7th Story Märchen
7th story CD Märchen is the fifth major album released by Sound Horizon on December 15, 2010 in Japan.
After almost two years of silence since the release of Moira, Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido and, subsequently, Märchen were announced to be released in the later half of 2010. Märchen is a direct continuation of the events in its prologue single, Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido, the fact evident in the seamless connection between Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido's last track, Kanojo ga Majo ni Natta Riyuu and Märchen's first, Yoiyami no Uta.
In continuation of the tradition that had begun with Moira, Märchen was also known for vast differences between its limited edition and regular edition packaging. The limited edition came in a hardcover case that, when completely opened up, forms the kanji for seven(七). In place of a normal lyrics booklet, the limited edition included a 77-paged hardcover book that was meant to represent the Fairytales of Light and Darkness first mentioned in Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido.
※Translation by Defade
- Yoiyami no Uta
- Kakei no Majo
- Kuroki Okami no Yado
- Garasu no Hitsugi de Nemuru Himegimi
- Sei to Shi wo Wakatsu Kyoukai no Furuido
- Bara no Tou de Nemuru Himegimi
- Aoki Hakushaku no Shiro
- Takkei no Seijo
- Gyoukou no Uta
Themes and Structure
Parallelism and form of tracklist
Märchen contains nine named tracks along with 29 short, 7-second segments that are presented as the bonus track of the album. The first track sets the stage and defines the overall atmosphere of the rest of the album, while the ninth track provides some semblance of closure. Each of the tracks from two to eight is centered on one of the seven actresses, depicting the process by which they have crossed the boundary before covering Märchen's offer of revenge, as well as its subsequent results. All seven songs were based upon seven of the Grimms' fairytales, though some are lesser known than others.
The titles of the nine tracks of Märchen are arranged so that four of them are mirrors of each other, both in length and in content, while the fifth track of the album acts as a divisor that signals the transition point of the album. Some have theorized that this separation signifies the beginning of the album's movement away from depravation and towards a better conclusion, basing their postulations on the observed trend of gradually decreasing amounts of cruelty depicted in the songs. When written vertically, the entire tracklist also resembles the shape of a church.
As the seventh story CD, Märchen places much emphasis on the number seven. Revo himself stated that the instances of sevens throughout the album exceeds a hundred, and the more prominent ones are - the seven actresses to whom Märchen offers a chance at revenge, the seven sins that the seven main songs in Märchen are based upon, the lyrics booklet spanning 77 pages while all appearances of the kanji for seven(七) are written in red.
Märchen von Friedhof
The pivotal character of the album, the major driving force behind many of its events. He approaches seven girls who have crossed the boundary and offers each of them a chance at revenge under his conducting.
A doll reminiscent of the memento that Elisabeth von Wettin gave to März von Ludowing when they parted. She accompanies Märchen during the album and provides scathingly sarcastic commentary on the various revenges.
One of the seven actresses. Her song revolves around the sin of gluttony. She died at the hands of an Old Woman in the Forest, driven mad by hunger. She accomplished her revenge when Gretel kicked the old woman into the furnace, believing her to be a witch.
The Country Bumpkin
One of the seven actresses. Her song revolves around the sin of greed. She was hanged and her liver removed by The Landlady to make liver cuisine. She took revenge by returning to the landlady and presumably killing her.
One of the seven actresses. Her song revolves around the sin of envy. The queen grew envious of Schneewittchen's beauty and plotted to kill her multiple times, succeeding when she tempted the princess with a poisoned apple. Schneewittchen was later revived when the Blue Prince's retainers dropped her coffin and presumably dislodged the poisoned apple from her throat. She took her revenge by forcing the queen to dance in burning shoes.
One of the seven actresses. Her song revolves around the sin of sloth. She jumped into a well to recover a spindle when threatened with no dinner, arriving in another dimension wherein she met Mother Holle and worked for the older woman. Holle sent her back home covered in gold as a reward for her efforts, and she accomplished her revenge when her lazy stepsister attempted the same feat yet returned with pitch.
One of the seven actresses. Her song revolves around the sin of pride. She pricked her finger on a spindle under the curse of Alte-Rose, yet instead of dying on the spot, fell into deep slumber for 100 years due to the spell of Aprikose. She was later awakened by the Red Prince and exiled Alte-Rose to accomplish her revenge.
