Ganryujima - Original Soundtrack
International Title
Music By: Naoki Ohtsubo
Record Label: One-Coin Records
Running Time: 32:42 Discs: 1
Release: November 2003 CD Number: ONECO-3
Anthony Romero
This soundtrack is a collaborative effort between composer Naoki Ohtsubo and CMJK, whose guitar work and composition arrangements will likely be familiar to anyone who is a fan of singer Ayumi Hamasaki. Unfortunately, this disc as a whole is an entirely forgettable affair. CMJK probably deserves the blunt of the "blame" for this, as those tracks almost predominately tend to overstay their welcome. The best example of this is "Japan's Greatest Swordsman", which is a fast tempoed track that actually starts out great, and was wisely used for the movie's trailer. Sadly, the vocal work just doesn't enhance the theme at all, in fact it tends to drown out the music more often than not. The track in general just keeps going and going too, until one is almost itching for the "skip track" option. To be fair, the "Escape Assistance" and "Duel" tracks by CMJK are fairly pleasing cues; they aren't amazing, but definitely one of the brighter spots from this score.

In terms of the music by Ohtsubo, it's not bad. He definitely has a more traditional approach to his scoring, making for a odd unison with the the metal/techno tracks by CMJK, as he utilizes a lot of violin segments into his pieces. Almost all of these are slower moving themes, soothing in nature. In the end, Ohtsubo's work, while not incredibly memorable, is pleasant enough to warrant an occasional revisit. It is unfortunate, though, that it got interspliced with the stuff by CMJK, which creates such a jarring transition between the two that it just totally shatters the mood of Ohtsubo's themes.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. Ganryujima: Main Title
  2. Musashi Miyamoto
    By: CMJK
  3. Funajima
  4. Dannoura: A Samurai and a Fisherman
    By: CMJK
  5. Japan's Greatest Swordsman
    By: CMJK
  6. Urn of Vengeance
    By: CMJK
  7. Tsubamegaeshi Returns to Top Form, the Essential Point
  8. Kojiro's Spirit
    By: CMJK
  9. A Reckless Fisherman
    By: CMJK
  10. Escape Assistance
  11. The Intrigue of the Hosokawa-Han
  12. Reparation Advice
  13. Honor
  14. An Unarmed Samurai
    By: CMJK
  15. Sorrow
  16. Gap
    By: CMJK
  17. Imai and Yosimoto, the Bonds of Kojiro
  18. Duel
    By: CMJK
  19. Twilight in Dannoura
  20. The Sword of Musashi