Complete Recordings: Akira Ifukube Toei Animation Movie Music
International Title
 The Little Prince and the Eight Headed Dragon / Mitsubishi Pavilion
Music By: Akira Ifukube
Record Label: Toshiba EMI
Running Time: 73:24/71:18 Discs: 2
Release: March 1992 CD Number: TYCY-5213/14
Anthony Romero
First, I'd like to give thanks to Sam Scali for sending in this rare set for review!

Now some are likely wondering why this set is being included on the site, since this release is directed toward Akira Ifukube's work for Toei. The answer to this is the same behind why Toho Music features it on their own site, and that's the inclusion of the music from the Mitsubishi Pavilion on the second disc. However, since this set is largely focused on Toei's The Little Prince and the Eight Headed Dragon I will start by discussing that first.

The music for this 1963 animated feature is a pretty interesting mix. Some of these themes skew a little toward what one would associate with programming aimed at children, featuring almost cliched and overt musical techniques such as the blaring and fading horn for the "The Sake Drinking Yamata-no-Orochi". The content for this feature shines, though, in areas like the very rousing and memorable main title. "Departure - Moonlit Night Sea" is another great track, and clearly harks back to a similar theme heard in The Mysterians (1957). Speaking of the 1957 movie, this score also fairly shamelessly incorporates the epic battle music from that film for the "Kama 1 vs. Susano" theme. Now Ifukube has recycled motifs before, but rarely this blatantly across unrelated productions. Still, despite the fact that the horns are a little more predominate in this take, it's as always an enjoyable theme. Of course, a couple of cues fall flat here, like "Susano Sortie", but overall this is a pretty solid soundtrack from Ifukube.

Rounding out this set, after the content related to the outtakes for The Little Prince and the Eight Headed Dragon, the package includes 11 tracks related to the Mitsubishi Pavilion which was featured at Expo '70. The two famous cues from this selection are "Storm" and "Volcano", which were featured in Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) and adverts for Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971). Both are fairly rousing marches, and stand out amongst the rest of the music conducted for the event on account of that. It should be noted that these two tracks include a reference to "Horimiraa", which is short for horizontal mirror and relates to how the images were projected during the event for these rooms. Now the rest of the music recorded for the Pavilion is more on the soothing side, especially the majestic track that opens the selection: "The Four Seasons of Japan". After these three cues, the score fittingly takes a different approach to the music, as the content now deals with attractions based around the projected future. The first of these falls short, though, in "Sky - Space", which would probably fit well in the background while one is looking at displays but as a stand alone experience it leaves some to be desired. This long track leads into "Clear Skies", which is a little more upbeat but overall very similar to the previous cue. The two themes for the underwater city fare better, but neither is very memorable. Oddly enough, it's the music tracks for the "Recreational Area" that end up being the next noteworthy offerings, as the short cues both feature nice melodies. The disc ends with the tracks related to the "Japanese Land" and their interpretation of what the country might look like in the future. These, especially the last, are a bit more dramatic thanks to the addition of a choir and make for more fitting experiences removed from the event themselves.

