Kämpfer Original Sound Track – Review

Album Title: Kämpfer Original Sound Track
Anime Title: Kämpfer
Artist: Tatsuya Katou; Minami Kuribayashi; Marina Inoue; Megumi Nakajima
Catalog Number: LACA-5994
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: January 13, 2010
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia


Tracklist:

Show »

Track Title Artist Time
1. Unreal Paradise (TV Size) Minami Kuribayashi 1:35
2. Kämpfer no Theme Tatsuya Katou 2:15
3. RED OR BLUE?! Tatsuya Katou 2:05
4. Senou Natsuru no Theme Tatsuya Katou 2:00
5. Aa, Sakura-san Tatsuya Katou 2:16
6. Daijoubu? Akane Chan Tatsuya Katou 1:40
7. Nanda, Mikoto ka Tatsuya Katou 1:58
8. Ka, Kaichou…? Tatsuya Katou 2:24
9. Ippen Ittekoi!! Tatsuya Katou 1:54
10. Eyecatch 1 Tatsuya Katou 0:08
11. Eyecatch 2 Tatsuya Katou 0:08
12. Thrill to Suspense ni Michita Mainichi? Tatsuya Katou 1:57
13. Zoumotsu Animals Tatsuya Katou 1:43
14. Natsuru no Kunou Tatsuya Katou 2:09
15. Seitetsu Gakuin Joshibu Tatsuya Katou 1:30
16. Hanayaka na Joshibu Tatsuya Katou 1:53
17. Himitsu no Hanazono!? Tatsuya Katou 1:59
18. Nagasarete… Tatsuya Katou 2:00
19. Iya na Yokan Tatsuya Katou 2:13
20. Ijirare Houdai Desu Tatsuya Katou 1:44
21. Moteasobare Houdai Desu Tatsuya Katou 2:03
22. Tekitou na Danshibu Tatsuya Katou 2:06
23. Yokaranu Takurami Tatsuya Katou 1:50
24. Joshibu ni Kakeru Hashi Tatsuya Katou 1:45
25. Eyecatch 3 Tatsuya Katou 0:10
26. Eyecatch 4 Tatsuya Katou 0:08
27. Date de Ukuki Tatsuya Katou 2:06
28. Koigokoro Tatsuya Katou 1:56
29. Moderator no Ishi Tatsuya Katou 2:04
30. Shitou no Kaimaku Tatsuya Katou 1:50
31. Tatakau Otome Tachi Tatsuya Katou 1:51
32. Taiji suru Kämpfer Tachi Tatsuya Katou 1:51
33. Pinch!! Tatsuya Katou 1:59
34. Tatakau Tame no Sonzai Tatsuya Katou 2:07
35. Eyecatch 5 Tatsuya Katou 0:12
36. Koori no Shisen Tatsuya Katou 2:02
37. Mienai Ito Tatsuya Katou 1:51
38. Tatakau Riyuu Tatsuya Katou 1:57
39. Unmei ni Aragae!! Tatsuya Katou 1:57
40. Kuromaku no Shoutai Tatsuya Katou 2:00
41. Unreal Paradise (Kessen Version) Tatsuya Katou 1:43
42. Iya -Seishun Desu ne- Tatsuya Katou 2:12
43. One Way Ryouomoi (TV Size) Marina Inoue, Megumi Nakajima 1:29

Review: It’s a given that sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason why I pick up an album and though it isn’t entirely the case here, it’s pretty close. It was a comment on twitter that made me curious enough to check out Kämpfer’s soundtrack despite not having seen the anime mostly because I wanted to see how terrible a listening experience I’d get out of it. I was prepared to expect the worst out of Tatsuya Katou’s compositions, and yet, I still found myself pleasantly surprised by the sheer diversity of music that he serves up. Here is an album stuffed to the brim with different genres from rock to jazz to Spanish dances and organized somewhat haphazardly, but I could not resist this wonderful musical hodgepodge since it was so different from the albums I was used to. After the first run-through, I knew I had to have more and this time, listen to it and savor each note and chord as I went.

That was a mistake and my hopes did not survive a second listen.

The problem with Kampfer’s soundtrack materializes rather quickly if you pay any attention at all to its music and admittedly, I did not the first time through. Katou’s messing around with musical genres is a double-edged sword and while Kanno and Iwasaki are able to draw forth memorable music by doing so, Katou displays no such skill and ends up cutting himself badly because he’s simply not good enough to deliver wide-ranging music that consistently engages the listener.

