Aoi Hana Original Soundtrack – Sweet – Review

Aoi Hana Soundtrack

Album Title: Aoi Hana Original Soundtrack – Sweet
Anime Title: Aoi Hana
Artist: Takefumi Haketa
Catalog Number: LASA-5009
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: August 26, 2009


Track List:

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Track Title Artist Time
1. Hajimari no Toki Takefumi Haketa 1:49
2. Asa no Sakamichi Takefumi Haketa 2:13
3. Hikari ni Michita Jumoku Takefumi Haketa 1:58
4. Koukou Seikatsu Takefumi Haketa 1:55
5. Hirusagari no Benchi Takefumi Haketa 2:48
6. Shiokaze ni Nagarete Takefumi Haketa 1:23
7. Komorebi wo Kakeorite Takefumi Haketa 3:32
8. Katamukikaketa Hizashi Takefumi Haketa 2:44
9. Gekou wa Kimi to Takefumi Haketa 1:37
10. Ochokochoi Takefumi Haketa 1:20
11. Kirai Janai Kedo Takefumi Haketa 1:04
12. Hikkomi Shian na Watashi Takefumi Haketa 2:00
13. Uchiaketa Hitokoto Takefumi Haketa 2:14
14. Senritsu no Kanata he Takefumi Haketa 2:05
15. -passive- Takefumi Haketa 1:53
16. Nostalgy Takefumi Haketa 1:29
17. Egurareru Omoi Takefumi Haketa 2:21
18. Kokuhaku Takefumi Haketa 2:13
19. Hagayusa no Naka de Takefumi Haketa 1:34
20. Kanawanu Omoi Takefumi Haketa 1:50
21. Madogiwa no Hanatachi Takefumi Haketa 2:04
22. Monoomoi ni Fukette Takefumi Haketa 1:39
23. Date Takefumi Haketa 2:09
24. Kazoku Danran Takefumi Haketa 2:10
25. Konwaku Takefumi Haketa 2:17
26. Seiri no Tsukanai Koto Takefumi Haketa 2:14
27. Afurederu Namida Takefumi Haketa 1:39
28. Shin’yuu Takefumi Haketa 2:51
29. Uketometai Shisen Takefumi Haketa 2:24
30. Koigokoro Takefumi Haketa 2:20
31. Engekisai Takefumi Haketa 2:48
32. Arashi ga Oka Takefumi Haketa 1:48
33. Wakakusa Monogatari Takefumi Haketa 3:13
34. Aoi Hana (sweet ver.) Takefumi Haketa 1:29
35. Centiphoria (sweet ver.) Takefumi Haketa 1:38

Review: One thing that I find particularly delightful about Takefumi Haketa’s style is its subtlety. The soundtracks of his that I’ve listened to tend to be from shows which are heavy on the dramatic content, and that focus oftentimes leaves one unaware of the music that lurks just below the surface, reinforcing the mood on screen. Aoi Hana is no exception when it comes to this and like Haketa’s other soundtracks (notably Someday’s Dreamers), one comes to appreciate Haketa that much more after listening to Aoi Hana’s music as a standalone entity because of how Haketa brings the music to life as he effectively conveys the many feelings that the characters experience as they build up their friendship and relationships.

Indeed, Haketa is to be praised for delivering such a fine album. Though many of the pieces are characterized by simplistic melodies, less is more as each track is crafted with care to deliver the appropriate impact. The first track, “Hajimari no Toki,” establishes the soft, quiet atmosphere that the soundtrack embodies through a pensive melody that drives one to recall and cherish that precious moment in one’s life. It might not be the type of piece that will grab one’s attention, but it does set the tone for what’s to come.

Hajimari no Toki

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Before we get to the pieces that pack the emotional punches, the one track that is worth highlighting is “Hikari ni Michita Jumoku,” which uses an acoustic guitar and rhythm section to convey an upbeat atmosphere. What makes this piece noticeable is the way it instills a sense of curiosity and wonder within the listener. Through the interplay between the guitar and piano, the melody comes across as being playful, reinforcing Haketa’s skill in composing those light, pleasant melodies.

Hikari ni Michita Jumoku

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Given Aoi Hana’s plot, it’s not long before we reach the many emotional tracks scattered throughout this album. “Koukou Seikatsu’s” lovely piano melody starts it off on the right track through its depiction of burgeoning love. The piano part that starts after the introduction uses the slow, repetitive melody effectively to create a feeling of yearning that grows with the addition of the violin and harpsichord until it reaches a state of contentment. “Komorebi wo Kakeorite” picks up that feeling a few tracks later with a tentative introduction depicting a person’s shyness, but one that gradually fades away, as it’s replaced by confidence. The euphoria then comes about halfway through the track, showering the listener with hope and optimism and one cannot help but root for the characters as they seek out that happiness through their relationships.

