|Album Title:||One Outs Original Soundtrack|
|Anime Title:||One Outs|
|Artist:||Akihiko Matsumoto; Pay money To my Pain; Tribal Chair|
|Release Date:||January 21, 2009|
|1. Bury (TV Size)||Pay money To my Pain||1:23|
|2. Play Ball||Akihiko Matsumoto||0:13|
|3. Aerobatic Funk||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:23|
|4. Bouncing||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:17|
|5. Wild & Crazy||Akihiko Matsumoto||2:12|
|6. High Velocity||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:49|
|7. Aim It||Akihiko Matsumoto||2:03|
|8. Obstruction||Akihiko Matsumoto||5:26|
|9. Shaki~n||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:06|
|10. Ain’t Got No More||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:32|
|11. Complexity||Akihiko Matsumoto||2:22|
|12. Steppin’ Out||Akihiko Matsumoto||3:06|
|13. Toua||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:56|
|14. At Dawn||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:57|
|15. Movin’||Akihiko Matsumoto||2:22|
|16. Get Back||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:48|
|17. The Trapper||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:19|
|18. Circulation||Akihiko Matsumoto||2:24|
|19. Nazotoki||Akihiko Matsumoto||0:55|
|20. Next Page||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:43|
|21. At Dawn ~Warm Hearted Version~||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:26|
|22. Back to the Groovy||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:37|
|23. Full Count||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:50|
|24. Big Mama||Akihiko Matsumoto||1:47|
|25. Game Over||Akihiko Matsumoto||2:18|
|26. Moment (TV Size)||Tribal Chair||1:10|
Review: Royal crown at The Nihon Review correctly describes One Outs as being “criminally underrated” in 2008’s Year in Review column and if you’ve been keeping up with the show like I have, you’ve seen how exciting and fun One Outs is to watch week in, week out. Although Shinobu Kaitani has recycled the same formula that he used for Akagi and Kaiji (and more of Akagi in this instance), it’s remained an enjoyable watch nonetheless.
But let’s not get too carried away with my enthusiasm for One Outs, the show and instead enthuse over One Outs’s soundtrack which offers a diverse tracklist that does a wonderful job of capturing the series aurally. Akihiko Matsumoto’s compositions have a sense of style that’s a refreshing change and he shows he’s capable of composing in many genres ranging from funky, groovy melodies to ambient industrial tracks which have a gritty feel to them to the uplifting piece that inspires greatness. Despite the diverse range, all of the tracks work well in instilling a sense of drama and tension to complement One Outs.
This soundtrack starts with the OP, Pay money To my Pain’s “Bury.” The instrumentation is straightforward and decent, but don’t listen too hard to the lyrics since it’s an emo song, which doesn’t jibe with me all too well. Once you get past the short, goofy trumpet fanfare from “Play Ball,” it’s time to listen to this soundtrack crank up its game, starting with “Aerobatic Funk.”
From the opening notes, you can feel the style oozing forth. As its name implies, “Aerobatic Funk” uses a funk rhythm predominantly carried by the saxophones repeating a melodic line that feels chaotic in the way the instruments blend together, but the result engages the listener, especially around the 0:43 mark where the piece shifts into a new section that’s got a nice groove. “Wild & Crazy” takes “Aerobatic Funk’s” vibes, but goes in a harsher direction by accenting its notes heavily and syncopating it in a way that gets right in your face. If those kinds of tracks aren’t to your liking, you might enjoy “Big Mama” which sounds like the kind of music you’d hear in a quiet jazz lounge. The piano creates a relaxing atmosphere which is a welcome relief from some of the more high-tension pieces that are to come.
“Obstruction” is probably one of the better pieces that convey the tension found in the series. It starts out with a very grim motive that channels an ominous atmosphere effectively through repetition. In doing so, it builds the piece up and keeps the listener on edge by creating a sense of danger which you can hear around 1:19 where the dissonant passage brings forth a sense of doom and despair. “Complexity” also uses dissonance to cultivate its brand of tension, but nothing can quite match “Circulation’s” tone as it plays the melody at a faster tempo and switches instruments in a way that it creates fear and uncertainty, allowing the listener to feel the anxiety that the characters in the series face.
It should be noted that some of the tension-filled tracks can be just a bit too rhythm-heavy, which feels too repetitious sometimes. “The Trapper” and “Full Count” both emphasize the beat over a discernible melody, which works well to keep the listener on edge with their anxiety-inducing ambience, but because they mostly repeat the same motive over and over, neither are pieces that warrant multiple listens unless you like listening to the beat.
Though the ambient tracks are solid in engaging the listener, the soundtrack takes care to ease off on the tension and allow the listener to relax and recharge through pieces that sound pleasant or possess a feeling of whimsy. “Get Back” is a track that one shouldn’t miss because of the guitar work which creates an adventurous feeling through its eager and upbeat mood that encourages the listener to take action and explore new horizons. And “At Dawn” is wonderful in the way it brings out the feelings associated with the title. The electric guitar is uplifting in the way it starts off softly and builds up to the part around 0:58 where the piece radiates brilliantly to create the feeling that one’s burdens have been lightened. As the new day rolls in, the listener has an opportunity to amend for past mistakes and surge forwards in life.
A few other tracks to look out for include “Toua,” who is the protagonist of the show. His theme has a solitary, lone-wolf feel to it and is packed with an aura of mystery that one can discern while listening to the background part. And if you’ve seen the show, you’ll definitely note that it does an excellent job of conveying Toua’s cold, calculating nature as he incessantly plots to win. “Back to the Groovy” also has an enthusiastic, celebratory tone that you can pick up on through the syncopated trumpet part. Finally, the soundtrack closes out with “Game Over,” which is a very soothing piano piece that brings out a sense of finality. Its subtle tone not only provides closure, it also invites the listener to look back upon the experience and their accomplishments, making it a perfect piece to serve as the conclusion for the BGM part of the soundtrack.
Though this soundtrack is a departure from the usual soundtracks that I enjoy, One Outs’s music has gotten me hooked through the rhythms and melodies that are packed with a sense of style. Although some of the ambient tracks were a bit repetitive, the soundtrack makes for a fun listen overall. From the groovy funk rhythms to the uplifting fanfares that showcase the sheer diversity and range of Akihiko Matsumoto’s compositions, One Outs’s soundtrack may be a lot of things, but boring is definitely not one of them.
Rating: Very Good
(Yes, I broke my own rules and put in six tracks.)