Shin

X Character Files

X CHARACTER FILES:
COMPOSER: various (Yoko Kanno, Hajime Mizoguch, Seikou Nagaoka,
Hisaaki Hogari, Yoshikazu Suou, Yutaka Fukuoka)

1 – Yuzuriha (3:34)
Composed & Arranged: Yoko Kanno
– Starts off with a wolf howl-undoubtedly an Inuki tribute. The rest of the piece has an Irish feel with it’s use of traditional flute over guitar and drums. Very happy and optimistic but not perky.

VERDICT: play

2 – Nataku (3:25)
Composed & Arranged: Hajime Mizoguchi
– A sad, short string orchestra piece. Not much to it, though, really. Seems to be of a string orchestra of only violas, celli, and bass….if there’s a bass in there….Perhaps the piece is meant to reflect the lack of emotion in Nataku, but emotionless pieces dont’ make for very listenable pieces.

VERDICT: skip

3 – Satsuki (7:19)
Composed & Arranged: Hajime Mizoguchi
– LARGEST MUSIC FILE EVER DOWNLOADED. (Symbolism? Large like her chest? Maybe…) Starts of with tech-y beeps and such over string monotones only to get progressively weirder. Out of nowhere comes this jazzy section with walking bass which almost suggests some presence of the bipolar disorder in Satsuki. Which is an interesting, thought, really, but Satsuki’s bipolar? I’m not sure about that. The tech sounds continue throughout the entire piece accompanied by a very mellow and kinda bouncy melody. Again another analogy to her chest? Hope not.

VERDICT: play (only because it’s so long)

4 – Karen (4:01)
Composed & Arranged: Yoko Kanno
– Absolutely gorgeous. Synth piano and Gabriela Robin + Yoko Kanno up to their old “we kick musical arse” tricks. Rather “Enya-ish”, but eons better. The rhythmic choral section that pops in here and there is just so pretty. This also has quite a optimistic feel despite Karen’s sad past. Personally, I wonder what Kanno was thinking when she wrote this one because Karen’s beauty hides her insecurities yet here, everything seems to be open.

VERDICT: repeat

5 – Subaru (4:18)
Composed & Arranged: Yoko Kanno
– Flute and clarinet play off each other in the intriguing opening to be joined in by a sad orchestral melody. Very movie music-like. There’s some Howard Shore, Lord of the Rings-like chord progressions in there which gives a sort of noble feel. Not unrepresentative of Subaru at all. This is probably one of the most relatable pieces on the entire OST.

VERDICT: repeat

6 – Sorata (4:41)
Composed & Arranged: Seikou Nagaoka
– Starts off with monk-ish chants (symbolism, undoubtedly pointing at Sorata’s monastery roots) which then moves into a rather neat, almost rock-ish melody with a touch of jazz and some weird BG vocals. It moves and could be mistaken for fighting sim music if it was faster. A very fun piece.

VERDICT: repeat

7 – Yuuto (3:30)
Composed & Arranged: Hisaaki Hogari
– Atonal but there’s a guitar in the background behind all the clanging that progresses into a melancholy yet hopeful piano with guitar accompaniment melody. This one is quite strange and mysterious. Seeing how Yuuto is a charming playboy, it’s quite interesting that the composer saw him as this weird mess of…mess.

VERDICT: skip

8 – Arashi (3:37)
Composed & Arranged: Yoko Kanno
– Very modernistic classical feel. Reminds me of Barber or Prokofiev or Ives; it’s strange and almost uncomfortable until you get used it. After that, like Arashi herself, it’s beautiful and then mysterious as well. The music hints that there’s something beneath that wants to be found, but also wants to remain hidden. This is a gorgeous work that, however, sadly needs understanding before it can claim full appreciation of the listener.

VERDICT: play

9 – Seiichiro (4:08)
Composed & Arranged: Nagaoka Seikou
– This piece is somewhat of a surprise. It’s based more in funk and bop than anything else. As a piece of music, it’s very appealing and listenable. As a representation of Seiichirou, it’d odd because the thought of Seiichirou being jazzy is quite far away from his caring-father-typical-nice-guy image. So if anyone can tell me how this piece relates to Seiichirou, feel free to tell me.

VERDICT: repeat

10 – Kusanagi (5:06)
Composed & Arranged: Yoshikazu Suou
– A solo trumpet soars over earth-y music sounds – vibes, some modernistic piano, some electric guitars and traditional drums…quite appropriate and straightforward for Mr. Earth-boy. As a piece, it’s also a nice work in itself, though it fails to really take itself anywhere.

VERDICT: play

11 – Seishirou (5:14)
Composed & Arranged: Yutaka Fukuoka
– This piece moves and feels a bit like a RPG action FMV music where the heroes are running to rescue someone. Actually, it reminds me of 007 Goldeneye on N64 music. Not unlike Sorata’s image file, it’s quite fun, but not quite sadistic or morbid enough to be exactly the bloody Seishirou.

VERDICT: repeat

12 – Kakyou (4:35)
Composed & Arranged: Hisaaki Hogari
– A calm opening that’s reminds me of a seaside (well I guess that’d be about right since it’s Kakyou.) that’s permeated by weird chants that feel out of place and tech blips and swirls which are fine representation of Kakyou’s condition. It’s like listening to a satellite connection. This is probably the most symbolically obvious of all the pieces on the OST, but it’s not easy to stay focused on it.

VERDICT: skip

13 – Fuuma (6:04)Composed & Arranged: Yutaka Fukuoka
– At first impression, the listener will probably think they’re standing in some religious temple of Asian sort with chanting monks. It continues on this chant base while gradually picking up some speed/rhythm. What exactly the composer’s trying to say in this one it a bit hard to pick out. It sounds very optimistic as opposed to Fuuma’s bloody and teasing nature. When he’s evil that is. Perhaps this is more to represent his earlier, evil-less days. Nonetheless, it’s a very interesting piece.

VERDICT: play

14 – Kamui (4:31)
Composed & Arranged: Hajime Mizoguchi
– Sad string orchestra pops in again with a solo cello and piano interlude. There is angst and pain in the melodies and that’s not incorecct when it concerns the unfortunately mopey Kamui. However, the piece is a bit boring. Angst was never too much fun. Save this one for when there’s a need of music to cry to.

VERDICT: skip

OVERALL: Each piece tends to be very symbolic of the person that they are speaking about. It may take some time to see exactly how to composer interpreted the character and what surrounded them, but understanding is not what they’re about to give you. The entire CD is centered around a more “modernistc” classical music feel, though the touches of jazz here and there are nice breaks. This is recommended mostly for hardcore X fans and those that dont’ mind strange, not usual, not alway melodic music. Yoko Kanno’s “Karen” is certainly an oustanding breath of fresh air of all the works and the catchiest. It soars and though might not be the beautiful Karen as she is protrayed in the manga or anime, paints a gorgeous picture all the same.

By kiyo-chan

Witch Hunter ROBIN Original Sound Scores

The score to the anime series Witch Hunter ROBIN was split into two albums: Original Sound Score 1 and Original Sound Score 2. The music was composed by Taku Iwasaki, who is also known for writing the music to the Samurai X OVAs.

Anyone who has seen the Witch Hunter ROBIN series knows that most of it has a dark element to it. Much of the music matches perfectly with this gothic-type setting and some key pieces make use of rich, deep choir which tends to add incredible depth to the compositions. The anime also had a futuristic feel to it, having highly advanced computer systems. This was also reflected quite well in the score, through the use of beats and synths resembling trance and techno styles as well as some jazz influence. This review will not be track-by-track, but will pick out most of the songs to get an overall feel to it. I’ve included a handful of low bitrate mp3 samples of some the of tracks from each of the two albums.

Original Sound Score 1
Composer: Taku Iwasaki
Producer: Keiichi Nozaki
Catalog No.: VICL-60931
Release Date: 09/21/2002
Production: Victor Entertainment

Track List
01. Robin
02. Plot
03. Tactics
04. Sneak
05. Kyrie
06. Marvelous
07. Discord
08. Dragnet
09. Underground Passage
10. Inspection
11. Harry’s
12. STN
13. Open Your Eyes
14. Dancing Type
15. Flame
16. Shadow
17. Outrageous
18. Large Crowd
19. Flashback
20. Allay Pain
21. Silence
22. Shell (TV size)
23. Half Pain (TV size)

The very first song of the first album contains a song who’s melody was surely engraved into your ears if you’ve watched the series… “Robin”. The main character’s theme, it was seldom heard in its entirety, but the first 30 seconds of it was played in almost every episode. A soft beat is introduced further into the song, as well as some light choir in the background. It’s definitely worth listening to completely. The first dark piece comes up next in “Plot”. This is a good example of how dark this score can be. It starts off really dismal, enters a beat, and ends even more dismal than when it started. Songs like this one make for an enjoyable soundtrack, even without watching the anime. A little further down the track list we come across “Kyrie”. This is easily one of my favorite tracks on this album. The song has a dynamic beat with a powerful and haunting choir echoing throughout. “Marvelous” brings in mystery to the score. The melody sounds lost, and the eerie-sounding piano projects that even more. We get hit with energy in “Dragnet”. Here is where you get to sample some trance-style synths as well as some rock elements. This song makes for great chase music. With “Inspection”, you get to hear some smooth jazz-style with the familiar choir vocals popping in and out.