And it shows when you listen to Kämpfer’s music. The task of composing a diverse musical portfolio taxes him to the limit and he doesn’t have a whole lot to give. In the early part of the track, there’s a glimmer of promise; the melody is solid, catchy even, and just when you enter the bridge, you come back face to face with the opening melody. Development? What development?

Take “Aa, Sakura-san” with its soft, jazz-lounge flavor or “Iya na Yokan’s” use of the flute backed by the rhythms for instance. Both of these tracks aren’t standouts, but they’re not bad either and had Katou been able to develop these pieces at all, we could have had an enjoyable if not groundbreaking soundtrack on our hands. But he does not. The snippets that you hear are pretty much all that the track consists of: an attention-grabbing introduction followed by the main melody which then proceeds to repeat itself. It skirts the edge of droning except the jazz/rock/whatever melody Katou uses more often than not keeps it from being too monotonous, but not by much.

Aa, Sakura-san

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Iya na Yokan

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What a disappointment and a waste of potential! An eclectic album such as this should be bold, but fun, but alas, it falls far too short of what it could have been. As you can probably guess, most of the BGM all have this same problem. There are a few that buck the trend like “Koigokoro’s” pleasant piano melody and there are a few that are nonsensical like the weird, seal-like noises tacked on to the synth in “Natsuru no Kunou” that you wouldn’t ever touch, but those are the exceptions. There is not much that can redeem this soundtrack aside to provide us an excellent lesson on how to make jazz sound boring and uninspiring. It’s a lesson that I don’t care to hear more of at any rate.

Koigokoro

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Natsuru no Kunou

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Rating: Not 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.

23 thoughts on “Kämpfer Original Sound Track – Review

  • March 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm
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    I don’t watch Kampfer for the music. I watch Kampfer for the plot.

    Reply
  • March 19, 2010 at 10:14 pm
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    Even thought the anime in my opinion was not good.
    ye the music was nice =)

    my fav is the ED.

    but the soundtrack you posted are also the ones i like very much ^^

    Reply
  • March 20, 2010 at 12:42 am
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    oh god why

    the piano was nice.

    Reply
  • March 20, 2010 at 6:53 am
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    Do you guys review soundtracks per requests as well? I’d like to know your thoughts on Shinkyoku Sokai Polyphonica soundtracks by Hikaru Nanase.

    Reply
  • March 20, 2010 at 11:56 am
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    @Sorrow-kun
    And if were to watch Kampfer, I’d watch it to get trolled in the end :3

    @Fabrice
    That’s the problem with a lot of these tracks. The music starts out really good, but the theme repeats itself and that gets old pretty fast when you realize what it is they’re doing. It’s like a piece starts out with.

    “La la dee daa” and you hope that they’ll add to that further by going in a “dee dee dum dum doo” except they don’t and repeat the first line once more. Had their been more variety within the track itself, I’d like it a lot better.

    @Taka
    That’s about the only piece I care to listen to 😐

    @Artee
    Sure, why not. I’ll add that in after I run through some of the soundtracks currently on my to-review list.

    Reply
  • March 20, 2010 at 3:06 pm
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    Not so good, fanservice laden anime = not so good music… Pretty much representative of a anime like Kampfer… I dropped it after seeing two different episodes… and it didn’t impressed me at all.

    Reply
  • March 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm
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    I hate to say this, but even though the piano piece sounds nice, paying attention to the melody/progressions, it’s very generic.

    Generally, dramatic yuri-themed anime yield beautiful music (ex, Kannazuki no Miko, Strawberry Panic) to promote the heart-wrenching mood. However, once I read that Kampfer was about a guy who becomes a girl stuck in a typical shallow harem, I had more than just suspicions that the soundtrack would be terrible (That being said, I don’t think I’ll be watching it soon, either).

    Reply
  • March 21, 2010 at 3:55 am
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    @ zzeroparticle

    mmm… Why don’t you tease us a little by revealing some of those to-be-reviewed titles? ^_^

    Reply
  • March 21, 2010 at 10:17 am
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    @chikorita157
    The annoying thing was how close it could have been good if it were able to deal with that one nagging, persistent issue that plagued every single track too.

    @Yu
    Yeah, it’s definitely a show to avoid, both on the music and viewing front because yeah… it’s not a show that exudes much in the way of quality.

    As for “Koigokoro,” I do have an inkling about its genericness, though I guess I was taking what I can get so it were.

    @Artee
    Well, not revealing what I’m reviewing gives me the flexibility to drop it if I suddenly find it too hard to think about what to say. But I think I’ll be touching on Gundam Unicorn soon enough, come hell or high water. As for the others, you’ll have to wait and see!

