Udon - Original Soundtrack
International Title
Music By: Toshiyuki Watanabe
Record Label: Toshiba EMI
Running Time: 67:25 Discs: 1
Release: August 2006 CD Number: TOCT-26062
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

This is the original soundtrack to the 2006 comedy Udon by Rebirth of Mothra (1996) composer Toshiyuki Watanabe. The score is a bit off beat, mixing 19th century classical music with original compositions, but the soundtrack as a whole is good even taking into account a rather sporadic tone.

The themes for Udon are a mix of original music and motifs from French composer Georges Bizet's opera "Carmen". Mixing classical work within a score can be nice, such as Maurice Ravel's "Bolero" in the Negotiator: Mashita Masayoshi (2005), but its odd to see it make up the "Main Title" here and be featured so prominently. Regardless, despite the oddity of having the center piece theme be an existing classical tune, the mixture works with tracks like "Irresponsible Man of the Heisei Era" and "Udon Adventure" being very nice infusions with Bizet's themes.

In all, the score has enough going for it for a recommendation, with unique tracks like the nicely serious "A.D. 21XX Sanuki" and the elegant violin led cue "What My Father Left Behind". The downside is that a number of cues here are forgettable, especially the eight minute track "Symphonic Poem for Noodles and Dashi" that actually starts off really nice with sweeping violins for the first 30 seconds before going into a march that drags for its overly long runtime. Finally, the disc also has one of those 'frantically trying to find the skip button' tracks in the form of "Banzai ~ Pleasant Fondness" that feels like a total misfire from an awkward vocal level that drowns out the instruments to a singing voice that sounds a little grating. It's not as bad as some of the songs for There's Always Tomorrow: The Movie (2002), but its definitely skip worthy.

Now in terms of this original release versus its later reissue in 2013 (TOCT-11617), both are on par in terms of sound quality. The only real difference is the OBI, which on the re-release is red, and the CD number. The price between the two is drastic, with the reissue being much cheaper, so unless you are a collector or happen to find the original at a reduced rate the choice is easy: go with the reissue.

Bottom line, not a great disc, lacking in the realm of a truly, floor stopping memorable cue, but its enjoyable for those who like their music on the soothing side with a slight flavor of comedy-like themes.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. I Love NY
  2. Udon Main Title
    By: Georges Bizet
  3. Dreadful Sanuki Udon
  4. Irresponsible Man of the Heisei Era
    By: Georges Bizet
  5. Older Sister's Gentleness
  6. Goddess of No Direction
  7. Infestation Warning!
  8. Eating Outside on a Fine Day
  9. Mentsu-dan
  10. Son and Father: Memory
  11. Udon Adventure
    By: Georges Bizet
  12. Boom Coming
  13. A.D. 21XX Sanuki
  14. Noodle Power! - Captain Noodle Visits
  15. Elder Sister's Desire
  16. A Full Greeting
  17. Our Dreams
  18. Banzai ~ Pleasant Fondness
  19. The End of the Festival
  20. What My Father Left Behind
  21. Symphonic Poem for Noodles and Dashi
  22. Fate of Food Sampling
  23. Son and Father: Conversation
  24. An Udon Induced Smile
  25. That Miracles Exist
  26. Ending
    By: Georges Bizet