Hero - Soundtrack
International Title
Music By: Takayuki Hattori
Record Label: Universal EMI
Running Time: 52:57 Discs: 1
Release: September 2013 CD Number: TOCT-11618
Anthony Romero
This CD is a 2013 reissue of the original 2007 movie soundtrack. Released by Universal and EMI, the title featured a budget price of ¥999 (~$10) as the only differentiator compared with the original release. This created a situation where both the budget and original title could be purchased fairly easily for a time. Due to the limited nature of the budget release, however, that time didn't last and the budget releases are now out of print. Due to supply and demand, they now fetch around the same price as the 2007 edition in the resale market. Back story aside, this soundtrack is okay. It is fairly forgettable and lacks truly stand out cues, but is not unpleasant by any stretch.

The soundtrack is composed by Takayuki Hattori, who despite quite a resume of work is likely best known outside of Japan for his work on the Godzilla series with films such as Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999). I'm generally not a huge fan of Hattori's work, to be honest. I do like his score for Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) and Japan's Wildlife: The Untold Story (2012), but in general feel indifference toward his material. His soundtrack to the 2007 Hero doesn't change my opinion.

The score starts off with a bit of energy in the form of the "Main Title". This is a slightly bouncy track that you can picture as the opener to a TV show... which I assume was the origin. Hero is based off a TV show of the same name, and Hattori scored both of them. A lot of the content here is marked as "movie ver.", which I presume to mean its an update of a theme from the show. The energy dies by track two, though, in the form of the meandering "Kohei's Theme". It crashes once it reaches "T-Shirt and Coffee Stains", which is the worst track on the disc by some stretch. "Out of Synch" is also rather pedestrian, feeling like filler as the track never pics up off a beat that feels like it should be building to something.

Despite some weak tracks, though, there are a few that are slightly enjoyable. The piano and violin heavy "Reasoning" is a good example of this, although the track is a tad too repetitive. "Action" could have been good, but is betrayed by either a small orchestra or just a composing style that favors using a smaller portion of it, which is in line with Hattori.

Bottom line, I find a lot of Hattori's work to be substandard and this is no exception. He occasionally knocks it out of the park, but more often his soundtracks fall into the "okay" range, such as this one for Hero.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. 「HERO」-Main Title- (movie ver.)
  2. Kohei's Theme (movie ver.)
  3. Time to Go (movie ver.)
  4. T-Shirt and Coffee Stains (movie ver.)
  5. Court Landscape (movie ver.)
  6. Strange News (movie ver.)
  7. Reasoning (movie ver.)
  8. Action (movie ver.)
  9. Modest Dreams (movie ver.)
  10. Out of Synch (movie ver.)
  11. Instantaneous Healing
  12. He is the HERO!~Conviction
  13. Interrogation (movie ver.)
  14. Distance Between Two People (movie ver.)
  15. Warmth
  16. Life Work (movie ver.)
  17. Light and Shadow (movie ver.)
  18. Goddess of Law
  19. Soul Mate
  20. Emotion
  21. Emergency (movie ver.)
  22. He is the HERO! ~Justice