Hatsukoi Limited Original Soundtrack – Review

Album Title: Hatsukoi Limited Original Soundtrack
Anime Title: Hatsukoi Limited
Artist: Sphere: Aki Toyosaki, Ayahi Takagaki, Haruka Tomatsu, Minako Kotobuki
Nijine, marble: micco, Tatsuya Kikuchi
Catalog Number: LHCA-5104
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: August 5, 2009
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

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Track Title Artist Time
1. feel your heart Nijine 2:15
2. Future Stream Sphere 4:20
3. Otome Hiyori Nijine 1:37
4. Harikitte Iko~ Nijine 1:55
5. Koi no Shunkan Nijine 2:07
6. first love impression Nijine 2:57
7. Uwasa no Yajuu Z Nijine 1:42
8. Soyokaze ni Notte Nijine 2:44
9. Chiisana Koujitsu Nijine 2:03
10. Koi no Etude Nijine 2:12
11. Genzai Shinkoukei Nijine 2:06
12. Kokoro wa Kumorizora Nijine 1:29
13. Nayami no Genin wa… Nijine 1:50
14. Wonderful Days Nijine 2:02
15. Yume no Naka no Waltz Nijine 1:45
16. Sae nai naa… Nijine 1:32
17. Anata no Yokogao Nijine 2:10
18. Kono Koi no Tadori Tsuku Basho Nijine 1:39
19. Soshite, Aruki dasu Nijine 2:02
20. Amanojaku na Kare to Kanojo Nijine 1:46
21. Sorette Dou nano? Nijine 1:40
22. Trouble Some Time Nijine 1:35
23. Sono Hitomi ni Utsuru Mono Nijine 2:04
24. Note no Rakugaki Nijine 2:25
25. wishful thinking Nijine 2:19
26. Panic Web Nijine 1:51
27. Bonnou no Sasayaki Nijine 1:51
28. Narande Arukou Nijine 1:37
29. Renai no Kousaten Nijine 1:55
30. pure heart Nijine 1:30
31. Gensou no Basho, Sorezore no Michi no Ue (OST ver.) marble 2:06
32. Setsunasa wa Itoshisa Nijine 2:19
33. Kono Kimochi, Tsutae Takute Nijine 2:01
34. Sunao ni Nare nai Nijine 3:08
35. Motsureru Kotoba Nijine 1:45
36. Anata ga Suki Dakara Nijine 2:01
37. Hatsukoi limited (TV size) marble 1:46

Review: On the surface, Hatsukoi Limited appears to be a mindless romantic comedy until it hits you at unexpected moments by revealing its depth which can be probed further. You may have to traverse some of the sillier parts to reach the brilliant moments, but if you’re patient, the series rewards you through its depiction of the emotional ups and downs and the awkwardness of first love.

The soundtrack captures the main thematic element of the series quite well, lending its soft touches to strengthen the overall emotional impact, be it a sense of panic borne from the presence of a love rival or the clumsiness of arranging a confession only to have it backfire. It blends in with its scenes well and I hardly noticed its presence when watching the series. After listening to the music, it became readily apparent why: unlike most anime soundtracks, Hatsukoi Limited doesn’t contain a theme that’s readily identifiable nor does it contain a really strong, standout melody to pick up on. So while this allows its composer, Nijine, to convey many of the same emotions through different tracks, it’s not that memorable of a listen.

It doesn’t meant the soundtrack is bad, especially if you enjoy pretty piano and violin pieces with a dash of the outlandish here and there. The music conveys the romantic mood well though. For example, the piano in “feel your heart” sets the tone of the soundtrack by taking things slowly as it depicts someone coming to terms with their romantic feelings for the very first time. The track itself brings out a pleasant atmosphere with that dab of euphoria that allows it to shines in its simplicity. As you go further, you’ll hit upon “first love impression,” which extends that atmosphere by adding a stringed section, creating a rich timbre and allowing that romantic aura to bubble up slowly and yearningly through the piano part. Its pacing is just right, and the way in which the instruments express the titular emotions makes this track my favorite.

feel your heart

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first love impression

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First love is anything but smooth sailing, and the soundtrack’s depiction of the romantic developments between Hatsukoi Limited’s characters accurately portrays the roller-coaster ride of emotions that they experience. One thing to keep in mind is that because this show is a comedy, the depressing tracks really aren’t that depressing. “Nayami no Genin wa…’s” slow-paced keyboard captures the despair and melancholia borne from a rejection, but not to the point that they’re disheartened by the setback so as to give up completely. And sure enough, you can hear the attempt at a restart through “Amanojaku na Kare to Kanojo.” The track features short piano segments that imitate the slow, deliberate steps of someone scheming to win the target’s heart. Unfortunately, the plan’s clumsy execution can be heard through the unwieldy tuba part and it’s a matter of time before the plan falls apart, resulting in the frenetic pacing of the synth melody in “Panic Web” as the hilarious aftermath unfolds before our very eyes.

