Taisho Yakyuu Musume Ongaku Shuu – Review

Booklet 01

Album Title: Taisho Yakyuu Musume Ongaku Shuu
Anime Title: Taisho Yakyuu Musume
Artist: Takayuki Hattori; Kanae Itou; Kana Ueda; Mai Nakahara;
Mamiko Noto; Soeda Satsuki; Henry Clay Work
Catalog Number: LACA-5967
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: October 7, 2009


Tracklist:

Show »

Track Title Artist Time
1. Romantic Strike (TV Size) Kanae Itou; Kana Ueda; Mai Nakahara;
Mamiko Noto
1:34
2. Taisho Hiyori Takayuki Hattori 4:04
3. Pai-No-Pai-No-Pai (Tokyo Bushi) Kana Itou; Henry Clay Work; Soeda Satsuki 1:27
4. Ichinichi no Hajimari Takayuki Hattori 0:08
5. Asou no Machi Name Takayuki Hattori 2:12
6. Otenba de Shitsurei Takayuki Hattori 1:42
7. Karen na Ojou Takayuki Hattori 1:31
8. Touhou Seika Ouka Kai Takayuki Hattori 1:42
9. Tokorode Yakyuutte nani desu no? Takayuki Hattori 1:33
10. Umaku Ikimasen wa… Takayuki Hattori 1:20
11. Play Ball! Takayuki Hattori 1:21
12. Pinch desu wa? Takayuki Hattori 0:54
13. Futari no Kyori Takayuki Hattori 2:20
14. Nagare Yuku Jikan Takayuki Hattori 1:26
15. Yarazu no Ame Takayuki Hattori 2:02
16. Ame no Shirabe Takayuki Hattori 1:00
17. Munasawagi Takayuki Hattori 0:45
18. Kiro Takayuki Hattori 1:46
19. Onna no Iji Takayuki Hattori 2:00
20. Hitori ja nai kara Takayuki Hattori 4:37
21. Renshuu Kaishi! Takayuki Hattori 1:40
22. Chotto Hitoiki Takayuki Hattori 1:33
23. Kakekomi Safe!? Takayuki Hattori 0:28
24. Fukashigi Takayuki Hattori 0:52
25. Meguru Shikou Takayuki Hattori 1:12
26. Karen ni, Mairi masu wa! Takayuki Hattori 1:27
27. Zunou Roudou Chuu Takayuki Hattori 1:10
28. Kamiawa nai Kaiwa Takayuki Hattori 1:28
29. Onna no Yuujou Takayuki Hattori 1:50
30. Yozora Takayuki Hattori 1:35
31. Somaru Hoho Takayuki Hattori 1:06
32. Nayami Taki Toshigoro Takayuki Hattori 2:07
33. Ginmaku Monogatari Takayuki Hattori 1:23
34. Mune no Moyamoya Takayuki Hattori 0:41
35. Fushin to Giwaku Takayuki Hattori 1:11
36. Tsuji Uchi ni Kou! Takayuki Hattori 0:40
37. Zenryoku Shissou! Takayuki Hattori 1:29
38. Pinch desu wa… Takayuki Hattori 0:43
39. Dai Pinch desu wa… Takayuki Hattori 2:05
40. Iidase Nakute Takayuki Hattori 1:08
41. Futari no Kimochi Takayuki Hattori 1:13
42. Warui Yokan Takayuki Hattori 1:27
43. Seigen Jikan Takayuki Hattori 1:10
44. Nagai Yume Takayuki Hattori 1:37
45. Akane iro no Sora Takayuki Hattori 2:02
46. Soshite, Aruki Dasu Takayuki Hattori 1:23
47. Kasanaru Omoi Takayuki Hattori 1:47
48. Watashi Tachi no Naka ni Umareta Takayuki Hattori 2:34
49. Yume Miru Kokoro Kanae Itou 1:38
50. Pai-No-Pai-No-Pai (Tokyo Bushi) Henry Clay Work; Soeda Satsuki 1:33

Review: I can usually watch an anime series and tell you whether the soundtrack is going to be enjoyable, but there are notable exceptions where the quality of the in-show music and the soundtrack CD are out of alignment. Taisho Yakyuu Musume’s soundtrack falls into this latter category, which is disappointing because I had high hopes for Taisho’s music after watching the anime and finding its lighthearted orchestral melodies to be charming. The music on the soundtrack isn’t bad per se, but its presentation is suspect given that there were long stretches where the music was abjectly dull as though it was content to serve its role in the background rather than rise to its full potential.

Up until the halfway point, most of the tracks manage to please as it offers a range of music that helps establish the setting to those that depict a strong sense of determination. An example of the former is in “Taisho Hiyori,” which uses a combination of clarinet and shamisen to create a melody that transplants the listener right into an era long past where life goes at a slower, relaxing pace. The idyllic atmosphere that this piece channels contrasts nicely with the next track, “Pai-No-Pai-No-Pai (Tokyo Bushi)” which injects a dose of energy and excitement into the listener through Kanae Itou’s adorable delivery as it imparts that infectious optimism that a young person living in a Japan on the cusp of modernization might experience. This song, in conjunction with the visuals, makes for an unforgettable moment and if you’ve seen this segment, you may find that it gives you the urge to watch that scene over and over.

