|Album Title:||Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu Original Soundtrack|
|Anime Title:||Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu|
|Artist:||Milan Himemiya & Chocolate Rockers; Tsuyoshi Watanabe; Miyu Matsuki;
N’s feat. Mamiko Noto & Mai Gotou & Kaori Shimizu & Kana Ueda & Rina Satou
|Release Date:||Sept. 26, 2008|
|1. Tomadoi Bitter Tune (TV Size)||Milan Himemiya & Chocolate Rockers||1:33|
|2. Hakugin no Hoshikuzu (Nuit Etoile)||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:38|
|3. Ohayou Gozaimasu, Yuuto-san||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:37|
|4. Haruka no Osasoi||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:52|
|5. Tanoshii Date||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:46|
|6. Let’s Enjoy||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:40|
|7. Sora wa Dame desu, Komari masu||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:39|
|8. Yuuto no Nakama||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:32|
|9. Ah, Yopparai…||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:44|
|10. Nogizaka Ka Maid Tai||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:10|
|11. E~eh, Nande…||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:21|
|12. Tsugi, Okonatte Miyo~!||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:13|
|13. Haruka-sama||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:51|
|14. Hazuki-san no Himitsu||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:38|
|15. Nigero!||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:28|
|16. Tadaima Bikou Chuu||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:35|
|17. Fuan||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:37|
|18. Hitori Bocchi wa…||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||2:15|
|19. Yuuto no Yasahisa||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||2:24|
|20. Honobono||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:42|
|21. Iiyo, Onii-san…||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:16|
|22. Koi, Uki Uki||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:52|
|23. Tokimeki Fortissimo (Dojikko Aki-chan’s Theme)||Miyu Matsuki||3:24|
|24. Nobunaga~!||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:42|
|25. Mika no Theme||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:39|
|26. Shiina no Theme||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:37|
|27. Ero~i!||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:47|
|28. Komaru na~||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:43|
|29. Kodoku||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:40|
|30. Mou Oshimai desu…||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:52|
|31. Bukimi na Funiki||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:44|
|32. Tomadoi||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:44|
|33. Pain||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||2:09|
|34. Namida||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||2:25|
|35. Arigatou||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||2:15|
|36. Futari Dake no Himitsu||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||2:10|
|37. Happy End||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||1:47|
|38. Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu||Tsuyoshi Watanabe||2:44|
|39. Hitosashiyubi Quiet!||N’s||1:31|
Review: Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu’s soundtrack, much like the actual show itself, is unmemorable but both are different in terms of how enjoyable they were. The show, to quote Sorrow-kun at the Nihon Review, was “clichéd, shallow and predictable” but the soundtrack, while filled with classical clichés (if I may go as far as to call them that), was a pleasant listening experience. Most of the tracks on the album clock under 2 minutes, which means there won’t be much musical development, but thankfully, each track is consistently enjoyable without being overly repetitive.
For people who have watched the series and have listened to the soundtrack, it’s almost amazing how well-synchronized the two are. After listening to “Tomadoi Bitter Tune,” the soundtrack moves into a set of pieces that introduce the two protagonists and set the lighthearted mood. “Hakugin no Hoshikuzu (Nuit Etoile)” introduces us to Haruka through a classical piece that captures her elegance, daintiness, and seeming perfection. Up next is “Ohayou Gozaimasu, Yuuto-san,” which serves the dual function of introducing the show’s down-to-earth, but kind-hearted male lead as well as putting the two protagonists’ meeting in a hopeful light in that the two may find love and happiness by being with each other.
The music then shifts into slice-of-life mode with “Tanoshii Date,” which sounds like a carefree romp around town as the harmonica melody backed by the piano and percussion gives it a laid-back feel. “Sora wa Dame desu, Komari masu” brings forth some of the more comedic aspects of the series with a piece that’s upbeat tinged with a mischievous aura (most likely coming from Haruka’s sister Mika). This segment is where the characters really learn about each other through their shared experiences which include each other’s foibles, conveyed through “Ah, Yopparai…” “Haruka-sama,” a piece which offers a gentle piano melody that seems to be partly influenced by Joe Hisaishi, illustrates how the two have become comfortable with each other with its calming, soothing melody.
The album starts to get into some of the more dramatic scenes with “Fuan,” but the mood is broken up by “Tokimeki Fortissimo (Dojikko Aki-chan’s Theme)” which parodies the stereotypical magical girl themes with its overexaggerated levels of cuteness and girlish squealing. The next few pieces give us picture-perfect representations of some of the side characters. “Nobunaga~!” is a perfect illustration of its namesake’s enthusiasm when it comes to anime and manga with its upbeat melody. Likewise, Mika’s Theme is a good reflection of her spunk and mischief and Shiina’s theme shows off Shiina’s bubbly personality and upbeat drive to fit in with her new classmates.
At this point, the drama really begins to kick in as Yuuto and Haruka’s relationship gets tested. The soundtrack follows suit, starting with “Kodoku” which is somber throughout with a tone that would fit right in as a dirge. “Mou Oshimai desu…” sounds equally despondent through the bassoon and the discordant piano chords and the tracks that follow have an introspective feel to them as they portray the characters trying to sort out their feelings for one another.
Finally, things begin to straighten out. “Namida” feels reconciliatory as though everything looks hopeful and they will overcome the obstacles that prevent them from finding happiness. While there’s a melancholy feel to this, the optimistic undertones are definitely there. With each succeeding track, the hope keeps coming. For example, “Futari Dake no Himitsu” gives the listener the feeling that everything is going to turn all right in the end, a theme that is reiterated in “Happy End” which lives up to its title with its upbeat and carefree melody. You can catch a snippet of triumph as the characters finally achieve the happiness that they had sought.
Finally, “Nogizaka Haruka” closes out the album with its soothing orchestral melody that urges the listener to ponder back over the trials and tribulations that the protagonists had to get past to reach their goal of being together. This piece contains a lot of hope and relief, especially with the crescendo around 1:22 that bursts forth with optimism, signaling the happy ending. As the piece fades, the piano solo around 1:53 reassures the listener that their love shall be eternal as they spend their time together blissfully.
If you’ve gotten to this point, you’ll probably notice that this review takes a shallower approach to this soundtrack and that’s precisely because this album concentrates on the style and very little on the substance. Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu’s soundtrack doesn’t strive towards pieces that stir deeper emotions or are musically complex, but focuses on simple, but pleasant orchestral melodies. While none of the melodies will really stick out as being particularly memorable, it does its job of complementing the anime series by putting the listener in the right mindset (for all the good that it does) with its enjoyable melodies.