Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai Original Soundtrack – Review

Album Title: Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga nai
Original Soundtrack
Anime Title: Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga nai
Artist: kz, Satoru Kousaki, ClariS, Yukari Tamura
Catalog Number: SVWC-7736
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: January 12, 2011
Purchase at: CDJapan


Tracklist

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Track Title Artist Time
01. irony -TV Mix- ClariS 1:33
02. Ichinichi no Hajimari Kousaki Satoru 1:35
03. Ore no Imouto ga(ry Kousaki Satoru 1:37
04. Baka Aniki! Kousaki Satoru 1:53
05. Aniki Nichijou Kousaki Satoru 1:33
06. agete Yukou! Kousaki Satoru 1:43
07. Shinsou no Reijou Kousaki Satoru 1:29
08. Kore ga Otaku no Ikiru Michi Kousaki Satoru 1:36
09. Kuroneko no Tango Kousaki Satoru 1:37
10. (^o^)/ Kousaki Satoru 1:42
11. Osananajimi Kousaki Satoru 1:39
12. Pokaan Kousaki Satoru 1:40
13. Hitotiki Kousaki Satoru 1:47
14. Honeorizon Kousaki Satoru 1:48
15. Uousaou Kousaki Satoru 1:38
16. Suberikomi Safe! Kousaki Satoru 1:23
17. Akihabara March Kousaki Satoru 2:02
18. Otaku wa Tsurai yo Kousaki Satoru 1:37
19. gdgd Kousaki Satoru 1:58
20. Anun Kousaki Satoru 2:04
21. Surechigai Kousaki Satoru 1:46
22. Itami Kousaki Satoru 1:45
23. Yokatta ne Kousaki Satoru 2:01
24. To Aru Nichijou no Haikeiongaku Kousaki Satoru 1:44
25. wktk Kousaki Satoru 1:42
26. Gogo no Tea Time Kousaki Satoru 1:34
27. Jitome Kousaki Satoru 1:31
28. Shittori Kousaki Satoru 1:48
29. Rakutan Kousaki Satoru 1:33
30. Kenokan Kousaki Satoru 1:45
31. Ketsui Kousaki Satoru 2:05
32. Kinpaku Kousaki Satoru 1:32
33. Pinch! Kousaki Satoru 1:35
34. qawsedrftgyhujikolp Kousaki Satoru 1:38
35. Tsuuji Aeta Kokoro Kousaki Satoru 2:08
36. Kaerimichi Kousaki Satoru 1:55
37. Ikkenrakuchaku Kousaki Satoru 2:02
38. Meteo☆Impact Tamura Yukari 1:32

Review: Finding that Satoru Kousaki anime score that works well within the anime is easy; it’s finding one that can be listened outside of it that is almost a fool’s errand. His music, while marvelous when accompanied by the action, rarely has the same impact on its own. The high hopes that build up when I listen to the BGM within the anime inevitably crash when I listen to his minimalistic soundtracks standalone, leaving me disappointed by the experience.

The similarities in the Kousaki listening experiences I’ve had have lowered my expectations when approaching his work. Caution was the order of the day when I decided to listen to and judge Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai’s soundtrack. Initially, Ore no Imouto’s setup as a dramedy didn’t look to be the kind of show that would force Kousaki to go beyond his musically minimalistic mold. But, fresh off composing Working!!’s OP, “Someone Else,” and (likely) providing feedback to and drawing inspiration from fellow MoNACA composer Keiichi Okabe’s efforts on Working!!’s soundtrack, Kousaki still hasn’t let go of the ska bug, and so, incorporates that style into Ore no Imouto’s score. The result: a soundtrack that, while not memorable, is nevertheless differentiable and delightful, standing well on its own while getting the job done in the anime.

You’ll recall that my impressions of Working!!’s soundtrack were lukewarm. Thankfully, Ore no Imouto represents the next evolutionary step in implementing ska into anime BGM. It helps that Kousaki’s compositions show a considerable amount of improvement over Okabe’s. The brass swells in tracks like “Ore no Imouto ga(ry” and the funky rhythms in “Baka Aniki!” all demonstrate familiarity with the style, but that alone wouldn’t have made this album as delightful a listen as it turned out to be. What sets him apart is the amount of development that goes into each track. Kousaki avoids the temptations of putting in repetitively boring melodies by developing them, which keeps the listening experience engaging throughout.

Ore no Imouto ga(ry

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Baka Aniki!

