Binbougami ga! Original Soundtrack & Variety CD – Review

Album Title: Binbougami ga! Original Soundtrack & Variety CD: Happy Energy Assortment Gift
Anime Title: Binbougami ga!
Artist: Masashi Hamauzu, Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama
Catalog Number: GBSC-0003~4
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: October 25, 2012
Purchase at: Out of print


Tracklist
Disc 1

Show »

Track Title Artist Time
01. Ichiko – Tsukimakuri Jinsei Masashi Hamauzu 1:08
02. Binbougamikai Masashi Hamauzu 1:20
03. Bye B! Masashi Hamauzu 0:48
04. Binbougami – Momiji Toujou Masashi Hamauzu 1:46
05. Binbougami Item Masashi Hamauzu 1:05
06. Binbougami Shuurai Masashi Hamauzu 1:12
07. Masaka no Ochi Masashi Hamauzu 0:53
08. Semarikuru Kiki Masashi Hamauzu 1:29
09. Ichiko – Hitoribocchi Masashi Hamauzu 1:05
10. Ketsui Masashi Hamauzu 1:07
11. Tei-level na Taiketsu Masashi Hamauzu 1:16
12. Suwano Masashi Hamauzu 1:24
13. Tsuwabuki Masashi Hamauzu 1:15
14. Fukou Energy Masashi Hamauzu 1:10
15. Nounai Kaigi Masashi Hamauzu 1:01
16. Henjin Soroibumi Masashi Hamauzu 1:06
17. Kirabiyaka na Party Masashi Hamauzu 1:28
18. Binbougami no Iyagarase Masashi Hamauzu 1:50
19. Wakiagaru Toushi Masashi Hamauzu 1:45
20. Hajimete no Tomodachi Masashi Hamauzu 1:16
21. Tsuwabuki-ke no Teimaitachi Masashi Hamauzu 1:01
22. Ranmaru Masashi Hamauzu 1:16
23. Ranmaru Otome Mode Masashi Hamauzu 1:11
24. Yakutatazu na Otokodomo Masashi Hamauzu 1:13
25. Odekake-biyori Masashi Hamauzu 1:27
26. Nadeshiko Masashi Hamauzu 1:23
27. Michiko (Chibi Ichiko) Masashi Hamauzu 1:00
28. Watashi ga Hoshikatta Mono… Masashi Hamauzu 1:18
29. Momiji – Majime Katari Masashi Hamauzu 1:25
30. Jidaraku na Hibi Masashi Hamauzu 1:07
31. Mou Nani ga Nani yara!? Masashi Hamauzu 1:16
32. Lucky Girl vs Binbougami Masashi Hamauzu 0:51
33. Gachi Shoubu Masashi Hamauzu 1:50
34. Shiro Momiji Masashi Hamauzu 1:16
35. Somin Shourai! Masashi Hamauzu 1:13
36. Egao Masashi Hamauzu 1:36
37. Koufuku Energy Masashi Hamauzu 1:25
38. Subtitle Masashi Hamauzu 0:07
39. Eyecatch A Masashi Hamauzu 0:07
40. Eyecatch B Masashi Hamauzu 0:08
41. Eyecatch C Masashi Hamauzu 0:06
42. Yokoku Masashi Hamauzu 0:18
43. Issho ni Ofuro Masashi Hamauzu 1:09

Disc 2

Show »

Track Title Artist Time
01. MC1 Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 0:11
02. “Happy Girl☆Lucky Girl!” Melooke Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 4:28
03. MC2 Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 0:09
04. “Amagigoe” Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 4:43
05. MC3 Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 0:24
06. “Urahara Sakasa” Kenkasuru hodo! MIX Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 4:52
07. MC4 Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 0:21
08. “Urahara Sakasa” Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 4:48
09. MC5 Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 0:19
10. “Amagigoe” Karaoke Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 4:45
11. “Urahara Sakasa” Karaoke Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 4:51
12. MC6 Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 0:13
13. Opening Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 2:15
14. Binboda Momiji no All Night Ippon Ittoku~~~? Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 8:06
15. Binboda Momiji no All Night Ippon Ittoku~~~? Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 5:36
16. Ending Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 1:14
17. Service-kai no Uta (Piano Ver.) Kana Hanazawa, Yumi Uchiyama 0:52

Review: Asking for a gag anime to deliver a profound musical experience that elevates the listener to a higher plane of consciousness is as futile as expecting a bull in a tutu to perform the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy with any sort of grace. Binbougami ga! doesn’t do much to depart from these preconceived notions despite hiring a composer as accomplished as Masashi Hamauzu. Nonetheless, Hamauzu’s involvement in the soundtrack puts a lower bound on how bad the music could be. Instead of it being deplorably boring, what we have is something on the brighter side of mundane and functional without being anything more. If such a state is an unacceptable turn of events for the Hamauzu fan (I count myself as one), then them’s the breaks, I guess.

The disappointment is easy to sympathize with since the main theme in Binbougami ga!’s soundtrack scatters hints of mischief that didn’t quite grab me at the get-go. This theme, which gets introduced to us in “Ichiko – Tsukimakuri Jinsei,” is energetic as it opens with a staccato melody that hops and jumps with capricious frivolity before the smoother violin takes over playing the same theme while accompanied by the piano. The mood it instills is hyperbolically upbeat as the piece skips along ostentatiously without a care in the world. Deep, epic, or emotionally touching, it is not, but that’s fine; the hints of mayhem-filled action are easy to hear through the piece’s quick tempo and sharp violin scratches, though the repetitive structure of the piece and its lack of development left me wanting.

