copy it won’t work…though I had no trouble making mp3s out of the tracks for my own personal use.
The DVD includes a music video (using scenes from the game and shots of the vocalist singing), then a lengthy interview (in Japanese), and finally a special bit of montage-work: more sequences from the game, but the music in the background is a battle theme. Honestly, it’s nothing special, especially if you don’t know Japanese.
Yuna’s singles are “Kimi he” (which translates to “To You”) and “Morning Glow,” which are slower songs in comparison to Rikku and Paine’s singles. Mayuki Aoki’s voice is really the most elegant of the three girls, and she does great harmonization in the chorus of each song. These songs are really peaceful.
I am especially fond of Morning Glow…arranged from the opening theme, “Eternity ~Memory of Light and Waves~,” this song shows impressive use of looped percussion, vocal harmonization, and strings. Be sure to listen to this track.
On the whole, you have to be a Final Fantasy X-2 fanatic to purchase these singles. You simply cannot find them for cheaper than $15 each, and even then you’re facing exorbitant shipping and handling prices. I purchased all three at the same time from Otaku.com, and my total bill came to about $65. I don’t know anyone in their right mind who pays more than $30 for six vocal songs and some DVDs with minimal amounts of material on them. I guess I’m not in my right mind then…
Anyway, if you get a chance to purchase these singles for a low price, I would recommend you do so. If you’re interested in only purchasing one, and you really like mellow music (and these samples), then get Yuna’s single. I usually prefer this single to the other two, unless I’m in a really peppy mood. Consider it, but only if you’re rich or obsessed with computer-animated women from Final Fantasy.