Title
 Pocket Monsters: Mew and the Aura Hero Lucario - Music Collection
International Title
 Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
Music By: Shinji Miyazaki
Record Label: Media Factory
  Order
Running Time: 56:27 Discs: 1
Release: August 2005 CD Number: ZMCP-2303
Comments
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

After the merely passing soundtrack for Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys (2004), Shinji Miyazaki returns to true form for one of the better soundtracks in the Pokémon movie series. Not only is Miyazaki at the top of his game, but the franchise composer even avoids overt recycling of previous themes and delivers something that feels a little more grand and unique compared with what the series had seen in the past few years.

Perhaps emboldened by the Heian period (794AD-1185AD) start or the more lavish renaissance backdrop, Miyazaki strikes out to reinvent the wheel and succeeds quite well. The soundtrack really feels and sounds nothing like the movies that came before it, only keeping the "title theme" motif in track five that has such a huge build up to that the listener almost doesn't see the motif coming. In fact, "Theatrical Title Theme 2005" is not only one of the better themes off the disc, conveying a great sense of urgency at the start, but also the best use of the title theme motif to date. Another fantastic theme off this CD is "Fighting Back!!", which builds off the battle music used in the title theme, along with "Sacrificing a Life", which is probably the best cue off this soundtrack.

As for the more soothing and regal tracks, "Aldoran Castle" is a nice theme, although a little long. "Presentation Ceremony" sounds very formal and stuffy, as it should, while it's an enjoyable stand alone piece too. "Party" is a little clichéd, sounding exactly like one would think when told of a formal ballroom party, but is still decent. "The Tree of World's Origin" is a largely flute based theme, giving it a slightly fantasty aura that makes it quite enjoyable. Of these soothing tracks, "Aaron 2" is probably the best, though, as it mixes a soothing tune with a slight hint of sorrow that makes it a pretty memorable cue.

Worth noting all on its own is the "Weavile's Party Meeting!!" theme. Its unlike anything else on the disc, and show Miyazaki's sometimes flair for doing dated sounded music that would feel more at home in the 1970's. "Weavile's Party Meeting!!" is exactly like that, but manages to keep a sense of fun and menace at the same time. Its also worth talking about the abnormal theme for "Regirock", which is heavy in synthesizers. It's actually not done by Miyazaki, but is instead the lone track on this disc by Minoru Maruo, which accounts for its disparity when compared to the other themes here.

In regards to the songs, the CD begins with the rather unpleasant country song "Pocket Monsters Counting Song" by Akiko Kanazawa. The song is definitely aimed at a younger audience, to the point where older listeners will feel awkward, and also makes a poor transition into Miyazaki's serious and more eerie "Castle, Heian Era: A Looming Crisis" cue. Next up is the "Battle Frontier (Movie Version)", which is as the track says the movie version of the opening tv show song of the time. This one has a lot of guitar work and features some decent vocal work by Akina Takaya. It's far from the best opening song from the franchise, but is still a pretty decent song. Finally, the disc closes with PUFFY's "Song of Origin". This is far and away the best of the three songs, and should please anyone who likes Japanese pop.

Overall, other than the first track, this is a pretty stellar soundtrack. Its a surprisingly unique effort with some great soothing tracks mixed amongst the amazing motif used for tracks like "Sacrificing a Life". It might not be quite as memorable as Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998), but is certainly a contender for one of the better movie soundtracks in the franchise.
Rating: Star Rating
Tracks
  1. Pocket Monsters Counting Song (Movie Version)
    By: Akiko Kanazawa, Composer: Hirokazu Tanaka
  2. Castle, Heian Era: A Looming Crisis
  3. Aaron 1
  4. The Tree of World's Origin
  5. Theatrical Title Theme 2005
  6. Aldoran Castle
  7. Fanfare
  8. Battle Frontier (Movie Version)
    By: Akina Takaya, Composer: Rie
  9. Presentation Ceremony
  10. Ballroom Dance
  11. Kidd (Suspense)
  12. Amusement Park in the Attic
  13. Weavile's Party Meeting!!
  14. Party
  15. Mew - The Tree of World's Origin 2
  16. Kidd (True Character)
  17. Go! To the Tree of World's Origin
  18. Contact
  19. Friendship - To the Tree of World's Origin 2
  20. Regirock
    By: Minoru Maruo
  21. Underground World
  22. Fighting Back!!
  23. Reuniting with Pikachu
  24. The Tree of World's Origin 3 - Resonance
  25. Collapse
  26. Aaron 2
  27. Sacrificing a Life
  28. Parting - Lucario
  29. Aaron's Theme - Farewell Lucario
  30. Song of Origin
    By: PUFFY, Composer: Andy Sturmer and Bleu