|Album Title:||Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Original Soundtrack|
|Anime Title:||Gundam Unicorn|
|Artist:||Hiroyuki Sawano; Cyua; Yumiko Inoue; Yuko Kawai|
|Release Date:||March 10, 2010|
|Purchase at:||CDJapan, Play-Asia|
|1. U C 0096||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:52|
|2. UNICORN||Hiroyuki Sawano||4:47|
|3. THE UNIVERS||Hiroyuki Sawano||4:55|
|4. MINEVA||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:07|
|5. MOBILE SUIT||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:44|
|6. LAPLACE||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:41|
|7. MARIDA||Hiroyuki Sawano||3:37|
|8. A LETTER||Hiroyuki Sawano||4:06|
|9. INFERNAL AFFAIRS||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:00|
|10. E F S F||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:23|
|11. PIANO TO ANNA||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:43|
|12. ON YOUR MARK||Hiroyuki Sawano||4:12|
|13. FULL-FRONTAL||Hiroyuki Sawano||3:09|
|14. BRING ON A WAR||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:24|
|15. INEQUALITY-A CLOUD OF WAR||Hiroyuki Sawano||4:16|
|16. OTTO~FOR A CHANGE||Hiroyuki Sawano||5:37|
|17. LIFE & DEATH||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:26|
|18. THE DISTANT PAST||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:54|
|19. GO ON A FORAY||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:50|
|20. FEAR → SORROW||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:24|
|21. H@R0||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:16|
|22. RX-0||Hiroyuki Sawano||2:54|
|23. LICHT MEER||Hiroyuki Sawano||3:31|
|24. ZERO GRAVITY||Hiroyuki Sawano||3:35|
Review: It starts softly and calmly. All of the tracks do. But once the main theme hits, its impact cannot be denied. The crescendo into that brilliant, shining moment draws your breath away as the music conjures up images of the Gundam franchise’s illustrious history from its epic battles to its memorable cast of heroes and villains. And through Gundam Unicorn, this chapter unfolds beautifully, complete with a stirring soundtrack that touches not only upon the victories and the heroism, but also the tragedies. The magnitude of the conflict can certainly be felt through tracks such as “UNICORN,” that can only be described as glorious, but its magnificence is evenly matched by sorrowful fare like “PIANO TO ANNA” which illuminates the ultimate sacrifices that must be made during wartime.
Gundam Unicorn represents a big step for Hiroyuki Sawano. Before he had been commissioned to work on this soundtrack, his works have not received much notice. The stirring Gigantic Formula soundtrack is woefully underrated and Sengoku Basara, while dazzling viewers with its anachronisms and displays of machismo, did not bring him much recognition either. But here, he makes a huge stamp by working on a well-known franchise and delivering a soundtrack that is marvelous. The extent to which his music depicts the war demonstrates Sawano’s ability to ply his trade competently alongside Gundam composers of years past such as Yoko Kanno, Akira Senju, Toshihiko Sahashi, and Kouhei Tanaka.
It goes without saying that much of this soundtrack’s highlights will be focused on the intense battles which are majestic in a way so as to leave the audience in awe. “UNICORN” is, of course, going to be on that list with the way it crescendos into the chorus part to reflect Banagher’s moment of awesomeness, but one shouldn’t forget other tracks like “MOBILE SUIT” which takes us from the call for a sortie all the way into the battle. The way it moves back and forth between the bombastic sections while employing the electronica melody on top of that immerses the listener into the rhythm and flow of combat.
But war isn’t all fun and games and in the face of such momentous conflicts, the tragedies, depicted through tracks like “PIANO TO ANNA,” are handled exquisitely. The somber mood of the piece brings Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” to mind through the repetitive piano melody which paints a grim picture of the pain the characters feel upon seeing the death of a loved one before their very eyes. This heavy mood is also felt keenly in the second half of “FEAR → SORROW.” Though the piece initially starts out with a large amount of tension crafted through the dissonant string section, it gives way to a very moving violin section that captures the depths of the tragedies suffered by combatants and civilians. In listening to it, the sense of desolation lies all about, as the conflict inflicts both physical and emotional scars upon all those within its grasp.
PIANO TO ANNA
FEAR → SORROW
The two songs on the soundtrack, “A LETTER” and “LICHT MEER,” are both beautifully executed, with the former starting off with a hefty dose of melancholy as the singer recollects upon days long past. But as the song moves on, the hope grows, and you can feel Cyua looking forward and discarding the vestiges of the past so that she can move on with life. The way the piece adds on more instruments towards the end gives us the feeling that her will has triumphed. As for “LICHT MEER,” the chorus comes across as a giving a benediction to those who gave their lives in defense of their country. The mournful atmosphere is really apparent around 1:09 when the lyrics emphatically carry with it the sense of grief and loss for the fallen. It’s expressed really well, and Sawano conveys the sense of suffering well.
Given the praise I’ve heaped upon Sawano’s compositions for Gundam Unicorn’s soundtrack, it’s fairly evident that this is one phenomenal album, especially if you’re looking for epic orchestral music. The only issue that I can complain mildly about is that some of the pieces don’t strike the emotional chords hard enough, which is why Kanno’s score for Turn A Gundam will remain my favorite. And if the only composer Sawano really loses out to is Yoko Kanno and maybe Akira Senju, then what Sawano’s managed to deliver can only be labeled a smashing success.