Symphonic Suite: Princess Mononoke
International Title
 Princess Mononoke
Music By: Joe Hisaishi
Record Label: Tokuma Japan Communications
Running Time: 47:02 Discs: 1
Release: July 1998 CD Number: TKCA-71395
Anthony Romero
This release, a symphonic suite version of several themes from the 1997 movie played by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, make a great companion to the movie's normal soundtrack (TKCA-71168). At first, there might be some initial doubt since the first track, " Chapter I: The Tale of Ashitaka", is very faithful to the original source. This might sound good, but the disc has to diverge from the material otherwise why not just listen to the actual soundtrack? Thankfully, such doubt is quickly dispelled by the rest of the CD. A number of these tracks are simply incredible, especially the very rousing "Chapter VII: Underworld ~ The Adagio of Life and Death", which turns the original more melodramatic theme into an almost march-like tune to great effect. Many of the other tracks don't differ as dramatically as the "Underworld" one, but some of these deviations are nice and memorable, such as the triumphant and boisterous swelling of the musical theme toward the end of "Chapter IV: Princess Mononoke".

Overall, this won't, and shouldn't, replace the original soundtrack. It's neither superior or inferior to the original, and instead meets its desired objective: it's different. Different enough to make fans of the movie sated, yet similar enough to give the listener a sense of familiarity as they listen to the CD. In the end, fans of Joe Hisaishi's phenomenal work on the film would be will advised to check this release out.

As a side note, the initial printing of this CD came with an alternate cover featuring the fog draped mountains seen at the start of the movie.

This disc was re-released in the United States by Milan Records in 2001.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. Chapter I: The Tale of Ashitaka
  2. Chapter II: Ta·Ta·Ri·Gami
  3. Chapter III: Departure ~ To the West
  4. Chapter IV: Princess Mononoke
  5. Chapter V: The Forest of the Dear God
  6. Chapter VI: Requiem ~ Cursed Power
  7. Chapter VII: Underworld ~ The Adagio of Life and Death
  8. Chapter VIII: Ashitaka and San