Kemono no Souja Erin Original Soundtrack – Review

Kemono no Souja Erin cover ADN8FZAJQXN8

Album Title: Kemono no Souja Erin Original Soundtrack
Anime Title: Kemono no Souja Erin
Artist: Masayuki Sakamoto; cossami
Catalog Number: BVCL-0019
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: August 05, 2009
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia


Track List:

Show »

Track Title Artist Time
1. Kodai no Kamigami Masayuki Sakamoto 1:48
2. Haha to Ko Masayuki Sakamoto 1:35
3. Ashita Masayuki Sakamoto 1:20
4. Ake Mura Masayuki Sakamoto 1:31
5. Touhebi no Doukutsu Masayuki Sakamoto 1:34
6. Erin no Kouki Shin Masayuki Sakamoto 1:28
7. Yoake Masayuki Sakamoto 1:50
8. Kanshou Masayuki Sakamoto 1:31
9. Inbou Masayuki Sakamoto 1:30
10. Shuugeki Masayuki Sakamoto 1:31
11. Ai Masayuki Sakamoto 2:18
12. Aru Dekigoto Masayuki Sakamoto 1:28
13. Nukku to Mokku Masayuki Sakamoto 1:27
14. Sashiya no Hana Masayuki Sakamoto 1:33
15. Okite Masayuki Sakamoto 1:32
16. Kanashimi Fukaku Masayuki Sakamoto 0:31
17. Touhebi Masayuki Sakamoto 1:37
18. Sentou Masayuki Sakamoto 1:25
19. Shinpi Masayuki Sakamoto 2:12
20. Mujaki Masayuki Sakamoto 1:28
21. Yoake no Tori Masayuki Sakamoto 1:34
22. Kakugo Masayuki Sakamoto 1:26
23. Eyecatch 2 Masayuki Sakamoto 0:13
24. Tabidachi Masayuki Sakamoto 1:35
25. Haha no Ai Masayuki Sakamoto 1:52
26. Gishiki Masayuki Sakamoto 1:27
27. Kodoku Masayuki Sakamoto 1:50
28. Yorokobi Masayuki Sakamoto 2:20
29. Shinen Masayuki Sakamoto 1:24
30. Fushigi na Utsukushisa Masayuki Sakamoto 2:09
31. Ou Kemono Masayuki Sakamoto 1:29
32. Ou Miyako Masayuki Sakamoto 1:25
33. Chiisana Mune no Ketsui Masayuki Sakamoto 2:05
34. Ando Masayuki Sakamoto 1:34
35. Sakuryaku Masayuki Sakamoto 1:26
36. Semari Kuru Kiki Masayuki Sakamoto 1:30
37. Hisou Masayuki Sakamoto 2:08
38. Gakusha Masayuki Sakamoto 1:28
39. Joan to Erin Masayuki Sakamoto 1:40
40. Zannen Masayuki Sakamoto 1:27
41. Atataka na Hibi Masayuki Sakamoto 1:49
42. Sougon Masayuki Sakamoto 1:22
43. Ginyuu Gakudan Masayuki Sakamoto 1:42
44. Yoake no Tori ~ Kaisou Masayuki Sakamoto 1:36
45. Eyecatch 1 Masayuki Sakamoto 0:12
46. After the rain (TV Size) cossami 1:33

Review: Listening to Kemono no Souja Erin’s soundtrack was a bit of a dissonant experience and not in the musical term so much as in the way the tracks didn’t fit together neatly. This seeming lack of consistency in the themes might be because I’ve never seen the series, and so, my preconceptions are far off the mark. Based on a description of Kemono no Souja Erin’s plot, I had expected a soundtrack that sculpts the show’s fantasy setting similar to how Kenji Kawai’s compositions did so for Seirei no Moribito. While it’d be unfair to say that this soundtrack fails in this endeavor because most of the tracks on here are solid in their ability to immerse the listener into Erin’s setting, it’s the niggling details like the electric guitar tracks that just don’t feel appropriate or the few boring, atmospheric tracks that cycle their dull tones through twice without receiving any development that drag this otherwise enjoyable soundtrack down.

