Although Eminence Online is where I submit my anime music previews for upcoming seasons these days, I’ll still be reserving this blog space for the opportunity to look back on the music that’s been presented just to see how my guesses (if I made any) managed to pan out. As far as my summer preview article goes, I wasn’t able to take a peek at some of the shows I mentioned (notably, Toshihiko Sahashi’s work on Elements Hunters, nor was I able to check out Nanase’s work on CANAAN, or Yukari Hashimoto’s double duties on both Kanamemo or Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou. Of course, I wasn’t all too impressed with the music that she had written for Toradora! and the content of the shows themselves weren’t exactly up my alley either. Not that it was a problem since commentators like Sorrow-kun and hashi have declared summer to be one of the better seasons in recent memory (if not the best since Spring 2006). So not only was the content particularly strong, some of the soundtracks were downright fantastic.
In the feature, I mentioned that I wasn’t all too familiar with Takefumi Haketa’s work, but since then, I’ve really come to appreciate the sort of quiet, beautifully-executed piano pieces that Hata uses in his soundtracks. Listening to his compositions from Someday’s Dreamers which I was introduced to through Discovery Week (Week 11) on the MALKeionbu proved to be an enjoyable experience as he uses everything from a light chorus to putting in a section that has Celtic influences in it to top it all off. Though I’m nowhere close to finishing up Aoi Hana, the piano music has been unassuming, but is still beautiful all the same. It’s certainly not the soundtrack I’m looking forwards to most (that goes to the next series I’ll discuss), but the music is pleasant enough and given my love for soft-spoken (some might say boring) piano music, I’ll definitely be all over Aoi Hana’s soundtrack.
Based on what I heard as I followed the series, the prize for best potential soundtrack goes to Taisho Baseball Girls. This series managed to surprise me in so many ways, from its charming moments to the endearing characters, sentiments that I expressed in my upcoming review of the series at your nearest friendly neighborhood Nihon Review. In terms of the music, Taisho was me rediscovering Takayuki Hattori’s music once more since I haven’t listened to any of his works since Martian Successor Nadesico. Needless to say, Taisho’s soundtrack promises to be filled with light, bouncy, orchestral compositions that fit in with the overall atmosphere and that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Bakemonogatari, on the other hand, does not impress me all too much in the music department. The problem I have had with Satoru Kousaki’s work is that they can be enjoyable, but they often play second-fiddle to the content on the screen to the point where it becomes almost unnoticealble. His music was dwarfed by the sheer energy that Haruhi Suzumiya provided and in Bakemonogatari, it’s diminished in the face of the excellent dialogue. The OPs (all of them) and the ED however have stood apart, and all of the songs used have gotten a heavy amount of playtime on my media player or when I jump on youtube to de-stress after a long day. That the OPs/ED have not been reviewed on this site is a travesty and I hope that one of my sporadic contributors will get a review up by next week to correct this grave injustice.
The other potentials that I want to mention are Otani Kou’s work on Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 which managed to take more of a cinematic flavor than the sort of Shana-esque music that have come from him lately. Though I might be reaching just a tad, TM8.0’s melancholy music reminds me of the work he did on Haibane Renmei. I don’t know if anyone feels the same way, but once the soundtrack comes out, I will take the opportunity to compare that and Haibane Renmei’s in terms of stylistic similarities. Umi Monogatari is a show that annoyed me from episode 2 and currently, I’m loath to put more time into that series despite Muramatsu’s usual swing/jazz shtick that has always made for a good change of pace. Of what I’ve seen, Muramatsu does deliver on the summer/beach themes well and the brief snippets of conversation that I’ve caught here and there indicate that his music doesn’t work well during the more intense moments in the series. Spice and Wolf II is more of the same and I still feel disadvantaged at not having Umineko’s tracks at my disposal, but those two are certainly strong and in the case of the latter, brings with it a lot of enthused fanboyish reactions across the places I lurk.
My Fall preview article will hopefully be up at Eminence in a few days. The content of the season doesn’t particularly excite me all that much and I only had about 10 shows to comment about anyways. So while everyone else will be plunging into this new batch, I’ll effectively be dipping my toes in slowly and feeling my way around pretty much in the way that I have done after all these years. Either way, I do hope to see some pleasant surprises roll around.