    Reply
  • March 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm
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    “Natsuru no Kunou” hurts my ears. x_X

    These BGM tracks sound like they come from a third-rate RPG. I didn’t expect much from the OST considering that it’s Kampfer we’re talking about here.

    Reply
  • March 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm
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    Glad to finally see your full thoughts on this one :)

    The reason the soundtrack never bothered me while watching the show (and what can I say, I like to watch my fair share of terrible shows at times!) was most likely because of it’s repetitive background noise nature. It’s dull and not very memorable.

    While my initial comments might ultimately be more harsh than it deserved, as it is possible to find some pleasant and listenable melodies, the music just does not hold up to multiple listens. Personally, it didn’t hold up to even one full run through before I started to get bored with it. Things only got worse as I continued.

    Its diverseness plays like a bullet list. As though they created a catalog of styles and genres and made sure to compose the most generic version of each possible.

    Still, ultimately you liked the album a bit more than I did, and I can’t fault you for it, because admittedly there are some moments in there where it seems it might shine, if only briefly.

    Reply
  • March 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm
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    @Reltair
    Haha, I’m so going to use that description from now on when I find something boring. It sums up the album quite nicely by nailing the sentiment down pat.

    @Karisu
    You shouldn’t have tempted me, but yes, it didn’t make me angry enough. I guess I was being nice mostly because the jazz tracks were sorta good if they didn’t play it like it was supposed to be looped. I probably should have talked more about how some pieces sounded like other pieces with very few changes to make them differentiable.

    And I think your statement about the diversity and not making very awesometastic versions of those genres is right on the money.

    Reply
  • March 25, 2010 at 1:45 am
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    Fanservice.
    Traps.
    Character Designs.
    Yuri.
    Seiyuus.
    Those are the reasons I watched Kampfer.

    Note the lack of the entry “music”

    Reply
  • March 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm
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    Agreed about the soundtrack. Nothing particularly stands out. It feels a lot like the music playing on loop in the background of a B-grade restaurant.
    Iya na Yokan is especially bad…

    Reply
  • March 26, 2010 at 12:49 am
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    @Kevo
    I don’t think many people watch anime for the music. I know I didn’t, even if I came close to hitting up Umi Monogatari for Ken Muramatsu. Ultimately, my better sense prevailed in the end!

    @Yi
    It’s not music anyone should be putting more than half a brain cell into. Committing any more resources than that, and you’re bound to have a disappointing experience, not to mention a waste of time.

    Reply
  • March 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm
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    I like all of these songs that you put up. Let it be known that I thought kamfer was pretty good. And almost any show with jazz in it tends to be good. Well, that’s a lie, but I feel it’s pretty hard to mess up jazz.

    Reply
  • March 29, 2010 at 1:33 pm
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    @Glo
    Jazz is a genre that requires a lot of spontaneity and creativity to pull off well because of how much improv goes towards making a jazz piece awesome. Kampfer falters in the spontaneity and creative bits since the music is so repetitive that it becomes really annoying to listen to.

    But yeah, jazz in anime works well usually. Fuck yeah Baccano!

    Reply
  • March 29, 2010 at 4:49 pm
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    I kinda liked the smoothness and laid back feeling of the jazz above.

    Reply
  • March 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm
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    @Glo
    It’s got a good start to them (well, most of them anyhow). I just prefer my jazz to evolve as the piece comes along. When you listen to the song in its entirety, it just repeats itself. That sort of thing works fine for video game music where looping is a necessary evil. Doesn’t work for anime soundtracks though. Moreso when the melodic loop covers 45 seconds to a minute of music.

    Still, if you’re finding this stuff to be your kind of thing, do give the soundtrack a shot then. It could be that you’re just hearing something that I’m not.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2010 at 5:53 am
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    As they say: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    Reply
  • December 19, 2010 at 4:43 am
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    The only BGM that attracted me while I watched this anime was “Ka, Kaichou…?” because of which I ended up downloading the whole album (we don’t have anime merchandise like these for sale in my country… and it’s too expensive to buy online).

    I’ll agree with the rest of your review, which is very good BTW :)

    Reply
    • December 21, 2010 at 12:12 am
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      @Selenium
      Well, if there’s one thing that goes its way, “Ka, Kaichou” is actually melodically interesting, using the electronica vibes to create an engaging atmosphere.

      Glad you enjoyed reading through my thoughts on this!

      Reply
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