Nano – Born to Be

born to be


  1. Born to Be
  2. Happy Ending Simulator (Nano ver.)
  3. NEW WORLD (Mahou Sensou ver.)
  4. Born to Be (Instrumental)
  5. Happy Ending Simulator (Instrumental) (Nano ver.)
  6. NEW WORLD (Instrumental) (Mahou Sensou ver.)


Born to Be opens with the starring instrument, a heavy slap bass, which sets the tone for the whole track. This is one angry song. Nano starts with a pissed-off rap, before moving into her no less vicious regular singing. Through the piece, she’s complemented by electric guitars and a thundering bass that has plenty of flashing licks. The arrangement is good, with a solid rock setting, and the song is generally mixed well.

There are a few places which could be improved, but they’re all minor. Given the bass is prominent,  I would have liked it to have a louder mix during the pre-chorus and chorus. Also, the bass interlude in the middle sounds more like an outro, dropping the energy a bit much. I’m not keen on the rap, but it works okay in this case. Again, all these issues aren’t a big deal.

However, while Born to Be is decent, I’m disappointed when I compare it to her previous three A-sides. I like this song’s attitude, but the music doesn’t grab me as much as pieces like No Pain, No Game or SAVIOR OF SONG.

On the Nano version of the single, the B-side is Happy Ending Simulator. It’s a rock song like Born to Be, but honestly it doesn’t excite me much. The opening vocals are set against plain guitar, making the intro sound bland and empty. But I like the changes to 3/4 time, and the bass in the second verse is sweet. Can’t say much except that I’m meh about this one.

On the Mahou Sensou version, the B-side is NEW WORLD, a trance song. Nano exploring new musical territories is a cool idea! I love the clean guitar riffs,  and there are beautiful piano and violin lines alongside the synths and beats. The verses are spoken/rapped, but in a calm way, and the chorus vocals are multilayered. Awesome. Now, if only Nano could think of some lyrics apart from “finding the courage”. There isn’t much I dislike about this song. The only part I find off-putting is the pitch-sliding synth which goes up and down, instead of resolving on a note above the starting note (does anyone understand that? xD). Overall, I enjoy the ideas in NEW WORLD and the neat genre change.

To sum up, Born to Be is a reasonable offering from Nano, but doesn’t live up to the high standards of her previous releases. My favourite from the three tracks is NEW WORLD, but Born to Be and Happy Ending Simulator are acceptable for a few listens.


Rating: 3.5 stars


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6 Responses to Nano – Born to Be

  1. I heard this song when trying out the anime Mahou Sensou earlier this season. As you said, I didn’t find it as grabbing as No Pain, No Game, Exist or some of her other earlier tracks – it sounded like more of the same. So I’m excited to read that on this album she’s branched into something new! I’m going to get my hands on it and give it a listen. Thanks!

  2. Moira says:

    I enjoyed this single; it had very cool A-side (despite it not living up to the higher standards of previous A-sides), and NEW WORLD was an interesting deviation from the music she usually releases. I wasn’t all that excited by Happy Ending Simulator either, but I guess it’ll do as a B-side…? It felt like a less-cool, toned-down version of neophobia for some reason :3

    Now, if only Nano could think of some lyrics apart from “finding the courage”.

    I totally lol’d at this. Um, in which other songs does she use those lyrics and its derivatives… magenta is what I can think of. xD

    • Alex says:

      She’s also got a song called Together As One where she goes “finding the courage inside of you” and on Calc from her first album, she also talks about courage. I can’t think of any more, but it sticks out to me haha.

  3. mk03 says:

    Is it wrong for me to always confuse Nano with nano.RIPE (aka ear.RAPE)? xD

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