|Album Title:||Simoun Original Soundtrack 1|
|Artist:||Sahashi Toshihiko, Ishikawa Chiaki, savage genius|
|Release Date:||June 21, 2006|
|Purchase at:||Out of Print|
|01. Utsukushi Kereba Sore de Ii (TV Size)||Ishikawa Chiaki||1:33|
|02. Youen Naru Kizuna no Hibiki||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:25|
|03. Josei Kokka Dai Ichi Gakushou: Kyuu Jinrui||Sahashi Toshihiko||1:48|
|04. Josei Kokka Dai Ni Gakushou: Danseishakai no Houkai to Haijo||Sahashi Toshihiko||1:51|
|05. Josei Kokka Dai San Gakushou: Arata na Tane no Hozon to Henka||Sahashi Toshihiko||1:40|
|06. Josei Kokka Dai Yon Gakushou: Josei Kokka Kakuritsu||Sahashi Toshihiko||1:49|
|07. Kasuka Naru Koi no Kokoro||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:29|
|08. Tabidachi no Yokan||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:18|
|09. Tsubasa to Tsubasa||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:31|
|10. Tokubetsu na Mirai to Tameni…||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:21|
|11. Kanashimi no Simoun Shivuyura||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:55|
|12. Sonomama de…||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:01|
|13. Izumi no Hadou||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:33|
|14. Yakusoku||Sahashi Toshihiko||1:35|
|15. Utusukushiki Miko no Namida||Sahashi Toshihiko||1:41|
|16. Ginen to Shinjitsu||Sahashi Toshihiko||1:47|
|17. Kuroi Kage||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:10|
|18. Oozora no Auriga||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:27|
|19. Doukoku Kooru Tempest||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:30|
|20. Kuuchuu Yousai||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:43|
|21. Shizuka Naru Inori no Koe||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:27|
|22. Denen||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:25|
|23. Sora yo Kaze yo Kagayaki no Daichi yo||Sahashi Toshihiko||2:52|
|24. Inori no Uta (TV Size)||savage genius||1:37|
Review: Sahashi Toshihiko’s Simoun soundtrack is a rare gem that transcends simple greatness and enters the realm of “amazing”. After what amounts to hundreds of playthroughs, I still haven’t gotten tired of it; every subsequent listen yields something new to like. Sometimes, I’m entranced by how seamlessly Sahashi merges passion with action, resulting in pieces that are not only breathtakingly exciting but also remarkably lyrical. Other times, I’m impressed by how the music always grows in intensity or draws back in trepidation in all the right places. Whatever the exact reasons are, I find myself engrossed in a breathtaking adventure every time I listen to this soundtrack. All it takes is the first track to immediately immerse me in the strikingly beautiful story.
The tale begins with the dramatic “Yoen Naru Kizuna no Hibiki”. Improvising a dashing invitation, a solitary accordion proffers its hand to its audience with a flourish. The offer is irresistible. In no time at all, the surroundings are illuminated by a heated tango that is colored with the slightest shade of mystery. Suavely charismatic, the accordion is then joined by its partner, a cello, and the two intertwine in a beautifully impassioned duet. The accordion’s invitation to dance is a portal to an entirely different world – a world where the colors are brighter and passions run high.
This world is quickly revealed to be on the brink of an all-consuming war. The nation of Simulacrum’s march towards impending strife with its neighbors is mirrored in the grim and relentless timpani heard in “Josei Kokka Dai Ichi Gakushou: Kyuu Jinrui”, whose deliberate strokes create a heavily oppressive atmosphere reminiscent of strained relations in desperate times. These uneasy feelings roiling beneath the surface are apparent in the agitated “Ginen to Shinjitsu” and “Kuroi Kage”, where barely restrained strings capture tensions ready to break forth at the slightest provocation. It does not take much to send everything over the tipping point when all stability is shattered in the magnificently rousing “Tabidachi no Yokan”. The shimmering calm that begins the track is fleeting; the transient peace is quickly shattered by trumpeting cries that transform the gentle introduction into a landscape set ablaze by tidings of war.
The calls to battle are promptly answered as the music rapidly escalates with an intensity to match. “Josei Kokka Dai Ni Gakushou: Danseishakai no Houkai to Haijo” sees chaos break forth as instruments scramble frantically in the wake of the breaking of peace, effectively setting the listener on edge as the rapid notes and sudden bursts of volume create an atmosphere of frenzied panic. This initial rush segues into the sound of mobilization in “Tokubetsuna na Mirai to Tameni…”. The piece’s terse, down-to-business feel unexpectedly rises into a resolute song soaring on mighty wings, conjuring a sudden sensation of wonderment at the magnificent show of strength assembled for a determined purpose.
Nevertheless, war proves to be no easy affair. Nerves are stretched paper-thin in the turbulent “Yakusoku” and “Josei Kokka Dai Yon Gakushou: Josei Kokka Kakuritsu” as desperate struggles play out in the tenuously agitated atmosphere. Despite the odds, the forces press forward with determination in “Kanashimi no Simoun Shivuyura”, whose fiercely unflinching melodies remain steadfast even in the face of loss and tragedy. This firm resolve pays off at last in “Oozora no Auriga”, where the theme which initially drew the listener in makes its return, just as bold in its steps as ever. In the daring melody is a performer who dances arm in arm with danger, mere inches away from a precarious death. Yet, the steps are executed with a confidence that guarantees success. One is only left marveling at the aplomb with which the music pulls off this act with victorious triumph.
But feats of skill can only do so much – the endless fighting begins to take its toll on the individuals in the war, a change reflected in tracks like “Utusukushiki Miko no Namida”. Stripped of all its earlier audacity, the main theme is reiterated by a lonely violin. The sorrowful lament is made all the more poignantly wretched by memories of the theme’s former glory. Meanwhile, “Shizuka Naru Inori no Koe” and “Sonomama de…” are similarly performed by a solo piano that relates bleakly melancholic renditions of the anime’s OP and ED. All of this grief is suppressed in sound until “Doukoku Kooru Tempest” opens the emotional floodgates and releases a heartrending storm of despondent passion. Raging violently, the pained notes bemoan unjust tragedies born from conflict.
Despite the many cataclysms, the music continues on to raise the audience’s spirits, reminding us that the world continues on regardless of the tragedies experienced in victory or loss. The tranquil yet grandiose swells of “Sora yo Kaze yo Kagayaki no Daichi yo” and “Josei Kokka Dai 3” speak of wide expanses where countless new opportunities await, ready to yield the fruits of peace. However, the track that resounds with the sound of hope the most is doubtlessly “Denen”. In the piece, a delightfully lyrical pastoral theme is warmly performed by an orchestral ensemble, painting a vibrant picture of a verdant land bathed in radiant sunshine. It’s the perfect heartwarming end to the prodigiously grand and tempestuous tale of Simoun.
Simoun’s soundtrack is truly exceptional in that the music never leaves you thinking “more could have been done with that.” Indeed, Sahashi takes full advantage of every opportunity. Track after track, he demonstrates his expertise at orchestration, utilizing his expertise at manipulating tension and emotion to craft an album that remains engrossing in its entirety. Even better, the second disk is just as good, making for twice the amount of wonderful music.