Pocket Monsters: Water Capital's Protector Gods Latias & Latios
International Title
 Pokémon Heroes: Latias & Latios
Music By: Shinji Miyazaki
Record Label: Media Factory
Running Time: 45:22 Discs: 1
Release: August 2002 CD Number: ZMCP-1457
Anthony Romero
This disc from Media Factory, distributed under the "Pikachu Records" label, contains the soundtrack to fifth Pokémon movie: Pokémon Heroes: Latias & Latios. The score for this film is once again handled by series regular Shinji Miyazaki, who has become more or less synopsis as the composer for the franchise. I will attest to being a fan of Miyazaki's work, particularly the way he adapted the music from the Game Boy title for the animated show, but regretfully this isn't his finest hour. In fact, the score for the fifth picture in the series feels like the composer is on auto-pilot. It's a real shame as a few of these cues seem just a shy away from greatness. For example, always present Title Theme for the Theatrical features starts off magnificently, better than from any other film, but ends with such a dreadful horn solo that it ruins the whole thing. Like a lot of Miyazaki's work, though, the score does improve the more one listens to it. Cues like the "Theme of Zanna & Rion", which has a nice mild jazz flavor that compliments the Team Rocket theme nicely, tend to fare better after hearing it once or twice. "Sortie!", which is definitely the star attraction on this disc, is another nice theme off this disc, with a good rousing march type of pacing. Finally, the recomposed "Crisis!", which was one of the original themes from the first season of the show, sounds fantastic here, benefiting greatly from an obviously more robust orchestra than the televison show was allotted.

Sadly, the weakness of this disc is once again the inclusion of the music related to the short feature that plays before the film, in this case "Camp Pikachu". For this feature, the score is composed by Atsushi Umebori who goes for a "folksy" type of feel, utilizing a lot of banjo and fiddle segments. I will be honest when I say there are times where you have to smile as the tracks feel like a slight guilty pleasure, but unfortunately these moments are brief. As for the two songs attached, they also fail to entice. The first, done by Ameagari Kesshitai and gang, has the same "ho-down" type of vibe as the rest of the short, and while it's amusing at times it's definitely skip worthy. The second song "Pocketari Monstari", done by Kana, is sadly even worse. It starts with a short fiddle segment, but then devolves into kiddy-like pop. To be frank, she's trying to hard to sound cute, which really makes the track painful to hear at times.

In regards to the three songs for the main feature, thankfully they fare better. The first is yet another version of "Aim to be a Pokémon Master", which was the opening song on the first season of the show and several subsequent seasons, done by Rica Matsumoto. This is probably one of the less memorable remixs of the tune, as the music almost drowns out the lyrics on occasion, but it's none the less enjoyable. The second song is "Secret Garden" by Madoka. This tune is actually nice on occasion, as Madoka has a great voice and shifts between English and Japanese effortlessly in the song. The problem is that, at four minutes in length, it tends to overstay its welcome before concluding. The other song is "No Solitude" by Kazufumi Miyazawa. "No Solitude" isn't bad, as Miyazawa has a nice tempo to his deliver and the background music is enjoyable, but all the same it's nothing particularly stellar.

To be fair, I wouldn't say this was the worst soundtrack related to the movie franchise, that still goes to the disc for Pokémon: Lord of the "Unknown" Tower (ZMCP-1102), but it's probably second. I feel bad about saying that as there are a couple of really nice themes here. "Sortie!", "Theme of Zanna & Rion" and the updated version of "Crisis" are all fantastic, they just have a habit of getting buried under all of the other music including the Camp Pikachu stuff by Umebori, which is largely lacking.
Rating: Star Rating
    Camp Pikachu
    By: Atsushi Umebori
  1. "Glittering Starlit Camp" Title Theme
    By: Hirokazu Tanaka
  2. Aim for the Hill (Movie Version)
    By: Ameagari Kesshitai, Hanako Yamada, DonDokoDon
  3. Choo-choo Train
  4. Reunion
  5. Sudowoodo's Theme
  6. A Water Slide is Fun!
  7. Duskull Emerges!
  8. Volbeat Appears
  9. It's a Station!! Let's Go!!
  10. Oh What a Relief - Nya!!
  11. Pocketari Monstari
    By: Kana

    Pokémon Heroes: Latias & Latios
  12. Theatrical Pocket Monsters Title Theme 2002
  13. Legend (Alto Mare)
  14. Theme of Zanna & Rion
  15. Aim to be a Pokémon Master 2002
    By: Rica Matsumoto, Coba
  16. Team Rocket's Theme
  17. Enigmatic Girl (Labyrinth)
  18. Crisis
  19. The Enigmatic Girl Returns (Labyrinth)
  20. Secret Garden (Theme of Latias & Latios)
  21. Secret Garden
    By: Madoka
  22. The Origin of Latios
  23. Sortie!
  24. The Danger Passes
  25. Canon
  26. No Solitude
    By: Kazufumi Miyazawa, Coba