Title
 The Tale of Osaka Castle
International Title
 Daredevil in the Castle
Music By: Akira Ifukube
Record Label: Toho Music
   
Running Time: 76:33 Discs: 1
Release: March 2008 CD Number: TMSA-0001
Comments
Anthony Romero
This release from Toho Music contains the full score to the 1961 production Daredevil in the Castle. Composed by maestro Akira Ifukube, this CD marks the first time the entire score has ever been available. In regards to the music, Ifukube does a good job with the material. It's not one of his better scores, but is an interesting entry in his long career none the same. The compositions typically range on the more subtle side, which is a little unusual for Ifukube who often "hijacks" sequences in movie's with his rousing marches. The energy does pick up a bit closer to the closure of the score, though, as the composer produces a couple of nice marches such as "Breaking Through the Enemy Line". "Mohei's Plan II" is another good example of this, as the cue has a nice band-march-like beat to it. Many will also be familiar with the theme as it was later reworked, with a faster pace, and reused as the Super-X3 theme for Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995). A couple of cues on this release are quite unique for the composer, though. For example, the almost celtic-like vibe a couple give off, such as the "Save Senhime" cue which has a lot of string instrument work. Overall, the score is a nice stand alone body of work that tends to grow on the listener overtime.

Now, the Daredevil in the Castle soundtrack is less than 50 minutes in length. To compensate for this, Toho Music has added over 25 minutes of bonus music, which is actually a small compilation of themes from three other movies. These soundtracks include the two "Yagyu Secret Scroll" movies, Yagyu Confidential (1957) and Ninjitsu (1958), along with the 1959 film Samurai Saga. The music for the two "Yagyu Secret Scroll" productions is decent. "Tasaburo and Yuhime" makes a good closure theme for Yagyu Confidential (1957), as Ifukube shows his continued talent for making great closing pieces even though they do sound somewhat close to one another. The "Main Title" Ninjitsu (1958) is also nice, with a more upbeat tempo than the other work in these two films.

The gem from these bonus tracks, though, is actually the work compiled from Samurai Saga (1959). "The Duel of Matsubara" is particularly great, with excellent pacing and great trumpet work. Many will probably recognize it for its use in the Atragon (1963) trailer, while portions of the cue were also later adapted into the Heisei series Godzilla theme from Ifukube. The "Main Title" is also another nice cue from this film, sounding a little more traditional for a Japanese score, but with Ifukube adding his own touch to the proceedings. In the end, it's a shame more music from this film isn't available, outside of what little else is found on the The Film Works by Akira Ifukube·3 release (SLCS-5052). Given the short runtimes of these scores, with each of them being less than 20 cues, it would have been nice to see them all compiled with Daredevil in the Castle across two discs. However, no such luck, and in the end these cues do a nice job of padding the runtime of the CD to make it feel like a more well rounded purchase.
Rating: Star Rating
Tracks
  1. Opening (M1)
  2. Main Title (M2)
  3. A Time of Confusion (M3)
  4. Mohei's Rescue Mission (M4)
  5. Osaka Castle Negotiations (M5)
  6. Yodogami and Hideyori (M6)
  7. Mohei Goes to Osaka Castle (M7)
  8. Secret Passage (M8)
  9. The Hole in Osaka Castle (M9)
  10. Disaster at the Susano Court (M10)
  11. Another Meeting with Lord Hayato (M11)
  12. Lord Hayato's Crisis (M12)
  13. The Portuguese Ship (M13)
  14. The Reunion at Koma Bridge (M14)
  15. Ai's Abduction (M15)
  16. The Whereabouts of the Gold (M16 + M17)
  17. Itamiya's Betrayal (M18)
  18. Rescuing Ai (M19)
  19. The Fate of Osaka Castle (M20)
  20. Katagiri Katsumoto's Castle (M21)
  21. Reinforcements Enter the Castle (M22)
  22. Mohei and Ai (M23)
  23. Senhime's Determination (M24)
  24. Save Senhime (M25)
  25. Gun Transport (M26)
  26. Mohei's Plan I (M27)
  27. Mohei's Plan II (M28)
  28. The Kanto Forces Attack (M29)
  29. Breaking Through the Enemy Line (M30)
  30. The End of the Winter Camp (M31)
  31. Ending (M32)
  32. Noise on the Battlefield (M30 Mix)

    Bonus Tracks
    Yagyu Confidential (1957)
  33. Main Title (M1-T2)
  34. Sword Fight in the Mountains (M2)
  35. Tasaburo vs. Jubei (M10)
  36. The Art of Kunoichi (M13)
  37. Tasaburo and Yuhime (M17)

    Ninjitsu (1958)
  38. Main Title (M1)
  39. Mysterious Komuso (M2)
  40. Melee (M4)
  41. The Death of Yuhime (M6-T2)
  42. Letter of Challenge (M17A-T2)
  43. Kiyohime's End (M18)

    Samurai Saga (1959)
  44. Main Title (M1-T1)
  45. The Duel of Matsubara (M4)
  46. The Yearning of the People (M5-T2)
  47. Defeat (M12)
  48. Jutaro's Will (M13)
  49. Ending (M16-T2)