Title
 The Great World War
International Title
 The Last War
Music By: Ikuma Dan
Record Label: Victor Entertainment
 
Running Time: 64:38 Discs: 1
Release: July 1991 CD Number: VICL-5082
Comments
Anthony Romero
First, I'd like to thank Sam Scali for sending in this disc for review!

Now this CD has the score to the 1961 film The Last War, which was composed by Ikuma Dan. Dan's work here, while not being a career high, is pretty solid. One thing the score does very effectively is introduce a reoccurring theme, heard in tracks like "Takano Returns to his Country" and "The Dream of Two People", that has a almost hopeful tone to it. Consequently, due to the lack of repetition else where in the score, this causes the general theme motif to stand out, and really makes a impact in the movie itself when it's utilized in the quite sad finale, which can be heard here on "Ending 2". The most impressive thing about the disc, though, is that Dan shows his range with The Last War soundtrack. There is everything from the very upbeat and playful "The Tamura Family" theme, which appropriately sounds like something from a televised cartoon of the period, to the "The Federalists · The Far East Missile Base" which has a more sinister tone to it. Oddly enough, for this this being a movie with a more depressing outlook on the Cold War, the music is often more upbeat than not; however, it still has its share of somber themes, such as "World War Crisis" and my favorite cue off this disc "Fire is Blown!! Thirty-Eighth Parallel". On the downside, the "Main Title" here is pretty much a reprise of the main theme for the 1960 movie The Storm of the Pacific, although it's really the only cue to suffer from being lifted from a previous score by Dan.

Overall, this is a pretty good offering from Dan. I will attest to being a fan of his work, particularly on the Samurai trilogy, and was very pleased with his effort here.
Rating: Star Rating
Tracks
  1. Overture
  2. Main Title
  3. 16 Years Postwar
  4. Car Radio
  5. The Allies · North Atlantic Coordination Exercise
  6. The Tamura Family
  7. The Sodium Bomb
  8. Takano Returns to his Country
  9. Takano and Saeko
  10. The Federalists · The Far East Missile Base
  11. The Allies · Mainland Missile Base
  12. Mokichi Tamura's Happiness
  13. The Dream of Two People
  14. The Start of the War is Ordered
  15. A Hair's Breadth!
  16. The Bulb of a Tulip
  17. Fire is Blown!! Thirty-Eighth Parallel
  18. The Book of Jacob: Chapter Four
  19. Oharu and Suzue
  20. Remove the Bomb Apparatus!
  21. The Thirty-Eighth Parallel's Ceasefire
  22. World Peace - Sunset in Yokohama
  23. Sparks Fly Over the Bering Sea
  24. Evening in Yokohama
  25. World War Crisis
  26. Panic
  27. The Allies · Missile Launch Preparation
  28. The Two Goats
  29. If We Surrender...
  30. The Last Outcry
  31. The Third World War
  32. The World's Last Day
  33. Ending 1
  34. Ending 2
  35. Nursery School (New Year's Day)
  36. Closing Prayer
  37. Ending (Final)
  38. Main Title (Unused)
  39. The Allies · Missile Launch Preparation (Unused)
  40. New Year's Day (Unused)
  41. Ending 2 (Unused 1)
  42. Ending 2 (Unused 2)