Nayami no Genin wa…

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Panic Web

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The above tracks, while accurate in describing the turmoil and mayhem that the characters experience, just aren’t the types of pieces that get me excited. Then there is also one track, “Bonnou no Sasayaki,” that is just plain weird as it uses a percussive rhythm paired with a honking noise that sounds like a seal. Luckily, those tracks make up a minor part of the album; it’s slice of life tracks like “Soyokaze ni Notte” and “Narande Arukou’s” piano and guitar melody that are the mainstays. I didn’t find them especially memorable, but if that’s the kind of music you enjoy, you’ll be in good company for most of the way through.

Bonnou no Sasayaki

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Narande Arukou

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The soundtrack does end on a very optimistic note though “Anata ga Suki Dakara” and that’s one piece you’ll want to take note of. It depicts a realization of love especially well, especially in the strings during 0:15, 0:39, and again at 0:52 which emphasize the stirring of emotions quite well. You can’t help but feel the warmth creeping over you as the characters’ efforts pay off and they achieve the happiness that they have sought from the very beginning.

Anata ga Suki Dakara

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Hatsukoi Limited’s soundtrack isn’t going to be knocking anyone’s socks off, but the music is pleasant enough for you to be able to sit back and enjoy in a relaxed setting. But if you were looking for a more engaging experience that conveys the anxiety, but heartfelt moments of high school romances, then I’d look to Aoi Hana’s soundtrack, where its memorable musical themes result in a better listening experience overall.

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.

13 thoughts on “Hatsukoi Limited Original Soundtrack – Review

  • February 13, 2010 at 11:41 am
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    It’s hard to find a soundtrack that doesn’t knock your socks off and yet be so pleasing that I don’t think it happens more than once a year. 2009 was Hatsukoi Limited IMO.

    You mentioned Aoi Hana’s soundtrack, so I went to listen to it to refresh my memory before making this comment. Guess what, it doesn’t knock my socks off either! Seriously though, the reason why I like Nijine’s work here is because it conveys tenderness very well, even in the more punchy tracks. I don’t get much of that from Aoi Hana’s. But yes, Hatsukoi Limited is great if you’re into that, and you can relax while listening to it.

    To that end, I realize one thing that’s kind of odd, and that’s there are no dominant musical phrases in the OST, as you’ve mentioned. I wonder why this is the case, because far most soundtrack composers do not do it this way.

    Reply
  • February 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm
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    Hatsukoi Limited appears to be a mindless romantic comedy until it hits you at unexpected moments by revealing its depth which can be probed further.

    meeeeeeeeeeh I liked it for da boobies! :3

    I hardly noticed its presence when watching the series.

    Me neither, but then again I stopped around episode 5 ’cause… cause I forgot all about it. Glad the blu-rays are coming out!

    I like what I’m hearing, though. Maybe even more than the Aoi Hana Soundtrack (I only liked around 3-4 tracks from that one).

    Reply
  • February 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm
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    @omo
    I didn’t mean to imply that Aoi Hana’s had sock-knocking potential either, but both are pleasant when it comes down to it and given my preferences, I just find Aoi Hana’s to be more enjoyable.

    As for soundtracks that don’t have the sock-knock but are still enjoyable, I’d say 2009 had quite a few that matches that criteria with stuff like this OST, Aoi Hana, and maybe RistoPara. Probably 1-2 more that I don’t know about either since there were some who were praising the Genji Monogatari OSTs over at MALKeionbu.

    Finally, about the lack of a dominant identifiable musical phrase, this is where I wish I could read the liner notes to see how Nijine approached this work.

    @Jesus159159159
    Wouldn’t expect any less! =D But yes, your quest for more homework music just got an addition. If you really liked the stuff you heard here, then this one’s going to be a must-listen.

    Reply
  • February 14, 2010 at 5:26 am
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    I always enjoy relaxing piano tracks and so there are definitely some here that I like. Feel Your Heart and Narande Arukou are both great.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2010 at 11:16 am
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    @Yi
    If these are the kinds of pieces that catch your fancy, then definitely give this one a go since it’ll pay off quite well in terms of enjoyable fare =D

    Reply
  • February 15, 2010 at 9:09 pm
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    Oh, I’m surprised the music they use is full of piano and violin pieces. I’ve read the manga, but passed on watching on the anime. Time to add another series to my backlog.

    It is quite relaxing to listen to.

    Reply
  • February 16, 2010 at 2:19 am
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    @Reltair
    No argument that if you’re looking for music to describe first love, these are the pieces that would most likely come to mind. It’s got a nice mixture of comedic, but sweet tracks that make for some really good relaxing fare. Glad you got a good amount of mileage out of this one.

    The series is also worthwhile too, since the characters do show a good amount of growth over the entire series.

    Reply
  • February 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm
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    Seems like a very mixed bag of sounds. “feel your heart”, “Narande Arukou” and “Anata ga Suki Dakara” are amazing, still. They make me want to give Aoi Hana a listen once again. It’s one true gem for me, that one.

    Reply
  • July 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm
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    Nijine so far has a perfect batting record as a composer with Baka Test to and Hatsukoi Limited.

    Reply
  • July 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm
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    @Art Rodriguez
    Hmm… I’ve yet to listen to Baka Test, but thanks for pointing me out in that direction. For what it’s worth, the pieces she did for Hatsukoi have been enjoyable enough, so I guess Baka Test’s OST is worth checking out.

    Reply
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