Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Original Soundtrack – Review

Album Title: Sound of a small love & chu-2 byo story
Anime Title: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
Artist: Nijine, ZAQ, Maaya Uchida, Chinatsu Akasaki, Azumi Asakura, Sumire Uesaka
Catalog Number: LACA-9258~9
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: January 9, 2013
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia


Tracklist
Disc 1

Show »

Track Title Artist Time
01. Sparkling Daydream (TV size) ZAQ 1:36
02. Welcome to the Chu-2 byo world! Nijine 2:07
03. Chuunibyou to wa Nanzo ya Nijine 1:30
04. Shinpi no Shoujo to no Deai Nijine 2:03
05. Akogare no Futsuu Seikatsu yo Nijine 1:54
06. Cute and chu-2 byo Nijine 1:40
07. Ukare Egao de Go! Nijine 1:28
08. Chu-2 byo is cool! Nijine 2:19
09. comical boys Nijine 1:30
10. The Dark Hero Nijine 1:36
11. Nikumenai Onna no Ko Nijine 1:35
12. Umaku Ikanai Koto mo Arutte Monde Nijine 1:32
13. Teitai na Kanjou Nijine 1:43
14. Yuugure to Yorisou Kanjou Nijine 1:26
15. Kondou no Saki ni Nanika ga Aru no da Nijine 1:30
16. Gakkari Gakusei Jidai Nijine 1:52
17. Kanjou, Sono na wa ‘Hiai’ Nijine 1:43
18. Kokoro no Sukima ni Fuan ga Yattekuru Nijine 1:46
19. Sonna Koto mo Aru yo ne Nijine 1:34
20. Kitai Shichatte Iindesu Nijine 1:45
21. Oi oi, Daijoubu ka? Nijine 1:32
22. Watashi ni mo Mieru Nijine 0:58
23. Maou Kourin ~Ichi~ Nijine 0:10
24. Maou Kourin ~Ni~ Nijine 0:12
25. Maou Kourin ~San~ Nijine 0:15
26. Heiwa na Nichijou ga Ichiban no Shiawase Nijine 1:30
27. Mousou Dekomori Senritsu ~Hokan~ Nijine 1:51
28. Mousou Dekomori Senritsu ~Kakushin~ Nijine 1:39
29. Mousou Dekomori Senritsu ~Gattai~ Nijine 1:32
30. Soshite Ashita mo Chuunibyou wa Tsuzuku no de Atta Nijine 1:46

Disc 2

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Track Title Artist Time
01. Mousou Battle ~Karei Kaishin~ Nijine 1:56
02. Mousou Battle ~Catharsis~ Nijine 1:44
03. Mousou Battle ~Seisen~ Nijine 2:16
04. Mousou Battle ~Densetsu Shoukan~ Nijine 1:38
05. Surechigau Kokoro to Kokoro Nijine 1:50
06. Atatakasa ni Tsutsumarete Hi wa Kureru Nijine 2:00
07. Hajimare no Tane ZAQ 2:15
08. Fukashi Kyoukaisen wo Sagashite Nijine 1:36
09. Ochiruna! Nijine 1:37
10. Kimi no Tonari ni ZAQ 2:33
11. Miagete Goran Yoru no Hoshi wo Izumi Taku 2:42
12. Kanashiki Mousou Battle Nijine 2:04
13. Kanashiki Mousou Battle ~piano~ Nijine 0:52
14. Tebanashita Mono wo Torimodoshini Nijine 1:56
15. Omou Mono Doushi no Saikai Nijine 2:38
16. Sore wa Hontou ni Attan da Nijine 2:26
17. Rikai to Aijou to Yasashii Manazashi Nijine 1:53
18. Koi wa Tsuzuiteiku Nijine 1:29
19. Yokokuhen ~Chuunibyou World no Kaimaku~ Nijine 1:50
20. Yokokuhen ~Chuunibyou no Shinjitsu~ Nijine 0:40
21. Keitai Gal Game Nijine 0:54
22. Eiga Ongakuteki Romance Nijine 0:55
23. Sparkling Daydream ~piano~ Nijine 1:21
24. INSIDE IDENTITY ~piano~ Nijine 2:04
25. Chuunibyou Eye Catch ~Mysterious~ Nijine 0:08
26. Chuunibyou Eye Catch ~Fuan~ Nijine 0:08
27. Chuunibyou Eye Catch ~Comical~ Nijine 0:06
28. Chuunibyou Eye Catch ~Gag~ Nijine 0:07
29. Chuunibyou Eye Catch ~Romantic~ Nijine 0:08
30. Chuunibyou Eye Catch ~Utsukushisa~ Nijine 0:09
31. INSIDE IDENTITY (TV size) Black Raison d’être 1:36

Review: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai’s soundtrack shoots to make its music work within its anime context and succeeds to its detriment. Nijine is no stranger to composing anime music and his compositions for Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai, though tedious and bland, were able to elicit a smile from me as memories of the anime come flooding back as a result of some of his melodies. But robbed of this context, his pieces drift around like withered greens in a lukewarm soup that isn’t hearty enough to sate my appetite.

The first disc demonstrates the context problem most pointedly. Although I smiled while listening to many of the tracks, it wasn’t because I appreciated the music. “Welcome to the Chu-2 byo world!” plastered a silly grin over my face as the light, peppy, synth bounced along serendipitously, evoking the sillier moments between the two leads, Yuuta and Rikka. The piece’s comical nature attempts to invoke an exaggerated giddiness, and at times, is fun and quirky. However, the instrumentation quickly feels static and muted, and I wish that the liveliness gushed out more strongly. Alas, the track is ultimately unable to overcome its dullness, rendering itself noteworthy only to those who have seen the anime.