» Listen to samples! Robin | Kyrie

“STN” is a highlight when it comes to the smooth music on this album. Great stuff here, this is carefree and provocative, futuristic-sounding jazz. Some of these songs you just have to hear to fully understand. Robin’s theme is reincarnated in “Open Your Eyes”, this time with piano as the main focus. This is actually a very beautiful rendition of her theme. “Dancing Type” will be sure to get your head bobbing for a bit. A great rock theme with organs playing the melody through chords. “Flame” can also be considered an alternate theme for Robin, since it’s usually played when she displays her powers. This song is a great attention-grabber and has very nice sweeping strings overlaying the rock-style in the background. “Allay Pain” has the ending theme’s melody. Of course, one of the best ways to give emotion to a song is through solo piano. While simple, this piece does a decent job at portraying pain, confusion, and sadness. The last two songs on the album are the opening and ending themes to each episode. The lyrics for these was written by Hitomi Mieno and the songs were performed by Bana. “Shell” is a great rock theme and almost reminds me of some of the rock style songs by Do As Infinity. “Pain”, in contrast, is slow and melancholy, and ends the episodes nicely.

» Listen to samples! STN | Allay Pain | Shell

Original Sound Score 2
Composer: Taku Iwasaki
Producer: Keiichi Nozaki
Catalog No.: VICL-60932
Release Date: 11/21/2002
Production: Victor Entertainment

Track List
01. Say Goodbye
02. Desperate Struggle
03. Assassination
04. Look Back
05. Surprise Attack
06. Genetic
07. Smuggle
08. Emit A Flash
09. Solomon
10. Lie
11. Grave
12. Duty
13. Factory
14. Pass
15. Expire
16. Witch
17. Enigmatic Person
18. Erosion
19. Suspicion
20. Tragedy
21. STNJ Counter
22. Decision
23. Shell (Guitar Version)

The second album starts off on a sad note with “Say Goodbye”. Lush and sweeping strings instantly set the mood of hopeful sadness in this piece. “Desperate Struggle” describes the next song perfectly. Fast-paced and steady, this is an “edge-of-your-seat” type of song, keeping you fixated on the events unfolding. “Assassination” sounds very determined and cold. Strings bring out the melody of the song and mysterious synths dominate the background as the song progresses. Another energetic song, “Surprise Attack” is also a head-bobber. This song starts off very rock-heavy and then brings in hot synths and strings. “Genetic” resurfaces the dark, haunting choir and sorrowful strings that distinguish this anime’s score, as well as in the more upbeat “Solomon”. If you like this style of music, those two will become instant favorites. These types of pieces are definitely the hallmark of this series. A new melody is introduced in the depressing song “Grave”. A soft and persistent piano flows into full chords gently under the abyssal strings as the song develops. I would describe this one as a “all is lost” piece.

» Listen to samples! Surprise Attack | Grave

The following three songs, “Duty”, Factory”, and “Pass” are the smooth style songs again. They very closely resemble a type of jazz that isn’t often noticed. “Witch” is yet another gripping song that makes great “emergency” music. The strings seem to bounce incessantly and are only interrupted by driving percussion and intimidating rock elements, keeping you focused. “Erosion” doesn’t really have a melody and is more of an ambient-style song. The composer seemed to piece together lingering sound effects to create an ominous and deadly mood. The melody in “Suspicion” is one you hear quite often towards the final episodes of the series. The song, starting off slow and quiet with piano, transforms into a hypnotic aura of dark, mysterious music through the use of beats and strings. “STNJ Counter” has something sounding like a type of lead controlling the melody while electric guitars keep it moving, along with quiet hot organ chords. “Decision” is a very royal and proud sounding song. The mood is definitely calm and accomplished. Strings are the focal point here, along with subtle brass acting as support. The album ends with an extended electric guitar version of “Shell” (the opening theme).

» Listen to samples! Duty | Witch | Suspicion | Decision

Over all the score was incredibly well done. The albums stay very consistent throughout and they do a fine job at staying balanced with the different styles it uses. This is a soundtrack that is very enjoyable even without having seen the actual anime series (although it does help to associate events with songs). If you’re into dynamically moody, dark, haunting, and sorrowful songs that aren’t the reserved type and actually have some beat to them, you will really want to check this music out.

By Dragon627

Vampire Princess Miyu OST

  • Composed/Arranged by:Kenji Kawai.
  • Vocals: Saeko Suzuki& Miki Nagasawa
  • Published by: Tokyopop

    3 Shinma brothers and a magnificent score
    Vampire Princess Miyu OST
    Weird introduction eh?

    Well, there’s a reason for this. Every once in a while Soundtracks have an everlasting impression on me, and Vampire Princess Miyu was one of these. I could sum up this Ost in one word: Melancholy. Because that’s what you have when you listen to this soundtrack. The soundtrack is dark and sad in nature which fit’s perfectly the series. Every episode on the TV-series has a somewhat dramatic ending and this is represented in most of the tracks(not all, but most of them).. Most songs are rather short(usually not more than 2 minutes) but somehow it never seemed to bother me. The quality of the intrumentation and composition makes up more than enough for the lack of length.

    Kenji Kawai is the acclaimed composer of this music and it’s a shame some people just doesn’t seem to get enough recognition for their works. Kenji Kawai is one of them. Being also responsible for his tremendous score for Ghost in the Shell, it’s easily to see why this man is so damn good. But back to the soundtrack now, in particular to a few songs that needs mentioning.

    In good anime tradition, the opening song is sweetness and it’s prepares pretty much the mood for what’s to come. It resembles a sad lonely girl sitting on a tree with somebody telling her story when traditional Japnese instruments are kicking off the song to progress to more intensified drums and a chorus of voices and then getting slower again. The vocal part is done by Kasahara Hiroko which also did vocals for Armitage III. I love the opening and it’s definitly a song you will keep coming back to..
    Quite simply a perfect opening song to the series.

    Now back to the title of my review. Some of you might remember one of the last episodes with the 3 Shinma brothers coming into a town. The beginning of that episode made a deep impression to me and that’s mainly because of the song that did go along with it. Track nr. 28 and called The Wind of Killer(Sappuka), it’s one of those villain songs you just can’t get out of your head. It was played several times when there was an upcoming battle with Shinma’s, but especially in that particular episode the song became appearant and stuck in your head. Even though the song is rather short(1.28 only) it never fails to amaze me. Dark, gloomy and the feeling bad things will happen lead the overtone here.

    Another song worth mentioning is track. 30 called Distress(Kunou). It’s another one of these dark in nature songs that represents the whole mood of the series with the Shinma’s and Miyu’s own world. Despite the rather repeating melodie, the songs never grows old on you. Track.3 Karma(Shukumei no Katarushisu) is another one of these songs that belong in the same sad and emotional attached category.

    Another thing I want to mention is the Flute. Many songs use the flute as instrument and song 12 “Melodie of Sorrow” is an excellent example of that. This instrument is used in quite some tracks, and mostly with great results, it gives an additonal edge to the already emotionally charges songs. There are plenty more songs on this soundtrack worth covering, but I’m not good at doing very long reviews, so I conclude my review here.

    Final thoughts: if you’re a fan of the series, get this one. For all others, people have different tastes, but if you somewhat like dark, melancholic or sad soundtracks you will adore this one.Truth to be told, Kenji Kawai outdid himself on this score, no discussion about it. While some songs might be less impressive, the majority makes up for that and you won’t regret buying it. A worthy Ost in everybody’s collection and still easy to find.

    Overall Rating : 9,5/10

  • By Edgar

    Someday’s Dreamers

    Anime: Someday’s Dreamers
    Composer: Takefuni Haketa
    Additional Artist: the Indigo
    Released by: Pioneer
    Release Date: November 4, 2003

    Tracklisting:
    O1. Where the sky and the eart meet
    02. Midnight Summer Dream
    03. Heart of ice ~After you’ve left
    04. Sunflower ~Surrrounded by the wind of light
    05. Golden sunlight
    06. First job
    07. Friend
    Someday's dreamers08. Memorable Scene
    09. Home country of a water imp
    10. I won’t forget
    12. Under the moon light (Hey that’s me)
    13. Breakfast ~I’m fine today, too~
    14. PAIN
    15. The Feeling is Magic
    16. Hot Frenzy
    17. Forever straight
    18. As a human as a witch
    19. Our future
    20. Kidokorone ~doze
    21. Destination of magic
    22. In flower language, it is “love”
    23. Sweet Memories
    24. “Sincerely”
    25. Poem of hope
    26. Blue sky without a cloud ~No trouble in the world
    27. Clear/ the Indigo
    28. UNDER THE BLUE SKY/ the Indigo (TV EDIT)
    29-37. Eye Catch (9 versions)

    Track by track review:

