Aliens & SDF
Staff of Toho
| Nihon Retto Ikimonotachino Monogatari - Soundtrack
| Japan's Wildlife: The Untold Story
|Running Time: 61:21
|Release: February 2012
||CD Number: UPCH-1865
huge thanks goes to Jessica Stan for
sending this disc for review! |
I have never been a huge fan of Takayuki Hattori's work. Like most, I was first introduced to the composer with Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) and have had indifferent experiences with his scores since. That said, Hattori turns in a pretty good performance for the documentary Japan's Wildlife: The Untold Story. In fact, it's probably features some of the composer's best work and is engaging enough to make for a great stand alone experience, totally removed from the subject matter.
For a nature documentary soundtrack, Hattori infuses the score with far more variety than one would expect. The CD does excel at having more soothing and quite themes, such as the violin heavy "Medaka Alone" which is a great track. It also features the comedic and whimsical, with the aptly named "I'm a Clownfish", and also a few cues that hark back to the composer's Godzilla days, such as the drum based theme "Boss' Seat". Like a lot of nature documentaries, it also has a pretty effective tear jerker tracks in the form of "Child Separation", this one lead by piano work, and the more traditional violin heavy "Medaka, Severe Winter". In fact, most of the themes related to Medaka are the better ones on this CD.
Although the soundtrack is a pretty good experience as a whole, there are a few cues that miss the mark.
One such example of this is "Ichiro, the Wild Boar Piglet", which sounds more like a poor man's theme for racing music from the Mario Kart series. "Playing with an Octopus" is also an odd track, intentionally so with a cheesy and over-the-top science fiction-like vibe that feels very out of place with the other material here. "The Law of Nature" is also a little bland, harking back unfavorably to some of the composer's work on Nin X Nin: The Ninja Star Hattori (2004). "Season of Love" is also a miss, being distinctly unique but never really coming together well.
Overall, the disc has a few cues that miss the mark, but has enough great themes in the end to net the CD a solid recommendation overall. The score didn't really click with me the first time I heard it, but I found myself really warming up to it after a few more listens and would recommend it to anyone interested in soundtracks.
- The Japanese Islands
- The Law of Nature
- Spring, the Birth of Life
- Polo and Pong, the Brown Bear Cub
- Pong is Thrown
- Hunting Practice
- Apricot and Medaka
- Ichiro, the Wild Boar Piglet
- Ocean Creatures
- Close Call
- Forest of Mystery
- Like Old Folk Stories
- I'm a Clownfish
- Strange Creatures of the Night
- Polo and Pong: Hunting
- Playing with an Octopus
- Child Separation
- Tour of Life
- Season of Love
- Boss' Seat
- Getting Ready for a Journey
- Mother Brown Bear Protects Her Child
- Medaka Alone
- Not Prepared to Retreat
- Medaka, Severe Winter
- Season Reunion
- Polo and Pong: The Journey
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