Kannazuki no Miko Original Soundtrack – Review

Album Title: Kannazuki no Miko Original Soundtrack
Anime Title: Kannazuki no Miko
Artist: Mina Kubota
Catalog Number: GNBA-7120
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: December 22, 2004
Purchase at: Not in Print


Tracklist

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Track Title Artist Time
01. Kannazuki no Miko Mina Kubota 2:15
02. Subtitle Mina Kubota 0:09
03. Souma no Tatakai ~ Kimi wo Mamoru Tame Ni Mina Kubota 2:48
04. Himeko no Theme Mina Kubota 1:31
05. Kanashimi no Hate Mina Kubota 2:10
06. Ankoku no Yami no Naka de Mina Kubota 3:20
07. Chikane no Theme Mina Kubota 2:16
08. Atatakana Hikaru Mina Kubota 1:59
09. Garasu no Hana Mina Kubota 1:40
10. Mayoi Mina Kubota 1:22
11. Narukami ~ Tsubasa no Theme Mina Kubota 1:21
12. Unmei no Ito Mina Kubota 2:14
13. Kanashii Kizuna Mina Kubota 1:18
14. Chiisana Bara no Toge Mina Kubota 1:55
15. Eyecatch A Mina Kubota 0:10
16. Hikari no Naka de Mina Kubota 1:22
17. Orochi no Mori no Tsumuji Kaze Mina Kubota 0:50
18. Senkou no Kanata ni Mina Kubota 2:46
19. Setsunakute Kanashikute Mina Kubota 1:50
20. Yuki no Sei Mina Kubota 1:39
21. Arashi no Naka no Kessen Mina Kubota 2:28
22. Himeko to Chikane Mina Kubota 2:15
23. Shukumei no Honoo Mina Kubota 1:23
24. Hikisakareru Omoi Mina Kubota 1:25
25. Akumu to Kako Mina Kubota 3:15
26. Hirusagari no Hanazono Mina Kubota 1:17
27. Kanashimi no Hate (Piano Version) Mina Kubota 2:10
28. Eyecatch B Mina Kubota 0:11
29. Fuujin Raijin Mina Kubota 1:09
30. Nekoko no Kakurenbo Mina Kubota 0:53
31. Ten no Michibiku Mama ni Mina Kubota 1:56
32. Arashi no Naka no Kessen (Strings Version) Mina Kubota 2:22
33. Namida to Izumi Mina Kubota 2:12
34. Souma to Tsubasa Mina Kubota 1:20
35. Chikane no Theme (Piano Version) Mina Kubota 2:33
36. Yokoku Mina Kubota 0:34

Review: When an anime has great music, it can mean several things. The anime could be part of a popular franchise with the resulting large budget. It could be a genuine masterpiece crafted with the creativity and hard work of many people. Or, as Kannazuki no Miko taught me, it could be an overly melodramatic yuri show.

I decided to check out KnM after hearing some samples from its soundtrack and was rather surprised at what proceeded to unfold before my eyes. Containing absolutely everything known to occur in anime, from mecha to cat-girl nurses to love triangles, the whole mix was laughable. Despite this, the series was oddly entertaining in a so-bad-it’s-good way. The last episode even had me holding back emotional tears for Himeko and Chikane, the two girls whom the series revolves around. Perhaps I’m more susceptible to drama than I believe I am, but I like to think that the amazing score Mina Kubota composed had a role in keeping me watching the series to the end.

The soundtrack opens with the aptly named track “Kannazuki no Miko”. This piece does well to capture the true essence of the show; namely, the relationship between the girls and the duty they have been bound to by the gods. There is a melancholy bleakness in the woodwind melody, as if the music is lamenting the inevitable sacrifices the two will make. Near the end of the track, a trumpet proffers its voice, lending a sense of regal beauty to the tragic nature of the piece.

Kannazuki no Miko

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What’s a yuri drama without some angst? Not much. It’s a good thing excessive cheese makes music (as opposed to anything else) better, because KnM’s soundtrack is full of it. The aching utterances of the cello in “Hikisakareru Omoi” convey the agony of a heart in stark despair. Simply hearing the instrument grieve in its solitude causes one’s own heart to be weighed down with pensive woes. The piece perfectly embodies the bitter anguish the characters experience as they rail against the duty forced upon them by fate.

Hikisakareru Omoi

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However, amidst the angst and the impending end of the world, KnM is not without its happy moments. A cheerful setting is expressed in tracks such as “Hikari no Naka de”. The lively beat and the enthusiastic brass make it one of the most lighthearted tracks in the album, creating a joyful atmosphere free of troubles. In contrast to the energetic happiness expressed in “Hikari no Naka de,” “Yuki no Sei” captures the warm peace following calamity with a quiet and restrained piano solo. While the characters’ ability to experience outright joy has been dulled by past hardship, they find tranquil solace in the fact that they are simply in each other’s company for a fleeting moment.