    01. Where the sky and the earth meet <3:26>
    A really nice relaxing piece, overall a good opener. Main instrument is a Basendofer piano (which is used throughout this entire album), so if you don’t like that (Why, what’s wrong with you) then you won’t like this song (and probably this entire OST). The very beginning is just piano, for a while really, but it’s really relaxing. As you make your way through the piece you hear music you might connect with something celtic. If you visulize this song, you would imagine a open medow on a perfect day, with green grass as far as you see. There is very little use of human voices, only towards the end do you hear them, sweet serene voices that can put you to sleep. Overall the song is very relaxing on the ears and the soul, the piano just takes you away. Its good to just put this on let it roll, a sudden out of place plause or stop will ruin the moment. Definitely one track for the piano/celtic lovers. (Is there such a thing)
    Rating: 4/5

    02. Midnight Summer dream <3:33>
    Main instrument the piano, with what I belive whats to be a harp. Really relaxing and peaceful. Their is a choir in this one like the first their role isn’t very big. The piano is still the main thrust in this piece, the harp-like instrument does a good job of bringing that relaxing feeling there, since the piano can be a powerful and over bearing instrument at times. You get a really nice joyful feeling from this. It sort of has a mellow alone feel to it, the piano at the very beginning of this piece sounds very isolated from the rest of the music; until the choir comes in which unifies everything until the end of this piece.
    Rating: 4/5

    03. Heart of ice ~After you left <2.48>
    The very beginning of this piece you’ll get the feeling that its a dark depressing song, but it changes. There seems to be some conflict going on. The music dips in and out of a depressing, yet conforting, mood to a dark mysterious one. There are no vocals in this, but there is a lot going on. You can connect emotions like, hate, guilt, loneliness, sadness, depression and struggle. While this sounds as if it’s piece you want to stay away from you shouldn’t, there is so much emotioned packed into that it would be shame not to listen to. Again it’s a piano piece, but not just one continuesoues mood, but one very complex. Resembles someone with past, a heavy burdon on their shoulders.
    Rating: 5/5

    04. Sunflower ~Surrounded by the wind of light <3.25>
    The music reflects a person on a journey. The piano which until now seemed to be the main instruments in each piece isn’t in this piece. A nice acoustic guitar does the job with the piano playing partner. The music is really inspiring: you really get the feeling of the wind blowing through your hair as you look towards the boundless sky. Relaxing but it’s telling you to do something: to move, to go on.
    Rating: 4/5

    05. Golden sunlight <1.26>
    You really get the feeling opening the door to a castle, with a touch of (inspirational) magic. The piece is really short which might it’s main downside. There is also that use of a harp or whatever (didn’t sound to natural, I’m suspecting a synthesizer) that runs through the piece, which does get a little annoying, because it sticks out to the best of the piece.
    Rating: 3.5/5

    06. First job <1.53>
    You might connections to a important military operation, and everyone is preparing for batting. This pieve definitely takes on a more serious tone. The sense that danger is approaching, and that its time to gear up for battle is every present. It is short but powerful and suspenseful.
    Rating: 4/5

    07. Friend <1.24>
    Alright, where you might have had a hint of Irish music from in track 01 this is piece is Irish fro the start. In fact it’s the Irish version of the main theme track 01 so there it aint just me talking. There really is a sense of happiness, a little bit of celebrating, hard work, you can visualize this as a piece for the working folk (in Ireland) that live and work hard: everybody is doing their part this piece says. It’s a song about living man! Living.
    Rating: 4/5

    08. Memorable Scene <1.25>
    Another Irish twist on the main theme, this piece is at a somewhat slower tempo. It’s somewhat taken back, the slower tempo give off that feeling of taking life by increments, one step at a time. The presense of a flute, so some kind, is made obvious in this piece that in the other main theme versions. Slow but sweet and romantic. You get to take time and smell the flowers in this piece.
    Rating: 4.5/5

    09. Days of Pachanga <0:52>
    If Memorable Scene was the slow tempo, Days of Pachanga is the fast one. The music goes very quickly, from the very beginning your pulled right into it. No matter what you try you’re going you’re going to be tapping you feet on floor when you listen to this. It’s very joyful and celebratory, again it’s short and I wish it could have been longer–I guees I could always just start from the very beginning again. Life is fast and moving in this, really good piece, it’s a party and it’s time to celebrate.
    Rating: 4.5/5

    10. Home country of a water imp <1:34>
    Another feet tapping-celebrating-irish-have a beer song-and dance song, except this time you might be snapping you fingers too. After listening to this I really want to learn to dance the right Irish (if such a way exist) to do this probably. It’s very child oriented and innocent. About half way through the music picks up another beat and it really get going, well more than before. It’s joyful, happy, and makes you smile. It’s really makes you want get with friends and have a good time no matter what mood you’re in.
    Rating: 4.5/5

    11. I won’t forget <2:03>
    It might be hard to believe but this is actually a different take on the main theme (track 01), it’s odd because it sounds so different. The main instrument is a Lute (some weird string instrument from olden olden Europe). It’s a nice piece and a nice change/twist on the main theme, the ability to take the same basic music and making sound so different while retaining the basics shows the power of instruments and these talented artist. The Irish presense isn’t as heavy in this piece as the others, this time it takes on more of by the water looking that the sunset kind of feel.
    Rating: 4/5

    12. Under the Moon Light <1:30>
    Yume’s theme played this time through a Harp as the main instrument. The power of the Harp to seduce the heart is oh to clear in this. Slow and megestic this piece castes a spell on you. The feeling is of a loving and comforting one, life is moving slowly but graciously in the water. Ok enough if the poetic junk. Really nice use of the Harp here, if you like the harp or want to hear more of it this is the song to start with.
    Rating: 4.5/5

    13. Breakfast ~I’m fine today, too <1:45>
    You’ll think of waking up in morning under the bright sun. The vizulization of a fresh start. The music is very optimistic. It sort of has a country feel to it, warm, cozzy, a busy. No piano, instead the instruments are ones you’ll indentify with those found in the country. The subtitle “I’m fine today, too” fits this song perfectly. A real peaceful and enjoy piece.
    Rating: 4/5

    14. PAIN <1:39>
    The Lute makes another appearance in this piece. Slow, mellow, and somewhat depressing; but not totally. This isn’t a happy piece, instead it’s packed with human emotion and drama. You get the sense of sadness and worryness. Still a good piece to listen to.
    Rating: 4/5

    15. The Felling of magic <3:00>
    Harp fans will love this, so will fans of flutes and whistles. It’s rather long piece, but it’s also rather simple. There is definetly a feel of elegance, and beauty in this piece. It’s very peaceful, I guess it’s simplicity emplifies that. The harp is very soothin, it’s almost makes you want to sleep. Nice relaxing piece to listen to.
    Rating: 4/5

    16. Hot frenzy <2:31>
    It’s time to Salsa! Yeah, this took me by surprise too, until now everything was harps and pianos, so a sudden burst of sweet latina music was a good change. The booklet says this New York Salsa, just a mini FYI. You’re shoulders are going to start to move, and you’ll be moving your hands and feet. This song is full of life and rythme and you feel as if your right there in a Salsa Bar making a fool of yourself. So grab a partner and Salsa baby!
    Rating: 5/5

    17. Forever straight <1:02>
    The string quartet adaption of Sunflower ~Surrounded by the wind of light. Sunflower ~Surrounded by wind of light made a connection to some one on a journey, Forever Straight you can imagine some one funning towards something. A very innocent and inspirational piece. The downfall is it’s rather short (only a minute), and the ending is a bit out of place, it comes very sudden when you’d think the song was going to continue.
    Rating: 4/5

    18. As a human as a witch <2:43>
    Heart of Ice ~After you’ve left quartet version. Not dark or depressing like Heart of Ice, you can hear the violin and cello in the back ground. Half way through the mood changes, it switches to a very inspirational mood. The beginning is peaceful and serene, but it builds up. Eloquent and magestic, a nice piece to listen to when you just want to get away from it all.
    Rating: 4.5/5

    19. Our future <1:55>
    When the sky and the earth meet quartet version. All the three instruments (two violins, a viola, and a cello) get to shine in this piece. If you listen closely this piece is mainly repetions of the first part of the music; however, being played by different instruments and artist it sounds different each time. It flows very well on the ears, again it’s very innocent in the way it sounds.
    Rating: 4.5/5

    20. Kidokorone ~doze <1:43>
    A nice New Age Style guitar solo. Really nice and quite. You can imagine Mr. Nishiumi (the guitarist) just sitting down a stools just playing this. I liked the song but found that it wasn’t up to par to the rest. I enjoyed it, but kind of missed my piano and violins.
    Rating: 4/5

    21. Destination of Magic <1:32>
    Mandolin and guitar fans will enjoy this. Slow tempo but still enjoyable. It is somewhat depression though, might make you bevel in your own sadness if you listen to it too much. It runs smoothly but there isn’t any happyness in this just sighs. It’s still a good piece but isn’t something you’d want to hear after a depression day. Very sad song.
    Rating: 4/5

    22. In flower language it is “Love” <1:29>
    Heart of Ice ~After you’ve left played through a guitar duet. Really slow and emotional. Nice piece, it really grabs you. Heart of ice sounds so differently when played by a guitar.
    Rating: 4.5/5