Maybe my expectations are just a little high since the first few tracks were so promising in the way they transport you into a whole different world. Masayuki Sakamoto succeeds in doing this through traditional instruments and a lively recorder to bring this fantasy world to life. For example, the opening track, “Kodai no Kamigami,” uses various Japanese stringed instruments to place the listener in a mythical, feudal society filled with activity as one can imagine a royal procession moving in a stately manner through the crowded city streets. A few tracks later, “Ashita” departs from the urban setting through a whimsical recorder part that plays a joyful, upbeat melody containing the essence of a wonderful pastoral setting. And as you approach the end, there is “Ginyuu Gakudan” which uses a lively Celtic melody to make for a good change of pace while reinforcing Erin’s setting even if it’s slightly repetitive.

Kodai no Kamigami

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Ashita

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Ginyuu Gakudan

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The piano pieces scattered throughout are also solid, especially in their depiction of the show’s emotional scenes. I’m especially fond of “Ai,” which uses a soft melody to create a feeling of the warmth derived through love that just washes over the listener subtly. “Erin no Kouki Shin” is also unforgettable since its theme forms the core of many other tracks, and even then, it’s easy to be entranced by how it channels serenity and childhood innocence through its light melody. Some of the more serious moments are also covered as in “Hisou,” which is slow and ponderous, as it depicts an epic struggle, adding variety to the soundtrack’s emotional content.

Ai

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Erin no Kouki Shin

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A few ambient pieces also make their rounds and while I’m not a huge fan of purely atmospheric music, such pieces are tolerable if used in moderation as they are here. Those who’ve listened to the Natsume Yuujinchou soundtrack and enjoyed the odd tracks will feel right at home with “Touhebi” which sounds heavy and unwieldy, combining a bass and electric guitar sound effects to leave one feeling a bit uneasy in the environs through the random sound effects which can be heard when this piece is being played. Unfortunately, not all of them are this interesting since tracks like “Shinen” is more par for the course by simply being boring and unengaging as it repeats itself without really going anywhere. Still, this issue doesn’t come up all too often to really notice.

Touhebi

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Shinen

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But what is noticeable are the pieces that employ the heavy use of the electric guitar. Now, I’m not opposed to electric guitar when it works, is appropriate, and done well, like in NEEDLESS’s soundtrack. But given what I know about Kemono no Souja Erin, the electric guitars are a total mismatch with the show’s mood. For example, “Shuugeki” brings forth a sense of intensity through the rhythm and grim melody which would be perfectly fine if this were depicting a war between nature versus technology, but otherwise, it feels out of place. “Sentou” is also just a bit too repetitive with its melody for me to appreciate its attempt to create tension. If either of these pieces had more oomph to them, they’d be more easily enjoyable, but neither are particularly compelling.

Shuugeki

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In spite of this concern, Kemono no Souja Erin’s soundtrack is solid as far as music goes. Compared to other anime soundtracks though, consistency isn’t its strong point and while the good pieces are really good, the dull, repetitive tracks come up often enough to make listening to this album straight through an annoyance. Because of this, it’s better to simply cherry-pick one’s way through this album and create a playlist containing all the good tracks while leaving the others for the very occasional listen.

Rating: 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.

14 thoughts on “Kemono no Souja Erin Original Soundtrack – Review

  • November 30, 2009 at 11:56 pm
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    I agree with you on picking select tracks for a playlist. I’m up to date on this series and it’s one of my favorites. The songs I like include “Kodai no Kamigami”, “Ashita”, and “Ai”. Throughout the anime, I must have heard those countless times – especially “Ai”.

    Good memories, good series.

    Reply
  • December 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm
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    I like the first one and its Asian flavor and I like the piano track. I haven’t seen the series either though, so it’s a bit hard to get into the songs.
    Anyway, I cherry pick from all albums, not just soundtracks. It’s rare to find an album that has no songs that I dislike.

    Reply
  • December 1, 2009 at 2:18 pm
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    @Reltair
    Yeah, most of the really good tracks just stand out so much it’s hard to ignore them. A friend of mine also told me I should give that series a go and in listening to the soundtrack, I just might do that given time. I’m mostly curious as to how the electric guitar tracks fit since they seem so out of place.