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Strong examples of development can be had in both “wktk” and “Akihabara March,” which would have been dull affairs if all they did was have the brass bursts sound out for the entire duration. “Wktk” uses the celebratory ska sounds from the brass section to start things off before transitioning to a piano solo that has a dash of the funk in the first half and dispenses with a snazzy display of ska piano music in the second to keep me rapt at attention. “Akihabara March’s” steady beat is repetitive, but full of flair. Good enough, but Kousaki’s development through the soloists, starting with the trumpet and ending with the saxophone, injects the piece with a happy, whimsical sound to complement the peppy marching rhythm.

wktk

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Akihabara March

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Though ska is what dominates Ore no Imouto’s soundtrack, other styles get a chance to shine too. One of the better examples of variety Kousaki offers up is in “Shinsou no Reijou” which has a wonderful waltzing atmosphere. The piece opens up with a nice, dainty violin part which segues into a piano melody so overflowing with grace and elegance that it shines with warmth and dignity.

Shinsou no Reijou

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The character themes are just as good in showing Kousaki’s compositional diversity. No free guesses as to what genre “Kuroneko no Tango” is aiming for since the title is a giveaway. Its strutting harmony radiates confidence, allowing the piano, violin, viola, and bandoneon to take their turns at crafting a melody filled with a hint of haughtiness, thereby capturing Kuroneko’s inflated sense of superiority. “Osananajimi,” depicting the earnest childhood friend Manami, is slow and simple, with a harmonica melody that’s easy on the ears as it cultivates a rustic, relaxing aura where one can simply let go of day to day drama and concerns and bathe in contentment.

Kuroneko no Tango

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Osananajimi

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You’ll notice that so far, all I’ve done is heap praise. Here’s the catch: for all the development that goes on, for all the stylistic variations that Kousaki puts in, none of this is particularly memorable. Ore no Imouto’s music has the unfortunate effect of glomming together into a giant blob. The large tracklist and similarities between the ska tracks are responsible for this problem. It’s telling when the most memorable track on this entire album is Yukari Tamura’s enthusiastic, upbeat delivery on “Meteo☆Impact,” which fits into the mold of an opening theme to a stereotypically cutesy magical girl anime. The energy that it brings along with its catchy melody renders it an unforgettable listen. Beyond that, the BGM’s stylistically indistinct melodies makes it hard to differentiate one track from the next, making it hard for me to listen to the album straight through.

Meteo☆Impact

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That said, it does mark the first time Kousaki has put together a soundtrack that’s enjoyable on a standalone basis. Listening to Ore no Imouto is a pleasant, even delightful experience. It just lacks that melodic hook that would make me want to listen to it more often. Now, whether Kousaki wants to craft a soundtrack with said hook, and in doing so, possibly jeopardizing the miscibility that his works have within the anime’s other attributes is something that only he can answer.

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.

12 thoughts on “Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai Original Soundtrack – Review

  • January 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm
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    I just watched this anime last week and felt it was an alright anime. I liked some of the tunes but nothing really stood out as impressive, but pleasing and upbeat. The whole ska medium was actually pretty funny, I didn’t see it coming when I first watched the anime… REALLY wasn’t expecting to here it. Shame though, I don’t recall here any “pick-it-up pick-it-up” voxs at all. 😉

    Reply
    • January 29, 2011 at 1:46 am
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      @Rhythmroo
      Yeah, I think your comment pretty much echoed my perceptions, including the thought about it being an alright anime since it never was too ambitious anyhow. A shame indeed that the music never got to the point of being a memorable picker-upper. With key emphasis on the memorable bit.

      @Mystlord
      I would never call this music bad or boring. It’s just a soupy mix of unmemorable tunes that work well, even as a standalone, but it just doesn’t have the hook like say… Shiki’s soundtrack where the cues spark up memories of the scenes that accompanied the music. Maybe I’m hitting on some correlation between how memorable the anime is and how memorable the music turned out to be.

      Music can be a powerful tool to evoke emotions and memories. It’s just that Ore no Imouto was sparse on both, making both anime and soundtrack a forgettable experience. Even if the soundtrack is much better than the anime.

      @Valence
      I didn’t even know that skacore was an actual word. Heh.

      I wouldn’t go as far as to say their repetitive. Maybe if you meant how the stylistic ska tones kind of blend together, then yeah, I can see that. But when you listen to each track, no track, I’d argue is repetitive; Kousaki does make efforts to develop them further. Maybe the issue is that the parts are greater than their sum?

      @Yu
      I think the biggest irony of a bland soundtrack has to go to Nodame Cantabile. A show about classical music having such lackluster BGM! I kind of despaired =p

      The tracks may have been short, but it does well with what it has, and that’s probably the biggest positive that can be taken from this album. Like I mentioned, it’s the hook that’s totally missing to drive this into an album with a catchy, memorable tune that forms a core part of a main theme or something. In fact, now that I think of it, this soundtrack is totally missing a main theme!

      I should have known about the Bach connection in “Shinsou no Reijou.” I did say waltzy, but during the course, I was torn between that and Baroque, but ended up choosing the former because it sounded a lot more ornamented than most of the staid Baroque pieces I’m used to.