    23. Sweet Memories <1:33>
    A slow but elegant piano solo. Very gracious. It’s very independant-theme piece, but not lonely, if that makes any sense. You can hear remnants of the main theme in this, but it’s slighty different. It’s just the piano in this, but still really good. Really nice and soft sounds. Enjoyable for those that like it light on the ears.
    Rating: 4/5

    24. “Sincerely” <1:49>
    The piano makes a come back in “Sincerely” and it couldn’t have been more eloquent. The music is very simple, but very nice. When I first heard it, I was actually put in sort of a trance. Like Sweet Memories, “Sincerely”, is very light shoothin piece of music. There isn’t much complexity to this (in fact a good week of practice and anyone would be able to play) but that fact isn’t enough the deny the shere magesty of this piece.
    Rating: 4/5

    25. Poem of Hope <1:03>
    It seems the OST is going out all piano. Practically the same music as Heart of Ice, except this time just played by the piano. Unlike the two tracks before (Sweet Memories and “Sincerely”) Poem of Hope isn’t soft and innocent; throughout the piece the piano may sound overbearing and powerful. Yet, it still retains it’s eloquence. Nice piece of sweet piano action here.
    Rating: 4/5

    26. Blue Sky Without a Cloud -No Trouble in the World <1:50>
    The piano adapted piece to Sunflower -Surrounded by the Wind of Light. Now you’ve heard me brag about how Sunflower…carries the vizual connection to a person on a journey, well Blue Sky…is that days end. I know this is a bit of forshadowing on my part, but this is the last piece on this OST for only instrumentals. It’s a good closing. Relaxing and enjoyable to listen to over and over again.
    Rating: 4.5/5

    27. Clear <3:48>
    I hear voices! Yeah finally we get some voices as the main thrust besides some choir in the background. The song is sung by a (two manned) group called the Indigo. It ain’t the best song on earth but ain’t bad. It really doesn’t feel like it’s three minutes long, it sounds a lot shorter. It sounds way off track from all the music before, then again it’s probably the voice thing. It really is just a song, and I know that sounds bad, but there isn’t anything really that stands out about it. It’s a good listen to but you won’t be as moved as the other tracks in this. <Click Here for Lyrics>
    Rating: 3.5/5

    28. Under the Blue SKY (TV Edit) <1:37>
    Another song peformed by the Indigo. I rather like this one that Clear, there is more of a up beat tempo to it. It is short though–which might be its major downfall. The music is better and Miki Taoka (the vocalist) sounds better in this one. This is the ending theme song, which seems to be a good way to go, the full version–which isn’t on this CD (me wonders why?) must have sounded better. the Indigo seems to be a nice relaxing band to get into, and after listening to this track I think giving them a try wouldn’t be bad thing. <Click Here for Lyrics>
    Rating: 4/5

    29-37. Eye Catch
    The Eye Catches are just snipets of music used to switch from one scene to another, or when the anime is going to a commercial. Each is only a few seconds long. I wonder why they are even on the OST, but I don’t make those decisions–just complain about them. They really even aren’t worth a listen.
    Rating: 0/5

    Personal Favorites:
    01. Where the sky and the earth meet
    02. Midnight Summer dream
    03. Heart of ice ~After you left
    09. Days of Pachanga
    12. Under the Moon Light
    15. The Felling of magic
    19. Our future
    28. Under the Blue SKY (TV Edit)

    Personal Dislikes:
    27. Clear
    29-37. Eye Catches

    Opinion:
    If you haven’t heard of Someday’s Dreamers, it is a shoujo anime about a girl becoming a sage, leaving the county and moving to the city. In that sense the music is good, very inspirational and not depressing. The OST does have several downsides however: 1) Most of the music on this OST are just adaptions and differions of the Oringinal Four, 2) There filled 9 tracks of useless samples as if you were at a buffet, 3) 1 and 2 are good enough. The upside is that the music that was on this OST was really good. Even though most was just the same songs played over in a different way, they have there own uniqueness about them. Difinately a OST for those that more focus on light instrumentals than J-Pop. I really liked the hint of Irishness (haha “Irishness” new word of the day) in this piece. I was explaining to someone that it was composed in Japan and they wouldn’t believe me. If you like light instrumentals I say give this a shot, you’ll most likely like it. If you like more J-Pop stay away, go download and Clear and Under the Blue Sky. I like it but that’s because I never get enough of piano, but even I had my problems with it.

    Overall:
    7.5/9.0

    By Cherubim

    Record of Lodoss War OVA Vol.1 OST

  • Composed/Arranged by: Mitsuo Hagita, track 2&16 by Kaoru Ito and track 3&15 by Akino Nii.
  • Vocals: Sherry

    Record of Lodoss War OVA Vol.1 OST
    The first album in a legendary trio of what is perhaps the best serie of anime soundtracks ever released. The anime itself was legendary, and so is the music. The music was Composed and Arranged by Mitsuo Hagita, 2 other composers were involved as well, Kaoru Ito did track 2&16, Akino Nii did track 3&15. The vocals are performed by Sherry. Up to the music itself now, shall we?

    The music itself has a very classic feel to it, so people who love Classical music will adore this Soundtrack. The Ost starts out with the incredible Prologue(opening track), a really chilling and memorable opening. Up next is the magnificent Ending Theme Fantasia of the Wind, a song that started to grow on me the more I listened to it. Track 3 is the Instrumental version of “Now And Fortune ~Flame And Eternity~” the memorable opening song of the OVA’s, more on that later. 4th song is Deedlit’s Theme(~Fairy of Wind~), a mysterious but very lovely(and romantic) song, and like expected, a kickass Theme for a kickass Elf:).

    What follows is..ofcourse Parn’s Theme(~Warm Friendship~), what else could it be. This song has a very classic feel to it, I’m not that much into classic music, but if you are I’m sure you will recognize a style from one or other master in it. Needless to say, it’s an amazing theme and one of my favorites on the Ost. Next up is Reminiscence, another classic inspired track, but somehow I never liked it as much as say Parn’s Theme. Then we have Emperor of Darkness Beld’s Theme, also one of my less favorites, I dunno but such a powerful figure could have used a more powerful theme, but perhaps that’s just me. What follows is Karla’s Theme, again a dark and malevolent theme but get’s never really loud or bombastic, yet it fit’s her character pretty well, since she operates on her own.

    Track 9 Fatal Struggle is one of the more powerfull action tracks on the Ost, it really set’s the mood of things coming up. Track 10 Fire Dragon is the famous Theme for the Dragon Shooting Star, by far the most impressive Dragon in the anime, once again a powerful theme for a powerful enemy, I still like his TV Ost version better though. The next 3 tracks I can’t really comment on since I don’t remember the scenes anymore were they were played. The tracks are good but not as memorable as the others. Track 14 Karla’s (Bewitching) magic is a really haunting theme, perfect for a character such as her’s, if there’s one track that gives you the chills that’s the one.

    And then we have track 15 Now And Fortune ~Flame And Eternity~ (Adessa e fortuna), they incredible powerful love ballad(which is still my favorite anime opening ever). This song is really one of the highlights on the Ost and can’t be overlooked, Sherry’s voice is simply wonderful and makes an already perfect song even more perfect. The last track on the Ost is the instrumental version of the Ending Theme “Fantasia of the Wind”, which is equal on the vocal version in my humble opinion.

    Ofcourse not all tracks appear on this Ost(that why there are 3 of them), but it’s the perfect starting point for any Lodoss fan who would like to dig the Soundtracks.

    On a side-note, this Ost has been playing for months now in my Car:D.

    Overall Rating : 10/10
    ——————————–

    A must own Soundtrack for any Anime or Music fan. Considering the overall quality this soundtrack can be considered as one of the best Anime Ost ever released, if not the best. Very hard to get though nowadays as original release, but still available as bootleg.

  • By Edgar

    Inuyasha Wind -Symphonic Theme Collection-

    Ah… yet another album from the Inuyasha series. Although there are quite a few CDs available from this series, this one is special.
    All of the songs on here were arranged by Kaoru Wada (responsible for composing the soundtracks to the series) and his colleagues and were performed by the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. Some of you may be thinking “but most of the music from this series is already orchestrated”, and you’re right. But most of the tracks on here are the well-known vocal tracks from the series! Namely, the famous ending songs we’ve come to love (the ones performed by Dream, Do As Infinity, Ayumi Hamasaki, BoA, etc).

    I’ve included a handful of samples in my review for your listening pleasure.