Koukou Seikatsu

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Komorebi wo Kakeorite

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Up to this point, this album has built itself up really well. However, there is one aspect of this album in which people can reasonably disagree over and it would be Haketa’s reliance on arranging one theme across different tracks. Of the arrangements, “Komorebi wo Kakeorite’s” theme is the one that shows up most often. I counted at least five other tracks that uses that particular melody, and one should be warned that if one isn’t fond of “Komorebi wo Kakeorite’s” theme, I can understand if this issue leaves one a bit dissatisfied with the album’s presentation.

That said, I don’t think Haketa’s use of arrangements is a bad thing because each piece carries its own distinct flavor. Whether it’s by changing the tempo and instrumentation to create an introspective moment like in “-passive-” or by shifting over to a minor key like in “Nostalgy” to create a feeling of bleak despair that is then lightened by a touch of hope, Haketa differentiates each track by sculpting the piece so as to convey a different emotional state. In that respect, it feels as though Haketa takes the time to explore the depth of what the melody has to offer and in doing so, creates that common thread to connect each piece, tying it together into a complete entity without being too repetitive.

Nostalgy

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Besides, to focus too closely on the arrangements is to miss out on some of the other tracks ranging from those that depict a graceful waltz to those piano pieces that are just peaceful and serene. “Date” adopts both characteristics, using a rhythm perfectly suited for a waltz as it conjures an aura of elegance and grace, that makes one feel at ease as one shares the joys the characters experience as they are able to let go and enjoy their day, free of any worries. And then there’s an arrangement of Handel’s “Water Music” in “Wakakusa Monogatari,” which has an aura of royalty about it. Haketa doesn’t take any creative liberties with the piece, leaving it mostly intact, but nevertheless, it’s fitting in the feelings of love and joy that it expresses.

Date

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Wakakusa Monogatari

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As the album comes to an end, we are treated to a rendition of both the opening and ending themes. “Aoi Hana” is, as expected, a solid track and through this piano arrangement, the emotions, which seemed so subdued in the OP, feels much more expressive, providing a much richer experience as a result. Finally, we reach “Centiphoria,” which never captivated me to begin with. But in this rendition, the acoustic guitar that plays throughout this piece expresses its soothing feelings beautifully through a simple, no-frills melody that keeps me enchanted, making for an excellent way to end the album.

Aoi Hana (sweet vers.)

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Centiphoria (sweet vers.)

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If you can’t tell by now, much of Aoi Hana’s soundtrack is characterized by slow piano and guitar music, and because of this, its music might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Furthermore, the massive number of reused themes might be problematic for those who expect every track to be unique and stand out on its own. But in my case, I found myself delighted with what Aoi Hana’s music has to offer. The subtlety in emotions that each track carries is wonderfully sublime and listening to this album all the way through yields a calming, serene experience.

Rating: Very Good

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.

27 thoughts on “Aoi Hana Original Soundtrack – Sweet – Review

  • November 15, 2009 at 8:37 pm
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    I love the music in Aoi Hana because it’s just so relaxing. When I need to unwind a bit, this soundtrack would be a nice listen.

    I think just like the slow paced series, this is not for everyone. But for those who like the serene experience, the series and the soundtrack would be really appreciated.

    Reply
  • November 16, 2009 at 11:59 am
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    @Yi
    Definitely. There’s something about the soft calming piano/acoustic guitar music that really makes you calm and at ease even if some of those tracks are for some of the more melancholy parts of the show. Like you said, I can’t imagine people who like energetic pieces to be enthused by this album, but anyone looking for a relaxing album will definitely find that here.

    Reply
  • November 16, 2009 at 3:16 pm
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    funnily enough, i really enjoyed this more “down-to-earth” feel of the album, as compared to the full-blown orchestral Kuroshitsuji’s OST.
    sometimes, the simplest of arrangements works to bring the emotion across too, kinda of the harp-piano pieces in “Kemono no souja Erin”‘s OST :)
    will you be reviewing that OST too, zzeroparticle?

    Reply
  • November 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm
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    @mei
    Well, count me in with the odd group of people who can appreciate slow, serene music such as Aoi Hana’s. I do like Aoi Hana’s music just a tad more than Kuroshitsuji’s as well because I’m very much a sucker for good, smooth piano music moreso than the atmospheric stuff.