Hikari no Naka De

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Yuki no Sei

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Despite the show’s heavy focus on the drama between the two main characters and a male love interest, there are still mecha piloting villains hanging about and generally making nuisances of themselves. Battle-scenes ensue, allowing Kubota to show off her prowess at composing action music. “Ankoku no Yami no Naka de” demonstrates Kubota’s ability to write gripping suspense music. An atmosphere of impending and imminent doom is created as ominous swells slowly increase in volume accompanied by the breathy cries of a despondent flute. In the distance, a deep and reverberating beat marches relentlessly onward, emphasizing the futility of escape. As the track approaches its end, the flute begins to frantically splutter as if writhing in the agonies of despair, losing all hope in the face of catastrophe.

Ankoku no Yami no Naka De

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Considering how ridiculous the conflicts were in the show, the authenticity of the battle music is something to marvel at. “Senkou no Kanata ni” begins with powerful string chords that echo into the intertwining silences and resonate into the listener’s very body. The strings act in the stead of percussion, setting up a driving pace. Soon the violins take up a propulsive theme which proceeds to morph into a soaring melody, expressing the strange beauty of perilous conflict.

Senkou no Kanata ni

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Although victory is eventually won after many hardships, it comes with a great price. “Namida to Izumi” manages to perfectly embody the bittersweet ending of the show. There is an overwhelming sense of sorrow as the piece laments the forced separation of the two lovers to the point where the instruments seem to cry out in sympathy. The music enters a hauntingly beautiful refrain of the theme originally expressed in the first track, “Kannazuki no Miko”, demonstrating that events have come full circle. The world has been saved, but at the cost of the seemingly eternal separation of its saviors.

Namida to Izumi

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Simply put, Kubota outdid herself with KnM’s music. Her ability as a composer is written all over this album. It’s an inconceivable travesty that the soundtrack was only sold with the limited edition version of the DVD release (which has been discontinued since). I can only continue to support Kubota’s other, purchasable, enterprises in the hopes that she produces something akin to KnM’s music once again.

Rating: Excellent

Yu

A musician with a fondness for anime, I love listening and talking about the music accompanying the shows I watch. I'm fond of classical styled music, but any piece regardless of genre can tickle my fancy. On the other hand, I'm awful at discussing anime because I'm so terribly easy to please.

19 thoughts on “Kannazuki no Miko Original Soundtrack – Review

  • February 10, 2011 at 12:57 am
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    Oh I just love this soundtrack. It’s one of my all time favourite soundtracks ever, and Mina Kubota was my number one choice in the composer survey zzeroparticle did back in December. I’d just love for her to do more anime soundtracks.

    It breaks my heart to hear that you can no longer purchase this wonderful soundtrack.

    Reply
  • February 10, 2011 at 3:13 am
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    I think you’re a little bit too hard on the show 😉 … while the general setup is obviously a crazy self-deprecating mish-mash of every genre you can think of – agreed – the underlying main storyline beginning with Chikane’s point of view in the middle was excellent drama. So, the past-Chikane-POV run easily rates a 8/10 on my scale.

    The soundtrack is indeed wonderful classical music, again amusingly complemented by J-Pop from KOTOKO (who’s completely on fire here).

    One of my pet shows.

    Reply
  • February 10, 2011 at 10:50 am
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    What’s funny is that I bought and collected all of the DVDs for this anime and its OST back in high school. It’s a treasure of mine, despite the fact that every time I go back and watch it I’m surprised by how I never realized how bad it was when it was airing. I think the main reason is because I’m a huge KOTOKO fan, and she does the two great OP/ED songs + the insert song Supperation -core- which I personally enjoyed very very much.

    On that note, I’m surprised you didn’t review Chikane no Teema/Chikane’s Theme Piano ver. because that’s perhaps the piece that made the show in my opinion. Much of the sadness that Chikane expresses throughout the show is felt through the beauty of this piece more so than the visuals in my opinion. Seeing her play this piece in the dark, alone in her home made my chest tighten every time.

    Reply
  • February 10, 2011 at 11:03 am
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    Great stuff!

    A soundtrack I’ve heard a lot of great things about and have yet to listen to. The samples do spur my curiosity though with the first two providing a glimpse at the atmosphere and emotions that (presumably) run throughout the anime.

    Now, if that’s all there was to it, it probably wouldn’t be rated too highly in my book, but the middle stuff really caught my ear, especially since it does demonstrate just how versatile a composer Kubota is. Guess I’ll have to start trawling yahoojapan auctions if I’m to get my greedy hands on this gem.