    Wind -Symphonic Theme Collection-
    Composer: Kaoru Wada
    Arrangement: Kaoru Wada, Akira Senju, Toshihiko Sahashi, Tomoyuki Asakawa, Kazuki Kuriyama, Michiru Oshima, Takayuki Hattori
    Performance: The Japan Philharmonic Orchestra
    Catalog No.: AVCA-14753
    Release Date: 07/09/2001
    Production: Avex Mode

    Track List (arranger’s initials are next to each track)
    01. Change The World (KW)
    02. Every Heart (AS)
    03. Owarinai yume (TS)
    04. Dearest (TA)
    05. Fukai mori (KK)
    06. Shinjitsu no uta (KW)
    07. I am (MO)
    08. Grip! (TH)
    09. My Will (KW)
    10. Inuyasha genso (KW)

    As mentioned before, some people may get the wrong idea about this album because the music from the series is already orchestrated. But if you’re a fan of the vocal tracks, you shouldn’t miss this album. “Change The World” (1st intro song) is the first track. The track quickly builds up the brass section and bursts into the melody. Then it quiets down considerably to the point where you can hear the xylophone in the background, then yields to the brass again. This is MUCH better than the original vocal version. I didn’t like the vocals in that at all. The only weird thing on this track is the ending… which sounds a bit like Star Wars. You have to listen to it to understand, lol. Not bad, but there’s better. The next track is “Every Heart” (the 4th ending song). This one has a very lovely melody and stays soft for the most part. After the 3 minute mark the volume rises and you reach the climax (hehe). It’s like the perfect ending theme to a love story. The song ends quietly with a gentle flute.
    Listen to sample of “Every Heart”!

    “Owarinai yume” (3rd intro song) has a catchy beat to it. It’s the only track on this album to use percussion this way. That, combined with the relatively low and quiet melody line, makes it quite suitable to act as karaoke music, lol. Seriously, if you enjoyed the original version of this song, you can sing along nicely with this arrangement. This track also reminds me of music styles from the ’80s… which isn’t necessarily a good (or bad) thing. Next in line is “Dearest” (3rd ending song). Layers of strings control this song very nicely. This arrangement could have been soooo much better. Only string instruments are used (including harp). Now don’t get me wrong, I love string pieces, but it lacked depth… perhaps from the absence of some type of percussion.
    Listen to sample of “Dearest”!

    “Fukai mori” (2nd ending song) is next. Great track! I loved the original version done by DAI and this one does not disappoint. It even has the familiar acoustic guitar starting things off! The brass and woodwinds start the melody line, followed by the strings. If you listen to the song closely, it’s almost as if the brass section and strings are taking turns, and occasionally meld together. I love it! It has great percussion too, sometimes sounding a bit electronic (effectively though), not overpowering and does the job of keeping the piece flowing. You also hear an electric guitar in this piece. Awesome track, probably my favorite one on this album.
    Listen to sample of “Fukai mori”!

    Next we come to “Shinjitsu no uta”… another wonderful track. It starts off very low and quiet with piano chords and then with strings. It slowly builds up to the main melody, but never reaches a peak as most of these arrangements do. It stays soft throughout the entire piece and has a somber feel to it. It’s pure ecstasy when you start hearing the hypnotic main melody from the piano chords and the harmonic strings swaying back and forth. My only gripe on this track is that is stayed too quiet for too long and then ended too quickly. All in all it was short but sweet and was enough to earn the spot of 2nd favorite.
    Listen to sample of “Shinjitsu no uta”!

    Next is “I am” (2nd intro song). This one starts off very cheerful and bouncy. It then quiets down a bit when the strings take over. You later hear more prominent brass after that and towards the end of the track. “Grip!” (4th intro song) comes next and is very different from the original. This arrangement is another soft piece. The main melody starts off with woodwinds at the 01:45 mark, rises in volume a bit, then descends just as quickly. The make-up of this song is very similar to “Dearest”, despite being arranged by two different people. As we near the end of the album we get to “My Will” (1st ending song). Woodwinds again start the melody off and are then taken over by low strings and brass, setting a solemn mood. Then an oboe sings the main melody, strings join, along with sleigh bells. Things get soft again when the oboe re-acquires the melody with accompanying woodwinds. The strings and sleigh bells then end the piece with the aid of a timely english horn in the background.
    Listen to sample of “My Will”!

    The final track on this album is pretty much a long arrangement of Inuyasha’s familiar theme, which is orchestrated on the original soundtracks… meaning it’s really nothing new. It has several variations of the theme- slow and soft, loud and commanding, etc, almost like a medley. It’s the only song that wasn’t an explicit arrangement of an original vocal piece, but does a decent job of wrapping up the album. Overall, this collection of arrangements is a wonderful musical experience. These songs are ideal for fans of the original pieces and especially for those that are fans of orchestral music. Even though they were all orchestrated, they had seven arrangers on the job, and the difference in styles is sometimes quite evident. I would actually recommend this album over the OSTs first, since this is the music that most Inuyasha fans may be more familiar with. Either way, this album will be a great addition to your collection!

    By Dragon627

    Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex


    My first OST review….I just know I’m going to come back and re-edit this someday. Ohwell…for now-

    Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex OST I
    Composer: Yoko Kanno

    1 Run Rabbit Junk (vocal: HIDE) (4:32)
    – At first I didnt’ even know there were lyrics to this song…but turns out there is. And after listening to it for a few times…it’s pretty cool, really, and even musical. The ending of the bridge is totally kickarse as is the entire song, really….
    Verdict: repeat

    02 YAKITORI (7:09)– If you ever thought that ’80s rock guitars screaming away could never ever sound musical, you need to hear this. It’s creative but the thing is too long as well as mostly repetitive with many of the same progressions played over and over again and so all the creativity wears off after a bit.
    Verdict: play

    03 STAMINA ROSE (vocal: Gabriela Robin) (2:51)
    – Gabriela Robin/Yoko Kanno collaboration at some of its best. The harmonies used are delightful and the beats sound “earth-y”, but fast paced and heart-racing. It doesn’t get better than this.
    Verdict: repeat…over and over and over

    04 Surf (3:00)– This piece feels like you’ve just walked into a rainforest. Earth-y sounding over an ostinato bass…tribal…nature…waterfalls…*falls asleep*
    Verdict: play

    05 Where Does the Ocean Go? (vocal: Ilaria Graziano)
    (4:44)
    – Unlike Graziano’s later performance, this one, though her voice is still just so unbearably pretty, comes off a rather childish. Either that or it’s the increasingly weird lyrics. There’s no progression to the song and stays rather flat. Nonetheless, this song is calming and makes me want to hug a kitty.
    Verdict: play

    06 Train Search (1:58 )
    – Very rockish and fast paced. I can almost swear I’vee heard the guitar chord progressions before somewhere before (I think prolly from “The Real Man” off one of the Cowboy Bebop OSTs…). Gives an image of a person running through some long hallway in pursuit of something (Thus, train search? Maybe?). But it doesn’t get much further than that.
    Verdict: play

    07 CYBERIAN DOLL HOUSE (vocal: Gabriela Robin) (3:50)
    – A New Age echo-y guitar that suddenly becomes some weird, weird echo-y…somethings that play over Gabriela Robin unintelligible vocals and strings. Eerie and I don’t get all this randomness.
    Verdict: skip

    08 Velveteen (vocal: Ilaria Graziano) (5:05)
    – One of Kanno’s most unique songs to date. Graziano’s voice is absolutely gorgeous and it floats over the tech beeps/string mix effortlessly. The lyrics are strange but the overall effect is mesmerizing and it haunts you well past the end of the song.
    Verdict: repeat

    09 Lithium Flower (vocal: Scott Matthew) (3:25)
    – I had never heard of or heard Scott Matthew sing before I heard this song. He has an interesting voice that definitely contributes to the overall mood of this song. I can’t help but think of Naoto from Dogs when I listen to this piece (though, of course, the title and lyrics are referring to Kusanagi…)…the lyrics are beyond perfect, though undoubtably weird…as usual. The rhythm is catchy and it moves – grooves, and is as mellow as mellow gets. Though the chorus still bothers me…
    Verdict: repeat

    10 Home Stay (3:57)
    – Repetitive bop-bass over guitar riffs that becomes even more boppy guitars and bass over strings. The beginning gets boring but when the strings join in, the piece begins to take on variety, colourful lines, and some very nicely written rhythms for both the strings and guitars. Exciting and fast paced, though the opening bore brings the overall mood of the piece down quite a bit.
    Verdict: play

    11 Inner Universe (vocal: Origa) (4:54)
    – Very unique and rather rough opening that smoothly morphs into a sort of chant-like line that continues to play throughout the piece behind Origa’s floaty vocals. It’s a beautiful piece, though the changes between the rockish lines and the smoother, more choral-like ones tend to be a little rough and empty feeling.
    Verdict: repeat

    12 Fish ~ Silent Cruise (7:30)
    – This piece is the epitome of gorgeous/mixed writing. The opening vocal gives a feeling of a church and frightful creepiness but fades into a flurry of tech noises that are joined by a full symphony orchestra playing some of the most haunting lines and harmonies that I have ever been blessed to hear. (I have an amusing story about this one. When I was vising my relatives in Maryland, I had this habit of going to sleep later than everyone else because I’d sit in the guest room w. my headphones on and reading. Well I was listening to the GITS: SAC OST (I had just gotten it and had no idea what track was what or what) and not really paying attention to tracks or anything, but suddenly I heard something over my headphones that was just so gorgeous and wonderful that enchanted me so much that I forgot to hit repeat or check the track number.