Overall, this is a pretty nice package related to Ifukube, if not an odd grouping since the two features only relation is the composer himself. There are weaknesses in both scores, although more so in content from Expo '70, which is likely due to the fact that the music probably looped over and over again during the exhibition in the various rooms and had to be low key on account of that; however, the two soundtracks have notable strengths as well. The main title for The Little Prince and the Eight Headed Dragon is always a joy to listen to, while the historic importance of Expo '70 make the content more interesting to experience even some of the music is a little on the dull side. As a side note, this set is a reissue, with the original being sold back in 1988 (LD25-5065/6).
Rating: Star Rating
    Disc 1
    The Little Prince and the Eight Headed Dragon
  1. Prologue - Main Title (M1)
  2. Butterfly - Akahana and Taro (M2)
  3. Susano Appears (M3)
  4. Izanami (M4)
  5. Lullaby of Naiko's Mother (M5)
  6. Sumo - Izanami's Death (M6)
  7. Izanagi and Susano (M7)
  8. Susano Cries (M8)
  9. Vision of Izanami (M9)
  10. Determined to Begin the Journey (M10)
  11. Akahana's Worry (M11)
  12. Departure - Moonlit Night Sea (M12)
  13. Strange Fish Akuru (M13)
  14. Akuru vs. Susano (M14)
  15. Yume-no-Hirasaka (M15)
  16. Yoru-no-Osukuni (M16)
  17. Tsukuyomi (M17)
  18. Icy Mirror (M18)
  19. Susano's Anger I - Freeze (M19)
  20. Defrosting (ME137)
  21. Susano's Anger I - Freeze (M20)
  22. The Sword of Tsukuyomi (M21)
  23. Ice Ball (M21B)
  24. The Path to the Kingdom of Fire (M22)
  25. Taitanbo (M23)
  26. The God of Fire (M24)
  27. The God of Fire vs. Susano I (M25)
  28. The God of Fire vs. Susano I (M26)
  29. The Power of the Ice Ball (M27)
  30. Taitanbo Joins Otomo (M28)
  31. Ame-no-Torifune - Takamagahara (M29)
  32. Amaterasu Omikami (M30)
  33. Field Labor (M31)
  34. Wild Horse - Shrine (M32)
  35. Field Causeway - Shrine (M33)
  36. The Creation of Susano's Field (M34)
  37. Flood - Shrine (M35)
  38. Temple Brawl - Closed Stone Door (M36)
  39. Omoikane's Scheme (M37)
  40. Reveal (M38)
  41. Dance of Amano-Uzume I (M39)
  42. Dance of Amano-Uzume II (M40)
  43. The Stone Door Opens (M41)
  44. Temple (M42)
  45. Takamagahara Departs (M43)
  46. Road to Izumo's Kingdom (M44)
  47. Princess Kushinada (M45)
  48. Blood River - The Story of Yamata-no-Orochi (M46)
  49. Ame-no-Hayakoma (M47)
  50. Princess Kushinada and Susano (M48)
  51. Fighting Preparations (M49)
  52. Before the Storm (M50)
  53. Yamata-no-Orochi Appears (M51)
  54. Boss (M52)
  55. The Sake Drinking Yamata-no-Orochi (M53)
  56. Susano Sortie (M54)
  57. The Naughty Prince Slays the Giant Serpent (M55)
  58. Kama 1 vs. Susano (M56)
  59. Akahana and Yagi (M57)
  60. Princess Kushinada's Crisis (M58)
  61. Chase Kama 2 (M59)
  62. Melee (M60)
  63. The Final Battle - After the Fight (M62)
  64. Victory at Dawn (M62)
  65. Ending (M63)
    Disc 2
  1. Lullaby of Naiko's Mother (Karaoke) (M5)
  2. Sumo - Izanami's Ascension (Karaoke) (M6)
  3. Vision of Izanami (Karaoke) (M9)
  4. Ending (Karaoke) (M63)
  5. Prologue - Main Title (M1)
  6. Lullaby of Naiko's Mother (M5)
  7. Sumo - Izanami's Death (Take 1)
  8. Sumo - Izanami's Death (Take 2)
  9. Susano's Anger I - Freeze (Alternate Take)
  10. Ame-no-Torifune - Takamagahara (Alternate Take)
  11. The Creation of Susano's Field (Alternate Take)
  12. Flood - Shrine (Alternate Take)
  13. Omoikane's Scheme (Alternate Take)
  14. Reveal (Alternate Take)
  15. Dance of Amano-Uzume II (Take 1)
  16. Dance of Amano-Uzume II (Take 2)
  17. Takamagahara Departs (Alternate Take)
  18. Ending (Alternate Take)

    Mitsubishi Pavilion (1970)
  19. The Four Seasons of Japan (M1A)
  20. Storm - Horimiraa (M2)
  21. Volcano - Horimiraa (M3)
  22. Sky - Space (M4)
  23. Clear Skies (M5)
  24. The Ocean Depths (M5A)
  25. Sea (M6)
  26. Recreational Area (M7)
  27. Recreational Area (M7A)
  28. Land Prologue (M8)
  29. Land (M9)