Pocket Monsters: Ruler of Illusions: Zoroark - Music Collection
International Title
 Pokémon: Zoroark Master of Illusions
Music By: Shinji Miyazaki
Record Label: Media Factory
Running Time: 63:16 Discs: 1
Release: August 2010 CD Number: ZMCP-5652
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

The soundtrack for the 14th Pokémon film feels like Shinji Miyazaki in auto-pilot at times, featuring a lot of updated themes from the show or past movies. That said, reusing motifs or not, the old content is given some new life while there is enough new music to make this a recommendable soundtrack entry in the long running franchise.

Although taking place in the Diamond and Pearl "era", the movie was debuted right after Heart Gold and Soul Silver were released for the Nintendo DS, giving the creators an encentive to revisit characters from the second generation, notably Entei, Suicune, Raikou and Celebi. Composer Miyazaki accompanies the characters with familiar tunes that, for fans of the earlier movies, will feel like being reunited with an old friend since they haven't been used in over a decade. While Suicune's theme isn't used, Entei's theme from Pokémon: Lord of the "Unknown" Tower (2000) can be heard woven into the second half of "The Ruler of Illusions" and used as a solo piece to "The Legendary Beasts". Celebi, however, is given a lot more musical focus with his chorus theme from Pokémon: Celebi a Timeless Encounter (2001) appearing several times. "The Town Celebi Visits", "Celebi's Grace" and "The Blessing of Celebi" all feature this theme, with the latter being particularly effective and majestic in its composition.

The other themes that are reused are from the TV show, such as Ash/Satoshi's theme for "The Boy, Satoshi" or Dawn's theme for "Thanks, I Got Lost ~ By Your Side ~", which is actually one of the best cues off the score. While the new cues don't stand out as much as the reused one, the horn heavy, big band style "The Raimon Legends" is very enjoyable if not short. "I'll Be Sure to Visit!" does a good of being soothing, being a nice mixture of wind and string instruments before ending with a more majestic horn send up.

The soundtrack is fairly strong, but does have a few weak cues such as "It's Show Time!" and "Kodai Stop!", which might work as part of the narrative but fall flat when removed due to the sometimes obnoxious nature of the themes, with the former being loud and "screechy" while the latter has experimental synth work that doesn't really gel.

As for the final two songs, and the bonus tracks from the CD, first off is the movie version of "Ice Cream Syndrome" by Sukima Switch. I drift from not really like this song at all to thinking it's okay, mostly as the vocal work itself shifts from good to "meh". Suffice to say, not one of the better songs attached to the franchise. The second song is the band version of "The Greatest - Everyday!" from the TV show by Fumie Akiyoshi. Another song that is one of the weaker from the franchise, not really being majestic or energy inducing, although at least it's not forgettable, for better or worse.

Overall, not fantastic but one of the better scores in the franchise that mixes the familiar with the new to good effect. The cues are a little on the short side, but at over an hour the disc feels full enough not to complain.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. Avant 2010
  2. The Boy, Satoshi
  3. Pokémon Baccer
  4. The Raimon Legends
  5. Mom's Mane
  6. Start, Action!
  7. Follow Me!
  8. Muhahaha!
  9. Arriving in Crown City
  10. Title Theme 2010
  11. Thanks, I Got Lost ~ By Your Side ~
    By: Kazuo Yoda
  12. Yanmega Balloon
  13. Mischievous Zorua
  14. Let's Be Friends!
  15. It's Show Time!
  16. The Town Celebi Visits
  17. It's Been 20 Years Since...
  18. The Ruler of Illusions
  19. That's My Mom!
  20. The Man Who Knows the Future
  21. Zoroark Recovers
  22. Dead Forest
  23. It's Not Broken!?
    By: Akifumi Tada
  24. Shuppet's Foresight!
  25. I'm Strong!
  26. Mom's Calling!
  27. Celebi's Grace
  28. I Know the Problem
  29. Howling
  30. Secret of the Ripples of Time
  31. Give Back Celebi!
  32. The Legendary Beasts
  33. Kodai Stop!
  34. The Town's Guardian
  35. Pikachu vs. Scizor
  36. Withdraw!
  37. The Final Countdown Clock
  38. I've Always Believed in You!
  39. We're Counting on Everyone!
  40. Night Burst!
  41. Zoroark! Stop!
  42. I Won!!
  43. Unforgivable!!
  44. Home
    By: Akifumi Tada
  45. The Blessing of Celebi
  46. I'll Be Sure to Visit!
  47. Ice Cream Syndrome (Movie Version)
    By: Sukima Switch

    Bonus Tracks
  48. The Greatest - Everyday! (Band Version)
    By: Fumie Akiyoshi