    This was about 2 days before I left MD to return home and for those 2 days kept trying to find out which track it was by listening to the beginning of each track. The melody played by the low brass at the end of the second section just refused to leave me alone. It haunted me, as it is quite a haunting theme in itself. Anyways, me being the silly I am didn’t realize that the vocal part was the first part of this track and the pause in between totally threw me off. I forgot how I figured out what track it was, but it obviously involved listening to the whole thing w.o touching any buttons but the volume…and I obviously killed myself over how dumb I was that I didn’t realize that it was all the same piece. )
    Verdict: repeat over and over…if you can stand listening to the same 7minute piece forever heh

    13 Some Other Time (vocal: Gabriela Robin) (4:07)
    – The perfect piece to accompany you as you sit and look outside at a sunshower coming down – or when you’re in the sunshower yourself…thinking about days long gone. Downright angelic…it makes me want to cry sometimes.
    Verdict: repeat

    14 Beauty is Within Us (vocal: Scott Matthew) (6:08 )
    – Scott Matthew’s voice again sets the tone for this gorgeous song (How can one OST have so many great compositions?!). It’s so comforting, especially the harmonies, and it fits perfectly with the lyrics. There’s no other way to describe this song other than wonderful.
    Verdict: repeat

    15 We’re the Great (1:33)
    – Very reminiscent of “Elm” from Cowboy Bebop: A melancholy voice over guitar riffs. It’s quite beautiful, really, but in the short time that it’s given, it fails to really catch my attention.
    Verdict:play

    16 MONOCHROME (vocal: Ilaria Graziano) (5:10)
    – Graziano outdoes herself again. I can’t get over how beautifully she sings. Her voice contrasts beautifully with the tech stuff going on in the back like feathers on machinery. Sadly, the piece doesn’t go anywhere, roots itself in one spot, and gets a little boring.
    Verdict: play

    17 GET9 [TV size] (vocal: Jillmax) (1:16)
    – Upbeat and fun rap/dance track. Whoever JillMAX is certainly does a good job vocalizing and keeping the listener into the song. There are intermittent bursts of English that don’t make too much sense, but that’s Japanese rap for you. Nonetheless, it’s a very listenable song.
    Verdict: repeat

    18 Rise [TV size] (vocal: Origa) (1:30)
    – Again, Origa shocks, rocks, stuns and goes all out amazing. I find this track more appealing than Inner Universe, and it moves more. Origa is again using the Russian/English singing format, but these lyrics are striking and so bluntly sincere. Everything in this song just comes together to form a work of absolute perfection.
    Verdict: repeat

    FINAL VERDICT:
    very well composed and very much recommended. Some of Kanno’s best work to date and she’s getting better and better with no signs of slowing down. Is this lady a genius or what? Much credit, thanks, and hats off to her….again.

    By kiyo-chan

    Final Fantasy Pray (Vocal Collection)

    Final Fantasy Pray (Vocal Collection)
    Final Fantasy Pray (Vocal Collection)
    distributed by: SquareEnix
    Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
    Vocals: Risa Ohki

    INTRO: Final Fantasy Pray, a vocal collection of familiar Final Fantasy pieces in vocal arrangement, showcases the vocal talents of Risa Ohki singing in Japanese, English, French, and Spanish – possibly Portugese – accompanied by Nobuo Uematsu’s orchestrations of his own compositions.

    1 – Prelude (3:48)
    A capella vocals enchant, literally, the listener right into the arms of a harp playing the familiar Final Fantasy prelude. The vocals don’t float quite as well as the harp and it doesn’t move very far either, revolving prettily in one spot. But the harmonies and a fade out of the music set up for everything to come perfectly, like any prelude should.

    Verdict: play

    2 – The Promised Land – Main Theme from Final Fantasy II (5:29)
    Ohki’s vocals create an extremely bold first impression with this song. Her voice holds subtle beauty and power that commands the lyrics in the clear manner an oracle would present a fate upon a person who seeks her counsel. In the second verse, her voice is almost tender and sweet, if not doting, but does not lose any strength. Light percussion in the background creates a perpetual forward feeling that is amplified by the flute echoing the voice.

    Verdict: repeat

    3 – Mon P’tit Chat – Music Box Song from FFV (3:11)
    Light and bouncy, this piece starts of with a familiarly genuine video game feel by using synthesized strings in the opening. The lyrics to this song are ridiculously charming and cute. Sadly, the synthesizer’s tinkly sound gives the song a thin ground, but a noticeably happy accordian projects bubbles of euphoria all over the place to keep the song alive, until, at last, a jazzy piano breezes the piece into a satisfying end.

    Verdict: play

    4 – Toki no Hourousha (Wanderer of Time) – Terra’s Theme from FFVI (4:05)

    “Toki no Hourosha” is all the beauty and magic of Final Fantasy music gracefully embodied in 4 breathtaking minutes of pure genius. Given, Terra’s Theme was a gorgeous piece to begin with, but the opening of a flute playing over heavy percussion, light military rap, low strings, and harp warns you: this will not be like any other gorgeous piece you’ve ever heard. And it isn’t. Uematsu’s orchestration does not disappoint. As a friend so eloquently described it, “it’s unbelievable”. Soaring strings pull the listener right in as Ohki’s vocal harmonies trap the ears with her rather amazing power to project such force and strength in her singing. It overflows with grandeur. Unfortunately, a fade-out ending leaves the listener dangling, wanting more, and wishing it wasn’t over. That is, until they hear the intro to the next song.

    Verdict: repeat

    5 – Hikari no Nakahe (Into the Light) – Theme of Love from FFIV(5:24)
    In a move of extremely well done production, the opening trill of the strings immediately lifts the listener out of any sort of disappointment of the fading effect of loveliness left by the previous song and right into another work of magic. This piece is not as powerful as the previous and instead plays out like the calm after a storm. Ohki’s voice is lighter here, but dripping with emotion, as it sings its melancholy melody of heartbreak. At certain pivotal points, her voice even sounds like it’s sobbing. At the end of the song, the title of the piece becomes very appropriate as the strings, harp, and delicate piano float off what could just be the light in a heavenly resolution.

    Verdict: repeat

    6 – Esperanca Do Amor – Dear Friends from FFV (3:44)

    A delicate Portugese guitar and flute propel the song into a jazzy take of Dear Friends from FFV. The marimba adds a soft feathery touch and keeps things swinging with the flute while the guitar dances behind floaty but spirited vocals singing a lively and sunny tune. It’s a very simple song and extremely well presented.

    Verdict: repeat

    7 – Voyage – Endless Ocean from FFIII (4:26)
    Uematsu brings back the formula he used upon Terra’s Theme for “Toki no Horousha” in this piece. Strong vocals over strings that soar or keep a light tattoo. It doesn’t quite hold the same majesty as previous pieces, but the string motifs running on behind the lilting, a little less powerful than before vocals, and the orchestral interlude in the middle featuring more beautiful string work makes this one worth a repeat.

    Verdict: repeat

    8 – Au Palais De Verre (In the Palace of Glass) – Montoya’s Cave from FFI (4:26)
    This song is definitely the most optimistic of the collection. The lyrics fit the tune of Montoya’s Cave perfectly. It’s a cheery and bouyant tune with dainty percussion in the back. Comparatively, Ohki’s vocals aren’t as convincing as the song doesn’t require her to sing at what we’ve already seen as the full potential of her voice, but they still create just the right atmosphere for the song.

    Verdict: play

    9 – Once You Meet Her – Maiden of the Water from FFIII (4:17)

    A simple flute accompanied by harp tenderly introduces the main melody for this intoxicating piece. Gentle strings in simple 3/4 waltz beat keep the song moving. The alluring, marvelous vocals and flute trade off while Ohki’s lyrics are clear and pronounced as if telling a story, but instead of just reciting, it weaves an entrancing spell of music. When she reaches the peak of each verse, you can’t help but get chills from how elegantly exquisite this song is.

    Verdict: repeat

    10 – Pray – Final Fantasy theme (4:35)
    The synth strings in beginning cast don’t create much of an effect or draw-in again for a beginning of a piece. The theme and melody have been morphed into balladic march that is embellished by Ohki’s dazzling vocals and well-defined harmonies. This song is noticeably poppier than the others in its persistant percussion. A strange almost new-age sounding guitar interlude takes a bit of the strength that the vocals have built up from the start, and pull power from the song, but it manages to settle comfortably into its ending.

    Verdict: play

    11 – Nao Chora Menina (Don’t Cry, Little Girl) – Kids Run Through the City Corner from FFVI (3:57)
    The entire song is a touching combination of voice and acoustic guitar. After a power-piece like “Pray”, this song takes on a similar “calm after the storm” feeling that “Hikari no Naka E” did. Ohki’s vocals skillfully pamper the listener’s ears out of the music with a conclusion so smoothly and comfortably rendered that for a moment, right as the music ends, it feels that, for once, everything’s all right with the world. It’s simple beauty at its finest moment.

    Verdict: repeat

    FINAL VERDICT:There’s not enough words that can explain the near-perfection of this collection. Song transitions are seamless, the arrangements, presentation, and performances are flawless: this CD is art. Extremely highly recommended.