Taisho Hiyori

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Pai-No-Pai-No-Pai (Tokyo Bushi)

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After going through the upbeat track used for the title screen, the music that follows depicts the many themes one might expect from a sports show featuring girls living in the Taisho Era. “Asou no Machi Name” sounds deceptively charming as though it were sculpting the image that the girls want others to see before the piece dispenses with the violin chords which gives off a feeling of determination on the part of the girls to show that they are capable of playing a boy’s sport. The theme of determination is also carried in tracks like “Play Ball!,” which exhibits an inspiring fanfare that calls upon the girls to give it their all in playing the game and their efforts all come together in “Soshite, Aruki Dasu,” which uses an upbeat enka melody to convey just how much hard work they are willing to put into baseball to play at a competent level.

Asou no Machi Name

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Play Ball!

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Soshite, Aruki Dasu

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Even with baseball as the backdrop, it’s natural to have moments where the girls are allowed to relax from the rigors of play and tracks like “Futari no Kyori” illustrate that through a soft, simple piano melody that is emotional as it depicts the sense of hope and happiness that the girls experience. “Hitori ja nai kara’s” acoustic guitar goes at an even slower tempo as it offers a chance for both the players and the viewer to take a step back and evaluate how far the girls have come in learning the game. This introspection allows the girls to reaffirm their motivations for playing baseball and as the piece closes, one gets a feeling that they still have a long way to go, but that they will tackle any obstacle with gusto.

Futari no Kyori

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Hitori ja nai kara

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But once you go past the halfway point, things take a turn for the worse. The issues that plague the second half of this album include from nondescript and repetitive melodies which bore me over the span of as many as six tracks before a dynamic piece can wake me from my stupor. It puzzling how someone could put a track like “Nayami Taki Toshigoro” as is into the album because its plodding pace comes with an utterly uninteresting melody that can drive you mad as it subjects you to its version of the Chinese water torture. Other tracks, like “Pinch desu wa…” and “Seigen Jikan” don’t inspire much more beyond what they’re trying to depict. In the former’s case, it’s the stereotypical DANGER!! track that uses ominous melodies and chords to achieve its intended effect but fails to expand beyond that. As for “Seigen Jikan,” it’s just altogether gloomy and even though it has moments where it carries some promise, all of that is undone by the drab, repetitive melody that never goes anywhere.

Nayami Taki Toshigoro

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Pinch desu wa…

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Seigen Jikan

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In listening to Taisho Yakyuu Musume’s soundtrack from the second half onwards, I can’t help but think that many of these pieces could easily have been cleaned up if they were developed further. The foundation that some of the boring tracks have are completely salvageable and furthermore, one can combine tracks depicting a certain mood into one track, yielding some variety, making it more engaging as a result. At this point though, such a concept is wishful thinking and the reality is that there are quite a few strong tracks, but all of that is dwarfed by the second half of this album which leaves one wanting and not even the adorable rendition of “Pai-No-Pai-No-Pai (Tokyo Bushi)” is capable of turning this album into a real keeper.

Rating: So-so

zzeroparticle

Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

8 thoughts on “Taisho Yakyuu Musume Ongaku Shuu – Review

  • October 10, 2009 at 8:36 pm
    Permalink

    I agree with some of the later tracks being rather meh. It would have been nice if there were some more tracks with lyrics like Tokyo Bushi. ^^;

    Reply
  • October 11, 2009 at 10:33 am
    Permalink

    @Reltair
    I wish they’d really consider doing an anime that’s a musical. That would be rad! =D
    (No, Red Garden doesn’t count.)

    Reply
  • October 12, 2009 at 11:47 pm
    Permalink

    Disappointing. I never actually managed to finish Taishou (in the end, when you’re a busy person, these kind of anime are good, but the kind that get dropped to save time) but I recall that I really enjoyed some of the orchestral music used early on – quite refreshing, actually. Unfortunate that it didn’t quite live up to my expectation in the end.

    Reply
  • October 13, 2009 at 2:02 pm
    Permalink

    @Theowne
    Count me in as someone who loved the whimsical nature of the in-show music as well. I had also been hoping for something brilliant and I think my view on this album is the same as yours: disappointing.

    Reply
  • October 14, 2009 at 3:52 am
    Permalink

    Haven’t watched the show, but I was listening the first few samples… and thought they were great ! Sad that the composer didn’t keep up the good stuff =/

    Might give the series a try, it’s quite refreshing to see a sports anime having music like this.

    Reply
  • October 15, 2009 at 12:53 am
    Permalink

    @depthchargex
    I also reviewed it over at the Nihon Review (see the link posted under the Nihon Review RSS feed and you’ll see it). I do recommend watching it and when you listen to the music while you watch the anime, you should find it to be enjoyable. The magic, unfortunately, does not transfer over to the soundtrack album. :\

    Reply
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