The Previous Wife
One of the seven actresses. Her song revolves around the sin of lust. She was killed by her husband, Bluebeard, in a fit of rage that may have come about as a reaction to her infidelity. She avenged herself by luring the earl's newest wife into the room in which he hid the corpses of his previous wife. Displeased by the discovery, Bluebeard intended to kill the newest wife, yet her cry for help alerted her three brothers, who broke into the earl's castle and killed him.
Elisabeth von Wettin
One of the seven actresses. Her song revolves around the sin of wrath. She was crucified by her brother when she refused to marry due to her feelings for März von Ludowing. Later on, a statue was erected in her honor. Though offered a chance a revenge, she refused.
Other characters may be found on the list of minor Märchen characters.
Märchen came in second place on the Oricon daily charts on the day of its release and went on to achieve second place on the weekly Billboard charts. Märchen, whose total sales exceeded 100,000 copies, is the first Sound Horizon release to be awarded the gold certificate by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.
As of January 6th in 2012, Märchen has sold over 180,00 copies in total, managing to place 72nd on the Oricon yearly ranking charts.
- Märchen von Friedhof
- Kanami Ayano
- Kazuki Kiriyama
- Sayumi Kobayashi
- Tomoyo Kurosawa
- Yume Suzuki
- Azumi Inoue
- Chinatsu Ishii
- Mikuni Shimokawa
- Minami Kuribayashi
- Akio Otsuka
- Miku Hatsune
- Idolfried Ehrenberg
- Nobuo Tobita
- Miyuki Sawashiro
- Asuka Tanii
- Toru Okawa
- Yuichi Nakamura
- Saki Fujita
Electric guitar & steel-string guitar: Takeshi Nishiyama
Electric guitar & nylon-string guitar: YUKI, Shingo "Jake" Saito, Marty Friedman
Bass: Atsushi Hasegawa
Piano, synthesizer, harmonium, harpsichord: Koji Igarashi
Piano, synthesizer, harmonium, harpsichord, electric piano: Eiji Kawai
Piano, synthesizer, harmonium: Keiji Matsumoto
Drums: JUN-JI, Ken☆Ken, Toru Abe, Kaoru Abe
<Gen Ittetsu Strings>
First violin: Ittetsu Gen (solo), Maki Nagata, Masayoshi Fujimura, Yoshiko Kaneko, Osamu Iyoku, Kaoru Kuroki, Satoki Nagaoka, Yayoi Fujita, Shu Watanabe
Second violin: Takuya Mori, Kiyo Kido, Masane Ohta, Koji Ohtake, Reiko Tsuchiya, Shiori Takeda, Nobuko Kaiwa
Viola: Daisuke Kadowaki, Shouko Miki, Chikako Nishimura, Yuko Kajitani
Cello: Kaori Morita, Masami Horisawa, Tomoki Iwanaga, Seigen Tokuzawa, Toshiyuki Muranaka
Bass: Yoshinobu Taeshita, Shigeki Ippon
Soprano: Satoko Kubo, Yuria Wakai, KAORU
Alto: Sanae Hori, Keiko Aoki, Sayaka Hane
Tenor: KABASHISAMA, Yohei Sasaki, Masato Kamiya
Bass: Yoshinori Koba, Masato Otsuka, Keiji Kitani
<Sugamo Child's Choir>
Teacher: Yoshiko Ohsawa
Kazune Ohsawa, Airi Kamata, Tomohito Ohsawa, Nao Mamiya, Haruka Ito, Moe Odaka, Ayano Mizushima, Kako Kondo, Kurumi Mamiya, Kei Toriumi, Tabin Ryu, Yui Miura
Trumpet: Eric Miyashiro (solo), Masahiko Sugasaka, Hitoshi Yokoyama, Masanori Suzuki
Trombones: Masanori Hirohara, Yoshiki Hakoyama, Kanade Shishiuchi
Horns: Atsushi Doyama, Keiji Omori, Tetsuo Takano, Ikue Saga
Tuba: Kazunori Kubo
Flute: Hideyo Takakuwa
Oboe: Satoshi Shoji
Clarinette: Kimio Yamane
Bassoon: Toshitsugu Inoue, Masashi Maeda
Harp: Tomoyuki Asakawa
Tin flute, panflute, recorder: Takashi Asahi
Sound Effects: Hirokazi Ebisu
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