    By kiyo-chan

    Evangelion OST 1

    Evangelion OST 1
    Evangelion OST Track By Track

    Music by Shiroh Sagisu Produced by Hideaki Anno

    Track-list
    1. Opening (Zankoku No Tenshi Na Thesis) – 4.05
    2. Fly Me To The Moon – 4.33
    3. Angel Attack – 2.31
    4. Rei I – 2.59
    5. Hedgehog’s Dilemma – 2.47
    6. Barefoot In The Park – 2.37
    7. Ritsuko’s Theme – 3.03
    8. Misato’s Theme – 1.32
    9. Asuka Strikes – 2.23
    10. Nerv – 1.59
    11. Tokyo-3 – 2.24
    12. Shinji’s Theme – 2.02
    13. Eva-01 – 2.48
    14. A Step Forward Into Terror – 1.54
    15. Eva-02 – 2.00
    16. Decisive Battle – 2.25
    17. Eva-00 – 1.51
    18. The Beast – 1.40
    19. Marking Time, Waiting For Death – 2.44
    20. Rei II – 2.56
    21. Fly Me To The Moon – 2.58
    22. N/A – 0.32
    23. Fly Me To The Moon – 3.50

    Brief Overview

    The first of three Evangelion soundtracks remains the favourite amongst fans of the series mainly due to, in my opinion, the sheer diversity of the tracks present. The Evangelion soundtrack has everything really from well-crafted opening and ending themes to beautiful, tear-jerking character themes. The problem remains that not everyone is going to like every track but with the high-quality of the composition and the good use of a full orchestra, Shiroh Sagisu has created the most intense, thought-provoking, high-quality anime soundtrack of all time, one that should be experienced by not just fans of the anime, but music lovers in general.

    Track 1 – Opening (Zankoku No Tenshi Na Thesis)

    Starts off with a few beautiful vocal lines and then gets pumping with the percussion and brass sounding off. I shouldn’t really have to write too much about the musical composition of this piece, as I’m sure everyone’s heard it at least once but hey. The vocalist does a brilliant job throughout, exuding energy and enthusiasm and a very sound singing voice to boot. The song is wonderfully written, going through a number of stages with growing intensity, in truth reflecting the actual themes of the series very well. Lyrically, it’s perfect as well…relevant to the series and showing some thought has gone into its construction. Other honourable mentions go to the great performance of the brass section and the high quality of the choral odes throughout. A very competent opening theme all in all.

    Verdict: Repeat

    Track 2 – Fly Me To The Moon

    And can I say, what a choice for an ending theme! A truly wonderful track with all the feelings of an orchestra and singer playing at a high-class dinner party, it is truly amazing how well the piece works and the amazing quality of those performing it. The vocalist is fantastic, Megumi Hayashibara performs this version of the ending and it is the best version by far, special significance being that she is the voice of Rei Ayanami and the idea of Rei singing such a song has special meaning for me personally. Needless to say that all the musicians play to their best in this track, the pianist is on top-form and the strings are as good as any anywhere else in the soundtrack. The slight bossa-nova feel really adds to the emotion in the track adding wonderfully well to the vocals of Hayashibara. An amazing ending theme, one that can only be summed up as beautiful.

    Verdict: Repeat

    Track 3 – Angel Attack

    The title of the track tells you what you’re going to get really. It’s functional if nothing else and works very well in the series as the theme for when the angels are attacking. The use of piano is haunting; string and brass also play amazingly well into this tension-filled piece. It’s very well written also with excessive use of repetition to a great effect. The piece, I feel does actually evoke fear into the listener and the intensity of the track has to be felt to be believed. I wouldn’t overplay this one too much but it’s certainly a very capable track.

    Verdict: Play

    Track 4 – Rei I

    In my view, only second to “Hedgehog’s Dilemma” as the standout track on the album. This is Rei’s original theme (there are many alternative versions played in the series and across the soundtracks) and is probably the best of these. The ultimate in tear-jerking music in this series, it completely brings to life the personality and feelings of Rei but for some amazing musical genius on the part of Sagisu, I am unable to listen to this track very well. It is that disturbing. It’s an excess of all the emotion present in the series I feel. The first run-through has only piano playing that works an absolute treat merely focusing on the disturbed aspects of Rei’s personality but it is so simple, so beautiful that it can’t be criticised on any level. The second time that the melody runs through, it is accompanied by a great string arrangement that really enhances the overall mood, adding a depth of beauty to the character of Rei that becomes more evident as the series moves on in all truth. Of course, this is just a glimmer and the track reverts back to it’s simple, piano-only roots to draw the piece to a close, reiterating that any of the beautiful side of Rei’s character that comes to surface is merely fleeting and will once again be suppressed. In short, a beautiful, well-crafted piece that would rank up with any other as thought-provoking and emotionally-provoking music and a great accomplishment as a character theme.

    Verdict: Repeat

    Track 5 – Hedgehog’s Dilemma

    The highlight of the soundtrack, an extremely well thought-out and well executed piece of music. The piece itself is used as a secondary character theme for both Rei and Shinji and it used to symbolise their respective problems in forming relationships. It starts off with a light stroke of a guitar combined with some well-placed piano notes giving an almost drawn-out feel to it, a lot of pain in evident but there’s also a lot of beauty with it. Once the string instrument kicks in along with a bossa-nova style percussion, we are treated to a piece guaranteed to make the eyes water, every long string note is timed perfectly, hence where the predominant beauty in the piece is found. As the track progresses, the piano becomes more erratic but the guitar and percussion keep perfect time, giving the feeling that the problems in the characters that the track tries to highlight lie underneath an otherwise calm outer-appearance. As a functional character theme “Hedgehog’s dilemma” works more for Rei than Shinji as the track has a hidden depth more in keeping with her character and it also plays in one of the most memorable moments of the series (When Rei slaps Shinji). This track is truly an amazing accomplishment.

    Verdict: Repeat

    Track 6 – Barefoot In The Park

    To be perfectly honest, I cannot remember exactly where this piece is taken from in the series! It is very similar to ‘Hedgehog’s Dilemma’ in terms of the selection of instruments but differs completely in mood and structure. This track follows a set pattern, simple yet it works to create a functional piece. From a listening point of view it’s very easy to get into, so much that you’ll click your fingers along with the beat as you listen to it and the Latino feel to it makes it interesting to listen to many times after the first. The piano is used to great effect to merely compliment the overriding brass instrument and this basically constitutes the entire piece apart from a beautiful little bridge where the brass gives way to strings which breaks up the overly-confining, regular predictability of the piece. A nice track by all means however.

    Verdict: Play

    Track 7 – Ritsuko’s Theme

    My favourite character theme without a doubt, for one of my favourite characters too! The over-riding theme of this track is that of innocence and hope (Ironic when it is considered that within the series, Gendo Ikari robbed Ritsuko of both). Which is why it’s important that this theme is used in Ritsuko’s flashback. The track is not complex, using a variety of piano chords and occasionally diving into a few quick scales whilst being accompanied by a regular three or four notes on the guitar. It’s very repetitive however, so I suppose if one did not enjoy the first ten seconds of the track that it should maybe just be skipped. I personally feel that this track works very well for Ritsuko’s character theme and as a piece of music to be listened to. Due to its simplicity however, it’s never going to be considered as one of the OST’s finer tracks.

    Verdict: Repeat

    Track 8 – Misato’s Theme

    A track that’s never going to be considered a ‘classic’ piece of music, that’s for sure. It’s very upbeat and in keeping with Misato’s character earlier in the series (however having seen the entire series, it is very difficult to associate this piece with her character any longer). The percussion is lively and the bass-line is simple but adds to this mood and for Sagisu to use strings in such an upbeat way is almost unheard of! The word ‘upbeat’ might appear to be overused a bit here, but there are really not many other words that do the job sufficiently. As a character theme it’s fine really, Misato not being the greatest character of all time and what not. As a piece of music, I find it leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t know what it is but I can’t listen to this track with any seriousness and I believed Sagisu probably sat there with a big
    smile on his face whilst he composed it too. It’s not my cup of tea but certainly offers a rest from the emotionally draining pieces of music that preceded it.

    Verdict: Play

    Track 9 – Asuka Strikes

    Before I begin, I really need to point out that I hate this piece of music and especially hate the character to whose theme it is. However on the plus side, it works very well as a functional piece of music in the series, depicting the comic situation very well and supplementing it. I just find the track so obnoxious from its electro-banjo opening into a nauseating string arrangement that gives me the mental image of sheep strolling around the hills, this is hillbilly music at it’s worst! I can only give it the benefit of the doubt that it’s intended as tongue-in-cheek and not to be taken seriously at all. Saying that, the electro-banjo parts are played very well! This is definitely a track that should’ve been left out.

