Pocket Monsters: Pocket Monsters Ranger and Manaphy, the Prince of the Sea - Music Collection
International Title
 Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
Music By: Shinji Miyazaki
Record Label: Media Factory
Running Time: 61:24 Discs: 1
Release: July 2006 CD Number: ZMCP-2853
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

This soundtrack follows up on Shinji Miyazaki's effort on the 2005 film, Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. Like his previous effort, Miyazaki shows a lot of restraint and avoids going "back to the well" to reuse themes familiar to the franchise. The ending result is another good and unique score for the series' composer.

Just like Miyazaki was taken by the setting of the previous movie to craft something unique, the composer again uses the film's locations to create a score that feels unlike others in the franchise, utilizing the underwater serenity and show-like aspects. Its not nearly as strong as the 2005 film score, but still works. The soundtrack succeeds the most when it takes a swing at capturing that sense of serenity and achieves it. "Prince of the Sea" is a great example of this along with "For Manaphy". The other soothing tracks don't quite measure up, though, especially the chorus supported themes for the Akusha cues, which have their moments but feel overdone. Some of these soundtrack themes are a little too simplistic as well. "Play with Manaphy!" is a good example of this as it goes for a tropical-feel, but actually sounds like it belongs in a beach level in the Mario Kart series. Still, the soundtrack has its gems, and leading the way is "Depart! Set Sail!" which captures that sense of adventure as it swells and then keeps it up for its over three minute duration. "The Phantom Troops Attack!!" is also a little interesting, especially as it starts with the battle theme straight from the Game Boy games, but doesn't manage to be particularly memorable.

As before, Miyazaki does cut loose with one dated sounding track. This time its "Enter Pocket Monsters Ranger!! - E.O.P. Mission", which features guitar and trumpet work to make it feel like a retro piece. Its enjoyable in its over-the-top approach, and fits a spy theme quite well. The soundtrack does have one dud too in the form of the "Each Thought", which feels like an old "show tunes". It tries for a nostalgic grasp of the music style, but really never catches on.

In terms of the songs, the disc has three in total. Unlike previous releases, these songs are all placed at the end of the disc. Also unlike earlier Pokémon movie soundtracks, there is no single release of the credit song, "A Thing to be Protected" by Sowelu. The song is a good one, having great vocal work that's supported by light orchestra work that is supported by piano and drums. It may sound like an odd mix, but it works and the song escapes from sounding too much like Japanese pop. It's odd, though, that the song wasn't given a single release. In fact, the only other way to get the song is from Sowelu's 24: Twenty Four (DFCL-1288) album that was released the same month, which features singer Sowelu/Aki Harada with an open sweater and a black bra. I'm not saying the latter to seem prudish, mind you, just making note that it's odd to see someone promote an album featuring Pokémon music in that way.

In regards to the final two songs, and the bonus tracks off the CD, first off is the TV version of "Spurt" by Rica Matsumoto which was the opening show song of the year and the last one for the "Advance Generation". It's an okay song, but one of the least memorable of the opening themes. Following this is the "Big Meowth Day" song which is sung by Meowth voice actor Inuko Inuyama. Suffice to say, Inuyama's singing voice is an acquired taste, and personally I find it very grating.

Overall, this soundtrack is good but fails to reach the heights of some of the better entries in the series. Worth getting for series fans, though, as Miyazaki is good as always here. As a side note, for those counting, this is the longest running CD score release in the movie series so far, excluding the radio drama disc for the The Birth of Mewtwo - Audio Visual Box (ZMCP-596).
Rating: Star Rating
  1. The Pocket Monster of the Sea
  2. The Phantom Appears
  3. Enter Pocket Monsters Ranger!! - E.O.P. Mission
  4. Theatrical Title Theme 2006
  5. Opening: Underwater Pocket Monsters Show
  6. Haruka's Dream
  7. Fearow - Capture
  8. The Phantom Troops Attack!!
  9. Ruins of the People of the Water
  10. The Legend of Akusha
  11. Pressing Ambition
  12. Hesitating to go on an Adventure with Youth
  13. Depart! Set Sail!
  14. Each Thought
  15. For Manaphy
  16. Play with Manaphy!
  17. Find Manaphy!!
  18. Akusha the Temple of the Sea
  19. Temple Waltz
  20. To the Crown of the Sea
  21. The Temple Begins to Sink
  22. Save the Temple!
  23. As Long as I can Breath...
  24. Embracing the Crown of the Sea
  25. Soldier of Light, Satoshi
  26. Carnival of the People of the Water
  27. Prince of the Sea
  28. A Thing to be Protected (Movie Version)
    By: Sowelu

    Bonus Tracks
  29. Spurt! (TV Version)
    By: Rica Matsumoto, Composer: Hirokazu Tanaka
  30. Big Meowth Day (Movie Version)
    By: Inuko Inuyama, Composer: Kazumi Mitome