Welcome to the Chu-2 byo world!

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The problems only become more pronounced the farther you go; ChuuniKoi’s slice of life tracks are among some of the most lifeless ones I’ve heard outside of K-ON!’s soundtrack. “Akogare no Futsuu Seikatsu yo” is far too content with its repetitive piano chords without making any attempt at developing the track beyond the token addition of instruments. Others like “Umaku Ikanai Koto mo Arutte Monde” and “Oi oi, Daijoubu ka?” plod along with little care when it comes to keeping the listener entertained. Whatever attempts are made at bringing life to the music, like the latter’s clarinet ditties that bear a hint of mischievousness, are for naught. On the whole, these tracks do little more than produce moments where listeners go, “Ahh, they played this when X happened.”

Akogare no Futsuu Seikatsu yo

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Oi oi, Daijoubu ka?

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There are a few decent tracks, like “The Dark Hero,” which stereotypically plays out the ominous RPG dungeon shtick delightfully well, and the energetic, swingy electric guitar in “Kitai Shichatte Iindesu” to stir the listener from the blandness, but it’s not enough to overcome the disc’s lackluster efforts. To make it worse, the “Mousou Dekomori Senritsu” set of tracks which close out the disc leave a sour aftertaste; its use of heavy drumbeats, stagnant brassy airs, and terse string chords to evoke a sense of tension feels forced and uninspired. I found the first one, “~Hokan~,” to be especially guilty of this as the bombastic melody is static and so, does little to bring forth the hot-blooded feeling that better action-y and adventuresome tracks can deliver upon.

The Dark Hero

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Mousou Dekomori Senritsu

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The music in the second disc thankfully takes a turn for the better, but only slightly more. To start the disc off, Nijine gives us some decent, if not extraordinary battle music comparable to those found in RPGs. For example, “~Karei Kaishin~” carries the fast-paced feel of battle using strings that alternate between driving the melody and sitting in the background while the synth takes over. The second track, “~Catharsis~,” drives the action further with short, but relentless string chords and synthy wails atop the electric guitar rhythm. “~Seisen~” doesn’t add much beyond a harder, more urgent rock sound but “~Densetsu Shoukan~” brings in a soaring chorus with sections of dissonant brass to drive up the tension. While these battle themes are unremarkable, their parallel to RPG music is a clever touch. Chuunibyou (middle schoolers with overactive imaginations and often imagine themselves to be heroes or supervillains) who engage in deep, heroic fantasies would precisely imagine themselves to be RPG characters, so whether this was on purpose or a lucky coincidence, we’ll never know, but it definitely works in this context.

Mousou Battle ~Densetsu Shoukan~

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If the battle music got better, then so did the lighter fare. “Atatakasa ni Tsutsumarete Hi wa Kureru” impresses as it delivers a light piano that oozes contentment through its gentle tones. The gladness intensifies further when the strings join in, bearing an optimism that is wonderfully stirring as the melody yearns towards that brighter future. “Omou Mono Doushi no Saikai” is also solid as the strings, with piano accompaniment, captures the personal tragedy most poignantly, releasing it in a flurry of catharsis that is beautiful to behold. Finally, “Sore wa Hontou ni Attan da” takes one on the road to a happy ending as it evokes that brighter, quieter outlook as the clarinet and strings deliver a beautiful, heartfelt track that empties out the sorrow and refills it with happiness.

Atatakasa ni Tsutsumarete Hi wa Kureru

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Omou Mono Doushi no Saikai

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When the second disc is considered in the totality of its offerings however, it’s not enough to overcome the first disc’s faults. I often wondered whether Nijine’s style wasn’t a good fit with Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai, given that his compositions for anime like Hatsukoi Limited and Natsuiro Kiseki were more enjoyable. So although I don’t think anyone who went into Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai was expecting anything stellar musically, it still could have been much better. Chuunibyou imaginations require grand, epic themes to serve their purposes, and to have music of this caliber is simply a disservice to their vivid thoughts, fantasies, and daydreams.

Rating: So-so

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.

3 thoughts on “Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Original Soundtrack – Review

  • January 26, 2013 at 5:54 am
    Permalink

    Yeah, I definitely found ‘Omou Mono Doushi no Saikai’ track to be the best of the lot. At least from the ones you’ve embedded in the review.

    The only thing I struggled to understand is why you thought that ‘Mousou Dekomori Senritsu’ was not good enough. It feels like its a perfect fit for Dekomori’s delusional character. Isn’t the track supposed to feel forced and needlessly grandiose?

    Reply
    • January 27, 2013 at 4:28 am
      Permalink

      @Vanthrevolution
      Good question! I’d say needlessly grandiose, YES. Forced…. no. Music to describe any setting should come forth in a way that feels natural and my impression from listening to those sets of tracks is that Nijine was trying to cram in way too much bombast that the component parts didn’t fit in naturally.

      That’s the explanation anyway. If you want a good example of a piece that is needlessly grandiose but comes across as being funny, this one from the Disgaea soundtrack fits the bill perfectly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHK1ttFj5Ss

      Here, we have a heroic theme that takes the melody to a grandiose light (with a motif that seems to be taken from the Superman theme to boot!). The way it flows feels natural; the melodic turns that it takes us through, while straightforward, exaggerate enough to be enjoyable without growing stale. Hope that explanation makes sense!

      Reply
      • January 27, 2013 at 7:14 am
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        Yeah, after hearing both tracks, I get what you’re saying and indeed ‘Mousou Dekomori Senritsu’ doesn’t sound very comedic. I guess it’d have worked if he kept it simple whereas the Disgaea track, as you rightly said, works because its light and doesn’t take itself seriously at all.

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