    Verdict: Skip

    Track 10 – Nerv

    This is a weird one for me for despite the track sounding recognisable to me; I can’t place exactly where in the series this is from! Nevertheless, it’s a very interesting one. Sounding like it came out of the classic “Godzilla” movies, it’s very thought provoking and deliberately over-the-top in its grandeur. Beginning with a combination of string scales into a melee of brass, it immediately invokes the senses and demands to be taken notice of. Once the percussion hits in however, the brass becomes a lot less grand sounding and more like something out of an 80’s American drama series (thinking “Dallas” or “Dynasty”-esque here). This isn’t a criticism at all! The brass instruments are played very well and the accompaniments are also of a high standard. Unfortunately I still can’t place it, so I can only assume that it works a treat in the series as well!

    Verdict: Play

    Track 11 – Tokyo-3

    Or alternatively, “Geofront”. Taken from the part of the series where Shinji first sees Tokyo-3 whilst travelling down to Headquarters. It starts with very nice choral odes combined with singular blasts from the brass section once more. Also present is the familiar over-the-top feelings of Grandeur that Sagisu has got down to an art. To be perfectly honest however, this piece is nothing more than background music that is unable to stand up as a piece in it’s own right. If curiosity gets the better of you and you wish to listen to this track, make sure it’s the only time that you do.

    Verdict: Skip

    Track 12 – Shinji’s Theme

    A highly under-rated piece of music. The main reason for this I believe is that most Evangelion fans do not associate this piece with Shinji and definitely not as his theme. To some extent I agree with them, it doesn’t seem to be a poignant enough piece to describe the entirety of Shinij’s complex Psyche. The first time we encounter it in the series is when Shinji makes the decision to pilot Eva Unit One and as such it is a very important piece. It starts off simply with slight plucks of string in the background overshadowed by a harrowing piano melody. It’s one of the better melodies on the soundtrack in my opinion. Second time through, the piano melody is played with a brass instrument with the piano now acting as accompaniment. The pinnacle of the track occurs around the 1:18 mark when finally string, brass and piano come together in a bombastic mixture to play the melody with the grandeur it deserves to finish. A wonderful piece of music that maybe just couldn’t live up to the hype of being “Shinji’s theme”.

    Verdict: Repeat

    Track 13 – Eva 01

    Although the weakest of the three Eva themes, this piece is very listenable and though it may not be instantly recognisable is important within the series. 2:48 is a bit too long however for this particular piece and Sagisu should have been content with playing it through once. This is another piece that gets the full orchestra treatment as many others do but “Eva 01” shows this off more so than other tracks. The real highlight of this is the string section throughout, probably the best piece by this standard on the soundtrack. Listening to it repeatedly makes you realise how good a track this is on a technical musical level but another problem it encounters is that the actual sound quality is not great. The brass in particular is completely drowned out by the admittedly brilliant string arrangement. I definitely recommend this track to be listened to, although not one of my personal favourites.

    Verdict: Play

    Track 14 – A Step Forward Into Terror

    This piece normally plays when Nerv are preparing for an Angel battle with the scenes of hustle and bustle, of people shouting and typing away at computers. The brass at the beginning is once again horribly obnoxious in sound and is a painful 20 seconds of introduction. When the brass is accompanied by the string and takes over the melody, it is a much better piece and when coupled with simplistic percussion, it works rather well. It’s once again a very functional piece of music but I wouldn’t recommend listening to it too long for it does seem very repetitive on the ear. It’s important to realise the very effective use of harp in this piece however, a bit of a random observation but it needs to be noted because it is done particularly well. All in all, this piece is mediocre at best and I see no reason why someone should spend too much time over it.

    Verdict: Skip

    Track 15 – Eva 02

    I really like this track! Everything comes together perfectly. It’s well constructed and composition is of a high standard. All the different sections of the orchestra play to their best with string once again being particularly magnificent and it has Harp! Also thrown into the mix is an extravagant use of electric guitar. Once again, I can’t remember when in the series one would hear this track, as I can’t for the life of me associate it with unit 02. Nevertheless, the result of some excellent work by all involved makes this one of the true great tracks of the soundtrack.

    Verdict: Repeat

    Track 16 – Decisive Battle

    The alternative “going to battle” track offered for Nerv’s preparation. Once again, there is no reason to give this piece too much time or listens. The effort is all there on behalf of the orchestra but there’s something about these nervy, edge-of-your-seat battle tracks that makes them difficult to listen to outside of the series as stand-alone tracks. It’s painfully over-the-top again in the scale and attempt to make the track sound as epic as possible using bombastic brass where something a little more subtle was called for. It is however, one of the better examples of good percussion on the soundtrack with a top-class, heart-racing drumbeat. I personally don’t like it but I suppose if this is the type of track you’re into, it’s a very good example of such.

    Verdict: Skip

    Track 17 – Eva 00

    This piece is pure gold in terms of arrangement and composition. The execution is also flawless. One of the most memorable tracks of all Evangelion, the Unit 00 theme is famously used in the recalling of how Gendo burned his hands in the Unit 00 activation trials. The suspense built up by the repetitive strings combined with repetitive piano chords is very hard to describe. It is done that well. When added to this firstly is haunting brass blasts and even further by an increase in tempo and an extra couple of beats into the percussion pattern. It all fades away into an intense string and percussion section beaten out with the help of an electric guitar. Slowly it degenerates back into its former state before fading out in typical bombastic style. It’s unusual to find a track that is works amazingly well as both a standout piece and as a functional soundtrack piece but “Eva 00” does this to an incredible standard. The best Eva theme by a long way and a real treat (or should that be threat), to the senses.

    Verdict: Repeat

    Track 18 – The Beast

    What can you say really? It’s an upbeat, more intense version of the previous track so why not refer there for more details? I can’t decide between the two, this track has more of an effect on me where as “Eva 00”; I appreciate the composition and style more. It’s an excellent piece once more and should be listened to a few times before you decide that the previous track was better.

    Verdict: Play

    Track 19 – Marking Time, Waiting For Death

    Sagisu once again intends to distil a feeling of nervousness in the listener through the use of simple piano to open, two key chords repeating over and over with the occasional scale of a glockenspiel (?) to break it up. This lasts for about a minute until some intense percussion and brass comes into play to offer a much-more disturbed, angsty atmosphere. The track is a little too drawn out, coming to nearly three minutes in length and takes way too long to really get going. When it does however, it’s a very evoking piece that serves its purpose well in the series and could possibly stand out as a piece of music on it’s own, although not really one to be listened to for enjoyment purposes.

    Verdict: Skip

    Track 20 – Rei II

    An amazing piece of music, associated with one of the greatest moments in the series when Shinji makes Rei smile at the end of episode six. Weeping strings at their best are guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye of the listener combined with simple piano in the background. It’s a remarkably simple track but one that holds so much emotion within it, summing up all of the hopeful feelings that Rei begins to have as the series progresses and a true reflection of her relationship with Shinji. The melody is delightful for as stated, it is simple but every note is perfect and there’s not one place in the entire track where a better job could’ve been done. This piece is a favourite amongst Evangelion fans for a reason and musically, it is perfection.

    Verdict: Repeat

    Track 21 – Fly Me To The Moon (Instrumental)

    Relying heavily on the better string musical influences from the 70’s, a very accomplished version of Evangelion theme “Fly me to the moon”. No vocals this time but that doesn’t really matter for as far as instrumental versions go (and there are a lot of them across the three Evangelion soundtracks) this happens to be one of the best. The intro is probably the best part of the entire track with the bossa nova sounding percussion with the high-quality string arrangement creating a dreamy feeling not contained in any other track that springs to mind. When the actual melody of “Fly me to the moon” kicks in, it’s played on a woodwind instrument in a very easy-going, frivolous kind of a way which works to a high standard. It’s a very enjoyable track and one that I would recommend gets a listen for sure!

    Verdict: Play

    Track 22 – Jikaiyokoku

    It’s nothing more than a filler but it’s a really good 32-second job. It doesn’t really fit in place with an Evangelion soundtrack however and would be more in place with maybe Gundam Wing, which uses fillers to a much greater extent and the quality matches also. The track itself is very good with the entire orchestra performing at the top of their game and a chirpy melody. It’s not a classic but it’s very listenable and shouldn’t be skipped, as it’s probably the least offensive 32 seconds you’ll ever spend.

    Verdict: Play

    Track 23 – Fly Me To The Moon (Bossa Nova Remix)

    This isn’t one of my favourites and there are a number of reasons for this. It’s Bossa Nova so I assumed I would like it but it didn’t materialise as such. The composition is way too simple for a vocal theme of this magnitude and although pleasant doesn’t really inspire the listener to feel anything. Despite this musically it’s a good track, with nice percussion and guitar playing a very pleasant melody that is quite easy to jive along to (!!). After 1:38, there is a beautiful intermission where the vocals are replaced by a bridge from a woodwind instrument which is just heaven. The main problem with the track however is the vocalist, who must’ve been instructed to sing very softly on the track but unfortunately this just did not work. Being kind to the vocalist, you could say that she shouldn’t be singing in a bossa-nova track and that holding notes is not her speciality but hey, her voice does ruin a perfectly good piece of music. However, all in all this is a very weak way to end the soundtrack and thinking about it maybe just pressing the stop button after track 21 maybe the way to go.

    Verdict: Skip

    By Jaimie

    Work in progress... not home!
    Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.