Written by TheBigN
By now, you should know what my standards of “awesome” are, but let’s move on, shall we? 😛
When I’m talking about a soundtrack, I think about all of the music that a show entails, including the OP/ED. So what was the point of having all of those tracks standalone in the first place? Because they usually arestandalone from the rest of the soundtrack; Unless you care about what you listen to while watching anime, you only tend focus on those pieces of music because they’re the intro/outro of the show. So I figured they needed something by themselves, but all of the show’s music needs a chance to shine as well. Usual criteria for this: Liking more than half of what I listened to overall which is harder than it seems. This is probably why Senrei no Moribito‘s, Byousoku no 5cm‘s,Hayate the Combat Butler‘s (yeah really) and Heroic Age‘s OSTs aren’t on here: They we’re good consistent stuff, but they just didn’t work with me as well as these ones here did. And because ef‘s kickass soundtrack won’t be out till next year apparently (as short as that time is now), I’m not including it here. 😛
- Nodame Cantabile
- With a strong assortment of classical pieces that stole the stage (after all, those were the works that the characters were playing) and original works that were nice to listen to, but not really remember in the long run(often to show how zany Chiaki and co are), the background music (hereafter known as BGM) was a strong aspect of the show. The show introduced me to one man and his piano, and SUEMITSU & THE SUEMITH is someone that I’ll be paying attention to after enjoying the OP (with a great B side, “Sonatine”) and 2nd ED. The 1st ED was a nice poppy number from CRYSTAL KAY. I only wished there were more strings in it.
- Darker than Black/ El Cazador de la Bruja
- I put them both together here because if you have to have Yoko Kanno, you have have Yuki Kajiura too, right? 😀 (I’m joking, BTW). Both shows BGMs and OP/EDs are solid with some easily repeatable tracks for me (“Sid” and “Guy” as examples for DtB, “project leviathan” and “sad yearning” for El Cazador), but I wouldn’t say we hear anything too new or out there enough to make a great impact on me. There was a clear strong jazzy feel with DtB, while El Cazador seemed more focused on a Wild West ambiance with the pieces, but both soundtracks had their respective composers working with their element. As a result, we get stuff that’s good, but not great from either, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- The OP and the two EDs were all solid songs (does anyone else have the first ED “UNDERGROUND” remind them of Oasis? Just checking. :P), but what stole the show for me was the actual BGM in the show. Taku Iwasaki’s music has been hit or miss with me as I hear it (Read or Die OVA and Samurai XOSTs I’d consider nice to listen to, but the ROD The TVand Binchou-tanOST left something lacking), but his work on the TTGL OST is one of the strongest works I’ve heard from him in a while. From the triumphant themes (rap and orchestra) representing the Gurren-dan and the first batch of enemies, to the asynchronized trumpets and pure electronic for the second batch of enemies, to everything else in between, each track was something that I can listen to without feeling the urge to skip (it happens more than you think). I do wish that the Best Sounds CD had more tracks from the show on it, but what can you do? ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWAH.
- For a drama show in many ways, this soundtrack suited those different ways well. From the main orchestral pieces that work with the mystique that is acting out plays, to the mostly piano-centric with background string ensemble songs for the dramatic moments outside of the show, to the different music varieties highlighting the silly and fun moments (one track, “Mugi no Mousou ~Nou Tenki~ has a Bollywood-like flavor to it – as in something that I might hear in a Bollywood movie -, probably to go with Mugi going “out there” every once in a while :P), this was an overall solid OST for me. As what I usually do when I like something that I’ve hear from the first time from a “new” artist, I’m going to try and keep my ears posted for anything else that Corniche has done. The OP/ED were forgettable for me, but the BGM here more than seals things up.
- Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!
- I think what might have made me decide to listen to the OST was that one piece with all the clapping (“intermission” is its name, BTW). It was unique, at least. But when moving past that, we have another soundtrack which fit the very different situations that were present in the show. From “Seirei no Odori”, the violin quartet piece that denoted the high class Aikoh High School, to the rocking closer, “Koko Kara Hajimaru Monogatari”, showing off the start of what happens after all’s said and done, to the high tempo orchestral piece “Manabi Straight” which showcases our “main” character, Yasuhiro Misawa does a good job mixing things up and never letting it get boring. And the Seiou High School anthem in any version is just nice to listen to, as get some variety there throughout the series. I don’t usually talk about character singles either, but they, or rather, the remixes of them that accompanied the first OST were something special. 😛 Glad to hear Megumi Hayashibara’s singing voice again on the alright OP and ED (more claymation for the ED, but it didn’t work for me as well as other ufotable ending animations. :P)
- Lucky Star
- I think it would be fine just to mention the EDs that the show provided us (my favorite karaoke being Miyuki’s “Chijou no Houshi”, and my favorite Shiraishi song was the full version of “Ore no Wasuremono”, in case people are wondering) as well as the hubbub that was the opening, but the actual show BGM songs from Satoru Kousaki had some nice moments as well. From the music parodies such as “Gravity” (the song fitting with the Initial D parody) and “Bun Guster” (this one shouldn’t be too hard; also my favorite song on the OST) to the simple pieces heard when our main characters were doing their thing (such as “Karoyaka Dayo, Lucky Star” and “Fun Fun Guitar dayo, Lucky Star”), the soundtrack never dragged down the show, though it gets repetitive at times. I still consider it to be mentioned as a notable soundtrack this year, if only for the numerous musical items spinning from it (and I thought Hayate the Combat Butler gave them a nice run for their money in that category too :P).
- Touka Gettan
- I don’t really know how to classify this music. 3/7ths of it sounds like it has its influence from East Asia, another 3/7s from France, and the last 1/7thnormal everyday music (I guess). What does result is a soundtrack that’s easy on the ears and is something that I wouldn’t mind listening to on repeat. I’m not sure if that’s something to be said about the show this OST comes from though. 😛 I feel like I’ve heard music from Tada Akifumi before, but this is the first time that I’ve really focused on it, and I’ll be paying attention to more of the artist’s work in the future. :3
Next Time: Final Episode! “A SPOILERIFIC ending! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”