Ichiko – Tsukimakuri Jinsei

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What “Ichiko – Tsukimakuri Jinsei” does though is set the overarching motif for the rest of the tracks. Although the theme doesn’t carry the cachet of Hamauzu’s other works, the variations upon this theme that crops up elsewhere does demonstrate its versatility. “Binbougami Shuurai” serves as a good example by playing the theme in a different key while accompanied by a dissonant synth interspersed with frenetic piano measures that heighten the tension one might expect out of an intense, yet comical clash of wills. “Wakiagaru Toushi” is similarly heavily synthesized, featuring a lot of heavy beats and an arrangement that’s unerringly determined and emphatic. The track is similar to “Binbougami Shuurai” in that it evokes a sense of reckoning though the tone is much more serious. When all’s said and done however, I prefer the likes of “Hajimete no Tomodachi,” a calm and mellow piano track that makes use of a whispery synth and, later in the piece, a violin part that sighs with contentment. Also worth mentioning is “Michiko (Chibi Ichiko),” which skips along with impish delight, filling one’s ears with curiosity and wonder through the joyful “pajama-pop” electronica.

Wakiagaru Toushi

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Hajimete no Tomodachi

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Michiko (Chibi Ichiko)

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In sum, these themes, while short and generally undeveloped individually, do make up for that in terms of the sheer variety, giving Binbougami ga!’s soundtrack much needed cohesion. Aside from the track length, I do wish there was more room for other musical motifs to give the soundtrack greater multidimensionality, but for a series as short as Binbougami ga!, I suppose there’s not a whole lot one can really add. Oh well.

At least the main theme isn’t the only enjoyable aspect of this album. Hamauzu’s longtime fans will dig works like “Kirabiyaka na Party,” which combines the piano and flute together into a lackadaisical piece that saunters along in a manner similar to a track from Unlimited Saga. The tone takes one on a mellow jaunt and the composition is nothing complex, allowing one to share in the simple pleasures. “Gachi Shoubu” also oozes with Hamauzu goodness. The structure, with its initial intense, synth-filled action transitioning to a quieter section with emphatic piano chords in the middle wouldn’t be out of place in Hamauzu’s SaGa Frontier II. While these tracks are by no means hugely prominent in this album, it’s still nice to be reminded of Hamauzu’s better compositions. I’m about due to give those a re-listen at any rate.

Kirabiyaka na Party

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Gachi Shoubu

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What makes this album a flawed gem, then, is that there are one too many ambient tracks that sour the listening experience because they’re confined solely to the context and not much else. For example, “Binbougamikai’s” Shinto tropes serves its purpose, but never becomes too compelling as the piece makes use of the drum and a low flute melody that’s looped, giving the feel of a static affair that becomes boring rather quickly. “Binbougami – Momiji Toujou,” though initially bright and hopeful, turns into a dreary, dissonant track. I can see this fitting the title character as the dissonance adds in a feeling of despair, but aside from the blares, the track uses its main melody ponderously, resulting in a boring listen overall. Finally, tracks like “Fukou Energy” don’t do a whole lot. The piece creates a sense of dread through its malevolent piano melody punctuated by a grim-sounding chord, and while one gets the feeling of evil afoot, there’s no real resolution or outlet; the piece simply fades away without trying to wrap it up or transition into anything more meaningful. Because of tracks like these, it’s right for Hamauzu fans to be disappointed, especially when many of his other works are filled to the brim with engaging musical ideas and motifs to explore and enjoy.

Binbougami – Momiji Toujou

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Fukou Energy

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No one will look at Masashi Hamauzu’s score for Binbougami ga! and declare it to be Hamauzu’s magnum opus (that prize still goes to Unlimited Saga for me). As enjoyable as the motif may be in all it forms, it never reaches out in a way that’s engaging. When one couples that with the short track length, one is left with a set of cues and an underdeveloped soundtrack that strains to become memorable, but never quite makes it there. As much as I’m griping here, I will say that it’s decent, but I look for more than just decent music from Hamauzu. It begs the question: why bother using Hamauzu in the first place if you’re not going to employ him to his full capacity?

Rating: Decent

About the author

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.

4 Comments… read them or add your own.

  1. maskerade says:

    It’s quite the pedigree here, and I agree that the album is a little disappointing :(

    Still… LOOK AT THAT PACKAGING!!! It’s so pwetty!!

  2. ottocycle says:

    I had similar problems when I tried to listen to the disc, except that I’ve never heard Hamauzu’s work and came into this with relatively low expectations having enjoyed the anime (and not being impressed by its music score). It felt merely functional, with little flourishes despite (or maybe in line with) the incredible otherworldly developments in the show itself.

    >>”Finally, tracks like “Fukou Energy” don’t do a whole lot. The piece creates a sense of dread through its malevolent piano melody punctuated by a grim-sounding chord, and while one gets the feeling of evil afoot, there’s no real resolution or outlet; the piece simply fades away without trying to wrap it up or transition into anything more meaningful.”

    Well it’s sort of what happens in the show every other episode… with the transition being entrusted into the hands of the sound director track placement skills instead. I guess intra-track development isn’t a priority with that kind of thing going on.

    • @ottocycle
      Somehow, I recall you listening to Final Fantasy XIII, or I guess you meant you weren’t as familiar with his works in general?

      Yeah, I never should have expected a developmentally sound soundtrack to come out of a gag anime, but sometimes, with a certain composer in charge, I just couldn’t help but hope. Alas, not this time.

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