    As for your question about Kemono no souja Erin’s soundtrack, I’ll admit I didn’t have any plans to review it because I haven’t seen the series. However, I’ll take your comment as a request and Kemono no souja Erin will be the next soundtrack that I’ll touch upon!

    Reply
  • November 16, 2009 at 6:43 pm
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    @zzeroparticle, hope you enjoy Kemono’s OST. I’m drawn to good fantasy-based story telling.
    look forward to your posts. Thank you :)

    Reply
  • November 16, 2009 at 9:46 pm
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    @mei
    No problem. I figure the more recommendations people toss my way, the more good music I have to listen to. Everyone wins! \o/

    @Jesus159159159
    Relaxing stuff that doesn’t become distracting? Check. If that’s the criteria you have for homework music, Aoi Hana’s soundtrack is a good one to check out.

    Reply
  • November 17, 2009 at 11:07 am
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    The OST gets along excellently with the anime but I could not recall any of the themes after watching the series. The music is very subtle and simple, not something that catches my attension immediately. I may have to keep listening and let the music sink in a little more. :)

    Reply
  • November 18, 2009 at 12:22 am
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    @Canne
    That’s what I find to be so great about this particular album. While you’re watching the show, the music isn’t going to be noticeable, but on its own, you’ll find it to be a very solid listening experience all around. It’s one of the many reasons why I’ve come to appreciate Takefumi Haketa.

    Reply
  • November 19, 2009 at 10:22 pm
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    Thanks for another great review—you always introduce me to new composers to keep an eye out for. I’m always on the search for relaxing background music. I’ll be looking forward to your KNSE OST review.

    Reply
  • November 19, 2009 at 11:43 pm
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    @tai
    I aim to please. And hey, glad to see you around again. It’s been awhile!

    Reply
  • December 2, 2009 at 9:01 am
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    I think that Kuroshitsuji and Aoi Hana are both at opposite ends of the spectrum, one being a supernatural, mystery anime and the other being a slice of life, coming of age kind of anime. As such, the compositions of the soundtracks reflect the respective themes and nature of the each series. In Kuro’s case, watching the anime helps put the music in a better context and in that respect, Iwasaki did a fab job. As for Aoi Hana, the bgm is less noticeable because it is subtle and gentle. The compositions and melody stood out more when one listen to each tracks on their own. So I suppose in that aspect, the album works well as a stand alone compared to Kuro’s ost. That aside, I rather enjoy Aoi Hana’s ost despite the many variations of the two main themes. Haketa Takefumi isn’t the only composer who employs the reinterpretation method. Other composers did the same thing (Ken Muramatsu did it with Umi Monogatari’s main theme). I think Takefumi succeeded in crafting out different mood and sentiment with the variances. To me, it’s one of the most enjoyable ost released this year, one I would listen to time and again. So lovely.

    Reply
  • December 2, 2009 at 3:12 pm
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    @Ayumikat
    It’s kind of funny because while I watched the series, I didn’t fully pay attention to the music until about halfway through because they were so gentle. I’d be hard-pressed to say whether this album is better than Muramatsu’s Umi Monogatari at this point, but it certainly is enjoyable as a standalone listen. Something I can sit straight through without ever feeling bored!

    Reply
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  • February 26, 2010 at 7:19 pm
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    I’m liking the sound of it, any idea where to buy/download it?

    Reply
  • February 27, 2010 at 1:39 am
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    @Dora
    Well, I tend to use CDJapan for most of my music needs since they keep costs decently low and are fairly reliable.

    Reply
  • March 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm
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    Thanks!

    Only 8 more weeks (at most) until I can enjoy this at home… ^__^”

    Reply
  • March 3, 2010 at 6:32 pm
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    @Dora
    Awesome! Would love to hear your thoughts on it and I do hope that you enjoyed it as much as I have.

    Reply
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  • January 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm
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    @ zzeroparticle

    Thank you so much for making a review of one of my favourite animes ever ,I really like the music of Aoi hana .

    My favourite tracks are Kokuhaku , konwaku and Komorebi wo Kakeorite

    Reply
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  • October 11, 2012 at 4:01 am
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    Both the Aoi Hana by color bottle and Centifolia by ceui made me cry. somehow, it has touched my heart especially in the ending wherein Fumi realized everything. all the tracks are perfectly suited with the anime itself. it is so beautiful :)

    Reply

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