    @Yi
    That’s why I love it when there’s an album I can sit straight through, soak in, and enjoy. Aoi Hana’s OST certainly works in that regard with its soft piano. So yes, it’s rare, but that’s why albums that you enjoy through and through are that much more precious!

    And yeah, definitely agree that context helps, especially if soundtracks spark that nostalgia factor :p

    Reply
  • December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm
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    Lovely cover art.

    People keep telling me to watch this series. I tried the first ep and it just didn’t convince me. Then again, Natsume Yuujinchou was like that too….and it turned out to be a favourite of mine.

    The music samples you’ve posted here don’t scream “amazing” to me, but I guess everything’s worth a chance..

    Reply
  • December 2, 2009 at 1:10 am
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    @Theowne
    That it is, isn’t it? As far as the music goes, I think it might be more of the setting type of stuff that I enjoy. The clips where I praised the piece do represent some of the better material on the soundtrack though and if this kind of stuff isn’t up your alley, you may want to give this album a pass since the tracks don’t get much better than those I’m afraid.

    One thing’s for sure though, and that’s the fact that I derived more enjoyment out of this one than Taisho’s OST :p

    Reply
  • December 2, 2009 at 8:05 am
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    My impression is that the more prominent tracks which are featured on the first half of the album, turns out to be the memorable ones.
    Ha…the e.guitar pieces did sound like odd inclusions especially ‘Sentou’ which I thought was a little jarring even in the context of the visuals. Just didn’t work too well. I also like the short piano tracks like ‘Ake Mura’ and ‘Shinpi’. Of the livelier tracks, I particularly enjoy ‘Gakusha’, one of those cheerful, Celtic inspired piece.

    There’s still OST 2 to be released sometime this month.

    Reply
  • December 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm
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    @Ayumikat
    The best tracks being put near the beginning was something I noticed too. When I was putting my sound clips together, I realized that there weren’t many clips from stuff towards the middle and the end which annoyed me a bit. Tried giving a few a shot but those just weren’t as powerful as the early tracks.

    And yes, nice Celtic music is nice~

    Thanks for alerting me to an OST2!

    Reply
  • December 27, 2009 at 12:35 am
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    mmm… agree completely with the piano pieces, “Ai” and “Erin no Kouki Shin”… Though, it means that the hunt for the sheet music begins…;p…

    Reply
  • December 27, 2009 at 9:43 pm
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    @Mauzel
    Glad you enjoyed them! I don’t know if anyone’s made any sheet music for that, but I suppose if you tried hard, they shouldn’t be too difficult to transcribe.

    Reply
  • December 28, 2009 at 9:07 pm
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    No luck… I need them in midi for them to work with my Finale…
    The slow melody is easier to play by ear than it is to transcribe, which I generally find quite annoying…even with the keyboard attached to my computer…XD

    Reply
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  • December 29, 2010 at 6:59 am
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    This is a really nice blog. I have a site in Czech so I guess I can’t affiliate with you but I like the way you go step by step through the soundtrack and talk about it.
    As for Erin, I really liked the music and the way it was used in the series (for most parts, but sometimes it seemed to me that the Cossami songs were used too much). But I guess I wouldn’t just want to hear it without watching the actual series (which is kind of opposite of the Yuki Kajiura’s soundtracks which I like to just listen to but they actually spoil the pleasure of watching since the music is too strong).

    Reply
    • December 29, 2010 at 9:41 pm
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      @Chill
      Thanks for the kind words all the same!

      I do agree that Erin is probably a show that’ll fit in with my interests since the plot promises a lot of character growth as well as solid world building and in context, the music probably does a lot to enhance the experience. I don’t recall Cossami being a huge player as far as the BGM bits go, but I could be wrong since I haven’t seen it.

      As for Kajiura, she does have that tendency you describe. It’s why I think I prefer watching when she cranks up the energy for battle/action scenes since that’s when her works are strongest in tandem with the anime.

      Reply

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