      Reply
  • January 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm
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    I pretty much have the same problem with the album as you. In the end, we’re given a bunch of short tracks that really don’t distinguish themselves from anything, even among themselves. Unfortunately it’s a problem that comes up all too often in anime OSTs, or at least in the several that I decided to marathon over the past few days (usually I pick up only the best OSTs otherwise so :P)

    Of course the bar is set a lot higher for the composers for slice-of-life shows like OreImo. It’s a lot harder to create a memorable soundtrack when you don’t have anything memorable to work with. I found while listening to Amagami’s soundtrack, for example, that the same problem persisted. It was even worse for Amagami because they did this weird thing where they put all the BGM on the OST, and had character specific BGMs set onto their single soundtracks, which meant that the songs that usually lift OSTs like these out of obscurity, the character specific songs, were completely absent. How frustrating.

    Anyway, the only song from the OreImo soundtrack that ended up making it into my playlist was Meteo Impact XD.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2011 at 6:18 am
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    I suppose I’m sort of biased towards this album, since I kind of like Ska, having a few Ska and Skacore songs in my library. I guess I might download the album for the some ska, as well as Kuroneko no Tango.

    Problem is, even if I download the album or aforementioned songs, chances are I won’t listen to them often. Why? They’re repetitive, they’re ultimately forgettable. Who could possibly remember these pieces of OST? Maybe some, but not a lot.

    That said, I’ll be waiting to get the album, just to see how it goes.

    Reply
  • January 28, 2011 at 11:52 pm
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    Anime OST’s certainly aren’t the only ones to fall prey to repetitiveness. It’s pretty much a problem across the board with music that accompanies some other form of media. The music could /even/ be the focus and this problem would still be there.

    The sample tracks were catchy, I’ll give it that. I actually quite like ska as a style of music when with a vocalist. However, I think ska doesn’t work so well with me as BGM mostly because the characteristic trumpets don’t offer much in the way of emotional variation, etc. Plus, the ska samples presented were all kind of short. I’m sure that if I had to listen to an entire OST of mockingly short tracks I wouldn’t be very satisfied or entertained.

    I can hear Bach’s Minuet in G in Shinsou no Reijou. I was trying to remember why it sounded so familiar until I realized it was quoting the piece which every piano student is made to learn in their novice years.

    Reply
  • January 30, 2011 at 12:30 am
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    Oh good…I thought I had a typo when I saw “Ore no Imouto ga (ry” pop up in iTunes after importing the songs over. I liked the soundtrack because it’s minimalistic – easier to remember, easier to remember scenes from the anime, lol. Then again I am a pretty laid back person, so this fits me like a glove. Alot of it isn’t memorable, to be sure, but the tracks I remember listening to in the anime stick with me. *hums Ichinichi no Hajimari*

    Reply
  • January 30, 2011 at 3:38 pm
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    @zzeroparticle:
    Music can be a powerful tool to evoke emotions and memories. It’s just that Ore no Imouto was sparse on both, making both anime and soundtrack a forgettable experience.

    I would never call this music bad or boring.

    I guess my point is that these two statements are rather contradictory in my eyes, in that if music doesn’t evoke emotions and memories for me, then it’s basically bland and boring in my eyes. Of course, then it all comes down to how the anime actually fared in my eyes. Overall I feel that there actually is a high correspondence between how I viewed the anime and how I view its soundtrack, though there are some exceptions. Even still, OreImo’s soundtrack just was an uninteresting experience for me :< (also, I didn't think that the soundtrack really did well even in the context of the anime, so….)

    Reply
    • January 30, 2011 at 6:03 pm
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      @Khu
      The tracklist had a lot of strange titles this time around and I did have to check with multiple sources to make sure I wasn’t being misled. But yeah, I really did want to highlight Ichinichi no Hajimari since its upbeatness was really nice all around. It’s just a shame the ska stuff blended in too much, though it’s still the best Kousaki work yet.

      @Mystlord
      Yeah, I definitely see the point you’re coming from. My standpoint is slightly different in that I give weight to both the components and the whole (how much of each depends on how I’m feeling =p ), so if I were to analogize, it’d be like reading a novel where every sentence is well-crafted; ie there’s some interesting stuff going on, interesting turns of phrase, etc. It’s just that when you combine that sentence into a novel, it becomes forgettable. Maybe the best way to phrase it is how I said before: the sum of the parts are far larger than the whole (great soundtracks will have it be the other way around).

      Reply
  • February 4, 2011 at 9:28 am
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    Hm… I listened to the samples and didn’t remember them much from the anime. The music just never made any impression on me I guess. They’re fun and delightful though, but nothing too exciting.

    Reply
    • February 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm
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      @Yi
      Yeah, some of the tunes have a tinge of familiarity to them within the anime’s context, but I’d just skip this one since there are far more compelling albums out there.

      Reply
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