    Reply
  • February 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm
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    @Sorrow-kun
    The KnM OST is definitely one of my favorite albums to date. Kubota holds a special place in my heart for writing the soundtrack that got me interested in anime BGM in the first place.

    @Mentar
    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed watching KnM a great deal. I’m just fond at poking fun at shows that I like. I’ll go through a series making fun of everything and still say I loved it at the end.

    You wouldn’t think that a song done by Kotoko would mesh well with KnM… but it does anyway. Somehow the show cobbles together everything into a very endearing end-product.

    @Kylaran
    Re-sublimity and Agony are two of my favorite songs done by Kotoko. So very catchy.

    It was very, very difficult to decide on what pieces to include. I went about choosing tracks wanting a selection which presented every facet of the album and the anime. For the last clip in the review, it was a toss-up between Chikane’s Theme and Namida to Izumi, but the second one won since I felt it better encompassed the overwhelming grief at the end of the show. Plus, it made for a nice tie in at the end of the review… 😛

    @zzeroparticle
    The soundtrack is in part so enjoyable because it’s nicely balanced with music of every mood. Plus, Kubota is very good at developing/tying up each piece. The track lengths on average are slightly on the short side, yet they never feel abrupt because she makes each piece go somewhere. So, yes. Definitely a worthwhile purchase in my opinion.

    Reply
  • February 12, 2011 at 10:19 pm
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    Hmm if I were to venture a guess, I’d say that’s an English horn playing that “woodwind melody” in “Kannazuki no Miko,” though it could be a really warm sounding oboe.

    I can’t really tell whether or not you liked the show, haha, but listening to some of the tunes here makes me want to watch it. Classical’s not necessarily my thing, but nothing tugs heart strings quite like a well-arranged string ensemble.

    As for the review itself, I think I would enjoy more of your opinion on the pieces rather than a summarization of the music. Nonetheless, great write-up.

    Reply
  • February 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm
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    @Aftersh0k
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the English Horn is a woodwind, right?

    Thanks for the advice, I’ll be sure to remember that for the next one. 😛

    Reply
  • February 14, 2011 at 10:40 am
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    I haven’t watched the series, so I hadn’t heard any of this before, but I definitely enjoyed the pieces here. I think my favorite is the opening, title piece.

    And a great first review post, by the way!

    Reply
  • February 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm
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    @ Arianna
    I’m too fond of most of the tracks in the album to pick a favorite.

    Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Reply
  • February 18, 2011 at 6:36 pm
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    This is an anime I really enjoyed, and I think the soundtrack had a lot to do with it. Love the melancholy and the angst in the music.

    Reply
  • March 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm
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    1) Re-sublimity + Agony + Suppuration -core- = Giving into despair over three acts
    2) The lyrics to the first two are almost spoiler-ish if coming from Chikane’s perspective
    3) Each episode save for the end smoothly transitioned into Agony (har har). Songs that have any sort of staying power can be immortalized as a result, i.e. any ED from Macross Frontier.

    Reply
  • March 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm
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    @ Yi
    Great for listening to when I feel particularly angsty! The show wouldn’t have been the same without its score.

    @ spoke
    You’ve definitely got a point that songs that have been better integrated into their respective shows are more memorable. The music and the anime become intertwined and you can’t think of one without the other.

    Reply
  • December 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm
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    The music from this anime is fantastic! Do you happen to know the what orchestra plays the instrumental songs on this soundtrack?

    Reply
  • December 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm
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    I don’t happen to know, although I am fairly certain it’s the same orchestra she worked with for Kaleido Star’s music. I’m glad you liked the music!

    Reply
  • December 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm
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    After wandering around tvtropes.org, Wikipedia and cdjapan.co.jp I found another excellent soundtrack that is sadly out of print: Simoun OST 1.

    Composer Toshihiko Sahashi (佐橋 俊彦) had so far been overlooked in my search for great music of anime, but for strong classical foundations and a combination of orchestral and synthetic compositions (think Vangelis), he is worth checking out.

    Reply
  • December 18, 2011 at 8:07 pm
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    I’ve been a huge fan of Sahashi ever since I came across his scores for Gunslinger Girl and Simoun (Probably my two favorite soundtracks although plenty of his
    work is worth checking out). If you ask Zzeroparticle, he can attest to how much I blather on about the guy.

    With all of these out of print CDs with great music, it’s easy to believe that anime soundtracks sell based on show popularity and not quality of music.

    Reply
  • September 24, 2012 at 7:02 am
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    Beautiful symphony, thank the heavens for such a wounderful person such as
    kubota. This soundtrack really expressis the melancholy of KnM.

    Reply
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  • May 1, 2014 at 10:05 am
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    Awfully late, but the catalogue number that you provided is for the box set with the DVD, and I don’t know the correct catalogue number for the CD.

    Reply

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